Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Wood Pellet Grill
The Green Mountain grill features an ideal design that ensures ease of use. It has a built-in tray with utensil hooks that prove quite handy for the user. You also get an additional grease tray and a meat probe that helps temperature management and control. If you want to get the perfect sear, you can also get an extra grease tray with open flame technology to get that ideal caramelization on meat.
It is a compact grill that is ideal for outdoor lovers. You can effortlessly put it in your car trunk, and its small footprint allows you to set it up and use it even in the narrowest of spaces. It isnt ideal for large parties or families with a grilling area of only around 220 square inches. However, it is perfect for smaller gatherings of about two to three people.
You may want to watch out when trying to smoke meats at a low temperature for longer hours as the temperature control is a little off on the Green Mountain Grills. Other than that, it is an excellent purchase, especially for first-time buyers.
- Built-in tray with utensil holders.
- WiFi function for ease of use
- Temperature control and monitoring system
- Foldable into a compact piece
- WiFi function is quite problematic.
- Not as easy to use
- Keep a check on the temperature yourself, especially when you run the risk of burning or overcooking your meat.
What To Look For In The Best Pellet Grills
Most people will be looking at pellet grills for their high tech features that makes them one of the best type of smoker for beginners, incredibly easy-to-use, yet highly capable.
So with this in mind, you want to make sure the model you choose has the features you care about. Heres what to look for.
Best Traeger: Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill & Smoker
No Wi-Fi capabilities
Known for smokers and grills, Traeger makes a slew of great products for all of your outdoor cooking needs. This particular grill and smoker gives you the option to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, or BBQ whatever it is that youre cooking. With 572 square inches of cooking space, you can cook four chickens, five racks of ribs, or 24 burgers all at once. The hopper cleanout options make for simple cleanup that you cant beat.
The steel construction is undeniably durable, so theres no need to worry if youre keeping the grill in a location thats subject to intense weather and outdoor conditions. While this particular model is not equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities, it still offers reliable temperature monitoring.
Dimensions: 49 x 41 x 27 in. | Weight: 103 lbs. | Grilling Area: 572 sq. in. | Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs. | Temperature Range: Up to 450ºF
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Portability: Can You Take It With You
Portability is another essential feature to watch out for, especially if you like camping and picnics. Make sure you take into consideration ease of use, electricity requirements, and size. You may need to get a power inverter, depending upon the grills electricity requirements. You also need to get a grill with heavy-duty wheels so that you can set the grill on rugged terrain if you are a fan of outdoor grilling.
Traeger Timberline 850 A Competitive High
The Traeger Timberline ticks all the boxes for us because its well built and packed with tech thats actually useful.
Traeger has the best app out of any pellet grill manufacturer, plus you get access to 1600+ recipes in the Traeger app.
The Timberline is a big step-up in quality and features from the Pro. Besides you the larger size you get better insulated construction, more prep areas, a pellet sensor, the dual position sear grate, and super smoke mode.
One thing to note is that the Timberline includes a folding front shelf, while this is an optional extra on the Pro.
You can choose between the 850 and 1300 which come with 869 and 1343 square inches of cooking space respectively. There are no significant differences besides the amount of grill space and a small price hike.
For comparison, the larger model can fit 15 racks of ribs compared to 8 racks on the 850. If you plan on cooking for a large crowd get the 1300, otherwise, go for the 850. The 1300 is more pellet hungry because it needs to heat up a larger space.
You also get a three-year warranty and one of the best customer service teams in the industry in case you have any problems.
What we like:
What we dont like:
The Traeger Timberline is definitely an investment, but if you are looking for a high-end pellet grill with tonnes of tech, clever design, and useful quality of life features you cant go wrong.
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How To Pick The Perfect Pellet Grill For Searing
Pellet grills can give your food a delicious, smoky taste and aroma. It is one of the best and most convenient ways of giving your family a lovely holiday or weekend cookout experience. When you do, using a pellet grill that can sear and grill your meat is the best option.
With this in mind, you must consider several characteristics when choosing the best pellet grill for searing. Here are some of the key features to heed:
Goldens Cast Iron Kamado Grill
Cast iron is the holy grail material of cookingit has the highest crack and shock resistance, optimal properties for even heating, but most importantly, creates the perfect, indefinable home-cooked flavor. Complete with multi-level racks, searing plate, stainless steel intake and weather-proofing, this grill is the ultimate multitasker. $1699 /goldenscastiron.com
Goldens Cast Iron Kamado Grill / Photo: John Pyle
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Best Overall Traeger Tailgater
As you might have guessed from the name, the Traeger Tailgater is designed for portability, with foldable legs that can be latched onto the side of the grill.
