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View Full Version : Assassin Pellet Grill - First Thoughts


jpeisen
06-02-2018, 12:21 AM
Alright, so I've had my Assassin Pellet Grill for about a week now, so I'm going to share some initial thoughts about it.

First some background:

I recently moved from Tulsa, OK to Pittsburgh, PA. I did buy a house with a good-sized yard, but there just was no place for my Bell Fab trailer. So downsizing was necessary, and I decided to also go for easier cooks.

I had a hard time researching pellet grills. Every manufacturer has their thing, and their thing is the most important. I eventually read a post which said, essentially, they all are pretty similar - boxes with a firepot inside. So I figured out what was important for me (cook size, total size, build quality, and cost) and put together a spreadsheet. I used that to weed out the 12 contenders. The Assassin was in the final group and, to be honest, coming from a custom offset I just wanted a similar experience, so the final decision was gut feel.

After an long wait (partially imposed by me, as I was coordinating grill delivery with moving my home), what was delivered to me on the 24th was this beauty:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/IQOUhM0M1SL6VvSk5ukJ-Y8n20TuJUvjqxbIdBGs4D30uWsnJvTBMwyyMm_Au6huGerMWhe X3CfElqNFFLGYzg1SZKphy1Rowxbxo7P7VFxKrpwkzAzlyDEdB UuogELsMz1sdUxiF-4=w2400
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UIVZc7FYFNm5Tt4tatRqbJZL4CbJrmddmTTePBhQp4dWuQPbmt SLi9zZw6JPxCYWC54-DqShO-kuIhaBvAylqarEFH-Cv9tdIHxegUvv_P-DUXs_NYVc5D6CF8ZB6BixArKAg_aEXso=w2400
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/0U8Fuzn8AMncYt6N0RIVG4m5LOVmIdAQGJ3J0sEKEDMbP8duoe K1i52sUf2anJPfAZ1mH2FfArYNLKFhRIwml2p3IJ0-yG_yC_Y9CyQGvKD_JN4rp_iRgf8DKMYw7kW6f_zKjBwr2ps=w2 400

The physical stuff:
The grill measures 47wx24dx59h. The grates are 31.5wx21d (bottom) and 31.5wx16d (top) for 1166 square inches of cook area. (On my list, only the Pitts and Spits Maverick 1250 had more 2-grate cooking area.[1]) 5" between the grates. Both grates slide out.

It weighs in at around 300lb according to their site. I believe it - this thing is solid. The wheels aren't huge, but it moves easily enough on concrete which isn't always level. The stand and the shelves are very solidly constructed. The shelves have a good amount of heft to them.

The standard color is black. I paid a bit extra for the custom blue pearl coat. the color is automotive paint selected on the PPG site, so it can be pretty much anything you'd care to have...

It has a PID controller which steps from 200-500 in 5 degree increments. It seems to hold temps well once it gets there. I'm still learning how to use it, as it tends to overshoot and then drop back to the setting. There's a meat probe and when used it alerts when the meat hits its set point.

Cooking:
I've done 2 cooks on it so far, just to get a feel for it. The first was some steaks my wife had bought the day it arrived. They were good, but it's clear I will need a searing solution. On Memorial Day I smoked a rack of beef back ribs. Started at 200 (after it settled) for ~2h, then 285 until they completed. They weren't as meaty as plate ribs, but were delicious. Pics:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/o6ne_yyjdBE5hQJtQk4wgGTEuTjfNiPnzJBnzazQ3UUWncj9Qd SVL2Lu8WCelONSPzP6VAzrlR86EZd-vgXjJ7pbla4HEqn65rIRByuBGEj3nn-ZMbXWHvbn4DV9ksTTQ6nN6NRIel0=w2400
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/U_aZjhPcl4wI-Pup0tmLkbimukoJ2Gx3aBr_HXM3jTiytnu8j9ge8yru4IkwoGU 8RnztLADGTgIt8YimcKzJcIuXb78MeKiUQgQxYj-8F8Oibpj2M0HV3Zu47I2th8E8TZb_2bPpeXk=w2400

Initial impressions:
So far I love this Assassin Pellet Grill and strongly recommend it. It's beautiful, solidly built, cooks well, and provides a lot of cook area in a relatively small footprint.

There are a couple of things to consider though:

The first is a lack of a manual for the controller. I'm a computer geek and am okay with figuring it out on my own, but others might not be. It is easy to operate to "just cook" but fine-tuning it might be a challenge.

