Can we talk BBQ grills?



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Friend brought a vertical pellet smoker and his meats look perfect.

Time to step up my game! Looking at pellet grills or nice smoker. Would like one that controls temps and does long hour smoking of meats. Been eyeing the pit boss models but I have to believe there are many competitors out there.

Be nice for a quick hit meal as well. Only 2 of us but I'm ready to move on from the elementary charcoal Weber.

Easy assembly or pre assembled would be nice as well.

What are you guys cooking on?
 

WaterDawg

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I tried my new Thermoworks Smoke thermometer/monitor for the first time last Sunday. It works great giving me meat and interior ambient temperature. But....the separate "remote" device has an alarm, I can't hear. I set the alarms, and it vibrates and makes a noise. Kept waking up my wife an daughter early in the morning and annoyed them all day long. So I guess I will use it in "alarm off" mode next time. Still think it is a great addition, especially on a long smoke.

I have a Thermoworks Smole as well. It’s a great tool for sure for temperature monitoring. My BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 however is a PID temperature controller that runs a a blower fan. You set a cooking temperature and the controller will switch the fan on and off to stoke your fire and maintain your set cooking temperature. No more fiddling with vents to adjust for temperature swings.

I had an electric and propane smoker before. While easy to maintain temperatures, I much prefer the food that comes out of the WSM. The temperature controller makes it an absolute breeze to operate.
 
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I've had gas grills, smokers, electric smokers and charcoal grills but the one I've owned (still own) that I like the most and get the best food out of is my Vision Kamado (brand sold at Home Depot/Costco). Once you get the hang of it you can regulate the temperature pretty easily and it burns slow when you smoke, so you don't have to keep reloading. I've done 15 hour cooks on it without having to add wood or charcoal.

I'll admit, the one I don't have any experience with is the pellet grill. They seem easier to deal with but I'd call the Kamado more versital as I've also got it to 700-800 degrees to sear and have cooked pizza on it too.
 
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I've had gas grills, smokers, electric smokers and charcoal grills but the one I've owned (still own) that I like the most and get the best food out of is my Vision Kamado (brand sold at Home Depot/Costco). Once you get the hang of it you can regulate the temperature pretty easily and it burns slow when you smoke, so you don't have to keep reloading. I've done 15 hour cooks on it without having to add wood or charcoal.

I'll admit, the one I don't have any experience with is the pellet grill. They seem easier to deal with but I'd call the Kamado more versital as I've also got it to 700-800 degrees to sear and have cooked pizza on it too.
Should throw in I also have a rotisserie for the Kamado which works really well, you just need to put a pan in to catch the drippings.
 
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Yeah, we've covered this but what the hell. Tom says it helps ad revenue.

  • Electric (Masterbuilt). Easy. Idiot proof. Requires frequent wood chip additions. Not going to produce the very best results with big cuts of meat like Brisket. Price: $
  • Vertical charcoal. Weber Smokey Mountain, Ugly Drum style. Somewhat easy, requires some prep work with charcoal and early fiddling to lock in temp. Holds temp well after that. Great capacity, nice flavor from Ugly drum as drippings land on the charcoal. Price $$
  • Pellet. Traeger brand. Almost as easy as electric. Take up a lot of space. Some aren't impressed with the smoke flavor. Big capacity. Price $$$
  • Kamado. Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe etc. More difficult to regulate temp when smoking. Works great as a grill or pizza over. Lower capacity. Kind of "cool". Great in the cold. Price: $$$+
  • Offset smokers. This is for the pros. Not recommended for you at this point.
I have a Masterbuilt, and it's now in the shed while I use my Ugly Drum smoker. Mine is homemade from a kit, but you can just buy really nice ones. Those will be more than the Weber Smokey Mountain.

Some are dedicated smokers, some can be grills. Not sure what you need. To compare options Check here. BBQ Smoker Grills | Meat Smokers : BBQGuys

A couple of comments/corrections here. First, not all electrics require constant wood additions. I started with a cookshack smokette, and 1 hunk of wood would last me for an entire 12-15 hour smoke. Electrics used to great for someone just getting started, but I feel like the pellet smokers have rendered them obsolete.

