As the burn pot ignites, the pellets burn. Heat then carries through the home via convection (air driven) means, thus allowing air flow and a blend of warm and cool air to maintain steady, even burn temperatures. A heat exchanger separates the smoke fumes from the warm air, thereby warming the room without smoking everyone out.
Yoder Smokers: Well-known in competition barbecue circles, Yoder sells three models of pellet smokers, ranging from $1100 for the YS480 to $3600 for the trailer-mounted YS1500. (Numbers in the product ID refer to the square inches of cooking space.)
Plans are in place to take this to ‘the cloud’ which will give you the ability to control the temperature from anywhere in the world – so long as your connected to the web. Great for smoking during the week whilst your at work. You can quickly log on and reduce the temperature for the final few hours of your cookout.
This grill actually came about because of an IndieGoGo campaign. IndieGoGo is a crowdfunding platform wherein interested parties on the Internet can donate money to the maker if they want his invention or service to come about. The Z Grills Wood Pellet BBQ Grill and Smoker got its $500,000 from its donators and now the previously nonexistent Z Grills Company now exists to make their wildly popular grill.
The Camp Chef Smoker Pro Pellet Grill and Smoker is the perfect starter grill. This smoker is packed with extras that will allow the novice to cook like a pro. It offers a large cooking space of over 560 cubic inches. The removable upper racks and square back allow for greater room for cooking. It has digital controls that are one of the most striking features of this grill & smoker by Camp Chef. Do you know someone who isn’t the best cook? Someone who needs all the help they can get in the kitchen or on the grill?
First, it’s really easy to use, with an electric auto ignition and shutdown system, plus LED controls that make setup idiot proof. Once it’s up and burning, the built in temperature sensor and meat probe make knowing what’s going on inside simple, especially considering that the thermometer is one of the most accurate I’ve seen, with only around 10 degrees variance. It’s got multiple settings if you’re using it as a meat smoker, as well, so you can control your flavor.
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. Forget the warranty and ask “When it breaks will the manufacturer still be in business?” They do not have repair shops near you. When it breaks will they be able to diagnose the problem over the phone? They may be able to figure it out, but then you have to buy the replacement parts and do the repair work yourself. Are you up to the task?
Hi – my husband and I are really interested in a pellet smoker. We came across some when we were at a fair and are trying to find more information about the Traeger brand because the price seems affordable compared to all the others you mentioned. You started out talking about the Traeger but never gave any feedback on it? Little help please:) Thanks!
Pellet grills are also special because they give you the option of playing with different types of wood, all of which give off a unique smoke and flavor. There is a great deal of variety woods available — think oak, hickory, apple, maple, cherry, mesquite, and peach. Each wood will give your food a different smoke and bite, and it’s really fun to be creative and play with different combinations. (One suggestion: Most people advise against using conifer wood such as pine and the like).
3 position controllers: These controllers are generally found on cheaper pellet cookers, and have 3 settings – low (225°F) medium (325°F) and high (425°F). They are also known as LMH controllers. They feed the pellets into the burner in fixed cycles so you don’t have a great amount of control over the temperature.
Like I said before, sometimes you will find it difficult to perform the upgrade yourself. Replacing the digital control system seems much more difficult than I thought when I did it. Your smoker manual will certainly help you in this regard. You should seek help from YouTube as you can see what exactly to do.
Wood pellet grill is a two-in-one mixture of a smoker and a grill. It doesn’t provide direct flame for your steaks or meat as a grill would which eliminates flare-ups. Since there’s no direct flame, searing meat isn’t an option and there’s a better choice if this is your desire. However, if you desire a great smoky flavor with an easy cooking process then a pellet smoker is an excellent choice.
It can run off a 12V with no problem so plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter. It also works 120AC so it’s perfect for home or camping, tailgating, hunting, house-boating, music festivals or anywhere you can take it!
Kamado smokers are great and very versatile. GMGs are super reliable and offer easier up and ready performance. I can see an argument for owning a Kamado and a pellet grill. I’m partial to GMGs over Yoders for lower cost of ownership. Can’t beat GMG’s customer service.
