Speaking of the app, not only does it give you the ability to adjust the temperature remotelly, you can also program in unique instructions. For example, you can set it to cook at 225° for 5 hours and then automatically change to 250° for another 4 hours.
Camp Chef: Camp Chef is the company that perfected the pellet grill formula that Traeger made up, hence its introduction of an effective pellet auger that dispenses pellets only when needed and a large capacity hopper that reduces the need for pellet refills (that people find really annoying). It’s economical in terms of fuel rationing even though the griller itself is quite expensive.
Pork loin ribs and brisket with a good dry rub but I’ll sell to you if you’re interested finish them in the oven to the desired temp in tinfoil you will not go wrong. Been doing this for 30 years and have fed up to 450 people . Apple wood chunks. Just plain works.
As for the grill itself, it is sizeable, coming in at 560″. This is enough space to be able to grill a party’s worth of food. You don’t have to of course, you could cook any amount you like in this versatile pellet smoker. It is well designed, having a table for cooked meat and a table for uncooked, helping you stay food poisoning free! Camp Chef have a good reputation and this is why.
And how about that meat probe? An amusing name for a very useful thing. It lets you gauge the temperature of the meat inside without having to lift the lid and cool the entire grill. Massively useful and makes for really consistent cooking.
Features like built-in thermometers, side shelves, and warming racks all make smokers easier to use as well. Provided they work as expected, thermometers can make heat and smoke management vastly easier, and everyone needs a space for their spices and sauces.
Rounding out our top 3 is the best pellet smoker that Camp Chef offers, when you factor in quality, price, size, and overall value. This is an excellent choice. If the Traeger, our 2nd top pick, is a bit too small and you’re looking for something with a few more features, that’s still within the same price range, you’ve found what will likely be ideal for you. Camp chef is a really solid brand, and it was one of the first pellet grills my Dad owned. We reviewed another camp chef grill in another article.
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.
Having the same problem as the rest of the group. Rec Tec, Yoder, Green Mountain, Pellet Pro, or MAK? All seem to be heavy gauge SS, Pellet Pro seems really good value, MAK and Green Mountain seem to have controllers with more features. Have a friend who bought Rec Tec 3 years ago, he cannot say enough about the good customer service and the grill. If you could only buy one (money not the issue among these 5), which one, and why?
The flame broiler is an absolute fan favorite. It allows you to directly or indirectly cook while adding a great deal of flavor back into the foods you are preparing. And don’t worry, this grill will channel all the excess grease so you don’t have to.
Pellet grills normally have a drip plate under the main cooking surface that allows fat drippings to flow into a catch vessel – normally a pail of some sort. Because the heat and air flow is so well-regulated in Pellet grills, you can pack it with meat and literally walk away – being assured of steady temps and very predictable outcomes.
Only 1/3 of a cup of pellets is needed for most cooking events. As compared to other forms of smoking wood, you’ll need 5-10 times the weight of wood to achieve the same results as pellets. The cost per use is much less for pellets than any other form of wood.
This is one of the most affordable grills on our list, and it definitely invests its small budget in all the right areas. It works just fine as a smoker, provided you’re willing to pay for the additional firebox, and it has the range to cook just about whatever you want. Still, it requires a lot of attention. Buyers should be aware that they’ll trade money savings for time costs.
As you can see, I had the Memphis Pro running along side a Pellet Pro grill I was testing at the same time. The stainless steel cart comes with shelving on each side, I removed the right shelf for space saving purposes – which was a snap by the way.
Mention a pellet smoker and what comes to mind is the rich taste of BBQ, better control and convenience. These are exactly what the best pellet smokers should give you. To find out the best, among the many that are out there, you must consider all the various features. A burner that can give you control, convenience, long service and great flavor for your food are just some things the best pellet smoker should have. Let’s take a look at all the factors you need to consider when making your purchase.
The external structure is a mix of steel and cast iron, depending on the item. The charcoal base is a cast iron box for holding the briquettes. The cast iron concentrates and focuses the heat transfer more directly into the meat above, rather than losing some of the heat you’ve built up out the sides of the unit. The grates are also cast iron, but with a nice porcelain feeling.
The Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker impressed us the most with its “6-in-1” feature, which lets you braise, grill, smoke, braise, roast and BBQ all kinds of foods. With porcelain-coated racks, this durable grill offers top-grade functionality that you’d expect from the best pellet grills. It features 418 square inches, enough to cook for medium-sized groups. But if that isn’t enough, there are other sizes available, all offering the same functions. It also comes with digital temperature controls, so you can leave it to take care of the rest while you relax and play. This durable pellet grill is 2nd not because it’s not as good as our first pick – it just costs a bit more.
