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View Full Version : Weak flavor on Pellet Grill


bbqdano
07-24-2008, 10:24 PM
Been using a Lousiana Country Smoker CS570 for a couple of months now. Long smokes at lowest temp setting provide cooked meat but with very little smoke flavor.

Anyone else experiencing that? Have tried various different pellets with same result. Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks in advance.

BFoster
07-24-2008, 10:34 PM
Yessir, I know what you mean. My Traeger doesn't put any good smoke into the food I cook. I'm going to just use it as a grill now. I know I can buy an electronic addon that will cook it lower...but...I bought it to cook it right. It does do wicked steaks and anything that needs to be seriously grilled though. I'm just not keen on buying this for something that has a 'smoke' setting. http://www.traegergrills.com/shop/Details.cfm?ProdID=113&category=10

BBQ Grail
07-24-2008, 10:38 PM
Honest Question here. Not one of those smart-alec anti pellet questions.

If you don't get much smoke flavor what's the advantage. Again sincere question, because I've consider a traeger a couple of times.

BFoster
07-24-2008, 10:51 PM
Honest Question here. Not one of those smart-alec anti pellet questions.

If you don't get much smoke flavor what's the advantage. Again sincere question, because I've consider a traeger a couple of times.




The advantage to me was that a store here had it for about $200 less than MSRP...and I bought it. IMHO without the addition of the mod that let's you cook at a real 'low and slow' temp, it's worthless as a smoker. If you set it on 'Smoke' setting, which I did the first night cooking some butt's.....you have a great chance of your fire going out. I thought I messed something up and tried again the day after...woke up at 3am to check the temp...and the pellets had gone out...cold.

What happens is, an auger runs pellets at the 3 different settings...Smoke, Medium and High. At 'Smoke' it runs for a minute and it's off for 3 minutes ( just recalling) in those three minutes, the pellet(s) that was on fire can go out. You'll wake up the next morning with 10 pounds of dry unfired pellets in the bottom of the pit. It happened to me twice in a weekend.

I know it's assholish, but I refuse to buy the $170 mod that makes it actually be a smoker.



-Brian

BFoster
07-24-2008, 10:58 PM
Been using a Lousiana Country Smoker CS570 for a couple of months now. Long smokes at lowest temp setting provide cooked meat but with very little smoke flavor.

Anyone else experiencing that? Have tried various different pellets with same result. Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks in advance.


Oh, and sorry...I didn't answer your original question. They just don't seem to put out the same amount of smoke into food as any smoker I've had. They do work wicked as grills though.


-Brian

snoqualmiesmoker
07-24-2008, 11:55 PM
The advantage to me was that a store here had it for about $200 less than MSRP...and I bought it. IMHO without the addition of the mod that let's you cook at a real 'low and slow' temp, it's worthless as a smoker. If you set it on 'Smoke' setting, which I did the first night cooking some butt's.....you have a great chance of your fire going out. I thought I messed something up and tried again the day after...woke up at 3am to check the temp...and the pellets had gone out...cold.

What happens is, an auger runs pellets at the 3 different settings...Smoke, Medium and High. At 'Smoke' it runs for a minute and it's off for 3 minutes ( just recalling) in those three minutes, the pellet(s) that was on fire can go out. You'll wake up the next morning with 10 pounds of dry unfired pellets in the bottom of the pit. It happened to me twice in a weekend.

I know it's assholish, but I refuse to buy the $170 mod that makes it actually be a smoker.



-Brian

i was going to get a Traeger before my egg. For some unknown reason they had discontinued the low smoke feature (180 smoke) and stuck with a 225 low smoke. Everyone who had purchased a Traeger before had no issues but lots of people after the conversion did. The Traeger "outlet" in Oregon, offered the remainder of the stock of the original, but now has a "new" version they must have had made. You can buy it now with the 180 smoke. I think one of the major complaints was that the 225 isn't really 225 at grid temp. It just didn't seem to work as well as it should have.
As for smoke flavor, I have eaten off a buddies traeger, and it was great, full of smoke (he quickly grilled a steak).
I mention the Traeger Outlet in West Linn, and found their BBQ (they cook food there, though it is reheated) was lacking in flavor and quality.

kickassbbq
07-25-2008, 06:31 AM
Stick Burners Rule!!!!!
Sorry, I freaked out.

