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If you’re one of the serious barbecue enthusiasts, you would not want to leave any stone unturned to get your hands on the best of the best pellet smokers the market has to offer, in that case, you need the REC TEC Wood Pellet Smoker. The REC TEC has a large surface which takes care of all sizes of cuts, the thermostat maintains the temperature and ranges all the way from 180 F to 500 F. It has been leading the market for so long that the company now provides warranty for 6 years.
2016 was The Year of the Pellet Smoker and we hoped 2017 would be The Year of BBQ Technology. For some time many manufacturers have been wary of adding too much technology because electronic components are susceptible to failure under the harsh conditions imposed by outdoor cooking, and failure means customer complaints and tarnished reputations. Pellet smokers, digital thermometers and some electric smokers are the exception. We note increased offerings of remote control and monitoring in those three categories, with sophisticated aps that work from smart phones. Much to our ongoing consternation, however, gas grill manufacturers still have not stepped up to the plate with effective, affordable, thermostatically controlled grills. We’ve had the “luxury” of thermostatic temperature control in our gas fired kitchen ovens for decades. In our view it is way past time to bring it outside. As the performance, durability, and affordability of electronic components continues to improve, we hold out hope. Maybe next year.
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.
Best of all, with a pellet grill, you can “smoke” your food at a very low temperature to create fall-of-the bone tender items like ribs or ham. This gives you a huge range of options when it comes to the types of meals you can prepare with your grill. You certainly will not be limited to just burgers and dogs! Think Cornish game hens, smoked turkey legs, lamp chops, smoked salmon, fish tacos, pot pie, and even pizza or cornbread. Some people even use their pellet grill to make desserts such as cookies or bread pudding.
When you have owned your smoker grill for 5-6 years you start wondering about owning a new one. This might happen because you are facing problems with your machine and not getting the desired result. The first and primary advice in this situation remains to clean up your grill thoroughly. Open up each and every part then proceed to doing a thorough cleaning. Most of the problems like temperature inconsistency or jamming will get solved this way.
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

Second, you’ll have to figure out what BBQ pellets you want to use. There are many different brands, blends, and mixes to choose from, and you’ll likely want to do some side by side testing to see what you like best on what meats. My very good friend and BBQ buddy Shane Draper really likes to make his own blends  – using different woods in different proportions depending on what he’s cooking.
Next, consider if you’re in the market for a wet or dry smoker. A dry smoker will work great with juicier meats with higher fat content like brisket, shoulder, and ribs. However, if you’re looking to smoke leaner cuts and still get a moist final product, a smoker that allows for water smoking. Water smoking uses a water pan above the fire chamber that fills the smoker with water vapor, maintaining some of the moisture of the meat.
Before you hit the barbecue store down the street, take a few minutes and read our list below. We don’t claim to know everything about smokers, but we’ve been smoking meat for a while, and, when it comes to finding the right smoker, we’re pretty experienced. After you’ve thought through the questions above, check out our picks and then make a choice based on what’s best for you.
I’m torn between the RecTec , the Yoder 460 and a friend has a Blaz’en pellet smoker he uses in comps that he loves. I didn’t see that last one in your review so was wondering if you’ve heard anything positive or negative about them and recommendations from you on my scenario.
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!
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.
Not something we often mention, but we feel is relevant is Rec Tec’s customer service. Their service is exceptional, and not only in the grilling industry. When you call their office you speak to a staff member that owns a Rec Tec.
Kamados are easy to light and get working, they are as simple as a grill can get. This simplicity can be a downside sometimes, and the generally smaller grilling space is less than what a lot of people want. For a small, efficient grill for a garden or yard, a kamado is hard to beat. Plus, they look great and produce fabulous tasting meat.
If you are still with me, then you must love smoker grills as much as I do. What could possibly beat the queen of all BBQ smokers? I have described the easy to use electric smokers, affordable and portable gas smoker and the queen of smoker grills that most of the experts prefer, but there is still one more smoker grill I had yet to consider.
Bake, braise, grill, smoke, and sear – all of these cooking techniques can be fully experienced by just using one unit of backyard cooker! Yes, you can definitely do different kinds of cooking to your pork, beef, fish, pizza, or pie by just using the Camp Chef Smokepro STX Pellet Grill without burning charcoals and woods to start the cooking process.
Hey Dan – I think you’d really up your versatility with a good pellet smoker. Smoke profiles seem to depend largely on the quality of pellets used and then also on the burn consistency of the fire pot. What I mean here is that many pellet smoker users tell me that they prefer models that cycle over faster with frequent temp checks rather than those with longer wait times between temp checks. Cycling faster means that pellets burn more consistently and do not rest to a “charred” state and they “reactivate” This latter problem sometimes results in less than optimal flavor. Yoder smokers cycle very fast and are preferred by many due to this and their thicker metal construction.
Kevin- I’m in the process of researching to get my husband a grill for Christmas. I’m torn between the 820 you mentioned above and the Traeger Pro Series. As far as I can tell they are basically the same except that you get a larger cooking area on the pit boss for the same price you pay for a small cook space in a traeger. I would like to spend around $600 on the grill but would possibly go up to $800 and want 500 sq in cook space or greater. Which do you prefer? Pit Boss, Traeger or another brand?
One of the best things about the gas smokers is they are among the most economical smokers. This doesn’t mean that you will get an inferior product, but propane is an inexpensive fuel and the tanks are sold separately.
BBQ pellets are food-grade pellets made only from 100% hardwood. They contain no fillers, binders, or additives, with the possible exception of vegetable oil, which is sometimes used during the extrusion process.
