We know choosing a smoker can feel daunting, but take the time to read through the advice we’ve included and familiarize yourself with the features of the grills above. Consider your budget, and the features that you really need, and then go get the grill that works best for you. If you take our advice, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect unit at the price you’re expecting. Enjoy the back yard, and throw an extra rack of ribs on for us!
The spacious cooking surface offers you a massive 838 square inches so you can get a LOT done at once with this one. The design itself is a contemporary-looking stainless steel, which looks very similar to a high-end BBQ, except with the hopper on the left-hand side.
Very often pellet grill manufacturer instruct you to use their pellets, with some going so far as to state that failure to do so will void the warranty. Why? Well, there’s the obvious reason that they want you buy their pellets. However, it really has more to do with ensuring that the grill runs properly, and that starts with using quality pellets. The easiest way for pellet grill makers to guarantee you’re using good pellets is to have you use theirs, which they know meet the desired quality standards. They can’t make that guarantee about another brand of pellets.
This mid-range smoker definitely relies a lot on hype to make a sale. That said, while it isn’t much to look at, it does seem to work extremely well during the first few seasons of use. Upkeep is the biggest concern. If you don’t have an extremely safe, dry place to store this big cooker, you’ll be throwing away a sizeable investment within the first year or two.
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.
Although the overall engineering of the product seems sound, some of the electrical components have flaws. The primary issue is the main controller. Customer service days and hours are limited, but the manufacturer is aware of the issue and responds accordingly. You don’t have to pressure them to get replacement parts, and the new parts seem to be of a higher quality than the failing pieces built into the original machines.
Plans are in place to take this to ‘the cloud’ which will give you the ability to control the temperature from anywhere in the world – so long as your connected to the web. Great for smoking during the week whilst your at work. You can quickly log on and reduce the temperature for the final few hours of your cookout.
A: You should always bear in mind that temperature control is a crucial component to look for before purchasing a BBQ smoker. Temperature control allows you to provide food that is not over-cooked or under-cooked. However, the issue with many smokers is that they do not include thermostats. Electric smokers offer thermostats and are a perfect choice when it comes to smoking fish and a few other foods. However, electric smokers do not provide the authentic BBQ flavor for smoked meats. Gas smokers are also a great choice when it comes to temperature control. However, these also do not provide the authentic BBQ taste that many people may look for. But they are still a great choice especially if you are on a budget. Some charcoal and wood burner smokers offer a thermostatically operated blower that regulates the oxygen supply to fire boxes.
Remove the pellets from the feed hopper to stop them getting wet or being contaminated by any cleaning products you will use. Empty the ash from the burn cup. Some people line their burn cup with aluminum foil to make the cleaning process more manageable. An ash vacuum cleaner will also do the trick.
As we’ve already said temperature control is the key to getting a moist succulent piece of meat. This pellet smoker comes with a built-in thermostatic control with a digital thermometer, so you can exclude any guesswork while barbecuing. If the temperature sensors detect a drop-in temperature they feed more wood pellets into the burner. This allows you to place your meat on the grill and then let the smoker do the work while you relax.
Available in 24-inch and 36-inch units, the Camp Chef SmokePro is packed with great features for their size. It features a massive 811 square inch rack surface area, perfect for grilling multiple foods at once. Using an auto-dispensing pellet hopper that can hold 22 lbs of pellets, grilling is made convenient and efficient.
Finding the right BBQ smoker is probably harder than finding any other kind of grill, because the individual smoker itself has so much to do with how time-consuming and costly your smoking process will be. Professionals often use the same smokers backyard enthusiasts use. There are plenty of quality smokers available for a broad range of prices, and the best options aren’t always the most expensive.
The advantage of this smoker is its versatility. The direct and indirect heat configurations make it possible to cook steaks on one side of the smoker over direct heat while at the same time roasting a whole chicken and a rack of ribs on the other side. Just set the configuration to what meat you’ll be cooking and go with it. It’s really that simple and versatile.
Kevin, I have a Traeger Li’L Tex and I am very happy with it. I bought it on a factory special ($750?) that included a recipe book, a few bags of pellets along with 4-5 bottles of BBQ sauce and rubs. Since then, I’ve added the fold-down front shelf.
The MAK Pellet Boss will increase or decrease with the press of a button in 5°F increments and has a probe in the oven that keeps the temp pretty solid. As with any thermostatically controlled oven, even your indoor oven, the thermostat cycles heat on or off as needed. So it you set it for 225°F it cycles on til it hits 225°F, then off until it drops to 220°F, then on to 225°F. There are three meat probes and the Boss can be programmed to change the cooker temp when the meat hits a target. I’ve had one for several years outdoors in the Chicago winters and summers without a cover and no problems.
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.
