Three adjustable damper valves give users maximum control over their smoke. A heat control dial gives you more precise control over the exact temperature than a simple thermometer, which leaves you guessing how much fuel to add or extinguish. When your meal is ready, the removable porcelain base tray makes cleanup a breeze.
This is a cute but capable kamado. It doesn’t skimp on the grill size, giving a full 314 inches of pure grillage under the hood, but it is still portable and light enough to wheel into position on a sunny day. The triple layered 22-gage stainless steel body, faultlessly covered with porcelain enamel, retains and emits heat evenly and efficiently, giving a beautiful, consistent grilling experience.
The components of your pellet grill that matter the most are the fire pot, flame deflector, drip pan and grates. If these components are made of marine grade stainless steel, you have a cooker that will last you a lifetime.
One other thing to know about the wonder of pellet grills is that they come with pellet hoppers, varying in capacity from brand to brand, that accommodates and use the pellets you put it accordingly and automatically as per the heat setting, eliminating the need to refill the hopper manually so frequently. So throw on some lamb ribs on to those hot grills, and go enjoy some cold beer while the pellet grill does the rest for you!
Now we come to the part no one likes and that’s cleaning. This smoker won’t clean itself but it does make the process a lot easier. Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill is designed to give you easy access to the fire pot making cleaning out the ash effortless. It also has a trap door which allows you to clean the unit without digging through the grease and ash. Anyone who has ever had to clean a smoker grill knows how time-consuming and enormous the task can be. A trap door like this is only present in higher priced units, but you’ll be glad you paid a little more when cleaning becomes effortless. You could also buy the other version that comes with a cover (which is $50 more expensive) to make sure your smoker is in top condition at all times.
The bottom line? We now have several pellet grills at Barbecue University and some students love them. Of course, there are still a lot of purists (or masochists) out there who insist on burning charcoal or wood.
With modern advances in the outdoor cooking appliances due to their high demands, you too can cook up a great BBQ spread now with the help of a pellet grill! Gone are the days of overcooked and burned steaks. With the pellet grill on your backyard, you can BBQ to standards that even pit masters will approve. So today I will be giving you a 101 class on pellets grills, also including a list that will provide you with some great pellet grill review so that you can make the right decision when deciding to purchase one for you and your specific needs.
I bought a Brinkmann Tower Charcoal smoker many years ago. Living in IL at the time, it served its purpose. I recently moved to Colorado and live at 9200′ above sea level. i am usually smoking a couple racks of ribs or making some jerky….nothing competitive or too large.
Thank you all for a great site and an informative discussion. I am a newbie to smoking and presently have a charcoal grill for when I have more time and a gas grill for a fast meal. Its time to replace my gas grill so I am looking at alternative options. Is a pellet grill overkill, or a timely expedition, if I want to grill a couple steaks or chicken breasts during week nights? I’d also be interested in smoking larger hunks of meat (and ribs!) less often, but am wondering if a pellet grill can cover both? How long does it take a pellet grill to get to temp (e.g. 450°)? With the indirect heat, can you get char marks on your meat? Thanks in advance for the info!
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.
If you are interested in investing in a smoker to make healthy, moist and delicious meals for your family or to host huge backyard barbecues and parties, you could be feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of options that are out there. There are a few questions that you need to ask yourself to ensure that you invest in the right smoker, for example, how much do you have to spend? Are you partial to gas or charcoal, or do you prefer the ease that goes along with electric appliances?
Mo’s Smoking Pouch is essential for gas grills. It is an envelope of mesh 304 stainless steel that holds wood chips or pellets. The airspaces in the mesh are small enough that they limit the amount of oxygen so the wood smolders. Put it on top of the cooking grate, on the burners, on the coals. It holds enough wood for about 15 minutes for short cooks, so you need to refill it or buy a second pouch for long cooks like pork shoulder and brisket. Meathead says his has survived more than 50 cooks and he likes it better than the smoker tubes.
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.
We also loved this smoker because it has an auto shut down feature. That means you can even go to the office and enjoy delicious smoked ribs by dinner time. Only 30% – 35% of the existing smokers have got this feature.
The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!
Professionals: the pellet smoker has emerged as the best option for beginners. However, that does not mean that a professional will benefit from using it. Using a pellet smoker, the professional can turn normal pork into a mouth-watering dish with any kind of flavor. The precise temperature control will help any professional make the dish more accurate. A pellet smoker can display some delicious magic that will prove unforgettable.
Arguably the best value overall, it’s a great middle-point between both of the best pellet grills we’ve featured thus far. It’s not overkill, but it’s got plenty of room and some very useful features.
While you can get a charcoal grill for less than $10, it will be terrible and won’t give you even close to the smoky flavor you want. That’s why you’ve got to spend just a little more to get the proper results. For between $250 and $330 you can pick one of these up, depending on what features you want, and it will pay for itself again and again. It’s one of the best outdoor smokers too.
This Pit Barrel Cooker package is a pre-built UDS (ugly drum smoker) which is a vertical type that is inexpensive, portable and built to last. With multi-levels of cooking surface, smoke racks of ribs horizontally, or remove one of the grates and hang them to get more done at once. You can also hang sausage links or even turkeys for a beautifully smoked meal to impress your dinner guests with.
Let’s start with the easy stuff and work from there. There are more than one type of smoker grills and they all have their own pros and cons. In the next few pages I’ll explain what I found out about each one.
This black porcelain enamel coated barrel is a straightforward vertical smoker. It comes with a number of additional tools and hooks that help users grill or smoke essentially any kind of meat or other food.
