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Don from Tampa, Florida

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    Don from Tampa, Florida

    I have been cooking on a charcoal grill most of my life and, in the great grilling tradition, was trained by my dad. But this means my knowledge is limited to direct heat cooking and I am hoping to build some true bbq skills. So that is why I am here. Right now, my cooking arsenal is limited to a Brinkmann Professional Dual Zone Charcoal Grill and a Char-Broil "Tru-Infrared" 2 burner gas grill that I use when I don't want to wrestle with the Brinkmann.

    Given the dual zone set-up on the Brinkmann, I think it would be an okay starter cooker for smoking, but I have 2 young children and don't want to babysit them and it for a long cook. So I spent my first several weeks reading cooker reviews and digging into the pit to find a set it and forget it cooker option. At this point, it looks like the most common cookers of this kind are pellet grills, the PBC, and the BGE/Kamado Grills (though opinions vary). I am leaning toward the pellet grill, but was hoping the collective knowledge of the forum could weigh in on the set it and forget reality of these cookers and any other recommendations for cooker types I should consider given my current circumstances.

    Thanks!

    #2
    Welcome dcrawford

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome to the Pit Don.

      I don't know your price range, but, Most pellet heads in here have the Rec Tec, MAK, Treager and a few have Yoder YS640 (many have variations of it) For me, if I was getting a pellet smoker. (I almost did about a month ago) I would go with the Yoder YS 640. A bit pricey, but they are built to last. They seal well and make very good food. I don't own one but I did a lot of research before I ultimately decided on the Karubeque. I know there are others that can chime in on this, and have far more knowledge about Pellets than I.

      As for the PBC, Game changer. I got mine about a year ago and I can't even tell you how much my BBQ has improved. With the help of the Pit, of course, I have made a lot of great food in the last year. The PBC is not "set and forget." However, it is pretty darn close. Once you learn how to use it, which really only takes a few cooks, the more you can let it ride with out too much fiddling. I know Jerod Broussard starts his before going to work. I have come home at lunch and started my PBC, let it go while I was working then came home four hours later to a steady 260 F temp, no problems. Brisket came out great. But it is not as "set and forget" as the pellet.

      To get more answers you might give us some details; price range, type of cooker, cooking objectives, etc.

      Anyway, welcome to The Pit!!!!

      dcrawford

      Comment


      • dcrawford
        dcrawford commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the insight on the PBC!

      #4
      Welcome and thanks for the support Don!!!

      I would say a nice pellet grill will give you a "longer" set it and forget it than the PBC. I say "longer" since large chunks of meat change the dynamics of the cook once they start to stall, and that can affect the temp of the PBC since the meat is right above your fuel source.

      With a pellet grill it will keep on tickin', as long as the electricity holds out.

      Comment


        #5
        I am a Big Green Egg guy, but I cooked on lots of different grills. However, I must admit I have never used a pellet smoker. The Big Green Egg can hold 225, and you can set it and forget it. While the exterior gets hot, I doubt whether it reaches 225. Next time I do a 225 I'll check the external temp.
        Last edited by LA Pork Butt; December 1, 2015, 10:19 PM. Reason: Typo

        Comment


        • LA Pork Butt
          LA Pork Butt commented
          Editing a comment
          dcrawford I cooked on the Big Green Egg today. Our outside temp was 51. I cooked on the egg @ 400 for 30 minutes. The outside dome temp reached 187 and the out side base of the egg reached just inside of 120. I'll check again when I do a 12 hour cook at 225.
          Last edited by LA Pork Butt; December 4, 2015, 05:56 PM. Reason: Typo

        • dcrawford
          dcrawford commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for the additional information LA Pork Butt.

        #6
        dcrawford - welcome to The Pit and welcome to The Addiction!

        I've cooked on kettles, stick burners, gassers, etc and for the past 20+ years I've been cooking on kamados. I've had BGEs, Primo's, and I now cook on a couple of Komodo Kamados. To my mind, the kamado solves the manifest shortcomings of every other cooker out there. The temperatures are remarkably stabile without having to spend all kinds of time monitoring/maintaining the fire. There is no tending the cook as there is no need for water pans, spritzing, basting, etc. Kamado style cookers maintain a remarkably naturally moist environment so your cook doesn't dry pit. It's terrible easy to lay as much or as little smoke on your cook as you want.

        Kamado cookers allow for the greatest range of cooks. A pellet grill is good for a single purpose ... smoking. You can't do high temp sears, you can't do pizza cooks, etc. The same holds true for the PBC. The kamado is the most versatile cooker available. It sears, bakes, smokes, braises, etc. absolutely everything you can do in any kitchen you can do on a kamado.

        So think long and hard about the pellet poopers. You're never going to be doing sears, bakes, braises, etc. on a pellet grill. Think long and hard aout the PBC. I don't know anyone who uses a PBC to sear, bake, braise, etc. both the pellet pooper and the PBC are really good smokers, but that's as far as it goes.

