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Another ‘help me choose’ thread

clubmanager

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Recently purchased a Masterbuilt electric and smoked a great brisket on it. Had to separate the point/flat as it’s too narrow. After about three hours, the thermostat showed 300 degrees and would not turn back on (max temp is 275) so I finished it in the oven overnight. I contacted Amazon and will spare you the long story but they ultimately gave me a refund....and keep the smoker.
I’ve no confidence in it and will only use if I can keep an eye on it so am looking for another.
My BIL lives in Texas and uses a stick smoker. He says a pellet won’t be quite as good but that the meat will be quite close and with less fuss. He recommended Pit Boss factoring both quality and cost.

My concern is after reading a LOT, it seems pellet smokers often yield a less-smoky flavor than stick...or so I’ve read. Also, WiFi/Bluetooth and stuff like that means to me more things to manage and breakdown. Indeed, most comments I read are highly critical of the electronics.

So my question is this; should I get a stick burning smoker in spite of the inherent needs when cooking over a pellet? I’ve never used one before, have used two electric versions and a propane; one of each with long success. FWIW, I’m not the guy who puts everything in and goes to work for 8 hours; at most, I’d be away 2 hours.

It seems like I should either get a proper wood smoker or a pellet without all the doo-dads, yes? I’d like to spend $800 or less. Any recommendations? I live in Northwest Arkansas should location be a factor in choosing a manufacturer.

Thanks y’all....

So sorry for the vagueness and helpless tone, just weary of considering options with so much unknown.
 

SecondHandSmoker

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As you know, a stick burner is not a set it and forget it experience in the least.
No smoker truly is for that fact.
I hear good and bad things about Pit Boss.
Are you considering a vertical pellet pooper or are you open to the idea of a pellet grill?
If you are, you might want to consider Rec-Tec...err...Rec-Teq, as they are now known by.
Depending on how many folks you smoke for, you might be able to get by with an RT-340.
I myself have been cogitating over an RT-590 since the RT-700 would be overkill for my situation.
Another option could be one of MB Gravity Series smokers though they would require interction on your part. Heck MB even has a new little charcoal fired vertical too.

Your MES hit it's temp limit for sure.
You could also keep the MES and consider the PID rewire too.

Food for thought.
 

clubmanager

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I think I’d prefer a pellet grill with a lid rather than a vertical. Size needed; two briskets at same time. I’ll look at Rec Tec; I’ve seen the name pop up quite a lot. Where would I find info re the PID rewire? I may as well use it even if I do buy another. With the halved brisket in there, it didnt have much more room.
 

ofelles

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Consider the Yoder also. Built like a tank. I have a YS640 and could do 4 briskets in it (I have smoked 70 pounds of butts at once). Adding a smoke tube ups the smoke profile. Still not a charcoal or stick burner profile but very good.
 

SecondHandSmoker

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I think I’d prefer a pellet grill with a lid rather than a vertical. Size needed; two briskets at same time. I’ll look at Rec Tec; I’ve seen the name pop up quite a lot. Where would I find info re the PID rewire? I may as well use it even if I do buy another. With the halved brisket in there, it didnt have much more room.

Here is a link for the basic rewire. Tallmb has other info as well. Check out his profile.

I see Yoder is mentioned as well. Lots of things to choose from. Though, I've never heard anything negative about Rec-Teq and nothing but positives about customer support.

Edit: I must also add that JC in GB JC in GB in has a neat and sweet PID as well.
 

clubmanager

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That Yoder is $1800! Maybe I need to revisit my level of commitment here ;)
 

Winterrider

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I’m gonna do the mod and see how it goes before buying another smoker unless something comes across locally and is a crazy deal.
You will be very satisfied with the PID mod, and either smoke tube or tray. It will then be set it and forget it. Mailbox mod is also very nice but can come later.
 

clubmanager

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Any recommendations on the third party controller? Seems like that’s all I’m missing from starting the project.
 

Winterrider

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Any recommendations on the third party controller? Seems like that’s all I’m missing from starting the project.
Many of us on here use this one
 

JWFokker

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Mar 5, 2019
This is basically a Rec Tec fan forum, so you'll see a lot of recommendations for them. They're a midrange brand. There is nothing wrong with less expensive Pit Boss, GMG or Camp Chef pellet burners. On other forums they have other brand fan clubs. A pellet grill is essentially a smoky oven, especially now that most have automatic temperature control built in. Pit Boss has the longest warranty at 5 years on all of their models. Rec Tec makes a nicer grill overall, but there isn't much difference in function. Thicker metal doesn't change much on a pellet grill the way it would a stick burner.
 

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