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Old guy new to pellet grill Trying to determine size 24 or 36.

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  • BarryT
    Club Member
    • Jul 2019
    • 17

    Old guy new to pellet grill Trying to determine size 24 or 36.

    I'm an old guy who has been grilling for more decades than I like to count. I'm long past the time when getting up in the night to tend a long smoke was part of the fun. Now I just want the results without the hassle. So I'm looking at a pellet smoker that is as automated as possible. In addition I have a wife of 50+ years who is not a smoke fan. It wasn't until I found Amazing Ribs and the concept of smoke as a spice that I've been able to bring her around to my way of cooking. So the new WiFi Camp Chef Woodland with the adjustable smoke settings looks like what I need.

    What I don't know is about size. I'm only cooking for 2 to 4 98% of the time, except for a couple of large annual family gatherings. Currently doing my smoking in a Weber kettle with insert.. I keep thinking I need to go for the 36" model. Any differences (other than cost) between the two units? Fuel consumption? Startup time? Anything?

    Thanks,
    Barry
  • rickgregory
    Founding Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 432
    • Seattle, WA

    #2
    Check out glitchy's post here on the Camp Chef... https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...-at-back-patio

    Comment

    • Huskee
      Pit Boss
      • May 2014
      • 14549
      • central MI, USA
      • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

        Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

        Smokers / Grills
        • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
        • PBC
        • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
        • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
        • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
        • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
        • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
        • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
        • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
        • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

        Thermometers
        • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
        • (7) Maverick ET-732s
        • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
        • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
        • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
        • Thermapen MkII, orange
        • ThermoPop, yellow
        • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
        • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
        • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
        • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

        Accessories
        • Instant Pot 6qt
        • Anova Bluetooth SV
        • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
        • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
        • BBQ Dragon
        • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
        • Weber grill topper
        • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
        • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
        • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

        Beverages
        • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
        • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
        • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
        • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
        • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
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        • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

        About me
        Real name: Aaron
        Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

        Occupation:
        • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

      #3
      Welcome! While I don't have any specific experience between the two models you mention, it stands to reason the larger will use more pellets but most manufacturers claim the extra is very minimal. Do you ever foresee a family cookout where the space would come in handy? Maybe a packer brisket and a pork butt? If not, go small. I usually advise folks if you're even considering the larger one, just get the larger one. You can still cook a small amount of food on the larger one, but probably not the other way around!

      Since you’re new here, please check out our homework assignment post for new members, it contains a few how-tos and please-dos. This will help you learn your way around so you can get the best experience from our forum.

      Also, it's very important that you:
      1. Give us an email address you actually use. You can check the email we have on file for you by clicking your username in the top-right, then User Settings, then the Account tab. You currently cannot change your email on file with us yourself since it’s tied to your Pitmaster Club account as well as our payment processor if you’re a paying member. Don’t worry though, we’d be happy to change it for you, just click here to fill out an email change request.
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      Hope to hear & see more from you!

      Comment


      • BarryT
        BarryT commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for all the quick responses.  I did start through the homework and got stopped at the intro..couldn't wait to start asking questions.
        We have a large gathering  July 4th and I have  my kettle, my Weber gas grill and a wood burning oven going.  So I could do with the smaller grill, but, as someone posted I can always cook less on a larger unit.  Fun just to think about.
    • xaugievike
      Club Member
      • Jan 2017
      • 631
      • Chicagoland
      • Weber Genesis 300 series
        Weber Summit Charcoal With custom grill center
        Weber Performer w/SNS
        PBC
        Blackstone 22" TableTop Griddle
        Ooni Pro Pizza oven

      #4
      Welcome to The Pit!

      Comment

      • RonB
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 11852
        • Near Richmond VA
        • Weber Performer Deluxe
          SNS
          Pizza insert
          Rotisserie
          Smokenator 1000
          Cookshack Smokette Elite
          2 Thermapens
          Chefalarm
          Dot
          lots of probes.
          CyberQ

        #5
        Welcome to The Pit Barry. As Huskee said, you don't have to fill up a larger cooker, but you can only get so much in a smaller cooker. However, since you do have a Kettle, maybe the smaller Camp Chef plus the Kettle will suffice? You could do the longer cooks in the pellet pooper and the quicker cooks in the Kettle. And if you haven't tried it, smoke a chuck roast in your kettle. They smoke like a butt, but normally have to go a bit higher in temp to be probe tender for pulling.

        Comment

        • Donw
          Club Member
          • Jul 2017
          • 2582

          #6
          I only cook for 2 most of the time. When I decided to buy a pellet smoker I choose a Yoder and ordered the YS-480. When it was delivered to the dealer I noticed a YS-640 sitting next to it. It may have been the larger size but I went home with the 640. I don’t regret it. Fuel consumption isn’t that might more, if any, and those times I do cook for more people I do appreciate the larger cooking area. I also found that as I improved in my skills, the more frequently I cook BBQ for more than 2, and I won’t ever need to consider selling the smaller one and purchasing a larger one.

