Following a visit to The American BBQ Company in Hemmel Hempstead to look at some Fast Eddy smokers they had a little GMG Davy Crockett in the foyer and it looked so cute that I had to buy it. Here are my first impressions of unpacking and using the smoker.
On opening the box most of the smoker was already assembled and ready to go. The only assembly I had to do was attach the handle to the outside of the lid and to bolt on the flue. The quality of manufacture was obvious right from the start and they even supply a gasket for the flue joint. Within just a few minutes the smoker was assembled and ready to go.
The Davy Crockett is designed to be portable and the legs fold round and become carrying handles on top. It took a while to get the knack of getting these to lock into place for use but in the end I found that all you had to do was pick up the body of the unit and the legs just dropped down and locked.
Once assembled it was taken down the garden ready for its first seasoning burn. The Davy Crockett runs on a 12v supply and is supplied with a long car lighter connecting lead but if you want to use the mains supply is also comes with a 120/240v transformer. It is also supplied with crocodile clips if you want to connect it directly to a car battery.
Once in place and plugged in you simply pour the pellets into the pellet hopper. I had previously downloaded the GMG App onto my Samsung Android tablet so I opened my WiFi settings and immediately saw that the GMG WiFi network was available. I connected to it and started the App and hey-presto we were connected. I did take a few photos of the App but the glare from the screen made then hard to see so I have not included them. Other than the setup screen there are really only two important screens - the Home screen (where you can manage the smoker in real time) - and the Profiles screen where you can configure your own smoking temperature profiles. Because the unit comes with a meat probe you can program both to time and also to specific internal meat temperatures.
Increase the temperature in the App and press submit - and within 2 or 3 seconds you hear the pellet auger whir and the fan kick in
On the first day I just played setting smoker temperatures. I set a profile to simply increase the temperature in 50 F Degree steps over about 4 hours until it was finally running at 450 F. I then reduced the temperature in stages. The unit appeared to be quick to respond and seemed to maintain the set temperatures well.
The next day (yesterday) was its first introduction to food, I had a 4.9 Kg (10.8 Pound) pork shoulder ready to go in. I wanted to see how well the unit performed so i weighed the pellets in order to measure the pellet usage and also connected my data logger during the smoke. As this was my first cook in this smoker I decided to follow the cooking recommendations for Pulled Pork on the GMG site. This recommended initially having the smoker set to 380 F and sear the joint on both sides and then drop the temperature to 215 F for the remainder of the smoke.
10:35 - Smoker started
10:50 - Already up to 380 F
10:55 - Pork joint placed in smoker
11:25 - Joint turned after 30 minutes
11:55 - Temperature reduced to 215 F. This was achieved within 15 minutes
The joint after it had been seared. It looks high tech as I have both my data logger and my Maverick ET-732 plugged in as well as the smokers internal meat probe. During the initial sear the logger probe was just resting on top of the meat and was only inserted once the temperature of the smoker had been reduced for the main cook.
At about 12:45 (whilst I was out shopping) I hit my first problem. It appeared that the pellets had not fallen evenly in the pellet hopper as the auger was feeding them into the fire pot. This resulted in a pellet void forming in the hopper resulting in the auger being unable to feed pellets. A gentle stir of the pellets caused this void to collapse and the pellets then began to feed again. It looks as if it will be good to agitate the pellet hopper every couple of hours in order to keep them flowing.
19:40 - Joint wrapped in foil
22:00 - Joint removed from smoker
No photos were taken as the joint was removed but it is now pulled and in the fridge ready for guests this afternoon. I will post a photo before it is served.
Smoker temperature profile - Dark line = meat probe; Light line = smoker chamber probe.
You can see that at the beginning the temperature was stt to 380 F and the chamber remained fairly steady, cycling between 364 F and 404 F. The meat probe at this point was not inserted into the meat.
At (1) the temperature setting was reduced and the temperature dropped.
Between (2) and (3) was where the pellet void had formed. The temperature was reset at (3)
At (4) the joint was foiled and the meat probe momentarily removed.
Over the 11.5 hour cook the smoker burned 3.654 Kg (8 pounds) of pellets.In the UK these work out at about 85p per pond for Hickory. Total cost of pellets for the smoke was £6.73 = 59p per hour.
My overall opinion of the Davy Crockett pellet smoker is very favourable. With very little monitoring the smoker did what it it was supposed to do. Configuration was simple and the set temperature was maintained for the full duration of the smoke.
Would I recommend it to others? That is a "Yes" if you want a small unit for those no-fuss ad-hoc smokes.