Wood pellets are an all natural product. No petroleum products in them, no fillers, chemicals, or binders. They are an excellent source of smoke flavor and compact energy, 8,500 BTU per pound. No hot coals, no flareups. There is also very little ash: 10 pounds of pellets will produce about 1/2 cup of ash. All the rest is converted to energy and combustion gases. I clean out the bottom of the ones I tested after about 10 cooks. At high temps there is very little smoke, at low temps the pellets smolder and produce superb but understated smoke flavors. Click here for more about pellets.
The Elite’s digital control panel is a sophisticated touch-pad PID controller that holds set temps with more accuracy than most kitchen ovens. It’s simple to operate and offers an integrated meat probe and some useful programming options. For example, you can set it to cook your brisket up to 200°F and then drop to a lower cooking temp to keep it warm without overcooking.
Most grills with an Ortech controller do have an internal feedback system that makes adjustment based upon the internal grill temperature. However, the feedback loop consists of crude, temporary adjustments to the predetermined feed rate.
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.
Hey Jimmy, thanks for commenting here about your experience. I’m sorry to hear your experience was less than optimal. I have only cooked on the Traeger pro models. I do know that it is good practice to vacuum out the burn pot after cooks of a few hours or more. Not sure this was where your problems were initiated. Did you contact Traeger support? If so, what was their response?
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.
A few people mentioned assembly being difficult. Some commented on the lid, saying it would need to be replaced at some point because of sun damage and a few mentioned the grates don’t fit properly, which isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, just annoying. One reviewer gave it a good grilling (bad pun, sorry) but he’s been one of a handful. Actually he’s been one.
The worst part about using a grill is always the clean up. It usually requires you pull out a vacuum or broom and get your hands dirty while you are trying to prepare one of your grilling masterpieces.
You may have noticed a growing presence of inexpensive smokers at your hardware store. Some cheap smokers can cause disappointment and even outright exasperation. Beware, but don’t be deterred! You can get good smokers that are easy to use and produce excellent results for reasonable prices. You’ve just got to know what to look for. Let us help.
The last, but definitely not the least, to earn its review on our pellet grill review is theSmokePro from Camp Chef. It has a 19.5 by 22 square inch cooking area, a large pellet hopper, and grease dip system with bucket and roller wheels. It also has a built-in gauge controls.
Overall, the Traeger Grills Tailgater is an ideal choice for outdoor trips with small families or groups. While it doesn’t deliver the most convenient and advanced cooking as compared to the other picks in this review, it does have the right degree of portability and functionality needed in any outdoor adventure.
A pellet grill on the other hand can handle just about any cooking job you throw its way. And the best part is of course the flavor. With a pellet grill your food will get that real wood flavor. And if you want to switch things up a bit you can throw in some applewood pellets, hickory pellets, pecan pellets and classic adler pellets just to name a few.
The components of your pellet grill that matter the most are the fire pot, flame deflector, drip pan and grates. If these components are made of marine grade stainless steel, you have a cooker that will last you a lifetime.
There have been some reports from some customers that the temperature gauge may not work properly for smoking purposes because it does not hold a steady temperature as it swings wildly from over one hundred to over three hundred regardless of the temperature being set to 225. There have also been some complaints about the product rusting in some spots.
Putting the list together, there were certain standards that needed to be met in order to qualify. Anyone can slap a list of smokers together by skimming a few pics and focusing on looks. But, it’s what underneath the hood that counts first, we can worry about visual appeal later. And hey, there’s some good looking smokers here too, but they also need to stand up to the heat, so to speak.
The temperature settings can give you a colder smoke at 150f, low and slow steady at 225f, or hot and fast as high as 400f. It has a stainless steel tray for wood chunks, with a sizeable water pan directly above to help add moisture to your food.
There’s less smoke from the alleged smoker the higher the generated cooking temperature is. You can get that smoke flavor at below 250°. You need to do the hardwood chips technique in order to get that smoke flavor back.
Hey Rob! First, I really appreciate you reaching out. That’s what The BBQ Beat is for! To your question, I own a Davy Crockett Tailgate Model pellet smoker and really like it. Full disclosure, it was given to me by the company to test and Jason Baker of GMG said I could just keep it. But, I get a good number of products to review sent to me and a whole lot of them don’t make it onto the blog. I’d rather “omit” than “detract” – keep things positive sharing the stuff out there that I can get behind.
