I would make that decision based upon desired temperature. Very few of the smokers on your list can surpass the 485 to 500 degree mark. You’ll read a lot of discussion about grill grates helping you get into those higher temperatures and that product does work. I would simply pick a smoker that can get to the desired temperature you want like the Louisiana and the Memphis. Both can exceed 500 degrees and both can hit 600 degrees without problems.
Works best when using cheaper cuts of meat, that need to be cooked for a long time at a low temperature. This allows the connective tissue in the meat to break down, making the food tender moist and flavorsome. Smoking relies more on indirect or radiant heat to cook the foodstuffs rather than flames, and works at a much lower temperature, the formation of HCAs is far less of an issue. The heterocyclic amines are present but in much lower concentrations. The smoke you get from the wood being used in the smoker can be the source of harmful chemicals. These are the same chemicals that add the pleasant smell from the wood to the meat. The compounds are called polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and are a known carcinogen. These PAHs are present in a wide variety of commercially made processed and cooked meats but have higher concentrations in meat that has been home-smoked.
Portable: It is very versatile and you can undoubtedly convey it from the truck to the lodge without sweating. It includes a full-size unit in an advantageous and convenient bundle. You can undoubtedly grill, prepare, smoke, grill and braise wherever and at whatever point you please.
In 1982 Traeger Heating in Oregon began experimenting with a furnace that would burn wood pellets made from compressed sawdust, a byproduct of the area lumber mills, and before long introduced a home heating system that they sold mostly locally. Since furnaces sold mostly in cold months, before long they began experimenting with a grill that would burn pellets, too. Eventually they created a device with an auger to feed the pellets and a blower to help them burn.
Before cooking, you need to preheat a cast iron grill grate, griddle, plancha, or skillet and put it directly on the grill grate to get the grill marks effect, but at that point isn’t it ultimately just for show?
Considering quality construction of anything is among the most important factors that should be kept in mind while shopping for a pellet smoker. No one would wish to buy an item, no matter the price, that is not of good quality and that will have rust or get destroyed without giving the user enough service. That is a loss. A good quality pellet smoker will last longer and will need less or little maintenance.
Burning wood pellets produces up to 90% less Carbon Dioxide than traditional fossil fuels such as gas or oil. Burning just one ton of wood pellets can replace approximately 400 liters of oil – saving up to 1,070kg of Carbon Dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Even and fast cooking – this is the common feedback of the new and past users of this pellet grill cooker. Although some of them would say that the temperature is inaccurate, they can still manage to adjust everything well by means of its digital temperature controller. Additionally, you may need to add more pellets if you will set the temperature on a high setting.
Depending on the type of cooking you want to do, temperature range can be important. Every pellet grill is good at indirect cooking and most have no problem hitting any temperature from 180°F to 425°F, which is adequate for smoking, roasting, baking, and grilling. However, it’s not enough for searing, which requires a temperature of 500-550°F.
Green Mountain pellet smokers offer innovation and good quality as well as relatively low price points. The Daniel Boone model is the midsized version. It boasts an advanced digital touch-pad dual-probe controller and stainless steel grates and drip pan, and, with 13.5 inches of headroom, Daniel Boone can accommodate large turkeys and roasts. Although the WiFi option adds a hundred bucks to the bill, no other pellet smokers anywhere near GMG’s price range offer WiFi control. Download the GMG app to your smartphone or tablet for a point-to-point connection, enabling you to remotely turn Daniel Boone on and off; monitor and control the internal meat temp, cooking temp, and timer; and even store the time- and temperature-based profiles of your favorite recipes. (For example, you can set your Daniel Boone to “Tri-Tip Beef Roast” and have it start out cooking at 225°F until the internal meat temp hits 110°, then crank to 500° for browning until the meat registers 135°, then drop the temp to 150° to keep it warm.)
No Wonder She Said “no”! Learn How To Pellet Grill Persuasively In 7 Easy Steps
In terms of portability, there are smaller and lighter options available but the cooking surface is much smaller and has the out-of-date lo-med-high controller. The Davy Crockett uses Green Mountain’s sophisticated digital thermostatic controller with a dual readout LED display to accommodate the included meat thermometer. It also comes with adaptors to provide power from a wall outlet, car cigarette lighter, or car battery: items that are often optional on other makes.
