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So if not Weber, then...?

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    So if not Weber, then...?

    I know, I know: "Ask 100 people and get 100 answers". But I'm new to this and I've got to start somewhere, so here goes:

    If I manage to return my SmokeFire and want to stick with trying a pellet grill, what are some recommendations?

    Preferences:
    • Reliable pellet mechanism for long cooks without constantly checking for bridging
    • A robust app to control the unit and monitor the cook
    • Something that can good burgers one night and then smoke a pork butt all day the next day.
    • Budget: Right around $1,000
    Like I said, I'm new here so I'm taking all suggestions. Thanks for the help

    #2
    I've not looked at them in a while and they have newer models out but Rec-Tec (https://www.rectecgrills.com) is highly thought of. There was a spat when AR panned a new entry level grill (not a smoker) a couple of years ago and oddly people here seem to not mention them, but they get highly positive reviews for their pellet smokers. There are also stories of them being very responsive to any issues that do arise.

    Comment


    • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
      ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
      Editing a comment
      590 is the little bro to the 700, everything below the 700 has lower build quality and warranty. Not saying anything below the 700 is bad, but there have been a few things deleted that concerned me when I originally joined the RT FB group while researching pellet grills. Their customer service like most of the other top names in the pellet world is supposedly top notch but I'm not so sure with the moderation they have on various sites I researched.

    • treesmacker
      treesmacker commented
      Editing a comment
      I have the RT-340 "Trailblazer" and I'm very happy with it. I think the build quality is fine - no problems here, though it is the only one I've owned. The controller and app are good!. The food it has turned out is terrific (with help from this site). I post most of my cooks here, so you can search to see pics. It is not the best way to do a burger, but with Grill Grates it can do them really nice. Because the chamber is smallish, it can get quite hot - 550 degrees or so.

    • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
      ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
      Editing a comment
      treesmacker yeah, nothing wrong with the smaller models, just their warranty and customer service is prioritized to the premium model. Seen lots of people with customer service issues happily addressed with the cheaper models, but also see more complaints about those models on sites RT doesn't moderate.. their warranty and QC is obviously focused on the 700+. Doesn't mean it's not a good grill by any means. Just what I've observed during research. I was very close to buying a bull

    #3
    How many people would you be grilling for? If only 8-ish bugers you have quite a few options, if more space than that... most of the stuff in the sub 1K range, even IF it can smoke great and grill decent can't do so across the full grate evenly.

    I'd look at something like the Grilla or Gridiron brands with a narrower chamber but good height for capacity. There's also the option of Camp Chef with the side mount propane sear box, but reviews are mixed. I haven't seen any reviews in non-moderated places for the upgraded Rec Tec Bullseye, but the original version was not well reviewed. A lot of the long shaped pellet smokers only have a great grilling area isolated to the center 1/3 or 1/4 of the main cooking grate.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd wait a bit longer to see how Weber fixes the problem. I think their design has huge potential and I'd love to see them succeed. If they fix it, there is nothing in their price range that excels at grilling like that out of the box from what I've researched.

    Comment


      #4
      The other thing to consider is going another direction, e.g. an Oklahoma Joe's Bronco or PBC to smoke and a gasser to grill. The OK Joe is $300, the PBC is $349. Get a good gasser for $4-500 and you're under $1k.
      Last edited by rickgregory; February 18, 2020, 06:13 PM.

      Comment


      • surfdog
        surfdog commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep. The only change I would make would be for a WSM...and only because I have experience with those. (And I like the versatility & temp controls...but that also makes them less set & forget than a PBC.)

      #5
      A bit over budget but a great pellet is the Yoder it has a FireBoard app built into the control. I have an older non WiFi model and love it and the food it puts out.

      Comment


      • Texas Larry
        Texas Larry commented
        Editing a comment
        +1 on the Yoder YS640.

      • hogdog6
        hogdog6 commented
        Editing a comment
        Ditto

      • Sweaty Paul
        Sweaty Paul commented
        Editing a comment
        +2 on Yoder (YS-640), however, it is a bit above your budget. Could look at YS-480, however, I've no experience with it.

      #6
      Originally posted by Jordan S View Post
      I know, I know: "Ask 100 people and get 100 answers". But I'm new to this and I've got to start somewhere, so here goes:

      If I manage to return my SmokeFire and want to stick with trying a pellet grill, what are some recommendations?

      Preferences:
      • Reliable pellet mechanism for long cooks without constantly checking for bridging
      • A robust app to control the unit and monitor the cook
      • Something that can good burgers one night and then smoke a pork butt all day the next day.
      • Budget: Right around $1,000
      Like I said, I'm new here so I'm taking all suggestions. Thanks for the help
      Weber fan(my favorite grill is my 22 inch kettle) and looking to replace a POS GMG pellet grill for when I am doing larger cooks.

      I will tell you to stay away from GMG grills. Massive temp swings(100+) and lots of people having that issue with them.

      Personally, I was set for a Rec-Tec and then the Weber was announced/demo'ed with all the BBQ influencers and I held off.

