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***Official Grilling and Smoking Thread***


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On 4/4/2021 at 1:22 PM, Ron Swanson said:
On 3/27/2021 at 5:46 PM, snore said:

In the market for a new pellet smoker. The ole woodwind is on its last legs but held up through 100s of cooks, being knocked over by the wife, a few raging fires (one where I thought the propane tank connected to the sear station was gonna explode) and 5 brutal Minny winters and 1 wet hot Florida summer. 
 

Had my sights set on a Masterbuilt Gravity but the wife nixed that as she doesn’t like charcoal and wants to stay with pellets which is perplexing but whatever. So I said fine but that they other option was more expensive. 
 

So thinking rec teq 700 cause the smokebox is extremely alluring. Anyone have one? Honestly the 590 makes more sense as it’s typically just my wife and I but this is America so gotta go big here right?

I love my RT 700.  I've had it for a little over 18 months. I use the smokebox for cheese and longer colder fish smokes like kings for dip. The smokebox is not as heavily built as the rest of it it but it works great for my purposes. My BIL has the 590.  It's OK, bot no smokebox, less pellet storage, and the odd exhaust vents don't work for me.

I'll second the RT 700...per Ron's recommendation, I took the plunge this last year.  Love it.  Don't have a smoker box though.

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On 4/4/2021 at 10:15 PM, snore said:

Didn’t opt for the smokebox yet and instead grabbed the sear grates. I am skeptical but we’ll see how they work.

I have them and they'll mark the food just fine.  However, the char flavor really isn't there most likely because it's really not hot enough.  I want to try flipping them over and using the flat side.  Seen that recommended in a few different places...just haven't tried it yet.

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50 minutes ago, heckmanm said:

I'm not fanatical about holding an exact temp; how wide of a temp swing are we talking about? 20 degrees? 50? 100?

I'd be very happy if I could keep it within plus or minus 20-25 degrees of the set temp.  Best I can do is plus or minus 50-55 degrees of the set temp (100-110) swings after adjusting settings.  Usually on the high side.  Smoking isn't an exact science so I don't really care about exact temps, just thought it would be better at keeping a reasonable range.  Still going to try different pellets before I give up.

Will be great if primarily used as a grill and an occasional smoker.  I was hoping to do the opposite.

I live in northeast Nebraska so that might be a little long of a road trip.

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43 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I have them and they'll mark the food just fine.  However, the char flavor really isn't there most likely because it's really not hot enough.  I want to try flipping them over and using the flat side.  Seen that recommended in a few different places...just haven't tried it yet.

Good to know on the sear plates. I don’t have a regular grill (was using the sear box on the camp chef) but have a blackstone griddle so will try them both out. Was looking at a smaller infrared grill for searing but not sure the wife wants another cooking tool in the pool area!  
 

RT700 being delivered tomorrow!

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12 minutes ago, WDIK2 said:

I live in northeast Nebraska so that might be a little long of a road trip.

:lmao: yeah that's a little more of a drive that I want to do on a Saturday. Appreciate the thought though.

The other rig that caught my eye a bit was the Masterbuilt Gravity series - similar concept but with charcoal instead of pellets. But some of the reviews I've seen indicate some build quality concerns.  And it's not stainless, which is a plus for the RT.

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1 hour ago, WDIK2 said:

I'd be very happy if I could keep it within plus or minus 20-25 degrees of the set temp.  Best I can do is plus or minus 50-55 degrees of the set temp (100-110) swings after adjusting settings.  Usually on the high side.  Smoking isn't an exact science so I don't really care about exact temps, just thought it would be better at keeping a reasonable range.  Still going to try different pellets before I give up.

Will be great if primarily used as a grill and an occasional smoker.  I was hoping to do the opposite.

I live in northeast Nebraska so that might be a little long of a road trip.

Have you tried reaching out to Rec Teq?  They have great support for issues like this. I'd be shocked if they didn't work with you to fix it.  Are you using their pellets?

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29 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:
1 hour ago, WDIK2 said:

I'd be very happy if I could keep it within plus or minus 20-25 degrees of the set temp.  Best I can do is plus or minus 50-55 degrees of the set temp (100-110) swings after adjusting settings.  Usually on the high side.  Smoking isn't an exact science so I don't really care about exact temps, just thought it would be better at keeping a reasonable range.  Still going to try different pellets before I give up.

Will be great if primarily used as a grill and an occasional smoker.  I was hoping to do the opposite.

