Robert from NC


New member
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.


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!
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