Still trying to decide on what to buy

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by ross77, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. ross77

    ross77 Fire Starter

    I'm thinking about getting a pellet smoker.  I started with a WSM and it made great food but it was a real pain to operate.  I've been using a MES for about 3 years and it already failed once.  It makes pretty good food but I still have to baby it with wood chips.  I also have a Weber gas grill.

    I saw Traegers for $100 off at the Costco roadshow and it peaked my interest.  I nearly pulled the trigger on the Texas Elite but thought I'd read up on pellet smokers first.  

    I like the idea of getting a pellet smoker to use for smoking and grilling.  Are these acceptable for grilling burgers/steaks/veggies etc?  I don't care much about grilling marks.  

    After reading reviews on Traeger smokers it sounds like the quality has gone down recently?  

    I'm considering Traeger, Rec Tec and GMG.  The Rec Tec looks fantastic but the price is hard to swallow.  

    How is the smoke flavor on these units at low temps?  Comparable to the MES?

    If I were to buy one I'd get rid of both smokers and the grill.  My wife won't let me have 4 outdoor cookers.....
  2. spohnat

    spohnat Newbie

  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Avoid the Traeger like it will bite you...There are tons of complaints about them. Yes the Rec Tec is pricey but best built of what you list. The GMG guys are relatively happy with them. In smoke mode, temp varies by make,  the unit smokes similarly to a MES, but going hotter 225+, temp goes up but smoke production goes down to nothing. Many guys add the A-maze-n Tube with pellets to make smoke...JJ 
  4. ross77

    ross77 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the info.  I checked out a Yoder today.  An impressive machine but wow the price is rich.
  5. I also looked at Yoders, if you don't Have a dealer near you. It's $300-500 for shipping. Depending on the weight.
  6. ross77

    ross77 Fire Starter

    This was a local dealer and he said I would have to pay $200 shipping even though they had them in stock.  I thought it was kind of weird.  
  7. yea that's what a dealer in charlotte told me
  8. I had one custom built 24"x48" with a grill/sear top over the fire box.
  9. With the Yoder the dealer has to pay the shipping like the rest of us. At almost 400 pounds, shipping is high but after comparing the rest, for me it was worth the extra money. The best thing Is that I can fill it up and go to bed at midnight, get up at 6am and still have it smoking without shipping a beat. At 60 I need my beauty sleep! 
  10. steelhere

    steelhere Newbie

    - I am in a similar situation.  I have had a Horizon Offset smoker for about 5 years, but have grown weary (and too old) for all of the attention required.  As a result I have been pretty inactive smoking for a while.

     - My son has had a Traeger for a couple of years (not sure which model) he loves it ... and turns out great food.

      - My sister has a cookshack SM066 ..... and she loves it... and turns out great food...

      - I started out looking at the Traeger... and from there looked at the Rec Tec .... then I the CookShack PG500 caught my eye....

     -- Cookshack steered me pretty briskly toward the SM066 instead of the PG500.

     -- I like the models that are made of mostly all stainless.


     --  Now I find that I have a lot of questions....

     --- At the root .... I have the dilemma of "Electric Smoker" VS "Pellet Grill".

      ---> I really like the idea to be able to do the higher heat cooks... (lunch, burgers etc)... also the ability to sear.

      ---> but then I ask ... is it worth it to have the combo units... or just keep a burner available to the side with a cast iron skillet?  (smoke to temp, then reverse sear).

      ---> The doors on the PG500 seem like they would be a pain to work with if you were trying to grill on it..... (it boasts that the grill section is high heat simultaneously with the indirect area low heat).


      ---> Also .... not sure I like the fact that the grill (direct heat) area is dedicated and can never be used for smoking.... that means the indirect area is rather small.

      ----> The PG500 also did not have the ability to use a probe (connected to the controller).

      ----> the SM066 will do some pretty neat stuff with the controller (timer, etc)....  then I could just have another option for grill.


      After thinking I had made up my mind to purchase an SM066 .... I found that (even though I only live about 50 miles from CookShack in Ponca City ..... I can purchase the Cookshack product from an online vendor in Pennsylvania for a fair bit less.... 

     --- I went to ... and seen the "Firecraft Q450" ..... pellet grill ... it is all stainless....  is priced very reasonable (half the price of the PG500 )..... shipping is free.... cover is included....  It has a searing station option (remove a cover from the diffuser (over the firepot)... then add grill grates).   I like it that the sear station is not dedicated.. so I can use all the rack space for smoking if I want to.

      --- I am still a little un-sure ....  thought I might get some good feedback / advice here.

  11. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    I've heard great things about the Firecraft.  I have a RT680 and love it.  Had a Traeger that I won in a raffle and gave it to my mother after a few cooks deciding which one I liked better - it was no contest.
  12. ross77

    ross77 Fire Starter

    Now the Blaz'n Grill is in play. Seems like a quality unit and it's double wall steel.
  13. ross77

    ross77 Fire Starter

    After speaking with Tim at Blaz'n Grills I think I'm sold. I liked what I hear and he was willing to throw in some extras with the grill. 3 week lead time though.
  14. Sounds like 3 weeks to Christmas!! I have looked and had a chance to get hands on the Blaz'n Grill, it is a stout Pellet Smoker.  It also has some nice features for longer smokes.  

    Would love to see pics when you unbox it.  
  15. bass

    bass Fire Starter

    Congrats on the buy.   Look forward to your reviews & thoughts.   I've been dealing with the similar dilemma.  I grill on a gas grill and smoke on a WSM.   It turns out good smoked food if tended to but my weekend time is diced up by longstanding commitments that don't allow me to tend to a smoker every few hours.  I would like to smoke more.  

    Had never heard of pellet smokers until I saw a Traeger at a mall kiosk.   Started pressing the sales kid with questions and he didn't have answers.   The price was reasonable but the build quality wasn't there.  I've been torn between ordering a Blazin' Grill Works and a Yoder Pellet Smoker.   
  16. ross77

    ross77 Fire Starter

    I haven't actually pulled the trigger yet but I'm 90% there.  If you haven't, I would call Tim at Blazin'.  Nice guy.  Just ask him what deals he can offer.  

    I did check out a Yoder at a local store and it's a beast but the downside is that it apparently burns through a lot of pellets.  What I like most about the Blazn' is the double wall construction and I would go for the insulated lid as well.  Being that I'm in MN, it should help with the cold.  The slide out fire pot is also a really nice feature.  

    In an idea world I'd like to see one in person but it sounds like a winner from what I've read.
  17. gr8day

    gr8day Smoke Blower

    Bass get a Pitmaster IQ 110 for the WSM = set it and for get it, I have one and use it for times when I can't be home for the whole cook. 

    Have been looking at the Grand Slam myself but I am leaning towards the Smokin Brothers Premier 24 or Premier 30 (most likely the 30), the Fire Box is insulated and it comes with a Savannah Stoker Controller which enables you to program cooks and adjust fan speed if need, like the Blaz'n its made in the US. 
  18. IMHO best combo on the market is the Fast Eddy/Cooks hack PG500 or 1000 or the Englander Pellets grill which was also designed by Fast Eddy.

    I grill more than I smoke, and would still buy it just for the grilling capabilities, or just the smoker but get a double win with both
  19. bass

    bass Fire Starter

    thx, will keep that in mind.   seems like there's lots of options out there for sure. 
  20. Yoder

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