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    #16
    Hey Max! I am interested in having you on my "Fire & Water Cooking podcast" sometime soon to discuss all the different kinds of bbq grills, smokers, and gadgets you review. Would like it to air sometime before Christmas.. I have had both Clint and Meathead on earlier this year.. are you interested? Thanks!

    Comment


    • Max Good
      Max Good commented
      Editing a comment
      Definitely! Check your email.

    #17
    Hi Max,
    I’ve been smoking on a WSM for the last several years and am looking to add a pellet smoker to my arsenal. I am looking at Yoder and Green Mountain Grills primarily while the MAK One Star is also on my list because Meathead loves the MAK so much. I can purchase a Yoder or GMG at a local retailer that will construct and deliver the machine. I’d need to hire someone to build the MAK.

    My budget is $1,500.00. I’m able to blow that by a couple hundred, but need to stay under $2,000.00.

    Do you have any recommendations for me?

    Comment


    • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
      ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
      Editing a comment
      I dunno about the 1 star, but the 2 star was very easy to assemble. If I would have charged a friend to help assemble it woulda been worth a 6 pack for the time it took Both Yoder and GMG make some really good pellet cookers. Both the MAK and the Yoder are gonna stress your $2K limit once you factor in accessories

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Max Good

    #18
    Hi Max,
    You gave a brief mention to the Char Broil Cruise, https://www.charbroil.com/cruise-435...rill-463258622 , when it was publicly announced, and said there could be a follow up more thorough review.
    So, have you had a chance to review it? No, I don't work for them, I'm looking for a new gasser If this works as advertised, I could be parting with some good money for it because it would certainly fill a few needs around my place.
    TIA,
    The DesertRaider

    Comment


      #19
      All my reviews are on the free site. They are searchable too! Here's the Cruise Review: https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...ise-gas-grill/

      Comment


      • Max Good
        Max Good commented
        Editing a comment
        DesertRaider As stated in my review, "A built-in flame sensor turns the grill off if it does not ignite within a certain time or if at any point during cooking the flame goes out. This is a nice safety feature, but our Cruise kept shutting off and displaying an "E01" error which indicates 'flame not detected.' We had fuel and there was no wind, so what caused the flame to keep going out? Char-Broil says some new units get chronic E01 errors until you break them in."

      • DesertRaider
        DesertRaider commented
        Editing a comment
        Max Good Thanks for all the information, and, the review helped a lot. While I like the idea, it sounds like better models may be in the future.

      • Max Good
        Max Good commented
        Editing a comment
        There’s a lot to like here as the grill currently stands; the forgiving Amplifire system, auto clean, dependable medium temperature cook settings, and impressive high-temperature performance. A few rough edges need to be addressed, but if you’re in the market for a gas grill right now, Cruise merits a look. We award our AmazingRibs.com Best Value Silver Medal.

      #20
      Max, are you reviewing the new Traeger Timberline? I just bought one but can't wait to read your take.

      Comment


      • Max Good
        Max Good commented
        Editing a comment
        I am working on the new Timberline now. I'd value your opinions!

      #21
      Max Good, here's my take on the Timberline XL. I'm now two weeks in with multiple cooks: tri-tip, baby backs, chicken, sausage and peppers, and mac and cheese are a few.

