The CB940X also has some really handy features like dual removable cutting boards not he sides, adjustable dampers, and a simple and easy ash pan removable system. The total cooking space isn’t huge (540 square inches), but the overall functionality and simplicity of the design are really helpful.
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.
Cleaning a smoker grill can be a task and a half if you haven’t kept on top of the cleaning. An easy to clean smoker will make a wipe-down at the end of a session much less hassle and help you keep your smoker in top condition for longer. Look out for nooks and crannies that fat and dust can get into, hard to reach places and a complicated design. The simpler it is, generally, the easier to clean.
Today, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) reports that wood pellet grills are one of the hottest trends in the industry, offering consumers the primal flavor of wood smoke coupled with the turn-of-a-knob convenience of gas. Roughly 300,000 units were sold last year—less than 2 percent of total grill sales—but the popularity of pellet grills is surging.
We’ve painstakingly compared all of the models we could muster, and from that, we’ve come up with a top 5 list. Now, just because something’s lower on the list, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice for you. All of these grills are great, and we’ve ranked them on a number of criteria. The importance of each criterion will vary from person to person; thus a grill that ends up lower on our list might be the perfect fit for your needs.
Anything metal has a high risk of rusting. Regular maintenance, such as oiling, however, can dramatically lower these risks. Finding a smoker that’s been properly and thoroughly treated also cuts down on the risk. It’s untreated materials like screws and gaps in the construction that lead to premature rusting. Thoroughly cleaning your grill after each and every use also cuts down on rust. A number of the smokers we reviewed appeared to have significant rust issues, but these rust spots almost always seemed to originate at places where moisture gathers during cooking, which indicates poor maintenance on the part of the user.
The Masterbuilt Pro is one of the more budget cookers on our best barbecue smokers list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an effective unit. It’s a vertical cabinet design, the 30″ model being a two-door, and the 40″ model being a single door smoker. What’s great about the two-door model is heat retention.
Secondly, lengthen the chimney downwards. Offset smokers have a chimney mounted on top, so the smoke and heat move from the firebox through the chimney and out. However, if you lower the consumption of the exhaust you can transfer the heat through the grates at a lower point and level the heat in the cooking compartment.
The first two columns are must haves. This includes heavy-duty materials to hold heat and stand up to the elements (whether it’s smoking in the cold or not rusting out). The third column is a set of options. Not necessary, but bonus if they make the list.
What are your thoughts about the Kalamazoo hybrid grills? From what I’ve found online, you have the choice of gas, charcoal and wood for cooking or combinations of all. I have no first hand experience with Kalamazoo but it seems very versatile? At the moment after a month of researching, I’m leaning towards a Mac/Yoder or a Webber spirit & egg or a Memphis….so in other words, I’m no closer to a decision than when I started. I currently have a 9 yr old treager that won’t break, seriously, I’ve only repainted once with rustolium….dang thing won’t break so I can get a new toy. I sear in a skillet in the kitchen. My treager has the smoke/med/high switch and I want more control, I’ve maxed what I can do and it’s a challenge in cold weather and wind but it was a great start when they were made to last, more than got my money’s worth. I cook at all levels from smoking to grilling. I do love pellets and don’t want an egg but enjoy the food as much as the process of preparing it. Ok probably to much info but money aside, will you list your recommendations of what you think is best for me?
Some pellet grills even come with a thermostat so that you can actually set the instrument on the exact temperature you desire. It’s an obvious plus when compared to charcoal and propane cooking which can sometimes uneven and unpredictable heat. Nothing is worse than serving one of your guests an overdone steak and the other a barely cooked steak, especially when all you want to do is enjoy your company and have a relaxing night.
While you should never leave a smoker entirely unattended, digital smokers are well known for their comparative ease of use. Instead of setting up a lawn chair next to your smoker and getting comfortable with a beer, you can actually go about your daily life. Digital smokers are not as temperamental as traditional smokers, and they’re much safer since they don’t technically use an open flame. Not everyone likes these smokers, and a lot of great cooks take pride in their traditional BBQ smoker handling skills. It really is a skill, too. Keeping the perfect temperature and smoke consistency requires lots of checking and a thorough understanding of how your chosen fuel, wood, smoker, and food behave. If you want to master the skill of operating a smoker, your best choice is a traditional charcoal or gas smoker. On the other hand, if you’re only interested in the food itself, and you don’t feel like investing that much time into your meal, a digital smoker would be perfect.
