Heat Control And Retention
Heat control and retention was one of our top considerations in our research. There are not many things more frustrating in grilling than having unexpected shifts in temperature during the cooking process. Often times, the specific build of the grill will dictate how well it can control heat. Here are some of the factors that help you control heat on your grill:
- Ventilation systems
- Your heat source
- Mechanisms that control distance from your heat source
- The makeup of the grill shell
Pit Boss Vs Traeger: Which Pellet Grill Should You Buy
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So youve decided to invest in a wood pellet grill but still havent decided which brand to buy.
Traeger and Pit Boss make some of the most popular pellet grills on the market today.
If you ask around youll get plenty of opinions about which is better.
The problem is, people always end up defending the grill they bought and slamming the competition so its hard to get an objective opinion.
In this guide, we break down the differences between Traeger and Pit Boss and look at some of the top grills from each company to help you decide which pellet grill is right for you.
Not sold on Pit Boss or Traeger? Z Grills are a popular new brand that sell grills like the popular 700E which are a similar quality but at a lower price point. Check out our full Z Grills review.
Heres Why You Should Avoidimported Grills
1. Manufacturing, environmental and laborstandards. Companies building grills in the United States are subject tostringent regulations. This means that if your grill is built in the US, itslikely to be built by people who have been compensated fairly. Likewise, theenvironment likely wasnt harmed in its creation.
2. The frustration of not having access toparts such as grease trays, valves, manifolds, knobs, wheels, and bodyparts. These are just some of the parts you may not be able to replace. Many ofthe parts are only available on the aftermarket . Remember when you import products, you are subject to minimum quantity orders.When you have dozens of models using the same burners and heat shields, meetingthat MOQ is easier than other replacement parts thatare specific to model sizes.
3. There is no commitment to manufacturingequipment. When manufacturing is subcontracted, you are relying on thecontractor to stay in business and have quality and consistent manufacturing. Often, if they change equipment, the engineering of your grill model willchange thus making replacement parts obsolete. Then, when you need areplacement part, it no longer exists.
At that point, what are the replacementoptions? Often there is no replacement. Modification of the outdoor kitchen andcountertop becomes necessary, creating a huge expense. This situation rarelyoccurs in a US-manufactured grill, as we sell at the BBQ Depot.
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Why Buy Mak Grills:
Have a look at the The MAK Grills Family Story below on YouTube.
Cookshack/fast Eddy Pellet Grills/smokers
Ive previously written a full article on the Cookshack pellet grill range, so please check that out that article for the full details. Here Ill just quickly run through a few details about the company and their products. Cookshack is based in Ponca City, Oklahoma and they have been producing electric smokers since the 1960s. Then in collaboration with BBQ expert and Pit Master Fast Eddy they developed their range of residential and commercial pellet grills/smokers. Their smallest unit is the PG500 seen at the top of this post, their other residential pellet grill is the PG1000 which is a more conventional design and features an insulated construction.
The PB1000 is one of two residential pellet grills/smokers made in the USA by Cookshack: Image BBQGuys.com
All Cookshack pellet grill/smokers are made from stainless steel. They feature a 4 cooking zone design. The first area is the hottest cooking area directly over the pellet fire where direct flame broiling is possible. The heat/smoke is then carried up to the upper rack which is the second cooking area before it is pulled down over the second grate which is the third cooking area. Below that is the fourth cooking area in a draw. Frequently used as an area to keep cooked food warm it can also be used as a cold smoker.
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How We Turned It Into A Win
With the money we saved making our grills overseas, and by selling them directly to you without the dealers, we can include so much more quality with our products. We beefed up the construction and made it dual-wall for a better thermal jacket. We made parts of the grill stronger for more longevity and durability. Throughout our line of Grilla Grills, theres more stainless steel now compared to our earlier versions.
Today, the accessories and extra hardware for our pellet grills are made in the USA, right here in Holland, MI. Were always designing more products to use with our grills, shaping them with our laser cutters and having avid grillers throughout America test them. Our grills may be manufactured elsewhere, but we never skimp on quality because we open up and inspect every grill that arrives here on our floor. We focus our savings on making Grilla Grills a better product every day, while keeping our products budget-friendly for you.
