This smoker offers a lot of features, from the 19.5 x 22 inches of grilling area and large capacity pellet hopper, to the multi-position thermostat control and grease management systems. And that is only to name a few!
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.
Hi Dillon, thank you for commenting here. As to your question, I think you’d be happy with either a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker 18 inch, or a Daniel Boone Green Mountain Grill pellet smoker. Each are on the smaller side of BBQ Smokers and BBQ Pellet Grills, with just enough extra space to make food for a small family get together as needed. My brother lives in Colorado Springs and had trouble getting his Weber Smokey Mountain cooker to get hot enough and/or regulate temps. He built a wind screen for it at first which helped a ton. Then, he constructed a kind of smokehouse for it to sit in. Works great and functions as desired. You can see more on the Weber Smokey Mountain cookers here. For GMGs, you can find Colorado dealers by visiting this link: http://greenmountaingrills.com/find-a-dealer/.
This post was EXACTLY what i was looking for! Have been longing for the ability to make the gooey delicate saucy brisket that we get out here at the chain Armadillo Willies, which i realize is not aiming for the stars… At Orchard Supply House last weekend saw a Traeger or two, and was thinking placing a smaller version $499 range (although $439 on the Traeger website) next to my gas Weber Spirit.
The Benefits of the Pellets: Pellets work so well with the ease of use of a pellet grill because they’re 100% all-natural. They don’t have binders, chemicals, fillers, or petroleum products within them. They serve as a source of compact energy (8,500 BTU per pound) and smoke flavor. Most importantly, there’s little to no ash from them. Compared to coals, there are no flare-ups involved.
A pellet grill often comes with many facilities that are usually not available on any other grilling appliances. One of them is its temperature control and settings. This is a huge advantage for inexperienced cooks who do not have the understanding and years of experience of pit masters who know how to cook different foods on different temperatures. This also means that you do not have to fiddle and fidget around with the heat every 2 minutes after slapping on the steak on to the grills.
Where the Rec Tec outshines, or rather, outcooks other pellet grills, is their temperature control. The grills all come standard with a P.I.D. Controller (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) algorithm, the ‘secret’ to the grill maintaining its precise temperature.
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.
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.
Direct grilling option – As more people look for one grill to handle all their grilling and smoking, more pellet grill manufacturers are offering a direct grilling option. On some, you have to remove a part of the diffuser plate to let the flames through. Others, like the Fast Eddy’s PG500 have a permanent dedicated area for direct grilling.
There are a few brands that make WiFi pellet grills (e.g. Memphis Grills and the Traeger Timberline). Some pellet grills with WiFi capability allow you to connect directly to your grill—in essence, the pellet grill becomes the network, giving you control within a limited range. Better WiFi pellet grills allow you to connect your grill to home your network, giving you the ability to control your grill via a cloud-based app or web page anywhere you have internet access.
The Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill stakes its claim as the best pellet grill with its functionality as a roaster that’s a bit easier to use than your average grill. However, it has issues with quality control, with customers complaining that they got a used grill instead of a brand new one. It also presents a bit of a learning curve.
It’s so easy to clean as well, the internal light can actually be removed and washed in water, and a lot of people recommend putting foil into the drip pan, so cleanup there is as easy as swapping over a piece of foil.
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.
One of the main considerations to think about when deciding to buy a pellet grill is the cost and availability of pellets in your area. There is no substitute fuel for pellet grills and they generally cost between one and two dollars per pound. If you plan on doing a lot of grilling, you can usually get them cheaper in bulk. When burning at a temperature high enough to cook steaks and burgers, a pellet grill will use about two pounds of fuel per hour. When you are smoking, it will go through about a half a pound per hour. Since the best pellet grill has to be on considerably longer to smoke meat than it does to cook it, you will actually use more pellets during the smoking process. For ten hours of smoking (which is the average for most meats) you will burn about five pounds of pellets, verses a half an hour of grilling time where you will only use about one pound of pellets. It is very important to purchase good quality pellets as well because cheap ones can actually plug up your grill.
The 20 pound capacity pellet hopper means you’re not even stressing about running out of ‘gas’ while you’re cooking and the pellets are automatically dispensed. We did say it’s like having your buddy doing the BBQ for you. The electronics used inside the thermostat are very precise, and if your cooking temperature falls, the hopper throws another pellet on the fire to heat the unit up. You will not get this kind of control from wood, charcoal or gas units.
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!
It has all the features you will find in the Camp Chef PG24DLX model. They include Ash cleanout system, Smart Smoke Technology and Grease management system. All these features make using the pellet grill and cleaning it significantly easier.
It’s not recommended. Controllers aren’t universal. Even if the controller works on another grill, it may not perform as expected. Controllers are precisely tuned for a particular pellet grill, taking into account grill size, shape, and airflow, as well as the design of the fan and fire pot. These factors are not consistent from brand to brand, making it unlikely that a digital controller designed for one grill will perform nearly as well on an altogether different pellet grill.
This allows bypassing the relight feature in case of a power outage in your home. Power outages may not happen often but when it does, this feature can save the hot rod from any wear and tear. It proves that the manufacturers actually did a lot of homework when designing this unit.
How To Be Happy At Pellet Grill – Not!
What we can establish, reading reviews, googling feedback forums and chatting to friends and manufacturers, pellet grills are a personal choice. It’s like preferring your meat well-done or rare or having your wings spicy or not. What we can only hope to do is give you enough information to make an educated purchase and not be swayed by a smooth talking salesperson. Happy smoking fire food fans!
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Rating: This is a solid 9.5 over 10 in my book. It’s four points below its brethren Camp Chef not because it’s less of a grill but more because the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is practically perfect.