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Pellet Smokers

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by joespoolhall, May 19, 2020.

  1. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall VIP Whale

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    Not happy with current grill, so earlier in the spring I decided to buy a Weber for my main grill and a char griller with a side smoker for smoking. Later I came across the Z Grills on Amazon, which got me thinking. Probably 90% of my grilling involves chicken, pork roasts and ribs, none of which would be hurt in a pellet smoker. I do like a nicely seared steak or chop now and again though. So I decided to clean up an old grill that sears nicely, give my present grill to a nephew and get a pellet smoker.
    I would appreciate comments from those with pellet smokers. I'm leaning toward the Z Grills. Reviews are as good as Treager, they cost less and not that it matters, look a lot better. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Second hand endorsement, but my nephew has a Treager, he loves it. Except when he was up at his hunting camp and the electric went out. He can set the temperature and walk away. He has the app on his phone and he can change the temperature of the grill and also check the temperature of the meat. They are pricey, but if you plan to use it a lot, then it might be worth the extra expense.
     
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  3. gr8whitenorth

    gr8whitenorth VIP Whale

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    While I don't have one I do have a friend that is a MASTER in this area. He swears by Treager. Heck he has his setup wirelessly and can monitor and adjust anywhere. They are pricey but from what I know worth it.
     
  4. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall VIP Whale

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    I like the set it and forget it. I like the option of cooking fast or slow. As I said, it will not only do 90% of what I grill, but will do it with smoke. You can grill with them, but with 450 degree max temp, don't expect that deep sear. Enter my nearly junked searing grill and I'm fine. Looking forward to smoked turkey breast, whole chicken, brisket.............
    Should be fun.
     
  5. hokdo

    hokdo Tourist

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    I have a Traeger and absolutely love it! I make everything from steaks to pulled pork to ribs to lobster tails to salsa to cheesecake on it. It's very versatile as it smokes, bakes, broils, however I also have a Weber genesis that can get up to 750 degrees which is perfect for searing a steak. I usually smoke steaks on the Traeger for an hour to get them to about 100 degrees and heat up the Weber to 700 and give them a quick sear on each side, come out a perfect medium rare.

    This was a longwinded post but I highly recommend Traeger. I'll try an answer any questions you have about it, I've had mine for about 3 years now.
     
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  6. TrewBrew

    TrewBrew I may be right, I may be Crazy.

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    I use my traeger all of the time even made dessert on it a couple of times. I agree with @joespoolhall only downfall is the searing, but I have an older gas grill that I use to add the sear on steaks, get them to almost temp on the Traeger and then add the sear on the gas grill. The only down side for me is in colder weather to get the Traeger up to temperature. But you can buy it a jacket to help with that.
     
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  7. Da Arsonist

    Da Arsonist Tourist

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    Pellet grills are not for real BBQ, get an offset smoker, chop some mesquite wood, light a fire, and start smoking the meat.

    lol, I hear that pellet grills r great as you mentioned, set it and forget it, seems a little like an oven but I guess they are versatile. I’ve never owned one as I’m more old school and prefer a traditional smoker using traditional wood. But I’m not sure if it makes a difference meat quality wise as I’ve never use a pellet before. Or eaten any meat cooked on one.
     
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  8. bull0120

    bull0120 High-Roller

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    Just my opinion, at the end of the day it depends on how serious you take your meat. Pellet smokers put out decent, consistent BBQ similar to what you would find at a chain BBQ restaurant. They're as easy as it gets really. That being said.... If you love the process and/or ritual of making BBQ, it's going to feel inadequate and the meat will lack the certain nuances you would get from more traditional smokers. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a pellet smoker. It's just not for me.
     
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  9. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall VIP Whale

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    Not in it to win it. I just want something that I can put out a decent smoked product without devoting my life to it.
    Call me a recreational smoker.
     
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  10. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    I’ve been thru Weber water smokers, offset barrel smokers, never had the Egg but ended up with an electric smoker. Heat is electric and easily controlled, smoke comes from a piece of wood the size of a deck of cards. In my opinion, pellet smokers were created for competition barbecuing where all of the heat must come from burning wood. For home use you’re going to find yourself spending ten dollars on pellets for a single smoke. Take a look at Cookshack.com for a quality American made smoker.
     