The Traeger Tailgater has a built-in 15 Amp power source and comes with an integrated meat probe, making it perfect for cooking at your tailgate.
Where the Tailgater shines is its ability to grill. It has a cooking area of 429 square inches, which is enough to cook for your whole crew and can hold the kind of consistently high temperature needed for good grilling and searing.
The Tailgater can also be used as a perfectly good smoker, massively increasing its utility.
It does, however, have a few downsides. The folding legs are fiddly, its 8lb pellet hopper is one of the smallest of the portable pellet grills out there, and the controls require a bit of getting used to.
However, if you want a solid, portable, tailgate-ready pellet grill that does wonders with burgers, ribs, and chicken, then the Traeger Tailgater is the best choice.
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Camp Chef Smokepro Dlx Pellet Grill A Solid Mid
Weve already included the Woodwind from the Camp Chef lineup, but we just couldnt leave the DLX 24 off our list.
This grill offers a generous 570 square inches of cooking surface plus a removable upper warming rack.
You also get the new Gen 2 PID controller for better temperature performance and stability.
This grill shares a lot of the same DNA as the slightly more expensive Woodwind
Both are good options, personally, I would spend a little extra and get the Woodwind but especially if WiFi isnt a big deal for you, then you can pick up the DLX 24 and save some cash.
What Are Pellet Grills
Pellet Grills are operated by electricity that warms and burns specialized wood pellets as a fuel source. They are an excellent tool for cooking, grilling, baking, or smoking anything that you would on a normal grill.
This ability to work at many temperatures and cooking methods makes them a superior grill for those that like to cook more than the standardburgers and hotdogs.
Check How Hot It Gets
via: Pexels / Djordje Petrovic
Do you love to cook hot and quick? Or are you more of a slow-roasting sort of guy? Pellet grills come with all sorts of heating options. We know by now they heat up quickly, but just how hot do they get? And how hot do you need it?
Take a look at your recipes and find out just how hot you need your pellet grill to get to meet your meat needs. Obviously, anything that fails to meet those parameters is out.
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Drawbacks Of Pellet Grills
- Pellet grills are dependent on electricity, limiting their portability unless you have access to a generator or inverter.
- Though they are marketed as grills, you wont get grill marks or a dark sear, as the units run on fan-driven indirect heat. In my opinion, these are smokersnot grills. You can increase the amount of caramelization you get on the outside of food by preheating a cast iron grill grate, skillet, griddle, or plancha directly on the grill grate for 20 minutes before cooking.
- Pellet grills are relatively expensive, retailing from a few hundred dollars to more than $4000.
- The higher the cooking temperature, the less smoke the unit generates. Youll get the most smoke flavor at temperatures below 250 degrees.
- Any grills with moving parts and electrical components can break down . If exposed to moisture, pellet fuels will disintegrate. People who live in humid climates must keep their pellets dry, preferably indoors in airtight lidded containers.
The bottom line? We now have several pellet grills at Barbecue University and some students love them. Of course, there are still a lot of purists out there who insist on burning charcoal or wood.
Is Traeger Better Than Weber
While the Traeger Ironwood pellet grills have a maximum temperature of 500 degrees, the Weber grills have a maximum temperature setting of 600 degrees. Weber also promotes the fact the Weber SmokeFire range of pellet grills can flame sear which will provide an even higher cooking surface temperature.
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What Can Be Done About Pellet Grill Hot Spots
Ok, lets say you have a pellet grill/smoker that has hot spots that you want to try and resolve, can anything be done? Well, to reduce hot spots there needs to be further heat dissipation, but how can this be done? On some pellet grills, Ive seen DIY videos of people making additional heat deflector plates to be placed over the burn pot or thicker/double grease trays being used to tackle hot spots. Both of these methods can potentially help to reduce hot spot issues. However, the simplest method is to purchase a set of GrillGrates for a pellet grill.
GrillGrates can be ordered to fit any pellet grill/smoker. However, its important to not go all the way to the edge of the cooking chamber to allow enough space for hot air/smoke to circulate around the cooking chamber: Image
GrillGrates are interlocking hard-anodized aluminium panels that are placed on top of the existing cooking grate. While they are primarily marketed as a means to provide better searing performance on a pellet grill, they also have the added benefit of more evenly distributing heat across the cooking area as a means to tackle hot spots.
What Pellet Wood Gets The Hottest Grill
Doesnt just words barbecue make you excited? Have you ever salivated concerning cooking as well as eating tasty steaks as well as hotdogs? If yes, then you are surely not alone. What Pellet Wood Gets The Hottest Grill
Exactly how do you attain the distinct equilibrium between smokiness and also tenderness in your meat?
Most notably, you require to get your hands on one of the ideal pellet grills.
