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OT My son (married and a one year old) wants a pellet grill ($700-800 top spend); inputs welcome OT

lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,562
I have done some forum searching and found the below to come recommended here:
https://www.campchef.com/wood-pellet-grills-and-accessories/woodwind-grills/woodwind-wifi-20.html
Several here own Pellet rigs so feel free to offer pro's/con's or general impressions. 
His SWMBO is pushing this and a BGE is not in the cards.  (Not sure the shelf life of this topic given the content...)
Thanks- Cap
Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
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Comments

  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 16,044
    Traeger. Get one at Costco. Perhaps the best deal going right now.

    They have come a long way. Be sure to get a cover if is going to be left out.



    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 21,333
    Based on looks alone I have always liked the yoders. https://www.yodersmokers.com/pellet/
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 21,333
    But I see they are like $2000. Made in the USA though. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 10,962
    edited June 28
    To be honest, Traeger is not the sexiest pellet pooper, but they make a terrific unit for the price.  Costco deal is fantastic.  Should be a number of 4th of July sales right now.

    I have had some fantastic Q off Traegers.  Even when the fella doing the cooking passed out.
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,562
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker - I looked at those, MAK, and Cookshack as well.  As you note, the entering price point was too high.  I read enough here and the reviews of the ones I have listed that I don't think he can go wrong with any but thought I would sample the collective wisdom of the forum one time.

    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 11,127
    @pgprescott sells pellet grills, probably has some insight 
  • ryanttryantt Posts: 2,332
    The Gorilla Grills are well made and have good service.   Additionally the new Rec Tec bullseye looks good.  




    XL BGE, KJ classic, Joe Jr, UDS x2
    Massillon Ohio 
    Check out Chef Norah Grace on Instagram @the_buckeye_bbq
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 7,709
    edited June 28
    A backstory... after retiring from my day job I had a two year stint at a renowned bbq dealer, they hired me mainly for my eggperience. Everyone there swears by Traeger but I resisted until one weekend when they let me take a demo unit home for the weekend. I was sold. 

    I now have two Traegers, a big Pro 34 and a baby Ranger. As Ron and Ozzie said can’t go wrong with Costco. Of course there are nicer brands but Traeger strikes a good balance between performance and price.

    Like other cookers, pellet grills have pros and cons, but you can't beat the convenience. If you're cooking food like ABTs, wings, kebab or rib for a crowd you'll have more time socialising instead of tending the grills. I use my Traegers more than the eggs, but low and slow like pulled pork and brisket are still egg territory for me, I'm sure pellet grills can handle those too but haven't taken the plunge yet.  One thing I can say with certainty is pellet grills are chicken machines, I almost never cook chicken in egg except tandoori or rotisserie chicken. We find chicken from eggs too smoky even without adding wood, especially leftover chicken.

    Early this year I was very enthusiastic with the new Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 and the Weber Smokefire. Both had teething problems:  Masterbuilt charcoal hopper inner wall had durability issue; Smokefire had grease fire risk due to clogged drain. I may take another look next year.

    My post may get this thread buffaloed  =)


    canuckland
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,562
    @Canugghead - appreciate your insights.  What made you quit your Q gig?
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 8,536
    I asked the same question on the BBQ Brethren last month for a friend

    Majority of consensus was Grillia Grills. 
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 8,536
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,562
    @WeberWho - much appreciated. Thanks!
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 14,523
    Frank.....I’ll take one too ifin you buyin. :o
    Johns Creek GA with a Large & a 17" Blackstone........Medium & MiniMax in storage

    Well, I married me a wife, she's been trouble all my life,
    Run me out in the cold rain and snow
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 7,709
    edited June 28
    Cap, gave it up for more Q(uality) time with family!

    Edit: Our son and son in law each bought their first house (this year and last year respectively), neither of them wants a free egg. One bought a Weber gasser; the other got a Weber gasser with the house and I found him a used Traeger.
    canuckland
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,562
    Cap, gave it up for more Q(uality) time with family!