The pellet smokers are really compelling as they match electric when it comes to ease of use and give you more flavor. The inability to get high temps is an issue if you're looking to use it as a grill. The best steakhouses use crazy high temps for a reason.

The temperature regulation problem is way overblown on the kamodo style smokers. To me, the flavor can't be matched in any other consumer smoker, but setup takes a long time if you're planning to use it as a grill.
 
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There is nothing that compares to a Kamado Joe, it’s the best
I'm going with the Vision Kamado Pro (red, to match our deck). Will probably load up on accessories with purchase.

I figure its charcoal, which is all I know how to grill.

Was considering the name brand but with a lot of research and the Yard, have concluded this grill is fine for a non Grill Master like myself.
 
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Yeah, we've covered this but what the hell. Tom says it helps ad revenue.

  • Electric (Masterbuilt). Easy. Idiot proof. Requires frequent wood chip additions. Not going to produce the very best results with big cuts of meat like Brisket. Price: $
  • Vertical charcoal. Weber Smokey Mountain, Ugly Drum style. Somewhat easy, requires some prep work with charcoal and early fiddling to lock in temp. Holds temp well after that. Great capacity, nice flavor from Ugly drum as drippings land on the charcoal. Price $$
  • Pellet. Traeger brand. Almost as easy as electric. Take up a lot of space. Some aren't impressed with the smoke flavor. Big capacity. Price $$$
  • Kamado. Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe etc. More difficult to regulate temp when smoking. Works great as a grill or pizza over. Lower capacity. Kind of "cool". Great in the cold. Price: $$$+
  • Offset smokers. This is for the pros. Not recommended for you at this point.
I have a Masterbuilt, and it's now in the shed while I use my Ugly Drum smoker. Mine is homemade from a kit, but you can just buy really nice ones. Those will be more than the Weber Smokey Mountain.

Some are dedicated smokers, some can be grills. Not sure what you need. To compare options Check here. BBQ Smoker Grills | Meat Smokers : BBQGuys
I have a Traeger Ironwood 885. I have smoked many a pork shoulder on it. Outstanding smoke flavor.
 
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I'm sure I have some posts in those. I have the mid grade Traeger and it's great. Here are few things to keep in mind with a pellet smoker:
  • Everything takes longer so plan in advance
  • You are generally cooking at a lower temperature which is a good thing usually (more flavor)
  • Don't forget to figure in startup/warmup time - about 20 minutes
  • You need to be close to an outlet as they use electricity for the auger, blowers and ignition
  • Look for a unit with a super smoke option - this will fix most of the 'not enough smoke flavor from pellet smokers' issue noted above
  • Look for a unit that has wifi built in so you can check or change temperature from your phone
  • There are lots of creative options that are opened up with a pellet smoker. Here are some things I've done (easy to find recipes online):
    • Smoked deviled eggs - these will blow your mind if you like deviled eggs
    • Smoked meat loaf - cutting into the meatloaf and seeing a smoke ring was cool
    • Smoked pot roast - hands down the best and most tender pot roast I've ever had
  • Make sure you get disposable drip pans or the mess will be a huge turnoff
  • I still have a cheapy dual gas and charcoal grill for things like hotdog or hamburgers
  • Don't rely on the temp probe that comes with the smoker - get good leave in and instaread thermometers to nail correct smoking temps
  • Even though they are easy and foolproof, there's still a learning curve. Start with something easy like a smoked ribeye before moving up to briskets and pork butts. Ribs are a good intermediate project.
  • Costco has good deals on Traeger pellets
  • Setting up the Traeger was pretty simple. Took me and my wife about 30 minutes with simple tools
I agree Traeger grills are great. You need a shop-vac to clean it. Make sure there is water in it or you will be covered in dust.
 
