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This grill has a digitally controlled burn system, 700 square inches in cooking surface, and porcelain coated cast iron grids. The cast iron is a great conductor of heat, and the porcelain works to stop your food from sticking. Great combo!
There are other options, KBQ for one, but I want it to look like a grill. Not a refrigerator, although I’m sure they make great Q I have narrowed my search to Pellet poopers or the Primo or Egg. The Pellet poopers will have more capacity than even the XL Primo/Egg. But are they one trick ponies? Smoking and baking. WIth limited smoke profile. I wish I could taste the Que off of one to know for sure. I got rid of my gasser because of the limited flavor it produced. Rec-Tec’s tag line is Do you cook with wood. But does it produce enough smoke flavor for most people? How do your neighbors respond to your Que? Do they like the smoke profile of the Que? Sorry for all the questions. Just trying to figure out what the next smoker will be at Mi Casa.
The unit comes with a stainless steel meat probe that lets you display the internal meat temperature on the LED screen. While it won’t be as reliable some third party thermometers it’s much better than a dome thermometer.
Really a very nice charcoal smoker/grill. The unit is designed to be used in a similar way to a vertical smoker, but with greater levels of cooking space. In fact the grates cover 816 square inches, which is really quite a large surface for a true charcoal grill (that’s enough for four racks of ribs plus sides).
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.
Before you hit the barbecue store down the street, take a few minutes and read our list below. We don’t claim to know everything about smokers, but we’ve been smoking meat for a while, and, when it comes to finding the right smoker, we’re pretty experienced. After you’ve thought through the questions above, check out our picks and then make a choice based on what’s best for you.
The compact design of the Grilla does not hurt your grilling space. The Grilla has 488 square inches of grilling space (346 square inch main grate, 142 square inch upper grate) which is more than enough to handle four slabs of baby back ribs.
Size – I mean the grilling surface here. I’m perfectly aware that a family of 2 has different needs than a family of 6. There’s no point buying a huge pellet grill for two people, as you’ll probably never use the entire cooking surface.
If you can move up from there cost wise, I’d go with the Yoder pellet smoker. While the Rec Tec looks like a beast, the YS640 absolutely IS one. Weighing in at 315 lbs and boasting solid control components and features, you won’t ever need another pellet smoker in your life unless you just want another one.
Not only can you get just the right amount of smoke, you can get enormous amounts of food into it. The cooking area is huge, like side of pig big. This is a smoker grill for a serious smoker enthusiast or party lover. You could feed an army with it, making it just the thing for any kind of family get together. A big grill means lots of electricity and a longer time to warm up, so it is a smoker for just a quick sausage or two. The only downside to this grill is that the window to the grill can fog up. If that’s the only bad thing, it is a darn good grill.
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?
This is one of the most affordable grills on our list, and it definitely invests its small budget in all the right areas. It works just fine as a smoker, provided you’re willing to pay for the additional firebox, and it has the range to cook just about whatever you want. Still, it requires a lot of attention. Buyers should be aware that they’ll trade money savings for time costs.
Newer pellet smokers have more features and can typically be set at a certain temperature and left alone while your food is being cooked. They are eco-friendly, and the taste that they produce is smooth and tasty although not as strong as the smoky flavor that charcoal smokers can produce. You can also switch up the flavor by buying different types of pellets.
In conclusion, it is a basic pellet grill  & smoker that is easy to use and doesn’t come with any advanced features. It provides precise temperature control within +/- 20 degrees and works great for long meat searing at low temperatures.
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.
Hi John, I believe the information in this article to be current still. The only addition I’d make and probably should make is to put GMG and Traeger in as being comparable with Rec-Tec. Traeger specifically has been coming back with a vengeance of late with their Pro Series models.
Hey Drew – thank you for your comment. All told, most pellet grills are going to average about 1.2 to 1.5 lbs per hour. of pellets per hour at 225, and closer to 1.75 lbs. as you get up to 275. It’s tough to gauge, which is why you are probably seeing different figures across the web. Ambient temperature and pellet composition play a role as well as grill temp. Sorry I don’t have better information for you.
If you’re looking at a grill made with powder coated steel, make sure that it is a very high quality coating. As soon as the paint blisters and chips, your cooker will start to rust and these components will deteriorate.
Who doesn’t want to experience the tastiest grilled food, and one of the simplest ways to do that, and make sure your meat is more healthy for you is to marinate the meat before grilling or smoking. A marinade will add a plethora of new flavors to your cooking, and it also forms a protective barrier around the food to stop any harmful chemicals penetrating into the meat.
Perhaps what will attract you the most with this pellet grill is the fact that it will offer all those features of the more expensive pellet grills but you not have to break the bank to purchase it. It has a varying cooking temperature that can go all the up to 500 degrees. It has got an easy to use controller which features a digital readout. This pellet grill can easily be used by novices but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have those features that expert grillers use. The cooking features are easy and fun to use and the digital temperature control is just so impressive. This pellet smoker will give you a more steady smoke and temperature needed to cook your food perfectly well.
