WiFi capability: Companies have started to take advantage of the fact that pellet smokers have a computer in them by design. By integrating WiFi connectivity, you can monitor and control the temperature of your grill from just about anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. Companies like Green Mountain Grills are now providing free apps that you can download and make use of for ultimate convenience.
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!
My girlfriend’s dad was in love with his new smoker grill and so was I. Although I still wasn’t convinced this was perfect one for me. When I got home I did some research of my own. Here is what I found out. Decide for yourself if this is the ultimate smoker grill.
Its burn system is also digitally controlled and the cast iron grids are porcelain coated to boot to make them as durable as possible. The heat is exact and consistent plus it is fueled 100% by natural wood pellets, which means you’ll end up with a consistent burn every time with little ash residue afterwards.
To your question regarding Traeger, I’ve not reviewed their grills of yet. I do know that Traeger as a company is taking steps to up their game some, as quality/reliability of their pellet grills has diminished over the last few years. The new CEO – Jeremy Andrus – they hired comes from the Skull Candy company and brought that headphone company from annual sales from less than $1 million to nearly $300 million. I know also that a few big hitters in the BBQ world are being contacted by Traeger to bring the brand back to its former prominence. You can read more about that here from the site of one of the company’s that now has an ownership interest in Traeger: http://www.trilantic.com/News_Story.aspx?StoryType=1&ID=56.
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″.
Before you can get started, you will need to stock up on a few accessories. You will obviously need things like mitts, seasonings and other essentials that you would use while cooking on a regular grill, but you will also want to invest in a thermometer; this will help you keep your smoker at the right temperature and will allow you to check your food to ensure that it’s done. You will also need charcoal or pellets, lighter fluid and other essentials, depending on the type of smoker that you opt for. If you have an electric model, you won’t have to worry about any of these things.
Costly – If you are watchful for occasional barbecuing, this is a costly alternative. Yet, considering that it will keep going for a considerable length of time and you won’t need to stress over much maintenance, this will turn out to be a decent interest over the long haul.
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.
This smoker is ideal for larger, full fat meat varieties like pork roasts, beef roasts, and baby back ribs. Other items like burgers, sausages, and lean steaks are not going to cook well in this unit. However, if you’re looking for simplicity of use and flexibility with wood fire smoking, the box is easily converted between different wood pellets without too much work. Plus, it’s just a really classy looking smoker.
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.
In some ways, it’s surprising that something so small could be the culprit behind so many problems on a hi-tech cooker like a pellet grill. Then again, pellets are your grill’s fuel and using bad pellets is like using subpar charcoal in a kamado, and it can cause the same problems—too much ash is produced, making it hard to hold a steady temperature and snuffing out the oxygen supply to the fire.
The lovely smoky taste, however, comes from wood, and very few smokers are actually wood-fueled, so there are other features that go into core performance. Automatic feeders demanded some scrutiny. If they’re linked to a digital heat control, they may feed to quickly or too slowly. Side burners require the same consideration. The right amount of smoke creates a delicate flavor, but too much can leave your meal tasting like you rescued it from a forest fire.
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.
Thanks for the quick response and advice. I see a pellet pro hopper assembly is around $250 compared to the Memphis pro at over $2000. I didn’t realize that drafting isn’t important for the sake of temp regulation but what about how the smoke travels from the firebox towards the meat? I also would like to include an element of humidity, is simply putting a pan of water in the cooker or is there a better way?
It’s not perfect, though. There are certain features left to be desired. For instance, this smoker doesn’t have a temperature probe as we’ve seen with some models. It’s not a deal breaker, it does come with a very accurate thermometer, but we have seen probes on units in this price range, so that’s left to be desired.
I will have to applaud GMG customer service who shipped the replacement parts to me at little or no cost for almost three years well past the warratny. I think they were considering offering me a job as an area service tech. As of the moment, the control panel is dying once more and I will not be replacing it again. This grill is headed to the bone yard finally, I’m done with it. Yaahoo!!!
