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 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.
Before you hit the barbecue store down the street, take a few minutes and read our list below. We don’t claim to know everything about smokers, but we’ve been smoking meat for a while, and, when it comes to finding the right smoker, we’re pretty experienced. After you’ve thought through the questions above, check out our picks and then make a choice based on what’s best for you.
Comes with a large 19.5″ x 36″ (702 square inch) cooking area. Maintains precise temperature from 180ºF to 500ºF (5º increments). REC TEC will automatically light up with a push of a button and heat up to the temperature you have selected. REC TEC has a really good and precise temperature control so you can even use it for baking.
Here’s my long term review of the GMG Daniel Boone grill purchased in Nov of 2010, about six and a half years ago. My model has the stainless steel lid. Assembly was straight forward and only required attaching the legs and folding side table as I recall. Operation was straight forward and the grill heated quickly to any desired temperature from 180 to 500 degrees usually in ten minutes or less. The temperature was maintained consistently within +5/-5 degrees as long as the hopper had pellets. This grill was truly a dream to cook with which we did 3 – 4 times a week from March through October. That is the good part.
Coming in at first is this wood pellet grill by Rec Tec. There are a lot of reasons to love it, and reasons that it managed to edge out the competition not just in individual categories, but overall as well.
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?
Yet another pellet smoker, but the higher price buys a number of bells and whistles, including our favorite digital temp controller. Built entirely in the USA, it is solid with a heavy duty powder coat. The hood is a roll top, meaning it does not need a lot of rear clearance like some of its competitors, and there is plenty of room inside. We recommend you buy the optional upper level racks. My only criticism is that it looks like a WWI tank. Click here to read our complete review of the MAK 1 Star General Pellet Grill.
If you like grilling outdoors, you want to reduce the time and energy you spend using traditional and classic methods of grilling in an open air. The problem with traditional grills is that you keep on manually feeding the grill with charcoal or wood. In addition, you need to stay near the grill until the food is finally cooked.
We love recommending and reviewing wood pellet smoker grills, but we also want you to get the most out of them once you purchase. Without proper care and maintenance, even the best pellet smoker is bound to have a shorter lifespan. Therefore, how you use your smoker and how you maintain it after use greatly determines how long it will serve you. A little bit of work will go a long way to extending the life of your smoker. A thorough cleaning of the smoker should occur at least once a year. If you frequently use it, you should have it done at least three times a year. Buying quality pellets will extend its life as well.
The Camp Chef ticks all the boxes you would expect from a pellet grill at this mid price point. You’ll enjoy the set it and forget it style cooking, clean flavor and minimal ash to clean up. All of the main parts are built with heavy gauge stainless steel and feel sturdy.
First, you have to figure out what your budget looks like. Of the pellet smokers I cover here, the Rec Tec Grill Pellet Smoker is the most economical and best overall value – with solid construction and top end electronics controls.
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.
I have been looking into a pellet grill for a little while and reviews tend vary on models from website to website. I’m looking to purchase a midsize unit from $500-$1000. The rec-tec looked good but it’s more on the top of my price range. I was hoping to get a little input to help my purchase decision.
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.
There are some fairly high tech components in pellet smokers. There are also moving parts, such as the auger. This means that there are parts of your cooker that may break, and that you may not be able to fix yourself.
Most pellet grills that offer a direct grilling option require you to adjust the diffuser plate to create an open area for the flames to pass through. However, the PG500 actually has 2 separate cooking areas for smoking and grilling. The right side is for indirect cooking, with the grill grate sitting over a solid diffuser plate. On the left side, though, the grill grate sits directly over an open flame, making it possible to do high heat grilling and searing. So, if you’re reverse searing a steak, you can simply smoke it on the right side then move it the right side to finish.
One comment I see a lot in various forums like Pellet Heads Forum is that you want as much efficiency as you can get. As with lump charcoal, this means burning as clean of a cook as you can with as little ash as possible. Different pellet mixes will produce differences in what you get in this area, and the cooker you’re using will dictate this to some degree as well.
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.
Their behavior is sometimes counterintuitive. The hotter they get, the less smoke they produce, and at their top settings, they don’t produce much smoke at all. This is good for when you are baking cakes or pies or doing dishes that don’t need smoke. But down under 250°F, they produce plenty of mild, elegant smoke. And even though the fuel is wood, it is hard to oversmoke with a pellet smoker. Burning wood on a charcoal grill produces much more intense smoke flavor.
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The Camp Chef SmokePro utilizes its famous Smart Smoke Technology in using wood pellets efficiently. This makes sure that your foods are smoked to perfection. Because of this, you can “set it and forget it” so that you can sit back and relax.
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. 😉
They have great insulation, not only for cold weather cooking but to conserve fuel energy. Using its removable diffuser plate, you can get down to 180f for low and slow, or remove the plate and use the Primo as a high-temperature grill, which can get as high as 800f for amazing steak sears or even cooking pizza.
Mine worked good for only 3 years, then the circuit board in the unit failed. The dealer referred me to the manufacturer. The manufacturer said I was out of luck do to the 2 yr warranty and said it would cost me $130.. I will not buy anything made by GMG again!
Another video I thought it’d be cool to show you guys is one that features BBQ Diva as she shares her thoughts about how Fast Eddy’s Pellet smokers work with BBQ Ribs. You’ve likely read the Diva Q DIY BBQ Sauce post we highlighted here. And no doubt you know about Danielle’s work with the now famous BBQ Crawl television series. Without question, she’s one of BBQ’s greatest treasures. Check out what she says here about Fast Eddy’s. The video starts out with Ed Maurin showing you the recipe he used for the World BBQ Championship Perfect Score Ribs in 2000 – using both baby backs and spares. Diva chimes in near the end with her take on how these ribs taste.
Other than that there isn’t a lot to complain about. You can throw any type of food in for short or long times and the REC TEC will handle it with ease. If you’re trying to decide between this and the REC TEC mini then we have a full review on the Mini that compares the two grills.
This doesn’t mean that a Pit Boss will fall apart after two years, just that you shouldn’t be surprised when it happens. I do not consider a disposable grill to be a good value and so these grills do not make my list.
When it comes to buying a pellet smoker or grill, your best bet is the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill. It’s the best of the bunch ratings-wise for a reason. It’s able to correct many of the mistakes and weaknesses of its other competitors, like its large capacity pellet hopper that accepts a huge amount of pellets so that you’re not constantly refilling the machine to keep it smoking hot. Only the temperature control of the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill – Featuring Smart Grill Technology™ comes close.
The popularity of smoking meat has led to a huge number of grills and smokers to choose from, and these days, high quality smokers have become reasonably priced. You can make your wife happy by smoking tasty meat, and make her happy by keeping your 401K intact. And as we know, a happy wife…
With a large cooking space and the most advanced cooking techniques, this is easily one of our favorite products among our top ten. While it lacks some of the features that the other grills and smokers in this review have (such as an ash and grease cleanup systems), it does deliver fine-dining quality foods, which is the ultimate goal of every grilling enthusiast. For its price, it offers some of the best features you can find in high-end products.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Any individual who’s taken a stab at cleaning a pellet grill before sees exactly that it is so hard to get all the ash out after use. This unit gives you a less demanding access to the burn pot. It also includes a trap door which permits you to clean the unit without digging through the ashes and oil. Cleaning the unit is by and large significantly less demanding when compared with the normal charcoal grills.
Add-ons: Manufacturers often offer a variety of add-ons. Check what features come standard, and what are add-ons at extra cost. Some add-ons are offered by companies independent of the manufacturer. If a feature is important to you, but is not a standard feature of your particular cooker, make sure it is available as an add-on before you buy the cooker.
The Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack PG500 Pellet Smoker is a collaborative design from respected smoker manufacturer Cookshack and competition-barbecue-circuit pro “Fast Eddy” Maurin. The FEC (Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack) line has been popular with competitive teams for years. While most FEC models have a utilitarian appearance, the beautifully crafted stainless steel PG500 fits right in with your shiny outdoor kitchen.
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.
This pellet grill has a 440 square inch cooking surface and weighs 73 pounds. It measures 36 by 18 by 39 inches in dimensions and is made out of durable steel and heavy duty 16 gauge steel construction. It has a dial-in control with an LED read-out. Its temperature reaches from 180 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with a meat probe. This Pit Boss is a worthy name to be in our pellet grill review’ list.
There are a number of electric smokers on our list, but this one sits at the top, despite its technical malfunctions. Since the manufacturers have had an opportunity to use previous failings to improve the shortcomings in the newer model, this smoker has a higher value than many other electric smokers. The customer service support also increases its value.
Automatic electronic ignition, a technology that will make it much easier to start grilling. All the good grills have this solution these days. It allows to start the pellet smoker quickly and comfortably.
This is really a good smoking equipment that you can opt for amongst the various wood pellet grills in the market today. It features an automatic heating which means all you will have to do is simply press a button and the grill will heat up to the desired temperature on its own. The good thing is that once the grill achieves the desired temperature it maintains throughout the cooking session. The other impressive feature that you will like with pellet smoker is the fact that its flower pot has got a blower fan with a heat deflector to help prevent hot spots on the meat that is being cooked.