Hey Tom – I really like two books for pellet smoking. Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen as a good overall book on smoked BBQ preparation and The Complete Wood Pellet Barbeque Cookbook by Bob Devon for a mix of smoking and grilling.
I am trying to compare the Rec Tec 680 and the Green Mountain Jim Bowie; they seem to be of similar size and both priced well. Is there a reason to choose one over the other? Is there a story that the spec’s don’t tell?
As you experiment with your smoker, you are sure to come up with a few delicious recipes of your own. These tips can help you get started when first preparing your favorite meals in a smoker. Plus, you can check out the many cookbooks and cooking websites out there that offer tried-and-true smoker recipes that your family is sure to enjoy.
Find out the different features that you need and research the different pellet grills that offer those features. If you are well informed before you make your purchase you will be less likely to have buyers remorse.
If you are looking for a way to produce ribs that are so tender that they fall of the bone, your smoker is the ticket. Plus, it can give it that tasty smokehouse taste that you can find at your favorite restaurants. You can add a nice rub and eat them plain, or you can smoke them with light seasonings and add thick barbecue sauce afterwards; the choice is up to you.
The REC TEC Grill is made in China, but, the heart and soul of the grill (the computer) is made in the USA. The powder coat is also made in the States and the final assembly along with quality control takes place at the REC TEC Grill facility in Georgia, the backbone of good old southern BBQ. And we like that it has a 6 year warranty. It means the Rec Tec folk believe in their product, which makes us believe in it too.
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.
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!
BBQ pellets are 100% natural hardwood, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the pellets are 100% of the type of wood listed on the bag. When you buy cherry wood chips or chunks, that wood is 100% cherry wood. However, when you buy cherry wood pellets, they’re usually a blend of cherry and another wood, such as oak or alder. While that may sound deceptive, there are good reasons for this practice.
I am a little concerned as upon my first time using this grill I was unable to get the temps up to the instructed 350 degree burn in. I did let it burn in at the max temp it would go to which was 200 degrees for an hour. I had already committed to the smoking of a prime rib so I set the grill to high smoke and in my amazement it went to 225 degrees and cooked for 3 hours at that temp, for the second part of the cook it requires to set the grill to 400 degrees I did this and the grill would not heat up past 186 to 195 degrees. A little upset as this is not what I was hoping I would get with this product. I have emailed Camp Chef and will update this review upon the return communication and results of … full review
If you live in an area where wood furnaces are used (not like down here in FL where a few heat strips will do the trick), you may also be familiar with pellet furnaces. In short, pellets compressed from sawdust and wood shavings fill a hopper and are then fed into a burn pot using an electric auger system. The auger, which is basically a long screw, delivers pellets to the burn pot based on the speed dictated by the unit’s thermostat.
In 1982, Oregon’s Traeger Heating introduced a home heating system that burned wood pellets made from compressed sawdust, a by-product of local lumber milling. Since demand for these furnaces and wood pellets dropped off after winter, Traeger came up with a grill that would burn pellets and keep the business afloat over the summer months.
Hey Corry – GMG and Traeger have shown that they support their brands very well of late. In many cases, they both provide parts support even when warranty limits run out. If you’re considering a Traeger, I’d urge you to go with their Pro Series 22 or 34. Sounds like that’s what you’re probably looking at where they are concerned if you’re looking at a dealer.
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I’ve spoken with a few of my Pellet Head friends and those who use both stick burners and pellet grills and the consensus seems to be that folks will use whatever pellet brand they find produces the best flavor profile.
This smoker is designed for easy use, with two shelves within easy reach for tools, spices, and cutlery. A lower rack provides additional storage, and the entire grill is easy to tilt and wheel inside the safety of a garage or shed. An ash pan pulls out from the side of the smoker, too, so you’ll spend little time keeping your equipment clean.
The lovely smoky taste, however, comes from wood, and very few smokers are actually wood-fueled, so there are other features that go into core performance. Automatic feeders demanded some scrutiny. If they’re linked to a digital heat control, they may feed to quickly or too slowly. Side burners require the same consideration. The right amount of smoke creates a delicate flavor, but too much can leave your meal tasting like you rescued it from a forest fire.