I live in northeast Nebraska so that might be a little long of a road trip.

Expand  

Have you tried reaching out to Rec Teq?  They have great support for issues like this. I'd be shocked if they didn't work with you to fix it.  Are you using their pellets?

Yep, lots of people online mentioned how good Rec Teq support is for taking care of issues.

I noticed with my bullseye that when the pellets don't light up right away that it ends up overheating at first.  I imagine the auger just keeps pouring pellets in and there is a surplus relative to what is needed to reach a certain temp.  I just give it a little more time to cool off and find the temp I wanted.

Also, I think most smokers suffer temp issues when it is really cold and windy outside.  Is that what others experience?  I did have disappointing smoking results with some salmon when it was 48 and windy.  The week before was 50 and not windy, much better results that week.  

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39 minutes ago, Willy said:

Yep, lots of people online mentioned how good Rec Teq support is for taking care of issues.

I noticed with my bullseye that when the pellets don't light up right away that it ends up overheating at first.  I imagine the auger just keeps pouring pellets in and there is a surplus relative to what is needed to reach a certain temp.  I just give it a little more time to cool off and find the temp I wanted.

Also, I think most smokers suffer temp issues when it is really cold and windy outside.  Is that what others experience?  I did have disappointing smoking results with some salmon when it was 48 and windy.  The week before was 50 and not windy, much better results that week.  

My old stickburner was very had to control temps due to wind. But I've had no problems with the RT-700. Totally different animal though in that there isn't really an exposed  physical path for wind to cause problems with the RT-700.

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1 hour ago, Ron Swanson said:

 

Have you tried reaching out to Rec Teq?  They have great support for issues like this. I'd be shocked if they didn't work with you to fix it.  Are you using their pellets?

I personally have not, but several others have for this grill and issue.  I believe they were originally sending out updated controllers.  I have the newest version of the controller.  The built in thermometer stays within plus or minus 10 degrees of the set temp so Recteq says it is correct because it takes an average of temps in different areas.  :shrug:   The supplied meat probe and independent probes will show the large swings and high temps.

People started testing temps when they noticed their cooks getting done a lot faster than their experience on other smokers, or ruined.

Almost through a bag of Traeger pellets, but also have Pit Boss and Kingsford pellets to try.

ETA:  It looks like Recteq might be getting out of the pellet business.  They have a Kingsford and CookingPellets bundle on their site.

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53 minutes ago, Willy said:

Yep, lots of people online mentioned how good Rec Teq support is for taking care of issues.

I noticed with my bullseye that when the pellets don't light up right away that it ends up overheating at first.  I imagine the auger just keeps pouring pellets in and there is a surplus relative to what is needed to reach a certain temp.  I just give it a little more time to cool off and find the temp I wanted.

Also, I think most smokers suffer temp issues when it is really cold and windy outside.  Is that what others experience?  I did have disappointing smoking results with some salmon when it was 48 and windy.  The week before was 50 and not windy, much better results that week.  

Yep, it always goes way passed the set temp at startup so I give it time to settle back down and stabilize.  Learned that on the initial burn-in at 400 when it initially went well passed 600.

81-79 degrees with very light wind when I was testing Sunday afternoon (5 hours).  68-65 with very light wind last night (4 hours).  :shrug: 

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And with everything I've said about the Recteq Bullseye, I may just end up keeping it as a grill which it does great at. I have a Weber Smokey Joe and 22" kettle, but no gas grill.  :shrug: 

That is the sound of me trying to justify another smoker purchase.  ;) 

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I'm in the very early days of a full on outdoor kitchen contractor project (just engaged the design architect). I am gravitating to the Memphis Elite 39" Smoker/Grill as the only one I can find that seems to do great at both indirect and direct, and allow me to set the pellets and temp for an extended period of time without minding it too closely. 

Any thoughts or suggestions? I'm trying to avoid doing a built in grill and smoker, and love that a built in pellet would allow me to avoid having to pull a gas line out there.

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On 4/5/2021 at 10:38 AM, E-Z Glider said:

Made some melt-in-your-mouth short ribs the other day. :thumbup:

Can you expound on this? Those look great! Mine seem to come out a bit dry unless I wrap them for a couple hours with some liquid at the end. I made some this weekend that were great, but I’d love to figure out a good way to do them without wrapping.

