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Author Topic: I may add a pellet smoker to my quiver. Give me your best tips and advice  (Read 4912 times)

cdp8

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  • Posts: 161
I've been smoking with WSMs for twenty years. First with an 18, then with a 22 when they came out in 2008. I find I don't use it as often as I would like because it's become an undertaking. I've looked at pellet smokers before, but never pulled the trigger because of a lack of smokiness. I've eaten many meals off of friends' Traegers that, while delicious, lacked the smokiness I love. I was looking at the Smokefire Sear+ 24, when I came across the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 24. The smoke box feature and stainless construction tips the scale in favor of the WWPro. I'll likely pick it up tomorrow morning.

I know there are some pellet users in WKC. What do I need to know as a first-time pellet user?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 03:06:37 PM by cdp8 »

bamakettles

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I may add a pellet smoker to my quiver. Give me your best tips and advice
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2023, 03:57:24 PM »
I would watch some Meat Church videos on YouTube.  Matt Pittman makes some pretty good looking food on his Traeger Timberline.  I too wanted to try a pellet grill, mainly out of curiosity.  I went through two Spider 22s before getting a good one and I also have an Asmoke portable model that works well.  Iím very green when it comes to pellet grills so the only advice I have is to keep the pellets dry.  Maybe others will have more / better guidance.


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« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 04:25:45 PM by bamakettles »

michaelmilitello

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Mad scientist bbq YouTube channel has many good videos for pit and pellet selection.   Heís coming from traditional offsets from a flavor perspective but interestingly, recommended the wsm as the best compromise between convenience and flavor. 

Whatís your budget?   Decent pellets cookers are $800+.  Iím personally leery of their reliability and they require more maintenance to keep operating well. 


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SixZeroFour

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  • Posts: 5833
Hi cdp8,

At work we sell multiple brands of pellet grills and I've owned a Smokefire Gen2 for a couple years now and if there is one piece of advice I give to our customers it is to use foil drip pans or liners as often as possible! That's actually the main reason I prefer the smokefire design to many othes on the market - the use of FLAT flavourizer bars that allow you to use cheap store bought foil pans to catch 90% of the mess that would normally find its way down into the body. Also the smokeboost feature is legit - running the temp way down at 185 for the first 1-3 hours (depending on what you're cooking) really allows for excellent smoke penetration. I can pull off a better smoke ring on my Smokefire than I can on the Summit Charcoal.  :o

The main thing you want to avoid is the buildup of the dusty ash in the bottom of the grill so that grease doesn't drip down into it and more or less make a firestarter in the bottom of the unit. By running the pans you can keep almost all that grease out and I just use a small hand dustpan sweeper to brush the dry ash down into the catcher. Doing it this way I have yet to have to pull out and clean the auger even once and the machine has run like a dream since day one.

We don't sell the Treager units at our store but I have used a few and we get feedback on them all the time. I've had at least 3 customers so far this spring that bought one from Costco but took it home and weren't happy with the amount of smoke flavor it produced. The pellets themselves might actually be the flavor issue for some, but it is odd that its mainly the Treager folks who arent happy with flavor. They ended up returning and swapping over to either the Weber or Broil King unit and have been happy since.

Also steer clear of the Treager pellets for what its worth... better options out there for sure. My favorites are Lumberjack, Weber and Broil King of which I've run many bags of each with great results and no issues.

Last but not least I'm sure you've already read a million posts about not leaving pellets in the hopper. This is absolutely good advice, but dont let it spook you...  I find if you are using a quality pellet they can sit in there quite easily for a week plus no problem and I live in raincouver ;D

Anyways, sorry for the novel but thats my thoughts on it! I was/am a die hard charcoal guy who used to look down at pellet grills as "cheating" ... but now I've seen light  ;)

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cdp8

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  • Posts: 161
I may add a pellet smoker to my quiver. Give me your best tips and advice
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2023, 08:40:55 PM »
Thanks Bama, Michael, and Six! I appreciate all of the advice.

I would watch some Meat Church videos on YouTube. 

I will check them out.

Mad scientist bbq YouTube channel has many good videos for pit and pellet selection.   Heís coming from traditional offsets from a flavor perspective but interestingly, recommended the wsm as the best compromise between convenience and flavor.

Funny you should mention him. That's where I first saw the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro.

I've owned a Smokefire Gen2 for a couple years now and if there is one piece of advice I give to our customers it is to use foil drip pans or liners as often as possible! That's actually the main reason I prefer the smokefire design to many othes on the market - the use of FLAT flavourizer bars that allow you to use cheap store bought foil pans to catch 90% of the mess that would normally find its way down into the body. Also the smokeboost feature is legit - running the temp way down at 185 for the first 1-3 hours (depending on what you're cooking) really allows for excellent smoke penetration. I can pull off a better smoke ring on my Smokefire than I can on the Summit Charcoal.  :o

The main thing you want to avoid is the buildup of the dusty ash in the bottom of the grill so that grease doesn't drip down into it and more or less make a firestarter in the bottom of the unit. By running the pans you can keep almost all that grease out and I just use a small hand dustpan sweeper to brush the dry ash down into the catcher. Doing it this way I have yet to have to pull out and clean the auger even once and the machine has run like a dream since day one.

I've been following the smokefire saga since it's debut. I had pretty much decided on a Sear+. If I had seen one in person at the various stores I've been to over the last month, I would probably have one. But the Smoke Box feature of the CC along with the stainless internals had me driving to a Dick's on the other side of LA last night. It is a very nice birthday present from my wife.

I haven't assembled it yet, but here's what the floor model looks like:

« Last Edit: April 15, 2023, 08:46:29 PM by cdp8 »

SixZeroFour

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Very nice! Congratulations and Happy Birthday
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