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Works best when using cheaper cuts of meat, that need to be cooked for a long time at a low temperature. This allows the connective tissue in the meat to break down, making the food tender moist and flavorsome. Smoking relies more on indirect or radiant heat to cook the foodstuffs rather than flames, and works at a much lower temperature, the formation of HCAs is far less of an issue. The heterocyclic amines are present but in much lower concentrations. The smoke you get from the wood being used in the smoker can be the source of harmful chemicals. These are the same chemicals that add the pleasant smell from the wood to the meat. The compounds are called polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and are a known carcinogen. These PAHs are present in a wide variety of commercially made processed and cooked meats but have higher concentrations in meat that has been home-smoked.
Forget the warranty and ask “When it breaks will the manufacturer still be in business?” They do not have repair shops near you. When it breaks will they be able to diagnose the problem over the phone?
You don’t normally over-smoke food on a pellet grill. The smoke flavor is more subtle than the sometimes acrid smoke generated by a straight wood or charcoal fire. The grills are available in a number of sizes from small to large, as well as commercial-size units that can accommodate a whole hog or pulled pork for a crowd. For additional wood smoke flavor, you can position hardwood chunks or pouches of soaked wood chips directly on the heat diffuser plate.
This grill has many beneficial features that include its cooking surface area, as well as its digital controller with LED display and the easy to clean porcelain grill grates. The Texas Elite 34 is easy to use, easy to clean and maintain, as well as operate. However, the Traeger Texas Elite 34 is a little on the pricey side. Another issue that may occur deals with the porcelain coating on the grill grates. This can actually chip or break off.
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.
If the metal is too thick, you will also use a lot of pellets. The walls of a thick-bodied smoker act as a “heat sink”. Heat is taken away from the cooking area and stored in the walls of the cooker. So, it will take a lot of pellets to get the cooking area up to the desired temperature. While thick walls are desirable for some types of cookers, they are not required in pellet smokers.
I have been looking into a pellet grill for a little while and reviews tend vary on models from website to website. I’m looking to purchase a midsize unit from $500-$1000. The rec-tec looked good but it’s more on the top of my price range. I was hoping to get a little input to help my purchase decision.
There is loads of space for grilling, not only is the main grill huge but it has additional racks that can be added to expand the space for grilling. Any sized get together can be served from this grill.
Here at Grills Forever we are independent and only promote the best smokers out there, regardless of brand. We give you our own unbiased opinion based on our own experiences. We want you to get the best smoker grill for your needs and if something new develops we will be the first to try it out and let you know.
Thanks Kevin for the reviews and content. Like many of the folks I too will be purchasing a pellet pooper. I have narrowed my choices to a MAK 2 star and a Memphis Elite. One of the earlier posters indicated on the Memphis that the effective direct grilling space was about 1 square foot. I am assuming that with the smaller footprint of the MAK that the direct “flame zone” is less than that. I’m just wondering how much less.
Download an iOS or Android app and connect using WI-FI. The app enables to do many different things such as remote control of the grill temperature, control of temperature inside the meat or the ability to check the amount of pellets inside the hopper. You can get the temperature higher or lower while away from the grill. You can learn more about how this function works on the manufacturer’s official website.

Today, there is no general disadvantage that is present among all pellet grills. Each model or brand has its pros and cons. There are a lot of different pellet grill manufacturers in the market today, including some cheap Chinese ones that you should steer clear from.
The auger will automatically feed the wood pellets to the burn pot. Once the pellets are in the burn pot they will be ignited and the grill will stay at the perfect temperature for as long as you need it to.
WiFi capability: Companies have started to take advantage of the fact that pellet smokers have a computer in them by design. By integrating WiFi connectivity, you can monitor and control the temperature of your grill from just about anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. Companies like Green Mountain Grills are now providing free apps that you can download and make use of for ultimate convenience.
Next in our pellet grill review is the Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill. Its small size makes it a portable grill. It weighs 57 pounds and measures 14.5 by 20 by 29.5 inches in dimensions. The Green Mountain pellet grill has 110V or 12V adaptors for 3 power options. It has foldable legs that also function as handles. This pellet grill also features a thermal sensor which monitors the grill temperature called Sense-Mate. One coveted feature on this pellet grill is that is Wi-Fi compatible.
It’s a good idea to take some time before the purchase to compare different grills. Only this way you’ll be able to choose the best pellet smoker. I think that my suggestions will make the choice much easier on you.
Like other pellet smokers you dial in different pre-set temperature settings on the thermostatic controller. You can choose between 175 – 400, as well as several other pre-sets like “High”, “LO Smoke” and “Hi Smoke”.  You can easily hold at an ideal smoking temp of 225-250° consistently for many hours.
Hi Craig, you are on the right track, the direct flame is a little limited with any pellet grill. A way to solve this is to employ grill gtates. Great heat retention and searing. Some active movement of proteins and veggies will be required if you want direct flames to impact them.
Remember, you are paying for every little feature, attachments and details on any product. So do not end up paying you inheritance for a feature that you are probably never going to use. Instead, invest on a pellet grill that caters to your needs and has features that will actually enhance your experience when using it. So do not, I repeat: do not, fall for fancy marketing features that sound too drastic.
Here’s a unit that deserves a look if you’re one of those people who don’t care about status and just want to add some extra smoke in your life. This 40″ front controlled smoker from Masterbuilt is spacious and can smoke a variety of foods. From full slabs of ribs to whole chicken and whatever else you want to add to the mix.
If you plan on taking your smoker with you on trips, this is a great choice. It comes apart easily for quick setup and teardown. The aluminum materials are far lighter than any steel competitors, too. Those same materials also make it tougher than many similar smokers. The manufacturers claim it smokes like one of the popular egg-shaped grills. However, since it doesn’t use porcelain, it’s much more durable.
