pellet vs kamado

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by raptorchris, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. A year ago I bought my 1st grill for smoking, an Acorn Kamado Kooker. I am happy with my results, but I need more space. I'm torn between a larker kamado like a Big Joe or Primo Oval XL or going the pellet grill route. If it's a pellet, I'm torn between the Rec Tec and a Yoder YS640. Kamados are certainly more versatile, but the pellets are larger and easier. Anyone have experience with both?
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    I've never used a kamado, so I can't help you there, but I do own a Rec Tec and really like it a lot. Its more versatile than many give it credit for slow smokes to perfection, and can also grill delicious steaks and burgers. Easy, consistent temp control is what first drew me to pellet burners, and my Rec Tec does that better than any other rig I've used. I've never been sorry I made this purchase. I know we have Yoder YS owners who feel the same way about their pits.

  3. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Have a Yoder YS640, a XL BGE and a Large BGE.

    The Yoder is good for just about anything and has plenty of room, it is at it's best for being a top notch steak searing machine.

    BGE's are phenomenal and honestly great for just about anything.

    I have heard many of good compliments from Akorn owners but have never eaten off one myself.
  4. MossyMo, what are your thoughts when comparing them all? Which one is your go to grill? Do you find you use each one for different cooks? How much more space do you have on the YS640 vs the XL BGE? How much more pellets do you go through on the Yoder vs lump coal on the BGEs? At 1 1/2+ lbs per hour on the Yoder, thats 18 lbs of pellets on a 12 hour overnight smoke vs my Akorn will only use maybe 5lbs of lump charcoal for the same cook? That's almost a full $20 bag of pellets vs 1/4 of a $13 bag of lump charcoal. $20 per cook vs $3.25 per cook is a big difference. Is that accurate? How about flavor. Some say pellet grills don't give enough of a smoke flavor. Others say it's just right without being over smoked. How does the pellwt compare to the BGEs? Sorry for soo many questions, but you having both are the perfect person to ask.
  5. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is from owning the Yoder 2 years and Big Green Eggs less than 6 months, but my wife and I do cook more often than most off each.

    Steaks - Yoder
    Ribs - Big Green Egg
    Pizza - Big Green Egg (but I haven't even tried in the Yoder, too dang good in the BGE)

    With that said, I wouldn't hesitate to cook just about anything on either one.
    I like searing steaks around 550º where controlling internal meat temp is much more manageable (for me). Yoder's high temp is 600º plus, BGE's are well over 800º. Other option I like is a Yoder will hold a temp as low as 150º which is great for smoking the steak an hour before doing a reverse sear to the steak.
    With ribs I feel I get a better looking finish product that is moister with the Big Green Egg. I attribute this to the the fans in Yoder drying the product more than the Big Green Egg will.
    If I had to pick just one it would be difficult as I really like them both.

    Yoder YS640 with 2nd rack - 1070 square inches of cooking area
    XL Big Green Egg - 672 square inches of cooking area
    Large Big Green Egg - 452 square inches of cooking area
    I can not find the size of the cooking area added to the BGE's using their tiered rack systems available. But I know comparing them to the Yoder YS640 they will not compare when cooking multi-large pieces of meat or racks of ribs.

    Fuel efficiency Big Green Egg excels compare to pellet grills. The large BGE is much more efficient compared to the XL Big Green Egg. Our Yoder isn't terrible but I have never really calculated how much it uses to guess very accurately... but don't choose the grill over fuel consumption, pick which will suit your needs best. If you are picking out a good quality pellet grill for fuel efficiency I would look at a MAK 2 Star, great grill but I would prefer a Yoder YS640 over it because of build quality, cooking temp ranges and I truly believe in the value in a Yoder.

    Flavor is tough to describe as both are good but there is a difference. We can cook on the BGE's for a while and tell ourselves it is so much better, but the nest time we use the Yoder we taste the difference we didn't realize we were missing with a pellet grill. Lump charcoal cooks vs. wood pellet cooks really reminds me of Ford vs. Chevy debate - if you owned alike of each that were newer and under warranty it might be difficult to pick which you like the most, but it seems if you own just one of them it is not difficult to say which you think is better!

    Any other questions I can help with just ask... look forward to hearing your decision as their really is too many other great choices out there beyond what has been mentioned.
  6. gomez93

    gomez93 Meat Mopper

    I have to disagree with this.
    I have a Big Steel Keg (same size as a large BGE) and a Cookshack FEPG1000. I have yet to find anything I can't cook on the pellet grill. While the BSK would be my go-to grill if the grid goes down, I don't think the pellet grills can be beat for all-around performance.
    As for smoke taste from pellets, different brands and flavors of pellets will make a difference, as does the temperature you are cooking at. Pellets smoke more at lower temps and burn very clean at high temps.
    Just to throw another thought in there, have you considered a 22" WSM or UDS if you're looking at smoking?
    A Weber grill is also a great tool
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  7. Don't let pellet cost influence your decision, pick the grill that gives you the most flexibility, and is best at what you like cooking. If you decide on the pellet grill, just plan on buying them in bulk. If you buy about 500 lbs, you can get them for around .20 cents a pound. It sounds like a lot of pellets, but on long cooks you'll go through some! 
  8. Question please.  How much Charcoal do you put in a Large BGE for a Brisket and how do you maintain a 275 degrees temperatures for several hours.  Do you add charcoal in between? Thank you.
  9. rogerwilco

    rogerwilco Meat Mopper

     For a long brisket cook, the BGE need only be filled up. The temperature can be set as desired. The quantity of charcoal only affects how long the cooker will hold that temp; it doesn't affect the temperature itself. As long as there is sufficient lump for the duration of the cook, no refilling will be required. Plus, the leftover lump can be reused on the next cook.

     It's like putting gasoline into a vehicle: if the accelerator is pushed down enough to allow traveling at 40mph, it matters not whether the gas tank has four gallons of fuel, or has twenty-three gallons. The only thing that changes is how long the vehicle will travel before exhausting the fuel in the tank. Load up as much lump as you please, for it will not increase the temperature. Temperature is governed by how much oxygen is available to the fuel, which is controlled by the vents.
    rashcar likes this.
  10. Thank you RogerWilco. Great way of explaining.

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