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Stainless or not?

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    Stainless or not?

    Hi all, I am very interested in purchasing either the M1 or M36 grill (although it won't be for a while yet, as it will be at the end of a house-building project), and one question I've had is whether the stainless steel versions of each are worth it, since they are so much more costly. I would be grateful for any perspective or advice on this. If it's relevant, the grill will reside in northwest Connecticut (so think cold winters and snow); and I expect if our designs go right, the grill will be stored and used under some sort of covered patio.
    Do I need to worry about rust/longevity if I don't get stainless?
    Thanks for any advice you can give

    The black finish is really tough and durable so I don’t think that rust is a concern any time soon. The nice thing about the stainless version is that it’s cleanable. If you drop juice or food on the black version it’s nearly impossible to totally clean off. I have the black version and I’m very happy with it. Although the stainless looks really nice and is easier to clean, I can’t justify the higher asking price. Let us know what you decide on! Good luck!


    • Primo
      Primo commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks! Yeah, I have an old grill with a black finish like that, and it looks like a mess on the outside, no matter how I try to clean it.
      I do have a pressure washer -- do you think I'd be able to use it on the exterior of the M grills?

    You may want to do a little research on stainless steel before deciding. It is my understanding that the lower grades may rust and stainless may discolor if not kept lean. Nevertheless, the higher grade stainless may be the way to go if money is no object.


      Another member recently posted about his newly acquired M1 and it was finished in a gloss (presumably hi temp resistant) finish rather than the older satin or flat black that is/was typical. The gloss finish should be easier to maintain from a grease spill perspective, so it might be worthwhile to check if that is now standard or a worthwhile option. As for the stainless alternative, it is claimed to be 304 grade which is one of the higher rust resistant grades available. Considering it's largely 10 gauge sheet stock the $1500ish premium is realistic, especially with what steel prices have done recently. As for necessity, that's a matter of how the owner cares for it. Some folks have a knack for taking extremely good care of even mediocre materials, and others seem to have a knack for destroying just about anything, no matter the quality level. Perhaps how your previously owned outdoor equipment has survived would be a measure of where you are on that spectrum.


        The regular M1, looking at their website, seems to be made out of mostly 10 gauge metal which is thicker than 1/8". I have a large pellet cooker made of 10 gauge and it's not even close to rusting through after almost 4 years of ownership. Just keep it clean and it will last a loooong time. Also not sure of the heat retention between a carbon steel chamber and a stainless one. I would think the carbon model would be a bit better.

        But hey, if you got the bucks, go for the stainless.


          I recently ordered the M36 and wondered, after the fact, whether I should have stepped up to stainless. That said, When I watch all the YouTube videos of cooks I admire, their cookers always looks like they have seen a lot of hard use. And, I guess, that’s okay by me in the end. If it does the job and happens to look like it has worked hard, I don’t have problem with that. It’s not a piece of art; it’s a working man’s tool.



            Those are some nice cookers. Maybe you can join the FB "M Grills Army" there are about 650 members and they might have more opinions. I really like that the firebox door and air intake are all stainless.
            Last edited by Redwng; June 17, 2021, 05:19 PM.


              I don't suppose anyone knows whether they would be able to build an M1 or M36 as a built-in? I know the design itself poses some obstacles there, but was wondering anyway...Alternatively, whether (since they're hand-built), they build any with right-side fireboxes?


                I have a regular steel M1 that was built around November of 2019 and it's already rusting in quite a few places. Mine is the older rough finish so I don't know if the newer finish is more durable. I would go stainless if you can afford it. Granted the rust on mine is all surface rust and I doubt the grill would rust out in my lifetime but it doesn't look very good and it's a pain to have to sand the areas down and re-paint. I've done that on a couple of my other steel cookers and the rust is already back.


                • chad.gibbs.3
                  chad.gibbs.3 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  How and where are you storing your smoker? Do you leave it outside without a cover? Do you have any rust inside the smoker? If so, are you leaving the air vents opened or closed? What is the climate like where you live? Is it close to the ocean and saltwater? Does it rain a lot like in Seattle, Washington? There are obviously a lot of variables that go in to what causes rust, but I’m just trying to figure out why yours is rusting so quickly so we can educate others on how to prevent this.

                • 70monte
                  70monte commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It's stored under a carport that has sides and a concrete floor so it doesn't get any direct rain or snow on it. I don't keep the cover on it because it seemed to trap moisture from the floor when it gets wet. I do have rust inside and always leave the vents open when not using it. I live in SW Mo so we get a fair amount of rain and it's very humid here during the warmer parts of the year. I have two Good One smokers that are also rusting quite a bit.


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