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Pellet Grills and Smokers


Teamdirtyleg

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3 hours ago, Spur08 said:

I'm new to the pellet smoking game, as I've just picked up a RecTec.  What are the thoughts on the best brand of pellets to purchase?  I've read pretty bad things on Traeger due to a lawsuit.

I really like Lumberjack 100% Hickory.

https://www.atwoods.com/department/outdoor-recreation/grills-smokers/charcoal-fuel/lumber-jack-hickory-bbq-grilling-pellets-20-lbs.html

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A buddy bought a Rec Tec RT700 a few months ago, and I have to say I'm intrigued. He's turned out some pretty great quality briskets on that thing...great bark, great smoke ring, fully rendered fat in the point, and he says it's been 100% trouble free. I'm at a point where set it and forget it and get a good night's sleep is sounding pretty good. The App seems cool, too. We went fishing last month, and he put ribs on the smoker for his family before we left. He was able to control temp and see the meat temp from his iphone, and called his wife and told her when to wrap and unwrap them from Rockport. Pretty cool. I'm going to see how he likes it in a year, and may pull the trigger then. For now, I've filled the water pan on my WSM with sand, and just ordered a Cajun Bandit door and charcoal ring. Hopefully that helps with my temp fluctuation issues and I can get it dialed in. I haven't been happy with a brisket from my WSM since I got it. 

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Ive had a Traeger for several years.  Can’t beat the convenience, and once I learned how to use it correctly (which didn’t take long) it has been cranking out really good bbq.  Great thing iOS being able to turn it on quickly to do things like smoke steaks for a reverse sear.  And you can’t beat being able to throw on a brisket and go back to bed

Edited by AustinMT
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20 hours ago, Gil Bang said:

So, it's established that the traegers and their cousins are "set and forget".

What about using a WSM with one of those computerized fan deals on the lower vent?  Anybody use that?

 

I don't have an electric fan/temp controller, but I do have a WSM. Out of the box, I wasn't all that impressed with the WSM (coming from an offset stick burner). The factory door is trash and leaks like crazy, it's a pain in the ass to clean, and the the factory cover sun rotted in less than a year so every time it rains, the lower chamber fills up with water. It also takes some finagling to keep temp consistent. I've filled my water pan with sand, so it holds temp better now, and I just ordered the cajun bandit replacement door and larger charcoal ring. We will see how it goes with those mods as far as holding temp and extending cook time. That doesn't make it any easier to clean out after a cook, or any easier to get started. One of the most attractive things about a pellet smoker to me is that it's almost instantly ready when you turn it on.    

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Just now, Pescado_Rojo said:

I don't have an electric fan/temp controller, but I do have a WSM. Out of the box, I wasn't all that impressed with the WSM (coming from an offset stick burner). The factory door is trash and leaks like crazy, it's a pain in the ass to clean, and the the factory cover sun rotted in less than a year so every time it rains, the lower chamber fills up with water. It also takes some finagling to keep temp consistent. I've filled my water pan with sand, so it holds temp better now, and I just ordered the cajun bandit replacement door and larger charcoal ring. We will see how it goes with those mods as far as holding temp and extending cook time. That doesn't make it any easier to clean out after a cook, or any easier to get started. One of the most attractive things about a pellet smoker to me is that it's almost instantly ready when you turn it on.    

I really like my WSM, but it's a fucking defective product the way it catches rain.  Seems to me that each component could fit OVER the lower component just as easily as going in the lower component.  Same mating surface, just reversed, would eliminate the way it scoops rain. 

I'm going to invest in the new door as well. 

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4 hours ago, Pescado_Rojo said:

I don't have an electric fan/temp controller, but I do have a WSM. Out of the box, I wasn't all that impressed with the WSM (coming from an offset stick burner). The factory door is trash and leaks like crazy, it's a pain in the ass to clean, and the the factory cover sun rotted in less than a year so every time it rains, the lower chamber fills up with water. It also takes some finagling to keep temp consistent. I've filled my water pan with sand, so it holds temp better now, and I just ordered the cajun bandit replacement door and larger charcoal ring. We will see how it goes with those mods as far as holding temp and extending cook time. That doesn't make it any easier to clean out after a cook, or any easier to get started. One of the most attractive things about a pellet smoker to me is that it's almost instantly ready when you turn it on.    

The bolded is, verbatim, my complaint with the WSM (I have 2 -- 18 and 22).  I just really hated cleaning that motherfucker and it seems to grow mold every single time I open it.  Life has gotten hard with a 2 year old and I've come to value my time a bit more lately (worse now during Q4 -- I work in healthcare and I hate this time of year).  

 

I'm breaking out a pork butt and some steaks this weekend.  We'll definitely see the utility of this bad boy pretty soon.

