Pellet Smokers | What You Need To Know About Pellet Smoker Grills HowToBBQRight

HowToBBQRight’s Smoker Series

Pellet Smokers | Wood Pellet Grill

What you need to know about pellet smokers. How pellet smokers work, the advantages and disadvantages of pellet smokers. And you’re buying options for pellet smokers.

In our series we showcase all different types of smokers so you can find the right smoker for you.

HowToBBQRight-Barbecue Recipes


steiger 256 says:

I gave up on gas grills 17 years ago, I only use charcoal. The gas is way more convenient, But the flavor just is not there with gas. I love your channel And last year git A offset smoker. I went with A offset only because I dident want to spend A lot of money And give it up. I love cooking over A open fire And I really loved my smoker last summer. The pellet smokers are way easier But if I would get one it would be very expensive, So for now I’m sticking with my old school smoker. Thank you for all your videos. Where can I buy your bbq rub?

bigta1982 says:

I have the Camp Chef Pellet cooker. Add some Grill Grates and it works for everything. It has a heavy smoke setting that puts a great smoke ring on my ribs.

bluelarry1674 says:

this is excellent.  It seems that the bbq community on youtube hasn’t really devoted much time to this subject (definitely not in this detail).  Very much needed.  Thanks Malcolm!

GQue BBQ says:

Pellets cookers get a bad rap but I like em. Great overview Malcom

Mars Hall says:

Hey Malcolm huge fan here seems like I come to you for every bbq question lol. I currently have a kamado grill that I got from my dad to smoke/grill since I was still new to the process. My kamado doesn’t hold temps anymore after my movers dropped it so now I’m looking at a new smoker. I narrowed it down to the Green mountain pellet smoker with wifi built i or Weber Smokey mountain. I’m not really familiar with pellet smokers but I know the wsm has a cult following. Which one do you recommend? What do you think gives the best taste?

Chris Norris says:

Yoder is built like a tank and a great unit. Traegers are trash since they moved the manufacturing to China. If you want a solid lower cost unit that is built well and has a track record for holding up, i.e. below $900 get a Camp Chef DLX, around $600, or a Camp Chef Woodwind $900 with sear box.

Brumasterj says:

Man I ordered the RecTec 680 about 5 months ago, I have compared it’s quality to other pellet grills out there and it far exceeds them with quality. The only complaint I have is on larger cuts of meats where I’m smoking slow and long the smoke flavor hardly exists! I was assured by RecTec I would get great smoke flavor, I have the Amazin smoke tube going also and still not enough smoke flavor. I have even bought a wood chip tray that I put in at the beginning near the fire pot hoping to get that flavor. I’m al it’s thinking it could be the RecTec pellets that are not giving me my flavor. I have recently come across Don Godke’s down draft system and was wandering if you had any thoughts on if that would help or just try changing my pellets would do the trick??? Enjoy your videos:)

Vladimir Tsoy says:

First of all thanks for all your videos I learned so much from you! Second of all, I was considering buying Yoder YS640 but I just noticed that REC TEC was on sale and now cost a lot cheaper than the Yoder. Do you have anything to advise me against REC TEC? 

Trent Angiers says:

Great videos, with helpful info and no bs. Keep up the good work!

jim holtse says:

I bought a CS450 Louisiana, I really like it.  It does produce a smoke ring.

pscans1234 says:

Another great video. I might have made up my mind on the Yoder. Your videos have been there for me since I started cooking bbq last year. Thanks

ndinadis says:

Love my pellet smoker, need to find a new source of pellets for a good price up in canada (using bbq delights at $1/pound but getting hard to find them)
I get great smoke with mine and the best smoke ring you have ever seen, mine has adjustable smoke and I use the good wood though

ConsolidatedPBY says:

Nice vid Malcom. I’ve smoked on Weber Smokey Mountains for years and they are great. I Thought about it forever and did pull the trigger on a Yoder and I’m waiting for it to arrive as I write. I can hardly wait! I’ve done tons of research and I am slowly starting a collection of BBQ apparatuses on my patio. One of these days I’m going to get one of those offset smokers and go real old school. Because…If you ain’t smokin then you ain’t livin.

halfstep67 says:

Wood pellets are a very efficient heating fuel. To use wood pellets in a grill, the grill companies have to make the grill controller less efficient so they will smoke. You have a couple different controllers on most grills.
The PID controller is the newest type controller. These PID controllers are little programmable computers. They are popular because they hold temps very consistent and accurate. But the downside is they can be finicky and usually don’t produce much smoke.
The older controllers like on the Traeger are an analog type controller. They are not programmable. These controllers are simple and work like a variable switch. The higher you turn the knob, the faster the cycles works. This increases temperature. These controllers will have a wider temp swing. They have a heat cycle and a smoke cycle.
When on the heat cycle, the auger drops pellets into the pot and the fan kicks on. This creates a fire and heats up the grill. When the temp hits 20+ degrees above the set temp, the fan kicks off and the temp starts to drop. This is the smoke cycle. The pellets won’t burn without the fan blowing air into the pot so the pellets smolder and smoke. When the temp drops down to 20+ below the set temp, the auger feeds pellets to the pot and the fan kicks on. It repeats these cycles, a heat cycle and smoke cycle. The temp swings up 20+ above the set temp and drops 20+ below the set temp but the average is the set temp. I like the simple analog controller the best. They smoke the best IMO. They produce a lot of smoke. The temp swings are short in their cycles and have no impact on the overall set temp one cooks at.
Pellets are a big factor in smoke production and quality as well. Buy good 100% species pellets and mix them yourself. I like hickory for the rich strong smoke mixed with oak for it’s clean high heat properties. I mix them 50/50 and have excellent results. Fruit woods are also good but are usually lighter in smoke. I can’t detect any flavoring of fruit wood pellets myself, So I just use hickory and oak.
With a pellet grill, it takes a couple of long cooks to get the grill seasoned. Once seasoned, the quality if the meat cooked will rival any other type of grill. Buy a good pellet grill, buy good pellets, buy good meat. Learn to be patient and cook at the proper temps. Use good rubs and seasonings. Don’t get over complicated with a lot of unnecessary steps. Keep it simple and repeatable.
I use a Smokin Brothers pellet grill. They are made in the USA here is southeast Missouri. They are very good grills that are affordable. They also have some of the best pellets on the market.

snowpuppy77 says:

Great job!  Accurate unbiased assessment.  I know where to direct my friends who are wanting a smoker.

