Best Overall: Camp Chef Smokepro Dlx Pellet Grill
Wood pellet grills are taking over patios in America, and its no surprise. With their convenience and versatility, these grills do almost all of the work for you using electricity. While there is a wide range of grills to choose from, we found that none compare to the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill. This model comes with a number of extra features, such as its included meat probes, adjustable smoke settings, large-capacity hopper, and side table for holding utensils, that make it stand out from the competition.
One standout feature is the automated auger, which feeds wood pellets to the grill. This unit also has an auto-start electric ignition, which means you can start the grill with a simple twist of a knob versus having to use lighter fluid and matches. Reviewers especially love how simple it is to clean. There is both a grease drain and a removable ash system that makes for a quick and easy cleanup.;
This grill offers a lower rack measuring 429 square inches and an upper smoking area of 141 square inches. It also comes with a PID controller, a top-of-the-line feature that allows the user to adjust grill temperature more accurately . The temperatures for this model range between 160 and 500 degrees.;
Weight: 140 lbs.| Grilling Area: 570 sq. in. | Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs. | Temperature Range: 160-500ºF | Dimensions: 45 x 21 x 51 inches
Fast Eddys Cookshack Pellet Smokers Pg500 Available At Cookshackcom
Basically, Cookshack keeps to Ed Maurins simple design using a dual layer of thick 304 stainless steel separated by high temperature insulation to hold in heat. Heat is provided by an electronically controlled 36,000 BTU pellet burner fed from an external hopper .
The computer controlled system maintains the smoker temperature with a high degree of precision so you dont have to deal with fluctuations. With the optional temperature probe you can put your meat in the smoker, set the desired target temperature and the FEC will take it from there. Once the target temperature is reached the smoker temperature will drop into a holding position until you are ready to remove your barbecue.
Arent Traeger Grills Made In The Usa
Traeger, the longest and most established pellet grill brand were originally manufactured in Oregon and were produced in the USA up until 2006 when the Traeger family sold the company. In 2006 the patent that Traeger had on the design of pellet grills/smokers since 1986 ran out, then more makes/brands of pellet grills started to enter the market. Traeger felt they had to move manufacturing abroad to expand the company to make it viable while still offering a product at a price their customers are happy to pay. Hence, today Traeger pellet grills are made in China.
While Traeger is still an American company who design their pellet grills in the USA they are manufactured abroad: Image Traegergrills.com
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Rec Tec Grills Pellet Smoker Review
For a great unboxing and pellet smoking test, I point you to my buddy Jays review of the Rec Tec Grill Pellet Smoker over at BBQSauceReviews.com. The following videos will give you an overall breakdown of what the Rec Tec Pellet Smoker is all about both from a construction and components standpoint.
Is Oklahoma Joes The Same As Kansas City Joes
Oklahoma Joes officially changed its name to Joes Kansas City Bar-B-Que, changing signs at all of its locations. Its the restaurants first name change in 17 years. Were embracing the fact that Kansas City is our hometown and has been for more than 17 years, said Doug Worgul of Joes Kansas City.
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Where Did Pellet Smokers Come From
In 1982, Oregon’s Traeger Heating introduced a home heating system that burned wood pellets made from compressed sawdust, a by-product of local lumber milling. Since demand for these furnaces and wood pellets dropped off after winter, Traeger came up with a grill that would burn pellets and keep the business afloat over the summer months.
They had the field to themselves for a few years, but the idea was too good to go un-imitated, and soon competitors began popping up. In the early days, most pellet smoker controllers had only three settingslow, medium, high and there was no temperature probe in the oven to create a feedback loop. So, whether you were smoking a few slabs of ribs on a scorching summer day or six pork butts during a blizzard, the controller only knew pellet-feed on and off times for its standard settings. It had no information on the actual temperature inside the cooking chamber.
Using accurate digital thermometers to monitor cooking and internal meat temperatures is essential to being all that you can be in the backyard. Unlike the caveman-era heat estimators built into the lids of most grills and smokers, modern pellet smoker LED displays will give you the real story of what’s happening in your smoker. Of course, if your smoker doesn’t come with a dual-display system that monitors both cooking and meat temps, you’ll still need an accurate digital meat thermometer.
Best Budget: Z Grills Zpg
Great value for its size
Some temperature control issues
At around $500, this grill may not scream budget-friendly, but considering its size , it’s actually a great bargain. This unit uses convection heat distribution technology , which provides a versatile environment for grilling, baking, roasting, and searing. However, this model also has a number of upgrades.
The 7002E is unique in that it is stainless steel built, meaning it is less susceptible to corrosion. Other upgrades include a more precise temperature control and a new and improved pellet feed system. This automated electric feed system maintains the temperature of your grill for you, ranging from 180 to 450 degrees.
In terms of space, it has a large, 513-square-inch grilling area and a 187-square-inch smoking/warming rack . This grill also has a whopping 20-pound hopper , an electronic auto-start ignition, and an LED temperature readout. Many users claim this grill is super easy to use and makes maintaining temperature a piece of cake. It also comes with two wheels to move it around easily, a grill cover, and a three-year warranty.
Weight: 112 lbs.| Grilling Area: 700 sq. in. | Hopper Capacity: 20 lbs. | Temperature Range: 180-450ºF | Dimensions: 48 x 22 x 51 inches
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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.
Types Of Temperature Controllers
We mentioned the importance of being able to control the heat and also touched upon digital controls. The other factor to bear in mind is what kind of heat control system you feel confident operating. You do have a couple of basic choices.
Three-Position Controllers – these are basic control systems that offers Low, Medium and High settings only. While better than just charcoal which you cant control, if you are looking to take your grilling expertise to the next level and wow your guests with your culinary prowess, you might want more control than this.
Multi-Position Controllers – with this type of controller, you should be able to adjust the temperature within a pre-designated range, up and down in 25-degree increments. These provide the next level in control and are better suited if youre lacking in confidence in the kitchen and want to eliminate some of the guesswork.
Proportional Integrative Controllers – incorporating next level digital technology, you should be able to maintain a more steady and consistent temperature with this type of setting. PID controllers are continually pulling heat information, monitoring the internal temperate, in order to produce a reasonably accurate reading which will typically be available to view on a LED readout.
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Store The Pellets Properly
Learn how to store your pellets and keep them off the floor because they are made of wood, and they love to absorb moisture.
If you dont plan on using your pellet grill for a couple of days, take the pellets out of the hopper because if the pellets start to swell, youre going to get whats called an auger jam.
And believe me, its not much fun to have to take the hopper out and clean out a jam.
Another Budget Alternative Z Grills
If your primary reason for considering a Pit Boss is price, then you might want to give Z Grills a look.
These guys are very new to selling to consumers but theyve actually been building pellet grills for other companies for many years.
You can definitely see the resemblance when you look at the design. Everything is similar except for the high price tag.
The most popular model is the Z Grills 700E which was recently updated in 2019 to fix a few issues with the temperature controller.
Weve cooked a lot of food on the 700E and think its a fantastic pellet grill. It doesnt have quite as many features as a grill likes the Sportsman 820, but it does have a proper cabinet which is great for storage.
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Pit Boss 700fb Pellet Grill
If youre looking for a grill that gets good and hot for searing steaks while still offering low-and-slow smoking capabilities, the Pit Boss 700FB should be high on your list. This grill has a maximum temp of about 500 degrees, which is higher than many pellet grills. It also has a unique flame broiler feature, allowing direct heat for searing burgers and steaks. This ability is a rarity in the pellet grill market, which tends to opt for indirect heating.
Customers love that this grill holds its temperature well and gets hot enough for a good sear on a steak or burger. And many tout its high quality at a price well below the competition.
700 square inch total cooking surface
Porcelain-coated cast iron grids
Mak Grills 2 Star General Available At Big Poppas Smokers
For sure MAK does a fantastic job blending stainless steel fabrication with precision design and craftsmanship. Their temperature control system is hands down the best in the business, according to Meat Head over at AmazingRibs.com. Hey, if Meat Head says its so then its so!
In searching for a good video review of this smoker I actually came across two of them. The first video is from MAK Grills themselves but is hosted by Jonathan Martinez of CelebrityGrills.com. He does a great job of highlighting some of the innovative features MAK Grills brings to the table.
The second video comes from Big Jake BBQ and showcases the cold smoking feature the MAK Grills 2 Star General smoker has to offer. This is a great value add in my opinion, as it really steps up your game in terms of what youre able to smoke. Cheese, nuts, cold smoked salmon getting some ideas? I know I am!
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Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill
You have a huge choice when it comes to portable pellet grills.
We picked the 440 Deluxe, although you could just as easily go with the Sportsman Portable which comes with folding legs.
The cooking space is divided between a 340 square inch main grill, and a 100 square inches on the upper rack. Both grills are made out of porcelain coated steel.
The rack is removable which comes in handy when its time to take your meat off, just take the whole grill off.
This model includes a handy side shelf, and includes tool hooks for easy storage.
The 5lb hopper is definitely on the small side, so this isnt a good grill if you want to set up a cook and then leave for the day.
Can You Use A Traeger In The Winter
The heat resistant, insulated material of a Traeger insulation blanket acts as a buffer between the elements and your grill, allowing you to maintain consistent temperatures without burning through extra pellets. This can cause lower cooking temperatures when youre trying to fire it up during winter months.
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Best Propane Gas American Grill
Weber E-310 LP Model
Are Weber gas grills made in the USA? Definitely yes, and they are one of the best American made gas grills. They have a GS4 grilling system that consists of improved four main components: the infinity ignition, high-performance burners, flavored bars, and grease management system. The infinity ignition is covered with a 10-year limited warranty which proves and guarantees the longevity and high-quality of the ignition system. The burner tubes provide a consistent gas flow for evenly cook meals, and its also covered with a 10-year limited warranty.
Flavorizer bars are made from porcelain-coated cast iron that add the smoky flavor, prevent the food sticking and are easy to clean. Food drippings go to the grease management system. That is a removable drip tray under the cooking surface which you can easily clean. The folding side table for more working space is 42 wide that goes down by clicking the button. Except this, you also have the side tables with hooks for easier access to tools from the working space. 6 tools are included with the model.
The cooking surface is 529 sq. in. big and it has 30,000 BTU input from main burners. There are three main burners on this grill. The primary cooking surface is 424 sq. in big and the warming rack cooking area is 105 sq. in. big. This model is 52 long, 26 wide and 57 high. It weighs 110 pounds and it has two heavy-duty wheels so its portable.
- 529 sq. in cooking surface
- 3 burners
Are All Imported Grills Bad
Does this mean all imported grills are bad? Notnecessarily. But as mentioned earlier, they are not held to the same standardsthat American-made grills are held to. You can feel the quality difference.
BBQ Depot does sell some imported brandsincluding Summerset and Blaze.This is because these brands have shown product support. It may take months andmonths for parts, but eventually those parts become available. With that being said, there are definitely quality issues as well asmanufacturing choices that can end up turning into a headache for the consumer.For example, these grills use flame thrower valves. If you need to replaceyour ignition electrode, you will have to replace the entire valve. Thiscreates a large expense for an inexpensive part. Since the electrode is builtinto the valve, there is not a replacement for it.
There is much that could be said about eachindividual brand that imports their grills. Since a large part of our businessinvolves service and selling replacement parts, we are frequently put in thedifficult position of explaining to customers why there is no product supportfor their grills.
Because of this, we have had to make thedifficult choice of not displaying imported grills in our showroom. When wedisplay a grill and a customer purchases that grill, they hold us accountablefor the quality of the product. Due to the many inconsistencies, we had noalternative but to display products we can stand behind, like our American-madegrills.
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Pg1000 Fast Eddy’s By Cookshack Pellet Grill
The PG1000 is twice the grill of the PG500 listed above. It has the same stainless steel construction and direct flame searing capability, but also a much larger cooking area. Of course, at nearly $3,000USD this is an expensive pellet cooker. At this price range, you can get larger cooking space as well as better technology, but you won’t get the corrosion resistant construction. If you live near the ocean, this is a pellet grill to consider.
Are Pellet Grills Worth It
Pellet grills use small pellets in grilling meat, thus, the name. These grills use pellets made from different kinds of wood. The flavor or the grilled meat will sometimes depend on the type of wood pellets used. The pellets are placed into the hopper of the grill through an auger in order to produce fire to cook the meat.
Its easy to use a pellet grill. Theres no complicated cooking process involved. You just need to turn the power button on and the controller will immediately start feeding the pellets. This will ignite the heat and the fans will set the proper temperature to produce the fire.
Then, enter your preferred cooking temperature through the digital controls and it will start grilling!
In terms of temperature control, the pellet grills are highly recommended. They allow you to cook from 180 degrees to 500 degrees and are ideal for smoking and searing any meat, including pork shoulders.
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