Regretting the extra spending on an apparatus without any search is far better than a little research on that apparatus. It might seem to be something like hectic but trust me it will be the value-added to your long-term passions. In case of hunting a right pellet smoker for you, give us a few minutes read to our pellet smoker buying guide, and you will end up getting rid of a massive loss to your money.
In this article, we will share how to hunt the best pellet smoker for you and the qualities that a pellet smoker has to choose.
How to Buy a Pellet Smoker
1.How does a pellet smoker work
Unlike an top electric smokers a pellet smoker works by warming a cooking chamber where air flows, warming food through convection. Charcoal and hardwood pellets consume at the lower part of the cooking chamber (this territory is called a consume pot or firepot), while food sits on flame broil grates close to the section’s highest point. At the end when fuel comes up short, more wood is apportioned from a pellet container situated over the cooking chamber. A drill drives these pellets down a chute and directly into the core of the section.
The temperature settings on a pellet smoker are constrained via a fan. To expand the temperature, hardcore fans close to the lower part of the unit suck air into the lower portion of the cooking chamber, where the seething pellets devour the oxygen. Then, warmth can escape from the smoker when the top is opened.
An apparatus which is hard to maintain will be harder to carry in in the longer run. Maintenance must be easy even for laypeople. A portion of people loves to use their pellet smoker seasonally. To store your pellet smoker, you must have done complete maintenance and what if the care is difficult and you have to hire a person for that? It will be a mess and costly deal.
Try to go for a pellet grill and smoker with a maintenance guide at so that you can get rid of extra cost in terms of maintaining.
In another prospect, the maintenance of the pellet smoker must be cheap. In case you lost or broke any spare part, there is a big room in the market to replace it in a reasonable amount.
Getting a brand once, and you will be their lifetime customer. Good customer service will always have a good consumer experience. It takes many years for a company to build its reputation. There may come various ups and downs in the quality of pellet grills. Sometimes the courier provider or the transporter does not adequately handle the apparatus.
As a result, there could be some dents and possibly may have some damages. In that case, if that brand has good customer support, then you will be able to put your matter in fount of them, and you may get a new one entirely.
In addition to that, for assembling a pellet smoker you can take a customer support. They will surely guide you the fine steps to assemble a pellet smoker.
Z Grills are the best in customer support anyways.
4.Pellet Consumption Cycle
Pellet consumption is the most valuable factor you must consider and think twice before getting an apparatus home. Pellet consumption cycle refers to how much lbs pellets a smoker is burning per hour.
Pellet consumption cycle directly proportional to the temperature setting. If you are smoking at high temperatures, then smoker will consume more pellets in a specified period. On the other hand, if you are burning slowly, then smoker will consume lesser shots.
For instance, we are assuming that you are running your smoker at an average temperature of 350F. Ideally, at such set temperature, the pellet consumption cycle must be 0.7lbs to 1.00lbs per hour. Exceeding this will bear you a higher operating cost which is the more extended run make you suffer.
In pellet grills and smokers, the hopper capacity matters a lot as it determines how much you can go in a single shift. The proportion of a hopper to the actual cooking area size but be an appropriate one. Ideally, we recommend the ratio of cooking area in sq inches to the pellet hopper capacity in lbs. Must lie between 25-35 sq. inch per lbs.
For example, if a pellet smoker’s total cooking surface is 300 sq inches while the hopper capacity is 10 lbs, then the calculation will come out to be 30 sq inch per lbs. This is the right number, and you can go for it.
If you love slow cooking, you must go for the pellet smoker with an immense hopper capacity. To me, for slow cooking, the recommended hopper capacity must be at least 15lbs, so that your pellet smoker can carry on the task for at least 15 hours.
A pellet smoker and grill must not be limited to a single task of smoking or grilling. In addition to the mandatory functions, there must be some additives and value-added functions of the smoker. Besides grilling the pellet smoker must bbq, bake, roast, braise, smoke, grill and sear etc. A 6-in-1 or a 8-in-1 pellet smoker would be prefer over a regular one.
Besides this, a grill must be versatile so that it can be equally operational in adverse weather. Whether it is hot or freezing, the temperature inside the grill must remain consistent.
Furthermore, a pellet smoker must be able to take in all kind of foods. It must have such a setting to cook fish, beef, ribs, pork, chicken, turkey, brisket or whatever you want.
Good material of a pellet smoker and grill is a matter of high importance for it brings results in terms of flavored food. Usually, the grills are made up of stainless steel material and aluminium. In addition to that, there are qualities in the material of every type. The thickness of the sheet matters alot.
A 13 gauge material built is a strong build and will last long with you for a whole life. A strong built is must for an entire year grilling. Similarly, the paint’s quality must be as such as to last for at least five seasons. Many users have complained about the quality of most pellet grills and smokers’ quality, which does not last too long and vanish just after a couple of sessions.
