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Pellet smoker or not?

smoking in ft. collins

Smoke Blower
137
12
Joined Sep 7, 2006
I currently have 3 grills and am considering a pellet smoker.  I just can't figure which grill it will replace (I have no room for a 4th)

Char-Broil Infrared gas grill

- I use this to grill up stuff quick like steaks, chops & burgers.  No smoke, but quick to warm up.

Char-Griller Smokin Pro charcoal grill

- I use this to offset smoke tri-tip, a staple in my house.  Fantastic flavor.  Takes a good amount of time to get the coals ready.

Masterbuilt MES 30 Analog smoker - Amazin Tube add in.

- I use this to smoke brisket, pork, fatties, etc.  Temp is very unreliable.

So which of these would a GMG, Rec Tec or Traeger replace?

Thanks in advance.
 

donegotfat

Meat Mopper
192
121
Joined Oct 16, 2016
With the MES having such a small footprint, perhaps keeping it somewhere else in storage in a closet or something to keep as a backup would be an option.

With a pellet pooper, unless your looking to go with something like a Yoder YS640, your not really going to have the option to get the high temps to do good direct heat grilling. The Yoder has an optional sliding bottom partition to minimize the interior chamber below the grates that the firebox heats and allows for direct grilling over the firebox.

I see many with Traeger's here but I have seen somewhat better posts, reviews and such from those with a GMG or a Rec Tec. I own a Camp Chef pellet pooper and its been doing great, no major complaints here. If you pick up a rotisery option for the pellet pooper it may work well to do your Tri Tip on, and be a replacement for your "Char-Griller Smokin Pro charcoal grill"

Definitely keep hold of your Amazin Tube as you will want to use it on the pellet, for you get semi good smoke, but not as much as you do from using the Amazin Tube.
 
Last edited:

bregent

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,596
616
Joined Mar 1, 2014
 
With the MES having such a small footprint, perhaps keeping it somewhere else in storage in a closet or something to keep as a backup would be an option.

With a pellet pooper, unless your looking to go with something like a Yoder YS640, your not really going to have the option to get the high temps to do good direct heat grilling. The Yoder has an optional sliding bottom partition to minimize the interior chamber below the grates that the firebox heats and allows for direct grilling over the firebox.

I see many with Traeger's here but I have seen somewhat better posts, reviews and such from those with a GMG or a Rec Tec. I own a Camp Chef pellet pooper and its been doing great, no major complaints here. If you pick up a rotisery option for the pellet pooper it may work well to do your Tri Tip on, and be a replacement for your "Char-Griller Smokin Pro charcoal grill"

Definitely keep hold of your Amazin Tube as you will want to use it on the pellet, for you get semi good smoke, but not as much as you do from using the Amazin Tube.
There are actually many pellet grills that now do direct flame cooking.
 

yahoot

Fire Starter
63
22
Joined Jun 6, 2016
Louisiana smokers (danson) can do both high temps and direct grilling (searing), if you want to. Much cheaper than yoder (I love the yoder, but it is pricey), IMHO, Louisiana is much better than traeger (similar price point, superior product). I have used both and worked with the factory reps from both companies (and others) at trade shows. Traeger is much more advertised, but I dislike their bottom burner system. Too many auger fires. Also, I have see too many build quality issues. Louisiana uses a side burn system (a lot like Yoder), which also makes it easy to use the searing panel. Note that I don't have any commercial interest in any of the products I mention, I just spend a lot of time on smoked meats.

I like my pellet smoker for simplicity - turn it on, add meat, take it out when it is done  (I use a remote thermometer, so it is too easy).  Love the control, lots of smoke, easy to work with, easy  for very long smokes. Searing/grilling/cooking pizza/etc. at high temps is very doable, but (a) there is an inverse relationship between smoke and temp. The hotter it burns, the less smoke it generates, and (b) it takes a lot of pellets to get really hot/keep it hot.

Key to pellet smoker for most things is to smoke low and slow (for example, we smoke brisket for 8-10 hours, which is super simple with a pellet smoker (put it on, set the thermometer to alarm if temp is too high or too low, go to bed). Can't do that with charcoal or wood fired rig. Can't get enough smoke on an electric (IMHO).

We also have a masterbuilt which we use with either a smoke maze (like a tube - I got a variety of them from Amazn at shows over the years) or with a smoke generator (smoke chief - much better smoke, but requires attention every 20-30 minutes). Also nice - we use it in the winter in the garage (we keep it up in snow country, not at my house in coastal CA). Smoke is not as good as my pellet rig, but it is a nice system for many things.

I keep a gas BBQ - fast burgers, etc. - as you point out.

Personally, I would suggest dumping the offset smoker. There is little you can do in it you can't do on a good pellet rig. We do tri-tip very regularly on the Louisiana and it comes out great (Central California diners are picky about tri-tip). I also do steaks, prime rib, hams, turkeys, - just put them on, set the temp, wait for it to be ready.
 

scottma

Smoke Blower
89
58
Joined Jun 26, 2015
I've had my Rec Tec since May and couldn't be happier its built very solid and keeps temps spot on.  I ended up getting rid of my gas grill.  I've been able to cook everything from burgers and steaks to pork butts and ribs and briskets.  I do have a set of grill grates that really help with getting the nice charred grill marks for burgers and steaks.  Temps can be set anywhere from 180 to 500+  I would dump the charcoal to make room. 
 
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