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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Honui Moai
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Location: Deep down the rabbit hole
Personal Statement: Ouch!
Professor Pineapple wrote:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
On a related note, anyone know of a source for affordable fire bricks in New England?

When I built the brewpub, we got the fire bricks at the UBS in Quaker Hill. Some of the United Builders Supply locations are masonry focused.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Honui Moai
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Location: Pineapple Lounge
Personal Statement: Kungaloosh!
BINGO! You're the best! :thumbsup: It looks like they have everything needed, minus the apron.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Nounou Moai
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Location: Kahikiville, OH-iO
Personal Statement: One!... Two!... FIVE!
so, they carry chef's hats? cool! :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 9:38 am 
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Avai Rona
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Personal Statement: Drink? Jet Pilot!!!
Aloha all!

Resurrecting this thread for some opinions.

I need to replace my smoker. I had an upright Master Pro smoker (propane fired) that used to do a great job smoking everything from Turkey to ribs, brisket and pork shoulder. The bottom rusted out (literally fell out of the smoker).

Now I’ve got a split barrel…propane on one side, charcoal/wood offset smoker on the other. The gas side does a great job grilling but the smoker side is lacking. Uneven heat, smoke and too many grease fires.

So, I’m looking at pellet grills/smokers to replace my current setup. Anyone have any experience? I’ve been on Consumer Reports and multiple BBQ sites (they all seem to have an agenda…no really) and haven’t come up with a good recommendation yet.

What I’m looking for:
Large cooking area (1000 sq in +), even heat distribution, GREAT smoking ability (low and slow) and ease of use, especially cleaning.

I’ve looked at:
Traeger: (said to be the original pellet smoker). Highest review on CR but everyone seems to hate their customer service. Some auger and cleaning issues.
Yoder: Too expensive
Weber: Seems to be good but their Quality Control is lacking. Multiple people have had to have augers and thermocouples replaced within a few months, or even days, of getting them.
Pitt Boss: Good but heat issues. Specifically uneven heating and inability to reach higher temps (for searing or finishing a cook).
There are others Z-grills, Camp Chef, Woodwind.

Thanks for the suggestions.

P.S.: If all else fails I’ll go back to an upright smoker and my grill. Perhaps a pellet grill is “a Jack of all trades but a master of none.”

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 1:10 am 
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Fellow Moai
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Location: Fort Lauderdale
I have no experience with pellet smokers, but I hear they are great.

I like staying up all night and tending the firebox on my vertical dyna-glo, or indirect heat and smoke in my char broil.

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 9:57 am 
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Avai Rona
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Personal Statement: Drink? Jet Pilot!!!
Ended up getting the Louisiana Grills vertical pellet smoker. Burning it in this weekend, hopefully ribs and brisket on Monday, depends on my work schedule.

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 10:16 am 
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Fellow Moai
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Location: Fort Lauderdale
Looking forward to hearing about how it went!

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:39 pm 
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Tourist
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Personal Statement: Another please
the mighty OZ wrote:
Ended up getting the Louisiana Grills vertical pellet smoker. Burning it in this weekend, hopefully ribs and brisket on Monday, depends on my work schedule.


I have a RecTeq pellet smoker that gets used a lot. I particularly like the wifi remote control, temp graphs, and temp notifications. I'd probably prefer a wood burner if I didn't really prefer to sleep.

I'll do a butter and vinegar injected butt regularly and a Puerto Rican pernil (citrus butt) on occasion. Love a good butt. A spatchcocked turkey or chicken is awfully delish too. Fun, and tasty, to experiment. One of these days I'm going to try whole fish.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:50 pm 
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Avai Rona
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:35 pm
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Location: Depends on what day it is.
Personal Statement: Drink? Jet Pilot!!!
So, I ended up getting a Louisiana Grills vertical pellet smoker. They were on sale at Costco.
So far I've some several racks of ribs, sausages and a whole chicken.
All have turned out perfectly done with a nice smoky flavor (except the first sausages, read on).
I had soaked the chicken on an apple juice brine (apple juice, lemon, orange, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns and kosher salt) for 24 hours and the meat came out tender, juicy and a nice smoky apple flavor.
The first sausages I did I perforated the casings (which I do when I boil, BBQ or fry them) but they were dry.
The second batch of sausages (unperforated) came out perfectly.
The ribs were cooked using a 3-2-1 method; 3 hours smoked at 250f, 2 hrs foil wrapped at 375f then 1 hr at 250 with sauce. Tender and fall off the bone. Next time I may try a dry rub.
I'd recommend the grill, it does a great job keeping the temp., lots of room, and it imparts a nice flavor. There are a couple of quirks...to refill the water pan you have to open the front door (letting the heat escape) where a small funnel on the side of the grill would work great; in South Florida, if you are not going to use the grill for a while, it's critical to remove the pellets (the heat and humidity break them down and will clog the auger and feed system), its not easy, but doable; the controller, though Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, is very touchy.
The SmokeIT app is worthless. I'm looking for another app that will communicate with the smoker, but their (Louisiana Grills SmokeIT) app is awful.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:51 pm 
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Honui Moai
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:24 pm
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Location: Deep down the rabbit hole
Personal Statement: Ouch!
I replaced the expansion tank on my heating system and thought: "that would make a wicked meat cooking appliance." I also have a 20# propane tank that they'll only fill 4 out of 5 time because its 12 years out of hydro.

