kamado or pellet grill | Best Pellet Grill Tips You Will Read This Year

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!
There is also an included sear box that can reach up to 900° F so you can sear your meat to perfection. Once you are done grilling your steaks, burgers and chicken you can transfer them to the sear box so they can get the nice and crisp caramelized sear.
The second smoker we tested was the Pit Boss Grills 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill, but we found that the thermostat on this smoker is not very accurate and actually stopped working after only a couple of grilling sessions. You can always buy an external thermostat, but this defeats the purpose of a budget pick.
At present, I am sponsored by and continually use pellets produced by CookinPellets.com. There are two versions of pellets – the Perfect Mix (Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, and Apple Woods) and 100 Percent Hickory. In each of these versions, CookinPellets uses all wood, no bark, no filler woods like oak or alder and no flavor oils. Just 100% of what is on the bag. I get consistently great flavor using these two varieties of pellet smoker pellets from CookinPellets.com, and I think you’ll enjoy them very much as well.
Hands down Rob Green over at SmokingPit.com offers one of the best reviews of Yoder Smokers available anywhere. Specifically, Rob reviews the Yoder YS640 pellet smoker and does so with an excellent balance of textual information and specs combined with some very well done videos. Below is his introduction to the Yoder YS640.
I will have to applaud GMG customer service who shipped the replacement parts to me at little or no cost for almost three years well past the warratny. I think they were considering offering me a job as an area service tech. As of the moment, the control panel is dying once more and I will not be replacing it again. This grill is headed to the bone yard finally, I’m done with it. Yaahoo!!!
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.
You should make sure the pellet smokerhas all the features you want. The control board is a feature used to input meat to the grill. Some pellet smokers though have an outdoor control board for meat probes. Some other important features include Wi-Fi capability, direct grilling option, secondary cooking racks and included probes. A computer, tab or mobile phone connectivity is also another important consideration because it helps with regulating heat.

7 Ways A Pellet Grill Lies To You Everyday

The ability to cook, fish, bacon and other foods with lingering odors, outdoors with the simple push of a button will greatly expand your home menu options. Every cook in the house will enjoy the ability to bake casseroles, breads and biscuits on your REC TEC during hot summer days without heating up the kitchen.
Pellet grills are available at a wide range of prices, from inexpensive bargain-priced models that cost as little as $399 to premium high-end models that cost $5,000 or more. In general, though, a medium-sized pellet grill of decent quality starts at around $699. If you’re willing to go smaller, you can get a quality pellet grill for under $500. If you want more cooking space, expect to pay more money. As you add features PID temperature control, a direct grilling option, meat probes, WiFi, and stainless steel construction, the price tag goes up.
As far as the choice of pellets… I’ve tried hickory, apple, cherry. mesquite, etc, etc, but found “Perfect Choice” cooking pellets to be economical and a nice choice for all of our needs. Besides, it’s not that convenient to change pellets in a pellet grill.
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.
With pellet grills, the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is especially true. Because of their growing popularity, many companies have tried to start producing them for less. However, the cheaper grills are generally not worth buying. They will usually break within a few years and will not be repairable. The pan and hood will rust quickly, causing you to have to remove the rust before you are able to cook on it. Clean-up for the cheaper models is also usually very difficult because they are not put together nearly as well. They will not burn the pellets thoroughly, causing ash to build up quickly inside of the grill. To top it all off, they will usually have shorter warranties than the better quality models. If you are planning to buy a pellet grill, be prepared to buy a good quality one or it will not be worth the money you invest into it. A high quality pellet grill that is taken well care of can last upwards of 15 to 20 years; many people claim that it is the last grill they ever had to buy.
Before you buy a pellet grill, check if it has a PID controller. This is a built-in electronic feature that uses an advanced algorithm to accurately and safely control the cooking process based on your preferences you set. Most pellet grills today have PID so it is good to buy what the one that many people already enjoy.
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.
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.
It’s built pretty solidly, which is what you want with a portable system as it’s obviously being moved around a lot more. I’d say it’s similar in build quality to the Traeger Junior Elite, which as a top of the line smoker says all that needs to be said. If something does go wrong, there’s a two year warranty. I’d have liked more, but it’s there, and that’s good enough.
Find out the different features that you need and research the different pellet grills that offer those features. If you are well informed before you make your purchase you will be less likely to have buyers remorse.
Hey Jeff! Great questions. If you’re looking for a solid built in pellet grill, I definitely recommend giving Memphis Grill a hard look. I really enjoyed the Pro Series grill I tested for this review. Just a really solid performing machine. Anything else like a kit and and brick etc would definitely be my back up plan rather than my primary focus.
One huge advantage with pellet smokers is that because of how they work, they’re all generally of a higher standard than a lot of other types of smoker. But just because you’re less likely to grab a bad model doesn’t mean that you don’t want the best, right? There’s still things to think about that make sure you get the absolute best fit for you and your family.
PID Controller – one of the best controllers. Precisely maintains the temperature you set at intervals of +/- 5 degrees. Perfect when it comes to long and slow meat smoking at low temperatures. You can leave such a pellet grill for the entire day without worries and forget about it. When coming back after many hours, you’re sure that your meat has been cooked at the fixed temperature that you set.
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.
Firefoodchef.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
Once a year, or at the end of the barbecue season before you stow away your pellet grill for the winter it’s wise to give it a thorough clean. To start with fill a large plastic container with hot soapy water, and a cleaner recommended for barbecues. Remove the grill rack and chimney dome and pop them into the water to soak. Remove the foil from the drip pan and flame deflector. If there is any debris or cooking residue on them, scrape it off. Once the majority of the dirt has been removed, put them into the hot soapy water too. Clean out the grease bucket and add that to the container. With a little elbow grease scrub the parts as well as you can to remove any dirt or debris and allow them to dry. Clean out the grease shoot if your smoker has one with a stick or wooden spoon. You will be surprised how much dirt and detritus will be inside the chimney, and it is best to scrape that out too. Using a vacuum cleaner remove any dust, dirt, soot or debris from the inside of the smoker, not forgetting the firepot. Give the whole interior a wipe down with a damp rag using a natural cleanser. Make sure the temperature probe is clean and not contaminated with soot or dirt. Its next time to reassemble your pellet smoker.
Royall Grills is manufactured by a furnace company. They know about engineering a wood fire system to burn pellets.  Royall Grills was engineered by a frustrated husband who wanted to come up with a better cooking system.
Next in our pellet grill review is the Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill. Its small size makes it a portable grill. It weighs 57 pounds and measures 14.5 by 20 by 29.5 inches in dimensions. The Green Mountain pellet grill has 110V or 12V adaptors for 3 power options. It has foldable legs that also function as handles. This pellet grill also features a thermal sensor which monitors the grill temperature called Sense-Mate. One coveted feature on this pellet grill is that is Wi-Fi compatible.
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.
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.