Norcoredneck
07-25-2008, 06:34 AM
I experienced the same. Kapn advised me to cook slower (lower temp) than on other cookers. It made a world of difference. He also advised me on pellet purchase. Might send him a PM.

Wesman61
07-25-2008, 06:46 AM
I have the 180 low smoke but just got a digital thermostat from another Forum Member that I'll be installing today. I haven't had any problem getting plenty of smoke flavor from Mine in either smoke or medium settings. I use mostly misquite and hickory pellets and feel the apple wood pellets have less smoke flavor. I also don't usually foil so that may influence results. I'm really glad I got a pellet smoker.

bbqdano
07-25-2008, 07:32 AM
Can't speak for other makes of grills but the Louisiana Country Smoker's paddle wheel feed design produces a wide array of performance depending on pellet size.

BBQ Delight pellets are on average 3/4" or less in length. On minimum setting, during the warm weather here lately, the lowest temperature the grill will operate at is 250. Using the Fast Eddy pellets, they average 1" to 1.25" in length, the temp drops to 165. The larger size pellets just don't feed through the wheel as fast. Still not very much smoke however.

Am experimenting with a digital temperature controller, one of those PID "Fuzzy Logic" gadgets. Does pretty good at maintaining temperature. Did have the fire go out a couple of times because the controller was above setpoint and did not feed any pellets for several minutes. Have since re-wired it so the factory timer is in parallel with the controller allowing a minimal pellet feed every so often regardless of temperature setpoint. Am going to add a time delay relay to prevent the controller from over feeding the pellets. The fire department is busy enough!!

All in all, I like the grill but it definitely requires different tactics than the stick burners.

Norcoredneck
07-25-2008, 07:48 AM
Am experimenting with a digital temperature controller, one of those PID "Fuzzy Logic" gadgets. Does pretty good at maintaining temperature. Did have the fire go out a couple of times because the controller was above setpoint and did not feed any pellets for several minutes. Have since re-wired it so the factory timer is in parallel with the controller allowing a minimal pellet feed every so often regardless of temperature setpoint. Am going to add a time delay relay to prevent the controller from over feeding the pellets. The fire department is busy enough!!

All in all, I like the grill but it definitely requires different tactics than the stick burners.
Try using low alarm to run hot rod. If temp drops below XXX hot rod comes on insuring pellets are lit.

Arlin_MacRae
07-25-2008, 09:23 AM
I'd be willing to bet that the brand of pellets would have a significant impact to the amount of smoke you get at any given setting. Maybe you could try a small bag of several different ones to see if any others work better.

But yeah - stick burners rule! <chuckle>

Arlin

bbqdano
07-25-2008, 01:58 PM
Try using low alarm to run hot rod. If temp drops below XXX hot rod comes on insuring pellets are lit.
That's a great idea!! Thanks a bunch.

I'll try it this weekend.

Bentley
07-25-2008, 03:29 PM
I have a CS Whole Hog, have had some success with it and a Traeger 075 the past few years at competitions. I think it smokes well. But to be perfectly honest with you, the only wood I can distinguish is Mesquite. Cooking at competitions, you dont taste smoke after you have been cooking a day and a half. Only time I taset smoke flavor is when I seal it up and eat it days later.

Here a lot of good things about cookingpellets, just ordered 3 bags, suppose to be here next wed., will try them next weekend and see!

Smokin Mike
07-25-2008, 03:37 PM
I have a CS Whole Hog, have had some success with it and a Traeger 075 the past few years at competitions. I think it smokes well. But to be perfectly honest with you, the only wood I can distinguish is Mesquite. Cooking at competitions, you dont taste smoke after you have been cooking a day and a half. Only time I taset smoke flavor is when I seal it up and eat it days later.

