Can you burn lump charcoal in the grill chamber of an offset pellet smoker?

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Original poster
May 5, 2020
I'm done with big box grills and smokers, and am ready to buy a good piece of equipment. I was going to buy an offset smoker, since I mostly grill but I do like to smoke now and again. I don't smoke meat too much, since I don't have a lot of time to spend tending to the fire. So the idea of a pellet smoker is really attractive. But I'm worried that I won't also be able to do the 500+ degree searing that my family loves. So two questions:

1. Can a good quality pellet grill/smoker reach sear temps?

2. Can I use lump hardwood coal in the grill box of a pellet smoker and treat it like a traditional grill? Those coals can get up way past 500F, and I'm not sure whether that will damage the auger and attached pellet box's motor and electronics?

Thanks everyone!
A number of brand of pellet poopers have searing features.
My 2 neighbors with Pit Boss actually never use the feature.

I guess you could fabricate a charcoal tray to replace the heat plates, but why?
A Weber kettle would be easier and give you options of direct and in-direct cooking.
I got my kettle off the curb for free.
You might want to look into the Sear Daddy from Smoke Daddy. It's a stainless steel inverted pyramid sized to fit over a pellet grill's crucible. It's supplied with lava rock although you could possibly use lump charcoal with some risk the combustion fan would blow the ash up into your food. The trick may be to start the charcoal, then slide it away from the burn pot.
No good method to burn anything but pellets in the pellet smokers, my pitboss can run over 500 and has a small searing area when the plate is moved over, other pellet smokers have addon parts in order to sear, a few even have gas grills mounted on the side in order to sear. Some are the upper end smokers with a big fan base due to quality material and operation . $$ always has to be in my picks lol is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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