The Heat Is On! – The 5 Best Pellet Smokers for Your Barbecue Fiesta
Backyard chefs are adding more exciting recipes to their homespun grilled menus. These cooks are taking control and with gusto. The best pellet smokers have a lot to do with the rising fervor because of their “grill now, come back later” feature. The indirect cooking method of these grillers gives the domestic sous-chef the versatility to regulate the heat and serve the tastiest meat.
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How Pellet Smokers Become Rise in Popularity?
The first experiment to use wood pellets as barbecue fuel for the griller was conducted by Joe Traeger in the early 80s. This ingenious testing to bring cooking to the backyard was inspired by Traeger’s own home heating furnace that used pellets. Success came swiftly.
When a thermostat was soon added to the pellet smoker, the grilling landscape has gone berserk. Names like Mountain Grills, Yoder Smokers, Mak Grills, Green Mountain Grills, and Fast Eddy’s Cookshack were the early known brands in pellet smoker history.
How a Pellet Smoker Works
The Top 2 Best Pellet Smokers Reviews
Let’s get down to the meat and see which one is the hottest of them all.
REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill - Featuring Smart Grill Technology
This is the beauty and the beast of all smoke grillers. Already rated 5-stars in terms of appearance because of its striking bright red powder coated hood, this beauty delivers the ultimate cooking experience. Here is why this grill is so good:
- Smart Grill Technology: This machine is the smartest pellet smoker that can maintain consistent cooking temperature (180 to 500 degree F range) from beginning to end cooking.
It is entirely hands-free grilling throughout. Simply set the temperature controller and let it grill, smoke, bake or sear depending on what your menu is. It uses actual wood pellets to fill up its 40-lb hopper capacity.
Thus, you can line up several dishes a day without having to worry about running out of fuel. A built-in fan is added to spread and even out smoke in the cooking area. Full flavor meat is what you get all the time.
- Large Cooking Surface: Home and holiday BBQs will never be the same gain. The cooking chamber can house up to 15 lbs. of meat for serving in gatherings and even small sizes for the usual family eating. In both ways, cooking consistency is achieved.
- Solid Construction & Design: The body is encased in high gauge metal inside and out. Smoke comes out at the top of the rack, and nothing escapes from the seams or joints. The burn pot is positioned at the center for uniform heating and the pellet hopper is situated at the center of the cooker.
Rating / Grade
Camp Chef PG24S Pellet Grill and Smoker Deluxe
Similar to the PG24 model, but this PG24S Deluxe which come with stainless steel lid and handle and large cooking space counted among the best pellet grills and looked stylish too. This machine packed with impressive features comes next to the best.
- The digital temperature settings readout is the best feature for steady smoking and heating. It is all about precise cooking too and not a guessing game for the home chef.
- Pellet Purge System links directly to the Ash Cup Clean Out System so you can quickly clean pellets. So today you might be smoking your poultry with Alder pellets and tomorrow you can quickly change to Hickory at ease.
- This pellet meat smoker has a built-in power outage bypass in case of mid-cooking disturbance. Intended to preserve the unit from wear and tear caused by power outages.
If you are planning to own this pellet smoker or already owned one, do get the patio cover for extra protection for the smoker too. The cover is very durable and weather resistant and custom design to fit many camp chef grill and smokers models.
Rating / Grade
Other Recommended Pellet Smokers
*For more information about NCS (Net Customer Satisfaction) grade, please click here.
* Price range: $ = $100 - $250 / $$ = $251 - $450 / $$$ = $451 - $700 / $$$$ = $701 - $1000 / $$$$$ = $1001 - $1500 / $$$$$$ = Above $1500
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Why Use Pellet Smokers?
Home cooking has never been so cool with these types of pellet-fueled-barbecue smokers. The pellet grill is fast becoming a permanent fixture in the home. But what’s the fuss about choosing the best among the rest?
- Barbecuing is made easy and relaxed.
- No more messy preparations with charcoals and wood chips.
- All-natural compacted sawdust or wood pellets fuels up the firebox.
