The Camp Chef deluxe is an excellent mid sized smoker that strikes a perfect balance between quality and value for your dollar. The temperature control is super simple and gives you plenty of options to dial in depending on what you are cooking.
No. On average, pellet grills cost more than gas grills because of the digital control board and automation, which require more technology and engineering. The difference in pricing often affects the perceptions and expectations of shoppers. While $400 might get you a high-quality gas grill with a generous cooking area, that same amount will likely only get you a small pellet grill or a cheap pellet grill that’s likely to break down in a year or two.
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.
If you like grilling outdoors, you want to reduce the time and energy you spend using traditional and classic methods of grilling in an open air. The problem with traditional grills is that you keep on manually feeding the grill with charcoal or wood. In addition, you need to stay near the grill until the food is finally cooked.
When you purchase ShippingPass you don’t have to worry about minimum order requirements or shipping distance. No matter how small the order or how far it needs to go, ShippingPass provides unlimited nationwide shipping. If you need to return or exchange an item you can send it back at no cost or take it to your neighborhood store.
It’s also important you know not all meat probes are created equal. Some are only capable of monitoring while others can be programmed to lower the heat of the grill once the food reaches a certain temperature.
A great choice for small families, campers, tailgaters, RVers and for those with limited space in the garden. Holds temperature really well, consumes a small amount of pellets and has a great mobile app.
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.
Do not confuse a pellet grill for gas grills. Like the name suggests, a pellet grill obviously uses pellets for cooking its food. But do not doubt its competence with any other gas or convection appliances. It cooks just as well, if not better. And the secret to this are in its pellets. While pellets vary from brand to brand, the best ones have more wood and less binders like sawdust etc.
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.
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?
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.
One touch non-PID controller: This type of controller gives you the ability to adjust the temperature in 5-10°F increments. However, they still feed pellets in fixed cycles meaning that they can only offer accuracy of +/- 15-20°F. They also feature LCD screens, one touch buttons and many have inputs for meat probes.
Don’t Just Sit There! Start Getting More Pellet Grill
Regarding getting a good draft, this is a common misconception for pellet grills. The burn pot on pellet grills receives oxygen via a fan unit. As such, there’s no need for a draft to get a measured burn in the traditional sense. Most pellet grills lack sufficient insulation / gaskets, etc to prevent smoke from leaking out of the body. So, unless you’re going with the Memphis or something that uses oven style insulation, you don’t really need a chimney at all IMHO.
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!
You must have thoughts in your mind centered around the thousands of pellet smokers and why Camp Chef PG24 is our no 1 choice. We will list the detailed features, pros and cons of this smoker. First, let me tell you why this smoker grabbed the number 1 spot on our list.
Costs more to get a reliable unit compared to other types of smoker – You can pick up excellent charcoal, gas or electric smokers between $200-$500 while a good pellet will run you between $400-$1000+
A bigger pellet smoker than our top budget picks, when you compare it to both the Traeger and the Green Mountain Davey Crocket, you start to realise it doesn’t excel either as a home smoker or a portable model. However, the Camp Chef Smokepro is a competent smoker that’s easy to use and delivers solid performance, without any pomp or flash.
Hey Todd – what pellet grill do you have? Also, by short cooks, how long are you talking? Have you looked at the burn pot? If it’s overfilled, you may need to vacuum it out, along with the interior of the cooker. Then, put 10 or so pellets into the burn pot and start it up again. See if that helps. There should not be much if any ash in the food chamber area or on the food. At least not in my experience.
Our families have designed these grills to take your grilling to a new level, whether it is for family BBQs in the back yard, competitions, or anything in between. Smokin Brothers Wood Pellet Grills are manufactured and assembled in Southeast Missouri, and are designed to give you consistent cooking every time. Our grills cook with indirect heat, preventing flare ups. Each grill comes complete with a drip pan to catch the grease and convection fan to circulate air around the food, eliminating the need for a rotisserie. The digital thermostat control maintains a constant temperature from 180 to 375 degrees and a high setting for temperatures above 400. Simply plug in your Smokin Brothers grill and set it to 180 to start. After lighting, set your temperature as needed and let the grill do the rest. In 10 to 15 minutes you are ready to begin your BBQ masterpiece.
Hey Kyle – GMG, Traeger, and RecTec all make good smokers. The models you list here are the of theirs I recommend most. If I had to rank them, I’d go with GMG or Traeger based on customer care / responsiveness.
