Author Topic: Wood Pellet Grills  (Read 1653 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Wood Pellet Grills
« on: July 14, 2011, 09:42:35 AM »
Anyone have experience with a wood pellet grill?

My old Weber is about to collapse and it's time for a new grill.  I'm intrigued by the Traeger wood pellet grills, but don't know anyone who's used them.

Are they that much better than buying something like a Char Griller or Master Force with a side fire box?

Also, if you've got a Char Griller or something similar (they sell them at Lowes, but again I have no experience with them) I'd love to hear it.  The price difference, plus the fact that I'm not restricted to using wood pellets, makes them attractive.

I've always used a Weber kettle grill.  I ain't interested in moving to gas so don't recommend it.

Thanks.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Wood Pellet Grills
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 09:51:58 AM »
I have the Char Griller with side firebox and they need some mods to be just decent smokers (it grills just fine).  With no mods it will be too hot on the firebox side and not hot enough on the stack side.  The heat just exits the firebox and rises to the top and out the stack.  The firebox fills up with too much ash on long smokes, partly because it requires quite a bit of fuel.  A little difficult to maintain a consistent, even, and high-enough temp.  Too many 'leaks' that let smoke out.

Google, or better yet, smokingmeatforums.com has all the necessary mods spelled out for you.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Wood Pellet Grills
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 10:25:06 AM »
Wow.  I'd not actually thought about modding a grill/smoker...

For the money, it seems like it's the better deal than the Traeger.

I've never really smoked before, but I like having the option.

Did you mod yours?  If you put in the tuning plates for smoking, are they easily removable in order to use it as a grill?

I may be getting into another hobby that will eat up my time...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wood Pellet Grills
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 10:28:12 AM »
If you're going to mod a grill, I'd just a build a UDS.  You don't have to smoke with it, you can just use it as a standard charcoal grill.  It's got great temp control too, and if you're into it it makes a great smoker.

Mine cost $175 for all the bits.  Not counting the remote thermometer, pit mitt, and propane torch I got to go with it.  None of that stuff is strictly necessary. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Wood Pellet Grills
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 10:37:18 AM »
I've got three kids under 5.  An off the shelf solution is really what I need...

The Char Grill mods look relatively simple.
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Offline davidw

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Re: Wood Pellet Grills
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 10:48:23 AM »
I've got a Char Grill with the side firebox that I use frequently for smoking. I've never done any mods to it and it works fine as-is for me.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wood Pellet Grills
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 11:00:08 AM »
I've got three kids under 5.  An off the shelf solution is really what I need...

The Char Grill mods look relatively simple.
The UDS required 14 holes be drilled in a barrel.  The fire box required 3 holes drilled and a bunch of hog rings be crimped.  It is really easy to do, it took maybe 4 hours total including getting barrel and the other parts.

Granted, it's not as easy as off the shelf, but it is probably easier than off the shelf +mods.  And it's easily done after the kids go to bed ;)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Wood Pellet Grills
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2011, 11:24:36 AM »
My Chargriller required assembly so maybe a UDS isn't that much more of a PITA when you consider that.  You have to punnchout a couple of panels and some screw holes and those Chinese punchouts didn't want to punchout.  Sometimes the hardest part of the UDS is getting the barrel.

Offline hamiltont

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Re: Wood Pellet Grills
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2011, 12:34:22 PM »
I have the Char-Griller off-set with lots of mods including an iQue110 temperature controller. That thing has helped immensely with temp control and less tending on my part. I love it but I have the time to spend with it. Here's a thought. Lowes has a charcoal smoker: http://www.lowes.com/pd_332738-42600-CBS1101L_0__?productId=3294734&Ntt=master+forge+smoker&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dmaster%2Bforge%2Bsmoker&facetInfo= that works great. I bought one for my SIL earlier this year and the only mod we made was to add a piece of flat metal to the bottom that will cover the air hole (from wide open to completely shut) We found that the temperature gauge in the lid was almost right on. We had a pork butt smoking on it within an hour of bringing it home. That includes a hot burn in. For $59 (maybe less if it's ever on sale) it's got to be one of the best smoker values IMO. Cheers!!!
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!