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WildmanWilson
06-03-2018, 07:51 AM
I’ve been knocking around the idea of a pellet smoker but after seeing how many people add a smoker generator or tube to get smoke flavor I’m wondering why get one? Seems an electric smoker with the same smoke tube would be the same result. So what do the pellet smokers offer ?

el luchador
06-03-2018, 07:58 AM
Good question. I look forward to the answers.

Maybe someone who has both pellet and electric can come in

smoke ninja
06-03-2018, 08:02 AM
Pellet grills burn all wood but it's a clean burn. Much like cooking with wood embers or a super clean stick burner. These all produce a light clean tasting smoke that is a backdrop to bbq not the main component

Ron_L
06-03-2018, 08:11 AM
Pellet grills burn all wood but it's a clean burn. Much like cooking with wood embers or a super clean stick burner. These all produce a light clean tasting smoke that is a backdrop to bbq not the main component

Yep. In contrast, an electric smoker uses a heating element as a heat source and burns either chips, small chunks or pucks for smoke flavor. The wood typically smolder more than burns, so the smoke isnít as clean, and a little goes a long way. In my Cookshack electric a gold ball sized chunk is more than enough.

JEStucker
06-03-2018, 08:21 AM
So what do the pellet smokers offer ?


I think the appeal is in the immortal words of Ron Popeil "Set it, and forget it."

16Adams
06-03-2018, 08:26 AM
Yep. In contrast, an electric smoker uses a heating element as a heat source and burns either chips, small chunks or pucks for smoke flavor. The wood typically smolder more than burns, so the smoke isnít as clean, and a little goes a long way. In my Cookshack electric a gold ball sized chunk is more than enough.

Where do I obtain these gold balls of which you speak?

16Adams
06-03-2018, 08:40 AM
I’ve always been interested, several of my friends are pellitized. Some have two, one has three. I’m interested but I want a smaller high quality cheap cooker on closeout. Then, I’ll buy one and either fall in love, get it out of my system or be satisfied. I will someday, just because I need to know for myself. My friends are all quite happy with theirs

Ylouder
06-03-2018, 08:42 AM
I was a long term holdout on getting a pellet grill, but imagine having a perfectly burning 100 percent wood fire. No smoldering, no worrying if the wood is too green, 225 plus or minus the entire time.

I really think people playing up concerns about not enough smoke taste are overblown. Typically when you are cooking your sense of smell is overwhelmed so that day you don’t taste as much. I’ve never got a smoking tube and have no problem tasting the smoke and I notice it’s remarkablely more Smokey the next day for leftovers.

AWilliams
06-03-2018, 09:06 AM
I have an original Traeger my dad gave me but I really only use it for doing my Yellowtail and Tuna I catch here. Since it's the original model with the old style controller, it's failed on me numerous times so I can't trust it for much else. Just the right amount of smoke for fish. YMMV

jasonjax
06-03-2018, 09:15 AM
1) Set it and forget it (PID controllers etc)
2) Consistency (no wondering how your splits or lump is going to burn)
3) Convenience (add some pellets to the hopper and flip a switch)
4) Subtle yet very present smoke flavor (real wood is burning)
5) Easy clean-up (no charcoal or wood ash to speak of. Use a shop vac now and again to vac out the firebox)
6) Versatility (buy the right pellet cooker and cook at 600+ degrees direct heat or smoke at 225* for hours)

That's off the top of my head. I could probably create a much more in-depth response, but having used multiple fuel sources and styles of cookers I am a proud pellethead.

m-fine
06-03-2018, 09:16 AM
If you are used to the flavor of fat burning on charcoal, pellet grills have very weak smoke flavor, but it is a cleaner flavor that lets you taste the difference between different woods. Adding a tube or tray lets you increase the intensity while still avoiding the burnt fat flavors but isn’t mandatory by any means.

The biggest draw is of course the set it and forget it part. You can’t always be feeding a stick burner unless you have employees.

