View Full Version : My arsenal and help with a Pellet Grill

Amateur BBQist
10-15-2013, 09:21 PM
This is my first post so I'd like to thank you in advance for answering my questions.

I have a passion for grilling and smoking.

I have a kenmore p.o.s. propane grill that I am currently upgrading with a sear burner, replacing the old rusted burners, all new diffusers, and carryover tubes. The grill plates are being upgraded from the wire type to cast iron (I think). I probably should have just bought a new grill all together.

I have a WSM that I love... I've smoked some great stuff on it.

I have a smoke hollow electric smoker that I don't know how to use. I put a few wood chips on the coil then put them back in the pile to get the smoke goin. I don't know how else to do it? The flavor is nowhere near my WSM.

I own a lawn care business. I will not be working much this winter so I want to learn as much as I can about grilling and smoking.

In addition to my arsenal above, I want to buy a pellet grill. I've been at it for over a week now, and that is how I found this forum.

The grills that I have interest in are:

Traeger lil tex elite

Rec tec



Pellet Pro 627

Chargriller (because it is the cheapest (although I know so is the quality)

WSM pellet cooker add on? By same company that sells the pellet pro

I know I'm missing some here. I'm going off of memory.

I need someone to sway me towards a reliable pellet grill that can make some killer food!

I would like to stay under $1,000 and if over $700, I'll need to finance it.

Sorry for the rambling, I know I should have posted some of this elsewhere but I was too anxious to ask about the pellet grills.

10-15-2013, 09:54 PM
Yoder or RecTec.

I modified a buddy's Electric Smoker:


But I Still Use My Electric Sometimes:


10-15-2013, 09:55 PM
This is also my first post so I won't be any help but would like to add my voice to the questions. I have been smoking on a friends never used uds and have been so pleased that I am now building my own. That is how I found the brethren.

I have great interest in the pellet smokers for those time I absolutely can't be around, but want to be sure the food isn't ruined.

Thanks for the help here and all the info I already read.

10-15-2013, 09:56 PM
Just curious as to why a pellet grill? Not that there are anything wrong with pellet grills.....it's a real wood fire. Have you thought about a smoker where you control the fire and smoke vs a machine to do it?

Although once in a while i'll use a auto temp controller on my smokers i truly enjoy controlling my fire manually...experimenting with different wood chunks etc... There is something primitive about it. (Tim Taylor Grunting)

That said i love the concept of the pellet pro add ons and making your own creation.

Amateur BBQist
10-15-2013, 10:08 PM
I mainly want the pellet grill for the set it and forget it aspect.

Although I've cooked some great food on my WSM, I've also over cooked because it was too hot and I've delayed the cooking because it was too low; not good when you are cooking for guests.

I still have much to learn about the WSM and smoke hollow but for days that I don't have much time, a pellet grill will shine.

I also forgot to mention "over smoking."

I've heard the pellets create a mild smoke which I might not like but I hear the results are great.

10-15-2013, 10:20 PM
JMO but try just using a auto controller like a pitmasterIQ or BBQ Guru before you buy a pooper....not that there is anything wrong with poopers.

A ATC will give you set it and forget.

Amateur BBQist
10-15-2013, 10:39 PM
I've come across the controllers etc. while researching the pellet grills, and never put any thought to them. I'll look into them... Thanks.

10-16-2013, 04:26 AM
Not a pellet guy so not a lot of advice on the topic. Just wanted to say welcome.

Amateur BBQist
10-16-2013, 08:13 AM

10-16-2013, 09:49 AM
I am a charcoal guy and added a pellet cooker to the arsenal last winter.
With lots of research, I ended up buying a Yoder YS640 and am very pleased with it. Great smoke ring, good capacity and truly is set and forget.

10-16-2013, 09:53 AM
You said you have a WSM and ove it--I use controllers (GURU) for some of my cookers, including the WSM. However, don't need a controller for any of them once you know how to dial in your temp. It does give me comfort when I want to go to sleep!

With your budget considerations I'd probably go with one of the Green Mountain grills. Reliable electronics, decent construction and good customer service from the factory

10-16-2013, 09:59 AM
Green Mountain as said above or Rec Tec if you are looking for a good pellet grill within your price range.

I agree with looking into an ATC for your WSM. a Pitmaster IQ110 or a BBQ Guru DigiQ DX would make your WSM a set it & forget it cooker too.

I don't use an ATC on my personal WSM and I have gotten pretty good at temp control by leaving the top vent open & raising or lowering temps by adjusting the intake vents @ the bottom. Take notes about what vent settings will maintain what temps based on weather & wind conditions, and also use the Minion method to start just a few coals rather than an entire chimney of lit coals to get your fire going. This will give longer cook times & easier to maintain cooking temps.

10-16-2013, 11:50 AM
If you've got any questions on Yoder, let me know. I've been very happy with the two I have had. So they easily get my vote.

Amateur BBQist
10-16-2013, 09:26 PM
I've been amped up for the past week researching the pellet grills, and immediately started focusing on the ATC's. Like I said, I had no clue they existed. I'm probably going to try an ATC then if I'm not getting what I want, I'll get back to the pellet grills. I also wanted a different flavor than I get with the WSM. It's not bad by any means and I am pretty good at controlling the temp; Minion method and all, but set it and forget it would be nice. An 8+ hour brisket would be nice to make without really having to mess with the temps every hour or so.

