pellet grill under 700 | Why Haven’t You Learned The Right Way To Pellet Grill? Time Is Running Out!

I am trying to compare the Rec Tec 680 and the Green Mountain Jim Bowie; they seem to be of similar size and both priced well. Is there a reason to choose one over the other? Is there a story that the spec’s don’t tell?
Comes with a 633 square inch main grilling surface, but also includes a 280 square inch removable upper cooking rack (total cooking area: 913 square inches). Includes a digital thermostat and gives you precise heat control from 170 Fahrenheit to 600 Fahrenheit (5 degree increments).
Yoder’s Variable Displacement Damper is another unique feature: Essentially, it’s a metal plate that may be moved from left to right along the lower smoke box. Positioned all the way left, it concentrates heat directly over the fire pot for conductive searing with optional aluminum GrillGrates. Move it back to the right for even heat across the entire smoke box. Yoders are sold primarily through independent retailers.
My Egg will last past my lifetime. And I have a lifetime warranty on it as well. I don’t want to plunk down good money(even $500 is good money if you think about it) to have a grill of no use in 5 years. I guess I’m looking for a do it all grill. Not that I need one to do it all, heck I can use my Old Smokey to grill up some mean steaks and burger and hotdogs if need be.
Pork loin ribs and brisket with a good dry rub but I’ll sell to you if you’re interested finish them in the oven to the desired temp in tinfoil you will not go wrong. Been doing this for 30 years and have fed up to 450 people . Apple wood chunks. Just plain works.
In other words, any smart person will choose a pellet smoker for many reasons. You will get the best-smoked pork or salmon prepared by yourself with only one-third of the effort compared to other smoker grills. I am decently smart and I love pellet smoker because it works wonders.
Specifications on this grill places it in the upper midsize range at 834 sq inches, with ample room to feed a hungry family. The grill boasts stainless steel, dual walled construction, and a professional oven grade gasket that minimizes most of the “leakage” you get with some pellet smokers – resulting in a bolder smoke flavor profile.
Even and fast cooking – this is the common feedback of the new and past users of this pellet grill cooker. Although some of them would say that the temperature is inaccurate, they can still manage to adjust everything well by means of its digital temperature controller. Additionally, you may need to add more pellets if you will set the temperature on a high setting.
As a conclusion, it’s a very good pellet smoker & grill. Main advantage is the sear box that runs on propane, allowing to reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees F. Definitely a very useful feature during cooking. Another interesting feature is Smart Smoke Technology, which allows to create much more smoke while maintaining the desired temperature.
The Traeger Grills Pro Series model here is the 22 inch model. They offer a 34 inch model as well. I really ran this grill through its paces. The prime grade beef ribs cooked on this Traeger Grills Pro 22 had excellent color and smoke flavor. I was equally pleased with the pork ribs smoked on this grill.
There are other options, KBQ for one, but I want it to look like a grill. Not a refrigerator, although I’m sure they make great Q I have narrowed my search to Pellet poopers or the Primo or Egg. The Pellet poopers will have more capacity than even the XL Primo/Egg. But are they one trick ponies? Smoking and baking. WIth limited smoke profile. I wish I could taste the Que off of one to know for sure. I got rid of my gasser because of the limited flavor it produced. Rec-Tec’s tag line is Do you cook with wood. But does it produce enough smoke flavor for most people? How do your neighbors respond to your Que? Do they like the smoke profile of the Que? Sorry for all the questions. Just trying to figure out what the next smoker will be at Mi Casa.
The hopper of your pellet cooker is the container which stores the pellets ready for the auger to take them to the fire-pot. Therefore, the size of your hopper essentially dictates how long your cooks can be. So, settling for a hopper that is too small will prove to be annoying to say the least, as your cooks will fail to go the distance.
Yes, it’s okay to leave pellets in the hopper for a limited time after you’re done cooking. However, if you’re not going to be cooking on your pellet grill for several days, you may want to empty the hopper so that they don’t absorb any moisture from the air.
