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Thread: Time to get serious about a new smoker.

  1. #1

    Default Time to get serious about a new smoker.

    I need something that will do well during Utah winters. I need something that will be fairly easy to use. Kind of a set it and forget it type thing for long smokes. Something that is large enough to do a couple of racks of ribs or a turkey. I would like to be able to use it for breads/pizza or use it for a steak at 800 degrees. Is this unrealistic? Could one of you experts please point me in the right direction?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Katy Lied's Avatar
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    And can you set the smoker outside in the snow? Or does that fiddle too much with the smoking temperature?

  3. #3
    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    A Traeger will do everything you list except for the 800 degree part. It maxes out at about 400-450 degrees. Operation and cleanup could not be simpler. I love mine.

    For the 800 degree part you should consider a Big Green Egg. It is also an excellent smoker and grill but it is not a set-it-and-forget-it device.
    "Socialism is not bad IMHO" - byu71
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    A Traeger will do everything you list except for the 800 degree part. It maxes out at about 400-450 degrees. Operation and cleanup could not be simpler. I love mine.

    For the 800 degree part you should consider a Big Green Egg. It is also an excellent smoker and grill but it is not a set-it-and-forget-it device.
    Will the Traeger maintain temps decently in very cold weather? I thought you could get a Traeger up to at least 600 degrees.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Lied View Post
    And can you set the smoker outside in the snow? Or does that fiddle too much with the smoking temperature?
    From what I can tell the ceramic units do well in very cold weather but they're not as easy. As JL pointed out, there not a set it and forget it type of unit. The traditional steel are going to lose some heat or consistency during colder weather. I'm trying to figure out which system is better for me or if there is a compromise.

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    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    Will the Traeger maintain temps decently in very cold weather?
    Yes. Works beautifully. Mine has a digital thermostat and a thermometer on top to verify the actual temp.

    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    I thought you could get a Traeger up to at least 600 degrees.
    No. 450 max.
    "Socialism is not bad IMHO" - byu71
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
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    Somewhat Idahoan Drunk Tank's Avatar
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    IN extreme cold, the Traeger may struggle to keep high temps (450) well. A Big Green Egg would seem a better fit and is more versatile, but not set it and forget it. Although, once you have played with it a while, you can easily get it to cruise along at 225 with little to no adjustment for hours on end.

    If you are set on a pellet grill/smoker, I would suggest a Memphis Pro Wood Fire Grill. They are fairly new, but it is the new standard in pellet grills. It is insulated and controls temps better than an oven. It can also sear @ 650 degrees. Downfall is they are $2k for the best one.

    http://hearthlandproducts.com/produc...ls/memphis-pro

    It is what I would get if I had the scratch. I have been tempted to sell my BGE and Traeger and save up for one of these.


  8. #8
    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunk Tank View Post
    IN extreme cold, the Traeger may struggle to keep high temps (450) well.
    We rarely do steak (wife does not like it) so the high temp issue is simply not an issue for us. When I do pizza I will put it at 400 or sometimes as low as 350. It takes a little longer to cook, but I get a better flavor (Traeger pizza is awesome). I do salmon and chicken at 350. Never had a problem maintaining those temps in the winter. It would be difficult to get it to 450 in cold weather.

    One problem with high-temp cooking in a pellet grill is that you fly through the pellets and they aren't cheap. I bought a three-level rack for my Traeger so that I can do two pizzas at once and it has saved me a lot of money in pellets. I can't imagine how many pellets one would burn through in order to maintain 650 degrees.

    On the rare occasion that I want to grill a steak, I just fire up my old charcoal grill. I am still hoping to pick up a cheap BGE somewhere.
    "Socialism is not bad IMHO" - byu71
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunk Tank View Post
    IN extreme cold, the Traeger may struggle to keep high temps (450) well. A Big Green Egg would seem a better fit and is more versatile, but not set it and forget it. Although, once you have played with it a while, you can easily get it to cruise along at 225 with little to no adjustment for hours on end.

