Got Smoke?

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by mbenro, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. mbenro

    mbenro Newbie

    Hey everybody, I'm from Massillon, OH and I'm getting ready to take the plunge on a pellet smoker.  I listen to the local sports talk radio show in the morning during my travels, ESPN Cleveland 850, and on a daily basis the conversation gravitates to their smoking adventures. They all use lump charcoal smokers and babysit the begeezus out of them. I'm sure the results are great, but I got stuff to do and am not willing to tend a smoker on long cooks. Hence my decision to go with the pellet version. As with anything of significance I buy I tend to shop the hell out of it, and this is no different, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, but the chase is always fun.

    Having said all that, I've kind of narrowed my decision down to the Rec Tec's, Louisiana Grills LG900, Camp Chef, Pellet Pro, and a latecomer that has muddied the waters even more is the FireCraft Pellet Q450. Any advice would be much appreciated. Trying to hold my price point to about $1000 (it's a doghouse thing). I really like the Yoders and Blazn Grills, but..... 
  2. Welcome mbreno. I think the most important aspect, besides intent of use (how much and for whom do you want to cook) is the controller. I would look for a smoker with a PID controller. I retrofitted my cheap Treager with a Savannah Stoker and it is programmable to smoke, cook to a temp and then keep warm. This is great for overnight smokes like brisket and butts. 

    Consider also adding a supplemental smoke generator. I love the new expandable tube smoker from Todd at Amazenproducts. He's a member, sponsor and all around good dude. It is a very effective and inexpensive way to boost the smoke flavor of you food. 

    You should get lots of good feedback on this post. You may want to consider a title like "Pellet Smoker Decision"  or something of the like so pellet heads can spot the thread. 
  3. mbenro

    mbenro Newbie

    Thanks for the reply. I'll start another thread per your suggestion, or maybe just search for an existing thread of that nature. From what I've read the PID controllers seem to be the best way to go and I've seen many mentions of the tube smokers from Amazenproducts. I'll probably wait on that purchase until I see what kind of smoke I get from just the pellets and burner as I've seem differing opinions on that. When you're used to just a propane grill anything will be an improvement.
  4.  Yep, any pellet pooper will be a smoking improvement over a glass grill. I think there is little question that pellets smokers produce a lighter smoke flavor by nature. They simply burn so clean and efficient that it is inherent in the process. That was the idea behind pellet fueled heater systems. Very efficient. 

    That's is another reason to get a good controller. Smoking at low temps (170-190*) initially for 2-4 hours (the cooking at higher temps) on the pellet grill will enhance smoke flavor. Maintaining a low temp is a bit more difficult in pellet grills. Lower end poppers struggle to keep a constant low temp. My upgraded controller allows this easily. 

    BTW the Amazen smokers are cheap and well worth it. You can cold smoke with them. Perfect up there in the upper midwest in winter. Slap some cheese on your smoker, or even your gasser for that matter, don't even turn it on and put in the Amazen smoker and smoke some cheese. I use mine for sausage and lox as well. 
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Pellet grills are nice, but a Weber Smokey Mountain is less than half the price & is about as set & forget as a charcoal smoker can get.

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  6. mbenro

    mbenro Newbie

    Al, you're killin' me, but thanks for the info. I will check it out and probably add it to my options.
  7. Yeah, I plan to get a WSM next. Add a charcoal smoker to the mix. 
  8. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    If set and forget is your thing you can take it one step further with the WSM by getting a pit temp control fan for about 200 bucks or so and if you add that to the 400 you will pay for a 22.5 inch WSM you are well under your 1000 budget. You can spend the rest on meat!

    Hope this Helps,

    phatbac (Aaron)

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