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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 07-12-2018, 01:26 AM   #1
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 11-23-08
Location: Portland, Or
Default Pellet smokers 2018 questions

Hey folks, I have been a die hard charcoal/wood smoker using 2 of the Weber 22 1/2" WSM's for years. I have had great success using these to smoke brisket, pork butt, ribs and chicken to the delight of family friends and coworkers. But I am getting older and have back issues and am finding I just am not smoking meat as often as I would like.
I am thinking about making the dive into pellet smokers. My concern is smoke flavor or lack thereof. To me there is no such thing as too much smoker flavor.
Are the new pellet smokers better and delivering that? I understand they have some that at lower temperature settings smolder more than burn to create more.
Also, do the larger ones need to burn more pellets to keep the temperature? Right now, I am leaning towards the Green Mountain Jim Bowie model. Larger than two cooking for 2 is needed but I figure if I am going to light it up, I am going to fill it up with meat.
I would love any feedback to help.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:56 AM   #2
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 03-28-13
Location: Sacramento, CA

I had a Jim Bowie for years and as much as I wanted to love it, I didn't. GMG is a great company with great customer service, but if you're looking for deep smoke, the JB will not give it to you. I currently have a GMG Davy Crockett and Mak 1-star. The Mak 1-star does a great job as a smoker. My little DC does a good job and I use it much more often as I don't have to cook so much food as it's just me and my wife nowadays unless we've got people coming over. The DC's smoke profile is lighter than than my Mak 1, but the DC is a lot better than my JB ever was.
What's your budget for a smoker? This will help with recommendations.
Mak 1, 18",22",26" Weber/Sns, WSM+Gateway Hanger+Hunsaker Vortex Basket, Gasser
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:21 AM   #3
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 11-23-08
Location: Portland, Or

Well not what I wanted to hear but I thank you for your honesty.
Budget is $900. The Jim Bowie is on sale for $699 right now.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:17 AM   #4
Burnt at Both Endz
is Blowin Smoke!
Join Date: 07-14-13
Location: freeman,mo
Name/Nickname : Calvin

Smitty will be along in a few hours, he's the brethren expert on pellet grills/smokers...
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:27 AM   #5
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 12-13-16
Location: Listowel

The Grilla is supposed to have a good smoke flavor. That is according to several podcasts and some forums. When I started looking at Pellet Cookers they were close but not made on American soil was an issue. That and the drive was a little much.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #6
is One Chatty Farker
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Join Date: 03-08-05
Location: Clayton, NC

The smoke flavor is definitely less from my Yoder than I got when I had a stick burner, but I'm OK with that. From what I've read here, most pellet poopers are lighter in smoke flavor than what you are probably used to. But you can always add an Amazing tube or some other additional pellet burning accessory to get more smoke flavor.

I would strongly suggest that you try to find someone living near you that would be willing to cook some meat in a pellet pooper so that you can try and see if the smoke profile is to your liking.
"At what point did we forget that the Space Shuttle was, essentially, a program that strapped human beings to an explosion and tried to stab through the sky with fire and math? How jaded do we have to be to lose collective interest in that?" - Robert Brockway
Weber 26.5"
Yoder YS640

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Old 07-12-2018, 11:38 AM   #7
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 07-17-13
Location: Burleson Tx

I don’t have a Pooper. But I’m Told the Smoke Flavor is Lighter but also different - more like Cotton Candy.........
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Last edited by SmittyJonz; 07-12-2018 at 11:45 AM..
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:43 AM   #8
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 02-19-16
Location: Sandhills Area, NC

Originally Posted by SmittyJonz View Post
I don’t have a Pooper. But I’m Told the Smoke Flavor is Lighter but also different - more light Cotton Candy.........
Cotton candy? The only thing I thought of was ..... sugar maple! lol ... bad joke, i know :)
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:11 PM   #9
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Join Date: 06-01-12
Location: Colorado

I found the smoke flavor to be different than charcoal or wood. Not saying bad, but different. I had a yoder and sold it after about a year.

