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Pellet smoker advice

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
574
195
Joined Feb 6, 2019
I think it was Memphis Grills. Google "Memphis grills china" and see what you come up with.


Also:

"Your Memphis grill is still designed, engineered and tested in the USA (Bloomington, MN); however, due to continued growth and the need for greater production capacity, the manufacturing process has been moved to Asia."
 
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chuckcrj

Newbie
3
3
Joined Sep 13, 2020
I just bought a Memphis, it's an awesome unit. Built like a high end commercial kitchen appliance.

They cost a lot but it is a lifetime unit, no doubt about that.

I looked at Yoder but talked to some long term owners and they all said they struggle with keeping it rust free. So I kept saving and finally made it work.
 

Chews MacRib

Newbie
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0
Joined Sep 13, 2020
I just bought a Memphis, it's an awesome unit. Built like a high end commercial kitchen appliance.

They cost a lot but it is a lifetime unit, no doubt about that.

I looked at Yoder but talked to some long term owners and they all said they struggle with keeping it rust free. So I kept saving and finally made it work.
10 years ago, I bought a Memphis Pro "Stainless", so I have some experience with the "lifetime" of a Memphis Grill.

Sadly, for a "stainless" grill, my biggest complaint is about the rust. The worst of it is inside the grill, with the ear tabs that hold up the firebox cover completely disintegrating. I'm still able to use the grill with some bricks placed in the bottom to hold up the cover, so the grill is still functional.

I've also had issues on and off with the pellet auger over-feeding the pellets. When that happens, the fire gets smothered and goes out. It's not fun to go check on your meat that you think is many hours into the smoke, only to find out the fire has been out for hours. Needless to say, I have to check it frequently to ensure the fire is still going. That makes it difficult to smoke anything that needs to go a long time, especially overnight.

By and large, I've enjoyed the Memphis and made some great BBQ. But its been troublesome enough that if i could do it over again, I would try something else.
 

chuckcrj

Newbie
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3
Joined Sep 13, 2020
Interesting experience. I talked to 2 long time Memphis owners before I bought mine, one of them sits outside always with no cover and is 5 or 6 years old, not a sign or spot of rust anywhere.

The firebox cover is one thing, something in the flame like that isn't going to last forever, its a replaceable part and doesn't change the "lifetime" of the grill.

What would be the something else? I have had pellet grills for 15 years, and they all suck compared to this unit. But maybe there is something better.
 

Chews MacRib

Newbie
2
0
Joined Sep 13, 2020
Well, every situation is different. I did live 1 mile from the beach for the first 4 years of ownership, so perhaps being so close to the saltwater had a rust-accelerating effect on mine...it's hard to say for sure. Also, I would be surprised if Memphis haven't improved the design at least a little since my purchase a decade ago. It's possible your 5-6 year owners have an improved design...again, hard to say for sure.

Edit: After writing the above, it occurred to me that none of the grills currently on their website are "exactly" like mine. So it is certain that the design has changed since my purchase.

But, even with its flaws, it does still mostly work after 10 years. For smokes that last a few hours (where I can reasonably check on it with some frequency) I still love the food I make with it. That's the thing that counts the most, so it isn't all bad.

As for the "something else", I don't know what that is either. I'm actually starting to think about a new pellet grill after 10 years with the Memphis, and my Google search for a "something else" was actually how I came across this thread :)

BTW, the parts that rusted are not replaceable, at least not without a welder. The parts that disintegrated are the ears / tabs welded to the sides that hold up the firebox cover...not the firebox cover itself.
 
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dacfan

Smoke Blower
130
16
Joined Feb 4, 2009
A Made in USA mark is a country of origin label that indicates the product is "all or virtually all" made in the United States. The label is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

As an adult I try and buy made in America when i can, it usually costs more but I think its important.
 

3-2-1

Smoke Blower
★ Lifetime Premier ★
105
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Joined Aug 31, 2020
A Made in USA mark is a country of origin label that indicates the product is "all or virtually all" made in the United States. The label is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

As an adult I try and buy made in America when i can, it usually costs more but I think its important.
The part "virtually all" is what is grey and subject to interpretation :) For a product such as a smoker this could be a very good marketing ploy is all. I do not see where Yoder is sporting the "Made in USA" FTC mark, they only claim they are built in the USA, not the same regulatory speaking. "We design, test and build all of our pits in the USA" does not mean the smoker is not loaded with foreign sourced materials and parts.
 

2008RN

Meat Mopper
175
97
Joined Mar 4, 2018
I bought a YS640 on May 1 of this year. I already had a Fridge smoker that I built. The fridge smoker does good on those nice long slow smokes. Although it didn't cook the skin on chicken legs well, or get the bacon cooked crispy on bacon wrapped items. I also wanted to retire my 20+ year old weber grill.

