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So here's my MCS dilemma

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    So here's my MCS dilemma

    So for my current flare-up of MCS, I've been looking at options that don't require as much monitoring of the cook. My current cookers are a Weber 22" kettle with an SNS and PartyQ fan, a PBC, and a gasser. I've been giving serious thought to a pellet pooper or a gravity fed unit with more capacity than the kettle, and something easier to refuel than the PBC on long cooks.

    Here's my dilemma - I think I want the heavier smoke profile of charcoal/wood, which would put the lean towards a Masterbuilt 560/1040. But the quality issues give me pause. The lighter smoke profile from a pellet pooper is my second choice, but I could go, say Grilla OG or something similar and have a more reliable setup and be out a similar amount of money. I've also seen the smoke tubes to amp up the smoke flavor.

    So here's my question: can I get a similar smoke profile to charcoal/wood with a pellet pooper with smoke tube? Or is it still going to be a lighter flavor?


    #2
    I can't answer as I don't have a pellet grill but I've thought along the same lines and here's my take:

    1) The lighter smoke of a pellet might actually be nice on some things (fish etc). OTOH, you can simply not add as much wood to a charcoal grill.

    2) If I have to add a tube to get enough smoke, that says to me that the smoker isn't doing the job I want.

    So, let me propose a couple of alternate options:

    1) Get another kettle with fan etc if you like that profile but just want more capacity (26" even)
    2) Wait another year to see if there are more things like the Masterbuilt that come out.
    3) Try a less expensive pellet or something that holds value well so if you don't like it you can sell it easily.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by tdimond View Post

      So here's my question: can I get a similar smoke profile to charcoal/wood with a pellet pooper with smoke tube? Or is it still going to be a lighter flavor?
      I have not used a smoke tube. Although I understand it works well. I use something different. If you want a charcoal smoker taste you need to factor that into the mix. You can do that two ways:

      Start your cook on a charcoal cooker, for an hour or two. And then transfer to a pellet cooker.

      Or

      Do what I do and use a small charcoal basket inside the pellet cooker wrapped with tin foil to control the ash. I do this for about first two hours of the cook. I find the smoke profile is close enough to a charcoal smoker profile for my tastes.

      Comment


      • tdimond
        tdimond commented
        Editing a comment
        Do you light the charcoal and let it ash over before putting it in the pellet cooker?

      • lostclusters
        lostclusters commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, in a charcoal chimney

      #4
      I cannot personally speak as to th flavour profile of any pellet cookers, but thought I might offer another ideal:

      Weber Smokey Mountain... find ya one on CL, FBM, etc...

      Good Luck in yer quest, Amigo!

      Comment


        #5
        What about a cabinet smoker with a controller and fan? You will get a ton more capacity and they run like tops.

        Comment


          #6
          I have a Yoder YS640. It puts out some very tasty food with minimal babysitting. If I want more smoke flavor I use aa tube (which is most of the time) and the smoke is more pronounced.
          I also have a LSG insulated cabinet and use charcoal/wood chunks in it with a Fireboard and Pit Bull fan. It requires more attention than the Yoder but still pretty minimal. Smoke flavor is much more pronounced than the Yoder even with the tube. The LSG is my go to smoker.
          I have no experience with the gravity fed cookers, but I did not like the quality of the Masterbuilt units at all. I am of the belief "Buy once, Cry once" and paid the $$$$.
          Good luck.

          Comment


            #7
            My MAK and SmokeFire put out about as much smoke as I usually get from my WSCG with 3-4 chunks of wood, if I run for an hour or two on smoke or 200 before raising temps. All of the rest of the pellet grills were a lighter smoke profile. I’m sure there’s some out there, but I don’t read about people using a smoke tube with a MAK. Both of these pellet grills have their drawbacks. MAK’s are not cheap, but they are built to last a long long time and carry a lifetime warranty. The SmokeFire is amazing but frustratingly moody. I’m sure there are others with better than most of the rest smoke profiles too. I just didn’t find them in Traeger and Camp Chef.

            I do feel that you get a distinct flavor from using a charcoal smoker from the charcoal itself and the varieties you use. I still like to smoke on my WSCG some too, so I’m not saying it’s bad, just unique and might be part of what you like.

            Comment


            • tdimond
              tdimond commented
              Editing a comment
              This is really helpful - I've seen your MAK posts and wondered how it compared. I'd have to think about that price point, but it might be doable.

            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              Another thing to consider is functionally, the 1 Star really does everything the 2 Star does, you just lose the warming box and a couple shelf racks. So, for items like ribs and jerky, the one star is half capacity, but for things like pork buts it’s probably 3/4 (you do lose a little upper shelf space with the sloped hood). Same controller, flamezone, grate sizes, etc.

            #8
            I run a Recteq RT 700 Bull pellet cooker. The smoke profile is on the lighter side for sure. But that's the way me and the wife like it. Never used a smoke tube so no direct comment on that. My son tried one with his gasser and didn't think it helped much.

            If you want the heavier smoke profile as you say above, I think you'll have a hard time getting it with a pellet cooker. May need to go another route as some have suggested above. Just my two cents. Good luck with it all! Keep us posted.

            Comment


              #9
              The tubes work. But it’s not like natural wood. In my opinion it’s impossible to replicate offset flavor in anything but offset. Even the KBQ, which uses natural wood, doesn’t have the same flavor profile as the offsets. Not in a bad way, but not the pleasantly robust smoke flavor of an offset smoker.