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49 minutes ago, Instinctive said:

I'm in the very early days of a full on outdoor kitchen contractor project (just engaged the design architect). I am gravitating to the Memphis Elite 39" Smoker/Grill as the only one I can find that seems to do great at both indirect and direct, and allow me to set the pellets and temp for an extended period of time without minding it too closely. 

Any thoughts or suggestions? I'm trying to avoid doing a built in grill and smoker, and love that a built in pellet would allow me to avoid having to pull a gas line out there.

I've never used a Memphis but I've heard great things and the 39 looks super nice.  The pellet hopper does look to be a bit small for its size so I would build pellet storage into your outdoor kitchen nearby for convenient refilling. I ran gas to my outdoor kitchen but that was to make sure I could have a high power searing station, gas heaters, and a crawfish boiler. If you aren't doing those things and the Memphis can truly sear then you may not need gas.

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5 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:

I've never used a Memphis but I've heard great things and the 39 looks super nice.  The pellet hopper does look to be a bit small for its size so I would build pellet storage into your outdoor kitchen nearby for convenient refilling. I ran gas to my outdoor kitchen but that was to make sure I could have a high power searing station, gas heaters, and a crawfish boiler. If you aren't doing those things and the Memphis can truly sear then you may not need gas.

It claims to hit 700 and you can remove the deflector to get that 700 as direct heat - which is a better sear than I think I basically ever get in my charcoal chimney or little CharBroil propane grill. Does that sound reasonable?

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2 hours ago, kutta said:

Can you expound on this? Those look great! Mine seem to come out a bit dry unless I wrap them for a couple hours with some liquid at the end. I made some this weekend that were great, but I’d love to figure out a good way to do them without wrapping.

The picture was pre-wrap, but I wrap them in foil to braise before eating. That's what softens em up. To cook them, I actually removed the water pan and just cooked them on the top rack. So sorta direct, but several feet above the coals.

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5 hours ago, Instinctive said:

It claims to hit 700 and you can remove the deflector to get that 700 as direct heat - which is a better sear than I think I basically ever get in my charcoal chimney or little CharBroil propane grill. Does that sound reasonable?

700 to me is borderline for searing. It will probably work but I wouldn't want to try it any lower.

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1 hour ago, Ron Swanson said:

700 to me is borderline for searing. It will probably work but I wouldn't want to try it any lower.

So how does anyone ever sear anything? I feel like I've got really nice ones in cast iron on range before but avocado oil wasnt smoking, so it couldnt have been much above 500?

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8 hours ago, Instinctive said:

So how does anyone ever sear anything? I feel like I've got really nice ones in cast iron on range before but avocado oil wasnt smoking, so it couldnt have been much above 500?

Charcoal, some gas grills, some gas ranges with high BTU burners, torches, infrared burners (see @TheFanaticpost above), salamanders, etc.

For me, searing is about getting it seared quickly without impacting the doneness of the inner parts of the meat. So for that, it has to be hot and quick. Super important when searing sous vide or reverse seared steaks. If just "grilling" the steak, lower temps work fine and will develop a sear as they also cook the meat.

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1 hour ago, Ron Swanson said:

Charcoal, some gas grills, some gas ranges with high BTU burners, torches, infrared burners (see @TheFanaticpost above), salamanders, etc.

For me, searing is about getting it seared quickly without impacting the doneness of the inner parts of the meat. So for that, it has to be hot and quick. Super important when searing sous vide or reverse seared steaks. If just "grilling" the steak, lower temps work fine and will develop a sear as they also cook the meat.

I just don't know that much about this I guess. 

 

I sous vide all the time - and sear at the best temp I can, which I think is probably around 500-550, and it sears in like 30 seconds a side and is my perfect temp throughout like 95% of the meat with my crust on the edges. Is that not as good a result as I should be getting? If I can find a way to get hotter, what could I expect different?

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11 minutes ago, Instinctive said:

I just don't know that much about this I guess. 

 

I sous vide all the time - and sear at the best temp I can, which I think is probably around 500-550, and it sears in like 30 seconds a side and is my perfect temp throughout like 95% of the meat with my crust on the edges. Is that not as good a result as I should be getting? If I can find a way to get hotter, what could I expect different?

Think of it as a done-ness range from say, 0-10 (0 = raw, 10 = black).  Then think of slicing through the steak after searing and dividing it into 10 layers.