I know at least 4 people that own pellet poopers and they love them and they love the convenience. Just personal preference for me.
Yes ma'am
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:29 PM   #10
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 07-22-09
Location: Franklin, TN

If you stand by the claim that there is no such thing as too much smoke, don't get a pellet grill.....

Now I've just got a Traeger. Using their pellets, almost no smoke flavor. Switched to cookinpellets and it's better but not heavy. I may try the amazen tube next. I don't like loads of smoke on most things but a long cook should have a bit more than what I get.
Traeger Silverton, PBC, Blackstone 36" and a Broil King Baron... Life is good
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:29 PM   #11
Burnt at Both Endz
is Blowin Smoke!
Join Date: 07-14-13
Location: freeman,mo
Name/Nickname : Calvin

If your looking at the GMG. I don't have any experience with them, so this is all hearsay. I've heard that they don't heat evenly across the grates, some use a downdraft on them for that reason and a little more smoke.....
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:42 PM   #12
is one Smokin' Farker

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Join Date: 10-13-17
Location: SoCal, by way of Oklahoma & Texas
Name/Nickname : Ray

I can second the fact the Mak 1-Star delivers a lot of smoke. It’s probably 85-90% that of a stickburner. I still prefer the flavour of the stickburner, but I’m willing to trade the 10-15% from time-to-time when I don’t want to pull an all-nighter. My family prefers the Mak, because they like it’s cleaner, lighter smoke profile. I’ve felt no need to add smoking tubes or other supplements.

The downside is that it’s $1700 delivered.
Red Weber Ltd Ed 22"
Weber 18"
Mak 1-Star Pellet Smoker
Chuckwagon Cookers Horizontal Offset Stickburner
Southern Cookers Vertical Stickburner
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:26 PM   #13
is Blowin Smoke!
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Join Date: 12-16-07
Location: Marion,NC

My MAK 1 star has delivered exactly what I was expecting. The next thing, as mentioned above, is to BE SURE to feed it decent pellets. Cookin pellets, A-Maz-En pellets and lumber jack pellets have always given me great results in the flavors I use.

As far as budget goes. Big Poppa Smokers has a layaway/installment plan to help ease the financial hit on a MAK.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:52 PM   #14
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Join Date: 10-28-14
Location: Closetobackwoods, MO
Name/Nickname : Jeremy

IMnotalwaysHO, if you have a $900 budget, and you want maximum smoke and capacity, AND you are only buying for smoking at 150-425ish, and not grilling, look at some of the vertical, pellet smokers. There are also other really good pellet cookers. My reason for recomending a vertical, is because you will get the airflow and smoke running past all of the meat. That means, to me, that you will get the largest amount of smoke flavor from any kind of pellet you use. I have seen some well under $900. I do not have one. Mine is a regular barrel style.

If you think that "not enough smoke" is going to be a problem there are other cookers that might be better.
Brinkman smoke and grill
Pit Boss 820 pellet grill
No name stick burning cabinet
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:40 AM   #15
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 04-18-14
Location: Omaha Nebraska

I have two problems with pellet smokers. 1. They are usually flimsy and cheaply made. 2. I don't like the "commoditization" of bbq where the romance and finesse are removed and you essentially have an oven that cranks out bbq. However, with the popularity of pellet smokers and my desire to own all kinds of outdoor cooking apparati, I keep looking at them. There is a company out of my great state of Nebraska that makes thick metal solid cookers in the style of "real" pits. They are over the budget you described but I'd wait a few months and buy a cooker that doesn't feel like you're opening a snow shovel, but feels like you're opening a vault door. (there are plenty of scientific benefits to having a cooker made out of thick metal)
Bubba grills 250r - Stumps Stretch - Horizon 16' Stickburner -18 WSM - UUNI 3 Pizza Oven
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