Mike this is a GREAT question, and something I probably should have included in this post. Seriously, thank you for asking it. I’m going to add videos and information to the sections for smokers listed above as I find them. Check back later today and refresh the page, and I’ll have something for you then. 🙂
If there’s one type of smoker (besides an offset) where we really recommend staying away from the cheapest option it’s pellet smokers. Even our best entry level recommendation, the Traeger Junior Elite just squeaks in to our recommended price range and it’s almost twice the price of the Bradley Original!
One thing we humans tend to forget amidst hustle bustle of our fast paced and commercial lives is that we should earn to live, not live to earn. So I think it is high time you ditch your shoe-box of an office behind for a day and live. Spend a day with your family at the park, or maybe catch up with your childhood friend over a beer or two and start doing barbecue. You cannot even begin to imagine how much spending some quality time with your loved ones can help you and them, revive and replenish the monotonousness. And there isn’t a better way to mingle than over a small get-together with some amazing food and great company cooked on your pellet grill.
The Traeger Junior Elite is a compact unit that’s perfect for people who are just getting into pellet cooking; the unit is ideal for tailgating, small spaces and households that don’t have enough room for a large unit.
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Pellet smokers heats up faster than charcoal grills, but slower than gas grills. It reaches satisfying temperatures of up to 500 degrees F ( with more expensive models it’s even up to 600 degrees F ), of course it’s much less than gas grills. But the upside is that pellet smoker can maintain low temperatures even at 160 degrees F for many hours. Some of the models are equipped with a gas powered sear box that heats up even up to 900 degrees F.
Before you buy a pellet grill, check if it has a PID controller. This is a built-in electronic feature that uses an advanced algorithm to accurately and safely control the cooking process based on your preferences you set. Most pellet grills today have PID so it is good to buy what the one that many people already enjoy.
The Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker is Our Top Electric Smoker Pick because it combines the tremendous features and remarkable performance of a more expensive smoker but at a very low price. Not only is it affordable, it is a “set and forget” smoker grill that competes with much more expensive rivals.
Hey John! Thank you so much for your kind words. I try to do a good job here, and am pleased you are enjoying the site. Regarding electric smokers, I have friends who own them and love them. I’ll try to get a post out this summer on them. Folks seem to like Bradley smokers a good bit, so you might want to check them out. You can find a good selection of them on Amazon.com here.
Great product. Well made and simple to use. Used it the day it arrived to smoke cheese. Used the following week to boost the amount of smoke in my Traeger during a higher cook temp. Still had 1/2 of the pellets let after the pork was done, so I moved it to into an even larger grill and guess what???? Smoked some more cheese. Very good smoke enhancer and cold smoke generator.
Some people sneer at gas smoker grills but we have tested loads of different types and sizes and it seems to us like it depends more on the quality of the machine than on which type of grill you’re using. This is a gas grill that competes with anything you could throw at it. And so cheap! It is crazy!
Other guides might offer a list of the best pellet grills, complete with links (links that are often paid). However, your best resource isn’t a list, but the knowledge that will help you know what you’re looking at and ensure you get a pellet grill you’ll be happy with.
It is crucial to bear in mind how much food you want to make before you purchase a smoker. If you are only planning to use the smoker for family cookouts on the weekend, then a small smoker should be more than sufficient for your needs. Most smokers will state how much food you can cook with it.
With this grill, you will have no use for charcoal or gas again! The Traeger Grill uses wood pellets that offer your food a delicious taste. Barbecue, roast, smoke, bake, braise, or grill your food to succulent precision with this six in one versatile Texas Elite 34 Pellet Grill that offers slow cooking with low heat of quick cooking with high heat. This pellet grill allows you to grill your food to precision each time with an Integrated Digital Elite Controller that retains temperatures inside +/- twenty degrees Fahrenheit and makes setting the grill temperature as simple as spinning a knob. It provides 646 sq. in. of cooking space, which is capable of holding up to six chickens, nine racks of ribs, or twenty-four burgers.
Hello.. You recommended a couple weeks ago to go with a GMG grill and that is the one I’m going with. I’m just a little torn between the DB and JB. They are only $150 apart but I’m not sure if the bigger size is worth the money when I can spend that on a cover and some pellets. Do you think the bigger size is worth it for a back yard smoker with the occasional party? I know people say bigger is better but I went bigger with my previous barrel smoker and it was much harder to keep an even temp with the bigger size. I would have went smaller given the chance. Thanks for any input!
