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GMG vs WSM

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone!  New to the forum, and hoping to tap into the wealth of experience here. 

I've been learning to smoke for about 3 years now on a Masterbuilt Dual Fuel Pro (propane / charcoal). It was a cheap way to get into the hobby and now I'm ready to invest in what I hope will be the last smoker I buy for a good long while. 

 

Running the Materbuilt on charcoal required a lot of tending and at times hovering-over to make sure the temps stayed consistent (and some days that was a fun challenge).  I'm ready to graduate into something that inherently holds its temps better by design. 

 

I've done my homework and know that the WSM is pretty much the way to go for a quality charcoal smoker and I was ready to pull the trigger on one. As I've been doing my reading though, I'm getting more and more intrigued by the cool factor (and not to mention convenience) of pellet grills, particularly the GMG Daniel Boone.

 

So for those of you that have used both:  Is there a clear advantage of one over the other, or is it more a matter of taste?  Do you miss out flavor-wise on a pellet smoker due to lack of charcoal?  

post #2 of 15

I have not used a gmg but I have a pellet grill and they are so nice to set it and forget it. I also have a wsm and those smokers are great as well. You can get more smoke flavor off of a wsm I would say but I haven't had an issue with the flavor of the food I make on my pellet grill. I would say the only advantages of a wsm is no electronics to break or get wet. also as long as you don't drop your lid or  knock it over the wsm will last forever and they are rock steady on temp once its setup and you get to "tend" to the fire a bit. with my pellet gril I just turn it on and let it go. I don't think I was much help but I will tell you I think either choose you got a winner

post #3 of 15
Hello SmokeyJoe...first off welcome to SMF!

I've cooked on both charcoal smokers and pellet cookers, and you are looking at 2 fine units. Agree with what loock28 said about both pellet grills and WSMs.

It really depends on what your personal tastes are. If you want a heavier smoke flavor in your food and you like poking the fire occasionally, then you should get a WSM. Many happy WSM owners around these forums...they're great rigs. If you want the convenience of pushing a button and you like the more subtle smoke flavor that you'll get from pellet cooking, then go with the GMG..

Good luck...and let us know what you decide to get! icon14.gif

Red
post #4 of 15

I've got a regular grill in the arsenal and a Smokin' It electric and then I could not resist the call of the pellets. After seeing the GMG's up close at a feed store I decided to go with a Char Griller pellet pusher from Lowes at about half the cost (when I got mine last year) for $450 and IMO better built, heavier and bigger cooking surface. The WSM is a great product and I see guys on PitMasters using them so you know legit. I wanted 'set & forget' kinda sorta but a more 'pit like' unit. I can lift the lid on the CG to peek at the action or chow color and it recovers quite quickly. So, you have a big decision to make...lol. However, any unit you buy now will not be your last but part of your collection. No one tool does the job and we do like gizmos here....HTH, Willie

http://www.lowes.com/pd_411019-49769-9020_0__?storeNumber=1600&Ntt=char+griller&selectedLocalStoreBeanArray=[com.lowes.commerce.storelocator.beans.LocatorStoreBean%405b405b4]&pl=1&productId=4437209&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dchar%2Bgriller

post #5 of 15
WSM all the way they work great!
post #6 of 15
You have some great info so far... I have both a GMG DB & 18.5 WSM. I like them both, but the GMG has become my go to recently ! I think you'd be happy with either !
post #7 of 15

I have both and they both have they both have their pro’s and con’s .  However what others haven’t mentioned is if you want automation on a WSM you can get a controller and blower.  I own the stoker version from rock’s bbq and it basically gives you the same set it and forget that the GMG has.  You simply stack your charcoal and wood in the bottom of the WSM, setup the controller to the temp you like and then turn it on.  It will maintain temps for several hours and usually keeps temps withing +/- 5 degres.

 

You do get more “smoke” flavor from a WSM as you have the flexibility to add in wood chunks, but I also can add more smoke to my GMG with an AMAZE-N tube and a handful of pellets.  What I really like about my GMG is I can get it setup and going in 5 minutes and with my fire bricks and heavy cast iron searing grate I can also sear things like tuna to perfection.  Something very hard to do on a WSM. 

 

 

 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the prompt and very informative replies. I knew this decision wouldn't be easy, and I appreciate all the input.

I love smoking and there are days where nothing makes me happier than sitting and tending to the thing all day long. My wife and I are expecting our first baby this December, so I think my available free time is going to shrink considerably. That's why the precision temp controls on a pellet cooker appealed to me so much. LGHT makes a great point about the Stoker though, something I hadn't considered (and coupled with an 18.5" WSM about the same cost as the GMG).

I've got a Weber Genesis, so I'm not terribly concerned about the grilling or searing functions of the GMG. Am I missig the point here then: is the GMG a grill that can smoke, or is it a solid choice for a dedicated smoker?

