PID Controller: The most precise temperature control is obtained with grills that have a PID controller. PID stands for “Proportional-Integral-Derivative” which is really just a fancy way of saying that it has a built in feedback loop.
My budget range is $1200-$1500. The same as the cost of the XL Primo or BGE. I’ve looked at the Rec-Tec. They look like a great deal. I did notice that they were made in china. Also read they assemble them in Ga. I have concerns with the durability of the lower priced ones. I looked at the Fast Eddie PS 500 also. Now that one is cool. Those are the two I have looked at. The Yoders are getting above what I want to spend.
The sheer amounts of meat people have been able to fit into this unit is also impressive, but not surprising given the ample size of it. For example, one family could smoke four twelve-pound turkeys at once, six full racks of baby back ribs, or two large briskets.
As you have a BGE and the PBC, I think a “pellet pooper” is a great 3rd option. They’re more versatile than folks think, and you can fire them up, cook, and shut them down with a lot less effort than the other two. Great for impromptu week night cooks. Hope this input helps. – Kevin
PID Controller– Proportional Integral Derivative Controller is a recent technology that many manufacturers have yet to include in their products. It helps the smoker maintain an accurate and precise temperature while cooking.
This grill made our selection for best portable pellet smoker due to a couple of key features. The legs fold into a convenient carry handle, and it comes packaged with the accessories you’ll need to power the smoker from a range of sources.
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.
This is a fantastic grill for the money that’s dependable for outdoor cooking and smoking (hence its name, “Camp Chef”). It’s not quite 9.9/10 that is the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill got, but it has more than enough features and benefits to spare to honor the Camp Chef brand (even though at first glance the PG24 and the SmokePro are practically the same unit with color differences).
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.
Their product knowledge is sound, they are polite and their response time to emails or phone calls is rarely matched in the world of retail. When you buy one of their products you get a card with the contact numbers, as in the mobile numbers, of the GM and both co-founders.
This grill comes with porcelain grill grates which provide easy cleaning. It is constructed from steel and contains a powder coat finish. This Traeger grill also comes equipped with wheels with locking casters which makes it easy to move. Another great benefit that this grill comes with is the Digital Elite Controller with an LED display which helps maintain the temperature of your grill. You can also enjoy the benefits of an electronic auto-ignition switch that is found on this grill.
I purchased a Traeger Lil Tex 22 yesterday. I “grilled” a whole chicken. It overshot the temperature by nearly a hundred degrees which wasn’t a bad way to crisp up the bird but I was afraid it was going to melt itself down so I shut it down. I was up by 5 this morning to smoke a pork butt for pulled pork sandwiches. My wife’s family is coming over for dinner tonight and time being a concern I fired up the “smoker”. It snowed 12 inches last night so the next hour I was shoveling my walks. Imagine my surprise when I checked on the Traeger and it had shut itself off . The meat was colt to the touch. I read through the instructions to make sure I started it up correctly and I did. I removed the meat and restarted the smoker. It smoked for awhile then quit. The temperature never got above 140. I called Traeger technical support twice and each rep gave me a different answer as to why it wasn’t working. After 3.5 hours I gave up on the Traeger for a more conventional method. I purchased the Traeger for the the set and walk away feature. It let me down!! It is 34 degrees outside today so I will wait until it warms up to try again. Should it fail me again I will sell it for scrap! So far I am not impressed. My wood smoker takes time but it is reliable.
The Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill is the one pellet grill currently on the market that utilizes charbroiler technology, which lets you get the same great taste as any high-end commercial grade charbroiler. This pellet grill is constructed from stainless steel. The nickel plated grates are made from 3/8 304T stainless steel. T
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.
Typically, most portable grills would give up certain features just to maintain their portability, but this wood pellet grill from Traeger actually had more than what high-end grills have to offer. Out of all of our features, it managed to tick 85% off the list. Its digital controls, versatile cooking features, and decent cooking space (perfect for outdoor adventures) all make it our best portable pick.
It used to be that purchasing a smoker was the equivalent to donating a vital organ Smokers have become a hot commodity lately. It’s not uncommon to look across the top of your neighborhood on Memorial Day and see a dozen plumes of smoke rising from back yards down the street.
Another option is to put a griddle (or GrillGrates) on the pellet smoker when it’s cranked to high heat, get it blistering-hot, add just a little oil to prevent sticking, and sear by conduction on the metal. It should take only two to three minutes per side. This is a good technique for reverse-seared meats: You start them indirect, low and slow on the cooking grate, with a little smoke, and then sear the surface with direct contact to the hot metal griddle to create a delicious brown crust. It’s not as good as searing directly over hot coals or gas, but it’s a good compromise.
Masterbuilt is a well-known brand for smokers. They’ve been producing quality products since 1973, and the 7-in-1 model continues the excellent tradition. The unit is really a all in one grilling/smoking man’s paradise. There’s a truckload of cooking space, which you don’t often find in a vertical smoker (let’s just say that a hame and a turkey at one time is feasible). The grilling racks are porcelain coated, meaning that they can withstand extremely high heats (the sorts of temperatures you need to sear burgers or steaks) while at the same time remaining non-stick and intact to slow roast cut potatoes or corn on the cob.
