Louisiana Grills LG900 Pellet Smoker

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by disco, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I saved my nickels and dimes, was very nice to She Who Must Be Obeyed, and treated myself to a new smoker. The Bradley had done 3 years of yeomen service and had made much great food. However, its inability to get to higher temperatures finally got to me and I bought a Louisiana Grills LG900 pellet smoker. 


    The unit come boxed up and is heavy so take help when you go to pick it up and unload it. I purchased the grill, a cover and a bag of pellets and it came to just over $1,000. She Who Must Be Obeyed is still shaking her head.

    You cut the straps and open the top of the box where the instructions are.  You pull the box up and all the parts are relatively easy to get to. I went to the parts list in the instructions and I had everything plus one extra part. I really hate that.

    I started putting it together per the instructions. Each section of the instructions tells you the part you need to complete that section. Two of the sections describe screws you don’t have and aren’t in the parts list. Not wanting to take a chance, I called the toll free support line. I had the right parts, the screws supplied are different from the parts list but perform the necessary functions. The extra part was a handle that hooks onto the hopper without any mention in the instructions or part list. Sigh.

    Once I knew what everything was for, it went together quite easily. However, I really wish they put an update page in the box or at least have an updated instruction on their site.

    When it was put together, all pieces fit together will with no gaps and was sturdy. It moved easily on the casters.

    For those of you who don’t know, a pellet smoker uses small hardwood pellets as the fuel to produce both the heat and the smoke. The pellets are loaded into a hopper and an auger feeds the pellets to a box where they burn to produce the heat and smoke. The hopper on this smoker is only of medium size and will need refilling if you do a really long smoke. You can by an attachment that lets it hold more pellets.

    The smoker has a start up procedure that ignites the pellets for you and it worked perfectly. It has a controller that you can set to a temperature and the smoker maintains that temperature like your oven. I have done a low smoke of a ham and had difficulty maintaining temperature. However, I did not follow the instructions in the manual.

    They recommend you heat to 450 F for every smoke and then back off on the temperature.  I didn’t do this with my first low smoke. I thought I would just set it the temperature to 180 F and go. It just didn’t hold temperature. When I followed the instructions on the second low smoke, it held temperature very well. Lesson learned, follow the instructions.

    I have done a couple of higher heat smokes and the temperature control and results were perfect. I was even able to bake cornbread in it like an oven.

    The unit also has a temperature probe you can use to track the temperature of meat you are taking and it will automatically reduce the heat when it gets to a desired temperature. It worked as advertised but I am a control freak. I want to control the temperature of my unit not a probe. I just set the temperature higher and use it as a temperature display. If you want to use the keep warm feature, it works.

    The only other downside I had was some grease dripping if I put anything that splatters too close to the lid. Move it back an inch and it is fine.

    As for the food, this unit produces less smoke than my old Bradley. However, it gives a nice mild smoke flavour that She Who Must Be Obeyed likes. A big plus when the missus likes it!

    There is more smoke generated at lower temperatures which made for great tasting ribs when cooked around 200 F.

    This unit does require some work to maintain. It burns wood pellets so it generates ash. I did not notice a lot of ash build up but you will want to clear the burn box of ash every few smokes. This requires removing a large plate. It isn’t a major job but I would recommend doing it regularly.

    Now that I have gotten used to it, I love this method of cooking. Great control, nice smoke and good food.

    The final verdict is that this smoker does everything I want well and I am looking forward to making many great dishes in it. I would recommend it and I am happy I bought it. I will post the first smoke soon.

    Disco
     
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Congrats and best of luck! That is a nice size unit and LG has some nice options. I have been in Pellet Grill research mode for a week now. I've read hundreds of posts on various sites. Pellet Brand and Performance, Metal Gauge, Burn Pot Material, Controller Types, Grill Sizes, Nice to Have vs. Need to Need to Have Options, Direct Heat Grilling Capabilities, Indirect Grilling, Multi-Zone Grilling, Uniform Temp Charts and Chinese vs. American Made...The list is endless and mind boggling. Have fun...JJ
     
  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     I did the same thing. What finally tipped it to the LG is there is a dealer in my hometown. It makes it nice for support.

    Disco
     
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Congrats on the new rig Disco, and welcome to pellet cooking! Those LGs have some very nice features. Sounds like you're having good results so far...looking forward to seeing some of your cooks!

    Red
     
  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Red. It has been fun so far!

    Disco
     
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Congrats Disco!!![​IMG]

    Does SWMBO know this will make you hotter than you could get before???

    Does she know that now that you're a "Pellet-Pooper" you'll be dropping little piles of pellets around the house just like a Bunny Rabbit???

    Can't wait to see all the Great Vittles coming from that Thing!!!

    Bear
     
  7. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Meat Mopper

    Great review and congrats!
     
  8. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Har. She has used the term pooper and me in the same sentence before. Sadly, it had a totally different connotation.
     
  9. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks! I am enjoying the new smoker.

