Sometimes an inexpensive, less efficient pellet blend might be just fine for burgers or chicken breasts. Other times, you may want to step it up with a premium flavored pellet where whole turkeys, prime rib roasts, or a nice brisket can really shine. No matter what you read in any grouping of pellet grill reviews, know this: pellets are not all made equally. You will wind up with one or two “go to” brands over time that you simply prefer – sometimes for their efficiency (leaving little ash), others for their flavor.
A pellet grill on the other hand can handle just about any cooking job you throw its way. And the best part is of course the flavor. With a pellet grill your food will get that real wood flavor. And if you want to switch things up a bit you can throw in some applewood pellets, hickory pellets, pecan pellets and classic adler pellets just to name a few.
A digital smoker will always be easier to manage than a simple charcoal burner, but that preference comes down to customer desires, and we did not use this as part of our considerations. Instead, we examined how easily the smokers could be set up, cleaned, moved, and used. While some are intrinsically more portable than others, we relied on the manufacturer’s claims. Not all smokers are designed to be frequently moved, for instance, but if a manufacturer touted portability, the smoker in question came under scrutiny for its ease of movement and ability to travel.
BBQ fan – If you’re a more demanding person, grill a lot of different meat using different methods. Then pellet grill will work great for you. Especially when it comes to smoking meat for many hours, all you have to do is set the temperature and do whatever you please in the meantime. You can leave it for the entire day with no worries and after a specified time expect very good results, as a pellet smoker is very good at maintaining desired temperature. To put it shortly, a pellet grill will make it easier for you to prepare a top quality meat at home.
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.
As recently as 2008, only two companies manufactured pellet grills (Traeger and its rival, MAK, also based in Oregon). But the expiration of Traeger’s original patents opened the floodgates to competitors. Today, pellet grills have entered the mainstream: more than 20 brands of pellet grills are available in North America. Even competition barbecuers have started to embrace this revolutionary smoker and are winning, causing some old school pit masters to complain. Why? Because in their words, smoking on a pellet grill is “too darn easy.” (Sound familiar?)
It is certainly your requirement for the smoker to be automated. That is the case with Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe. It’s a smoker that thanks to its very good temperature control doesn’t require you to check if the temperature inside the grill is really okay. That way it allows for stress-free long meat smoking at a fixed low temperature.
Do not confuse a pellet grill for gas grills. Like the name suggests, a pellet grill obviously uses pellets for cooking its food. But do not doubt its competence with any other gas or convection appliances. It cooks just as well, if not better. And the secret to this are in its pellets. While pellets vary from brand to brand, the best ones have more wood and less binders like sawdust etc.
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.
his grill also includes an electronically controlled temperature which eliminates large heat fluctuations that can dry or shrink meat. Other beneficial features include a side shelf, front accessory shelf, casters, a meat probe slide opening, a warming drawer, a rib rack, a utensil holder, and a seafood grill. The Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill offers 784 sq. in. cooking space.
To sear a steak you need direct radiant heat. I don’t care if you can heat the air to 1000°F, it is still indirect heat and that does not deliver as much energy as direct radiant heat. It’s physics, but not hard to understand. In short, heat is not the same as temperature. It feels hotter at 80°F if the sun is shining on you than if it is 80°F in the shade. I discuss the concept in more detail in my article on thermodynamics of cooking.
A. The main difference is that pellets produce smoke flavor that is milder than a traditional offset and cleaner. Pellets burn cleanly making the flavor and smoke more purified. The food hence will have a lighter flavor and no heavy smoke produced.
There are cheaper units, but if you can afford this (And not quite ready to go all out on the Rec Tec), this is a great option. It’s a very high-quality unit that will serve you well for many years, even though there’s some breathing room between this and the very top of the line.
The versatility of this grill gives you endless cooking possibilities. You can roast, bake, barbecue, smoke and of course grill. You have a huge temperature range of between 160° F up to 500° F which allows you to cook your food any way you want.
If you are looking for portability, convenience and a smoker that is relatively clean to operate, then a propane gas smoker is your best bet. The flavor you get from a gas smoker is probably better than from an electric and not quite as good as from charcoal, so it is a good compromise solution. Although a propane gas smoker does not have the fill and forgets the convenience of an electric smoker, it has many of the advantages. Once the burner is lit, and the food is in the smoker, one eye on the inbuilt thermometer, and a hand on the gas regulator to get the temperature just right is all that is needed. As smoking times are very long, it’s probably handy to have an extra gas bottle or canister available just in case.
One thing that really makes this grill stand out is its versatility and real wood flavor that saturates anything you’re cooking on the grill. Whether you want to smoke a big slab of ribs or charbroil a steak, with the Pit Boss you win with every meal.
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.
Hello, I’m also interested in pellet burn rate per hour per brand. Even just rough estimates would be nice since I’m a penny pincher. I did read that the Rec Tec burns about a half pound per hour but that’s all I’ve been able to find regarding burn rate. Thanks for all the info!
BBQr’s Delight pellets are made of 100% of the flavor of the wood that is indicated on the package. Jack Daniel’s Smoking Pellets are made from the used mellowing charcoal from the distillery, pulverized and mixed with sawdust then pelletized. Savory Herb is oak sawdust with leafy oregano, rosemary and thyme mixed in before pelletizing. The 14 flavors of the flavor pellet line are available online in one pound bags.
On the other hand, if you purchase a cooker that has all the bells and whistles, but you never use them, you will have wasted your hard earned cash when a more basic cooker, that cost less, would likely have done the trick.