With a high-temp sear, it might go  8-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-8 (very thin sear layer, uniform medium-rare inside)

With a lower temp sear it might go 8-7-5-4-4-4-4-5-7-8 (a ring of more done meat around the medium-rare center)

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3 minutes ago, heckmanm said:

Think of it as a done-ness range from say, 0-10 (0 = raw, 10 = black).  Then think of slicing through the steak after searing and dividing it into 10 layers.

With a high-temp sear, it might go  8-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-8 (very thin sear layer, uniform medium-rare inside)

With a lower temp sear it might go 8-7-5-4-4-4-4-5-7-8 (a ring of more done meat around the medium-rare center)

That makes a lot of sense!

 

Am I just not discerning enough to know I've got the 2nd example? Or is the fact that I'm cooling the meat pre-sear helping mitigate the lower temp sear?

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I have been grill shopping.  I am moving to a house that has a natural gas hookup running to the back of the house so I am planning to switch from propane to natural gas.  And I love this thread, and I love reading about smokers, and I think charcoal grills are awesome, but I am planning to just get a plain old natural gas grill for now.  I’m thinking 3 burner, maybe 4.  The smoker may come in time but not now.

I have a Weber 2 burner now.  It is great.  I love it.  No frills but it is solid and produces good meals.  I had pretty much decided I was just going to get a Weber 3 burner with a natural gas connection.  I don’t really want to attempt to do some kind of conversion on my current propane grill.  Which brings me to my question… especially for @TheFanatic 

One type of grill I have been intrigued by is infrared.  It looks cool but most of the infrared grills I found were high end and well over $1K.  But then I saw this Char-Broil with what is referred to as TRU-Infrared.  If my notebook serves me correctly I thought TheFanatic used to do videos for Char-Broil or something like that?  I was wondering if TheFanatic or anyone else had any feedback on this grill?  Or Char-Broil in general?  It looks like a pretty sturdy grill and I the TRU-Infrared looks interesting.  This is the one I saw that piqued my interest:

Char-Broil Commercial Stainless Infrared with Side Burner

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1 hour ago, Jutz said:

I have been grill shopping.  I am moving to a house that has a natural gas hookup running to the back of the house so I am planning to switch from propane to natural gas.  And I love this thread, and I love reading about smokers, and I think charcoal grills are awesome, but I am planning to just get a plain old natural gas grill for now.  I’m thinking 3 burner, maybe 4.  The smoker may come in time but not now.

I have a Weber 2 burner now.  It is great.  I love it.  No frills but it is solid and produces good meals.  I had pretty much decided I was just going to get a Weber 3 burner with a natural gas connection.  I don’t really want to attempt to do some kind of conversion on my current propane grill.  Which brings me to my question… especially for @TheFanatic 

One type of grill I have been intrigued by is infrared.  It looks cool but most of the infrared grills I found were high end and well over $1K.  But then I saw this Char-Broil with what is referred to as TRU-Infrared.  If my notebook serves me correctly I thought TheFanatic used to do videos for Char-Broil or something like that?  I was wondering if TheFanatic or anyone else had any feedback on this grill?  Or Char-Broil in general?  It looks like a pretty sturdy grill and I the TRU-Infrared looks interesting.  This is the one I saw that piqued my interest:

Char-Broil Commercial Stainless Infrared with Side Burner

Char-Broil is on my "never again" list. They always look great new but just don't last.  But I live in a salt air environment so YMMV. Of the more common but better built grills I would go with a Weber or possibly a Napoleon for the side searing station.

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5 hours ago, Jutz said:

I have been grill shopping.  I am moving to a house that has a natural gas hookup running to the back of the house so I am planning to switch from propane to natural gas.  And I love this thread, and I love reading about smokers, and I think charcoal grills are awesome, but I am planning to just get a plain old natural gas grill for now.  I’m thinking 3 burner, maybe 4.  The smoker may come in time but not now.

