smokey meat on the grill pan

Best Grilling Accessories For A Memorable Summer

When the weather warms up, with longer days and shorter nights, it’s time to get outside and get to grilling! Picking the best grilling accessories for your backyard barbeque can help bring your backyard cooking game to the next level.

Aside from choosing the best grilling accessories to make your food taste awesome, don’t forget to consider other ways to make your guests feel welcome in your backyard.

For example, set the mood with some great lighting and music. Keep unwanted pests at bay by setting out natural pest deterrents like citronella candles and torches. Be sure to provide plenty of shade for guests during hot afternoons and maybe consider a fire pit to gather around in case the evening gets a bit chilly.

Best Grilling Accessories

Thermo stats grilling accessories on a grilled meat

​Via Pixabay

You may already have the best grill for you but accessorizing allows you to take advantage of everything your grill can do. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of grilling accessories available.

Essential tools

Just like you need pots and pans in a kitchen, there are a few absolute must-have essentials for your backyard grill. Tongs and spatulas are a must have for any grilling situation.

Look for tongs and spatulas made from stainless steel that have comfortable handles, as these will hold up best to the intense heat that your grill can put out. Also, when it comes to any grilling tools, you want long handles to help keep you a comfortable distance away from the heat.

Cooking accessories

While backyard grills are great for grilling food over an open flame, different cooking accessories can help you be creative with how you use that heat. Some of the best grilling accessories can help you do just that!

For example, rotisserie attachments can help you evenly roast large cuts of meat without having to turn the meat yourself laboriously. A pizza stone or cast iron pan can turn your charcoal or gas grill into a pizza oven.

Cooking accessories allow you to think outside just the grill! Try using a wok over an open flame. It can help you achieve that elusive, super hot flame that is so essential for creating that wok hei flavor present in authentic stir fry dishes.

Miscellaneous

Collecting the best grilling accessories is not just about cooking tools. There are many various grilling accessories out there that help make your summer cookouts easier though they may not be directly involved with the food.

For example, for charcoal aficionados, what type of charcoal you use is just as important as how you start your fire.

How We Chose

We collected a variety of the best grilling accessories from around the web, in a variety of categories. We chose items that are both top-rated on Amazon as well as good values and easy to use.

The Best Grilling Accessories for Your Summer Cookouts

grilled veggies using the best grilling accessories

​Via Pixabay

Without further ado, let’s get to cooking with the best grilling accessories out there!

Vegetable grill basket

#1 BEST Vegetable Grill Basket - BBQ Accessories for Grilling Veggies,...
  • BEST GRILL ACCESSORY for barbecuing small foods like onions, peppers, mushrooms and shrimp
  • EASY to USE - Curved handles allows for easy carrying. Use as Wok pan to stir fry chopped chicken, beef or pork. Nothing...
  • KEEPS FOOD INSIDE - Raised edges prevents food from escaping. Perfectly sized grill holes (a little bigger than a pencil...

Veggies taste incredible when roasted on the grill. Grilled onions and peppers pair perfectly with most meats. You can even forgo meat altogether with a beautiful grilled portabello mushroom. The problem is that it’s really easy to lose veggies through your grill gates, especially when they are cut small.

The Grillux BBQ Grill Basket can help solve these issues. This stainless steel metal basket has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. With four, curved metal sides, this basket sits atop your grill plates. The heat can come through, but the veggies will not fall out.

The Grillux BBQ Grill is available at various home and garden centers as well as on Amazon.

Check your fuel

DOZYANT Propane Tank Gauge Level Indicator Leak Detector Pressure...
  • Compatible with all appliances with a Qcc1/ Type1 connection and up to 40-lb. Propane tanks.
  • Heavy duty 100% solid brass construction withstands weather, scratching, denting and corroding.
  • Monitors fuel level without removing the tank. Gauge display accounts for ambient temperature change. Color coded dial...

Imagine this: you’re planning the perfect BBQ party. You have all your meat and sides ready, and you’re just about to get grilling. Unfortunately, you step outside only to notice that your propane tank for your gas grill is empty!

While there are methods like the hot water trick to check how much propane is in your tank, using a tank indicator like the Dozy Ant Propane Tank Gauge lets you see how much gas you have at a glance. That is not only good for making sure you have enough propane to start the party but also enough propane to keep it going.

You can find the Dozy Ant Propane Tank Gauge on Amazon, where it as a 4.1 out of 5-star rating, as well as at your local propane store and home and garden centers.

Beer Can Chicken Roaster

Cave Tools Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack - Includes 4 Vegetable Spikes...
  • INSTANT 10% SAVINGS ON PURCHASE OF 2 OR MORE *** Beer Can Chicken Works in the Oven or on The Barbeque - Includes 4...
  • Unlimited Recipes at Your Disposal - Stainless Steel Canister can be used for Beer, Wine, Cider, and any other liquid or...
  • Extra Deep Drip Tray Never Overflows With Grease - Beer Can Chicken Cooker Set is 100% Dishwasher Safe for Easy Cleanup

Smart is knowing that beer and grilled chicken are the staples of many American backyard summer cookouts. Genius is putting the two together to make something easy and delicious from what you already have on hand.

The usual method for cooking the affectionately named Beer Butt Chicken involves upending a seasoned chicken onto a half drunk can of beer. Though classic, this method is a bit unwieldy.

The top-rated Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack gives you a sturdier surface. This stainless steel roaster includes a canister to hold your beer (or any other flavorful liquid) on a deep drip tray to catch all the delicious juices that may run off.

This roaster rack also includes vegetable spikes you can use to roast vegetables right alongside your beer can chicken. Finally, the tray is dishwasher safe.

You can find the Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack at specialty food stores as well as online at Amazon. Customers give it a 4.6 out of 5-star rating.

Original bear paws

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Southern style pulled pork is traditionally shredded using two forks to break up the meat. While we’re not ones to mess with tradition, no one said there’s anything wrong with improving on the tried and true method.

These all-nylon meat claws give you long, sharp tines to comfortably grip and shred cooked meat. You can also use the claws to provide you with a better grip on large roasts or even watermelon.

The Original Bear Paws meat shredding claws are a hit on Amazon where they receive a 4.7 out of 5-star rating from customers. You can also find them at your local specialty BBQ store and other retailers.

Clean your grill

GrillStone Grill Cleaner Starter Set, with Handle and Two Blocks
  • Cleans 4x faster then wire brushes and scouring pads
  • Conforms to any surface to clean between the grill grates
  • 100% chemical free and non-toxic

Before you plan your first cookout of the season, one of the most important things you can do is to clean your grill.

After inspecting your grill to make sure that there are no leaks in the gas lines, you need to give it a good scrub down. Metal brushes are great for this but can leave bits of metal that can get transferred to your food.

A study released in 2016 noted that between 2002 and 2014, 1,700 Americans ingested bits of wire grill brush! Of these cases, one in four patients needed to be admitted to the hospital.

Sending your guests to the hospital is definitely NOT the way you want your grilling season to be remembered.

So what’s the alternative? Try using a stone brush like the ​EarthStone GrillStone Grill Cleaner. Unlike the wire on traditional metal grill brushes, the ​EarthStone GrillStone Grill Cleaner uses a pumice stone to scrape off the gunk of cookouts past.

You can find this 4.4 out of 5-star rated stone brush online at Amazon as well as other specialty BBQ stores and home and garden outlets.

Charcoal

Gas grills offer unparalleled convenience, with your fire ready at the push of a button. However, for some purists, there is no comparison to grilling meat over good old charcoal.

No matter what type of charcoal grill you use, you always want to start with great charcoal. Though briquettes may be a great place to start, they can be full of additives.

If you’re not ready to have mystery smoke along with your meal, try burning some hardwood lump charcoal like Kamado Jo or Fogo. Both of these charcoals received a 4.2 out of 5-star rating from Amazon customers. These charcoals are also available at your local specialty BBQ store.

Light it up

Weber 7429 Rapid Fire Chimney Starter
  • Designed to quickly produce hot coals for cooking
  • 7.5 in. in diameter, 12 in. high
  • Specialized cone-shaped grate

Of course, even the best charcoal is not going to light itself. Using lighter fluid is a quick way to get a charcoal fire going, but it is messy, dangerous, and adds unnecessary chemicals to your fire.

Instead, use a chimney starter like the Weber Chimney Starter, the number one top seller on Amazon with an impressive 4.8 out of 5-star rating. You can also find it for sale at most home and garden stores.

Chimney starters let you get a nice, even start on your charcoal, using newspaper and convection to light your coals.

Another option is to use an electric lighter like the Looftlighter. This lighter uses superheated air to start charcoal in just a minute. You can find the 4.2 out of 5-star rated Looftlighter on Amazon and at other specialty BBQ stores.

If you want a more portable option, try using ready-made fire starters like Light-A-Fire all natural starters. These pre-portioned pods contain sawdust and food-grade wax. You can even use them in conjunction with a chimney starter on your grill or use them to start a campfire or a fire in your backyard firepit.

Light-A-Fire is available on Amazon and comes in a handy plastic container. This 4.2 out of 5-star rated product makes an ideal, portable solution for picnics and other mobile cookouts.

Essentials for everyone

Mr. Bar-B-Q 02066Y Silver Prestige 21-Piece Tool Set in Case
  • Set includes: 4-in-1 spatula, fork, tongs, knife, basting brush, 4 skewers, replaceable head grill brush, 1 replaceable...
  • Durable stay cool tubular handles
  • 5 year warranty

Every backyard cook needs a good set of tools to get their food on and off the fire. This ​21-piece barbecue set from Mr. Bar-B-Q includes everything an aspiring backyard gourmand needs, in a handy carrying case.

Tools in this kit include tongs, a spatula, reusable skewers, as well as slotted spatula and corn holders. You can find this grill tool set on Amazon where it gets 4.1 out of 5-stars from customers.

Another great essential that no grill party should be without is a good set of BBQ gloves. Backyard grilling can get hot, and having the right gloves can help keep the cook safe while they are dealing with the food.

We like these Extreme Heat Grill Gloves, available on Amazon. These top-rated gloves enjoy a 4.4 out of 5-star rating from Amazon customers. The gloves can take the heat, protecting your hands up to 932-degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you are handling a hot chimney starter or moving pans around, the insulation on these gloves will keep you safe.

Even better, these gloves are 14-inches long, covering a good part of your arm. Rather than a mitt-style, these are glove style allowing you the full range of motion with all your fingers. The fingertips are covered with raised silicone tips for extra grip.

Food safety

ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer...
  • 【3 YEARS WARRANTY! REGISTER your wireless meat thermometer after purchase and INCREASE YOUR WARRANTY COVERAGE FROM 1...
  • 【Hands Free Monitor】Wireless digital meat thermometer with dual probe monitors food or oven/grill/smoker temps up to...
  • 【Hassle-Free Setup】No synch required, say goodbye to the tedious setup steps; Large LCD displays both food and oven...

Practicing safe cooking methods helps ensure that your grill party isn’t remembered for all the wrong reasons. Always cook your meat to FDA doneness standards to help ensure that no one gets foodborne illnesses from your meat masterpieces.

Instant read thermometers are great for temping smaller pieces of meat like chicken breasts, steaks, and chops. If you need continuous temperature monitoring on a larger portion of meat like pork butt or a tri-tip roast, try investing in a wireless thermometer

Thermopro makes top-rated monitors and has both an instant-read (4.3 out of 5 stars) and a Bluetooth (4.5 out of 5 stars) thermometer available on Amazon.

Night light

LED Concepts BBQ Grill Light 12 Super Bright LED, 22 inch, Silver
  • GRILLING & BBQ LIGHT - Perfect for outdoor grilling and BBQ - Provides instant illumination exactly where you need it
  • MULTI-FLEX NECK - 22 Inch Goose-neck that adjusts 360° to illuminate any task
  • ADJUSTABLE SCREW CLAMP - Sturdy adjustable clamp that attaches to various surfaces to ensure that the weight of the...

While a night light probably isn’t the first thing you would think of when considering the best grilling accessories, it should be!

Everyone knows that the best grill parties are the ones that last well into the summer night. While it may be warm enough to stay outside, the night sky does make it pretty challenging to see the grill.

A grill-safe light like this LED BBQ Grill Light can help you keep the party fed into the wee hours of the night. It is an Amazon bestseller with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating.

Cedar grill planks

Cedar Grilling Planks - 12 Pack
  • Grill Gourmet Cedar Grilling Planks
  • Textured Grilling Planks for More Smoke and More Flavor!
  • 5.5" x 11.00" x 1/3" Upgraded Thickness!

Have you ever tried plank grilling? If not, this method should be on your to try list for your next grill party.

This grilling method owes its origins to indigenous Americans, who grilled fish on wood for ease and flavor. To cook on a plank, take your food-safe plank and soak it in water. From there, you can toss it onto a hot grill and let it smoke a little. Place your seasoned fish, or vegetable, or meat, on top and let it cook!

As it cooks, the food gets infused with the smoky wood flavor. Even better, plank cooking makes for an excellent presentation and easy cleanup!

These top-rated Cedar Grill Planks get a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. You may also be able to find these planks at your local BBQ specialty store.

Get Ready for the Cookout

burning charcoal inside the grill plate

​Via Pixabay

The best grilling accessories help the backyard chef with everything from food preparation to food safety. With the best grilling accessories at your fingertips, anyone can have a great summer grilling season.