— June 13, 2018

4 thoughts on “kamado or pellet grill | Best Pellet Grill Tips You Will Read This Year

  1. Set & Forget – Pellet Smokers are the best solution for people who want to smoke meat for many hours without stress. The set & forget style is a domain of this type of grills. Just set the desired temperature and your smoker will maintain it for the following hours. That way you can leave your meat for even more than a dozen hours at a fixed low temperature without worries.
    Low Temperature: Another thing to note is that pellet grills usually only reach about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, or 260 degrees Celsius. While this is fine for grilling most things, if you like an intense sear on your steak you might not be happy with the results from a pellet grill.
    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.
    Editor’s Note: If you’re looking to upgrade your backyard cooking setup this summer, you’re probably in need of a little advice. We’re longtime admirers of the folks behind AmazingRibs.com, the site dedicated to unraveling the science of barbecue and grilling. Please welcome back Max Good, the only person in the world whose full-time job is testing, rating, and reviewing grills and smokers. The database he maintains includes over 500 grills and smokers, ranging in price from $30 to $50,000. When it comes to barbecue equipment, nobody knows it better.
    Luckily this grill features a patented ash cleanup that makes cleaning the grill as easy as pulling a lever. This means you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the food you just prepared. This is an exclusive feature and can’t be found on any other grill.

