If you are looking for the perfect Pellet grill and smoker combo, you're certainly in the right place. With hundreds of smoker & grill options available, narrowing down the choices can be a tricky task. But thankfully, the Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill & Smoker came around.
So, what makes the Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill any different?
There is a general idea in the barbecuing market that smokers can't grill, and grill can't smoke. Well, at least not very well! This belief stays true for most of the grilling units. But, that is not the case for Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's pellet grill.
The PG500 is a combined effort of two top tier brands, Cookshack and Fast Eddy Maurin. These two brands specialize in grilling and BBQ, respectively. As obvious as it may sound, their first joint venture, the PG1000, was an instant hit.
The PG1000 could sear a steak at a very high temperature and smoke low and slow at the same time. The Fast Eddy PG500 is a toned-down version of the PG1000 with a lower price tag without cutting any major corners on the spec list.
In this article, we will take a detailed look at the Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet grill, and what we found from our comprehensive testing.
Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill Review
We'll kick off this fast eddy grill review by looking at the main features of the grill:
Innovative cooking zones
The most noteworthy feature of the Fast Eddy PG500 as compared to other similar pellet grilling unit is that it has four (4) different cooking zones. These zones have a design that can provide the best ease and range in cooking.
The first cooking zone features a small space where you can sear and grill at high temperatures, up to 315°C (600°F). In this zone, the cast iron cooking grate sits directly above the pellet burner. Thus, it can obtain direct heat, making it ideal for grilling.
The second zone, which is also the central cooking zone, features a larger area. This cooking area features an indirect heating zone, and hence, the temperature is relatively lower. It is ideal for slow smoking or roasting with/ without smoke.
The third and fourth cooking zones are present above the first two cooking areas. They do not receive much heat and, hence, are suitable for use as secondary cooking zones. The third zone sits directly above the fire pot. Thus, it is slightly hotter than the fourth zone.
Accurate and easy digital controller
One of the perks of using a pellet grill is the ease at which you can control the ideal temperature. Instead of having to maintain the temperature on your own, the digital controller on the Fast Eddy PG500 allows you to set the temperature quickly. The controller is also extremely easy to use, unlike some other products with un-intuitive digital controls.
The temperature on the digital controller can be adjusted for low and slow smoke and high-temperature sear as well. This feature is unique for PG500 since it is one of the only units that support both grilling and smoking in one go.
Besides, you can also change the digital controller even at lower temperatures to ensure that there is no temperature fluctuation. This feature comes in extremely handy, especially when you are trying to slow smoke for an extended period.
The adjustability in digital temperature control not only allows you to grill and smoke but also provides a pure smoky flavor. You can also adjust the controls to run continuously at high temperature, which is ideal for searing and grilling.
Robust and Reliable Build Quality
One of the first things that instantly separate the Cookshack PG500 from other similar smoker units is its unique build-quality. It uses 100% high-grade stainless steel material, which provides for increased durability and rigidity as well.
The 100% stainless steel is also one of the main reasons why many customers prefer the fast eddy's by cookshack pg500 over some of the other similar products, such as the Yoda 640. Once you get your hands on the product, you will see that it not only has a long-lasting build quality but is also exceptionally well put-together. Thus, making the grilling/ smoking unit feel top-notch and refined as well.
The impressive build quality extends to the inner cooking shelves as well. The direct cooking grate (1st cooking zone) uses 304-stainless steel, which can resist high temperatures and does not corrode. The secondary grates are also nickel-plated and are quite durable too.
One of the flaws that we noticed was the absence of insulation in the main body. This flaw may be a concerning factor, especially considering its all-out stainless steel design.
However, it is worth noting that we did not face any significant issues as the main body still manages to distribute heat quite evenly.
Ease of use
One of the things that became very apparent by the end of our Fast Eddy PG500 testing session was its seamless and effortless operation. The ignition is automatic with a convenient ON and OFF switch and placed just adjacent to the thermostat.