The glaze is thick and beautiful and looks tough. All ceramic parts are warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the grill. Click here to read our complete review of the Kamado Joe ClassicJoe.
Smokers come in many different sizes, and choosing the right one will help prevent you from dealing with any hassles later on. If you are single or will only be cooking for a smaller family, a smaller smoker might be a good option. If you have a large family or will be cooking for a crowd, however, you will obviously need a much larger model.
Its burn system is also digitally controlled and the cast iron grids are porcelain coated to boot to make them as durable as possible. The heat is exact and consistent plus it is fueled 100% by natural wood pellets, which means you’ll end up with a consistent burn every time with little ash residue afterwards.
There are cheaper units, but if you can afford this (And not quite ready to go all out on the Rec Tec), this is a great option. It’s a very high-quality unit that will serve you well for many years, even though there’s some breathing room between this and the very top of the line.
Nothing else comes close in terms of features and portability at this price point. The WiFi control via tablet or smart phone is an awesome feature that lets you control the temperature of your grill remotely (handy if you’re lying by the pool).
As both a fuel source and flavor enhancer, wood pellets can affect everything from how well your pellet grill performs to how good the food tastes. And while one might assume that because all wood pellets look alike that they’re all the same, which pellets you use can make a big difference. These 6 tips will help you choose quality smoker pellets that will keep your pellet grill performing its best and producing great wood-fire flavor.
Other than that there isn’t a lot to complain about. You can throw any type of food in for short or long times and the REC TEC will handle it with ease. If you’re trying to decide between this and the REC TEC mini then we have a full review on the Mini that compares the two grills.
Hi Jennifer, the Traeger grill you purchased should serve you well. You can see a picture of one of them installed here. I think this is the grill style you bought. One thing the sites you’ve researched (including my own article above) might not have stressed is that Traeger recently hired a new CEO and is actively working to attain the name, reputation, and reputation for quality that they once had. I’m confident should you have any problems with your unit that they will stand behind it and take care of them for you.
Another reason I like pellet grills is that it’s like having the benefits of a smoker, a gas grill, and a wood/charcoal grill all in one. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably decided to get one and that means you’re already ahead of the 95% of grilling enthusiasts. Congratulations!
The unit comes with a stainless steel meat probe that lets you display the internal meat temperature on the LED screen. While it won’t be as reliable some third party thermometers it’s much better than a dome thermometer.
Not only are they easy to use, but pellet grills are also some of the most versatile grills on the market. When you use a pellet grill you get all the flavour of a traditional grill without the headaches.
My girlfriend’s dad was in love with his new smoker grill and so was I. Although I still wasn’t convinced this was perfect one for me. When I got home I did some research of my own. Here is what I found out. Decide for yourself if this is the ultimate smoker grill.
Personal review of the Traeger: The auger fed the pellets after the fire pot went out making a large pile up which caused it to catch fire and burn up my grill. I had to use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and prevent my house from catching fire. I sent Traeger the description of damages with photos. After much waiting and no response from the management team regarding my Traeger grill we gave up. The service team was very responsive but lacked any authority to make decisions to fix the grill. We worked with the service team for awhile having a different person each time respond and request information and photos that were already provided. Then, we got passed up to the management which is highly ineffective because we never heard from them, even after an email requesting an update. We really did like our Traeger grill and had high hopes that since it was under warranty and caught fire due to a failure we would have the grill repaired. Because of the terrible unresponsive service of Traeger we took our money and purchase a Green Mountain Grill.
The Yoder YS640 is 32 inches wide, weighs 313 pounds, and is said to have a cooking range of 150 to 600°F. Yoder is known for heavy-duty competition smokers, and the thick, 10-gauge-steel cooking chamber on this model is durable and great for heat retention. It comes with a sophisticated proprietary digital controller, which Yoder asserts is not based on any off-the-shelf temperature controller of any sort. Yoder states that it designed the board from scratch around a general-purpose micro-controller chip and wrote its own code from the ground up in an attempt to provide superior flexibility, efficiency, and accuracy.
Need to keep an emergency pellet stockpile – If you’re grilling with propane or charcoal and run out half way through a 12 hour cook you can easily nip down to the store. But getting your favorite brand of pellets may require an Amazon order, or a trip to a more specialised store.
Rather than design their own digital controllers, they buy them from a company named Ortech. Ortech’s RealTemp TR-100 Digital Controller is shown here and its operation is not intuitive so let’s take a little time to explain it.
A pellet grill is similar to an oven in that it needs to maintain a consistent temperature to be effective. If you want your brisket to be tender the temperature has to stay around 250°F for a 12 hour period.
Babysitting a traditional smoker isn’t unlike babysitting children. There’s a reward at the end, but you’ll face hours of boredom punctuated by sudden bouts of panic as you see or suspect that something has gone wrong. You must feed your charge, clean it, and prevent it from getting too hot or too cold. The payout at the end is a return for a serious time investment.
The Traeger Pellet grill can accommodate temperatures from 180 degrees to 375 degrees, and high. It has a state of the art digital temperature control system that not only monitors the temperature to keep it consistent and even, but also regulates the pellets the auger feeds to the fire according to that temperature. This is truly a grill worthy of a place in our pellet grill review.
All thanks to the Smart Grill Technology™ PID temperature controller. This system is intelligent and precise enough to allow you to set the temperature from 180ºF to 500ºF at 5º intervals. And it really does work, it’s not just another marketing gimmick on the manufacturers’ part.
Compared to previous models, Woodwind comes with leg casters, a bottom shelf,​ blue LED screen read-out (easier to see in the sunlight), and thicker and more sturdy legs. It also has an enlarged and improved cover on the pellet hopper,  stainless steel burner pot​ and upgraded thermometer probe placement.

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