This was a great article and so glad I found it. I have been looking at pellet grills for a year now since I am not very happy with my electric smoker and want something that creates a more authentic smoke ring and taste.
Remember that the most important thing in those pellet grills is to maintain a fixed temperature. It’s a necessary condition for peaceful cooking. Such grill will easily let you smoke meat for many hours without the risk of burning it in an uncontrolled too high temperature.
Pellet Smoker Grills are the king of all 4 types of smokers. You can get hundreds of variations of pellet smokers at all price points. You can get a pellet smoker for as low as $100 or you can shell out as much as $7000 for the king of kings. The difference you will find in the taste of food and ease of use.
A. yes it is possible to use it in a cold weather season. It is however important to consider that some pellet smokers work better in cold weather conditions than others. Pellets grills that have been tuned into ideal conditions use a standard non-PID controller making them to lose their temperature range maintenances ability in windy or cold weathers. The PID controller though after measuring the temperatures of the pellet smoker, it maintains the heat produced to achieve the desired temperatures in all conditions.
You must have thoughts in your mind centered around the thousands of pellet smokers and why Camp Chef PG24 is our no 1 choice. We will list the detailed features, pros and cons of this smoker. First, let me tell you why this smoker grabbed the number 1 spot on our list.
This is the smallest of the Traeger pellet grill series and this makes it an ideal choice for people who are going on vacation or camping because of its small and compact design. Even though it also comes with a number of features similar to the larger Traeger models, it features a rather small cooking surface which is less than 300sq inches. This, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t have some plenty of room to prepare your meats. It also comes with a digital thermostat so that you will have control over the temperature. Because it can be set to extremely low or high temperatures it can be an ideal pellet smoker for braising or slow cooking and also grilling and baking.
Still, not all blends are equal. Some use a higher percentage of flavored wood than others. It’s pretty common to see a 70/30 ratio, with 70% of the wood being oak and 30% flavored wood, but a brand like BBQr’s Delight uses more flavored wood, using a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio.
Now on to your question. As you mention, this is a pretty subjective topic…ask 10 people and you might get 10 different answers. When I can order them affordably, my favorite pellet is CookinPellets 100% Hickory. I don’t have any local retail outlets, and ordering from the factory brings pricey shipping costs into play. I like to wait for good deals on Amazon so I can make orders with free shipping. Amazon occasionally runs them for less the $30 per 40# bag…and as you probably know, just make an order of at least $35 and their standard ground shipping is free.
Hi Brad – sorry for my delayed reply. I’ve heard good things about the Woodwind model from Camp Chef. The trap door for clean out is a plus for sure. It might be a good option for you to start out with. You can always upgrade to the Yoder at a later date.
If you want to take the work out of smoking meats and focus on flavor, this smoker could be a good fit. This digital smoker uses and electrical heating system augmented by woodchips for flavor, essentially combining a smoker with an oven.
This mid-range smoker definitely relies a lot on hype to make a sale. That said, while it isn’t much to look at, it does seem to work extremely well during the first few seasons of use. Upkeep is the biggest concern. If you don’t have an extremely safe, dry place to store this big cooker, you’ll be throwing away a sizeable investment within the first year or two.
Hey Dan – I think you’d really up your versatility with a good pellet smoker. Smoke profiles seem to depend largely on the quality of pellets used and then also on the burn consistency of the fire pot. What I mean here is that many pellet smoker users tell me that they prefer models that cycle over faster with frequent temp checks rather than those with longer wait times between temp checks. Cycling faster means that pellets burn more consistently and do not rest to a “charred” state and they “reactivate” This latter problem sometimes results in less than optimal flavor. Yoder smokers cycle very fast and are preferred by many due to this and their thicker metal construction.
Pellets are a unique form of natural wood. When pellets are made, all of the air within the cellular structure of the wood is evacuated, thus concentrating the wood into a very dense form, much denser than the natural tree. As compared to other wood flavor enhancers, pellets will yield a more intense smoke more quickly which seals the food, locking in natural moisture and adding smoke flavor exactly when it’s needed.