    If you are set on a pellet grill/smoker, I would suggest a Memphis Pro Wood Fire Grill. They are fairly new, but it is the new standard in pellet grills. It is insulated and controls temps better than an oven. It can also sear @ 650 degrees. Downfall is they are $2k for the best one.

    http://hearthlandproducts.com/produc...ls/memphis-pro

    It is what I would get if I had the scratch. I have been tempted to sell my BGE and Traeger and save up for one of these.

    I was just about to post this model. I think this is what I'm leaning towards right now. Steak is a big deal in our family. So this one does well. I wish it would get a little hotter, but 650 is probably ok. I've read several reviews now that say it is a very well designed and built unit. I need to shop around for a deal.

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    Somewhat Idahoan Drunk Tank's Avatar
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    On the pellet heads forum (www.pelletheads.com) alot of the Traeger owners are modding their Traegers by adding fire bricks in the bottom of the cooking chamber. The units take a little while longer to heat up, but the added mass of the fire bricks maintains heat better and helps stabilize the temp swings when you open the lid. This actually causes the units to burn less pellets on the longer cooks. High temp cooks burn through a ton of pellets. I have a hard time with my BBQ 075 even getting up to 400 degrees. I think the cooking chamber is too big. Hindsight being what it is, I think I should have gone with the 70.

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    Somewhat Idahoan Drunk Tank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    I was just about to post this model. I think this is what I'm leaning towards right now. Steak is a big deal in our family. So this one does well. I wish it would get a little hotter, but 650 is probably ok. I've read several reviews now that say it is a very well designed and built unit. I need to shop around for a deal.
    You wont be dissapointed. There are several people competeing with these and having good results.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    On the rare occasion that I want to grill a steak, I just fire up my old charcoal grill. I am still hoping to pick up a cheap BGE somewhere.
    This is something else I'm thinking about. You can score a nice Traeger and a small BGE for about the same price as a Memphis Pro.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunk Tank View Post
    On the pellet heads forum (www.pelletheads.com) alot of the Traeger owners are modding their Traegers by adding fire bricks in the bottom of the cooking chamber. The units take a little while longer to heat up, but the added mass of the fire bricks maintains heat better and helps stabilize the temp swings when you open the lid. This actually causes the units to burn less pellets on the longer cooks. High temp cooks burn through a ton of pellets. I have a hard time with my BBQ 075 even getting up to 400 degrees. I think the cooking chamber is too big. Hindsight being what it is, I think I should have gone with the 70.
    Do you think it will matter which brand of pellet is used either of the Traeger or Memphis? I've never shopped for pellets. How hard are they to find?

  14. #14
    Somewhat Idahoan Drunk Tank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    Do you think it will matter which brand of pellet is used either of the Traeger or Memphis? I've never shopped for pellets. How hard are they to find?
    I have used Traeger brand pellets and they are good, but there are better out there. Currently I am usingCookingpellets.com "perfect mix" pellets. BBQ Delight pellets are good as well. Just dont use pellets designed for wood stoves. They need to be food grade.

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    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunk Tank View Post
    I have used Traeger brand pellets and they are good, but there are better out there. Currently I am using Cookingpellets.com "perfect mix" pellets. BBQ Delight pellets are good as well. Just dont use pellets designed for wood stoves. They need to be food grade.
    $25 shipping for one bag? Ouch.
    "Socialism is not bad IMHO" - byu71
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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    We rarely do steak (wife does not like it)...
    This makes me very sad.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunk Tank View Post
    I have used Traeger brand pellets and they are good, but there are better out there. Currently I am usingCookingpellets.com "perfect mix" pellets. BBQ Delight pellets are good as well. Just dont use pellets designed for wood stoves. They need to be food grade.
    So the pellet isn't brand specific? I can use any of the cooking pellets without problems on either machine??

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    $25 shipping for one bag? Ouch.
    Where do you get your pellets in Utah?

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    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    Where do you get your pellets in Utah?
    Anywhere that sells Traeger (there are lots of places). I usually go to Bullfrog spas in Orem.
    "Socialism is not bad IMHO" - byu71
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.

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    Somewhat Idahoan Drunk Tank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    $25 shipping for one bag? Ouch.
    I got in on a group buy for some Bakersfield guys. I got 3 40lb bagsof perfect mix and 2 40lb bags of hickory pellets for $120 delivered.