    Edit: Our son and son in law each bought their first house (this year and last year respectively), neither of them wants a free egg. One bought a Weber gasser; the other got a Weber gasser with the house and I found him a used Traeger.
    Thanks-
    I get it as you need to devote serious time to master the nuances ofBGE cooking.
    Fire and forget works well with gassers and pellets.  And it can work well with the BGE but you have to do the prep work which requires vision, not a current day strong suit. Just an opinion...
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • danv23danv23 Posts: 892

    The Dude: This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Luckily I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber.

    Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! *uck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos. 

    Cumming, GA

    Eggs - XL, L, Small

    Gasser - Weber Summit 6 Burner

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 14,616
    call me devious, but since SWMBO is driving the purchase,  I recommend picking up a Traeger from the next roadshow at their local Costco.

    It'll last as long as it does (fair number of electric/electronic, and moving, parts) then he gets to say " I told you so...). And buys whatever he wants. Likely a little further along in life, and the budget may be higher. 

    =)

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 21,333
    caliking said:
    call me devious, but since SWMBO is driving the purchase,  I recommend picking up a Traeger from the next roadshow at their local Costco.

    It'll last as long as it does (fair number of electric/electronic, and moving, parts) then he gets to say " I told you so...). And buys whatever he wants. Likely a little further along in life, and the budget may be higher. 

    =)
    And with the money he saves he can got to TX and take a class with Meat Church at his house. Great experience and very fun. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 7,475
    caliking said:
    call me devious, but since SWMBO is driving the purchase,  I recommend picking up a Traeger from the next roadshow at their local Costco.

    It'll last as long as it does (fair number of electric/electronic, and moving, parts) then he gets to say " I told you so...). And buys whatever he wants. Likely a little further along in life, and the budget may be higher. 

    =)

    And after he has tired of it seven years from now and ready to move on you can take it back to Costco for a full refund.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ― Philip K. Dik

    Camped out in the (757/948/804)



  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,562
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker and @caliking Great suggestions right there.  He is not deep into it yet although he has always enjoyed the groceries I provide, something about  receiving the rewards (lives 15 miles away).  I will serve it up and see where it lands. 
    Worst thing that happens is another "$h!t at and hit experience for me..".   B)
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • JJensenJJensen Posts: 58
    I’d say get a pitboss over a Traeger. Traeger isn’t what it used to be and basically over priced made in china stamped metal. Pit boss is made in China or Canada and cheaper with a better warranty.  

    Cons are having to plug them in and augers jamming from humidity soaked pellets. 

    They are not as set it and forget it as people say. Maybe to a charbroiled side smoker sure but to the egg it’s not even close. Temps fluctuate constantly, you have to be mindful of your pellets and if they aren’t stuck in the hopper and “tunneling”. That’s a disaster waiting to happen there 

    pros are they are easy to operate just need to be babied and cleaned out a lot more often 

    if honestly stay away from one. I’m never going back I know that 
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 8,536
    danv23 said:
    I like the suggestion but unfortunately people are having all kinds of issues with them. Even Baby Back Maniac posted something about how he was disappointed with it being a Weber product. 


    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,562
    Thanks to all who have posted so far.  A wealth of information here. The forum always comes thru.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • CtTOPGUNCtTOPGUN Posts: 584
     I just bought a Cuisinart pellet grill. I chose the Twin Oaks combo with a pellet grill, a gas grill and a gas side burner on one chassis. About the $600 price range. So far I am impressed with the stability of temps on the pellet side. Gas grill is in need of an improvement and I will be adding ceramic bricks or lava rocks soon. The downside is the size of each grill, but this supplements my large BGE and Blackstone 36" and Weber kettle. So space is not really an issue for my application. Build quality is a bit light. Easy to assemble and attractive, but not going to last forever.


       J
    LBGE/Weber Kettle/Blackstone 36" Griddle/Turkey Fryer/Induction Burner/28" Blackstone Griddle/Cuisinart Twin Oaks

     BBQ from the State of Connecticut!

