Using their trademarked Smart Grill Technology, Rec Tec have managed to give you a wide array of temperatures, with precision control of 5 degrees. From 180ºF to 500ºF, and whether you’re looking for a low and slow cook that’ll keep your neighbors jealous and salivate all day, or you want to bang out something more quickly at a higher temperature, you’re covered, with one unit.
Basically, Cookshack keeps to Ed Maurin’s simple design – using a dual layer of thick 304 stainless steel separated by high temperature insulation to hold in heat. Heat is provided by an electronically controlled 36,000 BTU pellet burner fed from an external hopper (you can add more pellets without opening the smoker).
Many people misunderstand a pellet grill of consuming a large amount of power for its working. But it is not even remotely true. While it is true that a pellet grill will use up a good amount for power initially, but it only uses that to come to temperature and form. Once it is ready and in form, it power consumption drops so dramatically that some pellet grills use almost as little power as a light bulb; an ideal choice for keeping power costs to a minimum.
Hi John, I believe the information in this article to be current still. The only addition I’d make and probably should make is to put GMG and Traeger in as being comparable with Rec-Tec. Traeger specifically has been coming back with a vengeance of late with their Pro Series models.
With proper fire management, stick burners, smokers that burn wood logs, produce the best smoked meat. Period. But inexpensive stick burners don’t work well and even high quality ones, like the Horizon model shown below, require a commitment and learning curve that can be daunting to the backyard chef. Inventor Bill Karau competed on the BBQ circuit and toured BBQ joints around his stomping ground in Texas for many years before designing a stick burner that produced perfect smoke from start to finish, every time, regardless of skill, the Karubecue. At its crux is a patented Inverted Flame Firebox (IFF) which sucks heat and smoke from underneath a wood fire, not the top. Heavy smoke, laden with gases and microscopic particles is pulled through a red hot fire where it burns up, sending clean, light blue smoke and heat into a thermostatically controlled oven.
Now we come to the end of my smoker quest. I used a combination of online research and real life experience to bring you the most in depth information you will get anywhere. This quest was long, but it was worth it.
I know, I know, no one likes to read the instruction manual, but even as an expert you see the advantages learning the specifics of your grill. Reading the manual is key. Generally, you should not use water to clean the pellet smokers, so keep your hose pipe far away. These smokers have digital controllers, a motorized auger, a fan and an igniter rod for the fire pot. These parts will get destroyed if they come into contact with water. You should gently dry scrub the dirt off these parts, making sure not to disassemble any parts. Cleaning the thermostat will also prove essential; otherwise, it may read temperatures inaccurately.
One comment I see a lot in various forums like Pellet Heads Forum is that you want as much efficiency as you can get. As with lump charcoal, this means burning as clean of a cook as you can with as little ash as possible. Different pellet mixes will produce differences in what you get in this area, and the cooker you’re using will dictate this to some degree as well.
This isn’t a cheap smoker, and if you’re looking to entertain the entire neighborhood, this smoker just isn’t for you. No matter how great the design, portability, and materials are, a smoker that can’t hold your food can’t cook it. That said, if you want something to travel with, and you have modest ambitions, this could be your perfect smoker. Durability matters, and the fact that the entire smoker is impervious to rust is invaluable.
Many people prefer electric smokers because they are easy to use and don’t require a lot of maintenance. Although you do still have to add wood chips to produce smoke, you don’t have to worry about charcoal, gas or anything else. All you have to do is plug your electric smoker into an electric outlet, and you’re ready to go.
If you’ve ever wanted an 8-in-1 wood pellet grill that you can just “set and forget”, then this grill is the perfect unit for you. This is the most hassle-free smoker we’ve used which is why it deserves to be one of our top picks. Digitally-controlled, this smoker ignites the unit and uses a Smart Smoke Technology™ to heat it up from 160 to 450 degrees F. This pellet smoker comes with a whopping 513 square inch grilling area, plus a 2nd cooking rack! While it doesn’t have a cleanup system, its auto-shutdown feature makes it worth the value.
As for the there’s-bark-on-logs argument—while it’s true you wouldn’t think twice about putting wood with bark in an offset, traditional smokers don’t rely on sensors to maintain a precise temperature. With a pellet grill, the less ash it has deal with, the better it will perform.
Many of the models require you to clean them up for 30 minutes because you have to take out the gooey deflector plate and the greasy grates in order to scrape them off and wash them until they’re shining. Careful cleaning is required when the grease and carbon is covering the deflector plate. The easy-clean grills typically make the parts more accessible but the amount of cleanup remains the same.
