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Finally got my first petlet smoker

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by ncage, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. ncage

    ncage Fire Starter

    Boy did i go round and round about this. At first i was looking at a rec tec, then a yoder ys640, then a cookshack PG500. I then had a epiphany. Should i really spend this much money on something i'm not totally sure i'm going to be happy with? I'm never at Q from a pellet pooper. In read some people love them but there are those that say it tasted like their food came out of the oven some say its just perfect. So i decided to get a starter unit. Lowes recently dropped the price of their char griller pellet pooper by $50  http://www.lowes.com/pd_411019-49769-9020_0__?productId=4437209bvm=bv.58187178,d.aWc  . Also on top of that i got an extra 19% off (5% lowes credit card + 10% coupon (ebay) + 4% (ebates)). Also got free truck delivery. There isn't a whole lot of info out there about this unit but what ive seen people seem to really like it. Seems to be a really built nicely for the price. This will be a really nice unit to start out i think  and quell some of my fears:

    1. Taste - I'm used to a WSM which i absolutely love. I also have a electric which i seem to use often because of the convenience. I know the smokey flavor won't be as much as the WSM but hopefully its more than my electric smoker.

    2 General Fuel Cost & Availability - Until i really start using i wont' know.

    3. How much more convenient is it going to be to use than my wsm and how easy is cleanup going to be.

    If the until has somewhat even temps +- 25 degrees across the grate, has a noticeable smokey flavor, and doesn't use a ton of pellets on each cook then i'll be happy. 
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  2. seenred

    seenred Legendary Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Congrats, Ncage!  I don't know a lot about those Char Grillers, but they look like pretty good rigs for the money.  I'll be interested to hear your impressions after you have the chance to use it some.

    As you mentioned, there are some pellet pit users who aren't happy with the amount of smoke production.  You may want to do what many of us do to infuse more smoke...get one of Todd's tube smokers for extra smoke flavor.  My Rec Tec makes good smoke, especially at lower temps, but I still use a tube smoker sometimes for a more smoky flavor.

  3. ncage

    ncage Fire Starter

    Hi Red, I already have one of the flat a amazn pellet smoker. I could probably use. Just might take up a little more rack space then the round one. There isn't a lot available for the char griller but if you watch this video:  it seems like its putting out quite a bit of smoke. You would think the smokey flavor would be greater than that from an electric smoker but i guess i'll find out. 

    Any advice when cooking with pellets to get the most smokey flavor from your food? Like for ribs maybe start them out either at the smoke settings or at 180 for 30-45 minutes and then boost the temp to 225 for the remainder? Or say your going to cook a chicken @325-350. Maybe again start out at smoke/180 for 30-45 minutes then boost the temp? I've heard that smoke adhears to food the most when its wet & cold. So starting at lower temps makes a lot of sense to me and possibly either spritzing with apple juice or putting a water pan inside the grill.
  4. seenred

    seenred Legendary Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I tried the AMNPS (maze) in my pellet pit when I first got it...it didn't perform very well.  I recall Todd saying that the mazes didn't do too well in pellet smokers.  It has something to do with higher temps and the air flow.  So, I ordered a 12" tube immediately, and it works great in my Rec Tec!  

    Every pit is different, so you might get different results from yours than I do from mine...but as a rule, you can add plenty of smoke at low temps for an hour or 2, then crank the temp up to finish cooking.  Lots of pellet pit owners do this...you just have to make sure you adhere to the "40* to 140* IT in 4 hours" rule of food safety.  Or you can do what I like to do...go ahead and cook at your desired temp for the whole cook with a tube smoker to add more smoke flavor.  Even without the tube, my RT makes pretty good smoke all by itself at 225*.

    Good luck!  Be sure to post some pics of that rig in action...

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013