Looking at the history of the pellet grill, Traeger Pellet Grills were the very first smokers available. It was patented in 1986 and production began in 1988. Because of its patent, Traeger had zero competition for 20 years. But in 2006 the patent expired, and new (and possibly better) pellet grills hit the market.
Surety when cooking– the unit’s in-fabricated LED advanced temperature control framework gives you the certainty required when smoking or barbecuing consequently evacuating the mystery out of your cooking procedure.
Of all the different smoker designs available, pellet smokers are the easiest to use, because they’re thermostatically controlled, like your kitchen stove. You just select a cooking temperature, and a controller maintains it by feeding wood pellets to a fire pot as needed to maintain your set temp. Set it and forget it. You can throw a brisket in a pellet smoker, set it for 225°F, go to bed, and sleep like a baby, knowing you’ll wake up to delicious smoked meat.
The first name to kick start our list of the best pellet grill review is the Camp Chef PG24 Pellet grill. It measures 45 inches by 21 inches by 51 inches, in dimensions. This pellet grill weighs 127 pounds and capacitates a 550 cubic inch cooking surface. It has a removable upper rack, and it comes with a stainless steel food probe. Camp Chef PG24 Pellet grill comes with an LED digital temperature control system, and has a patented down cleaning system. It can provide temperatures from 160 degrees to 500 degree Fahrenheit, and has an internal sensor.
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.
As you can see, Rob is very thorough in the way he breaks down the parts of this Yoder pellet smoker. To get a real feel for what you’d be in for should you choose to buy this particular Yoder pellet smoker, head over to his article to read more.
One comment I see a lot in various forums like Pellet Heads Forum is that you want as much efficiency as you can get. As with lump charcoal, this means burning as clean of a cook as you can with as little ash as possible. Different pellet mixes will produce differences in what you get in this area, and the cooker you’re using will dictate this to some degree as well.
Another video I thought it’d be cool to show you guys is one that features BBQ Diva as she shares her thoughts about how Fast Eddy’s Pellet smokers work with BBQ Ribs. You’ve likely read the Diva Q DIY BBQ Sauce post we highlighted here. And no doubt you know about Danielle’s work with the now famous BBQ Crawl television series. Without question, she’s one of BBQ’s greatest treasures. Check out what she says here about Fast Eddy’s. The video starts out with Ed Maurin showing you the recipe he used for the World BBQ Championship Perfect Score Ribs in 2000 – using both baby backs and spares. Diva chimes in near the end with her take on how these ribs taste.
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You can get anything from electric to charcoal in this price range and the variety of options is vast here. If you are a beginner with a lot of cash to spare then this range will offer everything that you need to fall in love with American Gourmet. Authentic BBQ with capacities that can cook above 8 stacks of ribs at once is what this price range offers.
This smoker uses dual meat probes to determine the temperature, and then displays the internal temperature through a convenient dual-LED temperature readout display. You don’t have to risk losing heat just to check on your food’s temperature every once in a while, making sure that you get tender and juicy food all the time.
I had hung my hat on the Yoder and had even contacted the factory and a couple of distributors in the DFW area. Then I did my usual, search craigslist and see if anyone is moving and selling their unit. Low and behold a Memphis Pro!!! Story was brand new, bought for a built in and now cannot use it now. Brand new but you may not have a warranty though. Price… wait for it! $1600!!! You got to be kidding! Scam?? Ok well I will contact him. Surprisingly he had it advertised for a few weeks and only had a few contacts but none serious. Ok, I will come look and if you can plug it in and show me the controller works I will take it. Called the factory and they were quite responsive. They said we probably won’t warranty the controller because we don’t know the history but it will depend on the failure. Everything else we will cover. So right before Thanksgiving headed to Dallas and it basically all looked brand new, plugged in and it did everything you could do without burning pellets.
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.
The last, but definitely not the least, to earn its review on our pellet grill review is theSmokePro from Camp Chef. It has a 19.5 by 22 square inch cooking area, a large pellet hopper, and grease dip system with bucket and roller wheels. It also has a built-in gauge controls.
