Buying a pellet grill this weekend, need input ASAP, which brand/model?

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by vikings8480, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. vikings8480

    vikings8480 Fire Starter

    My patience has run thin and I've decided to pull the trigger on a pellet grill this weekend.  I'll either pick one up from a local store or order one online, but I'm definitely looking to do so over the weekend, possibly on the way home from work.

    My buddy has a Traeger Lil' Tex Elite Pro, I'm looking at that model.  I know the temps seem to fluctuate quite a bit but in my opinion, it looks like a good grill and he puts out some great quality Q on it.

    I'm also looking at possibly ordering a RecTec RT680, but shipping costs would put that close to $1,200 so I'm leaning away from that.

    My local Cabelas carries Louisiana Brand Grills, does anyone have any input on these?

    Also, our local Cabelas carries Pit Boss models, any input on these?

    Are there any other brands of pellet grills in the $700 to $1000 range that anyone would recommend?

    I've always gotten good advice from these forums when it comes to methods of cooking and techniques on my electric and my propane smoker, so I thought I'd get some input from the pellet guys on this board before I pull the trigger.
     
  2. Many good pellet grills out there but IMO I would get the REC TEC. They offer 24 month 0% interest financing if paid in full in 24 months. They carry a 6 year warranty that no other mfg's will come close to and great customer service. If they don't pick up the phone you will always get a call back the same day.

    Also they offer the Rec Tec mini for $499 + $99 ship
     
  3. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    i have had great luck with my Louisiana CS 450. set the heat and walk away... its my 1st pellet grill. i use an AMZN tube for extra smoke. just cant believe how tender and moist boneless chicken breast can be done on this grill. even 2 days later the leftovers are super, NOT LIKE EATING CARD BOARD ...  ha ha ha

    Goliath
     
  4. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    Also look at the Green Mountain Grills.  I considered GMG and RecTec, but ended up with GMG partly due to having a local dealer and partly because the Daniel Boone model was a better "fit" to my needs in terms of size and price.  

    Whatever brand you choose, there's a lot to be said for having a good dealer nearby if you need help.  While most brands will quickly ship you a part if something is wrong, a good local dealer would keep key parts on hand to get you back up and running while he then backfills inventory via warranty replacement.  

    Many people like Traeger, but I dislike their business practice of claiming you void your warranty if you use non-Traeger pellets.  Flies in the face of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (tie-in sales) and is effectively unenforceable.  
     
  5. icyhot

    icyhot Smoking Fanatic

    I don't have any of the other brands but I can speak on the rec-tec .it's a great pellet smoker with great customer service. I would highly recommended it.
     
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check the availability of food grade pellets and their price in your area.... Shipping is a killer....
     
  7. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Everyone will naturally be a bit biased to their own brand...so take this with a grain of salt. I've owned a Rec Tec 680 for 2 1/2 years, and couldn't be happier with it. I second everything UncleBubbas BBQ said about it. I think it's one of the best values out there for the price.

    I won't claim to have any direct knowledge of the other units discussed, but I rarely hear anyone talk badly about GMG. In your price range, a Daniel Boone or a Jim Bowie might be your best choice. Don't want to offend any of the Traeger owners, but I doubt I'd consider buying one of those for myself...I've read very mixed reviews about quality and customer service to feel good about owning one. But as you said, many folks turn out great BBQ on a Traeger.

    Good luck! Be sure to let us know what you decide to buy...

    Red
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  8. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    Yes, good to know where you can pick up pellets locally.  Especially if they're price competitive.

    Remember that Amazon.com carries CookinPellets PerfectMix which ships free with either Prime or on orders over $35.  Current price is $28.20/40# bag (70¢/#).   Alternately Sears.com carries PitBoss Competition Blend at $27.07/40# currently with free ship-to-store.  If I remember correctly, PB is part of Dansons who also makes Louisiana Grills.  You can also sweeten the Sears deal with $-off coupons and cashback offers.

    Getting in on a bulk order is the cheapest option though.  
     
  9. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They dont offer 24 mo, 0% anymore. But I sure do love my REC TEC!
     