        There are some really good kamados available. Of course there is the Big Green Egg. It's been around about the longest and it is the best known of the mass market kamados. It has a legion of followers and they are fanatical about their cookers. The BGE is expensive and the accessories are usually sold on an ala carte basis. Next is the Primo line of oval kamados. They are more adaptable to certain types of cooks than is the BGE. As with the BGE, most accessories for the Primo line are sold ala carte. Finally, among the mass market kamados, there is the Kamado Joe. It has garnered a real following by providing a high quality product sold with some impressive accessories. Among the Big 3, i.e. BGE, Primo, and Kamado Joe, I'd say Kamado Joe gives the best bang for the buck. Kamados are incredibly efficient at burning lump, the classic fuel for kamados. I've had cooks that have gone well in excess of 30 hours at 225° with lump left over. Only a pellet pooper might be able to go longer, but 30 hour cooks are exceeding rare.

        If you really want the absolute best kamado available, you owe it to yourself to look at the Komodo Kamado line of products. These kamados are uncompromised excellence. They are the Turbo Bentleys of the kamado segment. Meathead reviews the Komodo Kamado line and gives it his equivalent of Best in Show.

        I hope this quick overview has helped you. If you have any questions, ask away! We're all here to help you get the best cooker possible for you, your needs, and your family.
        Last edited by CeramicChef; December 1, 2015, 09:07 PM. Reason: Edited to correct typos!

        Comment


        • dcrawford
          dcrawford commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you! That is a very helpful over view of the Kamado options and gives me food for thought since I thought they would be the least set it and forget it of what I was considering.

          The Komodo Kamados looks amazing, but like the Turbo Bentley, it will have to wait until I win the PowerBall!

        #7
        Welcome to the Pit! dcrawford Sorry I can't offer any help on your original question. I have two Weber Kettle Grills, both charcoal, one has a S 'n S and a DigiQ DX2 Temp Control. I also have COS Smoker that I have Modified! All do a good job but I wouldn't call any of them a Set and Forget Cooker!
        Eat Well and Prosper, 👍👍🐷👍👍. Dan

        Comment


          #8
          Welcome to The Pit dcrawford! Some great advice here in this thread from experienced BBQers. I guess first off we'd need to know your budget. As you probably know pellet grills go from a few hundred to a couple thousand, same with kamados. You can do some great smoking with a 22" Weber kettle and a Slow 'N Sear too, for ~$240 total. (Not sure if the SnS would fit your Brinkmann). Then you can smoke ribs, brisket, turkeys, bake bread, plus still sear steaks and the whole 9 yards with a relative level of hands-off and limited babysitting. Never an easy choice is there?

          Since this is your first post, please check out our homework assignment post for new members, it contains a few how-tos and please-dos.

          Also, it's very important that you add the domain AmazingRibs.com to your email safe list in case you are ever drawn as our monthly Gold Medal Giveaway winner!

          Hope to hear & see more from you!

          Comment


          • dcrawford
            dcrawford commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you!

          #9
          Welcome!

          Comment


            #10
            Welcome dcrawford ! Having to watch the little ones my suggestion would be to invest in the Maverick ET-733 Thermometer Transmitter. You can carry it with You and an alarm will sound at your designated settings. Instead of having to step out to check on things you just check your transistor radio size receiver. This helps You keep track of the grill temperature and the meat temperature and if You see an issue developing You can plan ahead to keep the kids occupied while You make the quick dash to the grill. And well it is kind of a fun thing to own.
            The ET-733 Redi-Check is a dual-probe transmitter/receiver designed for food and oven monitoring from a remote location.

            Comment


              #11
              Thank you all for the detailed responses and well thought out responses (which appears to the norm in the Pit). If it helps, and as some have requested, I would like to keep the price under $1,500 all in (I see this as a long term investment, but I am happy to spend less for a quality product that meets my need to not babysit a cooker all day). I also want a cooker with a cooking area that allows me to do reasonably bulk cooking (2 chickens, 2 pork butts, etc.) so I can freeze a large portion for my wife to reheat for later meals.

              Thanks again for the advice and responses!

              Comment


              • Spinaker
                Spinaker commented
                Editing a comment
                Sounds like you need a YODER YS640 or a PBC.....hahaha. Huge price differences, but hey it ain't about the money....right? dcrawford

              • LA Pork Butt
                LA Pork Butt commented
                Editing a comment
                dcrawford A kamado like the Big Green Egg can be purchased and outfitted within your budget and you can probably will it to your children.

              #12
              I have the Luling on "my sure would like to get list". Looks like if You take care of this one it will last a longtime.
              Texas Original Pits Luling Offset Smoker 20" x 32" x 18" is their most popular model. Yes it looks like those cheap offsets sold in big box stores, but this is the real deal: a classic, no-frills, 1/4" thick steel Texas Pit named after the Luling Oil Field northwest of Luling, TX.

              Comment


                #13
                Welcome to The Pit Don. I have been cooking on a PBC for the past few months and love the food it produces! As Spinaker says, it's not a set it and forget it, but not far from it. The learning curve is easy to get over and there is lots of support for it on this site. I have learned a ton from my fellow PBCers. Good luck with your choice!

                Comment

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