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Anyone have an Expert Grill Pellet Smoker?

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    Anyone have an Expert Grill Pellet Smoker?

    I tried searching this but didn't see anything. My entire smoking experience is around charcoal and wood chunks. I like the smoke profile I get with this fuel source, but my wife continues to complain about food being too smoky no matter what I do.

    My thought was that since these units are selling around $300 brand new, it would be a good way to try out pellet cooking without laying out a ton of cash in case we don't like it. Also, used pellet grills in my area are going for $300+ and not well taken care ofcaAnyone have any insights with these cookers?

    #2
    What about a portable pellet smoker? Asmoke, Camp Chef, and Old Country have tailgater style ones between $250 and $350.

    Comment


      #3
      My wife complained at times about the excessive smoky flavor but she quit complaining after I got a Rec Tec pellet grill. She does like the lighter smoke profile but she does like the smoke profile from my LSG offset. I think she had tried some food when we lived in TX that had been smoked with dirty smoke, now I am very careful.

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        #4
        Come on up to IN and use one of mine. I found a used one for $100, keep looking. You will like it.

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        • jpietrantone
          jpietrantone commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the offer. I found a new Pit Boss 700 for 250 new supposedly at a liquidation place. Already assembled. I may ping him and see if he'd take 200.

        • DogFaced PonySoldier
          DogFaced PonySoldier commented
          Editing a comment
          Those Pit Boss smokers are not half bad, not at all.

        #5
        If you don't need a full size one check out the Grilla Chimp. I have one and I use it more than my weber kettle and my weber Smoky mountain

        Comment


        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah if you have the budget, the Chimp is just unbeatable at its price point.

        • jpietrantone
          jpietrantone commented
          Editing a comment
          That is definitely something I could consider. Ultimately I would want a larger one if we ended up liking it. What all are you able to fit on Chimp at one time? Is it's size comparable to a CC Woodwind 20?

        • klflowers
          klflowers commented
          Editing a comment
          jpietrantone the Camp Chef has a larger cooking area, 501 vs 460 Sq inches. Using the top rack in the Chimp, I can get 3 racks of St Louis cut ribs. I also did a 12lb butt and a smaller, 13lb turkey. Head room is a little limited, not sure how big a turkey or butt would fit. I also have a Camp Chef Tahoe stove, Camp Chef is a good company. I just like the Grilla guys more. Great customer service, and I am from MI, so they are my homeys.

        #6
        As much as I hate how I believe they’ve gotten into the market, I think Z-Grills are probably the best budget no name grills. Not knowing Expert Grills I’d recommend the Z. My neighbor has one and he uses it probably once a week for past couple years. If you can get by with it if you have to buy new, a Chimp, Woodwind 20, or Traeger Tailgater might be something you can get use of later after upgrading to a bigger/better one. I cooked a packer or two in my Traeger junior, so they have enough capacity to cook a good meal and see if you like pellets.

        EDIT: You know, now that I at least helped nudge you down this path, I hate to see you buy something new knowing you’ll want to upgrade soon. If your wife ain’t happy with the charcoal smoking, odds are a lot higher she will be happier with a pellet grill. It will be different for sure, it’s more are you going to be satisfied is why I asked. Charcoal smoking creates a pretty unique taste IMO. If you can appreciate smoke as a seasoning versus star of the show you’ll likely enjoy a pellet grill and a happier wife.
        Last edited by glitchy; October 10, 2021, 12:00 AM.

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        • DogFaced PonySoldier
          DogFaced PonySoldier commented
          Editing a comment
          Strangely Camp Chef on their site doesn't show dimensions of the lower shelf. The upper is 13.75"x18.4". My Yoder YS480 upper shelf is 15.5″x20″. I can easily fit 2 pork butts on that, or 2 racks of ribs. On my bottom shelf, 2 to 3 pork buts and 3 racks of ribs. The Woodwind's shelves seem more same-sized (top is 248sq, total is 501sq, but again, they weirdly don't give lower shelf dimensions). But assuming roughly same size, figure 4 racks of ribs total top and bottom. Or 4 pork butts, perhaps.
          Last edited by DogFaced PonySoldier; October 10, 2021, 06:30 AM.

        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          jpietrantone I don’t know the 20 hands on as I had a 24, but I would guess you could get a smaller packer or likely a couple butts in one. If you try to jam 3-4 shoulders in one your going to take a lot longer to cook them as you’ll really cut down airflow. Putting ribs on both racks generally works fine though. That’s if it’s similar in grate size to a Traeger junior.

        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          Is the one you found a portable? Looks like they’ve changed that it last year or two and no longer has folding legs? If so, I might view that as potential issues with that feature as dropping that is cutting what I saw as a key value for the 20 model.

          EDIT: Skip that, they call the potable the pursuit now and appear to still offer it. I was just looking under Woodwind before.
          Last edited by glitchy; October 10, 2021, 12:19 PM.

        #7
        No comment on the Expert Grill Pellet smoker. I would think you get what you pay for. Check reviews.
        All my family and friends enjoy food off of pellet grills. I suspect you if try out the cheap pellet grill, then upgrade in due time.

        Comment


          #8
          So I can get a Pit Boss 700 for 200 supposedly brand new or a Camp Chef Woodwind 20 that looks to be in good condition other than a little paint peeling for 300.