When looking for smokers, there can be a lot of distractions with all the cool-looking pits out there. Add in the different styles of BBQ from the various regions and it might be even more confusing. If you’re still trying to figure out what kind of smoker is best for your needs, check out our breakdown on the different Types Of Smokers to get started. If you’ve already picked a style you’re interested in and are ready to look at the top choices, this page is for you. Check out our list of the best smokers below.
I have put together the best pellet grill review of the top 10 pellet grills in the market today. Mind that this list was not just put together in a jiffy; all the names in this list have been carefully picked and chosen through strict inspection on performance, ratings and consumer preferences. Let’s take a look at the pellet grill review I have for you:
It’s a good idea to take some time before the purchase to compare different grills. Only this way you’ll be able to choose the best pellet smoker. I think that my suggestions will make the choice much easier on you.
It is a disappointment that so many manufacturers continue to include cheap bimetal dial heat indicators (we can’t bring ourselves to call them thermometers). They are usually in the lid, far from where the cooking actually takes place and are frequently off by more than 50°F! Good cooking is all about temperature control. Without accurate thermometers you’re asking for wasted money, overdone embarrassment, and food borne illness from underdone food. Please budget for a good digital oven thermometer and a separate rapid read digital food thermometer. For more info, we also have a database of reviews for more than 100 thermometers.
The glaze is thick and beautiful and looks tough. All ceramic parts are warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the grill. Click here to read our complete review of the Kamado Joe ClassicJoe.
The tradeoff here is that if you want to cook longer racks of ribs on the 30″, you have to lay them diagonally or cut them. They’ll still fit two uncut racks of baby backs per level, though, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. They’ll also fit Boston butts or other large cuts of meat, and the four levels of cooking grates will allow you to fit a great variety of food simultaneously. Just don’t expect to cook any huge briskets.
Our trick is to look at the frequency of positive ratings on the web for any product, this one got a really high frequency, meaning a lot of people liked it in a short amount of time. A great indicator of reliability and quality, as well as good customer service. It got 10 positive reviews in the first 18 days, 10 more in 8 days, and 10 more in the following 16 days. That’s very positive for a charcoal burner.
The Camp Chef SmokePro is probably the best pellet grill on this list by rating and by performance. It has a decently large area for cooking at 19.2 inches by 22 inches plus its smoking or warming rack is also 6 inches by 24 inches in size. This is one of the Top rated pellet smokers because of its combination of quality features that are never superfluous and works as advertised.
Another one of America’s finest home-grown products comes from MAK Grills Pellet Smokers. Based out of Dallas, OR, MAK started out as a steel fabrication company back in 1990 and ventured into making pellet smokers with the goal of making a pellet smoker that’s more like a grill than an oven. Said in their own words…
The cooking surface isn’t huge – just 560 square inches – which is a serious drawback. However, with the pellet and hopper system, you’re free to start the smoker, set the temp, turn on the hopper, and go get a drink and wait for the meat to be done. Temperature spikes are controlled and managed by the hopper. The hopper does hold a sizable 18 pounds of wood pellets, which should do a full smoking job pretty well.
Pit Boss’s real wood cooking lets both beginners and pros cook and smoke everything from ribs to fish, bake biscuits to pizza, grill burgers to vegetables, sear and charbroil steaks and more. It’s an 8-in-1 beast that will spice up your kitchen.
Quality materials and construction stand up to wear and tear. Products that failed within the first few seasons of use show poor investment priorities on the part of the manufacturer. A common sign of low-quality materials and substandard construction is rusting screws, rivets, or other joiners. These innocuous little pieces of hardware offer manufacturers a way to shave a few dollars off of construction costs without losing the ability to make claims about the smoker’s primary materials. Rust spreads, however, and as small as those little screws are, they ultimately keep your smoker together.
