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GMG Daniel Boone issues

brucec

Fire Starter
39
11
Joined Jul 6, 2012
My wife bought me a Daniel Boone back in 2015 because they were considered one of the better pellet smokers. This model came with WIFI, which I didn't think was a big deal until I used it. It's definitely a nice add-on, but has never really worked well on mine, even with good strong wifi available to it.
The smoker has never heated evenly, and GMG support's only advice was to move the windshields away from the heat shield to try to even out the temps. I live in Kansas where what some people might consider a strong wind, we call a light breeze. :emoji_wink:
I don't use this smoker more than 4 or 5 times per year, so it really hasn't gotten a ton of use.
Here recently, I've had to replace the igniter, and then the cotter pin broke on the auger, which wasn't a big deal to fix. The motor wasn't able to keep the auger going, so GMG sent me a new auger assembly. Now, it appears I'm getting some backdraft into the hopper, even though the hopper lid appears to be sealing and the hopper fan is functioning. The pellets seem to be bridging pretty regularly, which is something I've never had trouble with before, and I'm actually seeing some charring on the pellets around the outside of the hopper.
Overall, I've been pretty disappointed in this smoker. It has still produced some really good food, but I feel like it's a constant battle. I'm impressed with GMG support's willingness to send me free parts, and that's good, because at this point, I'm not really willing to put much money into this smoker in case I decide I'm over it, and want to upgrade to a better one.
I guess my reason for posting this is to see if other GMG owners are experiencing some of the same issues, or to confirm for myself that maybe I simply got a lemon. Anyone have any comments?
 

ostrichsak

Meat Mopper
216
24
Joined Oct 4, 2013
Very similar story here with my wife buying me a GMG DB around the same time frame for my birthday for about the same reasons.

My experience has been similar where it's been some great food, endless problems with great customer service for the most part. I, too, am just kind of over it at this point. I wanted so badly to just like this unit and tell all of my friends and family about it but I was never at a point of comfort with it to trust that recommendation.

While customer service has been mostly on point it doesn't change the fact that the unit itself seems to just break randomly and regularly.

Also, the WiFi (that we paid a premium for I might add unlike others who got a "free" upgrade) has been a source of frustration as it does NOT offer the functionality I thought we were paying for. Not being able to pre-heat when not on the network or log in to turn off remotely after I forgot to do so while I was still home makes it nearly worthless as I can easily perform the other benefits it offers while at home. Very disappointed with this "feature" as it's horribly neutered in the name of supposed safety.

I still use it occasionally as it was expensive and I don't feel like investing in something else nor do I feel like taking on a whole new set of issues that another manufacture's smoker will presumably come with.

It's just sad how something that seems so solid can be such a resounding fail.
 

Central PA Cowboy

Smoking Fanatic
720
742
Joined Oct 10, 2017
I have a Davy Crockett and it worked about 3 times before I had to replace the igniter. Haven't replaced it yet and not sure if that will fix the problem, but I wish I bought a different product. No returns and the thing stopped working after 3 or so cooks. The CS seems to be pretty responsive, but I'd prefer a product that worked instead of malfunctioning after very limited use. If you are reading this and are considering a GMG product, choose something else.
 
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BigW.

Meat Mopper
220
113
Joined May 13, 2019
I have the non-wifi DB and pretty happy with it. My only issue is the heat shield and keeping temps even between left and right side. I just need to spend more time adjusting.
 

radio

Master of the Pit
1,090
408
Joined Jul 28, 2013
I have the non-wifi DB and pretty happy with it. My only issue is the heat shield and keeping temps even between left and right side. I just need to spend more time adjusting.
Here is what I did ro address the temp difference issue. Using dual probes, i kept moving the deflector a bit at a time until temps on both sides were as close as i could get them which was about a 5 degree difference.
I removed the grates and heat shields and made a gauge out of flat copper that I leave inside the grill to space the deflector back where it was when i clean the bottom
20190724_145013.jpg
 

brucec

Fire Starter
39
11
Joined Jul 6, 2012
Thanks for the quick replies. ostrichsak, I appreciate your response, although it does make me a little discouraged.
RichardFoster, I mainly use CookinPellets mixed pellets, because those seem to get good ratings. I've never had a problem with them bridging before now, so I'm not sure it's the pellets.
BigW and radio, my unit is an older one that doesn't have the newer heat shield. It has a smaller heat shield, and then two wind shields that go on either side. CS recommended moving those wind shields, which I'm willing to try if I can ever get the smoker to run well enough that I'm comfortable cooking on it.

Thanks again for all of your replies. I think it might be time to start saving for a YS640S and see if I can limp along with this one until I can afford a Yoder.
 

winsa12

Fire Starter
31
4
Joined Oct 2, 2018
My experience has been similar where it's been some great food, endless problems with great customer service for the most part. I, too, am just kind of over it at this point. I wanted so badly to just like this unit and tell all of my friends and family about it but I was never at a point of comfort with it to trust that recommendation.
I am in the same boat. I picked the GMG over other options because of the pizza oven attachment. I'll deal with wifi not working and continue to mod the grill in a way to get the temp to equalize from left to right because of that pizza oven...
 