The classic charcoal grilling system is really what made Weber famous. They’ve had a number of home runs, but this unit is what put them on the map. The classic design is ideal for a good-sized cooking surface (508 square inches), but an overall smaller sized grill when space is a concern. The bowl and lid are heavy duty steel with a porcelain glaze to eliminate scratching and surface abrasions.
Set & Forget – Pellet Smokers are the best solution for people who want to smoke meat for many hours without stress. The set & forget style is a domain of this type of grills. Just set the desired temperature and your smoker will maintain it for the following hours. That way you can leave your meat for even more than a dozen hours at a fixed low temperature without worries.
Hey Jim, first – thank you for commenting on this post! As you probably know from reading the contents, pellet smokers are a great choice for set it and “nearly” forget it BBQ. Of course, you’re not going to get the same smoke profile with “pellet poopers” that you are likely getting with your other smokers. That said, the smokers listed here are all going to hold temp very well – even in lower temperature or windy weather. I do see instances where temps and wind effects pellet grills, but solutions including a fireproof blanket over the top of the smoker seem to mitigate things well enough.
The Camp Chef PG24S is one of the most high-capacity , heavy-duty smokers we’ve ever used. For its size, it’s fairly easy to operate and won’t require you much maintenance. Although it’s quite heavy, it definitely cooks large amounts of food for big groups. Overall, a great investment that will last you a long time.
A good pellet grill will grill, roast, and smoke. A wood pellet is a small, 1/4 inch diameter piece of hardwood and looks like a long pill. Because of their small size, wood pellets burn cleanly and quickly to a fine ash.
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.
However, does the grill match its success story? It does because the reason it got funded is because of its many features. It can do many of the things a Traeger can but it somehow lowers its cost-effectiveness even more than the economical innovator of the pellet smoker industry.
Because the auger runs on adjustable timer setting, it feeds pellets in for 15 seconds and then shuts off. This means that it doesn’t take into account temperature swings throughout the day, or wind which can effect your cooking. Keep this in mind if you will be cooking in a extreme conditions.
The REC TEC Grill is made in China, but, the heart and soul of the grill (the computer) is made in the USA. The powder coat is also made in the States and the final assembly along with quality control takes place at the REC TEC Grill facility in Georgia, the backbone of good old southern BBQ. And we like that it has a 6 year warranty. It means the Rec Tec folk believe in their product, which makes us believe in it too.
The diversity of BBQ smokers available makes fair judgment a challenge, and personal cooking preferences will go a long way in determining which type of smoker is best for you. However, our evaluation hinged on five key criteria by which any smoker can be judged. They are as follows:
On Tabletop Models: I didn’t include them here because though extensive, this post is more of an overview of a few select makers of Pellet Smokers I think do a fine job with both manufacturing and product support. The one exception is that I did include a link to where you can find the Rec-Tec mini. That’s Rec-Tec’s answer to the smaller, tabletop or tailgating models.
Editor’s Note: If you’re looking to upgrade your backyard cooking setup this summer, you’re probably in need of a little advice. We’re longtime admirers of the folks behind AmazingRibs.com, the site dedicated to unraveling the science of barbecue and grilling. Please welcome back Max Good, the only person in the world whose full-time job is testing, rating, and reviewing grills and smokers. The database he maintains includes over 500 grills and smokers, ranging in price from $30 to $50,000. When it comes to barbecue equipment, nobody knows it better.
Another vertical smoker, the Weber Smoker Mountain is a popular unit in both backyards, and on the national competition circuit. This water smoker is divided into sections. From the bottom up, you’ve got a fuel section which is then separated by a large water bowl, adding moisture to the chamber while stopping any juices from hitting the coals (flare-ups). Then, you’ve got your cooking area which has two levels of grates and a large dome area on top. Both levels provide ample cooking space.
For many purists, nothing compares to a charcoal burner, and while we’re inclined to agree (though any of our Top Rated Picks will give you incredible results), we think that the smoker quality itself is a big deciding factor. In other words, it is the features and build quality that make the big difference when it comes to how smoky your food gets. This wins both arguments. It is charcoal and it is really well made. When it was delivered, we thought it would be one of the more expensive lot, but it is actually relatively affordable.