What are your favorite grilling accessories? Do you have one that you think should have been on your list? Let us know in the comments below!

​Featured Image Source: Unsplash

Group of people having a barbecue party

Backyard Barbecue 101: How to Host an Unforgettable Party

Barbecue season is here, and homeowners everywhere are getting their grills ready for a great backyard barbecue. If it's your turn to host the party, the pressure to impress your guests might be already getting to you.

What should you include in your menu? How many people should you invite? Will your budget cover all the costs? These are some of the questions that may be going through your mind.

Don't worry. We've all been there.

The mistake most hosts make is complicating their menu and biting off more than they can chew in terms of planning. Doing so will only make your barbecue party stressful for you and leave no room for fun -- and we can't have that!

So fear not -- we have all the information you need to plan a stress-free, fun-filled backyard barbecue.

MUST-HAVE BBQ ESSENTIALS



Man holding a spatula near a barbecue griller

image source: unsplash.com via Vincent Keiman

If you've never hosted a backyard barbecue before, you might feel like a fish out of water. Especially if you're trying to figure out what you need to make the party a success.

But the trick is not to over-think it.

The first step is determining everything you need for the party. Once this is sorted, you'll feel more confident and ready to execute.

So without further ado, let's find out some of the BBQ essentials you need to host the most memorable barbecue party in your neighborhood.

The perfect backyard barbecue

Meat is the star of any backyard barbecue party. Therefore, if you're aiming for perfection, you need to invest in the right BBQ. You have two choices: gas and charcoal.

Your choice will depend on the number of people you're planning to host and your preferred flavors.

A gas BBQ grill is more convenient because it's easy to light, use, and clean and gets to the optimum cooking temperature faster compared to a charcoal grill. However, charcoal BBQ grills are cheaper and add a unique smoky flavor to your meat.

Size-wise, consider the amount of space you have and how many people you'll be cooking for.

If you can't seem to make up your mind, a gas/charcoal grill combo would also come in handy for this and future BBQ parties.

Don't forget the fuel when buying the grill!

Utensils and accessories

To do a good job, you'll also need the right tools. Go for long-handled utensils, because these will help keep your hands away from the hot parts of the grill. Some examples of kitchen tools you'll need include tongs, spatula, knife, and carving fork.

You'll also need an apron, marinade brush, meat thermometer, and chopping boards.

Ice

Don't forget the ice. It's one of the essential items you shouldn't miss in a backyard barbecue. And no, don't postpone it for later. You might forget to get it, and you don't want to be the host that keeps sending guests on an ice run. So, stock up in advance!

Decor and lighting

The other thing you should add to your checklist is decor and lighting. Lights set the mood of the party once the sun sets. So, make sure you have enough festive lights.

Your decor will depend on your preferences and the BBQ theme you are going for if you have one. If you don't have an idea, go for simple decorations that make the area stand out without looking like you're trying too hard.

Man grilling sausages

​Image via Pexels

Drinks and food

A backyard barbecue is not complete without an assortment of drinks and food. You need to figure out what you'll serve and then create a shopping list of everything you'll need.

Some ideas that work for most BBQ parties include chicken, burgers, sausages, sweet corn, kebabs, ribs, salad, peppers, drinks, wine, and beer.

For desserts, you can include ice cream, cake, or fruit salad.

Drink dispenser

Another must-have item on your checklist is a drink dispenser. Topping up everyone's drink when they've finished can be quite a hassle. It may take a lot of time, depending on the number of guests, and you may not enjoy the party.

Having a few dispensers at your disposal will make things easier. In this way, everyone will get to serve their drinks, and all you'll have to do is to refill the containers.

Tiki torches

Tiki torches will also be a great addition to your backyard BBQ. They'll not only provide additional lighting but also keep mosquitoes at bay -- your guests will truly appreciate a buzz and bite-free night.

Top 10 Tips on How to Host the Most Unforgettable Backyard Barbecue Party



a woman preparing a barbecue

image source: pixabay.com

It's not enough to have your checklist ready. You also need to know how to make the party memorable for all your guests.

If you have a neighbor or friend who has set the backyard barbecue bar extremely high, it can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn't have to be. You can add your unique touch to the party and make it unforgettable. These tips can help.

1. Less is more

It's easy to go overboard when you're trying to impress your friends and relatives. But don't let the pressure get to you. Instead of thinking of all the classy meals you can include in your menu, try working around your main dish and add your top dishes that people rave about.

You should also go for simple decorations that make your space stand out effortlessly. For a backyard barbecue, balloons, bright table cloths, and string lights should do the trick.

2. Understand your guests

Another thing that will go a long way in helping you plan the best BBQ is understanding your guests. What do they like to eat? Will there be children? Anyone with diet restrictions?

The answer to these questions will help you provide exactly what everyone needs. Don't complicate things by trying to create an impressive menu. An uncomplicated menu is precisely what a group of people of different ages need.

3. Potluck is always a good way to go

if you want to cut back on costs and add some elements of surprise to your menu, it may be a good idea to ask your guests to bring desserts or appetizers of their choice.

With this approach, you'll give your guests a chance to taste each other's favorite dishes, which will undoubtedly be a great treat for their taste buds.

4. Stay on budget

It's also essential to stick to your budget when planning a backyard barbecue. One way to do this is to utilize things you already have, like plates and cups.

Doing this will allow you to save lots of money you would have otherwise spent on paper plates and paper cups. And the best part? You get to safeguard the environment too.

5. Plan, plan, plan

Don't wait until the last minute to start your preparations. Create a to-do list and start checking off tasks as soon as you can. Send out the invites. Determine when you'll run errands. Also, don't be shy about seeking assistance from a friend or two in advance to avoid last minute rush.

6. It's all about the meat

person slicing a meat on brown wooden board

Image source: Unsplash

As we mentioned earlier, meat is the star at any barbecue. Therefore, you can't afford to mess it up. Get all the meat you need and keep it refrigerated in advance. Before the barbecue party, make sure the meat is marinated well before the event to avoid any delays.

Also, make sure you prep your grill by cleaning it and placing it in an easily accessible area before the big day.

7. Set up

Don't wait until the day of the backyard barbecue to set up everything. Do it a day or two before to ensure you have everything you need. Make sure you have enough chairs, tables, lighting, and everything else you need to ensure everyone's comfortable.

Early set up will give you some time to run to the store in case there's a shortage of something.

8. Prioritize safety

It's also crucial to prioritize safety, especially if you plan to have kids at the barbecue.

For instance, if you have a pool, make sure you hire a lifeguard for the day to watch out for the kids and set some pool rules to ensure everyone stays safe.

9. Entertainment is key

Although meat and food are the first things you should be concerned about when planning a backyard barbecue, you also need to think about entertainment. What will your guests do once they are done eating? How will you keep the kids engaged to prevent them from messing up everything?

Consider including games like Charades, Pictionary, Never Have I Ever, and other games that make everyone participate and get to know each other better.

For the kids, consider hiring a teen to watch them as the adults relax.

10. Don't forget to have fun

Don't stress too much about how your guests perceive your party that you forget to have fun. Take a break from running up and down and join in on the fun. A good host takes time to mingle with the quests and participate in the activities. If you end up having lots of fun, chances are your guests are having a great time too.

Make Your BBQ a Day to Remember



Group of people toasting to eachother

image source: pexels.com

As you can see, little things can go a long way in making your backyard barbecue memorable. So stop overthinking it and use the tips we've shared to plan a BBQ no one will forget any time soon.

What are some of the things you do to make your BBQ memorable that we haven't included in this list? We'd love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and views in the comments section below.

​Featured image via ​Pexels

grilling meat and vegetables

Propane Camping Grill: Make Cooking in the Great Outdoors Simple

Camping can be a lot of work, but cooking while you’re in the great outdoors doesn’t have to be. At least, not if you have a propane camping grill. I’ve been on a lot of camping trips. It’s one of the cheapest choices when you’re looking for a budget-friendly adventure. After countless trips, I know just how difficult it is to plan a real meal while you’re on the go. The choices normally come down to eating out, if that’s even an option, or rigging up a way to cook over a fire.

grilling sausages

Image source: Pixabay.com

If you choose the latter, you will also need to bring firewood or buy some at the campground. Plus, you’re going to need to light the fire somehow, so you need to pack additional tools for that. Overall, it isn’t exactly a task that new campers look forward to. All around, it’s more trouble than it’s worth if you’re only setting up camp for the night until you continue the journey the next day. A propane camping grill is a perfect solution for cooking on the go or in the great outdoors.

And a propane grill is perfect for everything from camping to tailgating to picnics in the park. Even if you don’t plan many camping trips, you will have plenty of uses for a propane camping grill. No matter where your adventure takes you, cooking dinner on the road is going to be easier than ever before.

Picking the Perfect Propane Camping Grill

When you’re picking out a propane camping grill, there are a few things that you need to consider. It isn’t a complicated decision, and it just depends on your needs. First of all, you need to consider the group you will be cooking for on your trip. I’ve been on camping trips with just my husband or in large groups of over 30 people. In almost every situation, I have been in charge of cooking the food, at least for one meal.

Depending on the group you usually go camping with, you will need to consider the size of the cooking area. No matter what, a portable propane camping grill isn’t going to be very big. They need to be small for portability. Luckily, all of the options on this list are a great size for a family. A propane camping grill will give you all the convenience of an electric skillet, but you won’t have to rely on outlets. Therefore, you can take a propane camping grill anywhere and cook at any time.

Another thing to think about is the size of the propane bottle. Many propane camping grill models will not include a propane bottle. So when you are buying one, make sure that you get enough for the duration of your trip. If you plan to get a larger 5-pound bottle, you may also need to get a new hose to adapt it to your propane camping grill.

You should pick something with a removable drip tray, a lid lock, and preferably, a removable grill top. All of those features will make it easier to clean or pack on the go. Plus, campsites usually frown upon cleaning your dishes in a bathroom sink. So you need all the convenience you can get.

Gas vs. charcoal: The convenience showdown

You might be wondering why we are even focusing on a propane camping grill when charcoal grills are just as portable.

The thing is, charcoal grills can be more complicated to lug around. For one thing, they don’t always have a latch to keep the whole unit together.

Additionally, you’re also going to need enough charcoal to get you through your trip. You can buy it at most campgrounds or any nearby grocery store, but it’s a messy business. Furthermore, you’re going to have to light the charcoal, so you will need additional tools for that.

When it comes to a propane camping grill, you can usually start it with the push of a button. Plus, you can guarantee evenly distributed heat so that your food will cook evenly every time. When it comes to charcoal grilling, it can be difficult to ensure there won’t be a hot spot.

When it comes down to it, a propane camping grill is more convenient, but it isn’t your only option. It all comes down to personal preference.

How We Reviewed the Best Propane Camping Grill Selection

We want to make sure to give you reviews that are based on genuine customer experiences. Therefore, we made sure to base our ratings on Amazon customer reviews.

Our goal is to let you know the features of each model so that you can pick the right one for your camping needs. For that reason, we will include what Amazon customers loved most about each product.

Our overall goal is to give you a fantastic selection so that you can find the best propane camping grill for your big adventure.

Price to pay for convenience

Camping is the most affordable way to travel. It will allow you to go anywhere without having to drop a ton of money on good hotel rooms.

You certainly don’t want to save money by going to a dingy two-star motel that probably has bed bugs. Remember that you get what you pay for.

At least when you’re camping, you know who has been in your tent, unlike those stained mattresses or questionable comforters in seedy hotel rooms.

Who would have thought camping is the cleaner choice?

Anyway, cooking on your journey doesn’t have to be expensive. The price range on these propane grills is between $85 and $210.

It might seem a little pricey in the beginning, but they’re sturdy and will last for a long time. So this one-time purchase will get you through years of camping trips, as long as you take care of it and store it properly.

The Top 5 Propane Camp Grills

Cooking while you're camping will finally be simple. If you get a propane camping grill, all you have to do is press a button and make sure you have enough fuel. Honestly, it will be like cooking at home.

If you’re interested in convenient camping, these lightweight and portable camping grills are perfect. They’re easy to pack or store when you aren’t on the go.

Plus, you don’t only have to use them when you’re camping. You can use it on the back porch when you’re having a fun little barbeque or in the park for a cute picnic.

The possibilities are endless. So if you’re interested in getting a propane camping grill, take a look at these fantastic options!

Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill


Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill, Red
  • Portable gas grill with 145-square-inch grilling area and foldaway legs
  • Cooks 8 burgers, 8 steaks, 6 to 10 chicken breasts, or 4 pounds of fish
  • Powerful 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner and even-heating porcelain-enameled grate

The Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill is incredibly convenient. It’s lightweight, with foldable legs, a lid latch, and a briefcase style carrying handle for the ultimate portability.

The 145-square inch grilling surface will give you enough space to cook food for about 8 people at a time. So it is perfect for a small group or a large family.

This propane camping grill has a stainless steel burner that evenly heats the porcelain-enameled grate. That, combined with the removable drip tray, will make it easy to clean up.

You can attach this unit to a small tank, which you will need to purchase separately. If you want to use it with a large 5-pound propane tank, you will also need to get the appropriate hose.

Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill


Coleman Propane Grill | RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill
  • Portable propane grill ideal for tailgating, picnicking, and camping
  • Delivers 20,000 BTUs of heat across 285 square inches of grilling surface
  • Swaptop interchangeable cooktops allow you to switch grill grates out for griddle and stove grates (sold separately)

If you’re interested in a standing model, the Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill is fantastic. It has 285-square inches of grilling surface, which is double the grilling surface of the Cuisinart CGG-180T. The slide-out side tables will be convenient when you’re getting food off the grill.

