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The Rec Tec is a hard act to follow and it almost doesn’t seem fair comparing other pellet smokers to it, so for the purpose of this review let’s assume the Rec Tec didn’t exist or was no longer manufactured. What would we choose then?
Using 100% hardwood pellets, this smoker gives you authentic, smoky flavored foods whatever you do with it, whether it’s smoking, grilling, baking, roasting, braising, or BBQing. You get the wood-fired taste all of your guests are looking forward to each time.
Although it’s hard to lift the lid when shopping online, do your research. Read reviews and compare specs. And don’t be afraid to call and ask questions. Anyone selling pellet grills should be able to tell you all you need to know about a particular grill and how it compares to other models.
Choosing the one perfect pellet grill that could change your cooking experience is easier said than done. There is just so know you have to know before committing to it. Though I did give you a run-through of all the basic and important things to look for in a pellet grill before buying one, it is still a scratch on the surface. It is tiring to have to go from store to store to find the quality ones that you can choose from. So, to come to your rescue once again, I will now give you the some pellet grill review.
The worst part about using a grill is always the clean up. It usually requires you pull out a vacuum or broom and get your hands dirty while you are trying to prepare one of your grilling masterpieces.
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.
Easy ash cleanout port let ask “drain” from the opening into a small bucket. Let’s you clean in between cooks with no need to use a vacuum or a broom and dust pan. No need to get your hands dirty especially when you are preparing food.
Unlike previous models, the heating element is replaceable and reasonably simple to swap out if it breaks down. The smoker is designed for all skill levels, but it’s particularly great for beginners, since it removes the need to constantly monitor and adjust heat. Best of all, Masterbuilt is happy to work with customers, and they’re quick to offer solutions and replacement parts for faulty equipment.
Pellet grill is a type of grill that uses wood pellets as its fuel source. The pellets are made of compressed sawdust. These wooden pellets are used to fuel the grill instead of charcoal or gas. However, the pellet grill works almost the same way as charcoal and gas grills combined.
No wonder we’re addicted to smoking meat! If you’ve gotten started, you know the fun of pulling a rack of ribs off the smoker at just the right time and watching as the meat falls off the bones. The flavor of the charcoal smoke and the smell of the dry rub are enough to make you go 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.
Along with the ease and variety that a pellet grill affords you, the great news is that pellet grills might actually be healthier for you! The National Cancer Institute has stated that certain methods of cooking meat (such as charcoal grilling) can increase one’s risk of cancer. Wood pellet grilling could potentially have a lower risk of cancer when compared to other forms of grilling as some people say that it leads to the creation of fewer carcinogens. (However, research is still underway and over-consumption of any grilled meats could increase one’s cancer risk).
It is a gas smoker, but you still need to add your wood chunks. Your fuel area is at the bottom with its own separate door so when you get in there to add your favorite smoking wood, you don’t lose heat in the main chamber. This is especially useful for those of us that live in areas with colder winters and need all the heat we can get.
Since there are a lot of choices when you’re looking for the best pellet smoker/grill, we got the best of the best pellet grills on the market reviews by America’s Top Chefs and narrowed down the list to the Top 5 Pellet Smokers on the market right now.
The versatility of this grill gives you endless cooking possibilities. You can roast, bake, barbecue, smoke and of course grill. You have a huge temperature range of between 160° F up to 500° F which allows you to cook your food any way you want.
The entire system is really a fail-safe smoking design for newbies and experts alike. The temperature can vary from a low 160 F to a stunning 500 F. It also has a really handy feature – the patented Fire Pot Cleanout system allows for an easy clean up after use.
Pellet grills are also special because they give you the option of playing with different types of wood, all of which give off a unique smoke and flavor. There is a great deal of variety woods available — think oak, hickory, apple, maple, cherry, mesquite, and peach. Each wood will give your food a different smoke and bite, and it’s really fun to be creative and play with different combinations. (One suggestion: Most people advise against using conifer wood such as pine and the like).
Seems to be a very one way review. You mention how great the Rec Tec is due to price and warranty but fail to mention the Yoder that is heavier made with better warranty and unparalleled customer service. The price point is just a few hundred more than Rec Tec and you can actually see the Yoder in a retail store across the country unlike Rec Tec hiding behind the owner only distraction. The Rec Tec is just a painted up traeger.
Can you comment on the Camp Chef entry level pellet grill. I’m of limited funds but would like to purchase one of these type grills. I’ve been using an electric smoker and I personally don’t like the creosote taste I’m experiencing with it! So I guess my question is will I regret purchasing one of these “cheap” pellet grills?
I took a stab at locating your IP address (it shows when you leave a comment). It has your in the Olney, MD area. If I’m right, Clarke’s Ace Hardware in Ellicott City (410) 465-9633 sell the Traeger Pro series pellet grills. I called them and confirmed that they can get them in and have a bulk order of them in to Traeger now.
Your choice of pellet can also dictate how much cleanup you’ll have to deal with (even though generally 10 pounds of pellets can produce at most half a cup of ash, but this varies from pellet variant to pellet variant). Just be warned that when the temperature is high, there’s not much smoke happening, so you need to smoke out your meats at lower temperatures to get that smoky flavor.
