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Despite its steel body, the Summit Charcoal performs every bit as well as a ceramic kamado. The air insulated double-walled construction retains heat as well as a ceramic kamado, allowing it to hold a steady low temperature for smoking BBQ and easily reach 800°F for high-heat grilling. Better yet, it cools down quickly, giving you the ability to go from grilling to smoking in about 45 minutes. That’s unheard of on a ceramic kamado, which takes several hours to cool.
Three adjustable damper valves give users maximum control over their smoke. A heat control dial gives you more precise control over the exact temperature than a simple thermometer, which leaves you guessing how much fuel to add or extinguish. When your meal is ready, the removable porcelain base tray makes cleanup a breeze.
In terms of portability, there are smaller and lighter options available but the cooking surface is much smaller and has the out-of-date lo-med-high controller.  The Davy Crockett uses Green Mountain’s sophisticated digital thermostatic controller with a dual readout LED display to accommodate the included meat thermometer. It also comes with adaptors to provide power from a wall outlet, car cigarette lighter, or car battery: items that are often optional on other makes.
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.
Hi Kevin, I think I will be moving to Florida soon and will be purchasing a smoker . I want a yoder smoker but I am wondering if the humidity level will make the yoder have all kinds of surface rust? Can I coat it with something? I like to keep things looking nice, or would I be better off with a stainless steel smoker?
Decided that moving these beasts was a little challenging so I bought a Backwoods Party 10 years ago and loved it. But basically have about worn it out. And as I got older I don’t enjoy getting up at 2 AM and then having to get up every couple of hours, after the 45 minutes of getting it ready at 2 AM, to check it and feed it. I also bought a smaller lightly used Open Range, The Good One. Used their recommended method the first time I cooked with it and hated the Q off of it so bad most of it was wasted, wife hated it too and the son ate most of it. It was extremely ash/strong smoke flavored!
I’ve had the chance to use one the the Traeger Grills Pro Series grills now for some time, and I find it to be a great pellet grill. They really beefed up the chassis of this model, with a stronger, wider-stance sawhorse base, larger wheels, a nice strong side lift bar, and an upgraded Digital Pro Controller with Advanced Grilling Logic that keeps temps steady, but allows for a temp swing of about 15 degrees. I mention the temp swing here as a positive, rather than a negative. By allowing a tiny bit of temperature fluctuation, I find the grill actually puts out a bit more smoke throughout the cook as pellets are fed in to regulate temps.
Though it is technically a grill, you can carry out so much cooking styles in it. It can be used to sear meats and other food to a perfect golden crusty perfection; it can be used to bake quiches just like you would in a normal indoor oven. This is absolutely a trademark appliance that can also be used to smoke food, it can also be used to slow braise food, making it ideal for cooking up winter stews and casseroles. And very obviously you can grill in this thing. The lid on the pellet grills also aid in fast cooking by trapping smoke and heat and allowing the food to cook and flavor through quickly and more evenly.
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.
I was in the same boat 2 years ago, I had always wanted a smoker grill, but wasn’t sure which one to buy. I asked around and did my own research and after a lot of leg work I ended up with one that was perfect for my family’s needs. I’m going to share that knowledge so you can skip the boring research phase and jump right into the best summer of your life.
Has anyone compiled a list of PID controlled smokers vs. Ortech controlled smokers? I have found that many manufacturers don’t identify their type of controllers in their advertising. If there IS a list, please post it.
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…
While it doesn’t seem to effect everyone, some people experience an issue with the temperature sensor failing after only a few uses. Camp Chef have good support though so if any issues do crop up they should be easy to resolve.
Try this. Load the pellet hopper full. Vacuum out the burn pot. Put a handful of pellets in the burn pot. Replace heat shield grates, etc. Start it up and let the initial cycle run as directed. Set it to desired temp. See if it’s better.
Pellet grill uses various types of flavored wood pellets to flavor the food by infusing smoke into it. Pellets of numerous flavors are available on the market:  hickory, strawberry, oak and olive are just to name a few. Many pellet grill companies also manufacture wood pellets alongside the pellet grills that go hand in hand with their respective grills. So know your options, and be sure to spend a few extra bucks into buying a good quality wood pellet for your pellet grill as this is what will set apart your smoked exotic BBQ from the mainstream flavors out there.
Kevin- I’m in the process of researching to get my husband a grill for Christmas. I’m torn between the 820 you mentioned above and the Traeger Pro Series. As far as I can tell they are basically the same except that you get a larger cooking area on the pit boss for the same price you pay for a small cook space in a traeger. I would like to spend around $600 on the grill but would possibly go up to $800 and want 500 sq in cook space or greater. Which do you prefer? Pit Boss, Traeger or another brand?
There are cheaper units, but if you can afford this (And not quite ready to go all out on the Rec Tec), this is a great option. It’s a very high-quality unit that will serve you well for many years, even though there’s some breathing room between this and the very top of the line.
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. The main difference is that pellets produce smoke flavor that is milder than a traditional offset and cleaner. Pellets burn cleanly making the flavor and smoke more purified. The food hence will have a lighter flavor and no heavy smoke produced.

Moreover, it has a BTU’s per hour of 25000 and it also comes with a stainless steel probe that let you detect the internal temperature and doneness of foods. It has a patented, drop down cleaning system that accumulates of the grease, fat and gunk without having you to disassemble the pellet grill at all.
Once all the bits have been removed, use hot soapy water to wash down the inside of the smoker. Then attack the cooking grate and the other parts you removed from the smoker using a rag and the hot soapy water to clean them too. Once you have removed the built-up of grease rinse the surfaces and allow to dry.
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.
Maybe you’ve seen some of the barbecue cooking shows on TV and thought you’d like to cook with a smoker yourself. Well, there are hundreds of smokers on the market these days, and it can be very confusing picking out the one that is just right for you. To help you make an informed decision lets look at the main types of barbecue smokers.
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.
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. 😉
Davy Crockett rocked the wild frontier, and you’ll be rocking the backyard BBQ with this pellet grill.  It comes in under the $500 mark because of its size; it’s a portable pellet grill, but it’s pretty big on design and described by some as the ultimate tailgater pellet grill.
It is certainly your requirement for the smoker to be automated. That is the case with Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe. It’s a smoker that thanks to its very good temperature control doesn’t require you to check if the temperature inside the grill is really okay. That way it allows for stress-free long meat smoking at a fixed low temperature.
The MAK 1 Star General boasts our favorite digital controller: It’s highly programmable and easily accessed via the internet from anywhere in the world. Made entirely in the USA, the 1 Star General is solid-feeling, with a heavy-duty powder coat. The hood is a rolltop, meaning that, unlike a lot of its competitors, the 1 Star doesn’t need much rear clearance, and there’s plenty of room inside. The 1 Star includes a 214-square-inch slide-in upper rack, and an additional rack is offered as an option. Our only criticism: Not only is it built like a tank, it kinda looks like one, too.
I also was a certified KCBS judge but never judged at an event. Their judging system was flawed in my opinion because if you truly follow their system it is possible that them best tasting piece of meat might not win. In cutting horses (not a judge but read all the rules as I showed a fair amount back then) you were always supposed to judge the best overall horse to win. I asked about leaving a process to make sure the piece of meat you feel is best to win and was told absolutely not you have to judge presentation points, tender points & etc. and not place based on your opinion of the best piece of meat! Not that KCBS is a bad organization, it’s rules didn’t fit my thought process. Passed their class and got the t-shirt just never agreed, was always a spectator.

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