          Comment

          • jfmorris
            Club Member
            • Nov 2017
            • 2546
            • Huntsville, Alabama
            • Jim Morris

              Cookers
              • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
              • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
              • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
              • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
              • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
              • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
              • Anova
              Thermometers
              • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
              • Thermoworks Dot
              • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
              • Thermoworks RT600C
              Beverages
              • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

            #7
            I've never said to myself "I wish my grill or smoker was smaller". While my typical cook is 3 slabs of ribs, 1-2 butts, 1 brisket, or a couple of chickens, I find myself several times a year needing to smoke large quantities for entertaining guests.

            I would say, keep your kettle for smoking small amounts, and go for the larger pellet smoker if it is not out of your budget. That said, you can fit a good bit on a 24 inch grate, especially if there is an upper level for expansion, but you can fit even more on a 36" grate. My offset is 24x36, and the grate is 22x34 inches, and there are times even that is not large enough, and I smoke on it and the kettle at the same time. I'm looking to buy a WSM 22" soon to have more smoking capacity for a large cook that is coming up in May.

            I assume when you say "insert" that you are talking about something like the Slow 'N Sear?

            Comment


            • BarryT
              BarryT commented
              Editing a comment
              I have an original Smokenator that has worked very well for me. I never had a problem with pork butts, but never did make a good brisket.
          • treesmacker
            Club Member
            • May 2018
            • 790
            • Grants Pass OR
              • Rec Tec Trailblazer RT-340
              • O-Grill 600 Portable Grill with O-Dock
              • Cuisinart 360 Griddle
              • Ooni Fyra (coming soon)

            #8
            I have a small Rec Tec Trailblazer and, similar to you, I usually just cook for two, sometimes four. I've managed to fit pork shoulders, brisket, several racks of ribs, whole chickens, and many other assorted things on it. For me, it is great, and because it is somewhat portable, I've also taken it with us RVing with truck and trailer. I like that the small chamber heats up quick, gets very hot, is less to clean, and concentrates the smoke. So, I think I made the right choice - for us. But like others have mentioned, the larger size may come in handy occasionally. Either way, I think you'll like the convenience of a pellet grill. Best of luck with whatever you choose. And... welcome to the pit!

            Comment

            • Jerod Broussard
              Moderator
              • Jun 2014
              • 9427
              • East Texas
              • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
                Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
                Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
                Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
                Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
                Weber Smokey Joe Gold
                Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
                Vortex
                Maverick ET-732 White
                Maverick ET-732 Copper
                2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
                Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
                Thermoworks Timestick
                Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
                B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
                B & B Pellets

              #9
              36 without question. Doesn't take much to fill up even that size.

              Comment


              • BarryT
                BarryT commented
                Editing a comment
                I will admit to watching old BBQ masters shows and somehow 24" seems very small....
            • randy56
              Club Member
              • Aug 2017
              • 410
              • Newburgh In

              #10
              Congratulations on 50 + years, you will enjoy a pellet smoker, which ever size you come up with.

              Comment

              • Texas Larry
                Club Member
                • May 2017
                • 1085
                • Wilson County, TX
                • PrimoXL
                  Maverick 732
                  Thermoworks 2K Themocouple
                  Thermapen
                  Weber Go-Anywhere (for the beach!)
                  Dreaming of a really good stick-burner...
                  Favorite beer: Alaskan Amber

                #11
                Welcome from Wilson County, Texas!

                Comment

                • CaptainMike
                  Club Member
                  • Nov 2015
                  • 2307
                  • The Great State of Jefferson
                  • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill w/SnS and DnG (Spartacus)
                    Old school big'ol Traeger w/Pro controller (Big Tex)
                    2 W22's w/SnS, DnG (1 black, 1 copper) (Minions 1 and 2)
                    20+ y/o many times rebuilt Weber Genesis w/GrillGrates (Gas Passer)
                    20 x 30 Santa Maria grill (Maria, duh)
                    Bradley cabinet smoker (Pepper Gomez)
                    36" Blackstone griddle (The Black Beauty)
                    Fireboard
                    Thermoworks Smoke and Thermapen.

                  #12
                  You can put a small amount of food in a large cooker, but you can't put a large amount of food in a small cooker. So sayeth the Zen Master of The Great State of Jefferson.

                  Comment

                  • HawkerXP
                    Club Member
                    • Jul 2016
                    • 4695
                    • Northern Virginia
                    • 3 Weber kettles, and a PBC
                      Thermopop
                      Dot w two probes
                      Slo n Sear
                      Cold beer

                    #13
                    Welcome to the Pit! I agree with all above. Enjoy and smoke on!

                    Comment

                    • luvthemstillers
                      Club Member
                      • Jul 2019
                      • 131
                      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

                      #14
                      So for comparison sake, I have the Treager Homestead 520. As it's name implies, it has 520 square inches of cooking space. In the year that I've owned it I have cooked for multiple large gatherings including doing approximately 2 dozen average sized hamburgers at once as well as multiple 8 pound pork butts at one time multiple racks of ribs and a nearly 12 pound Brisket flat, I would have had room for a full packet, but couldn't find one at the store at the time. Here are some photos for reference. I hope this helps and welcome to the Pit.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • ScottyC13
                        ScottyC13 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Great informative post!
                    • randy56
                      Club Member
                      • Aug 2017
                      • 410
                      • Newburgh In

                      #15
                      @luvthemstillers Do you have High temp swing's with that one? My son bought one at Christmas time. And he is having 50 degree temp swing's ?

                      Comment

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