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Edwood
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Lessening the amount of S&P rub on the brisket always reminds me of the first time I used the secret Brisket Fairy ™ recipe. I could only get a dinky little flat at the local market but I used to entire amount meant for 8 or 10lb briskets that Naaman is used to. It had about a quarter inch of crust and intense salt and pepper flavor. We ate it anyway but it did make your heart race a bit. 😝

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That does sound heart-racing, Al. I've had a similar brisket experience, where the crust was so peppery it made my eyes water.

Colin, we got an RT-700 back in early pandemic, and it's been great ever since. These oak pellets have been great for brisket, and so's having Amazon lug them to your door ;)

https://www.amazon.com/Bear-Mountain-BBQ-All-Natural-Hardwood/dp/B07NHZ57MF

If you want to try your hand at making sausage, I highly recommend this book. The Andouille, hot dog, and italian sausage recipes have all been great and used multiple times.

https://www.amazon.com/Charcuterie-Salting-Smoking-Revised-Updated/dp/0393240053/

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Been using a pellet grill for 7 years.  The more I smoke the less rub I seem to use.  
 

Brisket and ribs - 50/50 salt & pepper

beef - Montreal Steak

pork - Smokehouse maple or a strawberry glaze

chicken - Chef’s miracle blend or bbq sauce

Any food grade pellet works but I like BBQer’s Delight.  Less ash more heat.  Typically Jack Daniels or the Competition blend.  Order 4 bags delivered direct.  
 

I do have my own rubs as well.  Ribs and brisket are popular but my favorite is smoked Mac and cheese

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What's the current wisdom on pellet smokers? My wife wants to get one for the summer (seriously). Is a giant Traeger still the way to go? I love my KBQ, but it takes a lot of monitoring, specific log sizes, etc. Any suggestions would be briefly reviewed before pulling the trigger—I rely upon the kindness of friends. 

More detail—she picked out the 780. Seems like plenty of capacity, but should we spring for a Timberline?

Edited by cutestory
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28 minutes ago, cutestory said:

What's the current wisdom on pellet smokers? My wife wants to get one for the summer (seriously). Is a giant Traeger still the way to go? I love my KBQ, but it takes a lot of monitoring, specific log sizes, etc. Any suggestions would be briefly reviewed before pulling the trigger—I rely upon the kindness of friends. 

More detail—she picked out the 780. Seems like plenty of capacity, but should we spring for a Timberline?

Stretch has a Memphis which I’ve been eying for a while. He probably can give some feedback on it. It’s more of a Head-Case smoker than a Treager, though there is nothing wrong with the current Treagers. Also check out Blaz’N Grills and RecTeq (though they might have sold out to corporate). 

As for the size, unless you plan on cooking for large gatherings the 780 size will be just fine. I did four briskets at once on Al’s larger Treager for Mayberry but other than that I’ve never needed one that size. 

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I still have my old Traeger with a Blaz'n Grills controller and it is fine but not SOTA anymore. I might still go for the 780 if I were buying a new one. My nephew has a Camp Chef with side burner that he likes quite a bit and it creates a lot of smoke.

@Hopstretch doesn't have the Memphis anymore and the Twin Eagles set he has is great but $$$$

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22 minutes ago, Hopstretch said:

The new Timberlines look like money. Induction side burners and modular everything. The XL is the biggest and most expensive grill they make -- and therefore the one you should buy.

https://www.traeger.com/pellet-grills/timberline-xl

That Treager does look pretty nice, I like the addition of the induction for searing. 

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My nickel:

1. The new timberlines do look very nice.  I've thought about adding an induction side burner to my Ironwood 885 and still may some day but for now I'm lazy.

2. I don't think the 780 would be enough.  I routinely use a lot of my 885 just cooking for small groups and when smoking bacon the real estate is very helpful.  

3. One concern with the Timerblines, they may be too well insulated for their own good for warm weather cooking.  You need some inefficiency to cause the grill to use fuel and produce, well, fire/smoke.  The Ironwood is only partially insulted and still is pretty stingy on fuel during the summer months.  I'd at least way for a few reviews and see how some actual cooks do on these rigs.

