If anyone has any input on pellet grills in general I'd appreciate it. This isn't another "what should I buy" but more along the lines of what to expect.
Background - I've been using a Weber gasser and a standalone smoker (WSM & propane). I'd like to combine the two as well as get a bit more room. I grill on average about 4 times a week, often everyday of the week. I smoke maybe twice a month (though it might go up).
What I really like about the Weber grill is reliability - mine was purchased in 1997.............it's likely cooked over 3000 meals. The frame is indestructible as is the shell itself. The bottom is aluminum & the enameled top is impervious to almost everything. Those parts that do wear out (burners, grates, ignitor, etc) are easy to replace - getting parts is a snap.
So most of the pellet grills I see the shell is steel, often painted or stainless. How long will that last? I never use a cover, it's impractical in my world. Every single cover I've had has ripped - they get stiff in the winter & they're done. I figure stainless will last a long time but the painted/coated ones?
Biggest issue for me is the internals - okay, I know I can replace the control (SS II or the like), fan? Seems easy........motor? auger? Hot rods? Is it easy to get generic replacements? Meaning most, if not all of these companies are small operations = how long will they be around? (not wishing them anything but success) Okay I buy XYZ brand & need a new auger in 8 years? I've read enough to know the hot rod is the highest failure item......are they all the same?
That brings me to specific flaws in each one I like -
Fast Eddy/Cookshack - currently @ or near the top of my list. The charbroiler makes this one near perfect for me. It is on the smaller side and it's expensive (I ain't in the $2,500+ for a grill league). I also do not like the cast iron grates on the charbroiler. I've spent years with them, they fail - period. On a grill they suck, every time you heat them up you "dry" them out = constant re-season or they rust & crack. I do like it's versatility & construction.
Blaz'n Grill - currently @ number two. Looking at the Grid Iron. Like the overall build quality & the price. Also has a great deal of room. Plan is to leave the direct grill option in place full time (gives me enough room for our normal indirect stuff). The only faults I can find are the lack of a pellet dump & the custom auger. Pellet dump is a no biggie but the custom built auger? What if they're gone on 5 years? I'm guess it's the not likely to fail - more the motor than a coiled bar of steel.
Most of the others I've seen don't have a direct grill option & those that do like Yoder are getting up there in price (a Yoder with the options I want is $1,500).
Long winded I know but I just don't have the comfort level I do with a gasser - the parts issue is my main concern (whatever the brand). If I can get the parts I'll be okay.............a huge advantage has been my Weber, I've replaced most of the internals with a simple mouse click.
Any input would be greatly appreciated..............maybe I can stop the endless days of surfing for info
(I don't post a lot but so far I'm @ maverick.....check....amazen......check......camp chef.....check - all from here)