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And your favorite smoker is...?

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    And your favorite smoker is...?

    Well, the new year is almost upon us and I'm considering buying a new smoker. After researching this subject on this web site, it's clear that there are a ton of choices. I'm leaning toward a wood pellet type but I'd like to get some feedback from the club. So if you have a preference and an opinion ( I don't think there's a shortage of these!), please reply with your thoughts....Many thanks!

    #2
    Yoder 640. If I had it to do over I would have gone with the 1500 maybe. I love it.

    Comment


      #3
      So I have learned a lot here about smokers and I can say without a doubt I want a Lang 48" Deluxe. That or a Yoder Loaded Wichita. Or you know what, just a Rec-Tec and I will be fine. Primo Oval does look pretty cool too though. But then again a Backwoods Chubby would be awesome for the backyard.
      So definitely a MAK 2 Star. And for tailgating a Green Mountain Davy Crockett.
      Hasty Bake would be good too.

      This is why I still have a PBC and not much else, I can't decide. I think for the most part everybody loves what they have, but also want some of what everybody else has. If you could provide the things you like and dislike (manning the smoker, logs, sleep while the pellet is going) etc. we could probably narrow it down. I think each is good for its purpose, you just need to decide what that purpose is. Outside of Max, Marauderer probably has more of these than anyone else I know so he may be of some help. Or maybe not since even he can't decide!

      Comment


      • Ray
        Ray commented
        Editing a comment
        John...you exactly hit the nail on the head! Those that have one of everything (almost) are living' the good life. But to be a little more specific, I can't afford what I'd like to own, namely a Mak 2 Star or a Memphis Pro, but maybe I can work up to a smoker like a Rec Tec or fracmeister's Yoder 640. But preferences matter as do reasons why....so I'm open to listening to what everyone has to say.

      #4
      Ray, it definitely depends on what you're willing to spend. If money is no object, the conventional wisdom seems to be get an FEC-100 or a MAK II Star (I've never cooked on either, but this is a common question and that's where the experts tend to come out).

      I personally have a PG-500. I would feel very comfortable recommending it. It's not without "cons", but the "pros" far outweigh it. Happy to answer any questions you might have.

      FWIW, based on an offhand comment that Meathead and Dr. Blonder made on the smoke seminar, I've been obsessing over gravity feed smokers, like Stumps. I love my pellet pooper but I'd take a hard look at those as well.

      Comment


      • mgaretz
        mgaretz commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes it works as a thermostat, but one with a brain. A simple thermostat turns on when the pit is not hot enough, and off when it reaches the set temperature. Inherently, since the fire doesn't go out when set point is reached, it overshoots. Conversely, since it takes time for the temperature to build back up once it turns on, it continues to drop (undershoot). Add them together and you can get quite a hefty swing in the temp.

        A PID controller learns how the pit is reacting to the ons and offs and anticipates when to start feeding pellets and when to shut off, and it continues to learn/adjust itself, so it takes outside temps into account. Swings are therefore minimized. Fancy ones can even adjust the fan speed or cycle to get even better control.

        Contrast that with controllers like the Ortech and the standard Traeger controller and the ones like it. They run full tilt while the grill is below temp, and idle based on timing when the grill is at or over temp. The idle timing is set for average conditions and it may or may not work for your conditions. You can adjust the timing and try to dial it in better, but they key point is that it's *you* doing the adjusting and you have to keep tweaking it as conditions (mainly ambient temps) change, which they will for a long cook. They advertise them a set and forget it, but that's only true if you don't care about hitting and maintaing a steady temperature.

        For me, there's only one choice, a PID all the way!

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Awesome explanation Mark! So a PID is basically a smart t-stat that can plan ahead. Good to know!

      • Ray
        Ray commented
        Editing a comment
        Great technology and explanation,Mark. After reading more on the GMG web site, it appears that their controllers are microcomputer-based which gives them the ability to sample every tenth of a second and adjust the pellet feeder and air flow to maintain temperature. Pretty nice stuff. Wonder how they compare to other manufacturers?

      #5
      I had been lusting after a Backwoods Chubby, but after hearing all of the positive comments and doing some investigating on my own I am contemplating a Lang. For the same cash as the BW Chubby I'd be looking at the 36" Patio. For a few bucks more the 36" Deluxe. The Lang has more capacity and is certainly more portable than the Chubby. Hmmmmmmm...