      Positives
      • It produces more smoke than any pellet grill I've owned before. This is the #1 benefit in my book and makes the very high price tag somewhat justifiable. There's a constant ribbon of thin blue smoke billowing out the back even without "super smoke" and it results in a noticeably more pronounced smoke flavor. Everything I've cooked on it has been delicious. I currently own a Memphis Pro ITC3 and the Timberline kicks its butt in the smoke department. There's visible smoke at 400 degrees and up. The Memphis says sayonara to smoke around 275 degrees, and at lower temps I only see it in cycles. I used to own a Traeger Ironwood and it was difficult to see smoke at around 250 degrees. My hypothesis is that the PID controller is too efficient for its own good and kept such a consistent temp that pellets don't smolder enough. With the Timberline, Traeger fixed that problem.
      • The user interface and app are intuitive and beautifully designed. My grill connected to wifi and immediately downloaded firmware updates that allowed me to avoid some of the giltches early adopters experienced.
      • The Meater integration is awesome. I'd never used Meater thermometers before but the wireless connectivity is nice. I thought one was running a little off so I'll calibrate soon.
      • The ash/grease keg is not a gimmick. Not all of the ash finds its way into the keg, but every time I've taken out the grates, baffles, etc., I've noticed the burn pot had no ash in it. I suspect this constant expulsion of the ash from the burn pot is part of the reason why the Timberline creates so much wonderful smoke. I think you can safely go multiple cooks just unloading the ash from the keg and not having to take the whole thing apart and vacuum it out. I don't get much grease in the keg because I cook on the upper grates and catch most of the grease with foil pans.
      • The new pellet drop configuration should eliminate auger burnback potential.
      • I was able to get a cast iron pan screaming hot on the induction side burner. I've also used it to boil pasta for the mac and cheese. One potential use would be deep frying ... keep the smell out of the house. The burner iself is very high quality.
      • The XL is HUGE, but the temperatures appear pretty even across the chamber. I still need to do a biscuit or bread test. The design has no gap between the drip tray and the sides of the cooker, eliminating that common hot spot.
      • The unit is solidly built. It's powder-coated steel on the outside but I see it holding up well to the elements and the inside of the cook chamber is lined in 304 stainless.
      • It should give the MAK, Lone Star Grillz and Weber SmokeFire a serious battle for most smoke off a pellet cooker.
      Negatives
      • Temps can swing wildly, as much as 50 degrees plus or minus. Maybe this is another reason why there's so much smoke? I understand some swings are beneficial but I've experienced such wild shifts I was thinking about alerting customer service.
      • It's lousy at grilling; like all Traegers the temp tops off at 500. My Memphis gets much hotter and blows it out of the water in this category. There's also no direct flame access. I don't think the induction side burner is a replacement for on-grill searing.
      • It's slow to increase temperature. Traeger says it has "turbo temp" but it's more like turtle temp. Memphis and my previous Ironwood heat up much faster.
      • It's expensive. There are full stainless pellet smokers at this price point.
      • I've had a relatively glitch-free experience, but online reviews reflect some serious issues with the technology. Many grills have been returned and/or replaced. Some feel like they are beta testers for a unit that wasn't ready for prime time.
      • My girlfriend doesn't like the aesthetics; she thinks the cook chamber looks like a coffin.

      The jury's still out for me, but I'm leaning toward keeping the Timberline and selling the Memphis. I've had a few issues with the ITC3 and that's coloring my thinking, but I'm going to take some time to more fully report this story. That's the journalist in me.

      Let me know if you need anything else ... your opinion and expertise is much more valuable!
      Last edited by jwkieta; October 29, 2022, 10:14 AM.

      Comment


      • jwkieta
        jwkieta commented
        Editing a comment
        I then decided to check the Memphis to see how it performed. Initially, the Pro ITC3 displayed a lower temp than what the Dot was showing. As the temp rose this flipped; the display showed 225 and the Dot showed about 190. When the display showed 250, the Dot was at about 225/230. I then set the Memphis to 425, and it eventually settled in with largely similar readings between the two.

        The Traeger definitely is off, and it seems like the Memphis is working largely as intended.

      • jwkieta
        jwkieta commented
        Editing a comment
        Of course, I'm not sure how reliable my test is given I wasn't using a real ambient temp probe.

        I also was able to confirm my previous observation that the Traeger produces a LOT more smoke at all temperatures compared with the Memphis. I was getting smoke even at around 400 degrees on the Dot/450 on the display.

        Bottom line: the Traeger routinely is temping way below the display temp.

      • WillTravelForFood
        WillTravelForFood commented
        Editing a comment
        This would be a terrific thread to have posted over in the Traeger channel.

      #22
      jwkieta Yes, that's a similar temp discrepancy to what I experienced. Even though Timberline produces a lot of smoke, I did a brisket flat and pork butt and didn't get much of a smoke ring or strong smoke flavor and aroma. How about you?

      Comment


      • jwkieta
        jwkieta commented
        Editing a comment
        I've cooked two tri-tips and one rack of baby backs. The tri-tips were noticeably more smoke-forward than what I got off the Memphis and had a deeper smoke ring. I only smoke them to 110 degrees and then crank up heat/sear until IT hits 145 so it's not a long smoke. Ribs were smokier, too. I also made some sausages and got a more pronounced smoke flavor. My son is a tri-tip freak so I'll probably cook another tonight and i'll post photos.