Hey Kevin great article. I too am currently looking for a pellet smoker. I’ve narrowed it down between a Yader, Memphis Pro and the Rec Tec. The Green Mountain did not seem very well built. The wheels looked liked the would break on the first roll and the stainless steel door was flimsy and did not have a good seal. I know the Rec Tec has a 6 year warranty. Do you know how long the warranties are on the other two?
One of the most common problems people encounter with pellet grills is abnormal temperature fluctuations—the controller is set to 250°F, but the grill is dropping to 200°F then climbing to 325°F. Usually people assume that it’s a mechanical issue and either the controller or RTD probe need to be replaced. However, very often the problem is far simpler and the solution far easier.
Comes with a medium sized grilling area of 19.5″ x 22″ (430 square inches). The PG24 is our second favorite pellet grill under $1,000 but it landed on the first spot (before they introduced the Woodwind) because of its better price and free shipping compared to the Rec Tec.
It is well designed too, with three damper vents that help to keep the internal temperature even and regular, ensuring you get a consistent cooking experience. Nothing like a sausage burned on one end and raw on the other. No risk of that here, it gives a really good, even and delicious character to meat and vegetables. We think it should do so for a long time to come to, going on the construction values.
There are no food probes with this controller as there are on the MAK Pellet Boss, and the controller is mounted to the surface with two screws and no gasket so I fear rain could get into the electronics, but after more than a year of sitting out without the cover in rain and snow, the controller on the IPT I tested is still working fine. Ortech recommends covering your smoker.
Temperature – we’ll start from that since I believe that it is something we should pay attention from the start. This smoker is phenomenal at handling maintaining a fixed temperature. Forget about constantly monitoring the temperature, it’s completely unnecessary here. Just set the temperature and forget about control.
When it comes to the best smoker grills, there are a lot of options on sale. It is bewildering sometimes, but the amount of choice and the wide availability of all these different styles, types, capabilities and price ranges makes it a smoker griller’s paradise.
Versatility is a big reason for the surging popularity of kamado grills. Whether you want to smoke a brisket or sear a rib eye, a kamado can do it equally well. Traditionally, kamado grills have been ceramic, which retains heat incredibly well, providing consistent temperatures and an impressive max temperature. The Weber Summit Charcoal Grill, on the other hand, is steel, making it lighter and more durable.
There are several types of smokers across many different price ranges, so there is a smoker out there that is right for you. A smoker can cost as little as $50, and as much as $10,000, and they all do mainly the same thing, which is to cook meat to perfection giving it an aromatic smoky flavor that can’t be beat. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and are generally grouped by the type of fuel they use.
Hi there i want to recommend the CAMP CHEF pellet smokers you get the bang for your buck with these smokers i know a lot of you out there are turning up your noses but these smokers have all the extras at a very good price well under a $1000 customer service second to none you get the pellet clean out in the hopper they have a ash tray under the body you just pull a lever and all your burnt ash is cleaned out digital temp for the food digital temp for the chamber lo smoke and high smoke setting and it goes up to 500 degrees at 25 degree increments mine coast me $359 out the door includes shipping it dose a wonderful job holding the temps with a 10 to 15 degrees swing i bought mine at CAMP SAVER.
I know you’re eager to get at the review but there are a few things we want to show you about this gas grill before you get there, it will help you understand why this is Our Top Gas Smoker Pick and one of the best smoker grill 2018. Take a look at the competition in our Top Ten Gas Smoker’s review.
Hi Joshua – Rec-Tec makes a solid product. I can’t say a bad thing about them. I think you’d be very happy with the Silverbac. Email Shane Draper – Pitmaster for Grilla Grills at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s super quick with responses and can answer all questions re: Grillas. The Traeger pro series is a solid buy as well. You can check them out at Ace Hardware Stores or via stores acting as dealers for the pro model (find these on the Traeger website). I have the smaller Traeger 22 pro model and have been very happy so far. Regarding controllers, my verdict is still out on whether they’re what you need. It’s almost getting to a point where I “want” some temp swing, especially at the lower settings, in order to get a bit more smoke from the cooker. 15 degrees either way on temp is pretty normal. You might find that this is the case, even when controller units “read” steady. Pellet grills all feed pellets into burn pots in cycles. So some swing is inevitable. Hope this helps.
