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Traeger Lil Tex vs. Brinkmann pellet smoker

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Know about Traegers reputation, has anyone used the Brinkmann from Home Depot ? Its $200 cheaper and seems quite similar. Any advice ? Worth the chance ?


post #2 of 21

I am not sure about either of these pellet grills I cannot speak for them.  However,  I own a Green Mountain Grill and I absolutely love it! As with all things you get what you pay for!  I can highly recommend Green Mountain Grills.  I have been putting out some tremendous food off of this baby!  I would highly reccomend that you do yourself a favor and look into them if you are thinking of purchasing a pellet grill!

post #3 of 21

First off...I don't own a pellet smoker.  What follows is my unqualified opinion:


It does look similar.  However, the Brinkman name does not bring quality to mind.  This could be another cheap knock off.   Basically, they use inferior components or metal that looks the same but does not last nor act the same as their more expensive competitors.  This is why Brinkman is branded "ECB" meaning "El Cheapo Brinkman."


If initial budget is the number one issue then consideration should be given to Brinkman, but if life time cost is considered you may want to shop around.

Edited by Bama BBQ - 8/30/12 at 5:22am
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Ryan and Bama. I'm looking at GMGnow as well ? Ryan, any isuues with your's?

post #5 of 21

I have had no issues with the GMG  It has been very easy to use and it controls the temperature very well, produces a great smoke!  I honesty think it is the easiest smoker that I have ever used.  You just set the temp and make sure the pellet hopper is filled...It truly is just that easy to use.  The grill is great.  I cannot speak for their customer service yet because I have not had to use it yet, but from what I have seen their customer service is excellent based on what I have seen on other forums.  It is without a doubt a fun grill to use!

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Ryan do you use any other pellets than Green Mountain ?

post #7 of 21

Traeger Pellet Grills are made in China, as well as Green Mountain Grills & Brinkman

The similarities kinda stop there!


IMHO...GMG has a higher quality controller and better quality control over production

For the few extra bucks, the GMG is a better buy


The Brinkman is poor quality at best, and may even sour you on using a pellet grill

The Traeger is good enough quality to get started, but will leave you wanting more features


I own a Traeger Texas(Clone) and immediately upgraded the controller & installed a rope seal on the lid.

It gets the job done, and I do not expect it to last forever


Lots of guys are disappointed at the lack of smoke flavor in their food.

Pellet Grills Do Not smoke like a traditional stick burner.  As the pellets burn more efficiently, to produce heat, the produce less smoke.  It's just the nature of the beast




No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Todd

post #9 of 21

Yes I have used the Uncle Jeds pellets made by Earth Sense Energy Systems in Dale, Wisconsin.  They are a large Green Mountain Grill dealer here in northeastern Wisconsin.  I have used their mesquite, hickory, and apple pellets and they are all wonderful.  I have also used the Green Mountain pellets too.  So far out of all the pellets that I have used I enjoy the apple pellets the most.  They make a wonderful ham, are very excellent for smoking salmon and chicken too.

post #10 of 21


Where do you live?
I may know of a dealer near you that stocks the same pellets I sell

No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm in Cambridge, Ontario. Unfortunately the only pellet in abundance up here is Traeger. Not really sure of others.

post #12 of 21

Yup, Traeger

Have you looked for BBQrs Delight?

Shipping pellets from the States is crazy expensive


Do you ever get to the boarder?




No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

Todd, I actually dont have a pellet smoker yet. I have a cheap offset and made up my mind to get a pellet grill a while ago. Traeger is pretty well the only grill in abundance up here. I was looking at them but a Lil tex Elite is a $1000 in Ontario. My son is in a hockey tourney in Michigan in Oct so I started checking prices in the US. The same Traeger is only $650 !! The more I researched the forums though,the less inclined I was to buy Traeger, and the better GMG looked. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a GMG DB, and the dealer I've talked to sells the 28lb GMG pellets for $15. So I guess I'd be smart to fill my van with those. 

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

Todd, sorry I just thought of this after I sent the reply. In your opinion, is it worthwhile to upgrade to the DBR, with the remote control from the basic DB ? Anyone with experience between the two ?

post #15 of 21



The GMG pellets are oak based, says so on the website.  The ones Todd sells are 100% whatever he says they are.  I don't know if it matters much when burning them vs. using them to make smoke.  Todd probably has some more insight on that subject.




My brother InLaw from Wisconsin owns a  GMG grill.  Do you know if any of your wonderful products will produce smoke inside the grill?





post #16 of 21



I can give Todd's pellets a big recommendation.  Nothing like using 100% pellets.  I own a Yoder YS 640 and have used Todd's new Tubular product with GREAT results.  Don't see any reason it wouldn't work in the GMG.



post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Don.

Todd, do you know off hand the best store to buy the pellets you recommend in Michigan.



post #18 of 21

I bought a Brinkmann Grill and so far have done ribs, chicken, and a pork roast.  The results were outstanding, especially the ribs and roast.  The unit is well built and came with a digital temperature control.  I love it.

post #19 of 21
I've gotba Traeger Lil Tex Elite and have had pretty good success with it on my smokes. Only been doing this for a few months and the "elite" came with the digital temp gauge which is nice.

I've heard some say the temp settings are off and I think they haven't read the manual. For Traegers it says to put to smoke and let it run on smoke for 4 minutes before dialing to the proper temp, and then you're suppose to wait 10 min for the auger to stabilize before putting your meat on.

I did have a slight spike in temps, the customer support was great and they helped me adjust the "P-Setting" on the grill and now I'm good to go.

Overall I think any of the ones you mentioned are good starter grills. I would like to upgrade to a different one maybe, but not in the near future. Still learning the tricks of the trade and a Traeger is a great way to do it!
post #20 of 21

Your "P" setting will change as the weather changes




No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

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