Author Topic: Looking for a new smoker  (Read 346 times)

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Offline zueth

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Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #-1 on: January 05, 2018, 11:33:44 AM »
I have read through a bunch of posts on here and have learned a lot, just looking for a little bit of feedback before I pull the trigger.

I am looking for a smoker that I can cook 4 pork butts on, has quick recovery time, and I can set temp at 225 and it will hold +/- 5 degrees.  I already have a Bradley for salmon, cold smoking cheese, etc.. and grill for searing steaks so this would mostly be used for pork butts, ribs, brisket, rack of pork, etc...

I am thinking that a new pellet grill/smoker fits this bill the best, but am open if there is something else that I should be considering.

Thanks.

Offline Smokerjunky

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« on: January 05, 2018, 11:42:56 AM »
I purchased a Blazn Grill Works Grand Slam about three years ago and it has been flawless.  I like that it is built like a tank and American made with a lot of great features.  My personal favorite is the slide-out burn pot.  It makes it quick and easy to empty out without taking out the grates, grease shield and heat deflector.  Check them out at  http://www.blazngrillworks.com/ There are, however, so many good choices. 

Good luck with your decision - you will not regret purchasing a pellet grill.
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Offline NativeTxn

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Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 11:44:45 AM »
If your budget can swing it, my guess is the general consensus here will be to go for a MAK 1 or 2-Star. You could do 4 butts easy on it and if you add the full size second shelf, you could do even more or spread them out some. People have routinely said they can get 8 butts on the 2-Star or new 1-Star (which is now the same cooking size at the 2-Star) and the full second shelf.

Controller is the best in the biz and could easily hold temps for long cooks.

If you’re not looking to spend quite that much, many recommend Rec Tec as a less expensive option that still has a quality build and produces good results.

If you need/want to go even lower, it seems Green Mountain Grills is often the suggested entry level pellet cooker.

There are others out there as well in varying price ranges. Memphis on the high end. Blaz’n Grillworks in the mid range. Of course, Traeger on the lower end.

And those aren’t even all of them.

If you let everyone know your budget, you’ll get more detailed feedback.

Best of luck!


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Offline smokeasaurus

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 02:09:23 PM »
Here is a list to help your research:

Low price 300-600 bucks give or take

Traeger
Green Mountain Grills
Camp Chef
Pit Boss
Grilla

Mid Range 700-1300 give or take

Smoking Bros
Rec Tec
Blazin
Louisiana
Kuma
Homcomfort
Englander

High Price range 1500 and way way up

Yoder
Cookshack
MAK
Memphis
Pitts and Spitts
Gator Pits

I probably missed some and also keep in mind some have more features than others and there are always accessories....just a quick informal list  certain manufacturers have grills from 500-2000 dollars (Traeger). 
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Offline zueth

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 03:56:15 PM »
Thanks for all the info so far. 

I am thinking that a new pellet grill/smoker fits this bill the best, but am open if there is something else that I should be considering. -> am I correct in assuming that pellet grill/smoker is the best option out there for what I intend to use the smoker for?

I think I have the brands narrowed down to these three:

GMG
Rec Tec
MAK

With all of these will they have no problem keeping 225 +/- 5 degrees?  I know they all have a digital controller that you can set the temp in 5 degree increments.  Rec Tec mentions proprietary PID algorithm to maintain heat.  The MAK comes with Pellet Boss digital controller which I assume uses its own algorithms.  I can't find anything on GMG about the digital controller.

Offline smokeasaurus

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 04:04:56 PM »
I know for a fact since my friend is a GMG dealer that GMG has had dozens of revisions on their controller so that leads me to assume they do not have it nailed yet.

In some pellet grills super tight temps lead to a very light flavor.

MAK has the best controller hands down and gives you plenty of thin blue smoke.

The profile will be a tad lighter in the Rec Tec (I think they have a smoke setting now for 180-250 cooks) but they have a real good controller. I think the same company that makes the outstanding Memphis controller makes the Rec Tec controller.

The way I figure it, if you are looking for a pellet smoker/grill to be your main cooking machine go for the MAK cry once and get the best.

