What pellet smoker to get ???

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by waterinholebrew, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks FWI & Yoder Ay, you all are giving me some good info along with geerock and tropez, man do I have some deciding to do !!
  2. YS640
  3. #1 I don't want to have two items eating up patio space.

    #2 I don't think it's really that much cost in pellets, pellets are like $0.37 per lb and I'm not grilling for hours, more like minutes. I think the cost is well worth it for the quality of food produced.

    #3 I like cooking with wood vs charcoal, seems more pure to me. I like the flavors and even though the cooks are shorter you still get some smoke flavoring in the food.

    #4 The first thing I did when I got my pellet was sell my propane gas grill. I never owned a charcoal grill in the first place, so I don't know what I was missing there. I will be getting grill grates this time around with the Yoder, so I can get those really good sears.

    #5 With the pellet I'm ready to cook in about 10 minutes, I thought charcoal takes much longer to prep and get ready before you can throw your food on.

    #6 Cleanup benefits over charcoal are pretty apparent.

    Hope that helps. These are the things that went into my decision making when it came to using the pellet for both grilling and smoking.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  4. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    .37 per pound??  You sure are lucky then because pellets in bulk go for around .50.... average is .70 on the low end to well over a buck from what i've seen.     High heat cooking burns 1.5 pounds to 2 lbs per hour on average...over 300 degrees.

    No grill is a one stop shop for doing the best at every type of smoking imo.   All  types smokers have what they are better at as compared to another.

    Tropez 2 grills might not be for you but having two different types have many advantages.  An example would be if you want to cook 2 meats at the same time but those meats cook at different temperatures.

       EXAMPLE....  If i wanted to do chicken, ribs and  pork butt  i'd put the birds on my UDS or WSM mini and might put ribs and pork butt  on a pellet.... Not only could i do them at the same time but the pellet is great at low and slow with good smoke and my UDS or mini would be perfect for the chicken because i get great smoke at high temps and i like how the drippings add extra flavor to the meat and crisps the skin.

    Moral of the story if you want 1 grill to do everything the very best at everything you won't find it.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
    tropez likes this.
  5. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just trying to weigh all the options, anyone have or know someone who has a Green Mountain Pellet Smoker ?? Looked at some reviews and they look pretty decent .... Just wanna get a good one and not regret doing more research and asking around !!
  6. I have an older Traeger and I use it for grilling as well as smoking.  I might use a few more dollars in pellets but the convenience and taste make it very much worth it to me.  

    If I had to buy a new smoker right now I'd try to find one built in North America, don't know if that's even possible anymore...
  7. Yoder, Made in America

    MAK, Made in America

    Traeger, China

    GMG, China

    Rec Tek, China

    All I know for now.
  8. Green Mountain - USA
  9. You sure? I'm pretty sure Green Mountain/GMG is China made.
  10. Mine! Mine! MIne! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

  11. volsfan

    volsfan Fire Starter

    I am pretty sure the Blazin Grills and the Memphis are both made in the USA. I just don't like the controller on the Blazin or I would get a Gridiron.
  12. pokemnsmokem

    pokemnsmokem Newbie

    louisiana's are made in canada, thin steel like the traegers and green mountain. yoders are quaulity craftsmanship, thick steel even the heat deflector/drip pan is thick, wont warp like others,and the yoders control heat better from end to end. they also get hot enough to sear when grilling (over 600 degrees). they come standard with front ,side and bottom shelves. i have had traeger and louisiana and now have had yoder for over 2 years, i think it will be the last smoker/grill i will ever need. yoder also has the best warranty if needed. good smokin to ya!
  13. smokedaddy123

    smokedaddy123 Fire Starter


    Unfortunately it has become very difficult to find a high quality affordable grill of any kind that is completely made in America. When I first got into the grill market to look for a good grill I could sell, I found out quickly that the prices for the American made products were way out of my league. Starting out in a relatively new business, I would not have been able to pay my employees, the freight companies that deliver my grills,insurance companies or pay taxes,etc. These are some of the reasons that small business struggles so much.

    I have the Pellet Pro pellet grills made in China to my specifications. As with many other pellet grills made there the parts are mostly all interchangeable. We at Smoke Daddy, Inc. are very proud of our unique fully digital, push button controller with cold smoke setting. It is one of a few features that set our grills apart from the others.

