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M-Grills M-1 versus KBQ - any advice?

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  • glitchy
    Club Member
    • Jul 2019
    • 878
    • Central IA
    • MAK 2 Star General
      Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
      w/ Big Joetisserie, SnS LP, and Vortex
      Weber Q1000
      Fireboard 2 Drive
      Anova Precision Sous Vide
      All the (pellet) grills I’ve loved before:
      Traeger Junior Elite^
      GMG DB
      Traeger Texas Elite
      Memphis Pro§
      Traeger Pro 575
      CampChef SmokePro STX (ugly grills need love too)
      Weber SmokeFire EX4§
      Traeger Select
      CampChef Woodwind WiFi w/SearBox^
      Weber SmokeFire EX4§

      ^ = Favorites
      § = Love/Hate Relationships

    M-Grills M-1 versus KBQ - any advice?

    At some point I would like to add some sort of stick burner to my cooking arsenal that is not a COS. Seeing Ernst's constant barrage of gorgeous cooks and all the feedback about the KBQ, I have been leaning towards the KBQ for that MCS void some day. However, an immaculate looking used M-1 has shown up about 4 hours from me that is making me wonder. It's a lot more versatile than a KBQ, but will it produce as good as results as easily? How simple is it to keep a really clean burning fire in a M-1? What else does it do exceptionally well? Anyone have a M-1 and any thoughts? I really don't need all the versatility, but if it smokes with sticks as well as a KBQ, it does offer versatility to go with it. With the adjustable charcoal grate can I use it Santa Maria style with the lid open? Does it really do anything my WSCG or SmokeFire will not (other than burn logs if I wish)?

    I wasn't planning on adding anything for at least a few months, but since this deal came up I thought I should at least consider it.
  • tbob4
    Charter Member
    • Nov 2014
    • 2511
    • Chico, CA
    • BBQ's
      California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
      California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
      Santa Maria Grill
      Vision Grill

      Sierra Nevada IPA


    I can't help you with choosing between the two but when MCS strikes you have to act. It is the only cure!


    • barelfly
      Club Member
      • Dec 2017
      • 1396
      • New Mexico
      • Smokin-It 3D
        Weber Kettle with an SNS
        Masterbuilt kettle that I call the $30 wonder grill
        Bullet by Bull Grills gasser
        Anova WiFi sous vide machine
        Thermoworks Thermapen and Chef Alarm

      Oh man! Get that M1!!!!!! I would be all over that! So versatile, low and slow, Santa Maria style, charcoal...

      there are quite a few videos on their site, check them out. I’ve done some research on them because I’d like to get one at some point, that or a LSG stick burner. But, the M1’s functionality would make it a better cooker for my purposes.

      there are some on the board that actively post that have M1s. I just commented on someone’s post last week (although I think that was on the SUWYC thread that has......)

      I think there is a channel for them? Maybe? But... M1, M1, M1....


      • Spinaker
        • Nov 2014
        • 10847
        • Land of Tonka
        • John "J R"
          Instagram: JRBowlsby
          Smokin' Hound Que
          Minnesota/ United States of America

          Dexter (Beagle mix)
          Kinnick (American Foxhound)

          Big Green Egg (Large) X3
          Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

          Karubeque C-60
          Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
          Lodge L410 Hibachi
          Pit Barrel Cooker
          Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
          R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

          Weber Spirit Gasser
          FireBoard (Base Package)
          Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
          Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)

          Big Green Egg Plate Setter
          Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
          Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

          Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
          Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

          Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
          Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
          Eggspander Kit X2
          Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

          Finex Cat Iron Line
          FireBoard Drive
          Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
          Grill Grates
          Joule Water Circulator
          KBQ Fire Grate

          Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
          Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
          Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
          Large Vortex
          Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum
          Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
          Smithey No. 12
          Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
          Stargazer No.10, 12
          Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs
          Univex Duro 10" Meat Slicer
          FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
          Kingsford Blue and White
          Rockwood Lump Charcoal
          Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60

          Buck 119 Special
          Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

          Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
          Next Major Purchase
          Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

        For me, the KBQ allows me to feed the fire and not really have to worry about keeping that fire perfect. The results are always consistent and it is so easy to throw.a few logs in from time to time.

        Respectfully. Comparing it to a kamado is not really fair, one is really hands-free (Kamado) and one is not. (KBQ) And IMHO, nothing beats burning pure wood for smoking. I will say, owning four Kamados, you can get great BBQ out of kamados, but I have yet to produce anything as good as I have in the KBQ. The results are just that good.

        You also get some great capacity for a small foot print with the KBQ. You can easily fit four briskets in a KBQ, or 8 racks of ribs, etc. Additionally, if you want to, you can take the KBQ with you if you want to cook at another location. (Provided power is available, which it almost always is)

        I have no experience with the M1, but I really have nothing bad to say about the KBQ. It just works every time, and it kicks out phenomenal BBQ. I have had mine for about 5 years and I have had zero issues with it. And it still cleans up, pretty much, like new. I wouldn't trade my KBQ for any other stick burner.

        You are looking at two very good smokers, it just depends on what YOU think best fits your needs and wants.


        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, you really nailed kinda how I already felt from seeing yours and others posts in KBQ channels and why I’ve been leaning that way. I feel I can already do most of the charcoal burning things the M-1 can do with the WSCG. If I didn’t already have that, the M-1 would be a no brainer. I really should go KBQ for what all you mentioned, the M-1 has just always intrigued me and is at a great price.

        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          You bet. It all comes down to personal preference. But, knowing you and my KBQ, I know you would be happy with the KBQ. glitchy
      • Old Glory
        Club Member
        • Feb 2018
        • 1198
        • Northshore MA
        • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
          XL BGE
          DCS Gasser
          Humphrey's Cabinet Smoker
          Weber Performer

          Slow & Sear
          Ceramic Grill Store Reducer Ring
          Woo Rig;
          Adjustable Rig
          BGE Pizza Stone
          Pit Bull Fan
          Griddle Store Griddle

        Hi both of those are on my MCS Wish list. If you didn't already have the WSCG I'd say get the M1, as you noted the Weber does almost everything the M1 can. To me the M1 is an awesome grill. The HumVee of cookers. On the other hand the KBQ is a foolproof stick burner that supposedly cooks fantastic food. Tough call. Get both!

        Good luck with your choice!




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