I bought a Brinkmann Tower Charcoal smoker many years ago. Living in IL at the time, it served its purpose. I recently moved to Colorado and live at 9200′ above sea level. i am usually smoking a couple racks of ribs or making some jerky….nothing competitive or too large.
The hopper capacity is an enormous 40 pounds, which will last entire weekends without needing to be refilled, and it double feels downwards so it’s more precise and less likely to jam, like a lot of cheaper, auger based feeds. You can also use the hopper as a warming plate, another little bonus and great space saver.
Pellets look like rabbit chow. They are about the width of a pencil and as long as a couple of erasers. If they get wet they turn into a pile of sawdust. The beauty of pellets is that they have none of the additives and fillers in charcoal briquets, so they combust almost completely. Almost zero ash. The pellets provide the heat as well as flavor. No need to add wood chips. Surprisingly, they do not produce overly smoky food. If anything, the food is undersmoked to some people because the combustion is so complete.
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.
As for smoke flavor, it seem a lot of it comes down to pellet quality, & cooking time. One of the things that one buddy added that he says work well is 12″ A-Maze-N tube. He gets about 4 hours of heavy smoke and puts it in at the start of the smoke.
No need to vacuum the ashes right after using the pellet grill cooker because, with the help of this product, you only need to pull the lever to release the burnt contents then get the ash cup and throw it all away!
One great thing about this smoker is its temperature flexibility. Cooks can smoke, grill, or bake at temperatures ranging from 180 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. An included ITC temperature probe lets you quickly track your food’s progress.
This pellet smoker by Pit Boss offers a wide cooking surface which is 700sq inches of cast iron which can hold rather large pieces of meat or any other food for that matter. It offers a wide range of cooking temperature for you to choose from (from 180 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit). Thanks to its digital control board and the standard flame boiler you can easily select your preferred cooking style. With this smoker, you do not need to have natural gas or propane to run it. This pellet smoker is versatile and durable for the fact that it is made of heavy gauge steel components. You can smoke, bake, grill, roast, braise, and barbecue with this pellet griller.
I don’t know why these cookers are referred to as grills. By definition they are not grills. Grilling involves cooking with direct heat and none of the pellet cookers I’ve seen use direct heat; they all use indirect heat. They are more accurately described as smokers/convection ovens. For me what this means is they’re useless for cooking chicken since I like my chicken cooked with crispy/burned skin. I’ve done some experimenting to get the skin to crisp up but always end up with leather skin. They have their place in outdoor cooking but grilling ain’t it. I just bought a Green Mountain and I’m still debating if I’m going to hang on to it. Shame on me for not doing more thorough research first.
The 15 x 20 inch cooking area give you a generous 292 square inches of cooking space, and its digital thermometer lets you accurately control the temperature of the unit. The unit uses convection technology to make sure that air circulates around your food at all times; you never have to worry about hot or cold spots with this unit.
Can you comment on the Camp Chef entry level pellet grill. I’m of limited funds but would like to purchase one of these type grills. I’ve been using an electric smoker and I personally don’t like the creosote taste I’m experiencing with it! So I guess my question is will I regret purchasing one of these “cheap” pellet grills?
The single biggest advantage though, especially for beginning outdoor chefs, is that when you’re paying this much, damn near everything is automatic. As an example, if we look at our number one choice, the Camp Chef PG64 pellet smoker, literally everything can be controlled by the built in systems, so I could grab a friend who’d never cooked anything more complicated than boxed mac and cheese over, give em a five minute masterclass and be confident that the automatic systems would do most of the heavy lifting when it came to getting everything right.
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.
Hey Corey – thanks for checking out the blog man! I did actually do a review of the Pellet Pro smoker and the company’s Smoke Daddy Cold Smoker Attachment. You can find the review here. Again, appreciate you leaving a comment!
If you rush into buying a unit without proper consideration, you may end up with something that you aren’t completely satisfied with. Make sure to consider the following factors before buying a new unit:
Lubricate your motor and fans for optimal use. This will help your smoker to work better, longer. Note that you should not store your grill for long idle periods. Doing so can cause the structure to warp and mold to form under the grill cover, which of course can render the entire grill unusable or inefficient.
For this kind of price, it’s a good choice, perfect for less demanding people or for a regular consumer who’s just starting their adventure with pellet smokers and wants to have a basic, efficient and simple pellet grill for a decent price.
You can use this grill to grill, smoke, bake, braise, barbecue, sear and char-grill No need to use other cooking equipment or spend more time preparing food because everything you need is in the Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill.