  10. Check their website BT. Yes they do
     
  11. vikings8480

    vikings8480 Fire Starter

    I ended up buying a Louisiana LG 700. Cabelas had it for $699. I've got two big racks of spare ribs in the fridge ready for tomorrow. We'll see how it goes!
     
  12. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    Enjoy!  

    If I might make a suggestion, do a grill full bacon or a bunch of biscuits after you've done the initial burn off.  Helps to get a sense of how the temperatures are distributed across the cooking surface before you load it up with a bunch of meat.  
     
  13. vikings8480

    vikings8480 Fire Starter

    Well, it looks like I'll be taking this grill back to Cabelas.

    The temp control unit on this thing is garbage. After following directions on initial run on Friday night and following directions on start mode today, the temperature would swing high above my target temp would not stabilize. I attempted to set my temp at 225 after warm up.

    Along with the "actual temp" reading on the controller, I had the lid thermometer and my Maverick smoker temp probe to monitor temps. The "actual temp" reading on the controller would stick at my target temp, 225 on the button, never changing, but the thermometer on my lid and my Maverick fluctuated between 172 and 311, spiking and dropping.

    I had a buddy, who is very knowledgeable about pellet grills, come over and he also noticed the fan would turn on for 5 to 10 seconds and then turn off.

    I did some reading on the pelletheads board and it sounds like the controllers on these smokers need adjustments out of the box quite often. I'm fine with fine tweaking, but a $700 grill should operate better than this out of the box.

    I ended up transferring my ribs to my propane smoker.

    I'm not sure if I want to call customer service or just take it back and go with a Daniel Boone or a Traeger.
     
  14. robertwhite

    robertwhite Fire Starter

    TN
    yeah, ummmmmm. If you are having trouble with that controller, you definitely don't want a Traeger. Worst controller in the industry.
     
  15. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    Not new to smoking but new to pellet grilling. Just got my grill for Fathers Day and love it.

    Went with the Pellet Pro 625 from Smoke Daddy Inc. The PID controller is great. Does a great job of maintaining temp. Also bit the bullet and added the Big Kahuna for cold smoking. Nice for smoking cheese.

    For pellets, I tried a couple but like Perfet Mix from Cookin Pellets.
     
  16. phrett

    phrett Smoke Blower

    I've had my GMG DB for over six years now and it has been working great. The grate temps do swing up and down but not a gret deal, and grate temps are off a bit from the controller setting but once you know them it cooks great. On most controllers the displayed temp is not an "up to the minute" display of the temp inside the unit but rather an "average over time" display.

    I alays thought the temp spikes were the temps rising when the pellets fed and the fan blew making the fire bigger, and then as the pellets burned down the temp lowered. A few months ago my wife bought a Memphis Pro as her retirement present and that is not the case with this grill. hwe grate temps stay within a few degrees of the set temp and do not spike at all. It must be the controller, fans and burn pot design but is is amazing, like the price was.
     
  17. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    That's what I like about my Pellet Pro. Temp is consistent within 5 deg.

    They also sell the whole burner pot/auger//control unit for conversions too. As in turn your old refrigerator into a pellet smoker
     
  18. mrad

    mrad Smoke Blower

    If yo ur local cabelas was Rogers, you might want to give Jason at pellet products a call. He is in Isanti and carries Louisiana, GMC, and Pit Boss. He also carries many scratch and dent grills for as low as $250. I looked at his products but need up ordering a blaz'n grill works. He also has the best pellets prices. I just picked up a couple 40lb bags of lumber jack pellets from him $17 a bag.
     
  19. vikings8480

    vikings8480 Fire Starter

    I've calmed down a bit and Im going to call customer service tomorrow and see if they can make it right. I love the features on this grill but, man, it's off to a shaky start with the controller issue.
     
  20. ohiojason

    ohiojason Newbie

    I just bought a Rec-Tec and no they do not, not really. For anything over 6 months you have to pay a fee to get the no interest. So... you are just paying it up front, and it was significant. Like 100 or more depending on how many months.

    That said, I am 110% happy with my RecTec! I have had it for almost 3 months and have zero regrets! We use. it almost daily and everything tastes better on the it!
     

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