Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

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Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by Van »

I'm thinking about buying a pellet smoker/grill to replace my worn out propane grill.

I have several questions:

1. My admittedly limited investigation has led me to Rec Tec. Have any of you out there had a good/bad experience with this brand?

2. Is there some other brand that you really like for $1500 or less?

3. I'm concerned about not being able to sear steaks like you can with a regular propane/charcoal grill. Is this a real problem?

4. Did you buy a pellet smoker and then wish you had not? If so, why?

Thanks for your input.

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Re: Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by mhc »

I know several people who love their Traegers. For steaks you could pick up a Weber charcoal grill. I have a propane smoker, charcoal grill, and propane grill. My favorite is the charcoal grill. It is easy and versatile. You could get a Traeger for under a $1000 and also get a Weber charcoal grill. The Weber Performer is really nice. I've had mine for ~5 years, and I love it.
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Re: Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by agent13x »

Traeger is the way to go for pellet smokers. Around here Traeger is to pellet smoker as Kleenex is to tissues.

I wouldn't suggest trying to grill a steak on a smoker. Pellet smokers are not for steak.

For a regular grill, I recommend a Holland Grill with a searmate attachment. These last decades, not years. Mine is over 30 years old and still works like new.
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Re: Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by astrohip »

Bumping an old thread...

I'm an avid BBQ/smoker. I started on a Weber Smoky Mountain (still love it), and then bought a stickburner (barrel smoker with firebox attached). Harder to control the temp, but amazing flavor with a smoke ring to die for. I just bought a Camp Chef Pellet Grill last week.

O.M.G. This thing is amazing. If nothing else, the ability to set a temp, and not have to babysit it. :beer

So far I've cooked chicken, and baby back ribs. Both excellent. If anything, maybe even better than my stick burner. A controlled temp makes for a more tender meat.

Any way to attach pics?
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Re: Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by Horsefly »

I've got the Camp Chef as well, and love it. Had it now for maybe three years, purchased on Woot.

When I decided to go with a pellet smoker, I really wanted a Traeger. Then I found that Traeger had changed quite a bit, and the reviews had gotten much worse. I heard they shifted manufacturing to China (or maybe sold out to a Chinese company?), but I don't know for sure.

Either way, it seems like Camp Chef has really figured out how to do this. Maybe they copied from Traeger, but I don't really care.

We've done turkeys, ribs, pork butt, brisket, and salmon. Like you said, it is really awesome compared to my old smoker, in that I don't have to pay any attention to it.
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Re: Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by camper »

I really enjoy our Camp Chef. We use it a couple times a week.
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Re: Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by Old Goat »

I really like my Pit Barrel Cooker, set it and forget it. It can do about anything quite easily with great results. As a bonus it is very portable too. check it out.
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Re: Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by Nestegg_User »

Pit Boss pellet grill....

<DONE >.... great grill for the money
[comparable to Traeger (their patent had expired and this company version came out (had some employees of theirs design it)) at lower cost but has been just as rugged]

We’ve had ours (700 D model) for a few years, better than charcoal for even heat and ours is large enough for just about anything (current models are a bit smaller).

{ I even tested heat distribution, 12- in K industrial probe on a Fluke, and showed it kept temps fairly consistent throughout the working surface}

edit: if you want a sear on the meat, you can set for 450 deg and sear, then reduce temps
for Q, you can go slow at 250 (or lower)
I typically use maple or cherry ( not hickory or mesquite) as I prefer a milder smoky flavor
Last edited by Nestegg_User on Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Pellet Smoker for the money? Rec Tec?

Post by LBTRS »

I have a ton of experience in this arena as I have owned and used a bunch of them...I've had Traeger, Rec Tec, Yoder, Green Mountain Grills, and Camp Chef. While they are were quality products and cooked good food I will say that for us the Camp Chef Woodwind SG is currently the best for our family. Ease of use and not overly large are the draws. My wife will actually use this thing herself where the others she would not mess with.

I just replaced my Yoder pellet grill and could have went with any brand but decided on the Camp Chef. The Yoder was a tank and too much grill for the patio for a small family. It would be great if I was cooking for large groups on a regular basis but for the weekend cooks for my small family it was too much.

Sold it and got the Camp Chef and am really happy.
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