There’s a grill out there that’s capable of delivering the flavors and efficiency of hardwood cooking, with the convenience that many gas grills provide. This grill is known as a pellet grill.
Below is some background on Pellet Grills and Smokers – to go straight to our review of the best pellet smoker please click here
How pellet grills work
Pellet grills are typically controlled through a digital controller, much like the ones found on modern indoor ovens. They allow people to select the temperature the want; the included LED display shows the selected temperature.
Some pellet grills are programmable, allowing people to set their foods to cook for a certain amount of time. Another convenience offered by pellet grills is a meat thermometer (leave-in meat probes) that’s usually included with some modern models to check the temperature of meat, cooling the grill when it reaches an appropriate temperature.
The pellets are usually loaded into a pellet grill through a feed mechanism or auger. This mechanism pushes the pellets into the appliance’s burn pot. At the bottom of the pot is a igniter rod, which is used to, well, ignite the pellets when turned on. When the pellets do ignite, they’re kept hot with the appliance’s fan that blows air on them to keep them burning. The igniter shuts off once the pellets ignite.
The burn pot itself usually covered by a deflector place that helps absorb the heat from the pot, spreading it across the cooking surface. Since it spreads across the entire cooking surface, it provides helps cook food at a more consistent temperature than a standard grill. The convectional nature of this appliance also makes it heat for smoking, too.
Smoker or grill?
Despite the ‘grill’ moniker, pellet grills actually work more like smokers. The way that the cooking system in a pellet grill can be likened to that of a smoker, since it doesn’t deal with direct heat cooking like a grill does. Pellet grills make great cooking appliances for people that want to smoke food without handling a traditional smoker.
Interesting enough, some people don’t consider a pellet grill suitable enough for directly grilling foods via searing. Pellet grills work in a convectional way, meaning that the inner components spread the heat inside much like a convectional oven. Standard grills generally have parts of its grate reach higher temperatures than other parts, making it more suitable for quickly searing a cut of meat and placing it to finish cooking on a cooler part of the grill.
Due to the nature of pellet grills, they’re especially suited as an indirect heat smoker. Many foods, including cuts of meats, can be cooked within a pellet smoker.
Why you should buy a pellet grill
There are a lot of reasons why you should get a pellet grill. Of course, the main reason involves its convenience and energy efficiency. Though, that’s not the best reason.
The pellets themselves make pellet grills great smokers. While they don’t produce smoke that’s as intense as smoke produced by a standard charcoal or gas grill, the smoke produced by them gives foods a mild, elegant smoky flavor.
Pellets used in pellet grills are all natural with no added fillers and chemicals. Their composition makes them a great fuel for these appliances, since they burn fast at higher temperatures and produce incredible smoke as lower temperatures.
You might want a pellet grill for that reason alone. They’re also good appliances for people that might not want to buy a separate smoker for smoking foods. Pellet grills can actually be used much like a convectional oven, thanks to the way they work. So, if you get a pellet grill, you’re not just using it to smoke foods—you’re using it to cook anything.
The Best Pellet Grill Smoker (in our opinion) has to be the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill
The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is a wood pellet grill that can easily handle the grilling, smoking, baking and even searing needs of any user.
Using just one-touch button controls on this wood pellet grill, users can set the pellet grill to cook a wide variety of foods with little effort. The appliance, as soon as it’s turned on, automatically starts heating to the temperature desired for cooking different foods. Being a rather efficient wood pellet grill, the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill stays consistently heated throughout the cooking process.
Its controls also help people adjust the device to suit any type of cooking method. So, people can set the device to bake, smoke, grill and sear. Like similar pellet grills, one uses real wood pellets, which helps give food smoked in this pellet grill a real woodsy, smoky flavor.
- Uses Smart Grill Technology Controller
- Its patented PID algorithm helps maintain consistent temperatures
- Controls heat in 5-degree increments, ranging from 180-degrees F to 500-degrees F.
- Hosts a 19” by 34” cooking area
- Hopper capacity holds 40 pounds
Probably the most notable feature about the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is its Smart Grill Technology and accompanying controller. This technology is unique in that it allows users to efficiently control the heat that will circulate throughout the grill when it’s cooking. So, if you were smoking a big cut of meat, you’d be able to set the controller to an appropriate low temperature. The Smart Grill Technology then would help keep the temperature consistent long after you set the temperature.
To give an idea about how the temperature adjusts, it often adjusts in 5-degree increments. That allows the food cooking inside to cook at a more sustained temperature, than if you were to acutely raise the heat… and disrupt its even cooking.
Every REC TEC Grill available on the current market is said to be ‘precisely calibrated’ to product accurate and mostly reliable cooking temperatures for most foods. So, if you’re looking for a pellet grill that will keep the temperature consistent, you probably will like this one.
Also featured in the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is a large cooking area, which spans 19” by 34” in size. The cooking area also allows fro about 9.5 inches of headroom, so you can literally put in, let’s say, a two big turkeys and still have plenty of headroom for them to breathe.
The chassis, cooking area and, really, most of the appliance is made from stainless steel. All of the stainless steel components and surfaces are treated in a durable finish that helps the appliance resist high temperatures. The grill also has rollerblade-style wheels with locking casters to keep the thing grounded when you don’t need to wheel it around.
Customers enjoy the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill for what it is: a consistently heating pellet grill. Some customers were able to cook thick cuts of meat with no trouble at all. There are even cases where customers cooked several different types of meat, like a roast and several chickens, and had each cut turn out well.
Many customers also like REC TEC’s customer service, as they were quick to answer any of their problems and concerns with the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill.
Pros and Cons
- Heats consistently
- Is big enough to hold several cuts of meat
- Cooks different cuts of meat at the same time
- Supported by good customer service
- Might be too bulky for some homes
- Some may feel the chassis has a weak finish
The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is a solid pellet grill for people who need a big pellet grill that will cook everything that they throw at it. For the price, it’s one of the better pellet grills you can get.
We love this pellet grill so much we give it 5/5 stars and so does the customers over at Amazon with an amazing 4.9 out of 5 stars in the customer reviews.
Here are some of those great reviews:
- I bought my REC TEC last fall and have used it all winter. I couldn’t be happier with the performance. This really is a good product at a great price.
- Stop wasting time trying to decide what grill to buy. I spent two months, making spreadsheets to compare the different grills on the market. Everytime Rec Tec stood out.
- Great smoker. Heavy construction. Digital thermostat. Customer service fantastic. Would buy one again. Looked at others decided on this one. No regrets.
Please be sure to check out the rest of our website SmokyMeat for other great reviews.