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What backyard grill should I get?

mdbannister

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Hey everyone, we just got a house (finally out of that apartment life!!), and I'm looking at grills (of course!). I would like something that will serve our family well, but I also entertain fairly large groups regularly from our church (maybe around 30 people). So I'm trying to get something with a good size to it, but that will also work well for our family too.

I'm looking to steer clear of propane. I'm just not a fan. However, I am torn between pellet and charcoal grills. I have traditionally grilled over mesquite wood chunks, and I enjoy it. However, I'm also looking at the Traeger and Pit Boss pellet grills and love the amount of control they offer (haven't used either, so I'm relying on reviews).

What are your thoughts? If you were buying a new grill right now, what would you be looking at?
 

mdbannister

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In my own dream world, someone would create a combo grill that allowed me to use either charcoal/wood chunks or pellets (similar to how they do with charcoal/propane combo grills). ...but no such marvel exists from what I can find.
 

smokerjim

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I have a pitboss pellet grill/smoker, not thrilled with it, I dont get that grilled flavor from mine unless I start at low temp with bbq pellets then raise heat even then the flavor isnt the best, yes its convenient but I suggest ya look at charcoal if you want the bbq flavor. Just my opinion.
 

thirdeye

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I'm a charcoal guy myself, and use a few different flavor woods, both in chunks and by adding pellets into the charcoal. Why don't you define grilling for your family verses entertaining 30 people, meaning what kind of foods for each, and how much?
 

SmokinVOLfan

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I dont own one so you can take this with a grain of salt but I would check out the masterbuilt gravity fed series. You can grill and smoke on them and still get the charcoal flavor you are looking for. From what I understand you get a lot of the controls a pellet grill would offer.
 

SecondHandSmoker

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I dont own one so you can take this with a grain of salt but I would check out the masterbuilt gravity fed series. You can grill and smoke on them and still get the charcoal flavor you are looking for. From what I understand you get a lot of the controls a pellet grill would offer.
You beat me to it! :emoji_laughing:
 

Sowsage

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With deals going on around christmas time you might be able to swing doing two different cookers. If you like cooking over charcoal you cant go wrong with a weber kettle... As far as regularly cooking for 30 people at your church....dont rule out propane completely....id take a look at some flat top grills like the blackstones or campchef...you can do just about anything you want on a flat top and sure makes it easy feeding 30 people.
 

912smoker

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I dont own one so you can take this with a grain of salt but I would check out the masterbuilt gravity fed series. You can grill and smoke on them and still get the charcoal flavor you are looking for. From what I understand you get a lot of the controls a pellet grill would offer.
I agree ! I have the MBGF 1050 and love it. Charcoal and wood chunk flavor, low and slow, sears to 700* and lots of space to feed a crowd. But she does love to eat lol
 

civilsmoker

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If you are cooking for that many people and want consistency in the cook, I would suggest the RecTec-1250.....you can put wood chucks or coals on top of the CI diverter plate a the start of the cook if you want the wood or coal flavor.......
 

noboundaries

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A 26.5" Weber grill will do everything you mentioned. It will grill, smoke, bake, roast, you name it. No electronics to fail from heat or rain. There are lots of accessories, and it uses a fuel you are familiar with using. Finally, it will last for decades.

Convenient? It's not like as quick a starter as a propane or pellet grill, but what's another half hour between friends?
 

BigGebben

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What sort of neat are you trying to cook? If you just want to do hamburger and hot dogs most anything mentioned would do the trick. if you are wanting to do briskets and large meats you could even look into an offset smoker if that is available for you.
 

normanaj

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Besides the Weber kettle I would also look at the Weber Smoky Mountain(WSM).The WSM is a great charcoal smoker right out of the box and it can be accessorized and turned into a fantastic smoker.And you can grill on it too.
 

schlotz

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Big difference between cooking/smoking for a family vs 30 people. If the 30 people does occur throughout the year then you're going to need a rather robust unit. The size of unit does depend somewhat, on the protein you are cooking for 30 people. Regardless of size, I personally suggest you start by looking at the offerings from Yoder & Req-Tec.
 
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JLeonard

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I have a 22 in kettle and love it. It will do everything. like noboundaries noboundaries said the 26 inch would do what ya want from family to groups.
Jim
 

JeffShoaf

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Have you looked at Santa Maria sir grills? Wood, charcoal, or both and lots of fun playing with fire. Smoking is a bit inconvenient unless you get one with a lid but you didn't mention smoking. You can outfit some of them with a rotisserie too.
 

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