So...
Out comes the plasma torch, MIG welder, a twelve pack of Narragansett, some rebar, a carpenter's square and a level (so I look like I do precision work.)

I had to buy a hunk of exhaust pipe at the auto parts store for some draft.

It seems to work for grilling. I need to catch some Spanish mackerel to see how it does smoking.

Rams eat oats and goats eat oats but little lambs eat ivy.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:59 am 
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Honui Moai
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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:56 am
Posts: 4073
Location: Pineapple Lounge
Personal Statement: Kungaloosh!
Pics please! I want to see Doug's new contraption. :fez:

Oz, thanks for sharing your experience. I've been curious about the pellet smokers.

Sorry to say, after 9 years I never built the Chinese oven. At this stage in life, I'm thinking about getting a Big Green Egg. But who knows, my mind still wanders to that Popular Mechanics article from time to time. It may happen yet.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 12:21 pm 
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Avai Rona
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Personal Statement: Drink? Jet Pilot!!!
The Big Green Egg (or other Kamado type grills) was highly recommended by friends but, since I tend to do long smokes (6-14 hours) and bigger quantities, a vertical pellet grill seemed best for me. If I were to come across a great deal on a used Egg, I’ll try it though.

I also have a half barrel grill I use for searing/grilling which is capable of offset smoking as well. As a smoker, it works OK but it takes a lot of attention.

One thing about the Egg type grill, you may need to purchase ancillary equipment for it to function up to your expectations. A copilot (who has several and loves them) said a temp sensor/fan was essential. He has one that is app controlled and he said he loves it.

I don’t know how many grills I have used over the years: Hibachi grills, Weber and Coleman charcoal grills, a number of propane grills, my current half barrel, an electric vertical smoker, a propane vertical smoker and now the pellet vertical.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:50 am 
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Hoa Manu
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Location: Ft Lauderdale, FL
I love my Green Egg but find it difficult to smoke on... fluctuating heat, it's a little fiddly to keep it under control. I have done amazing pizza on it with the pizza stone...First time I did I had the heat up to about 1600 degrees...lol Of course I allowed some of the heat to escape before putting it on the fire... It did burn off my eyebrows when I opened the lid...lol
It made the most perfect charred Neapolitan pizza...
I have friends that have a pellet grill and it looks so convenient... Makes me interested. I did not think about a pellet smoker... Thanks for the info OZ!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 6:26 pm 
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Avai Rona
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:35 pm
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Location: Depends on what day it is.
Personal Statement: Drink? Jet Pilot!!!
So, for this weekend, beef brisket and pork shoulder:
In the smoker
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The finished brisket
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And the pork shoulder
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Both were juicy and delicious. Though, I may tinker with the ingredients in my dry rub, the bark was a little too salty.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:57 pm 
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Honui Moai
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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:56 am
Posts: 4073
Location: Pineapple Lounge
Personal Statement: Kungaloosh!
JonTiki wrote:
I love my Green Egg but find it difficult to smoke on... fluctuating heat, it's a little fiddly to keep it under control. I have done amazing pizza on it with the pizza stone...First time I did I had the heat up to about 1600 degrees...lol Of course I allowed some of the heat to escape before putting it on the fire... It did burn off my eyebrows when I opened the lid...lol
It made the most perfect charred Neapolitan pizza...
I have friends that have a pellet grill and it looks so convenient... Makes me interested. I did not think about a pellet smoker... Thanks for the info OZ!

Thanks for the info! Smoking is mission critical here, so I may rethink the kamado or research a way to make it work.

Anything will be better than my current setup: a clapped out gas grill converted to charcoal…

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:10 pm 
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Honui Moai
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:24 pm
Posts: 7068
Location: Deep down the rabbit hole
Personal Statement: Ouch!
Professor Pineapple wrote:

Anything will be better than my current setup: a clapped out gas grill converted to charcoal…


I wouldn't discount home brew gear just for want of a national name brand logo and a printed instruction manual. That is not how the industrial revolution was started in New England.

Rams eat oats and goats eat oats but little lambs eat ivy.

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