The grill has a collapsible design that will fold down until it’s the size of a small rolling suitcase. It has a lid-lock, wheels, and a convenient handle.

Plus, it has double-burners and can use interchangeable cooktops. You can switch between grills, griddles, and stovetop burners, although the additional cooktops are sold separately. This model only comes with two porcelain-coated grilling grates.

You can start grilling at the touch of a button with the insta-start ignition for matchless lighting. Keep in mind that you will need to purchase the propane bottle separately.

Coleman 2000020947 Ppn Sportster Grill


Coleman Sportster Propane Grill
  • Insta start Ignition for push-button, matchless lighting
  • 11, 000 total BTUs of cooking power
  • Spacious 225 sq. In. Cooking area

Another fabulous standing model is the Coleman 2000020947 Ppn Sportster Grill. It has a fully collapsible design that will fold down to the size of a suitcase. It also has convenient wheels and a handle for portability and is an excellent size for compact storage.

Setup is simple with the lift and lock system. You’ll be able to count on your collapsible grill standing steady and secure until you’ve cleaned up and packed it away.

The Coleman 2000020947 Ppn Sportster grill has a 225-square inch porcelain-coated grilling grate. The grates and drip tray are both removable. Both removable features are the perfect combination to make grilling and cleanup more efficient than ever.

Additionally, this unit does not come with a propane bottle, so you will need to purchase it separately. However, it does include an insta-start ignition, so you will not require matches or a lighter to start up your grill.

Giantex Stainless Steel Tabletop Gas Grill


Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill Stainless Steel Two-Burner BBQ,...
  • 【Giantex Tabletop Grill】: Giantex 2-Burner stainless steel tabletop grill is built for the BBQ-grillers, Construct...
  • 【Easy To Operate】: Two push-and-turn ignition burners for quick and easy start-ups. It offers 20,000 total BTUs and...
  • 【Foldable Design】: Foldable legs and lockable lid for portable transport and storage. Also make it more easily...

If you are on the lookout for a highly portable propane camping grill, the Giantex Stainless Steel Tabletop Gas Grill is ideal. It has foldable legs and a lockable lid. The stainless steel design makes it durable enough for any camping trip.

This propane camping grill is built for secure storage, and the stainless steel handle will make it extremely portable. Each of the double-burners has twist-and-turn ignition knobs.

Additionally, the stainless steel grate offers plenty of cooking space for the whole family. You should keep in mind that the grate is not removable, so it might not be as easy to clean as other models. However, it does have a well-concealed grease trap that is removable and easy to wash.

One thing you should know about this grill is that there is some assembly required. But it comes with everything you need to put your propane camping grill together quickly.

Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Camping Grill


Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
  • One stainless steel burner produces 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square-inch total cooking area
  • Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body
  • Fully assembled out of box. Dimensions - lid closed (inches): 14.5H x 27W x 16.5D inches

The Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Camping Grill is a fabulous choice for your great adventure. It has a single stainless steel burner and is incredibly small and portable.

This propane camping grill has a cast aluminum lid and body, and a porcelain-coated cast iron grilling grate. The grate gives your 189-square inches of cooking space.

It comes fully assembled and ready to go. Plus, the push-button ignition will make it easy to get started. Keep in mind that the directions recommend that you preheat the grill before you begin cooking.

Cooking in the Great Outdoors Has Never Been Easier

Cooking dinner when you’re camping doesn’t have to be hard. Although, it can feel like it if the only option is rigging something up over the fire. Packing a convenient propane camping grill will make whipping up your meals so much easier.

You won’t have to rely on hot dogs and smores on your next trip! They might be classics, but trust me, they can get old pretty quickly. It will be refreshing to make well-rounded meals, no matter where you are.

So on your next big adventure, get ready to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner with ease. Not only will you be able to pack up the grill and toss it in the car, but cleanup will be a breeze.

If you have a favorite propane camping grill, we would love to hear all about it in the comment section below!

Featured Image via Pixabay

Masterbuilt 20070311 40-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller

The Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker: It’s High Tech Slow Cooking

There are over six different types of smokers that we recognize on the market, and no, we are not talking about tobacco smokers or vapers. We are referring to smokers that create flavor-filled, tasty barbecue! With so many models to choose from, the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker pushed it’s a way to the top of the ranks.

You can purchase a wood smoker, charcoal smoker, gas smoker, and even a pellet smoker. And you may wonder why reviewers are saying that this electric smoker is the best. Maybe it is, perhaps it isn’t.

But what is a Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker?

What Is the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker?

There are many things to consider when purchasing a smoker, including how it cooks the food, the cost, and even the fuel type. Electric smokers are more comfortable to use, and some models have high tech controls that allow you to monitor the food until it’s ready quickly.

But some electric smokers are notorious for losing flavor. So how does the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker break that stigma?

Masterbuilt began to craft products in 1973, and since then, they’ve wanted to provide an excellent experience for customers to create awesome barbecue.

With their Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker, they brought something fun to try for tech-savvy, barbecue lovers. The electric smoker cut down on operational time but kept the quality of cooking in a new way for consumers to smoke their dishes.

Design

Like any other appliance, users connect the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker into a power source with the plug and turn on the ignition. Then, the cook fills the aluminum plate under the grill grates with water and their herbs of choice. Semi-deep aluminum trays hold the flavor and moisture that will integrate with the food.

With any product, there are possibilities for improvements; and the electric smoker has one essential addition. The wood chip loader is usually a cylinder-shaped pullout near the bottom of the unit. With the wood chip loader, users can fill up on flavored wood chips that will add an extra touch.

Lastly, the residue tray holds importance, and some cooks will line this with aluminum foil for better usage. This tray also helps enhance the flavoring atmosphere of the box. The more you utilize good residue, the more your food rests in that goodness.

What’s inside

In the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker, there are several grates to load on the pieces of food. Over time, the coated morsels will begin to smoke when the grill closes and the lock secures. Once everything is in place, the food is left alone, and users don’t need to mess with it.

For each unit, the temperature ranges from 100 degrees to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The built-in vents adjust temperatures while cooking, so consumers aren’t entirely hands-on during cook time. Think of it as the more substantial, smokier, similar version of the crock pot; both machines cook food on their own.

Nonetheless, make sure the food inside is in the proper position before you close the door. You can control how much air comes out of the smoker, and some recipes call for more or less smoke. The smoker has a gauge, so set it and ensure no food comes out poorly done.

Top Designs and What Separates Them

While the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker has a notable reputation, there are a few models from which to choose. Each model may serve a purpose that best suits a specific need. These models are both 40-inches and highly rated.

Currently, the Masterbuilt 20070512 is unavailable for purchase. According to Masterbuilt, the model eventually discontinued due to uneven heating problems. The other Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smokers display no immediate issues and are excellent quality overall.

For the other models, there are things to pay attention to concerning the different styles and features. Each one caters to cooking preferences and must-have features, and people who love their smoked barbecue distinguish which fits them best.

Masterbuilt 40-Inch Digital Electric Smoker with Window & Remote

If you are looking for a smoker that covers your general needs, this Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker gets the job done. The Masterbuilt 40-Inch Digital Electric Smoker with Window & Remote is a great size for house parties and large families. This smoker has simple requirements and essentially one task: to fill the wood tray.

Specs and features

On the exterior of the model, this Masterbuilt Digital Electric has a handle and secured wheels for mobility. On the front, the stainless steel door frames a large window. Who doesn’t want to look at their food while it’s cooking?

Inside this smoker, it has 975 square inches of cooking space and 4 chrome-coated removable racks. You can take out the water pan or drip pan to prep before cooking. While cooking, the Masterbuilt’s patented wood chip loading system allows users to continue adding chips without disrupting the process and opening the door.

Of course, the top air damper creates a controlled environment for the smoke while cooking too. However, the remote frequency controller wins people over with the ability to set temperature and time, switch the interior light on and off, and even switch the power of the smoker itself; all from 100 feet away. When all is said and done, the greasy pan mounted in the rear makes the aftermath of cooking easy to clean.

Reviews

The team at Masterbuilt surely felt proud to lead the charge and develop a patented remote control electric smoker. With this convenience, people could pay attention to other activities and conversations instead of continually monitoring the time for their food. Also, the uncomplicated process makes it easy for anyone to start barbecuing.

However, some found frustration using their Masterbuilt 40 electric smoker after some time. One found that the internal thermostat connection fried off after three years of usage. Despite frequent upkeep and care, some customers had unfortunate outcomes after using their Masterbuilt electric smoker.

Despite the critical reviews, 64 percent of customers rated the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker with Window & Remote 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. The smoker has an overall Amazon rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Many reports include photos of the mouth-watering barbecue creations that their smokers produced. Overall, the majority of cooks found this Masterbuilt 40 electric smoker accurate in temperature and easy to operate.

Masterbuilt 40-Inch Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker

An electric smoker that connects to a smart device seems super futuristic and out of our reach. Nonetheless, the Masterbuilt 40-Inch Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker makes it a reality and grabs our attention. This model confidently comes with the bells, whistles, and extra pizazz for people who want to go all out.

Specs and features

This high tech, smart Masterbuilt also includes a built-in meat thermometer and consistent cooking up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The exterior looks are similar to the other electric smoker model, which consists of the large stainless steel door and window. The built-in wheels and handles make moving the Masterbuilt 40 electric smoker less complicated.

On the inside, the same 4 chrome-coated racks are sitting and ready for up to 100 pounds of deliciousness. The Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker still includes the remote that controls the power, temperature, time, light, and monitors.

The flashy and impressive Bluetooth technology seems to impress and bring the wow factor. When in range, a smartphone or tablet can control your electric smoker. The role of hosting and barbecuing definitely seems less complicated with this Masterbuilt 40 electric smoker model.

Reviews

Some consumers might find relief with Bluetooth capabilities, but some might discover usage more complicated. Sometimes, connectivity and range do not work the same for everyone, and these features face a variety of differing factors. Regardless, this electric smoker has a pretty consistent rating.

Reviewers who gave this item a low rating predominantly critiqued the construction of the overall machine. The common thread dealt with a faulty smoker, dysfunctioning application for the smart device, or ambiguous instructions. Many customers gave feedback for tweaks that could improve the product.

The smoker has an Amazon rating of 3.9 out of 5.0 stars.

About 50 percent gave the Masterbuilt 40-Inch Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker 5.0 out of 5.0 stars, and 1 customer could not see how one could do any better than this smoker. Many of these buyers feel that the smoker does everything it says that it does. These happy barbecuers think that their cooking process became more accessible than ever.

Pricing Overall for the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker

For new barbecues and smokers, getting into the cooking game will cost you around $355 to $445, not including shipping and tax. Many home improvement and general stores sell the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Sam’s Club. However, you can order online and get it directly from Amazon or Masterbuilt’s website itself.

Does the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker Cook the Competition?

Electric smokers provide a relaxed approach for people who want tasty food with minimal effort. Electric smokers are great for beginner barbecuers too. There are simple steps in setting the right temperature and upkeep for each product.

However, there are different factors for each product that help us gauge how each electric smoker measures up. Since users don’t worry about fuel with these smokers, there are other things to consider when browsing through the market.

How we reviewed these electric smokers

When shopping for the right electric smoker, we considered the price, features, and quality of each product. These three options provide smokers that are comparable in size, usage, and controls.

Masterbuilt 30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker

This electric smoker is related to the initial two smokers and offers some significant elements. The Masterbuilt 30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker offers a smaller version of the other models. If you are looking for a no-fuss electric smoker, this option may fit your needs well.

Like the other Masterbuilt electric smokers, this option also includes power controls, temperature controls, and time controls. However, there’s a digital panel that houses these features. The integrated thermostat temperature control system carries over to this smoker too.

Overall, this model carries the same pan and wood chip accessories that the other units contain. If you do not want fancy additions and a simple aesthetic, this smoker wins 4.0 out of 5.0 stars for users on Amazon. Customers can purchase this Masterbuilt from $95 to $190, before taxes and shipping.

6-Rack Bradley Digital Smoker

With four to six racks, this electric smoker can hold more goodies inside. The 6-Rack Bradley Digital Smoker includes many of the same digital technology on a bit more significant scale, size-wise. The temperature, time, and smoke have easy-to-use controls.

Looking inside the 6-Rack Bradley Digital Smoker, polished stainless steel with four to six removable racks sit nice and ready for smoking. The ash catcher makes cleanup fast and straightforward. For the outside, a powder epoxy steel covers the body of the unit.

Comparably, users have gotten temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Although, certain temperatures go well with certain foods. The Bradley Digital Smoker is available for $360 to $600, and customers rate this smoker 3.5 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon.

Smoke Hollow ES230B Digital Electric Smoker

This simple, black box still packs a punch of flavor for smoking food. The Smoke Hollow ES230B Digital Electric Smoker provides a 30 to a 36-inch electric smoker. Shoppers can purchase this in black or stainless steel, and they offer a digital version of their electric smoker as well.

For the specifications of this choice, you’ll also find a digital panel that controls the power, temperature, and time. This 800-watt heating element gives even, consistent smoking with an adjustable air damper to control smoke. This option also provides the same pan accessories and removable water bowl for moisture and flavor.