      #23
      Max Good Cooked some tri-tip again on the Timberline last night. I like to cook tri-tip to medium or even medium-well as it tastes better and is less tough for some strange reason. Anyway, it was a success. I set up the Timberline at 250 and let it roll until internal temp hit 110, then cranked it up to 425 to finish off at an internal temp of 155. The thermoworks Dot grate-level test I rigged showed the actual temp around 25 degrees cooler than the Traeger display. For the meat, I used the Meater wireless thermometer that came with the Timberline. The unit smoked like a chimney throughout and I got a nice smoke ring and the smoke flavor was much more noticeable than what I get off my Memphis. I used apple pellets that already were in the hClick image for larger version

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      Comment


      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        jwkieta and Max Good Maybe I missed it in this post, but where is Traeger’s factory temperature probe located? Is it right near the grate where the ambient probes are being placed as a comparison? Hope this isn’t a stupid question, but I know very little about pellet poopers.

      • WillTravelForFood
        WillTravelForFood commented
        Editing a comment
        jwkieta yes, this is a great conversation. But can it be a new post in the appropriate channel, please? Your photos and questions will likely get better exposure and engagement.

      • jwkieta
        jwkieta commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, @Max_Good. The jury is still out for me on the Timberline XL but this one was a success. I'm sure I'm cooking tri-tip all wrong but this was deliciously smoky. I'm making a bone-in pork loin roast tonight. @Panhead_John, the Traeger temp sensor is in the back of the grill behind a tall stainless steel oven-like wall that holds the racks.

      #24
      jwkieta​ I agree with the advice, and I'd like to ask if you could create a new topic about the Timberline in the Traeger channel here: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ers/traeger-aa then your posts have a better home. You can still tag Max from there. Thanks.

      Comment


        #25
        Max Good

        Just letting know that Amazon is almost out of all Black Swan products.
        They haven't had Sweet Cognac for a while...
        I'm starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms

        Comment


        • Max Good
          Max Good commented
          Editing a comment
          Sorry! We're re-doing our Amazon pages and it's taking longer than expected. You can still order from our other online sellers linked at our www.BlackSwanCompany.com site. We appreciate your patience and hope to get Amazon rockin' soon!

        • Allon
          Allon commented
          Editing a comment
          Max Good

          Just letting you know that only KKCBBQ has any stock, and that's limited to the Original Recipe.

          The other store is barely mentions Black Swan and had no stock that I an tell.

          Good luck...

        #26
        I am trying to find info re: dry brining a pork shoulder, from what I understand, I just have to post questions at “comments” on any forum.

        Comment


        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          you would look for the appropriate subforum or use the search function, but here is where you will find discussions on pork technique https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...d-pork-ham-etc

        • mrichie1229
          mrichie1229 commented
          Editing a comment
          Welcome to the Pit D-Bbq! As ItsAllGoneToTheDogs mentioned, the Pork discussion forum would be the best place for this question.

          Are you looking to find out how much salt? How long to dry brine? etc. There are also plenty of recipes that may assist you in your endeavor.

          Good luck!

        • RonB
          RonB commented
          Editing a comment
          Welcome to The Pit.

          Yes - you will get more response if you post a new topic in the link ItsAllGoneToTheDogs posted.

        #27
        I have been looking for the video grill reviews you used to do. Wherever I've looked is not the place. will you tell me if there is still such a "place" and where I can find it.

        Comment


        #28
        I’ve been looking forward to the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro review. Any timeline for that?? Thanks, in advance.

        Comment


        • SmokingSteve
          SmokingSteve commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey Max Good I am also very interested in seeing a review of the Woodwind Pro!

        • Max Good
          Max Good commented
          Editing a comment
          I know....I know. Bad Max! Finishing the Napoleon Phantom review. Next is the Memphis Pro. Possibly could get to Woodwind Pro thereafter. It's been on my mind. I cooked on one at a Camp Chef event, but didn't have time to test the feature that's on everyone's mind - the Smoke Box!

        #29
        Enjoy your reviews and early news on new grills. Worked for Traeger and GMG dealer and saw the AR FB post about the new GMG wood chip grill. Any additional information on it? Any other mfg making one? One would assume the selling point would be more smoke from chips than pellets, but considering many pellet grills (at least some) have auger feed issues so the concept leaves questions as to chip feed mechanism at a minimum.

        Comment


        • CandySueQ
          CandySueQ commented
          Editing a comment
          Lone Star Grills in Texas was making one. Feed mechanism has to be an open auger instead of a screw type with solid core. Chip size is the biggest issue.

        • Max Good
          Max Good commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm at the HPBExpo in Nashville. Green Mountain had a prototype of their RIPT wood chip burner at their booth. They say the obstacles have been overcome and plan a roll out in 2025.
          Last edited by Max Good; February 16, 2024, 08:55 AM.

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