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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 01-07-2019, 06:29 PM   #1531
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Ok so this a steak cooked with the my new Mak flame zone. Itís kinda what expected. This definitely canít sear a steak like a charcoal grill. In terms of searing ability it kinda reminds me of my old gasser. The flavor is awesome though. If you want charcoal searing capabilities on a pellet cooker the. A Yoder, cookshack, or Memphis would be a better option. If you want to direct grilling over a much larger area then this is best.

FYI on time to temps
I was at 400 deg (~500 deg grate temp in 17.5 minutes)
I was at 450 deg ( 575 deg grate temp in 21.5 minutes) this is where I cooked.

I didnít take it to 500 deg because apparently flare ups are pretty bad at that point but supposedly you get 650 deg grate temp at that setting.

To put it into perspective a Memphis elite can get around 1000 deg direct. A cookshack and Yoder will be closer to 850 to 900 degrees
Didnít really get a sear on that steak. Have you tried a small griddle? I flip my grill grates upside down and get awesome sears with my Memphis.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:30 PM   #1532
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The steaks look great from here! Although I 100% agree with you, the MAK cannot and does not compete with a raging hot bed of lump charcoal! Nowadays, my family and I have found that our preference is to sear first on the Weber kettle and then slowly bring the steaks up to temp on the MAK. Makes for a very easy and relaxed cooking experience, and the results are YUM :)
Something also to remember is that char on food comes from flare ups mainly. These sirloins I cooked were super lean and therefore no char. Contest that with pork and definitely get more char. The pork loin was done with the flame zone.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:32 PM   #1533
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Didnít really get a sear on that steak. Have you tried a small griddle? I flip my grill grates upside down and get awesome sears with my Memphis.
I have some grill grates which I use sometimes. I wanted to put the flame zone to the test with just standard grates
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:41 PM   #1534
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I agree with laws of diminishing returns on pellet grills...my yoder was great and IMO my Memphis Elite beats it most categories (maybe a little lighter on the smoke??), but it is not 2 1/2 times better than the Yoder. I just wanted to try a Memphis Elite so I gave it a whirl. My little Davy Crockett cost about 1/12 of my Memphis....it still produces some good food...that little sucker does smoke like a freight train though! They all produce good food...just depends on whatís important to a person I suppose


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Old 01-07-2019, 06:54 PM   #1535
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Bking- try some grill grates on the Mak next time. I bet you get a lot more char


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Old 01-07-2019, 07:05 PM   #1536
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Something also to remember is that char on food comes from flare ups mainly. These sirloins I cooked were super lean and therefore no char. Contest that with pork and definitely get more char. The pork loin was done with the flame zone.


Oh, please donít misunderstand me, the MAK has proven to be a fantastic grill for me. Itís only steaks that I am talking about. IMO, steaks need a few mins over extreme heat in order to give them a proper sear. As Gtsum is saying, there are easy ways to accomplish that on pretty much any pellet grill. Cast iron or anodized aluminum. I just do not think that the MAK can properly sear a steak without a 3rd party tool :)
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:11 PM   #1537
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Oh, please don’t misunderstand me, the MAK has proven to be a fantastic grill for me. It’s only steaks that I am talking about. IMO, steaks need a few mins over extreme heat in order to give them a proper sear. As Gtsum is saying, there are easy ways to accomplish that on pretty much any pellet grill. Cast iron or anodized aluminum. I just do not think that the MAK can properly sear a steak without a 3rd party tool :)
I think I will. I got good results indirect with the grill grates. I bet the higher temps from direct would amplify it. Only problem is I’m out of steaks

I’ll try burgers direct with grill grates tomorrow. Also I’m not upset with the Mak at all. I was actually happy with the outcome.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:22 PM   #1538
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So after getting the grill grates back out as recommended I thought I’d try something. Turns out with the new flame zone the added depth of the supports allows for the grill grates to rest on the supports just like the stainless grates. This is similar to how Yoder has their grill grates set up instead of just placing them on top of the existing grates. There is a little wiggle but zero chance of them falling through. It’s about to get real tomorrow...
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:28 PM   #1539
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I think I will. I got good results indirect with the grill grates. I bet the higher temps from direct would amplify it. Only problem is Iím out of steaks

Iíll try burgers direct with grill grates tomorrow. Also Iím not upset with the Mak at all. I was actually happy with the outcome.


