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Time for a new smoker, why should I switch to Pellet?

Three B's

Newbie
24
12
Joined Mar 17, 2020
My Smoke Hollow 44 has treated me well over the past 9 years. 6 moves and 3 states it's taken a beating and continues to pump out amazing food. But, it has been beat up a bit and parts are wearing out so it's time for me to get something new. I do utilize the large capacity so that's a must and I was thinking about switching over to the dark side and going pellet style this time. I'd love a Yoder but $2K is not happening so probably the RecTeq 700 or Camp Chef Woodwind 36.

Appealing part is the ease and the fact that I could go from a Weber Grill and SH Smoker to One unit. My concern is smoke flavor, we enjoy heavy smoke flavor that I can achieve with the propane unit. I've read that pellets don't give the food much more than a light Smokey flavor. Anyone have or tried both? What's the truth? What else should I consider?
 

JCAP

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Jun 12, 2019
The more I'm at this hobby...lifestyle (?)....the more my tastes change to a simple lighter smoke flavor is best. YMMV but in a pellet grill that's what you typically get. But you can add a pellet tube to the grill and amp up the smoke flavor for sure.

You might also consider a Masterbuilt gravity charcoal smoker or a WSM. It really depends on what you want to do...the Masterbuilt and pellet grills will give you a more hands off experience. The WSM does too but there is a small trial of getting it to temp.

So, what kind of smoking experience do you want?
 

sandyut

Master of the Pit
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SMF Premier Member
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Joined Feb 18, 2015
Rec Tec all the way. I love mine and it has been flawless for 2.5 years. if you already know how to smoke meat, they are a dream. the low/extreme smoke setting does pump out the smoke. I use it for an hour or two before revving it up if I want more smoke.
 

Chasdev

Smoking Fanatic
409
285
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Pellet spitters offer one thing, they are set and forget but the smoke profile is pretty weak.
All the smoking tubes in the world won't create the same bark and flavor of an offset stick burner.
My Webers, Kamado and pellet burner now sit under covers. (except for my Smokey Joe which rules when it comes to burgers, steaks and direct spatchcock chicken).
I'm wearing out my Masterbuilt 560 at a rapid pace, and smoke profile is the reason.
I get pellet burner ease of operation and 90% of the smoke profile of my stick burner (now sold off).
 

BrianGSDTexoma

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Aug 1, 2018
You can get a BBQ Guru for the WSM and it becomes pretty much hands off. Nothing going to replace chunks of wood for taste. I go back and forth between pellet and WSM but prefer the WSM.
 

5GRILLZNTN

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,230
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Joined Sep 12, 2018
I have a Rec Tec that has been a trusted friend for years, but once I figured out my WSM, it’s been my go to.
 

Fueling Around

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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950
Joined Dec 10, 2018
So glad I only paid $200 for my pooper.
Pooper very good for low and slow, but I haven't liked a grill cook.
Might be my learning curve.
I still "grill" on the kettle.
 

SmokeyLee15

Fire Starter
56
99
Joined Jan 13, 2021
I have a Rec Teq and love it. The whole unit and WiFi make is so convenient that I almost feel like I am cheating! I fill up the hopper, dial in my temp(from my phone) and set it and forget it! With how busy life can get these days it's nice to not have to sit by the smoker and monitor everything for hours. You won't be disappointed.
 

Big Grouch

Newbie
17
10
Joined Mar 11, 2021
I have a Camp Chef Woodwind 36. I bought it for 1100 square inches of grilling space. I also like that I put a 9 pound pork shoulder in it 2 hours ago and now I'm in bed, not tending or worrying about tending my WSM. Just my two cents.
 

yankee2bbq

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined May 7, 2017
I have the WSM with the BBQ DigiQ digital temperature controller. Well worth it.
Set it and forget it.
This was an overnight smoke, 14 hours total. 1 bag of charcoal, a few apple chunks and never worried about temp. loss or gain.
622F1830-46C9-478B-93D2-53DDC8BFCD7F.jpeg
 

Three B's

Newbie
24
12
Joined Mar 17, 2020
Thanks for the feedback. I think I'm out on a pellet, just wouldn't be satisfied with it. I'll have to look into charcoal options. I might end up with another propane unit but I'd really like to try a new challenge.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Joined Jun 22, 2009
I have a Smoke Vault Propane smoker that I have had for 7 or 8 years & I use more than my other smokers. Yes the flavor is a bit better in my WSM, & even better in my Lang. But sometimes you just don’t feel like spending the whole day tending to the smoker. So if it’s a short smoke I will probably use the SV, if it’s a long overnight smoke I will use the WSM/ Guru setup. But if it’s a nice cool day & I want the best rack of ribs & beans I’ve ever eaten then the Lang is the way to go. You just can’t beat the flavor of meat cooked over a wood fire IMHO!
Al
 

retfr8flyr

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined May 20, 2013
It sounds like you need to look at the Masterbuilt gravity charcoal smoker lineup. Their grills give you ease of use and great flavor.
 

JWFokker

Smoking Fanatic
368
130
Joined Mar 5, 2019
Chargriller just showed off their competitor to the gravity fed Masterbuilt cookers. In my experience, Chargriller tends to be better quality than Masterbuilt but we'll have to wait for people to get their hands on them. The Masterbuilt gravity fed cookers had some teething issues when they first hit the market (nowhere near as bad as the Weber Greasefire pellet burners though).
 

Three B's

Newbie
24
12
Joined Mar 17, 2020
I’ve started looking at the GF smokers. Awesome price point even with some mods and a fire board. I went to Home Depot and they only had the smaller MB and I’d consider the 1050. Lowe’s didn’t have the Char Griller in stock. I really want to see them in person
 

WV_Crusader

Meat Mopper
271
231
Joined Mar 15, 2014
I have a GMG Daniel Boone WiFi and love it! I do have the DG Downdraft mod and use a tube as well.
 

larryfoster

Smoke Blower
80
20
Joined Jul 21, 2013
Just stumbled on this thread after another struggle with my Dyna Glo offset.
I'd started thinking about a pellet smoker
But those Masterbuilt gravity smokers look pretty cool.

Was wondering about how reliable and durable the electronics are

Maybe Uncle Joe could send me another stimulus check?
:emoji_sunglasses:
 

mcokevin

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
155
132
Joined Oct 18, 2016
Was wondering about how reliable and durable the electronics are
Reliable - 10/10. I'm only a few uses in but it's spot on with temp control. Very impressive.
Durability - TBD. I have some concerns here. There are some easy steps I think you can take to improve durability, but this really needs to be rethought in the next iteration of these from MB. You can see my previous post about what I did to improve durability of my electronic components.
 

larryfoster

Smoke Blower
80
20
Joined Jul 21, 2013
Thanks for the feedback, mcokevin.

I'm still in the impulse stage and deciding whether my wife will just freak out or outright kill me.
 

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