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So Many Brands...Which one to purchase?

kevin pitzer

Fire Starter
69
12
Joined Dec 3, 2015
So I have a WSM which I have used for the last 4 + years, however I do want something a bit easier (i.e. pellet grill) with some wifi features if it fits the budget. Looking for suggestions here to those that have one, both pros and cons of really world use.
My current go to list includes, Pit Boss 1150, Traeger 780 Pro, Camp Chef SG 30 wifi and the Z Grills 7002C.
 

TheGrumpyGriller

Smoke Blower
76
43
Joined Jan 29, 2021
So I have a WSM which I have used for the last 4 + years, however I do want something a bit easier (i.e. pellet grill) with some wifi features if it fits the budget. Looking for suggestions here to those that have one, both pros and cons of really world use.
My current go to list includes, Pit Boss 1150, Traeger 780 Pro, Camp Chef SG 30 wifi and the Z Grills 7002C.
I have a Traeger Timberline 1300, but it's the most expensive Traeger offering :) That being said, it's huge and often needed for our larger family gatherings etc. I don't use Traeger's pellets, mostly Pit Boss and some Camp Chef, but I love the grill itself. I've had mine for about 10 months, and it's been a very reliable workhorse for me.

The only con I'd throw out there is true of virtually every pellet grill - searing takes a bit of time after a low-and-slow, but I use GrillGrates to help with that. And in some cases I'll throw on a cast iron skillet to get sear marks or start a reverse-sear. I also use InkBird WiFi probes to monitor pit temp as well as food temp, rather than using the single probe included with the Traeger. One is never enough, and the InkBird does a great job at a very good price.

The Timberline series, even the smaller version has a fully insulated, double-walled pit, so heat retention is fantastic and the rebound after opening the lid is quick.

Good luck with whatever you choose!!!

P.S. - I am probably going to get Blackstone Griddle as well (36") just for another way to cook :)
 

SmokingUPnorth

Smoking UPNorth
SMF Premier Member
947
784
Joined Dec 7, 2017
I had a WSM and Traeger. My opinion. The Traeger was easy to use but for my taste, to get it to not taste like it was baked in an oven I had to use Lumberjack pellets start it at 180* along with a pellet tray inside to get the smoke flavor. I have no experience with the other smokers your asking about though
 

jcam222

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
5,860
5,628
Joined Jun 13, 2017
I’m surprised to not see Rec Tec on your list. I’d also add that if your primary goal is a more hands off cook pellet grills aren’t your only option. I’d consider a Masterbuilt gravity feed as well.
 

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
460
69
Joined Jun 6, 2012
I have had a variety of pellet cookers and can def tell you which ones to avoid. First whatbis your budget and purpose? You want just for smoking or smoking and searing?
 

Fueling Around

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,297
1,237
Joined Dec 10, 2018
...
The only con I'd throw out there is true of virtually every pellet grill - searing takes a bit of time after a low-and-slow,
...
Pit Boss grills have a sear feature by opening slots in the heat diverter. Not sure how if it works as 2 neighbors have Pit Boss, but don't use it.
Some of the other
I have a Masterbuilt Traeger clone. If I want sear the kettle is my go to platform.

The higher end poopers have sear features.
 

Humo18

Meat Mopper
210
64
Joined Aug 7, 2018
So I have a WSM which I have used for the last 4 + years, however I do want something a bit easier (i.e. pellet grill) with some wifi features if it fits the budget. Looking for suggestions here to those that have one, both pros and cons of really world use.
My current go to list includes, Pit Boss 1150, Traeger 780 Pro, Camp Chef SG 30 wifi and the Z Grills 7002C.
I love my Windwood WiFi with a PID controller, works great! Just FYI, the Camp Chef WiFi mobile phone app on iPhones only works with iOS 13 and newer. I have an iPhone 6 with iOS 12 and it will not let me upgrade to 13, therefore I can't use the WiFi feature on my Winwood without going to a newer version of iPhone. Ticks me off because the phone is like brand new condition and and it's expensive to get a newer one specially when I don't need it for anything else. Camp Chef and Apple what a pair! Rats!!
 

kevin pitzer

Fire Starter
69
12
Joined Dec 3, 2015
I have had a variety of pellet cookers and can def tell you which ones to avoid. First whatbis your budget and purpose? You want just for smoking or smoking and searing?
Thank you....I would like to stay around $800 - 1000, but am a little flexible. Want it more for smoking than searing, but searing would be nice, just not needed.
 

kevin pitzer

Fire Starter
69
12
Joined Dec 3, 2015
I’m surprised to not see Rec Tec on your list. I’d also add that if your primary goal is a more hands off cook pellet grills aren’t your only option. I’d consider a Masterbuilt gravity feed as well.
I will definately have to check them. Honestly forgot about them as you don't hear them mentioned as often. Do you have one and if so which model?
 

kevin pitzer

Fire Starter
69
12
Joined Dec 3, 2015
I see a lot of Camp Chef love here. For those that own them, have you had others and what is it that you love about your CC and what do you dislike?
 

kevin pitzer

Fire Starter
69
12
Joined Dec 3, 2015
I have a Traeger Timberline 1300, but it's the most expensive Traeger offering :) That being said, it's huge and often needed for our larger family gatherings etc. I don't use Traeger's pellets, mostly Pit Boss and some Camp Chef, but I love the grill itself. I've had mine for about 10 months, and it's been a very reliable workhorse for me.

The only con I'd throw out there is true of virtually every pellet grill - searing takes a bit of time after a low-and-slow, but I use GrillGrates to help with that. And in some cases I'll throw on a cast iron skillet to get sear marks or start a reverse-sear. I also use InkBird WiFi probes to monitor pit temp as well as food temp, rather than using the single probe included with the Traeger. One is never enough, and the InkBird does a great job at a very good price.

The Timberline series, even the smaller version has a fully insulated, double-walled pit, so heat retention is fantastic and the rebound after opening the lid is quick.

Good luck with whatever you choose!!!

P.S. - I am probably going to get Blackstone Griddle as well (36") just for another way to cook :)
Thank you for taking the time to write a good review. Really appreciate the info.
 

kevin pitzer

Fire Starter
69
12
Joined Dec 3, 2015
I love my Windwood WiFi with a PID controller, works great! Just FYI, the Camp Chef WiFi mobile phone app on iPhones only works with iOS 13 and newer. I have an iPhone 6 with iOS 12 and it will not let me upgrade to 13, therefore I can't use the WiFi feature on my Winwood without going to a newer version of iPhone. Ticks me off because the phone is like brand new condition and and it's expensive to get a newer one specially when I don't need it for anything else. Camp Chef and Apple what a pair! Rats!!
Thanks for the details. What do you like and dislike with the grill? Have you had any others before purchase?
 

Kevin Braker

Smoke Blower
83
46
Joined May 21, 2018
I see a lot of Camp Chef love here. For those that own them, have you had others and what is it that you love about your CC and what do you dislike?
i like the forward thinking design of them. They are a lot for the money, features wise. CS is really good. The only downside is that there much of a store presence on them in my area.
 

yankee2bbq

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,243
1,957
Joined May 7, 2017
So I have a WSM which I have used for the last 4 + years, however I do want something a bit easier (i.e. pellet grill) with some wifi features if it fits the budget. Looking for suggestions here to those that have one, both pros and cons of really world use.
My current go to list includes, Pit Boss 1150, Traeger 780 Pro, Camp Chef SG 30 wifi and the Z Grills 7002C.
Have you looked at a BBQ Guru for your WSM? They have Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities. Set it and forget with the WSM with great results.
 

1MoreFord

Meat Mopper
271
117
Joined Jan 4, 2020
Another happy CampChef owner here. I have a SG24 with PID controller. I like the 22lb pellet hopper with cleanout, and the firepot cleanout. The price at HomeDepot was good for the features. The only complaints I have are the Wifi is weak but cured that with a $20 extender and the universal complaint about lack of smoke flavor. I've got a pellet tube to help there.
 

Humo18

Meat Mopper
210
64
Joined Aug 7, 2018
Thanks for the details. What do you like and dislike with the grill? Have you had any others before purchase?
I have had only Camp Chef. Two Windwood smokers, sold my first one when I moved. I like: the ease of cleaning the smoker, changing pellet flavors by pulling a lever, ease of discarding the ashes from each cook, the accurate PID controller to maintain temp (specially at low temps), the ability to grill at direct high heat or smoke at low temps, and the taste of the food comes out great. I like the fact that it comes with four meat tempearture probes (plus the built-in smoker temp), and two additional upper racks. The pellet hopper holds a little over 20 lbs of pellets, great for overnight long brisket cooks. I also got the Sidekick with the cast iron griddle that gets screaming hot to grill smashburgers and cook great breakfast food for the family.

One thing I don't like is that that legs on the left side do not come with wheels so it's difficult for me to move it around on our deck specially with the added weight of the Sidekick. I had to purchase from CC two new legs with wheels that I wish were a little bigger/robust. Another negative of sorts is that when the hopper is only about 1/4 full the pellets don't flow smoothly into the auger compartment so you have to keep on eye on it and rake the pellets into the auger compartment to make sure the auger doesn't run out of pellets.

All in all very happy with it. If I didn't articulate some things clearly, let me know and I'll try to clarify.
 

K9BIGDOG

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
160
220
Joined Jul 7, 2017
I see a lot of Camp Chef love here. For those that own them, have you had others and what is it that you love about your CC and what do you dislike?
Lots of features and attachments available for the Camp Chef. I like the pellet drain for the hopper, and the ash cleanout. They also have both the Sidekick and Searbox available although I prefer the Sidekick. The Sidekick gives you a versatile 30,000BTU side burner that can accept a BBQ Grill Box, Flat Top Griddle and a Pizza Oven as well as can be used as an open burner for boiling, deep frying, steaming, etc. CC also makes insulated blankets to fit their units to, so the winter isn't generally an issue for me here in NY.
Some guys complain about the lack of "smoke flavor" from pellet grills but I really haven't been able to pin that down. To me, smokiness should be a part of the overall flavor profile of your food, not the dominant flavor. You can get a tremendous amount of smoke into your food at the higher smoke levels but you will get wider temperature swings as a result because the controller needs to let the pellets smolder longer rather than burn for heat. The average temps will round out to around your set temp at the end of the cook but if graphed the temps they would be up and down all over the place. A smoke tube is a great an inexpensive addition to a pellet setup if your really want a lot of smoke. Pellet brand has lot to do with the smoke profile as well. Or you could even smolder chips in the tube for more smoke. Some guys I think would do better if they burned a stick of hickory and licked it before they ate their food to hear them complain. lol:emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing:
 

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