Charcoal vrs. Pellet smokers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by grillsalot, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. I currently smoke on a BGE and a Weber Smokey Mountain.  I've been thinking about buying a pellet grill/smoker, specifically, a Cookshack PG500 or a Yoder YS480.  Anyone have input on this?
  2. gomez93

    gomez93 Meat Mopper

    I have a Cookshack PG1000 and have yet to find anything it can't do. The 500 is the same size but not insulated which you shouldn't need where you live. (Nice beaches by the way :) ) The Cookshack is stainless which might help down there. Both companies have top notch customer service.
    When I bought mine it was between the CS and YS640 but the direct grilling area sold me on the Cookshack. Also at that time Yoder was having issues with the controller, however I don't think they still have that problem.
    Cookshack does have the 30 day satisfaction guarantee so you can't lose.
  3. Thanks for the input.  I have been going back and forth between the two for about 3 weeks.  I see the beauty in both smokers, however, I agree that the direct grilling is a major plus for the PG500.  I really need to concentrate on 1 device.  My patio is getting full of grills and smokers.  One more question for you Gomex93.  Did you make the leap from a stick smoker to the pellet?  I understand that the products smoked on the pellets are not as "smokey" tasting as the charcoal/chips type smokers.  I'm not talking about the creosote issues, either.  Just the general smokey flavor.  What's your take?
  4. gomez93

    gomez93 Meat Mopper

    Charcoal actually, I did have a stickburner but sold it due to lack of capacity.

    Pellets smolder more at lower temps and burn very efficiently at high temps. Also the brand and flavor of pellets will make a big difference. We use Cookshack's hickory pellets and are happy with the flavor. It will not impart a strong smoke flavor, but it's there. There are ways to add more smoke, like the AMNPS. I've never tried that in my grill but I'm sure it would work. 

    The grill does impart more smoke taste than our FEC100 does.
  5. I had a stick burner for close to 15 years and love it.  Last year, I got a Memphis pellet smoker.  It is true that you cannot get as much smoke flavor with the pellet smokers.  I talked to a couple of pellet manufacturers, and one said a big difference is the amount of bark that gets mixed in with the wood in the pellet.  The flavor is much stronger in the bark according to him.  Some pellets are almost all wood, no bark, and have less flavor.  However, even with the ones with more bark, it is still not as strong as good old fashioned wood.  I use an AMPS to add more smoke in my pellet smoker, which helps, but still does not get as strong a flavor.

    Having said all of that, I still have my stick burner, and the pellet is Sooooooo much easier to use, that I rarely use the stick burner!
  6. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    gotta stick with where it all started and smoke real logs and use the gas or electric smoker as a compliment to the arsenal
  7. I've found that the biggest flavor advantage(only in smoke) that stick burners have over pellet comes in the large cuts of meat such as pork butt/shoulder and packer briskets. 

    But, when it comes to chicken and ribs, pellets make a mean mean product! Especially chicken since it takes smoke so easily and can be easy to oversmoke.

    I don't see the pellet smoker doing away with your other smokers, but it might make it easier to put one of them in storage in case of a big big cook.
  8. Great observation.  Thanks
  9. I've heard that before about the bark.  Just ordered the Cookshack PG500, for the same reasons Gomez93 mentioned.  To get a little more smoke boost, I ordered the A-maze-n 18 inch tube filled with 1 lb of pellets.  They say just light it and lay it in there.  We'll see.

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