This smoker grill is not only capable but portable as well, having a pair of sturdy wheels that can take the grill anywhere you’d want it to. It can keep 20 pounds of pellets in the hopper itself and with the automatic feed, that will give you a very long smoking session.
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.
This is a serious pellet smoker for the serious smoked food enthusiast. Standing tall among the more expensive alternatives, this Camp Chef PG24 combines a rare set of attributes: solid construction, capability and value. It will give seriously good smoked meat or vegetables to anyone who wants to spend a minute or two getting to grips with the intuitive design. It is not cheap, but it is not expensive either. It is good value.
I always encourage consumers to get to know a little bit about a brand and company before purchasing a product from them. What differentiates a smart consumer from a consumer is preparedness. Get to know about the company history, its commitment to consumers, its consumer service, after-sales services and warranty. It is also a great idea if you can go through consumer ratings and reports the company’s pellet grill review before buying it. Do not just fall for intelligent marketing and chic packaging. Get you facts checked; remember it is your hard earned money on the line.
Having said that, the Green Mountain Davy Crockett also include adapters so you can get power from an outlet in your house, your car cigarette lighter or from your car battery. You could also use a generator.
The CB940X is a really nice model with excellent construction specs. The body is a heavy gauge steel and the cooking racks are cast iron with a porcelain coating. The unit also has a helpful fire pan adjustment mechanism that really reduces the complexity of temperature control for direct cooking.
Brought it home and set it on my prep table with the controller in a cubby hole with all intentions of building a cart for it later. So I have made a killer rib eye on it and tried to burn it down with a couple rib eyes cooking at 600 F. Gotta figure out a little better method of catching drippings as they will catch on fire and you have a runaway! But you can make a great rib eye. Ribs, every set has turned out awesome, everything from low and slow to a high temp cook process on them. Probably made 8 racks of great ribs. Wasn’t impressed with the hamburgers on it but will try again later. Made a pretty good brisket but used Rudy’s rub as I like their store sandwiches and I don’t have the method down. Next one will be back to salt and a touch of pepper. Chicken thighs (thighs are the perfect chicken part for Q, their rather uniform thickness makes getting them all consistent and cooked even a slam dunk) with a light coat of mustard and Tony Chachere’s lightly sprinkled is to die for. Simply squeeze them when they should be close and if the juice is clear, no pink or red they are perfect. If you cook the juice out, well they make decent tasting blotter paper 🙁 Pretty much killed a spatchcocked turkey for Thanksgiving, good thing the wife made an over baked one too. It did make great gumbo though as does the blotter paper chicken if you ruin any thighs or the whatever chicken. Also have a pile of hot links I put on at 180 for 2 to 3 hours. They are great for reheat with sauerkraut and roasted pabs or in the gumbo. Hot links should be a staple, ha ha! Gotta try my great pulled pork on it and we do Prudhomme pizza sauce on a Brown Eyed Baker crust and this Pro should rock it!
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.
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.
As the worldwide glorification of BBQ intensifies, people around the globe want more BBQ morning, noon and night, with the ability to enjoy any recipe cooked outdoors anywhere. Supply rises to meet demand with an overwhelming variety of grills and smokers offered at prices ranging from economical to extravagant. If spring finds you considering replacement of a decrepit grill that didn’t make it through the winter, or adding that coveted smoker you dreamed of for so long, the selection process can be daunting. To get you started on the right foot, we have selected the Best Value Grills & Smokers of 2017 from our searchable database of ratings and reviews of over 500 cookers from 185 manufacturers.
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.
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.
It is one of the few grills on the market that uses 100% natural wood pellets for fuel. That means you don’t have to worry about the toxic fumes that usually come from using gas, charcoal or propane. It also means cleanup will be a lot easier.
In this price range, the higher you go, the more you will get. There are some smoker grills that cost above $10000, offering unique features like Wi-Fi control, automatic settings, alarms, LED displays that can be viewed even in sunlight, multiple stacks and compatibility with both charcoal and gas. In fact, some of them work with electricity too. Check out the Summerset or Hasty Bake grills to get an idea of what to expect. The best part of purchasing the high end smokers is that you can use it in the winter too. These smoker grills are well made to run in extreme weather conditions.
Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grills are filled by all regular BBQ wood pellets. The computerized control board lights the grill and permits you to set the cooking temperature from 180° to 500°F. Fan constrained convection cooking takes out the requirement for a rotisserie and makes an adaptable situation for grilling, simmering, smoking, braising and preparing. The Pit Boss 340 has 340 sq. in. total cooking surface with porcelain covered cooking grids. With complete structural quality and strength, the Pit Boss 340 is made to last.
Placed against our Top Pick, this Traeger smoker and grill is a worthy competitor. It offers a variety of useful functions that will allow you to smoke, grill, bake, braise, roast and BBQ anything and everything. It’s definitely worth your money, because if you take care of it properly, it’s going to last you a long time.
Now, I will be very honest with this topic here. While prices vary from model to model and brand to brand, one thing to understand is that the best pellet grills are made with the best materials, made by keeping consumers needs in mind, made with intelligent designs and features that can serve and last a long time. There are pellet grills in the market ranging from extremely cheap and affordable to very expensive, and sometimes even unnecessarily expensive. While there are exceptions in many cases, the blatant truth is that good stuff will cost an extra penny. This is why I will be giving you my pellet grill review, so that you can see and identify your specific needs and buy a grill according to that instead on spending a fortune on low quality or unnecessarily multiple-feature grills.

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