In fact, 80 to 85% of pellet smokers in the USA are Traegers. The consensus is that they are reasonably well built, though some buyers complain that quality has dropped since manufacturing moved to China. But of course we hear more complaints—as well as more praise—about Traegers, since eight out of 10 pellet smoker owners have one. Traeger can be found in many national chains, like Cabela’s and Costco. It’s not unusual to find special deals on this popular product line, so keep your eyes open.
Digital Elite Controller – Of course, the basis of every pellet smoker or a very good controller that makes it possible to precisely maintain the temperature within +/- 20 degrees F. All the info such as temperature and settings are available on the LED display.
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.
A reasonably affordable wood pellet grill, this grill makes it simple to make and serve the best wood-fired decadent cuisines. The Pit Boss Grills 440’s fuel source is 100% all natural cooking-grade wood barbeque pellets, so charcoal, gas, or propane is not required! An easy to turn knob starts the grill, allowing you to bake pizza or cookies, sear a stake, smoke jerky, brisket, or ribs. The dial provides a wide span of temperature ranging from 180 degree Fahrenheit to 500 degree Fahrenheit. With the digital control board as well as the oven-like meat probe, your culinary outcome will be precise cooking control. Another beneficial feature this grill offers is this fan forced convection cooking closes in the juices of the meat and removes the necessity for a rotisserie. This grill is constructed using heavy-duty sixteen gauge steel and has a copper embossed lid as well as deluxe features such as two-hued black and copper finish, order side shelf, and serving platter, bottle opener, sturdy base shelf.
Third name to make it to my list of the best pellet grill review is The REC TEC Wood Pellet grill. It has a trademark Smart grill Technology, which maintains precise temperature. This amazing pellet grill has a whopping 702 square inch cooking area, and a 40 pound capacity pellet hopper. It is made out of high quality stainless steel. It comes with a drip pan.
Also, the digital display will allow you to check the meat internal temperature using the meat probe that comes with this grill. It’s a great solution, and why? Because you can check the meat’s temperature without opening the grill lid. You probably know well that feeling when you open the lid to check the temperature inside the meat.
The Yoyo smoker is special for its price! The barrel shape of the grill creates a vortex of convection for a richer BBQ taste. And you don’t have to worry about charring with the auto shutoff feature.
We at Grills Forever have been using all kinds of pellet smokers for over 4 years and have come up with different strategies to finding the best pellet smoker. That’s why all of our reviews are so detailed — because they come from first-hand experience. After 15 hours of testing and researching numerous products, our team of outdoor cooking enthusiasts have decided to crown the Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Smoker as the best. It emerged as the perfect choice for beginners and pros, always delivering that rich BBQ flavor and fragrance.
Hey Ben – thank you for your comment. From a retail user standpoint, I think you’d be happy with either a Yoder or FEC. I really like the PG 500 for the purpose that you’re looking at. Best of both worlds it seems the more I’m looking at it. You can see how they approach grilling steaks in this video. You can incorporate the use of GrillGrates in either pellet grill. Both companies make their units in the USA. Both have great reputations. I’m just partial to Cookshack’s pellet smokers over Yoder as I know more folks who use them.
Less effort cleaning up – Charcoal smokers can make a bit of a mess every time you cook. With a pellet grill you might have to clear out the firepot every now and again but it’s rare (think once every 60 usages).
Hello, looking to purchase a portable pellet feed smoker. Has there been any confirmation that Traeger quality has improved, and do your brand recommendations hold true for portable/tabletop models, or is this a whole different subset of rankings?
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Royall is a high quality cooker. Second to none. I’ve know several BBQ Cooks who loved the Royall because of its wide surface to cook on. They now have an insulated model that is a huge jump in technology. Instead of having to deal with charcoal in a gravity flow. Royall 5000 uses pellets that are cleaner to handle and cleaner to burn with with very little ash, no mess. Royall should be your first choice in buying a pellet grill because they are made in America with the highest quality parts. There are many Pellet Smokers Grills made in China that have fragile parts and thing cabinets. Get a Royall Grill and have a great cooker for life.