The cooking area is 300 square inches. It is the smallest portable version of a pellet smoker from Traeger, so the cooking area is much smaller. Of course, it is not among the smallest, it still offers enough place to prepare tasty food except you can bring this grill along, like when camping.
love your article and got lots of good info from it….i do have a question tho that i didnt see an answer to…..do pellet grills have to use just pellets?….i have 3 acres full of oak branches that could be shredded. my question is can a pellet grill use home shredded wood chips to burn and cook with or is it mandatory that the fuel be in the pellet state?….would be great if i could find a good use for all these fallen branches….
A pellet hopper is what you put your pellets in. The grill will automatically help itself from the hopper and use it to maintain the temperature you want it to. More heat requirement will use more pellet, and less heat will use less. What you need to make sure is that you have a good sized pellet hopper so that your grill can keep using from it and you do not have to keep refilling the hopper too often. There are pellet grills out there that are powerful and gentle enough to be cooking for hours, and sometimes overnight, all thanks to its large pellet hoppers that keep replenishing and refueling the fire all throughout.
Thank you so much for the kind words! I think you would be very happy with a smaller pellet grill / smoker. The wording changes depending on how you are using the device. For instance, if you are cooking at low temperatures you will get a stronger smoke profile then if you burn a pellet smoker / grill at its higher temperature range. One thing you could do for steaks is cook them at the higher range thus being able to get a sear much like you would on a direct heated Grill service, for instance on your Weber. Another option would be to cook the steak in the reverse see your method, by bringing it up to temperature at a lower smoker setting and adding some smoke flavoring that way, then removing it and bringing the smoker up to its higher settings so you can finish off the steak with some of the effect you would achieve on direct flame. I normally do this by bringing the steaks up to about 15 degrees below where I want them to finish. Then, I finish them off at the higher temperature to where they are about 5 degrees below my target. This usually means a few minutes on each side but I use a Thermapen to be sure.
Memphis Grills is a great backyard grill. I have known a couple teams who had a Memphis Wood Fired Grill in a BBQ Competition and have done well. There is one team that is burning up KCBS who is using a Memphis Grill. They perform admirably.
Accurate, powerful, with a lot of options, good build quality and a nice set of features, all at an excellent price, the Camp Chef PG64 is our best overall pellet smoker. Of course, the RecTec still offers more options, but it’s more expensive, so if you want the absolute most for your money, without breaking the bank, you’re going to want to look closely at this.
Since we are barbecuing experts, our top pick will definitely be a pellet smoker that is appropriate for almost everyone looking for a pellet grill. Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ is built to help the outdoor cooking buffs take their backyard cooking venture to a whole new level.
This is the ultimate portable grill. 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!
The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!
The unit comes with a stainless steel meat probe that lets you display the internal meat temperature on the LED screen. While it won’t be as reliable some third party thermometers it’s much better than a dome thermometer.
Honestly, I can’t think of anything negative to say about the Memphis Pro. The only thing I can see that sets the MAK pellet grill apart from this Memphis Pro is that it has the built in cold smoking ability that this Memphis Pro model does not.
Explicitly designed as a tailgate smoker with maximum portability and accessibility, the Davey Crockett does what it does really well. It’s small, but it’s so easy to move and runs off of damn near any power source, so if you want a wood pellet smoker you can take literally anywhere with maximum portability and style, this is the one. That’s why in my opinion, this is the best pellet smoker out there for the money.
Before buying, please note that most pellet smokers need access to electricity to run the digital controller, the auger that transports the pellets to the firebox, and the convection fan that circulates the air in the cooking chamber. These cookers can use a lot of pellets at high temps. At high temps there is little or no smoke, and at low temps smoke is unavoidable. So if you want to cook, say, a chicken breast low and slow to retain juices, but you don’t want any smoke flavor, you’re outta luck. If you want to torch a thin burger to get a crunchy crust and add a little smokiness, you’ll get great smoke flavor, but it is hard to get the crust. But if you want killer ribs, bacon, smoked salmon, etc., pellet burners are hard to beat for convenience and quality.
Not something we often mention, but we feel is relevant is Rec Tec’s customer service. Their service is exceptional, and not only in the grilling industry. When you call their office you speak to a staff member that owns a Rec Tec.
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