In reading through the comments section, it seems the recommendations have shifted over time. As it stands today, which smoker would you go with and why: GMG Jim Bowie, Traeger Pro 34, or the RecTec? I like the cooking space of the Traeger Pro 34, but the other 2 seem to have more bells and whistles. I’ve been smoking about 5yrs, so not a pro but not a beginner. Currently have a 10+ year old Traeger Lil Tex elite hand-me down that is ready to give up the ghost. Would appreciate your thoughts!
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.
The construction and the elements – REC TEC Pellet grill are an investment for years, safe from corroding. Most of competitive grills look pretty on the outside and the manufacturers claim they are made of stainless steel. The truth is, only the outside part of the grill is stainless. The steel on the inside is different, and major parts are made of materials of poorer quality.
The Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker is cheaply built, but not as bad as most gas smokers in this price range. It is narrow so you have to cut rib slabs in half, but it can hold a lot of food. Once you get the hang of it, it can hold temps pretty steadily and it doesn’t require nursing. But you absolutely must replace the temperature indicator (it is not a thermometer no matter what they call it) with a good digital thermometer. Click here to read our complete review of the Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker.
Nowadays, for domestic use, the hardwood smoker has been replaced by ones using readily available charcoal. If its flavor you are looking for, charcoal smoking can’t be beaten. It gives the most authentic smoked barbecue flavor of any of the new smokers available. However, it does come at a price. Using charcoal can be dirty, and you have to deal with the ash left over from the cooking process. The hardwood charcoal will impart a flavor to the meat you are cooking, along with any additional wood chips added. This can give a rich, deep taste to any meat prepared in a charcoal smoker. The modern ceramic Kamado-style smokers, for example, are highly efficient in the burning of the charcoal, and temperature control is a simple matter of managing the airflow into the smoker. After just a few cooks most people have mastered the temperature control for ‘low and slow’ smoking, and the smoker can be left for hours, such as overnight, without tending.
So back to the Internet for one last attempt on making a decision on the smoker that is of great quality and can also fill my need grilling needs as well. I am almost sold on the Rec Tec, but I’m curious about the Grilla Grill Silverbac. It’s a little smaller than RT and metal is a gauge off from the RT. It doesn’t run off a PID system but a digital controller and is priced at $699. I do like the underneath storage of the Grilla and the second tier cooking grates.
Includes a meat probe, a peaked lid, a convenience tray with utensil hooks and our new open flame technology grease tray. Also included is Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill temperature.
It is also worth noting that a pellet smoker made of high quality materials will perform better. High quality materials will retain heat, ensure more efficient pellet consumption, and maintain temperature better in the cold weather.
It is almost as we have forgotten how to live life the way it should be lived. We no longer have the time to sit back on a summer’s day, and appreciate the show that nature has put up for us. Now-a-days we are so committed to our work, responsibilities and duties towards the external that we often forget that we have our very first priority neglected: happiness. We are so engaged in our daily 9 to 5 routines that we have actually began to take it as a way of living while it slowly drains and strains us away over time.
Yo, Kevin! Hope that you can soon review one of my all-time favorite purchases, the Traeger Li’l Tex Elite Smoker/Grill. After using it for a couple of months, I gave away my two year old gas-grill to my grandson. We’ve done chicken, turkey, pheasant, lamb, all kinds of beef, pork and sausages including some wonderful ribs and brisket. Our Easter Rib Roast turned out terrific as did the chunks of assorted sausages that we did for another family get-together. I was never a big fan of grilling until we got our Traeger. Both Traeger and the web-sites like yours are full of great recipes and ideas.
Here’s my long term review of the GMG Daniel Boone grill purchased in Nov of 2010, about six and a half years ago. My model has the stainless steel lid. Assembly was straight forward and only required attaching the legs and folding side table as I recall. Operation was straight forward and the grill heated quickly to any desired temperature from 180 to 500 degrees usually in ten minutes or less. The temperature was maintained consistently within +5/-5 degrees as long as the hopper had pellets. This grill was truly a dream to cook with which we did 3 – 4 times a week from March through October. That is the good part.
This controller also gives the cook control over slow cooking over low heat as well as fast grilling over high heat and provides appetizingly reliable outcomes each time. The Texas Elite 34 utilizes wider legs to provide steadiness. It unites strong, wood-fired convection implementation with easy functionalty. This grill also comes with porcelain grill grates which are easy to clean and also has an electronic auto-start ignition.
They’re like instant cameras compared to classic film cameras, but in the end they’re more like DSLRs. These grills have not flamed out fast. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association (HPBA), the pellet smoker or grill is one of the hottest trends of the barbecuing industry.
Where the Rec Tec outshines, or rather, outcooks other pellet grills, is their temperature control. The grills all come standard with a P.I.D. Controller (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) algorithm, the ‘secret’ to the grill maintaining its precise temperature.
My dad is a true mans man, and has owned a number of grills. Ranging from gas to charcoal. Growing up with him allowed me to see what different types of rubs, spices, brines, etc went into making the best BBQ. Although my dad was a truck driver, and I had a degree in Information Technology I knew that I wanted to do something about grilling and our recipes. That’s where Barbeque Smoked comes in.