There is loads of space for grilling, not only is the main grill huge but it has additional racks that can be added to expand the space for grilling. Any sized get together can be served from this grill.
In this price range, the higher you go, the more you will get. There are some smoker grills that cost above $10000, offering unique features like Wi-Fi control, automatic settings, alarms, LED displays that can be viewed even in sunlight, multiple stacks and compatibility with both charcoal and gas. In fact, some of them work with electricity too. Check out the Summerset or Hasty Bake grills to get an idea of what to expect. The best part of purchasing the high end smokers is that you can use it in the winter too. These smoker grills are well made to run in extreme weather conditions.
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.
At Grills Forever, we are passionate about outdoor cooking. We don’t just tell you things we’ve read rather we go the extra mile, making us the go-to team for all your smoker grill needs. Throughout our journey from four BBQ novices to barbecuing experts, we have developed some of the best strategies for picking a pellet grill and testing it before recommending it to our audience.
We took the job of finding you the best pellet smoker very seriously. We read reviews, spoke to pit masters and backyard BBQ enthusiasts and the choice was unanimous. The REC TEC RT-680 Wood Pellet Grill came out on top. The sturdy construction, smart grill technology, excellent digital controller and dare we say it, its good looks, made this pellet grill our No.1 choice.
Some people think simple is best and some love a smoker grill that comes with all the bells and whistles on the market. If you are someone who likes to have all the latest features have a look out for a smoker grill that has some of the extras below:
Pay attention as well to what temperatures your grill can heat up to. Most of pellet grills can maintain a temperature within 160-500 degrees F ( with much more expensive models is even 600 degrees F ). Why am I mentioning that? Because you have to think about what is the most popular grilling style for you. It will influence whether your pellet smoker will be a good choice for you.
So if you want more of a smoke profile, cook at longer and lower temps in your pellet pit. I have found that is the best way to get a more distinct smoke profile in your food. Cook at 180-190 for the first several hours.
Is it common to have a lot of ash blowing throughout these pellet smokers? I thought it was supposed to be minimal ash and that it’s supposed to stay in the firepot. I noticed after two short cooks I have ash everywhere. The pellets are Perfect Mix from cookingpellets.com, but by “perfect mix” I don’t think they mean to mix ash from their product with your BBQ. Also, didn’t put off a lot of smoke, and really couldn’t taste any smoke at all.
Cooking Area – Search for one with a substantial cooking region. Keep in mind that pellet barbecues arrive in an extensive variety of sizes. In this manner, pick a unit that can meet your size necessities in light of its cooking territory. You don’t need to purchase an additional extensive unit in case you’re utilizing the grill for your home. Check for the physical measurements of the item and figure out which one can fit your space and stay aware of your cooking style and lifestyle.
Brought it home and set it on my prep table with the controller in a cubby hole with all intentions of building a cart for it later. So I have made a killer rib eye on it and tried to burn it down with a couple rib eyes cooking at 600 F. Gotta figure out a little better method of catching drippings as they will catch on fire and you have a runaway! But you can make a great rib eye. Ribs, every set has turned out awesome, everything from low and slow to a high temp cook process on them. Probably made 8 racks of great ribs. Wasn’t impressed with the hamburgers on it but will try again later. Made a pretty good brisket but used Rudy’s rub as I like their store sandwiches and I don’t have the method down. Next one will be back to salt and a touch of pepper. Chicken thighs (thighs are the perfect chicken part for Q, their rather uniform thickness makes getting them all consistent and cooked even a slam dunk) with a light coat of mustard and Tony Chachere’s lightly sprinkled is to die for. Simply squeeze them when they should be close and if the juice is clear, no pink or red they are perfect. If you cook the juice out, well they make decent tasting blotter paper 🙁 Pretty much killed a spatchcocked turkey for Thanksgiving, good thing the wife made an over baked one too. It did make great gumbo though as does the blotter paper chicken if you ruin any thighs or the whatever chicken. Also have a pile of hot links I put on at 180 for 2 to 3 hours. They are great for reheat with sauerkraut and roasted pabs or in the gumbo. Hot links should be a staple, ha ha! Gotta try my great pulled pork on it and we do Prudhomme pizza sauce on a Brown Eyed Baker crust and this Pro should rock it!