I have been happy with the Yoder. It is a beast. I have grilled with it. smoked Bacon wrapped stuffed Poblanos , Chicken legs. Did a pork roast. It holds temps pretty well.
I did get several options, and I really like them.
1. 2 piece Heat diffuser with the door. Make clean up easier and really helps with searing.
2. Searing grates. Works well with the heat diffuser door being open.
3. 1/2 top shelf. It comes with a full shelf, but the half shelf is great with grilling and move stuff around. I have used the full shelf once when I was smoking a lot of meat.
4. Stainless steel front drip shield. This has saved me several times of making a mess of the front of the grill. stuff just wipes off and does not effect the paint.
5. Stainless Steel shelf covers. This really helps keep the junk off of the cement patio. Instead of grease dripping off the spatula on to the cement it just keeps it on the shelf and I don't get sauces on the patio.

Yoder support is fantastic. I broke the wifi antenna loading it up. They sent me a new antenna, no questions ask.

The only negative, I have is cleaning up the grill grates. On a normal gas grill you just turn the heat up and it cleans it self. I didn't get rid of the old weber, she is now used to clean up my grill grates from the yoder.

I saved for the grill for 1-1/2 years to be able to afford it, but I am glad I did. Hopefully it will last me for the remainder of my days.
 

motsco

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
56
12
Joined Jul 18, 2012
had this old thing since 2014. umm well i barely covered it. has had 3 or 4 clogs, some ez to fix. most of them my fault. have only had 2 actual warranty problems due to things that where not my doing.
every time rec tec has been great in dealing with, and took care of all the problems under warranty.

still works great! probably better then most brand new pellets. rained on snowed on it’s seen it all.

they are the best out there for the money. i know i have looked and talked to many pellet grills and people.
 

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sandyut

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined Feb 18, 2015
NICE ONE! the 680! I baby my 700, but also feel for the money you just cant do better. works great, service is ridiculous! the entire retail world should learn from Rec Tec. Everyone would be so much happier!
 

kerbos5

Fire Starter
50
10
Joined May 26, 2008
I bought a Rec Tec in 2014, and have regretted it ever since, when I first got it, I had some major problems and literally had to take the whole damn thing apart to fix, luckily the guys at rec tec had no problems sending me the parts, but I will say I requested them give me 2 of everything, and I'm glad they did, because I have used almost all those parts over the years as things stopped working correctly....maybe I got a lemon....it happens, but I have regretted not purchasing a yoder from a company that's only 3 hrs away for just a couple hundred more at that time, and fully made in the USA.....as a side note the red they appear in the rec tec marketing pictures is "NOT" what I got from china, its a puking red color...sorry for the negativity just my experience......with all that said does it make decent smoked meats and have I cold smoked cheese in it with plenty of room...sure.....did I want to become a pro pellet smoker mechanic.....no.
 

vxooxv

Newbie
14
13
Joined Aug 24, 2017
D Daphatgrant what did you end up going with?

I’m in the exact same situation. My MES30 took a big ol dump and I want to convert to pellet.

Seems it comes down to Req Teq (more economical) vs Yoder (maybe better quality) vs ...?
 

kstone113

Meat Mopper
162
52
Joined May 24, 2019
Give a strong look at RecTeq as others have said. I didn't give a real strong look at Yoder just because of the price. I could not get past the fact that it could rust within a year. If I had more cash at the time, I would of given it a stronger look but "if" I had more cash, I would of looked at Mak and Memphis. I consider those 3 a step above RecTeq though RecTeq is cheaper and offers a lot of the same options and in some cases, better materials.

I've had the RT-700 for over and year now and LOVE it! I also have a Bullseye now which I use a lot more than my Bull now since most of the time, I like grilling during the week and smoking on the weekends.
 

bregent

Master of the Pit
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Joined Mar 1, 2014
Edit: After writing the above, it occurred to me that none of the grills currently on their website are "exactly" like mine. So it is certain that the design has changed since my purchase.
Yes, they did change the design quite a bit. A friend of mine has a Pro that is also about 10 years old and had the same problem as you with the tabs breaking off. He does use his virtually every single day in his outdoor kitchen. He ended up getting newer designed parts from Memphis (not cheap) and they talked him through the installation. Also, the newer controllers are much improved over the earlier models and hold temps much better. You might give them a call and see if you can get a firmware update.
 

sandyut

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Feb 18, 2015
no experience comparing, but I do love my rec tec RT-700 and would recommend it to any and everyone.
 

kstone113

Meat Mopper
162
52
Joined May 24, 2019
Compare the materials. RecTeq is in a whole other league than Green Mountain. Green Mountain is more comparable Camp Chef and not knocking either one. I would recommend both of them for their price range.
 

vxooxv

Newbie
14
13
Joined Aug 24, 2017
Compare the materials. RecTeq is in a whole other league than Green Mountain. Green Mountain is more comparable Camp Chef and not knocking either one. I would recommend both of them for their price range.
Welp my wife just surprised me with a Traeger 1300 wifi as an early birthday gift. I overlooked them thinking they were sub-par. I have 10 days to return it if I so chose.
 

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