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With the upcoming and already existing new features, you can achieve an easier smoking experience. Always look for features that can help bring out the real taste of food, and give you more control and convenience. Check back with us often because we will always be the first to bring you the newest and best innovations in grills and smokers.
This big combo is a big investment, but it does not appear that the long-term value of the product stands up to its initial cost. Even if users have a dry place to store it, moving this smoker back and forth would be an annoying burden.
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when getting started with your smoker; these tips and tricks will help you turn out delicious meat and vegetables that are sure to please your family or guests:
Just found this and I thank you! I’m doing competitions and want to get a pellet smoker to use after my brisket and pork butts have been wrapped to bring them up to final temp while my main smoker (Backwoods) will then be for the ribs and chicken.
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.
You now know which is the best smoker grill I chose. Maybe you agreed with me and my friends or maybe you thought another type was the best for you. Now you must decide how much you want to spend. While researching smoker grills, I saw that you can really own your personal smoker at any price. From 60$ to 7000$. The more you spend the more features like automatic start, auger control, temperature control you will get. Size will also increase with price. You can get 7-8 smoker grills under 100$. But all of them are too small to meet a family’s needs.
Just like most Camp Chef products, this pellet grill smoker uses a patented ash cleanup system that takes away the trouble of vacuuming. Ash is immediately stored in an ash clean-out cup that’s easy to dump.
Pork loin ribs and brisket with a good dry rub but I’ll sell to you if you’re interested finish them in the oven to the desired temp in tinfoil you will not go wrong. Been doing this for 30 years and have fed up to 450 people . Apple wood chunks. Just plain works.
So, if you want to do a pellet smoker cook using 100 percent cherry wood pellets, you’re going to use more fuel than you would with a cherry/hardwood blend, and it’s going to cost you more as well on average.
So if you need a portable pellet grill , consider this one ( especially if you really like Traeger products ). The foldable legs allow to easily bring it along anywhere you want. A small downside might be the price, but it makes up for it with a pretty big cooking area for a portable pellet smoker.
Hey Kim – thank you for this. I’ve had this happen with numerous pellet smokers, including GMGs. What happens most often when it happens is that I’ve been remiss in properly cleaning the grill out after several uses (vacuuming the fire pot out). This causes the ash etc to cover up the heating rod, thus making the temperature lower than expected. The auger keeps feeding the fire pot to compensate and you get what you’ve described.
Kamado smokers came into being after World War 2 during the American occupation of Japan. The GI’s who were stationed there took the all-American love of grilled food to a country that did not have the tradition of barbeque like the Yanks. So, there weren’t any grills like the ones back home to be had. Getting them shipped from the States would have been extremely expensive, so the cunning squaddies made do with what they had, which were the traditional Japanese ceramic mushikamado wood stoves. They did the job, and with a little tweaking, spread around the world as the GI’s took them with them as they left.
Technically speaking, digital smokers don’t have an open flame. This means you won’t get the same smoke ring that you would get from a charcoal smoker. However, looks aside, the fuel doesn’t heavily affect taste. You won’t have the coal flavor that so many people enjoy with their barbecue, but smoking relies (or should rely) on the flavor of the wood and seasonings far more than the fuel’s influence. If you taste the coal more than the wood when you use a coal-fueled smoker, you’re doing something wrong.
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.
Pellet grill uses various types of flavored wood pellets to flavor the food by infusing smoke into it. Pellets of numerous flavors are available on the market:  hickory, strawberry, oak and olive are just to name a few. Many pellet grill companies also manufacture wood pellets alongside the pellet grills that go hand in hand with their respective grills. So know your options, and be sure to spend a few extra bucks into buying a good quality wood pellet for your pellet grill as this is what will set apart your smoked exotic BBQ from the mainstream flavors out there.
Overall, I think you would be happy with the smaller smoker / grill. I really like what Green Mountain grills has done with the Davy Crockett model, and that is the unit I have personally. That said,Rec-Tec makes a great product, and some people prefer the cart stand it comes with rather than the fold up legs that Green Mountain grills uses on the Davy Crockett modeling. Either choice would be good for you if you are looking for a smaller unit. I am of course speaking about the mini version of the Rec-Tec. The larger version is excellent as well.
I noticed a question on the use of pellet grills in cold weather… living in Minnesota we have an abundance of cold weather. The warm up takes a bit longer but once the grill is going the upper temp ranges seem to hold true. In below zero temps. I throw an asbestos blanket over the grill to save on pellets.