The Smoke Hollow ES230B provides one of the more cost-efficient options, but it doesn’t sacrifice on quality. Customers still get bang for their buck with this electric smoker, and they rate it 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. It’s available for purchase from $90 to $230, depending on the chosen model.

Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker Pros and Cons

Throughout this Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker review, there are details and reports of what consumers feel. Here are the highlights:

Pros

  • Convenient wood chip loading system
  • Digital time and temperature controls
  • Removable racks, water pan, drip pan, and grease pan for easy cleaning.
  • Handle and wheels provide mobility
  • Window and internal light to display items cooking
  • Integrated thermostat for temperature control
  • Smoke control with the top air damper
  • Good reviews for first-time users

Cons

  • Some reviews reported poor construction quality
  • The range of the remote control and Bluetooth capabilities are limited

Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker: Our Hot Take

With the technology available to us, smoking our foods with ease is right at our fingertips. We have a variety of different options to choose from depending on what we need for our gatherings and table settings. With the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker, there are options for every person’s barbecuing style.

If people want something more advanced, then they may find excitement in using the remote and Bluetooth features. Regardless, foodies will find good endings after cooking with the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker. This electric smoker changes how we do flavorful dishes.

Could you use this smoker to create your favorite barbecue dish? Tell us about your latest cookout in the comments!

burgers on a grilll camp chef pg24

The Best Portable Pellet Grill Options Available

Forget propane. Today's most popular tailgate barbecue is the portable pellet grill.

Seriously.

People's tastes are shifting away from gas and over to the rich flavors of pellets and smoke. And that's a good thing! There's something wonderful about meat infused with smoke. A portable pellet grill provides that awesome flavor in a convenient, easy-to-transport package.

Of course, there are dozens of ways to barbecue your food. There are charcoal, gas, and woodchips. When I go camping, I usually just slap a light grill over the campfire and cook all my food on that.

One time I even discovered bacon-wrapped marshmallows. It's true! Believe it or not, they were as delicious as they sound.

That said, we here at Electric Smoke Center don't condone wasting bacon, or marshmallows, in such a callous manner. Which is why when we heard that pellet grills were gaining in popularity across the barbecuing world, we were instantly intrigued. But what is a pellet grill?

Check it out.

The Best Portable Pellet Grills: Comparison Table

What Is A Pellet Grill?

Picture your standard smoker. It's a drum-shaped metal barbecue with a hopper offset to the side or rear. In a similar fashion, a pellet grill has a hopper box which vents into the main cooking chamber.

That's because, at its heart, a pellet grill is a smoker. It uses heat and smoke from the pellets to cook the food. Think of it as a giant oven. That is, except for a portable pellet grill.

A portable pellet grill is a scaled-down version of a regular pellet smoker grill. It may be smaller and able to set up on a tailgate. Other versions are larger and include folding legs or wheels.

No matter how they manage it, a portable pellet grill is able to get around easily. And because it's a pellet grill and not a gas grill, there's no need to carry propane canisters with you.

The Best Portable Pellet Grill Options You Can Buy Today

Because there aren't that many grills to choose from, you would think that finding the perfect grill for you would be easy, right? If only that were true.

At the end of the day, the portable pellet grill that appeals to you will depend a lot on style, price, size, and any extra bells and whistles. Everyone is different.

For that reason, we didn't list these in any particular order. We'll let you find the perfect grill for you!


Camp Chef Pursuit 20 Portable Pellet Grill Smoker

Camp Chef Pursuit 20 Portable Pellet Grill Smoker, Stainless Steel...

First up is the Camp Chef Pursuit 20 portable pellet grill smoker. This is one of those portable grills which are nice and big. Sturdy plastic wheels and folding legs provide the portability you need to stash the grill in your trunk easily. 

But get this: it comes with a whopping 2,100 cubic inches of grilling space. You get a 500 square-inch grill, two meat probes, and a 10-pound wood pellet hopper. You'll especially love the easy ash clean out trapdoor.

One thing you'll notice is that the Camp Chef Pursuit 20 is on the pricier end of the spectrum. Expect to pay premium price. Of course, you get what you pay for. In this case, you get an awesome portable pellet grill. You also get a great three-year warranty.

On Amazon, customers gave it a whopping 4.8 out of 5 stars. This was the highest-rated portable pellet grill we found. 

PROS

  • Everyone raved about how easy it is to cook with this machine. It holds up to transportation well, and people said it was sturdy and spacious.

CONS

  • The only complaint was that it can be challenging to find the right temperature to cook.

PRICE

$$$

warranty

3 years

rating

where to buy


Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill

What do mountains and Davy Crockett have in common? Why, cooking meat, of course! With the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill, you get a tiny and portable pellet grill you can take anywhere. 

This little barbecue is perfect if you live in an apartment or you do a lot of camping. It's 29-inches by 14-inches by 20-inches. Picture a steel lunch box with folding legs, and a big black wood pellet hopper slung on the side.

We love this portable pellet grill thanks to its digital "Sense-Mate" thermal sensor so that we can keep track of the internal temperature. You'll pay premium prices for this tiny but powerful pellet grill. In addition, you get a great 3-year warranty.

Also, customers on Amazon gave it a respectable 4.1 out of 5 stars. Almost everyone said that the Davy Crockett grill has excellent temperature controls. That thermal monitor is a real fan favorite. People also loved that this is an ultra-portable pellet grill.

Some people complained that it had the inferior build quality, and several people had their units malfunction. Thankfully Green Mountain Grills has excellent customer service and an even better warranty.

PROS

  • Has excellent customer service and an even better warranty.

CONS

  • Some people complained that it had the inferior build quality, and several people had their units malfunction.

PRICE

$$$

warranty

3 years

rating

where to buy


Traeger Scout Portable Tabletop Wood Pellet Grill

15' PTG+ Portable Electric Grill

Next up is the 3-year warranty portable tabletop wood pellet grill. Traeger is the original pellet grill inventor and producer. And while you might think that they're unhappy that they no longer enjoy patent protection, you would be wrong.

With all the new manufacturers entering the market, pellet grills have exploded in popularity, and Traeger enjoys great sales thanks to it.

But let's get back to the Traeger Scout. This little steel box resembles a safe more than a barbecue. It's designed to sit right on the table, with four little metal legs under the body.

The pellet hopper is built right into the body, so you get a uniform box. It comes with a meat probe and digital temperature control that allows you to control the cooking process.

This thing is only 13-inches high and 21-inches wide. That makes the Traeger Scout the smallest portable pellet grill we reviewed. Expect to pay premium prices for it. And like most of the grills we chose, it comes with a 3-year warranty.

Customers on the bbqguys.com website gave it 5 out of 5 stars. They loved that it is small and versatile. While it cooks food just fine, it seems to be the combination of size and function that customers loved.

PROS

  • Small and versatile
  • Premium functionality

CONS

  • Not the most affordable option

PRICE

$$$

warranty

3 years

rating

where to buy


Pit Boss Portable Pellet Grill

Pit Boss Portable Tailgate/Camp With Foldable Legs Pellet Grill, Tan...

Fourth on our list is the 5-year warranty Portable Pellet Grill. With 340 square-inches of cooking space, folding legs, a 5-pound hopper, and an additional flame broiler, it's perfect. It hits that sweet spot between portability and amazing function. 

We also loved the stylish bronze look. It has a digital control panel with an internal temperature monitor. That means you can keep a good watch on how your food is cooking. A rear-exhaust convection system keeps hot air flowing around inside. Neat!

You'll pay premium prices for this versatile barbecue. But it gets better. That's because the Pit Boss grill comes with a fantastic 5-year warranty!

Then, at the Walmart website, customers gave the Pit Boss a healthy 4.1 out of 5 stars.  They raved about how well it smokes food. One person even said that they would never go back to another barbecue. 

PROS

  • Customers said it was very portable and tucked away nicely with the legs folded.
  • Smokes food well.

CONS

  • Quite a few people had issues with the unit breaking or falling apart, and customer service wasn't very helpful in providing a quick fix.

PRICE

$$$

warranty

5 years

rating

where to buy


Z GRILLS ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Z Grills ZPG-450A 2019 Upgrade Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in...

Finally, we have Z Grills ZPG-450A wood pellet grill and smoker. With a name like the ZPG-450A, you know this is a serious piece of equipment. One look at it and you get the impression that you're dealing with a full-powered smoker and not a portable pellet grill. 

That's because it has 450 square-inches of cooking space inside a metal drum, with a massive 15-pound hopper on the side. A chimney stack rises above the entire unit. Also, you can reach temperatures of over 450-degrees, making this the hottest grill we included. As we said, this is a serious machine.

In addition, expect to pay premium price for the ZPG-450A, depending on the options you choose to go with it. It comes with a 3-year warranty. Also, on Amazon, customers gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

PROS

  • Almost every single customers raved about the quality of the food that comes out of this thing. They said it was the best smoker they had used. The fact that the legs fold up and it becomes portable was just the icing on the cake. 

CONS

  • Several people complained of mechanical malfunctions, which the warranty was able to cover.

PRICE

$$$

warranty

3 years

rating

where to buy


All About Pellet Grills

little girl grilling sausages

Image via Freepik

Imagine this: the mouth-watering aroma of chopped wood and the ease of gas. Except that you don't need to chop wood and you don't need gas. Does that sound too good to be true?

Don't worry, because it exists today in the form of wood pellets. These are basically little pellets made of wood and pulp materials. Because they're dry, they burn really easy. And a pellet grill is like a drum or traditional smoker with a chamber attached for the pellets.

But there's more.

The original pellet grill patent belonged to Traeger, but since the patent expired in 2009, the floodgates opened. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, pellet grills are fast becoming the most popular barbecue on the market. There are good reasons for this.

How Does It Work?

By now you're probably wondering if a portable pellet grill is a barbecue or a smoker? The truth is that a pellet grill is a smoker. It uses compounded wood pellets to create hot smoke instead of wood chips. But it gets better.

You see, pellet grills are super-easy to use. Inside the pellet hopper is a metallic rod. This is an electric heating element, which glows bright red when you turn it on. That ignites the wood pellets.

You can then set the temperature you want with digital controls, and the rod will control how hot the pellets burn. Then the pellets will burn, glowing red or even white depending on the temperature.

Next, a fan blows the heat and smoke from the hopper into the cook box. Metal plates under the grill heat up, providing ambient heat which cooks your food.

At any rate, you never get the choking, polluting smoke of charcoal or need to fight with pressurized gas canisters. Just load the pellets, turn it on, and forget about it.

Are They Healthy?

Is using a portable pellet grill healthy? What's inside those wood pellets?

The first thing you need to know is that pellet grills use special food-grade wooden pellets. You can't just throw any wood pellets in there. That said, those wooden pellets are as safe as any other type of grilling combustible.

You see, those food-grade wood pellets consist of sawdust pressed tightly together into pellet form. Some may contain flavored vegetable oils for extra seasoning. They are as safe as charcoal or propane. However, there's always an element of risk when grilling.

Carcinogens in food burning on a grill may heighten the risk of cancer, but if you've ever wolfed down a Whopper and fries, grilled food is the least of your worries.

portable barbeque grill

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

How Much Do They Cost?

By now you think that you might check out one of these newfangled portable pellet grill contraptions. Why not?

You can pick up a portable pellet grill for affordable prices. Most places that sell barbecues carry them, including Home Depot and Amazon.

How We Reviewed

Make no mistake about it; there aren't many pellet grill manufacturers out there. We expect to see more enter the market now that they're not held back by patents. But for right now, you're looking at only a handful of pellet grills.

So we checked out the ones that we do know about, and read up on each of them. Then we checked out customer reviews, to see what real people had to say.

There were three that we dropped from our list, simply because they had overwhelmingly poor reviews. That left us with a list of the best portable pellet grill options you can buy.

It's Grill Season!

grilling meat

The cool thing about owning a portable pellet grill is that when grilling season arrives, you can go anywhere. You're not stuck to your backyard. Surprise your friends and bring your grill to their home. Everybody will appreciate delicious smoked meat.

The only thing you need with a portable pellet grill is a power outlet, some wood pellets, and some delicious food to cook up. So what are you waiting for? It's grill season!

What kind of grill do you use? Let us know in the comment section below!

how to use an electric smoker

How to Use an Electric Smoker the Right Way

So, you want to know how to use an electric smoker, and you want to do it right the first time around? Good news! With a few easy steps, you'll be cooking up the greatest meals anybody in your family has ever had.

Is it possible to use an electric smoker the right way the first time around? Of course, it is! While you can wing it and hope for the best, a little education and some prep before you start cooking will go a long way towards a delicious smoked meal the first time out of the gate.

And because you're already researching this topic, you've got the education part covered. Let's get to it.

How to Use an Electric Smoker (the Right Way)

grilled meat

Image Source: Pixabay

Before you turn on your electric smoker and slap some pork chops down on the grill, you need to understand a couple of key elements about electric smokers.


First off, electric smokers are simple to use. That's thanks to the digital control panel on the front of the smoker. Unlike gas and charcoal smokers, which require constant monitoring and fidgeting with temperatures, the electric smoker will self-regulate.


Next, you'll notice that there's a heating element, a water pan, a container for wood chips, a bunch of racks, and a drip pan. That's simple. The electric element heats up the wood chips which produce heat and smoke.


The water pan sits above the wood chips and blocks direct heat from scorching the food on the racks above. The water also adds moisture to the food and helps that delicious smoke absorb deep into it.


