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Big Green Egg vs Traeger Pro and Offset Wood Smoker

Discussion in 'Blowing Smoke Around the Smoker.' started by bigfoote, May 17, 2018.

  1. I've been using a BGE for over 15 years and like the results as far as the actual cooking of meat, but I don't think I get the smokey flavor of an offset wood smoker. Lately I've been thinking of getting a pellet smoker, i.e., Traeger Pro 34. At my age I don't plan on staying up all night watching an offset smoker, but a pellet smoker I can set and forget for a while does interest me. Can someone tell me if a Traeger will give the same smokey flavor of a offset wood smoker, or compare the smokey flavor imparted by a Traeger vs offset and BGE? I mainly smoke Boston Butts, ribs (babyback and spare), and Prime Rib. I would appreciate any information regarding comparisons between these types of smokers. (I have a large and a XL BGE, and don't need another smoker. But I'm thinking I may want another one. You know that itch you sometimes get.)
  2. BKING!

    BKING! Smoking Fanatic

    I used to own a pellet smoker and now own an offset. The smoke flavor of an offset stickburner is the gold standard in my opinion but you can still get a good clean yet light smoke flavor from a pellet smoker. If all else fails you can add a pellet smoker tube to add smoke flavor if the flavor isn’t strong enough for you. I don’t mind tending an offset since my cooking style is hot and fast but I might favor a pellet smoker if that wasn’t the case.
  3. BKING thanks for replying. I agree that the offset is the bar as far as smoke flavor goes, but I am a LOW and SLOW when smoking. I have a FireMagic for most of my grilling needs, with a Weber Kettle for just having some fun. Can you compare the pellet smoker flavor to the BGE?
  4. BKING!

    BKING! Smoking Fanatic

    The pellet smoker produces the lightest smoke flavor of all the smokers which is why many use smoke tubes in addition to the smoke it already provides. However, because pellet smokers are all wood and utilize a small hot fire the quality of the smoke is better than the other smokers as well. In terms of flavor the main draw for me is consistency of product. Where with other smokers you may produce bitter flavors from less than stellar fire management the pellet smoker will always produce a good product. Pellet smokers do have moving parts and require a power supply as well so consider occasional maintenance and power outages mid cook in your decision making. I don’t have a big green egg but I do have a Kamado Joe so my opinion is based off of that.
  5. So your saying the BGE will produce more smoke flavor than a pellet smoker? When smoking Boston Butts I normally start between 6 and 8 PM, watch it for a couple of hours and then go to bed and check it once or twice during the night. Sounds like this could be a problem with a pellet smoker, if we experienced a power outage, which happens a few times a year here. BKING I appreciate your taking the time to respond. Thanks.
  6. BKING!

    BKING! Smoking Fanatic

    Yes the kamado does typically produce more smoke flavor. If you want the convenience of a pellet smoker you could get a bbq guru or some other automatic temp controller. However you still have that electric component where if it breaks or if the power goes out you have issues. I’m not trying to steer you away from smokers which require electricity by the way. Just realize there is pros and cons with all smokers or setups. I’ve owned all types so believe me I know! lol
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  7. SmokinGame

    SmokinGame Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Don't have the Traeger, but do have a Camp Chef pellet smoker. I definitely supplement my smoke with a smoke tube. I am very happy with its performance and the results that way. For longer smokes you might utilize a spare tube that can be swapped out when first burns out. I am considering a true offset, but agree that the pellet would take a lot less monitoring. As far as when power goes out, a generator is ready for it and other essentials.
  8. I don't have any problem with temp control with my Eggs. I use a ThermoWorks Smoke meat thermometer which has a probe for the meat and one for the grill, and a wireless receiver I carry either around my neck or put it on my bedside table. As long as the temp doesn't go below or above the temps I've set I'm happy, and feel good if I have to leave it unattended for two or three or four hours. Although Hot Springs Village is Golf Heaven, we do have power outages from time to time, and although I don't keep track, I'd say 2 or 3 times a year it will go off during the night for a short time and a couple of times during the day. In my old age I find it's easy to irritate me off, and having my cook ruined would do the trick. Thanks.
  9. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just wondering why a WSM isn't in the running for consideration. Smoke flavor is close to an offset, can go all night without touching it if using the correct charcoal, and has a short learning curve. Just saying.
  10. BKING!

