Pellet Smoker for a Newbie

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by debbie cain, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. debbie cain

    debbie cain Newbie

    I am looking to purchase a pellet smoker for a beginner. I want simple and not too expensive. I have been looking at the Traeger Junior Elite and the Green Mountain Davy Crockett. What I see is that Traeger has some issues with their smoker, mainly temperature control. It also looks like customer support is ok but not great. GM, seems to have fewer complaints and has WIFI. Customer service is by email or leave a message. I don't like that at all. I would purchase a Traeger at Costco. They are offering good prices plus they let you return it used if it turns out to be a lemon. I would have to mail order the GM and I could never return it if I wanted to.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. chris327

    chris327 Newbie

    I just got a rec tec mini a week and a half ago. Used it last weekend to do a quick reverse sear steaks. The unit is nicely made seems pretty solid. The temp was fairly steady in my 1 use so far. Planning to do a pork butt next. Just too busy at the moment for a long cook.
  3. debbie cain

    debbie cain Newbie

    We ended up buying a Traeger from Costco only because if it turns out to be junk, we can return it.

    Traeger threw in a cover and a bag of pellets. The pellets were called their gourmet blend which consisted of maple, pecan and something else. We had a 3" ribeye in the freezer and gave that a go. It took longer than the recipe suggested but the unit worked flawlessly. Not to much temperature fluctuation. At the end I threw it on the grill for a reverse sear. It was done to perfection BUT I don't think the gourmet wood mix was right for it. I need some suggestions as to what might be a better wood. We also had a small New York steak the we cooked in the same manor and it tasted better with the gourmet blend than the ribeye. Got a lot of learning to do. I am going to start reading the old threads for info and tips.

    I saw the Rec Tec too and probably would have bought it but it was out of my price range. It had great reviews.
  4. For beef I think mesquite provides the best flavor. Personally, when it is in pellet form I think a lot of the worry of getting too much smoke flavor into your meat that is often associated with using mesquite goes away even when using a supplemental smoke source such as the A-Maze-N Tube Smoker. At the end of the day though don't be afraid to experiment and find out which you like best.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not a pellet guy, but wood is wood.  In order, my preferences for beef, regardless of the cut, are hickory, mesquite (acquired taste), then oak.  The rest of the woods just don't give beef the edge it needs on my taste buds. 

    Good call on Costco.  Their return policy is great.  Also, keep an eye on their online prices.  With the 4th of July coming up, if they drop the price from what you paid, take your receipt back and they'll give you the difference.  I've done that with TVs and computers. 
  6. debbie cain

    debbie cain Newbie

    Thank you about the tip about the possible price drop. I don't know much about woods but when I have eaten at a restaurant, the best ribs are always hickory smoked and I have had a great artichoke that was smoked over oak.

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