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Doc Shapiro

Pellet Smokers

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The older I get, the less time I want to spend tending the smoker, maintaining temp, etc.  So I'm looking at getting a pellet smoker.  I'm torn between a Traeger (https://www.traegergrills.com/) and a Rec Tec (https://www.rectecgrills.com/).  Currently leaning toward the Rec Tec. 

 

Anyone have any experience with either, or have another brand to recommend through personal experience?

 

As always, comments welcome.

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I have the Green Mountain my son has the Traeger.  They both do a great job, how ever we both feel the Green Mountain is built a little better.

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No matter which brand you buy get one that has the temperature regulated by a thermostat.

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Always thought that it was kind of cheating to use one.

 

Then after feeling kind of like you are now. Broke down and got one. Went with Traeger.

Really like it. Very easy to use. And get more smoke on the meat than I thought I would.

Get a really nice smoke ring. They say to only use Traeger pellets. But I really don't like Traeger pellets.

Have used BBQ Delight pellets with no problems at all.  Thing is to keep the smoker DRY. Under a covered

porch with the cover on it. Son-in-law found out the hard way.  

 

Have heard really good things about the Rec-Tec. But nobody had one around here I could look at.

Don't like to buy something I can not look at in person.

 

I like mine. And have not really had a problem. If I was to have a do over. Might go with the Rec-Tec or the Green Mountain

over what I got.

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23 minutes ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

Never used one; but I confess to drooling over these.  Wifi version lets you control feed and temp via your cellphone - on the sofa or out in your boat!!

 

https://greenmountaingrills.com/products/grills/prime-wifi/jim-bowie-wifi-ss-prime/

 

LL

 

I didn't know about those!  Looks like there's a local dealer.  May have to drop by there next Saturday and check it out.

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My Traeger is 15 years old and if I were to buy another it would not be a Traeger. They just aren’t the company and smoker that they used to be. The new ownership is trying to right the ship but it may be to late. If I buy a new pellet grill I’m going with the Pitts and Spitts. I’ve watched them in action, as a couple of neighbors have them and they are an incredible smoker. Quite a bit more than the top of the line Traeger but, IMHO, a much better smoker. Ask Pat Riot what he thinks of Traeger. 
 

There are quite a few manufacturers of Pellet Grills and another one that I like is the Yoder pellet grill not quite as pricey as the Pitts and Spitts but very well made. I believe they are built in Iowa. 

Edited by Yul Lose

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I highly recommend NOT buying a Traeger. Their customer service has gone to hell. Their products are not as good as they once were. All their grills and parts are made in China now but their prices never dropped. I bought a smaller 20” smoker in March and had nothing but trouble with it, unlike the Traeger’s I used in Oregon at work that were made just down the road. 
After numerous calls to Traeger and talking with people who had no clue and read all their troubleshooting info from a flip book I finally gave up and returned the grill to Costco. To hell with Traeger. They took a good reputable company and flushed it. 
 

I bought a Louisiana Grills LG700 and could not be happier with it. 
 

If you are leaning toward Rec Tec I say buy the Rec Tec and save yourself from a bunch of BS from Traeger. 
 

Hell, Traeger can’t even post recipes online anymore without screwing it up so they can’t be printed, even though that is what they post them for. 
 

Go for anything but Traeger. 

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Thanks for the heads up on Traeger, along with the other suggestions.  The Yoder looks out of my price range, unfortunately. 

 

More pros/cons welcome!

 

 

Edited by Doc Shapiro

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Good friend loves his smoker from Costo. Dang he does magical things with it.

 

Across the street neighbor has a Yoder. At first I thought he had bought a stationary engine when I saw it in his truck. I don't get it unless you own an eatery or compete.

 

He also does magical things, but I can't taste the difference between them except the skill of the smoker. Friend's Costco has been owned for 3 years, neighbor's for one or two years. 

 

Good luck!

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Check out SmokingMeatForums, an entire section dedicated to pellet grills.

