Many other features like its automatic control, built in meat probe etc. have made us select this smoker as no 1. And the most amazing fact is the price. In the price range (see the price here), we never thought that we could get all these features and benefits. We have used high-end smokers like Rec Tec smokers, but this Camp Chef PG24 can beat all through its performance and affordability.
If so you will love the digital temperature control that gives you complete control over your cooking time. There is also a stainless steel meat probe that ensures every meal is cooked to wood fired perfection.
This point is unique to smokers. A grill doesn’t rely on the delicate control that a smoker utilizes, and grills don’t need to retain heat for the same periods of time. In order to do its job well, a smoker absolutely must provide exemplary heat controls. Simple products may use a series of strategically placed vents, and digital options more often rely on automatic feeders and display screens. Again, we didn’t look into which of these methods was superior, only whether or not they performed well.
It’s true that even the entry-level models of pellet smokers are a bit pricey. But I’ve never met an unhappy pellet smoker owner, even if they paid a few hundred bucks more than the cost of their neighbor’s grill. While many folks struggle trying to get cheap offset and bullet smokers to work, with a pellet smoker, it’s easy to make the best smoked ribs, brisket, and pulled pork in the neighborhood.
Pellet grills work in much the same way, albeit with the heat exchanger removed so that the smoke produced by the burning wood pellets bathes your food in its goodness and helps render the barbecue product you’re after.
Other than that the build quality is excellent. The materials are heavy and feel like they are made to last. Unlike most smokers that you setup once and then leave forever, this unit can easily fold up and be moved.
Rating: This is a solid 9.5 over 10 in my book. It’s four points below its brethren Camp Chef not because it’s less of a grill but more because the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is practically perfect.
Pellet grills are versatile. You can barbecue, smoke, roast, grill (sort of—more on that below), and even bake or braise in a pellet grill. At BBQ University, we have used them to cook everything from crisp chicken wings to braised short ribs to smoked pork chile verde and crème brulee.
Many new developments are underway and soon will be released in the market. However, some are already with us! So here are some of the biggest things to look forward to while buying your next pellet smoker.
3-Position Controller – 3 position controllers, also called LMH controllers, have just 3 temperature settings—low, medium, and high—which correlate to roughly 225°F, 325°F, and 425°F. They feed pellets in fixed cycles that are determined by which setting you choose. With just three settings to choose from, though, you have less control over cooking temperatures than more advanced controllers. These controllers are often found on lower priced pellet grills.
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.
When you buy the best pellet smoker, you get a unit that automatically controls the temperature of your food; this is great for people who don’t want to sit around and keep a careful eye on their unit all day. The units come with many accessories, so you have many choices when it comes to what you want your unit to do.
An attractive option for many people are stainless steel pellet grills, which are rust-resistant, more durable, and easier to maintain. While pellet grills made from commercial-grade 304 stainless steel are the most desirable, they come at a higher. However, there are also some pellet grills made from 430 stainless steel, which is more affordable and still incredibly durable.
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.
I recently prepared a tip guide on how to get that smoky flavor from a regular gas grill. The guide on adding smoke to a gas grill will take you through the steps of turning a regular propane grill into one that will infuse your meat with that smoky flavor we all crave.
The cooking surface – is big considering the price of this pellet smoker. 429 square inches of the main cooking surface and 141 square inches of the rack. It is definitely enough for a big family or for a bigger party. It also comes with an extra heated rack that you can remove at any time.
A really high quality kamado for a ridiculous sale price, it has everything we want from a kamado: even cooking, precision, control and great flavors. It has it all, it is manoeuvrable when it needs to be, solid where it has to be, overall, it is great. So what if it isn’t ceramic?
Multi-Position Ortech Controller: This is the most common type of controller used in pellet grills. You select a temperature for the grill using either a dial or a digital touch pad. The controller then feeds pellets at a predetermined rate that should get the grill close to where you want it.
love your article and got lots of good info from it….i do have a question tho that i didnt see an answer to…..do pellet grills have to use just pellets?….i have 3 acres full of oak branches that could be shredded. my question is can a pellet grill use home shredded wood chips to burn and cook with or is it mandatory that the fuel be in the pellet state?….would be great if i could find a good use for all these fallen branches….
I was leary about getting a pellet grill as i have had great success with my propane box smoker. Did some research and went with the Rec-Tec 680. Absolutely love the thing. It actually fell off the trailer when i moved a few months back and still works like a charm, just has a little more character now! Highly recommend this set it and forget it pellet grill
There are a few things to think about when it comes to the area of the grill you want to buy. First up, will it make the grill too big to fit in where you want it to? Secondly, how much food are you wanting to cook? Parties and social events need a big cooking area, home grilling doesn’t. Thirdly, the amount of fuel you use is dependent on the size of the grill, so if you’re cooking small amounts but on a big grill, you’re wasting precious pellets.
