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Silverbac vs. OG Grilla

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    Silverbac vs. OG Grilla

    I’ve been thinking about these two a lot recently for my next purchase.

    The price for both is about the same in the $955-$985 range, once you buy the GrillGrates, cover, and accessory pack for the Silverbac. I don’t need the AlphaSmoke, but I suppose it’s a nice to have option.

    I smoke year round, including in Illinois winter, so the double-walled insulation in a plus. The area is pretty windy, and I have little in the way to shield it, as I have to move the grill to the end of the driveway so it is in a flat area, but that also leaves it exposed. With the constant moving, good mobility is always a plus. I also feel pretty comfortable with about 500 square inches of space, given I am cooking for just my wife and I. I’ve loaded up the MB560 several times, but haven’t needed any more space.

    Since I do not need the extra space, the biggest pros for the SIlverbac are the storage underneath the smoker plus the ability to add a front shelf.

    For the Grilla, the pros would be the AlphaSmoke included, and the likely slight improvement in smokey flavor. I’ve determined the best way to describe this is that more smoke can remain in the cooking chamber since you only need to open the hinge very slightly to check on the meat. I assume this probably also aids in quicker temp recovery times on a windy day.

    Both units appear to be more or less built identically, and both can be assembled very quickly.

    Given I would be getting a lot less square footage for my dollar with the OG Grilla, and both units appear to be constructed identically, I assume the extra cost is due to the design.

    I also have looked at the Chimp, which after including the cover and GrillGrates, is about $300 cheaper for a similar amount of square footage to the Grilla. My primary concern is its durability as a main cooker versus a back-up for tailgating (I don’t go camping) since it only weighs 90 pounds.

    The lack of WiFi is eh. I don’t need it for temperature monitoring or adjustments during the cook, but I would be interested if Grilla introduces it with low pellet alerts and/or the ability to turn the smoker on and off. I have it on the MB560, and it’s cool, but it adds nothing over the InkBird temperature monitor I already use.

    So, this is where I am at in terms of looking at the Grillas. The wife only allows one smoker at a time, which makes the timing here fairly uncertain, as the MB560 is performing very well.

    Are there any considerations or features that I have not mentioned that would push you in one direction or the other?

    #2
    I have the OG, and really like it, but if you cook occasionally for more than four people it might be a bit small. I like the small footprint as i have only a small deck where the cooker is located.

    Comment


    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      The size of the Grilla will definitely be appreciated in my small 2-car and stuffed garage.

    #3
    This is definitely a conversation you’ll want to have with the folks at Grilla. They’re very good at doling out really good advice to those still trying to answer the “which model” question for themselves.

    Personally, I’m completely happy with my OG. Like you, I cook for just the two of us and if I find myself needing more space, the upper grate extension increases the cooking area to 630 sq. in. Due to the round shape, the OG doesn’t seem to suffer from hot spots. Also, the original pre-Alpha controller mode actually produces more smoke than the newer PID Alpha.

    Anyway, have fun with the decision-making. Either the OG or Silverbac would serve you well.

    Comment


    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      Since you have the OG MBMorgan and BigCountryQ, maybe you can comment on your experiences on how quick it can get to 500?

    • MBMorgan
      MBMorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      IFindZeroBadCooks - Never timed it, but I'd assume 20 minutes or so as an initial SWAG for getting to 450-500F.

    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      Grilla said 15-20 too!

    #4
    At one point a couple of years ago I was "window shopping" pellet smokers, and interacted with Grilla customer service. They were really responsive, and suggested that if I was coming from charcoal and wood smokers, I would probably like the results from the smoke profile of the OG better than the Silverbac. As you say - the tradeoff is space versus smoke.

    The Grilla OG cooking grate is 22" just like a Weber kettle, and I see you've had a Weber in the past - so you know the size of that. In fact, you can use Weber grates, Grillgrates for a kettle, and such on the OG. And with the upper rack and upper expansion, it can hold a good bit. Remember you don't lose any space on the cooking grate like you do with a kettle with the SNS, as the entire cooking space is indirect.

    The one thing I don't see in your current lineup is a grill other than the Masterbuilt. I personally think you need a grill to accompany a pellet cooker, for quick cooks and proper sears. The MB will likely work better as a grill than any pellet cooker.

