When it comes to cooking, this grill gives you maximum convenience through its 684-square inch grilling area. The main rack measures 25.9 inches by 19.3 inches while the extra rack measures 27 inches by 6.7 inches. You also get the 6 in 1 cooking advantage, which includes smoke, grill, bake, braise, roast and BBQ.
The manufacturers of the Rec Tec Grill firmly stand behind their decision to not include a remote control in their smoker. They argue, “This is a grill. You gotta go outside and put the meat on the grill. Is it too much to ask to press a button? And to lift the lid and see if you got pellets?”
An electronic ignition and a digital controller that makes it possible to precisely set temperature within +/- 20 degrees F. The smoker reaches up to 400 degrees F, but you have to know that its main advantage is maintaining precisely low temperatures which makes it possible to properly sear meat for many hours.
Watch out for any grill with electrical components and moving parts. These will tend to break down one way or another, like electrical components shorting out due to moisture exposure or moving parts wearing themselves out.
Hey Reid – thanks you for your question. You can use any pellet brand you like in a Traeger grill. I really like what the folks at Cookin’ Pellets bring to the table both in their 100% Hickory and their Perfect Mix blends (fruit wood/hard wood mix). Have been very pleased with them. You can check out their stuff here.
Travellers: Hey travelers, we haven’t forgot about making your life easier. Have you ever tried smoked rabbit while jungle camping? If so, then you know the thrill and enjoyment in it, but you probably wouldn’t go through the hassle of taking a smoker in the jungle. Wait a minute mate, I recommend the pellet smoker grills for a successful camping adventure with friends or family. I cannot count how many times we have done seen the advantages of this. It makes for an awesome experience every time. We recommend pellet smokers because of the lightweight and easy to shift aspects. It can fit easily in your car, which makes it the travelers dream.
It’s also super easy to clean. The auto shutdown cycle keeps the system’s induction fan running for ten minutes after you shut it off which shifts ash out of the fire pot, then shuts it all down automatically when it’s done. Clearing the leftover grease is as easy as anything, too, draining out simply and easily. No spills, no mess.
However, does the grill match its success story? It does because the reason it got funded is because of its many features. It can do many of the things a Traeger can but it somehow lowers its cost-effectiveness even more than the economical innovator of the pellet smoker industry.
This is a nice article for people new to pellet grill/smokers. Like jennifer, we have a vermont cast ing cast iron gas grill that has ‘rotted out’ internally. Calls to vermont cast ings has resulted in ‘we no longer support, make or sell parts for grills made before 2008’ and other run arounds. As a result we are looking for other options. We like the cast iron grills and grill heat but are considering other options, (Webber, Pellet, gas).
The PK Grill has become one of our favorite charcoal grills. Designed in 1952, the rectangular shape is easy to set up in 2 heat zones, it can easily be used as a smoker, the cast aluminum body is indestructible, airflow is easy to manage, and there is plenty of room under the hood. It is especially good at steaks, chops, and burgers.
This grill has a modern heating mechanism that adds to the convenience of using it. When the igniter is turned on, it heats the pellets that feed the fire pot via the auger. This auger creates a heat shield with the induction pan that evenly heats the surface as per the settings and ensures that the meat is thoroughly cooked. For efficient temperature management, this pellet smoker grill has a Digital Pro Controller that can be used to alter the temperature or keep it consistent while cooking as desired. The controller has a detector that keeps track of the number of pallets fed to the fire pot. There are also manual controls that can be used for setting the temperature to high, smoke and medium as desired.
Once all the bits have been removed, use hot soapy water to wash down the inside of the smoker. Then attack the cooking grate and the other parts you removed from the smoker using a rag and the hot soapy water to clean them too. Once you have removed the built-up of grease rinse the surfaces and allow to dry.