    Disco
     
  10. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Disco

    i have the LG 450 and have become quite accomplished with it  :)
    the temp holds very well, my ignitor went on me and im waiting for a new one so in the mean time i just toss a couple pellets in and start with my torch. for extra smoke i use a tube smoker and it is fantastic. i actually upgraded to the digital controls and they are awesome (same as yours)

    to help with clean up i use heavy foil on my drip pan. just keeps things cleaner. i have shop vac the unit out every few cooks. 1 thing i learned is turn it down to temp gradually or it can go out on you !!!!

    the most impressive thing about these units is the ability to do skinless boneless chicken breast and have it come out so moist that it is even juicy 2 days later out of the fridge. i figure its because of the convection style cooking.

    ENJOY YOUR NEW GRILL !!!!!!

    Goliath
     
  11. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much for the info. The manual I got suggests lifting the lid to reduce the temperature. It goes down faster and since I have followed the instruction, no problems with reducing the temperature.

    I followed your advice and cooked a boneless skinless breast tonight. It turned out great!

    Disco
     
  12. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Disco, it's been a few months and we've seem some great pics of the cooker in action. You still very pleased with it's performance? Any complaints?
     
  13. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Overall, I am very happy with the pellet smoker. It is very versatile and does a great job. Here are the pluses and minuses I have noted since buying it.

    Pluses:

    It holds a steady temperature well if you preheat it (it needs to burn for a while and then lower the heat to where you want by opening the door).

    It really is set and forget.

    It gives a nice level of smoke at lower temperatures. Enough for me but not too strong for the missus.

    It works great as a cold smoker with an AMNPS.

    Minuses:

    As it works by burning wood pellets, it does get a fine layer of ash on the grids and interior. This is easy to clean off.

    I have had some problems with the ingniter and have been messing with it to get it working right.

    It is a pain to get to the burn box to empty it. You have to lift out a large curved deflector.

    Overall, I really like it and would recommend it.

    Disco
     
  14. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the quick review. Unfortunately, the fine layer of ash you refer to is something that happens to all pellet cookers. What could be the issue with the hotrod? Not sticking out far enough into the firepot to ignite the pellets? 
     
  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is in a metal tube and protrudes out. It seems if it isn't seated right in the tube, it doesn't heat up right. I have adjusted it a couple of times and it is working better. I just hope I don't end up having to mess with it a lot.

    I forgot to mention in the minuses that it doesn't give much smoke at higher temperatures but that just goes with a pellet smoker too.

    Disco
     
  16. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would just simply call them up and let them know of that. They are a breeze to swap out (I'm sure they are all similar.) I've only gone through one RecTec Hotrod in 2.5 years. If the hotrod is the same as another companys (the plug would have to match up) just pick one of those up for around $10 and see if that makes a difference. Im not going to lie, my hotrod doesnt stick out that far on the RecTec.
     
  17. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I will be going to the manufacturer for help if I haven't got it. I like your idea of getting a different one if they can't help.
     
  18. jayace

    jayace Smoke Blower

    Disco,

    Any new feedback a couple months further down the road? I'm considering the CS570. Was leaning to a Masterbuilt Electric but have decided to go right to the pellet for the same reasons you described. I've been using a Brinkman ECB for a couple years. I'm in Calgary and see that you're a Cdn in the Rockies, where did you buy yours from and were/ are you happy with the service and price you got it for?  
     
  19. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, Jay, as a BC Lion fan from childhood I will still respond despite the Stampeder's logo!

    I like the smoker more and more as I use it. I find I use the sliding plate on the grease plate for searing way more than I thought I would. I have used it to bake bread which shows it holds temperature really well. I have obtained an A-Maze-N tube to generate more smoke if I want it at higher temperatures but don't use it often.

    I bought it at Home Hardware and got a good price and they were very helpful, throwing in a bag of pellets.

    It is a nice unit.

    The major concern with the original purchase was the poor building instructions but I got help when I phoned.

    Ongoing, the only nagging complaint is that you need to take care reducing the cooking temperature by large amounts. If you are smoking at 500 F and want to lower to 200 F it may go out if you just turn the heat control down. I get around it by opening the lid when I turn the heat control down a lot. I leave it open until it is close to the temperature I want and all seems to be fine.

    Overall, it is a very easy way to cook and I am enjoying it.

    Here are some tips:
    • It makes a great cold smoker if you put an A-Maze-N product in it and prop the lid open a bit.
    • Some things cook a bit faster than they would in your oven as it blows air through the unit making it like a convection oven
    • Heat it up first. It works way better if you get it hot and then turn it down.
    It is my understanding that the CS series is higher quality than the LG series so I am jealous if you get it.

    Go Lions!

    Disco
     
  20. jayace

    jayace Smoke Blower

    Lol, thanks for looking beyond the logo and for the quick response.



    I will check with my local HH and see if they are carrying them, I have one in Okotoks and I think Airdrie too. 



    I've heard the common theme about reducing the temp too quickly so its good to be aware of. An A-Maze-N was definitely on my radar for cold smokes as well, do you use the tray or tube? I was also planing on a Maverick 733 to keep a close eye on temps of the grill and the meat. 



    Thanks again, I really appreciate the feedback. I'm a "gatherer of info" type of guy before I make an expensive purchase like this so all this info is a huge help.



    Go Stamps...and Flames! [​IMG]



    Jay 
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016

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