First saw the M1 by M Grills via social media outlets about a year ago. Something about it grabbed my interest immediately. I have cooked on numerous styles of grills/smokers over many years... kettles, gas grills, ceramic kamado's, pellet smokers, offset smokers, Hasty Bakes, bullet smokers, etc.
I received my M1 a couple weeks ago and have completed a few cooks on it. I already own several outdoor cookers including a ceramic, small offset, barrel and kettle types. Even though I like and use them all I wanted a true stick burner using real wood (not chunks). My deck doesn’t have much space so I needed a small footprint, plus I wanted something with high build quality. The price of the M1 gave me some pause but I finally pulled the trigger - I've been watching the M1 YouTube videos and it’s built and performs as advertised.
Firstly, this thing is a beast - my brother came over to check it out, opened the lid and said ‘whoa’ – it’s really heavy duty and I have no doubt about it’s longevity. The fire management is easy while still being fun – maybe every 1-1.5hrs if I saw the temps start to drop I’d add another split and every once in awhile poke the coals around. Temps were stable throughout the cook with not much effort.
Finally, the food I’ve cooked on it has been excellent – the wood flavor really comes through (I used oak) and my family and friends all commented on the flavor of the ribs I served them. I’ve made them a lot of Q over the years but I don’t think they had ever had real wood smoked BBQ before and it made me feel like I served them something special.
I'll be keeping all my cookers but I love the M1 - it really fit the bill for what I was looking for.
- Fuel Efficiency - excellent. It's the only charcoal grill I've owned where once you shut the vents down the fire gets put out quickly, and you can definitely reuse charcoal. I've found that since I got the M1 I've been using way less charcoal than normal (I'm a lump guy and hate using brickettes).
- Ease of Temperature Control - excellent. As a reverse airflow smoker, the M1 literally wants to stay at BBQ temperatures, and I've never had any issues getting the pit where I want it (I normally bbq around 275). As a grill, I've had no problems getting to searing temperatures as well as medium - high indirect temperatures.
- Insulation - incredible. This thing will literally stay hot for hours with minimal effort (it's 10 gauge steel, so it's very heavy duty).
- Versatility - incredible. You described many of the same buying points that I had when I was first considering getting the M1. I've done quite a few cooks on the M1 and all came out great (grilled steaks, tri-tip, burgers, wings, and smoked pulled pork and ribs using only the firebox). The handcrank is AMAZING for grilling / roasting thicker cuts of meat without burning the outside.
- Design - bad ass. Honestly the M1 looks amazing on my deck. It's just a mean looking pit and performs very well.
- Customer Service - I've had a few questions on the M1 so far, and the owner has been in close contact with me numerous times to help answer my questions. They're a fantastic company and you won't regret it if you purchase the M1.
- Hamburgers (good results)
- Steaks 2” thick (very good results)
- Papa Murphy’s pizza on a pizza stone (excellent results)
- Baby back ribs (ok but I need practice)
- St Louis style ribs (ok but I need practice)
- chicken (excellent results)
- Big Green Egg (too many compromises)
- TEC Infrared (not very good temp control)
- Fire Magic (good grill for LPG)
- Lynx (hard to keep clean)
- Twin Eagles (ok)
- EVO (one dimensional)
- Weber Kettle (good grill)
- Memphis Pro Pellet Grill (very good but had to have electric power available)
- Yoder Pellet (bad electronics)
- Wolf (bad service)
It did a great job grilling burgers and veggies. It also did great with greek kabobs. It's very fuel efficient in that you can close it up after grilling to quickly put out the coals. Next time you want to grill, you can light a half chimney and dump it on what's left from the last cook. On my overnight smoke, I took what was left on the charcoal grate and dumped it into the fire basket to start the coal bed.
It also did great on my overnight smoke. I was able to go 1 to 1.5 hours between adding sticks, depending on the size. It did a great job holding temperature. The one exception was when I put in a smaller stick and took a 1.5 hour nap. The coal bed got pretty low and the temp dipped to 220. I had to babysit it for a bit after that. Lesson learned. Other than that, I was able to just thrown on a new stick, close the door and walk away. Nice thin blue smoke almost immediately and held right around 260.
The one thing I haven't yet tried is using it like a set and forget charcoal cooker. I want to see how long it will go before I need to tend to the fire if I want to be lazy on an overnight cook. That probably won't happen for a few weeks though.
I started with a 12lb brisket, 2 7lb butts that I threw on around 1:30AM. At 10 the next morning, I threw on a fatty stuffed with cheddar and hatch chilis. The brisket came off at 11 when it was probe tender. The butts came off at 12 when they hit 195. The burnt ends went on at that point. Everything was off and in a faux cambro around 2. Then I started the grill and cooked some wings around 3. All the food was out and ready to serve at 4. The timing was perfect.
I used my smoker for the first time on Thanksgiving day to smoke a brisket and a pork shoulder. Here's the main thing I learned, it takes some time to build a good sustainable fire in the fire box! I might have already learned that with my previous smoker, but since it's been over 12 years since I've had a smoker, I guess I forgot that part! LOL So once I had a good base of hot coals in my firebox, the rest was a cinch! Despite it being VERY windy, I found that the M1 was relatively easy to maintain a constant 225 degrees! In fact, I was working hard to get it to 275 when I decided to look up on the net the ideal temperature, and it said 225. So the M1 knew where to go and I was trying to make it hotter! LOL Dang grill is smarter than me! Anyway, the brisket and pork shoulder were perfect!!! I'm sure glad 'cause it WAS Thanksgiving. Not a good day for a FAIL! LOL I used charcoal to get it started, then maple and plum wood for the smoking! Awesome! Oh, and I lined the bottom with heavy foil and placed a broiler pan on the charcoal grate and filled it with water! The meat was nice and moist, and just fell apart! Thanks again for a well designed smoker!
Send us your testimonial and we`ll post it!