You aren’t limited to basic barbecuing. For us, what really stood out was its ability to deliver pro chef-level cooking even at home. This smoker lets you explore all there is about cooking, letting you braise, grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise and BBQ all kinds of food. Using only pure hardwood pellets, you’re sure to have the juiciest and tastiest meats and vegetables every time you host your outdoor parties. If you think you have to give up quality because of the quantity of foods it can cook, that’s not the case. Quality is maintained whatever it is you’re cooking.
Chicken, beef, pork, and more are the ones that are ideal for a pellet grill. Fish is also good as long as you should clean the grill after use because the smell of a fish may affect the taste of meat you will cook next. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at these pellet grill recipes or these to get your juices flowing.
Honestly, I can’t think of anything negative to say about the Memphis Pro. The only thing I can see that sets the MAK pellet grill apart from this Memphis Pro is that it has the built in cold smoking ability that this Memphis Pro model does not.
This is a great hands-off smoker for those looking for great food with minimal work. Its flaws are small and easily remedied, and since it sits comfortably in the mid-price range, those little fixes are affordable.
Speaking of competition cooks, you’ll find that many competition BBQ pitmasters who use Pellet grills as their primary means of cooking are among the more well rested come Saturday. The next step we’ll cover in this selection of Pellet Grill Reviews is getting your pellet grill / smoker up and running. Again, what you may not see in may Pellet Grill Reviews is repeated mention that you’re not going to get that “deep smoke” flavor profile using a pellet smoker. Though, this can be achieved by using something like the Amazen Pellet Tube Smoker 12″.
Before you buy, remember, pellet smokers need access to electricity. Maintenance is also an issue. There are moving parts on these grills. Moving parts eventually break. There is an auger with a motor, and a fan with a motor. There are proprietary electronics systems on these babies. Augers clog. Motors burn out. Electronics have bugs or fail. Especially when exposed to rain, snow, hot, and cold. When they fail, will the manufacturer have a replacement part?
Nowadays, for domestic use, the hardwood smoker has been replaced by ones using readily available charcoal. If its flavor you are looking for, charcoal smoking can’t be beaten. It gives the most authentic smoked barbecue flavor of any of the new smokers available. However, it does come at a price. Using charcoal can be dirty, and you have to deal with the ash left over from the cooking process. The hardwood charcoal will impart a flavor to the meat you are cooking, along with any additional wood chips added. This can give a rich, deep taste to any meat prepared in a charcoal smoker. The modern ceramic Kamado-style smokers, for example, are highly efficient in the burning of the charcoal, and temperature control is a simple matter of managing the airflow into the smoker. After just a few cooks most people have mastered the temperature control for ‘low and slow’ smoking, and the smoker can be left for hours, such as overnight, without tending.
Features like built-in thermometers, side shelves, and warming racks all make smokers easier to use as well. Provided they work as expected, thermometers can make heat and smoke management vastly easier, and everyone needs a space for their spices and sauces.
Don’t try to rush things. – The whole point of a smoker is to cook things “low and slow,” so don’t try to rush things. Don’t be tempted to jack up the temperature to get your food done more quickly, and allow yourself plenty of time to get dinner on the table.
Price is a big part of the decision making process for most buyers. Our Director of Equipment Reviews, Max Good, always attends the annual Heath Patio and Barbecue Association trade show called HPBExpo to meet up with BBQ manufacturers and see what’s new. “The high priced, luxury lines are generally impressive as they should be for the money,” he states, “but I’m often more excited by decent low to mid cost products that are realistically within the budget of most AmazingRibs.com readers.” A good deal of this low cost equipment is manufactured off shore and often in China. Despite grumbling from some, these products are very popular in the USA and well represented at the HPBExpo by Asian manufacturers seeking American logos to adorn their lids.
We’ve long been advocates for pellet smokers and last year they finally started gaining significant ground. Of all the great smoker designs available, pellet smokers are easiest to use because they are thermostatically controlled just like your indoor kitchen stove. You just select a cooking temperature and a controller maintains it by feeding wood pellets to a fire pot as needed. Many now have WiFi capability that enables you to monitor and control your smoker from a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Price is still an issue that holds sales of pellet smokers back. They use electronics, motors and fans and just plain cost more to make than many other designs. But as popularity increases, so does competition and you now have more choices in designs, sizes, features and price ranges. Our list includes two excellent and innovative pellet smokers by Camp Chef and MAK. Both companies offer advanced features and Camp Chef just introduced an optional Sear Box that produces searing temps better than many gas grills.
For example, it has a decent 570 sq. in. of cooking area, a patented ash cleanout service, endless versatility (wherein you can barbecue, braise, roast, bake, smoke, and grill to your heart’s delight), and an advanced digital control (the same one that allowed the Camp Chef SmokePro to take the top spot). However, the quality control for this unit is a little worse than SmokePro.
The entire system is really a fail-safe smoking design for newbies and experts alike. The temperature can vary from a low 160 F to a stunning 500 F. It also has a really handy feature – the patented Fire Pot Cleanout system allows for an easy clean up after use.
Of course, there are always bargain hunters. Some might say “Why pay $2000 for a pellet smoker and then bargain hunt for your pellets?” but if you think about it this way – isn’t it like cooking with varying qualities of charcoal?