Now we have an awesome grill line at an awesome price and weve sold more in the first three months than we have in the past three years. Not to mention, customers are loving them.
So that was the long answer about where Grilla Grills are manufactured. The change was a tough call, but the quality and price point of our grills matters the most. If you have further questions regarding where our Grilla Grills are made, please feel free to reach out. Were open to your feedback, so call or email us today.
Final Thoughts About Buying And Fueling Pellet Smokers
If youve reached this part of the blog post, I thank you for reading through. Its a long one, but I wanted to give you as much practical advice as possible. To recap, there are some basic things you should know about buying a pellet smoker.
First, you have to figure out what your budget looks like. Of the pellet smokers I cover here, theRec Tec Grill Pellet Smoker is the most economical and best overall value with solid construction and top end electronics controls. At just under $1,000 its a great buy that should last you a very long time. If you can move up from there cost wise, Id go with the Yoder pellet smoker. While the Rec Tec looks like a beast, the YS640 absolutely IS one. Weighing in at 315 lbs and boasting solid control components and features, you wont ever need another pellet smoker in your life unless you just want another one.
Second, youll have to figure out what BBQ pellets you want to use. There are many different brands, blends, and mixes to choose from, and youll likely want to do some side by side testing to see what you like best on what meats. My very good friend and BBQ buddy Shane Draper really likes to make his own blends using different woods in different proportions depending on what hes cooking.
Shane Drapers Pellet Mix Ratios
Heres how Shane breaks down is pellet mix ratios something you may want to try as you begin to get a good feel for how your pellet smoker cooks for each of the meats listed below.
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How Pellet Grills Work
Pellet grills have a hopper, or basket, that holds the wood pellets. These pellets are then driven into a pot through a shaft with an auger. The pot has a heating rod and a fan below that is thermostatically controlled just like the heat in your home, Marks explained. The fan controls the oxygen flow, creating efficient use of the wood pellets as well as a very narrow window of temperature fluctuation and rapid recovery time when you open and close the door.
The heating rod then fires up the pellets drawn into the pot by the auger while the fan blows. When it comes to temperature, its typically set it and forget it with pellet grills. They typically are able to heat up to 175 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit without you needing to tend a fire. It’s pretty simple for the cook you turn it on and set it to your desired temp and, as long as you keep the hopper full of pellets, itll keep cooking, said Ray Dr. BBQ Lampe, author of Dr. BBQ’s Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook and member of the American Royal BBQ Hall of Fame. A big positive is that the pellets are 100 percent wood so it’s a clean burning wood fire with even heat. These are things that all barbecue cooks strive for and the pellet grill makes it easy.
Are Green Mountain Grills Any Good
The build quality is excellent and the materials are heavy and made to last. The grill ships with a few accessories to help you power the grill from a variety of sources. The portable features are great, but the Davy Crockett can stand on its own as a decent small sized grill even if you never plan to travel with it.
Read Also: Can I Convert My Propane Grill To Natural Gas
A To Z List Of The Best Bbq Wood Pellets
A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.
In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.
When Using A Pellet Grill Extension Cord
If you dont have a power supply near your pellet grill, make sure you use a heavier gauge extension cord, as thin wires are a bit weak and can trip a breaker.
Once you hear what I call afterburner, the fan pushes just above the combustion chamber.
And when it is burning cleanly, that is, when no more white smoke is coming out of the pellet grill.
Now you can close the lid and let the pellet grill reach the temperature you are cooking.
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Are Z Grills Made In The Usa
4.5/5Z GrillsAmericanZ GrillsgrillsAmerican
Z Grills markets themselves as a Proud American Brand that manufacture their products in China. Z Grills is the natural evolution of global trade. I think that they are a Chinese factory that has been making pellet grills for American companies for years.
One may also ask, are Grilla grills made in USA? Today, the accessories and extra hardware for our pellet grills are made in the USA, right here in Holland, MI. We’re always designing more products to use with our grills, shaping them with our laser cutters and having avid grillers throughout America test them.