I follow the instructions and place about 1/2 pound of apple pellets into the tube and lit it up . After 10 minute and blowing the fire out as instructed the amount of smoke the tube put out was truly amazing as the name states. It states that you can use it for all type of grills which I was using propane at the time. … full review
Hey Vernon – Yoder warranty is is 1-year on the igniter, 3-years on the control system and 10-years on the cooking body. Products manufactured by Memphis Wood Fire Grills carry a seven (7) year Limited Warranty from the date of purchase by the original owner against defects in material and workmanship. Electronic and electrical components carry a three (3) year replacement warranty when subjected to normal residential use. Limited Warranty does not apply to burn pot, meat probe, grill cover gaskets or damage caused by corrosion. The meat probe is under Warranty for 30 days from the date of purchase. (Both warranty blurbs were pulled from the respective company websites) Yoder: http://www.yodersmokers.com/pellet-frequently-asked-questions.html Memphis Grills: https://memphisgrills.com/warranty/
Although mesquite is often thought of as the quintessential BBQ wood, don’t stock up on it until you’ve tried it. While many who are new to pellet smokers and BBQ immediately choose mesquite pellets, be forewarned: it has a strong assertive flavor than can overpower food. When buying pellets for the first time, its wise to choose flavors that are versatile enough to be used on many different foods.
Watch Sears.com and Target.com for the Pit Boss; target is pretty spotty on having stock to ship to store, though sears seems pretty regular availability for free ship-to-store. If you wait for a sale when the cut it to $22 or $24 per 40lb bag, then get enough bags to reach $50 and apply a $5 off $50 coupon you can get a solid deal on the pellets.
Lastly the customer support is spot on. When I got my Bull the freight driver said they lost my pellets and told me to call the shipper .So I did and before the truck left down the street I was getting a email confrimation that another order of pellets was on its way with no questions asked.
Many people also like electric smokers because they don’t like the fumes or dangers of gas. Whether you live in a private home and are concerned about the dangers of gas or if you live in a neighborhood or apartment complex that doesn’t allow it, an electric unit can be just the solution that you have been searching for. Modern models are extremely safe, and they are also very affordable. You don’t have to worry about shelling out a lot of cash when buying an electric smoker, nor do you have to stress over picking up a lot of complicated accessories.
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).
Available in 24-inch and 36-inch units, the Camp Chef SmokePro is packed with great features for their size. It features a massive 811 square inch rack surface area, perfect for grilling multiple foods at once. Using an auto-dispensing pellet hopper that can hold 22 lbs of pellets, grilling is made convenient and efficient.
As such, the Yoder YS640 is one of the more robust pellet smokers out there. The main body is constructed of 10 gauge metal. Yes, this means that it takes longer for it to come up to temperature, but once there – it holds temp far better that thinner walled cookers. You know you’re buying quality when your pellet smoker weighs in at 315 lbs.
This is a great hands-off smoker for those looking for great food with minimal work. Its flaws are small and easily remedied, and since it sits comfortably in the mid-price range, those little fixes are affordable.
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The hopper holds 18 pounds, and the cooking area is 429 square inches. It’s less than some units offer, more than others, and generally a pretty happy medium if you aren’t really sure how big or small to go. You can fit a couple chickens or turkeys on here, a handful of racks of ribs, a brisket or two, and more.
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when getting started with your smoker; these tips and tricks will help you turn out delicious meat and vegetables that are sure to please your family or guests:
Another important key feature that you should always consider is the insulation and seals of the smoker. Smokers that are relatively inexpensive usually leak, which allows smoke and heat to escape. As a result, this makes it difficult for your smoker to keep temperatures stabilized and control the amount of smoke taste.
True blooded grill sweethearts out there might value this item. It is a minimized, full-included pellet barbecue that can take care of their grilling needs. You may need the item that accompanies all that you may require. When you have warmed it up, you can anticipate a perfect temperature and warmth in view of what you have chosen. Much the same as when you have found a reasonable latte machine for you, you would feel pleased with yourself for picking an extreme item that stays aware of your needs. Another element you may acknowledge in the item is that can keep the correct temperature all through the barbecuing or cooking process—regardless of whether you burn, grill, smoke or prepare. The cooking instrument is an exact griller that won’t make you stressed over any temperature variance. So whether you are an amateur or a pit ace, you might need to investigate this item that can take your grilling to the following level.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, there are a few pellet grills that lead the pack in terms of name recognition. The ones featured here are those that come most highly recommended by friends of mine on the professional BBQ circuits with KCBS and FBA.
A PID controller knows what temperature you set and knows the temperature inside the grill. The controller continually makes adjustments to make sure the desired temperature and actual temperature match.
It’s an automated grill with features mostly found in much more expensive models. Everything I described above allows me to easily say that this is the best pellet smoker. This grill keep a great price to quality, efficiency and functionality ratio.