Cuisinart Clermont Review

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BaxtersBBQ

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jan 5, 2020
171
190
5A5E321B-5D65-4767-ADDC-155933985295.jpeg
So you might have seen my thread a couple weeks ago


I found Walmart marking down a bunch of smokers and grills and decided to buy the Cuisinart Clermont Pellet Grill & Smoker. Marked down from $700 to $350. I’ve been using it a lot and might have figured out why it was on sale. I’ve done a couple pork butts, ribs, chickens, even tried the “grilling” function and did some burgers. Again, this is my first time using a pellet smoker. I’ve always used offset stick burners, kettle or drum smokers, or electric smokers with wood chips or chunks.

So here’s my review...

THE GOOD:

Size- This things a monster. 1400cubic inches. I think I could easily fit 24small/medium pork butts on it. 6 on each rack. Plus Tons of storage space and extra shelving for added workspace. Plus it’s nice that the smoker is elevated so you don’t have to constantly bend over like a MES floor model. Also a huge 40lb pellet hopper.

Tech- WiFi and Bluetooth connections so I can check the temp when I leave the house. 2 built in probes that hide inside the hopper. Even the added lights in the hopper and inside the grill are a nice touch

THE BAD:

Size- This monster is over 5’ long, nearly 5’ tall and 2’ wide. Plus weights 233pounds. If you don’t have a ton of extra space it might not be for you.

The Smoking- This is my biggest negative. I HATE the way it smokes. Again, this is my first ever time using pellets but it’s some of the worst “smoking” I’ve ever seen. I get ZERO smoke flavor. I thought maybe it was the Pitboss competition blend I was using so I switched to straight hickory pellets and had the same results.
Also the convection from the fan dries out the outside skin of the meat and never quite forms a bark. Yet somehow the convection forces the nonexistent smoke deep into the meat and causes insane smoke rings(See pics below). It truly boggles my mind how it looks so good but tastes nothing like smoke. You don’t get these problems with traditional smokers.

The “grilling”- The “sear zone” is large enough to maybe fit 4 burgers or maybe a package of hotdogs. Pretty useless.


SO HERES MY CONCLUSION...
Don’t waste your money... unless you want a huge outdoor convection oven to maybe lightly smoke huge portions of baked beans or maybe Mac and cheese? Or maybe the worlds largest grill to sear a pack of hotdogs

It’s not quite a smoker, and it’s a poor excuse for a grill.

4/10 Stars.


EF0B61B1-29D1-43F6-AE14-3F44E4F861FE.jpeg
C018DE3A-59DF-4D14-B447-BC53F0F98E9F.jpeg


^Insane smoke ring yet no smoke flavor. Also just dries out the outside and forms a tough “skin” rather than creating a bark. No good.

EC9F1F21-49C3-4672-90E6-E8E5D988AC4F.jpeg
 
Well, on the bright side the photo of the plugs and tubes sure looks good. That is the way to pull pork. :emoji_thumbsup:

haha thanks! I pick the meat from the fat then chop it all together with cleavers. I wish it tasted as good as it looked. Sadly without any smoke flavor it just tasted like basic roast pork
 
Unfortunately you are never going to get a lot of smoke flavor from a pellet grill, it's just not inherent in the technology. There are some pellet grills that do a decent job and you can get a smoker tube too add a little more flavor but looking at the design of that grill, I just don't see much hope for much smoke flavor.
 
Thanks for the info. I've seen that Smoker many times, and it looks so cool. True most Pellet smokers do not give that heavy smoke flavor a lot of us need. That Pork looks awesome!
 
View attachment 506966So you might have seen my thread a couple weeks ago


I found Walmart marking down a bunch of smokers and grills and decided to buy the Cuisinart Clermont Pellet Grill & Smoker. Marked down from $700 to $350. I’ve been using it a lot and might have figured out why it was on sale. I’ve done a couple pork butts, ribs, chickens, even tried the “grilling” function and did some burgers. Again, this is my first time using a pellet smoker. I’ve always used offset stick burners, kettle or drum smokers, or electric smokers with wood chips or chunks.

So here’s my review...

THE GOOD:

Size- This things a monster. 1400cubic inches. I think I could easily fit 24small/medium pork butts on it. 6 on each rack. Plus Tons of storage space and extra shelving for added workspace. Plus it’s nice that the smoker is elevated so you don’t have to constantly bend over like a MES floor model. Also a huge 40lb pellet hopper.

Tech- WiFi and Bluetooth connections so I can check the temp when I leave the house. 2 built in probes that hide inside the hopper. Even the added lights in the hopper and inside the grill are a nice touch

THE BAD:

Size- This monster is over 5’ long, nearly 5’ tall and 2’ wide. Plus weights 233pounds. If you don’t have a ton of extra space it might not be for you.

The Smoking- This is my biggest negative. I HATE the way it smokes. Again, this is my first ever time using pellets but it’s some of the worst “smoking” I’ve ever seen. I get ZERO smoke flavor. I thought maybe it was the Pitboss competition blend I was using so I switched to straight hickory pellets and had the same results.
Also the convection from the fan dries out the outside skin of the meat and never quite forms a bark. Yet somehow the convection forces the nonexistent smoke deep into the meat and causes insane smoke rings(See pics below). It truly boggles my mind how it looks so good but tastes nothing like smoke. You don’t get these problems with traditional smokers.

The “grilling”- The “sear zone” is large enough to maybe fit 4 burgers or maybe a package of hotdogs. Pretty useless.


SO HERES MY CONCLUSION...
Don’t waste your money... unless you want a huge outdoor convection oven to maybe lightly smoke huge portions of baked beans or maybe Mac and cheese? Or maybe the worlds largest grill to sear a pack of hotdogs

It’s not quite a smoker, and it’s a poor excuse for a grill.

4/10 Stars.


View attachment 506964View attachment 506965

^Insane smoke ring yet no smoke flavor. Also just dries out the outside and forms a tough “skin” rather than creating a bark. No good.

View attachment 506971

BaxtersBbq, you never mentioned in your review, what temperature was used to start your cook and what temperature did you use to finish.?. With pellet grills, you have to start super low and slow with the grills temp setting, like between 180*220* degrees or even on Smoke mode, to get the most smoke production. You have to approach cooking on a pellet grill, completely different then you would on a conventional bbq grill. The key to great bbqing is learning the equipment that you have. Since pellet grills don’t burn charcoal or hardwood like conventional bbq grills, unless you modify it… They will never produce the same Smoke Flavor Profile like a true Stick Burner, but the smoke production that it does have can be increased. On your next bbq, start your cook on Smoke mode if your grill has that temperature setting or between 180*-220* for the first couple of hours and then bump up the temp to finish. Also, as others have mentioned, you can add a Smoke Tube to enhance the smoke production and or you can add a smoke basket or even a smoke generator to your pellet grill. Try the super low and slow approach first and see if there’s any improvement. The food in the pics does look great…. Now lets see if you can get an improvement in the smoke production. It’s possible with some extra effort. Good luck.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
BaxtersBbq, you never mentioned in your review, what temperature was used to start your cook and what temperature did you use to finish.?. With pellet grills, you have to start super low and slow with the grills temp setting, like between 180*220* degrees or even on Smoke mode, to get the most smoke production. You have to approach cooking on a pellet grill, completely different then you would on a conventional bbq grill. The key to great bbqing is learning the equipment that you have. Since pellet grills don’t burn charcoal or hardwood like conventional bbq grills, unless you modify it… They will never produce the same Smoke Flavor Profile like a true Stick Burner, but the smoke production that it does have can be increased. On your next bbq, start your cook on Smoke mode if your grill has that temperature setting or between 180*-220* for the first couple of hours and then bump up the temp to finish. Also, as others have mentioned, you can add a Smoke Tube to enhance the smoke production and or you can add a smoke basket or even a smoke generator to your pellet grill. Try the super low and slow approach first and see if there’s any improvement. The food in the pics does look great…. Now lets see if you can get an improvement in the smoke production. It’s possible with some extra effort. Good luck.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi

I appreciate the input. I start and finish all my smokes at 250F unless I’m going hot and fast. One of the complaints I’ve seen from other peoples online reviews is that there is no “smoke” mode or any way to adjust how much smoke you get. And of course I could add a smoking tube but I shouldn’t have to. It’s a SMOKER, it should smoke lol! That’s why I reviewed it the way I did without and added accessories. My theory is that the smoking cabinet is too big for the amount of smoke that’s created. Trust me I’ve owned dozens of smokers. I have 4 out back right now and have already gotten rid of a few this summer. I love buying them to test out new products and that’s why I’ve decided to do the reviews. This one is by far the worst I’ve ever used.
 