Here a lot of good things about cookingpellets, just ordered 3 bags, suppose to be here next wed., will try them next weekend and see!
crap, someone already posted about cookingpellets, you will swear I work for them, or have interest in them, because I have a strong opinion about the quality of the pellets (100% wood), it will take your pellet pooper to another level! cherry, hickory and mesquite(you will swear it came from a stick burner)

jeffjenkins1
07-25-2008, 04:35 PM
I was thinking about getting a traeger next year........I might go with the SW.

Jeff

BFoster
07-25-2008, 08:23 PM
I was thinking about getting a traeger next year........I might go with the SW.

Jeff

Might? :wink: Just messing....the SW is one of the best purchases I've ever made. I'm not trying to get those boys to buy me a beer either...I promise.

Also, I don't want to come off as a jerk...I had a few beers in me last night. With the mod, I think the Traeger would be a damn fine smoker...it's well built with good metal. It's just not ready for 'prime-time' as it is.

-Brian.

Plowboy
07-25-2008, 10:08 PM
Your pellets are probably having a lot to do with this. I own a Traeger, Country Smoker, and FEC-100. I've cooked on several models of each. First and foremost, the Traeger pellets are crap!!!! The BTU's are low and the smoke sucks. I've not tried CookingPellets.com, but BBQr's Delight are great. Your fuel makes a lot of the difference. Try the hickory or pecan to start and see if you get a better smoke flavor and a better burn.

Pellet cookers ARE stick burners. Our sticks are just smaller.

bbqdano
07-25-2008, 10:13 PM
Your pellets are probably having a lot to do with this. I own a Traeger, Country Smoker, and FEC-100. I've cooked on several models of each. First and foremost, the Traeger pellets are crap!!!! The BTU's are low and the smoke sucks. I've not tried CookingPellets.com, but BBQr's Delight are great. Your fuel makes a lot of the difference. Try the hickory or pecan to start and see if you get a better smoke flavor and a better burn.

Pellet cookers ARE stick burners. Our sticks are just smaller.

Thanks Plowboy. You ever use the Fast Eddy pellets? They've got lots of good press in the forum.

bbqdano
07-25-2008, 10:15 PM
And by the way, your Yardbird Rub is awesome!!

Plowboy
07-25-2008, 10:17 PM
Thanks Plowboy. You ever use the Fast Eddy pellets? They've got lots of good press in the forum.

Yup. Have several bags here at the house. They are REALLY long. You gotta break them up before you use them in a Traeger grill. Otherwise they can jam in the auger. Awesome smoke though and little ash.

Timmy
07-25-2008, 10:29 PM
Brian,
Do I get the feeling your going to have a traeger up for sale soon? Let me be first in line if it happens. Anyway I'm trying to get my traeger up and running. I guess I need to do a search on pellets. It looks as though there is some info I need to read.

HoDeDo
07-25-2008, 10:40 PM
Looks like Todd made it here about 15 min before me! I was going to say the same thing. Branch Creek (Epps Farm) pellets rock also, but are harder to find. He's having more and more trouble getting the wood products he needs for production.

I've got this great tool that breaks up the pellets... it's Todd!!!:twisted: He really likes it when you tell him 1/4" or smaller, and break out the micrometer.:icon_sleepy

As a side note - how long have you had your 570..... there was a manufacturing flaw, and your paddlewheel might be slipping with the larger pellets. The shaft in the original units auger motor was too short, and caused the paddle wheel to fail. I've never had a problem with mine -- until I used the eddy pellets. They are GREAT pellets for flavor, but they are designed to work well in his style cooker... they are a little "too tough" for the paddle wheel cookers. At any rate, had both my paddle wheels fail, and Todd's did also.... I attribute it to large size, dense pellets. Might be that... so letme know if you need help with it. Where did you get yours? Feldmans? KCK/BBQ Bonanza?

bbqdano
07-26-2008, 06:49 AM
Looks like Todd made it here about 15 min before me! I was going to say the same thing. Branch Creek (Epps Farm) pellets rock also, but are harder to find. He's having more and more trouble getting the wood products he needs for production.

