Best pellet smoker around $300

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bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,499
627
Here's an Amazon chart giving 85# for a 550, although I agree with TNJake that it looks more like 10# heavier than just a pound heavier than a 450.
1660773087799.png
1660773087799.png
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,499
627
Motsyball, I'd do a screen grab of everything you see that led you to think you were getting a 700 or 1000. The 450 and 550 look nice and $419 is a good price but they're not as big as a 700 or 1000. If you're not happy with what you receive, having screen shots showing that Zgrills gave evidence you were getting something else could come in handy if you need to re-negotiate with them .
 
Aug 14, 2022
8
4
question for those who have and had a pellet grill, especially those of you hat upgraded from one to a Mak, yoder, rec tec, Smoke fire. Not getting into build quality/wifi and not looking to trash any decisions on what you chose. But is the smoke flavor/strength/profile any diffent from a Z-grill, pit boss, etc...compared to the higher end machines?
 
Aug 14, 2022
8
4
question for those who have and had a pellet grill, especially those of you hat upgraded from one to a Mak, yoder, rec tec, Smoke fire. Not getting into build quality/wifi and not looking to trash any decisions on what you chose. But is the smoke flavor/strength/profile any diffent from a Z-grill, pit boss, etc...compared to the higher end machines?
I have owned 3 pellet smokers and all 3 gave a different level of smoke flavor. None high end units. Pit Boss gave most smoke flavor but had large temp swings, traeger was less than pitt boss but still good smoke, my current Grilla grill Chimp has the least amount of smoke flavor. The Chimp even on the PRO setting which gives the most smoke is light smoke compared to the Pit Boss. So my conclusion is that all pellet smokers have their own character. My comparisons are all at the same smoke temps, pellets and meats.
 
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bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,499
627
it's $278.57 on the West Coast and that includes a $40 cover.
But "not avail on-line; in store only" and the website isn't tracking local inventory (like they do pretty well on other items) so you may have to hunt a bit.
 

clifish

Master of the Pit
★ Lifetime Premier ★
May 25, 2019
2,586
2,576
Long Island, NY
it's $278.57 on the West Coast and that includes a $40 cover.
But "not avail on-line; in store only" and the website isn't tracking local inventory (like they do pretty well on other items) so you may have to hunt a bit.
yeah so did the one by me, cover was stashed inside. Not sure if it was only the display model on sale.
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,499
627
Thanks Stevesmokeshack for real-life comparison of 3 popular pellet machines. I think the Chinese-sourced hardware on the PB and Tr are pretty indistinguishable, even down to the controllers. (Which I consider a good thing...replacement parts are cheap and plentiful on line)
But the secret sauce is in the controller programming. Short but frequent auger feeds might be the best way to achieve tight temp control, but maybe not the best smoke flavor. So it's not even a matter of good vs bad programming, but what it is you're actually trying to do.
And smoke flow inside the cooking chamber can a big deal too. Just comparing something as basic as smokestacks shows that everyone does that slightly different. And what's best for chicken thighs may not be what's best for pork butts. Can I ask you Steve, if your smoke-flavor rankings change at all depending on the cut and size of your cooks?
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,499
627
If all that's left is a floor model, I'd try to negotiate an even better price!
 

motsyball

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Apr 3, 2015
59
23
Well I just received it and opened it up. My $400 blind box had the ZPG-6002B3. Is that a good deal? what do they normally sell for?
 

tbern

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Dec 27, 2015
2,176
1,038
Southwest Minnesota
there's a 6002b {not sure if it's exactly like yours?} listed on amazon for $341.21 with prime shipping. don't know what the "3'' means on the end of your model. could be for extras you receive in a package?
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,499
627
Looks good to me. I think it's one of their older designs and the B reflects it was refreshed in 2021. It has a small-ish hopper and the lid design may limit a rotisserie to medium chickens and not large turkeys. But if those things don't matter to you, set it up and use it. (It's usually pretty easy to rig up a hopper extender for the very rare cook you want to set and forget for 8 hours straight...I wouldn't recommend leaving ANY wood fire unattended for THAT long anyway.)
 
Aug 14, 2022
8
4
Thanks Stevesmokeshack for real-life comparison of 3 popular pellet machines. I think the Chinese-sourced hardware on the PB and Tr are pretty indistinguishable, even down to the controllers. (Which I consider a good thing...replacement parts are cheap and plentiful on line)
But the secret sauce is in the controller programming. Short but frequent auger feeds might be the best way to achieve tight temp control, but maybe not the best smoke flavor. So it's not even a matter of good vs bad programming, but what it is you're actually trying to do.
And smoke flow inside the cooking chamber can a big deal too. Just comparing something as basic as smokestacks shows that everyone does that slightly different. And what's best for chicken thighs may not be what's best for pork butts. Can I ask you Steve, if your smoke-flavor rankings change at all depending on the cut and size of your cooks?
I would say no it is just a general observation not a scientific experiment. As you state there are numerous variables that can determine smoke density i and my family just noticed that the PB had a heavy smoke flavor to everything we cooked compared the the Grilla Chimp. We like the lighter smoke but a friend of mine also has a chimp that he replaced a difysmoker with and noticed the same thing. He adds a smoke tube to all his smokes. There is just a noticeable difference between all 3 that i owned.
 
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Ahsan390

Newbie
Oct 14, 2022
3
0
I am also looking for pellet smokers. I researched on a website about different brands of pellet smokers. Other brands are expensive except Pit Boss which has some models nearly around your budget.
 

JWFokker

Smoking Fanatic
Mar 5, 2019
513
173
I would say no it is just a general observation not a scientific experiment. As you state there are numerous variables that can determine smoke density i and my family just noticed that the PB had a heavy smoke flavor to everything we cooked compared the the Grilla Chimp. We like the lighter smoke but a friend of mine also has a chimp that he replaced a difysmoker with and noticed the same thing. He adds a smoke tube to all his smokes. There is just a noticeable difference between all 3 that i owned.
The Chimp wants to run hot and burns cleaner than your typical pellet grill. Great for chicken but it performs closer to a kettle than a pellet burning smoker.
 

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