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mliebs

Taking a walk over to the dark side

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I've been grilling on my Classic II for the last 18-20 months and absolutely love it.  For some reason I've been wanting to buy a stick burner but at the end of the day I purchased a Pitts and Spitts Maverick 1250 pellet grill.  It should be delivered in the next hour or two so I'm going through the manual so I can start the burn in and give it a try tomorrow.  I'm curious to know how many people have the KJ and a pellet grill and what your thoughts are.  My long term plans are to use this through the winter (with my KJ) and order a Lone Star Grillz offset in December.  

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Good choice on the P&S 1250, it's supposed to be a great grill. I use my BJ and my Timberline 1300 all the time. Some things I prefer, like chicken, on the 1300 and some thing I will only do on the BJ. They both have good and bad points but I think you will really enjoy the convenience of the pellet grill and the flavor from the pellet grill is just different then the BJ. 

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I don't have a pellet cooker yet, but a Traeger 1300 D2 is in the plans. The combination of simplicity and huge rectangular space is difficult to duplicate. 

 

The versatility and temperature range of the kamados is tough to beat, but there is a lot of room for complimentary cookers. 

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I have a BGE and a Traeger, I'm trying to like the pellet grill but so far its been a struggle. To me the Traeger is an oven, it works but doesn't excite me, a superior pellet grill might be a different story though.

 

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Well I started with a small bone in pork roast and a rack of baby backs.  Later today I'll also be adding chicken leg quarters.  I put three probes on the grate to check the temperature and it does vary a little but not too bad.  I'm smoking at 180 right now and you can see what it read before I put the meat on.  Left and center were right at 181and the far right was 172.  After throwing the meat on I'm at 183 left, 176 center, and 174 far right.  The thermometer on the far right is just off the edge of the drip pan so that might affect it but who knows.  I might move the probes to the top shelf later today when I do the chicken to see what they read.

 

I'm using a Honey Maple rub on the roast and a Raspberry Honey on the ribs.  The roast will be sliced as is but the ribs will get a light coast of spicy Texas Wizard at the end.  The grill is considerably bigger than I'm used to.  It's a 24" drum and it's 36" wide.  Anyway here's a few pictures.

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Thanks, I hope the food turns out ok.  I think the roast being so cold affected the initial temperature.  The entire bottom grate is ready within one degree now from left to right.

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Just finished the pork roast.  I started at 180 for 2 hours, then 250 for 2.5 hours and it turned out pretty good.  I did notice a big difference in the amount of smoke but the overall flavor and tenderness was spot on.  I'm finishing up some baby backs in about 45 minutes so we'll see how they turn out.  The pellets I used had a blend of Hickory, Maple, and  Cherry so that might explain the light smoke profile.  I'll be doing chicken in a couple of hours so I should get a pretty good feel for the amount of smoke with the leg quarters.  

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22 hours ago, mliebs said:

I'm curious to know how many people have the KJ and a pellet grill and what your thoughts are.

 

I have a KJ Big Joe and a Cookshack Fast Eddy PG500 pellet pit (plus some other stuff).

  • I prefer to smoke on the kamado.  I can get more of the smoke taste.  I don't want it so strong that I burp it, but the pellet pit is a little too mild for me.
  • Adding an ancillary smoke generating device (like the A-MAZE-N-SMOKER) to the PG500 was a horrible mistake.  It made skunky white smoke that never improved.  I gave the A-MAZE-N-SMOKERs away (I bought two sizes).
  • I use a stoker to control the kamado temperature.  I can get fantastic temperature control and all the thin blue smoke flavor I want by adjusting the weight of the smoke wood chunks I add.
  • My pellet pit has an area where I can grill directly over pellet flames.  I don't use it.  We prefer to grill over charcoal.
  • Kamado Joe has a rotisserie attachment.  It's kinda' impressive (but probably doesn't cook any better than using the grates).  I've not seen a pellet pit with a rotisserie from the factory.
  • The heavy ceramic kamado retains heat so opening the unit to spritz or whatever doesn't appreciably affect the temperature.  I don't know of a pellet pit that can match that, although the Yoder comes close.
  • Even though the Fast Eddy series of pits incorporates a design that makes grease or hopper fires extremely unlikely, the number of reported pit fires in other  brands have made me reluctant to leave my pellet pit unattended for any period.  I don't worry about my kamado causing a structure fire.
  • Pellet pits require electricity.  Users should be cautions in rain or snow.  Not so with the kamados.
  • Many pellet pits blow ash and unburned pellet dust around the cooking area.  I don't want that stuff on my food.

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I definitely agree on the smoke flavor.  The KJ has a stronger profile than the pellet grill.  I have the Joetisserie and have done quite a few prime ribs with it.  In my opinion it works really well but in all fairness I've never tried the prime rib just on the grate.  The Pitts and Spitts uses thicker metal than the Yoder (which I almost purchased but didn't due to the reported rusting issues).  With the heavier drum and living in Houston I'm hoping the temperature doesn't become a problem.  I don't see the pellet grill replacing my KJ but I do see it being used quite often.  One thing I'm a little confused with is that I'm not really getting a smoke ring on the pellet grill so far.  Anyway, here's a few pic of the ribs I just took off.  They turned out tender and really juicy but again they lacked the heavy smoke profile.

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You will never get a heavy smoke flavor profile from a pellet grill, no matter what you use for additional smoke flavor. The way a pellet grill works is more like a convection oven and there really isn't enough fuel consumed to make a big reaction in the meat. Like I said in my first post, I really like the way poultry comes out with the pellet grill, as I don't like a heavy smoke flavor on poultry. With more experience with you P&S you will find the sweet spot, that gives you the best smoke flavor but you will still be using your KJ for a lot of your cooks.

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Congrats, that is a sweeeeet looking cooker! I've been wanting a pellet grill for a while but I've got champagne taste and beer money... A Yoder YS1500 is what I really want but any decently built cooker of similar capacity would do.  

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In addition to my kamados I have a franken pellet grill. It's a pit boss with an aftermarket pid controller. I enjoy cooking on the pellet grill. I'm actually looking to upgrade to an larger, insulated pellet before the winter. I do most of my weekend cooking on the pellet. It's very convenient for quick meals. 

 

John posted in a recent thread about the differences in the fire and smoke on a pellet vs a kamado. He usual he was spot on. The pellet grill has a small hot burning, clean fire with high air flow. That affects the smoke profile 

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