The wood chips


Here's where it gets interesting. Those who know how to use an electric smoker always source the best wood chips. That's because the wood determines the flavor of the food you're cooking, especially meats.


You'll never go wrong with an apple-flavored wood, but cherry, alder, and even oak add some awesome flavors to your food. We recommend FireStar Wood Chips for smokers, which offer a great assortment of wood chips that you can't go wrong with.


The seasoning


Masterbuilt 20078616 Electric Bullet Smoker
  • 395 sq. inches of cooking space on twoporcelain coated smoking racks
  • 1,650 watt heating element for even, consistentsmoking up to 400 Degree
  • Removable porcelain-coated wood chip tray,drip pan and water bowl

If you really want to know how to use an electric smoker and create great food right away, then look away from the smoker for a moment. Instead, look at the seasoning you're adding to your meat.


You want a beautiful, subtle yet flavorful seasoning that will complement the smoke flavors. You don't want to overpower the meat, nor do you want to waste money on flavorless garbage.

If you go with something like High Plains Spice Company Smokehouse Favorites, you'll hit all the right spots. These are made to compliment your smoker and create beautiful food.


Rub seasoning all over your meat and let it sit for a few hours in the fridge. Now you're ready to start cooking.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use an Electric Smoker

Person grilling sausage and meat

Image Source: Pexels

Are you ready? Because now you're going to learn how to use an electric smoker the right way. Once you do it, you'll never forget. T

hat makes you the maestro of family meals.

There are six very simple steps. Know these, and you'll know how to use an electric smoker. They are:

  1. 1
    Set up the smoker
  2. 2
    Add wood chips and water
  3. 3
    Preheat the smoker
  4. 4
    Add food
  5. 5
    Monitor
  6. 6
    Remove food

How simple is that? Well, let's take a look and see.


1. Set up the smoker

Want to really know how to use an electric smoker? The secret is in how, and where, you set up your smoker.


You see, the great thing about electric smokers is that you can put them almost anywhere. Unlike gas or pellet smokers, they don't use an open flame, so fire risk is diminished. That's great if you live in an apartment or condo.


But even if you live in a house, you can still benefit from an electric smoker. Either way, you want to make sure that you use your smoker outdoors. Never use it indoors.


That can cause some problems during the colder months in the winter. Electric smokers are not as good at retaining heat as gas and pellet smokers, which means that in cold weather, your smoker will lose more heat. So if you use it during cold weather, keep it under some type of cover and out of the wind and snow.


The next thing you'll want to do is to "season" the smoker before you cook anything it. Do this by turning on the heat to regular (or medium) and let it sit like that for two hours. This will get rid of any fresh-from-the-factory smells that might interfere with your food.


Now you're ready for the next part.


2. Add wood chips and water


Those who know how to use an electric smoker usually add about four cups of wood chips to the wood chip pan. This will give you five to six hours of smoking.


One thing to remember is that whenever you add new woodchips to the smoker, it will bring down the internal temperature and prolong the cooking process, so make sure you fill it right the first time around.


Two gallons of water will be best if the pan is big enough to hold that much. If it's smaller than two gallons, try to fill it as much as possible, leaving an inch of space from the lip of the pan.


Don't use anything but warm water. Ignore all those blog posts about using apple juice or wine or beer. Only the water from those liquids evaporates anyway, so you're better off drinking that and using plain tap water in the water pan.


3. Preheat the smoker


This step is important.


You want to preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. We don't recommend going much higher than that. Some smokers excel at 180 degrees, but those are limited to unique models like the Weber Kettle.


Don't put anything in the smoker until it has preheated. The great thing about knowing how to use an electric smoker is not having to wait long for it to preheat.


4. Add food


Now for the best part -- the food.


You're finally going to take all that meat you seasoned out of the fridge and place it on the racks in the smoker. Depending on what you're cooking, you'll need to place the food strategically.


A good rule of thumb is that the bigger, or the greasier, the food, the lower it should go in the smoker. Veggies and fish will generally do fine on the upper racks. However, you'll also have to remember that all these different foods have different cooking times. Plan your placement carefully.


For instance, if you're cooking ribs and veggie skewers, leave at least one rack empty at the top of the smoker so you can place the veggies later on.


5. Monitor


Once you know how to use an electric smoker, you won't need to monitor your food so much. In fact, much like a slow cooker, you can practically start cooking in the morning, go to work, and come home to delicious supper waiting for you.


But the first time you use it, you'll want to monitor how it's going.


You can do this simply by looking at the control panel to see what the current internal temperature is, and by looking through the glass window to see the food inside. Remember that every time you open the door, you let heat and smoke escape and prolong the cooking process.

Wireless Meat Thermometer for Grilling, Bluetooth Meat Thermometer...
  • 🍖【SOMKER THERMOMETER】- Phone remote monitoring food: this BBQ thermometer will remind you at the very first...
  • 🍖【PRESET TEMPERATURE AND TIMER】: Grilling thermometer has preset temperatures and cooking levels for 11...
  • 🍖【6 PROBE SIMULTANEOUS MONITORING】: Comes with 4 probes(sent in random color), this wireless digital cooking...


Many people buy a wireless cooking thermometer and stick it in the piece of meat. This way you can see what the internal temperature of the meat is. Just remember to stick it in the thickest, juiciest cut of meat you have.


6. Remove the food


Ah, finally! Your mouth is watering, and your neighborhood is filled with savory scents. Your food is ready!


Before you open the door, turn off the smoker. Then, open it up, and carefully remove the food. Let any meat sit in the open air for a good 10 to 15 minutes before eating. This will allow the internal temperature of the meat to stabilize. Now you're ready to eat!


Remember that you'll also want to clean your smoker once it has cooled down. It will take an hour or two to release all the heat. Once it's cool, remove the racks and the pans. Wash those in soapy water in the sink.


Take a damp cloth and wipe out any large chunks of food, then use a cloth and warm soapy water to wipe down the insides of the smoker. You can also use a bit of apple cider vinegar for cleaning, but we don't recommend using chemical cleaners.

Eat and Enjoy!

Congrats! You now know how to use an electric smoker, and you nailed it the first time around!


We're proud of you, and your family can now enjoy the most delicious meats they've ever had.


There's nothing quite like smoking meats, and an electric smoker is one surefire way to get it right every time.


Do you have any original tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

woodwind grill review

Woodwind Grill Review: Amazing Pellet Smoker You Should Have

To see if it is worth all the hype surrounding it, we will take a look at the features they offer with the Woodwind grill, the quality, design, pricing, customer reviews, and comparisons to other similar smokers. On top of that, we will look at the sizing and spacing that the grill offers, to see if it is the right fit for you and your family.

What are Woodwind Grills and How Do They Work?

Woodwind grills are a specific design of a pellet grill made by Camp Chef.

This design lights instantly and easily, offers computerized temperature control, convection heating, Smart Smoke Technology, and a patented easy way to clean out the ash.

The Smart Smoke Technology allows you to easily set the temperature, put in the meat you want to cook, and walk away from the grill while trusting it to get the job done correctly. It’s incredibly easy to use and makes cooking much more convenient.

What Makes Woodwind Grills Unique?

Camp Chef has a patented ash clean out that makes cleaning up after your cooking session infinitely easier. If you are someone who grills and smokes frequently, you most likely spend a lot of time cleaning up afterwards. With this product, you are given the ability to simply pull a lever and clean out any ash that has remained after your grilling without taking apart the entire unit. This is a fantastic feature that is definitely not seen very often on pellet grills.

On top of that, they also have a clean out feature for the hopper as well. When your hopper is full of a specific type of pellets and you want to swap them out for a different strength or flavor, there is a small trap door you can open to empty it completely.

Another unique feature to this grill is the attached sear box. This is a cast iron work horse powered by propane, and it has incredible fire power. When up to the highest temperature it can be, the box will actually reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a wonderful feature that is not seen on other pellet grills at all. It almost allows you to have two grills in one.

With this feature, you are given the variety of having the wood pellet grill for smoky flavors, as well as an extremely hot and quick sear station all at once.

Other great features include the thermometer probe, the stainless kit, and the upper shelf.

The secondary shelf is great for cooking things like vegetables and hot dogs, and you are able to remove it if you are cooking a larger piece of meat. Making it removable offers a lot more versatility in what you can cook all at once.

The built-in thermometer probe allows you to check the temperature of all the meat on the grill by simply pressing a button. This is great if you don’t have an external thermometer to use, as this one is always attached. It allows for complete accuracy for your food’s temperature.

The stainless kit is also a fantastic, sleek addition to the grill. It matches the sear box well so everything fits together perfectly.

Pricing

There are a few different options for the Woodwind grills, so the prices vary as well.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Without Sear Box - Featuring Smart...
  • SMART SMOKE TECHNOLOGY- The digital temperature control and automatic auger feed pellets into the grill to maintain the...
  • ENDLESS VERSATILITY- Grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and barbecue all your favorite foods with premium wood-fired...
  • HUGE COOKING AREA- 570 square inches of cooking surface area and a removable upper warming rack give you enough room to...

This grill gives you 570 square inches of cooking space, as well as 1,584 square inches for the jerky racks. Being the cheaper option, it does not automatically come with the sear box, although it can be added on to your order if you desire.

Every other feature we mentioned previously is included with this first option: the easy ash cleanout, the electric auto-start ignition, Smart Smoke Technology, the 18-pound pellet hopper, and many more.

This can also be purchased from other retailers online, like Amazon, as well. However, it looks to be around the same price everywhere for the most part.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box - Smart Smoke Technology...
  • SMART SMOKE TECHNOLOGY- The digital temperature control and automatic auger feed pellets into the grill to maintain the...
  • ENDLESS VERSATILITY- Grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and barbecue all your favorite foods with premium wood-fired...
  • HUGE COOKING AREA- 811 square inches of cooking surface area and a removable upper warming rack give you enough room to...

The second option is a little more expensive and offers additional features as well. The sear box is added to this package, and instead of costing you extra, it only adds $200 to your cost. 

Overall, you get all the same features with each grill, but the sear box automatically comes with the second option. However, if you go with the first option and later decide that you want that feature as well, you can always purchase it separately.

Public Perception (Other Woodwind Grill Reviews)

There were a lot of positive reviews for this product, this is definitely a well-loved design. We will be separating the negative and positive reviews in order to see exactly how the broad spectrum of customers felt about the product.

Positive

One aspect of these grills that was talked about frequently in reviews was the simple fact that they were able to get up to the temperatures they needed to. A lot of reviews mentioned purchasing grills from other companies where they couldn’t get the temperature past a certain number, whereas they had no issues with Woodwind grills. This is definitely important – having a grill that is consistently the correct temperature allows you to cook a more diverse selection of different meats and foods, and it confirms that your food is safe to eat.

Another quality that was praised when it came to the Woodwind grill was the smoky flavor it gave to food. Using pellets is, of course, a huge part of that – the pure hardwood pellets fueling the fire give the meat an authentic wood taste that you wouldn’t get from charcoal or gas.


The price was something that was mentioned positively as well. While it isn’t a cheap grill, it is much more affordable than purchasing a comparable product from a company like Traeger. If you are on a budget and looking to save a few dollars on your new grill, this is definitely a great product to consider. There were many reviews talking about how they couldn’t believe they got such a high-quality product for less than they would have paid for another company’s grill.


Having a grill that basically cleans itself, for the most part, was another upside to buying a Woodwind grill. Camp Chef’s patented technology cut the grill cleaning time into half for most people using the product. This allowed them to have more time to just focus on the food or other more important things than emptying the grill of ash.


Another aspect that came up in reviews frequently was the additional perk of having a separate sear box. While it does make the product a little more expensive, most reviewers who made the choice to include that in their purchase have been very happy with it. It allows them a wonderful mix of a hardwood, smoky taste and being able to sear their meat to the perfect degree every time. This is a very unique feature that you definitely don’t get with any pellet grills besides this one.


The reviews also praised the customer service a lot as well. If they were in need of assistance assembling a product, having something replaced, issuing a complaint, or any other problem needed to be handled, their customer service was able to do the job well. Having a good department to talk to their customers has an enormous say in how the business will be perceived, so this is a great look for the company.


Assembly was also said to be very simple and straightforward. It can be very frustrating to have a product come in the mail that is difficult or impossible to assemble – that is definitely not the case with the Woodwind grill. Reviews that mentioned the assembly had a lot of good things to say about how easy it was, and if they noticed anything missing or broken their customer service was able to fix it very quickly and efficiently.


The last positive aspect we noticed a lot of mentions of in the reviews was the warranty. Camp Chef offers a 3 year extended warranty on this product, which is a lot longer than its competitors. This will give you peace of mind if you are worried about something breaking or aren’t sure how long everything will last.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box - Smart Smoke Technology...

Negative

Now there were a few negative aspects to be mentioned by customers as well.


The one that came up the most frequently was a common error with the temperature probe. There were a decent amount of reviews that mentioned the thermometer came to them not working at all. When they called Camp Chef’s customer service department to have it resolved, they were told it was a common issue and that a new one would be sent out. It looks like the product shorts out fairly frequently. It is definitely not a deal breaker, but it is a good point to note if you are considering buying one.


While the customer service was generally praised overall for their politeness and efficiency, there were a few complaints about them as well. For some customers, they experienced a several day timeframe of waiting for a representative to get back to them about the issues they had with their product. They don’t have a customer service department that is open all the time, so sometimes it was a lengthier wait to be helped.


