I saw a barbeque smoker cooker that uses pellets at Costco, are they any good?

I forget the name, but it used wood pellets only and was expensive around $799. All it had was a fan and a corkscrew to feed the pellets.


Without knowing the brand it's pretty difficult for me to comment on the quality of the smoker that you have seen.

The principle of the pellet barbecue is that:-
  1. It's electric and so gives easy temperature control
  2. The pellet feed ensures continuous smoke

So in theory, if you are looking for a "foolproof" barbecue that is going to give good results without a lot of tending and effort then a pellet barbecue is a good choice.

The negative is the cost of the pellets and the fact that you are effectively tied to using a pellet. If you're only an occasional outdoor chef then this might not be a big deal but if you're going to be out there 365 days a year come rain or shine (like some of us idiots) then the cost of running your barbecue could get quite pricey.

One other point to make about electric barbecues - if it's raining, electricity and water don't mix. That doesn't make an electric unit a no no, you just need to check that it has a reasonable length of cable (and that your socket is approved for outdoors and under cover). A super long cable isn't good either because the longer the cable the greater the power drop off - it's a balance.

There used to be a pellet smoker branded by Smith and Wesson however it's not longer available, it might be that the one you've looked at is this same smoker re-branded. Check out where it's made and what warranty / dealer support you're going to get.

The daddy of all electric pellet barbecues has to be Traeger. They're pricey but if you want to be sure about the quality (even though they are made in China) and want a door to bang on if you have a problem then Traeger electric barbecue grills are worth a look before you make your final decision.

......and check out the quality comments below from some of our other readers.

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Apr 08, 2011
Save Money w/ corn & more
by: JimW

I use a mixture of 1/3 cracked corn (sold at feed & pet stores) to 3 parts pellets. Corn has a nice neutral smoke flavor so the predominate flavor is the wood. Wood pellets run around $20 per 20 lbs but corn runs under $20 for 50 lbs. This amounts to a considerable saving over using pellets alone. Since corn burns a bit higher in temperature you use less fuel to maintain a smoke temperature. I have been using corn in my Trager Texan for 5 years with no issue or problems. With the digital temperature control I am able to set a temperature and let the smoke do its thing while I am free to do other stuff. I have never gotten better smoking results than with a pellet grill. By using corn with the pellets I find the cost is less than charcoal or gas. I am a true believer in pellet grills and after using one I will never go back to a conventional smoker. However I do keep a small high btu gas grill handy for grilling burgers and searing steaks and meats as pellet grills generally cannot achieve the high temps needed for this.

Apr 05, 2011
by: Pineys-pit

I think a pelet feeder is good for feeding birds or someone whos to lazy to bbq. If you want to barbeque than get a real smoker and spend the time to learn and do it right,learn temp control and what wood burns hotter and things like that. maybe an offset smoker.
Good luck.

Apr 05, 2011
Probably a Traeger that was seen at Costco
by: Anonymous

Traeger has been doing roadshows at Costco recently. I paid 799.00 for my Traeger Texas. I love it. For incredible brisket, pork shoulder, or anything that you want to cook low and slow it can't be beat. Now I can take 17 hours to smoke a brisket and still get a good night's sleep.

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