Any downsides to pellet smokers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by specialblend07, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. So I currently use a Masterbuilt chip smoker and stopped by my local BBQ shop. I asked about some smokers he had and was interested in a pellet smoker, the Yoda YS480 or YS640. He told me the smoke profile isn't as strong but you can cook lower or add a smoke tube (I think that's what he called it) to increase the smoke taste if I feel it's necessary. He said they're great for people who want to set and forget. Any major downsides? I'm very interested.
  2. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    I have a PelletPro from Smoke Daddy and would agree about the smoke profile of a pellet smoker being on the lighter side.  To offset, I have a Big Kahuna cold smoker (also from Smoke Daddy) that I fire up to provided a heavier smoke.  Many here use A-Maze-N tray/tube with great results as well.  

    Major downsides: can't really think of any other than the smoke profile.  Switching out wood types is a little more complicated because you need to empty the hopper and feed, but that can be easily achieved with a scoop and vac.  You don't want the hopper to get moisture in it because it will destroy the pellets and make a mess - but most hopper lids overlap to prevent this (also recommend keeping a cover on it when not in use.  Probably biggest downside is the cost of a quality unit.  My smoker you can get into for a little under $900 with the cold smoker.

    Pluses: "Set it and forget it" is awesome.  You want to make sure you have a digital PID that will hold the temp within 5 degrees.  It's nice being able to smoke at a low temp (160 deg) and then easily crank up the heat using the controller to finish cooking.  Indirect heat means no flare ups  Clean up is relatively easy - clean the grates every now and then, clean the drip tray and grease bucket and vacuum ashes out of burner pot every few smokes.  Plenty of pellet options out there too for different types of wood.  Can always use cold smoke to add another wood profile to your regular pellets.  Also relatively inexpensive to operate.

    Hope this helps.
  3. gomez93

    gomez93 Meat Mopper

    The Yoder pellet grills are made near me so I see lots of them in competitions. You will find one for sale every so often but owners seem to be very pleased with them.
    Cookshack also makes very good pellet grills that have the advantage of a direct grilling area. The PG500 is about the same price of the Yoders, however being in Minnesota you may want to consider the PG1000 which is insulated. (this is the unit I have)
    I also have a couple Green Mountain Grills and am quite happy with those as well.
    It depends on your budget and what you want the grill to do, which is anything you want. The Cookshacks are hard to beat if you do lots of grilling, if the primary use will be smoking, go with the Yoder or GMG.
    I use an A-Maze-N tube and get plenty of smoke flavor.
  4. Well so far I'm liking what I've heard. I'm picking it up tomorrow haha. It's for my fathers birthday which was last week but we're celebrating this Sunday. Hopefully he likes it, although I'll probably be the main user.
  5. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For what it's worth, I've had a GMG for 2 years & like it really like it ! From what I've heard, ya can't go wrong with Yoder either ! Good luck !
  6. ohiojason

    ohiojason Newbie

    I have a RecTec and love it! There was a learning curve involved to get the food how I was use to with my old propane smoker. (cook at a lower temp longer and/or use a smoke tube) however I am sure there would have been a learning curve with any new smoker.

    While I truley enjoyed the time I spent messing with the old smoker all day the set and forget of the RecTec has translated into far more meat smoked every month than with the old smoker.

    Buy a pellet smoker,if you can afford it you won't regret it!
  7. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    If he doesn't like it I'll be glad to haul it away for free as "scrap metal"

    I'm sure he will be VERY happy.!
  8. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't think you, or your father, will be disappointed...those Yoders are very nice rigs!  I personally don't have any downsides to cooking on a pellet rig...yes, the smoke profile is lighter than most stick burners or charcoal rigs, but you'll never have to worry about creosote or over-smoking your food, either.  Plus, as already mentioned, you can add a smoke device like the A-Maze-N tube smoker to add more smoke flavor to your cooks.  And the real beauty of pellet cooking is the temperature control.  No more babysitting a fire, constantly adding wood/charcoal and stoking the fire to maintain your desired cooking temp. 


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