1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Power Paranoia Warranted?

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by TonyBones, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Alright guys I've decided after owning a WSM and a Weber Kettle for a while now I would also like to have some more convenience with a pellet grill. I've never done super long cooks on my WSM for that reason.

    The ole' power outage is paranoia is starting to set in. I've searched threads on here and saw people with concern the food wasn't safe after discovering the power went out on things like electric smokers overnight. Have any of you used or heard of anything with enough power to act as a backup for a smoker besides an all out generator? Just curious.

  2. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nope you would need a generator.
    TonyBones likes this.
  3. Ishi

    Ishi Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I’ve used a pellet grill now for seven years and have never had my power go out during a cook and I use it almost nonstop it seems like:) Some day it will happen but that’s the luck of the draw.
    TonyBones likes this.
  4. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    And generators can fail also. And most have a short run time on the internal gas tank and could not do an overnight cook without tending which defeats the whole idea in your original post...... (not to add to the paranoia)

    Seriously though, how many posts have you seen where people commented their smoke failed because the pellet smoker stopped working? Unless you live in an area where the power goes out a lot more than it does in most, I think it's a non-issue.

    On the other hand, have you considered a power draft like the BBQ Guru models for your WSM? Those will run from a 12v battery and a standard deep cycle battery has more than enough amperage for a very very long smoke. I've been using a BBQ Guru DigiQ 2 unit since 2006 on my 18.5" WSM. I have probably done close to 50 overnight cooks of pork butts, chuck rolls and other large masses of meat for work and other gatherings. My Guru has been powered by the 120v to 12v adapter and not a battery and I've never had a failure. Also with the guru, if the power "blipped" for a few minutes, it holds memory and simply resumes when it comes back on (assuming not on battery). It takes a while for the charcoal to choke down as there is still some airflow so it simply stokes it back up to the preset level. I don't know if a pellet unit does this or not. Plus a Guru works just fine on your other smokes and not just the overnight ones. I use it for all my WSM smokes as it's as close to "set and forget" no matter what the temp desired, as you can ever get. With a Guru, the WSM holds temp as long as their is fuel to burn. Although a lot of people have the Guru models, pretty much all the "power drafts" work the same way and some have even built their own from scratch.

    Just my take.....
    BKING! and TonyBones like this.
  5. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If it weren't for fear of all the little and large critters around here. I wouldn't hesitate to go overnight with my WSM 22", and I'm not running any type of guru.

    TonyBones likes this.
  6. I don't know the exact number on here man but I searched and saw at least 4 here (not just pellets, MES too), a few on another forum that rhymes with Edit. I'm not making this up sheesh lol. Our power has went out 4 times this year alone.

    I will however look into your BBQ guru. Pork butts I usually start early in the AM and just stick around. Brisket I've never done. Thank you for your insight though
  7. BKING!

    BKING! Smoking Fanatic

    To add to what dward said... if something were to happen to the moving parts on your pellet cooker you would have to finish the cook in the oven. If something were to happen to the guru you simply pop it off and finish manually. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot for my next smoker as I plan to compete and cater. Last thing I want is a cooker to be completely unusable if I am spending the money to compete or if a bunch of people are relying on me to cook some good Q.

    The wsm is a good cooker. I’d just buy a guru if the only reason you want a pellet smoker is for the set and forget convenience. The guru will function just as well if not better.
  8. lu1847

    lu1847 Smoking Fanatic

    I'll vouch for the digi q. Been using for a little over a year with 18.5 wsm and it has literally made it effortless! Good luck with your choice!
    TonyBones likes this.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL... I can live without an electric smoker better than with out A/C! Sooooooo.... after no electricity for 6 weeks following Katrina I solved my problems.


    I upgraded........ The above carried 2 each 240V window units, 3 each reefers and 3 each freezers, plus I few lights and fans. But finding gasoline and having to refill it all the time were a bitch.

    Soooooo..... I upgraded.....LOL Just tell me what happened when I get up..... So I worry not about electricity for the smokers. It only cost .50 cents more to go first class!

  10. So yeah, I feel like this thread post went off base. While I didn't ask for recommendations, I appreciate them. However, this post has went from a simple question about backup in case of power outage to 'why some dont have the need for electric'

    I simply asked those who operate via pellets if my fear was warranted.
  11. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    If you can live with a small pellet cooker, you could use something like a tailgating unit like the GMG Davy Crockett because you can power it from a car battery (it comes with all the proper connectors, cables, and clips). I personally don't know how long the battery charge will last, but I've read where some people claim you can cook all weekend on a single charge. Might be true because other than the initial fire, the only power required is the auger, fan, and electronics.
    TonyBones likes this.
  12. That's interesting. I am a sports fan and like to tailgate I will look into that for that reason alone. Thank you for your reply.
  13. I know a number of Yoder pellet smoker owners that have setup an inverter with a couple of deep cycle batteries for use at competitions when they either have no power or the power is insufficient. I just did a search and Traeger has a branded inverter on Amazon for about $70.
    lu1847 and TonyBones like this.
  14. That's very useful information. Thank you man.
  15. bregent

    bregent Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've never had a power outage during a cook, but it's a good idea to have a remote temp monitor with alarm to alert you in case of any problem for an overnight cook. Even if there's no power outage, flame outs do occur on some pellet cookers and you'd hate to find out that your cooker went out sometime during the night. When I had my Camp Chef pellet grill, the temp alarm woke me during a few overnighters and I was able to restart the cooker and get it finished.
    BKING! and TonyBones like this.
  16. ross77

    ross77 Smoking Fanatic

    It's a non-issue unless you live in an area prone to power outages.