Another novice question for the pellet guys: many recipes call for stopping the smoke after a few hours but continuing to cook the meat. (3-2-1 ribs come to mind). On a charcoal cooker I would just take the wood out. Is there a way to "stop" smoke on a pellet grill? Or is the smoke that subtle overall that it doesn't matter?

Thank you all for the great responses, and your patience with some of my questions!
post #9 of 15

in my wsm I just stop adding wood when I am done adding smoke flavor. on various pellet grills they have a smoke setting which is a low temp with higher smoke output. but there will always a little bit of smoke but not enough to overpower your food. I would say that pellet grills are more on the end of a great smoker and a ok grill. I use my pellet grill about 90% of the time as a smoker and the other times as a grill. I also have a weber charcoal kettle so grilling was not my main reason for the pellet grill but I have heard that the addition of grill grates can make pellet grills very good at being a grill and know quite a few people that just own a pellet grill and can make great steaks and various other "grilled" items.

post #10 of 15

I personally have never used a pellet smoker, but i do have the 14.5 WSM and if it wasn't so expensive i would have a 22.5 as well and may have one in the future. I am a huge fan of charcoal cooking, smoking, grilling, dutch ovens, and so on but as Chef Willie said "no one tool does the job" i am always looking for a new smoker or smoking gadget. So the point is its all about what you want. Their is a bunch of great units of all shapes & sizes with a variety of fuel sources.

post #11 of 15

Looks like you got some good info

 

Gar

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyJoeNJ View Post

Thank you all for the prompt and very informative replies. I knew this decision wouldn't be easy, and I appreciate all the input.

I love smoking and there are days where nothing makes me happier than sitting and tending to the thing all day long. My wife and I are expecting our first baby this December, so I think my available free time is going to shrink considerably. That's why the precision temp controls on a pellet cooker appealed to me so much. LGHT makes a great point about the Stoker though, something I hadn't considered (and coupled with an 18.5" WSM about the same cost as the GMG).

I've got a Weber Genesis, so I'm not terribly concerned about the grilling or searing functions of the GMG. Am I missig the point here then: is the GMG a grill that can smoke, or is it a solid choice for a dedicated smoker?

Another novice question for the pellet guys: many recipes call for stopping the smoke after a few hours but continuing to cook the meat. (3-2-1 ribs come to mind). On a charcoal cooker I would just take the wood out. Is there a way to "stop" smoke on a pellet grill? Or is the smoke that subtle overall that it doesn't matter?

Thank you all for the great responses, and your patience with some of my questions!

 

If you have a little one on the way go with the GMG.  My first just turned 7 months and being able to turn on the smoker and just walk away is a huge plus.  Although it's not hard setting up a WSM it's a matter of quick and easy setup and cleanup.  The GMG I spent 10 seconds turning it on and 1 minute after the cook to clean the grates and vacuum out the ashes.  Although the WSM doesn't take long it's about a 10-15 min setup breakdown process because you do have to connect the stoker, turn on the laptop, arrange the coals / wood, fill the water pan etc. 

 

As far as the stopping the "smoke" it really doesn't matter.  Once meat reaches a certain temp it won't take on any smoke anyway.  This is way most seasoned cooks put the meat on very cold.  This allows the meat to take on more "smoke" flavor.  One thing I also do on the GMG is cook my big meats at a lower temp for an hour or 2 first before turning up the temp.  This way the meat takes longer to cook and takes on more smoke.  The last brisket I cooked I let it smoke at 150 for 2 hours using a mix of apple and peach wood before turning it up to 350 and finishing it off on oak.  Keep in mind the hotter you go the faster you will burn through pellets.  Also fruit wood isn't as dense as oak so after your done with the "smoke" phase of the cook don't waste your fruit wood pellets.  Just use hard wood instead like oak that burns hotter and slower and will save you $$$ over time. 

post #13 of 15
I like a naturally aspirated WSM. Nothing to plug in. Just load it up, set the vents and let it go. No poking, no prodding, no problem.
post #14 of 15
A WSM is a great SMOKER, I have 3 of them.
Pellet grills are more convenient and versatile; one can smoke, or grill, or bake, or....
As has been mentioned, they are all tools. Sometimes I use what will work the best and sometimes I pick what I cook on just because I want to use it that day.
post #15 of 15
I wouldn't let the fooling around trying to get the temperature right with a WSM discourage you once you have it running where you want it that thing just chugs along. What I find may be beneficial in the pellet smoker is the start up time it usually takes my WSM half hour to a hour waiting on the coals to warm up and white smoke disappear during that time I get my temperature set right where I'd like it +/- 5° I just did a turkey and that thing sat at 325°-330° for 6 hours with not adjustments at all. Best of all I loaded it up with 20lb of charcoal and only burnt through about a quarter of it so I have plenty for next smoke. Obviously as weather changes or something like that more adjustment would be needed but I have a small kid and I wouldn't say it takes away anytime with her messing with the smoker.
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