Pros - Great Grill for a new to smoking person the ease of use is awesome
Cons - None I have found so far
Being new to smoking(I know took me long enough) I find the ease of use to be awesome. I just set temp. insert meat probe and smoke away. I highly recommend the Daniel Boone as it has plenty of room to smoke more then one item at a time. In 2 weeks I have gotten addicted already smoked 2 Chickens 2 hams 9# turkey breast and 3 blocks of cheese. So far the Turkey Breast turned out my best s
I've had my Daniel Boone for 3 years or so. Smoked countless briskets, pork butts, turkey, tri tip, prime ribs, summer sausage, pepperoni, brats, jerky, fish....the list goes on and on. Always has given me excellent results. I don't even use my old gas bbq anymore. I liked this smoker so much I went out and bought the Davey Crockett so I could use it while camping. When i was getting ready to buy, I had my heart set on a Treager because of the name, but a friend of mine had a Green Mountain and said I should go with a GMG - so I did and don't regret it one bit. I modified mine by installing 3 stainless steel rods inside towards the top the smoker so I can hang jerky and summer sausages. Works Great. I didn't buy the Wi-Fi grill as i already bought a wi-fi thermometer that works great for 35 bucks.
Pros - Good on the wallet, makes good BBQ when it works, great customer service, many options and upgrades, and nice size cooking area
Cons - Cheaply made (parts made in China), unreliable, poor temp controls - needed constant tinkering to obtain desired temp
I purchased my Jim Bowie non-wifi unit approximately 30 days ago. I was so elated when I picked it up from the dealer. It took my wife and I about 20 minutes to assemble it. Burn in was smooth and easy but then the problems began...
I purchased 2 oven therms and I already had a ChefAlarm grate probe so I immediately started testing the pit. Learned like most other owners left side is cooler than right side. For mine it was anywhere from 25 - 100 degrees difference across the grate. More importantly, the temp on the digital control never matched the actual temp at the grate. It was always off anywhere from 50 - 100 degrees. So I had to dial in a higher number to get the actual desired temp I needed; i.e. I want to smoke meat at 225 I would have to set the digital control to 300. I ended up buying one of the downdraft mods hoping it would cure my temp issues. It did somewhat but my temps were never accurate. I always had to tinker with the heat shield, vent on the down draft mod, digital control, etc to get things dialed in. Once I did, then the JB did a pretty decent job of holding the desired temp through the entire smoke. Also, don't rely on the standard meat probe. Mine was always off by 5 - 20 degree so I ended up never using it.
Later on I discovered via GMG customer service my unit was shipped with the wrong heat shield. I thought for sure once I got the replacement my temps would be more spot on. No such luck. I still had to tinker and the digital controller temp never was accurate with the actual grate temp. If i didn't have those oven therms and CheftAlarm grate probe all of my cooks would have come out poorly. Either underdone or overcooked.
Moving forward, so this past Thursday I am getting ready to have a great BBQ/grilling weekend on the JB. It's Veteran's Day weekend and I got all kinds of goodies in our extra freezer just waiting to get on the JB. Wife and I hit up Costco the weekend before in preparation for this weekend. Chicken wings, pork butt, salmon, steaks and a brisket flat. None of it got cooked.
I start up my JB to smoke chicken wings for Thursday night supper. While in mode 1, I hear this metal grinding noise and then a pop. I let the JB finish its start-up mode but the temp never goes past 111. I had dialed in 310 because I wanted my wings to be smoked at 275. So I go through the shutdown process, remove everything in the pit to get to the firepot. Notice right away there's no pellets in the firepot so I restart. This time the auger, auger motor and fan don't even turn on. Make a long story short, 45 minutes later after most of the smoker is un-assembled and I'm on the phone with GMG customer service, I am told my unit experienced a "catastrophic failure." A completely new auger system will have to be shipped out to me. And just to be clear, there was no jam in the auger tube or bent auger. My shear pin was still in and very much intact. Good news, my JB is under warranty (remember I just got it 30 days ago) so I don't have to pay a dime, bad news all that food I was going to BBQ/Grill for friends and family is gone out the window. What made me more unhappy was this same day, I made my final payment for the JB so she was officially mine. So for the 3 day holiday weekend, I got to look on my patio at almost $1k, worth of metal just sit there and do nothing.
As far as GMG's customer service, they are top notch so I have no complaints here. The GMG rep felt bad so he threw in the wi-fi panel for free which is normally a $200, upgrade. However, I do believe if GMG had poor customer service they would have been out of business a long time ago. Can't sell cheap products along with poor service and expect to survive.
So to sum up my experience with GMG, customer service is great but their products are cheap and unreliable; GMG's JB unit did not meet or exceed my expectations as a consumer. I still have another 3 days for parts to arrive, then it will be 1-2 days before I can actually install the new auger system which also means I have to do the labor on it. After I get it up and running, it will be sold. I've already purchased a new unit from a very respectable 100%manufactured in USA company. Of course this new pellet smoker cost more than double what I paid for my JB, but I've learned you get what you pay for when it comes to these things.