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Pellet Smoker Thoughts? Advice? Experience? Needed

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    Pellet Smoker Thoughts? Advice? Experience? Needed

    Big-time reader, infrequent poster here. Always appreciate the information I get here. I've searched and read a lot of the previous posts regarding pellet smoker advice, but there is nothing like getting a little advice directly within the context of what I have and what I envision I would like.

    I've been thinking about a smallish pellet smoker for some time now for a variety of reasons.
    1. I've used Weber kettle grills for near 30 years and if I want to grill some burgers or brats and play backyard dad for a while that is what I'll go to. For about a 15 years I also used it as my smoker. I think I have the "Grill" area covered.
    2. I also have a Backwoods Party smoker. If I want to throw a half dozen racks of ribs or a few pork butts or put a full packer brisket on or host a good old fashioned Wisconsin party I will fire her up. She works great, but it is an all day and "supervisory" experience which I know is part of the experience.
    3. To be honest, I love "Big Alice" but sometimes she is a little much for me. Sometimes I'd love just to set a rack or two of ribs or one chicken or one butt on, set the temp, and let her go. I wouldn't mind doing some grilling on one, but I realize they don't always achieve the temperature necessary like a real grill - but may be I'm wrong on that.

    Having read my thoughts, am I heading down the right direction?

    I've investigated the following and I'd be interested to hear any advice:
    These seem like the Cadillac's with the caddy price:
    1. Yoder YS480s
    2. Pitts & Spitts Maveric 850
    3. MAK 1

    These seem to be the next level:
    1. Rec-Tec RT-590
    2. Grilla Silverbac (I think the Chimp would be too small)
    3. Traeger Pro 575
    4. Smoking Brothers 24"

    So what do I need to think about? What's your advice? What is your Experience? What haven't I thought about?

    Thanks in advance,
    Rob


    #2
    I have a non S model Yoder 640. I love it. The S model has the probes build in so a little less clutter. It does a pretty good job of searing if you also get the diffuser with a door and GrillGrates. I have heard a lot of good about the others you mentioned but have no experience. Soild build also.
    Last edited by ofelles; April 13, 2020, 03:00 PM.

    Comment


    • BBQPhil
      BBQPhil commented
      Editing a comment
      Also have a Yoder 480 before the built in Fireboard electronics. It's exceeded my expectations for its excellent results and ease of operation. Rugged, solid as a rock and reliable burner and feeder.
      Last edited by BBQPhil; April 14, 2020, 09:24 AM.

    #3
    To me it's as complicated as asking which coffee maker should you buy- they all might have similar but different looks, build quality, a perk or two the others don't have, but in all honesty the finished product will be quite similar on all. I wish I could help you but truthfully my answer would simply lean toward what I have personal experience with, and I think too much of that from everyone will just muddy the waters.

    Have you read our reviews on those cookers? If not, they may help steer you toward what will suit you best by giving you our award ratings and highlighting some pros and cons of each. Then, factoring in your budget, that might help narrow it down.

    Comment


    • robd
      robd commented
      Editing a comment
      Yea, I've read all the reviews here and many, many of the threads. I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts that I haven't thought of or read knowing what I'm looking to do. Thanks as always!

    #4
    I have a Yoder480. With the removable diffuser plate and grill grates it sears better than my gasser ever did and at high heat you still get a touch of smokiness. Also as you say it's built like a tank. I did get mine used so I didn't pay the Cadillac price (closer to Buick price 😉).
    That being said the reviews on this site should give you a lot of information like different options, pricing, features, etc. I'm sure anyone of those you listed you'd be happy with, depending on the features you want. Good luck on your hunt for a new cooker.

    Comment


    • robd
      robd commented
      Editing a comment
      I really like what I read about the Yoder.

      Thanks!

    #5
    I am doing the same thing...looking at pellet grills. I would add Memphis to your list. Also Lone Star Grillz is developing a Pellet grill.

    Comment


      #6
      I think you need to decide if you need high end pellet grill or something like your second tier. That's down to features and the like as well as the 'ohh new shiny' syndrome. Look at glitchy's recent posts on his choices too. Hell, if you were doing this next year I'd be saying to wait on the Weber Smokefire 2 or whatever they call it to see if it's even better.

      Price is an issue too. The Yoder you list is almost 2x the Rectec for example.
      Last edited by rickgregory; April 13, 2020, 03:23 PM.

      Comment


      • robd
        robd commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks. I'll take a look at that post. I do have two price points put down. My experience has been when I buy the cheaper versions of things I usually end up going back to get the nicer one because, well, it is better.

        I'm in no hurry so waiting is always an option.

        Thanks!