Scott Yonkers says:

I’ve been considering purchasing one of these. One question I have though: since there are no open flames, can you grill steaks on these things and get a good sear?

Jonathan says:

if one of your friends has a Weber smoky mountain I’d like to see a review for that!

Adam Reynolds says:

Love your videos especially this one been looking really hard at a yoder ys640 thanks for the great info and keep up the good work brother

Cris Workizer says:

Malcom that was a real good review on the pellet grills.and another thing to consider is usage..some will use more that they can get away with a cheeper version.

Veritas Rex says:

Well for five hundred dollars I can pretty much have BBQ for the whole season. As for pellets and electric usage I don’t have really think the added expense is warranted. As for convenience if that is important to you then once the product has absorbed enough smoke wrap it and put it in the oven. As for competition we might as well allow electric smokers and gas since the pellet smoker needs electric to operate . I’ll stick with tradition but if Franklin changes over then I’ll look at my position again.

_mikelikesbeer_ says:

I want a Pellet cooker so badly. Everytime I see you cooking on yours it drives me crazy. I should have the funds by next spring I hope.

Lucas Hake says:

I bought a CharGriller 9020 pellet grill and I hate it. No smoke or smoke flavor.

Timothy Brett says:

Can you do a two zone cook on a pellet grill? For example, if you wanted to sear a steak and then cook at a lower temp?

David Homoney says:

I love my Yoder YS640.

5280 Street Dogs says:

I have not yet pulled the trigger yet but have. Compared and researched until my treath hurt and I would have to say that the best home pellet smoker is a pretty close tie, quality guage controllers and customer service. Tie goes to Yoder and Rec Tec they are pretty even steven! They are close in price, I most likely will get the Yoder because it is sold locally in my city so with not paying shipping its a better buy for me.
The only thing I liked better on the Rec Tec was the pellet pot was in the center and I think it may have a edge on heat consistency. I know someone that has one and they are definitely built as well as the yoder. Between the two I would say its a price war.
Im no comp cooker but specs dont lie!

211kbear says:

hey malcom where can i get that killer hogs rub. i want to try it.

William P says:

Will you be doing smaller offset smokers?

Joe Mrtnz says:

Malcom, great video! Very informative details about the particulars of pellet smokers. I been looking into picking up one to add the capability of set it and forget smoking, I’ve been looking real hard at the Yoder’s. I’ll to bide my time for now and continue to utilize my stick burner. I must say I do like Green Mountain’s idea with respect to utilizing WiFi and an app to provide remote temperature control and temperature monitoring. Keep doing your thing with the videos, your passion is infectious to all young and old.

Eugene Apicella says:

Finally, I got some practical info on the pros and cons of pellet cookers. I’m just wondering — for me it’s a nice-to-have, and not a must-have. So, I’m putting it on my wish list for when I come into some whiz money.

Mike O'Brien says:

I bought a Blazi’n Grill last fall.  They are made in Nebraska.  Way different than cooking with gas.  Once I learned to us it I’ll never go back to gas.  The flavor is incredible but they do require more patience than a gas grill or charcoal.

jim carson says:

Nice video funny watch the video with the close caption on. LOL 4:11 “murders the fuel barge”

sonnysand says:

Three words, Pit Barrel Cooker.
Love your channel

ZachC9999 says:

Good video! Do you think you will do one for smokers like the Bradley? haha

blesssjp1 says:

Please tell me that you are going to do a review on your ole hickory cto??

Darrell Bilbrey says:

I have a backwoods party which is a great cooker. Hope you do review with one of the many backwoods that you have yourlself. Keep the videos coming we all enjoy them. Thanks

Ryan Hicks says:

I ordered my YS640 yesterday. Looking forward to getting it home and putting it to use. Thanks for the video. It really helped my decision making on buying a pellet smoker.

The Backyard Griller says:

do you ever adjust the P setting on your smoker?

Sean Spurrell says:

My Yoder YS640 Arrives in a few hours. Decided the first cook after burn in, will be some pork butts one with injection one without to test the difference. My question to you is should I put them on the lower or top rack? And should I add a water pan?
Love the channel and can’t wait to try some… okay all your recipes!

Southern Coastal Cooking ™ says:

What model yoder do you have?


Can a pellet smoker set to a low enough temp for the first couple hours, plus an extra tube smoker inside create charcoal quality smoke?

rj valentini says:

hey Malcolm I’m looking into buying my first pellet grill what are your thoughts on the rec tec mini? I want a smaller pellet grill because I don’t need the full size rec tec

David F Homan says:

If you want to get the stick burner smoke with a pellet smoker get a smokedaddy I’ve been using one for years on my traeger and the nice thing is you can cold smoke with it it’s a great product

Bud Baker says:

Love the review. The pros and cons were exceptionally informative. What about your thoughts on big vs. little (YS480 vs. YS640)? This was VERY helpful. Looking forward to an electric smoker review!

sickb2200 says:

Fast Eddy’s are manufactured just a few miles across town from me.  I know a couple of people that have them and use them in competition.  Good stuff.

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