Also, since it is a proper pellet smoker, the thermostat feature works very well and correctly for both high and low-temperature settings. Simply put, the smoker can give you a beautiful piece of smoky ribs or turkey with almost no human help at all.
Another key feature that adds to ease the process of operation is its incredible hopper capacity. It can store up to 23-pounds of pellets at once. Most of the pellet bags have an average of 20-pound capacity. With the large hopper capacity of this grill, you can just dump the whole batch of pellets at once, without having to load them in small amounts.
One of our primary concerns, when we were testing the PG500, was its maintenance. After all, pellet smokers are notorious for their painful and regular maintenance.
However, that was not the case for the Cookshack PG500 pellet smoker.
The cleaning and maintenance with the PG500 are simple and straightforward. The shelves and grates are all dishwasher-friendly. So, the trouble of cleaning the PG500 is just a simple dishwasher away.
The ash drawer is another life-saving feature on the Fast Eddy PG500. It collects most of the left-over pellets and grease as well. However, the majority of the grease drains out to the bucket mounted on the side.
You can remove both the drain bucket and the ash drawer. So, you need not worry about any complex maintenance, as it is the case with most other pellet smokers.
Smoking food with Charbroiler Technology
On paper, the Cookshack PG500 looks and feels like a reliable smoker and grilling unit. But how does it perform on a real-world test?
To begin with, the PG500 does not disappoint in any manner. Their unique Charbroiler technology promises you of a similar flavor from other premium charbroilers. And, yes! We don't know if it is the fancy technology, but the smoker certainly does produce authentic smoky flavors.
So, if you are looking to smoke out some of the best-flavored pork ribs, the PG500 is your go-to smoker.
It is also uncommon to see the flames touching the meat directly. Unless that is, you are cooking over an open fire. But, that is the case with the fast eddy pellet smoker. This allows you to sear the food at high temperatures and also provide a tasty caramelized flavor.
During the whole process of grilling/ smoking, we also saw very little temperature drops. The smoker maintains an almost constant temperature throughout without any major increase in heat.
Why do I think this Pellet Grill & Smoker is great?
When buying a grill or smoker online, I always follow the guideline below. If the product matches it well then I know it is safe to assume that it will be a great buy. As such, this smoker perfectly fits these recommendations. However, If you want to do some more digging on the ideal pellet smoker, you can also follow them to select another grill.
Most of the standard pellet smokers consume a lot of pellets, making it necessary for you to keep ample pellets in stock. Since their sizes are significantly smaller than the usual wood chips, they are easy to burn through.
Some brands, however, add a smart design feature to reduce pellet consumption. Look out for such smokers that are pellet-efficient.
Some high-end brands like The Green Mountain Grill include wi-fi connectivity as a standard feature in all their pellet smokers. This option allows you to control the internal temperature and also the duration of smoking through your smart device.
As mentioned earlier, pellets get used up faster than any other form of smoking fuel. A large hopper capacity will allow you to store pellets in bulk, so you don't have to keep refilling it.
As a general rule, it is safe to assume a pound of pellet for every hour of smoking. So, 10 pounds of hopper capacity will last you roughly about 10 hours.
Pellet smokers come with varying price tags. Some are cheap as a few hundred bucks, while some premium units cost up to a whopping $1000 (or more) at the time of publishing this review.
Irrespective of your budget range, there are many smokers out there, but the Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill is one of the best.
The Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG500 is one of the most top pellet smokers on the market. Its unique innovation and impressive performance speak volumes for themselves. It is one of the only units that can execute smoking and grilling with ease, at least at its price range.
All in All, this fast eddy pellet grill is a proper pellet smoker with a distinctive all-in-one solution. There are, obviously, other options available, but at this price point, it is hard to contend with the complete package smoker that is PG500.
As such, I can safely recommend that you give this pellet grill a shot.