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Sous Vide Q - What's the bid deal?

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  • Neil Waibel
    Club Member
    • Feb 2018
    • 3

    Sous Vide Q - What's the bid deal?

    So I recently bought a sous vide and for my initial cook I found a steal of a deal on 1" thick bone-in New York steaks. For comparison purposes, I also cooked one on my pellet smoker (RecTec 680) using reverse sear. Both were dry brined about 6 hours before the cook, but I didn't use any other spices. The sous-vide steak was "bathed" at 130 for an hour. Its counterpart was smoked at 225 for about 45 minutes. Both were seared on a Weber Genesis II with the flat side of the grill grates. Long story short, the smoked then reverse seared steak, with it's awesome smoky flavor blew the sous-vide steak out of the water. I can't see this being a close race, unless I totally blow the timing on the smoke and overcooked the meat. Granted, the sous-vide wasn't bad, and if I was comparing it to a just grilled (not smoked) version, it might come out on top, but I'm having trouble guessing what scenarios the sous-vide will outduel a smoker/reverse sear. Does it need a thicker or tougher cut? Or do I need to interject a smoking phase either before or after the sous-vide phase?

    Edit: While the reverse sear was the better tasting steak for the main meal, the sous vide steak has still been excellent for leftovers. The perfect done-ness across the section has kept the meat extremely tender, where as sometimes cold leftovers firm up a bit. I have really enjoyed this steak in salads or as a cold-cut with cheese/crackers

    Note: Prior to the cook, I had checked out the sous-vide-Q links and was surprised to learn the recommended sequence was basically 1) sous-vide, 2) ice bath 3) delay up to 2 days if needed, 4) smoke 5) reverse sear. I didn't think this would be a fair method for my comparison purposes, since it takes so much more time, which is why I went with the above comparison instead. While this sequence is supposed to yield the best result, I thought the sous-vide was supposed to save me time and help ensure a perfectly cooked meal. If I'm still doing the smoke/reverse sear sequence anyway, what does the sous-vide bring to the table?

    Any & all thoughts appreciated. Thanks!
  • THE Humble Texan
    Club Member
    • Oct 2017
    • 171

    #2
    Would it be fair to say MOST people spice up their stake one way or the other. Some with spices before, some during, some after and some spice one way or the other at all three stages. Comparing a smoked stake to a "bland??" cooked stake is not a fair comparison IMO. (Smoke being the spice this time.)


    ok ok In an engineers world I am always writing STAKE during work. When it comes to lunch I try to relax but sometimes it all doesn't turn off.
    Last edited by THE Humble Texan; April 15, 2020, 12:43 PM.

    Comment

    • pkadare
      Club Member
      • Jun 2019
      • 895
      • Bobcaygeon, Ontario
      • My gear:
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      #3
      That's not really a fair comparison as you're comparing a steak done on a smoker with one that has zero chance of getting any smoke flavour added, unless you add liquid smoke to the sous vide bag. There are lots of benefits to SV though. Imagine if for some reason after you'd put the steaks on the smoker and they were almost done, something came up that would cause you to delay serving them for a couple of hours. With SV, zero problem, just leave them in the SV until you're ready to serve. A really long SV is great at turning a basically crappy cut of meat into something that can approach a standing rib roast for tenderness and flavour.

      Comment


      • klflowers
        klflowers commented
        Editing a comment
        And asparagus. I made some killer asparagus a couple of weeks ago with it.

      • BourBonQ
        BourBonQ commented
        Editing a comment
        pkadare What's your SV method-time-temp for your veggies?

      • pkadare
        pkadare commented
        Editing a comment
        BourBonQ - I just google when I'm going to do something in the SV.
    • ComfortablyNumb
      Club Member
      • May 2017
      • 3193
      • Northeast Washington
      • KBQ C-60
        PK360
        Thermoworks Smoke
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      #4
      There are ways sous vide tops the smoker or a grill. I can take a frozen steak out in the afternoon and with the sous vide be eating it for dinner that evening. You can put a steak in the sous vide before you go to work and be eating it ten minutes after you get home. You can put frozen leftover pulled pork in the sous vide before work and be eating it at perfect temp without being dried out when you get home. But yeah, put an unseasoned steak on a smoker and one in a sous vide the smoker is going to give more flavour.

