Generally, the more you pay for a smoker grill, the more reliable and longer-lasting it will be. This is not always true, we have tested some really expensive grills that fell apart the first time we used them, but it is a good rule of thumb for the best smoker grills. Check for good welding, tight seals, non-squeaky joints, snug fits and “feel” (you know what we mean) when you’re looking for a reliable machine.
The last thing you want inside a pellet smoker is any dampness. If the pellets themselves get wet at all they can turn into a wood concrete, that will make it difficult for the auger within the hopper to dispense them. Pellet smokers usually have some electrical parts inside so it is vital that they do not get wet as they could short and become inoperable. If your pellet grill has not been used for a while, and not kept dry, you might find white furry patches inside when you open it up. The mold inside needs to be dealt with, and the smoker thoroughly cleaned to prevent food contamination. Fire up your smoker to get it as hot as possible, and keep it there for about 20 minutes. Let it cool, and then remove all the internal parts and give them a good clean in hot soapy water. You may have to pressure wash some of the items to get rid of the mold spores. Once the internal parts are dry, replace them in the smoker and start it up again to remove any final mold and residue from the cleaning process. To stop mold building up inside your smoker, always let it run hot at the end of every cook. Also, store it in a dry place with the vents open.
As far as accuracy goes PID controllers are in a league of their own. They feature an LCD display and have one touch buttons that allow you to set the temperature in 5° increments. This of course gives you more control over how you are able to prepare your dishes.
When you buy a pellet smoker, it should last you for years. If you buy a unit that’s dependable, then you won’t have to worry about costly repairs and replacements. It’s important to buy a smoker that comes from a dependable manufacturer; when you do this, it’s much more likely that your unit will produce quality smoke without breaking after a few uses.
What we loved most about it was its versatile 6-in-1 feature. With the Traeger grill, you can grill, smoke, roast, bake, braise and BBQ all kinds of foods at ease. We tested all of those out and found that they all delivered the same juicy perfection that it promised.
One other thing to know about the wonder of pellet grills is that they come with pellet hoppers, varying in capacity from brand to brand, that accommodates and use the pellets you put it accordingly and automatically as per the heat setting, eliminating the need to refill the hopper manually so frequently. So throw on some lamb ribs on to those hot grills, and go enjoy some cold beer while the pellet grill does the rest for you!
Thank you all for a great site and an informative discussion. I am a newbie to smoking and presently have a charcoal grill for when I have more time and a gas grill for a fast meal. Its time to replace my gas grill so I am looking at alternative options. Is a pellet grill overkill, or a timely expedition, if I want to grill a couple steaks or chicken breasts during week nights? I’d also be interested in smoking larger hunks of meat (and ribs!) less often, but am wondering if a pellet grill can cover both? How long does it take a pellet grill to get to temp (e.g. 450°)? With the indirect heat, can you get char marks on your meat? Thanks in advance for the info!
Hello John. Thank you for your comment and questions here! In short, you will not get the same smoke profile on a pellet smoker that you do with your BGE or PBC. That said, I do think there are some ways to mitigate this. Yes, I do feel the Smoke Tube and Mojo Cubes add smoke flavor that is detectable. Fred at Mojo Bricks does good work, and I recommend his products without reservation. This said, I have been happy with the smoke level I see in the pellet smokers I’ve used. Starting low does and ramping up later is a technique I’ve used with success when extra smoke is desired. The Rec-Tec grill gets high reviews across the board. I have no hesitation backing them, along with Green Mountain Grills. Both are made in China, but the companies have great customer service support and strong user communities. I believe each has a well-contributed Facebook group or two.
Most pellet grills have a meat probe outlet that you can plug into the control board. The other end of the probe will be placed in the meat so you can monitor the temperature. When connected the digital display will show the temperature of the food without you having to lift the lid.
Pellet smokers can be quite large, and if you don’t have the room for a unit, it can become a hassle. Always make sure to look at a unit’s weight and dimensions; this gives you a good idea of how mobile the unit is. If you’re going to be moving your unit a lot, you probably want to get a smaller unit that can be easily moved. If you plan on leaving your unit in one spot, then you need to buy a unit that is the right size; you don’t have to put as much consideration into its weight and mobility features.
Another good way to reduce the likelihood of heterocyclic amines being formed is to simply cut as much fat away from the meat you are intending to grill. This will reduce the chance of any fat falling into the flames to be burned and the chemicals released.