Another negative that was mentioned was that the grill rattled and was difficult to move around at times. Some reviews mentioned that they either had a really hard time moving the grill to different locations, or they did not want to because they knew it would be difficult or impossible. This is definitely something important to keep in mind if you are looking for something you can move around easily and take camping.

How it Compares

All in all, this is a pretty impressive set up. Compared to other models, you are getting a lot of high- quality, awesome features without paying that bigger price.

We also really like the extended three year warranty, the different pricing options, and the easy to clean ash technology. For what you pay for this product, it has so many wonderful features to take advantage of.

Our favorite aspect overall was definitely the sear box. It is definitely the perfect addition to an already fantastic grill, giving that extra high quality feature to make your meat taste even better.

What We Think

This is definitely both a product and a company we can recommend. The features, customer service, and fantastic products are most certainly worth both your time and money.

What are you most excited about when it comes to the Woodwind grills?

Camp Chef PG24

Camp Chef PG24 Review: Style, Features, And More

Pellet grills are becoming a bigger deal every passing year – more and more companies are making them and creating new designs for units that don’t use gas or charcoal. The Camp Chef PG24 has its own design, and today we'll look at its layout.

We'll take a look at the price, unique features, customer reviews, comparisons to other grills, and more.

It is also important to keep in mind how many people this product can feed and the amount of food you can cook at once. Therefore, we'll discuss the cooking space as well.

What is the Camp Chef PG24 and How Does it Work?

The Camp Chef PG24 is a grill and smoker that provides consistent results every time you use it. The unit has a practical digital temperature readout, and a simple temperature setting system.

Because it uses wood pellets to fuel the heat rather than charcoal or gas, your food comes out with a hardwood, smoky flavor every time.

The product has a cooking area of 429 square inches, a second cooking rack with an extra 141 square inches, and a hopper capacity of 18 pounds. You can cook between 160 and 500 degrees, which is about one hundred degrees higher than a lot of competitor grills like Traeger.

Their system also includes ash cleanout for the pellet hopper, pellet purge system, grease management system, an electronic auto ignition, and a shutdown mode. We will get more into those individual features in the next section of the review.

What Makes the Camp Chef PG24 Unique?

Here are some of the key features that Camp Chef offers for this particular grill.

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 Pellet Grill with Patio Cover - Bundle...
  • Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 (Full-Length Cover, $55 Value)
  • Best Value Full-Feature Pellet Grill and Smoker in the Industry 2017
  • Patented Ash Clean-out System, Pellet Purge, and Grease Management System

Ash Cleanout System

The first aspect of this model is the Ash Cleanout system. It allows you to  pull a lever to empty all of the ash from the fire box instead of having to vacuum out the grill every time you cook on it.

This is a fantastic feature to have –it is a common complaint of grill owners that their grills are incredibly difficult to clean out after using them.

Automatic Pellet Auger and Electronic Auto Start Ignition

Grilling is a much more pleasant experience when you don’t have to continually light up the unit or refill the fuel throughout the process. The company added an automatic pellet auger that fuels the fire pot with pellets automatically when needed. They also included an autostart ignition, which sets fire to the pellets when necessary. The temperature control unit directs the entire process – when more heat is needed, the automatic auger pushes more pellets into the fire pot, and the auto-ignition continuously lights them.

Large Capacity Pellet Hopper

Having a larger pellet hopper is a good idea, simply because it stops you from having to refill it multiple times while grilling or smoking.

The Camp Chef PG24 offers a massive pellet storage space in the big hopper. Once you have it loaded, you won't have to do it again for at least another session of cooking on the grill.

Digital Control System and Dual LED Temperature Readout

The design of this grill gives you  effective control over the temperature. You can set the perfect temperature no matter what you are grilling, and walk away for it to cook on its own. There's also the dual LED readout for the temperature that will help you monitor the temperature accurately. This is great if you want to keep the lid closed for a long period of time.

Durable Meat Probe 

This unit also comes with a convenient, nicely built-in meat probe for you to check the temperature inside the meat. When you stick the probe into the meat, the other end of it goes into an input socket. This allows you to check the digital LED output monitor to see the temperature inside to make sure it is cooked properly.

Portability

Camp Chef also made this design extremely durable, making it easier to transport than some of its competitors. The product has two sturdy castors for added firmness – which makes the smoker more stable and less prone to breaking if it is moved around.

Pricing

This grill is  fairly affordable, and one of the best options for a pellet grill. 

Some retailers offer similar products that will cost you a lot more, even by hundreds of dollars. REC TEC has a comparable model, and it costs $1598.00 brand new on their site. A lot of Traeger’s  models are also more than the Camp Chef PG24.

Public Perception (Other Camp Chef PG24 Reviews)

Let’s take a look at what other customers thought of this product. We will divide the positive reviews and the negative ones in order to see all the pros and cons of owning this pellet grill and smoker.

Positive


The first aspect we noticed in the customer reviews online was how pleased they were with the temperature control. A lot of the comments specifically mentioned how wonderful it was to be able to set the temperature, place the meat in the smoker, and have the ability to walk away for several hours without worrying about how the food will turn out.


Another quality that buyers really enjoyed was Camp Chef’s customer service. If there were any issues with shipping, products, or anything else, the company went out of their way to fix the problems and make them happy.


The price was also a huge upside for reviewers. Having such a high-quality product that provides the buyer with so many different features at such a low price is rare, and an exciting aspect for the customer. Those who mentioned trying bigger, more well-known brands said that they spent a lot more and got a lot less than when they tried the Camp Chef PG24.


Something else that customers raved about was how easy the product was to clean. As we talked about before, this grill offers Camp Chef’s Ash Cleanout System, which makes sure all the ash and other debris is blown out after every  grilling or smoking session. Not having to bend over and scrub out the grill or use a vacuum  is a huge plus.


Another positive mentioned is how efficiently it uses pellets. Buying wood con for your grill—while not as expensive as gas or charcoal— will  add up and cost you a decent amount over time. However, using a grill that burns them carefully will save you money and time in the long run. Customers really liked how they bought pellets less frequently with this product.


Lastly, users really loved the fact that the design came with its own very easy to use meat probe. This allowed them to easily, quickly, and safely take the temperature of the meat to make sure it is being cooked correctly.

burgers on a grilll camp chef pg24

Negative


While the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, there were a few negative things that customers noticed that we will point out.


The first downside is the warranty. A lot of designs  offer a 2 year, 3-year, or  longer warranty for their products. However, for this particular grill, it only lasts one year. Many customers complained that this simply wasn’t long enough, especially by the industry standards. It also did not allow for any issues that occurred over a longer period.


Another negative mentioned was the way the grills were shipped if ordered online. Whether customers ordered them from the company website or other online merchants, a decent amount of them complained that the products were handled badly and arrived damaged. Not all of them had serious issues, but often there was enough damage to warrant a call to customer service or a complete return altogether.


While a lot of the buyers did love the fact that Camp Chef provides a meat probe to safely measure the temperature of the meat, there were a few reviews that mentioned a need to return it after just a few months of use. Luckily, as long as it was replaced within a year, it was covered under the warranty. However, it is still an inconvenience and should be kept in mind if you plan on purchasing a grill from them.


There were also a few complaints of the grill shutting off randomly in the middle of a cooking. While there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of complaints that mentioned this, it is an important aspect to remember while buying a grill.

How it Compares

This design definitely has a lot of fantastic qualities going for it.

When it comes to getting the grill clean after a cooking session, we did not see a model that could beat the Camp Chef PG 24. Having a whole system that cleans out the ash and debris for you is a huge advantage.

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 Pellet Grill with Patio Cover - Bundle...

Quality

Price

Rating

$$$

Pricing is definitely a big upside as well. Getting so many fantastic features within the grill for such a reasonable price cannot be overstated. If you are on a budget and looking for a high-quality smoker, this is definitely one worth considering.

One aspect that doesn’t hold up when compared to other models is definitely the warranty. Like we discussed before, having only a one-year warranty for a grill like this is below the standard for the grill industry and does not allow for any long-term issues that may occur with the smoker.

The only other thing we would advise you look out for if you are considering purchasing one of these grills is having it shipped to your house. Because there were some complaints of parts coming in completely broken or bent, it is important to note if you are shopping online for this grill.

The Best Food To Put On A Pellet Grill

Sometimes you have to give dinner a little more flair. If your meals have become mundane, check out these food ideas:

Pulled Pork

There are so many ways you can turn pulled pork into a delicious meal. Place it in between two buns with a dollop of coleslaw, or put it over some chips for bbq nachos—both are crowd pleasers!

Smoked Salmon

You can never go wrong with putting salmon in the grill. You can top it with mango salsa or slather it with bbq sauce. No matter which version you choose, it’ll be delicious.

Beer Can Chicken

This is a fun recipe that’s perfect for cookouts and tailgating. It goes great with loaded baked potatoes and grilled veggies. It’s yummy.

Flatbread Pizza

You don’t generally think of pizza when you think of grilling, but smokers make awesome pizza. This option is perfect for people who aren’t big meat eaters and want to try something different. Throw on your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Final Thoughts On The Camp Chef PG24

This product and company is definitely worth your time and money. It’s affordable, a fantastic design, and has wonderful customer service to back it up if any problems arise.

If you have bought this particular grill before, what are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the review?

smoking meat

The Carnivore’s Ultimate Guide to Smoking Meats for Delicious Eats

There is something instinctually about humans and the smell of smoking meat.

That’s right, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’m drooling, just thinking about it.

via GIPHY

Maybe it harkens back to our human ancestors, as the smell let them know that cooked food that would sustain them was near.

Or, maybe it’s just the fact that smoked meat just tastes really, really good.

Personally, I think it’s both.

Whether you just want to make something delicious at home or want to try tapping into your primal instincts, smoking meat is a great way to go about it.

Smoking Meat for Tasty Treats

Since time immemorial, humanity has been smoking meat for two reasons:

  • Smoking meat makes it last longer.
  • Smoking makes it taste delicious!

Though refrigeration made smoking less necessary as a food preservation technique, smoked foods are ingrained in the culinary DNA of many cultures.

Smoked meats from around the world

North American Indians: Jerky and pemmicanEastern Europe: Smoked fishChina: Sichuan style smoked meatsSoutheastern United States: Whole smoked hogTexas: Smoked beef brisket

Source: Mountain America Jerky

History of Smoking Meat

No one can be entirely sure how or when humanity began smoking meats.

But it’s a good bet that our cave-dwelling, cooked-meat eating caveman ancestors laid the groundwork to do so!

Here are some examples:

BACON

Bacon is undoubtedly one of the kings of smoked meat.

It is salty, smokey, and the perfect accompaniment to fried eggs.

Mmmmmmm….

In the United States, bacon starts as a nice, fatty side of pork belly, cured and smoked to perfection.

salmon bagel on wooden plank

Image: CC by 2.0 by https://www.pexels.com/@postiglioni, via Pexels

Image: CC by 2.0 by Abdallah Maqboul , via Pexels

HAM

A smoked country ham is a dinner centerpiece for many families around the holidays.

The ham refers both to the cut and the meat product.

The ham cut comes from the rear leg of the pig.

smoked ham in front of a fire

CC by 2.0, by Pixabay, via Pexels

 Smoked fish

Smoked fish has a long, proud history in the United States from both native and immigrant settlers.

 In fact:

The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest have a long-standing tradition with smoking salmon to preserve it for later consumption.

Watch the video below for more information:

Diaspora Ashkenazi Jews brought their knowlege of smoking fish from Eastern Europe. Today, smoked fish is still a staple in any good Jewish appetizing shop.

hamburger sandwich on a wooden plank

CC by 2.0 by Abdallah Maqboul , via Pexels

CHOOSE YOUR METHOD

Logic dictates that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

So what?

Well, where’s there’s fire, there’s heat.

Of course, when you’re smoking meats, it’s not always that simple.

 Cold smoke

Cold smoking flavors and preserves meat for later consumption. Cold smoked meats can be kept for months at room temperature.

So how does it work?

For cold smoking, the meat is always cured with salt and sodium nitrate.

This process smokes meat for a few hours, and up to a few days, at a relatively low temperature.

The smoke is produced in a separate firebox. The smoke is then pumped into an unheated antechamber where the meat is.

 Hot smoking

Hot smoking is a cooking technique. It uses heat and smoke to make food that is ready to eat.

Most hot smoked foods are treated with brine, marinade, or dry rub. These treatments flavor and keep the meat moist during the cooking process.

 Safety risks

Here’s what you should know:

While cold smoking can produce some seriously delicious meat, if you’re a newbie, listen up.

I have some bad news for you.

Cold smoking is pretty dangerous to do at home.

Modern food production techniques mean that there are lots of pathogens present in meat and other products.

To counteract this, the FDA has a lot of guidelines to help keep food safe.

One of these guidelines is cooking temperatures.

FDA Minimum Internal Temperatures for Meats

  • Seafood – 145-degrees F
  • Red Meat / Pork – 145-degrees F
  • Ground Meat – 160-degrees F
  • Ground Poultry – 165-degrees F
  • Poultry – 165-degrees F

Cold smoking holds the meat at around 90-degrees Fahrenheit. This is far lower than the recommended 145-degree Fahrenheit recommendations.

So, what should you do?

While can make safe cold-smoked meat at home, it requires precise temperature control and a thorough understanding of the curing process.