LYU370
06-03-2018, 09:18 AM
Used to have a Cookshack electric. It made great que. Like Ron said, one or two small chunks of wood was all you needed. But the smoke never really penetrated deep into the meat. To me it seemed it was on the surface only. Switched to a Cookshack FEC100 pellet smoker, still easy to use, but it seems like the que it produces is so much better. I usually use a smoke tube only for cold smoking, if I want extra smoke, I'll run it at a lower temp for the first few hours. Normally for long cooking meats only.

I've used all sorts of cookers over the years, but now that I'm a lazy old fart that likes his sleep. I use a pellet cooker for long/overnite cooks.

Smoke Dawg
06-03-2018, 09:24 AM
We use our GMG pellet cooker a lot from smoking oysters at 150į to pizza at 500į

I prefer steaks over coals but the pooper does a great job on butts, ribs, and briskets.

It is nice to put a brisket on just before going to bed and getting a full nights sleep.

Nuco59
06-03-2018, 09:34 AM
End of season close out might tip me over the edge to get one. I'm sorta like 16Adams, I want to see what all the fuss is about. Love it or hate it- either is fine- just don't want to spend a small fortune to find out.

The "set it and forget it" facet is not super important to me- I have drums- I basically have that ability now. Just in it for the search of something different.

el luchador
06-03-2018, 09:41 AM
Iíve been knocking around the idea of a pellet smoker but after seeing how many people add a smoker generator or tube to get smoke flavor Iím wondering why get one? Seems an electric smoker with the same smoke tube would be the same result. So what do the pellet smokers offer ?


Do you already have an electric smoker?

Ive never used one but apparently they can hold their own

https://youtu.be/yQ38bBi-9o0

Stlchucky
06-03-2018, 09:42 AM
In my personal experiance pellet cookers put out great smoked foods, simular to a stick fired cooker.

I have noticed thet cheaper low end electric smokers are lacking a bit in flavor.
I have noticed in my circle everyone raves about tne food cooked in pellet cookers.
It's really personal preference but the amazin tube is a good tool to have with cheap electric or a pellet or a gas grill.

rwalters
06-03-2018, 10:09 AM
Having cooked on many different cookers over the years, including some pretty nice stick and charcoal burners, I became a pellet head a couple of years ago when I bought a buddies old MAK 1 Star. Since that, I have sold the 1 Star and bought a new 2 Star last year. I love stick and charcoal cookers... but I LOVE everything about pellet cooking. With a large busy family, the convenance canít be beat. In addition, I have gotten more compliments on my pellet cooks than on any other type of cooker I have owned in the past... and I have a few brutally honest family members...lol. And yes, I know how to run a clean burning stick/lump fire... ;)

Rib Rub
06-03-2018, 10:42 AM
I just bought a 2 Star General. The goal is good consistent food and if a pellet can do that, I am on it! I do love charcoal flavor, but in my house my family prefers food off the pellet. I have never personally used a stick burner, but at some point I am going to get one. Cooking on the pellet grill has really peaked my interested on other grills. I still love the flavor of hanging ribs on the Pit Barrel, but I love the convenience of cooking on the pellet and almost getting a guaranteed great finished product.

I researched the MAK 2 Star General for quite sometime, 6 months to be exact and this video helped me finalize my decision!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-88rTFaynAQ


--

MountainMan
06-03-2018, 10:47 AM
I've had a Cookskack electric, Cookshack FEC-100 and now own a Cookshack pg-1000.


The choice of the PG-1000 was simple as it will go from 180 degrees to 700 degrees.


It has four different temperature zones for cooking multiple dishes.


So smoke or grill, it does it all for me!

BKING!
06-03-2018, 10:56 AM
Smokers are just an oven that produces smoke. Fuel source obviously impacts flavor. All wood (sticks or pellets) and lump with chunks produce a the best flavor. My taste buds prefer sticks or lump with wood chucks. I can’t really tell the difference between the two.