      Comment

      • Murdy
        Club Member
        • May 2018
        • 460
        • North-Central Illinois

        #5
        I think the time saving they are talking about is on the final cook, not the entire process, it's a way you can prep the meat in advance so you can do it quickly when it's time to eat.

        Comment

        • Donw
          Club Member
          • Jul 2017
          • 2979

          #6
          I love steaks done reverse seared as well as front seared. Sous vide steaks can also be killer. Several ideas to consider for sous vide. First, I would not sous vide to just a few degrees below the finished temp. Allow a difference that will allow the finishing step enough time for the Maillard reaction and the flavors to develop. In the alternative, chill the meat so that more time is spent in the finishing for development. I would also not forget about carryover cooking. It will continue cooking even after it leaves the grill so that perfect medium rare could become a medium or more if not accounted for.

          Comment


          • pkadare
            pkadare commented
            Editing a comment
            There is a possible problem with running your SV for an extended period below 130 degrees. A lot of folks seem to feel that this can allow bacteria to breed. I personally SV my steaks at 125 degrees and have never had a problem. It is the old, fat is bad, no wait, fat is good, no wait, it is bad again, now it is good again argument.

          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            The USDA and folks like Doug Baldwin never really tested <129 pasteurization. The number got moved to 127. And I guess ChefSteps even has some at 125. I wouldn’t do anything long at that temp because that is a temp that labs use for growing nasty things. I also wouldn’t go that low because I know how to shock and achieve the same result without undercooking my target final temp.

            Let’s say your unit’s calibration drifts by a couple degrees. 125 is now 123. Or 120. That’s a bit scary me thinks.

          • Donw
            Donw commented
            Editing a comment
            All correct. I personally SV steak at 130 and then ice bath until well chilled. Then hit with a good sear and pull at 125. Comes out how I like them every time after carryover does its magic. The ice chill is really the key IMHO. Never had a steak that needed a long SV.
        • Troutman
          Club Member
          • Aug 2017
          • 7198

          • OUTDOOR COOKERS

            BBQ ACCESSORIES

            WOOD & PELLET PREFERENCES

            SOUS VIDE

            INDOOR COOKWARE


          #7
          Sous vide is not a tool that replaces conventional cooking. Indeed there are things that sous vide can do that just doesn't match up with a good, well done piece of comparable meat on a grill or smoker. It's just another tool. Others have pointed out the convenience factor as well as the precise cooking temperature and perfect doneness.

          One of the biggest advantages to sous vide not mentioned is how it promotes tenderness. How else can you cook a brisket to medium rare, steak like finish to perfectly tender without a long bath in between smokings?

          Click image for larger version

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          Or take a relatively tough cut like a chuck roast and turn it into a mouthwatering delight without having to smoke it to over 200* ?

          Click image for larger version

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          Or a London Broil that cuts like butter?

          Click image for larger version

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          Stick around and you will see hybrids of grilling, smoking and sous vide developed by several of our members. Again its a tool to be used in conjunction with traditional barbecuing methods that makes it a clear winner in your cooking toolbelt !!

          And hey, welcome to the Pit !! Hope you hang around

          Comment


          • pkadare
            pkadare commented
            Editing a comment
            "One of the biggest advantages to sous vide not mentioned is how it promotes tenderness." It was, but I'll get over the slight, I guess. :-)

          • treesmacker
            treesmacker commented
            Editing a comment
            +1 for London Broil - I could never ever make one tender enough before; this was frustrating because the cut of meat in the raw looks so nice and lean, and reasonably priced. With sous vide, I finally made a deliciously tender one.
            I'm not yet convinced sous vide is best for a nice naturally marbled rib eye, New york, or similar steak. I think sous vide really shines for chicken (especially breast), lean pork, and tough cuts of beef that you otherwise would slow cook or braise. BTW - NICE pics!