Have you heard of the gold standard smoker? You are about too. I present you the charcoal smokers. Though charcoal smokers are quite difficult to figure out in comparison to the easy to use electric smoker and cheap and portable gas smoker, these types of smokers are the queen of all smoker types.
One touch non-PID controller: This type of controller gives you the ability to adjust the temperature in 5-10°F increments. However, they still feed pellets in fixed cycles meaning that they can only offer accuracy of +/- 15-20°F. They also feature LCD screens, one touch buttons and many have inputs for meat probes.
The Good One Smokers tend to fly under the radar, which is to say surprisingly few people know about these unique cookers. That’s a shame, because just about everyone who owns a Good One loves it. While all of their models fall into the category of a smoker-grill combo, the Open Range is the most popular.
If you’re looking for something less expensive than the Rec Tec unit, but still want something very decent, and don’t mind not having the very top of the line, this pellet grill by Traeger is an excellent choice. It comes in at around half the price, but it’s no slouch. It’s a solid way to save some dough if the Rec Tec is overkill for you. You can read our full review of this grill here.
The Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker comes with Smart Smoke Technology, which lets you set and forget your grilling. It accurately sets and maintains the desired temperature using an automated electric feed system, heating your unit from 180 degrees F to 450 degrees F. We’ve gotten used to smokers taking around 30-40 minutes to heat up, but with this unit, it took only 20 minutes for the temperature to settle in!
Buying from a larger, established company means there is likely to be a dedicated customer service team. It also means the company is likely to still be around a few years down the track when you may need their assistance.
Multi-position controllers: These controllers allow you to adjust the temperature in smaller increments. Pellets are fed in fixed cycles meaning these controllers still don’t offer amazing accuracy. A multi-position controller is typically accurate +/-20°F, in ideal conditions. A nice feature of these controllers is the addition of an LCD screen.
Camp Chef: Camp Chef is the company that perfected the pellet grill formula that Traeger made up, hence its introduction of an effective pellet auger that dispenses pellets only when needed and a large capacity hopper that reduces the need for pellet refills (that people find really annoying). It’s economical in terms of fuel rationing even though the griller itself is quite expensive.
Barbecue enthusiasm seems to be growing every year, and many backyard cooks, no longer content with burgers and chicken, are venturing into the mysterious—and myth-laden—realm of smoking. I’ve long been an advocate for pellet smokers, and it seems that this equipment is finally coming of age. In fact, 2016 may be the Year of the Pellet Smoker.
The KBQ C-60 in one word? Brilliant! To get more detailed, the technology behind this smoker is so innovative it will take your barbecue to another level. This is not a set it and forget it machine. By all means, you’ll still have to tend to your fire on this all natural wood smoker, but that’s part of the fun for some us, isn’t it?
Traeger Smoker – Buyer beware. My Traeger stopped working both times I’ve used it. It just stops after about 2 hours. Traeger’s response is their pillory is they don’t make refunds. The nearest service is 3 hours away and it’s just too far for them. They said the solution to it stopping is for me to partially disassemble it when it stops and vacuum out the burner pot. They said they would talk me through some troubleshooting. They offered to send me replacement parts but said they don’t think it will help. I can’t return it, they can’t determine a fix for it. I’m supposed to just eat the $830 cost for a smoker that doesn’t work.
Pellet grills come in various sizes from the portable types for tailgating to the extra-large units for commercial use. If you are someone who wants to be able to take your smoker on the go, be it camping, partying or any other event you’ll want something that’s easy to lift and has wheels to facilitate movement. If you have lots of parties and gatherings at home, then you might want something bigger. Its all up to what your needs are.
The Primo 778 (View on Amazon.com) is hands down the best overall charcoal smoker you can currently get. With its amazing heavy gauge construction, large cooking surface and overall ease of use, it can turn turkeys, hams and other types of meats into mouthwatering culinary works of art. Given its size and the fact that this is the only ceramic smoker that’s currently made in the United States, you are guaranteed to get superior results compared to any other smoker out there.
This black porcelain enamel coated barrel is a straightforward vertical smoker. It comes with a number of additional tools and hooks that help users grill or smoke essentially any kind of meat or other food.
Nothing says “you are welcome to my home” than some delicious and succulent baby back ribs; some beer can whole chicken cooked your special spice mix, and some wood smoked salmon. There is no better way to wins the appreciation of your favorite people than cooking up some wood grilled steaks and baked potatoes. But there is a catch, there always is.
The adjustable chimney top gives you the power to adjust how much smoke flavor gets into your meat. And with Smart Smoke Technology the grill will automatically maintain the optimum temperature range to produce the most smoke possible.
Comes with a 633 square inch main grilling surface, but also includes a 280 square inch removable upper cooking rack (total cooking area: 913 square inches). Includes a digital thermostat and gives you precise heat control from 170 Fahrenheit to 600 Fahrenheit (5 degree increments).