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!
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.
Who says bigger is always better? Our fourth contender to make it to our pellet grill review is the The Traeger TFB29LZA Junior elite grill. This petite pellet grill has been specifically designed to meet the needs of small households. Its small body makes it ideal for travelling and tailgating. It features a 300 square inch cooking surface. This pellet grill weighs just 60 pounds. You will get an LED digital, multi-position thermostat that comes with a 3 year warranty.
All this talk of carcinogens can be scary stuff, but it should not get you too alarmed. First off, these chemicals are not found in very high concentrations, and secondly very few of us are eating grilled or smoked meat for every meal. Enjoying a smoked pork shoulder or a grilled burger once in a while is not likely to increase your risk of contracting cancer by any measurable degree. However, if you are gravely concerned about making sure you eat as healthily as possible there as some simple things you can do to reduce this minimal risk even 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.
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.
Kevin- I’m in the process of researching to get my husband a grill for Christmas. I’m torn between the 820 you mentioned above and the Traeger Pro Series. As far as I can tell they are basically the same except that you get a larger cooking area on the pit boss for the same price you pay for a small cook space in a traeger. I would like to spend around $600 on the grill but would possibly go up to $800 and want 500 sq in cook space or greater. Which do you prefer? Pit Boss, Traeger or another brand?
If you are concerned about the shine on its exterior, always use dish soap, warm water and a scrubbing sponge to clean it. Also, avoid metal brushes or steel wool. Remove stubborn stains by scrubbing using diluted ammonia or vinegar. And you can remove the water spots using unsweetened club soda.
Equipped with a digital controller that allows you to set the temperature between 160 and 500 degrees F. Dual LED allows you to check the current temperature inside the grill and read the internal temperature of the meat using a meat probe for that.
I talk with a lot of teams out there, and I know for certain that some of them have turned to my buddy Fred Grosse’s MojoBricks to boost their smoke profile when using pellet grills. In fact, of the teams who win with Pellet Smokers – I’d wager at least a quarter of them to maybe half have used MojoBricks to round out their final product. I really like Fred as well – which makes it a pleasure to include his products in this grouping of pellet grill reviews.
These are the same knives used at famous steakhouses like Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, and Morton’s. Machine washable, high-carbon stainless steel, hardwood handle. Meathead says the ones he uses at home have been through the washing machine more than 100 times and the blade is like new. And the manufacturer has printed the AmazingRibs.com name on it!
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).
Chicken, beef, pork, and more are the ones that are ideal for a pellet grill. Fish is also good as long as you should clean the grill after use because the smell of a fish may affect the taste of meat you will cook next. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at these pellet grill recipes or these to get your juices flowing.
Complement your main course with baked delicacies. The grill’s integrated fan literally makes it a convection oven for baking everything from mouth-watering cookies and cobblers to delicious bread and even pizza.
This pellet smoker combines the most important features such as big grilling surface, maintaining approximate temperature and other useful options at decent price. It’s a grill for those who expect a decent equipment that is worth its money.
Complete with a variety of spectacular features, the Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker redefines the whole concept of smoking. At a reasonable price, this smoker gives you more than what you paid for. It offers technology-rich features that ensure consistent smoking for that great smoky flavor. Plus, many customers – including ourselves – have attested to its durability. This smoker will serve you without failure for a very long time.
When used as a smoker, the temperature can become too unpredictable, rising to extremely high temperatures; over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. There have also been reports dealing with the auger malfunctioning while in use, which can cause the smoker/grill to not heat properly or to allow heat to escape.
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!
Thank you all for a great site and an informative discussion. I am a newbie to smoking and presently have a charcoal grill for when I have more time and a gas grill for a fast meal. Its time to replace my gas grill so I am looking at alternative options. Is a pellet grill overkill, or a timely expedition, if I want to grill a couple steaks or chicken breasts during week nights? I’d also be interested in smoking larger hunks of meat (and ribs!) less often, but am wondering if a pellet grill can cover both? How long does it take a pellet grill to get to temp (e.g. 450°)? With the indirect heat, can you get char marks on your meat? Thanks in advance for the info!