In contrast, hot smoking produces temperatures between 145-degrees and 300-degrees Fahrenheit.

That is well above the FDA danger zone.

Our recommendation:

Stick with hot smoking when smoking meats at home.

Botulism

Let me tell you a little bit about Clostridium botulinum.

It makes you sick with a disease known as botulism.

That’s not all:

A common source of botulism is improperly prepared and stored processed food.

Still not convinced?

This bacteria produces some of the most lethal substances known to humanity. These toxins block nerve function.

Symptoms of botulism

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble breathing
  • Paralysis

A botulism infection can lead to death.

Furthermore, you can’t always tell when food is tainted.

In fact: some botulinum tainted food will not taste or smell off at all!

Bottom line: 

Leave cold smoking meat to the experts.

CHOOSE YOUR PROTEIN

So you might be wondering to yourself: what can I smoke?

Well, I’ve got some answers for you!

In short:

If you can cook it, you can smoke it.

Choosing your protein to smoke is less about rules and more about guidelines.

Follow these guidelines, and you will be well on your way to some delicious smoked meals.

What cut to smoke?

This is important to remember:

Smoking is a method well suited mostly for the cheaper, tougher cuts of meat.

Why?

Smoking meat is typically a long, slow cooking process. To take advantage of this, you need cuts of meat that have a lot of connective tissue and fat.

When cooked for a short amount of time, connective tissue gets tough and chewy.

But when cooked long and slow, the collagen in the tissue breaks down. This makes for a tender, juicy piece of smoked meat when done.

Here are some examples of great cuts to try:

PORK

  • Pork shoulder (Boston butt)
  • Pork ribs
  • Pork belly
  • Sausages

BEEF

  • Beef brisket
  • Beef ribs
  • Oxtails

Image: CC0, by Pixabay, via Pexels

POULTRY

  • Whole poultry (duck, chicken, turkey)
  • Chicken wings

Image: CC 2.0, by gyanbasnet, via Pixabay

FISH

  • SALMON
  • TROUT

Image: CC 2.0, by wow_pho, via Pixabay

Are there meats that you shouldn’t smoke?

Super-lean cuts, like pork tenderloin, are typically ill-suited for smoking. The long, slow cooking process will yield a tough, dry, rubbery piece of meat.

Beyond just smoking meat

While smoking meats is the most popular item to smoke, you don’t have to limit yourself to just animal protein.

Yes, you can smoke more than just meat!

Try smoking some vegetarian-friendly foods! Try throwing some of your favorite vegetables and alternative proteins in the smoker. (Yum, smoked tofu!)

Feeling more adventurous? Smoke is a great flavoring, but not everything will smoke well.

To get around this, try smoking some condiments!

Smoked salt to bring just a touch of smokey goodness to your dishes.

Love hot sauce?

Try smoking Sriracha for the ultimate in smokey, spicy goodness.

But wait, there’s more!

If you want to get super adventurous, here’s something to try:Smoked. Ice. Cream.

(Oh yes, it’s a thing.)

You know what else is a thing?

Smoked chocolate chips.

Want some vegan smoked ham?

Here’s something that’s sure to blow your mind.

Share the joy of delicious smoked ham with your vegan friends and family with a smoked watermelon ham!

Wait, what?

In 2018, Ducks Eatery in New York City turned took a watermelon, brined it, and smoked it.

The result?

A smokey, fully vegetarian “ham” like dish that tastes unlike anything you have ever tried before.

Check out the video below:

Let’s face it:

When it comes to a truly unique smoked “meat,” this is as unique as they come!

The Smoke Train

to Flavor City

Smoking brings plenty of flavor to the party, but it’s by no means the only flavor to think about when you are smoking meats.

 Brining

Brining is a process that uses salt to enhance the flavor, texture, and moisture content in food.

Wet brines dissolve the salt in water before the meat is placed in it to soak for some time.

Dry brines are mixtures of salt, and other flavorings, which is then rubbed directly onto the meat. The meat is then allowed to sit for a period of time before cooking.

So what kind of ingredients can you find in a brine?

The main ingredient you will find in every brine recipe is salt.

Bottle of Salt and other condiments

Image: CC0 ,by Kaboompics, via Pexels

In fact, in some recipes, salt may be the ONLY ingredient.

But really, you can add anything to a brine.

Smoked salmon and pork recipes may include a sweetener like brown sugar or honey to help balance the flavors.

Peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, and onion are great additions to any brine.

 Marinades

Like a wet brine, a marinade is a flavorful liquid that you soak the meat in to impart flavor and moisture. Some marinades may also help to tenderize the meat.

Is there anything you shouldn’t put in a marinade?

Pretty much any flavor combination you can imagine, you can put in a marinade for smoking meat.

For a fantastic Korean-inspired beef rib, try a soy-based marinade with some sesame oil, garlic, green onion, ginger, and sugar.

Want to go to the Mediterranean? Experiment with a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs. You just can’t go wrong with this one!

Marinades in glass bottles

Image: CC0, by MikeGoad, via Pixabay

 Dry Rubs

Like other flavoring methods, a dry rub imparts flavor. Like a dry brine, a dry rub often includes salt but can also contain other ingredients.

The main difference with a dry rub is that most, if not all, the ingredients are dry.

Dry spices and salts

Image: CC0, by Pixabay via Pexels

The most basic of dry rub recipes can be just salt and pepper. Another basic dry rub is salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.

But don’t be afraid to expand on this!

For a Mexican-inspired dry rub for your ribs, try salt, powdered ancho chili, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano.

Want to take a trip around the world with your smoker? This recipe from Bobby Flay that uses salt, turmeric, cardamom, fennel, and other common curry spices to create an out of this world smoked chicken thigh!

Choose Your Wood

The wood you use to smoke over is going to have a fundamental effect on the flavor of your food.

Remember:

Not all wood is suitable for smoking.

And more importantly:

Not all smoking wood is suitable for all foods.

Knowing what look for as well as what kinds of woods to use is essential for creating the flavor you want.

What to look for

Wood for smoking meats generally comes in a few forms:

 Logs

Logs are generally large; think about the size you would use in a fireplace. These are good for large smokers that need to burn for a long time.

pile of wood logs

Image: CC 2.0, by LUM3N, via Pixabay

 Chunks

Chunks are smaller pieces of wood, around the size of a fist. These can last for hours in a smoker.

Wood chunks and charcoal

Image: CC SA 4.0, by EricKilby, via Flickr

 Chips

Chips are smaller scraps of wood. They ignite easily but may burn out quickly.

pile of wood chips

Image: CC by 2.0, by internalizer, via Pixabay

They are easy to find at your average big box store as well as specialty barbeque stores. These are good for smaller smokers or quick smoking jobs.

Popular woods for smoking meats

Woods for smoking can be broken down into three main categories:

  • Mild
  • Medium
  • Strong

Fruit woods are very popular to smoke with. These woods are on the mild side with sweet smoke and tend to pair well with more delicate, white meat proteins.

Medium flavored woods like hickory, maple, pecan, and oak produce a good smoke that pairs well with just about any meat.

Strong woodslike mesquite impart a lot of flavors but need to be used carefully.

Woods & Flavor Profiles

Wood

Flavor Profile

Use With

Alder 
Sweet, light
Fish (Salmon)
Apple 
Sweet, mild
Chicken, pork
Cherry 
Sweet, mild
Pork, beef
Hickory 
Strong, sweet
Ribs, bacon
Pecan 
Very sweet, nutty 
Roasts, ribs
Walnut 
Strong, nutty
Red meat, game meat
Mesquite 
Strong, unique
Red meats

Woods you should never use

Not all woods are created equal when it comes to smoking meats.

In fact:

There are some woods that you should ALWAYS stay away from when smoking meats!

Chemically treated wood and scraps

Manufacturers often chemically treat woods to make them last longer in construction or furniture.

These chemicals are toxic! You don’t want them ANYWHERE near your food!

Likewise, don’t use lumber scraps, either.

While these may be dirt cheap, you have no way of knowing what kind of wood they are from. Never use these for smoking meats!

Softwoods

Softwoods like cedar and pine contain a lot of sap. When ignited, this creates a harsh, sooty smoke that tastes bad. What’s worse? It can also be harmful!

While you can cook on cedar planks, smoking with cedar is a no go.

Choose Your Smoker

The great thing about smoking meats at home is that you have a lot of different options when it comes to equipment.

There’s a good chance that you have meat smoking equipment right now, even if you do not have a back yard.

Before you smoke

Whatever you choose to use, you do need some equipment on hand for safety: for you and your food!

Thermometer

By far the most challenging thing to do when smoking food is to control the temperature.

Glowing hot charcoals

Image: CC0, by ​Skitterphoto, via Pexels

No matter what meat smoking method you decide to go with, you need to accurately control your temperature.

Here’s the most important takeaway:

Buy a good thermometer.

Digital, instant-read probe thermometers like the ThermoPop are what you are looking for. You want something easy to read that takes temperature fast and continuously.

Heat protection

To produce smoke, you need fire.

And whenever working with fire, you need to stay safe.

Always use fire-resistant gloves when dealing with your smoke set up.

Have a fire extinguisher near by just in case anything catches fire that shouldn’t.

Smoke abatement

The smoke that will eventually make your food taste incredible is still an irritant to your lungs.

Always be sure to smoke your foods in a well-ventilated area. Smoking meat outside is always recommended.

If you must smoke indoors on the stove, be sure to use your cooking vents and to open windows, as necessary.

Charcoal kettle

A mainstay of suburban backyards all across America, the charcoal kettle grill makes a great home smoker.

Charcoal kettle grill

Image: CC by 2.0, by Lukas, via Pexels

To use a charcoal kettle grill for smoking, all you need to do is change how you build and maintain your heat.

When grilling with a charcoal kettle grill, you usually want to build your fire to be nice and hot.

But when you’re smoking with it, you want to build a slow burning, low fire and use wood chips or chunks for smoke.

There are many ways to do this.

If you don’t want to buy anything fancy, use a disposable pan for water in your kettle to help keep the heat low, and then lay wood chips on top of your coals.

Watch the video below:

But if you want to try some fancy smoking equipment, you can do that, too!

This video from White Thunder BBQ shows seven different methods to help you cook super low and slow on your kettle grill.

Gas grill

For would-be backyard cooks that do not want to (or cannot) use charcoal, gas grills are a popular alternative.

Sticks of food cooking on a gas grill

Image: CC0 by 2.0, by ​rawpixel.com, via Pexels

When it comes to smoking on a gas grill, it can be a little bit trickier than on a charcoal grill, but it is possible.

You can smoke meats on a gas grill without special equipment.

As Alaskagranny on YouTube points out, it’s all a matter of temperature control and knowing your grill.

If you love smoking meats, you can also invest in gas grills that have dedicated burners and equipment specifically for smoking.

Electric smoker

If you love smoking meats at home, you may want to invest in an electric smoker!

Unlike charcoal and gas grills, which are more versatile, an electric smoker is purpose-built to be a great smoker.

Most electric smokers include lots of surface area for your meat to cook and sturdy construction to keep the smoke close to your meat.

But wait, that’s not all!

Temperature control is also a lot easier with electric smokers as most have a thermostat built right in.

Overall, electric smokers take less work to set up and monitor than charcoal or gas grills.

If you love your smoked meats, an electric smoker is a worthwhile investment.

DIY smokers

If you want to smoke meat but don’t want to invest in huge smoking equipment, you still have options!

Just DIY your smokers with these simple hacks.

Ready?

Let’s get to it!

Wok

You know that wok you have laying around in the cupboard?

Put it to use by turning it into a DIY indoor smoker!

Check out the following video:

Be advised: you won’t be smoking large pieces of meat.

However, fish fillets, smaller poultry, and smaller racks of ribs will do great smoking on a wok!

(Just be sure to turn on your indoor vents!)

Cardboard box

How’s that saying go?

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Also:

“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

When you want to smoke meat, and all you have is a cardboard box, you can believe you can find a way!

Woman carrying a large cardboard box

Image: CC by 2.0, ​brucemars, via Pexels

Yes, you can make a meat smoker out of a simple cardboard box!

This is the ultimate, low-cost way to try out smoking without a substantial financial commitment.

Watch:

Recipes to Try

Now that you’re armed and ready to get smoking, here are some recipes that are sure to whet your appetite!

Cherry-smoked duck

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6-pound duck (giblets removed)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • Olive oil
  • Small shallot (halved)
  • Cherry wood (chunks or chips), for smoking

Preparation

  • 1To prepare the duck, dry it thoroughly.
  • 2Trim any excess fat as well as the neck skin.
  • 3Prick the skin with a fork, taking care not to prick the meat beneath.
  • 4If you have the time, let the duck air dry for 24 hours on a wire rack in your refrigerator. This dries out the skin for crisp skin later!
  • 5Mix your sugar, salt, ground spices, and pepper.
  • 6Season the cavity with some of the spice rub before stuffing with the shallot and cinnamon stick.
  • 7Rub the remaining spice mixture all over the duck.
  • 8Rub the duck down with some olive oil and place on a rack in your smoker.
  • 9Place a pan under the duck to catch the fat drippings.
  • 10Smoke in your smoker, aiming for a temperature of 250-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 11Smoke until the duck reaches an internal temperature of 145-degrees Fahrenheit, about two to 2.5 hours.
  • 12Raise the temperature of the smoker to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 13Cook for 1.5 hours, until the internal temperature of the thigh meat registers 175-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 14Remove the duck from the smoker and let rest 5 minutes before carving and serving.