If there’s one type of smoker (besides an offset) where we really recommend staying away from the cheapest option it’s pellet smokers. Even our best entry level recommendation, the Traeger Junior Elite just squeaks in to our recommended price range and it’s almost twice the price of the Bradley Original!
This pellet grill comes with a six-year warranty, but don’t expect it to start following apart a month after your warranty is up. Even after a year or two, if you use it with any regular consistency (Spoiler alert: You will), you’ll feel it’s already paid for itself.
To make things easier we have put together a list of the 5 things you should look for before purchasing a pellet grill. Knowing what to look for is the best way to ensure you get a grill that makes you happy.
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.
Kevin- super helpful article. Thanks! I just moved from a big city small apartment with no grill to a house in the country. Most essential purchase is the grill. I’m really on the fence. I like the idea of a pellet grill, but in reality- I’m mostly cooking burgers, fish, steaks, scallops, and veggies. The brisket and ribs will be more of a special occasion. From an economical perspective, am I better buying a gas grill and just getting one of those smoke tubes to add some flavor? From many of the online comments, it seems like the pellet grills benefit from additional smoke anyway, and though you can get additional grates for searing, seems like a square peg in a round hole. The gas grill is sort of the tried and true, and way more economical. Those $500 entry level pellet grills seem a little scrawny, and the next level up is a cool $grand. I’m really on the fence, and getting pressure to “just buy the darn thing” to consummate the move to the country! However the pellet grills seem like the new shiny object and have my curiosity. Any advice? PS- love the website! Thanks, Cary
Multi-position controllers: These controllers allow you to adjust the temperature in smaller increments. Pellets are fed in fixed cycles meaning these controllers still don’t offer amazing accuracy. A multi-position controller is typically accurate +/-20°F, in ideal conditions. A nice feature of these controllers is the addition of an LCD screen.
Because of its Smart Smoke Technology, you can set this grill up and just forget about it and your food will cook well. Assuming that you don’t need to turn your food, you can guarantee that it will cook right because this grill has automated electric feed system that maintains cooking temp up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Pit Boss really is the boss with its 700 square inches of cooking surface. The space alone isn’t what makes the Pit Boss 71700FB one of the best wood pellet smokers available. If you thought the Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill had a lot of space at 300 square meters, then get more than double that with Pit Boss (the Rec Tec grill below beats it by only 2 inches).
Hey Britt… If you’re looking for the smaller footprint pellet grill, you’ll be happy with either the GMG or the Rec-Tec. I like the fold out legs of the Rec-Tec mini over the GMG DC legs. For Traeger, I’d recommend their Pro Series units they sell via their dealer networks.
Kevin, your recommendation rocked. The Pro is one of the best pieces of grilling and smoking iron I have had my hands on in a long time! Better than the Backwoods? Well depends on how much work you want to do! Maybe not, they are first class, but ease of use? I use the Backwoods a couple times a year, the Pro has already done 8 cooks in 5 weeks. Love it.
Pellet smokers are chosen by most home chefs because they use a unique system to indirectly cook all of their favorite meats. When you turn a pellet smoker on, you activate its igniter rod, and the rod starts to feed wood pellets into the unit’s firebox. This creates the smoke that you need to cook your favorite foods; it does this automatically, so you don’t have to spend time messing around with charcoal, wood or temperature settings.
We loved the remote. It is things like this that make modern grilling such a great experience. It is not just an on off either, it does everything you would want it to, and well. All the temperature controls work, the timer is incredibly useful and will save many a burned burger, turning the smoker on and off at a distance is hugely useful, especially when combined with the wood chip loading system, makes you get an unprecedented level of control over not just your smoky flavors but how you want your meat done (rare for me!).
The first thing that you need to look at when buying a pellet smoker is your budget. There are tons of different models on the market, and they all come with various accessories. If you’re looking to spend a lot of money, then you can buy a unit that comes with tons of bells and whistles, but if you’re like most people, you are better off buying a decently priced unit that cooks well.
Thanks Kevin. I am about to buy both a 5 burner gas grill and a smoker for a new bbq island. Rather than buy both, will one of these higher end pellet grills take the place of a traditional propane grill? I can apply the funds for the gas grill to a higher end pellet if it can really do double duty. It has to be able to cook burgers and dogs and steaks etc. Just like a gas grill though. Thoughts?
For a portable pellet smoker, it’s fairly heavy for the average person. It’s also a little awkward to carry around. The DC is small, which we’ve mentioned, and for some the 12″ deep x 16″ wide primary cook surface is a problem. But there are a lot of people who love it because of the compact size. As they say, one man’s basting is another man’s poison!
Although mesquite is often thought of as the quintessential BBQ wood, don’t stock up on it until you’ve tried it. While many who are new to pellet smokers and BBQ immediately choose mesquite pellets, be forewarned: it has a strong assertive flavor than can overpower food. When buying pellets for the first time, its wise to choose flavors that are versatile enough to be used on many different foods.