          What would you all recommend if either.

          Comment


          • IFindZeroBadCooks
            IFindZeroBadCooks commented
            Editing a comment
            I’d lean toward the Camp Chef as it is better built and if you need to replace some parts, you are not throwing good money after bad.

          #9
          My only word of advice is to think twice about buying a cheap pellet grill. It's like buying a car, it's full of mechanical parts. When those parts break you don't have a functioning cooker. Then you get charged out the ass to get them fixed. It's not like a big old steel offset that you can set off a stick of dynamite in with little consequence. Do yourself a favor and check reliability and not just price. Be sure to kick the tires !!

          Comment


            #10
            I count myself among those here who have either said outright, or at least hinted, that you're going to get what you pay for (up to a point ... after which you're just gilding the lily). These days, the least expensive high-quality pellet cookers seem to start somewhere between $500 and $1000 ... and you can score a great unit if you're careful. As has been suggested, you need to consider design, build quality, reliability, and both the availability and quality of support ... and then resale ease and value should you decide not to stick with pellets.

            I think that if you buy the cheapest possible unit, you'd be setting yourself up for almost certain disappointment and frankly, not really giving pellet cooking/smoking much of a chance.

            Comment


              #11
              I kind of disagree. I know people think Pit Boss is a crappy WalMart brand - that's ok. It's not bad. My neighbor has one he has been using the crap out of for the last 3 years now. Pit Boss is also popular enough now that there are likely some mods available, but it's a pretty significantly larger cooker than that Camp Chef Woodwind.

              True, the Camp Chef is probably a better cooker overall, better built, etc, but it's their entry level for sure. It seems a little tight for me, personally - size-wise. I would want to look and see how much room is in between racks and in between the top rack and the top inside of the cooker - some of these have 5" or less, so you can barely squeeze a pork butt or brisket on the top rack, or sometimes even on the bottom if the top rack is in.

              That Pit Boss has 700 sq in of cooking space, it is roomier. I don't know that they Pit Boss has a PID controller, but I'm sure that Woodwind isn't the new WiFi model, is it? I know that one is a PID controller. There's a lot of variables there - if you think there's a chance of doing larger cooks for more people, the extra space is a good thing.

              Like I said, the Pit Boss is NOT a bad smoker by any means. My neighbor has seen me using my Traeger BBQ124 and Yoder for years, we've sat and talked many times about the various pros and cons, and he has used the crap out of his Pit Boss and is very very happy with it. The ones I have looked at in the store seem to be fairly well made - they're not a Yoder or RecTec, for sure, but they're not total crap, either.

              Look at the ash and grease cleanout systems of both, as well. That's an important feature and I know the newer Woodwinds boast they have a system for this - but it doesn't really show what it is. Maybe some YT videos will?

              I don't think you can go wrong with either choice just trying to dip your toe in the pool of pellet cooking, honestly. I know I would outgrow that Camp Chef quickly - but then, you've got your other cookers to fall back on, as well.

              Comment


                #12
                You're over thinking this. Here's my advice:

                1) Set a budget max. How much are you willing to spend? Not how little... how MUCH? If that's $5-600, fine. There's nothing to be ashamed about if that's what you can or want to spend.

                2) Buy new. Yes, you might get a decent used one but you might not and there's few things more annoying than trying something new and having to troubleshoot stuff.

                3) Buy as much quality as you can get for the budget even at the expense of capacity or extra features (wifi, etc).

                4) Judge the capacity you REALLY need. Yeah, yeah, it might be nice having the space to do 9 pork butts or 4 packers or whatever but what do you really cook? If you do something like a Chimp but eventually need more space, you can always get another, bigger unit.

                There are diminishing returns as price goes up. A MAK, etc isn't 6x the cooker that a $500 cooker is. It's BETTER, but some of the ways it's better might be irrelevant to you and others are marginal upgrades. For example, thick insulated steel is nice but mostly for longevity and for cooking in adverse conditions. If you mostly cook in decent weather and are OK with upgrading in a few years then who really cares if some other grill can last 20 years nd cook in -10F weather during a blizzard?
                Last edited by rickgregory; October 10, 2021, 11:10 AM.

                Comment


                • IFindZeroBadCooks
                  IFindZeroBadCooks commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well, if your budget is $1000, you can buy a OG Grilla and I can live vicariously through you! Definitely a bonus right?

                • rickgregory
                  rickgregory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  "You make some great points, but you are leaving out one of the key reasons someone might choose MAK, Blaz’n, Smokin Brothers, etc. Some people like to support American small businesses..."

                  Sure but that's not a functional reason. And, while I'd love to support a US business, I'm not spending 6X the price just for that. I'd lean to Grilla if I was buying a pellet grill, but I think they're also built overseas now.
                  Last edited by rickgregory; October 10, 2021, 03:16 PM.

                • jpietrantone
                  jpietrantone commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh I didn't say the budget was that high. But that's what I would like one day. I may have to do more research, but I don't think the OG has as much space as the gridiron.

                #13
                Yeah, if your budget is $300, get the Camp Chef. If your budget is $600, get the Chimp.

                That said, it may be worth skimming the local home improvement stores to see if any clearances are worthwhile.

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