This large grilling area lets you cook for a large family, for a party or a gathering and cook large pieces of food. Grill steaks, smoke large pieces of fish or roast pounds of poultry; you will save time and effort plus impress your guests with your great cooking skills.
Cooking Area – Search for one with a substantial cooking region. Keep in mind that pellet barbecues arrive in an extensive variety of sizes. In this manner, pick a unit that can meet your size necessities in light of its cooking territory. You don’t need to purchase an additional extensive unit in case you’re utilizing the grill for your home. Check for the physical measurements of the item and figure out which one can fit your space and stay aware of your cooking style and lifestyle.
Is the size of the pellet smoker fit for the selected cooking area? This is a question everyone should have in mind when selecting the best pellet smoker. They comes in different sizes. Big and small. Getting a big pellet grill that is bigger for the set cooking area will inconvenience the buyer. On the other side getting a smaller pellet smoker that is less fit for selected space will make it look unfit.
Most grills with an Ortech controller do have an internal feedback system that makes adjustment based upon the internal grill temperature. However, the feedback loop consists of crude, temporary adjustments to the predetermined feed rate.
In smoke mode the controller is no longer controlled by the thermometer, it merely switches the pellet feeding auger on and off. On time is 15 seconds, off time ranges from 45 seconds at P0, to 165 seconds at P15. Temp and smoke are controlled by the duration of off time: the auger always runs at the same speed. More smoke is produced at higher P settings and lower temp settings because longer off times allow the pellets to smolder. At P0 in smoke mode or “High” in cook mode the auger replenishes the pellets at a faster rate, creating more flame, less smoke.
The exterior is made of a heavy gauge porcelain-coated steel for extremely high heat resistance levels. The one drawback is that you’re still going to be limited to charcoal use. That doesn’t need to be a deal-killer, but just be aware that it could cause some issues if you have other smoking dreams.
The lid is the same excellent coated and enameled heavy gauge steel, and the charcoal bin to the right will keep your charcoal dry and light-ready. It’s not uncommon to hear the complaint that there’s always half a bag of charcoal left after every grilling session and there’s no where to store it. Weber heard the complaints and has made a really nice model to deal with it.
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.
“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!”
Overall, I think you would be happy with the smaller smoker / grill. I really like what Green Mountain grills has done with the Davy Crockett model, and that is the unit I have personally. That said,Rec-Tec makes a great product, and some people prefer the cart stand it comes with rather than the fold up legs that Green Mountain grills uses on the Davy Crockett modeling. Either choice would be good for you if you are looking for a smaller unit. I am of course speaking about the mini version of the Rec-Tec. The larger version is excellent as well.
Wood pellets are an all natural product. No petroleum products in them, no fillers, chemicals, or binders. They are an excellent source of smoke flavor and compact energy, 8,500 BTU per pound. No hot coals, no flareups. There is also very little ash: 10 pounds of pellets will produce about 1/2 cup of ash. All the rest is converted to energy and combustion gases. I clean out the bottom of the ones I tested after about 10 cooks. At high temps there is very little smoke, at low temps the pellets smolder and produce superb but understated smoke flavors. Click here for more about pellets.
Eric, I’m sorry for the trouble you’ve had with your Traeger. Not sure this will help, but here is how I make sure I don’t have the problem you had. When I start after a long previous cook or any cook at all really, I vacuum out all the dust and vacuum out the burn pot. Then, I put a handful of pellets into the burnt pot, insert the heat deflector, the drip tray, and grate. I find that this keeps things working well. Sometimes, the burn pot will get too full of ash and this can cause the problems that you had. Give it a try. If it works, please let me know.
We started with the electric smokers. We heard that these were the easiest to use. Diving right in we were determined to find out everything there was to know about these simple to use grills. Now you can too.