Just in case something goes wrong with your new, glorious machine, there’s an absolutely massive six year warranty. And if somehow you end up not falling in love with it, (not likely) you can get a full refund within 30 days of purchase, no questions asked.
An attractive option for many people are stainless steel pellet grills, which are rust-resistant, more durable, and easier to maintain. While pellet grills made from commercial-grade 304 stainless steel are the most desirable, they come at a higher. However, there are also some pellet grills made from 430 stainless steel, which is more affordable and still incredibly durable.
Most owners are crazy about their pellet cookers, but some say the flavor is different than they are used to from charcoal and gas grills, and more than one has told me they do not like the flavor because it is too mild. They are a minority.
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With this unit, meat can be smoked at a temperature of 150F for hours. You can also set the temperature to 500F for a searing and grilling. The heat is evenly spread using convection, thus removing cold and hot spots on the grill.
Well said John, I have had my Rec Tec 680 for a year now, first pellet smoker. At first I was going to buy a Yoder, but for $1500 I had to do more research, I didn’t need a 350 lb tank I wanted a pellet grill ( I have a 450 lb stick burner). Rec Tec came out on top, warranty sold me. My ignitor rod went out, I called CS on a Sunday, left a msg and they called me back within an hour and FedEx me a new ignitor rod. I have called CS several times for advice, and the always help
These pellet smokers grills in the description I would recommend and give the BBQSuperStars Guarantee on. None of the others. Pellet Grills can break down. The auger that brings the pellets in, the eye that burns the wood. The temperature probe in the cooker and get knocked off or damaged by the exchange of BBQ in and out of the grill. These four listed above have less problems. Cook Shack is the best ever made, Royall and Yoder are even in a clear second. When buying a pellet cooker avoid those countries that build in China. Do your homework even on the grills listed. China made pellet grills have a lot of problems.
Traeger makes the most well known brand of pellet grills. Joe Traeger invented the pellet grill in 1985 and gave his name to it. Because of a patent, it was also the only pellet grill available for years. Since the patent expired, many different pellet grill brands on the market with more becoming available every year.
The good news is that if you are stuck with one of these dogs, Ortech makes a controller that can be used to upgrade Brinkmann and Traeger controllers. If you own another brand and are interested in upgrading to a digital controller, contact the manufacturer of your smoker or Ortech.
Are you’re asking which unit creates the strongest smelling smoke or the unit which creates the most smoke? I figure all pellet cookers are creating the same strength of smoke since they all use the same technology of burning pellets. The other question is which one creates the most smoke? I’ve not seen a pellet cooker that kicks out more smoke than the MAK. It’s already a legend in that respect and I hear the 1 star kicks out more than the 2 star if that’s even possible!
If you have ever used a charcoal grill you know how messy they be. You constantly have to clean the ash box because of how quickly it fills up. Log burners are no better as they leave behind a lot of char.
With this unit, not even a single pellet goes to waste. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about your pellets running out in the middle of cooking. The pellet hopper can hold up to 20 pounds of pellets and the digital thermostat control ensures that each pellet is efficiently used. Thus, it helps save a lot of money and allows you to smoke your food for a long time without refilling the pellets.
The Pit Boss Grills 440 offers a lot of space as well as a bottle opener. Another beneficial feature that you will find with this grill is the digital control board which regulates the internal temperature and has an LED display. This is a versatile product that has a lot to offer.
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 Joe, I might if there will be great time between cooks. At minimum get a good grill cover. The pellets do expand a lot if exposed to liquid. Some buy a small shop vacs just ton use for pellet removal. If your grill has a dump door, use that and vacuum out the dust etc. Rubbermaid tubs or the like make for good air tight storage.
Therefore, a large cooker with a primary cooking area of 500 square inches, might actually be of less use to you than a smaller cooker with a total cooking area that includes a 450 square inch primary rack and a 125 square inch secondary rack. If you couldn’t be bothered doing the math, that’s 575 square inches of total cooking space.
Control boards with inputs for meat probes – Some pellet grill controllers have outputs for meat probes. You just plug one end into the control board and insert the other into the meat. At a glance, you can track the internal temperature of your food on the digital display without opening the lid.