Robert from NC
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Robert from NC
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Thread: Robert from NC

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Pikeville North Carolina

    Robert from NC

    Hi guys, new to pellet grills, one heck of a learning curve I must say. Have been looking for awhile was leaning towards the Campchef, but as fate would have it. I went to an auction sale and saw a chargriller pellet grill. Figured I would buy it, before dropping some big bucks on a name brand. So $250.00 later, I had a grill. I must honestly say, I am not impressed. Changed pellets, read a lot of internet content on “how too” watched numerous YouTube videos. Nope, still not producing a high quality meal. So my enthusiasm is very low on the pellet grill experience. I know it’s a cheap grill, but still I should be producing a decent piece of meat. Anyone else having issues besides me? Slow cooked, fast cook, half fast cook, nothing seems to work. Any Advice would be great.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    Now to your experience thus far...

    First, the Chargriller pellet grills are NOT a good example of a what a really good pellet grill/smoker, or a good experience with one can be at all. A really good pellet grill can and will produce a lot of great food. I am speaking from 8 years experience with two different pellet grills/smokers. Just this past week I cooked pulled pork for about 170 hungry band kids, staff & bus drivers on my MAK 1 Star General, and got nothing but rave reviews.

    Second, what type of smoker are you used to using? A lot of guys use smokers that lay on a heavy smoke, or they're not controlling their fire properly so they get a very heavy, dirty smoke that literally over-smoke food and they think that's what "good smoked meat" should taste like. Personally I think it's yuck. I jokingly like to say that I don't enjoy burping smoke rings.

    Pellet grills produce a very, very clean smoke and some pellet grills do a better job at others at producing more smoke. MAK's, for example are known to produce more smoke, so are Rec Tec and a few others. Some pellet grills (namely the cheap ones) have inferior controllers that simply do a lousy job.

    A good majority of the lower end grills have a poor chimney design with a chimney attached near the top of the right side of the grill. This might look cool, like a traditional smoker, but it allows the smoke/heat to escape right out the top-side of the lid instead of keeping down on the food where it needs to be. A lot of guys end up installing a third party downdraft baffle (around $100) to level out temps across the grates and keep the smoke down in the grill a little longer.

    Some guys upgrade their controllers to something like an Ortech controller, or a Savannah Stoker to be able to control the smoke and temperatures better. I have a friend who got a Blaz'n Grillworks "GridIron" grill. They're built like a tank, but he was very frustrated with the lack of smoke & temp control. He added a downdraft baffle and upgraded to the Savannah Stoker controller and now he absolutely loves the grill.

    The baffle & a better controller may be options for you to consider.

    This is where the really good pellet grill companies differ. Instead of taking a "traditional" smoker design and trying to make it work with a different fuel source, they design the grill from the ground up to work with pellets.

    Hope this info helps!
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.


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