I have a Weber 2 burner now.  It is great.  I love it.  No frills but it is solid and produces good meals.  I had pretty much decided I was just going to get a Weber 3 burner with a natural gas connection.  I don’t really want to attempt to do some kind of conversion on my current propane grill.  Which brings me to my question… especially for @TheFanatic 

One type of grill I have been intrigued by is infrared.  It looks cool but most of the infrared grills I found were high end and well over $1K.  But then I saw this Char-Broil with what is referred to as TRU-Infrared.  If my notebook serves me correctly I thought TheFanatic used to do videos for Char-Broil or something like that?  I was wondering if TheFanatic or anyone else had any feedback on this grill?  Or Char-Broil in general?  It looks like a pretty sturdy grill and I the TRU-Infrared looks interesting.  This is the one I saw that piqued my interest:

Char-Broil Commercial Stainless Infrared with Side Burner

I had one before my weber and liked it a lot.  I really liked the fact of no flareups due to the infrared grates.  The biggest reason I got rid of it and went to a weber was the small caster wheels were junk.  I kept the grill in the garage in my old house so I was always wheeling it in and out to cook.  I had to replace the casters 4 times and reweld the base where they went due to them breaking so I finally got rid of it.  If you are not going to be moving the grill a lot it should work well for you.

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Thank you both for that feedback.  @snellman That is really interesting about the wheels.  I would have never even thought about the wheels being a factor.  Also helpful to know that the whole concept of reducing flare ups actually works.  I do not plan on wheeling my grill around so this tells me it could be a viable option.  I was a little worried that the cleanup might be more complicated but I watched some videos about it and it seems the cleanup could end up being a little easier because of the plates under the grates.

And @Ron Swanson thank you for the suggestion of Napoleon.  I have been checking them out today.  The whole infrared thing is really intriguing to me.  They have the infrared side burner as well as the rear infrared for rotisserie.  The rotisserie is a tough call because I just don’t know if I would really use it.  I am pretty anti gimmick and I feel like that rotisserie is something I might use a few times then just forget about it.  And it looks like it might be a pain to clean up.  I think I might use the side infrared sear burner though.  And their grills are within the price range I have been looking.

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@JutzFunny you mention that.  My Napoleon has the rear infrared rotisserie.  I used it once.  Not even sure I know where the motor and stick are. Truthfully I use the infrared side burner way more than anything else. I do use the main grill with a pizza oven attachment because it does put out a lot of BTU's and runs the pizza oven great.

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37 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:

@JutzFunny you mention that.  My Napoleon has the rear infrared rotisserie.  I used it once.  Not even sure I know where the motor and stick are. Truthfully I use the infrared side burner way more than anything else. I do use the main grill with a pizza oven attachment because it does put out a lot of BTU's and runs the pizza oven great.

Haha... well that answers that question about the rotisserie.  So what do you use the infrared side burner for?  I could see it as a place to sear a steak, then finish on the main grill but it looks like a lot of people just cook the steak on the sear station for the entire cook?  Or I could see it being a great place to finish a reverse sear steak.

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i love reading this thread i am not a smokeaholic like you brohans but you all are so in to this it is awesome to read cripes i think you guys spend more on outdoor kitchens then i have ever made you all should post some pictures so i can see these smoke palaces take that to the bank bromigos 

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also riddle me this the best smoked food i ever had was made at a place that had a big pit with concrete foundation blocks and tin metal roofing it was the least fancy thing you could imagine but i had some carnitas tacos from there with nothing but fresh cut discs of jalapenos on it and it sticks in my head all these years later as the best thing i have ever eaten take that to the bank bromigos 

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3 hours ago, Jutz said:

Haha... well that answers that question about the rotisserie.  So what do you use the infrared side burner for?  I could see it as a place to sear a steak, then finish on the main grill but it looks like a lot of people just cook the steak on the sear station for the entire cook?  Or I could see it being a great place to finish a reverse sear steak.

Searing sous vide meats primarily.

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On 4/8/2021 at 4:12 PM, Ron Swanson said:

Char-Broil is on my "never again" list. They always look great new but just don't last.  But I live in a salt air environment so YMMV. Of the more common but better built grills I would go with a Weber or possibly a Napoleon for the side searing station.

Yeah, having been flown to hear their marketing strategies year after year for about 7 years, there was one theme for them. Grills are disposable. Make them cheap enough to buy a new one every three years and keep adding bells and whistles to offset the frequent replacement woes. Sort of like a cell phone. Every 2 years, for most of us. But we justify it by the new bells and whistles. 

That being said, the infrared deal is legit. The physics behind it cooking with convection heat is awesome. But you are right. It's either $300-$500 or $1500 and up. There is definitely a big, gaping market hole at $800 for a nice infrared grill. 

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On 4/7/2021 at 9:13 PM, Ron Swanson said:

700 to me is borderline for searing. It will probably work but I wouldn't want to try it any lower.

You need to get a Beefer. 1500F baby!!!! 