- Just set the temp for that perfectly cooked meat with a turn of the knob.
- Do other stuff and leave the pellet grill to do its stuff. Basically, you can just set it and forget.
- When done, your favorite food comes out evenly cooked and not over smoked. You might need a meat probes, though.
- It’s a neat and tidy. Less harmful smoke while cooking and less ash after.
- Economical. A 20-pound pack of wood pellets runs for quite a lot of cooks.
- Grill, roast, smoke, and barbecue them all.
That’s what the deep interest is all about in the search for the best pellet grills.
Barometer In Choosing Your Pellet Smoker
Quality and durability
Your first criteria in selecting a pellet smoker from among the many brands in the market are dependability. It means worry-free maintenance and a lifelong cooking buddy.
Value for money
A good pellet smoker do not come cheap. Take it from another angle. If it has passed your criteria in terms of quality and durability, certainly its useful economic life is prolonged. For budgetary consideration and simple smoking, go for the decently priced smoker. But for the ultimate food drooling experience, go for the greatest and take it to the limit.
Dimension and space
These cooking marvels are not small by any measure. While it cooks a lot, it covers a lot of space too. Once you have identified the spot for your smoking station, review each griller’s dimensions – size and weight. While most pellet smokers are mostly mobile so moving them around within a zone is not a hassle, but be mindful that they’re quite heavy. So, find a good location to place the cooker.
A home chef should never run out of pellet supply. Some of the best pellet grills manufacturers produce their own food grade pellet brands that are compatible with the machine for cooking consistency. Since these custom made wood pellets are not likely readily available in your local stores, it is suggested you purchase the complementing pellet brand in bulk and store them in a dry and cool place. You can pre-order your stash online for convenience too.
A Bit About The History
It all started in 1982, Oregon's Traeger Heating created a home heating system that burned a by-product of lumber milling - wood pellets made from compressed sawdust.
But whenever after winter, the demand for wood pellets will significantly drop and Traeger came up with a genius plan and introduce a grill that would burn pellets and keep the business afloat over the summer months. So instead of a electric smoker, now you got a pellet smoker. Genius, right?
Traeger got a success with his plan but the idea was too good to go unnoticed, and soon competitors began popping up. In the early days, most pellet smoker controllers had only a few standard settings—low, medium, high temperatures. So, there is no way to tell what is the actual temperature inside the cooking chamber.
Nowadays, advance pellet smoker market has switched to digital thermostatic controllers and come with many other features too. Also, the temperature controller (PID controller) is so much advance and it can dictate the pellet-feed based on the temperature controller you have set.
Just like with the oven in your kitchen, you set the desired cooking temperature, and the heating system kicks on and off to maintain that set point.
Build in features
Nowadays, new pellet smoker has a thermostat usually mounts on top of the lid so you can get a temperature reading from time to time. However, actual temperatures will fluctuate a bit as the controller switches on and off to hover around your set temp, but other sophisticated model with touch-pad controllers can maintain tighter tolerances than your indoor oven.
More advance pellet smokers even have built with probes that let you monitor the internal temperature of whatever you're smoking. If you have a smoker that does not has any build in probe, then fret not. You can read this post to find some of the best smoker thermometers that you can buy. Some of them even have mobile app support.
Using advanced digital thermometers to help with monitoring the cooking temperature and internal meat temperatures are the secret to barbecue all type of meats to perfection. Unlike the older pellet smoker models where using it to cook can be a guesswork. So, if you are hunting for a pellet smoker, make sure not to skimp on the important features that we just discussed.
The best pellet smokers featured here are indeed for the food lovers in general and barbecue fanatics in particular. If we were to make a choice, the REC TEC wood pellet grill would definitely be our best pick.
Never has home cooking been revolutionized with the coming of these cooking whizzes. Backyard chefs can concoct new and exciting recipes in every grilling fashion. Household members, neighbors, and friends can go on an eating frenzy whether it is a holiday celebration or just simple dining enjoyment. The heat is on!
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