    I think you need to explain to your wife that you need something that can smoke, but also something for quick hot and fast cooks. Personally, right now, if I had to get rid of cookers, I would be able to get by with a Weber kettle or my new SNS Kamado, and a flat top (griddle).
    Last edited by jfmorris; January 31, 2021, 07:22 PM.

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      IFindZeroBadCooks - if you are having to move grills in and out all the time, then its never a quick proposition. ALL of my cookers live outdoors in the back yard, and while I do roll them around to get ONE under cover (I have a pavilion by the pool), the other 4 have to stay out in the rain. This just means I keep covers on all of them. If cooking in the rain, I have an old patio umbrella and stand I keep by the grills, and I open it up to cover the grill I am working with...

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      IFindZeroBadCooks I think you should ask Grilla customer service how long it takes to get the OK or Silverbac to 500F. I can't comment on that. I am thinking it will take longer than 15 minutes, but am not sure.

    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      FWIW, I would probably use a CI skillet in the smoker at 500 or just the GrillGrates to add a sear with the pellet grill.

    #5
    Good lord. Per MBMorgan’s note I copied over my note to the Grilla folks. Those guys will happily chat with you at 9pm on Sunday with a sense of humor to boot via multiple emails.

    I mean, there’s customer service then there are the Grilla folks. Wow.

    Kudos guys.

    Comment


      #6
      Maybe I missed something but aside from MCS why do you want a pooper when you have the MB560? Are you replacing it, or are you looking for some functionality you don’t have already?

      Comment


      • Andrrr
        Andrrr commented
        Editing a comment
        IFindZeroBadCooks nothing wrong with that! I don’t have any experience with either but I’m looking forward to seeing what you decide on.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        I was | | close to buying a Silverbac before I bought the MB560, so I've liked the Grillas for a long time. Part of it is new shiny toy, and part of it, is that Grilla's customer service and passion for BBQ, well, makes MB look like as one poster says the Yugo of the BBQ world. There's definitely a desire to support a group that is absolutely loving what they are doing and happy to chat and help as needed versus being a total black hole in terms of customer service.

      • Andrrr
        Andrrr commented
        Editing a comment
        Good to know. I’m not in the market at all but if I was going to buy a pellet I would probably go with the silverback too.

      #7
      If you're looking for that "traditional" smoke flavor, then the OG is right for you. It has, more or less, to do with the way the smoke/heat flows through the cooking chamber. Everything flows UP, with the Silverbac, everything flows across. In the SB, you can play with your food for once! Moving the protein to the top or one of the sides can allow you to play with the level of smoke you are introducing as it flows horizontally through the cook chamber. The OG primarily bathes the protein no matter where you are in the chamber. Both produce excellent food.
      The alpha is the only controller that is available for the Chimp/SB/OG. Grilla phased out the original controller in 2020. I'll add that it is nice to be able to switch to PID control from the Alpha Smoke when you want to bake bread or make jerky...Something where it's more important to stay close to your target temperature.
      Wi-Fi is coming soon. Beta testers are working with the Wi-Fi controller and working out the kinks right now.

      As far as the chimp goes. Many people use that as a primary cooking source. Especially for 4-6 people or less on a regular basis. It is quite literally a mini-Silverbac. Almost identical construction inside, just with a smaller footprint. But you do lose that added benefit of storage underneath.

      Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

      Comment


      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        Grilla did comment on the WiFi, and it sounds like they are being very thoughtful about how they are doing it, so I'm eager to see what they release.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        I also think you have a better description of the smoke benefits from the Grilla than I did. Thank you!

      #8
      Grilla didn't add anything beyond what y'all have already pointed out on the smokers, though the guy was so friendly, I might have a new BBQ buddy.

      The consensus does seem to be the OG Grilla, and the incremental $300 investment over the Chimp for a better smoke flavor seems worth it.

      I suppose my MCS will go into overdrive when Grilla releases the WiFi details, maybe in the next month or two.

      Comment


        #9
        I use the MBG nearly constantly. I would have a hard time giving it up for something else, especially as I have the 1050 and its nearly the same capacity as my indoor oven (can fit three half sheet pans/racks). If only it was built better. I've actually converted to using my fireboard to control the fan, since I use that to monitor temps anyway and the MB switches have all died, so when I went to short those out, I added a splice to plug the fan direct to the fireboard. I added the rotisserie last week and it worked very well.

        Outside of the electronics and fan, I don't see anything else failing soon, so it might be a while...

        I really like the idea of charcoal "pellets" as I have a lot of flavor control and can reach crazy temps if necessary. That said, i can't imagine a more well-respected pellet than the OG.

        Comment


        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep. I am in exactly the same boat on the MB560. It is a great machine and shows no signs of slowing down (switches all work etc.).

          It still doesn't mean I can't lust for a new and shiny machine though....

        #10
        Looking forward to seeing the decision-making process unfold. I like the look of the OG, more smoke, footprint, etc, and as I’ve said before, my space is better for the OG. And they have a showroom here, and I’m afraid to go look. MCS is real.

        Comment


          #11
          I feel pretty settled on the OG now. I’ve been watching the Grilla folks on YouTube for a year, getting the weekly newsletter, occasionally skulking the FB group, and chatting about it here and with Grilla.

          I just need to figure out how to sell it to the wife without getting rid of the MB560....

          Maybe because it is so small...and a good bday present for me....we can keep both children.

          Comment


            #12
            I love my OG Grilla. Here outside Detroit, we get similar weather to you and it performs admirably (uses a few more pellets in the cold and wind). If you regularly cook for large groups you might feel cramped with it, but for my family I've never run out of space. I do recommend the top extension rack.

            Comment


              #13
              Originally posted by zero_credit View Post
              I feel pretty settled on the OG now. I’ve been watching the Grilla folks on YouTube for a year, getting the weekly newsletter, occasionally skulking the FB group, and chatting about it here and with Grilla.

              I just need to figure out how to sell it to the wife without getting rid of the MB560....

              Maybe because it is so small...and a good bday present for me....we can keep both children.
              It's got a small footprint but definitely plenty of room (and a respectable smoke flavor profile) when cooking for up to 4 "normal" humans. Here's mine making my 12x12' deck look big while starting up:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	CFD1D1F3-6FB0-4044-A95B-CB9F9F235BE2.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	1.55 MB ID:	983825
              Last edited by MBMorgan; February 2, 2021, 12:00 PM.

              Comment


              • DrJimmy2112
                DrJimmy2112 commented
                Editing a comment
                Great picture

              #14
              What is the preference in terms of using a tube versus the Smoke Daddy Big D?

              https://smokedaddyinc.com/product/th...heat-diffuser/

              Or is the smoke flavor pronounced enough to not need either?

              Comment


              • MBMorgan
                MBMorgan commented
                Editing a comment
                I’ve never felt the need to fire up my AmazinTube in the OG. Maybe I’ll try it someday ... but for now, nah.

              #15
              I am new (1-2 months) with an OG. I live north of you in Wisconsin. I have a family of 5. I was leaning to the SIlverback for more cooking area, and went with OG after getting help here, for several reasons - better smoke flavor, less heat loss with door design, uniqueness of design (and coolness factor as a result). I have yet to feel cramped for cooking space though I expected to. I have not regretted at all choosing the OG over the Silverback.
              That said, I have had some hassles with my OG (you can see my posts). Thankfully, as of now the problems have been rectified. Grilla has been quite helpful. Pitmasters here have been a huge help as well.
              I think I will try my smoke tube to enhance flavor at some point but have not felt pressed to yet.
              Best wishes, and I look forward to reading of your decision.
              Last edited by DrJimmy2112; February 4, 2021, 04:29 PM.

              Comment


              • IFindZeroBadCooks
                IFindZeroBadCooks commented
                Editing a comment
                I read about your issues. Sorry to hear that.

                What was/is the purpose of the drip pan in the OG? Clean up seems relatively easy, and I guess I have never heard of Grilla recommending it, which might have caused the confusion on their part.

              • DrJimmy2112
                DrJimmy2112 commented
                Editing a comment
                Drip pan aka flavor disc is the stainless steel plate that separates the firepot from the cooking grates. It is one of the components of the OG. I believe all pellet grills have them.

              • IFindZeroBadCooks
                IFindZeroBadCooks commented
                Editing a comment
                Makes sense. For some reason I was thinking of the foil aluminum pan.

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