I would agree with the others, really depends on your setup, location and preference. Price also has a a lot to do with it. I’m using LG competition mix and they’ve been great so far (although I’ve only used my grill 4 times thus far). They’re a blend of hickory, cherry and maple and they are as cheap as anything else I’ve seen around me. The dealer I bought from says that’s all he uses and he has his own mobile BBQ catering business. I think if whatever you’re using gives you good steady temps and a taste you like then you’ve got a winner.
Though they are marketed as “grills,” you won’t get grill marks or a dark sear, as the units run on fan-driven indirect heat. In my opinion, these are smokers—not grills. You can increase the amount of caramelization you get on the outside of food by preheating a cast iron grill grate, skillet, griddle, or plancha directly on the grill grate for 20 minutes before cooking.
Thanks for posting this article, i am in the market for a pellet grill and am doing the research now. I saw a comment up above regarding the Traeger and am wondering if you did have the chance to review their product yet? Not sure on the date the question was asked originally.
Manufacturers advertise that these are both smokers and grills, but it is best to think of these devices as superb indirect heat convection smokers, not grills. Most just don’t do as good a job of searing a steak as a charcoal grill or even a gas grill with a sear burner. I can sear steaks better on a $20 hibachi than on most pellet smokers.
It is also worth noting that a pellet smoker made of high quality materials will perform better. High quality materials will retain heat, ensure more efficient pellet consumption, and maintain temperature better in the cold weather.
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.
Some one touch non PID controllers have meat probe inputs that allow you to monitor the internal temperature of the foods you are preparing. This of course is extremely useful when you are grilling meat.
This grill has a digitally controlled burn system, 700 square inches in cooking surface, and porcelain coated cast iron grids. The cast iron is a great conductor of heat, and the porcelain works to stop your food from sticking. Great combo!
Meat probes: Some pellet cookers have outputs in their controller that allow for meat probes to be plugged in directly. Readings taken from your meat can then be displayed conveniently on the screen of your cooker.
When buying this pellet smoker you have to pay attention to the two features described above. This is the reason why people decide to buy this particular pellet smoker. It is something that other grills don’t have.
Pros low/high temperatures, quality materials, large cooking area digital control, affordable, multi-use, lighter very accurate, easy-to-use, good cooking surface large cooking surface, digital burn control, low/high temperatures, very affordable awesome cooking surface, very durable, fast cooking
Even and fast cooking – this is the common feedback of the new and past users of this pellet grill cooker. Although some of them would say that the temperature is inaccurate, they can still manage to adjust everything well by means of its digital temperature controller. Additionally, you may need to add more pellets if you will set the temperature on a high setting.
There’s nothing like a melt-in-your-mouth, smoky brisket to earn you a place in the neighborhood’s cookout hall of fame. That amazing flavor doesn’t come fast, though, and it gets everything from its texture to its taste through a long, slow smoke. The seasoning is up to the cook, but even the best grill master is only as good as the smoker used to cook the meat. It goes without saying that the best smokers require a lot more finesse than most grills and finding one that fits your lifestyle, budget, and your turkey can be a bit of an adventure.
Thanks David for the info. Was wondering if you had any experience with the Pit Boss 820 Deluxe. Seems to have a good size cooking area and hopper size and the ability to flame sear as well and priced here locally at 499, but cant seem to find much info when comparing to all these other brands. Thanks in advance if you have any info. Great article love the best bang for the buck idea. Most articles I am finding talk about the highest priced brands out there.
The flame broiler uses a digitally controlled burn system. Its Digital Control Center lets you set the temperature ranging from 170F to 600F with ease. The desired temperature is set and maintained through an electric auto-start and fan-forced air mechanism. These, in addition, give that flavorful smoky taste to all of your foods. The auger automatically feeds pellets into the smoker, so you can pretty much let it take care of everything.
Max is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max loves barbecue so much that he took his barbecue sauce recipes, had them bottled, and now sells Black Swan Premium, All-Natural Sauces around the world.
Comes with a 633 square inch main grilling surface, but also includes a 280 square inch removable upper cooking rack (total cooking area: 913 square inches). Includes a digital thermostat and gives you precise heat control from 170 Fahrenheit to 600 Fahrenheit (5 degree increments).
How Pellets Work with the Grill: The pellets contain no additives save for vegetable oils that carry flavor and helps the extrusion process. They burn cleanly and with little to no ash compared to logs. As for the grills themselves, they run with electricity. When it’s plugged in and turned on, a rotating auger delivers the pellets from the hopper to the fire pot and igniter rod.
If you get it that BBQ is more than burning hotdogs on a propane grill, you could likely benefit from The BBQ Beat podcasts. Kevin interviews the best Pitmasters in the country. They share their knowledge, stories, and experiences. There is something to be learned in each podcast. So if you’re serious about your bbq, check out these podcasts. They are time well spent.
Brad Barrett at Grill Grates makes a fantastic product. Reverse searing 2″ steaks and chops (or thicker) works great on pellet smokers as you can get the internal temp up to 10-15 degrees below your desired finish temp, remove them and loosely wrap / cover in foil, crank up the smoker with the grates on to say, 400 degrees, and then sear off your protein getting great grill marks with little to no sticking at all. Huge fan of Grill Grates.
Getting your Pellet smoker lit and ready is a pretty straightforward process. Simply make sure your hopper is full of wood smoking pellets, flip the on switch, set your temperature, and let the process begin.
Another one of America’s finest home-grown products comes from MAK Grills Pellet Smokers. Based out of Dallas, OR, MAK started out as a steel fabrication company back in 1990 and ventured into making pellet smokers with the goal of making a pellet smoker that’s more like a grill than an oven. Said in their own words…
This is a sturdy 210 pounds, and also features those great cooking grids made from cast iron and coated with porcelain. The broiler is a nice touch; you can expose the grill to open flame for a perfect sear. This will also cause it to go through pellets more quickly, naturally.
Knowing the different types of smoker grills and what was ultimately the best for our needs was the 1st and the biggest step for all 3 of us, but not the end of our journey. Now we needed to know what accessories would make our BBQ experience the best it could be. You will want all of these accessories to make your summer the best it can be.
This is a nice article for people new to pellet grill/smokers. Like jennifer, we have a vermont cast ing cast iron gas grill that has ‘rotted out’ internally. Calls to vermont cast ings has resulted in ‘we no longer support, make or sell parts for grills made before 2008’ and other run arounds. As a result we are looking for other options. We like the cast iron grills and grill heat but are considering other options, (Webber, Pellet, gas).
All in all I really love the RecTec for its warranty, ease of use, customer service and ability to get calls from the owner when you need help either late at night or on the weekends….weber customer service is good also, but it is just a matter of personal choice……$1500 is more than a “few hundred” more than the Yoder……thats $500…….that is a lot on money..IMHO……but again, its just a matter of what you like best in all the models……I prefer RecTec and the Weber as back up for the wife….
Temperature Control: All the good to topnotch pellet smokers have some sort of digital or analog temperature control system, some of which come complete with a thermostat. The way it works is that at the push of a button, the probe keeps the temp consistent by controlling pellet distribution.
Pellet grills are known for their versatility. It’s a device you can use for grilling, roasting, smoking, and barbecuing all sorts of meats, vegetables, and dishes. You can even use this grill for braising or baking.
PID controllers: PID controllers are considered by many to be the gold standard of grill controllers. Using complex algorithms, temperatures are accurate to within a few degrees. The pellet feed is constantly adjusted to maintain the correct temperature, and this type of controller can even accommodate programmable meat probes that work in tandem with the controller to lower the temperature when the meat is done. They also feature LCD and one touch buttons.
For price and ease of use it is hard to beat the small gas smokers like the Char-Broil or the Camp Chef Smoke Vault. Snobs snort at gas smokers, but we’re here to tell you that many top rated BBQ restaurants use big gas smokers, and the small ones are really inexpensive, easy to set and walk away, and the product will make you a hero. With a high quality modern barbecue smoker you no longer need to hover over your machine for hours, constantly monitoring the temp, fiddling with the dampers, shoveling coal, and adding wood. A good smoker means that you can win the battle against creosote, soot, and ash. With a good smoker you can get your food on the table on time and not fear that it is over-cooked or under-cooked.