Well, I was super excited when my new Cabelas Magnum Pellet Grill arrived last week. It is made by Camp Chef, and has some really nice features!
It went together in about an hour and a half. Easy peasy, and everything was packaged nicely inside.
The thing is GIANT which is precisely why I bought it. Looks like i should easily be able to get a dozen butts in at once or maybe 9 butts and 2 racks of ribs.....anyway
I know one of the common complaints is a lack of a smokey flavor with ANY pellet grill, but i did not think that would be a problem, as i don't like my meat as smokey as some.
My first cook on the first night was a 10 lb. picnic because it was on sale. The second night was a butt i pulled out from the freezer.
This is was what i noticed on the meat (and I am coming from a MES 30 for years now):
- I cooked for the first several hours on the "High Smoke" setting, and it was producing quite a bit of smoke, and after that I cooked the picnic on 225 and the butt on 250.. When i tried the meat, it has ZERO smoke flavor! (I used the Cookn Pellets hickory/apple/maple/cherry blend. I also used some of Todds Competition blend on the butt...i don't remember the exact names..you know the ones i am referring to). Both seemed about the same.
- I pulled it around 197, wrapped and rested for an hour as usual.The meat seemed juicy but it was not nearly as tender as what i am used to from a MES. With butts I have made for years on the MES, the meat can easily be "squished" into pulled pork with just basically grabbing a handful and moving it around. With both pieces of meat off this pellet grill, not the case. The meat seemed to be a little tougher than what i am used to. Is this common from a pellet burner? Is this because there is no retention of moisture like there is in the enclosed cabinet of the MES?? Can I add a water pan in here??
- This grill took almost 14 hours to cook both pieces of meat!!! Holy cow!!! I am NOT used to that! Typically it takes about 10 hours MAX in my MES.
- Seems like the first smoke went through quite a bit of pellets....maybe about 15 lbs I would guess. The second took considerably less. Not sure why, as my second smoke was at a slightly higher temp.
- Looks like 40 degree plus temp swings are the norm. I think i can live with that. I noticed on the upswing, there is no smoke. On the downswing, there's plenty of smoke at the bottom of temps.
I am a little concerned about what I perceive as a "quality" issue with the meat that has come off the grill. Am I being too hard on the expectations for this great piece of equipment??
Does this sound common for those of you that use pellet grills often??
Will this thing break in and start to develop a "flavor" from the seasoned grill like other smokers that are well-seasoned? Will it add some smoke flavor at all, or is this a lost cause???
Any insight to pellet grills is helpful and i thank you in advance!
Oh and BTW, yes, I tried using my AMAZN in there too, and couldnt keep it lit (which has always been a problem for me even in the MES).