Because they burn wood, pellet smokers are popular in BBQ competitions and they have been winning top prizes at many of them. Fast Eddy Cookshack Smokers have won the top prize at numerous competitions, enough to make some traditionalists cry foul and try to get them disqualified. They’re too easy, opponents claim.
They start up fast and easy. Why use an electric stove that has potentially coal generating the electric. Reduce your electric use and move to wood. People are heating their houses with this process in furnaces that burn wood pellets. There is a difference between heat producing pellets for your house and cooking pellets. Cooking pellets are made from raw wood direct from trees. Apple, Pecan, Oak, and Hickory are some of the flavors. Heating Pellets for your house are made from pallets and reprocessed wood from cabinet makers.
What’s more, it has an LED display with a Digital Elite Controller for temperature control. Judging by its ratings, unlike the other grills on this list, its temperature and quality controls work just fine. This grill also has an electronic auto-start ignition and easy-to-clean grill gates to boot. Its quality control isn’t perfect though, and some faulty units slipped through the cracks.
When looking at a pellet grill also consider the material its made from. A majority of pellet grills on the market are made from painted steel. However, the quality of that steel and the paint can vary. A good high-temp powder coat paint can stand up to high heat without blistering or flaking. This is essential, because once the steel is exposed, it will rust. Even if the grill body is painted well, you have to look inside. The fire pot and diffuser plate have the potential to corrode and are two of the most common parts that need replacing. With some painted steel grills, such as Traegers®, you can can upgrade the grill and hopper lids to stainless steel, as well as the firepot, diffuser, and drip pan.
The size is ideal and fits most backyards perfectly. The cooking area is 418 square inches, which is enough to prepare food for several people. If you need a lot of area, though, check out the bigger model ( Texas Elite 34 ) or Rec Tec.
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It is one of the few grills on the market that uses 100% natural wood pellets for fuel. That means you don’t have to worry about the toxic fumes that usually come from using gas, charcoal or propane. It also means cleanup will be a lot easier.
I do have a question for you that i didn’t already find answered… How important do you feel a pellet release option is for a pellet fed BBQ? I have only found 3 models that have it; Traeger, Cabela’s Pellet Grill, and Camp Chef. It seems to me that this would almost be a must to make things easier to clean up when done smoking. What are your thoughts on the pellet release, and then your thoughts on these 3 pellet grills.
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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.
PID Controller– Proportional Integral Derivative Controller is a recent technology that many manufacturers have yet to include in their products. It helps the smoker maintain an accurate and precise temperature while cooking.
I haven’t posted here before, but have been reading and finding a lot of good information on this site. I am in the market for a pellet grill so have been researching some of them listed on this site. Out of Yoder, Green Mountain, Memphis and MAK I really like price, features and looks of the Yoder YS640. I was wondering if anyone has used Louisianna pellet grills? For example, the CS680? I don’t see it mentioned much on bbq blog sites so not sure if it is a good brand. Thanks for any advice.
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.
When you look at standard fuel fired smokers, pellet smokers annihilate them when it comes to convenience and ease of use. A lot of other types of meat smoker are also single usage, meaning they only function as a smoker. Pretty much every pellet smoker we’ve seen can also be used as a grill, a roaster, and sometimes even a barbeque.
As you start to learn about pellet grills you will quickly realize there are hundreds of brands and even more models that you can choose from. This makes choosing the right grill a very difficult task.
First pellet grills and older models with three-position controllers have disadvantages as it is hard to achieve your desired temperature in the winter. Pellet jams are also a problem with the old type of pellet grills.
Pellet grills or smokers use an electronically controlled thermostat and feeding system to feed wood pellets into the smoker. This allows the smoker to keep an even, predictable heat by adding wood as needed.
I have found that using the upper shelf gets more airflow around the meat than the lower shelf. I asked the AmazingRibs.com science advisor Prof. Greg Blonder about the problem (he has a MAK 1 Star). He explained that smoke sticks to cool surfaces and wet surfaces, and the surface of meat warms and dries out after a few hours. When he wants more smoke flavor he uses a strong smoke wood like hickory or mesquite, he starts with cold meat, and then he keeps the meat moist by painting or misting it with apple juice or a mop like Lexington Dip or East Carolina Mop or Texas Mop Sauce. A awter pan can help because the water condenses on the cool meat and attracts smoke. Read his detailed research on the subject in my article on the Science of Wood and my article on Basting.
