What your best BBQ smoker is made from, or what the best outdoor smokers are constructed with makes a big difference to both how well the smoker works and how long it will last. Stainless steel is good to look for, but also quality paint and enamelling prevent rust and look good. If there are plastic parts, are they cheap looking? If they are, they probably won’t last.
As you can see, for Plowboys Barbecue, as with most other winning teams out there, competition BBQ success is all about mastering a process that you can duplicate. Not having to sweat the fire management side of things is what Todd Johns loves most about his Fast Eddy’s Pellet Smoker.
You can’t cook as hot or generate as much smoke – You won’t get quite as good a sear as you could with a charcoal grill. And you won’t get that dominate smokey flavor you would get with an offset stick burning smoker.
There’s (almost) nothing more satisfying than smoking meat. You start with something raw and bland, and you end up with a work of art, delicious and tender. Sitting down at a table with buddies, beer, and plates full of smoked steaks and brats…chewing on rib bones while you watch the Superbowl…these moments are why smoking meat is worth every second of research and labor we put into it. We want those moments to be the best, and the flavor of what we serve makes all the difference.
Eric, I’m sorry for the trouble you’ve had with your Traeger. Not sure this will help, but here is how I make sure I don’t have the problem you had. When I start after a long previous cook or any cook at all really, I vacuum out all the dust and vacuum out the burn pot. Then, I put a handful of pellets into the burnt pot, insert the heat deflector, the drip tray, and grate. I find that this keeps things working well. Sometimes, the burn pot will get too full of ash and this can cause the problems that you had. Give it a try. If it works, please let me know.
This four rack smoker is very easy to use. The unit holds a steady temperature well, although it can take quite a while to get up to temperature. Clean up is also super simple with the racks pulling out for easy cleaning.
When was the last time you actually got to sit back with your family and friends and chat away over the recent events? While it is understandable that work is important, that is it crucial to put the bread on your table and that you do it to make the lives of your loved ones more comfortable and fulfilling, but it is in no way to live. There is nothing sadder than have to work on presentations on the weekends while you kids wait behind your desk to finish up and take them to their soccer practice. Nothing is worse when you cannot make time to visit your old folks and best buddy because you have to run to the banks and attend the same old meetings.
Thank you so much for this very informative post!! My husband and I just bought the Traeger Select Elite Pellet Grill On Cart yesterday as a somewhat impulsive buy on a Costco shopping trip. It was the last day in the road show so I figured we could always return it if we have buyer’s remorse. Having no past experience with pellet smokers/grills, I am doing my due diligence in researching the reputation of this company and comparing to others in the market. The selling point for us with this particular Traeger grill was the ability to convert this to a built in unit by simply taking off the right side shelf. The sales rep at Costco had a picture of one that his parents had built into an attractive brick surround and we liked the option, however, after reading your post and several other sites, I am finding that Traeger may not be the best investment comparatively and with a purchase this expensive, long-term quality is extremely important to us. In staying within the same price range, I am very interested in the Rec-Tec and it’s stainless steel build. My question is, do you know if the Rec-Tec or another pellet grill @ the $1000 price point can be made to look “built-in” and if so, are there any dangers or potential problems with this.
The pellet smoker combines the flavor of charcoal, with the convenience of an electric smoker. The small pellets are made of hardwood sawdust, and when burned in the smoker impart a delicious smoky taste to any food being cooked. Like an electric smoker, the user can dial up the temperature required for the smoke, and let the smoker do the rest. Modern high-end machines provide a regular supply of pellets to be burned, and all the operator needs to do is make sure the smoker does not run out of pellets during the smoke. The flavor you get from a pellet smoker is not as rich and deep as from a charcoal smoker. However, it does have all the convenience of the electric type.
If you’re looking for something less expensive than the Rec Tec unit, but still want something very decent, and don’t mind not having the very top of the line, this pellet grill by Traeger is an excellent choice. It comes in at around half the price, but it’s no slouch. It’s a solid way to save some dough if the Rec Tec is overkill for you. You can read our full review of this grill here.
You don’t normally over-smoke food on a pellet grill. The smoke flavor is more subtle than the sometimes acrid smoke generated by a straight wood or charcoal fire. The grills are available in a number of sizes from small to large, as well as commercial-size units that can accommodate a whole hog or pulled pork for a crowd. For additional wood smoke flavor, you can position hardwood chunks or pouches of soaked wood chips directly on the heat diffuser plate.
Whenever pellet grill owners complain about temperature swings or losing their fire mid-cook, the first question we ask is “What pellets are you using?” Many times it’s a cheap, low-quality brand that produces excessive ash, which can interfere with the sensors that help regulate cooking temperatures. In that case, fix is simple: use better pellets that burn cleanly and regularly clean any residual ash from the grill. Often that’s all it takes, and the next time we hear from the customer it’s to order more pellets.
Not only can you get just the right amount of smoke, you can get enormous amounts of food into it. The cooking area is huge, like side of pig big. This is a smoker grill for a serious smoker enthusiast or party lover. You could feed an army with it, making it just the thing for any kind of family get together. A big grill means lots of electricity and a longer time to warm up, so it is a smoker for just a quick sausage or two. The only downside to this grill is that the window to the grill can fog up. If that’s the only bad thing, it is a darn good grill.