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 the smallest of the Traeger pellet grill series and this makes it an ideal choice for people who are going on vacation or camping because of its small and compact design. Even though it also comes with a number of features similar to the larger Traeger models, it features a rather small cooking surface which is less than 300sq inches. This, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t have some plenty of room to prepare your meats. It also comes with a digital thermostat so that you will have control over the temperature. Because it can be set to extremely low or high temperatures it can be an ideal pellet smoker for braising or slow cooking and also grilling and baking.
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.
In our experience, it doesn’t matter what brand of pellets you use, so long as they are quality pellets. Our Pellet-Q450 runs equally well on pellets made by BBQr’s Delight or Traeger or Louisiana Grills. Like most pellet grills, though, it can experience problems when fueled with low-quality cut-rate pellets that produce excessive ash.
When you first look at the price you will think it is high. But it’s a pellet grill that is definitely worth every cent. Perfect suggestion for demanding meat smokers as well as for those who are starting on their journey and wish to have a really decent equipment with many interesting features.
This pellet smoker combines the most important features such as big grilling surface, maintaining approximate temperature and other useful options at decent price. It’s a grill for those who expect a decent equipment that is worth its money.
If you have enough storage space and are interested in buying in bulk, I highly recommend it. I picked up a ton of Lumberjack pellets for $11 a 40 lb bag (price includes shipping, but I live a few hours from their factory. I am a fan of their Hickory and MHC (maple/hickory/cherry) pellets. If you don’t buy bulk, you are looking at right around 50 cents per pound for reasonably priced pellets and some will be significantly more than that.
A: Propane smokers provide an improved smoky flavor when associated to electric smokers. Propane smokers are comparable to the benefits that a gas grill provides more convenience than pellet or charcoal smokers.
The Camp Chef is a perfect unit for people who want to take their outdoor grilling and smoking to the professional level. The unit was designed for home chefs, and it does its best to simplify the cooking and smoking process; it includes a digital thermometer to help take the guesswork and variance out of the smoking process.
An elegant, well-crafted ceramic cooker with solid construction. Most Kamado aficionados concede the best way to create different heat zones in round cookers is by moving foods closer to or further from the fire. This is typically accomplished using a variety of accessories that can be costly and awkward to use. However, in 2014 Kamado Joe introduced a unique multi-level grate and heat deflection system called “Divide and Conquer” that comes standard with this model. We appreciate KJ throwing this in as a package deal to offer their customers more value and versatility.
Lastly, think about versatility. Our top pick (the Primo 778) is precisely that – a super versatile smoker, with a ton of options. But other smokers also offer some versatility options that really are useful, especially if you’re dealing with limited space. If you junk your kids’ swing set to make space for your three level horizontal trailer smoker, you may be back to smoking for yourself real quick.
The huge varieties of smoker grills available for sale is stunning. These categories are based on how the grill works. If you like electric products with low maintenance and little hassle you might go for an electric smoker grill. Similarly, if you like a gas operated machine than a gas smoker will be the one for you.
In addition to providing savings, using an oak base also creates consistency. Different types of wood have different densities, burn at different rates, and produce different amounts of heat and smoke. For instance, cherry burns faster than hickory, so using 100% cherry you’d go through more pellets than if using 100% hickory. The addition of oak allows every flavor to burn at a similar rate and with a similar heat output, providing consistency from cook to cook.
If you are looking for a way to produce ribs that are so tender that they fall of the bone, your smoker is the ticket. Plus, it can give it that tasty smokehouse taste that you can find at your favorite restaurants. You can add a nice rub and eat them plain, or you can smoke them with light seasonings and add thick barbecue sauce afterwards; the choice is up to you.
While the Traeger Lil Tex Elite does offer similar features as our top pick, such as a digital LED temperature control system and an auto-dispensing auger, there was one missing feature which we thought was necessary. This product has a smaller grilling area and lacks a removable upper rack, which gives you less grilling and prep space. I should mention that the unit does come in a bigger 700 square inch version for $200 more, as well as a smaller version that costs less. If this smoker is too big or too small for you, there are always other options available. Compared to our top pick, it’s also more expensive despite offering similar specs. Aside from that, this is a very efficient and reliable smoker.
