July 30, 2020

We’ve tested a high number of smoker grills by now, and many have been knocked off our top list as new products come in the market. One of those that remain is the Cookshack PG1000. Having been introduced in 2010, is it still worth checking out? 

Cookshack PG1000

Pros:

  • Durable double-walled construction
  • Consistent competitive BBQ winner
  • Direct and indirect cooking
  • Large-capacity pellet hopper
  • Digital controller
  • Warming drawer for warming and cold smoking
  • Front-access drip tray

Cons:

  • Hood should be closed for searing to prevent temp drops

Cookshack PG1000 Features

Design

The PG1000 is one of the first designs Cookshack did in collaboration with “Fast Eddy” Maurin, a consistent competition BBQ winner. As such, it’s no surprise that this model became a popular choice among competitive BBQ teams.  

At first glance, the PG1000 looks like any other backyard pellet cooker. But when you take a closer look, it deviates from the usual design with the cooking grids above, a diffuser plate in the middle, and the fire pot at the bottom. 

This traditional design makes it impossible to create a direct and indirect grilling zone, which is great for dividing the cooking space into high-temperature and low-temperature zones. But since the PG1000 is designed differently, this ideal configuration is achieved—but more on this later. 

This Cookshack unit has a stainless steel interior and exterior, making it durable and resistant to corrosion against the elements. It’s double-walled and insulated as well, so it’s very effective in keeping temperatures even.

The insulated design of the PG1000 is very useful when it comes to maintaining temperatures inside the grill even when external conditions aren’t favorable. Cold and windy days can affect the heat inside, but the PG1000 won’t know the difference.

Curious about other Cookshack models? We also covered the PG500 from the same brand.

close-up shot of the Cookshack PG1000 grill

Grilling Zones

This cooker uses a patented cooking system exclusive to Cookshack—the charbroiler technology. Their models are the only grills in the market with this kind of technology, allowing both fast grilling and low and slow smoking in one unit. It also gives grills from the brand an edge over the competition, such as SmokinTex.

When you open the hood, you’ll see the different grilling zones on the PG1000. On the left side, you’ll find cast-iron cooking grates that sit directly above the pellet fire. This is the 10x18-inch direct grilling zone, perfect for searing steaks upwards of 650°F. 

Right beside the direct zone, there are nickel-plated wire grates for the indirect cooking space. It measures 18x18, and the way it works is the heat and smoke from the direct grilling area travels upwards, over through the hood, then back down to the indirect zone. 

This zone is great for grilling large pieces of meat, chicken, pork butts, beef briskets, or anything that you don’t want to fast grill. 

Lastly, there’s also a 10x28 top rack above the two zones. This is perfect for light grilling such as vegetables or other delicate food items that would burn quickly on the direct and indirect areas. 

All in all, you have 820 square inches of cooking space. The zones give you more flexibility and versatility with cooking different dishes [1]. Best of all, you can now properly sear a steak because of the direct flame zone, which other pellet grills don’t have. 

Warming Drawer

One nifty feature of the PG1000 is the warming drawer in front of the grill. It runs about 50 percent of the cooking temperature you’ve set, and you can place food inside it to keep them warm as you’re cooking the rest. 

There’s also another purpose that the warming drawer brings to the table - cold smoking. To do that, you just need to place a pan of ice and put the controls at the minimum temperature of 170°F. So whether it’s meat, salmon, or cheese, you can cold smoke anything in the drawer. 

back of a Cookshack PG1000

Digital Controller

Unlike other pellet grills in the market like SmokinTex, Cookshack units have a convenient digital controller. It’s pretty easy to understand, but let’s go over the basics to give you some background.

When you flip the switch to turn on the smoker grill, the LED screen displays the temperature you’re going to be cooking at. The PG1000 has a temperature range of 170 - 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can easily input your desired setting by pushing the up and down buttons.

On the face of the controller, you’ll also find two lights. The first one tells you when the igniter is on and the second one tells you when the auger is running. 

In our experience, the controller is pretty straightforward and simple to use so even beginners can figure it out. 

Other Notable Features

Before we conclude our Cookshack PG1000 review, there are a few more features worth mentioning.

On the side of the cooker, there’s a side-loading 25 lb. capacity pellet hopper. Since pellets generally come in a 20 lb. bag, you can pour in all of that in the PG1000’s hopper so you don’t have to keep the bag and bring it out again when you run out of pellets. 

Right next to the warming drawer is a front-access ash drawer that gathers all of the ash from the firepot. Because it’s in a convenient drawer design, you don’t have to take apart the pellet grill just to remove the ash, which is how other brands do it. 

During our tests, the ash pan proves to be really useful. At the end of the cookout, all we needed to do is to pull out the drawer and empty it out. There wasn’t much ash either, so it wasn’t as messy compared to other pellet grills we’ve used before. 

Finally, there’s also a large side shelf on the right side of the grill. This is useful for meal prep or even for holding other things like your tools and dishes. It’s also the part you handle when you want to move your grill around. 

Want to make comparisons with other brands? We also wrote about Traeger and Memphis here.

Conclusion

The Cookshack PG1000 may have been in the market for years, but it remains one of the most durable and reliable pellet grill and smoker models we’ve ever used. 

With its double-walled insulation, three grilling zones, easy-to-use digital controller, warming drawer, and large-capacity pellet hopper, it has everything any griller needs, whether it’s for backyard use or competition BBQ. 

For more reviews, check what we wrote about the Amerique smoker from the same brand.

Cookshack PG1000

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