      Comment


      • Ray
        Ray commented
        Editing a comment
        It's amazing how the bucks keep going up..LOL!

      #6
      I am like most of these guys... I want at the very least, one of everything LOL... but if you have to get just one, I agree with John, you need to list your likes and dislikes about cooking outside... then you can pick a machine that will fit better.

      Comment


        #7
        Lang Lang Lang Lang Lang Lang Lang Lang

        Comment


        • smarkley
          smarkley commented
          Editing a comment
          I want one, we are all jealous as hell of you, DW! I have seen all the Lang videos at least 3 times LOL

          -- another one I like is the Johnson, it is reverse flow too. They are in Texas... a little closer to me.

          http://www.johnsonsmokers.com/

        • mtford72
          mtford72 commented
          Editing a comment
          Didn't see that coming!!

        • Ray
          Ray commented
          Editing a comment
          DW, I must say that I ditto smarkley's comments! the Lang is one impressive piece of equipment, definitely pro class.

        #8
        Ray, I have two pellet smokers. A Rec Tec and a GMG Davy Crockett wifi. I love them both. Yes there are bigger and better pellet grills out there but, I don't have an unlimited budget. The Rec Tec at $1000 is a heck of a deal. Yes, I have done some mods to mine but I get a good smoke flavor to my cooks and the little Davy Crockett wifi is great for $400 and when we are trailer camping or at home when I have a small amount to smoke. It cooks biscuits, pies and everything. And the wifi is great to see what is going on without having to run out to the grill all the time. The Jim Bowie Stainless Wifi is a great grill and if I didn't have my Rec Tec I would have seriously consider it for my big Pellet smoker. Of course the Mak 2 is absolutely awesome but, I couldn't get past the price tag. Other great pellet grill are the Yoder 640.

        Remember each grill has its pros and cons, hots spots and idiosyncrasies. You have to learn your grill.

        I like the controllers on the GMG grills a lot and they are modestly priced especially for the WiFi units.

        The main thing is for you to make a decision, execute it well, and you will be a happy camper.

        Comment


        • Ray
          Ray commented
          Editing a comment
          Barry, between the Rec Tec and GMG, which has the minimum amount of hot spots? Also, which has the best temp control? By the way, thanks for the good advice.

        #9
        Originally posted by John View Post
        So I have learned a lot here about smokers and I can say without a doubt I want a Lang 48" Deluxe. That or a Yoder Loaded Wichita. Or you know what, just a Rec-Tec and I will be fine. Primo Oval does look pretty cool too though. But then again a Backwoods Chubby would be awesome for the backyard.
        So definitely a MAK 2 Star. And for tailgating a Green Mountain Davy Crockett.
        Hasty Bake would be good too.
        This reply is TEH WIN!

        Comment


        • smarkley
          smarkley commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed, Boss!

        #10
        I confess -- I have many cookers! I use my large BGE the most because it lives right outside the back door. Besides, for what I cook most often, it just works. It's easier than hauling a pellet cooker out of the garage, or firing up one of the big cookers. Cooking for 2 doesn't take massive grill space.

        Of the Chinese made pellet cookers, Green Mountain has 3 models to Rec Tec's one. I have no opinion, I don't have one! I like Grilla a lot, mainly because it arrived fully assembled and ready to use. It's built by some car part guys in Michigan and is very, very well designed. Yoder 640 is top-notch, built like a tank for life-time use. Mine lives here at the pellet plant outside the test kitchen. MAK is the Cadillac of pellet grills, IMO. I really enjoy the versatility of the Backwood Smoker Pellet Chef, which I just got in October. With that said, you can cook superb BBQ on a Weber Smoky Mountain, splurge on a fan controlled temp device and sleep just as soundly as possible with any pellet cooker. And have lots of money for meat to que! All depends on your goals like KC John said above. And your budget.

        Talk about difficulty deciding -- I'm going to have a time next year deciding which cookers to take to competition!

        Comment


        • smarkley
          smarkley commented
          Editing a comment
          the Grilla!!!