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
574
195
Joined Feb 6, 2019
...

Thanks again for all of your replies. I think it might be time to start saving for a YS640S and see if I can limp along with this one until I can afford a Yoder.
Well, best of luck getting it all sorted out brucec.

I hate to see anyone have these type issues and what you describe in that first post about backdrafting into the pellet hopper, would definitely give me cause for concern as that is a safety issue.

.... Now, it appears I'm getting some backdraft into the hopper, even though the hopper lid appears to be sealing and the hopper fan is functioning. The pellets seem to be bridging pretty regularly, which is something I've never had trouble with before, and I'm actually seeing some charring on the pellets around the outside of the hopper.
Sounds like it's time to part ways with it.
 
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ostrichsak

Meat Mopper
216
24
Joined Oct 4, 2013
I am in the same boat. I picked the GMG over other options because of the pizza oven attachment. I'll deal with wifi not working and continue to mod the grill in a way to get the temp to equalize from left to right because of that pizza oven...
I had every intention to buy the pizza attachment when it came out but continued problems make me feel like I'm already over invested on this venture.
 

BigW.

Meat Mopper
220
113
Joined May 13, 2019
Are there any positive reviews on this grill?
I like mine as I mentioned above. Need to fine tune some. It is a good mid level grill/smoker. There is a fair amt of competition in the $500-$700 range in pellet smokers. All will have different benefits and quirks. There are plenty of threads on hear about pellets. I do not hear many complaints from the Yoder, MAC, REC TEC crowd but those are pricier $ units.
 

winsa12

Fire Starter
31
4
Joined Oct 2, 2018
Are there any positive reviews on this grill?
Yeah, I still like mine enough to keep it. I haven't screwed up a pork butt yet. All the food has been awesome off of it. The pizza oven is one of the coolest cooking things I own.
I'm currently thawing a twin pack of butts to do this weekend. I also have 2 air probes for a Thermoworks smoke. I'm going to watch it closely and try to get the temps balanced side to side and accurate to what the set temp. If I can do that, then smoke something else in a week or 2 and have everything the same I will like it more. I will report back.
 

winsa12

Fire Starter
31
4
Joined Oct 2, 2018
Here is what I did ro address the temp difference issue. Using dual probes, i kept moving the deflector a bit at a time until temps on both sides were as close as i could get them which was about a 5 degree difference.
I removed the grates and heat shields and made a gauge out of flat copper that I leave inside the grill to space the deflector back where it was when i clean the bottom View attachment 403168
Have you ever checked the temp side to side since you made this tool? In my cook last weekend I got the temp perfect side to side. After I opened and closed the cover I could never get it to be close, eventually I was 100 degrees higher on the right side.
 

Jabiru

Smoking Fanatic
678
354
Joined Mar 5, 2019
From my experience: I’ve put through about 50 bags of pellets - Jim Bowie Prime, never had an issue.

Got the pizza attachment and it’s works very well, I just need to get it a bit more tweaked, following the instructions it seemed to hot and burnt my first pizza in about 30 seconds.

Small amount, large amounts, All the food comes out awesome from the feedback I receive and my opinion. I’ve cooked everything in it.
 

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
574
195
Joined Feb 6, 2019
Yeah, I still like mine enough to keep it. I haven't screwed up a pork butt yet. All the food has been awesome off of it. The pizza oven is one of the coolest cooking things I own.
I'm currently thawing a twin pack of butts to do this weekend. I also have 2 air probes for a Thermoworks smoke. I'm going to watch it closely and try to get the temps balanced side to side and accurate to what the set temp. If I can do that, then smoke something else in a week or 2 and have everything the same I will like it more. I will report back.

“Pork butt (or the larger pork shoulder which is made up of the butt and the picnic) is a most forgiving cut, and it is almost impossible to ruin when cooked low and slow, making it a great place for beginners to start learning how to smoke meat.”
Source:Amazing Ribs

If it’s handling this cut of meat to your satisfaction, and it’s your go to piece of meat to smoke then great. Pork butts are cheap.

But how does it handle a brisket or some of the more expensive cuts of meat if it has uneven temperature zones?

Good luck with your experiment and I hope that your results are favorable.
 

BigW.

Meat Mopper
220
113
Joined May 13, 2019
I spent some time this weekend on left/right temp difference. With only the heat shield I was able to get an even temp. When I installed the 2 drip trays, the temp was still a bit off. I was able to make some tasty bacon that cooked pretty even. Then I threw on some pork butt and cooked it.
 

brucec

Fire Starter
39
11
Joined Jul 6, 2012
Thanks for all the replies. Support confirmed that I need a new hopper fan, but it doesn't look like they're sending me a complimentary one. Went and bought a YS640S this weekend. I'm so excited to load that 350 lbs beast up this weekend, I almost can't stand it.
Good luck to those sticking with GMG. I really hope your smokers continue to work well for you.
 
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