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It is one of the few grills on the market that uses 100% natural wood pellets for fuel. That means you don’t have to worry about the toxic fumes that usually come from using gas, charcoal or propane. It also means cleanup will be a lot easier.
The Traeger Grills Pro Series model here is the 22 inch model. They offer a 34 inch model as well. I really ran this grill through its paces. The prime grade beef ribs cooked on this Traeger Grills Pro 22 had excellent color and smoke flavor. I was equally pleased with the pork ribs smoked on this grill.
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.
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.
The Traeger Pellet grill can accommodate temperatures from 180 degrees to 375 degrees, and high. It has a state of the art digital temperature control system that not only monitors the temperature to keep it consistent and even, but also regulates the pellets the auger feeds to the fire according to that temperature. This is truly a grill worthy of a place in our pellet grill review.
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?
Hey Larry, that’s a good question. I know there are products on the market that can utilize sawdust as a sit on the grates in a metal container method. But yeah, would be interesting to see if this could be modded into a pellet smoker’s burn pot area somehow.
Traeger really pulled the trigger on this one this time around, delivering the Traeger TFB65LZBC Texas Elite 34 Series Wood Pellet Grill. It’s fueled by 100% pure hardwood pellets to give you real wood flavor out of your meat (rather than artificial or gimmicky ones).
You can use this grill to grill, smoke, bake, braise, barbecue, sear and char-grill No need to use other cooking equipment or spend more time preparing food because everything you need is in the Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill.
Where the Rec Tec outshines, or rather, outcooks other pellet grills, is their temperature control. The grills all come standard with a P.I.D. Controller (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) algorithm, the ‘secret’ to the grill maintaining its precise temperature.
Allow your meat to rest. – Although you will probably be tempted to start eating your meat as soon as it is fully cooked, many meats need a short resting period to ensure that they are moist and juicy. For example, briskets and other larger cuts of meat should rest for about five minutes; otherwise, the deliciously moist juices can come out when you cut it.
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.
This grill also comes with an internal temperature sensor as well as a pellet purge system, an electronic auto ignition, and shutdown recycle mode. This grill offers versatility with the 7 in 1 Barbecue Smoker Grill which gives the option of searing, grilling, smoking, braising, roasting, baking, or barbecuing food. It also has a fan forced convection cooking which removes the necessity for a rotisserie.
Hi – my husband and I are really interested in a pellet smoker. We came across some when we were at a fair and are trying to find more information about the Traeger brand because the price seems affordable compared to all the others you mentioned. You started out talking about the Traeger but never gave any feedback on it? Little help please:) Thanks!
However, if you live in a cold climate and it is freezing outside, the ability to control your cook from inside your warm home may well be an appealing feature. If that’s the case then the Davy Crockett by Green Mountain Grills might be right up your ally.
This durable aluminum grill excels at fast and slow cooking. It features very few amenities and works as a simple, lightweight option for traveling users with smoking expertise. Best of all, it’s guaranteed not to rust, and it comes with a ten year warranty to back that up.
As any pellet smoker knows, getting the temperature set right is crucial. It will all go wrong if you can’t get that right. The Camp Chef PG24 has a built-in digital thermometer and fully controllable temperature settings. Put it to the temperature you want on the screen and let it get on with it. No lifting the lid to peer at the pellets, letting out precious heat and smoke. It is all in hand, if the smoker detects it is getting too cold, it can feed itself more fuel. This is quality smoke made easy.
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.
Every pellet grill offers a lot of benefits, but choosing a better one will not make you regret it along the way. Although it is difficult to decide which one is better, you will have an idea what to choose if you know what you need.
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.
That said, I can’t see why the Memphis Pro couldn’t hold its own versus the MAK on cooking ability – with the ability to go low and slow or crank things up to a searing 650 degrees F. All in all, a great pellet grill that will last a lifetime.
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.
One of the key benefits is the extreme smoke button and is its ability to cook your meat at low temperatures ranging from 180 to 250 Fahrenheit. This feature helps create more smoke by enabling on and off oscillation from the fan. I didn’t even spend more than ten minutes assembling the Bull thanks to the instruction manual equipped with diagrams explaining every step.
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.
So Kevin here is where you come in. Been wanting to make getting consistent Q on the table regularly and easily. Been looking at pellet poopers for about 5 years now and decided to take the plunge. Had already done enough looking a few years ago Traeger’s issues had scared me off. Several friends had them and raved but always mentioned problems. I decided from my work I don’t want to be buying someone’s, ‘we know the problems and are fixing them’ if you can find something solid for similar cost. Yoder and FEC were pretty much my finalists. So I was doing my final thoughts and found your article.
Hey Ben – thank you for your comment. From a retail user standpoint, I think you’d be happy with either a Yoder or FEC. I really like the PG 500 for the purpose that you’re looking at. Best of both worlds it seems the more I’m looking at it. You can see how they approach grilling steaks in this video. You can incorporate the use of GrillGrates in either pellet grill. Both companies make their units in the USA. Both have great reputations. I’m just partial to Cookshack’s pellet smokers over Yoder as I know more folks who use them.
