Let's talk grills and grilling


My boss both grills and uses a smoker all year in North Dakota. I’ve heard him mention that you really do have to factor the temperature outside into account. Down here, I probably do that automatically but never really think about it. I know how long (approx) it takes for the grill to warm up in July versus January. But in my boss’s case, if he smokes a rack of ribs in January, he really does need to monitor temps or risk too low of a temperature for the food to remain safely cooked.


Yup, it’s the same with roasting coffee. If I could find all my old roast notes, I could probably make a pretty graph showing the temperature dependence.


No gas at all? Not even the whiff of propane from the burners if you leave it all on? If so, I would guess it’s a regulator problem.


I never expected that humanity would live to achieve such things.


I bought the camp chef 24 for like 200 bucks. Propane smoker. It’s my first smoker so I can’t speak to it relative to other smokers but I have no complaints and neither do the people who eat my bbq. It’s easy to regulate the temperature because it’s propane, there is space for a wood tray and a water tray and ample rack space for a whole bunch of food.
The only complaint I have is the door seal sucks so I bought a liner for it.


Matt, any problems with higher temps using it? Chips or pellets?

I’m still on my first smoker, it’s an electric. Despite all the things people trash about electrics I really, really like it. It has a remote temp monitor that I can use from inside to change things on the fly. It has a built in probe as well. It does well with chips and can hold up to about 275 degress pretty well. That being said, it hits those temps pretty quickly and holds them pretty well too, though it doesn’t get very cold here.


I have yet to take it very high. I do Low and slow bbq on it so I’ve only ever pushed it to 300. The reviews say it can go up to 500+ though. It uses chips, I think pellet smokers are a lot more expensive.


Too expensive if you ask me. They are neat though.

I guess I was just worried 275 degrees might hold me back but I’m guessing no since most of the smoking I’ll do will be low and slow.


Pellet smokers aren’t a gimmick like air fryers, they take all the pain in the ass out of making barbecue. You put in the pellets, dial in your exact temperature, and it’s maintained as long as you need it. No need to wake up at 4AM to add more wood or check the vents or whatever, no babysitting required. You can grill on them in a pinch too, although they don’t get super-hot for searing, so better off using a weber for that.

They’re just terrific. But yeah, a bit expensive.


My pellet smoker is fantastic. I STRONGLY recommend http://www.rectecgrills.com to anyone that might be interested. The current equivalent to the smoker I have is 600 bucks, including shipping, and it is worth every penny. They also have a little Weber-style jobber that runs 400.

This company has fantastic customer service. As in get a call back within minutes on a holiday because you had a problem customer service.

You can spend a lot more money on other brands, but you won’t get a better value, hands down.


I like that the free T-shirt they throw in with every purchase goes up to 4XL. They know their audience!


True story, I debated buying a pellet smoker for about 15 years. I would periodically look at all the options, start trying to figure out what I wanted. I looked at all the specialty companies over the years, MAK, Yoder, Memphis Grills, Cookshack, Green Mountain, etc. I always ended up looking at grills in the 2000-2500 range when I factored in what I wanted and I ended up buying nothing because I was afraid I wouldn’t end up liking it as much as I thought and have a two thousand dollar doorstop on my hands. Note: until proven otherwise, stay away from Traeger. They were major innovators early, but fell way behind the competition and have been playing catch-up for years.

Then along came the Rec Tec mini (now replaced by the 340) for a relatively modest 600. Here was a smoker that was maybe a bit smaller than what I’d envisioned, but checked off every other box for a fraction of the cost. I figured, even if it didn’t work out, at least it was a much smaller expense.

The rest, as they say, is history:



Pulled Pork


If that’s not an advertisement for awesome, I am not sure what is. All of those are some fine looking barbecue.




And the best part is, I got those results (minus some goofy mistake on my part) from day 1. As @stusser says above, the smoker takes 95% of the guesswork out of the process. There’s still considerable planning and time involved, but to make the kind of food I have for my family and friends, nearly stress free, is such a joy.

@sillhouette lol. They do work, though.


Yeah, the reason why barbecue has such a mystique is that you need to maintain a very low consistent temperature and smoke over a very long time by burning wood. That’s a huge pain in the butt, constantly checking for hours on end. The pellet smoker just handles all that crap for you, and it isn’t a cheat-- it’s burning real wood, with no filler at all. It just does it better than you can.


Sweet mother of jesus, that looks good.


Just an update. I’m getting the hang of this gas grill thing. I grilled salmon, corn, vegan sausage things, steaks, and mushrooms last night. Most of it turned out well, The steaks were just okay, but that was more of a timing problem.

Here’s the salmon.



I need a $200 or less grill recommendation. Right now I am looking at this:


Don’t need anything fancy, nor any side burners. Thanks in advance. :)


For <$200 I’d get this Char-Broil. It’s a well-made basic gas grill. Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc, also sell them, so look for sales.

But if you can spend a bit more you can get their infared model which is really neat, it gets hot extremely fast and doesn’t flare up.