Hey Jay – Yoder makes a great product. Price not being an option, I’d probably go MAK, Memphis Pro (I go back and forth between the two personally!), then the Yoder. I’ve heard good things about the Louisiana pellet grills, just haven’t featured them here so haven’t done a lot of in-depth research. I’m inclined to rate it below the ones I just mentioned – but not by tons. I will say that if American Made is a factor, MAK, Memphis, and Yoder are a go there.
It’s still a great pellet smoker and it manages to get to a sizzling 500°F pretty darn quickly. We also had one of the tastiest meals from this grill. We can’t say (or verify) if it was because of the Pit Boss or if we had managed to get our hands on the best meat purchases, like ever!
Agree with you here, Greig. Outside of the Memphis and other pellet fed cookers like them, the max reliable temp that’s sustainable on most pellet smokers is around 430 F. Still pretty hot, but some may desire more punch for searing.
As you can see, Rob is very thorough in the way he breaks down the parts of this Yoder pellet smoker. To get a real feel for what you’d be in for should you choose to buy this particular Yoder pellet smoker, head over to his article to read more.
Now, this is only a portable smoker, and obviously you pay for that in size and power. It has a great temperature range, but unfortunately the cooking area is quite small, only just over 200 square inches, which is about enough for two racks of ribs.
The Secret Of Pellet Grill
This pellet smoker is loaded with great features, and easy to find for way below list price. It has an older-style notched digital controller, like what Traeger uses, but Camp Chef adds a dual LED readout for the included meat thermometer so you can toggle between cooking temperature and internal meat temperature. Pellet smokers are known to produce light smoke flavor. If you want more, Camp Chef’s controller includes two low-temperature settings that allow the wood pellets to smolder and produce extra smoke. Although pellets don’t create much ash, it does need to be removed periodically, which is always a pain because the greasy grates and drip pan must be lifted out to get at the burn pot. The DLX is one of the few models on the market with an ash-removal system that deposits ash in a cup under the smoke box for easy disposal.
Hi Craig, you are on the right track, the direct flame is a little limited with any pellet grill. A way to solve this is to employ grill gtates. Great heat retention and searing. Some active movement of proteins and veggies will be required if you want direct flames to impact them.
Many new developments are underway and soon will be released in the market. However, some are already with us! So here are some of the biggest things to look forward to while buying your next pellet smoker.
Though they are marketed as “grills,” you won’t get grill marks or a dark sear, as the units run on fan-driven indirect heat. In my opinion, these are smokers—not grills. You can increase the amount of caramelization you get on the outside of food by preheating a cast iron grill grate, skillet, griddle, or plancha directly on the grill grate for 20 minutes before cooking.
Need to keep an emergency pellet stockpile – If you’re grilling with propane or charcoal and run out half way through a 12 hour cook you can easily nip down to the store. But getting your favorite brand of pellets may require an Amazon order, or a trip to a more specialised store.
Only use food-grade wood pellets on your pellet grill. Never place wood chips or chunks on or around the fire pot. The fire could grow out of control, producing excessive heat that may damage vital electronics on the grill.
The flame broiler is an absolute fan favorite. It allows you to directly or indirectly cook while adding a great deal of flavor back into the foods you are preparing. And don’t worry, this grill will channel all the excess grease so you don’t have to.
The Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack PG500 Pellet Smoker is a collaborative design from respected smoker manufacturer Cookshack and competition-barbecue-circuit pro “Fast Eddy” Maurin. The FEC (Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack) line has been popular with competitive teams for years. While most FEC models have a utilitarian appearance, the beautifully crafted stainless steel PG500 fits right in with your shiny outdoor kitchen.
Hey Boyd, it’s really great hearing from you here. I am becoming a much bigger Traeger fan then I was in the past. They have done some excellent work of late on their Grill models. I really think they’re doing a lot of work too improve and restate their original value proposition. Their Pro Series models are excellent, and I believe that the directions the company is taking especially with getting back into the competition world will benefit both it and its customers… Like you… Long into the future.