8.Ash Removal Mechanism
Getting the ash removed from the smoker is an important deal. From various forums and platforms, I have personally gone through about this query. Most of the pellet grills and smokers, especially those with lower prices, do not possess some easy mechanism for pellet ash removal. Every griller needs to remove the ash after 2 to 3 session at most.
In the high-end smokers, the removal of ash is quiet easier as they have a little pot right at the bottom from where you can dump the ash after every use.
On the other hand, for inexpensive smoker and grill, you have to use a vacuum cleaner to suck the ash and make your grill again ready to cook.
The cooking area is entirely different from the dimension of the pellet smoker. The cooking area also depended to your choice. For the purpose in hand, if you want to cook for a larger chunk of people, you need a pellet smoker with a huge smoking area and vice versa.
Valued to consider that you will have to run more than a single session if you wants to entertain a group in a small pellet grill and smoker which ultimately will ruin your time and may affect the cooker’s performance. We rank cooking area as the 9th most crucial factor for our pellet smoker buying guide.
An over-weighted pellet smoker and grill are hard to move and harder to use for tailgating and seaside parties. Similarly compromising on the weight will leads you an ample spaced pellet smoker and grill to satisfy the appetite of a large gathering at your home. It would be best if you prioritized a pellet smoker’s weight according to the purpose in hand.
If you will use your smoker for commercial use, then weight does not matter a lot. You won’t give a lot attention to the weight as your main aim is bulk cooking. On the other hand, you would go for a lighter one for home use because you have to move it inside your garage after you have done smoking your food. If it is too heavy, it won’t be easy to handle that stuff.
Ideally, one must go for a medium weight pellet smoker and grill for it will be versatile to use for all purposes.
Pellet grills and smokers with wheels are more convenient than those with no or low-quality wheels. Moving your cooker maybe your daily job. As we know that smoking activity only carries out in any outdoor place. And After every session, you may need to shift your apparatus under the roof. For that, if the device has not any right quality wheels, then your daily task will become a cruel job, and you may end up with the machine mere just of its hard move ability.
- A Pellet Smoker or a grill must have a good warming feature. In case you are enjoying a party or a gathering, or there is some delay in the guests’ arrival, your food is ready to serve. What will you do in that case? The warming feature will give you a liberty to chill out the party and keep the food warm for your guests. It will last your food warm without the loss of any taste.
- Built-in Meat Probe is an additive to your apparatus. Without a fair meat probe, it is impossible to carry on the grilling and smoking in your pellet smoker. Compromising on that may lead to some worst results. You can’t cook your meal mere just on a guess. A meat probe will give you an exact number about the meat’s internal temperature, and hence you will be able to cook your food perfectly.
- PID controls an add on to your pellet smoker and grill. The PID control maintains the temperature in the smoker as per settled figures with a little deviation. Not only this, the system rolls the auger and intake the exactly right quantity of pellets to burn in for the food. In this way, the cost remains optimized, and the great result comes out with excellent taste and shape.
- Side and Below Shelves promote convenience as you can put your smoking belongings out there without any additional table.
- Searing is a distinctive feature of pellet smokers. Sear Box comes up with the most pellet smokers and grills to get a crispy, caramelized restaurant look to your food. Just give you food a quick high heat to get it dried out entirely if you love dry meat. Or you can cook other food besides smoking your food in a separate box.
- Temperature Range of the pellet grill and smoker must be as good as you can grill your food at the optimal level. Usually, the temperature range of pellet smoker lies between 200F-500F, which is far enough to examine any food. However, for searing the minimum temperature must be 700F.
- With a Wifi Controlled Pellet Grill and Smoker, you can address all your demands to the panel mere just a one-touch. All you need to dispatch the meat inside your grill and set the iOS or Android app’s temperature. You can view and manage the temperature of the grill. Besides this, the temperature of meat inside via a meat probe can also be observed on your mobile screen.
- Grill Coating material is needed to attend wisely. As you have to set your meat on the grill, it is not impressive if your meat gets stick to the grill just because of its lousy coating. Be careful and only opt the high-quality porcelain coated grill grate.
What if your trusted grill betrays you in your smoking journey? You will fall in despair and may lose trust in a brand. To get rid of this, opt smartly your favorite smoker and grill with an extended warranty scheme. This will not only cover your risks but also build confidence in experimenting to smoke the foods you love.
Mostly the smokers have warranty periods of 1 to 5 years. On an average pellet smoker and grills with a 03-years warranty are widely available in the market. Pellet Smokers with less than a year warranty are not recommended.
Price is the first and foremost thing that catches your eyes when you will buy a pellet grill and smoker. To me, you must consider the value of the pellet smoker instead of its price. Yes, they are two different things. An apparatus must have the value for the money. You should be aware of what better you can get under a price constraint. In other words, what are the offerings of a product within a price matters a lot.
So, concluding the topic, the above pellet smoker buying guide depicts how to hunt for the right pellet smoker. All I suggest is to spend some time searching for the right one instead of regretting after a lousy buy. All the factors are deliberately settled under the heading in terms of their severity of importance.