Pit Boss’s real wood cooking lets both beginners and pros cook and smoke everything from ribs to fish, bake biscuits to pizza, grill burgers to vegetables, sear and charbroil steaks and more. It’s an 8-in-1 beast that will spice up your kitchen.
Meanwhile, it also has a 15-pound pellet capacity comparable to Camp Chef SmokePro (not as large but big enough to eliminate continuous wood pellet refills) and folding legs for better portability. However, certain users who’ve already bought their own REC TEC Grills Mini Portable Pellet Grill have complaints about it, like inconsistent heat distribution of the grill and poor quality control (certain grills break down easily).
I’ve got a 40lb bag of Pit Boss competition blend ready to go for the summer. Cost $22 from Amazon after shipping! I’ve only used Todd’s pellets to date so I cant talk about which one is best, but I was happy with the pellets. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Pit Boss ones light/burn.
So don’t buy a random pellet grill. This article will help you pick a good one that meets your needs and lasts for years. Check out the comparison table below and read our expert pellet grill reviews to pick the best pellet smoker for your budget and needs.
A PID controller knows what temperature you set and knows the temperature inside the grill. The controller continually makes adjustments to make sure the desired temperature and actual temperature match.
I am a big fan of companies that aren’t afraid to change up the game, especially where BBQ smokers are concerned. Grilla Grills out of Michigan is just one such company. They’re putting out direct to customer pellet smokers that are both well made and affordable.
Babysitting a traditional smoker isn’t unlike babysitting children. There’s a reward at the end, but you’ll face hours of boredom punctuated by sudden bouts of panic as you see or suspect that something has gone wrong. You must feed your charge, clean it, and prevent it from getting too hot or too cold. The payout at the end is a return for a serious time investment.
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.
The idea of combination grill and smoker isn’t new. Many smokers have long claimed that they can grill. There are also plenty of grills that say they can be used for smoking. And, technically, it’s true. However, typically those cookers can do one thing well (either smoke or grill) and the other is an afterthought. Yes, a smoker can grill a hamburger, but it probably can’t achieve the high heat needed to sear a steak or cook pizza? And you can use wood chips to smoke ribs on a grill, but most grills aren’t built for maintaining the low-and-slow temperatures required for authentic BBQ. Nor are they designed to maximize the airflow needed for proper smoking.
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!).
I had a Traeger and I can say with all seriousness, they are crap. Nothing but problems. Paint peelling, electronics replaced 4 times, no heat management. I sold is yesterday, and lost my ass. Like the set it and forget feature, taste was OK, but quality was just dismal. Looking at either a cookshack or a fast eddy.
Cutting edge temperature Control – It achieves high temperature, looks after it, and the smoke achieves each side of the cooking zone. There are littler temperature increases so you can even heat on this thing.
It is almost as we have forgotten how to live life the way it should be lived. We no longer have the time to sit back on a summer’s day, and appreciate the show that nature has put up for us. Now-a-days we are so committed to our work, responsibilities and duties towards the external that we often forget that we have our very first priority neglected: happiness. We are so engaged in our daily 9 to 5 routines that we have actually began to take it as a way of living while it slowly drains and strains us away over time.
For price and ease of use it is hard to beat the small gas smokers like the Char-Broil or the Camp Chef Smoke Vault. Snobs snort at gas smokers, but we’re here to tell you that many top rated BBQ restaurants use big gas smokers, and the small ones are really inexpensive, easy to set and walk away, and the product will make you a hero. With a high quality modern barbecue smoker you no longer need to hover over your machine for hours, constantly monitoring the temp, fiddling with the dampers, shoveling coal, and adding wood. A good smoker means that you can win the battle against creosote, soot, and ash. With a good smoker you can get your food on the table on time and not fear that it is over-cooked or under-cooked.
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″.
I talk with a lot of teams out there, and I know for certain that some of them have turned to my buddy Fred Grosse’s MojoBricks to boost their smoke profile when using pellet grills. In fact, of the teams who win with Pellet Smokers – I’d wager at least a quarter of them to maybe half have used MojoBricks to round out their final product. I really like Fred as well – which makes it a pleasure to include his products in this grouping of pellet grill reviews.
Summer has almost come around again and I am excited for the first night, where the air is still warm and the sky is clear. The sound of friends laughing and joking mingle in the air with the smell of the promise of a perfect meal. Thanks to the King of Pellet Smoker Grills, my summer is going to rock.
I have a Yoder 640, I don’t think anything comes close to its quality construction and it’s ability to direct and indirect cook. I believe you buy a Yoder to buy your last grill. Built like a tank, weighs 350lbs, awesome customer service, made in KY. You can buy a China product, but in 5 to 8 years you will be back at the market. Go to a retail store and compare product quality. For it’s price, Yoder is by far the best.
Equipped with a digital controller that allows you to set the temperature between 160 and 500 degrees F. Dual LED allows you to check the current temperature inside the grill and read the internal temperature of the meat using a meat probe for that.
All in all, we couldn’t find a better electric smoker for the money, or even for a much higher price. It is got a high level of control, it is easy to use, it looks great and most importantly, it produces high quality smoke and flavor. What a grill!