Sharp-eyed readers may note that there are no electric smokers on the list. We know owners of electrics are rabid in their devotion, that electrics are easy to use, and that the food they make is very good, but they get their heat from glowing metal elements and we think the flavor is less exciting than devices that get heat from combustion of charcoal, wood, or gas.
Z GRILLS: Z GRILLS or Z Grills is a maker of smokers, grillers, and stainless steel prep work tables galore. It entered the world of pellet grills recently and launched an IndieGoGo campaign in order to fund its “affordable wood pellet grill” for $500,000 and currently gives even Traeger’s economical offerings a run for their money with its ability to accept all types of pellets and do all sorts of cooking styles.
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.
The smokers we examined had many different primary materials, and although powdered and enameled steel were the most popular, they were far from the only options. While these different materials impact ease of maintenance, we didn’t judge the quality of any smoker’s construction based on the type of materials used. We’ll go deeper into maintenance issues below.
When it comes to outdoor cooking, versatility is more desirable than ever. People want to be able to use the same grill to smoke authentic BBQ ribs and sear the perfect steak. A quality smoker-grill combo should do both exceptionally well.
Camp Chef PG24 has a compact weight of 124 pounds and a pellet hopper with a 20-pound capacity. That’s large enough that you don’t have to worry about getting more before your meal is done. This set it and forget approach to cooking gives you the ultimate cooking experience. Each time the temperature drops down, a wood pellet is dispensed. This convenience is impossible to find in a gas, wood or charcoal unit.
Like other grills, pellet grills list cooking area two ways: primary cooking area, which refers to the main cooking grate, and total cooking area, which is the main cooking grate plus any secondary racks. However, since pellet grills are primarily indirect cookers, there really is no difference between cooking on the main rack or the upper rack&em;the temperature should be the same. Therefore, a smaller pellet grill with a primary grid of 450 square inches and an upper rack of 125 square inches may be a better option than a larger grill with only a 500 square inch primary grid.
My girlfriend told me her dad had just purchased a gas smoker and he loves it. I followed the smell of smoke to the grill master himself. Her dad was checking on the meat and this was my chance to ask him about his new smoker grill.
This bullet-shaped smoker is in vogue, and there are many similar, cheaper models available. The difference between this and the knock-offs, however, comes down to manufacturing quality. Between the materials and the limited warranty, it’s a very safe investment. Although the size may be a hindrance for buyers with limited outdoor space, it’s great for serious smoker fans who want a product that can handle anything, up to and including a turkey.
We love a kamado grill. They give such good results and look totally awesome. They are amongst the easiest grills to use, clean and operate, plus being efficient and versatile. What’s not to love? This is the best kamado grill we tested, so let’s tell you why!.
This is in stark contrast with the likes of Traeger TFB29LZA and Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett where you have to feed their hopper loads of pellets continuously, thus taking the fun and convenience out of smoking and grilling meats. It’s also fuel efficient since its auto pellet auger dispenses pellets only when needed, so they don’t run out so easily.
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.
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.
Some beneficial features that this model includes are that it is lightweight, small, and has legs that fold away for easy transportability. The grill grates are constructed from 3/16 in stainless steel rod and also includes a stainless steel ten gauge fire pot. With the interior of this grill you will also find that it includes a stainless steel fourteen gauge heat deflector, a stainless steel fourteen gauge drip pan, and a high quality ceramic ignition system.
You should consider the temperature range of what you will be cooking mostly before choosing the desired pellet smoker, to avoid choosing one that is not fit cooking foods of higher temperature. Pellet smoker with higher temperature range are better that those with low temperature range because they can cook more foods with different styles of cooking.
Thanks David for the info. Was wondering if you had any experience with the Pit Boss 820 Deluxe. Seems to have a good size cooking area and hopper size and the ability to flame sear as well and priced here locally at 499, but cant seem to find much info when comparing to all these other brands. Thanks in advance if you have any info. Great article love the best bang for the buck idea. Most articles I am finding talk about the highest priced brands out there.
Yoder’s Variable Displacement Damper is another unique feature: Essentially, it’s a metal plate that may be moved from left to right along the lower smoke box. Positioned all the way left, it concentrates heat directly over the fire pot for conductive searing with optional aluminum GrillGrates. Move it back to the right for even heat across the entire smoke box. Yoders are sold primarily through independent retailers.