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Reactions: RCAlan
Thanks for the review. I am so disappointed. The design, the double doors, suit my situation, cooking in a Wheelchair. The typical lift up lid requires standing up and arthritic knees makes that difficult.
Is the unit off suitable quality, that adding a Tube would increase the smoke flavor and your 4/10 rating?...JJ
 
Thanks for the review. I am so disappointed. The design, the double doors, suit my situation, cooking in a Wheelchair. The typical lift up lid requires standing up and arthritic knees makes that difficult.
Is the unit off suitable quality, that adding a Tube would increase the smoke flavor and your 4/10 rating?...JJ

Yeah absolutely JJ. A tube would definitely help for an additional $20. But I just don’t feel like you should have to add anything to a smoker. A smoker should smoke. I’m sure the Cuisinart checks some boxes but it’s just not for me. There are way more more affordable options out there
 
I appreciate the input. I start and finish all my smokes at 250F unless I’m going hot and fast. One of the complaints I’ve seen from other peoples online reviews is that there is no “smoke” mode or any way to adjust how much smoke you get. And of course I could add a smoking tube but I shouldn’t have to. It’s a SMOKER, it should smoke lol! That’s why I reviewed it the way I did without and added accessories. My theory is that the smoking cabinet is too big for the amount of smoke that’s created. Trust me I’ve owned dozens of smokers. I have 4 out back right now and have already gotten rid of a few this summer. I love buying them to test out new products and that’s why I’ve decided to do the reviews. This one is by far the worst I’ve ever used.
I think everyone appreciates your honesty and I have no problem with the 4/10 Stars you gave it on your review. I just replied like I did knowing that Pellet Grills are totally different from the bbqing world that most of us are accustom too…. From most Pellet Grills, any temps above 250* degrees is almost like using your oven. You have to start your cooks at the lowest temps possible for a couple of hours or so to get any amount decent smoke on your cooks. Again, I truly understand where you’re coming from. I chased smoke for years on my pellet grill.. Finally I figuring out that it was necessary, in my case, was to add a smoke basket and a smoke generator to get the true Hardwood and Charcoal smoke I had been missing. Those add ons work, but bbqing shouldn’t have to be so hard. Trust me, I’m not trying to convince you that Pellet Grills are the best things that ever happened for bbqing enthusiasts, because they’re not. I learned the hard way myself. Pellet Grills do have their place in the bbqing world though for those that prefer a lighter Smoke Flavor Profile on their cooks. I myself prefer true Hardwood and Charcoal smoke. I’ve since added a very affordable Gravity Fed Smoker to my bbqing lineup and I couldn’t be happier.. It has Set it and Forget ease, with all the true Hardwood and Charcoal smoke I ever wanted from temps as low as 200* degrees on up to over 350* degrees. Again, thank you for your very honest and fair review.

__________________

Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
I think everyone appreciates your honesty and I have no problem with the 4/10 Stars you gave it on your review. I just replied like I did knowing that Pellet Grills are totally different from the bbqing world that most of us are accustom too…. From most Pellet Grills, any temps above 250* degrees is almost like using your oven. You have to start your cooks at the lowest temps possible for a couple of hours or so to get any amount decent smoke on your cooks. Again, I truly understand where you’re coming from. I chased smoke for years on my pellet grill.. Finally I figuring out that it was necessary, in my case, was to add a smoke basket and a smoke generator to get the true Hardwood and Charcoal smoke I had been missing. Those add ons work, but bbqing shouldn’t have to be so hard. Trust me, I’m not trying to convince you that Pellet Grills are the best things that ever happened for bbqing enthusiasts, because they’re not. I learned the hard way myself. Pellet Grills do have their place in the bbqing world though for those that prefer a lighter Smoke Flavor Profile on their cooks. I myself prefer true Hardwood and Charcoal smoke. I’ve since added a very affordable Gravity Fed Smoker to my bbqing lineup and I couldn’t be happier.. It has Set it and Forget ease, with all the true Hardwood and Charcoal smoke I ever wanted from temps as low as 200* degrees on up to over 350* degrees. Again, thank you for your very honest and fair review.

__________________

Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi

Awesome RCAlan I appreciate it. Sorry I didn’t mean as coming across as defensive.
 
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Reactions: RCAlan
Thanks for the review. I am so disappointed. The design, the double doors, suit my situation, cooking in a Wheelchair. The typical lift up lid requires standing up and arthritic knees makes that difficult.
Is the unit off suitable quality, that adding a Tube would increase the smoke flavor and your 4/10 rating?...JJ
You should check out the Pitts & Spitts grills. They have a roll top lid that would be very easy to use, with just an grabber tool, from a wheel chair. The P&S is also an excellent quality grill.
 
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It's a very interesting cooker. Love the design, but excessive airflow is already a problem with pellet burners that often makes spritzing or mopping necessary. A convection fan I'm sure helps equalize cook chamber temps but makes the drying effect worse. In traditional cookers that do not use forced airflow, a pocket of humid air forms around the meat. Simply can't happen in a cooker like this. Looks like a great outdoor oven substitute though.
 
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