If you’re not familiar with the Fast Eddy’s Cookshack PG500 pellet grill, you might still recognize its pedigree. This grill is born from a collaboration between the Cookshack Company, based in Oklahoma, USA, and “Fast Eddy” Maurin, a respected name in the competitive barbecue scene.
You have to respect a grill that’s co-designed by a seasoned grill master like Maurin. He is someone who knows his way around creating award-winning competition barbecue. Who better to trust than a professional with a track record as an award-winning pit master?
You can immediately tell that this Cookshack pellet grill is unlike its competitors. The entire setup is switched around. It essentially reimagines the concept, especially in addressing the usual limitations found in outdoor convection systems of many pellet grills, which eliminates the possibility of ever cooking over two zones.
We’ll talk about that more in a minute. Suffice it to say that Fast Eddy’s grill offers up four—that’s four—cooking zones, each one distinct. I’ll cover the specifics of these zones in the review below.
For now just know that this really amps up the versatility of this unit, not to mention the potential. Have you ever even imagined a four-zone grill that runs on wood pellets? Yeah, me either.
Having spent several months using the Cookshack PG500 and dedicating many hours to research, I can confidently say that everything about this grill promises quality and durability.
Read on to find out what I liked about this pellet grill, and if it’s worth the price.
Spoiler Alert: The Cookshack PG500 introduces an innovative direct-fire cooking system that certainly deserves your attention.
Table of Contents
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Fast Eddy’s Cookshack PG500 Quick Facts
Product Name: Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack PG500
Made By: Cookshack
Top 3 Features:
- Four distinct grilling zones
- Digital controller
- Easy cleaning system
Standout Benefits of the Fast Eddy’s Cookshack PG500
If you looking for a relatively large capacity pellet grill with a big focus on its smoking ability, there are a lot of benefits to be had with the Cookshack PG500.
Cookshack wood fire pellet grills come highly regarded, and Fast Eddy Maurin is a true legend.
There’s a reason for both, especially when you consider the many years of work and innovative features that went into designing these grills.
Some of the benefits to consider are…
An Incredibly Versatile Cooking System
Its versatility is the main benefit of the Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill.
It’s true that, by their very nature, most pellet grills do double-duty as convection ovens. That’s partly due to the fan system, but mainly the result of the traditional construction of most wood-fired models
In the majority of pellet grills, the firepot is located at the very bottom of the grill, below the diffuser plate and fan system, with the grate on the very top. That’s where the Fast Eddy’s line of Cookshack pellet grills stand apart: the firepot is right below the cooking grate, so the flames actually touch your food when cooked directly over it.
As a result, the area to the right of the firepot is in an entirely different cooking zone (indirect zone), as are the two zones in the top grating. The one directly above the firepot gets slightly hotter than the one to the right.
You do still get a convection effect. The difference is that it comes from the hot air flow at the top, not the bottom. It occurs on the indirect side of the firepot, as well. That’s something to keep in mind as you use the top grates and what makes this grill so ideal for low-temperature smoking.
A Large Capacity Pellet Grill You Can Cook a Whole Meal On
The size is another benefit. All told, you get 784 square inches of grilling space, including a 10” x 18” direct cooking area; an 18” x 18” indirect cooking area; and a 10” x 28” top rack that effectively becomes two temperature zones.
That doesn’t even count the 19” x 13” x 4” warming drawer, but that’s beside the point. The point is that thanks to the size of the cooking surface, Cookshack claims that you can cook an entire turkey dinner on your Fast Eddy’s grill, which is a Thanksgiving game-changer for sure.
A Simple & Easy to Use Digital Controller
The digital controller is easy to use and has some nice features that improve performance for slow and low cooking and again for searing.
You can control the temperature more than you might expect thanks to the digital panel on the front of the grill. You can modify the controller program for both low temperatures and for searing to really master the results, you want.
Once you set the electronic thermostat, the grill starts automatically. You can then fiddle with the controls for the draft fan to figure out the level that works for you.