The lovely smoky taste, however, comes from wood, and very few smokers are actually wood-fueled, so there are other features that go into core performance. Automatic feeders demanded some scrutiny. If they’re linked to a digital heat control, they may feed to quickly or too slowly. Side burners require the same consideration. The right amount of smoke creates a delicate flavor, but too much can leave your meal tasting like you rescued it from a forest fire.
Any grills with moving parts and electrical components can break down (a risk not associated with charcoal or wood grills). If exposed to moisture, pellet fuels will disintegrate. People who live in humid climates must keep their pellets dry, preferably indoors in airtight lidded containers.
For home models, get at least a 10 amp, 12 gauge, three prong cord (oddly, 12 gauge is higher capacity than 14 gauge). That’s more than you need, but better safe than sorry. Commercial models may have different requirements.
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Don’t dry it out. – Meat that is prepared in a smoker should turn out unbelievably moist and delicious. If you leave your meat in after it has finished cooking, however, it can dry out; therefore, you should remove the meat as soon as it is done for optimal flavor.

Cleaning and Maintenance: Any individual who’s taken a stab at cleaning a pellet grill before sees exactly that it is so hard to get all the ash out after use. This unit gives you a less demanding access to the burn pot. It also includes a trap door which permits you to clean the unit without digging through the ashes and oil. Cleaning the unit is by and large significantly less demanding when compared with the normal charcoal grills.
It makes party hosting, as well as small crowd-feeding a breeze! Pellet grills are easy to use because they often come with easy temperature controls (along with other variable facilities depending from grill to grill), making it ideal for beginners who do not have prior grilling and cook-out experiences. A pellet grill is the answer to every cook enthusiasts who love to cook, but lack the knowledge and experience of skilled pit masters.
These are really popular entry level smokers, just check out some community reviews to see how many people have these in their backyards. You can pick up a lot of tips on how to make these little smokers contend with the big boys.
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.
The Smart Smoke technology is one of the most convenient and easy to use features on the grill. It contains a dual LED temperature readout that keeps the heat at a constant temperature. This means you have more time for socializing and can sit back and relax. The temperature ranges from 160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The grill uses a pellet feeder system that burns slowly to add intense flavor to your food. It also uses an electric auto-start ignition that requires the grill be plugged into a standard 120v outlet.
There have been some reports from some customers that the temperature gauge may not work properly for smoking purposes because it does not hold a steady temperature as it swings wildly from over one hundred to over three hundred regardless of the temperature being set to 225. There have also been some complaints about the product rusting in some spots.
I consider Traeger Texas Elite 34 to be a good choice if you need a smoker for cooking large quantities of food. The price is a little high but you get a basic product that is easy to use, well-built and very efficient.
Pellet Cost and Consumption: Cooking pellets for pellet grills cost about $1 per pound depending on the brand, flavor, and if you can get them on sale. The shipping cost can play a factor on their price as well. For a lower BTU, you can get a cheaper brand of pellet for 75¢ a pound, but as a consequence you’ll deal with more filler and they get consumed faster by the flames.
This RiverGrille, on the other hand, uses 4.0 mm heavy-gauge steel construction and weighs a hefty 352 lbs. The double lid reduces heat loss on opening and the double-layer, porcelain-coated steel grates allow for heat retention with a total of 1,713 square inches of cooking space. The fire box also doubles as a grill.
The PID controller is different from other controllers in that it does not used fixed cycles. Instead it is constantly measuring the temperature of the grill and adjusts the cycle as needed. This ensures the correct cooking temperature is always maintained.
All in all I really love the RecTec for its warranty, ease of use, customer service and ability to get calls from the owner when you need help either late at night or on the weekends….weber customer service is good also, but it is just a matter of personal choice……$1500 is more than a “few hundred” more than the Yoder……thats $500…….that is a lot on money..IMHO……but again, its just a matter of what you like best in all the models……I prefer RecTec and the Weber as back up for the wife….
The Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker comes with Smart Smoke Technology, which lets you set and forget your grilling. It accurately sets and maintains the desired temperature using an automated electric feed system, heating your unit from 180 degrees F to 450 degrees F. We’ve gotten used to smokers taking around 30-40 minutes to heat up, but with this unit, it took only 20 minutes for the temperature to settle in!
There’s (almost) nothing more satisfying than smoking meat. You start with something raw and bland, and you end up with a work of art, delicious and tender. Sitting down at a table with buddies, beer, and plates full of smoked steaks and brats…chewing on rib bones while you watch the Superbowl…these moments are why smoking meat is worth every second of research and labor we put into it. We want those moments to be the best, and the flavor of what we serve makes all the difference.
As you can see in this selection of pellet grill reviews, the act of heating pellets and generating smoke in any pellet smoker is pretty much the same. Yes, some pellet grills use thicker metal, have better thermostats, air flow, racks, drip flow, etc. But the ask any professional BBQ cooker who uses a pellet grill, and they’ll tell you that the quality of your smoke really does come down to the pellets themselves. Here’s what one very astute BBQ pro had to say over at the Pellet Smoke Ring:
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.
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.

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