This smoker uses dual meat probes to determine the temperature, and then displays the internal temperature through a convenient dual-LED temperature readout display. You don’t have to risk losing heat just to check on your food’s temperature every once in a while, making sure that you get tender and juicy food all the time.
Traeger: As the launcher of the pellet smoker trend, it’s only natural that the innovative Traeger Pellet Grill Company would perfect its pellet grill technology and come up with some of the most affordably priced smokers around costing $300 upwards. It’s the Ford Motors of the pellet grilling world and many a pellet griller on the market to date owes the existence of their industry to this one company.
Remember that the most important thing in those pellet grills is to maintain a fixed temperature. It’s a necessary condition for peaceful cooking. Such grill will easily let you smoke meat for many hours without the risk of burning it in an uncontrolled too high temperature.
It makes party hosting, as well as small crowd-feeding a breeze! Pellet grills are easy to use because they often come with easy temperature controls (along with other variable facilities depending from grill to grill), making it ideal for beginners who do not have prior grilling and cook-out experiences. A pellet grill is the answer to every cook enthusiasts who love to cook, but lack the knowledge and experience of skilled pit masters.
Some one touch non PID controllers have meat probe inputs that allow you to monitor the internal temperature of the foods you are preparing. This of course is extremely useful when you are grilling meat.
This grill has a digitally controlled burn system, 700 square inches in cooking surface, and porcelain coated cast iron grids. The cast iron is a great conductor of heat, and the porcelain works to stop your food from sticking. Great combo!
Beginners – Very easy to use electric ignition allows to quickly start grilling. You set the temperature and forget about it all. Your only concern is to refuel the pellet Hopper before the next cooking. So for the beginners who are just starting on their journey with BBQ and learning to cook delicious meat – it’s a great choice.
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.
Therefore, a large cooker with a primary cooking area of 500 square inches, might actually be of less use to you than a smaller cooker with a total cooking area that includes a 450 square inch primary rack and a 125 square inch secondary rack. If you couldn’t be bothered doing the math, that’s 575 square inches of total cooking space.
The small burn pot is covered with a large deflector plate that absorbs the heat and spreads it out below the cooking surface making them essentially wood-fired convection ovens. Flare-ups are a thing of the past. You need to keep the plate clean because it is right below the food and if you leave sauce and grease on there, it can smolder and leave soot on your food. Carbon buildup will also diminish its heat transmission.
Three stage controller – there are three options to choose from, smoke ( or low), medium and high. It’s an old and very poor controller. It only has three options to choose from, it’s very poor at maintaining temperature. It doesn’t take weather and other factors into account. The result is that the temperature inside the grill can significantly rise or drop without you knowing. Such solution makes it impossible to set a precise temperature and limits the cooking options.
So if you need a portable pellet grill , consider this one ( especially if you really like Traeger products ). The foldable legs allow to easily bring it along anywhere you want. A small downside might be the price, but it makes up for it with a pretty big cooking area for a portable pellet smoker.
BBQr’s Delight pellets are made of 100% of the flavor of the wood that is indicated on the package. Jack Daniel’s Smoking Pellets are made from the used mellowing charcoal from the distillery, pulverized and mixed with sawdust then pelletized. Savory Herb is oak sawdust with leafy oregano, rosemary and thyme mixed in before pelletizing. The 14 flavors of the flavor pellet line are available online in one pound bags.
Are you catching on that there’s a bit of a “favorites play” going on with wood pellets? No selection of pellet grill reviews is complete without a little bias. I try to be objective here. See if you can catch on to which models I prefer!
It lowers its temperature by 5° Fahrenheit Increments by lowering the feed rate of the pellets and raises the temp by increasing the feed rate. As for thermostatically controlled grills, the thermostat cycles heat on and off like with the refrigerator as required by your given setting. Some digital temperature controls are so advanced they even include a WiFi setting.
All thanks to the Smart Grill Technology™ PID temperature controller. This system is intelligent and precise enough to allow you to set the temperature from 180ºF to 500ºF at 5º intervals. And it really does work, it’s not just another marketing gimmick on the manufacturers’ part.
Traeger Smoker – Buyer beware. My Traeger stopped working both times I’ve used it. It just stops after about 2 hours. Traeger’s response is their pillory is they don’t make refunds. The nearest service is 3 hours away and it’s just too far for them. They said the solution to it stopping is for me to partially disassemble it when it stops and vacuum out the burner pot. They said they would talk me through some troubleshooting. They offered to send me replacement parts but said they don’t think it will help. I can’t return it, they can’t determine a fix for it. I’m supposed to just eat the $830 cost for a smoker that doesn’t work.
Tell me that’s not one of the most killer Made In America intro videos you’ve ever seen! Really speaks to the mindset Yoder has regarding quality and durability, not to mention the company’s pride regarding operating from the heartland of Kansas in the good old USA.
SO I am thinking about getting a pellet smoker-grill. I am wondering one thing before I take this plunge. Right now I use a bradley digital smoker. It is nice because it has a heat element for long brisket type smokes, but its briquette feeder never works correctly and wastes wood which gets expensive. SO thinking about going to a Pellet smoker.