If you want to keep your costs down the Rec Tec is a solid performer.

You should be very happy with either unit.
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Offline KJRsmoker

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 05:59:48 PM »
Like smokeasaurus said, buy the MAK and cry once...you won't regret it.  I've had my MAK for 2 years and it lives up to its reputation. 
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Offline smokeasaurus

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 08:20:34 PM »
I wish I would practice what I preach.

I am the poster boy for crying 3 or 4 times......:(

The MAK 1 Star is in my headlights this time..................
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Offline smoker pete

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 09:02:26 PM »
I have owned a MAK 2 Star for over 7 years now ... hands down the best product on the market. They keep winning all those awards for good reason!
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Offline teesquare

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 09:18:08 PM »
The Rec Etc controller is manufactured by the same company that makes controllers for Louisiana pellet grills as well as Memphis...and others.

it is  good, basic controller. But, it does not have the upgradeability or multiple probe ports that the MAK offers.
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Offline Hub

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 07:37:33 AM »
Re-reading your post it occurs to me you may be asking if there is a better alternative than a pellet cooker for the need you expressed in it.  Lots of pellet cookers will satisfy your need but lots of charcoal cookers and stick burners will, too.  Pellets are versatile and capable but one thing will always need to be repeated and repeated and repeated:  If you want heavy, dominant smoke flavor in your meat you probably won't be happy with pellets.  Pellets imbue a smoky background flavor when properly used but don't produce the heavy "white" smoke necessary for some palates.

Disregard if I've missed your intent but . . .

First, decide if pellet cooking fits your tastes and cooking style:

http://www.letstalkbbq.com/index.php?topic=2641.0
http://www.letstalkbbq.com/index.php?topic=2647.0

then, if pellets are your choice, pick the pellet cooker that best fits your situation:

http://www.letstalkbbq.com/index.php?topic=21541.0

Hope you find what you're looking for  ;D

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Offline smokeasaurus

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 08:56:29 AM »
Here are some reviews for pellet grills 1000 and lower. Might help you out a bit.

http://firefoodchef.com/best-pellet-smoker-grills-reviews/

https://www.barbequesmoked.com/grill/best-pellet-grill/

https://www.thehouseofbbq.com/best-pellet-smoker-grill/

I notice that pretty much the same units make the list but the write-ups are a little different
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Offline zueth

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 11:45:40 AM »
Re-reading your post it occurs to me you may be asking if there is a better alternative than a pellet cooker for the need you expressed in it.  Lots of pellet cookers will satisfy your need but lots of charcoal cookers and stick burners will, too.  Pellets are versatile and capable but one thing will always need to be repeated and repeated and repeated:  If you want heavy, dominant smoke flavor in your meat you probably won't be happy with pellets.  Pellets imbue a smoky background flavor when properly used but don't produce the heavy "white" smoke necessary for some palates.

Disregard if I've missed your intent but . . .

First, decide if pellet cooking fits your tastes and cooking style:

http://www.letstalkbbq.com/index.php?topic=2641.0
http://www.letstalkbbq.com/index.php?topic=2647.0

then, if pellets are your choice, pick the pellet cooker that best fits your situation:

http://www.letstalkbbq.com/index.php?topic=21541.0

Hope you find what you're looking for  ;D

Hub

Thanks for the info, that is exactly what I was asking if a pellet smoker was the best choice for me and if it is which one would fit the bill the best.  I will take a look at your links.

Offline zueth

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Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2018, 02:00:34 PM »
I read through all the links and seems the thing that most complain about with pellet smokers is the smoke flavor. Does anybody use amazen smoker tubes in pellet smoker to get a better smoke profile?


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Offline smokeasaurus

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Re: Looking for a new smoker
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2018, 05:16:34 PM »
Keep in mind that many oversmoke and they become accustomed to the heavy acrid flavor. Smoke tubes are great for smoke supplementation.

I have always said when buying a pellet grill you should also get a smoke tube and frog mats at the same time.

Also, some manufacturers have added "super smoke" settings to their controllers to add extra smoke.
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