best pellet grills 2014 | 7 Amazing Tricks To Get The Most Out Of Your Pellet Grill

Any grills with moving parts and electrical components can break down (a risk not associated with charcoal or wood grills). If exposed to moisture, pellet fuels will disintegrate. People who live in humid climates must keep their pellets dry, preferably indoors in airtight lidded containers.
With so many pellet grills on the market the only way manufacturers can differentiate themselves is through features. When comparing pellet grills, take the time to look at all the features that are included.
Pit Boss: The Pit Boss Company manufactures an extra-large pellet grill with 700 square inches of cooking surface. It closest competitor in pellet smoker largeness is the 7-year veteran known as Rec-Tec. It has probably one of the largest cooking surfaces (or the largest at that) in the pellet grill and smoker industry. It approaches grilling with the idea that sometimes bigger really is better, at least in terms of cooking more meats at the same time.
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.
The Davy Crockett is a super portable pellet grill. With legs that fold up and compact form factor, this grill can go just about anywhere. On top of that, you can run this little smoker on both 110 and 12 volt power.
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.
The Davy Crockett Pellet Grill by Green Mountain Grills is a pellet smoker that comes complete with open-flame technology, 110v or 12v with adaptors (3 power options).Is this one of the best pellet smokers? It certainly has quite a lot going for it to make that claim. Like being WiFi-enabled, of all things.
The biggest cleanup issue is the buildup on the heat deflector under the cooking grates. You’ll need good gloves and an apron. On most models, a thorough cleanup means a 30 minute process of taking out the greasy grates and the gooey deflector plate, scraping them and washing them. You should do this when the carbon and grease cover the deflector plate. Stainless parts can go in the diswasher, but I wouldn’t do it. That grease is like tar and it could get all over the insides of the dishwasher and hang on for dear life. I use a handheld steamer like the Steamfast SF-320 Portable Steam Cleanershown here.
People choose pellet smokers because they are easier to use than conventional smokers; once you set a temperature, they will automatically dispense pellets to maintain it for as long as you need to cook your foods. When people see the benefits of cooking with pellets, they often rush out to buy the first smoker they see.
Honestly, I can’t think of anything negative to say about the Memphis Pro. The only thing I can see that sets the MAK pellet grill apart from this Memphis Pro is that it has the built in cold smoking ability that this Memphis Pro model does not.
Because they burn so cleanly, pellet grills produce a cleaner, milder flavor than a traditional offset, which adds smoke flavor through both charcoal and wood chunks. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on your preference. Many people who don’t like a heavy smoke on their food prefer the lighter flavor produced by pellet grills. On the other hand, it might be a little light for those accustomed to the more aggressive smoke flavor produced by a traditional smoker.
However, some issues that customers can encounter with this grill include rusting, warping of the grill, and igniter malfunction. Also, there have been some customer complaints that portability is not as easy as it may seem. In order to move the product, there cannot be any wood pellets in the grill and you must fold in the legs.
Aside from durability, a well-built pellet grill has another significant advantage: It will perform better. High-quality materials and good construction allow the grill to retain heat better, making it more efficient and providing better pellet consumption, even in cold weather. Furthermore, it’s unlikely that a brand offering a cheaply made grill invested much time designing it to maximize airflow or engineering a control board that can hold a tight temperature.
The porcelain grill grates, their surface is effective at preventing rust from appearing and food from sticking. They are much easier to clean, after each cooking just clean them with a delicate brush and that’s it.
Hey Kyle – GMG, Traeger, and RecTec all make good smokers. The models you list here are the of theirs I recommend most. If I had to rank them, I’d go with GMG or Traeger based on customer care / responsiveness.
Price is always an important factor. We all like to save money, but buying a low-quality cheap smoker grill will end up costing you more money in the long run. A high-quality grill at an affordable price will last longer and be used more because you will be satisfied with your purchase.
You also have the option of plugging it into normal 110/120 volt AC. This gives you a lot of options when it comes to where you can use this grill: you can plug it into the cigarette lighter of your car, you can connect it the battery in the trunk of your car or you can use a standard plug. We were also surprised to find that this smoker will not drain your car battery, so use freely!
The grill is plated with beautiful stainless steel that gives the grill a refined and impressive look. The huge cooking area includes 570 square inches of surface area. That’s enough to hold 20 burgers or 4 rib racks! It also contains a second warming rack and bottom shelf that provides the grill stability and extra storage. Additionally, the legs are built with extreme thickness giving the grill a grounded base. The caster wheels add portability to the grill so you can find that perfect place in the backyard.
Although it’s hard to lift the lid when shopping online, do your research. Read reviews and compare specs. And don’t be afraid to call and ask questions. Anyone selling pellet grills should be able to tell you all you need to know about a particular grill and how it compares to other models.
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.
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.
There’s an okay size cooking area at 440 square inches, around the same size as the Camp Chef Smokepro above, and it keeps a consistent temperature that guarantees good end results. The digital LED controls are simple to understand and use, and a digital temperature gauge keeps you updated as to how your cooking is going.
Pellet grills are primarily indirect cookers that use convection to cook food rather than the heat of a direct flame. A deflector plate sits between the fire pot and cooking grate to help keep temperatures consistent throughout the girl while also cutting down on hot spots and eliminating flare ups. Some pellet grills do have a direct grilling option, which allows you to grill over an open flame through an opening in the deflector plate.