Portable: It is very versatile and you can undoubtedly convey it from the truck to the lodge without sweating. It includes a full-size unit in an advantageous and convenient bundle. You can undoubtedly grill, prepare, smoke, grill and braise wherever and at whatever point you please.
Pellet grills run on standard household electrical current. When you plug the grill in and turn on the digital controller, a rotating auger delivers pellets from the hopper to a cylindrical fire pot housing an igniter rod. The rod glows red hot for several minutes, igniting the pellets. Heat and smoke from the combusting pellets are diffused by a continuously-running blower fan as well as metal plates under the grill grate. One model, the upscale Memphis Wood Fire Grill, lets you both smoke and direct grill over a wood pellet fire.
Pellet grills come in various sizes from the portable types for tailgating to the extra-large units for commercial use. If you are someone who wants to be able to take your smoker on the go, be it camping, partying or any other event you’ll want something that’s easy to lift and has wheels to facilitate movement. If you have lots of parties and gatherings at home, then you might want something bigger. Its all up to what your needs are.
With a massive 700 square inches of primary grilling space, this grill impressed us. Its size is large enough too cook for large groups of people. It features a Flame Broiler that uses slide-plates which allow for direct flame grilling, which means you get an even cast-iron cooking each time. If the 700 square inches isn’t enough, you can make use of the additional upper cooking rack space. The racks are made of porcelain-coated cast iron for optimum grilling as well as easier maintenance.
Kamado smokers came into being after World War 2 during the American occupation of Japan. The GI’s who were stationed there took the all-American love of grilled food to a country that did not have the tradition of barbeque like the Yanks. So, there weren’t any grills like the ones back home to be had. Getting them shipped from the States would have been extremely expensive, so the cunning squaddies made do with what they had, which were the traditional Japanese ceramic mushikamado wood stoves. They did the job, and with a little tweaking, spread around the world as the GI’s took them with them as they left.
A well built pellet grill is not only more durable, but it will also perform better. When quality materials are used the grill is able to retain heat better. As a result the grill will perform in a more efficient manner no matter how hot or cold it is outside.
Hey Boyd! Thank you for the post. Your process is pretty much what I do with our GMG. I do hit it with Simple Green every other month or so. Just to get the grease and stuff mucked out and cleaned up. Thanks so much for commenting, sir! Stop by often!
Mobility – For those who spend a lot of time camping I found the right pellet grill for a decent price. I know how important it is to easily pack the grill in the car and be on the way. There’s a small choice of portable pellet smokers, but I still found what I think is the right model.
It can be said often enough: the best pellet grill is the one that’s best for you. Ultimately, you’re the one paying for it and you’re the one who will be cooking on it, so make sure whatever pellet grill you choose is the one you’ll be happy with. Just because you’re friend has no qualms paying top dollar for the most advanced grill on the market doesn’t mean you should feel bad about spending half as much on a grill that does the things you want it to do. The best advice: do your research, be informed, and know what you’re purchasing. If you can do that, you’re unlikely to experience buyer’s remorse.
Electricity causes the auger to start pushing pellets into your burn pot and begins to heat up the glow rod until it’s red-hot, which in turn ignites the pellets in the burn pot. Air is pushed into the burn pot via the holes you see around it – allowing for a maximum efficiency burn.
Aside from coming with porcelain-coated grills that are non-stick in quality, the product comes with an ash cleanout system which makes it easy for you to simply dump the ash and get started on your next cooking.
Good old Weber has been making this indestructible charcoal fired “bullet” for years and has made only minor tweaks, although there are minor tweaks yet to be made (we’d like a better thermometer, but then again, we use our own accurate digital thermometer probe). The body is the same enamelized steel as the Weber Kettle. We have one that’s 17 years old and going strong. There is also a larger model, but we prefer this size because it is easier to keep the temp low, although a full slab of ribs barely fits. It can also be used as a grill, but you have to get on your knees to do it. Click here to read our complete review of the Weber Smokey Mountain 18″.
