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Pellet grill as general use grill?


WilliamTell
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I donated my Weber C Propane to a local pool and picked up a nearly idencital used Weber C NG, and never looked back ... until I got my Blackstone pizza oven, and back came the propane tanks.

 

When I got rid of my decrepit gasser, and sold my propane smoker (with a tank), I dropped from three tanks to two. Since my brewing rig is propane, I can't go without having a tank *and* a backup tank for that.

 

I do want to convert the brew rig to NG, though... At which time I'll probably have built a cooking table which will be plumbed for propane for a propane burner and Blackstone griddle ;-)

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You guys have talked some sense into me, and im going to redirect my attention back towards a gas grill and not a pellet.

Its fast, everyone likes the flavor, and I know exactly what I'm walking back into.

My old grill was propane, but our new house has an outdoor pipe for NG so I might as well use it and get away from worrying how low I am on propane or how many pellets I would hypothetically run through. Im going to lose some BTU's with NG, but think it will be worth the tradeoff. Don’t get me wrong I'm still drawn to the idea of a pellet pusher, but after some internet searching this morning it opens up numerous unintended consequences that aren’t worth mitigating or worrying about such as pellet humidity, pellet consumption, excessive smoke flavor for grilling, problems with electronics, etc..you guys know the rest. Plus in all honesty the pellet message boards are a little bit odder than stick burners or kamodos boards :)

Now that you're convinced to go the gasser route let me say having a pellet is nice in that it can smoke very LOW and consistant. I can do jerky much better on the pellet than the Akorn and if I bought the cold smoke adapter to my smoker I could get it to smoke even at lower temps. Those that have it smoke cheese on it. Ideally you'd have all three. Kamado, pellet, and gasser. Just have to spend several thousand dollars to increase the size of your patio. Sorry S60.

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There is a lot of hype going around these days about second or third grills.  Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a do everything perfectly kind of cooker.  We all know how versital a Kamado is.  I also have a Traeger Jr.  It's great for set it and forget it low and slow.  Some folks max it out to grill but that's not really what a pellet pooper was designed to do.  For me the gasser and the trailer rig set there unused.  The Kamado is for the really

good stuff.  The Treager is good for a "wood fired oven".  The Weber table top is perfect for a steak or some burgers.  So a big bucks cooker may not be the best investment.  BTW that little Weber is still the best for a hot dog. 

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There is a lot of hype going around these days about second or third grills.  Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a do everything perfectly kind of cooker.  We all know how versital a Kamado is.

 

Honestly, while one type of grill can't do everything perfectly, I think a Kamado does everything well enough to be an all-in-one outdoor cooker. It smokes, it bakes, it roasts, it grills, and it sears. With a griddle plate, it's a griddle. Heck, it's not ideal for wok cooking, but it can do wok cooking. 

 

Now, is it the best at all of those things? Perhaps not. Some might claim that a pellet grill is a better smoker. But it's a mediocre grill. Some might claim that an offset is a better smoker, but it's a terrible grill. Some might claim that an outdoor propane-fired griddle is amazing. It is amazing, but try smoking a brisket on it! A Blackstone Pizza oven is a lot more convenient (I assume) than a kamado, but it's not a grill. And a high-BTU propane burner is great for wok cooking, but it's a very limited use item. Finally, a propane grill is pretty versatile, but it's not QUITE as versatile as a kamado because it requires a lot more airflow and probably won't be as good baking or smoking.

 

I think a good compromise for me would be an XL-size kamado, a small kamado, an outdoor high-BTU propane burner for wok, chili, low country boil or sauces, and a Blackstone griddle. The griddle would be a great addition for convenience and for capacity, and for the types of cooks where you don't want to constantly open and close a kamado. And actually as I think S60 pointed out, a griddle can hold a pot for sauces/chili/LCB, so the propane burner might not even be necessary (but I already have one).

 

But until I pull the trigger on the Blackstone griddle (and build a table to contain all of this), I don't feel like I'm really missing out all that much with the two kamado cookers I have. The only annoyance is having to occasionally use the stove in the kitchen which isn't convenient.

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Well it finally happened; my old cheap gas grill has finally died its slow death. While I use my akorn for slow and low / weekend cooks, I'm thinking about what I can get to replace my week night wonder. I know all the old excuses that Kamodo's are relatively quick, but I really prefer to have something that is extremely quick to automatically fire up and cool down with minimal involvement which is why I want another gas grill or pellet grill.

What are your thoughts on using a pellet grill as a general use grill?

One of the small RecTec pellet grills may very well find its way into my arsenal one day.

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KJ Trifecta and a Rec Tec Pellet Pit, in my yard.

 

Been using pellets, very heavily, for years. While a couple of them can grill, most cannot. And the ones that can don't do nearly as well as a Kamado. Believe me, I chased that boogie man for years.  I think that you may actually have things reversed. Pellet pits shine as smokers, for a couple pf reasons:

 

1. Real Estate (eg. I just did a 17lb Packer and a butt, this weekend)

2. Smoke Tubes - They have changed my smoking game! But they won't work in a low & slow Kamdo, de to lack of oxygen

3. Better Packers - Yeah, i said it. The convection flow of the pellet pit, along with the heat flowing Left to Right (Point aimed at the heat), really helps. 

 

But I no longer even thing of using my pellet pit as a grill, when I have Kamadoes on the patio. This, even though a Rec Tec is one of the most grill-capable pellet pits out there. 

 

Regarding the "automatic" nature of pellet pits, I trust Kamadoes more. Having been through numerous pellet pits and countless cooks, I've seen my fair share of: flare-ups, stalls, clogged augers, etc. They are mechanical, and there's a lot that can & will go wrong. Between the two systems, I actually trust my Kamadoes more, because there's just less to break. And if you really want "automatic" capabilities, you can always buy a BBQ Guru or something like that, for you Kamado. I did, when I first got into Kamadoes, and it's sitting in a box... somewhere? It works well, but it's really not necessary once you get the hang of things.

 

Still, Pellet pits are great smokers. Heck, mine was running all weekend, with company visiting from out of town. I just don't think they're great grills - at least not compared to a Kamado... YMMV.

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One more thing...

 

Someone above mentioned the Rec Tec Mini. If I was to select one Pellet Pit for use, as a grill, that;d probably be the one. I now own the big rec Tec, but had the mini for a while as well. between the two, the Mini is hands-down, a better grill, for the following reasons:

 

1. It gets about 100 degrees hotter than its big brother

2. It uses less pellets

3. It gets to temp much faster.. I believe it took 15mins to get to ~450, while its big brother took more like 45mins

4. It's half the price

 

But again, once I started getting into Kamadoes, I didn't need another grill. So, I kept the big one, for use on big smokes. But if you really are intent upon a pellet grill, the small Rec Tec would be my choice. The small Rec Tec with Grill Grates isn't a bad combo. 

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