    BKING! Smoking Fanatic

    He already has a big green egg
  11. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If it is more sm00ky goodness you want, why not try a Tube or maze to add sm00ky-ness?
    Not negating you scratch the itch. Just thinking you wouldn't have to start over with a different Que...
    OK, I'll go sit back down....
  12. I haven't used a water smoker since before I bought my first BGE over 15 years ago. And while they have improved, especially fitted with a gasket, I think I like my Eggs better. Not only with the finish product, but I've gone 24 hours without adding charcoal to my Egg. As far as SonnyE's comment about a Tube or maze, I'm not sure what you are talking about. The only maze I'm familiar with is one that uses saw dust and I use for cold smoking. Are you talking about using these with a pellet smoker or BGE? The more I know the more I know I don't know much. One of the reasons I love this forum. And if I ever forget, it should be known that I appreciate everyone's response. Thanks.
  13. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes Sir, supplemental smoke. I'm using an AMNPS. But if it fits better, you may prefer an AMNTS.
    Switched over from a Bradley puck pooper. Bradley started thinking their fuel was only for the Beverly Hill$ folk$.
    So I went looking. And Looking brought me here. And after 50 years of home grown smokers, I bought a MES 30.

    What I like the most about the AMNPS is how it can be used for a little smoke, a long smoke, or light at both ends for a lotta smoke.
    Set in in your BGE along with all the familiar features you've come to love about the BGE, and get your smoke on.

    For ~$30, I think it could be a good alternative to out and out buying a different BBQ, and the learning curve it comes with.

    Since getting the AMNPS, and rolling over to using Pellets (Hickory my favorite), I do believe I have about 146 years worth of "smoker fuel" now.
    I expect I will be saw dust, before it is. ;)
  14. You know I'm easily confussed. I've been using a maze with sawdust for 8 to 10 years to cold smoke cheese. It never occurred to me to use it during a regular cook with my BGE. When I did a search for AMNPS I saw it is the maze and I see they have tubes (never used tubes). What is the AMNTS you mention?
  15. BKING!

    BKING! Smoking Fanatic

    Amazen tube smoker
  16. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Why don't you just add (more) wood chunks to your coals in your BGE?
    When I have tried to burn pellets in a 225 or higher smoke in my mini, the whole thing tends to flame up. Too hot in my case.
  17. yahoot

    yahoot Fire Starter

    If you are looking for good flavor and convenience, a pellet burner can be a great choice. The secret to pellet grills is like your BGE - LOW and Slow. Pellet grills burn pellets for both heat and smoke, but they are in an inverse relationship. The hotter you burn, the less smoke you get. So, if you cook very low, they do great. If you get in a hurry and "smoke" at higher temps, the smoke can get light. Just the nature of the beast. With our pellet burners, we will sometimes smoke half a dozen briskets for 12-14 hours at 170-180. Amazing results. Don't need to add tubes or mazes or smoke generators. Just fill it up, turn it on, and go to bed. Next day, smoking is finished.

    Personally, I think you can do much better than a Traeger. I think they are exceptionally well marketed, but not the best smoker in their segment. In the same price neighborhood, you can get a Louisiana Smoker. Much better combustion system. Feeds from the side, so no real chance of an auger fire and much easier to manage (similar to a Yoder, but at half the price). Louisianna smokers are just better made (most still made in Canada, last I checked - someone will correct me if that is no longer the case).

    If you like the traeger combustion system, the Pit Boss has the exact same combustion system for a much lower price (Walmart carries them). The camp chef is also good,with a combustion system is like a traeger and similarly priced, but it has some nice additional features.

    We just picked up a couple of pit boss vertical smokers (some 5 and 7 series units) to try. They have enormous space (multiple racks), hold 60 pounds of pellets (many days worth) and I can clean the ash out of one out in less than a minute. We have only been testing them for a few weeks, but I really like them. we have done up to 6 briskets at a time in one. Haven't had time to see how many racks of ribs one will hold (I would guess maybe 15 or so without using rib racks-with racks, its probably at least double that). For personal use, I like the 5. Plenty big for me. We looked at the 3, but the 3 is a little too narrow for my taste (sized kind of like a masterbuilt - have to cut racks of ribs to fit them in a 3).

    If you pick up a pellet burner, one other word of advice - buy good pellets. The smoker brands (traeger, louisianna, camp chef, etc.) are usually not that great and not very consistent. I like lumberjacks, but there are several other good brands out there (that is a discussion for another post).
  18. Thanks for your reply, yahoot. I don;t have my heart set on a Traegar or any pellet smoker. I was just interested in finding out if I could find a better smoker than my BGE's that would give a better smoke flavor without having to watch the fuel during a long cook. Based on the comments everyone gave, I think I've got the best of what I'm looking for, and if I want more smoke flavor the best thing I can do is just add more wood. But I want to thank everyone for their comments. Thanks.
  19. motolife313

    motolife313 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Off set or reverse flow for sure! U can go out and get wood for free and just cost u gas and time. I got 7 different kinds of wood. It's the authentic way of doing it and is really fun to do. Not enough guys on here cook the real deal BBQ on a stick burner, you could be among the few. Super easy to get nice blue smoke all day too
  20. I'm easily confused, and your post has me confused. First, let me say there is much more I don't know than I do know. Isn't reverse flow a type of off set? Second I agree it's easy to get dirty blue smoke that tastes like creosote, clean smoke is a little harder to get. But none of these address my original post.
    motolife313 likes this.