       Jim
  • brimeebrimee Posts: 124
    I have I have a Traeger that I got last fall, think I have used it 5 times. Pellet grills are nothing more than an electric oven that burns wood pellets. The third time I used it it caught fire and nearly ruined the meat. I got the meat off, fired up the egg and finished the cook.

    in my opinion the egg is much easier to use and I have never had it catch fire like the Traeger...
    Brian
    Fairview, Texas
  • cookingdude555cookingdude555 Posts: 2,850
    Weber stumbled out of the gates on this one. They have had improvements and software upgrades that corrected many of the problems. Recent viewing of the Weber smokefire facegroups I belong to show very positive reviews. This has changed dramatically. It’s unfortunate they released a pellet grill in beta, but good they are fixing it. 

    John - SLC, UT

    Several eggs ..

  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 7,709
    @brimee thanks for the PSA, Frank please take note, I recommend visiting FB Traeger Owners Group to learn more if interested.  Yes pellet grills are like outdoor oven in some ways, but swmbo won't let me splash grease and gunk  up the kitchen box  :)
    Yes grease fire is not uncommon, I've read about it in FB. Typically someone would post about a grease fire and filing claims with manufacturer... in some cases Traeger sends him a new replacement part or whole new grill... folks pile on to judge/blame user error... blah blah blah. Not judging @brimee here, just want to share, perhaps you have a legit claim with Traeger?

    AFAIK these are common causes of fire:
    1) accumulated grease in the tray and/or barrel
    2) due to some hiccup the fire in the burn pot goes out but the auger kept feeding and pellets overflow into the barrel until unit shuts itself down with LER code (low temp error code). Now the IMPORTANT part: Don't just restart, here's the PITA part, remove grills, tray and firepot shield, scoop out all pellets from firepot and barrel, reassembly and restart.  If you simply restart without the clean out, the huge pile of pellets that spilled into the barrel earlier catches fire and ka-boom!

    canuckland
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 22,562
    To close the loop, first up many thanks for all the inputs and comments.  This place always comes thru regardless of topic.  
    They landed on the Rec-Tec linked here:
    https://www.rectecgrills.com/RT-340-Wood-Pellet-Grill?quantity=1  
    Two week lead time for shipping.  This will be my last cross-contamination of this forum with pellet material.  
    Be well and stay safe.
    And a shameless plug for the Friday Zoom recognizing it is Independence Day (observed).  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • Langner91Langner91 Posts: 198
    ...I have had some fantastic Q off Traegers.  Even when the fella doing the cooking passed out.
    Legume said:
    @pgprescott sells pellet grills, probably has some insight.
    I am wondering if these two posts are related!

    Agreed.  If I had to do it, there would be a Traeger next to my egg.  And Pete would have helped me load both.
    Clinton, Iowa
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 7,709
    Hey Frank, saw this on FB today, IMO great advice for any brand of pellet grill...

      · Shared with Members of Traeger Grill Owners
    I constantly see posts about fires and LER codes and they usually blame the equipment. I'm not going to comment on Chinese vs. American made Traegers but what I am going to do is give everyone my suggestions on how I've gotten away with only getting one big fire, prior to these procedures, and no LER codes.
    1. You have to check your pellets regularly. You can't just set it and forget it. I check about every 30 minutes and swish my hand through the pellets and top off if needed.
    2. Old pellets suck. No matter what I do, I don't expect high temps out of pellets that have been opened for a while. I'm sure it has to do with the humidity in the pellets. If you need high temps, open a new bag or better yet, cook more on the Traeger to use up bags faster. Win Win.
    3. Do not turn that knob from 225-High until you know your machine can handle it. It's like pouring a bunch of dry leaves on a campfire. I think in the high setting the auger doesn't stop. It's just feeding pellets and it might overwhelm small fire initially but it will get caught up. ALA big fire. Go from 225 to 350 and wait 15 minutes for the fire to get bigger then go to high.
    4. For shut down see #3 but in reverse. High ->350 -> 225/shutdown. Even with the new shutdown function I still do the same. You are doing the opposite, reducing the amount of fuel the fire has. You are doing this for the next time you fire it up. For it to start up properly the fire pot needs to be empty.
    5. I clean up ash when the drip dray gets too bad. See #2. More cooking = m ore often clean up.
    6. Don't sweat temp swings and stop staring at the temp gauge. Have an adult beverage and remind yourself that cooking is more of an art than a science. Stop trying to master the art of temp swings, master the art of good tasting 
    canuckland
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