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Included meat probes and whether they’re programmable – Not every grill that can accommodate a meat probe comes with the probe. Some require you to buy it separately Also, not all meat probes and the control boards they connect to are created equal. Some are just for monitoring temperatures. Others are programmable—you can actually program the pellet grill to lower the heat when your food reaches its finishing temperature.
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.
Make sure the pellet you choose come with a satisfactory cleaning facility. Look out for pellet hopper spoons or shovels that are used to put in and pick out the pellets. Almost all pellet grills come with a drip pan to collect liquids drips: oils, juices, sauces from the food on the grill. Make sure it comes in a good size as well.
Grilling options: In the past, a drawback of pellet cookers was their lack of grilling capability. Some manufacturers have made grilling possible, either by removing part of the diffuser plate, or by providing a dedicated grilling area within the cooker.
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.
Once you have finished cooking, don’t switch off the smoker immediately. Let it go to high heat for a while to burn off any food or fat residue left in the smoker. Once it has reached a high temperature use a brass wire brush to clean the grates of any leftover foodstuffs or amassed dirt and soot residue. It is now time to switch off the smoker and let it cool down. Remove the grease bucket or trap you may have been using, and set it aside. With a damp rag, wipe any grease or fat deposits that may have accumulated on the outside of the smoker. Once the grease bucket is cool enough to handle, replace the aluminum foil in the drip pan, and discard the old. A build-up of grease in the smoker could lead to an unwanted fire. Don’t forget to clean out any pellet ash once things are cool inside your smoker.
With just one push of the button, this Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker uses its electric auto ignition system to fire up your grill using authentic wood pellets. You got that right, it doesn’t use gas, propane or charcoal!
This time it’s a suggestion to those who need to bring the pellet smoker along when going out camping. Small portable pellet grill, equipped with plenty of useful features. You can easily put it in the car with you, as it has foldable legs and is lightweight.
The huge varieties of smoker grills available for sale is stunning. These categories are based on how the grill works. If you like electric products with low maintenance and little hassle you might go for an electric smoker grill. Similarly, if you like a gas operated machine than a gas smoker will be the one for you.
If you plan on taking your smoker with you on trips, this is a great choice. It comes apart easily for quick setup and teardown. The aluminum materials are far lighter than any steel competitors, too. Those same materials also make it tougher than many similar smokers. The manufacturers claim it smokes like one of the popular egg-shaped grills. However, since it doesn’t use porcelain, it’s much more durable.
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The 15 x 20 inch cooking area give you a generous 292 square inches of cooking space, and its digital thermometer lets you accurately control the temperature of the unit. The unit uses convection technology to make sure that air circulates around your food at all times; you never have to worry about hot or cold spots with this unit.
Next in our pellet grill review is the Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill. Its small size makes it a portable grill. It weighs 57 pounds and measures 14.5 by 20 by 29.5 inches in dimensions. The Green Mountain pellet grill has 110V or 12V adaptors for 3 power options. It has foldable legs that also function as handles. This pellet grill also features a thermal sensor which monitors the grill temperature called Sense-Mate. One coveted feature on this pellet grill is that is Wi-Fi compatible.
Some pellet grills even come with a thermostat so that you can actually set the instrument on the exact temperature you desire. It’s an obvious plus when compared to charcoal and propane cooking which can sometimes uneven and unpredictable heat. Nothing is worse than serving one of your guests an overdone steak and the other a barely cooked steak, especially when all you want to do is enjoy your company and have a relaxing night.
While the Camp Chef can get almost up to 500°F (hot enough to produce crispy skin on a chicken), it’s never going to compete with a dedicated grill for searing. This is something that  all pellet smokers struggle with though.
This grill has full automation from start to clean the ash off. If you want that type of automatic smoker, you need to increase your budget over 900$ – 1000$. Camp chef PG24 is special because of its comparative low cost.
In terms of portability, there are smaller and lighter options available but the cooking surface is much smaller and has the out-of-date lo-med-high controller.  The Davy Crockett uses Green Mountain’s sophisticated digital thermostatic controller with a dual readout LED display to accommodate the included meat thermometer. It also comes with adaptors to provide power from a wall outlet, car cigarette lighter, or car battery: items that are often optional on other makes.
Bearing this in mind, let’s discuss the difference between the primary cooking area and total cooking area. Primary cooking area refers to the area on the main cooking plate. Total cooking area takes into consideration secondary racks.
Thanks Kevin for the reviews and content. Like many of the folks I too will be purchasing a pellet pooper. I have narrowed my choices to a MAK 2 star and a Memphis Elite. One of the earlier posters indicated on the Memphis that the effective direct grilling space was about 1 square foot. I am assuming that with the smaller footprint of the MAK that the direct “flame zone” is less than that. I’m just wondering how much less.
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.
Temperature – we’ll start from that since I believe that it is something we should pay attention from the start. This smoker is phenomenal at handling maintaining a fixed temperature. Forget about constantly monitoring the temperature, it’s completely unnecessary here. Just set the temperature and forget about control.