With its Integrated Digital Elite Controller, temperature is kept constant within + / – 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It also allows for low/slow and hot/fast smoking for up to 450 degrees. Checking up on your food’s temperature is also made easy with the LED display, which clearly slows the temperature even under bright daylight.
Don’t be fooled by an attractive pellet grill exterior. Even if there is plenty of stainless steel on the outside, the manufacturer may have cut corners and used cheap materials that will rust on the inside.
Pellet grill uses various types of flavored wood pellets to flavor the food by infusing smoke into it. Pellets of numerous flavors are available on the market: hickory, strawberry, oak and olive are just to name a few. Many pellet grill companies also manufacture wood pellets alongside the pellet grills that go hand in hand with their respective grills. So know your options, and be sure to spend a few extra bucks into buying a good quality wood pellet for your pellet grill as this is what will set apart your smoked exotic BBQ from the mainstream flavors out there.
As smoking and grilling become more popular, increasingly there’s more crossover. The same person that enjoys smoking a pork butt for 10 hours on the weekend wants to be able to fire up steaks after work. In the past, that often meant owning multiple cookers: a traditional smoker to handle low-and-slow BBQ and a charcoal or gas grill for high-heat grilling. Not only does that get expensive, but it takes up valuable backyard real estate. More and more, however, people are looking for a single cooker, a smoker-grill combo that can handle both.
Quality materials and construction stand up to wear and tear. Products that failed within the first few seasons of use show poor investment priorities on the part of the manufacturer. A common sign of low-quality materials and substandard construction is rusting screws, rivets, or other joiners. These innocuous little pieces of hardware offer manufacturers a way to shave a few dollars off of construction costs without losing the ability to make claims about the smoker’s primary materials. Rust spreads, however, and as small as those little screws are, they ultimately keep your smoker together.
Hi Dillon, thank you for commenting here. As to your question, I think you’d be happy with either a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker 18 inch, or a Daniel Boone Green Mountain Grill pellet smoker. Each are on the smaller side of BBQ Smokers and BBQ Pellet Grills, with just enough extra space to make food for a small family get together as needed. My brother lives in Colorado Springs and had trouble getting his Weber Smokey Mountain cooker to get hot enough and/or regulate temps. He built a wind screen for it at first which helped a ton. Then, he constructed a kind of smokehouse for it to sit in. Works great and functions as desired. You can see more on the Weber Smokey Mountain cookers here. For GMGs, you can find Colorado dealers by visiting this link: http://greenmountaingrills.com/find-a-dealer/.
When it comes to outdoor cooking, versatility is more desirable than ever. People want to be able to use the same grill to smoke authentic BBQ ribs and sear the perfect steak. A quality smoker-grill combo should do both exceptionally well.
He dropped the name Noah Glanville and asked if I have heard his name. I said, “no.” My friend was excited to tell me that he fought in the same place in Iraq where Noah Glanville was. And Noah is the maker of the best charcoal smoker in the USA!
The bottom line? We now have several pellet grills at Barbecue University and some students love them. Of course, there are still a lot of purists (or masochists) out there who insist on burning charcoal or wood.
You’re not going to be able to cook as hot as some other pellet grills out there, but this unit should easily reach 420 degrees. For a relatively small package you can still cook a good amount of food. A 10lb brisket or a few slabs of ribs shouldn’t be a problem which should keep the campers happy!
It is crucial to bear in mind how much food you want to make before you purchase a smoker. If you are only planning to use the smoker for family cookouts on the weekend, then a small smoker should be more than sufficient for your needs. Most smokers will state how much food you can cook with it.
“I have tried out many grills in my lifetime, but I’m yet to come across one that matches the features on the REC TEC Grills Bull RT-700. My family cookouts were a disaster considering each of our three previous grills came with an issue. For starters, some of the grills did not use stainless steel making them less durable, and the meat probes weren’t inbuilt. However, this REC TEC Grills Bull RT-700 review will showcase all there is to admire in this grill including a list of features guaranteed to make you jealous if you don’t own one.
My girlfriend told me her dad had just purchased a gas smoker and he loves it. I followed the smell of smoke to the grill master himself. Her dad was checking on the meat and this was my chance to ask him about his new smoker grill.
“I am new to wood pellet cooking and so far feel this is the only way to cook food outside. The RT-700 has exceeded my expectations in all ways possible. I have cooked several types and varieties of meats so far and they all have been excellent. I highly recommend Rec-Tec grills to anyone who is thinking about exploring wood pellet cooking. I give Rec-Tec’s customer service and their grills 5 out of 5 STARS!”
They might have lost a few followers along the way, what with newer, sleeker models available but Traeger’s still popular thanks to their marketing and distribution. You can find Traeger pellet grills everywhere.
Chicken, beef, pork, and more are the ones that are ideal for a pellet grill. Fish is also good as long as you should clean the grill after use because the smell of a fish may affect the taste of meat you will cook next. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at these pellet grill recipes or these to get your juices flowing.
