Therefore, a large cooker with a primary cooking area of 500 square inches, might actually be of less use to you than a smaller cooker with a total cooking area that includes a 450 square inch primary rack and a 125 square inch secondary rack. If you couldn’t be bothered doing the math, that’s 575 square inches of total cooking space.
At Grills Forever, we are passionate about outdoor cooking. We don’t just tell you things we’ve read rather we go the extra mile, making us the go-to team for all your smoker grill needs. Throughout our journey from four BBQ novices to barbecuing experts, we have developed some of the best strategies for picking a pellet grill and testing it before recommending it to our audience.
To keep this smoker in working order, you’ll need to invest a lot of tender-loving care. Although rust is often a sign of poor maintenance, it seems to be a common issue with this model, which reflects on the smoker’s construction. For a mid-priced smoker, material standards should be a little higher.
Temperature Control: All the good to topnotch pellet smokers have some sort of digital or analog temperature control system, some of which come complete with a thermostat. The way it works is that at the push of a button, the probe keeps the temp consistent by controlling pellet distribution.
You aren’t limited to basic barbecuing. For us, what really stood out was its ability to deliver pro chef-level cooking even at home. This smoker lets you explore all there is about cooking, letting you braise, grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise and BBQ all kinds of food. Using only pure hardwood pellets, you’re sure to have the juiciest and tastiest meats and vegetables every time you host your outdoor parties. If you think you have to give up quality because of the quantity of foods it can cook, that’s not the case. Quality is maintained whatever it is you’re cooking.
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.
We carefully consulted our testing team, asked our volunteers and staff alike for their honest opinions, and argued a lot about what should be Our Pick. In the end, we came up with the best smoker reviews on the web.
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.
Hey Kevin great article. I too am currently looking for a pellet smoker. I’ve narrowed it down between a Yader, Memphis Pro and the Rec Tec. The Green Mountain did not seem very well built. The wheels looked liked the would break on the first roll and the stainless steel door was flimsy and did not have a good seal. I know the Rec Tec has a 6 year warranty. Do you know how long the warranties are on the other two?
In order for you to decide which pellet smoker is best for you we need to understand the fundamental differences between these grills. By the way, if you are trying to decide between a pellet grill and an electric smoker then you might want to check out this article on the best Masterbuilt electric smokers.
Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker is the ultimate choice for any expert smoker. Its reasonable price and amazing features make it a long-term investment. It comes with a lot of nifty features that facilitate, smoking, grilling and searing in your backyard. For all these reasons, it’s our top choice for the serious BBQ buffs.
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.
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.
Thanks to Smart Smoke Technology you can set it, forget it and go take care of something else while the grill does all the work. The digital temperature controls and automatic auger will feed premium hardwood pellets into the grill so the temperature always remains just right without any assistance from you.
There’s a lot to love about the Open Range, but versatility is its biggest selling point. A reconfigured offset with the firebox on the front and a smoking chamber above and behind it, the Open Range excels at both smoking and grilling. In fact, it performs so well as a smoker that it’s the go-to cooker for 8-time American Royal Grand Champion Chris Marks> (somewhat less impressive: our competitive team uses a Good One as well). However, what differentiates the Open Range from many traditional smokers is that the firebox has a grill grate, allowing you to do high heat grilling right over the burning coals.
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.
Only 1/3 of a cup of pellets is needed for most cooking events. As compared to other forms of smoking wood, you’ll need 5-10 times the weight of wood to achieve the same results as pellets. The cost per use is much less for pellets than any other form of wood.
Most owners are crazy about their pellet cookers, but some say the flavor is different than they are used to from charcoal and gas grills, and more than one has told me they do not like the flavor because it is too mild. They are a minority.
Some people think simple is best and some love a smoker grill that comes with all the bells and whistles on the market. If you are someone who likes to have all the latest features have a look out for a smoker grill that has some of the extras below:
Do some research and find out how many pounds of pellets per hour the smoker burns. Anything up to a pound per hour, at smoking temperatures, is OK. For example, Bruce Bjorkman of MAK claims that his barbecues only use about ½ a pound per hour on the smoke setting.
When buying this pellet smoker you have to pay attention to the two features described above. This is the reason why people decide to buy this particular pellet smoker. It is something that other grills don’t have.
The last thing you want inside a pellet smoker is any dampness. If the pellets themselves get wet at all they can turn into a wood concrete, that will make it difficult for the auger within the hopper to dispense them. Pellet smokers usually have some electrical parts inside so it is vital that they do not get wet as they could short and become inoperable. If your pellet grill has not been used for a while, and not kept dry, you might find white furry patches inside when you open it up. The mold inside needs to be dealt with, and the smoker thoroughly cleaned to prevent food contamination. Fire up your smoker to get it as hot as possible, and keep it there for about 20 minutes. Let it cool, and then remove all the internal parts and give them a good clean in hot soapy water. You may have to pressure wash some of the items to get rid of the mold spores. Once the internal parts are dry, replace them in the smoker and start it up again to remove any final mold and residue from the cleaning process. To stop mold building up inside your smoker, always let it run hot at the end of every cook. Also, store it in a dry place with the vents open.
It is different with REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill, here the solid construction is made of high quality materials. On the outside, high temperature powder coat and porcelain enamel finish. While inside, the manufacturers use stainless steel of very good quality for all the major parts. On the official website, we can read that you can find over 40 pounds of 304 stainless steel parts in this grill ( see for yourself ).
