You need to consider the temperature the controller will be in as much as the grill you purchase. Unless the controller is built to mil-spec or has a heated housing, it will have definate temperature limits and will cause problems at the lower temps. ie below 20 degrees F. The display on most are liquid crystal and the tend to slow down and stop at that temp as well. As the temp goes lower, the LCD can fracture and the liquid will come seeping out.
As far as the hot rods, disconnect them and use either the green gel or better yet, use a blow torch to light a had full of pellets and this will eliminate the over temp swings that occur at start and also help with the GFI trips and allow use on low end inverters.