BBQr’s Delight pellet grill fuel is for pellet-fired cookers. These cooking devices use wood pellets to produce the cooking heat and the wood smoke for flavor. This food-grade wood pellet product is blended 2/3 oak with 1/3 flavor-wood. This gives you consistent BTU’s for heat and plenty of flavor-wood for good smoked flavor. See Pellet Grill Fuel page for more information!
Because it’s using the inverted flame and taking the heat from underneath, while the firebox has it’s side ventilation for oxygen, it’s a clean combustion process. Meaning that while that fire burns on top without smoldering, you’re only getting the cleanest thin blue smoke circulating through the unit. No bitter taste from over-smoking.
Nothing says “you are welcome to my home” than some delicious and succulent baby back ribs; some beer can whole chicken cooked your special spice mix, and some wood smoked salmon. There is no better way to wins the appreciation of your favorite people than cooking up some wood grilled steaks and baked potatoes. But there is a catch, there always is.
The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett smoker lets you get more than what you paid for. At a surprisingly low price, you get to have tons of great features that are sure to elevate your BBQ experience. For its price, we were quite surprised to see that it satisfied most of the features on our list. We tested over fifty products, and even the expensive ones were no match for this product.
Well said John, I have had my Rec Tec 680 for a year now, first pellet smoker. At first I was going to buy a Yoder, but for $1500 I had to do more research, I didn’t need a 350 lb tank I wanted a pellet grill ( I have a 450 lb stick burner). Rec Tec came out on top, warranty sold me. My ignitor rod went out, I called CS on a Sunday, left a msg and they called me back within an hour and FedEx me a new ignitor rod. I have called CS several times for advice, and the always help
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.
The sheer amounts of meat people have been able to fit into this unit is also impressive, but not surprising given the ample size of it. For example, one family could smoke four twelve-pound turkeys at once, six full racks of baby back ribs, or two large briskets.
Bark or no bark—that’s the great BBQ pellet debate. Some pellet makers remove bark from the wood before making their pellets, while others keep it on. The question is whether it’s better to cook with pellets that include bark or with pellets made from wood that’s been de-barked, or if it matters at all.
I have found that using the upper shelf gets more airflow around the meat than the lower shelf. I asked the AmazingRibs.com science advisor Prof. Greg Blonder about the problem (he has a MAK 1 Star). He explained that smoke sticks to cool surfaces and wet surfaces, and the surface of meat warms and dries out after a few hours. When he wants more smoke flavor he uses a strong smoke wood like hickory or mesquite, he starts with cold meat, and then he keeps the meat moist by painting or misting it with apple juice or a mop like Lexington Dip or East Carolina Mop or Texas Mop Sauce. A awter pan can help because the water condenses on the cool meat and attracts smoke. Read his detailed research on the subject in my article on the Science of Wood and my article on Basting.
It is a gas smoker, but you still need to add your wood chunks. Your fuel area is at the bottom with its own separate door so when you get in there to add your favorite smoking wood, you don’t lose heat in the main chamber. This is especially useful for those of us that live in areas with colder winters and need all the heat we can get.
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.
A mini built-in timer gives the grill master the chance to put their food on for a good smoke, go out, do whatever and not have to worry about their food being immolated. This is because of the auto-shut down. Really useful.
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!
Basically, Cookshack keeps to Ed Maurin’s simple design – using a dual layer of thick 304 stainless steel separated by high temperature insulation to hold in heat. Heat is provided by an electronically controlled 36,000 BTU pellet burner fed from an external hopper (you can add more pellets without opening the smoker).
Before you can get started, you will need to stock up on a few accessories. You will obviously need things like mitts, seasonings and other essentials that you would use while cooking on a regular grill, but you will also want to invest in a thermometer; this will help you keep your smoker at the right temperature and will allow you to check your food to ensure that it’s done. You will also need charcoal or pellets, lighter fluid and other essentials, depending on the type of smoker that you opt for. If you have an electric model, you won’t have to worry about any of these things.
I have ate a few peoples cooking that have won at the Royal, Houston and Memphis in May. They have all had one thing in common, I didn’t put one drop of sauce on them and they had not been sauced on the Q before serving! The restaurant Cackle and Oink is just a ways from where we live and the owner Aaron Vogel is there regularly. I have tasted all his sauces and they are very good, but the 3 times I have been there, his sauces never touch my ribs and brisket! Aaron does say, if you like this you need to try my competition food (which I will at one of the competitions he is in locally). None of the KCBS, Houston or Memphis in may winners Q had even a hint of ash or bitter smoke flavor. They also had a very light smoke profile. They also all say they cook over well burned down wood.
Most of other grills come with systems that maintain a selected temperature, it differs by up to 5 F degrees from the target temperature. To make it happen, the pellet auger has to provide a constant stream of pellets to the burner. The temperature is maintained but the consequence is smaller amount of smoke.
I’ve had the Traeger for two years and have had a great time with hams, ribs, chickens, etc. My Grandson also appreciates the Traeger because he ended up with my fairly new stainless steel Charmglow gas grill. There’s tons of great recipes out there that you will enjoy from various manufacturers and venders including Kevin Sandridge, himself!.
Pellets look like rabbit chow. They are about the width of a pencil and as long as a couple of erasers. If they get wet they turn into a pile of sawdust. The beauty of pellets is that they have none of the additives and fillers in charcoal briquets, so they combust almost completely. Almost zero ash. The pellets provide the heat as well as flavor. No need to add wood chips. Surprisingly, they do not produce overly smoky food. If anything, the food is undersmoked to some people because the combustion is so complete.