Hi Gail, barring any differences that I’m not able to see per the specs for the Pit Boss 820 that differ greatly from a Traeger Pro model. In fact, it looks like they’re using the Traeger body… which anyone can use via sites that sell them from China. Heavy construction, most likely a good cooker.
Have you heard of the gold standard smoker? You are about too. I present you the charcoal smokers. Though charcoal smokers are quite difficult to figure out in comparison to the easy to use electric smoker and cheap and portable gas smoker, these types of smokers are the queen of all smoker types.
Everyone loves grilled food, especially if it has been cooked on an outside grill to give it that deep rich roasted flavor. Since their introduction a couple of decades ago, pellet grills have become the simple way to give a distinct flavor when cooking to your steaks, burgers, and roasts.
With so many pellet grills on the market the only way manufacturers can differentiate themselves is through features. When comparing pellet grills, take the time to look at all the features that are included.
Set it and forget it. That’s the main attraction of electric smokers, and an important one. No lighting charcoal, no checking the fuel supply every hour or so, no messy ash to clean up. Just turn it on, crack a bear and take a snooze in your lounge chair.
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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.
Hey John – great question. My experience is that I use maybe 8 lbs of pellets for a 7 or 8 hour cook at 275 degrees. Pellet grills are relatively fuel efficient. The brand of pellet you choose will play into this. Cost for pellets varies by manufacturer, similar to charcoal. I think you’ll find them very efficient if you’re just firing them up for high heat, shorter grilling sessions.
No gas, charcoal and propane solutions here. This grill uses only wood pellets, letting you serve that pro-like, rich smoky flavor that your guests will enjoy. Do you want to cook more recipes? The Z Grills website features dozens of recipes for your indulgence.
I was leary about getting a pellet grill as i have had great success with my propane box smoker. Did some research and went with the Rec-Tec 680. Absolutely love the thing. It actually fell off the trailer when i moved a few months back and still works like a charm, just has a little more character now! Highly recommend this set it and forget it pellet grill
The Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker is cheaply built, but not as bad as most gas smokers in this price range. It is narrow so you have to cut rib slabs in half, but it can hold a lot of food. Once you get the hang of it, it can hold temps pretty steadily and it doesn’t require nursing. But you absolutely must replace the temperature indicator (it is not a thermometer no matter what they call it) with a good digital thermometer. Click here to read our complete review of the Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker.
I know, I know, no one likes to read the instruction manual, but even as an expert you see the advantages learning the specifics of your grill. Reading the manual is key. Generally, you should not use water to clean the pellet smokers, so keep your hose pipe far away. These smokers have digital controllers, a motorized auger, a fan and an igniter rod for the fire pot. These parts will get destroyed if they come into contact with water. You should gently dry scrub the dirt off these parts, making sure not to disassemble any parts. Cleaning the thermostat will also prove essential; otherwise, it may read temperatures inaccurately.
A lot of people will grill vegetables alongside any meat on the grill as its always nice to have an accompaniment. However, the grilled vegetables can be a meal on their own. They can easily hold the smoky flavor you get from using your pellet smoker so why not give it a try.
This smoker offers a massive 560 cubic inches of grilling area with a large-capacity pellet hopper. Even though it’s the perfect starter grill, it’s still packed with plenty of extras that even the pro chefs will enjoy. If the grilling space isn’t enough, the removable upper racks can be turned into extra cooking space. The smoke stack behind the unit can also be converted into a prep area.
Ease of Use: At first, the unit appears somewhat mind boggling to use however when you get over it the first occasion when it turns out to be very simple. For one thing, there is a get-together video instructional exercise from the maker’s site for a less demanding get-together. Else, anybody that has used a BBQ before wouldn’t have any type of trouble with the unit.
When was the last time you actually got to sit back with your family and friends and chat away over the recent events? While it is understandable that work is important, that is it crucial to put the bread on your table and that you do it to make the lives of your loved ones more comfortable and fulfilling, but it is in no way to live. There is nothing sadder than have to work on presentations on the weekends while you kids wait behind your desk to finish up and take them to their soccer practice. Nothing is worse when you cannot make time to visit your old folks and best buddy because you have to run to the banks and attend the same old meetings.
Set it and forget it. Fill the hopper with pellets, set your preferred temperature (and a timer if you need) and go prepare a side dish or drink beer with friends. No charcoal grill will give you that freedom.

It’s effortless to operate, just press a button and you’re off, it’ll start heating up to the specific temperature you’re requested. Sometimes, with smokers, you’ll have trouble maintaining the correct temperature throughout the entire cooking process, but that’s not an issue with this pellet grill.
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.
Thank you all for a great site and an informative discussion. I am a newbie to smoking and presently have a charcoal grill for when I have more time and a gas grill for a fast meal. Its time to replace my gas grill so I am looking at alternative options. Is a pellet grill overkill, or a timely expedition, if I want to grill a couple steaks or chicken breasts during week nights? I’d also be interested in smoking larger hunks of meat (and ribs!) less often, but am wondering if a pellet grill can cover both? How long does it take a pellet grill to get to temp (e.g. 450°)? With the indirect heat, can you get char marks on your meat? Thanks in advance for the info!
Hi Scott, the pellet tube smoker lyrics buy packing pellets into the tube and lighting one end with a butane torch or other heat source capable of setting the pellets on fire. The length of the tube determines the burn rate.
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.

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