7 Little Known Ways To Pellet Grill
The reason why is simple. Better flavor. Because it uses high quality, specifically made wood chips that are smoked with a real, open flame rather than an electric heating element, the quality and subtlety of the smokiness you get from a pellet smoker just can’t be compared to electric.
Kevin, your recommendation rocked. The Pro is one of the best pieces of grilling and smoking iron I have had my hands on in a long time! Better than the Backwoods? Well depends on how much work you want to do! Maybe not, they are first class, but ease of use? I use the Backwoods a couple times a year, the Pro has already done 8 cooks in 5 weeks. Love it.
Easy ash cleanout port let ask “drain” from the opening into a small bucket. Let’s you clean in between cooks with no need to use a vacuum or a broom and dust pan. No need to get your hands dirty especially when you are preparing food.
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.
A pellet grill is similar to an oven in that it needs to maintain a consistent temperature to be effective. If you want your brisket to be tender the temperature has to stay around 250°F for a 12 hour period.
With this grill, you will have no use for charcoal or gas again! The Traeger Grill uses wood pellets that offer your food a delicious taste. Barbecue, roast, smoke, bake, braise, or grill your food to succulent precision with this six in one versatile Texas Elite 34 Pellet Grill that offers slow cooking with low heat of quick cooking with high heat. This pellet grill allows you to grill your food to precision each time with an Integrated Digital Elite Controller that retains temperatures inside +/- twenty degrees Fahrenheit and makes setting the grill temperature as simple as spinning a knob. It provides 646 sq. in. of cooking space, which is capable of holding up to six chickens, nine racks of ribs, or twenty-four burgers.
We won’t include the built in thermometer as a negative, as even far more expensive units come with unreliable thermometers that can be off by as much as 10-40 degrees. Always invest in a quality thermometer setup.
The Digital Control dial-in control gives you complete control over the temperature of the grill. It has a temperature range of 170 Fahrenheit all the way up to 600 Fahrenheit. You simply set the temperature and the grill will do the rest.
Easily create a barbecued masterpiece. Put your ribs or brisket on the grill, set a low temperature and leave it. With our grill’s extremely low heat setting and reliable even heating, when you return your meat will be slow-cooked to mouth-watering perfection.
With the traeger, rec-tec or cam chef smokers all seem to burn 1-2lbs per hour. But for a long 18hr brisket it seems like I will have to continue to use pellets the whole time to keep the heat in range over over 200 which will mean I am using almost a 20-40lb bag depending on the time year per smoke. This is even more expensive than the bradley seems even with the wasted briquette. IS this correct or is there something I am missing?
The adjustable chimney top gives you the power to adjust how much smoke flavor gets into your meat. And with Smart Smoke Technology the grill will automatically maintain the optimum temperature range to produce the most smoke possible.
Second on our list of the best pellet grill review the Traeger pellet grill has a 292 square inch cooking surface area. It weigh 70 pounds and measure 21 inch by 23 inch by 21 inch in dimensions. This pellet grill is made out of steel and arrives in a black and bronze body. It has an automatic auger, an electronic auto start and a digital temperature control. The Traeger Pellet grill also feature a Digital Thermostat Control which detects the temperatures inside the grills using an RTD detector, and instructs the auger to fuel the fire and release the pellets according to that. Other than that, they also come with a manual temperature setting of smoke, medium and high.
I would make that decision based upon desired temperature. Very few of the smokers on your list can surpass the 485 to 500 degree mark. You’ll read a lot of discussion about grill grates helping you get into those higher temperatures and that product does work. I would simply pick a smoker that can get to the desired temperature you want like the Louisiana and the Memphis. Both can exceed 500 degrees and both can hit 600 degrees without problems.
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.
For a portable pellet smoker, it’s fairly heavy for the average person. It’s also a little awkward to carry around. The DC is small, which we’ve mentioned, and for some the 12″ deep x 16″ wide primary cook surface is a problem. But there are a lot of people who love it because of the compact size. As they say, one man’s basting is another man’s poison!
Equipped with a digital controller that allows you to set the temperature between 160 and 500 degrees F. Dual LED allows you to check the current temperature inside the grill and read the internal temperature of the meat using a meat probe for that.
First, we are just like you. We love smoking and grilling. We were once novices like you, but now, through years of practice and research we are the genuine kings of the grill. We have our own favorites like the Camp Chef pellet grill and we want you to find your favorite too.
