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Questions re getting a pellet grill.


keeperovdeflame
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Truly love my Egg and Kamado Cooking is  my main gig. However, I have always been attracted to pellet grills. I took momentary notice of the new Weber but eventually lost interest in it due to the negative reviews and press. I then started looking at Trager's which seem to be the BGE of pellet grills in that they sell a lot of them and the company is substantially large. I started looking at basic models and then found my self drawn to the Timberline 850. It is expensive but, in truth, what nice grill isn't to some degree. The reviews I have read have many positives with the main negatives being price, the hassle of changing from one wood type pellet to another depending on what your cooking, and that you have to keep it relatively clean to insure it works properly. Anyone have any thoughts before I  actually pull the trigger.

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I have the 1300 and I have been very happy with it. Have you ever had food cooked on a pellet grill? The flavor profile is much different than a stick burner, or charcoal, like the BGE. I like the cleaner flavor of my 1300 on lots of things, especially poultry but prefer the flavor from my BJ for may other items but some people don't think a pellet gives enough smoke flavor. If you have not tried food from a pellet grill I would highly recommend it before you pull the trigger. If you like the flavor from a pellet grill, I don't see how you could go wrong with the Timberline 850.

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5 hours ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Truly love my Egg and Kamado Cooking is  my main gig. However, I have always been attracted to pellet grills. I took momentary notice of the new Weber but eventually lost interest in it due to the negative reviews and press. I then started looking at Trager's which seem to be the BGE of pellet grills in that they sell a lot of them and the company is substantially large. I started looking at basic models and then found my self drawn to the Timberline 850. It is expensive but, in truth, what nice grill isn't to some degree. The reviews I have read have many positives with the main negatives being price, the hassle of changing from one wood type pellet to another depending on what your cooking, and that you have to keep it relatively clean to insure it works properly. Anyone have any thoughts before I  actually pull the trigger.

 

 

I have some useful feedback for you on pellet grills.  I am on my third one.  The first and most important thing to know is this:

 

All pellet grills COOK THE SAME.  What you are buying is THAT plus a set of bells and whistles.

 

You can't tell the difference in a brisket you cook on a $300 pellet grill from one you cook on an $800 grill or a $2000 grill with possibly one minor exception.  Some of the newer grills have exhausts that are lower on the cooking chamber.  I do believe this helps with the smoke profile you get from pellet grills.  The Traeger Ironwood and Timberlines have this.  I am not sure about the other grills out there but THAT is one of the 'bells and whistles' I would look for in a pellet grill.  That being said, it doesn't take a lot of ingenuity to modify a standard design to lower the exhaust outlet inside any cheap pellet grill to achieve that same feature.

 

Maintenance on a pellet grill isn't a big deal.  You just need to lift out the drip pan and clean out the fire pot every 3 or 4 cooks.  If you are using a Yoder, you need to do that EVERY cook.  

 

If you have some specific questions about features or benefits I'd be happy to tell you specifically what I know from what I have seen and used in the past.  

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Thanks John, 

 

I actually pulled the trigger on a Timberline 850 this afternoon. I liked the electronic bells and whistles and also the fact that the side walls, back, and door plate seemed thicker and more substantial than the other models. I watched a bunch of videos on the Trager forum and was impressed by the beautiful blue grey smoke it puts out when up to temp. Much like my Egg.  My local dealer, same as my BGE, is going to drop it off Wednesday morning. They actually aren't supposed to do delivery with Covid 19 shutdown, , but since I have bought 4 grills from them, they agreed to drop it off on the driveway. I have no steps and my door threshold is only  4 inches since the house has some ADA features in it's design. Straight shot to the deck, so I should be able to get it there easily by my self, as they  can't help me under True Values new Covid safety rules. I watched a couple videos on maintenance and seasoning. So I am thinking I am at least some what prepared. I will probably have some questions once I start cooking, 

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From my experience, the profile of pellet smoke is pretty much the same except mesquite and hickory which give off a stronger flavor.  Unless you have such a delicate pallet you can tell some difference.  I'm super pleased with the ribs outa my pellet pooper.  Like John said, same results from the cheapest or the most expensive.  

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8 hours ago, BURGER MEISTER said:

From my experience, the profile of pellet smoke is pretty much the same except mesquite and hickory which give off a stronger flavor.  Unless you have such a delicate pallet you can tell some difference.  I'm super pleased with the ribs outa my pellet pooper.  Like John said, same results from the cheapest or the most expensive.  

Pellets do kinda look like deer poop:lol: is the time about the same, 4 hours and something 2-1-1 is what I usually do for ribs in my Egg?

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14 hours ago, John Setzler said:

Some of the newer grills have exhausts that are lower on the cooking chamber. 

 

It's not just the newer pellet units with this configuration.  I first became aware of the Cookshack Fast Eddy PG500/1000s in 2012.  That design is what attracted me.  IDK when they started building them but the configuration isn't particularly new.   It has been uncommon.

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8 minutes ago, pmillen said:

 

It's not just the newer pellet units with this configuration.  I first became aware of the Cookshack Fast Eddy PG500/1000s in 2012.  That design is what attracted me.  IDK when they started building them but the configuration isn't particularly new.   It has been uncommon.