There is a without a doubt big range of makes and also models of wood pellet grills on the marketplace today. Year on year much more makes and also types are included or improvements/upgrades are offered on previous pellet grill/smoker designs.
Also for a person that has had a pellet grill in the past, it can be tricky to exercise which make/model is mosting likely to be their finest alternative when investing in a new grill. However, if you have actually never ever possessed a pellet grill before I make sure the prospect of deciding upon the very best pellet grill to fulfill your demands can feel extremely complicated.
Ideally, this blog post can aid. Im going to discuss the various types/classes of wood pellet grills on the market to assist you tighten down the look for a pellet grill that will certainly finest fit your demands.
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Disadvantages Compared To Other Types
You cant decide if pellet grills are worth it without discussing the cons! Here are some characteristics of pellet grills that dont weigh up favorably to other types of smoker.
Not Great at Grilling The biggest bugbear of most opponents to pellet grills is the fact they are called a grill, but they dont do grilling well!
Because most pellet grills are limited to between 450 and 500 F at the top end, they will never sear as well as a charcoal or gas grill. However, as you can see from the top pick in this list, manufacturers are finding solutions!
High Initial Cost to Buy You can get a perfectly good charcoal, electric smoker or gas smoker for between $200 to $400. Pellet smokers average between $500 to $2000. So the initial outlay to acquire one is far greater.
Availability of Fuel You can buy charcoal or gas refills at any convenience store, you are never far from a source. However, wood pellets used for food smoking arent so readily available.
You must make sure you keep a good stock of pellets and aim never to run out, because often the only source to buy pellets for you will be online, and mean a 24 hour or more delivery.
Dont ever run out of pellets mid-cook!
Weaker Smoke Taste Many people accustomed to smoking on charcoal grills, or offset wood burners, find the taste from pellet cookers is lacking a certainsomething. The smoke flavor not strong or deep enough.
Find Out How Much Cooking Area You Need
You’ve got price. You’ve got the heat. Now, you need to know how much space you need. Pellet grills can be absolutely enormous. They can also be relatively small. If you’re cooking just for yourself or a small group of friends or family, there’s no need to clear so much space to store a massive pellet grill.
However, if you’re responsible for steaks for the neighborhood pool parties, you’re probably going to want something bigger and more heavy-duty.
As you might expect, size often does relate to price, so keep that connection in mind as you shop.
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Size And Cooking Capacity
From small portable models suitable for tailgating to giant 1000+ square inches of cooking surface monsters, pellet smokers come in all different sizeswith prices to match.
If you will only ever cook for 2 to 6 people, theres little point splashing out on a model that can cook four full-sized briskets.
So know what size you need before looking at what to buy.
The Pros And Cons Of Buying A Pellet Smoker
As weve mentioned above, most people end up choosing a pellet style smoker because of the convenience and versatility. Like an electric smoker, you get:
- Set it and forget it smoking Just make sure the hopper is full of pellets and set your desired temperature and there isnt much else you need to worry about.
- Simple temperature control Most pellet smokers let you dial in the temperature to within five degrees, and the unit does a good job of maintaining a stable temperature.
There are also a few advantages unique to cooking with a pellet smoker:
- Super fuel efficient Pellet smokers are similar to your home oven, with a super efficient convection fan, so you spend a lot less in pellets than charcoal.
- Less effort cleaning up Charcoal smokers can make a bit of a mess every time you cook. With a pellet grill you might have to clear out the firepot every now and again but its rare .
Steven Raichlen has an excellent breakdown of the various pros and cons of pellet grills that you may want to check out.
Steven Raichlen, New Kid on the Block: Pellet Grills
Pellet grills are versatile. You can barbecue, smoke, roast, grill , and even bake or braise in a pellet grill. At BBQ University, we have used them to cook everything from crisp chicken wings to braised short ribs to smoked pork chile verde and crème brulee.
Like gas grills, pellet grills preheat fast . The design discourages flare-ups.
Pellet smokers arent without their issues though. Some potential problems include:
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How Long Do The Pellets Last In A Pellet Grill
Like every road trip, when you make sure theres gas in the truck, your first step is to double check you have more than enough pellets in the hopper. A good rule of thumb is to have 2 lbs. of pellets for every hour of smoking low and slow or 4 lbs. for every hour of grilling hot and fast.
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Should You Order The Traeger Ironwood 885
With Traeger Ironwood 885, youll have a pellet grill that is durable and also flexible. These characteristics, such as the integrated thermostat probe and pellet-sensing device, produce a more comfortable pellet cooking experience.
Super Smoke adds an additional option for increasing the amount of smoke produced.A variety of bells as well as whistles integrate with sturdy body high quality to make grilling almost as basic as feasible for the Ironwood 885. In general, this is the most effective pellet grill on the marketplace today.
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