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Old 01-07-2019, 10:23 PM   #1
Mr. NiceGuy
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A Barbecue/Smoker Question

Are pellet fed smoker/grills (Traeger, Green Mountain, Camp Chef, etc.) anything special for making succulent smoked or moist grilled fish, or is it more hype and marketing than it is a functional difference?

It seems like everyone who has a Traeger is crazy about it. Eventually, they say they can make cookies.

Is this real or name brand brainwashing?

https://smokegears.com/best-pellet-smokers-reviews/

I've been using a small table top Weber gas barbecue and an old Little Chief electric smoker.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:58 AM   #2
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I have a green mountain grill. The smallest one. Itís portable so I bring it with me camping and it plugs right into the cigarette lighter. Very convenient and very low power draw. Iíve smoked meats for 12 hours and my truck fired right up at the end of it.

If youíre only thinking of smoking and grilling fish, what you currently have is sufficient. But if you want to turn it on and walk away for 12 hours and come back to perfectly smoked brisket/ribs/prime rib/etc, then I would upgrade to a pellet smoker. All the while the meat is cooking you have a digital readout of the temperature of the meat on your phone. You can set the grill to turn off when the meat reaches a certain temperature, you really have no Excuse to mess things up.

Iíve been told Traeger controller boards go out frequently which is why I went GMG, as did my brother in law and ours have worked flawlessly for years. Company has great customer service as well.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:38 AM   #3
popo50
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I have friends that us the Trager, Green egg. I purchased the Pit Boss from Wal Mart and have had great success at a third of the cost....Happy Smoking..
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popo50 View Post
I have friends that us the Trager, Green egg. I purchased the Pit Boss from Wal Mart and have had great success at a third of the cost....Happy Smoking..


Not sure which pit boss you have, but the equivalent pellet smoker to the one I have on Walmartís website shows for $349. The small green mountain grill named Davey crockett (the one I own) is $339 on Amazon. And you get an app in which you can monitor grill temp, meat temp, change grills temp, turn on off grill, etc..
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:10 AM   #5
Saba Slayer
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smokers

...I'm sold on the pellet feed smokers/grills...I bought a Treager...although I was sure it was all hype at first
(LOL... especially after listening to Ron on the radio adds) ...until my neighbor brought over some pulled pork he had cooked on his Traeger. I thought he was the BBQ King...until I realized it was the machine that made it taste so good.



For smoking fish...it's the best I've used in years...with the digital readout you can set a nice low temp and have it stay consistent...the fan circulates the hot air and evenly cooks/smokes the fish. With a pellet feed you can buy a bunch of different flavors and they are delicious.



The smoke flavor can be mild or strong...depending on the pellets used... We tried apple for our last bunch of ribs and pork loins...the Alder wood is really mild for fish and the Hickory and Mesquite are full of flavor for the bolder meats...
The family sometimes prefers a higher temp and a faster cook time to get that black and crisp finish on the meat with some bbq sauce...although the slow cooking with a good rub on the meat is a delicious and moist way to go also. The beer can chicken is really moist and good...sometimes I'll use Apple or Pineapple juice instead.





I don't think you can go wrong with a pellet feed grill/smoker...I'd make the investment if I were you.

Clean-up is easy too...
Dump that Little Chief smoker and you'll be amazed at the difference in quality of your final product.
The machines are pretty simple so the knock-off versions may be well made...although I can't say, as I haven't looked at or compared the lesser priced units.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:25 AM   #6
Hunters Pa
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Good question here. There are factors on both sides. I use a weber smokey mountain. It is charcoal fired and I use chunks of wood for the smoke. Brief summary of factors i took into consideration:

Pellet

positive
Set it and forget it capability
capacity
consistent quality

Negative
Have to use pellets (big factor for me)
- Variety limited to what the manufacturer produces
- what if they go out of business and no longer make pellets?
- Cost factor when there are only a few makers of the pellets
Need electricity
Cost - these things aren't cheap (but I have no problem paying for a quality product that will last)

Electric

positive
Plug it in and set the temp and it can self regulate
Do not need charcoal for heat
Can use chips, chunks or pellets
Typically cheaper
Higher capacity

negative
Need power access
Most do not seem "built to last"

Charcoal based

Positive
no power needed
can use chips, chunks, pellets
Can double as picnic or camping grill
mid range cost
Replacement parts lower cost
Aftermarket items for "hot rodding" available

negative
capacity
need to buy & ignite charcoal
more "hands on" unless you invest in aftermarket mods