  11. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall VIP Whale

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    When you say $10 for a single smoke, is that one hour, two, three?
     
  12. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    That figure is from a discussion I had with a coworker many years back. Pellet smokers consume about one pound per hour at around 40 to 50 cents per pound, so four to five hours on a rack of ribs would be about two bucks. I smoke pork butts overnight, usually 12 to 16 hours, so around seven bucks. I just prefer the ease of the electric smoker and the small amount of wood required, but as I said, wood pellets are required for competition smoking and preferred by ‘purists’ who claim that electric smokers don’t produce ‘real barbecue.’ No judgement from me, just something to consider.
     
  13. DDB

    DDB Low-Roller

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    On my patio is a Weber gasser and a small Traeger. They both have their place - the Weber for a hot and fast weekday cook, like steaks, chops, sausages ect.

    I use the Traeger for ribs, pork butts, ect. The best part about a Traeger is the ease of use, just set and forget. But, the smoke flavor and bark is pretty light. But overall, my cooks have turned out pretty well. The analogy of it being an oven (with a hint of smoke) is pretty accurate. A pound per hour of pellet use seems about right, but I use Bear Mountain or Lumberjack brand pellets - way cheaper than the Traeger branded ones.
     
  14. Da Arsonist

    Da Arsonist Tourist

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    There is no competition bbq master who is going to use a pellet grill for a competition. True smoked meat are cooked with traditional wood, fire, and smoke. I have nothing against people wanting the convenience of a pellet grill or an electric smoker. Sometimes the ease of use and ability to set it and forget is quite understandable when u don’t want to be outside by the fire all day but if u want authentic bbq u have to go traditional smoker. You will never go to the best bbq restaurants in the country n see a pellet grill or electric smoker.

    in the end traditional bbq is hard work and takes some passion for the cooking process, if u just want something good to eat that has a smoky flavor other grills will suffice.
     
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  15. VegasLover8

    VegasLover8 High-Roller

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  16. Catzilla

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    We had a Traeger Big Tex for years, but recently sold it and went for the smaller version. Little Tex? It's a pretty foolproof way to cook. The family who owned Traeger is local and the plant where they were made was probably ten miles from our home, before they outsourced to China.
     
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  17. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall VIP Whale

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    Not really a concern of mine what a bbq master does or doesn't think. I think more than one of these devices could produce a decently cooked product imparted with smoked that myself and those I invite can enjoy. I realize the effort they must put out, but I don't feel the need to prove anything to anyone. Here in Wa we have a winery who's slogan is "It's just wine, Drink it!" Equate that to backyard grilling and you'll know how I feel.
     
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  18. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I agonized over getting a pellet smoker for a long time. I have had a propane vertical smoker for years. Propane heats the wood chunks to produce smoke. Oh, and heat. lol. I love the finished product, because it is producing smoke 100% of the time, but it IS work. I have to reload the wood every four hours, and constantly check the interior temperature of the smoker. If the sun starts to hit it, the temperature rises. Then I have to guess how much to turn the propane down. On and on.

    So I bought a Pit Boss pellet smoker at Lowes after reading countless reviews. I knew this was going to happen, but I bought it anyway for the convenience. It doesn't give as much of a smoke flavor as I want. It does not produce smoke if the electric coil thing is not on, which is what makes the pellets smoke, to keep it at the temperature the thermostat is set at. It doesn't take much heat to keep the unit at 225 on a 90 degree Texas day. I would guess that smoke is only coming out of the chimney 50% of the time. So the meats come out with good smoke flavor, just not GREAT smoke flavor.

    But damn it's easy to use. So it's sort of a dilemma. I still have the old one, but I have yet to fire it up again since the pellet smoker purchase.

    And the cost of the pellets is not too much different from the wood chunks. I have always, and still do, load up the smoker and then freeze most of the meat so that the cost of wood/pellets per pound of finished meat is lower.
     
  19. Maxbet

    Maxbet Low-Roller

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    I have been on the fence for awhile now about purchasing a smoker. A lot of discussion with ppl that own various smokers. Great info from all of you. That said, I am more of a set it and forget it type of guy. Think I will go with the Traeger. Wife only likes light smoke flavor at best.