I am the only person in the world whose full time job is testing, researching, reviewing, and rating grills and smokers. Not a bad gig! I measure temperatures, slam lids, turn dials, study warranties, kick casters, and cook a lot of food, and consider look, feel, and price. I try to select devices that cover a range of prices, endeavoring to offer you a winner at whatever you can afford. We think these selections are Best Values in their price category. The thumbnail reviews in our Top 10 Lists are in order of manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), but actual prices can differ significantly, especially since many of these items can be highly customized. Please click the red links to read our complete detailed reviews and find links to suppliers, many of whom sell well below MSRP. In addition to our Top 10 Lists, we have a huge searchable Ratings & Reviews database with hundreds of smokers and grills.
Good old Weber has been making this indestructible charcoal fired “bullet” for years and has made only minor tweaks, although there are minor tweaks yet to be made (we’d like a better thermometer, but then again, we use our own accurate digital thermometer probe). The body is the same enamelized steel as the Weber Kettle. We have one that’s 17 years old and going strong. There is also a larger model, but we prefer this size because it is easier to keep the temp low, although a full slab of ribs barely fits. It can also be used as a grill, but you have to get on your knees to do it. Click here to read our complete review of the Weber Smokey Mountain 18″.
Regarding your question about a decrease in smoke flavor when using the pellet grill / smoker, I do believe you will experience a little bit of a drop off. This said, many people find the flavor from pellet grills / movers to be adequate. If you require a stronger smoke profile, you can always use one of the tube smokers that sits inside of the cooking chamber.
The better a pellet grill’s temperature range, the more it can do. Performance pellet grills have upper ranges of 500°F- 700°F, which is hot enough to get a great sear and fire-bake pizza. Many of those pellet grills also offer a direct grilling option that allows you to cook over an open flame in addition to cooking over indirect heat.
Hey Rob! First, I really appreciate you reaching out. That’s what The BBQ Beat is for! To your question, I own a Davy Crockett Tailgate Model pellet smoker and really like it. Full disclosure, it was given to me by the company to test and Jason Baker of GMG said I could just keep it. But, I get a good number of products to review sent to me and a whole lot of them don’t make it onto the blog. I’d rather “omit” than “detract” – keep things positive sharing the stuff out there that I can get behind.
Comes with a 633 square inch main grilling surface, but also includes a 280 square inch removable upper cooking rack (total cooking area: 913 square inches). Includes a digital thermostat and gives you precise heat control from 170 Fahrenheit to 600 Fahrenheit (5 degree increments).
I am a big fan of companies that aren’t afraid to change up the game, especially where BBQ smokers are concerned. Grilla Grills out of Michigan is just one such company. They’re putting out direct to customer pellet smokers that are both well made and affordable.
You can’t cook as hot or generate as much smoke – You won’t get quite as good a sear as you could with a charcoal grill. And you won’t get that dominate smokey flavor you would get with an offset stick burning smoker.

Hey Mike – yes, I’ve looked at and used the Traeger Pro models, and I like them. I’ll be doing a review of the Traeger Pro 22 that I now own. Definitely go with the Pro Model, which you can find at Ace Hardware stores or any of the locations you find via the Traeger Grills store locator here.
Consistency is the key to having the best results. If you want a tender brisket, your cooking temperature should be close to 250 F during the whole 12 hour period of cooking. The control board is responsible for precision. There are one-touch Non-PID, PID multi-position, and 3-position controllers. Check out the different types of controllers for the one that is right for you.
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.
Using their trademarked Smart Grill Technology, Rec Tec have managed to give you a wide array of temperatures, with precision control of 5 degrees. From 180ºF to 500ºF, and whether you’re looking for a low and slow cook that’ll keep your neighbors jealous and salivate all day, or you want to bang out something more quickly at a higher temperature, you’re covered, with one unit.
And #3, good bbq or grilled meats should taste great without a ton seasonings or sauce. Beef especially can be excellent with simple salt! Make sure your seasonings enhance flavor. Another great read, the late (and much grieved at our house) Paul Prudhomme’s ‘Louisiana Kitchen’ again available on Amazon used for a couple of bucks and a masterpiece! Paul was a master of seasoning. Don’t kill it with seasonings and sauce, enhance the foods flavors. Barks on meat are great if they are right. However burnt, sugar and many other seasonings detract from the meats natural flavor. I personally love a meat you can eat without a sauce and then sauce if you want some added flavors going on!