      • Driverdan
        Driverdan commented
        Editing a comment
        The Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi pellet grills belong on your 2nd tier list, but they offer much more with wifi, slide and sear, and the ability to add on a sidekick option. It's currently near top of my list, but I am awaiting the AR reviews of the Masterbuilt gravity series charcoal cookers, and the new Cuisinart Woodcreek

      #7
      I just ran across Z Grills. They are new to me, maybe worth looking at

      http://zgrills.com

      Comment


      • robd
        robd commented
        Editing a comment
        I'll take a look.

        Thanks.

      #8
      You would be happy with any on that list. As a non s Yoder owner my only comment would be the non-standard 2 piece diffuser should be added into the cost. It will help you easily get to the firebox for cleaning, and does make a decent sear area too. I really like my Yoder but know that the MAK-1 would also be a great contender. I actually debated both when buying but the Yoder dealer near me in Delaware doesn’t charge for freight or sales tax so the Yoder won hands down when my billfold got its vote.

      Comment


      • robd
        robd commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the advice on the diffuser.

      #9
      One thing to consider is how much smoke flavor do you like? The smoke profile is very mild on pellet grills and virtually non-existent at higher temps. You can add smoke tubes, but they are still burning pellets. If you are looking for a smaller cooker that is set and forget, I'd mod your kettles with a fan and thermostatic controller. In my opinion that beats all aspects of a pellet grill except for capacity. Since you're looking for a smaller pellet grill, I would thing a modded 26" kettle would be equivalent?

      Comment


      • ofelles
        ofelles commented
        Editing a comment
        Hard to argue against your point and I own a pellet grill.

      • robd
        robd commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting thought... thank you very much.

      #10
      I have the Yoder YS-640 and really love it. I too would recommend the Yoder. Get the two piece diffuser, you won’t be disappointed with the sear function.

      I like the smoky flavor I get and it is built like a tank. It is incredibly reliable too. It’s a bit more pricey, however, for me the price was worth it and I purchased the Yoder after having owned a Green Mountain and am very glad I went to the Yoder.

      I’m with Huskee check out the reviews here too! Good luck on your search.

      Comment


        #11
        Some good ones out there. RecTec 700 was what I settled on. Very happy with it. Stainless steel, 6 yr warranty and outstanding customer service. It fit my budget too.

        Comment


          #12
          In 2004 I got a Traeger Texas Style and liked it but in 2010 I sold it and got one of the first Memphis Pellet Grills and like it much better (It's Insulated) but it did cost a lot more than the Traeger. If I were to get a new one today it would be a MAK or a Blaz'n Grill Works. They are both made in the USA and have some features I like. Keep studying and buy the one YOU like. Good luck.

          Comment


            #13
            Your list is spot on. And in order, Having a Rec Tec, I'm happy with it. As you have already researched, you cannot go wrong with any on your list. Man cannot live with only one outdoor cooker!

            Comment


              #14
              I have window shopped and researched pellet smokers for years, and I currently smoke on either a 35 year old offset or a Weber kettle. Here's my list:

              Money no object, but not crazy expensive:

              1. Yoder YS640 as I've yet to see anyone complain about the Yoder's, and I know folks local with them as well. They seem well built.
              2. Rectec RT-700

              More likely to get, due to budgetary constraints, I would get one of these:

              3. Grilla (original Grilla)
              4. Grilla Silverbac

              I am on the fence about Grilla versus Silverbac. I've talked with their top notch customer service, and am told that the original unique round Grilla model has the better smoke profile, and will be smokier than the Silverbac. That is important to me, coming from an offset and smoking with charcoal and wood. I think Grilla has a lot of bang for the buck.

              Your list is good, but I personally would take Traeger, off the list. I read recent reviews of different model Traegers that just did not have much smoke profile at all. And if the Rectec 590 is big enough, its certainly worth considering. I've not heard bad things about Rectec equipment, just Rectec the company (questionable business practices on social media).

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Bumby I've not heard anything negative about Rectec's customer service - it's more their marketing practices. They have a track record of bashing the competition rather than say why Rectec grills are better, and they go after anyone that posts any form of negative review on social media.

                Which one is the Bull? Is that the equivalent of the RT-590 they sell now? Or is it the old RT-690?

              • robd
                robd commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for that advice. Agreed about the Traeger.

              • Bumby
                Bumby commented
                Editing a comment
                Got it. I have the 700 - when it first came out, they called it the Bull.

              #15
              Really to me the bottom line is no matter what you get from that fine list, you've come to the right place to master it. With the support and knowledge here you can get a Bic lighter and a sheet of tin foil and make incredible Q. Even at 2am there's always a pit master seemingly on call somewhere!

              Comment

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