          • Cheef
            Cheef commented
            Editing a comment
            The brisket caught my interest for sure. Any pointers or direction? I just purchased two primes.
        • klflowers
          Club Member
          • Sep 2015
          • 3126
          • Tennessee

          #8
          I don't think the sous vide is a time saving device. It is just another cooking tool. I prefer steaks made using the cold grate technique (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U722RZahzzU) when I can, but when I can't - if it is raining, for instance - a steak SV'd at 131 for a couple of hours then seared in cast iron is a close second. And I usually get a thicker steak - say 1 1/2".

          If you really want to get the best out of the SV, try some QVQ short ribs - smoke for a couple of hours, into the SV for a couple of days, ice bath then back on the smoker to bring up to temp. Troutman got me into doing that. It takes some planning, but the results - oh my.

          And welcome to the pit from TN!!!

          Comment

          • jfmorris
            Club Member
            • Nov 2017
            • 2948
            • Huntsville, Alabama
            • Jim Morris

              Cookers
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              • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

            #9
            I've had my Anova for coming up on 2 years, and it was probably last used in January, to prepare some steaks that I finished in a cast iron skillet on a cold rainy day. Otherwise, I just prefer my steaks done with a reverse sear method on the grill.

            Now, where I used it and it came out a winner was when we wanted to feed 8-10 folks steaks for lunch after church on Sunday. I put all the steaks in the SV at 130, went to church, came back, pulled them out, and let them cool down while the gas grill heated up, and as soon as it did, I seared all of them. It was a huge time saver that day. Sure, I probably would have enjoyed the steaks with a reverse sear on the kettle, with more charcoal and smoke flavor. But, using the SV let us eat about 15-20 minutes after getting home, versus an hour or more.

            Comment


            • surfdog
              surfdog commented
              Editing a comment
              And THAT is why while I used one in a commercial kitchen I had no real desire to own one...
              Then I too picked up an Anova (WiFi) and gave it a shot. SUPER for when guests arrive but nobody is quite ready to eat. Not a problem, toss the bags into the "hot tub" and when everyone is ready...pull 'em and blast them with a torch. Dinner in "minutes."
          • dubob
            Club Member
            • Mar 2019
            • 128
            • Mormon Mecca
            • Bob Hicks, from Mormon Mecca
              Camp Chef Woodwind SG w/Sear Box
              I’m 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
              “Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.”
              “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

            #10
            Too new with SV to comment on veggies. But I CAN comment on SV for tougher cuts of meat like pork steak or london broil/flank steak. Leave any tougher cut of meat in a SV cooker for 24 to 48 hours and it actually WILL cut like butter and melt in your mouth. I like that. Haven't tried the smoke/sv/smoke process yet, but it sounds like something to put on my list of things to try.

            Comment

            • Potkettleblack
              Club Member
              • Jun 2016
              • 1960
              • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
              • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330 / OK Joe Bronco Drum
                Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
                For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
                Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi (RIP Nomiku)
                Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something) - it changes

              #11
              Really... do we have to have this conversation again?

              1- Sous vide is not time efficient. Nearly everything will take longer to cook Sous Vide than in whatever the traditional manner is.
              2- Sous vide does not improve flavor. It does not infuse flavor either, except in some very limited circumstances.
              3- Sous vide is rarely the final step. It is sometimes the first step, sometimes the middle step in a multi-step process, but rarely the final step in a multi-step process. Very few things are eaten directly out of the SV bag.
              4- Shocking in ice water is important. https://sousvideresources.com/2016/0...tment-is-safe/
              5- Temp is doneness. Time is tenderness.
              6- Put down the stopwatch and pinch your bags.
              7- Use your purge. https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...echnique-purge It's Gold, Jerry... Gold!

              Sous vide allows a restaurant style of time management for the home cook. Move more of the cook to prep and less to service. Instead of all the time spent on the day of the cook doing a reverse sear, you can reduce that to just sear at time of service. This matters more for things with long sous vide times, like flank and skirt steak, chuck, short ribs and brisket, and so on.

              sous vide allows for pasteurization of things that you might not regularly eat off the grill, like rare ground beef burgers, or even raw eggs.