A Warming Drawer to Keep Your Food Warm
One unique feature included in the Fast Eddy’s pellet grill is a front access warming drawer.
The warming drawer has two useful functions.
You can place your finished food inside to keep it warm until you are ready to eat, or you can use it to cold-smoke foods like cheese.
I don’t know about you but smoked cheese is one of my favorites.
A Convenient Ash and Grease Clean Out System
There is a front-mounted ash and grease drawer that really makes cleanout easy.
Just pull it out and empty the drawer between uses and you are done. This is a convenient addition that you’ll appreciate more than you know.
Using the Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill
Cooking with the Fast Eddy’s Cookshack PG500 grill is a delight, in part because it’s effortless.
First, fill up the 22-pound hopper, which is mounted on the side of the boxy grill. By all accounts, the Fast Eddy burns through 1.2 to 2 pounds an hour at a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Use that as a guide.
As one Amazon reviewer said: “The PG500 uses a lot of pellets to achieve the great bark it produces but that’s a feature, not a bug. To get good smoke you gotta burn some wood.”
Next, all you need to do is set the temperature you want on the control panel. As mentioned, this electric grill starts up automatically from the control panel. You can go up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can just as easily program the grill for a low, slow cook over a longer period.
Fast Eddy’s Cookshack Pellet Grill Description & Features
Stainless Steel Construction Inside and Out | Four Cooking Zones for Maximizing Cooking Opportunities | Flaming Food With Charbroil Technology | Easy Temperature Control | Efficient Burn | 304 Stainless Steel Cooking Grate | Large Capacity Hopper | A Side Shelf and 4 Wheel Casters
The line of Fast Eddy Cookshack smokers has an array of outstanding and innovative features.
Several of their features were the first of its kind for pellet grills (although widely adopted by other manufacturers nowadays).
Peek at the Amazon page and you’ll find many five-star reviews. Before letting the price put you off or make you hesitate, take a look below at the amount of value you get for that money.
Stainless Steel Construction Inside & Out
The Cookshack Fast Eddy’s 30-inch Pellet Grill stands out with its robust construction. It has a riveted body assembly and is constructed entirely out of stainless steel for a durable and long-lasting build.
This is not just a grill; it’s a long-term investment for your backyard barbecues.
The choice of material and the thoughtful design contribute significantly to heat retention, which is a key factor for consistent temperature control.
In essence, this smoker isn’t just built to perform; it’s designed with the future in mind – a reliable companion for countless grilling sessions.
Four Cooking Zones for Maximizing Cooking Opportunities
As I mentioned earlier, Fast Eddy’s Cookshack features four unique cooking areas, or “zones” and each has a separate purpose.
Zone one is the direct cooking area and is located right over the firepot and open flame. When you cook in this zone, the flames can lick your food for that fire-kissed sear. This zone’s cooking area is 10″ wide x 18″ deep.
Zone two, or the indirect zone is just to the right of the firepot. This is where you would roast or bake your food with smoke or without. Zone two’s cooking area is 18″ x 18″.
The final two zones, three and four are actually the secondary cooking rack, which is above zones one and two. Above the firepot is zone three, which gets more heat than zone four, which is above the indirect cooking surface. The cooking rack is a 10″ x 28″ cooking surface.
Flaming Food With Charbroil Technology
One of the Fast Eddy’s Cookshack PG500’s most unique features is, of course, the positioning of the firepot. It’s rare for the flames to touch your food unless you’re cooking directly over an open fire—but then unlike many pellet-fueled cookers, this grill allows you to do just that.
The ability to cook over an open fire to sear your food as well as the PG500 does is a game changer for pellet grills. The flavor and the caramelized texture will keep you cooking on pellet grills for the rest of forever.
Easy Temperature Control
The control panel’s ease of use gets five stars. It takes most of the guessing out of choosing the temperature you want.
Its versatility is a point in its favor, as well. Most pellet grills make excellent smokers, as well, but it’s helpful when your grill works with you to eliminate extreme heat fluctuations.