Davy Crockett uses Green Mountain’s advanced digital thermostatic controller with a double readout LED show to accommodate the included meat thermometer. Green Mountain additionally incorporates connectors to give control from a divider outlet, auto cigarette lighter, or auto battery: things that are frequently optional.
As it stands now I think you would be fine with a GMG Daniel Boone if the size is big enough for you. They have great customer service and I am happy with the little Davy Crockett unit I have from GMG. This way you can stay within your price range comfortably and have a reliable product. Hope this helps.
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.
Rust in the smoker itself is a sign of poor quality or unusually high maintenance. Again, we’ll go more into maintenance later, but it’s important to note that evidence of rusting inside the smoker itself is just as often a sign of poor maintenance as it is a sign of poor materials. When you’re looking at any kind of reviews for a smoker, keep that balance in mind.
Before buying, please note that most pellet smokers need access to electricity to run the digital controller, the auger that transports the pellets to the firebox, and the convection fan that circulates the air in the cooking chamber. These cookers can use a lot of pellets at high temps. At high temps there is little or no smoke, and at low temps smoke is unavoidable. So if you want to cook, say, a chicken breast low and slow to retain juices, but you don’t want any smoke flavor, you’re outta luck. If you want to torch a thin burger to get a crunchy crust and add a little smokiness, you’ll get great smoke flavor, but it is hard to get the crust. But if you want killer ribs, bacon, smoked salmon, etc., pellet burners are hard to beat for convenience and quality.
More and more pellet grills are being manufactured now as the benefits of “pellet grilling” are being discovered and it’s a smart choice to go with if you want the taste and flavor of the wood grill and the convenience of a gas grill.
Thanks Kevin. I am about to buy both a 5 burner gas grill and a smoker for a new bbq island. Rather than buy both, will one of these higher end pellet grills take the place of a traditional propane grill? I can apply the funds for the gas grill to a higher end pellet if it can really do double duty. It has to be able to cook burgers and dogs and steaks etc. Just like a gas grill though. Thoughts?
A quality pellet grill is built to last and will provide years of reliable performance. Bargain pellet grills not only lack the capabilities of better grills, they’re more likely to break down. No matter your price range, look for a pellet grill that’s built well and offers consistent performance. Fortunately, if price is a major consideration, there are quality pellet grills for under $500, as well as high-end pellet grills for under $1,000.
A pellet grill like the Rec-Tec is a breeze to use; subsequently, you won’t need to manage a migraine when barbecuing or smoking. Most models now accompany an electronic start highlight, which means you don’t need to use gas or charcoal for grilling or smoking (Read here). Furthermore, with this element, you don’t likewise need to manage the temperature changes in the earth on the grounds that the unit will be lighted by its electric igniter whatever happens, and after that, it will begin warming and cooking your nourishment. Furthermore, regardless of you are a piece of a little or a major family unit, there is the correct model with the size perfect for your family’s cooking needs.
One Touch Non PID controllers are a lot more accurate than the previous two controllers. However, keep in mind they too deliver pellets on a fixed cycle. Because of this accuracy is limited to +/-15–20°F.
This pellet smoker is loaded with great features, and easy to find for way below list price. It has an older-style notched digital controller, like what Traeger uses, but Camp Chef adds a dual LED readout for the included meat thermometer so you can toggle between cooking temperature and internal meat temperature. Pellet smokers are known to produce light smoke flavor. If you want more, Camp Chef’s controller includes two low-temperature settings that allow the wood pellets to smolder and produce extra smoke. Although pellets don’t create much ash, it does need to be removed periodically, which is always a pain because the greasy grates and drip pan must be lifted out to get at the burn pot. The DLX is one of the few models on the market with an ash-removal system that deposits ash in a cup under the smoke box for easy disposal.
A pellet grill is an outdoor cooker that runs on electricity. It uses wood pellets as fuel to cook as well as smoke and flavor the meats. A pellet grill is a combination appliance of grills, smoker, oven and more. It can be used to sear, smoke, grill, roast and even bake! A pallet grill can be used to cook almost all types of meats and proteins. It also accommodates larger quantity and size than a normal indoor appliance. This is what makes a pellet grill so special, its versatility and convenience of use.
I’m not sure of the dates on the above replies, its now Oct.2017, and I’ve had enough of the Bradley dig. smoker. I live on Long Island NY and the Bradley has trouble getting up to and holding temp. I’ve added a PID to it but have decided to take it up a level. I’ve done a bunch of research and I’m leaning toward the Yoder 640 with Comp. cart. unless you take me out of it. What would you be spending your money on today? I did buy a book though your site, I hope that helps.
Hey Jeff! Great questions. If you’re looking for a solid built in pellet grill, I definitely recommend giving Memphis Grill a hard look. I really enjoyed the Pro Series grill I tested for this review. Just a really solid performing machine. Anything else like a kit and and brick etc would definitely be my back up plan rather than my primary focus.
It’s true that even the entry-level models of pellet smokers are a bit pricey. But I’ve never met an unhappy pellet smoker owner, even if they paid a few hundred bucks more than the cost of their neighbor’s grill. While many folks struggle trying to get cheap offset and bullet smokers to work, with a pellet smoker, it’s easy to make the best smoked ribs, brisket, and pulled pork in the neighborhood.