Temperature range is an important feature. What you’ll need will depend on what kind of cooking you want to do. Most pellet grills can hit temperatures between 180 F and 425 F, an adequate range for smoking, baking, roasting, and grilling. If you like to sear your meat you need something that reaches the 500-550 F. A good thermometer is a must. You’ll need to have an accurate reading so you’ll know you’re cooking your meat at the right temperature
Let’s start with the easy stuff and work from there. There are more than one type of smoker grills and they all have their own pros and cons. In the next few pages I’ll explain what I found out about each one.
Novices: Do you consider yourself a novice with a smoker grill? If so have no shame, in fact, look at me, I started as a novice too! Realistically, no one becomes a geek in 2 weeks of studying or research. So as a beginner you must look for an easy to use smoker grill. Well, the primary concept of a pellet smoker lies in its easy to use features. Set it and forget represents the motto and the main aspect you crave, right?
Another reason I like pellet grills is that it’s like having the benefits of a smoker, a gas grill, and a wood/charcoal grill all in one. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably decided to get one and that means you’re already ahead of the 95% of grilling enthusiasts. Congratulations!
Some people sneer at gas smoker grills but we have tested loads of different types and sizes and it seems to us like it depends more on the quality of the machine than on which type of grill you’re using. This is a gas grill that competes with anything you could throw at it. And so cheap! It is crazy!
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.
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As for the there’s-bark-on-logs argument—while it’s true you wouldn’t think twice about putting wood with bark in an offset, traditional smokers don’t rely on sensors to maintain a precise temperature. With a pellet grill, the less ash it has deal with, the better it will perform.
There are various strong points that can be made about this product, such as its durability, porcelain coated cast iron grid, and its digital control burn system. However, every product has its weaknesses. Even though the porcelain coating on the grid is meant to aid in the prevention of food sticking to the grids, the porcelain can actually become a nuisance as it can chip, break, and come off in your food. Another issue that this grill can potentially run into has to do with the temperature gauge.
It’s a good idea to take some time before the purchase to compare different grills. Only this way you’ll be able to choose the best pellet smoker. I think that my suggestions will make the choice much easier on you.
A. pellets can easily be affected by humidity and moisture, making the user to be very careful when storing the pellets. A dry place with extremely no moisture or humidity is conducive. Moisture and humidity can cause difficulty or no lighting of the pellets when one is cooking. The pellets can hence swell causing jam in the cooking grill.
The good news is that if you are stuck with one of these dogs, Ortech makes a controller that can be used to upgrade Brinkmann and Traeger controllers. If you own another brand and are interested in upgrading to a digital controller, contact the manufacturer of your smoker or Ortech.
A. yes it is possible to use it in a cold weather season. It is however important to consider that some pellet smokers work better in cold weather conditions than others. Pellets grills that have been tuned into ideal conditions use a standard non-PID controller making them to lose their temperature range maintenances ability in windy or cold weathers. The PID controller though after measuring the temperatures of the pellet smoker, it maintains the heat produced to achieve the desired temperatures in all conditions.
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.
Well said John, I have had my Rec Tec 680 for a year now, first pellet smoker. At first I was going to buy a Yoder, but for $1500 I had to do more research, I didn’t need a 350 lb tank I wanted a pellet grill ( I have a 450 lb stick burner). Rec Tec came out on top, warranty sold me. My ignitor rod went out, I called CS on a Sunday, left a msg and they called me back within an hour and FedEx me a new ignitor rod. I have called CS several times for advice, and the always help
Other important parts of the pellet smoker that one should watch out the joints, the welding and the hardware. They should be made of good material, most preferred, aluminum or steel. The joints of the pellet smoker should be well lubricated in a way that they do not produce uncomfortable sounds while the cooking is on. The grill should generally feel sturdy with all the seams and joints fitting together snugly, leaving no spaces for heat produced to escape in any way.
This smoker also comes with two cooking settings: hot and fast, and low and slow. Its Digital Elite Controller makes setting the temperature a breeze — all you have to do is turn the dial to your desired temperature, and you can leave it for the rest of the cooking process. This smoker can reach temperature of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The digital display on top of the grill lets you monitor the heat conveniently.