Only two companies manufactured pellet grills or smokers back in 2008, and they’re MAK and Traeger (both of which are based in Oregon). This changed when Traeger’s original patents expired and the floodgates for competitors opened.
The Traeger Pellet grill can accommodate temperatures from 180 degrees to 375 degrees, and high. It has a state of the art digital temperature control system that not only monitors the temperature to keep it consistent and even, but also regulates the pellets the auger feeds to the fire according to that temperature. This is truly a grill worthy of a place in our pellet grill review.
Choosing the one perfect pellet grill that could change your cooking experience is easier said than done. There is just so know you have to know before committing to it. Though I did give you a run-through of all the basic and important things to look for in a pellet grill before buying one, it is still a scratch on the surface. It is tiring to have to go from store to store to find the quality ones that you can choose from. So, to come to your rescue once again, I will now give you the some pellet grill review.
Manufacturers advertise that these are both smokers and grills, but it is best to think of these devices as superb indirect heat convection smokers, not grills. Most just don’t do as good a job of searing a steak as a charcoal grill or even a gas grill with a sear burner. I can sear steaks better on a $20 hibachi than on most pellet smokers.
So if you want more of a smoke profile.. cook at longer and lower temps in your pellet pit. I have found that is the best way to get a more distinct smoke profile in your food. Cook at 180-190… for the first several hours. That probably has the biggest impact… next, make sure you are using a good, quality hardwood pellet. I can tell you that you will notice a very large difference in the flavor profile between say a traeger pellet, vs. say one of Candy’s.
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.
Yes. However, some pellet grills perform better in cold weather than others. Most pellet grills that use a standard non-PID controller have been tuned for ideal conditions. That means when a manufacturer claims their grill can maintain that +/- 20°F, they are referring to a 75°F day with no wind or precipitation. If it’s windy or cold, these grills tend to lose their ability to maintain that temperature range.
Hey Vernon – Yoder warranty is is 1-year on the igniter, 3-years on the control system and 10-years on the cooking body. Products manufactured by Memphis Wood Fire Grills carry a seven (7) year Limited Warranty from the date of purchase by the original owner against defects in material and workmanship. Electronic and electrical components carry a three (3) year replacement warranty when subjected to normal residential use. Limited Warranty does not apply to burn pot, meat probe, grill cover gaskets or damage caused by corrosion. The meat probe is under Warranty for 30 days from the date of purchase. (Both warranty blurbs were pulled from the respective company websites) Yoder: http://www.yodersmokers.com/pellet-frequently-asked-questions.html Memphis Grills: https://memphisgrills.com/warranty/
Burners represent an important component of your smoker grill and you need to inspect them often. Make sure there are no blockages or corrosion. Cleaning your burn pot with the proper methods will produce great benefits.
Having the same problem as the rest of the group. Rec Tec, Yoder, Green Mountain, Pellet Pro, or MAK? All seem to be heavy gauge SS, Pellet Pro seems really good value, MAK and Green Mountain seem to have controllers with more features. Have a friend who bought Rec Tec 3 years ago, he cannot say enough about the good customer service and the grill. If you could only buy one (money not the issue among these 5), which one, and why?
Every pellet grill offers a lot of benefits, but choosing a better one will not make you regret it along the way. Although it is difficult to decide which one is better, you will have an idea what to choose if you know what you need.
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.
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.
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This grill also comes with an internal temperature sensor as well as a pellet purge system, an electronic auto ignition, and shutdown recycle mode. This grill offers versatility with the 7 in 1 Barbecue Smoker Grill which gives the option of searing, grilling, smoking, braising, roasting, baking, or barbecuing food. It also has a fan forced convection cooking which removes the necessity for a rotisserie.
Hey Wayne – thanks for your comment. The Brinkmann and Meco models are good starter models. I’d probably edge up to a Masterbuilt electric. Sounds like you have one of these other models. What’s your favorite thing to cook in it?
This unit costs almost half of what most high-end smokers cost, but it offers equal (or even better!) features. This 8-in-1 smoker and grill lets you enjoy the fun of grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, searing, braising, barbecuing and char-grilling!
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.
The Davy Crockett smoker is a competitively priced, comes with a lot of great features and offers a great BBQ experience: when you buy this smoker, you can rest assured that your money is well spent. The portability and the power source of this smoker make it the ultimate grill for tailgating! So let’s take a closer look at some of the features that this smoker has to offer:
Due to the lower oxygen at 9200 FASL, I cannot keep the smoker hot and I cannot get it above 250 Deg. F. I seem to be limited due to the diameter of the smoker…just can’t get enough coals and air to get and maintain temps. Therefore, I want to buy a new smoker, on that will regulate temperature at temperatures of 200 – 450 deg F. Any experience or guidance for a smoker brand and type (wood pellet, charcoal, or electric) at high altitudes? i am looking for a smaller size smoker unit.
When you purchase ShippingPass you don’t have to worry about minimum order requirements or shipping distance. No matter how small the order or how far it needs to go, ShippingPass provides unlimited nationwide shipping. If you need to return or exchange an item you can send it back at no cost or take it to your neighborhood store.
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.
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.