Find which fuel source makes your taste buds happy then pick the smoker that fits your lifestyle (set and forget it or tending to the fire or something in between). I have both a stickburner and a lump burning kamado that runs on a guru so if I feel like tending to the fire I can or if I want to set and forget I can too.

WilliamKY
06-03-2018, 11:13 AM
A good friend at work bought a Rec Tec. He obsessed over it for 6mos before he finally dropped the $1000. He likes it a lot but he admits it doesn't give him the heavier smoke flavor that he prefers. He often uses an amazn tube with it. I still enjoy tending a live fire and adjusting vents so it might be a awhile before I own one.

Rockinar
06-03-2018, 11:58 AM
They are simple, set up fast, easy to use. Might be good if you have kids and no time to tend a fire, dont want to tend a fire, live somewhere with no access to wood, just like to sleep or simply not that picky about your BBQ and dont care.

An electric smoker with a smoke tube would not produce the same results. The pellet smoker would be superior.

Ylouder
06-03-2018, 12:35 PM
When I started with an offset, spent years debating getting a kamado, when I finally pulled the trigger I literally gave my cheap offset away the next week. The kamado was so easy, used so little fuel, maintained temp etc.

Same thing with my pellet grill. Spent years debating it and couldn’t justify it until I accidently broke my Akron kamado. (Long story, 100percent my fault). Finally had a reason for a pellet pooper, I won’t say a pellet is vastly superior to a kamado, but both are light years ahead of an offset.

Now days I make use of my current offset maybe once or twice a year but the gasser and pellet pooper see duty about 95 percent of the time. Something almost spiritual about an offset chugging along with thin blue.

jasonjax
06-03-2018, 01:56 PM
or simply not that picky about your BBQ and dont care.

.

Or perhaps they are picky about their BBQ and do care and feel the results they achieve with a pellet cooker are better than the results they achieved with other fuels.

Stlchucky
06-03-2018, 02:16 PM
Or perhaps they are picky about their BBQ and do care and feel the results they achieve with a pellet cooker are better than the results they achieved with other fuels.

Or like me and don't have the time or want to seek out wood thats been seasoned for 2 years then debark it then set up all night tending a fire, which is fun occasionally.

olddawg
06-03-2018, 02:30 PM
hell im not skeered to amit it im lazy by nature and busted up from car wrecks pellet grill lets me catch a breather in between checking on pellets and temp

Mikhail
06-03-2018, 02:37 PM
Where do I obtain these gold balls of which you speak?

I only have brass, so I can't help you.

Stlchucky
06-03-2018, 03:24 PM
I get decent smoke.

Rockinar
06-03-2018, 03:45 PM
I wonít say a pellet is vastly superior to a kamado, but both are light years ahead of an offset.





Get 3 coffins ready.....

http://i63.tinypic.com/j13pxi.png

The Wookiee
06-03-2018, 04:05 PM
I’ve had WSM, camp chef propane, smokein-it electric (cook shack clone with external PId for programmability), Weber kettle a couple different pellet grills and offset... along the way my smoke pallet developed I realized I no longer liked the taste off electric nor propane smokers and gave them to friends (nothing wrong with the flavor, just different and not what I enjoyed anymore). Mak pellets put out serious smoke no need to augment (so much that I recurrently think something is wrong when I go out and spot check how things are going... nothing ever wrong). Still love sticks and charcoal but pellet is clean tasting, damned easy and allows me to futz about the house run errands play with kids etc. I have a wagyu brisket on the pellet now- I trust it’s flavor that much. I would NOT have put that beauty on my prior pellet grills. But whenever I can dedicate myself to the fire I LOVE offset process and flavor. Never cooked on insulated vertical style...

lantern
06-03-2018, 05:46 PM
Two reasons that haven't been touched yet.

1, pellet cookers still create enough nitric oxide and carbon dioxide to turn the myoglobin in the meat pink and make it purrrrdy compared to electric smokers.


