Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ
This caught my eye as I am considering Pellet Poopers and am looking for reviews from folks I know and trust...JJ
JJ, my initial review is very good. I've been cooking on it for about 6 weeks, and I'm loving it. It is very versatile...I've done low and slow at 225* for as long as 9 hours, and high temp grilling at 500*. I had heard that pellet poopers don't make enough smoke, but with the Rec Tec that hasn't been an issue...at temps of 250 and below it makes plenty of smoke, and Todd's tube smokers work great in it for extra smoke or an added flavor smoke. Everything I've cooked on it so far has gotten rave reviews from my family as some of the best food I've ever turned out.
The biggest challenge I've had so far is the availability and cost of cooking pellets. My pit is burning an average rate of around 1.5 lbs. of pellets per hour (depending on cook temps and ambient conditions...obviously burns significantly more pellets at grilling temps). Premium cooking pellets (BBQrs Delight, Lumberjack, etc.) are not readily available in my area without online ordering, which brings shipping costs into play. The least expensive I could have pellets shipped to me was over a dollar per lb., unless I ordered bulk quantities (which I don't really have room for). I have found some cheaper pellets at a nearby Academy for .50 per lb., and they are working out nicely. As long as you can find decent, affordable pellets in your area, I don't think there are any down sides to these rigs.
My pre-purchase research led me to believe that one of the most important considerations in shopping for and buying a pellet smoker is the temperature controller. On my Rec Tec, temperature control is as easy as pushing a button. I can set it at temps from 180-500*, and the computer controller will maintain that set temp within + - 5 degrees for as long as I want it to. There are some pellet pits on the market whose temp controllers can't claim that, but of the pits I compared, Rec Tec, Yoder, Blazin Grills, and Green Mountain Grills are all said to have very good temp controllers.
If you get serious about buying one, just ask and I'll try to answer any specific concern or question you have.