  2. Smoke Hollow’s pellet smoker does the job, but just has nothing to define it. It’s still a good smoker, but compared to the three above, there’s no real standout reason to pick this, especially when the Camp Chef Smokepro does exactly what this does, but better.
    Its burn system is also digitally controlled and the cast iron grids are porcelain coated to boot to make them as durable as possible. The heat is exact and consistent plus it is fueled 100% by natural wood pellets, which means you’ll end up with a consistent burn every time with little ash residue afterwards.
    It’s true that even an entry-level pellet smoker will set you back more than charcoal or gas. But for a little bit extra up front, you’ll enjoy the simplicity and versatility that is causing pellet smokers to take over patios around the country.
    HEALTHIER COOKING: Cooking on a pellet grill adds zero fat, cholesterol or calories to your food. Indirect cooking systems are recommended by the National Cancer Institute because they produce less benzopyrene.
    No. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, but a pellet grill shouldn’t need to be seasoned. Seasoning a grill or smoker is way to coat and protect parts that are vulnerable to rust, such as cast iron grates. However, most pellet grills are made from powder-coated steel or stainless steel, eliminating the need for seasoning. Some pellet grills often include instructions to run the grill cook at around 350°F for an hour or so, but this is just to burn off any manufacturing oil, not to season it.
    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).
    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?
    As you can see in this selection of pellet grill reviews, the act of heating pellets and generating smoke in any pellet smoker is pretty much the same. Yes, some pellet grills use thicker metal, have better thermostats, air flow, racks, drip flow, etc. But the ask any professional BBQ cooker who uses a pellet grill, and they’ll tell you that the quality of your smoke really does come down to the pellets themselves. Here’s what one very astute BBQ pro had to say over at the Pellet Smoke Ring:

  3. Hands down Rob Green over at SmokingPit.com offers one of the best reviews of Yoder Smokers available anywhere. Specifically, Rob reviews the Yoder YS640 pellet smoker and does so with an excellent balance of textual information and specs combined with some very well done videos. Below is his introduction to the Yoder YS640.
    Your product will be shipped to its final destination to arrive in 2 business days or faster. If your order is placed before the 11 a.m. PST cutoff time, then it will ship that day and arrive 2 business days later. If your order is placed after the 11 a.m. PST cutoff time, we will do our best to process it the same day but may need an extra day.
    Other than that the build quality is excellent. The materials are heavy and feel like they are made to last. Unlike most smokers that you setup once and then leave forever, this unit can easily fold up and be moved.
    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 [BBQr’s Delight pellets]. — Read more on PelletSmoking.com
    Add-ons: Manufacturers often offer a variety of add-ons. Check what features come standard, and what are add-ons at extra cost. Some add-ons are offered by companies independent of the manufacturer. If a feature is important to you, but is not a standard feature of your particular cooker, make sure it is available as an add-on before you buy the cooker.
    I wrote up an extensive review of this Grilla model here. You can also listen to a podcast episode I did with Shane Draper and Mark Graham of Grilla Grills as well. (Click here for the podcast episode and show notes.)
    Consistency is the key to having the best results. If you want a tender brisket, your cooking temperature should be close to 250 F during the whole 12 hour period of cooking. The control board is responsible for precision. There are one-touch Non-PID, PID multi-position, and 3-position controllers. Check out the different types of controllers for the one that is right for you.

  4. Size – I mean the grilling surface here. I’m perfectly aware that a family of 2 has different needs than a family of 6. There’s no point buying a huge pellet grill for two people, as you’ll probably never use the entire cooking surface.
    Wi-Fi enabled! With the download of an app, you can connect your iPhone or Android device to this little beast via Wi-Fi and control your cooking experience! This means you don’t have to touch… hell… you don’t even have to see your smoker to grill with it: you can be in the next room having fun! Disclaimer: just make sure that the app is compatible with your phone so that you can actually use this feature.
    The design on this pellet grill reminds me of the Texas grill from Traeger. They are both large and look very meaty. However, the Bull RT-700 is more convenient and comes with modern upgrades making it a worthy addition for both now and the future. While its counterpart above uses a dial button, the Bull RT-700 comes with a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) controller as well as a state-of-the-art touchpad, which is custom-made for this specific product. This feature was added by a company known as Roanoke Controls, which also makes the controllers found on Memphis grills.
    Some pellet grills allow you to regulate temperatures in 5-degree increments, giving you pinpoint heat control. A thermostat in the cooking chamber sends precise signals to the controller and regulates pellet delivery.
    Another one of America’s finest home-grown products comes from MAK Grills Pellet Smokers. Based out of Dallas, OR, MAK started out as a steel fabrication company back in 1990 and ventured into making pellet smokers with the goal of making a pellet smoker that’s more like a grill than an oven.  Said in their own words…
    In 1982, Oregon’s Traeger Heating introduced a home heating system that burned wood pellets made from compressed sawdust, a by-product of local lumber milling. Since demand for these furnaces and wood pellets dropped off after winter, Traeger came up with a grill that would burn pellets and keep the business afloat over the summer months.
    Is the size of the pellet smoker fit for the selected cooking area? This is a question everyone should have in mind when selecting the best pellet smoker. They comes in different sizes. Big and small. Getting a big pellet grill that is bigger for the set cooking area will inconvenience the buyer. On the other side getting a smaller pellet smoker that is less fit for selected space will make it look unfit.

What Do You Think?