These are really popular entry level smokers, just check out some community reviews to see how many people have these in their backyards. You can pick up a lot of tips on how to make these little smokers contend with the big boys.
This was a great article and so glad I found it. I have been looking at pellet grills for a year now since I am not very happy with my electric smoker and want something that creates a more authentic smoke ring and taste.
A pellet hopper is what you put your pellets in. The grill will automatically help itself from the hopper and use it to maintain the temperature you want it to. More heat requirement will use more pellet, and less heat will use less. What you need to make sure is that you have a good sized pellet hopper so that your grill can keep using from it and you do not have to keep refilling the hopper too often. There are pellet grills out there that are powerful and gentle enough to be cooking for hours, and sometimes overnight, all thanks to its large pellet hoppers that keep replenishing and refueling the fire all throughout.
Some grills have “trap doors” that let you easily dump all of the pellets in the bin into a bucket. This is a handy feature if you want to switch flavor profiles (dump out the hickory and add apple) or if you don’t want to store pellets in the hopper between smoking sessions.
Another great thing about Our Kamado Pick is that it can be up and running quicker than nearly any other in our kamado list (check the link) and is really easy to use when it is running. The thermometer is nicely placed and has a clear dial that is easy to read, even when it is getting smoky.
The controller only comes with 9 temperature settings, so you don’t have the ability to dial in the exact temperature you want. This doesn’t mean the unit doesn’t work, you can still cook amazing food. It’s just more geared to beginners who don’t want to fuss around with temperatures
The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!
They had the field to themselves for a few years, but the idea was too good to go un-imitated, and soon competitors began popping up. In the early days, most pellet smoker controllers had only three settings—low, medium, high (LMH)—and there was no temperature probe in the oven to create a feedback loop. So, whether you were smoking a few slabs of ribs on a scorching summer day or six pork butts during a blizzard, the controller only knew pellet-feed on and off times for its standard settings. It had no information on the actual temperature inside the cooking chamber.
Most owners are crazy about their pellet cookers, but some say the flavor is different than they are used to from charcoal and gas grills, and more than one has told me they do not like the flavor because it is too mild. They are a minority.
The Z GRILLS Wood Pellet is an honored American brand that offers high quality yet affordable products. This product also includes a three year warranty as well as a thirty day return guarantee. It offers a 330 sq. in. cooking area and ranges in temperature from 160 degree Fahrenheit to 475 degree Fahrenheit.
This electric smoker’s automatic wood feeder system keeps temperature and smoke consistent, and it can cook for up to eight hours without additional fuel. Rather than using intuition and manual vents, users can rely on exterior controls to manage the smoker’s contents.
Pellet Hopper – One of the reasons we all buy a pellet smoker for is the long cooking time. It’s an automated grill, but it needs to be provided with the right amount of pellets in the hopper. Those grills are used for long, often all night long meat smoking. That’s why it’s important for the pellet container to be very big. Here you get a 40 pound hopper capacity. You can be sure you won’t run out of fuel during longer cooking.
Part of what you are paying for with the Rec Tec are some stainless steel horns and a beautiful porcelain enameled lid. I am not always a fan of paying for shiny bits and pieces but man, that is one sharp looking grill!
3-Position Controller – 3 position controllers, also called LMH controllers, have just 3 temperature settings—low, medium, and high—which correlate to roughly 225°F, 325°F, and 425°F. They feed pellets in fixed cycles that are determined by which setting you choose. With just three settings to choose from, though, you have less control over cooking temperatures than more advanced controllers. These controllers are often found on lower priced pellet grills.
The Good One Smokers tend to fly under the radar, which is to say surprisingly few people know about these unique cookers. That’s a shame, because just about everyone who owns a Good One loves it. While all of their models fall into the category of a smoker-grill combo, the Open Range is the most popular.