I went with the smokey mountain for a couple of reasons. I have an awesome outdoor kitchen with a 42" Twin Eagles grill, multiple kitchen-style stove burners and a 18" wide griddle. The smoker is for smoking or to take camping, to the beach or whatever. I did not want to be reliant on having a power supply. I also did not want to have to buy a product made by a handful of manufacturers that may or may not be around in 10 years, or that may decide to double their prices when to number of manufacturers goes down. Wood chunks are more readily available and in greater variety. You really do get a different result when using something like cherry or olive. The capacity was the main point of hesitation, but the way I smoke food i can transfer to my built in gas grill at the foiling stage and start the next round on the smoker. This does not apply when i smoke fish, so I just need to plan appropriately, but it is the exception rather than the rule when I am using the smoker.

The best thing I did, though, to taking my use of the smoker to the next level was to take a quality class. This significantly shortened my learning curve. The class I took was offered by Harry Soo at slapyodaddybbq.com. He does them mainly at his house in Diamond Bar. A good class will not be cheap, but it will move you forward exponentially.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:00 AM   #7
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All that said, I am still kicking around the idea of getting a pellet. If I do it will be from Costco as they seem to have the most competitive pricing, I have the exec membership so there is the additional rebate, and they have an awesome return policy.

But I have not had any complaints on my results with the WSM.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:11 PM   #8
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Just because you buy a Traeger does not mean you have to buy Traeger pellets. Any cooking pellet will work, and there are many different manufacturers of pellets to choose from. My favorite are the Bear Mountain pellets, but I've used Traeger branded and others over the years.
I currently have three smokers, and use pellets in all of them (though one is a dedicated cold smoker). My two hot smokers are both Green Mountain - chose them over the Traeger because of build quality. Unfortunately both are made in China - but materials are just a bit better in the GMG, and the controller is more robust as was mentioned before.
You can cook anything in a pellet smoker, I've baked cakes, smoked home grown paprika, made mesquite smoked salt and made pizza in addition to the normal stuff you associate a smoker with. I'm particularly fond of smoked pizza - especially on a camping trip. The Davey Crockett shown has been upgraded with Grill Grates - which when the smoker is cranked up to 550* put an excellent sear on any steak...
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:05 AM   #9
YakDout
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Ive been buying this with amazon prime so free shipping. 40 lbs of pellets and a mix flavor. This bag lasts me a LOOOOOONG time.


https://www.amazon.com/CookinPellets...WOL&ref=plSrch


Saying pellets wonít be made anymore is like saying charcoal wonít be made anymore. Theyíre here to stay thatís a certainty.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:17 AM   #10
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We have a Traeger that I picked up off of Craigslist that had never been fired. My wife uses it more than I do even cleans it when it is time. Really like being able to take it when we go camping and yes we have baked in it, pineapple upside down cakes and pretzels. I have a local BBQ place that has all brands of pellets at great prices and I get any flavor I want. Are they all hype, I don't think so we love ours. Use it two to three times a week for over two years now and no problems as of yet
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:04 AM   #11
Mr. NiceGuy
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Great responses! Thanks!


Looks like my next purchase will be a Green Mountain pellet smoker/grill. The phone app sounds great.



--------------------------


I have a boneless leg of lamb marinating right now for dinner tonight. Sounds like this is exactly where it should be roasted, rather than in my oven.



SIDEBAR: I found pomegranate molasses at Vine Ripe to try this:
1 leg of lamb (without the shank), boned, and butterflied
For the wet rub:
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
4 cloves coarsely minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp Aleppo pepper, or other red pepper flakes to taste
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mint
1 tsp fresh English thyme



Marinate lamb overnight, and roast at 350F. for about 1 3/4 hours, or until the internal temperature of 135-140F. is reached, for medium-rare to medium.


* I will try 125 internal temp for rare rare to medium-rare, followed by a rest period under foil for moisture and succulence.


Caramelized carrots on the side. Albie's Steakhouse in Mission Valley used to have GREAT sweet, soft carrots. Too bad they lost their lease and had to finally close down. I'm trying to recreate those carrots tonight.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:12 AM   #12
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On the subject barbecued Beer Can Chicken: That's one of the most amazing, moist flavors for chicken I have ever had.



I was at Costco Business Center (more restaurant supplies than regular Costco) and noticed whole chickens there are only $1 each.



*pulls mustache, .... ponders, ....
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