On a different note, I was saying that I am upgrading my Kenmore 4 burner with a searing burner, replacing the old rusted burners, and cast iron grates... they gave me the wrong parts. I've been waiting anxiously for the parts and go figure, I have to wait another week or more to get the right ones. I'm pretty bummed out.

Old Dave
10-17-2013, 02:57 AM
As an owner of a couple of different pellet grills and a long time user of this method of cooking and baking, I feel qualified to answer why I selected my new Green Mountain Daniel Boone pellet grill over the competition. As a user, I wanted features to suit my style of cooking. I am sure some of my wants and needs may be different than others and I would suggest that they would select a cooker to their style of cooking and needs.

Headspace or height of the cooking chamber...

Along with the standard features of the taller headspace in the cooker that gives you room for beer butt chickens and turkeys, you also have room for raised grid baking which works well in most cookers, additional space for rib racks, and room for a rotisserie setup.

The cooker has a full 13-1/2 of headspace which did allow me to fabricate an inexpensive 2 piece second raised cooking grid which doubled the cooking space inside the cooker. I have a total of 864 sq. in. of cooking space with this additional grid.



I can use the full raised 2nd grid or just one side as you see in the pictures. Really adds flexibility to my grill.

Rotisserie Setup

I love rotisserie setups and put them on most of my backyard cookers. The large headspace in the Green Mountain makes adapting this feature to this cooker a fairly easy modification.



These are two whole chickens and two turkey breasts but I do have enough room to do two whole turkeys at a time.


These are slab potatoes and hot chicken wings in another rotisserie setup that does require quite a bit of head space.

High Heat Grilling Insert

I was able to add a high heat grilling insert to this fine grill which was important to me as I like steaks cooked at the tip of a wood or charcoal flame at high temps.



Then, with the addition of Grill Grates, I have one fine high temp grilling setup.



Steaks and burgers sure look good coming off the cooker with this modification.

Raised Grid Baking

The increased headroom in this cooker allows me at add my ceramic plate setter and my hearth stone for my baking. This raised hearth works great with equal temperatures and great air-flow all around the hearth which makes for great baking. Our breads are wonderful coming off of this cooker.

Temperature Range of this Grill

We do quite a bit of cold smoking and the lower range of 150 degrees works well with items like jerky, sausage, fish, and other products. Most pellet cookers will not go this low so that is a feature we like.


Jerky comes out great on the cooker.


What is not to like about a controller with an integrated meat probe, a remote option if you want it, has a turbo mode for colder Winter climates, and in most temperature ranges will operate with less than 10 degree temperature swings with your cooking.

Other great Features

Will operate on my less expensive modified sine wave inverter in no power situations.

Fairly inexpensive thermal jacket for cold weather cooking.

Local dealers and a company with a wonderful track record of solving any problems that might occur with the use of the cooker.

A few times during the cooking season, the company will offer up deals that can save you as much $100 dollars off the purchase price. Many dealers will also sweeten a deal on the cooker as well.

“Bang for the Buck”

For my needs, and after comparing several cookers in this price range, I felt that the price paid along with all the great features and the easy adaptability to some of the modifications I wanted just gave me more bang for the buck.

10-17-2013, 09:01 AM
Excellent post, Dave! Thanks for sharing all of that!

10-17-2013, 11:52 AM
I use three different products for outdoor cooking: a Yoder pellet smoker; a Yoder Cheyenne wood smoker; and a Weber Kettle. Each of these units has a particular function for outdoor cooking.

I am not going to promote the virtues of owning a Yoder or any other particular Pellet Smoker. What I will share is that I use the pellet smoker for two types of cooks where it is extremely beneficial to me. The primary use is for very long cooks of 12 to 20 hours on meats like pork butt or brisket where you identified an objective of set it and forget it. For that objective, nothing beats the pellet smoker. I also use the pellet smoker for short duration low and slow cooking that runs from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours such as a Tri Tip Sirloin.

I use the wood smoker for cooks that range from 5 hours to 8 hours in duration. I use this for whole chickens, ribs, loin roasts and a number of other foods that we like that are prepared low and slow. Certainly, a pellet smoker can do this as well, however, I enjoy using the wood smoker for this time period where I can master the control of fuel and air management to cook a food product.

The Weber Kettle I use for both direct and indirect heat cooking. I have a rotissieri attachment that just does a wonderful job on whole chickens cooked at 325 degrees and pork loin roasts. In addition, the direct heat of charcoal flavor is perfect for our rib eye steaks, hamburgs, and top sirloin cooked to 130 degrees rare to medium rare. I also have a Kettlepizza attachment and make wood fired pizza on the Weber. Please note, I do not use the pellet smoker for direct high heat cooking.

Each one of these tools, serves an old man the pleasure of outdoor cooking and gives me something to do. Whatever you choose for a pellet smoker, I am sure will provide to you years of outdoor smoking pleasure and give you the versatility that you are looking for.

Have a great day!


10-17-2013, 01:48 PM
I've had two Traegers and two FEC competition pellet smokers. I've now retired and recently purchased a Rec-Tec and have been very pleased with it. I love the ease of use of a pellet cooker and the Rec-Tec is also very easy to clean and maintain.