Looking into a pellet smoker, looking for opinions and advice

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by dave2521, May 31, 2015.

  1. dave2521

    dave2521 Newbie

    Hello everyone, been lurking here for a little while and finally decided to join in on the fun and post a thread with some questions.  I am in the market for a pellet smoker, my fiance's brother in law owns a traeger lil texas and really enjoy's it.  I went to costco the other day and they were doing their roadshow and i saw the model that they sell specifically for costco members, its the lil texas but adds a storage compartment for 699 with free cover.

    I decided to come home and research since i was sure there were other pellet smokers out there, i wanted to see what options that i had.  I read about a few that I am considering more than the traeger now but I still like the traeger.  Here is what i found:

    Green mountain Grill Daniel Boone -the new model has wifi controller and i think that is pretty awesome.  I live here in Arizona so having the ability to control the grill from inside my house when it is 120 outside is pretty sweet.  I also like the fact with the wifi controller you can set up specific cooking profiles for anything you plan to cook, to me this is a great feature.  It also seems that GMG is more higher quality than Traeger, but I personally have only seen and felt both grills, never used one.

    Blaz'n Grill Works - Grand Slam - This one is made in the USA, and it apparently is higher quality than GMG or Traeger grills.  Their website is pretty lack luster and i cant even see if there are any dealers near my area.  I like some of the features on this grill such as easy empty ash box and the addition of the front tray and inside shelf for no added cost.  Sadly no prices listed for this specific one so i dont even know if it is within my budget.

    it is just me and the fiance, so a smaller grill will work for us.  Our budget is around 800 but will consider going higher for quality and features.  So far my pick is the GMG daniel boone, but is there any others out there i should consider within my budget?  Also what are your all's options on the options I have listed?

  2. icyhot

    icyhot Smoking Fanatic

    try looking at the rec-tec.I just bought one and couldn't be happier.
  3. I have a Jim Bowie and have used it for over three years. I have cooked competitions with it for two of those years. I do catering and church functions. I have never had to fix it other than a new food probe. I am talking about at least a hundred pork butts, fifty briskets and hundreds of chicken pieces. Green Mountain is quality and their service is top notch. I am not a Green Mountain rep or employee, just a fan.
  4. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've had a GMG DB for almost two years & it is an awesome smoker !
  5. dave2521

    dave2521 Newbie

    Local sportmans has GMG Db for 709, good price or try an actuall BBQ grill dealer to see if i can get better or add ons?
  6. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check out the GMG site, they have $50 off the DB til Fathers Day !
  7. loock28

    loock28 Fire Starter

    I have a grand slam and I love it. I scored it used off of craigslist. but new they are I think 1200. I was really looking at getting a gmg db until I found the grand slam. The grand slam is a great cooker and is built like a tank.
  8. macd

    macd Newbie

    I have had a Pitmaster Q3 for over a year  and love it. (Bought it at Sears)  There are mixed reviews here on this unit, but I love mine.  I have baked, grilled , and smoked with it all successfully.   A review on the Q3 was done on pelletheads by bently    http://pelletheads.com/index.php?topic=32438.0  Good luck on your selection.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  9. I have a Cookshack fast eddy PG500. Higher than your budget but it is hands down the best grill that I have ever owned, and can smoke with the best of them.

    There are several units out there that are great smokers and are decent grills, but IMHO you won't get a better 2 in 1 unit than the pg500 (or pg1000)
  10. gomez93

    gomez93 Meat Mopper

    I have a Cookshack PG1000, GMG Davey Crockett and GMG Daniel Boone, my son has a Traeger Texas. Your budget rules out the Cookshack and Yoder models, and I see 2 distinct advantages of the GMG over the Traeger:
    My DB came with the grease tray with holes in it for "direct" heat, the Traeger has a solid drip shield. The grate on his Texas is one piece, my DB has 2 grates. 2 grates lets you remove one and put Grill Grates on that side ;)
  11. pmillen

    pmillen Newbie


    I have a Cookshack Fast Eddy PG-500.  It's the only pellet unit I've ever cooked on or eaten food from.  I bought it after two years of research on various forums.  I love it and am happy that it was the one I chose.  But almost all of the people I correspond with are happy with their choices.  That kind of brand loyalty is human nature. Not many people want to admit to an expensive mistake.

    Here are a few considerations.

    1.  Pellet units have two basic modes—

         (1)  They have a rate of pellet delivery intended to raise the pit's temperature (usually quite a few pellets are dumped into the firepot).

         (2)  They have a rate of pellet delivery intended to keep the fire from going out when the pit is at the temperature setpoint (not many pellets are delivered, think of it as the pilot light).

    2.  The more pellets that are delivered to the firepot the faster a cold pit will reach the desired temperature.

    3.  The more pellets that are delivered to the firepot when trying to reach the desired temperature the more likely that the large pile of pellets that have accumulated will cause the temperature to shoot past the setpoint.

    4.  Here's the most important of these considerations.   The pellets that are smoldering before burning make the smoke.

    5.  Here's the corollary to number four.  The pellet units that have the larger temperature swings make the most smoke.

    6.  Conversely, the pellet units with the tightest temperature control make the least smoke.

    7.  Generally speaking the units that are PID-controlled have the tightest temperature control and make the least smoke.

    8.  Some units allow the user to adjust pellet delivery in the raising temperature and pilot light modes.  I consider them to have the ideal methodology.

    Many users, me included, have determined that intermittent and short-term temperature swings above and below the desired temperature are inconsequential.  Smokers that are accustomed to sitting up all night monitoring their pits' temperatures typically disagree.  These same people are typically accustomed to a rather strong smoke flavor, bordering on if not actually a creosote taste.  As a result, they eschew pellet units.

    Try to locate a dealer that does demonstration cooks on their units.  If you live near Omaha, NE I'll cook something on my PG-500 for you.

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