The technically advanced temperature gauge and automated digital controller eliminate extreme heat fluctuations, which is the main culprit for overdone and dried-out food. Just sit back and let the technology do its work.
I admire the fact that Cookshack reveals exactly how many pellets the Fast Eddy burns through in an hour.
Once you know what it does at 400 degrees, you can easily gauge how many pellets are used at various other temperatures.
The Fast Eddy’s will go through about 1.2 to 2 pounds of pellets an hour at 400 degrees F.
A 304 Stainless Steel Cooking Grate
The direct cooking grate is made from 304-stainless steel so it won’t rust or deteriorate even with hard use.
The secondary cooking shelf is nickel-plated and robust.
Large Capacity Hopper
The hopper can hold up to 22 pounds of pellets at a time which all but eliminates the need to refill it even during the longest slow and low cooks.
That means cooking a brisket overnight while you get a good night’s sleep is possible.
A Side Shelf & 4 Wheel Casters
There are 4 heavy-duty locking wheel casters for easy mobility and one side shelve built onto the side.
Moving this grill around the patio proved to be a cinch and the extra room provided by the side shelf definitely came in handy.
Who Is the Cookshack PG500 For?
If you’re an accomplished griller, love wood-cooked food, and have the money to spare, the Fast Eddy’s Cookshack PG500 may be the perfect pick.
The great thing about the Cookshack is that you don’t need to be an absolute grill master, though.
It will help if you are somewhat skilled, patient, or willing to put in the time to learn, or else this bad boy might overpower you.
Why You Should Think Twice
Owing to the price, the Fast Eddy Cookshack PG500 may not be for some. You don’t want to blow a wad of cash that big if you’re not going to use this grill often.
In size and ability, the PG500 is not just impressive, but also potentially intimidating. Start smaller or with something less expensive if this isn’t in your wheelhouse or your budget.
A good mid-range alternative is the Camp Chef Woodwind. You can read my detailed review here: Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Review.
Cookshack PG500 PROs & CONs
- Large grilling area
- Easy to use control panel
- Precise temperature control
- Four cooking zones
- Spacious hopper
- Direct fire high heat cooking
- Some ash blows from the firepot
- Direct grilling surface is somewhat small
Cookshack PG500 Prices & Warranties
These high-quality and well-built machines are made in the USA. They come with a 2-year limited warranty.
Cookshack is a very well-respected company in the industry and is known for excellent customer service.
Final Thoughts on Our Fast Eddy’s Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill Review
This Cookshack pellet grill comes with a lot of star power owing to the calibration with “Fast Eddy” Maurin.
In my opinion, it lives up to every aspect of it.
This cooker does an amazing job controlling heat and can produce award-winning results. The build is surprisingly high quality for the price and the design is almost perfect.
My only nitpick is that there is no way to cover the firepot when not grilling over it directly. This allows ash to sometimes blow around in the cooking chamber. This is not much different from cooking with a charcoal grill and is far from a deal killer. I just wanted to point it out.
The bottom line is that I’ve yet to meet any owners who did not absolutely love their Cookshack grills. You undeniably get everything you pay for and then some.
I hope this Fast Eddy’s Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill Review proves helpful for you. As always, if you or someone you know is interested in venturing into the world of pellet grilling; please consider sharing with your friends or on social media. I appreciate your support!
If you would like to leave a comment or have a review of your own to share on the Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill, please do so below. We always welcome your input and I would love to hear about your experiences with it.
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A backyard warrior, certified carnivore, lover of good whiskey, grill master and I’m Living The Grilling Life!
I have a passion for cooking with live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I’m a real person just like you, who loves outdoor cooking and BBQ. Food, fun, and time spent with family and friends are what it’s all about! It is my mission to take my passion and knowledge for outdoor cooking and all things BBQ and share this expertise in techniques and grilling equipment with you. In other words, Living The Grilling Life!
I have personally tested over 150+ Grills and Smokers and hundreds of grilling thermometers, temperature controllers, grill brushes, grilling tools, fire starters, and other BBQ products.