You can cook as many as chicken wings, bacon, hotdogs, and ribs as you can in just one moment! So if you are having an occasion and you want to lessen the hassle of cooking, you can cook all your burgers altogether without worrying about its quality.
The thermometer built into the lid gives good, accurate readings, which is cool, but the really cool thing about this grill is the water pan that steams away and keeps everything moist. This adds an extra dimension to a long smoke session, it is really worth seeing (and tasting!).
With modern advances in the outdoor cooking appliances due to their high demands, you too can cook up a great BBQ spread now with the help of a pellet grill! Gone are the days of overcooked and burned steaks. With the pellet grill on your backyard, you can BBQ to standards that even pit masters will approve. So today I will be giving you a 101 class on pellets grills, also including a list that will provide you with some great pellet grill review so that you can make the right decision when deciding to purchase one for you and your specific needs.
Besides the electrical troubles, the lower barrel was repainted twice because of rust issues. The wheels even broke. Seriously, I had to re-manufacture the hubs. It wasn’t worth buying new ones because they would have had the same poor design as the originals.
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.
Regarding getting a good draft, this is a common misconception for pellet grills. The burn pot on pellet grills receives oxygen via a fan unit. As such, there’s no need for a draft to get a measured burn in the traditional sense. Most pellet grills lack sufficient insulation / gaskets, etc to prevent smoke from leaking out of the body. So, unless you’re going with the Memphis or something that uses oven style insulation, you don’t really need a chimney at all IMHO.
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.
Pellet Hopper Storage: How these grills store pellets is an interesting way to differentiate between the products. Again, there is no right or wrong answer here but some people will be drawn towards certain storage features.
Not all smokers rust, but their longevity relies more on the user’s maintenance habits than the smoker itself. A smoker kept in a sheltered area will not rust as quickly as one left on an exposed patio, and a smoker with a good cover will always outlast one left bare to the elements. Still, smokers, like cars, are made of metal, and they almost inevitably begin to rust sooner or later. The sooner or later depends on you.
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.
Many people misunderstand a pellet grill of consuming a large amount of power for its working. But it is not even remotely true. While it is true that a pellet grill will use up a good amount for power initially, but it only uses that to come to temperature and form. Once it is ready and in form, it power consumption drops so dramatically that some pellet grills use almost as little power as a light bulb; an ideal choice for keeping power costs to a minimum.
Owning a pellet smoker can be a revelation on how good meat can really taste. The flavors from a pellet smoker or grill can be out of this world. However, over time, a build-up of crusted and carbonized grease and spills could taint that flavor. The by-products of smoking, such as tar and soot can accumulate and fall into the food you are cooking. What some people may call ‘seasoning’ is really just the detritus of cooking and needs to be cleaned like any other kitchen appliance. Cleaning a pellet smoker make be daunting to some people, but this short article hopes to take away some of the mystique on cleaning and give you some useful tips on how to keep your smoker in tip-top condition. If you set up a simple cleaning regime for your pellet smoker, it will last longer, and keep cooking high-quality food with the best flavor imaginable. It will also make the deep cleaning that much easier. There are three levels of cleaning, after each cook, after say 50 or so hours of cooking, and annual maintenance.
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.
Arguably the best value overall, it’s a great middle-point between both of the best pellet grills we’ve featured thus far. It’s not overkill, but it’s got plenty of room and some very useful features.
Included secondary cooking racks – If you’re looking to maximize cooking space, you’ll want to know if a pellet grill can accommodate a secondary rack. You’ll also want to know whether that rack is included or an optional add-on.
3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.
A smoker is designed to cook even the toughest cuts of meats at a low temperature over a longer period of time. It uses smoke to cook your meat and often maintains a temperature between 225 and 275 degrees, which allows it to break down tough connective tissue. As the fat on your meat melts, it keeps your food nice and moist so that it becomes more tender. It also gets a delicious smoky flavor that can’t really be mimicked with any other style of cooking.
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.
Hi i would like to buy my boyfriend a good quality smoker but can’t seem to find one that’s small for people just starting out with smoking for our small backyard. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don’t want to invest too much to start incase it’s too difficult to use or we find we don’t like it. I’ve read some reviews on little smokers that catch on fire and that worries me since we live in a townhouse. I figured someone on here would know of a well made brand that is on the smaller/less expensive side.