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14 hours ago, TheFanatic said:

Yeah, having been flown to hear their marketing strategies year after year for about 7 years, there was one theme for them. Grills are disposable. Make them cheap enough to buy a new one every three years and keep adding bells and whistles to offset the frequent replacement woes. Sort of like a cell phone. Every 2 years, for most of us. But we justify it by the new bells and whistles. 

That being said, the infrared deal is legit. The physics behind it cooking with convection heat is awesome. But you are right. It's either $300-$500 or $1500 and up. There is definitely a big, gaping market hole at $800 for a nice infrared grill. 

Thank you for those insights.  Very helpful in making my decision.

And yes, when I started looking into infrared I was searching BBQGUYS and the one I saw that looked awesome was this Broilmaster R3N.  And it came in under $1500 which is near the top of what I was looking to spend, but something I would consider.  But when I look into it further… this grill did not have any side tables, and from what I can see no underneath storage.  If I add side tables, a cover, and maybe some type of outdoor storage I am getting out of budget.  And, I’ve never used infrared so I would be worried about spending so much on something I’m not sure I like.  And the next step up in infrared from that grill cost well over $2K.

In the end I am most likely going to get a standard 3 burner grill with no bells and whistles.  No side burner.  No rotisserie.  I’ll probably end up doing all kinds of research, over-analyze things, re-think, second guess… then just go out and get a 3 burner Weber.  I’ve just accepted that the over-analyzing is part of my process!

Right now I am looking at the Weber Spirt E-310 and the Napoleon Rogue 3 burner (or Rogue XT).  I like the stainless steel sear plates on the Napoleon.  There is one brand I am not familiar with that I am considering and was wondering if anyone has any experience with.  I was also looking at the Broil-King Monarch 320.  It seems heavy duty.  I like the stainless-steel Dual-Tube burners.  I also think the Flav-R-Wave flavorizer bars looks nice too.  I also like that you can just rest a smoker box on them.  But I’ve never even seen one in person or known anyone that has one.

One more question.  Any preference between cast iron grates vs. stainless steel grates?  I really wish I could get a standard 3 burner, no extras, with stainless steel grates.  But as soon as you make it up to a stainless steel grate model with just about any grill maker, it is part of their higher end line and has the extras I don’t necessarily want.  And, is more expensive.  But I cook on cast iron grates now and I like them so… I’m not sure it’s a big deal anyway.

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6 hours ago, Jutz said:

Thank you for those insights.  Very helpful in making my decision.

And yes, when I started looking into infrared I was searching BBQGUYS and the one I saw that looked awesome was this Broilmaster R3N.  And it came in under $1500 which is near the top of what I was looking to spend, but something I would consider.  But when I look into it further… this grill did not have any side tables, and from what I can see no underneath storage.  If I add side tables, a cover, and maybe some type of outdoor storage I am getting out of budget.  And, I’ve never used infrared so I would be worried about spending so much on something I’m not sure I like.  And the next step up in infrared from that grill cost well over $2K.

In the end I am most likely going to get a standard 3 burner grill with no bells and whistles.  No side burner.  No rotisserie.  I’ll probably end up doing all kinds of research, over-analyze things, re-think, second guess… then just go out and get a 3 burner Weber.  I’ve just accepted that the over-analyzing is part of my process!

Right now I am looking at the Weber Spirt E-310 and the Napoleon Rogue 3 burner (or Rogue XT).  I like the stainless steel sear plates on the Napoleon.  There is one brand I am not familiar with that I am considering and was wondering if anyone has any experience with.  I was also looking at the Broil-King Monarch 320.  It seems heavy duty.  I like the stainless-steel Dual-Tube burners.  I also think the Flav-R-Wave flavorizer bars looks nice too.  I also like that you can just rest a smoker box on them.  But I’ve never even seen one in person or known anyone that has one.

One more question.  Any preference between cast iron grates vs. stainless steel grates?  I really wish I could get a standard 3 burner, no extras, with stainless steel grates.  But as soon as you make it up to a stainless steel grate model with just about any grill maker, it is part of their higher end line and has the extras I don’t necessarily want.  And, is more expensive.  But I cook on cast iron grates now and I like them so… I’m not sure it’s a big deal anyway.

I am sure it is personal preference, but I have always preferred cast iron to steel.

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9 hours ago, Jutz said:

Thank you for those insights.  Very helpful in making my decision.