    Also unique to Smoke Daddy, Inc is our Pellet Pro Hopper Assembly. We sell them for our DIYers so they can build their own pellet grills. If anyone has made their own pellet grill using our assembly, I would love to hear about your application and maybe see some pics. Some that I am familiar with are UDS smokers, WSMs old refrigerators,etc.

    The Pellet Pro pellet grills are imported directly to me from China and are shipped after careful, out of box inspection straight to your nearest depot for pick up. This makes it possible for you to avoid the costly mark ups of box stores and get a great price.

    I like talking with my customers and offering technical support when needed. I am usually available for calls at (847) 336-1329. If your call is not answered, leave a message. I pride myself in great customer service and will return your call.

    BTW --- Your warranty will not be voided for using your choice of pellets



  14. I went through something similar back in January.  I looked at Traeger, GMG, Yoder, RecTec, MAK and Memphis.  I found a dealer about 2 hrs away and they had the Traeger, GMG, MAK and Memphis all lined up.  The MAK and Memphis were definitely heavy duty compared when compared the Traeger and GMG.  However, there were two points that Turned me off on them.  One was that I had a budget of roughly $1000, and compared to the Traeger and GMG they had smaller grill surfaces.

    Once down to Traeger, GMG, RecTec and Yoder I started reading reviews and doping side by side comparisons.  I came down to Yoder, RecTec/GMG (tie) and Traeger, in that order.  

    I liked the build quality of the Yoder, but unfortunately given where I live it would only be shipped to a point then I would either have to get a truck and meet the delivery vehicle, or pay an additional charge to the delivery company to bring it to my house.  i do not fault Yoder for this, rather I fault the shipping company.

     I was concerned about Traeger after reading about the fire going from the fire pot back through the auger and into the hopper.   Also, for the same price of the GMG and Rec/Tec the Traeger did not have digital controls.  

    Bringing me down the RecTec and the GMG.  After much hmm'ing, haww'ing and annoying my wife, I was about to pull the RecTec since it had a bigger hopper, then I contacted one last GMG dealer.  The dealer offered the cover, two bags of GMG premium pellets, wireless remote upgrade (also able to keep non-wireless controller as well), shipping all the way up to my house and taxes for less than the GMG retails for.

    GMG dealers will put the grill together and do a burn in run for you to make sure everything is working correctly.  One times I have heard otherwise were the grill was shipped to the customer, the customer asked for this part to be excluded or the dealer is a jerk.

    Is the GMG made in China? Yes, as noted by the inspection sheet in the box.  But to me though it is made in China, it is about the support.  The times I have contacted support I have always received an email no later than 24 hrs later (my dealer was out of the area).  They are always willing to help and go back to the engineers if necessary to get you your answer.  I had an issue with my wireless controller and after contacting them, I had a new one within 4 days.  I also had an issue with there being a 50 degree variance in temp at the grate,  the GMG support sent me some extra parts and worked with me until I was able to dial it in.  Now I am at a 5-10 degree variance.  GMG understands that not all locals are going to be the same and environmental variables can play into temp variances, and they still work with you until you get it dialed in.
  15. jdsmokesburg

    jdsmokesburg Newbie

    So a year later how's everyone feel about the same models? Price range for me is up to $1500 (that includes accessories as well) and I'm looking at the Yoder, Rec-Tec, and Green Mountain models....although after reading this thread will now also check out the Louisiana as well.
  16. I would add the cookshack pg500 to your list. Look around and you can probably find one for right at 1500
  17. urnmor

    urnmor Newbie

    I would recommend you look at MAK Grills.  They are superp and also made in America
  18. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My 2 cents.....GMG is not worth the money, IMO, after seeing them up close and personal at a farm supply here. Rec-Tec gets high grades from people on here I trust the opinion of and they do offer a payment plan, if needed. The Yoder would be my choice of the ones you mentioned IF I had that kind of dough. I do like pellet pushers though....my poor mans Yoder, the Char Griller pellet smoker, was only 450 at Lowes...half the price of a Traeger and bigger and so far I am happy with the performance. MAKS are made up here in the PNW, fairly close to me, so S&H not a big issue but I could not justify spending that much. My understanding is they are great units though and from reading their forum site get high grades in performance from posters. Tough choices, my friend......Willie
  19. grillingjody

    grillingjody Newbie

    Did a lot of research and it came down to this for me.....(around $1200 range)
    1.warranty (made of electric parts and they do fail)
    4.customer care