The second is the shipping cost. This is a large item being shipped via a lift-gate freight service. It adds a significant amount to the total bill. It does arrive assembled, by the way - I just had to slot in the removable shelves.

Sorry for the length of this. To think I was worried I had nothing to say.. Anyway, I hope you find it useful.

-John

1 - FWIW both Blaz'n Grillworks and Yoder have multi-shelf options to boost their cook areas. I just evaluated cooking area with 2 shelves.

KORND4WG X
06-02-2018, 01:33 AM
Nice impressions. That thing looks beastly, congrats :clap2:

Beef ribs looks excellent too :hungry:

Shagbark
06-02-2018, 03:24 AM
Nice smoker and good looking ribs.

I like the gas spring on the door. It appears to be set up to hold the door shut tight and when opened the lever goes over center to hold the door open. Pretty neat set up.

Stablergetz
06-02-2018, 04:21 AM
Nice looking smoker, thank you for the information and first impressions.

Dweverett
06-02-2018, 05:27 AM
Thanks for posting this. It’s an interesting option for those looking for a pellet grill.

Nice looking ribs too! :thumb:

KevinJ
06-02-2018, 06:47 AM
Congrats on your new cooker John, the blue looks fantastic, everything Assassin builds is top notch.

Huskres
06-02-2018, 12:46 PM
I really want an assasin 48” grill. I was hoping for a little bit more on their pellet grill. Being from Tulsa how was your bellfab?

NYC ‘Que
06-02-2018, 12:55 PM
Thanks for the review. Good luck with that beautiful cooker.


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HogGrog
06-02-2018, 01:27 PM
Great looking cooker and ribs! Can’t go wrong with an Assassin, congrats

Seefyre
06-02-2018, 01:50 PM
Beautilful smoker, thanks for the write-up. Looks like once searing is addressed this would be one if the not the top unit it's it's price point.

Rib Rub
06-03-2018, 05:03 PM
This was in my final four grills however I found out about it a little late and already had my mind made up on the MAK 2 Star General. I had deep interest in the Assassin 36” Charcoal smoker and I had been in contact with the owners but winded up getting a PBC and it is good enough for my charcoal needs at the moment. I had then found out they did a pellet but as I said I was locked in on the MAK 2 Star General and just felt the MAK is a better grill, but does come with the price tag. Had I known they built a pellet grill when I was inquiring about the 36 Charcoal smoker, I probably would have bought it right then. I still think they are fantastic grills and they are pretty damn good looking at that.

Congrats on the grill and the new home, be sure to keep us informed in the pellet cooking thread. I am really interested in seeing how the grill does on long cooks.

BBQ Freak
06-03-2018, 05:18 PM
very nice review and thanks for sharing .

Vicar
06-03-2018, 05:39 PM
Good read and lots of happy cooking.

jpeisen
06-07-2018, 08:28 PM
First of all, thanks for everyone's comments. I'm sorry for not responding sooner. I'll try to answer some of the oher comments below.


I like the gas spring on the door. It appears to be set up to hold the door shut tight and when opened the lever goes over center to hold the door open. Pretty neat set up.

Yes, that is exactly what it does, and it does it really well.

Thanks for posting this. It’s an interesting option for those looking for a pellet grill.

Yes, I think it compares very well. This is the spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1r_142-Lrb8458nu_4fyFrenSUZFzbwWT5hDVdwHGM24/edit?usp=sharing) I was using to evaluate the grills. It's not complete (shipping is a guess for some of the grills), but it's what I was working from. Maybe others could find it useful.

I really want an assasin 48” grill. I was hoping for a little bit more on their pellet grill. Being from Tulsa how was your bellfab?

Yeah, maybe, but this thing has a nice bang for the buck. I liked my BellFab a lot, but sadly it only got fired up a few times last year. And my new home just didn't have a spot where I could keep it. The Assassin fits right into that corner just outside our kitchen, which is perfect.

Beautilful smoker, thanks for the write-up. Looks like once searing is addressed this would be one if the not the top unit it's it's price point.

I'm really using it as a smoker myself. i have a little portable propane grill or some cast iron cookware for searing. Or maybe I should get a new weed burner, since that was deemed the searing winner by "Sous vide Everything"'s testing. :wink:

This was in my final four grills however I found out about it a little late and already had my mind made up on the MAK 2 Star General.