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For pellets, I ended up with a mid-range Camp Chef model for $300 on sale a little over a year back. Pretty good and dead simple compared to other smoking, but did catch on fire the last time I used it and I haven't cleaned it out yet for the season.
 

Husky25

Dink & Dunk beat the Greatest Show on Turf.
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My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker shorted out on Thanksgiving Morning. I had planned on smoking a Whole roaster chicken and Turkey breast with a bacon lattice. Like an idiot, I started warming up the smoker just before the rain band came through.

I now have a propane smoker. It's not as set it and forget it as the electric, but with a couple modifications (low pressure needle valve in the gas line, gasket around the door, and cast iron wood pan), it's less hassle than a stick burner and better product than the electric.

Alas, with the kids' sports, I won't be smoking until mid June.
 
Last edited:
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For pellets, I ended up with a mid-range Camp Chef model for $300 on sale a little over a year back. Pretty good and dead simple compared to other smoking, but did catch on fire the last time I used it and I haven't cleaned it out yet for the season.
You know that you're not supposed to use lighter fluid on those pellet grills 🤣
 

87Xfer

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I'm sure I have some posts in those. I have the mid grade Traeger and it's great. Here are few things to keep in mind with a pellet smoker:
  • Everything takes longer so plan in advance
  • You are generally cooking at a lower temperature which is a good thing usually (more flavor)
  • Don't forget to figure in startup/warmup time - about 20 minutes
  • You need to be close to an outlet as they use electricity for the auger, blowers and ignition
  • Look for a unit with a super smoke option - this will fix most of the 'not enough smoke flavor from pellet smokers' issue noted above
  • Look for a unit that has wifi built in so you can check or change temperature from your phone
  • There are lots of creative options that are opened up with a pellet smoker. Here are some things I've done (easy to find recipes online):
    • Smoked deviled eggs - these will blow your mind if you like deviled eggs
    • Smoked meat loaf - cutting into the meatloaf and seeing a smoke ring was cool
    • Smoked pot roast - hands down the best and most tender pot roast I've ever had
  • Make sure you get disposable drip pans or the mess will be a huge turnoff
  • I still have a cheapy dual gas and charcoal grill for things like hotdog or hamburgers
  • Don't rely on the temp probe that comes with the smoker - get good leave in and instaread thermometers to nail correct smoking temps
  • Even though they are easy and foolproof, there's still a learning curve. Start with something easy like a smoked ribeye before moving up to briskets and pork butts. Ribs are a good intermediate project.
  • Costco has good deals on Traeger pellets
  • Setting up the Traeger was pretty simple. Took me and my wife about 30 minutes with simple tools
Can you point me to more info on how you did the deviled eggs and pot roast?
 

87Xfer

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For pellets, I ended up with a mid-range Camp Chef model for $300 on sale a little over a year back. Pretty good and dead simple compared to other smoking, but did catch on fire the last time I used it and I haven't cleaned it out yet for the season.
Yep, I did lots of research on pellet smokers and ended up with a Camp Chef also. Was a good choice imho. Is yours compatible with their "sear box" add on? It's a great addition - it gets hotter than my Weger Genesis, so it renders the Weber virtually useless unless I need a LOT of grilling space.
 

jleves

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Can you point me to more info on how you did the deviled eggs and pot roast?
Smoked Deviled Eggs: https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/smoked-deviled-eggs
Recipe forgets to mention to slice the cooked eggs in half and place on grill yolk side up​
Smoked Pot Roast: https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/chuck-pot-roast
There's no reason to waste pellets once the roast is covered in a dutch oven. Just use your regular oven at 275 for 4.5 hours.​
Get frozen baby onions - trying to peel two cups of pearl onions is beyond tedious.​
Doing the pot roast again tomorrow.​
Let me know how they turn out.
 