Moreover, are any pellet grills made in USA?
Only the Original model is American made. Primo Grills are the only ceramic grills that are made in the USA, Georgia to be exact. Sawtooth Pellet Grills are made in Boise, Idaho. Some of Weber’s grills, like the Classic charcoal kettle grill and the Summit series of gas grills, are manufactured in Palatine, Illinois.
Where are pit boss grills made?
Pit Boss Grills is owned by Dansons, the same company that makes the popular Louisiana Pellet Smokers. They are headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Know Your Pellet Grill Temperature Zone
Another important thing is that you always want to make sure you know your pellet grill and how its temperature works.
For example, the pellet grill has a cold zone and a hot zone, so if you purchase a new grill, you want to make sure you know where the hot and cold zones are.
On some particular models, there is a difference of 30 to 40 degrees from right to left.
After you have put all the meat in place, close your lid, and now you are finally starting to cook something.
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Introduction To Rec Tec Pellet Grills/smokers
Whenever I write these analysis/review articles on different pellet grill/smoker brands I like to provide some context on how the companies started. I think it helps you to appreciate what a particular brand is focused on. Are they trying to offer the most affordable products they can, or are they trying to produce something to a higher quality but more expensive? I feel REC TEC is trying to hit quite a broad range of potential customers.
After all, within their range, they have pellet grills under $500, under $1,000 and under $2,000. With the REC TEC Beast and Chuckwagon those pellet grills are $8-10K respectively to meet the needs of the commercial sector/catering industries. Below is a video from founders of REC TEC, Ron and Ray on how REC TEC got started.
The story of how REC TEC Grills got started with the founders Ron and Ray.
Its important to note you can only purchase a REC TEC directly. There is no dealer network and you wont find REC TEC in the big box stores like Walmart/Lowes who typically sell Pit Boss/Traeger pellet grills. The reason REC TEC only sell direct is so they can offer a better quality product at a lower price point, as they dont have to factor in 20-30% for dealer fees etc. I should also quickly note, while their residential pellet grills are not made in the USA, their largest pellet grill The Beast/Chuckwagon is made in the USA.
The Pros And Cons Of Pellet Grills
The biggest pro to investing in a pellet grill versus other types of grills is its simplicity, according to Lampe. The cooker does all the work and makes it pretty easy to cook barbecue, he explained.
Marks agreed that when it comes to ease of use and consistency, a pellet grill wins. Temperature control produced by a pellet grill makes a huge difference for the average Joe, he added. If you want to have a great barbeque with a reasonable amount of work while still being able to enjoy your friends and family when they are over, a pellet grill is the best way to go with the most amount of success and the least amount of stress.
However, the biggest potential downside is that it’s a mechanical device, so if theres a loss of power or a malfunction, that can disrupt your day of cooking. Good maintenance helps with this, Lampe added. A long-time BBQ pro might like to play with the fire while theyre cooking, but a pellet cooker means there is really no need to tend your fire constantly making it perfect for an at-home cook.
To help prevent this, he emphasized the importance of keeping your pellet grill dry and protected from the elements with a secure cover. If the electronics get wet they can short out and the replacement parts for those panels generally are not under warranty, as you the owner are responsible for proper care, he said. Also, when pellets get wet they expand and then dry causing the auger to lock up.
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Are Z Grills Worth The Money
Outstanding value for money The combination of size, construction, updated digital control system free grill cover at this price point makes the Z grill the best value for money pellet grill on the market. Easy to clean The grease bucket collects drained grease, and if you wrap the pain its very easy to cleanout.
Engelbrecht Grills And Cookers
Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers Built in Central Illinois , Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers will not be surpassed in quality, durability, and performance. In fact we tell our customers “You’ll be handing this grill down to your grandkids”. We specialize in wood or charcoal grills tailored for camping, tailgating or backyard grilling or bbqing. Everything we build is built heavy and built right. Check out our Braten series of grills. These grills allows you to make southern style bbq or western style bbq. Or with it’s 3/8? solid stainless steel cooking grate, you can get amazing grilling results. Shop online for quick delivery.
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