Hey Cary, thanks for your comment. You can get pellet grills up to the 500 degree range and, with some grillgrates, they sear well. But, based on your comment I think you might get the most use out of a gasser. That said, I prefer pellet grills even for higher temp and shorter cooks. The smoke tubes work well.
I do have a question for you that i didn’t already find answered… How important do you feel a pellet release option is for a pellet fed BBQ? I have only found 3 models that have it; Traeger, Cabela’s Pellet Grill, and Camp Chef. It seems to me that this would almost be a must to make things easier to clean up when done smoking. What are your thoughts on the pellet release, and then your thoughts on these 3 pellet grills.
Since this is the Junior model, you give up a bit of space compared to the other entry level Lil Tex Elite Smoker which packs an extra 126 square inches of surface area. So if you are going to be cooking for larger groups you might want to consider upgrading to the Lil Tex, or going for one of the more expensive options below.
In 2008 there were only two consumer pellet grill manufacturers. Today there are more than a dozen. The market for these relatively expensive devices is small but growing fast. Not all of these small manufacturers will survive.
Temperature vary depending on different cooking, making this an important factor to consider when selecting the best pellet smoker for you. What type of cooking do you practice? Most if not all pellet smokers are good when used at indirect cooking and the maximum temperature they can get ranges from 180 – 425 degrees. This temperature range is good when one is grilling, roasting, baking or smoking. It becomes a challenge when you want to sear, which requires a temperature range of 500 – 550 degrees.
It is also worth noting that a pellet smoker made of high quality materials will perform better. High quality materials will retain heat, ensure more efficient pellet consumption, and maintain temperature better in the cold weather.
Included meat probes and whether they’re programmable – Not every grill that can accommodate a meat probe comes with the probe. Some require you to buy it separately Also, not all meat probes and the control boards they connect to are created equal. Some are just for monitoring temperatures. Others are programmable—you can actually program the pellet grill to lower the heat when your food reaches its finishing temperature.
The bottom line? We now have several pellet grills at Barbecue University and some students love them. Of course, there are still a lot of purists (or masochists) out there who insist on burning charcoal or wood.
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.
We use our Traeger about twice a week. Every month or so, I simply remove the grate and the angled plate and do the deed with my garage vac. The whole operation takes about five minutes from disassembly to finish.
Looking at the history of the pellet grill, Traeger Pellet Grills were the very first smokers available. It was patented in 1986 and production began in 1988. Because of its patent, Traeger had zero competition for 20 years. But in 2006 the patent expired, and new (and possibly better) pellet grills hit the market.
Keep that in mind, as the right temperature is the key to making great food. Meanwhile, plenty of competitive grills use old systems that are bad at maintaining the temperature in different weather conditions.
Some of the “smoke” from a pellet cooker, comes from the drippings burning off of the deflector over the pellet pot. So in the grills, where the deflector is, and how heat is spread across it, usually makes a difference.
Thanks Kevin. I am about to buy both a 5 burner gas grill and a smoker for a new bbq island. Rather than buy both, will one of these higher end pellet grills take the place of a traditional propane grill? I can apply the funds for the gas grill to a higher end pellet if it can really do double duty. It has to be able to cook burgers and dogs and steaks etc. Just like a gas grill though. Thoughts?
There’s less smoke from the alleged smoker the higher the generated cooking temperature is. You can get that smoke flavor at below 250°. You need to do the hardwood chips technique in order to get that smoke flavor back.
This is perfect for someone who wants all the perks of the high-end grills and a reasonable price. It will be worth the money you spend. You will be feeding your friends and family from this smoker for years to come.
3 Position Controller – Often referred to as LMH controllers, the 3 position controller has only 3 temperature settings. Low which is around 225°F, medium which is around 325°F and high which is around 425°F.
A variation on the standard controller utilizes limits to tighten the temperature as needed. When the grill goes too far above or below the set temperature, reaching a predetermined limit, the grill will modify its auger cycle slightly to increase or decrease the amount of pellets fed to the fire. This is similar to how a typical kitchen oven works. These controllers can maintain about +/-15°F.