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Grilla vs Silverback

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    Grilla vs Silverback

    So last week I was battling some shoulder problems, and I realized that I am old now (I knew it, but I guess I didn't. When I went to the orthopedist he asked what I did to the shoulder, and I told him I turned 61). I had a brisket that I have been trying to get around to, but with the shoulder acting up, I just didn't have the energy to set the WSM or the kettle up. And I got to thinking - if I had a pelleteer, I could just put it on, set it and forget it. So I talked with the boss, and she agreed that if I got rid of one, I could get another. So I am THINKING about replacing my 18" wsm with either a Grilla Alpha or a Grilla Silverback Alpha. The price is something I can handle, and I have talked to the Grilla guys a couple of times about the Chimp (which I will have to forego - I wanted one for the RV, but I'll have to keep the Traeger Scout under this spousal agreement) and I really like them. As an added plus, they are in my home state of MI.

    This is tough - I have owned a wsm for the last 15 years or so. I love the little guy. But I have a kettle/sns that I use more than I use the wsm now. I pretty much just use the wsm for brisket and turkey at this point.

    I know some of you guys have these cookers; what do you think the pros and cons are? I have read through the threads, but I'd like to hear them again. Of course, I am so slow that it will be months before I pull the trigger, if I ever do lol.

    Thanks in advance. And no, HawkerXP, the pbc pbc pbc is not in the running right now lol

    #2
    Just something to think about, if you have shoulder issues maybe the OG Grilla would be better since it's a sliding door vs a hinged lid?

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      It is my left shoulder, so I think I would be OK with the lid. I think a lot of the OG owners say the lack of smoke profile that pellets are noted for is less on the OG than it is on other pellet smokers; on the other hand, I like the extra capacity the Silverback offers.

    #3
    I absolutely love my Silverbac Alpha. It's got double wall construction, 403 Stainless. It's got the option for PID or their normal Swing in Mode 2. It will easily get to 500°, but it does take about 15+ minutes.
    I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about it.
    I also live about 20 minutes from Grilla and work about 10 minutes away. If you decide to come up here, I'd be glad to grab a beer with you or run through the place! And if you're coming, I just might be willing to take that WSM off your hands!

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      If I fool around long enough, I'll take you up on that. I like the extra capacity on the Silverback; that is making me lean towards it. But the Grilla guys say the smoke profile is more pronounced on the Grilla, which is why it is on the list.

    • BigCountryQ
      BigCountryQ commented
      Editing a comment
      I can honestly say that the smoke flavor is more pronounced on the OG for sure. It's due to the design for sure. Smoke rises up easier than it does across. It's simple physics for sure! Either way, you will not go wrong! And they have the absolute best customer service out there. I know the team there pretty well as I visit often.

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      If y'all meat up, gimme a holler I'd love to grab a beer too! klflowers MrMisunderstood

    #4
    Congrats! You can have a new pit without moving in with me, hooray! Though I would still love to meet you sometime if our paths cross close enough. I can't offer much about the Grillas other than they look pretty nice, but you should take a look at the Woodwinds too if you have any dealers close. The clean up is going to be less frequent and easier on your shoulder with the slide and grill heat shield and ash kicker ;-)

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, when I get around to it. I'll probably look at a couple of others, but based on my interaction with the Grilla people, I am leaning strongly towards them. They are some great people. As far as moving into your driveway - I haven't pulled the trigger yet, so it is still a possibility lol.

    #5
    Just over a year ago I was in the same boat of trying to figure it out... It so happened I had a meeting a couple hours from Holland and just made a 4 hour detour on the way home and picked up a cooker lol...

    I had gone leaning heavily towards the Silverbac… I kind of liked square surface more and I liked all the extra toys that they had to pimp out the Silverbac.

    I loved the look of the OG… rumor at one point in one of the forums was they thought the OG maybe laid down the smoke a little better. I also really liked the compressed footprint of the OG.