And yes, when I started looking into infrared I was searching BBQGUYS and the one I saw that looked awesome was this Broilmaster R3N.  And it came in under $1500 which is near the top of what I was looking to spend, but something I would consider.  But when I look into it further… this grill did not have any side tables, and from what I can see no underneath storage.  If I add side tables, a cover, and maybe some type of outdoor storage I am getting out of budget.  And, I’ve never used infrared so I would be worried about spending so much on something I’m not sure I like.  And the next step up in infrared from that grill cost well over $2K.

In the end I am most likely going to get a standard 3 burner grill with no bells and whistles.  No side burner.  No rotisserie.  I’ll probably end up doing all kinds of research, over-analyze things, re-think, second guess… then just go out and get a 3 burner Weber.  I’ve just accepted that the over-analyzing is part of my process!

Right now I am looking at the Weber Spirt E-310 and the Napoleon Rogue 3 burner (or Rogue XT).  I like the stainless steel sear plates on the Napoleon.  There is one brand I am not familiar with that I am considering and was wondering if anyone has any experience with.  I was also looking at the Broil-King Monarch 320.  It seems heavy duty.  I like the stainless-steel Dual-Tube burners.  I also think the Flav-R-Wave flavorizer bars looks nice too.  I also like that you can just rest a smoker box on them.  But I’ve never even seen one in person or known anyone that has one.

One more question.  Any preference between cast iron grates vs. stainless steel grates?  I really wish I could get a standard 3 burner, no extras, with stainless steel grates.  But as soon as you make it up to a stainless steel grate model with just about any grill maker, it is part of their higher end line and has the extras I don’t necessarily want.  And, is more expensive.  But I cook on cast iron grates now and I like them so… I’m not sure it’s a big deal anyway.

I prefer stainless, but only because I live in a humid salt air environment.  Cast grates don't last long for me and I'm not willing to baby them.  

 

Edited by Ron Swanson
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Thanks for both replies.  I appreciate it.  
 

I feel like stainless is more durable and easier to clean, but I do like how the food cooks on the cast iron a little better.  I’ve had some rust and chipping off of my cast iron grates but nothing a thorough cleaning couldn’t fix.  
 

I agree that they do take babying but I also feel like it might be worth it. And I don’t live in a salt / air area so I don’t think that would play much a factor for me.  
 

The grills with stainless come with a pretty significant price increase and I always think that if the cast iron grates do deteriorate too much I could always replace with stainless down the road.  

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On 4/14/2021 at 12:26 PM, Jutz said:

Thank you for those insights.  Very helpful in making my decision.

And yes, when I started looking into infrared I was searching BBQGUYS and the one I saw that looked awesome was this Broilmaster R3N.  And it came in under $1500 which is near the top of what I was looking to spend, but something I would consider.  But when I look into it further… this grill did not have any side tables, and from what I can see no underneath storage.  If I add side tables, a cover, and maybe some type of outdoor storage I am getting out of budget.  And, I’ve never used infrared so I would be worried about spending so much on something I’m not sure I like.  And the next step up in infrared from that grill cost well over $2K.

In the end I am most likely going to get a standard 3 burner grill with no bells and whistles.  No side burner.  No rotisserie.  I’ll probably end up doing all kinds of research, over-analyze things, re-think, second guess… then just go out and get a 3 burner Weber.  I’ve just accepted that the over-analyzing is part of my process!

Right now I am looking at the Weber Spirt E-310 and the Napoleon Rogue 3 burner (or Rogue XT).  I like the stainless steel sear plates on the Napoleon.  There is one brand I am not familiar with that I am considering and was wondering if anyone has any experience with.  I was also looking at the Broil-King Monarch 320.  It seems heavy duty.  I like the stainless-steel Dual-Tube burners.  I also think the Flav-R-Wave flavorizer bars looks nice too.  I also like that you can just rest a smoker box on them.  But I’ve never even seen one in person or known anyone that has one.

One more question.  Any preference between cast iron grates vs. stainless steel grates?  I really wish I could get a standard 3 burner, no extras, with stainless steel grates.  But as soon as you make it up to a stainless steel grate model with just about any grill maker, it is part of their higher end line and has the extras I don’t necessarily want.  And, is more expensive.  But I cook on cast iron grates now and I like them so… I’m not sure it’s a big deal anyway.

Broilmasters are well built. My cousin just added a big five burner one with a sear station and a rotisserie burner.