— May 23, 2018

4 thoughts on “best pellet grills 2014 | 7 Amazing Tricks To Get The Most Out Of Your Pellet Grill

  1. There have been some reports from some customers that the temperature gauge may not work properly for smoking purposes because it does not hold a steady temperature as it swings wildly from over one hundred to over three hundred regardless of the temperature being set to 225. There have also been some complaints about the product rusting in some spots.
    Whether you call them pellet grills or pellet smokers (the terms are interchangeable), there’s no denying the impact these do-everything cookers are having on BBQ. In the past year alone, interest in pellet grills has grown at an astounding rate, with the number of online searches nearly doubling. Although they’ve been around for over thirty years, it’s only recently that they’ve earned the title of the Hottest Product in BBQ.
    At Grills Forever, we are passionate about outdoor cooking. We don’t just tell you things we’ve read rather we go the extra mile, making us the go-to team for all your smoker grill needs. Throughout our journey from four BBQ novices to barbecuing experts, we have developed some of the best strategies for picking a pellet grill and testing it before recommending it to our audience.
    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?
    Be that as it may, if your concern mainly lies on something that can be carried on a truck to an open-air grilling party or to a friend’s place, it’s positively a decent proposal. Aside from portability, it also gives you a cooking adaptability as you can grill, prepare, smoke, grill and braises with no bothers. The grill highlights full-size functionalities in a convenient bundle, henceforth a decent decision for anybody searching for versatile decision.
    The grill offers one of the best sear boxes on the market. It can reach up to 900 degrees F giving your food a crisp and perfect sear. The 16,000 BTU stainless steel burner also contains a built-in ignition. The sear box offers grill masters another state of the art tool in their arsenal. While the sear box is an awesome feature, it bumps up the price compared to the PG24.

  2. Best of all, with a pellet grill, you can “smoke” your food at a very low temperature to create fall-of-the bone tender items like ribs or ham. This gives you a huge range of options when it comes to the types of meals you can prepare with your grill. You certainly will not be limited to just burgers and dogs! Think Cornish game hens, smoked turkey legs, lamp chops, smoked salmon, fish tacos, pot pie, and even pizza or cornbread. Some people even use their pellet grill to make desserts such as cookies or bread pudding.
    With this grill you get over 400 square inches of coking space and an easy to use digital temperature control. With heats ranging from 160 to 500 degrees, there’s plenty of room for both smoking and grilling.
    Because a PID controller constantly measures its temperature and adjusts its pellet feed to meet the desired temperature, it maintains its temperature just as well in cold weather as under perfect conditions.
    The best solution: Have an electrician custom make a cord the proper length for you. Don’t buy a cable much longer than you need it because the longer the cable, the higher the resistance and the power diminishes. You don’t want to see the equations for that.
    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.
    A quality pellet grill is built to last and will provide years of reliable performance. Bargain pellet grills not only lack the capabilities of better grills, they’re more likely to break down. No matter your price range, look for a pellet grill that’s built well and offers consistent performance. Fortunately, if price is a major consideration, there are quality pellet grills for under $500, as well as high-end pellet grills for under $1,000.

  3. You can sear on some pellet grills, but they are the minority. It’s generally accepted you need cook at a minimum of 500°F in order to sear. Because most pellet grills are primarily indirect cookers that top out at 400-425°F, they are not particularly good for searing. However, there are some pellet grills that can reach 500-700°F, as well as some that offer direct grilling options that allow you to sear meat over an open flame.
    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.
    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.
    Every now and then the pellet grill manufacturers come out with deals and discount packages. It would be foolish to not take advantage of these offers. Take a look at some of the current offers available below.
    Rating: I’m sufficiently impressed to give this grill a 9.4 out of 10 rating. Even if I didn’t know about its crowdfunding success story, it has comparable capabilities to the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill (even sans WiFi).
    Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker is the ultimate choice for any expert smoker. Its reasonable price and amazing features make it a long-term investment. It comes with a lot of nifty features that facilitate, smoking, grilling and searing in your backyard. For all these reasons, it’s our top choice for the serious BBQ buffs.

  4. Burners represent an important component of your smoker grill and you need to inspect them often. Make sure there are no blockages or corrosion. Cleaning your burn pot with the proper methods will produce great benefits.
    Just started shopping around for a pellet smoker. Am also going to need a new gas grill soon. Stopped in at the local BBQ supply store today and they showed me the Memphis Pro and said it would function well for both smoking and cooking steaks/burgers. Price point on that one is pretty high. Would any of the others reviewed above offer similar functionality? Do you have a recommendation of which will work well for both functions? I live in KS so kind of like the idea of sticking with the local guys from Yoder, but Fast Eddys in OK isn’t too far away either. Thanks.
    By opening the lid you cause the heat to quickly escape. Remember that the most important thing is to always maintain a fixed temperature inside the grill. With this solution, you can easily control the meat’s temperature without losing the heat inside the grill.
    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.
    What can I say? Camp Chef Pellet Grills are one of the best go-to grills at all price points. You’ll love this one for its many features and we love it because it’s so dependable. You can’t go wrong with this grill and with that body you’ll be sure to impress everyone at your party with your food and grill.
    I believe the little Green Mountain Davy Crockett is the best portable pellet smoker currently on the market. Surprisingly, many of the portables out there still have an antiquated LMH controller, while Davy Crockett employs Green Mountain’s advanced digital touch-pad controller, with an integrated meat thermometer that lets you check internal meat temp with the flick of a switch. Furthermore, it includes adapters to run the electronics from your car battery or cigarette lighter. And Green Mountain is aggressively—ahem, hello price cut—promoting its WiFi capabilities, which enable you to monitor Davy Crockett from your smartphone or laptop.
    This smoker is one of the only smokers that includes Sense-Mate, which is a thermal sensor system that continuously monitors the internal grilling temperature and keeps the internal temperature within 5ºF of the set temperature. Quite impressive, if you ask me!
    Hi John, I believe the information in this article to be current still. The only addition I’d make and probably should make is to put GMG and Traeger in as being comparable with Rec-Tec. Traeger specifically has been coming back with a vengeance of late with their Pro Series models.
    Hey, thanks so much for letting me know what you guys finally decided on buying! The Memphis is a great all around cooker. I loved the Memphis Pro series model I tried out at home. Dead on accurate and quality all the way. Congrats on your purchase. I know you guys will be happy!
    But you cannot burn home heater pellets in a cooking grill. Cooking pellets are hardwoods. Heater pellets often contain softwoods such as pine, they can have treated lumber and other chemical contaminants in them. The smoke they put out is potentially hazardous in food.

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