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?
The PK Grill has become one of our favorite charcoal grills. Designed in 1952, the rectangular shape is easy to set up in 2 heat zones, it can easily be used as a smoker, the cast aluminum body is indestructible, airflow is easy to manage, and there is plenty of room under the hood. It is especially good at steaks, chops, and burgers.
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.
One great thing about this smoker is its temperature flexibility. Cooks can smoke, grill, or bake at temperatures ranging from 180 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. An included ITC temperature probe lets you quickly track your food’s progress.
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.
Louisiana Pellet Grill eliminates the hassles of setting up the grill fire, with lighter fluids and maintaining the temperatures manually. This grill is simply equipped with push-control buttons that light up the fire automatically with just a push and enables you to set your desired cooking temperature with ease.
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.
When you buy a pellet smoker, it should last you for years. If you buy a unit that’s dependable, then you won’t have to worry about costly repairs and replacements. It’s important to buy a smoker that comes from a dependable manufacturer; when you do this, it’s much more likely that your unit will produce quality smoke without breaking after a few uses.
Back to the Pit Boss. The cooking space come in ‘Large’ and ‘Deluxe’. The Deluxe refers to the additional features and finishes. What we really like about the PB is the cooking temperature range from 180° to 500°F, which you can control with the simple turn of a dial, but it is an old-style dial. Possibly unrelated to this, but something that needs to be looked at is whenever you switch cooking temperatures the auger carries on running for about four minutes before trying to adjust to the new temperature. As we discovered this isn’t a problem you’re going from low to high, but it is if you’re trying to bring your temperature down. We almost lost our wings because of this.
In searching for a good video review of this smoker I actually came across two of them. The first video is from MAK Grills themselves but is hosted by Jonathan Martinez (JM) of CelebrityGrills.com. He does a great job of highlighting some of the innovative features MAK Grills brings to the table.
Multi-position controllers: These controllers allow you to adjust the temperature in smaller increments. Pellets are fed in fixed cycles meaning these controllers still don’t offer amazing accuracy. A multi-position controller is typically accurate +/-20°F, in ideal conditions. A nice feature of these controllers is the addition of an LCD screen.
If so you will love the digital temperature control that gives you complete control over your cooking time. There is also a stainless steel meat probe that ensures every meal is cooked to wood fired perfection.
Hey David – in my opinion, you’re going to find hot spots in any entry level pellet grill/ pellet smoker. I include GMG, Rec-Tec, Traeger, etc. When you start moving into the higher pellet smokers/grills – Memphis Grill, MAK, etc, you can minimize these to some extent. If you experience higher heat on one side, put the thicker cut of meat (pork butt, point of brisket) near that part.
Thank you for stopping by to read this article pertaining to Pellet Grill Reviews. If you’re here, it’s likely you’ve already read a few reviews about pellet smokers. As such, you’re in the process of figuring out whether Pellet Smokers are a good choice either for personal backyard BBQ cooking or as a means of getting started on the BBQ competition circuit.
While it doesn’t seem to effect everyone, some people experience an issue with the temperature sensor failing after only a few uses. Camp Chef have good support though so if any issues do crop up they should be easy to resolve.
With so many pellet grills on the market the only way manufacturers can differentiate themselves is through features. When comparing pellet grills, take the time to look at all the features that are included.
Central to all pellet cookers is a digital controller similar to the controllers on modern indoor ovens. You select a temp you want, and there is an LED display that tells you the actual temp. Some of the controllers also are programmable so you can cook at a certain temp for a determined time. Some have leave-in meat probes that can dial back the ovento a holding temp when the meat hits its mark.
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.
Included secondary cooking racks – If you’re looking to maximize cooking space, you’ll want to know if a pellet grill can accommodate a secondary rack. You’ll also want to know whether that rack is included or an optional add-on.
Ease of Use: At first, the unit appears somewhat mind boggling to use however when you get over it the first occasion when it turns out to be very simple. For one thing, there is a get-together video instructional exercise from the maker’s site for a less demanding get-together. Else, anybody that has used a BBQ before wouldn’t have any type of trouble with the unit.
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.
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.
Having A Provocative Pellet Grill Works Only Under These Conditions
Pellet smokers can be quite large, and if you don’t have the room for a unit, it can become a hassle. Always make sure to look at a unit’s weight and dimensions; this gives you a good idea of how mobile the unit is. If you’re going to be moving your unit a lot, you probably want to get a smaller unit that can be easily moved. If you plan on leaving your unit in one spot, then you need to buy a unit that is the right size; you don’t have to put as much consideration into its weight and mobility features.
This is a fantastic grill for the money that’s dependable for outdoor cooking and smoking (hence its name, “Camp Chef”). It’s not quite 9.9/10 that is the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill got, but it has more than enough features and benefits to spare to honor the Camp Chef brand (even though at first glance the PG24 and the SmokePro are practically the same unit with color differences).
Traeger really pulled the trigger on this one this time around, delivering the Traeger TFB65LZBC Texas Elite 34 Series Wood Pellet Grill. It’s fueled by 100% pure hardwood pellets to give you real wood flavor out of your meat (rather than artificial or gimmicky ones).
The digital controller is the brains of the pellet grill. It’s the computer and uses a chip, sensors, circuits, and an algorithm to regulate the pellet grill’s temperature and make sure it accurately maintains the temperature programmed into the control board. The controller is probably the single most important part of your pellet grill, and how good the controller is usually determines how well the pellet grill performs.
Before we get into my pellet grill reviews, it’s important to cover as much about how Pellet grills work, what brands of Pellet smokers are most reliable, and exactly what type of BBQ end product you can expect to achieve using Pellet smokers.
Temperature – we’ll start from that since I believe that it is something we should pay attention from the start. This smoker is phenomenal at handling maintaining a fixed temperature. Forget about constantly monitoring the temperature, it’s completely unnecessary here. Just set the temperature and forget about control.
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Overall, this is a really great smoker. The only downside is the one year warranty, but it’s got a great build quality, so it shouldn’t go wrong. Just make sure when you pick one up that you look after it properly.
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.
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!
Everything you need to smoke meats and veggies! Sportsman’s Warehouse has a large selection of Electric Smokers as well as Pellet Grills from leading name brands. Don’t forget to pick up all the accessories you need like rib racks pellets and a cover to keep your smoker nice for years to come.
Comes with a large 19.5″ x 36″ (702 square inch) cooking area. Maintains precise temperature from 180ºF to 500ºF (5º increments). REC TEC will automatically light up with a push of a button and heat up to the temperature you have selected. REC TEC has a really good and precise temperature control so you can even use it for baking.