The results are astonishing. If we could post a scratch and sniff picture of ribs smoked on the Karubecue there would be no need to write any further explanation of why it made our Top Ten List. Alas, we cannot, so click here to read our review of the Karubecue C-60 Pit. The above price includes shipping from the factory.
Pellet smokers aren’t the cheapest options, but there are affordable models out there. When you use a pellet smoker, you have to use wood pellets, which can be bought in bulk to cut costs. These pellets look much like the food that you would feed to a pet rabbit, and they are generally made from sawdust.
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!
If you’re worried about buying a charcoal smoker and only firing it up 3 or 4 times a year then you can’t go wrong with this unit. You’ll be looking for any excuse to fire it up and experiment with smoking just about anything. It’s that easy.
In addition, the Davy Crockett Pellet Grill comes with multiple accessories. These include a meat probe, peaked lid (which is useful for large fowls and stand-up chickens), rib racks, a convenience tray as well as utensil hooks. This takes away the trouble of having to order additional parts for modification.
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.
If you’re looking for a high quality, hands-on smoker, this is probably the best value for your money. It won the Best Value Gold Medal Award from AmazingRibs.com, and has celebrity chef endorsements. The barrel is safe to use on wooden decks, especially if it’s set on a patio stone.
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.
Thanks for posting this article, i am in the market for a pellet grill and am doing the research now. I saw a comment up above regarding the Traeger and am wondering if you did have the chance to review their product yet? Not sure on the date the question was asked originally.
There are several types of smokers across many different price ranges, so there is a smoker out there that is right for you. A smoker can cost as little as $50, and as much as $10,000, and they all do mainly the same thing, which is to cook meat to perfection giving it an aromatic smoky flavor that can’t be beat. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and are generally grouped by the type of fuel they use.
Smoking v. Grilling more about the temp you’re cooking at than how it’s heated. Smoking happens below 300F most of the time. The Sawtooth Pellet Grill can get to 550F-600F at the top end so it’s more of a grill at that point that smokes. I’ve grilled burgers and fajitas and other stuff like you would a gas grill. Works great and it’s made in the US!
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.
Something you may not have read in other Pellet grill reviews is that there are two key concerns: flavor and fuel consumption. As previously stated, pellet smokers are not known for producing a strong smoke flavor, no matter what pellets you use. Though, some brands can be more pronounced than others. Hardwood pellets provide longer overall burn times per pound than fruit wood pellets. 1oo percent fruit wood pellets will also be more expensive on average.
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!).
Knowing the different types of smoker grills and what was ultimately the best for our needs was the 1st and the biggest step for all 3 of us, but not the end of our journey. Now we needed to know what accessories would make our BBQ experience the best it could be. You will want all of these accessories to make your summer the best it can be.
Move it around a bit so you can feel the weight. Is it heavy or flimsy and light? While a pellet grill doesn’t need to be overly hefty, you don’t want it to be too light on its feet either. The grill should feel sturdy and there should be no visible gaps or spaces that will allow heat to escape.
Pit Boss: The Pit Boss Company manufactures an extra-large pellet grill with 700 square inches of cooking surface. It closest competitor in pellet smoker largeness is the 7-year veteran known as Rec-Tec. It has probably one of the largest cooking surfaces (or the largest at that) in the pellet grill and smoker industry. It approaches grilling with the idea that sometimes bigger really is better, at least in terms of cooking more meats at the same time.
First pellet grills and older models with three-position controllers have disadvantages as it is hard to achieve your desired temperature in the winter. Pellet jams are also a problem with the old type of pellet grills.
Thanks for all the great information. This article was very useful on my most recent purchase. Sorry for the long book but tends to be my style of sharing. Hope others get some use out of my lessons learned. Killing (literally, dried out, burned, inedible) a thousand dollars or so of briskets over the last 20+ years should help some save a little pain as they are stepping out.
This was a great article and so glad I found it. I have been looking at pellet grills for a year now since I am not very happy with my electric smoker and want something that creates a more authentic smoke ring and taste.
Using their trademarked Smart Grill Technology, Rec Tec have managed to give you a wide array of temperatures, with precision control of 5 degrees. From 180ºF to 500ºF, and whether you’re looking for a low and slow cook that’ll keep your neighbors jealous and salivate all day, or you want to bang out something more quickly at a higher temperature, you’re covered, with one unit.
Costly – If you are watchful for occasional barbecuing, this is a costly alternative. Yet, considering that it will keep going for a considerable length of time and you won’t need to stress over much maintenance, this will turn out to be a decent interest over the long haul.
Choosing the one perfect pellet grill that could change your cooking experience is easier said than done. There is just so know you have to know before committing to it. Though I did give you a run-through of all the basic and important things to look for in a pellet grill before buying one, it is still a scratch on the surface. It is tiring to have to go from store to store to find the quality ones that you can choose from. So, to come to your rescue once again, I will now give you the some pellet grill review.
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.
To cook food using a pellet grill, put the pellets into a hopper. When you turn it on, the igniting rod will burn pellets in the fire. The motor-driven auger will then supply the fire pot with pellets from the hopper. The ratio that auger delivers pellets to fire pot depends on the settings you control. If you set it at a high temperature for a longer period of time, the auger will keep on feeding the fire pot with pellets. However, if you are slow-cooking and set a low-temperature one, the feeding and delivery of pellets will also slow down.
When you use the best pellet smoker to cook your foods, you have absolute control over your unit’s temperature and smoke production; this type of control is necessary when you want to produce juicy, flavorful and complex cuts of meat. Pellet burners are an amazing tool that come with convenient cooking features, and they give home chefs the opportunity to smoke their own meat without being forced to tend to their smoker all day.