I have the Camp Chef Woodwind with sear box (basically their SmokePro DLX with a stainless steel lid), and it’s… pretty good. Good smoke, easy cleaning, all the points made in the article above. However, I’m having some cook timing issues which I believe stem from the Ortech controller. I’ve seen temperature swings of 75 degrees while cooking. Also, even with an added gasket, the lid leaks smoke quite a bit- to the point that the chimney seems superfluous.
Other than that the build quality is excellent. The materials are heavy and feel like they are made to last. Unlike most smokers that you setup once and then leave forever, this unit can easily fold up and be moved.
It’s a variation on the Ugly Drum Smoker or UDS, but the drum is slightly smaller and, although it comes with a grate, for most recipes you hang the meat vertically from hooks – even turkeys! Your jaw will hit the deck as you pull one round of deliciously smoked meats after another from this magic drum with little more effort than trimming and seasoning. Furthermore the meat hanging method provides beaucoup capacity. PBC easily accommodates eight full slabs of ribs. Whether you’re a novice or an award winning competitor (and competition teams now use them), Pit Barrel is a welcome addition to any backyard. Click here to read our complete review of the Pit Barrel Cooker.
The smokers we examined had many different primary materials, and although powdered and enameled steel were the most popular, they were far from the only options. While these different materials impact ease of maintenance, we didn’t judge the quality of any smoker’s construction based on the type of materials used. We’ll go deeper into maintenance issues below.
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.
Wood pellet grill is a two-in-one mixture of a smoker and a grill. It doesn’t provide direct flame for your steaks or meat as a grill would which eliminates flare-ups. Since there’s no direct flame, searing meat isn’t an option and there’s a better choice if this is your desire. However, if you desire a great smoky flavor with an easy cooking process then a pellet smoker is an excellent choice.
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.
You don’t mention Traeger grills other than in you opening paragraphs. Where do they fit into your article. Where do they fit into your list, are they worth considering? Plusses and minuses of this brand. alternate choices, etc.
The argument for the Ortech is that “close enough is good enough” and that the PID is so efficient that you don’t get much smoke. The whole point of having a smoker is to put smoke on meat. If what you want is precision control then put some Liquid Smoke on your ribs and cook them in an oven.
I am glad your review of the Rec Tec included commentary on the accuracy and performance of the temperature controller. I would have liked to read similar comments about the other five grills in your reviews because this is such an important feature.
Sorry for the long book all, hope there is some info that helps all of your readers to avoid all the work and ruined meat. The books I recommend are great but there are a ton more out there with great info as well. (And yep still looking for the magic bullet on brisket, best I can say cook till floppy and don’t let the juice out! GL)
Consistency is the key to having the best results. If you want a tender brisket, your cooking temperature should be close to 250 F during the whole 12 hour period of cooking. The control board is responsible for precision. There are one-touch Non-PID, PID multi-position, and 3-position controllers. Check out the different types of controllers for the one that is right for you.
As both a fuel source and flavor enhancer, wood pellets can affect everything from how well your pellet grill performs to how good the food tastes. And while one might assume that because all wood pellets look alike that they’re all the same, which pellets you use can make a big difference. These 6 tips will help you choose quality smoker pellets that will keep your pellet grill performing its best and producing great wood-fire flavor.
This complete system allows you to not only smoke and grill, but also roast and traditionally barbeque. Cooking is simple, and one of the industry’s most advanced digital controls helps streamline the process from beginning to end.
Decided that moving these beasts was a little challenging so I bought a Backwoods Party 10 years ago and loved it. But basically have about worn it out. And as I got older I don’t enjoy getting up at 2 AM and then having to get up every couple of hours, after the 45 minutes of getting it ready at 2 AM, to check it and feed it. I also bought a smaller lightly used Open Range, The Good One. Used their recommended method the first time I cooked with it and hated the Q off of it so bad most of it was wasted, wife hated it too and the son ate most of it. It was extremely ash/strong smoke flavored!
The best solution: Have an electrician custom make a cord the proper length for you. Don’t buy a cable much longer than you need it because the longer the cable, the higher the resistance and the power diminishes. You don’t want to see the equations for that.
Some grills can only store 18 pounds of pellets. Owners of these grills say it isn’t a big deal to add more pellets mid-cook if needed. A benefit to having a smaller hopper is that there is less chance of unused pellets getting wet during storage and turning to sawdust.
The smoker features stainless steel cooking grates, powder-coated steel body and a peaked lid for beer can chicken or any other cuts of meat that need the extra height. It has a temperature range of 150-500f for low and slow smoking or hot and fast grilling. The controller also features a turbo-mode to get you up to temp faster, as well as a fan-only mode to blow ashes out after cooking.