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.
why don’t pellet smokers have a drawer for sawdust like some of the propane units. It could slide in over the fire pot much like you mentioned for the mojobricks. Dampened sawdust still makes one of the best smudges.
As the burn pot ignites, the pellets burn. Heat then carries through the home via convection (air driven) means, thus allowing air flow and a blend of warm and cool air to maintain steady, even burn temperatures. A heat exchanger separates the smoke fumes from the warm air, thereby warming the room without smoking everyone out.
Since two of those marvelous vents are on the bottom, however, without any real catch trays or containment measures, you’ll be dealing with a lot of loose ash to clean up. Cleaning the inside is even more of a chore. The other issue, of course, is size. This product simply isn’t large enough to handle big cuts of meat, and it can’t compete with many other smokers when it comes to scale.
A pouch made of heavy duty aluminum with just one tiny hole in one side works great to provide smoke in most outdoor cookers. To make a foil pouch, cut a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil 6″ by 12″ and fold in half making a 6″x6″ square. Fold the side edges at least twice, pressing each fold firmly along the entire side. Put 1/3 of a cup of pellets in the pouch and fold the top to seal. Poke a hole in one side of the pouch with a toothpick. Place the pouch on top of your charcoal briquettes or above the gas flame. When the smoke starts coming out of the hole in the pouch, put your food on the cooking grate and close the cover of your cooker. Smoke should last up to 30 minutes depending on the temperature of your cooker.
Direct grilling option – As more people look for one grill to handle all their grilling and smoking, more pellet grill manufacturers are offering a direct grilling option. On some, you have to remove a part of the diffuser plate to let the flames through. Others, like the Fast Eddy’s PG500 have a permanent dedicated area for direct grilling.
Fast Eddy’s Cookshack pellet smokers are no joke. Seriously. At least two of the more recent winners of the Jack Daniel’s Invitational won cooking on these bad boys.Derrick Riches, BBQ and Grilling editor over at The Spruce does a great job of explaining what makes Fast Eddy’s pellet smokers so great.
This pellet grill is made of steel, and the dimensions of it are 21 x 23 x 21. It’s not huge, but it’s still ample. It weighs 70 pounds, which seems like nothing compared to the 250-pound weight of the Rec Tec. We don’t want to compare them side-by-side too much, since it does cost quite a bit less, and offers a more-than-adequate introduction to the wonderful world of backyard smoking.
We’re running out of good things to say about this simple, affordable smoker. There’s nothing else like it on the market. $299 delivered to your door in a big box. Open it up and start smoking. No assembly, no baby sitting and great results every time. If you’ve wanted to get a dedicated smoker or replace a cheapo rust bucket that never worked well anyway, the PBC beats anything in this price range hands down.
For example, it has a decent 570 sq. in. of cooking area, a patented ash cleanout service, endless versatility (wherein you can barbecue, braise, roast, bake, smoke, and grill to your heart’s delight), and an advanced digital control (the same one that allowed the Camp Chef SmokePro to take the top spot). However, the quality control for this unit is a little worse than SmokePro.
Having the same problem as the rest of the group. Rec Tec, Yoder, Green Mountain, Pellet Pro, or MAK? All seem to be heavy gauge SS, Pellet Pro seems really good value, MAK and Green Mountain seem to have controllers with more features. Have a friend who bought Rec Tec 3 years ago, he cannot say enough about the good customer service and the grill. If you could only buy one (money not the issue among these 5), which one, and why?
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.
When looking for smokers, there can be a lot of distractions with all the cool-looking pits out there. Add in the different styles of BBQ from the various regions and it might be even more confusing. If you’re still trying to figure out what kind of smoker is best for your needs, check out our breakdown on the different Types Of Smokers to get started. If you’ve already picked a style you’re interested in and are ready to look at the top choices, this page is for you. Check out our list of the best smokers below.
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.
If you are concerned about the shine on its exterior, always use dish soap, warm water and a scrubbing sponge to clean it. Also, avoid metal brushes or steel wool. Remove stubborn stains by scrubbing using diluted ammonia or vinegar. And you can remove the water spots using unsweetened club soda.