If you’ve reached this part of the blog post, I thank you for reading through. It’s a long one, but I wanted to give you as much practical advice as possible. To recap, there are some basic things you should know about buying a pellet smoker.
Everyone loves grilled food, especially if it has been cooked on an outside grill to give it that deep rich roasted flavor. Since their introduction a couple of decades ago, pellet grills have become the simple way to give a distinct flavor when cooking to your steaks, burgers, and roasts.
Download an iOS or Android app and connect using WI-FI. The app enables to do many different things such as remote control of the grill temperature, control of temperature inside the meat or the ability to check the amount of pellets inside the hopper. You can get the temperature higher or lower while away from the grill. You can learn more about how this function works on the manufacturer’s official website.
I am currently using a Bradley Smoker, which is basically an electric oven with a smoke generator that makes tons of smoke, using special Bradley Smoker pucks (of compressed saw dust). A tall cylinder hold a stack of pucks, and the smoke generator pops a new puck into the oven every 20 minutes or so (when the pucks are about 80% burned). Managing temps is not as difficult as a stick burner, but nothing like advertised with these pellet burners (like the Rec Tec).
Many people use their smokers solely for preparing meats, but they are great for preparing vegetables as well. Whether you’re prepping them as a side dish for your grilled meats or want to make them the main event, smokers are great for giving them a delicious smoky flavor. Smoked potatoes, peppers and onions are delicious as a side dish or a topping to your favorite grilled foods, but you can experiment with other delicious veggies as well. Adding a bit of seasoning can help bring out the flavor of your produce, but you shouldn’t have to add much; the low, slow process and the delicious smoky taste is sure to be the main flavor profile of your newly grilled vegetables.
Yoder’s Variable Displacement Damper is another unique feature: Essentially, it’s a metal plate that may be moved from left to right along the lower smoke box. Positioned all the way left, it concentrates heat directly over the fire pot for conductive searing with optional aluminum GrillGrates. Move it back to the right for even heat across the entire smoke box. Yoders are sold primarily through independent retailers.
A Slow ‘N Sear insert will easily convert a 22″ or 26″ Weber Kettle into a much better grill as well as a smoker capable of making restaurant quality smoked ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey, salmon, or whatever you want to smoke. This revolutionary new device also makes an awesome searing tool for steaks. We have even baked rolls with it. We have used ours extensively and hereby crown it “The Single Best Accessory For The Weber Kettle”.
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.
The idea behind the Pit Boss was to create something similar to the Traeger but at a much lower price, which seems to have worked. But, and this is only based on reading loads of reviews and checking with pit masters, the Traeger is no longer the smoker to compete with. There are others, which are better priced and have better technology and upgrades.
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Competition: If you are buying a smoker for participating in any competition, then pellet smokers are your best choice. Gas or electric smoker grills are not allowed in any competition as they are using automation. Though you are getting temperature control and electronic start in pellet smoker it is accepted in competition.
For a mid-range priced product, you get all the features you would need in a portable grill and smoker. Though it’s a portable pick, one of its great features (which also makes it worth the price) is its durable build. If you’re going to bring this grill with you on camping trips and hikes, you’re going to need it to be as sturdy as possible.
On top of that, the construction is designed in a way that makes all the fat and grease drip to the bucket on the side. That way you can quickly and easily replace the bucket with a new one or quickly clean the old bucket.
Although it took quite some time for this product to receive its first ten positive reviews, the review rate quickly picked up. After over 200 days, it already gained 20 five-star reviews, which is a great accomplishment for any grill. We checked out comments online and found that they were mostly positive.
Take a look at our research report (it is free!), it will show you that this product doesn’t have the most positive features. But then why is it an Our Pick? Because it is not just the sale price, it is the combination of factors that makes up an excellent kamado grill. This had what we think is the most important.
Because it’s using the inverted flame and taking the heat from underneath, while the firebox has it’s side ventilation for oxygen, it’s a clean combustion process. Meaning that while that fire burns on top without smoldering, you’re only getting the cleanest thin blue smoke circulating through the unit. No bitter taste from over-smoking.
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.