4. I love my Ironwood 885.  Would I also like a stick burner? Yes. How about a kamado-style charcoal rig? Absolutely.  But today I got up at 7, fired up the Traeger while I got Andrew ready for basketball camp, threw on a small pork shoulder and went to the office.  I checked temps while I worked for a few hours, picked up the kids and came home.  I actually looked in on things and they were still cruising nicely so I wrapped the butt, and left it.  My parents arrived a few hours later, I checked on things via my phone, saw the pork wasn't coming up to temp fast enough so I bumped the cook up 25 degrees without leaving my chair.  Just an hour later my phone let me know that the pork had reached temp and I went and took it off.  That's pretty damn convenient and the food produced is easily as good or better than most BBQ I can buy locally.  I'm sure there's better out there, but I'm also sure I'd have to drive an hour or more to find it.

5. Coming from an actual stick burner you might need to temper expectations a little.  The flavor will be different.  Whether you think it's better or worse is impossible to predict but the fires are radically different between the two types of smokers and the food produced will at least be a little different, but unlikely to be radically different. 

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It does get Really Fucking Hot™ where I live—last summer the high temp in my ZIP code was 122 degrees, and I don't live in Death Valley.

So maybe the Timberline is too well-insulated? I never thought that could be a disadvantage. I've also heard (from a dealer) about some firmware issues with the new Timberlines.

#4 is the reason why we're looking at pellet grills. I've never made better BBQ than in my KBQ—it really is miraculous—but it requires tending every 25-30 minutes. I'm willing to make some tradeoffs. 

After a bit more research, here's the current frontrunner:

https://pittsandspitts.com/product/maverick-1250-wood-pellet-grill/

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18 hours ago, n_maher said:

^^ I have been looking at the Loco and Pit Boss Ultimate products but would love some commentary on flat top grills. 

I looked at the Pit Boss - love the lift off feature but not sold on the ceramic non-stick coating. The LoCo is a good option especially if the temp control works. If not, unsure it’s worth the cost over a Blackstone.

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2 hours ago, luvdunhill said:

I looked at the Pit Boss - love the lift off feature but not sold on the ceramic non-stick coating. The LoCo is a good option especially if the temp control works. If not, unsure it’s worth the cost over a Blackstone.

I’d say that you and I have exactly the same lines of thinking about these two products and unfortunately it doesn’t seem like either has gotten a ton of reviews or long-term use reports.  The Pit Boss has been out for a year it seems which makes that all the more worrisome.  The LoCo’s seem new this year so less worried about that, but not a brand I’m familiar with.  More deliberation required.

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15 hours ago, cutestory said:

After a bit more research, here's the current frontrunner:

https://pittsandspitts.com/product/maverick-1250-wood-pellet-grill/

Only immediate concern that I’d want to see some user impressions of is whether or not that unit tends to have a hot spot over the firebox.  The diffuser is quite small in comparison to how Traeger does it (as well as others).  The “Trap Door Drip Pan” might address this along with my secondary concern which would be that cleaning the Maverick would be a bitch if you don’t have something like a drip pan.  The Traeger pan/liner setup is a godsend for easy maintenance in my experience.  You’d get most of the way there with Mav’s drip pan and covering it with heavy-duty foil.  Just adds ~$150 to the price of the grill which seems a bit shitty if I’m honest. 

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1 hour ago, n_maher said:

I’d say that you and I have exactly the same lines of thinking about these two products and unfortunately it doesn’t seem like either has gotten a ton of reviews or long-term use reports.  The Pit Boss has been out for a year it seems which makes that all the more worrisome.  The LoCo’s seem new this year so less worried about that, but not a brand I’m familiar with.  More deliberation required.

The LoCo also requires an electrical outlet. That’s probably a minus for my particular use. That puts me back to the Blackstone with Air Fryer (which is a bit different as at least the grill works without power)

Edited by luvdunhill
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I've solved the "outlet for cooking with wood" problem with a ryobi battery pack inverter.  For low draw things it will run a really long time, using batteries I already had because I use a ton of ryobi one+ tools.

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On 2/20/2022 at 12:54 AM, cetoole said:

First burn of my Recteq RT590, let it run for an hour or so and then made some chicken legs.  On deck is a pork shoulder and two racks of ribs.  Anyone have any favorite rubs or tools?

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I'm a huge fan of Nando's (marinade, not rub).  I prefer it on chicken, but it works well on pork as well.

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Drove far out to a recommended BBQ place in Simi Valley, only to find out that their online stock listings are not accurate.

Got on the phone and found a place with a Twin Eagles pellet grill with rotisserie in stock at a place 10 minutes from the house. Grrr. I have to get the stone recut (it's not deep enough). Um, I guess I find someone locally to do that?

In the meantime, picked up some ridiculously good ZEF BBQ while I was out there. I love brisket—why isn't all meat like that?

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