Another option is to put a griddle (or GrillGrates) on the pellet smoker when it’s cranked to high heat, get it blistering-hot, add just a little oil to prevent sticking, and sear by conduction on the metal. It should take only two to three minutes per side. This is a good technique for reverse-seared meats: You start them indirect, low and slow on the cooking grate, with a little smoke, and then sear the surface with direct contact to the hot metal griddle to create a delicious brown crust. It’s not as good as searing directly over hot coals or gas, but it’s a good compromise.
We are a completely independent team of four outdoor cooking buffs dedicated to helping you get the best BBQ experience. Throughout the years, we have had many adventures, while building our expertise in barbecuing and smoking. Our research also involves reading reviews and getting opinions from the renowned BBQ experts. We will go anywhere and be doing anything to bring you the newest and best information on smoker grills.
The PID controller come in handy when using this grill seeing they help correct any errors or changes in the desired temperature. I love the WIFI capability, which makes it easy to control the temperature from my phone. Once I set the temperature, it maintained it, and whether I’m smoking salmon, ribs, or chicken, the results are always excellent.
“I am new to wood pellet cooking and so far feel this is the only way to cook food outside. The RT-700 has exceeded my expectations in all ways possible. I have cooked several types and varieties of meats so far and they all have been excellent. I highly recommend Rec-Tec grills to anyone who is thinking about exploring wood pellet cooking. I give Rec-Tec’s customer service and their grills 5 out of 5 STARS!”
In addition to monitoring your food’s internal temperature, programmable meat probes allow you to program the finishing temperature into the controller. When meat is done, the controller automatically lowers the grill’s temperature to keep food warm without overcooking it. However, not all meat probes are programmable. Programmable meat probes are generally found on more advanced pellet grills.
After about 10-15 hours of cooking, you should remove the burn cup and dump the ash. If the ash builds up it can prevent ignition. Ash also accumulates in the bottom of the unit, but doesn’t impact cooking. A vacuum cleaner with a hose makes short work of it. At the moment, only Blaz’n Grill Works has a slide out combustion cup that makes cleanup much easier, but you still have to get underneath the deflector occasionally and suck out fly ash that has scattered around the lower part of the grill body.
You can find a huge variety of wood pellets in all kinds of flavors online. Now that pellet grills are becoming more popular, you should also be able to find them in many big box stores, although there won’t be as many brands or varieties to choose from.
Prices for decent pellet grills start at around $400 and can run well over $1000. When you can get an excellent charcoal smoker like the Weber Smokey Mountain for under $300 you may be asking yourself why would you want to buy a pellet grill?
They might have lost a few followers along the way, what with newer, sleeker models available but Traeger’s still popular thanks to their marketing and distribution. You can find Traeger pellet grills everywhere.
Sounds like a plan. One thing folks here do to save on pellets is go in with a friend or two on a larger bulk order. Maybe something to check into. 🙂 Thanks for commenting here. Do share the post with others you think might enjoy the read!
I can honestly admit I hate cleaning, I think most people feel the same. You have to know, though, that keeping your pellet smoker clean is a very important task. People who designed this grill handled this task perfectly, making cleaning a much easier and quicker task.
Hey DW – I think it’s a good call either way. Reports from users re: customer service are tops for both Rec-Tec Pellet Grills and GMG Pellet Grills. GMG offers a wifi option that now runs on your home network, and will eventually allow you to monitor via a cloud option, meaning monitoring your grill as you are out shopping etc. The extra large hopper size on the Rec-Tec Pellet Grills could be a bonus for you if you plan on doing some really long cooks. Other than that I really think it comes down to things as simple as how the unit looks. I know that sounds silly, but they are both great grills otherwise. So, what’s your gut tell you?
Hey John – great question. My experience is that I use maybe 8 lbs of pellets for a 7 or 8 hour cook at 275 degrees. Pellet grills are relatively fuel efficient. The brand of pellet you choose will play into this. Cost for pellets varies by manufacturer, similar to charcoal. I think you’ll find them very efficient if you’re just firing them up for high heat, shorter grilling sessions.
Make sure you’re loaded with enough fuel. Pellet smokers all have hoppers to hold the wood pellets before they’re delivered into the machine, with fuel loads that last anywhere from a few hours to the entire weekend.