Having said that, not everyone has over $400 to splash out on a new smoker. So while you can get a better quality charcoal smoker like the Weber Smokey Mountain for a similar price, if your hearts set on a pellet smoker, you can definitely do worse than the Bradley Original.
Pellet Availability – Depending on where you are located, you might need to buy pellets in bulk; it can be difficult to buy pellets year round in some regions. The best way to buy pellets is to buy a lot of them at one time, or you can buy them over the Internet. You need to make sure that pellets are available before you start cooking. If you don’t have enough of them, you won’t be able to properly smoke your meat.
As it stands now I think you would be fine with a GMG Daniel Boone if the size is big enough for you. They have great customer service and I am happy with the little Davy Crockett unit I have from GMG. This way you can stay within your price range comfortably and have a reliable product. Hope this helps.
Besides the electrical troubles, the lower barrel was repainted twice because of rust issues. The wheels even broke. Seriously, I had to re-manufacture the hubs. It wasn’t worth buying new ones because they would have had the same poor design as the originals.
Hi Joshua – Rec-Tec makes a solid product. I can’t say a bad thing about them. I think you’d be very happy with the Silverbac. Email Shane Draper – Pitmaster for Grilla Grills at pitmaster@grillagrills.com. He’s super quick with responses and can answer all questions re: Grillas. The Traeger pro series is a solid buy as well. You can check them out at Ace Hardware Stores or via stores acting as dealers for the pro model (find these on the Traeger website). I have the smaller Traeger 22 pro model and have been very happy so far. Regarding controllers, my verdict is still out on whether they’re what you need. It’s almost getting to a point where I “want” some temp swing, especially at the lower settings, in order to get a bit more smoke from the cooker. 15 degrees either way on temp is pretty normal. You might find that this is the case, even when controller units “read” steady. Pellet grills all feed pellets into burn pots in cycles. So some swing is inevitable. Hope this helps.
Number two when cooking with charcoal (yes plain Kingsford is good stuff if you do it right, a lot of the cheaper brick and cheaper lump can put some weird twangs in your food) brick or lump can produce quality high temp steaks or slow & low bbq! To add some nice flavor add some wood, but do your homework! I think Clark ‘Smokey’ Hale has one of the best books ever for the grill and Q master, “The Great American Manual on Grilling and BBQ or something like that. Last I saw you can grab a used one on Amazon for a few cents and some shipping. The most prolific thing I read in there that so many miss, is burn your wood and your charcoal to where it is literally a coal of gray ash covered glowing ember. Do that and you will find a new flavor in your cooking! Problem is so many places think heavy smoke is great, as they are trying to imitate cold smoke flavors! They are not the same! All this talk I see here about, “I want heavy smoke flavor.” I can tell you if you burn your wood and your charcoal (and I feel even lump needs to be well on it’s way to gray ash covered or you get bitter smoke even though many say not necessary) to a red ember with gray ash covering 80 to 90% minimum preferably completely covered your flavor profile will change. Many supposedly good bbq restaurants I have been in serve something with a bitter or ash flavor, which I find much less enjoyable.
Yo, Kevin! Hope that you can soon review one of my all-time favorite purchases, the Traeger Li’l Tex Elite Smoker/Grill. After using it for a couple of months, I gave away my two year old gas-grill to my grandson. We’ve done chicken, turkey, pheasant, lamb, all kinds of beef, pork and sausages including some wonderful ribs and brisket. Our Easter Rib Roast turned out terrific as did the chunks of assorted sausages that we did for another family get-together. I was never a big fan of grilling until we got our Traeger. Both Traeger and the web-sites like yours are full of great recipes and ideas.
Before buying, please note that most pellet smokers need access to electricity to run the digital controller, the auger that transports the pellets to the firebox, and the convection fan that circulates the air in the cooking chamber. These cookers can use a lot of pellets at high temps. At high temps there is little or no smoke, and at low temps smoke is unavoidable. So if you want to cook, say, a chicken breast low and slow to retain juices, but you don’t want any smoke flavor, you’re outta luck. If you want to torch a thin burger to get a crunchy crust and add a little smokiness, you’ll get great smoke flavor, but it is hard to get the crust. But if you want killer ribs, bacon, smoked salmon, etc., pellet burners are hard to beat for convenience and quality.