              Sous vide's advantage with shocking is that edge to edge perfection, with a hard sear. No grey band of over cookedness.

              OP did not Sous Vide Q. I hope that's clear. QVQ or SVQ would involve a smoke stage for the sous vided product. Close Proximity Smoking is a perfectly adequate smoke stage for sous vide.
              https://www.chefsteps.com/activities...athead-goldwyn

              I did some pork chops last night, 2" thick. Sous vided with a seasoned salt to 135, shocked, and refridgerated. The only reason for the fridge was time shifting. I cooked em on Sunday, but doing a full smoke on a weeknight would be impractical. They were rubbed with Gates BBQ Spicy, already salted, and put on the indirect side of the grill while I got the grill grates up to searing temp. Put a handful of pellets in the tracks of the Grill Grates, laid on a nice crosshatch at a couple minutes a side, and I had some epic grilled, lightly smoked, Old Spot T-Bone pork chops ready on a Tuesday night in under half an hour. Under 20 minutes.

              There are a thousand or more uses for SV. It's a different way to cook. It has its advantages and disadvantages. The comparisons seeking a "best" are really attempts to find personal optimums. That's fine. But as I'm fond of noting to a particular person who is liable to chime in on this thread, your personal preference is not universal, and your circumstances are not either.

              #MicDrop.

              Comment


              • pkadare
                pkadare commented
                Editing a comment
                Smoking77 no, there is no need to let it warm up again after shocking, in fact, keeping it cool allows you more time to get a good sear without continuing to cook the interior more.

              • Smoking77
                Smoking77 commented
                Editing a comment
                Great to know pkadare !

              • Potkettleblack
                Potkettleblack commented
                Editing a comment
                As pkadare noted... if I'm going from bath to grill with no storage, it's a short shock to cool the surface, then straight on the Warp 10 grill.

                If coming from storage, like the fridge, I so some kind of warming before sear, like a short reverse sear process... last night's pork as an example... fire up the gasser to warp 10 on the left burners, put the chops on the right side to warm up while the sear station gets to temp... Then apply the grill marks.
            • JimLinebarger
              Club Member
              • Jun 2017
              • 783
              • Spokane Valley, Wa.
              • Grills/Smokers
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                About me
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                Born at a very young age at Egland AFB, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

                USAF vet, ECM (F4 &amp; B52)/B52 Crew Chief, Computer Systems NCO, disabled
                Former Computer Tech/Admin
                Campus Manager/Lead Tech/Tech (IT) for The Kemtah Group contracted to Intel, Rio Rancho, NM.
                Short Term Missionary to the Marshall Islands with MAPS of DFM of AOG

              #12
              For some reason it seems like Sous Vide is the cilantro of the culinary tech. Either you love it our you hate it. With 5+ cooking gadgets, I don't use it but a few times a month. Doing a pork tenderloin in it tomorrow, my one time this week.

              Comment


              • ScottyC13
                ScottyC13 commented
                Editing a comment
                FWIW, I don't like cilantro, but I think SV could be worth a try when you can't be home during the day and want to prep something nice to try on the grill later.

                It is just another technique and we need to learn how to use it.
            • fzxdoc
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 5028
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              #13
              I haven't entered the debate before. For me, as the sole cook in our household, the fact that with SV the meat is no longer the boss of me is a huge advantage for delivering restaurant quality seared steaks, pork chops, etc. to my family.

              I think where the OP Neil Waibel and I may differ in our perspectives (both of which are valid, BTW) is that I really don't want a lot of smoke on my steaks. I want to taste the beef. If I want smoke, I'll do a brisket or a chuckie. It's a matter of personal preference.

              And SV fresh corn off the cob? Pure heaven. Give it a try with your Anova. You may like it.

              Kathryn

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                I wonder if I am #11?

              • Old Glory
                Old Glory commented
                Editing a comment
                I need to try corn in the SV.

