Imagine a warm summer night, your friends and family all around you. Someone is playing a guitar and that sweet melody drifts over with the delicious smell from your smoker filled with succulent barbeque ribs, seasoned pork tenderloins, spicy chicken wings and juicy turkey! Yum! It makes my tummy growl! Just thinking about it! We’d all like a night like that, but who wants to go through all that research to find out what grill best suits your needs?
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The Grilla Model I have is their flagship pellet smoker, and it’s different in both design and smoking ability. Once look at its upright footprint and swinging door access, and you can see what I mean by a fresh take on pellet smoker styling.
Of course, the grill is equipped with porcelain grates, which are easy to clean and don’t require maintenance like cast-iron grates for example. The downside is that the porcelain surface is delicate, so use soft brushes ( preferably buy a nylon brush ).
As with all pellet smokers, there’s a lot to like, and a few things that can be improved, but as far as compact portable grills go, there’s very few available on the market, therefore the GM Davy Crockett is our top pick of a rather short list.
On Tabletop Models: I didn’t include them here because though extensive, this post is more of an overview of a few select makers of Pellet Smokers I think do a fine job with both manufacturing and product support. The one exception is that I did include a link to where you can find the Rec-Tec mini. That’s Rec-Tec’s answer to the smaller, tabletop or tailgating models.
Hey Wayne – thanks for your comment. The Brinkmann and Meco models are good starter models. I’d probably edge up to a Masterbuilt electric. Sounds like you have one of these other models. What’s your favorite thing to cook in it?
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.
Most pellet smokers are wood-burning ovens: great for ribs, turkey, brisket, and butts, but not so great for grilling steaks and burgers. The FEC PG series was one of the first lines of pellet burners to offer a sear station, a cast iron cooking grate right over the fire pot where the wood pellets burn. It isn’t the best setup for searing, but it’s better than most other pellet searing schemes. The real beauty of the Fast Eddy’s design is that it produces meat with a deep mahogany finish, much like a competition-grade offset smoker. It also has two upper-level heat zones, for a total of four distinct temperature zones.
Everything we grilled with this red devil came out perfect. We could control the intensity of smoke, the temperature, whatever we liked with ease. Especially good is the portability, it can be wheeled really easy and then locked straight in place for some quick fire kamado action. Even with its solid construction, it is not immensely heavy. It is a great value grill.
Hey Boyd, it’s really great hearing from you here. I am becoming a much bigger Traeger fan then I was in the past. They have done some excellent work of late on their Grill models. I really think they’re doing a lot of work too improve and restate their original value proposition. Their Pro Series models are excellent, and I believe that the directions the company is taking especially with getting back into the competition world will benefit both it and its customers… Like you… Long into the future.
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.
I am the only person in the world whose full time job is testing, researching, reviewing, and rating grills and smokers. Not a bad gig! I measure temperatures, slam lids, turn dials, study warranties, kick casters, and cook a lot of food, and consider look, feel, and price. I try to select devices that cover a range of prices, endeavoring to offer you a winner at whatever you can afford. We think these selections are Best Values in their price category. The thumbnail reviews in our Top 10 Lists are in order of manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), but actual prices can differ significantly, especially since many of these items can be highly customized. Please click the red links to read our complete detailed reviews and find links to suppliers, many of whom sell well below MSRP. In addition to our Top 10 Lists, we have a huge searchable Ratings & Reviews database with hundreds of smokers and grills.
I always encourage consumers to get to know a little bit about a brand and company before purchasing a product from them. What differentiates a smart consumer from a consumer is preparedness. Get to know about the company history, its commitment to consumers, its consumer service, after-sales services and warranty. It is also a great idea if you can go through consumer ratings and reports the company’s pellet grill review before buying it. Do not just fall for intelligent marketing and chic packaging. Get you facts checked; remember it is your hard earned money on the line.
Costs more to get a reliable unit compared to other types of smoker – You can pick up excellent charcoal, gas or electric smokers between $200-$500 while a good pellet will run you between $400-$1000+
It’s really a lot like charcoal in terms of brand loyalty. Thus far the brands of BBQ wood pellets that stand out as being best of breed come from the following manufacturers. Note – this list is not in any specific order.
Pellet Grills are known as do-it-all cookers that can smoke and grill. However, most pellet grills are primarily indirect cookers, with a solid diffuser plate sitting over the fire. That design allows pellet grills to excel at smoking, but it also keeps cooking temperatures down. In fact, many pellet grills max out at around 400-450°F. Although that’s certainly hot enough to cook a burger or steak, it isn’t hot enough for the high heat searing or open-flame cooking most people associate with “grilling.”