Hopefully this guide has helped you understand a little bit more about the pros and cons of cooking with a pellet grill, and helped you pick out the right model for your budget and needs. Happy smoking!
If you have never used or purchased a smoker before, you might be overwhelmed by all of the options that are out there. By looking at certain criteria, however, you can choose the right model for your needs. Shopping online is a great way to compare features, prices and more so that you can get an idea of which smoker is right for you. Also, remembering to look at these things will help you pick out the right unit for your household.
The name speaks volumes. This is a great, classically styled, offset smoker for a smoking enthusiast. The smoker is really designed for larger scale smoking with a stunning 1280 square inches of smoking space available between the two units (fire chamber and smoking chamber). The flexibility of the offset design means that you can cook steaks and burgers on the lower, hotter firebox, while at the same time use the smoker side to slowcook ribs, or larger roasts. This makes the unit ideal for a large party, with flexibility and cooking variety.
I have the larger Traeger smoker and have really liked it but not from the start. I had issues with the heating unit but the Traeger help people managed to get my “mechanical blondness” through this and all is well. The assistance center people at Traeger weres super supportive so I’m a loyal fan today. One thing I suggested to Traeger, and all who have a Traeger smoker, is to make the grill surface in two parts so it fits into a dishwasher. I cut my grill in half allowing it to fit in my dishwasher. Easy peasy to clean now!
I echo the recommendations for Cookin Pellets, but I like their Perfect Mix. Blend of hard maple, hickory, apple and cherry. All 100% wood. Nice balanced smoke profile, not quite as heavy as 100% hickory.
These are great changes but the pellet controller is still the old 10-position unit and of course we know that a lot of other makes have moved to much more sophisticated technology, improving temperature precision and maintenance. But it could be the guys at Traeger figure ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’.
The diversity of BBQ smokers available makes fair judgment a challenge, and personal cooking preferences will go a long way in determining which type of smoker is best for you. However, our evaluation hinged on five key criteria by which any smoker can be judged. They are as follows:
Something you may not have read in other Pellet grill reviews is that there are two key concerns: flavor and fuel consumption. As previously stated, pellet smokers are not known for producing a strong smoke flavor, no matter what pellets you use. Though, some brands can be more pronounced than others. Hardwood pellets provide longer overall burn times per pound than fruit wood pellets. 1oo percent fruit wood pellets will also be more expensive on average.
Includes a meat probe, a peaked lid, a convenience tray with utensil hooks and our new open flame technology grease tray. Also included is Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill temperature.
Hey Eric! Man, thank you for the kind words. While I don’t post every day, I do try to make what I share with you guys as informative as possible. To that end, your words mean a lot. Now, the pellet release option is a great feature to have on any pellet smoker. In cases where you don’t have one, I suggest using a small shop vac you use just for pellet removal. Works great. But the quick release chute option saves a ton of time and effort for sure. Not what I’d call a deal breaker if a pellet smoker you like doesn’t have one. However, I’d like to see it become standard on pellet smokers for sure!
You don’t normally over-smoke food on a pellet grill. The smoke flavor is more subtle than the sometimes acrid smoke generated by a straight wood or charcoal fire. The grills are available in a number of sizes from small to large, as well as commercial-size units that can accommodate a whole hog or pulled pork for a crowd. For additional wood smoke flavor, you can position hardwood chunks or pouches of soaked wood chips directly on the heat diffuser plate.
Good info, but it’s missing something… the cost to use. I’ve been looking for a long time to get into smoking. I have only ever used a propane setup for grilling. My main quesion is the cost to use propane vs charcoal vs pellets. I’m very interested in pellet smoking AND grilling. A couple times a week my wife and I will grill some chicken breasts or steaks. Can you breakout an approximate cost comparison to run the different methods? Appreciate it!
Pellet grills are versatile. You can barbecue, smoke, roast, grill (sort of—more on that below), and even bake or braise in a pellet grill. At BBQ University, we have used them to cook everything from crisp chicken wings to braised short ribs to smoked pork chile verde and crème brulee.