In fact, 80 to 85% of pellet smokers in the USA are Traegers. The consensus is that they are reasonably well built, though some buyers complain that quality has dropped since manufacturing moved to China. But of course we hear more complaints—as well as more praise—about Traegers, since eight out of 10 pellet smoker owners have one. Traeger can be found in many national chains, like Cabela’s and Costco. It’s not unusual to find special deals on this popular product line, so keep your eyes open.
For home models, get at least a 10 amp, 12 gauge, three prong cord (oddly, 12 gauge is higher capacity than 14 gauge). That’s more than you need, but better safe than sorry. Commercial models may have different requirements.
Don’t be fooled by an attractive pellet grill exterior. Even if there is plenty of stainless steel on the outside, the manufacturer may have cut corners and used cheap materials that will rust on the inside.
For the outside of the smoker, you can use hot soapy water, with a spray cleaner for any painted or stainless steel surfaces. Allow at least 24 hours after cleaning before cooking, and make sure the pellet hopper is completely dry before reloading it.
Although the overall engineering of the product seems sound, some of the electrical components have flaws. The primary issue is the main controller. Customer service days and hours are limited, but the manufacturer is aware of the issue and responds accordingly. You don’t have to pressure them to get replacement parts, and the new parts seem to be of a higher quality than the failing pieces built into the original machines.
You need to know that maintaining a fixed temperature is a huge problem for many models. You remember the old three level controllers that made it possible to set the temperature at three ranges ( Low or Smoke, Medium and High ). It was a very poor system that made it difficult to maintain the right temperature.
Easy Cleaning – Some smokers are easier to clean than others. For example, those with stainless steel interiors are often easier to wipe down. Just keep this in mind when looking for your smoker; it can save you a lot of clean-up work later on and can help ensure that you are able to keep your unit clean and sanitary.
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:
This innovative smoker has dual temperature control sensors that allow users to maintain a consistent temperature without any fuss, and its dual temperature readout gives you both the chamber’s temperature and your food’s internal temperature. The unit is turned on with the push of a button, and it will automatically dispense pellets until your food is done. It has a large capacity pellet hopper; that means you don’t have to refill it often. Its ash can and unique easy access design makes cleanup a cinch.
Now, for the good stuff: do not hesitate to spend an extra or even two bucks for a feature that you will use and appreciate. Consider your pellet grill as an investment, something you are going to buy, and be using and enjoying for years and years to come. Features like meat probes to check the internal temperature of foods are excellent for taking the guess work away from cooking meat to a particular doneness. You will never end up with an overcooked and rubbery, or undercooked and raw steak ever again! Features like smartly designed grills that consume and spread heat evenly are also great for cooking food to perfection without having to move it from side to side to find the right temperature spot.
By far, the two most popular pellet flavors are hickory and apple. Both are classic BBQ woods, and between the two you can cook just about anything. Hickory produces a moderate smoke that’s strong enough to stand up to the bold flavor of beef, but isn’t so strong that it overpowers pork or poultry. Apple, on the other hand, produces a sweet and mild smoke that complements lighter foods like seafood and vegetables, but also has enough backbone to be used with poultry and pork. Although hickory and apple are the most popular flavors, you can also pair other combinations of moderate and mild woods (such as pecan or oak with cherry or peach) to sufficiently cover all your BBQ bases.
We weren’t mentioned in the article, but just wanted to pop in and say that Memphis Wood Fire Grills do have the direct flame capability that’s missing in many other pellet smokers. You can easily sear the heck out of anything you wish. 😉
The natural pellets allow you to grill, smoke, bake or roast your favorite recipes in a healthy way. The grill comes with an easy start button, porcelain-coated grate, smoke exhaust and an EZ grease drain system for easy cleanup. The Traeger Junior Elite is a great unit for both novice and expert home chefs. It’s a compact unit that weighs in at about 70 pounds because of its steel construction.
There are several types of grills and these are charcoal, gas, wood, electric smokers, open fire grill, and pellet grill. Each of them offers different benefits. In terms of comparison, pellet grill is still superior because it is the combination of all such grills. You can use it to smoke that way charcoal grill does. You enjoy the wood flavor of wood grill using pellets, and it is also electrically and electronically-operated.