      I'm in eastern Cleveland and in the snow belt, so still holding off on what I buy until closer to spring. If Weber can fix their poop show before then, they are still in consideration.

      Rec-Tec is still in the running, and basically the leader at this point. My friend had the same issues I had with his GMG, and replaced it with a Rec-Tec, and says the temp holding is near perfect, and the build quality is night and day better.

      That said, there is another one I am looking at now for pellet smokers, and that is the Camp Chef Woodwind Wifi.

      There is one last one that just keeps knocking at the back of my brain. 22 inch Weber Smokey Mountain. Less than half the price, and once you get the temp dialed in, it stays that way until the fuel burns up(just like the kettle) The flavor I get from my kettle I have never been able to get from my pellet grill. That could also be preference in flavor, but something back in my head is saying if you like this flavor better, why not just get more smoking surface area?

      If you get the WSM, you can also remove the middle part and basically use it as a kettle grill. Just an FYI.

      Comment


      • Jared49
        Jared49 commented
        Editing a comment
        I have the 18”WSM with FireBoard & fan. Put on a lid hinge & SS door upgrade. Today I’m trying my new new rib hanging system. With all of the upgrades that I’ve done I highly recommend the WSM. Doing 5 racks today. I love the the WSM!!

      • Jordan S
        Jordan S commented
        Editing a comment
        Which fan are you using?

      • Jared49
        Jared49 commented
        Editing a comment
        Jordan S- I have the Pit Viper from BBQ Guru.

      #7
      I am a big fan of the Grilla Silverbac so gotta toss their name in. No app, no WiFI, so if that's a deal breaker then so be it. My review here: https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...a-pellet-grill I love steaks, burgers, shrimp, wings and lasagna on it. Next day I'll cooks ribs, butts, chucks. Never a bridge. Solid unit, well built. Heavy duty grates. Has adjustments for feed rate should you need to for weather. Easy to disassemble for maintenance if needed. Has 2 modes- extra smoke (swings more) and PID (steadier temp) available at any temp.

      And you're right, ask 100 people....

      Comment


      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        ItsAllGoneToTheDogs Last I talked with Grilla, it wasn't a high priority because of connectivity problems WiFi from any maker is wrought with, but the latest is 'stay tuned', it's no longer on the no list. Me personally, I couldn't care less for it on my cookers but we're all different.

      • Bogy
        Bogy commented
        Editing a comment
        Huskee, it wasn't long ago that Grilla also said that there was no need for PID controllers, and to "trust the swing". Now it's a major selling point. I think the "connectivity problems" is very close to the same kind of rationalization. I don't have problems connecting to my Grid Iron or Fireboard. I did at first with the Fireboard, but whatever the issue was, seems to be straightened out. I use the WiFi quite a bit, but it's an individual thing.

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Bogy you're right! But as a manufacturer it's hard to say "Yeah we don't have that but we really should" because that means your current lineup is trash or at least lagging. By saying 'it's not needed, our stuff is great w/o it' you're still selling your brand (and it's still true). But a company willing to adapt and sell what folks want to buy is what matters most IMO. I am connected in my TVs, other devices, even my truck has WiFI, but to me, cooking has been a way to get away from that.

      #8
      Not a pellet pooper. Good luck on your journey. Videos of journey don't stop believin'

      Comment


        #9
        Rec - Tec do your homework. How big do you need? https://mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/4/messages/48148
        Stay away from Louisiana grills. I'm sure you have already Looked at Max's reviews.

        Comment


          #10
          Jordan S You beat me to it. I'm in the same boat, trying to decide what to do next. I do the majority of my cooking on a pellet pooper and the old one is already gone. I'm between the Rec Tec Stampede, the Camp Chef Woodwind, and the Traeger Ironwood. I like the Grilla, but WiFi is a requirement with everyone pretty much having it but them. I had no cooking complaints with my Camp Chef SmokePro, but hated their exhaust stack and trying to get a cover on and off and the build quality just seemed and felt lower.

          I wish Rec Tec was in stores so I could get my hands on one. It looks pretty nice and they use controllers from the same place that supplies Memphis I believe. Love all the stainless, hate the dumb horns and no smoke stack is a big plus.

          I think Traeger did well with the D2 stuff, but I'm not overly fond of their support. I've never had a serious problem with my Traegers, but not sure how long they'll really last as I never kept one more than 2-3 years. My biggest complaint was how slow they were to heat up and recover, but sounds like that's better now.

          Comment


          • treesmacker
            treesmacker commented
            Editing a comment
            I like the horns! they are really shiny and smooth and clean up easily! Really functional.

          #11
          I suspect one of these days Weber will get the Smoke Fire right, but they may have to turn down the hype pump and moderate some of the feature claims, as well as fix the glitches. While it looks like there are some real problems, there are probably unmet, unrealistic expectations too. That being said, that last comment can apply to just about any cooking device out there, though likely to a lesser degree. Human nature is as human nature does.

