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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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Best Pellet cooker to buy for $3500 or less

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  • Subman658
    Club Member
    • Dec 2019
    • 20
    • Swoyersville,Pa

    Best Pellet cooker to buy for $3500 or less

    I’m willing to spend up to $3500 on a new pellet cooker! Which one to buy?
  • Donw
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 2791

    Whichever one is going to make you most happy. For me it is a Yoder 640. Built like a tank, lots of room and rock solid temps. Good luck on your search.


    • scottranda
      Charter Member
      • May 2015
      • 1689
      • Charlotte, NC


      2 minutes in to the video to about 4:45... THAT bad boy would be mine!!


    • lostclusters
      Club Member
      • Jul 2017
      • 308
      • Oceanside, CA
      • Mak 1 Star
        Char-Griller Legacy Charcoal Grill w/Side Firebox
        WSM 22.5"
        ThermoWorks Smoke
        ThermoWorks Thermapen
        Rock's Stoker II wifi
        Flameboss 500

      This is from a discussion here not that long ago. I was actually looking for the thread where CandySueQ , the celebrated queen of pellets and pellet grills gave her opinion on the subject. With regard to flavor I believe it was yoder 640, mak, fast eddie, ...



      • Rob Johnston
        Club Member
        • Apr 2018
        • 341
        • Pittsburgh, PA

        With that price range you will have a lot of choices.


        • Jerod Broussard
          • Jun 2014
          • 9559
          • East Texas
          • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
            Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
            Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
            Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
            Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
            Weber Smokey Joe Gold
            Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
            Maverick ET-732 White
            Maverick ET-732 Copper
            2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
            Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
            Thermoworks Timestick
            Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
            B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
            B & B Pellets



          • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
            ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
            Editing a comment
            I really like the idea of the PG500 cooker for versatility, I just wish it looked different... but considering the price, it's 100% function design over aesthetic otherwise it'd probably be a grand more I suppose.
        • NYC Que
          Former Member
          • Jan 2019
          • 37
          • Bronx, NY

          Fully loaded MAK 1 or 2 Star. Trust me.


          • ofelles
            Club Member
            • Jun 2018
            • 1772
            • Brentwood CA
            • Yoder YS640 on Comp cart
              Klose 20x42 Charcoal Grill
              LSG Insulated Cabinet
              Jumbo Joe
              VacMaster Pro 380 sealer
              FireBoard and Pit Bull fan
              Thermoworks Signal
              Thermoworks Dot
              Thermopen Mk4

            2nd on the Yoder YS640! With that budget you have a number of choices and they are good machines.


            • Skip
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 3100
              • Blue Earth, Minnesota
              • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

              I've had my Memphis Pro since 2010 and like it a lot. It is insulated and holds the temps well in cold weather. Since 2010 they have gotten fancier and more expensive so they could be higher than your price range now?
              Last edited by Skip; January 1st, 2020, 07:11 AM.


              • GolfGeezer
                Club Member
                • May 2019
                • 127
                • San Clemente, CA
                • Sam

                  MAK 2 Star
                  Hestan Aspire 36" Grill
                  Blackstone 22" Griddle

                Originally posted by NYC Que View Post
                Fully loaded MAK 1 or 2 Star. Trust me.


                • Razor
                  Club Member
                  • Mar 2018
                  • 248
                  • Pittsburgh

                  With that kind o budget you can get two of those new Weber’s and they look like they are going to completely rewrite that market segment.


                  • hogdog6
                    Charter Member
                    • Dec 2014
                    • 559
                    • Liberty, Utah

                    A great deal on a used Yoder YS480 came my way when I wasn't thinking of or ever thought I'd consider a pellet cooker, however I love it. Due to its ability to remove part of the heat deflector plate and some grill grates I donated my gas grill to my son because it sears so well. Fast forward 4 months, after using my Yoder my son purchased a new Yoder YS640 and donated the gasser to his father in-law. Same deal he had never considered a pellet cooker either and now uses it several days week. They are built like tanks and I really like the new FireBoard controller that I wish mine had. I suggest checking out All Things BBQ YouTube channel, Chef Tom cooks on it almost every week.
                    With your budget you have many great options and I'm sure you'll find what works for you. Good luck on your MCS quest 🔥


                    • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                      Club Member
                      • Jun 2018
                      • 506
                      • Eastern NC
                      • 2018 MAK 2 Star
                        Charbroil Big Easy SRG

                      There's some fantastic smokers in your price range.

                      The Yoders are supposedly really great smokers and will last just as long as the other high end models, but do require a bit more maintenance. You'll also want to upgrade the heat shield unless they finally come standard with the access door now.

                      The Fast Eddy is pretty unique with all the different temp zones, but reviews are all over the place (most of the negative ones are people who didn't read and/or didn't understand the uniqueness of the design)

                      Memphis is now made in China and changed their manufacturing completely. Their prices didn't go down, but went up. A lot of their fanbase is unhappy with the current product.

                      There are a few other stainless options in the $2K price range, but not as many people have them so reviews are limited.

                      There's also the new Weber unit coming out in a few weeks? days? I suspect it will be an ok smoker and a great grill compared to most pellet cookers, but you'll have to wait for the trusted reviewers to get their hands on it to see.

                      If it was my money I'd get a 2019 MAK 2 star with a bunch of the upgrades, but I like the ease of maintenance the MAK has being 100% made from non-rusting materials. It's also a really good grill now with higher and more even temps and most reviews out there are based on the 2016 and earlier models. The upgrades are pretty pricey though, some I feel a bit overpriced but everything they make is quality.


                      • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                        ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                        Editing a comment
                        glitchy if you check their website they changed their branding to "designed in the USA" and raised the prices on all models. I honestly stopped following their product which few people already owned when this was announced and I bought something else so maybe some models are still made here, but I can't find anything saying so. Some of the pages seem to not have been updated and say made in us, but they don't differentiate between models here... https://memphisgrills.com/designed-in-usa/

                      • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                        ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                        Editing a comment
                        And to be fair, I don't have a problem buying a made in china grill or anything else. I just wouldn't be interested in one with shifty marketing relying on the reputation of the previous made in USA stuff and at a higher price when it is no longer made or assembled in the US.

                      • glitchy
                        glitchy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yeah, I checked when the Beale Street first came out and the others still had a Made in USA declared on each of the product info pages. That has recently been removed. I have nothing against foreign made products, but I’m generally not going to pay American hand crafted prices for them. Especially, when they’ve gone up even more.
                    • jerrybell
                      Charter Member
                      • Aug 2014
                      • 282

                      You are going to get varied opinions on this. At that price point you have several options of good quality smokers to choose from. Your decision will likely come down to the features that matter most to you. If you haven't already, check out the equipment reviews on the Amazing Ribs free site (link at the top left of the page).


                      • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                        ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The problem is alot of the high dollar pellet cookers have evolved quite a bit since those reviews were listed. Some of the concerns/problem areas on the various grills have been addressed with redesign or software updates, some of them have got worse. Obviously it's on those manufacturers to get updated product into Max's hands

                      • jerrybell
                        jerrybell commented
                        Editing a comment
                        ItsAllGoneToTheDogs - Okay, good input.
                    • Subman658
                      Club Member
                      • Dec 2019
                      • 20
                      • Swoyersville,Pa

                      I love hearing everyone’s opinion because it from people who cook on these grills. I’m doing my research. I like hearing from the forum most because most of us work hard for our money!




                      Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

                      Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early!
                      Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
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                      See less
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