2, The clean flavor can cause less issues for those with a sensitive or becoming sensitive stomachs. In simple terms......the belching and farting is less than with other smokers. If done the way I enjoy it has the smoky porkiness of meat pulled from a decent whole hog cook.

LYU370
06-03-2018, 06:19 PM
Two reasons that haven't been touched yet.

1, pellet cookers still create enough nitric oxide and carbon dioxide to turn the myoglobin in the meat pink and make it purrrrdy compared to electric smokers.


Yep, if you're a fan of the "smoke ring" it'll be pretty hard to get with an electric. Managed to get a small one once by adding a couple briquettes of KBB into the smoke box. But if you really want one in an electric, just use some TenderQuick.

olddawg
06-03-2018, 06:31 PM
hell just use what makes the better bbq me I gotta cater to the picky ass family members and I cant be assed
with baby sitting a stick burner but I do love the smoke from them but im happy with smoke level of my pellet pooper its all what ya prefer

Burnt at Both Endz
06-03-2018, 06:40 PM
I’ve been knocking around the idea of a pellet smoker but after seeing how many people add a smoker generator or tube to get smoke flavor I’m wondering why get one? Seems an electric smoker with the same smoke tube would be the same result. So what do the pellet smokers offer ?

Well, in short....quicker recovery time and higher temps!


I have a FEC100, PG500, and an Cookshack electric(at the lake). I can tell you that like any other smoker, can, grill, the cook/operator makes all the difference.:doh:

LYU370
06-03-2018, 07:03 PM
the cook/operator makes all the difference.:doh:

^^^^ Ding, ding, ding, ding... We have a winner! If you're a good cook, you can cook on anything. Some cookers are just more convenient than others.

benski
06-03-2018, 07:44 PM
I find my GMG very handy for long term cooks. It seems like a bit of a waste to fire it up for just one meal, so it often gets two or three entrees stuck on it at once. One other facet of the Daniel Boone that sits along all the other stuff decorating my back porch is that I like to have the grease tray pretty clean (not antiseptic, by any means) before I light it off for another adventure. It seems to me that it can impart a gently rancid taste to the food if I don't take this simple step. YMMV, of course. A dandy device that I'm still learning the nuances of.:thumb:

Ron_L
06-03-2018, 08:36 PM
Where do I obtain these gold balls of which you speak?

Perks of meeting a moderator :-D

Corky
06-03-2018, 08:49 PM
Where do I obtain these gold balls of which you speak?

Smaller than the brass ones but rarer.

pjtexas1
06-03-2018, 08:53 PM
You guys may want to check in your wife's purse...

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

WildmanWilson
06-04-2018, 12:57 AM
I own a Big Green Egg, a Holland grill, and a 1950s refrigerator electric smoker I made. I can actually get good smoke in the refrigerator smoker by adding wood around the burner. It’s great for low temps I need for summer sausage. I’ve been looking at the pellet smokers for a while and the lack of smoke flavor I was reading about just had me concerned that it was not much better than an electric or a gasser such as the Holland without adding additional smoke. I guess I need to just break down and try one.

Doog
06-04-2018, 04:58 AM
Seems like a big push for pellets smokers lately.
I'll stick with my offset, it gives me room to spread out.
Bottom line is cook on whatever makes you happy.

ChrisL
06-04-2018, 06:11 AM
So there is no question that a stick burner provides superior flavor to pretty much any other cooker as you see arguments around "convenience" and "a different smoke flavor." Never addressing the simple quality of the smoke.

How do charcoal-fed smokers, like a kamando, PBC, and gravity fed units flavor compare to a pellet cooker? I have a stick burner and a BGE and very much prefer the flavor off the stick burner over the BGE. I keep the BGE for convenience, pizza and burgers.