This is how it all began. The traditional smokehouses of years gone by used hardwood to create the smoke, which cooked or cured the food. Not everyone has room for a custom-built smokehouse, so the hardwood log fueled smokers were some of the first backyard smokers. The hardest job in the world is temperature control with wood, as it has a tendency to flare and can burn very hot indeed. That is why for best results the wood is allowed to burn, and its the heat from the embers that is used to cook the meat. Needless to say, when you need a steady low temperature over an extended period of time, hardwood smokers are not the easiest to control, and it really needs an experienced smoke master to get the best from these types of smokers.
When you think of a portable smoker and grill, you think about basic features. But with the Traeger Grills Tailgater, you get more than what most portable grills have to offer. At 300 square inches, this portable grill is enough to cook decent and succulent dishes for small groups. It can even reach up to 450 degrees F, so you’re never limited when it comes to the kind of meats you want to grill or smoke. We loved its EZ fold legs, which make it easy to throw into the back of a car, ready for the next adventure.
I use a home depot bucket head shop vac top (under $30.00) and home depot buckets for quick removal and storage of pellets. It works great. I have different buckets for different pellets and just move the bucket head to the bucket I need to use. Cheap, easy and works well.
Users commend the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill for its ease of use. They love the way they can use different kinds of food and in cook it using different methods. Users mention the ash cleanout port saying that it was convenient and were grateful they don’t need to use a vacuum anymore.
Gas smokers often run hot and have a limited temperature range, but the Smoke Vault 24″ can be dialed down to 160°F or cranked to 400°F. Go low for smoked nuts and cheese, 225°F for ribs and brisket and 325°F for crispy chicken. The large width is big enough to lay slabs of ribs flat and there’s plenty of room inside for turkeys, roasts and rib racks. It is the only gasser we know of that can be converted to natural gas so no more worrying if the tank will run dry before you’re done with a long low slow cook. Comes with a nickel-plated mesh rack for smoking jerky. Click here to read our complete review of the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24″.
For our best smoker grills list, we tested more grills than we can remember. Each of Our Picks comes from its own review and guide, so each one is accompanied by a lot of testing. This review is a compilation of all our top rated smokers, so you will be able to make a quick and easy choice for your top smoker grills.
Due to the lower oxygen at 9200 FASL, I cannot keep the smoker hot and I cannot get it above 250 Deg. F. I seem to be limited due to the diameter of the smoker…just can’t get enough coals and air to get and maintain temps. Therefore, I want to buy a new smoker, on that will regulate temperature at temperatures of 200 – 450 deg F. Any experience or guidance for a smoker brand and type (wood pellet, charcoal, or electric) at high altitudes? i am looking for a smaller size smoker unit.
Many people have asked me if a charcoal smoker is the healthiest option. They feel that gas smokers are a much healthier option. To be honest, the health factor depends on your expertise. If you want to keep the meat away from getting burnt then you need to know what you are doing. I have written a post on this. Get the facts and then you can decide which smoker is healthier.
Many of the rest of the manufacturers have come to the grill industry having first built home heating devices that burn pellets. This is a technology particularly popular in the Northeast and Northwest, but selling furnaces is seasonal, so they all seem to be making grills on the side now.
First, how it works. The detachable firebox (sitting on the rear-top of the smoker) holds your fuel source. While your fire burns upwards, the hot gases from the wood being burned off are sent through a tailpiece that connects to the intake on the cooking chamber. The controller (front-top) acts as a vacuum, drawing heat through the cook box using a draft fan and a convection fan. Sensors let it know how hot it is inside and will act accordingly. There’s a mixing tube for the hot air in the back which eliminates hot spots and creates an even temp throughout the smoker.
I can think of few things that will give you a solid idea of what Fast Eddy’s Pellet Cookers are capable of than a testimonial by Todd Johns of Plowboys Barbecue Team, Grand Champion of the 2009 American Royal Invitational.
Second on our list of the best pellet grill review the Traeger pellet grill has a 292 square inch cooking surface area. It weigh 70 pounds and measure 21 inch by 23 inch by 21 inch in dimensions. This pellet grill is made out of steel and arrives in a black and bronze body. It has an automatic auger, an electronic auto start and a digital temperature control. The Traeger Pellet grill also feature a Digital Thermostat Control which detects the temperatures inside the grills using an RTD detector, and instructs the auger to fuel the fire and release the pellets according to that. Other than that, they also come with a manual temperature setting of smoke, medium and high.
Hey Ben – thank you for your comment. From a retail user standpoint, I think you’d be happy with either a Yoder or FEC. I really like the PG 500 for the purpose that you’re looking at. Best of both worlds it seems the more I’m looking at it. You can see how they approach grilling steaks in this video. You can incorporate the use of GrillGrates in either pellet grill. Both companies make their units in the USA. Both have great reputations. I’m just partial to Cookshack’s pellet smokers over Yoder as I know more folks who use them.
“I have cooked on my new RT-700 twice now and you can’t beat the convenience of this grill. Both of my cooks have been low and slow smoking (225°) and had great smoke flavor. Can’t wait to cook more!”
I can understand both sides of the pancake on this one. A smoker with a PID controller will cost more than one with an Ortech controller so if you are shopping on a budget the Ortech will be your friend.