According to Bruce Bjorkman of MAK, his cookers use about 1/2 pound of pellets per hour when set on “Smoke” (about 175°F). At 450°F, the high temp, they burn about 2.3 pounds per hour. This is about the same average as I have experienced on a variety of pellet eaters. The burn rate will vary somewhat depending on the outside air temp, and how much cold meat is loaded in the grill, but cooking load should not have a major impact. Cooking pellets run about $1 per pound depending on the wood flavor, brand, if you get them on sale, and if you have to pay shipping. As a point of comparison, Kingsford briquets list for about $0.75 per pound, but they don’t pack the same BTUs because there are fillers. I usually buy 40 pound bags of BBQr’s Delight pellets from BigPoppaSmokers.com for $45 and shipping is free to IL. That’s $1.13 per pound. That means that if I cook a slab of spareribs for six hours at 225°F I will probably burn about 4 pounds at about $4.50. If I put 8 slabs in there in rib holders, and allocate 1/2 slab per person, my cost for 16 people is about $0.28 each. If I grill a mess of chicken parts at about 325°F for about 1 hour, I will use about 1.5 pounds of pellets for a cost of $1.70.
Hey Di! I use Grillgrates when I want to cook steaks on my GMG, and would recommend them for any pellet grill… or grill period for that matter. They leave AMAZING sear marks! I do the “reverse sear” method. This lets you smoke/roast your steaks and then fire them off for searing at the end. Here’s what I do. (Find Grillgrates on Amazon here.)
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.
This smoker comes with a cooking area measuring 560 cubic inches, large enough to allow you smoke food for the whole family or a group. It also has a handy warming rack where you can keep your smoked food warm while your waiting for your whole meal to come together or that one couple who always arrive late for the party.
Pellet Flavors: Like with e-cigs and their gimmick of flavorful e-liquids, pellets for pellet grills and smokers also have different flavors added to their pellets, and they include bourbon, maple, apple, cherry, mesquite, alder, pecan, and hickory. You can mix flavors, change flavors, or use different flavors for every day of the week if you do everyday barbecues and grills for your restaurant or something.
Some beneficial features that this model includes are that it is lightweight, small, and has legs that fold away for easy transportability. The grill grates are constructed from 3/16 in stainless steel rod and also includes a stainless steel ten gauge fire pot. With the interior of this grill you will also find that it includes a stainless steel fourteen gauge heat deflector, a stainless steel fourteen gauge drip pan, and a high quality ceramic ignition system.
Like other pellet smokers you dial in different pre-set temperature settings on the thermostatic controller. You can choose between 175 – 400, as well as several other pre-sets like “High”, “LO Smoke” and “Hi Smoke”. You can easily hold at an ideal smoking temp of 225-250° consistently for many hours.
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.
A pellet smoker gives one limitless options on what to cook. One can entirely cook anything and everything because the pellet smoker gives a combination of abilities from grilling and smoking to kitchen oven. One can grill chicken, hot dogs, burgers sea foods and even vegetables. Brisket and ribs BBQ can be smoked. Baking of pizza, blueberry pie, bread pudding and cakes. This is why the pellet smoker is best considered than other grillers.
Always make sure that you get a unit that is appropriate for the size of the meals you are going to be cooking; you don’t want to buy a small unit that only allows you to cook for yourself. The units can be heavy, so if you are going to be moving your smoker a lot, you probably want to buy something that is a little lighter and comes on wheels. If you find a unit from a dependable manufacturer, you’ll get a great warranty; this ensures that your unit will last you a long time.
I haven’t posted here before, but have been reading and finding a lot of good information on this site. I am in the market for a pellet grill so have been researching some of them listed on this site. Out of Yoder, Green Mountain, Memphis and MAK I really like price, features and looks of the Yoder YS640. I was wondering if anyone has used Louisianna pellet grills? For example, the CS680? I don’t see it mentioned much on bbq blog sites so not sure if it is a good brand. Thanks for any advice.
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.
Another important key feature that you should always consider is the insulation and seals of the smoker. Smokers that are relatively inexpensive usually leak, which allows smoke and heat to escape. As a result, this makes it difficult for your smoker to keep temperatures stabilized and control the amount of smoke taste.
Camp Chef Woodwind offers a state of the art pellet grill with digital temperature controls, a patented ash cleanout, and perfected sear box offering up to 900 degrees F! The stainless steel grill is visually pleasing and guaranteed to bring flavor to your food.
I’m about to make the final step in purchasing your smoker grill so easy that it will be like I did it for you. I’m going to list the smokers by price and features. Now you can pick best smoker grill to meet your needs and wallet.
The 20 pound capacity pellet hopper means you’re not even stressing about running out of ‘gas’ while you’re cooking and the pellets are automatically dispensed. We did say it’s like having your buddy doing the BBQ for you. The electronics used inside the thermostat are very precise, and if your cooking temperature falls, the hopper throws another pellet on the fire to heat the unit up. You will not get this kind of control from wood, charcoal or gas units.
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.
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.