If you’re worried about buying a charcoal smoker and only firing it up 3 or 4 times a year then you can’t go wrong with this unit. You’ll be looking for any excuse to fire it up and experiment with smoking just about anything. It’s that easy.
We ended up going with the Memphis Pro. We were fortunate enough to be able to see all of the manufacturers and models I was most interested in, at Sam’s NW BBQ. (Yoder, MAK, Fast Eddy, GMG’s, a few others, and then, the one we ended up with, Memphis.) Sam took a good amount of time, providing us fantastic information about each model. We ended up with the Memphis Pro for the following reasons: 1) The construction, mainly the double-walled construction; 2) the preciseness of temperature, and being able to hold the temperature (due to reason #1); 3) the extreme ease of changing from smoking to grilling without a lot of effort or reconfiguration; 4) the double hoppers; 5) and another BIGGIE, the fact that grilled or baked foods taste like that, and not like smoked cookies, bread, pizza, etc.
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?
Hey Jeff – I think that due to pellet smokers requiring much of the wood pellet for “fuel” leaving a smaller part for the “smoke” means that you want as much of the smoke to stay in the chamber for as long as possible. Just my opinion. I’ve not used charcoal pellets. Those I’ve spoken with who have used them weren’t extremely happy with the results. Regarding the water pan, I feel that pellet smokers don’t typically require water pans. However, you can surely use one and see how your results go.
We are a completely independent team of four outdoor cooking buffs dedicated to helping you get the best BBQ experience. Throughout the years, we have had many adventures, while building our expertise in barbecuing and smoking. Our research also involves reading reviews and getting opinions from the renowned BBQ experts. We will go anywhere and be doing anything to bring you the newest and best information on smoker grills.
Other guides might offer a list of the best pellet grills, complete with links (links that are often paid). However, your best resource isn’t a list, but the knowledge that will help you know what you’re looking at and ensure you get a pellet grill you’ll be happy with.
With a large cooking space and the most advanced cooking techniques, this is easily one of our favorite products among our top ten. While it lacks some of the features that the other grills and smokers in this review have (such as an ash and grease cleanup systems), it does deliver fine-dining quality foods, which is the ultimate goal of every grilling enthusiast. For its price, it offers some of the best features you can find in high-end products.
The argument for bark is that it smolders really well, providing more smoke during the cook and therefore more smokey flavor. Think about it: When you put a log on the fire, the bark almost immediately begins to smoke and smolder. And therein lies the second half of the pro-bark argument: when cooking on an offset you use logs with bark, so why should pellets be any different?
Summer has almost come around again and I am excited for the first night, where the air is still warm and the sky is clear. The sound of friends laughing and joking mingle in the air with the smell of the promise of a perfect meal. Thanks to the King of Pellet Smoker Grills, my summer is going to rock.
Rust in the smoker itself is a sign of poor quality or unusually high maintenance. Again, we’ll go more into maintenance later, but it’s important to note that evidence of rusting inside the smoker itself is just as often a sign of poor maintenance as it is a sign of poor materials. When you’re looking at any kind of reviews for a smoker, keep that balance in mind.
Just as there is GAD, guitar acquisition disorder, there is SAD, Smoker acquisition disorder. I say that because I have a Big Green Egg, a Pit Barrel Grill and I’m looking at these pellet poopers. I also have a small army of guitars. But the wife doesn’t have to know any of this. Best of luck.
In terms of portability, there are smaller and lighter options available but the cooking surface is much smaller and has the out-of-date lo-med-high controller. The Davy Crockett uses Green Mountain’s sophisticated digital thermostatic controller with a dual readout LED display to accommodate the included meat thermometer. It also comes with adaptors to provide power from a wall outlet, car cigarette lighter, or car battery: items that are often optional on other makes.
A mini built-in timer gives the grill master the chance to put their food on for a good smoke, go out, do whatever and not have to worry about their food being immolated. This is because of the auto-shut down. Really useful.
However, if you live in a cold climate and it is freezing outside, the ability to control your cook from inside your warm home may well be an appealing feature. If that’s the case then the Davy Crockett by Green Mountain Grills might be right up your ally.
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/.