 

Agree...say no to Traeger.

 

rec Tec gets rave reviews for customer service based in Augusta Georgia but all stuff imported from China.  Great 6 year full warranty on the Bull and lots of great customer service stories.

 

i bought a Yoder YS640 and like that very much, made in Kansas, very heavily built and works great, lots of room.

 

i would want a ceramic igniter and a WiFi controller and both these models have that.  

I will say I do not get as strong of a smoke flavor as charcoal or wood, but Lumberjack pellets seem to have the best flavor over other brands...hickory or char hickory.  

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I have a green mountain Davy Crockett. It goes in the camper. I also have a smoke chef. It is a cheaper one. Works very well. Has the temp sensor for the grill...but I had to buy a meat probe for it. The green mountain has that built into it. I had a couple bags of traeger pellets. Won’t buy any more of them. They and the grills were both stored inside. Some of the pellets were about 3 inches long. Also seemed to be damp and wouldn’t feed. Had to babysit the grill and keep pushing them into the auger

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YODER smokers top notch made in USA

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We bought the Pit Boss Pro-1100 at Lowes this past summer an so far we love it. The hopper holds 35 pounds of pellets, it has dual food temp probes, a temperature probe for the thermostat, easy to clean and even has a feature allowing you to sear steaks and tri-tips.The fit and finish is good, and it seems very sturdily made. It was $599

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I already have a Traeger , and am wondering when the change-over downfall happened. No way I can afford to chunk it and get something else , just wondering if it is in the lower quality time frame.

It hasn't given me any trouble yet , so maybe I got lucky. That would be a switch.:lol:

Rex :D

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2 minutes ago, Rex M Rugers #6621 said:

I already have a Traeger , and am wondering when the change-over downfall happened. No way I can afford to chunk it and get something else , just wondering if it is in the lower quality time frame.

It hasn't given me any trouble yet , so maybe I got lucky. That would be a switch.:lol:

Rex :D

Traeger changed only a couple of years ago. I am sure buying parts, when needed will be fine. There isn’t much to screw up building Hot Rods and thermocouple temp probes. 

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13 minutes ago, Rex M Rugers #6621 said:

I already have a Traeger , and am wondering when the change-over downfall happened. No way I can afford to chunk it and get something else , just wondering if it is in the lower quality time frame.

It hasn't given me any trouble yet , so maybe I got lucky. That would be a switch.:lol:

Rex :D

You can get whatever parts you need on Amazon for the Traeger. I was told by a past Traeger dealer that the real problems started about 8 years ago or so when the original Traeger guy wasn’t involved anymore. I don’t know if he’s got it right but that’s what he said and he doesn’t sell their smoker anymore. 

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I just dropped by a local Yoder dealer to look at them. Holy cow, what a beast!  I’m sold. Probably pick one up this week. Looks like the last grill I’ll ever buy. 
 

Thanks for all of the comments. 
 

Doc

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Which Yoder Doc?  I have the grill grates and use mine for both direct and indirect.  The two piece diffuser plate is expensive but will save you a lot of time...I don’t have it wish I did.

 

just did Tri tip tonight turned out great.  If you are getting the non WiFi version of a 480 or 640 it should be at a discount as the new models have built in WiFi.  

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1 hour ago, JD Lud said:

Which Yoder Doc?  I have the grill grates and use mine for both direct and indirect.  The two piece diffuser plate is expensive but will save you a lot of time...I don’t have it wish I did.

 

just did Tri tip tonight turned out great.  If you are getting the non WiFi version of a 480 or 640 it should be at a discount as the new models have built in WiFi.  

I’ll be getting the WiFi version of the 680. That’s a good part of the appeal. First cook will be thanksgiving turkey!

 

Not cheap, but it looks well worth it. 

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Nice!  Good luck on purchase, I don’t have the new one but I use fireboard WiFi’s probes and they work great.  Had mine since April and no problems, built to last a lifetime as you say.  

 

 

 

 

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