Source: Barbecue Bible

Maple Espresso Bacon

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 pounds of pork belly (skinless)
  • 1/4 cup each of dark brown sugar, maple sugar, salt, espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons Insta-Cure Salt #1 (Curing Salt #1, Prague Powder #1)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
  • Water
  • Hickory or applewood chunks or chips, for smoking

Directions

  • 1Mix the brown sugar, maple sugar, salt, espresso powder, pepper, and curing salt, adding just enough water to make it into a paste.
  • 2Spread the paste evenly on your pork belly and wrap tightly in a resealable plastic bag.
  • 3Place the bag in the refrigerator for a week. Be sure to flip the bag and massage it at least once daily to ensure even distribution.
  • 4After a week, remove from the refrigerator, discarding any accumulated liquid.
  • 5Rinse the pork belly with fresh water and pat dry. Set up your smoking rig with applewood or hickory, aiming for 200-degrees Fahrenheit inside the smoker.
  • 6Smoke the pork belly until it reaches 150-degrees internally, about 3 to 4 hours.

Source: Leite’s Culinaria

Once smoked, you can cook the bacon as desired. Wrapped tightly, this bacon will last up to one week in the refrigerator or two months in the freezer.

But let’s be honest: you’ll probably eat it WAY before then. (I know I would!)

About curing salt

Curing salt, also known as pink salt, is an essential ingredient for this dish. Be sure to use curing salt #1 as this is meant for cured meats that will be cooked.

Do not substitute another type of curing salt or other salts like Himalayan pink salt, as these are not the same.

Smoked watermelon

We couldn’t say good-bye without sharing the recipe for the mind-bending smoked watermelon ham!

If you don’t have the time to fly over to New York City to try it, don’t worry!

Intrepid Internet chefs have broken down the intricacies of this vegan “meat” for all to try.

This recipe is adapted from YouTube food channel 2 Guys & A Cooler who painstakingly recreated Ducks Eatery’s smoked watermelon ham.

Like the bacon, this recipe takes some time. Allow at least four days for bringing and drying time before smoking.

Smoked Watermelon Recipe

Ingredients

1 large watermelon

Brine Ingredients

  • 2.5-percent salt (by watermelon weight)
  • 1.5-percent brown sugar (by watermelon weight)
  • 2 each juniper berries, cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 cloves
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon oak ash (optional)
  • Applewood chunks or chips (for smoking)

Directions

  • 1Start by peeling your watermelon and weigh in.
  • 2Take your watermelon weight to calculate the amount of salt and sugar you will need, according to the percentages given.
  • 3Dissolve the salt and sugar in a cup of boiling water.
  • 4Add cold water, enough to soak the watermelon, along with the other flavorings.
  • 5Soak your watermelon in the cooled brine for 3 days.
  • 6Remove from brine, rinse off, and then set in your refrigerator for another 12 hours to dry.
  • 7Set up your smoker with applewood to smoke. Smoke for 4 hours at 130-degrees to 150-degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 4 hours.
  • 8Then, raise the heat to 190-degrees Fahrenheit for another 4 hours.
  • 9Remove from heat the smoker. Cut into large slices to serve.

Source: Leite’s Culinaria

Saving Some for Later

Like humanity, smoked meat has transcended its primal origins to become something far more than cave dwellers could have ever imagined.

Smoked meat can be as simple as salted meat, cooked low and slow over a dying fire. The result is a delicious, tasty piece of meat that becomes so much more than the tough muscle it once was.

But it can also be as innovative as a watermelon “ham”, brined and smoked. It becomes something completely unrecognizable and yet somehow familiar.

What are your favorite types of smoked meat?

What kind of meat do you think you want to try smoking at home?

Are you brave enough to try the smoked watermelon ham?

Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image CC0 Marcus Hendrich via Pixabay

Green Mountain Grills

Green Mountain Grills Reviews And Buying Guide

We are going to be going into all of the nitty gritty details on Green Mountain Grills. Let’s answer all the questions and reservations you have about purchasing a grill from the company. We will be taking a look at whether these are worth your money for how quality of a product they are, as well as the specifics of having a pellet grill as well.

In addition to those qualities, we will also be reviewing their price range and how it compares to other grills similar in quality, the aesthetics of the products, and their customer service. To assist in this, we will also be researching a lot of customer reviews to see what the general thoughts on these grills are.

What is Green Mountain Grills? 

gmg

Green Mountain Grills is a company that began about ten years ago. The founder of the business had a competitor’s grill at his house and decided that he could make some improvements for an even better product. Thus, Green Mountain Grills was born.

They, of course, specialize in pellet grills. This simply means that instead of using charcoal or gas, they use pellets to fuel the grill and cook your meat.

This company offers high quality grills, pellets, dry rubs, and sauces both online and at thousands of brick-and-mortar stores across the United States. Their website also offers a plethora of delicious recipes, and a very helpful blog with information and tips for barbecuing.

Here’s How it Works

If you have never used a pellet grill before, here is some insight into how the ones from Green Mountain Grills actually work.

There is a motor that turns the auger, which is feeding pellets directly into the grill’s firebox. In that firebox, there is a hot rod that is igniting the pellets automatically, and right below it, there is a combustion fan to keep it burning. There are vertical vents lining the firebox to create a circular air flow. The fan inside the Pellet Hopper maintains positive pressure, preventing any burn-back in the auger. When these two air flows collide, it creates a fantastic wood burning fire, which allows for a pure hardwood smoke flavor.

There is a heat shield that covers up the firebox, which distributes all the heat to both sides of the grill as well as pushing it up into the grill chamber. The sensor that is mounted inside of the grill will then send data to the internal computer ten times a second, then allowing the controller to adjust the air and pellet flow for the perfect temperature.

What Makes Green Mountain Grills Unique? 

The most unique aspect of these grills is obviously the fact that they use wood pellets instead of charcoal or gasoline. Their pellets are made up of 1005 kiln dried sawdust that they state “never touches the floor.” They are held together with the natural lignins in the wood, and they do have several different kinds of pellets for sale as well. The Premium Gold Blend ones are oak based and much larger than the standard sized pellets.

The benefits to using these instead of charcoal or gas include very little ash after you’re done grilling, high BTU content for long burns, and a nice, natural hardwood smoky taste in your food.

Another aspect that is pretty special (although not completely unique to this company) is their Smart Control. Now that technology is a huge part of everything we do, having a grill connected to your phone is now a possibility. Green Mountain Grills has a mobile app, allowing you to adjust the temperature and stay connected to your cooking food even if you walk away for a few minutes. With the app you are able to set timers, control both the grill and food temperatures, create different cooking profiles, and even receive alerts about your grill. You are also given the option to connect to your wifi at home to do this or use server mode to access your grill while on the go.

The products have an excellent digital controller connected to them as well. These controls offer features like a low pellet alarm, which alerts you when you need to add additional fuel. It also has a hot start mode if the power fails, a food probe for safe temperatures, temperature control that ranges from 150 degrees up to 500, and an end-of-cook fan mode to cool your grill down and exhaust most of the ash from the firebox for cleaning purposes.

Pricing

As far as pricing is concerned, this company’s different grill options are pretty comparable to other companies of similar quality. Let’s take a look at the prices for each individual grill that Green Mountain Grills offers.

This first model is said to be the company’s bestselling grill. The Whether your choice is a Davy Crockett for traveling, a Daniel Boone for everyday usage, a Jim Bowie for a bigger gathering or the Big Pig Trailer Rig, we are sure that you won’t be disappointed. After all, Green Mountain Grills was set up by someone whose passion in life was grilling. They won’t disappoint. grill comes with a meat probe, a peaked lid for stand-up chicken/rib racks/large birds, a digital control, a convenience tray, hard rubber tires, and a venturi-style firebox. It also offers Sense-Mate (their thermal sensor) and a positive pressure hopper fan. The standard option of the grill weighs 152 pounds.

You are able to buy 3 different versions of the Daniel Boone as well, depending on your preferences. The cheapest option is the standard, black version without WiFi capabilities – this one will cost you about $$ brand new. If you want one with WiFi, the cost goes up to $$$, and it’ll cost $$$ if you want WiFi and to have it in stainless steel.

Jim Bowie Grill Cover
  • Designed to fit Jim Bowie Choice and Prime Standard non-wifi grill models.
  • Velcro Cinch
  • Form-Fitting

The Jim Bowie grill, which is considerably larger than the Daniel Boone, will cost you a little bit more.

This model includes everything that comes with the Daniel Boone design, with just a little more room. The grill has 640 square inches of cooking surface, and an inside clearance of 13.5 inches. It weighs 183 pounds.

The standard black version is the black version with WiFi and the stainless steel one with WiFi can be purchased on Amazon.

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill - WIFI enabled
  • Includes Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill temperature
  • Portable, Folded Legs Double as Handles
  • 110V or 12V with adaptors for 3 Power Options

This grill is much smaller than the other two we just talked about. The Davy Crockett model is perfect for camping, tailgating, and small families to cook on. You can cook two racks of ribs or between 4-6 steaks or burgers all at once.

The Davy Crockett grill only comes in stainless steel and with Wifi.

Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker with Patio Cover,700 Cooking Area...
  • SMART SMOKE TECHNOLOGY !--- Set it and forget it, Automated electric feed system maintains temperature from 180ºF to...
  • HUGE GRILLING AREA & HOPPRT CAPACITY!--- Great for Home, party, and Tailgating: 513 sq in Main rack & 187 sq in Warm...
  • Ultimate 7 in 1 Barbecue Wood Fire Pellet Grill-----Grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, barbeque food all in one grill ....

Last but certainly not least we have the Big Pig Trailer Rig. From the name you can probably guess that this is the largest grill offered by Green Mountain Grills.

This product is for those of you that need to feed a lot of people. The grill would be perfect for huge cookout parties, catering jobs, or competitions. It can cook an entire hog, 150 steaks, 25 briskets, 65 chickens, 25 pork butts, or 200 hamburgers.

Of course, being the largest product offered, it is also the most expensive. This grill will cost you $7,999.00 brand new.

Public Perception (Other Green Mountain Grills Reviews)

Let’s take a look at what actual customers thought of Green Mountain Grills products. To make sure we have a good idea of all the good and bad aspects, we will separate the opinions into a positive and a negative section.

Positive

The first aspect that was mentioned positively in a large number of reviews was the customer service that people experienced when dealing with Green Mountain Grills. Reviews stated that if there was any sort of issue or misunderstanding, the company immediately reached out and handled whatever had happened in a quick, polite manner. Overall, those who had to talk directly to an employee of the company were very, very pleased with the outcome.


Another quality of the products that was mentioned frequently was the pricing – this refers both to the actual grills and the cost to actually use them. A lot of reviews online mentioned that it was infinitely cheaper to buy pellets for a grill than to use charcoal or gas every time they wanted to cook something. The price of the grills was also praised – a lot of customers mentioned that for the quality, the prices were much, much lower than expected.


Something else brought up quite a few times in reviews was the versatility of the grills the company offered. Customers raved about the ease of using this for a smoker, grill, oven, etc. Having the option to cook so many different kinds of meat with the space and design offered was also a huge upside as well.


Lastly, customers loved the options for using their phones to control the different features of the grill. Having the choice to set everything up and walk away, while still maintaining the perfect temperatures and features is a great quality to have in your grill.


Now let’s take a look at the critical thoughts that customers had about the company and their products.

Negative

One downside that customers mentioned was that if they bought the grill from the website or Amazon, they didn’t always show up in perfect condition. There were a few reviews complaining of dented hoods, augers not working, and other small mishaps that either had to be fixed by the customer or sent back to the company to repair.


The most common complaint found on the reviews was about connecting to the WiFi. A decent amount of customers struggled with it at first, but were able to connect after several tries. They mentioned the app simply not being able to find their grill at all. A few reviews reported that they weren’t ever able to connect the app to the grill, making that feature useless for them. Part of this could just be user error, but it is something to consider when purchasing one with WiFi capabilities.


The last negative aspect that was mentioned in several reviews was having inaccuracies with the temperature gauges. There were some reviews mentioning that there meat was extremely overdone or undercooked because the temperature they set the grill to wasn’t accurate. Now this could have just been a few faulty sensors, but it is important to keep in mind.

How it Compares

We took a look at Green Mountain Grills products against another very high quality, well-known company – Traeger.

Both companies are well respected in the world of pellet grills, and have been around for a long, long time. Looking at their products, a lot of the decision can be based on personal preference. Green Mountain Grills do offer a lot of different features, including WiFi, with most of their grills that makes them hard to pass up. If you want WiFi on a Traeger grill, you have to go with a more expensive model. The Traeger models do have more durability and mobility on their side however. Their legs provide a much better foundation for the grill than the ones that GMG has.

Overall, they both have great qualities and would both be a great choice for those that are wanting to try out pellet grills.

What We Think

If you are interested in getting involved in the world of pellet grills, this is definitely a company to keep an eye on. Their high quality products and five star customer service looks like it is definitely worth a try.

For people that grill outside regularly, camp, or just love the smoky taste of grilled meat – these products are for you. With the enhanced technology and hardwood smoky flavor, you can’t go wrong.

If you have a grill from Green Mountain Grills, what are your thoughts on them? Would you recommend them to others?

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