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    Somewhat Idahoan Drunk Tank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    So the pellet isn't brand specific? I can use any of the cooking pellets without problems on either machine??
    Nope not brand specific. I really like Traeger brand pecan pellets.

  22. #22
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    I need something that will do well during Utah winters. I need something that will be fairly easy to use. Kind of a set it and forget it type thing for long smokes. Something that is large enough to do a couple of racks of ribs or a turkey. I would like to be able to use it for breads/pizza or use it for a steak at 800 degrees. Is this unrealistic? Could one of you experts please point me in the right direction?
    So, does this mean that your possible relocation we discussed is out?
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    So, does this mean that your possible relocation we discussed is out?
    No, not at all. I'll take it with me. I'm ordering this for delivery to Utah. My Utah family will use it while I'm here and then I'll take it with me when I relocate. All my stuff is in a storage unit in Utah.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunk Tank View Post
    You wont be dissapointed. There are several people competeing with these and having good results.
    Pulled the trigger. Should be there late next week. Can't wait.

  25. #25
    Somewhat Idahoan Drunk Tank's Avatar
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    :jealous: congrats!

  26. #26
    sweet triple TripletDaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    Pulled the trigger. Should be there late next week. Can't wait.
    You just spent 2k on a smoker?
    Fitter. Happier. More Productive.


  27. #27
    Not Banned Tim's Avatar
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    I'm with you, CJF. The whole situation is getting out of control.
    Visca Catalunya Lliure

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TripletDaddy View Post
    You just spent 2k on a smoker?
    It is a 3 in 1 cooking machine!

  29. #29
    Somewhat Idahoan Drunk Tank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripletDaddy View Post
    You just spent 2k on a smoker?
    The reality of it is, 2K for a nice smoker/grill it is about the going price for a unit of this quality. Yes, it is expensive. Go price out a custom pit. A Klose, Lang, or Spicewine offset will cost you 2-3K for a backyard model. Competition pits can run upwards of 6-10K. A Traeger like the one I bought at Costco retails for 1200 (I paid 799) and its now concidered low end as far as pellet grills go. A Cookshack FEC100 (which is a backyard/competition cooker runs $3600 and is concidered the creme de la creme of pellet smokers) is only a smoker, not a grill. An XL big green egg is about $1000 without any of the accessories. Add a table, tools, a digital temp controller and you could be looking at close to 2k.

    The cheapest good quality smoker you can find is a Weber Smokey Montain. They come in an 18.5" and 22" and are $299 and $399 respectively. The Bradley smokers are not a bad choice either and are a good price point, but again, only a smoker. The Bradley's cannot be used in competition BBQ because they use a heating element as the source of the heat and not the wood puck, the puck is only used to add the smoke.

    2k is alot to spend, but you are buying quality and it will last years to come.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunk Tank View Post
    The reality of it is, 2K for a nice smoker/grill it is about the going price for a unit of this quality. Yes, it is expensive. Go price out a custom pit. A Klose, Lang, or Spicewine offset will cost you 2-3K for a backyard model. Competition pits can run upwards of 6-10K. A Traeger like the one I bought at Costco retails for 1200 (I paid 799) and its now concidered low end as far as pellet grills go. A Cookshack FEC100 (which is a backyard/competition cooker runs $3600 and is concidered the creme de la creme of pellet smokers) is only a smoker, not a grill. An XL big green egg is about $1000 without any of the accessories. Add a table, tools, a digital temp controller and you could be looking at close to 2k.

    The cheapest good quality smoker you can find is a Weber Smokey Montain. They come in an 18.5" and 22" and are $299 and $399 respectively. The Bradley smokers are not a bad choice either and are a good price point, but again, only a smoker. The Bradley's cannot be used in competition BBQ because they use a heating element as the source of the heat and not the wood puck, the puck is only used to add the smoke.

    2k is alot to spend, but you are buying quality and it will last years to come.
    I love the idea of a quick wood flavored grill or a wood burning oven. That is the clincher for me. I'll only get to use it a few weeks at a time for the next little while, but I'll use the heck out of it when I am around it. When I finally buy a grow old in house I want to have a built in for the back yard.

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