I've got this great tool that breaks up the pellets... it's Todd!!!:twisted: He really likes it when you tell him 1/4" or smaller, and break out the micrometer.:icon_sleepy

As a side note - how long have you had your 570..... there was a manufacturing flaw, and your paddlewheel might be slipping with the larger pellets. The shaft in the original units auger motor was too short, and caused the paddle wheel to fail. I've never had a problem with mine -- until I used the eddy pellets. They are GREAT pellets for flavor, but they are designed to work well in his style cooker... they are a little "too tough" for the paddle wheel cookers. At any rate, had both my paddle wheels fail, and Todd's did also.... I attribute it to large size, dense pellets. Might be that... so letme know if you need help with it. Where did you get yours? Feldmans? KCK/BBQ Bonanza?

Got the 570 in mid May this year from Bob @ BBQ Bonanza. Have not had any problem with the wheel as far as I can tell and Bob thought he had changed out all of the bad motors.

Sounds though like I have 300# of pellets that have good flavor but must be broken down to be used in a CS grill. Bummer!:icon_frow

I have tried the Branch Creek (mesquite) and they left a LOT of residue and eventually choked out the fire because of all the ash.

Plowboy
07-26-2008, 07:05 AM
I have tried the ... (mesquite)

There's your flavor problem. Blech!

HoDeDo
07-26-2008, 07:48 AM
Got the 570 in mid May this year from Bob @ BBQ Bonanza. Have not had any problem with the wheel as far as I can tell and Bob thought he had changed out all of the bad motors.

Sounds though like I have 300# of pellets that have good flavor but must be broken down to be used in a CS grill. Bummer!:icon_frow

I have tried the Branch Creek (mesquite) and they left a LOT of residue and eventually choked out the fire because of all the ash.

If you have the new motor... and if you got it in May you should - Bob did try to swap them all out of the standard cookers. The Eddy pellets shouldnt have a problem in the CS with the new motor. Used them at least half the season in my Whole Hog until Bobby got rolling with the BBQ'r delight pellets.

jestridge
07-26-2008, 09:37 AM
That why I do straight wood no mechanical part to go wrong. This might sound crazy but I really enjoy night cook getting up and putting wood on I even like cold night or warm night when you can sit out with your cooker. that why I like BBQ.

Plowboy
07-26-2008, 09:47 AM
That why I do straight wood no mechanical part to go wrong. This might sound crazy but I really enjoy night cook getting up and putting wood on I even like cold night or warm night when you can sit out with your cooker. that why I like BBQ.

I like using pure wood, too. None of that Kingsford crap for me. That stuff has all kinds of binders and poisons. Lil stick burners rule!! :mrgreen:

bbqdano
07-26-2008, 01:26 PM
If you have the new motor... and if you got it in May you should - Bob did try to swap them all out of the standard cookers. The Eddy pellets shouldnt have a problem in the CS with the new motor. Used them at least half the season in my Whole Hog until Bobby got rolling with the BBQ'r delight pellets.

Tried the FE pellets all morning. Eratic and inconsistent temperatures. Did rewire the temperature controller's low alarm contact to the hot rod. Good thing because with the FE pellets, the fire went out a couple of times. Emptied the hopper and refilled with bbq delight, unit maintains setpoint within 4 or 5 degrees.

The longer pellets just don't feed at a steady pace. I could hear them breaking against the paddle wheel & housing. My dad is having the same problem on his 570 with them so we're going to give up on the FE pellets. Too bad because they had such good reviews. They're obviously designed for a different feed mechanism. Live & learn, but never give up!!

Appreciate all the good ideas & suggestions.:!: