Thinking of trying a pellet smoker

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by yooper, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. yooper

    yooper Newbie

    I have a Smoke Hollow propane smoker but was thinking of purchasing a pellet smoker. The biggest thing is I've never tried food from one and don't know anyone who has one. I like a heavier smoke flavor, so I'm not sure if this is the way to go. But I would like to have the ease of not having to add chips/wood to get smoke. It's more of a set it and forget it. The one thing I noticed is they are crazy expensive!

    I did see this one at the local Lowes: and this one at a local Cabelas: .

    Any other suggestions in this price range? Or just stick with what I have now. Thanks
  2. low down

    low down Newbie

    If ya think 600 is expensive, don't even look at what I paid for a 2 star, lol!  If I did not end up with a MAK, my second and third pick would be GMG and REC TEC... either one of those should spank the Traeger.  Just speaking from the homework I did before pulling the trigger on mine.  Best of luck on yer decision, and enjoy the pellet pooper you end up with!
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello Yooper,

    I am a pellet smoker owner (Rec Tec), and like it very much. But your concern that the food might not be smoky enough for you is a valid concern if you like a heavy smoke flavor. Pellet cookers produce a more subtle smoke flavor than other smoker types, and many feel the need to supplement the smoke with an extra smoke generating device such as the A Maze N Tube Smoker...even with these devices, the smoke won't be as heavy as with a stick burner or charcoal rig. I strongly suggest you try to find a way to try some pellet smoked meat before you shell out the $$ to buy one. It'd be a shame to spend between $500 and $1K on a new pit, then realize you're not satisfied with the food it turns out.

    If you go ahead with a pellet grill purchase, that Char Griller you linked from Lowes gets pretty good reviews for pits in that price range. You might PM Chef Willie and ask his opinion...he owns a Char Griller and likes his a lot.

    Good luck!! Let us know what you decide to do... Thumbs Up

  4. loock28

    loock28 Fire Starter

    if you are looking for a cheaper way to get into pellet grill try checking out craigslist I have found a few really good deals on there. if you are looking to stay around the $600 range look at gmg people seem to love them. I was going to get one until I found my blazin off of craigslist. you can get into a danial boone bare bones for under $600
  5. yooper

    yooper Newbie

    I have looked at craigslist but being in a small town there was nothing, couple uds's for sale. Also looked to see if there was a gm dealer around, but when I found one and googled the address it came up as a house that had sold not a business.

    We have a Gander in town or a Cabela's 45min away, I did see a company that is selling Louisiana pellet grills in town. Will look to find info on them as they had no price listed. I also already have a A Maze N Tube Smoker to use.

    Thanks for all the help, back to more research
  6. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Spokane WA has a Louisiana dealer. Did a quick Google search for info on them. Didn't find much...and what I did find was less than favorable. Temperature control issues and hot/cold spots stuck out. Got an email from Amazon a few days back, Rec Tec was $600 or so discounted.
  7. yooper

    yooper Newbie

    Has anyone heard of SWEET HOME PELLET GRILL? I found one for sale on craigslist. He says 2 years old and paid over $1100 for it, used 4-5 times. I googled it and the price seems correct but not a lot of reviews on it.

  8. low down

    low down Newbie

    I have not until now.  One thing to keep in the back of your head is if ((insert pellet grill company here)) will be around down the road should you require a replacement part... like a controller or a motor. 
  9. yooper

    yooper Newbie

    Thats a good point.

    It is listed for $350 and comes with a cover as well. I'm thinking of making him/her show me that everything works and offer $300
  10. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    I am not a fan of pellet smokers.  I agree with the above statement about taste some meat off of one first.  I have a friend who bought a Traeger and is unhappy because he cannot get the amount of smoke into his meat he wants.  Because of his issues, I stayed away from the pellets.  To supplement my stick burner I bought a SmokinTex, which allows me to add either chips or dust and I get to decide how much....  But if you want the ability to start it and leave it, a pellet smoker might be your best bet.

    You have to know that for me personally half the fun is working the fire and tending to the pit...

    Smoke ON!
  11. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Honestly, I would suggest that if you want a set it & forget it type of cooker, build or buy a UDS, or even a WSM. No moving parts, nothing to break down.
  12. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    My pellet grill produces the right amount of smoke flavor for me. But I like smoke flavor more in the background, and not up front where it covers up the flavor of the meat. I get about the same amount of smoke flavor that I get in the BBQ joints I visit, but certainly not as much as many backyard BBQers. If you like heavy smoke flavor, you may be disappointed with a pellet grill. 
  13. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    Yooper, I've recently jumped into pellet grill smoking with a Green Mountain Grills "Daniel Boone" model and have been very pleased.  With a nearby GMG dealer it was easy to go see it and talk with them.

    The Traeger model you list has a "sibling" model sold by Costco called the Traeger Century.  More expensive, but also perhaps a bit upgraded in some areas.  Either way if you have a Costco membership it's a safe way to give it a try since you can always take it back if unsatisfied.

    Another idea if you're wondering if you'll like the flavor of pellet grill smoked food is look for BBQ competitions that may be nearby.  I'd imagine at least one team would be using a pellet grill for something or other and they'd be a great source of information and possibly a sample.  :)
  14. low down

    low down Newbie

    The caveat to this (at least for the UDS) is that it'll have a sweet spot in temperature where you can truly 'set it and forget it'.  On my UDS it's right around 275... if I want to cook at any other temp on it, then I have to stay on top of the cook.  With my pellet pooper that's a non issue at any temperature.  In fact I fired up my 2 star Monday night around 2300 and it ran until 1730 last night... can't imagine wanting to do that on a UDS or a WSM thinking you're gonna set it and forget it.

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