Why a pellet smoker/grill

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Nefarious

Master of the Pit
Original poster
Oct 10, 2021
1,620
1,315
Seattle WA
I have read here that at temperatures over 275° a pellet grill imparts little to no smoke flavor into the meat. Does this mean that above 275 there is no difference between a pellet grill and a gas grill? Even though there is little to no smoke flavor, does the pellet grill add some character to the taste of the meat? Is it that the main advantage to a pellet grill is the temperature control?

Why do I ask? I have a cheap gas grill that was supposed to be replaced in a year, 3 years ago. I hate it. It has little temperature control and I have to stand over it during the entire cook. The end goal is to have a built in grill like a blaze 32" grill and a small smoker like a green mountain ledge. I can get the ledge now, or I can find an intermediate gas grill.
 
Personally I dont like my pitboss 1000t2 that much because of the lack of smoke flavor and you are correct the higher the temp the less smoke, I do use a smoke tube also to try and get more smoke but still not thrilled with it, my mes 30 makes much better smoked foods in my opinion. I can't comment on other pellet grills I never had food off them.
 
Pellets mean a lot,i have gotten pretty good smoke out of kingsford pellets over 300 degree , i always get some amoke buit lighter the higher you go on temps, thats why i will add a smoke tube
 
Pellets mean a lot
I totally agree with the pellets being a big factor. the first ones I used didnt have much flavor IMO - cant get the name to come to me now... Then I tried rec tec brand pellets - improvement but not enough. Lumberjack was the clear winner.

I think I get less smoke over 300 degrees, but its there. I smoked a pizza at 450 and there was a hint of smoke, but it also cooked in about 10-15 minutes.

I was gonna sell my gasser, but im very glad I kept it. If I want a grilled burger or vegies, or something - I use it.
 
I totally agree with the pellets being a big factor. the first ones I used didnt have much flavor IMO - cant get the name to come to me now... Then I tried rec tec brand pellets - improvement but not enough. Lumberjack was the clear winner.

I think I get less smoke over 300 degrees, but its there. I smoked a pizza at 450 and there was a hint of smoke, but it also cooked in about 10-15 minutes.

I was gonna sell my gasser, but im very glad I kept it. If I want a grilled burger or vegies, or something - I use it.
How about a steak? We like our steak more on the rare side of medium rare, so searing is important. I am assuming I need a gas grill for this.
 
How about a steak? We like our steak more on the rare side of medium rare, so searing is important. I am assuming I need a gas grill for this.
We do our steaks and virtually all beef to medium rare to at most medium. I use Grill Grates and a smoke tube to get a decent sear and the extra smoke flavor, particularly at the higher temps. That being said, I often use one of my Lodge CI Skillets if I really want that extra char on the outside. Doing that takes 2 minutes, and can be done on a stove top.

I kept my gasser as well since I got my T-1300, but I've not used it once, though I understand that not everyone would do it the same way :).
 
I believe that there isn't a one and done for bbq smoking. The pellet (or gravity) and a gasser are a pretty good combination to being a two and done. The other is a pellet and kettle for searing and wings. Other than pizza (which I love from the pellet, @ 550) and wellingtons (@ 425) pretty much anything above about 375 gets done on the gasser. Grill Gates will "equalize" most lower end grills and yield very good results. I have used them for a very long time and love them, however, I don't plan on adding them to my new 2022 model Weber as its new design is sweet and functional.
 
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How about a steak? We like our steak more on the rare side of medium rare, so searing is important. I am assuming I need a gas grill for this.
All of my steak and searing jobs get done on my ceramic grill. It does a great job smoking too. It will handle 4 butts with the stack rack that came with it.
 

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In your other thread I recommended you look at Camp Chef grills. Now even more I recommend them for you. They have a searing area on the grill and an add on propane side unit for grilling or use as a griddle or even a pizza oven. Add a Grillgrate to the searing area or side unit if you want to.
 
How about a steak? We like our steak more on the rare side of medium rare, so searing is important. I am assuming I need a gas grill for this.
You don't need a gas grill for that. Get a kettle.

Kettles are a one stop shop for just about anything. You can smoke, grill, sear, or roast anything that will fit in it.

We eat steak about once a week and grill it rare + sear. Use lump charcoal for a ripping hot side and sear it, then throw a probe in and move the steak to the opposite side of the kettle with lid and vents shut to half. Pull at 123-125, let rest a couple minutes, and you're there.

Honestly, a kettle would solve all the problems you mention in your post for a couple hundred bucks.
 
I certainly recognize the current dilemma but an 'intermediate gas grill' = extra $$$ spent when looking at your long term goal of a built in and would best be avoided if at all possible. Bottom line, can you get good results off of the gasser by continually manning it? If so, and assuming your long term the goal isn't too far away, I'd opt for purchasing the smoker you want to end up with now and baby the gasser until you're ready for the built-in. Otherwise, you're going to spend $$ twice. IMO, smokers do best at smoking, while gassers do best at grilling. Compromises abound when trying to combine those two functions with a single unit. Yes, it can be done and there will be plenty who argue in favor of it. To those, my question would be is that because of space constraints, financial decisions, justifying a past purchase or that their multitasker does it better on both sides of the equation?
 
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I have read here that at temperatures over 275° a pellet grill imparts little to no smoke flavor into the meat. Does this mean that above 275 there is no difference between a pellet grill and a gas grill? Even though there is little to no smoke flavor, does the pellet grill add some character to the taste of the meat? Is it that the main advantage to a pellet grill is the temperature control?

Why do I ask? I have a cheap gas grill that was supposed to be replaced in a year, 3 years ago. I hate it. It has little temperature control and I have to stand over it during the entire cook. The end goal is to have a built in grill like a blaze 32" grill and a small smoker like a green mountain ledge. I can get the ledge now, or I can find an intermediate gas grill.

I just add a couple of smoke tubes.

No lack, whatsoever, of full smoke flavor. Not only that, but it allows for easy mixing of wood types. You don't have to mix up your wood pellets in the hopper, since you can put different types in the tubes.

I made my first attempt at high and fast ribs this last weekend, at 275° with almond wood in the hopper, and maple in the 2 smoke tubes. 2.5 hours smoking, 45 minutes wrapped, 20 minutes glazed and unwrapped. They came out with plenty of smoke, bite through tender, thick smoke ring.

Results were almost as good as a low and slow.

I have a gas grill that I use for grilling.
 
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