The Pit Boss really is the boss with its 700 square inches of cooking surface. The space alone isn’t what makes the Pit Boss 71700FB one of the best wood pellet smokers available. If you thought the Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill had a lot of space at 300 square meters, then get more than double that with Pit Boss (the Rec Tec grill below beats it by only 2 inches).
Traeger Smoker – Buyer beware. My Traeger stopped working both times I’ve used it. It just stops after about 2 hours. Traeger’s response is their pillory is they don’t make refunds. The nearest service is 3 hours away and it’s just too far for them. They said the solution to it stopping is for me to partially disassemble it when it stops and vacuum out the burner pot. They said they would talk me through some troubleshooting. They offered to send me replacement parts but said they don’t think it will help. I can’t return it, they can’t determine a fix for it. I’m supposed to just eat the $830 cost for a smoker that doesn’t work.
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.
Sometimes. However, often it’s a blend of woods. Many wood pellet makers start with a base of oak or alder that has a neutral flavor and provides a consistent burn then add the flavored wood for the desired taste.(Alternatively, some brands use essential oils from the flavored woods.) Because every type of wood burns differently—at different rates and temperatures—using a blend based on oak or alder offers a consistent burn and provide predictable heat output and burn rates. That way, whether you’re cooking with cherry or hickory, you can count on a pound of pellets to cook at roughly the same temperature and for the same length of time.
I have used Bradley, Masterpiece, Green Egg, New Braunfels, Oklahoma Joe, Weber and now Traeger. So there is some experience in these comments. The “set it and forget” it is a misnomer and should not be used with Traeger (or any smoker/grill.) With Pellet Drive before you buy Read up on Er codes. The worst is when the fire pot fills up with pellets because the fire can’t keep up with the auger push and the whole cook is ruined or delayed. You have to pull everything out and basically start over while your expensive prime brisket is trying to be saved in the oven. Doesn’t matter what the weather is or wind conditions. Doesn’t matter if you stare at it and stir the hopper continuously. It will happen. Customer support at first was well you are at fault (didn’t leave the lid open on fireup for exactly 2 to 4 minutes or didn’t vacuum out the firepot between every cook) which is crazy. Finally, after so many calls over the past 6 months they are trying to make it right. Problem is, DO NOT believe the “set it and forget it.” That does not exist with any good cook. I have replaced the controller the fan and now getting a new probe. Do not waste your money. Unless someone out here in BBQ land can give me a recommendation on a product that won’t do this stay away from Pellet Drive?
Before you buy, remember, pellet smokers need access to electricity. Maintenance is also an issue. There are moving parts on these grills. Moving parts eventually break. There is an auger with a motor, and a fan with a motor. There are proprietary electronics systems on these babies. Augers clog. Motors burn out. Electronics have bugs or fail. Especially when exposed to rain, snow, hot, and cold. When they fail, will the manufacturer have a replacement part?
Ninth spot to make it to our compilation of the pellet grill review is the Louisiana pellet grill. It has 2 cooking levels and a total 1061 square inch cooking surface. The Louisiana pellet grill has got porcelain cast iron main grids and porcelain steel removable upper cooking grid. It also has a digital controller centre. This grill weighs around 173 pounds and is made with high quality material that is going to last you a life!
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.
Pellet grills run on standard household electrical current. When you plug the grill in and turn on the digital controller, a rotating auger delivers pellets from the hopper to a cylindrical fire pot housing an igniter rod. The rod glows red hot for several minutes, igniting the pellets. Heat and smoke from the combusting pellets are diffused by a continuously-running blower fan as well as metal plates under the grill grate. One model, the upscale Memphis Wood Fire Grill, lets you both smoke and direct grill over a wood pellet fire.
Just like with the 3 position controller, with a multi position controller the pellets are fed in on a fixed cycle. In ideal conditions a multi position controller can maintain the temperature at about +/-20°F. In windy conditions however the controller is less reliable and not as accurate.
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.