When we tested the “Traeger BBQ 155.01 Bronze Tailgater”, we discovered that this grill has a very common pellet jamming problem. After a couple of cooking sessions, we found ourselves constantly checking the wood chip tray to make sure the feed was not jammed and that there was enough smoke in the cabinet. An issue like this makes grilling inconvenient, and repairs in the long run will cost even more than the extra $40 to $50 you will spend on this smoker as opposed to our Best Budget Pick.
These are great changes but the pellet controller is still the old 10-position unit and of course we know that a lot of other makes have moved to much more sophisticated technology, improving temperature precision and maintenance. But it could be the guys at Traeger figure ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’.
Hey Charlie – I’d leave that grate wide open if you want maximum heat. If the grates are only over the burn pot, then you can do sort of a two zone cook (indirect vs direct heat) by putting a thicker steak, chop, or piece of chicken on the ‘non direct’ side to get up to a temp that’s 15 or 20 degrees lower than your target. Then, finish off over the burn pot area. Just one idea.
The Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is a great grill for those looking for a good mix of value and features. With the Traeger name and features behind it, the Lil’ Tex Elite is a solid performer.
I know, I know, no one likes to read the instruction manual, but even as an expert you see the advantages learning the specifics of your grill. Reading the manual is key. Generally, you should not use water to clean the pellet smokers, so keep your hose pipe far away. These smokers have digital controllers, a motorized auger, a fan and an igniter rod for the fire pot. These parts will get destroyed if they come into contact with water. You should gently dry scrub the dirt off these parts, making sure not to disassemble any parts. Cleaning the thermostat will also prove essential; otherwise, it may read temperatures inaccurately.
Once you have your pellet grill, there are a lot of accessories that you can purchase to go along with it that will make it both more useful and more attractive. You can buy firepots, drip pans, heat shields, and thermostats to go with your grill to make it easier and safer to use. You can also get custom stainless steel grates, which will last longer and get a better sear on your meat. If you would like to store things with your grill, such as grilling tools, you can purchase shelves for both the front and bottom of your pellet grill. For those of you who plan to do a lot of grilling over one season, you can buy a hopper extension. This will allow you to store additional pellets in your hopper so you have to refill it less often. Some people choose to go as far as having custom paint jobs done on their pellet grill to make it more personalized.
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If you want a grill that will last for years to come it all starts with the construction of the grill. If you will be shopping in a local retail store take the time to really investigate the grill. Lift the lid to see how sturdy it is.
Switch the machine on. The vast majority of pellet smokers have some sort of electric start up, meaning you start it by pressing a button and waiting for it to fire. Yep. No more shovelling charcoal and desperately struggling to get your grill to ignite.
In any case, bargain BBQ pellets are out there to be had. One tip is to search for B&B BBQ Pellets (seen above) if you have a local Academy Sports and Outdoors store in your area. Rumor has it that these “may” be re-branded BBQr’s Delight pellets offered at a much lower cost. In any case, it might be worth giving them a try.
What I like about this grill is its robust construction, and the amount of smoke it puts out compared to other pellet grills. There is a built in temperature swing that guarantees that every so often, a strong but not overpowering amount of smoke will enter the cook chamber.
Hey Jim, first – thank you for commenting on this post! As you probably know from reading the contents, pellet smokers are a great choice for set it and “nearly” forget it BBQ. Of course, you’re not going to get the same smoke profile with “pellet poopers” that you are likely getting with your other smokers. That said, the smokers listed here are all going to hold temp very well – even in lower temperature or windy weather. I do see instances where temps and wind effects pellet grills, but solutions including a fireproof blanket over the top of the smoker seem to mitigate things well enough.
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.