First of all, the construction is really top notch. At around this sale price, you can’t usually expect a smoker grill to be well made, but this one is. Tight seals, good welding, snug fitting attachments, smooth action on the door and handles. It all adds up to something that gives the impression of being much more expensive. The wide feet give the Smoke Vault a sturdy and stable stance and the door is pleasingly like a bank vault door. It is almost like robbing a mini bank, just one full of deliciously smoky meat, when you open the door and the plumes of aromatic smoke pour out. It is a mini dramatic experience.
Third name to make it to my list of the best pellet grill review is The REC TEC Wood Pellet grill. It has a trademark Smart grill Technology, which maintains precise temperature. This amazing pellet grill has a whopping 702 square inch cooking area, and a 40 pound capacity pellet hopper. It is made out of high quality stainless steel. It comes with a drip pan.
One-Touch Non-PID Controller – Featuring a LCD display and one-touch buttons for setting the cooking temperature in 5° or 10° increments, these controllers allow you to more accurately set a desired cooking temperature. However, like multi-position controllers, they use fixed cycles for delivering pellets and so are limited in accuracy to +/-15–20°F. These controllers may have inputs for meat probes that monitor the internal temperature of food.
Many people use their smokers solely for preparing meats, but they are great for preparing vegetables as well. Whether you’re prepping them as a side dish for your grilled meats or want to make them the main event, smokers are great for giving them a delicious smoky flavor. Smoked potatoes, peppers and onions are delicious as a side dish or a topping to your favorite grilled foods, but you can experiment with other delicious veggies as well. Adding a bit of seasoning can help bring out the flavor of your produce, but you shouldn’t have to add much; the low, slow process and the delicious smoky taste is sure to be the main flavor profile of your newly grilled vegetables.
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
Meanwhile, it also has a 15-pound pellet capacity comparable to Camp Chef SmokePro (not as large but big enough to eliminate continuous wood pellet refills) and folding legs for better portability. However, certain users who’ve already bought their own REC TEC Grills Mini Portable Pellet Grill have complaints about it, like inconsistent heat distribution of the grill and poor quality control (certain grills break down easily).
REC TEC offers high-quality pellet smokers featuring excellent digital controllers, sturdy construction, and an eye-catching appearance. With a 40-pound pellet hopper, a 680-square-inch cook surface, and nine inches of headroom, the REC TEC 680 is a large, smartly constructed pellet smoker for about a thousand bucks. The seams are welded, powder-coated, and caulked. The grill grates are quarter-inch-wide, marinade-resistant, long-lasting stainless steel rods. The fire pot, heat deflector, and drip pan are also stainless steel. All pellet grills need to be plugged into an AC outlet, and REC TEC wisely takes advantage of this requirement to include a very useful internal hood light.
Electricity causes the auger to start pushing pellets into your burn pot and begins to heat up the glow rod until it’s red-hot, which in turn ignites the pellets in the burn pot. Air is pushed into the burn pot via the holes you see around it – allowing for a maximum efficiency burn.
Specifications on this grill places it in the upper midsize range at 834 sq inches, with ample room to feed a hungry family. The grill boasts stainless steel, dual walled construction, and a professional oven grade gasket that minimizes most of the “leakage” you get with some pellet smokers – resulting in a bolder smoke flavor profile.
If you prefer the convenience of gas and don’t feel like messing around with charcoal, you might opt for a gas smoker. Gas smokers use gas to heat the wood chips that you add to the appliance in order to produce smoke. The downside is that you do have to buy gas for the device, which can get costly. You can’t really beat the convenience of one of these types of smokers, however, and you will be able to use it even when you don’t have access to an electric outlet. You can even bring these camping and to outdoor events without a concern for electric outlets or bringing along a lot of charcoal or pellets.

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.
Price is a big part of the decision making process for most buyers. Our Director of Equipment Reviews, Max Good, always attends the annual Heath Patio and Barbecue Association trade show called HPBExpo to meet up with BBQ manufacturers and see what’s new. “The high priced, luxury lines are generally impressive as they should be for the money,” he states, “but I’m often more excited by decent low to mid cost products that are realistically within the budget of most AmazingRibs.com readers.” A good deal of this low cost equipment is manufactured off shore and often in China. Despite grumbling from some, these products are very popular in the USA and well represented at the HPBExpo by Asian manufacturers seeking American logos to adorn their lids.
As recently as 2008, only two companies manufactured pellet grills (Traeger and its rival, MAK, also based in Oregon). But the expiration of Traeger’s original patents opened the floodgates to competitors. Today, pellet grills have entered the mainstream: more than 20 brands of pellet grills are available in North America. Even competition barbecuers have started to embrace this revolutionary smoker and are winning, causing some old school pit masters to complain. Why? Because in their words, smoking on a pellet grill is “too darn easy.” (Sound familiar?)

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