87Xfer

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Smoked Deviled Eggs: https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/smoked-deviled-eggs
Recipe forgets to mention to slice the cooked eggs in half and place on grill yolk side up​
Smoked Pot Roast: https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/chuck-pot-roast
There's no reason to waste pellets once the roast is covered in a dutch oven. Just use your regular oven at 275 for 4.5 hours.​
Get frozen baby onions - trying to peel two cups of pearl onions is beyond tedious.​
Doing the pot roast again tomorrow.​
Let me know how they turn out.
awesome, will try both!
 
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I'm going with the Vision Kamado Pro (red, to match our deck). Will probably load up on accessories with purchase.

I figure its charcoal, which is all I know how to grill.

Was considering the name brand but with a lot of research and the Yard, have concluded this grill is fine for a non Grill Master like myself.
This is exactly what I have. The lava stone is the first accessory I'd get if I were you, its easy to use as a deflector so you can smoke. Also worth noting is that the JoeTisserie rotisserie fits it perfectly.
 
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Yep, I did lots of research on pellet smokers and ended up with a Camp Chef also. Was a good choice imho. Is yours compatible with their "sear box" add on? It's a great addition - it gets hotter than my Weger Genesis, so it renders the Weber virtually useless unless I need a LOT of grilling space.
Yeah it is and I almost sprung for it but didn't. I do most of my searing in cast iron on the stovetop currently (and some grilling on a weber also). Glad to hear it's done well for you, you're going to tempt me.
 

August_West

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I tried my new Thermoworks Smoke thermometer/monitor for the first time last Sunday. It works great giving me meat and interior ambient temperature. But....the separate "remote" device has an alarm, I can't hear. I set the alarms, and it vibrates and makes a noise. Kept waking up my wife an daughter early in the morning and annoyed them all day long. So I guess I will use it in "alarm off" mode next time. Still think it is a great addition, especially on a long smoke.
I have the smoke x2 It is to smoking meats to what the thermapen mk4 is to steaks and chicken. If you don’t have one you’re not serious about doing things right.
 

Husky25

Dink & Dunk beat the Greatest Show on Turf.
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I have the smoke x2 It is to smoking meats to what the thermapen mk4 is to steaks and chicken. If you don’t have one you’re not serious about doing things right.
Anything more advanced than an electric unit requires a good leave-in probe thermometer, but I went with the an Inkbird-IBT. It has 4 probes, with one specifically for the ambient environment.

What does the Smoke 2x that it is worth $50 more than an Inkbird?
 

August_West

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Anything more advanced than an electric unit requires a good leave-in probe thermometer, but I went with the an Inkbird-IBT. It has 4 probes, with one specifically for the ambient environment.

What does the Smoke 2x that it is worth $50 more than an Inkbird?
Inkbird is fine.you are ahead of game. Thermoworks is just simply more accurate, faster. I evaluated both.
 
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Inkbird is fine.you are ahead of game. Thermoworks is just simply more accurate, faster. I evaluated both.
It has never been clear to me why I need a faster thermometer. Maybe if I were a caterer testing 200 filets for a wedding? I can't think of a reason for a home cook.
 

August_West

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It has never been clear to me why I need a faster thermometer. Maybe if I were a caterer testing 200 filets for a wedding? I can't think of a reason for a home cook.
Yeah you can. Think about it. Here let me give you an example . My brother has been enamored with the smoked stuff I do when he comes over for last 20 years. He was over a few weeks ago and had brisket on my traeger. Traeger isn’t my favorite but it’s pretty damn good for a pellet low maintenance deal, I had to adjust some setting on mine, more on that later. I also own an egg and 2 WSM’s. Anyway my brother bought a fairly nice pit boss pellet smoker, and for his first cook tried to cook a 100 dollar packer brisket on it, because that’s what he had at my house and wanted to do himself .His pellet smoker has its own probes and its own temp control. He asked me to come over and help him with next cook. I brought my X2. Because the only way you screw up is wrong temps. N otice the pit boss temp setting vs. the pit boss digital read, vs my thermoworks X2 surface probe ( top reading) , and by the way? Traeger owners take notice too. It’s not as pronounced as pit boss but it’s too wide a variance without tweaking. His smoker is set to 200 degrees right there!
 

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