 

Also, FWIW -- I "liked" or followed or whatever the RecTec fb page.  Found a vet moving to Alaska and couldn't ship the smoker b/c it was too expensive.  I ended up getting it for $800 plus a bunch of add-ons he initially purchased with it in Feb '19.  The downside is that the warranty didn't transfer but I called RecTec customer service and they basically said they don't honor transferred warranties officially, but always work w/ the new owner as long as it's within warranty.  As an example, I damaged my wifi antenna in transpo, called them up, and they sent out a new one, free of charge w/ 2 day shipping.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
Yesterday my dad and stepmom gave me, my BIL, and my stepbro gift bags full of Traeger rub/sauce, a brochure, and a check.
Just called my buddy in Leander who is an avid cook and he raved about his Rec Tec. . .so I've got some research to do.
What is the particular knock on Traeger?
From what I've heard, it's on the lower end of pellet grills quality wise and the PID controller is sub-par. They also were sued for false/deceptive marketing or something on their pellets

Prime rib from Christmas. It was awesome. I overcooked it by about 5 degrees from searing but it was still spectacular

7237ff077e7b64f273f402f3350cfb7b.jpg
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Yesterday my dad and stepmom gave me, my BIL, and my stepbro gift bags full of Traeger rub/sauce, a brochure, and a check.
Just called my buddy in Leander who is an avid cook and he raved about his Rec Tec. . .so I've got some research to do.
What is the particular knock on Traeger?


Buddy at work has a rec tec and loves it, he brings in some damn good stuff from time to time. Another guy at work has a traeger and has said a few times that he thinks the rec tec turns out better brisket, that the smoke flavor is more pronounced. That's all I got
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A buddy that’s a big Traeger fan boy says their problem is they make smokers at four or five different quality levels. He said their entry level stuff is crap, but he has one of their higher end models and it’s been trouble free for years of multiple cooks a month. I’ve never heard a bad thing about Rec Tec. I follow them on FB, and I’m a member of one of their user groups. Seems like they are pretty trouble free, but when there’s a problem their customer service is pretty great. 

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Mother in law got me some sear grates and seasoning from rectec for christmas. Unfortunately I already have the seasoning she gave me so I called them to see if I could exchange it for another. They asked which one I wanted and just shipped it to me free of charge.

Their customer service really does kick ass

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23 hours ago, immamac said:

Does anyone have a Yoder YS series pellet grill? They look awesome. 

They do look pretty cool.  I considered that and RecTec and it's the customer service that won me over.  You sound like someone who's been watching ATBBQ youtube channel!

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16 hours ago, BearSchlong said:

Just ordered the Rec Tec 590.

Need recommendations for the best pellets to buy as I bought the cover, the shelf, the sear plates, but no pellets.

Lot of guys seem to like the B&B pellets. 

Also, if I were you, I'd make sure to empty my pellet hopper after every cook...especially with the humidity in SETX. If your pellets soak up moisture out of the atmosphere, they will swell up and clog the auger and feed tube. I've seen pictures on the Rec Tec FB page of guys having to disassemble their hoppers to get what looks like wet sawdust out of their augers. Store leftover pellets in a bucket with a lid...maybe even throw one of those dehumidifying cups in with them. 

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1 hour ago, Pescado_Rojo said:

Lot of guys seem to like the B&B pellets. 

Also, if I were you, I'd make sure to empty my pellet hopper after every cook...especially with the humidity in SETX. If your pellets soak up moisture out of the atmosphere, they will swell up and clog the auger and feed tube. I've seen pictures on the Rec Tec FB page of guys having to disassemble their hoppers to get what looks like wet sawdust out of their augers. Store leftover pellets in a bucket with a lid...maybe even throw one of those dehumidifying cups in with them. 

I go back abandoned forth between Traeger pellets and B & B pellets — both work fine.  B & B pellets are cheaper.

Live in Austin and have never had an issue with the pellets swelling, but obviously not as humid as SETX

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  • 1 month later...

A month in and strong endorsements for the Rec Tec. Really happy with it.

Stripped it down yesterday to shop vac out the ash after running about 60 lbs of pellets through it and there was maybe a cup of ash. Really surprised how little there was.

I love the ability to go low and slow and also crank it up to 500 for steaks, really versatile and convenient.

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  • 1 month later...
55 minutes ago, Spur08 said:

Smoking a chuck roast with the B&B championship blend.  Using Meat Church Holy Gospel with a layer of their VooDoo rub

I’ve smoked all kinds of things on my Traeger, but never thought to do a chuck roast.  How do they turn out, and what temp do you use?

Edited by AustinMT
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3 minutes ago, AustinMT said:

I’ve smoked all kinds of things on my Traeger, but never thought to do a chuck roast.  How do they turn out, and what temp do you use?

Still going.  I bought like 4 of them when they were on sale and insanely cheap.  The others will probably be used for chili or something else.  As far as cooking, cooks just like a brisket -- has it's own stale and take it to 200ish.  Currently stalling now around 150

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Did a brisket yesterday on the Rec Tec.  15.5 hours at 240.  My 2nd brisket ever.  It was only a choice packer but it turned out really tender, way better than the prime flat I smoked a few weeks back.  I erred on the side of overcooking and the flat outside of the point was a little dry but still tasty.  At this point I'm learning how to properly trim a whole brisket and how the flat/point thing works. 

brisket.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/15/2018 at 11:29 PM, Teamdirtyleg said:

Anyone have any experience with the Pit Boss versions?

