In the beginning pellet cookers were used mostly as smokers because they didn’t really have high temperature grilling ability. After more than a decade of design revisions, most of the pellet burners on this page still cannot do both well. Introduced in 2010, the FE1000PC takes an innovative approach to being both a low and slow smoker and a fast cooking grill.
A collaboration between Cookshack, Inc. of Ponca City, OK, and “Fast Eddy” Maurin, winner of numerous awards on the competition barbecue circuit, the FEC line has been around since 2000. They make several large units for commercial use. This is their first backyard design.
Although similar to other backyard pellet cookers in appearance, the FE1000PC differs most significantly from the competition by moving away from the standard design of a fire pot on the bottom, a diffuser plate in the middle, and a cooking grate above. This design makes most pellet cookers exclusively indirect convection cookers, so it is impossible to have a 2-zone system, the best configuration for grilling, or to get direct flame contact for a high temperature sear.
Fast Eddy’s revolutionary new design provides four distinct cooking zones starting with (1) a 10″ wide x 18″ deep direct cooking area with the firepot directly below so flames can directly contact the food for high temperature grilling. Finally a pellet grill that can properly sear a steak! To the right there’s an (2) 18″ x 18″ indirect zone for roasting with or without smoke, and above both areas is a (3) 10″ x 28″ top grate. The temp on this overhead grate can vary significantly depending on where you measure. It is much higer (4) directly above the direct zone. Alas, we have heard that the electronics allow the temp to way overshoot the mark after you open the lid and close it again.
The direct zone has cast iron grates for great grillmarks, and the other two zones have nickel plated wire grates. Fast Eddy claims 820 square inches of cooking surface, but we calculate it a bit less at 784 square inches.
The digital controller is simple and easy to use. The cooking chamber is insulated resulting in lower pellet consumption and higher temps, especially in cold weather. The ash drawer is front-mountedmaking cleanout easy. The 25 pound capacity pellet hopper is mounted on the side. The body is stainless steel and the whole unit is covered by a 30-day money back guarantee and a 2-year limited warranty. When is the last time you saw a money back guarantee on a grill? The price sits at the high end of the personal pellet cooker market, competing with the Memphis Pro and the MAK 2-Star General.
Although the combustion cup in the direct grilling zone puts out plenty of searing heat, the temp drops off rapidly as you move away from the center of the relatively small area. If you are grilling steaks with the lid open, you cannot control the heat output from the burn cup. As much as we recommend the 2-zone system, this is an awkward configuration. In addition, the fact that there is no cover over the flame, ash is free to fly around in the cooking chamber, often landing on your food. Interestingly, this configuration creates a convection flow of hot air cooking from the top on the indirect side rather than the bottom as do most other pellet smokers.