    I ended up with the OG... Three reasons I landed there: Footprint... 1. I don't have a ton of room on my porch where this was going to be... so the size thing worked in my favor. 2. I loved the look and design... love the sliding door. 3. Less options to nickel and dime me... by the time I would have pimped out the Silverbac the way I wanted I could have pretty well been into a base model of the BlazinGrill which was my other option. Bonus: the little glass window on the front where you can see the fire is kind of cool!

    Thoughts after a year:

    Durability: Love it... It stays under cover, built well, no issues

    Performance: Works well and I haven't had any real issues with it. Results of cooking have been great.

    Smoke Profile: It is a pellet pooper... it has pellet pooper issues here... don't expect the same flavor profile from this as you would your Webers.

    Temp: I haven't really ran mine over 350ish maybe 375... I don't try to sear using this. I have other tools for that. Seems to get to temp and holds temp well.

    Assembly: Only had to screw on the shelves... everything else was pretty well assembled (unless you buy the upgraded wheels).

    This has almost replaced my grill... I use it the most out of my other cookers now... In large part because of convenience and ease of use.

    Cons (not really negatives just personal preference of use) or just hindsight thoughts: I still think I may prefer a rectangle surface to cook on as opposed to the circular... but that is personal preference and you are used to working on round surfaces based on your comments... Turning or moving things on the back of the bottom grate when you have the upper rack and rack extender in can be tricky...

    I recommend taking an afternoon and going to the showroom and picking it up... you get some bonus stuff while you are there... Also Downtown Holland is pretty cool with some nice breweries and pubs, a little shopping district, a great place with cider donuts, and you obviously close to the lake. The wife and I picked up the cooker on Friday night, and made a day out of it there on Saturday when we went.

    What I purchased:
    OG w/Alpha controller (I use the original setting 99% of the time though), cover, extended grate, performance wheels. I later received as a gift the sauce caddy and the grate lifter (grabber thingy) which is buy far well worth the money in my opinion... it may be one of my favorite grill accessories.

    Either way you will be happy. They have a great community of users and as you have seen the support is second to none.
    Last edited by Nate; March 3, 2020, 01:25 PM.

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the excellent review. I hadn't thought about the rectangular vs the circular surfaces - only the total cooking area. You are right, not counting the little Traeger, I haven't cooked on a rectangular surface in years. I won't be stopping by for an afternoon though - I am in TN. Long drive to pick it up when they offer free shipping.

    • Nate
      Nate commented
      Editing a comment
      klflowers , I apologize when you said your home state of MI I just kind of thought you were still there... If you think you need the real estate then go with the Silverbac… There are times I wish I had it but 80% + of my cooks it is more than enough... sometimes I cook most of a meal on the cooker though so that is where I run into space issues... If your Weber and to an extent your wsm are enough room then you will probably be ok with the OG surface area.
      Last edited by Nate; March 3, 2020, 02:19 PM.

    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      That's what I am thinking too, Nate. I rarely cook for more than 2. And the OG just looks cool.

      I grew up in Detroit, but I haven't lived in MI for quite a while now. I do visit around once a year. This year I probably won't make it past Cincinnati though - we are having a reunion in Cincy in July.

    #6
    ...?

    Comment


    • tbob4
      tbob4 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hahahahahahaha.

    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      I know, I know. I can't even look at an Ace hardware store now. When I drive by one, I swear I hear em shouting "but HawkerXP TOLD you..." I am going to have to start ordering Blues Hog sauce since Ace is the only place that carries it locally.
      Last edited by klflowers; March 3, 2020, 02:24 PM.

    #7
    Here's my help: I likes me the Silverbac. <end help>

    Comment


    • Nate
      Nate commented
      Editing a comment
      Your review of it on the free site is great! I don’t think he can go wrong either way!

