Choices, Choices
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Choices, Choices
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Thread: Choices, Choices

  1. #1

    Choices, Choices

    Long time lurker, first time poster here (thanks in advance, by the way). I have been diligently researching purchasing my first pellet grill. I had my eyes set on the new Weber Smokefire, but with the fiasco that it's release was, I am thinking otherwise. I have a lot of experience grilling on both charcoal and propane, and have operated out of an electric smoker for years. Looking for a one stop shop to possibly consolidate them all.

    Based on research I have it narrowed down to a few choices. Rec Tec 590 (or maybe 700 if it is somehow better vs larger), Camp Chef Woodwind SG, Grilla Grills Silverback Alpha. I like the WiFi on the Rec Tec and Camp Chef, am intrigued by the cleanout cup on the Camp Chef, but like the overall value the Silverback brings. My main questions on deciding are:

    1) How is the durability of each of those models compared to the rest of the industry? Anyone have rust issues / breakdowns?
    2) Can any properly sear a steak / burger without the side box like the Camp Chef? If not, my plan is to mod a Camp Chef burner onto whatever I get, but if I can get away without it, great!
    3) Any produce better smoke flavor than the others without needing to throw in an Amazin Tube?
    4) As far as the Grilla, is WiFi really that handy to have, or more of a gimmick?
    5) As far as Camp Chef, is the cleanout cup and slide searing function handy or more of a gimmick?

    I appreciate any feedback. Im trying to keep it right around $1000, but I want it done right the first time. These forums have already been a big help in narrowing it down to these, but Ive been agonizing for weeks as to which to pull the trigger on. Hopefully you guys can help me make the final call. Thanks again!

  2. #2
    If you can swing it. I’d look at the MAK 1star & add the Flamezone later for grilling. I have a friend who likes his camp chef. I’ve never had any food from it. I don’t think WiFi is a gimmick at all. It just depends on what you want it for. Being able to monitor cooks inside or if you have to run some errands is very convenient. The whole reason most folks get a pellet grill is for the convenience of not having to tend a fire. The WiFi just takes that to a another level.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    318
    Totally agree with wolverines. Aim a bit higher and seriously look at the MAK 1. Not saying those you've mentioned aren't decent or not capable but doing it right takes on the flavor of 'buy once cry once' and with that IMO, it's the MAK.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ss69camaro View Post
    Long time lurker, first time poster here (thanks in advance, by the way). I have been diligently researching purchasing my first pellet grill. I had my eyes set on the new Weber Smokefire, but with the fiasco that it's release was, I am thinking otherwise. I have a lot of experience grilling on both charcoal and propane, and have operated out of an electric smoker for years. Looking for a one stop shop to possibly consolidate them all. I had to smile when I read that. There is no such thing as a "one stop shop" that does it all. Each BBQ device will have a niche that it shines in.

    Based on research I have it narrowed down to a few choices. Rec Tec 590 (or maybe 700 if it is somehow better vs larger), Camp Chef Woodwind SG, Grilla Grills Silverback Alpha. I like the WiFi on the Rec Tec and Camp Chef, am intrigued by the cleanout cup on the Camp Chef, but like the overall value the Silverback brings. My main questions on deciding are:

    1) How is the durability of each of those models compared to the rest of the industry? Anyone have rust issues / breakdowns?
    2) Can any properly sear a steak / burger without the side box like the Camp Chef? If not, my plan is to mod a Camp Chef burner onto whatever I get, but if I can get away without it, great! I've had my CC Woodwind SG with Sear Box for a little over a year now. WiFi was not an option a year ago. I have done ribs, briskets, pulled pork, game birds, and jerky on it so far. I have not used it for just plain grilling meats; that's what my gas grill does to perfection. The Sear Box does an excellent job of searing meats. I have used it several times on meat brought to perfection in a sous vide cook. But it is less hassle for me to just use a fry pan w/ butter heated to MED HIGH on the kitchen stove.
    3) Any produce better smoke flavor than the others without needing to throw in an Amazin Tube? I use the Amazin' Tube on every cook.
    4) As far as the Grilla, is WiFi really that handy to have, or more of a gimmick?
    5) As far as Camp Chef, is the cleanout cup and slide searing function handy or more of a gimmick? I can't say on the SG function because I have never just grilled on my CC; smoked meat only so far. As to the clean-out cup, it's just a gimmick and I never use it as designed. You still have to vacuum out your unit after 2 or 3 cooks because of the ash buildup just like every other pellet grill out there. The amount of ash in the cup is about 1% or less of the total ash in the unit.You WILL need to vacuum the unit out on a regular basis.

    I appreciate any feedback. Im trying to keep it right around $1000, but I want it done right the first time. These forums have already been a big help in narrowing it down to these, but Ive been agonizing for weeks as to which to pull the trigger on. Hopefully you guys can help me make the final call. Thanks again!
    I am a happy CC customer after using mine for a full year. But I'm not a BBQ perfectionist and I only do 'Q' once or twice a month. There are certainly better quality grills out there with more/better features, but you will exceed your budget by a good bit to get one. From all I've researched, I think the Grilla Grill would be a good choice in your budget range as well.

    Bob Hicks, from Morman Mecca
    I'm 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
    “Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” - Glen Aldrich

  5. #5
    I have to humbly disagree with dubob that there is no "One stop shop" for a grill/smoker. BUT, Before the last few years that may have been true, especially if you haven't experienced a MAK within the last few years.

    MAK grills have come a long way since their inception, and with the advent of their redesigned FlameZone (2017) they have created grills that truly CAN do both smoking AND grilling, and do it extremely well!

    In fact I've said this many times; my poor Weber Kettle has NOT seen any action ever since we got our 2017 MAK 1 Star with the FlameZone. I simply have not needed the Weber at all for grilling. And now with the 2019 MAK 2 Star I have two grills/smokers that each do everything I want and more.

    I can do everything from cold/hot smoking charcuterie (hams, bacon, sausages), BBQ, Smoke roasting (roasting temps), Baking (pizzas, biscuits, etc.), & grilling all on the same cooker.


    Here are just a few pics:


    Hot-Smoking Bacon (and yes there is PLENTY of smoke)

    BBQ - Pork Shoulders (for pulled pork)

    Roasted Leg-o-Lamb 1
    Roasted Leg-o-Lamb 2



    How about some grilling action over the FlameZone?

    Some Tandori-Style Chicken

    Grilling Steaks
    Last edited by TentHunter; 03-23-2020 at 04:06 PM.
    <><
    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    318
    Probably very good pics but they aren't coming through. Tried it via Safari & Chrome, same result.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mcschlotz View Post
    Probably very good pics but they aren't coming through. Tried it via Safari & Chrome, same result.
    Yeah, I'm not sure why that happens once in a while with Google Photos, but it should be okay now.
    <><
    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.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TentHunter View Post
    Yeah, I'm not sure why that happens once in a while with Google Photos, but it should be okay now.
    Nope! Still no pictures.

    Bob Hicks, from Morman Mecca
    I'm 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
    “Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” - Glen Aldrich

  9. #9
    I think Google photos is playing games. I had fixed them, they were working and I checked on multiple devices with different browsers. And now they're not working again.


    For now I've replaced the embedded photos with links. Guess it's time to look for new photo hosting.
    Last edited by TentHunter; 03-23-2020 at 03:55 PM.
    <><
    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.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ss69camaro View Post
    Long time lurker, first time poster here (thanks in advance, by the way). I have been diligently researching purchasing my first pellet grill. I had my eyes set on the new Weber Smokefire, but with the fiasco that it's release was, I am thinking otherwise. I have a lot of experience grilling on both charcoal and propane, and have operated out of an electric smoker for years. Looking for a one stop shop to possibly consolidate them all.

    Based on research I have it narrowed down to a few choices. Rec Tec 590 (or maybe 700 if it is somehow better vs larger), Camp Chef Woodwind SG, Grilla Grills Silverback Alpha. I like the WiFi on the Rec Tec and Camp Chef, am intrigued by the cleanout cup on the Camp Chef, but like the overall value the Silverback brings. My main questions on deciding are:

    1) How is the durability of each of those models compared to the rest of the industry? Anyone have rust issues / breakdowns?
    2) Can any properly sear a steak / burger without the side box like the Camp Chef? If not, my plan is to mod a Camp Chef burner onto whatever I get, but if I can get away without it, great!
    3) Any produce better smoke flavor than the others without needing to throw in an Amazin Tube?
    4) As far as the Grilla, is WiFi really that handy to have, or more of a gimmick?
    5) As far as Camp Chef, is the cleanout cup and slide searing function handy or more of a gimmick?

    I appreciate any feedback. Im trying to keep it right around $1000, but I want it done right the first time. These forums have already been a big help in narrowing it down to these, but Ive been agonizing for weeks as to which to pull the trigger on. Hopefully you guys can help me make the final call. Thanks again!
    As I happen to have Woodwind (bought it after looking at my father's unit) - it's quite reliable. But as dubob already said, actually, keeping it clean (I mean vacuuming each 3-4 times) + maintenance is what rewards you with better results. The ash cup is useful to keep the burn pot clean. And it's really easy to clean in general, I do it with a shop vac. As for wi-fi, I really like that you do not have to babysit it.
    There's no ultimate solution I believe, but from my experience this unit performs better when not fully loaded - not a disadvantage for me, just something to be aware of.

    Have fun choosing!
    Last edited by jeff_g; 03-29-2020 at 07:56 PM.

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