— May 25, 2018

5 thoughts on “pellet grill under 700 | Why Haven’t You Learned The Right Way To Pellet Grill? Time Is Running Out!

  1. A. There are two mostly and popular pellet smoker flavors. Apple and hickory. With these two types of flavors, one can cook entirely anything. When cooking poultry or pork, hickory is the best flavor. It is though a strong flavor to be used in cooking red meat. Apple on the other side can be good on vegetables and seafood but can also be used when cooking poultry, red meat and pork.
    This is the smallest of the Traeger pellet grill series and this makes it an ideal choice for people who are going on vacation or camping because of its small and compact design. Even though it also comes with a number of features similar to the larger Traeger models, it features a rather small cooking surface which is less than 300sq inches. This, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t have some plenty of room to prepare your meats. It also comes with a digital thermostat so that you will have control over the temperature. Because it can be set to extremely low or high temperatures it can be an ideal pellet smoker for braising or slow cooking and also grilling and baking.
    As you have a BGE and the PBC, I think a “pellet pooper” is a great 3rd option. They’re more versatile than folks think, and you can fire them up, cook, and shut them down with a lot less effort than the other two. Great for impromptu week night cooks. Hope this input helps. – Kevin
    Of course, the grill is equipped with porcelain grates, which are easy to clean and don’t require maintenance like cast-iron grates for example. The downside is that the porcelain surface is delicate, so use soft brushes ( preferably buy a  nylon brush ).
    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 quality pellet grill is built to last and will provide years of reliable performance. Bargain pellet grills not only lack the capabilities of better grills, they’re more likely to break down. No matter your price range, look for a pellet grill that’s built well and offers consistent performance. Fortunately, if price is a major consideration, there are quality pellet grills for under $500, as well as high-end pellet grills for under $1,000.
    We ended up going with the Memphis Pro. We were fortunate enough to be able to see all of the manufacturers and models I was most interested in, at Sam’s NW BBQ. (Yoder, MAK, Fast Eddy, GMG’s, a few others, and then, the one we ended up with, Memphis.) Sam took a good amount of time, providing us fantastic information about each model. We ended up with the Memphis Pro for the following reasons: 1) The construction, mainly the double-walled construction; 2) the preciseness of temperature, and being able to hold the temperature (due to reason #1); 3) the extreme ease of changing from smoking to grilling without a lot of effort or reconfiguration; 4) the double hoppers; 5) and another BIGGIE, the fact that grilled or baked foods taste like that, and not like smoked cookies, bread, pizza, etc.