Hey Greg! Sorry so long for my reply. Man, so cool about your Yoder! I’m sure you’ll love it. Everyone I talk to who owns one loves theirs. I agree 100 Percent on pellet quality and cook time. I’ve had luck cooking at lower initial temps and ramping up after the first couple of hour. I’ve also used the A-Maze-N Tube with success.
The Benefits of the Pellets: Pellets work so well with the ease of use of a pellet grill because they’re 100% all-natural. They don’t have binders, chemicals, fillers, or petroleum products within them. They serve as a source of compact energy (8,500 BTU per pound) and smoke flavor. Most importantly, there’s little to no ash from them. Compared to coals, there are no flare-ups involved.
As for what is the pellet smoker, a wood pellet smoker is a classic offset barrel smoker, but this time its firebox is replaced with a side-mounted hopper. It can also have stainless steel super grill with a hopper from behind. There are claims that pellet grills are a fad that can never compare to a classic barbecue griller.
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!
When you have owned your smoker grill for 5-6 years you start wondering about owning a new one. This might happen because you are facing problems with your machine and not getting the desired result. The first and primary advice in this situation remains to clean up your grill thoroughly. Open up each and every part then proceed to doing a thorough cleaning. Most of the problems like temperature inconsistency or jamming will get solved this way.
The point of an electric smoker is to reduce the work in smoking. This smoker allows users to safely leave food cooking with only minimal checking. Since everything can be controlled from the outside, it’s much easier to maintain smoke and heat without using extra pucks.

Gas smokers often run hot and have a limited temperature range, but the Smoke Vault 24″ can be dialed down to 160°F or cranked to 400°F. Go low for smoked nuts and cheese, 225°F for ribs and brisket and 325°F for crispy chicken. The large width is big enough to lay slabs of ribs flat and there’s plenty of room inside for turkeys, roasts and rib racks. It is the only gasser we know of that can be converted to natural gas so no more worrying if the tank will run dry before you’re done with a long low slow cook. Comes with a nickel-plated mesh rack for smoking jerky. Click here to read our complete review of the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24″.
This pellet smoker combines the most important features such as big grilling surface, maintaining approximate temperature and other useful options at decent price. It’s a grill for those who expect a decent equipment that is worth its money.
When you think of pellet grills, being portable isn’t the first thing you think of. For one, you need to have a source of electricity to plug the grill in to. You can’t just grab a bag of charcoal and fire it up anywhere.
I have used Bradley, Masterpiece, Green Egg, New Braunfels, Oklahoma Joe, Weber and now Traeger. So there is some experience in these comments. The “set it and forget” it is a misnomer and should not be used with Traeger (or any smoker/grill.) With Pellet Drive before you buy Read up on Er codes. The worst is when the fire pot fills up with pellets because the fire can’t keep up with the auger push and the whole cook is ruined or delayed. You have to pull everything out and basically start over while your expensive prime brisket is trying to be saved in the oven. Doesn’t matter what the weather is or wind conditions. Doesn’t matter if you stare at it and stir the hopper continuously. It will happen. Customer support at first was well you are at fault (didn’t leave the lid open on fireup for exactly 2 to 4 minutes or didn’t vacuum out the firepot between every cook) which is crazy. Finally, after so many calls over the past 6 months they are trying to make it right. Problem is, DO NOT believe the “set it and forget it.” That does not exist with any good cook. I have replaced the controller the fan and now getting a new probe. Do not waste your money. Unless someone out here in BBQ land can give me a recommendation on a product that won’t do this stay away from Pellet Drive?
Hello Mark! Thanks for commenting here. The Kalamazoo Hybrid Grill looks like a BEAST! If you can swing it, I’d go for it. I truly enjoyed cooking on the Memphis Grill, which is to date the most high end pellet grill I’ve used. It offered a nice blend of professional grade convection with the wood fire taste of the pellets. The Kalamazoo hybrid really does seem to offer one step beyond with the addition of charcoal and wood chunks. I see that Derrick Riches of About.com stands behind the Kalamazoo brand. You’re hard pressed to get a better endorsement of a grilling product than that! Keep me posted at kevin@bbqbeat.com and let me know how your search goes! 🙂
As you can see from the image of a Traeger Pellet Grill above, pellets move from a hopper (left) via an auger to a burn pot (far right). The rate at which the pellets are fed into the hopper is dictated by your Pellet grill’s thermostat. Extra fuel in the form of oxygen is blown over the burn pot to increase the burn rate and help regulate a nice, steady, and efficient burn. The lower your temp, the more smoke is created.
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.
Pellet grill uses various types of flavored wood pellets to flavor the food by infusing smoke into it. Pellets of numerous flavors are available on the market:  hickory, strawberry, oak and olive are just to name a few. Many pellet grill companies also manufacture wood pellets alongside the pellet grills that go hand in hand with their respective grills. So know your options, and be sure to spend a few extra bucks into buying a good quality wood pellet for your pellet grill as this is what will set apart your smoked exotic BBQ from the mainstream flavors out there.

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