    #8
    I actually was looking hard at Grilla, but have put off purchase due to having to pay for all or part of 3 weddings over the past 18 months (3rd wedding is in May). I discussed the smoke profile question with Grilla customer service, and was basically told that if I was coming from a charcoal smoker or stick burner, which I am, that I would probably be happier with the smoke profile on the original Grilla (OG) versus the Silverbac. Not that the Silverbac has a bad smoke profile - just that the Grilla produce a little more smoke flavor, due to the design. The tradeoff then is capacity versus a little more smoke. Their chart on capacity of their cookers is helpful too, and I am sure you've looked at that by now.

    If I had the cash and was not writing more checks to a wedding venue right now, I think I would have ordered the Grilla Alpha by now. Or saved $50 and just done the standard controller, since it is the standard non-PID mode that produces more smoke. Only accessories I would need would be a cover and the extension rack for the upper grate. The Grillgrates I have for my Weber 22" kettle will fit the Grilla - already confirmed that with Grilla customer service as well. Their custom Grillgrate set is the same as the Weber Kettle set sold by Grillgrate.
    Last edited by jfmorris; March 3, 2020, 04:40 PM.

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      Congrats on the weddings. Especially on being asked to cook. I have never had that particular honor. I think I would be a nervous wreck.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      klflowers me smoking pork and chicken is more of my daughter trying to make the budget I gave her for the wedding stretch further, versus catering for 200 folks. She's already got a bunch of ladies from our church lined up to prepare some specific side dishes and bring them, and the kitchen at the venue has 2 commercial warmers with racks, as well as a large oven. I just gotta work out the ratio of pulled pork and pulled chicken, and the plan is to cook it all 2 days earlier.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      klflowers plus she knows the BBQ I make is better than what was catered from Jim and Nick's for my son's wedding...

    #9
    klflowers, I had asked some questions about capacity of the Grilla, and the guy at Grilla that I was corresponding with, Jeremy Crow, went out to the show room and took some measurements for me, and also sent me some pics of a Grilla with 6 slabs of ribs, without using any rib racks. He told me that the smoke profile is a little better on the Grilla, and that the Grilla is also a little more efficient on pellets.

    Attaching what he sent me below. I had asked him about slabs of ribs, and also about spacing between the upper and lower grates. Looks like 5.5" between grates, and 11" from the bottom grate to the top of the lid.

    Click image for larger version

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    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      Cool, thanks man. That takes me a couple steps closer.

    #10
    I just want to reiterate that the flavor profile is very different than charcoal or stick burning... I knew that going in as I started on a pellet cooker and then ventured away for a while...

    If you like burping smoke rings you are not going to like the OG or really any pellet cooker for that matter.... just full disclosure.

    In my opinion you just won’t pick up much at all on shorter cooks... longer cooks is where you will notice it more... for shorter cooks I just look at the pellets as a fuel source no different than lp or charcoal... not a flavor source.

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I know. It will be a trade off - some smoke flavor for convenience. I'll still have the kettle.

    #11
    Ahem ...

    Click image for larger version

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    Comment


    • Nate
      Nate commented
      Editing a comment
      I actually put my meat in the cooker and then start it. Why waste that much smoke!

    • MBMorgan
      MBMorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      😎👍

    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep!!!

    #12
    Hey, guys, I'm a new member to AR and am also interested in a vertical pellet smoker. I know your charcoal or stick burning is going to give the most smoke flavor, but I started on a couple of propane gassers. My guess is the smoke flavor of propane is probably less than charcoal or stick, too; but I'm not really sure. If so, do you think that the smokiness of a pellet is even less than propane or about he same? Very interested in your feedback.

    And I got to this post b/c I also was interested in the OG. Thanks, guys!

    Comment


    • Nate
      Nate commented
      Editing a comment
      I haven't used a propane smoker so I don't know for sure... My recommendation would be to start a new thread... you will probably get more response about your specific question that way.

    #13
    Where do you suggest? I actually posted on 2 other channels that seemed appropriate but got no response. I don't want to hijack this thread, but, so far, it was the closest I found to what I was looking for. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks for the quick reply.

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    #14
    Thanks! Will do.

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