They might have lost a few followers along the way, what with newer, sleeker models available but Traeger’s still popular thanks to their marketing and distribution. You can find Traeger pellet grills everywhere.
On the other hand, if you purchase a cooker that has all the bells and whistles, but you never use them, you will have wasted your hard earned cash when a more basic cooker, that cost less, would likely have done the trick.
I can honestly admit I hate cleaning, I think most people feel the same. You have to know, though, that keeping your pellet smoker clean is a very important task. People who designed this grill handled this task perfectly, making cleaning a much easier and quicker task.
I bought a Brinkmann Tower Charcoal smoker many years ago. Living in IL at the time, it served its purpose. I recently moved to Colorado and live at 9200′ above sea level. i am usually smoking a couple racks of ribs or making some jerky….nothing competitive or too large.
Rony here. Research is my habit. I always analyze multiple online products on various categories. I give my best effort for get the genuine and valuable information about each product to make an unbiased reviews list, for help you to choose the best one based on your needs. It’s all about my valuable readers. Read More..
Hey Jennifer, I think a pellet grill/smoker would make a great addition to your cooking arsenal. You can get a pellet smoker up to 450 degrees in about 10 or 15 minutes. The following article gives you a good idea of what you might do to reverse sear a nice thick steak using a pellet smoker. note, that this method employs the use of GrillGrates, which you can find easily on Amazon. Here’s the article:http://blog.greenmountaingrills.com/rib-eye-reverse-seared/
Hey David – You might find this amount of space a bit limiting for your needs. My advice is to always overshoot your needs a bit in terms of cooking capacity. Consider the next size up for the amount of cooking you’ll be doing.
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.
I am glad your review of the Rec Tec included commentary on the accuracy and performance of the temperature controller. I would have liked to read similar comments about the other five grills in your reviews because this is such an important feature.
Personal review of the Traeger: The auger fed the pellets after the fire pot went out making a large pile up which caused it to catch fire and burn up my grill. I had to use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and prevent my house from catching fire. I sent Traeger the description of damages with photos. After much waiting and no response from the management team regarding my Traeger grill we gave up. The service team was very responsive but lacked any authority to make decisions to fix the grill. We worked with the service team for awhile having a different person each time respond and request information and photos that were already provided. Then, we got passed up to the management which is highly ineffective because we never heard from them, even after an email requesting an update. We really did like our Traeger grill and had high hopes that since it was under warranty and caught fire due to a failure we would have the grill repaired. Because of the terrible unresponsive service of Traeger we took our money and purchase a Green Mountain Grill.
Like I said before, sometimes you will find it difficult to perform the upgrade yourself. Replacing the digital control system seems much more difficult than I thought when I did it. Your smoker manual will certainly help you in this regard. You should seek help from YouTube as you can see what exactly to do.
Interest in smoking continues to grow each year. We correctly predicted 2016 would be the year of the pellet smoker and were delighted to see showroom floors clearing more space for these convenient and effective devices. Not long ago, on the rare occasions average shoppers bumped into a pellet smoker, they were mystified by the perceived high prices and unfamiliar designs. “I don’t understand how it works or why it costs so much,” was a common refrain. Today, the tide has begun to turn as pellet smoker manufacturers are finally gaining ground in their backyard battles for market share. Now more brands and more models, with more features and lower prices are becoming readily available as word of mouth spreads that these once mysterious “grills” can be turned on and set to temp just like your indoor oven with one big difference: they burn wood (in the form of pellets) and produce delicious smoky BBQ that’s better than most restaurants. You’ll find several good options on our lists.
Keep them far from water, which is one of its greatest adversaries. The reason is that they are made with electronic parts, for example, a blower or fan, a computerized controller, and a mechanized wood screw.
The KBQ C-60 in one word? Brilliant! To get more detailed, the technology behind this smoker is so innovative it will take your barbecue to another level. This is not a set it and forget it machine. By all means, you’ll still have to tend to your fire on this all natural wood smoker, but that’s part of the fun for some us, isn’t it?