              Comment


                #10
                The new Traegers have super some mode, and you can use a smoke tube.
                Pellet grills are close to set-it and forget it. With WFI you monitor the cook anywhere you have cell service.
                All my cooks have paired well with PBR.

                Comment


                  #11
                  I bought the smoke daddy 1190 this spring with the optional heavy D diffuser. Put in the wood flavor you like and you definitely can get the smoke flavor. I'm very happy with the purchase

                  Comment


                  • CaptainMike
                    CaptainMike commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I use the heavy D in my old Traeger and it amps the smoke profile up nicely.

                  • tdimond
                    tdimond commented
                    Editing a comment
                    leol2 CaptainMike That diffuser intrigues me. I watched his video about temperature control while the wood is burning. How difficult is that?
                    Last edited by tdimond; May 2, 2021, 02:58 PM.

                  • CaptainMike
                    CaptainMike commented
                    Editing a comment
                    There's a bit of learning curve with it, but not too steep. I think the key is using dry wood of very consistent size, which should give you predictable results.

                  #12
                  Originally posted by rickgregory View Post
                  I can't answer as I don't have a pellet grill but I've thought along the same lines and here's my take:


                  2) Wait another year to see if there are more things like the Masterbuilt that come out.
                  Excellent advice in my opinion.

                  Comment


                  • glitchy
                    glitchy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    tdimond CharGriller already has a competitor to the 1050 out.

                  • tdimond
                    tdimond commented
                    Editing a comment
                    glitchy I took a look at the other Char-Griller reviews on the free side just to get an idea of quality. It looks like it's real hit-or-miss with them. They had one platinum, a smattering of silver and bronze, and several "not-recommended."

                  • glitchy
                    glitchy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    tdimond I’m with you, neither MB nor CharGriller bring thoughts of quality when I hear their names. However, they have their place and kudos to them for innovating.

                  #13
                  Thanks for all the advice so far! As I start to get serious about comparing features, my lean is actually moving towards pellet pooper. I'm thinking I can add a different flavor profile to the arsenal, and get good reliability at a reasonable cost. The Smoke Daddy Heavy D that leol2 and CaptainMike mention above looks like a good mitigation strategy if I'm really underwhelmed with the smoke profile, or want to amp it up for some cooks.

                  I'm also thinking I don't want to spend a huge amount of money yet - maybe $1k +/-. I can swing the cost for a heirloom cooker, but I want to be sure I'm going to like it before spending the money.

                  Now I have to reread glitchy on the SmokeFire, and weigh whether the v2.0 improvements are enough.

                  Comment


                  • CaptainMike
                    CaptainMike commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Troutman did a great review of the Heavy D some time back, it's what convinced me to give it a try. Perhaps he will give you a link to it. Keep in mind it is designed for a pellet pooper with a center or close to center fire pot. My understanding is that they may be able to fabricate a custom one to fit other styles, but you'd have to check with them.
                    Last edited by CaptainMike; May 3, 2021, 10:12 AM.

                  • glitchy
                    glitchy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If you’re seriously considering a SmokeFire, check out tvwbb.com and weberpelletgrills.con forum. tvwbb has a channel for pellet grills. Weber did release new firmware a few weeks back, firmware was their biggest issues.

                    I’d also recommend looking closely at a CampChef Woodwind or SlideNGrill.

                    Finally, the MAK family is pretty cool, if you find an owner nearby, they might let you cook or taste some food from their grills. I know if you were close I’d be happy to throw extra on for you to try.

                  • tdimond
                    tdimond commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Coincidentally, someone posted on that Troutman review today and it showed up in the recent posts. It's a sign.

                  #14
                  I'll just toss my two cents in about using a smoke tube. I almost always use a smoke tube in my DLX24, and have been for some time. The real improvement for me came when I started using wood chips and not pellets in the tube. Does it match the smoke flavor I can get from the WSM? No. But there is a big difference between how much you can get, and how much you want. For my tastes, I can put as much smoke flavor as I care to have and still have the convenience of a pellet pooper.

                  Comment


                    #15
                    tdimond I’m late to this discussion, but while I don’t have a pellet smoker, I’ve done enough research to where if I were to buy one right now, it would most likely be the Grilla OG. I had some discussion with their support folks (very responsive) and they were up front that it would have a better smoke profile than their other cookers for someone who is used to wood and charcoal, such as myself.

                    The SmokeFire puts out good smoke based on @Glitchy’s reviews, but just has too many issues, and I don’t expect to need a pellet cooker to be a great searing machine.

                    Comment


                    • tdimond
                      tdimond commented
                      Editing a comment
                      jfmorris, OG is high on my list, both for price point and what other users have described for the smoke profile. My only hesitation - and it's slight - is the cooking area. I've used my 22" kettle to visualize it, since the main grate on the OG is essentially the same size. I'm reasonably sure I could get a whole packer on there, but I want to confirm.

                      If they had the OG design concept in a 26", it would be a slam dunk!
                      Last edited by tdimond; May 4, 2021, 09:09 PM.

                    • IFindZeroBadCooks
                      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
                      Editing a comment
                      No issues with a full packet brisket on the OG. I have seen many pics and videos of a brisket easily fitting.

                      https://grillagrills.com/pellet-gril...ze-comparison/

                    • tdimond
                      tdimond commented
                      Editing a comment
                      zero_credit, thanks! I was perusing the board here and had not done the obvious thing of going to their website. I guess that means it's been a long day.

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