    When looking at warranty don't be fooled by numbers. Yoder says it has a 10 year warranty. WOW. No not wow! 10 years on the body only!! Boo the body takes no abuse, and it doesn't cover rust. What about igniters, augers, drip pans, heat shields, and controller. Yoders, like most pellet grills, have a very limited warranty. The "real" warranty for the parts of the yoder is only like 2 years. I think the controller maybe only like a year warranty. GMG, Treager, Louisiana, blazin all have 3 year parts warranty when it all comes down to it. RECTEC has a 6 year warranty that covers everything except powder coat.

    Durability and longevity are also tied into my warranty decision. Look at the gauge of the body and lid. Yoder is thick but known to be a pellet hog. Takes a lot to get up to temp. Why does it have air baffles, if I wanna mess with that I will use my stick burner. While GMG, and treager I think is 16 gauge, while Louisiana, blazin and RECTEC are 14. I didn't like the fact that some companies would sell there grill without a bottom shelf. Having nothing to stabilize the legs of the grill. Look for stainless steel, especially the fire pot, it takes all the abuse. Watch out for regular chrome steel for the grates, it will rust and corrode. Look for powder coat for the body, holds up well and common.

    Cooking surface size was important. Yoder 640 has 640 sq in. GMG JB has about 640' so does treager Texas. Louisiana and blazin without the chrome steel second shelf has around the 670 sq in. RECTEC has 702 sq in without any shelf. Weight says a lot about how beefy and sturdy the grill is. Treager weighs around 120. GMG around 180, blazin like 160. Louisiana is around 180. RECTEC is 200. And the yoder like 320. I think the yoder would fall through my porch. Also I move my grill around and take it tailgating or to friends houses. So keep that in mind. Hopper size is a factor as well, GMG treager Louisiana blazin yoder and most grills have 18-20 I think. RECTEC has a 40 lb hopper without extension. It is also rear fed and the fire pot is in the center. I didn't want to mess with a second shelf because of head room.

    I tried contacting most of the companies, lots of emails and computers talking to me pushing numbers to get to a voicemail. Louisiana emailed very quickly, GMG and Treager pointed me in the directions of dealers. Yoder took a while to hear back from them, then I found out it would be 4 months before I could get it! Was able to talk to the Blazin guys and they were nice. I called RECTEC on a Saturday while doing research expecting to get a voicemail and spoke to Ben the GM. Called back Monday to see if it was a fluke and got to speak with him again. Even though treager has the road show, those guys act like used car salesman, throwing in all kinds of accessories step by step of negotiation. When dealing with any company I don't want my neighbor to get a better deal than me. That most certainly can happen with the dealer and costco road shows. Look for a company that you want to deal with, one that gives you answers, and you feel comfortable with.

    Do research! Read reviews! Also look for money back guarantees!

    I had a treager and GMG hand me downs before so I knew what to expect with them. Yoder was too expensive, heavy, pellet hog and I didn't like the look of the cart. Blazin threw me off with the uneven cooking reviews I read. Louisiana was a little to expensive for me after it was all said and done, but I did like the controller. I went with RECTEC and haven't regretted it since. From the moment it arrived it has surpassed my expectation for a pellet grill. When I broke my dome light on the inside of the grill I called Bens personal cell phone and once again they were a dream to deal with. Even sent me some paint free of charge when I scratched it with my spatula. Of course I got the owners cell numbers as well as bens, that cemented my love for them and made me feel great with my purchase. I didn't feel like I got taken advantage of. I got much more bang for my buck. I also know that I got the same deal as everyone else. The support I get is better than an company I have ever dealt with. Do your research, and homework. It's a lot of money!

    I wasn't being biased just honest. I love my RECTEC.


    Grill on my brotha!!!!
  20. jdsmokesburg

    jdsmokesburg Newbie

    Thanks all - I appreciate the responses. Will keep doing my homework and let you know what I end up with.

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