  2. On average, a pound of pellets lasts between an hour and and an hour-and-a-half when smoking at 250°F in ideal conditions (75°F, no wind). When you increase the cooking temperature, the pellets burn more quickly. In cold weather, you’ll also burn pellets at a faster rate as the grill tries to maintain the desired temperature.
    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.
    Pellet grills come in many different sizes that accommodate food as per those sizes. However, even the smaller kinds are able to cook up a meal for a large family of 4 to 5 at a time! The larger ones are obviously able to accommodate large portions of meat and other food in it. In fact, some large pellet grills are used to cook up a whole baby lamb or large fishes at a time! This is one appliance that has been proven ideal for feeding a lot of heads at a time without the stress and the hard work of course, making it great for small to medium parties and get-together.
    It is certainly your requirement for the smoker to be automated. That is the case with Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe. It’s a smoker that thanks to its very good temperature control doesn’t require you to check if the temperature inside the grill is really okay. That way it allows for stress-free long meat smoking at a fixed low temperature.
    Brought it home and set it on my prep table with the controller in a cubby hole with all intentions of building a cart for it later. So I have made a killer rib eye on it and tried to burn it down with a couple rib eyes cooking at 600 F. Gotta figure out a little better method of catching drippings as they will catch on fire and you have a runaway! But you can make a great rib eye. Ribs, every set has turned out awesome, everything from low and slow to a high temp cook process on them. Probably made 8 racks of great ribs. Wasn’t impressed with the hamburgers on it but will try again later. Made a pretty good brisket but used Rudy’s rub as I like their store sandwiches and I don’t have the method down. Next one will be back to salt and a touch of pepper. Chicken thighs (thighs are the perfect chicken part for Q, their rather uniform thickness makes getting them all consistent and cooked even a slam dunk) with a light coat of mustard and Tony Chachere’s lightly sprinkled is to die for. Simply squeeze them when they should be close and if the juice is clear, no pink or red they are perfect. If you cook the juice out, well they make decent tasting blotter paper Pretty much killed a spatchcocked turkey for Thanksgiving, good thing the wife made an over baked one too. It did make great gumbo though as does the blotter paper chicken if you ruin any thighs or the whatever chicken. Also have a pile of hot links I put on at 180 for 2 to 3 hours. They are great for reheat with sauerkraut and roasted pabs or in the gumbo. Hot links should be a staple, ha ha! Gotta try my great pulled pork on it and we do Prudhomme pizza sauce on a Brown Eyed Baker crust and this Pro should rock it!
    Kevin, appreciate your reviews and insights. I am currently looking for my first pellet cooker which will be primarily used for camping, therefore I will likely purchase a portable unit. Your review on the GMG Davy Crocket answered some questions for me. I was initially contemplating the Traeger Junior Elite and GMG Davy Crocket, but after doing some homework I’m now considering the Rec Tec Mini as well. I can purchase the Traeger and GMG now for $350 and the Rec Tec for $500. My dilemma is that I (like many others) take very good care of my gear/equipment, so whatever I purchase, I expect to get a great deal of use out of. With that said, making the wrong decision could be a 7-10 year mistake. There are aspects of each that I like, I guess my question is whether spending another $150 on the Rec Tec, in your opinion, would be worth it to you? I understand if you would rather stay away from specific recommendations, and if that is the case, any other thoughts you have would be appreciated.
    The versatility of this grill gives you endless cooking possibilities. You can roast, bake, barbecue, smoke and of course grill. You have a huge temperature range of between 160° F up to 500° F which allows you to cook your food any way you want.

  3. My cousin and I went on a rowing trip at Tonto national forest, Arizona. He got a 10 feet boat. Not much room for gear, but I insisted he take his grill along. Traeger BBQ 155.01 Bronze Tailgater Pellet Grill w/EZ-Fold Legs& Digit Thermostat is small enough to fit into that small boat along with us. He was scared his smoker might get tipped into the lake, but that first night that we set it up and smoked a whole brisket he knew it was worth the extra weight. This is the length Grills Forever will go to test all the best smoker grills in every place we can think of so you don’t have to.
    Cutting edge temperature Control – It achieves high temperature, looks after it, and the smoke achieves each side of the cooking zone. There are littler temperature increases so you can even heat on this thing.
    Smokedbbqsource.com is a participant of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program – it is designed to provide an aid for the websites in earning an advertisement fee – by means of advertising and linking to Amazon.com products.
    Bearing this in mind, let’s discuss the difference between the primary cooking area and total cooking area. Primary cooking area refers to the area on the main cooking plate. Total cooking area takes into consideration secondary racks.
    Hey Cary, thanks for your comment. You can get pellet grills up to the 500 degree range and, with some grillgrates, they sear well. But, based on your comment I think you might get the most use out of a gasser. That said, I prefer pellet grills even for higher temp and shorter cooks. The smoke tubes work well.
    Kevin- super helpful article. Thanks! I just moved from a big city small apartment with no grill to a house in the country. Most essential purchase is the grill. I’m really on the fence. I like the idea of a pellet grill, but in reality- I’m mostly cooking burgers, fish, steaks, scallops, and veggies. The brisket and ribs will be more of a special occasion. From an economical perspective, am I better buying a gas grill and just getting one of those smoke tubes to add some flavor? From many of the online comments, it seems like the pellet grills benefit from additional smoke anyway, and though you can get additional grates for searing, seems like a square peg in a round hole. The gas grill is sort of the tried and true, and way more economical. Those $500 entry level pellet grills seem a little scrawny, and the next level up is a cool $grand. I’m really on the fence, and getting pressure to “just buy the darn thing” to consummate the move to the country! However the pellet grills seem like the new shiny object and have my curiosity. Any advice? PS- love the website! Thanks, Cary
    Your friends and neighbors will not be able to resist the urge to gather at your house when you fire up your REC TEC. Don’t be surprised when you inevitably get a call from someone asking you to REC TEC some meat for them. This is a common occurrence that happens to nearly every REC TEC owner.
    It’s capable of many of the same feats as its sibling grill and other top-rated competing grills, but its piece de resistance is its Smart Grill Technology that allows you to control the temperature as easily as conventional ovens. Just don’t let it sit in direct sunlight and muck up its temp. The bottom line with this “smart” grill is that it has more pros than cons.
    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.