Knowing the different types of smoker grills and what was ultimately the best for our needs was the 1st and the biggest step for all 3 of us, but not the end of our journey. Now we needed to know what accessories would make our BBQ experience the best it could be. You will want all of these accessories to make your summer the best it can be.
Lubricate your motor and fans for optimal use. This will help your smoker to work better, longer. Note that you should not store your grill for long idle periods. Doing so can cause the structure to warp and mold to form under the grill cover, which of course can render the entire grill unusable or inefficient.
The advantages of this pellet smoker allow to put it first on my list. It’s a smoker that is medium tier in terms of price. It is not too expensive, and it’s not one of the cheapest ones, either. Still, it has plenty of solutions that allow it to stand out as number one among dozens of other pellet smokers.
A really high quality kamado for a ridiculous sale price, it has everything we want from a kamado: even cooking, precision, control and great flavors. It has it all, it is manoeuvrable when it needs to be, solid where it has to be, overall, it is great. So what if it isn’t ceramic?
Stick burner vs Pellet… it’s time tending the fire question for me. Pellet poopers are way less work, but you can up your smoke or lower it with a great deal more variability with a stick burner. If you have the money, I’d go Yoder.
If you are looking to add more smoke flavor to your food, this accessory works great. Once lit the pellets, in the smoker cube, will smolder for several hours, providing a stronger smoke flavor to your meat.
Only 1/3 of a cup of pellets is needed for most cooking events. As compared to other forms of smoking wood, you’ll need 5-10 times the weight of wood to achieve the same results as pellets. The cost per use is much less for pellets than any other form of wood.
The main advantage is versatility. They combine convenience, simplicity and also control of temperature and cooking. For a single price you get a grill and a smoker. People make a wrong assumption that pellet grills are something complicated.
If you want a grill that will last for years to come it all starts with the construction of the grill. If you will be shopping in a local retail store take the time to really investigate the grill. Lift the lid to see how sturdy it is.
We carefully consulted our testing team, asked our volunteers and staff alike for their honest opinions, and argued a lot about what should be Our Pick. In the end, we came up with the best smoker reviews on the web.
The great part about this smoker is that it is fairly light-weight, weighing in at 69 lbs, and its legs double as a handles: all you have to do is fold the legs up and carry the smoker wherever you need to! Furthermore, this smoker comes with a 12V connector that you can plug into the cigarette lighter of your car, and a 12-foot alligator clips that you can connect to your car’s battery if necessary. You can take this smoker anywhere!
With all the features and with the really remarkable cooking space, the Masterbuilt M7P 7-in-1 Smoker and Grill is the best overall value for the money on the market. If you’re looking for a smoker that will cover all your grilling, smoking, and party needs, look no further.
Hope this response answers your questions. If not, connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and we can chat some more. Glad you like this article! Please do share it with others you feel might also enjoy it! 🙂
This is the ultimate portable grill. It can run off a 12V with no problem so plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter. It also works 120AC so it’s perfect for home or camping, tailgating, hunting, house-boating, music festivals or anywhere you can take it!
Remote Accessibility: This level of control and observing is critical on the grounds that the container does not generally sustain the pellets into the wood screw accurately and the fire in the firepot can go out. The Davy Crockett will tell you that the container is not sustaining wood pellets and that the temperature is dropping. The Davy Crockett application will reveal to you something isn’t right.
Hey David – You might find this amount of space a bit limiting for your needs. My advice is to always overshoot your needs a bit in terms of cooking capacity. Consider the next size up for the amount of cooking you’ll be doing.
A. Cooking pellets depend on the amount of heat temperature used in cooking. On normal circumstances, a pound of cooking pellets should last a duration of an hour to an hour and a half when cooking at a temperature of 250 degrees in ideal conditions of no wind. When the temperatures are increased, the number of burning pellets also increase because the pellets tend to burn more quickly. In cold weather conditions, the pellets tend to burn faster that in normal or sunny weather conditions.
For price and ease of use it is hard to beat the small gas smokers like the Char-Broil or the Camp Chef Smoke Vault. Snobs snort at gas smokers, but we’re here to tell you that many top rated BBQ restaurants use big gas smokers, and the small ones are really inexpensive, easy to set and walk away, and the product will make you a hero. With a high quality modern barbecue smoker you no longer need to hover over your machine for hours, constantly monitoring the temp, fiddling with the dampers, shoveling coal, and adding wood. A good smoker means that you can win the battle against creosote, soot, and ash. With a good smoker you can get your food on the table on time and not fear that it is over-cooked or under-cooked.