Smoking meat is a delicious way to enjoy cooked meats and vegetables and it can be an excellent means of preparing several meals in advance. Smoking meat has been used as a preservative since ancient times and while it is less used for that today, we still love the flavor enhancing properties of smoking food.
In order to do so it takes a quality smoker and time and while there are many quality smokers on the market, time is an expensive commodity. For that reason and more, pellet smokers with varying degrees of smart technology has entered the market.
Little Pellets, Lots Of Heat
Traditional smokers use gas or charcoal, combined with wood chips and water bowl to create smoked food. Pellet smokers, offer an alternative by using large hoppers filled with small, round pellets of wood, fed by an auger and digitally controlled, into the fire box where they produce generous amounts of heat and smoke to cook the meat.
The effect is primarily due to the fact that the smaller surface area of the pellets provide for a more even heat with plenty of smoke production. In addition, these pellets can be fed and controlled easier because the combustion factors are known of each pellet.
Importantly, when using a pellet smoker, it is imperative to use all hardwood pellets. The main reason is soft woods such as pine and others, produce by product chemicals as a result of combustion and these can cause an inefficient burn process and these chemicals can come to rest on your food. The same can happen with cheaply made, hardwood pellets that use a synthetic glue as a binder.
Therefore, you should always read the pellet bag to ensure you are getting good quality pellets. Using a pellet grill is easy and with the new smart technology can be set to shut off at a preset time, thus allowing you the time to get more done.
Five Of The Best Pellet Smokers On The Market
Best Mini Portable Pellet Grill
With a maximum temperature of 600 degrees and with a range of 180 degrees to 550 degrees capable of five degree increments, this grill – REC TEC Grills Mini Series Pellet Grill/Smoker can fine tune the temperature to match your cooking needs. The hopper holds 15 pounds of pellets and the grill has a solid, steel construction and an excellent paint coating that resists chipping and flaking.
It has over 320 inches of cooking space and the controls are easy to use and easy to read. It is also portable due to the folding legs, which makes it perfect for camping. People who purchased this smoker/grill speak highly of both the construction and the easy set up and use.
Best Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ
Capable of smoking any food, this grill – Camp Chef Model #PG24 Pellet Grill/Smoker uses a digital, LED display and control to get your food just perfect. The heavy duty construction provides for longevity and the powder coating keeps your grill rust free. It uses a unique cleaning system that makes this grill/smoker easy to clean and it means no longer having to take the grill apart to clean it.
It has over 500 cubic inches of cooking space and the set up is easy with the available video. People who purchased this grill speak of the great quality construction and the excellent heat characteristics of this smoker/grill.
Top Rated Pellet Grill under $1000
Traeger was the first to market with the pellet grill/smoker and has been a market leader since then. This grill – Traeger Lone Star Series Pellet Grill/Smoker can grills, smoke or even function as a convection oven, giving you more options for cooking. It has over 500 cubic inches of cooking space and the assembly is very easy and fast.
It has an all steel construction with a powder coating that resists flaking and rusting and the unit is easy to use and easy to clean. People who purchased this unit speak of the great tasting results and the super fast assembly so they could get cooking right away.
Premium Pellet Grill to Buy
Made with 14 gauge steel, this grill – Pellet Pro Model #Cpg-627 Pellet Grill/Smoker is highly robust and will last for years and years, delivering great tasting smoked and grilled food. This model comes with over 700 inches of cooking space which is plenty of space for even large birds and cuts of meat.
The control system is all digital and has a PID controller for excellent control with a variance of only plus or minus five degrees. Large hopper space ensure a generous amount of consistent heat production is maintained. People who purchased this smoker love the excellent construction of the smoker and the superior controls, and of course the free pellets.
Best Rated Pellet Smoker on the Market
The REC TEC Smart Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker is a much larger model than the previous one in the list and it uses smart technology to ensure quality results. This unit has a top, rear loading hopper that is easy to fill and monitor and it will hold up to 40 pounds of pellets. The smart technology allows for a variance of only five degrees, plus or minus, over the time set with the all digital control system.
The control system also allows for an auto shut off and with the attached probes will allow for exacting performance for any cut of meat. People who purchased this smoker love the high performance control system and how well this smoker is put together.
For pellet smokers, it is important for the best results to read and follow all operating instructions. Remember, pellet quality is also a determining factor in getting the best results as well.