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Anyone own a pellet grill/smoker?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So like the title says, does anyone on here own a grill/smoker that uses wood pellets?  I am looking picking up a Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone but I would love to hear from people who own similar grills.

post #2 of 14

I have seen the pellet grills demonstrated at Costco.  I think they are incredibly expensive and tie you to a fuel source that may be difficult to find at times.  I have settled on a Big Steel Keg for the time being (think Green Egg but cheap).  I have great control over temperature with dampers, and can even extinguish the flame by shutting down the air.  I'm getting real good results on every thing from Santa Maria grilling, to long smoking of ribs, brisket.  I have even used it as a wood-fired oven with a Green Egg Plate Setter (Ceramic table and heat deflector), to do pizza.  Excellent!  I also have a stainless steel gas grill and a Texas offset smoker/grill, but the Steel Keg is killin' it for me most of the time.


The Green Mountain grills do a much better job of maintaining and distributing heat than most charcoal, wood or gas-fired consumer grills. However, they are primarily grills, not smokers. The question is, what do you want to do with the unit, and how much do you need to cook at any time.  


BTW I'll challenge your expensive grill to a cook-off anytime. beercheer.gif

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

The Traeger and Green Mountain Grills aren't all the expensive....at least compared to some grills and smokers out there.  The pellet grills seem to combine the ability to smoke with all the usefulness and convenience of a gas grill.  I know the smoke flavor is suppose to be more subtle but from what I have read online they are quickly becoming the smokers of choice on the competition circuit.  I like the idea of set it and forget it with the digital controllers.  If it were to replace my gas grill it would probably get used quite a bit.  In a normal summer I use my grill enough to burn 60-80 lbs. of propane.  I probably cook dinner 3-5 times a week in the warm months.


I accept your challenge but who's bringing the bourbon and who's bringing the beer?

post #4 of 14

Just finished pizzas on the Keg. 


Can the Green Mountain hold 225-250? 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

The temperature range is 150-500.  I don't think the Traegers will get that hot and maybe only go to 180 degrees.  The digital controllers also monitor ambient temperature as well as using a temperature probe for the meat.  I know I know sounds an awful lot like cheating.  biggrin.gif


Oh and the original plan was to just buy a Weber smoker.

post #6 of 14

It sounds like a fun way to get some results with minimal tinkering and maintenance of the controls.  I know there have been many times I'd like to leave and run an errand or focus on things besides the cooking.  Sometimes that has had bad results, such as the charcoal lumps that began as chicken thighs.  Being able to set and forget has its advantages.


You still can't talk me into liking Lambic beer! eek.gif

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

You are not giving me any hope on the Lambic.  This will be the first one I've tried and after watching a review on You Tube last night I am thinking I may have made a mistake in purchasing it but sometimes you just have to take a chance right?

post #8 of 14

I was once a judge for the Zymurgy competition at the El Dorado County fair.  Since I was new at judging, they thought it would be good to assign me to the specialty beers, including Lambic, fruit and spice beers.  Not my mug of choice, and fortunately, spitting was acceptable.  Lambic can be interesting, but mostly to me it just tastes like infected beer.

post #9 of 14

Lambic beer is good


for saute'ing mushrooms

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Cirquerider, is this the one you have?  It's about the same price normal size Traeger or GMG.uu
post #11 of 14

That is what I have, but I paid about $325. 


It's official, I belong to CBA (cheap bastards association).

post #12 of 14

Hi, found this because someone hit on my blog for a similar question and you were in the search results.


I have a Green Mountain Grill Daniel Boone that I purchased almost two years ago.  It has easily paid for itself several times over, because I cook on it several nights a week most of the year.  Right now, it is pretty much in daily use.


Some positives of a pellet grill, specifically the GMG (because that's my experience):


1. You have digital temperature control, unlike gas and charcoal grills.  As a result, any recipe (and I mean ANY) that you could prepare in the oven now can be prepared on your grill. 


2. Things you wouldn't consider doing on the grill can be done on it, thanks to the regulation of temperature.  I grill pizzas weekly.  Yes, pizza.  While I prefer to put them on some parchment paper to be able to rotate them while cooking, it's not necessary.


3. The ash from burned pellets is minimal.  I do a thorough clean out about every six months and there is hardly any ash to speak of. 


4. The pellet bags are cheap, when you compare to buying charcoal or propane.   I buy two bags at a time from my local dealer, and they usually get me 6-8 weeks of cooking a few nights a week, sometimes burgers and brats or a steak and usually a boston butt slow cooked every other week. 


5.  If your power goes out, you can use a car battery to operate the grill.  I plan on purchasing a generator soon, and the load from it is minimal. 


6.  People will RAVE about your food!  I get gorgeous smoke rings on all the meats I cook, it's similar to convection cooking, so things stay moist. 


I wrote a blog post about it  suzannesez.blogspot.com/2012/05/green-mountain-grills-daniel-boone.html and I'm happy to answer questions or share more pictures of things I cook on that grill.  Other than the initial investment, I've only bought one specific grill pan-because it plays well with everything else. 

post #13 of 14

I may have to treat myself to one of these GMGs.  I've had great results on the Keg, but I'm limited on space.  The brisket was killer good.





post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

I was ready to pull the trigger on the Char Griller keg but decided to hold off since I really want the pellet grill.  Now I just have to decide of I want a GMG Daniel Boone or a new pair of DPS skis.  biggrin.gif

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