 

Yea... its not new in that aspect but it's relatively new in the pellet grill consumer market.  The cookshack stuff is really pricey and beyond what the average joe is gonna put on the back patio.  There aren't but a few typical pellet grills that are using this setup.  There IS a mod available for a lot of them though called the Godke Downdraft.  

 

http://dongodkesdowndraft.com/

 

This thing fixed the issues i was having with my Yoder in terms of uneven heat in the cooking chamber.  Yoder also says it voids the warranty, but this add on is available for quite a few different pellet grills.  

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2 hours ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Pellets do kinda look like deer poop:lol: is the time about the same, 4 hours and something 2-1-1 is what I usually do for ribs in my Egg?

 

I usually run my ribs a little longer and lower because......well, I can.  Panel says 150 but it's really running around 175-180. The last ones I did last week, ran almost 6 hours and I have never been a fan of "fall off the bone" type ribs.  I like mine to have a skosh amount of bite to remove them.  I wrapped at 4 hours with some apple juice and baked them about 1.5 hours then unwrapped and finished about another hour until they were just about breakable with the bend test.  Pork ribs are probably my most favorite thing to do on the pellet thingy and dino beef ribs second.  

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14 hours ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Thanks John, 

 

I actually pulled the trigger on a Timberline 850 this afternoon. I liked the electronic bells and whistles and also the fact that the side walls, back, and door plate seemed thicker and more substantial than the other models. I watched a bunch of videos on the Trager forum and was impressed by the beautiful blue grey smoke it puts out when up to temp. Much like my Egg.  My local dealer, same as my BGE, is going to drop it off Wednesday morning. They actually aren't supposed to do delivery with Covid 19 shutdown, , but since I have bought 4 grills from them, they agreed to drop it off on the driveway. I have no steps and my door threshold is only  4 inches since the house has some ADA features in it's design. Straight shot to the deck, so I should be able to get it there easily by my self, as they  can't help me under True Values new Covid safety rules. I watched a couple videos on maintenance and seasoning. So I am thinking I am at least some what prepared. I will probably have some questions once I start cooking, 

 

Excellent.... I have the 850 also and if you need any tips, tricks, or advice, feel free to hit me up.  There isn't any seasoning you really need to do on that grill.  I'd just wash the stainless steel grill grates before you start.  You will want to do a 350° burn for an hour or so to remove any residual manufacturing oil from places that might have it and then you are good to go...  The Timberline is one of the Cadillacs of the pellet grill world.  You won't be disappointed in that decision.

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1 hour ago, John Setzler said:

 

Excellent.... I have the 850 also and if you need any tips, tricks, or advice, feel free to hit me up.  There isn't any seasoning you really need to do on that grill.  I'd just wash the stainless steel grill grates before you start.  You will want to do a 350° burn for an hour or so to remove any residual manufacturing oil from places that might have it and then you are good to go...  The Timberline is one of the Cadillacs of the pellet grill world.  You won't be disappointed in that decision.

Yeah, an hour at 350 following washing the grates and a quick wipe down of the walls is what they recommended, they did say that following the wash you should spray the grates and walls with cooking oil before you run it at 350 for an hour. You agree with that? I will probably do a spatchcock chicken for my first cook, and then Babybacks for my BIL's Bday. Looking forward. What is a cool cook you do on yours, something that might impress my wife? 

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4 minutes ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Yeah, an hour at 350 following washing the grates and a quick wipe down of the walls is what they recommended, they did say that following the wash you should spray the grates and walls with cooking oil before you run it at 350 for an hour. You agree with that?

 

It won't hurt anything but I just don't see a purpose in it.  There isn't anything in the cooking chamber that would possibly rust except for the fire pot.  Seasnoning that would burn off immediately anyway.... 

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20 hours ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Thanks John, 

 

I actually pulled the trigger on a Timberline 850 this afternoon. 

 

Great Choice, you are going to love that grill.  i had the D1 1300 & 850 & upgraded to the D2  equipment last year (Timberline 1300 & Ironwood 650).  So much fun to cook on & the technology is top notch.  I really enjoy the Smart Phone app & recipes; they've just upgraded the cloud server and the software just keeps getting better and better!  

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You are going to love the timberline 850.  It is the perfect size and my current daily driver.  Upgrading to D2 was my best decision. I love the new variable stage motor.  Having my first auger jam a week ago was an easy fix with a push of the button.  No more disassembly.  
 

the double wall steel, upgraded door gasket and beefed up stainless grills makes the decision a no brainer as long as it’s affordable for you.  
 

I love the Kamado, however; I have only used it twice in the past year.  
 

my advice to you is maintenance.  Create cleaning habits now.  Get a small shop vac to help.  Keep the deflector covered with fresh foil. 

 

the Comments about lighter profile is true to an extent.  I would say it’s more of a clean smoke profile and you will need to realize that the removal of charcoal in a low and slow is a huge change.  
 

learning to cook on the traeger is a bit of a curve.  I find that as the cook temp is a bit more consistent my cook times were slightly longer.  Also, learning how to do a super smoke at the start of cooks is a great thing.  
 

An example would be a Boston butt.  I like to smoke at 165 on super smoke for an hour before I start cooking.  It allows for a heavy smoke penetration before you get going.   
 

When I spatchcock a chicken I may do 165° on super smoke for 30 min before I start cooking.  
 

any questions let me know.  I will be more than happy to guide you through it all.  
 

congrats 

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