Hi, and thank you for your comment. Traeger led the pack years ago, but they fell off in quality and reliability when they began manufacturing overseas. Though they are making some improvements now, I’m more comfortable recommending you look into Green Mountain Grills. Check their website to find a retailer near you.
Hey, Kevin great site. I am thinking on getting into Pellet Grills from Gas. I would like a Yoder but the cost is prohibitive. I see your comments about the Traeger Pro series what about the Camp Chef Woodwind with the Sear station? Price is similar to the Traeger pro and it has the 900 degree sear station. Clean out with trap door is nice.
Hey Ben! Cool re: your Camp Chef! Pellet smokers produce a light smoke as compared to stick burners, gravity fed smokers, Ugly Drum Smokers, etc. Most feel that the smoke provided is enough. If you need more – check out the Amazn Tube Smoker. You can find the Tube Smoker and Cookin’ Pellets via this link. Look for the Pellet Smokers and Pellets links.
Everyone loves smokey food. The smell of fire roasted meats and spirit of kinship that pervades BBQ gatherings harkens back to our ancestors. You just don’t get that with boiled ribs. For many years smoking was a mystery to most home cooks. Today it’s commonplace to find backyard smokers filling neighborhoods with irresistible fragrance.
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.
I have a Yoder 640, I don’t think anything comes close to its quality construction and it’s ability to direct and indirect cook. I believe you buy a Yoder to buy your last grill. Built like a tank, weighs 350lbs, awesome customer service, made in KY. You can buy a China product, but in 5 to 8 years you will be back at the market. Go to a retail store and compare product quality. For it’s price, Yoder is by far the best.
Temperature – we’ll start from that since I believe that it is something we should pay attention from the start. This smoker is phenomenal at handling maintaining a fixed temperature. Forget about constantly monitoring the temperature, it’s completely unnecessary here. Just set the temperature and forget about control.
PID controllers: PID controllers are considered by many to be the gold standard of grill controllers. Using complex algorithms, temperatures are accurate to within a few degrees. The pellet feed is constantly adjusted to maintain the correct temperature, and this type of controller can even accommodate programmable meat probes that work in tandem with the controller to lower the temperature when the meat is done. They also feature LCD and one touch buttons.
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.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, there are a few pellet grills that lead the pack in terms of name recognition. The ones featured here are those that come most highly recommended by friends of mine on the professional BBQ circuits with KCBS and FBA.
Replacement parts are guaranteed for one year from date of purchase. The Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill offers a lot of room to cook your favorite foods for a group of people or a large family and is constructed entirely from stainless steel. However, this product is expensive when compared to other types of pellet grills currently on the market. This model also has the potential to rust if left out in the elements without being properly covered.
While the Traeger Lil Tex Elite does offer similar features as our top pick, such as a digital LED temperature control system and an auto-dispensing auger, there was one missing feature which we thought was necessary. This product has a smaller grilling area and lacks a removable upper rack, which gives you less grilling and prep space. I should mention that the unit does come in a bigger 700 square inch version for $200 more, as well as a smaller version that costs less. If this smoker is too big or too small for you, there are always other options available. Compared to our top pick, it’s also more expensive despite offering similar specs. Aside from that, this is a very efficient and reliable smoker.
Grills and smokers are all made of metal, which means they are all more or less prone to rust. The only way to stop your investment from literally falling apart in front of your eyes is to keep up on basic maintenance. Still, some require a lot more attention than others, and some have obstacles that further complicate maintenance.
If the one pound bag says Hickory, there’s only hickory in the bag! That’s true of the other eleven pure flavorwood types as well. With Mesquite, Apple, Cherry, Sugar Maple, Oak, Pecan, Orange, Sassafras, Mulberry and Black Walnut, there’s a flavor for every food and every palate!
Here at Grills Forever we are independent and only promote the best smokers out there, regardless of brand. We give you our own unbiased opinion based on our own experiences. We want you to get the best smoker grill for your needs and if something new develops we will be the first to try it out and let you know.
As you have a BGE and the PBC, I think a “pellet pooper” is a great 3rd option. They’re more versatile than folks think, and you can fire them up, cook, and shut them down with a lot less effort than the other two. Great for impromptu week night cooks. Hope this input helps. – Kevin
Although it took quite some time for this product to receive its first ten positive reviews, the review rate quickly picked up. After over 200 days, it already gained 20 five-star reviews, which is a great accomplishment for any grill. We checked out comments online and found that they were mostly positive.
Kevin- super helpful article. Thanks! I just moved from a big city small apartment with no grill to a house in the country. Most essential purchase is the grill. I’m really on the fence. I like the idea of a pellet grill, but in reality- I’m mostly cooking burgers, fish, steaks, scallops, and veggies. The brisket and ribs will be more of a special occasion. From an economical perspective, am I better buying a gas grill and just getting one of those smoke tubes to add some flavor? From many of the online comments, it seems like the pellet grills benefit from additional smoke anyway, and though you can get additional grates for searing, seems like a square peg in a round hole. The gas grill is sort of the tried and true, and way more economical. Those $500 entry level pellet grills seem a little scrawny, and the next level up is a cool $grand. I’m really on the fence, and getting pressure to “just buy the darn thing” to consummate the move to the country! However the pellet grills seem like the new shiny object and have my curiosity. Any advice? PS- love the website! Thanks, Cary
The Good One Smokers tend to fly under the radar, which is to say surprisingly few people know about these unique cookers. That’s a shame, because just about everyone who owns a Good One loves it. While all of their models fall into the category of a smoker-grill combo, the Open Range is the most popular.