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On 4/7/2021 at 2:07 PM, WDIK2 said:

And with everything I've said about the Recteq Bullseye, I may just end up keeping it as a grill which it does great at. I have a Weber Smokey Joe and 22" kettle, but no gas grill.  :shrug: 

That is the sound of me trying to justify another smoker purchase;) 

Picked up a Pit Boss Pro Series 4.... Series vertical smoker from Lowes.  It's a big beast and way bigger than what I need, but it does hold temps great and produces a lot of smoke at low and slow temps.

Has some nice upgraded features from the previous models.  They moved the control panel up and to the side so you don't have to bend over to read it or make adjustments and it has a great fire pot clean out system.  It has wifi and Bluetooth, but a terrible app that needs to be updated/improved.

They had a few assembled at the Lowes I went to so I wheeled one out and wrestled it into the back of my vehicle (It's heavy).  I've done a couple smokes on it that have turned out great.  Currently have a chuck roast going and am working my way up to brisket.  :) 

 

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Decided to make the jump into a kamado... never cooked with charcoal before, so looking forward to the adventure.  My wife thinks I'm nuts since this makes 3 cooking set-ups available to me in the back yard.  Have a Weber Spirit, and Louisiana Grills LG900, and now the Louisiana Grills K24.  

Any tips/tricks or must have accessories for a Kamado newbie?

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2 minutes ago, kaso said:

Decided to make the jump into a kamado... never cooked with charcoal before, so looking forward to the adventure.  My wife thinks I'm nuts since this makes 3 cooking set-ups available to me in the back yard.  Have a Weber Spirit, and Louisiana Grills LG900, and now the Louisiana Grills K24.  

Any tips/tricks or must have accessories for a Kamado newbie?

A gas torch to light it.

A tip top temperature control or one of the fancy DigiQ type setups for auto temp control.

A diffuser plate.

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6 minutes ago, kaso said:

Decided to make the jump into a kamado... never cooked with charcoal before, so looking forward to the adventure.  My wife thinks I'm nuts since this makes 3 cooking set-ups available to me in the back yard.  Have a Weber Spirit, and Louisiana Grills LG900, and now the Louisiana Grills K24.  

Any tips/tricks or must have accessories for a Kamado newbie?

be patient with your temp, especially for long smokes. It'll take some practice, but totally worth it imo. I can smoke for 8 hours and only have to open my lid once to wrap the meat. 

 

What accessories did it come with? 

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10 minutes ago, The Gator said:

be patient with your temp, especially for long smokes. It'll take some practice, but totally worth it imo. I can smoke for 8 hours and only have to open my lid once to wrap the meat. 

 

What accessories did it come with? 

Out of the box it came with a cover, an ash tool, two tiered cooking grates and the heat diffuser. 

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I have a very similar kamado to the LG 24.  I've tried using blow torch to light my charcoal and it still takes a long time to get going.  I've gone back to using the Chimney to get charcoal going and I just prefer the consistency with that method. 

I strongly recommend an ash rake tool with pan to collect the ash.  Once you use the smoker, you'll understand why. 

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11 minutes ago, kaso said:

Out of the box it came with a cover, an ash tool, two tiered cooking grates and the heat diffuser. 

you'll need a chimney or torch like Ron mentioned to get it fired up. For the longer smokes check out wifi or bluetooth thermometers to connect to your phone. I have an old weber iGrill but have been eyeing the fireboard brand lately. 

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On that LG K24- the only drawback I've had is that it is very finicky when trying to hold temps in the 200 to 250 range.  I have a Flame Boss that controls the temp, and even with that, if I have the top vent 1/4" open, it runs over hot. If I tighten the top vent back to ~1 mm, it might not stay hot even with fan at full blast.  On the scale of 1 2 3 that is labeled on the top vent, I'm usually around 0.1.  It's a tight margin for error. 

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5 hours ago, The Gator said:

you'll need a chimney or torch like Ron mentioned to get it fired up. For the longer smokes check out wifi or bluetooth thermometers to connect to your phone. I have an old weber iGrill but have been eyeing the fireboard brand lately. 

Fireboard is awesome.

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5 hours ago, Brony said:

 I've tried using blow torch to light my charcoal and it still takes a long time to get going.

Whaaa? By torch I mean basically a flame thrower.  Guaranteed to light it up in less than 30 seconds. Every time.

https://www.harborfreight.com/lawn-garden/gardening-garden-tools/propane-torch-with-push-button-igniter-91037.html

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