I was considering some pricier grills, but with new home projects on the horizon, I felt i should maybe not splurge so much. The 1 star was in the spreadsheet, but just seemed a bit small to me, looking at the numbers I had.

And to your other comment, yes, I hope to do a long cook soon, though that's probably a week or more away since we have some plans this weekend..

-J

SideSt3p
06-08-2018, 10:44 AM
That spreadsheet is awesome. Thank you for sharing!

Beer/Meat/Victory
06-08-2018, 11:53 AM
Nice looking cooker. Welcome to the Burgh. I'm a transplant as well, so once you figure out the roads in a year or two you'll be all set.

Big Frank
06-09-2018, 03:28 PM
Congrats. Nice looking grill. Look forward to review of a longer cook.

Roguejim
06-09-2018, 04:09 PM
So, what about the smoke character? Strong? Mild? Non-existent?

PnkPanther
06-09-2018, 06:56 PM
Looks nice

charcoalwilly
06-09-2018, 09:16 PM
Appreciate the post. On a few of the pellet smokers I have seen in person, there is heat deflector plate underneath meat which ends up radiating a lot of heat and over cooking the bottom of meat (it can happen with tuning plates on stickburner as well as I have learned the hard way :-o). Any problem with this on the Assassin pellet?

IXL
06-10-2018, 04:05 PM
It looks like a solid cooker. Where did you source plate ribs from in Tulsa? All we can find are the back ribs.

vertigo
06-10-2018, 04:10 PM
Congrats on the new cooker and the new homestead. Looks like a winning combo, from the landscaping.

LordRiffenstein
06-11-2018, 07:53 AM
I love the look of that cooker. And of those ribs!!

cfi1234
06-11-2018, 09:23 PM
Great looking smoker! A few questions... first how is the smoke on it? I have been looking at a Mak 1Star, but the price is a lot more than I wish to pay, so this looks to be a good alternative. Second, how are the hotspots? Do you notice a large temperature variation in different areas? Lastly, when are we going to see a video of this thing in action? lol thanks!

SmittyJonz
07-06-2018, 10:29 PM
How about now.? Still Diggin' it....?

minglett22
08-23-2018, 09:13 PM
Hey Pig Power, I was glad to find an Assassin review on the forum. It is in my top 3 pellet grills of consideration. RIB RUB, I see you own the other 2 in my top 3, the Camp Chef and the MAK, although I am looking at the 1 Star due to cost. I am curious of your thoughts since you own 2 of the ones I like and you seem to like the Assassin too. The MAK is the one I'm drawn to for longevity and reliability, but the Assassin is looking like a beast and $650 cheaper than the MAK 1. I'm looking for user advice and experience to guide me while I save my $$$ to purchase my own. Thanks for any help you both can give.
Minglett22

miked125
08-24-2018, 08:05 AM
Such a sweet grill. I was looking at the spreadsheet(thanks!) and I was shocked at the prices. I live in Canada and the ys480 is close to double the cost.... I went with the GMG awhile back and like it a lot.

cfi1234
08-24-2018, 10:14 AM
I had my eye on the Assassin for a while, but ended up getting the Mak 1 Star because I wanted it to be able to grill on it also. The flamezone that Mak has is the reason I ended choosing it.

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pecanbayouaggie
08-29-2018, 06:55 AM
I recently sold my Traeger Pro 34 and was looking at getting a better pellet smoker. I was looking at the Yoder and Pitts and Spitts. I think now I am going to get the Assassin. I like how it is built and the price point is right on. It will cost a lot of money to ship it from Georgia to Texas but will still be cheaper than the Pitts and Spitts and a little cheaper than the Yoder. Thanks!

Westx
09-11-2018, 08:24 PM
I recently sold my Traeger Pro 34 and was looking at getting a better pellet smoker. I was looking at the Yoder and Pitts and Spitts. I think now I am going to get the Assassin. I like how it is built and the price point is right on. It will cost a lot of money to ship it from Georgia to Texas but will still be cheaper than the Pitts and Spitts and a little cheaper than the Yoder. Thanks!

Did you order it? Shipping cost which includes crating isn’t that bad. Mine should be here in the next week or two.

qnbiker
09-11-2018, 08:54 PM
Saw my first Assassin Pellet Grill this weekend - was impressed. It was black, but your blue looks fantastic! How is the smoke flavor?