  4. Given the huge variation in price, it is important to know what you are looking for when purchasing a pellet smoker. Running through a bit of a checklist is certainly a great way to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
    In our hunt to find the Best Budget Pick, we checked quite a few low-priced smoker grills including the Camp Chef Smoke Pro Se Pellet Grill, the Traeger BBQ 155.01 Bronze Tailgater, and the Pit Boss Grills 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill. We chose these grills to test out in particular because they all fall within the lowest price range for pellet smokers on the market, priced at $350-$400.
    The Igniter Rod: This rod then glows red hot for a couple or more of minutes, igniting the pellets and making them go up in flames. Smoke and heat from the combusted pellets are then distributed by a blower fan and metal plates under the grate of the grill. Upscale models even allow you to directly grill and smoke your food over a wooden pellet fire.
    A standard digital controller feeds a predetermined amount of pellets to the fire in order to achieve the desired temperature. No matter what the grill’s internal temperature reads it will keep feeding that same amount of pellets. They can maintain a temperature within +/- 25°F. Most of the pellet grills on the market, particularly entry-level models, feature this type of controller.

  5. The controller only comes with 9 temperature settings, so you don’t have the ability to dial in the exact temperature you want. This doesn’t mean the unit doesn’t work, you can still cook amazing food. It’s just more geared to beginners who don’t want to fuss around with temperatures
    Though the Memphis Pro works great as a high heat, sear, and direct flame grill, I chose to do some IBP ribs and a couple all natural pork loins I picked up from the store. I won’t go into too much detail on the pork loin and rib prep here, suffice it to say that I was very impressed with the smoke output I got from this unit, which I filled with a full compliment of CookinPellets Perfect Mix Pellets.
    In this price range, the Camp Chef offers the most consistent grilling experience and requires very little maintenance. We have been using this smoker for over 2 years and it is working like we bought it a week ago!
    I have put together the best pellet grill review of the top 10 pellet grills in the market today. Mind that this list was not just put together in a jiffy; all the names in this list have been carefully picked and chosen through strict inspection on performance, ratings and consumer preferences. Let’s take a look at the pellet grill review I have for you:
    The best solution: Have an electrician custom make a cord the proper length for you. Don’t buy a cable much longer than you need it because the longer the cable, the higher the resistance and the power diminishes. You don’t want to see the equations for that.
    PID Controllers – The most sophisticated type of pellet grill controller, PID controllers use complex algorithms to achieve and maintain the desired temperature within a few degrees. They, too, feature LCD display and one-touch buttons for setting the temperature in 5° increments. However, unlike controllers that use fixed cycles, a PID controller continuously measures the grill’s temperature then adjusts its cycle, adding pellets when necessary to hold the correct cooking temperature throughout the cook. Because they’re more sophisticated, PID controllers can accommodate programmable meat probes that have the ability to automatically lower the grill’s temperature when food is done.
    I have cooked on traegers, Louisiana Grills, Country smokers, FECs, FE Grills, but have not gotten to cook on a MAK or Yoder yet – both seem pretty cool, so I can’t wait to put them through the paces.

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