        • Ray
          Ray commented
          Editing a comment
          CandySue...I'm afraid to ask you how many grills and smokers you own but I'm going to ask you anyway, 'How many do you own?'...there, I did it. Now, as Barry and others have said, budget is an issue (as well as spousal approval of appearance!). So I'm looking at something in the range of a Rec Tec or maybe a Yoder 640. But if I can find something that performs as well for less (GMG?) then I would be persuaded.

        #11
        Ray commented
        [COLOR=#6A6A6A !important]December 22nd, 2014, 05:12 PM[/COLOR]


        Barry, between the Rec Tec and GMG, which has the minimum amount of hot spots? Also, which has the best temp control? By the way, thanks for the good advice



        They both have hot spots. I don't know of a grill that doesn't. I like the GMG controller better but, Rec Tec has upgraded their controller and I think it is on par with the GMG less wifi. At this point if I had it to do over again I would probably get the GMG wifi Jim Bowie as it is on par with the Rec Tec as far as size. Still the Rec Tec has a lot more stainless steel than the GMG. But, if you are just using it mostly for low and slow it isn't a big issue.

        Comment


        • Ray
          Ray commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Barry. Just checked out the GMG web site. Seems that the GMG (any model) has the capability of wifi, therefore smart phone control. That's pretty impressive. Do you use it? Also, the Davy Crockett model looks to be very compact, portable and easy to store. I can see why you got it.

        #12
        Ray, at the moment I have the world's only pellet fired Jambo pit, a T1000 Woodmaster (trailered double burner pellet cooker), 2004 model FEC100 with Traeger pellet fire system, #24 MAK 2 Star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef (new from Backwoods Smokers, a Stoven pellet fire system that works on 22" Weber kettle or 22" WSM (got both of those), a Traeger 22 (lousy little cooker where you put a pound of pellets in and light with gel starter, no fan force). That's the pellet cooker count. Others I have had are Grilla (wedding present to nephew), Louisiana grill, Nomad pelletmatic. Charcoal grills, Big Green Egg large, a 14" WSM, a small Hasty Bake, Cobb Grill, Hot Box Grill, a double metal walled BGE knockoff. I have one of those cookers where you build the fire outside and hang meat inside, can't remember the name. Others I have had BWS Fatboy, Primo Oval, three other FEC100s (newer than the one I kept), wore out a 10 gal UDS. Probably others I can't remember--it's pretty embarrassing actually. But, I am in the barbeque business and its R&D, right? Oh, electrics! A Bradley, a Cookshack Smokette and a Charbroil electric grill -- don't have them anymore. Had a Weber gasser once upon a time, a Charbroil gasser and a Kingfisher Kookers gas model - no more gas grills for me.

        Comment


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Well Candy, someday things will pick up for you and you can expand your very limited arsenal of cookers. (Hugely saracastic, lol)

          You really should list those in your signature!

        • Ray
          Ray commented
          Editing a comment
          Wow...that's impressive, CandySue! At some point, you'll have to share your decision on what you take on the competition circuit and why you made the choices you did.

        #13
        Current count 16! Need to sell one. Anyone interested in a Woodmaster T1000?

        Comment


          #14
          In the pellet smoker mid range I really like the Yoder 640 and the Mak 1 Star.

          Mak's have wifi that's been working reliably for years. It sounds like a gimmick but I love wifi on my Mak 2 Star.

          Comment


            #15
            I think everyone's favorite smoker is the one they have, or the really expensive one they wish they had!

            I really enjoy cooking with logs, and the ability to use my offset as a charcoal grill if the need arises. I also wish I had a Primo Oval XL.

            Comment


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              @Ray, yeah I guess so. I have nothing against thermostats and knobs (even though I joke sometimes). I just really enjoy the satisfaction that building and tending a fire gives me when great food comes out the other side. I think it's as real as it gets, next to digging a pit.

            • Ray
              Ray commented
              Editing a comment
              That's phenomenal perspective; what you described is the best of the science and art of outdoor cooking. If I had more confidence that I knew what I was doing, I'd try it! For now, I'm leaning on "flying by instruments and meters", maybe with the assistance of wifi. I'm getting spoiled as I age! lol.

            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Nothing wrong with that! There are different paths to the same end goal. I just like the dirt road now & again

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