With porcelain non stick grill grates cleaning this grill is quick and easy. Just rinse, wipe and store. Thanks to easy clean up you can spend more time enjoying friends and family and less time cleaning.
Of course, we always recommend cleaning the firebox to avoid any kind of flare up or dangerous fire situation, but that’s the same with every smoker. The major drawback is that there is no option for a gas add on if you’re looking for different fuel types. In order to add gas to this unit, you’d need to find someone with a welding torch, cut the side steel, and run a line into the smoker. It may be worth it, but if it were me, i’d stay and experiment first with coals and woods before making major modifications.
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.
DS, I have a green mountain grill. besides that for any pellet smoker cook your chicken at a high heat otherwise the skin will be rubbery. doesnt have to be a direct flame to get it crispy. I set my GMG to 425 flip it after 8 mins pull it at 170 crispy perfection. if you want more smoke flavor, smoke it at 150 for an hour then crank it up to 425 to finish it. I was upset with my rubbery skin when i first used it as well but i got some good advice from the pros. chicken doesnt need to be cooked low and slow to tenderize it like pork and beef does. it doesnt have the tissues or muscles that need to be broken down like beef and pork
Although many people refer to pellet smokers as grills, they aren’t the best for cooking steaks, burgers or hot dogs. Because they use indirect heat, they’re typically best for smoking turkey, pork and other meats. For this type of cooking, however, they are some of the best options.
On its first 24 days, the Davy Crockett grill already gained its first 10 positive reviews. On the next 29 days, it got another 10 positive reviews, and it got even more positive reviews after 13 days. At Grills Forever, we like to take a close look at the review rate because this lets us know what other customers are thinking.
For the best value, we’d go with the Masterbuilt M7P 7-in-1 Smoker and Grill. The unit is a really great grill with tons of versatility, high quality construction, and multiple fuel sources. Masterbuilt thought of everything on this unit, and it shows. The whole unit is well constructed, should last you a number of seasons, and is priced at a really good value for what you’re receiving. So if you’re committed to the smoking and grilling process, but want a really quality and versatile unit, you’ve found what you’ve been looking for here.
I’ve got a 40lb bag of Pit Boss competition blend ready to go for the summer. Cost $22 from Amazon after shipping! I’ve only used Todd’s pellets to date so I cant talk about which one is best, but I was happy with the pellets. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Pit Boss ones light/burn.
A few other mentionable features are that it has a highly durable temperature proof textures powder coat finish, it features auto start. The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill accommodates temperatures from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with 5 degrees increment. This amazing temperature control features let you be in control of how much heat you want to cook your food in, without having to worry about it getting dry or burnt. This low increment allows you to cook delicate meats like fishes and seafood as well! It smart grill tech makes sure that the temperature you set is always consistent and constant. It also has an “Extreme” smoke feature from the 180 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit setting that intensifies the smoke in the grill.
Additionally, David Bouska of Butcher BBQ won the 2012 Las Vegas’s World Food Championships BBQ division. His first place overall victory propelled him into 2013. David cooks on a pellet smoker and he adds Mojobricks to his pellet smoker for that added touch of good smoke lovin flavor.
Add-ons: Manufacturers often offer a variety of add-ons. Check what features come standard, and what are add-ons at extra cost. Some add-ons are offered by companies independent of the manufacturer. If a feature is important to you, but is not a standard feature of your particular cooker, make sure it is available as an add-on before you buy the cooker.
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The Davy Crockett comes with a PID controller that runs off of a WiFi enabled app. The app can also be used to monitor the internal meat thermometer and turn the heat down once the meat reaches the target temperature.
In our months of testing, we employed our volunteers to gather information and potential smoker grills, used community usage data to guide us and built a system of comparison that let us make good distinctions between the top smoker grills. We measured the performance for each grill and developed the research report you can read.
Hey Tom! First, thank you so much for commenting on this article. I hope it’s proved useful to you and helping you make your pellet smoker buying decision. I took a look at the smokers you mentioned in your comment, and they appear to be similar in build to those made by Yoder. I can verify that Yoder does exceptionally good work with both the build quality and the heavy gauge steel Construction of their smokers. I don’t know much about the manufacturing practices of the smokers you mentioned. I do like the fact that their controller automatically dropped down to a warming temperature after your food reaches the programmed temperature setting. That’s a feature that I’ve only seen in higher-priced pellet grills like the Memphis Pro Series that I talk about in this article. However, more grills are starting to utilize this in the programming aspect of their controllers. In any case it’s a great feature. To be honest with you I’m not sure that the auger mechanics are going to be all that different between smokers. I’m sure there are differences, but I don’t feel that they are dramatic enough to offer a distinct selling Advantage for the manufacturer. If you haven’t looked at them yet, you might consider taking a look at the Traeger Pro Series pellet grills. You can’t find it on Amazon, but you can find them at different retailers listed on the main Traeger site. A friend of mine has one major competitions using the pro series models.
A: Wood and charcoal smokers are more customary and usually offer a more genuine taste to your food. Some charcoal smokers can be the most inexpensive smokers on the market; however, they can also be the most expensive also.
The Camp Chef PG24S is one of the most high-capacity , heavy-duty smokers we’ve ever used. For its size, it’s fairly easy to operate and won’t require you much maintenance. Although it’s quite heavy, it definitely cooks large amounts of food for big groups. Overall, a great investment that will last you a long time.