The Camp Chef ticks all the boxes you would expect from a pellet grill at this mid price point. You’ll enjoy the set it and forget it style cooking, clean flavor and minimal ash to clean up. All of the main parts are built with heavy gauge stainless steel and feel sturdy.
We also loved this smoker because it has an auto shut down feature. That means you can even go to the office and enjoy delicious smoked ribs by dinner time. Only 30% – 35% of the existing smokers have got this feature.
Though the Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Wood Pellet grill is compact in size, it has 300 square inches of wood fire grilling room. You could easily fit 12 burgers or three racks of ribs on the grill.
When you use the best pellet smoker to cook your foods, you have absolute control over your unit’s temperature and smoke production; this type of control is necessary when you want to produce juicy, flavorful and complex cuts of meat. Pellet burners are an amazing tool that come with convenient cooking features, and they give home chefs the opportunity to smoke their own meat without being forced to tend to their smoker all day.
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 Cost: The cost of pellets is definitely one of the disadvantages of owning a pellet grill. If you plan on doing a lot of grilling, you will spend considerably more on fuel than you would with a gas grill.
The Elite’s digital control panel is a sophisticated touch-pad PID controller that holds set temps with more accuracy than most kitchen ovens. It’s simple to operate and offers an integrated meat probe and some useful programming options. For example, you can set it to cook your brisket up to 200°F and then drop to a lower cooking temp to keep it warm without overcooking.
The first thing you’ll want to consider is the thermostat. Many pellet fueled grills and smokers don’t reach very high heats—with around 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit being the max for many. That’s something you’ll want to consider if you plan to do any searing while cooking.
As new manufacturers are getting into the market to cater to the growing need for pellet smokers and they are coming up with unique features to help them stand out from their competitors. This is a great advantage for the users, since the competition is pushing for more innovation into the barbecuing industry.
As people learn about pellet grills, they quickly realize that there are a number of brands offering a variety of models. So how are they different? And how do you know which pellet grill is right for you? With more options than ever, shopping for a pellet grill can be confusing. In a market filled with grills that claim similar capabilities, it can be difficult to discern what separates one from another. However, if you know which factors to consider and what features to look for, choosing the best pellet grill for you is a whole lot easier.
No. Although both use electricity, they are different. Electric smokers cook food using a heating element and use wood chips or wood chunks to add smoke. They also tend to have a limited temperature range compared to pellet grills, making them good for smoking and slow-roasting at low temperatures, but not grilling, searing, or anything that requires higher temperatures.
Is it common to have a lot of ash blowing throughout these pellet smokers? I thought it was supposed to be minimal ash and that it’s supposed to stay in the firepot. I noticed after two short cooks I have ash everywhere. The pellets are Perfect Mix from cookingpellets.com, but by “perfect mix” I don’t think they mean to mix ash from their product with your BBQ. Also, didn’t put off a lot of smoke, and really couldn’t taste any smoke at all.
The great part about this smoker is that it is fairly light-weight, weighing in at 69 lbs, and its legs double as a handles: all you have to do is fold the legs up and carry the smoker wherever you need to! Furthermore, this smoker comes with a 12V connector that you can plug into the cigarette lighter of your car, and a 12-foot alligator clips that you can connect to your car’s battery if necessary. You can take this smoker anywhere!
The Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill was chosen as our second choice because it lacks some capabilities of the PG24. The grill is rather heavy, at an overall weight of 146lbs. The contrasts with the PG24 which is 124lbs. The PG24 also contains a shutdown feature that gives the user more flexibility. This allows the grill to do more of the cooking for you. Lastly, the Woodwind pellet grill is more expensive then the PG24. The PG24 is overall a better bang for your buck.
YOYO Grills have a simple and innovative design. It gives you multi-fuel options to create temperature-controlled grilling possibilities. Its temperature is controlled by a LED digital system and can vary heat from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also very easy to use and BBQ novices will find it very convenient. You simply get the right temperature for grilling your BBQ by making an adjustment.
So, there they are: my pellet grill review of 2016-2017.These information are surely going to help you from going nuts when trying to purchase your own pellet grill. These pellet grill review will give you a clear straight forward understanding of the best and most conventional features in pellet grills in the market today. Now that you are all set thanks to the pellet grill review, go grab yours, call some friends over and have a great weekend!
Smoking v. Grilling more about the temp you’re cooking at than how it’s heated. Smoking happens below 300F most of the time. The Sawtooth Pellet Grill can get to 550F-600F at the top end so it’s more of a grill at that point that smokes. I’ve grilled burgers and fajitas and other stuff like you would a gas grill. Works great and it’s made in the US!
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.
Louisiana Pellet Grill eliminates the hassles of setting up the grill fire, with lighter fluids and maintaining the temperatures manually. This grill is simply equipped with push-control buttons that light up the fire automatically with just a push and enables you to set your desired cooking temperature with ease.