          Regardless of what well intentioned folks might tell you, you still need to dig into each product you become aware of to see if it dovetails with your desires, habits, and methods. I, personally, ended up with a RecTec 590 (Stampede). I could have bought the 700 (Bull) but since about 80ish percent of my cooks would be for me and the bride it would have been a waste of space, and a small amount of fuel, to go bigger. And since the 590 is really only 6 inches shorter at the grate length, I didn't give up much. We easily feed groups of 20ish from it. Above there was an error in a statement about warrantee. The 700 does have a 6 year, but the 590 has 4. At your price point I don't think there's a pellet grill with any better length of warrantee than that, if any equals at all. Is it a perfect tool? No, and honest folks here would admit there's some level of compromise with just about any cooker. There are independent forums out there focused on RT as well as others and there you'll learn what some of the "short comings" might be. I say "might be" because there are also folks who are new to outdoor cooking who also have had unrealistic expectations for how "easy" a pellet smoker is. While easier than many other forms of outdoor cooker, there's still some cooking skill involved, and there are, unfortunately, some folks who seemingly have trouble operating a light switch (have you ever read Amazon faq's or feedback?). You'll need to sort through that kind of stuff as well. The pellet grill market is the hottest slice of the outdoor cooking hardware world in the past few years, and for the near term future...………...the why behind the probably best know name, Weber, getting in the segment (finally). Lots of choices, lots of hype, lots of mixed messages...…..but plenty of opportunity for the potential buyer who's willing to put in the research effort. Enjoy the journey indeed.

          Comment


            #12
            Opinion #54. If you’re against charcoal then carry on. No offense taken.

            Weber Kettle w/ SnS
            22” WSM
            Fireboard with fan (or another style for a fraction of the price but this would include a bunch of probes)

            Alright so I’m very biased towards charcoal cookers with less that can break or go wrong. I know it’s 2 different cookers and a little more than $1k but that will give you all the versatility and capacity you probably need. The WSM isn’t without fault but it runs like a clock once you get the vents right (which isn’t hard) and in the few months I’ve had the SnS I’ve been really impressed with using it for smoking in the kettle. It’s worth it for that alone. Perfect for smaller cooks and both can smoke for 8+ hours untouched with consistent temps. Neither of them really need a thermostat but piece of mind goes a long way. That said I’m currently a thermostat away from this setup and I can’t wait until I can pull the trigger.

            Comment


            • Jordan S
              Jordan S commented
              Editing a comment
              Sorry - whats the “SnS”?

            • Andrrr
              Andrrr commented
              Editing a comment
              Slow n Sear. I always just banked my coals on one side which I think works just fine but this amplifies searing ability. And for smoking it’s awesome. Really fuel efficient too.

              https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...ns/slow-n-sear

            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              Jordan S it is the Slow 'N Sear - SnS for short. It's an add on for Weber kettles available at snsgrills.com

            #13
            I am new here too. Wait! Wha?!!

            Yea, not posted in a bit. But I will say the main reason is my Stampede 590. When I first purchased it all my friends on here said I would be spoiled. I would get rid of all my stick burners, WSCGC, the ole tried and true WSM, Performer...

            The 590 has been a spoiler though all kidding aside. I have turned into a lazy, start my outdoor oven (Stampede) from my trusty app at HEB and be cooking the second I get home. After having it about a year now, I can not count the cooks on this thing. It is a tool, looks like a rusty tool now cus I only clean it about every 20 cooks, (cheap stainless) and it still works like a tool. Not a Rec-Tec fanboy. Actually can't stand their FB page. Way over the top for me. But the thing does work extremely well.

            I wanted a Cadillac pooper like the YS for a very long time too, and they are indeed! I still use all my other cookers a lot but just been very busy lately. Honestly, pellet grills are really a great outdoor oven if you treat them that way. You don't get the smoke of a stick burner or even a good kettle with a few chunks but dang dang good.

            I think Weber tried to engineer "OUT" problems that never existed, and engineered "IN" problems that all the others never even had. The only way they can fix this debacle now is to make a pellet grill just like everyone else does. Then it will be just a way overpriced heap of outdoor oven.

            I vote for "any other"



            Comment


            • lonnie mac
              lonnie mac commented
              Editing a comment
              Boeing has been VERY busy lately brother!

            • SmokingSteve
              SmokingSteve commented
              Editing a comment
              Glad to hear from you again Lonnie!

            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes! Welcome back Lonnie! Great to hear from you!

            #14
            In addition to the other Pellet grills mentioned, I would also consider a Traeger. I've owned a Pro 22 for three years now and am very happy. The newer units have wifi as well as some other nice enhancements. Best feature is the food that I cook on it tastes great!

            Comment


              #15
              Originally posted by lonnie mac View Post
              You don't get the smoke of a stick burner or even a good kettle with a few chunks
              This is always mentioned for poopers, but for me the tenderness of the meat, and flavor from injecting, rubbing, marinating, and/or saucing is much more important. You can get a good deal of smoke from a pooper if you start out at low temps at the beginning of the cook. I've had some cooks come out with beautiful deep smoke rings, and plenty of smoke flavor (for my taste). It really depends on what you like. You can get...
              Originally posted by lonnie mac View Post
              dang dang good.

              Comment

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