              • parkerj2
                parkerj2 commented
                Editing a comment
                +100. I don't love smoke on a steak. Cooked over crazy hot wood coals is enough for me. But I don't need the smoke on a steak. I want beef, salt, and maybe come compound butter. The rest is overcomplicating a good cut of meat.
            • Smoking77
              Club Member
              • Mar 2017
              • 305
              • Los Angeles

              #14
              10th person

              Comment

              • JimLinebarger
                Club Member
                • Jun 2017
                • 783
                • Spokane Valley, Wa.
                • Grills/Smokers
                  Blaze 32" 4-Burner Gas Grill w/infrared rear rotisserie burner
                  Weber Jumbo Joe
                  Weber 22" Master-Touch Kettle
                  Pit Barrel Cooker
                  Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain Series 36" Vertical Gas Smoker
                  Traeger Timberline 850

                  Thermometers
                  Thermoworks Smoke
                  Maverick ET-733
                  Thermapen Mk4, Red

                  Sous Vide
                  Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, Bluetooth, 800W
                  Anova Precision Cooker Insulated Container
                  Lipavi C15 container and lid
                  Lipavi L15 Rack

                  Accessories
                  SNS
                  BBQ Guru DigiQ (for PBC and 22" Weber Kettle)
                  BBQ Dragon
                  BBQ Dragon Grill Table for 22" Weber Kettle
                  Fire Butler (for Weber 22")
                  Grill Grates for Jumbo Joe and Blaze grill
                  Hovergrill

                  About me
                  Name: Jim
                  Nick name: Bear
                  Location: Spokane Valley, Wa.
                  Born at a very young age at Egland AFB, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

                  USAF vet, ECM (F4 &amp; B52)/B52 Crew Chief, Computer Systems NCO, disabled
                  Former Computer Tech/Admin
                  Campus Manager/Lead Tech/Tech (IT) for The Kemtah Group contracted to Intel, Rio Rancho, NM.
                  Short Term Missionary to the Marshall Islands with MAPS of DFM of AOG

                #15
                Can I be #11? The logic behind saying that because only a few people post that they are in the absolute minority is asinine. There are people that have been on this site since almost day 1 who have never posted on ANY topic. Does that mean that the proportionality few that do post regularly are in the minority on ALL the topics on this site? And are you telling us to never talk about SV? Are you trying to sequester that topic to the ranks of politics and religion? What's next? Instant Pot? I guess some people are still striking rocks together to make fire. (Oh, to be clear, not knocking that, it is a good skill to learn and may come in handy in the near future.)

                My momma taught me: It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

                Ooops. Maybe I shoulda followed that advice.
                Last edited by JimLinebarger; August 21, 2019, 04:33 PM.

                Comment

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                The Undisputed Champion!

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                The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. The MK4 includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight and rotating display. Don't accept cheap substitutes.

                Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review


                Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

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                We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5" x 29.5" footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.

                Click here for our review on this unique smoker


                Delta by Nuke,
                Stylish and Affordable
                Gaucho Grill

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                Delta by Nuke burns wood or charcoal and comes with an adjustable height grill grate. This Argentinian grill will get your flame on!

                Click here to read our complete review


                Genesis II E-335 
                A Versatile Gasser That Does It All!

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                Weber’s Genesis line has long been one of the most popular choices for gas grillers. The new Genesis II E-335 offers solid performance, a sear burner for sizzling heat and an excellent warranty.

                Click here to read our complete review


                GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

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                GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily rmoved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

                Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


                Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

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                The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

                Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

                Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


                Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

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                The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

                Click here for our review of this superb smoker


                Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

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                This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

                Click here to read our detailed review


                Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

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                A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

                Click here to read our complete review


                Track Up To Six Temperatures At Once

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                FireBoard Drive 2 is an updated version of a well-received product that sets the standard for performance and functionality in the wireless food thermometer/thermostatic controller class.

                Click here for our review of this unique device


                The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

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                Napoleon's NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

                Click here for more about what makes this grill special


                Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

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                Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

                Click here to read our detailed review and to order