Originally Posted by SeenRed
My pellet burner is a Rec Tec, and I have to say that I disagree with those who say you can't get good smoke in a pellet pooper. At low and slow smoking temps (from 180* to 250*), which is where I do most of my smoking, my Rec Tec makes plenty of good smoke. It is true that if you run it at hotter temps (say 300* and above), it doesn't produce a lot of smoke. For that reason, I do keep an AMNTS to add extra smoke flavor to foods. What I like best about the my pit is its versatility. I can slow smoke a perfect brisket at 225* for 20 hours with a temp variation of less than 5 degrees; or I can put the sear kit in there and crank the temp up to 500* to grill a steak to perfection.
I used to cook on an electric smoker (MES40), and liked it a lot...but its hard to beat the flavor you get from cooking food in a wood fired pit. That being said, there are lots of members here who use those Smokin It rigs. I've seen lots of very positive reviews. If you're having trouble getting the temp above 180*, you might want to get in touch with their customer service...I'm sure it should be getting hotter than that, and if its not they should do whatever it takes to help you make it right.
SeenRed has hit it spot on: the higher the temp desired, the less smoke a pellet pooper will produce. They burn really clean at high temps. Although, at the normal smoking temp of 225, Reefer Madness produces a very nice quantity, and quality, of smoke. I generally use 100% hickory pellets and do occasionally supplement with an AMNPS burning 100% hickory as well. Either way, the flavor is great...........not overpoweringly smoky, just right, if you ask me, especially the next day after the flavors meld. AND, if a smoke ring is important to you, which it is to me, a pellet pooper is going to give you that. So far, I am very happy with my reefer conversion. It's the best of both worlds; you are technically burning wood and it is a "set it and forget it" type of set-up. I have been doing all night smokes and I get to sleep, and I like to sleep, lets just establish that right now. I will be doing 2 pork butts this labor day weekend along with 3 to 6 racks of BBs.........CAN"T WAIT!!! As I have been using the smoker more and more, it is developing a beautiful seasoning on the interior, and, in my opinion, that seasoning is imparting it's own character on the food that is being cooked in there. Is that something and electric can do? I don't know, maybe I'm nuts, but that is what I think. I love the smell the thing gives off, even when it is not running!! It's like crack (I'm guessing).