New Buyer question (super newb)

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

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astrohip
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New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby astrohip » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:56 am

I want to get a pellet smoker. I have grills, a barrel smoker and an offset smoker, but want to try a pellet smoker. I know nothing, other than what I've read online, and this forum (great source of info!). A couple people I know swear by their pellet smokers, so I want to try one.

I have a generous but not unlimited budget. My real problem is I'm not sure what features I want to make sure I get. Some mention having two temp readouts--target temp and actual temp. Some mention having a meat temp. Cleanability seems to be an issue with some. Reliability with others. I probably won't want to grill on it, I've got a Weber I love, although if y'all insist it's worth it, I'll consider it. :dont:

I've read dozens of posts, and haven't seen a newbie "what to get" thread lately. So here goes... what to get?

Suggestions, feedback, ideas? Thanks!!
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby OldUsedParts » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:32 am

If you'll scroll thru this Pellet Cookers and Smokers Thread, you should find a lot of "hands on comments" about various Pellet Poopers and stuff. Of course there's lots of Cook Threads also but you can even go to the Search Button and type in a particular Brand and it should simplify your search. Good Luck and Welcome to the Forum :tup:
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby TwoGuysBBQ » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:14 am

Welcome to the forum, there’s a lot of good folks on here who can help with anything related to cookers and what to put on em.
I too have been thing of joining the pellet gang and am still looking around. One thing that caught my attention was Smokke Daddy products. They make grills as well as sell their hopper system that can be adapted to your existing smoker. With modifications of course.
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby daBertl » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:33 am

Welcome to the forum!
If you look for a pellet smoker, then my first advice would be this
https://www.grillson.com/pages/modelle? ... gJtaPD_BwE

It is a german brand and u could do nearly everything with these Pellets ...
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby Woody Wood » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:49 am

I got a Traeger Timberline 850 and absolutely love it. The WiFire technology is great, I am able to hang out with the kids and check my phone to see where the pit and probe temps are.
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby astrohip » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:10 pm

Woody Wood wrote:I got a Traeger Timberline 850 and absolutely love it. The WiFire technology is great, I am able to hang out with the kids and check my phone to see where the pit and probe temps are.

Thanks, that looks like an amazing smoker.
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby Papa Tom » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:28 pm

I have been pellet cooking for 20 years and have or had a couple Traegers, a Cookshack FE 500, and a Pit Boss 820.
I like them all so it's what features you really need or want somehow the basics appeal to me the current standard controllers and a maverick wireless thermo.
I am a guy that spent my career in technology (computer support) and tend not to be dazzled by gizmos I just want to cook something on my machine.
I have a cell phone but won't carry it or talk on it but because of today's technology they've kinda forced me to have one of the cursed things, I mean what kinda guy wants to carry a device to allow others to interrupt him at their convenience? :dont:
So really if you want to look higher end check out Danson's Louisiana line of pits, step down a bit to Rec Tec or GMG they both have a good following.

Good luck and you will probably like whichever you choose once you get over that urge to babysit.......
tarde venientibus ossa....
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby astrohip » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:56 pm

Papa Tom wrote:I have been pellet cooking for 20 years and have or had a couple Traegers, a Cookshack FE 500, and a Pit Boss 820.

What's your favorite of the ones you have?

And what features (if any) do you consider must-have, or really like the convenience of?
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby Papa Tom » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:46 pm

astrohip wrote:
Papa Tom wrote:I have been pellet cooking for 20 years and have or had a couple Traegers, a Cookshack FE 500, and a Pit Boss 820.

What's your favorite of the ones you have?

And what features (if any) do you consider must-have, or really like the convenience of?


Can't say i have a favorite but if it was said that I could one keep one it would probably be the Cookshack because it will do more things and is a bit easier to clean etc.. That said in the past year 9 out of 10 cooks have been on the Pit Boss 820 simply because it is so easy to use for ribs or brisket.
As far as must have features the standard digital controller (I am not real fond of the Cookshack controller but it is versatile ) and no matter what pit the Maverick wireless thermo.
A feature that I like but would not be a game changer is the pellet dump feature so you can easily change pellets my Cookshack has the feature the others do not. I do have a shop vac I keep clean so I can suck the pellets out of the others.

other Features to consider:
Front and or side shelves they are handy.
Second level cooking shelf, you will use it.
Consider the internal height limits if you might do a turkey.
Wheels to move the beast I mean GOOD useful wheels. My PB 820 is the best with big steel wheels on the hopper (heavy) end but not all PB 820's have them.
A handle of some kind to use when moving the beast.
Lid handle that doesn't get real hot.
Good grease drain and catch,,,,, grease fires and stains are NOT fun.
Recovery after a power fluctuation, it is not fun to wake up to find raw meat because a momentary power outage occurred during the night.
Durability of the paint this varies a lot between painted models, some are good others get ugly.
Not a huge deal but pellet hopper capacity make sure it will hold a overnite cook load.
Cool down cycle on shut down this is important it will prevent burn back into the auger tube (a real bad thing)
tarde venientibus ossa....
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby astrohip » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:35 am

I ordered the Camp Chef Woodwind SG with Sear Grill. Can't wait to try it!
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby Papa Tom » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:44 pm

I'm sure you will be pleased..... :cheers:
tarde venientibus ossa....
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby rms827 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:03 pm

A shame I missed this one. I'd put in my usual plug for Rec-Tec, LOL. Yoder is the other brand that looked great in my research. I think you'll be happy with the Camp Chef though. Another good brand. Most of the brands out there are fairly decent though. Traeger is the only one I personally don't like. Both my parents and I had numerous issues. Shame since they invented pellet grilling and used to be world class.
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby astrohip » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:11 pm

Came today, spent the afternoon putting it together. Ugh, the temp and the humidity were having a race to 100 :angryfire: .

I'll do the initial oil residue burnoff tomorrow, and try some ribs next weekend. Can't wait!
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby rms827 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:41 pm

Looks good! That stainless lid should be easy to clean up also. That's always a plus.
Rec Tec 680
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Re: New Buyer question (super newb)

Postby spacetrucker » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:50 am

Welcome to the Texas summer....
looks like a good cooker.
My experience with the Traeger, the grease catch pan is soon eaten up by the spices used, so I, on replacement pans use a empty glass pickle jar inside the new catch bucket. This allows a couple things, the grease is captured in a non corrosive container and easily disposed of by placing the lid on the jar and into the trash. :salut:
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