The Woodwind Pellet Grill offers an all-encompassing and powerful grill for a reasonable price. Its digital temperature control, large cooking area, ash cleanout system, and elite sear box give the grill an edge over the competition. The ease of use and diverse features allows the most novice cooks to use the grill. In addition, experienced grill masters can admire the beautiful aesthetic and dynamic features of the grill.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Keeping the grill clean is critical if you need to get the most out of the unit. Old debris can influence the viability of the unit thus normal cleaning is vital. In addition, while moving it around, take alert not to thump it since it accompanies little legs which can without much of a stretch tip over the unit when thumped.
eBay determines trending price through a machine learned model of the product’s sale prices within the last 90 days. “New” refers to a brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item, and “Used” refers to an item that has been used previously.
The Camp Chef deluxe is an excellent mid sized smoker that strikes a perfect balance between quality and value for your dollar. The temperature control is super simple and gives you plenty of options to dial in depending on what you are cooking.
Pellets are available from a number of sources because they are popular for use in home heaters, so if you are worried that you will be buying a gizmo that might be worthless someday if the pellet supply runs out, it is unlikely. As more and more pellet grills appear, and word of their excellence spreads, sources for pellets will become numerous. I’ve even heard of a few Home Depot’s carrying them. The bad news is that I have tried several brands and I always return to BBQr’s Delight. They seem to have the least sawdust, so they are less likely to clog the auger, and they have a higher percentage of the flavor wood on the label.
There is no need to clean them thoroughly after every use. All the grease drippings from the meat go into the drip bucket that can be disposed of easily. It is also very economical to run. To control the amount of pellet that it will use, you can adjust the temperature once the grill is lit. Both beginners and experts can use this smoker grill to cook their favorite meats without any difficulty. The grill ignites easily without giving the users any troubles, and the controls ensure that you can set the desired temperature instantly and maintain it throughout the cooking cycle.
AUTO-START SYSTEM: Automatically lights the pellets every time you turn on the power switch. You’re cooking in just minutes! No Flare-ups: Our exclusive, patented E-Z Grease Drain System transports grease drippings out of the cooking chamber into a galvanized catch bucket. There’s less chance of frustrating flare-ups developing, while you cook.
On the better models, a temperature probe in the oven area tells the controller what the temperature is and if it is below the target it tells the controller to feed more pellets and air. The best manufacturers, like MAK and Memphis, have designed their own versatile custom controllers that are easy to use and can hold a temperature within 5°F, tighter than many indoor ovens.
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.
It’s an inexpensive suggestion, I think if you’re at the start of your journey with a pellet smoker and don’t want to spend over 1000$ for the device. Then it’s a good choice to start your journey with this wood pellet grill.
As a guide, a pellet grill with a 40 pound hopper will give you around 40 hours of cooking time at standard smoking temperatures. Considering some cooks take around 20 hours, an 18 pound hopper, for example, is going to be problematic.
Thank you so much for the kind words! I think you would be very happy with a smaller pellet grill / smoker. The wording changes depending on how you are using the device. For instance, if you are cooking at low temperatures you will get a stronger smoke profile then if you burn a pellet smoker / grill at its higher temperature range. One thing you could do for steaks is cook them at the higher range thus being able to get a sear much like you would on a direct heated Grill service, for instance on your Weber. Another option would be to cook the steak in the reverse see your method, by bringing it up to temperature at a lower smoker setting and adding some smoke flavoring that way, then removing it and bringing the smoker up to its higher settings so you can finish off the steak with some of the effect you would achieve on direct flame. I normally do this by bringing the steaks up to about 15 degrees below where I want them to finish. Then, I finish them off at the higher temperature to where they are about 5 degrees below my target. This usually means a few minutes on each side but I use a Thermapen to be sure.
Accurate Temperature Control: The Davy Crockett has better temperature control that permits us to program a great deal more correct temperatures (one-degree changes possible) using their application (the control board permits us to alter temperatures 5 degrees at any given moment). It uses a PID controller […] controller to expect and fine micromanage the temperature by controlling the wood screw speed and the fan speed.
They had the field to themselves for a few years, but the idea was too good to go unimitated, and with the digital age came the electronic controller that allowed Traegers and others to create a system that had a thermostat in the cooking chamber that would tell the fan and auger when to do their thing. Today there are more than a dozen manufacturers making increasingly sophisticated machines.
Bad things? Well, it’s probably a little too much for most households. The generous size is almost excessive, and far more than any normal sized family will need. Of course, when you have everybody round, you’ll appreciate all that working room.