Chris

NCGrimbo
06-04-2018, 09:10 AM
I've used a heating element with a pie pan of wood pieces in it to smoke food and it works, but the smoke flavor was stronger than what I prefer. Now I use my YS640 and love that it's smoke isn't as intense as that electric or the stick burners I've used in the past. the smoke levels are consistent through the entire smoke. And if you don't think pellet poopers can produce a smoke ring, check out this thread (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=255844).

el luchador
06-04-2018, 09:27 AM
So there is no question that a stick burner provides superior flavor to pretty much any other cooker as you see arguments around "convenience" and "a different smoke flavor." Never addressing the simple quality of the smoke.



Thats debatable. I have a UDS with lump charcoal and wood chunks for flavor and I prefer it to what I got from the stick burner.

YMMV

ChrisBarb
06-04-2018, 09:49 AM
I am not sure that I see any convenience gainded over my WSM, now that I added a Guru to it.

el luchador
06-04-2018, 10:42 AM
I am not sure that I see any convenience gainded over my WSM, now that I added a Guru to it.


:thumb:. good point.

even burning lump,using a temp controller, my charcoal smoker will maintain +-5 degrees, and usually +-2 degrees.

OklaDustDevil
06-04-2018, 10:58 AM
1) Set it and forget it (PID controllers etc)
2) Consistency (no wondering how your splits or lump is going to burn)
3) Convenience (add some pellets to the hopper and flip a switch)
4) Subtle yet very present smoke flavor (real wood is burning)
5) Easy clean-up (no charcoal or wood ash to speak of. Use a shop vac now and again to vac out the firebox)
6) Versatility (buy the right pellet cooker and cook at 600+ degrees direct heat or smoke at 225* for hours)


^^^^^ These were my reasons.

I've been smoking with stickburners for 30+ years, but the smokiness of my Mak 1-star is more than enough and I've had no need for smoke tubes, etc. In fact, in some respects I almost prefer the pellet smokiness; it's cleaner in flavour somehow. My wife and kids certainly prefer it.

I'd say you get 85-90% of the smokiness of a stickburner, but it comes up to 225 in 5 min and will smoke untended all night long, shifting from temp-to-temp automatically per my program, until I wake up and get out there the next morning.

lantern
06-04-2018, 04:43 PM
I am not sure that I see any convenience gainded over my WSM, now that I added a Guru to it.


I also have a WSM(a 22). When it was raining like crazy last week I ran out into the rain and under my "bbq gazebo" where all my goodies reside. I passed up the blackstone and the WSM to push the buttons on my MAK to get me the 325 I wanted for what we wanted for breakfast and ran back inside. Total time.....30-40 seconds from idea to fruition. That's not happening with my WSM.


Not being a turd. Just trying to explain one of the differences in convenience.

OklaDustDevil
06-05-2018, 02:31 PM
I am not sure that I see any convenience gainded over my WSM, now that I added a Guru to it.

I’ve never used a charcoal smoker, but from what I’ve read on this site I would agree, except perhaps that 1- the pellet smoker comes up to temp in 5 min or so, and 2- it will change temp’s automatically according to how I program it. So, for example, if I think it will take until 8 am to smoke a brisket, I nonetheless program it so that if the meat IT, using the probe, hits the number I expect, say 203 for a butt, the smoker will lower temp to 200 or 180 until I get out there to stop it. That way, if it finishes early at 6 am, no problem.

My only other question re convenience would be, are you willing to go to bed all night with the lit charcoal in your smoker? I don’t know whether charcoal smokers are set up to permit that or not? My Mak certainly is.

smokeswirl
06-06-2018, 12:57 PM
Own two pellet smokers. ease of use so I use it much more often than a kamado or charcoal smoker. Makes great food, wifi control is fantastc. Can monitor my food from anywhere I have a cell signal and make adjustments. You can taste the meat not just the smoke.


But the cons are something to consider as much as the pros. ANd it has nothing to do with the intensity of the smoke flavor.


needs electricity to operate
auger jams
parts failure. Too many moving parts, computers, augers, fans, probes, etc.

finding pellets locally that are of good quality and price are a challenge. Buy a pallet and splitting is ideal.