Questions from a rookie pelleteer
OK, my CS680 just got delivered this weekend, and I've got a few questions after playing with it some!
1) When put on smoke setting, it only ran at about 160 degrees. I am used to smoking more in the neighborhood of 225, which on my control board meant dialing it up to about halfway between low and medium. I'm guessing that I'm going to have to order a digital control board to get the consistency that I was hoping for. If indeed that is the case, should I go with the CS brand or is there a better (quality and price!) option that is easily installed? The CS brand seems to go for about $200.
2) This question is probably going to cause folks to share a lot of opinions, but, I'll post it anyway! Which pellets are most recommended? With the unit, I purchased Louisiana Grills own brand of pellets. Are they as good as any other? They ran about $10 for a 20 pound bag, which seemed quite reasonable. In no particular order, I guess that I am looking for recommendations based on a) cost; b) flavor; c) heat output; and d) typical burn rate/hour (at 225).
I've been reading through a lot of posts on here, and my head is spinning! Thanks for all of the great info posted. My neighbor bought a BGE at the same time, so our little neighborly Q competition is officially ON!!!
I've mentioned in other posts that I really like Country Boy White Lightning oak pellets. If you can find a local vendor, they are really good. They're sold more often as fuel for pellet stoves, but I have contacted both my distributor and the actual company on separate occasions and have been assured multiple times that they are food safe.
I get mine in Wisconsin for $5/40lb bag, and one bag will easily get me 24 hours of cooking. Flavor is not quite as strong as say a good hickory pellet (cookingpellets.com makes a fantastic 3 wood pellet, but shipping costs are kind of high). But it is still a good flavor. As far as heat output, if I need to I can crank it up to 600º or slightly over with the oak pellets.
These are now my go-to pellets simply because of cost and the fact that I like the flavor.
Congrats on your CS680. I have one myself, and I cannot express how much I love cooking on it.
The CS line will only run their digital unit as far as I know, there is no "after market" digital controller out there right now. There is a member of Pelletheads working on an after market controller for pellet grills. Ryan's main concentration is on a digital for Traegers right now.
Pellets, well now. I have used Traeger, Bear Mountain, BBQers Delight and Cooking Pellets. I like them all. Traeger and Bear Mountain are a 60%/40% blend of source hardwood, i.e. Oak, Hickory, Maple...and then the Alder. I believe BBQers Delight is 33%/67% Hardwood and Oak, and Cooking Pellets is 100% source Hardwood. Shipping is cost prohibitive for me for all but Traeger and Bear Mountain. I would prefer a 100% source hardwood, 2nd choice would be the Oak blend, but alas I live on the West Coast and the cheapest pellets come from the Northeast and there is a lot of Alder in that area! :mad:
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