I bought this a few years ago and it has become one of my favorite tools. Itís big and BAD and extremely versatile. I use it quite often in my MAK, from baking to roasting to stir fry to fajitas to super hot searing. Toss in a lil ghee, get it smoking hot and itís a searing machine. Iíve even placed it on the main cooking grate with the Flame Zone covers removed and used it as a heat deflector when reverse searing. I simply place the meat on the upper grate right above the skillet. That way itís already pretty darn hot after the low n slow portion of the cook. I then remove the meat, jack the heat, add some ghee and return the meat to the cast iron skillet when itís smoking hot for a nice sear. Works GREAT!

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with 2 Loop Handles - 17 Inch Ergonomic Frying Pan https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00063RWVG..._LEanCb3ZE5QYH
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:31 PM   #1540
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So after getting the grill grates back out as recommended I thought Iíd try something. Turns out with the new flame zone the added depth of the supports allows for the grill grates to rest on the supports just like the stainless grates. This is similar to how Yoder has their grill grates set up instead of just placing them on top of the existing grates. There is a little wiggle but zero chance of them falling through. Itís about to get real tomorrow...


Nice! The GrillGrates I used to use on my Weber Genesis are 19.25Ē panels. It to is like a custom fit on the MAK. How many panels will you be using?

ďItís about to get real tomorrow...Ē

Man, how on earth am I going to sleep tonight with that kind of teaser [emoji3061]
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:34 PM   #1541
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Nice! The GrillGrates I used to use on my Weber Genesis are 19.25Ē panels. It to is like a custom fit on the MAK. How many panels will you be using?

ďItís about to get real tomorrow...Ē

Man, how on earth am I going to sleep tonight with that kind of teaser [emoji3061]
I have the 19.25 inch panels too. I might use all 4 and if they get too dark before getting done Iíll finish them on a half rack on the 2nd shelf.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:46 PM   #1542
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I have the 19.25 inch panels too. I might use all 4 and if they get too dark before getting done Iíll finish them on a half rack on the 2nd shelf.


Be careful, 4 panels will cover almost the entire cooking surface. You run the chance of messing with airflow and worse yet... suppressing the heat down in the belly of the cooking chamber causing potential damage. Last year I was talking with a MAK owner who did a full GG replacement on his MAK and ended up damaging it from the extreme heat that was held down in the cooking chamber. I canít remember if it warped things or messed up the electronics or both, but I remember him giving me the same warning I am giving you (he was ticked at himself!)

I tried it one time before I had that conversation with him and set the Pellet Boss to 400į. This pic was taken right after the Pellet Boss had hit 400į and the temp was still on the rise. I havenít done it since... to scared... lol. In fact, itís was that conversation that made me decide to invest in the MAK sear grates.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:52 PM   #1543
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Be careful, 4 panels will cover almost the entire cooking surface. You run the chance of messing with airflow and worse yet... suppressing the heat down in the belly of the cooking chamber causing potential damage. Last year I was talking with a MAK owner who did a full GG replacement on his MAK and ended up damaging it from the extreme heat that was held down in the cooking chamber. I canít remember if it warped things or messed up the electronics or both, but I remember him giving me the same warning I am giving you (he was ticked at himself!)

I tried it one time before I had that conversation with him and set the Pellet Boss to 400į. This pic was taken right after the Pellet Boss had hit 400į and the temp was still on the rise. I havenít done it since... to scared... lol.
I didnít think about that. Iíve done it several times with all 4 panels before. How would 3 sound?
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:55 PM   #1544
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You guys are going to make me get this Sear Zone arenít you.


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Old 01-07-2019, 08:56 PM   #1545
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I didnít think about that. Iíve done it several times with all 4 panels before. How would 3 sound?


3 would be ideal and should work well with zero risk of damage :)
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