If you’re a BBQ fan and you cherish cooking meat, then you may require a grill or a smoker. Similarly, as a kitchen won’t be finished without a microwave, a porch/cultivate/lawn/kitchen won’t likewise be without it. With a Traeger smoker, you can cook sound gourmet sustenance for your children and friends and family. Utilizing it, you likewise spare cash for not expecting to request nourishment and have it conveyed to you now and again.
Smoking v. Grilling more about the temp you’re cooking at than how it’s heated. Smoking happens below 300F most of the time. The Sawtooth Pellet Grill can get to 550F-600F at the top end so it’s more of a grill at that point that smokes. I’ve grilled burgers and fajitas and other stuff like you would a gas grill. Works great and it’s made in the US!
It’s also important you know not all meat probes are created equal. Some are only capable of monitoring while others can be programmed to lower the heat of the grill once the food reaches a certain temperature.
SO I am thinking about getting a pellet smoker-grill. I am wondering one thing before I take this plunge. Right now I use a bradley digital smoker. It is nice because it has a heat element for long brisket type smokes, but its briquette feeder never works correctly and wastes wood which gets expensive. SO thinking about going to a Pellet smoker.
If you do not already have a grill but would like a smoker that has one then you can go for a grill-smoker combo. The downside of it is that it will cost you some extra money. It might cause some problems if you are on a tight budget.
I have been seriously tempted by the Copperhead vertical pellet smoker and if I ever find one on sale I will snap it up in a heartbeat. The Copperhead has MASSIVE cooking capacity and its 60 pound pellet hopper is the largest I have ever seen. It is also just a handsome looking smoker.
Before buying, please note that most pellet smokers need access to electricity to run the digital controller, the auger that transports the pellets to the firebox, and the convection fan that circulates the air in the cooking chamber. These cookers can use a lot of pellets at high temps. At high temps there is little or no smoke, and at low temps smoke is unavoidable. So if you want to cook, say, a chicken breast low and slow to retain juices, but you don’t want any smoke flavor, you’re outta luck. If you want to torch a thin burger to get a crunchy crust and add a little smokiness, you’ll get great smoke flavor, but it is hard to get the crust. But if you want killer ribs, bacon, smoked salmon, etc., pellet burners are hard to beat for convenience and quality.
I was leary about getting a pellet grill as i have had great success with my propane box smoker. Did some research and went with the Rec-Tec 680. Absolutely love the thing. It actually fell off the trailer when i moved a few months back and still works like a charm, just has a little more character now! Highly recommend this set it and forget it pellet grill
Back to the Pit Boss. The cooking space come in ‘Large’ and ‘Deluxe’. The Deluxe refers to the additional features and finishes. What we really like about the PB is the cooking temperature range from 180° to 500°F, which you can control with the simple turn of a dial, but it is an old-style dial. Possibly unrelated to this, but something that needs to be looked at is whenever you switch cooking temperatures the auger carries on running for about four minutes before trying to adjust to the new temperature. As we discovered this isn’t a problem you’re going from low to high, but it is if you’re trying to bring your temperature down. We almost lost our wings because of this.
Remove the pellets from the feed hopper to stop them getting wet or being contaminated by any cleaning products you will use. Empty the ash from the burn cup. Some people line their burn cup with aluminum foil to make the cleaning process more manageable. An ash vacuum cleaner will also do the trick.
Sounds like a plan. One thing folks here do to save on pellets is go in with a friend or two on a larger bulk order. Maybe something to check into. 🙂 Thanks for commenting here. Do share the post with others you think might enjoy the read!
Pellets are made of compressed sawdust. It’s wood and wood burns when heated. If you starve wood of oxygen when you heat it, it smokes rather than burning to ash. This smoke is the best for providing food with an all natural flavor!
As such, if you don’t see one of your favorites listed here and would like to offer up a review – please contact me via any of the social media links at the top of this blog’s sidebar, and we’ll see about getting a post up.
Hey Kim – thank you for this. I’ve had this happen with numerous pellet smokers, including GMGs. What happens most often when it happens is that I’ve been remiss in properly cleaning the grill out after several uses (vacuuming the fire pot out). This causes the ash etc to cover up the heating rod, thus making the temperature lower than expected. The auger keeps feeding the fire pot to compensate and you get what you’ve described.
Solid construction that’s built to last is what the Rec Tec is all about, from their proprietary PID temperature control algorithm and Smart Grill Technology to the grill’s powder coated high strength carbon steel and 304 stainless steel for all of its critical parts.
A. The main difference is that pellets produce smoke flavor that is milder than a traditional offset and cleaner. Pellets burn cleanly making the flavor and smoke more purified. The food hence will have a lighter flavor and no heavy smoke produced.
Hal – your points are well made, sir. The “set it and forget it” – at least for me – means you don’t need to “tend the fire” as you might when using charcoal pits, etc. I have had very (next to none at all) problems with any pellet smoker I’ve used — so long as I make sure to clean it out regularly and maintain it as directed.