No need to vacuum the ashes right after using the pellet grill cooker because, with the help of this product, you only need to pull the lever to release the burnt contents then get the ash cup and throw it all away!
Hey Charlie – I’d leave that grate wide open if you want maximum heat. If the grates are only over the burn pot, then you can do sort of a two zone cook (indirect vs direct heat) by putting a thicker steak, chop, or piece of chicken on the ‘non direct’ side to get up to a temp that’s 15 or 20 degrees lower than your target. Then, finish off over the burn pot area. Just one idea.
Wattage – With the right amount of wattage by your side, you will easily reach the temperature required, and it will stay there provided that you are providing enough pellets for it to make use of. Anything north of 1200W will easily be able to cover all your requirements, but as a rule, it’s ideal to be sheltered than sorry, so it can’t hurt to purchase a unit with a bigger Wattage than you might suspect you’ll require.
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.
Number two when cooking with charcoal (yes plain Kingsford is good stuff if you do it right, a lot of the cheaper brick and cheaper lump can put some weird twangs in your food) brick or lump can produce quality high temp steaks or slow & low bbq! To add some nice flavor add some wood, but do your homework! I think Clark ‘Smokey’ Hale has one of the best books ever for the grill and Q master, “The Great American Manual on Grilling and BBQ or something like that. Last I saw you can grab a used one on Amazon for a few cents and some shipping. The most prolific thing I read in there that so many miss, is burn your wood and your charcoal to where it is literally a coal of gray ash covered glowing ember. Do that and you will find a new flavor in your cooking! Problem is so many places think heavy smoke is great, as they are trying to imitate cold smoke flavors! They are not the same! All this talk I see here about, “I want heavy smoke flavor.” I can tell you if you burn your wood and your charcoal (and I feel even lump needs to be well on it’s way to gray ash covered or you get bitter smoke even though many say not necessary) to a red ember with gray ash covering 80 to 90% minimum preferably completely covered your flavor profile will change. Many supposedly good bbq restaurants I have been in serve something with a bitter or ash flavor, which I find much less enjoyable.
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?
We won’t include the built in thermometer as a negative, as even far more expensive units come with unreliable thermometers that can be off by as much as 10-40 degrees. Always invest in a quality thermometer setup.
What we loved most about it was its versatile 6-in-1 feature. With the Traeger grill, you can grill, smoke, roast, bake, braise and BBQ all kinds of foods at ease. We tested all of those out and found that they all delivered the same juicy perfection that it promised.
There are various strong points that can be made about this product, such as its durability, porcelain coated cast iron grid, and its digital control burn system. However, every product has its weaknesses. Even though the porcelain coating on the grid is meant to aid in the prevention of food sticking to the grids, the porcelain can actually become a nuisance as it can chip, break, and come off in your food. Another issue that this grill can potentially run into has to do with the temperature gauge.
Hey Adam, between the two, I’d go with Yoder. It may take a little more time to get to temp than the Rec-Tec, but you will appreciate the build quality over the long term that comes with the Yoder brand. Heavier metal construction on the Yoder will serve you well on those longer cooks.
The Davy Crockett Pellet Grill offers open flame technology which uses infrared radiation to cook your food. The peaked lid not only allows for you to cook tall slabs of meat, but it also helps the convection process within the grill, making sure that your meat is thoroughly and evenly cooked. This technology ensures that you get that consistent and authentic tasting BBQ every time you fire up the grill!
Yeah it seems like no one is providing any input on it…I was interested in having them review it and do a direct comparison to some of these other grills. I made the mistake of getting a Myron Mixon pitmaster Q3 at sears. It turned out to be a waste of money and the slight humidity I had caused the pellets to burst and seize up the Auger. Anyway I had narrowed my search down to a rec tech or silverback but none of the reviewers seems to be giving it any attention.
The Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill is the one pellet grill currently on the market that utilizes charbroiler technology, which lets you get the same great taste as any high-end commercial grade charbroiler. This pellet grill is constructed from stainless steel. The nickel plated grates are made from 3/8 304T stainless steel. T
Rubbery skin has very little to do with the type of heat (direct vs indirect). Rubbery skin is a result of too low a cooking temperature. Take your smoker/grill or whatever you use and get the temperature in the mid 400’s or even higher and you will get crispy skin. One thing though never let the internal temperature of your bird get over 150 or you’ll have crispy skin and dry crunchy meat too. Take it off the grill and let is rest a full 30 minutes. Best bird you’ll ever eat no matter which grill, smoker, 50 gal barrel, etc you cooked it on.
Regular maintenance involves regular cleaning, regular oiling, and some protection from the elements. Smokers typically require ‘seasoning’ before they’re ready to get cooking as well, and failing to season can lead to not only bad food, but damage to the smoker.