I just bought a Pit Boss 820 today.  A buddy of mine has one, and everything he's ever done on it has been delicious.  I don't have the time to be a Surly elite smoke master, but from what I gather it's hard to do better with this level of convenience.  I plan on getting after it next weekend with some pork butt, pork chops, and venison back strap.  There's some model hunting on the docket as well, and wild asparagus is hitting hard up here too.

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On 5/10/2020 at 8:28 PM, Al_4_ISU said:

I just bought a Pit Boss 820 today.  A buddy of mine has one, and everything he's ever done on it has been delicious.  I don't have the time to be a Surly elite smoke master, but from what I gather it's hard to do better with this level of convenience.  I plan on getting after it next weekend with some pork butt, pork chops, and venison back strap.  There's some model hunting on the docket as well, and wild asparagus is hitting hard up here too.

The thing I love about my Pit Boss is you can grill with it. Just slide the cover over and now you are grilling over an open flame of what ever wood you desire.

Slide it back to smoke whatever......

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Just now, Turkleton said:

The thing I love about my Pit Boss is you can grill with it. Just slide the cover over and now you are grilling over an open flame of what ever wood you desire.

Slide it back to smoke whatever......

That was a huge part of the appeal to me.  The efficiency of getting all that stuff in one unit.

We smoked a pork butt last Tuesday that turned out very well despite some fuck ups in the process, and then straight up grilled chicken wings on Friday night.

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Anyone have experience with a vertical pellet smoker? I have a propane grill that I'm happy with, but would like to get into some set it and forget it smoking. 

I'm considering these, but am open to suggestions:

Camp Chef XXL: https://www.amazon.com/Camp-Chef-Vertical-Pellet-Smoker/dp/B07L48P5LP 

Pit Boss 5 Series: https://pitboss-grills.com/Shop-Pit-Boss/Grills/vertical-smokers/5-series-vertical-smoker-pellet

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Theres an owners group with 2k+ members on facebook, join it and you'll learn more than you ever want to know. There are a few gripes about customer service on a different group, some guy took them to task for an alleged design defect, but it may be operator error as he seems like a vindictive prick. Apparently it cooks great but leaked grease and caused a fire.



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On 5/18/2020 at 2:19 PM, KYHorn said:

Anyone have experience with a vertical pellet smoker? I have a propane grill that I'm happy with, but would like to get into some set it and forget it smoking. 

I'm considering these, but am open to suggestions:

Camp Chef XXL: https://www.amazon.com/Camp-Chef-Vertical-Pellet-Smoker/dp/B07L48P5LP 

Pit Boss 5 Series: https://pitboss-grills.com/Shop-Pit-Boss/Grills/vertical-smokers/5-series-vertical-smoker-pellet

Same boat.  I just got rid of my smoker that had a fire box.  I am ready to just set it and let it do its thing on its own rather than work my ass off keeping temps right.  So I am in the market for a new smoker the I can basically control with my phone.

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54 minutes ago, Moby Ric said:

Same boat.  I just got rid of my smoker that had a fire box.  I am ready to just set it and let it do its thing on its own rather than work my ass off keeping temps right.  So I am in the market for a new smoker the I can basically control with my phone.

Just purchased the XXL last week. The new version (with Wifi and PID) just came out. The cheapest I've found is on OutdoorCooking.com. There are some coupons out there that worked for me as well.

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I got a middle of the line Traeger in May and love it. I went from smoking something once a month to twice a week (also due to working from home). Brisket and beef ribs always come out with beautiful smoke ring. Fat renders well, except a couple times when I mistimed a cook and had to crank up the temp to power through the last hour.

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That Green Mountain Grill somebody linked in the last page from Amazon is now $200 off.

I have a Big Green Egg knock off (Louisiana Kitchen).   Got it about 5 years ago and the wear and tear has about done it in.  I was looking at a Kamodo Joe one recently but found myself leaning toward going with a pellet smoker instead.  

I have yet to pull the trigger on buying anything but it's time for some homework.

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Same boat.  I just got rid of my smoker that had a fire box.  I am ready to just set it and let it do its thing on its own rather than work my ass off keeping temps right.  So I am in the market for a new smoker the I can basically control with my phone.


1. Do you realize that just about any decent smoker can be outfitted with a controller?

2. There’s no reason to stay up all night tending a smoker unless you either want to or unless you are eating BBQ for breakfast. Most briskets and butts can be cooked in 5-6 hours.
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What temps do y'all smoke at with a pellet? From what I've read you get less smoke with a higher cooking temp. If you are cooking beef ribs at 300 you wouldn't get as much smoke as if you cooked them at 225. Also, the Pit Boss has a setting for "smoke" but it's only 180, that might be good for an hour or so but at some point you've got to crank it up to 225 or 250.

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