Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Traegers, Green Mountain, Smokin Tex and all other Pellet and Wood Chip Smokers

Moderator: TBBQF Deputies

jbollinger
Pilgrim
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:53 am
Contact:

Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby jbollinger » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:54 am

I have admired these type of grills for years and it killing me that I don't have one yet. I simply cannot afford one of the brand names units. As of late I've noticed these entry level units i.e. Camp Chef, Pit Boss, etc.... I am torn on which one to possibly look at. I like the fact that the Pit Boss is a part of the Louisiana Grills family which tells me they should be pretty good, but the Camp Chef looks the part as well. Can anyone please give me a suggestion on quality of both brands, and which one to possibly get me started in this adventure. Mind you, I understand I will get what I pay for, so I know I cannot expect huge things from these entry level priced grill. Any and all suggestions are desired.
Thanks TBFers!
JB
User avatar
TX1911
Deputy
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Richmond, Texas
Contact:

Re: Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby TX1911 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:54 am

I just ordered a Camp Chef, if that helps.

I went through the same dilemma. For me, the benefits of the Camp Chef put it over the top.

Lots of pelletheads here that will be able to chime in.
Custom 24x48 offset trailer pit
Camp Chef DLX Pellet Grill
Weber 22" One Touch Gold
Huntington Forge 490 Gas Grill
User avatar
Papa Tom
Deputy
Posts: 5975
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:40 am
Location: Oak Point, TX
Contact:

Re: Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby Papa Tom » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:11 pm

I have a Pit Boss 820.
Before buying the Pit Boss (PB) I owned and still own 2 Traeger Texas models and a FE Cookshack PG500 and have had several stick burners ranging from small to big $.
Saying this to lend comfort that I don't believe you will be disappointed with either choice.
I know little of the the Camp Chef.
I bought the PB because I gave one of my model T's to my son and the other I have modified for low temp only (≤ 200F) and the PB is easier to fire up and use than the PG500.
It is made by Dansen a long time pellet device manufacturer, it has a cool down cycle (more important than you think), pretty good digital controller, big wheels on the proper end, second level cooking grate AND I got it cheap $400 on sale @ Cabelas.
The PB gets used more than the PG500 however the PG 500 is more versatile. That is because most often I just do a slab of ribs or 2, pork butt or brisket that the PB does just fine.

My original model T is close to 20 years old, take care of them and I believe either of your choices will last as long so don't worry go for it and enjoy some good food.

If I could keep only one it would be the PG500 it costs a lot more but it is ultimately a better machine.
tarde venientibus ossa....
User avatar
OldUsedParts
Deputy
Posts: 7367
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:09 pm
Location: Montgomery, Texas
Contact:

Re: Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby OldUsedParts » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:14 pm

I am relatively new to Pellet Grilling also and I love it. I bought a Pit Boss 340 and wish I'd bought a 870 but only because of the grill size. Academy had the Pit Boss 870 for sale for $499 last week and if I didn't already have one I'd jump all over that one. NOW let me also say that there are lots of good brands out there so Good Luck in your choice and Welcome to the Pellet Pooper Society. :salut:
OUP

" Country by choice, Texan by the Grace of God "
User avatar
castironchris
Bandolero
Posts: 754
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:19 am
Contact:

Re: Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby castironchris » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:00 pm

Buddy of mine just picked up the Camp Chef at Wally world in Schertz right outside of San Antonio for $250 and loves it. He tried to get it in San Antonio but other Wal-Marts wouldn't honor that price. Not sure why.
Old Smokey 22"
Weber Jumbo Joe
Weber 22" with SlownSear
Pit Barrel Cooker
User avatar
Papa Tom
Deputy
Posts: 5975
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:40 am
Location: Oak Point, TX
Contact:

Re: Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby Papa Tom » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:06 pm

Papa Tom wrote:I have a Pit Boss 820.
Before buying the Pit Boss (PB) I owned and still own 2 Traeger Texas models and a FE Cookshack PG500 and have had several stick burners ranging from small to big $.
Saying this to lend comfort that I don't believe you will be disappointed with either choice.
I know little of the the Camp Chef.
I bought the PB because I gave one of my model T's to my son and the other I have modified for low temp only (≤ 200F) and the PB is easier to fire up and use than the PG500.
It is made by Dansen a long time pellet device manufacturer, it has a cool down cycle (more important than you think), pretty good digital controller, big wheels on the proper end, second level cooking grate AND I got it cheap $400 on sale @ Cabelas.
The PB gets used more than the PG500 however the PG 500 is more versatile. That is because most often I just do a slab of ribs or 2, pork butt or brisket that the PB does just fine.

My original model T is close to 20 years old, take care of them and I believe either of your choices will last as long so don't worry go for it and enjoy some good food.

If I could keep only one it would be the PG500 it costs a lot more but it is ultimately a better machine.


Funny I mentioned one of the reasons I got the PB is the big wheels on the proper end.
Well I Googled Pit Boss 820 and got pictures of the beast with big wheels, small wheels on either end!! :dont:
If you choose this model try to get one that has BIG wheels on the hopper end (that's the heavy end).
tarde venientibus ossa....
User avatar
OldUsedParts
Deputy
Posts: 7367
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:09 pm
Location: Montgomery, Texas
Contact:

Re: Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby OldUsedParts » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:21 am

oops 820 and not 870 :oops: :oops: :oops:

like dis'un
PB820.jpg
PB820.jpg (20.78 KiB) Viewed 882 times

Plus my 340 does not have the smoke stack, only several holes across that hinge area, nor did my 340 have a temp gauge in the lid. I had no problem installing an after market gauge but I do wish, sometimes, that it had a stack so I could get the smoke all the way across the meat before it leaves the cooker.
OUP

" Country by choice, Texan by the Grace of God "
User avatar
OldUsedParts
Deputy
Posts: 7367
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:09 pm
Location: Montgomery, Texas
Contact:

Re: Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby OldUsedParts » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:41 am

I promise I'm a newby Pelletier but there's one more thing I'd like to add - - - - when I put mine together somehow the insulated wire from the hopper to the sender got damaged. More than likely I did it and when I called the Company, they were very very helpful and they sent me a new replacement wire just on my word over the phone.
OUP

" Country by choice, Texan by the Grace of God "
jbollinger
Pilgrim
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Entry Level Pellet Smoker????

Postby jbollinger » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:56 am

Thanks, everyone for the opinions. Very helpful information. I will let you know what I decide in the near future hopefully. I leaning towards the Pit Boss side at this time. Now I need to search for a good deal.
Thanks,
JB

Return to “Pellet Cookers and Smokers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest