Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

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tri3forme
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Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby tri3forme » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:31 pm

Taking away the obvious difference in labor between these 2 types of smokers, I'm interested in hearing what your opinion is on the difference in quality of the end product that's produced between an offset vs pellet smoker. I'll start....

Brisket: Bark is more pronounced on offset and meat has deeper smoke flavor
Pork Butt/Shoulder/Ribs: Same as brisket
Poultry: no major difference other than lighter smoke using pellet
Fish: no real difference

Although I don't have a pellet smoker, I've had all of the above from friends who have pellet smokers and every time I have the pleasure of eating their bbq, I've come to the conclusions I've described. Do my buddies not know how to use their pellet smokers properly or is my jaded opinion not far off the norm? At this point, I'm not convinced that pellet smokers are the way to go unless someday I lose the enjoyment of poking the fire for 8, 10, 12 hours.

But then again, I understand there are those who just enjoy a light smoke on their meat.....
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Boots » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:42 pm

I have a Traeger and a caveman offset trailer (PSDOF) both. Just my own humble opinion, no comparison, The offset is hands-down better on every single thing. No substitute for real wood smoke and you have a wider range of temperatures at the top end.

Traeger gets superior marks for simplicity, ease-of-use, time invested. It's a pretty good little cooker for steaks or simple smoking. I would not use it as my main competition cooker.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Okie Sawbones » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:29 pm

I have both. I've learned to use both well. I can get plenty of smoke flavors in my pellet by using one or two smoke generators, plus get a nice bark. But like Boots said, the offset is the gold standard.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Papa Tom » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:30 pm

I've had a bunch of smokers the best was a Old Hickory SSE.
What I have today Traeger 075, Pit Boss 820 & Fast Eddy PG 500.
If I were to go back into comps I'd most likely use a UDS.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Chasdev » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:28 am

Okie Sawbones wrote:I have both. I've learned to use both well. I can get plenty of smoke flavors in my pellet by using one or two smoke generators, plus get a nice bark. But like Boots said, the offset is the gold standard.


Would you expand/explain which smoke generators and how you use them?
Are they placed over the chamber that the pellets drop into?
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Okie Sawbones » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:16 am

Chasdev wrote:
Okie Sawbones wrote:I have both. I've learned to use both well. I can get plenty of smoke flavors in my pellet by using one or two smoke generators, plus get a nice bark. But like Boots said, the offset is the gold standard.


Would you expand/explain which smoke generators and how you use them?
Are they placed over the chamber that the pellets drop into?


You just place this on an open area of your rack. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ROPJ1M/ref=asc_df_B007ROPJ1M5158668/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B007ROPJ1M&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167145798705&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1677285172317598344&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9026863&hvtargid=pla-309734814916

If you want light smoke, you light one end, and let it snake around. If you want heavier smoke, put two units in the smoker. Another option is to light all three ends at once, but the smoke time is shorter, so you'll need to repeat. The bottom line is that YOU control how much smoke is generated.

They are also great for cold smoking cheese, and for use in propane or electric smokers for making sausage or jerky.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Chasdev » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:29 am

Sorry for all the questions but are you burning the same pellets the spitter is spitting, they light right up with a normal extended cigarette type lighter?
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby bobcat1 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:18 pm

Chasdev wrote:Sorry for all the questions but are you burning the same pellets the spitter is spitting, they light right up with a normal extended cigarette type lighter?

I use a butane torch for lighting it.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Okie Sawbones » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:31 pm

I use whatever pellets go with the meat I'm cooking. I have cherry, apple, peach, hickory, mesquite, and perfect mix pellets. A torch is the only way to go for lighting the pellets. I also use the torch for lighting lump charcoal in my ceramic.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Chasdev » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:58 pm

That's a relief, I thought there might be a special pellet I needed to buy that was "easy light" or some such..
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby Okie Sawbones » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:01 pm

Chasdev wrote:Sorry for all the questions...


No need to be sorry. If you don't ask questions, you don't learn. Besides, if I don't know the answer, I'll lie. :laughing7:
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby 02ebz06 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:24 pm

tri3forme wrote:Taking away the obvious difference in labor between these 2 types of smokers, I'm interested in hearing what your opinion is on the difference in quality of the end product that's produced between an offset vs pellet smoker. I'll start....

Brisket: Bark is more pronounced on offset and meat has deeper smoke flavor
Pork Butt/Shoulder/Ribs: Same as brisket
Poultry: no major difference other than lighter smoke using pellet
Fish: no real difference

Although I don't have a pellet smoker, I've had all of the above from friends who have pellet smokers and every time I have the pleasure of eating their bbq, I've come to the conclusions I've described. Do my buddies not know how to use their pellet smokers properly or is my jaded opinion not far off the norm? At this point, I'm not convinced that pellet smokers are the way to go unless someday I lose the enjoyment of poking the fire for 8, 10, 12 hours.

But then again, I understand there are those who just enjoy a light smoke on their meat.....


Smoke is definitely lighter on a Pellet grill. As you said, a lot of people like a lighter smoke and others don't.
I don't think you can compare bark on something you cooked on an offset with something your buddy cooked on a pellet grill.
Different rubs, marinades, temperatures, wrap/nowrap, humidity, etc. can all affect the outcome of the bark.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby tri3forme » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:08 am

02ebz06 wrote:

I don't think you can compare bark on something you cooked on an offset with something your buddy cooked on a pellet grill.
Different rubs, marinades, temperatures, wrap/nowrap, humidity, etc. can all affect the outcome of the bark.


Agreed, however one could say the same about bark while comparing meat smoked on different offset smokers. So, let me rephrase the question:
Assuming all else being equal, which would have the better quality end product?
My guess would be the offset but I really don't have anything to compare it to as I've never owned a pellet smoker and my buddies, who do have pellet smokers, are novice smokers.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby 02ebz06 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:07 pm

I think the end result would be the same, with all outside factors I mentioned being equal.
The only difference that I see, mentioned earlier, would be amount of smoke flavor.
I'm sure there would be no complaints when it came to eating the product from either pit.
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Re: Your opinion on Offset vs Pellet smokers

Postby JustinCouch » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:53 pm

i just bought an offset and really wish I could have bought a pellet pooper. I know there is a learning curve but I use to make great ribs on my old pit but all the ribs I have smoked taste like crap. that being said I guess its something im doing and not the smoker. Its killing me to waste money trying to learn to use this thing. Wife has banned me from buying anymore ribs because I have wasted the last three racks I have cooked. I hope to learn to use this thing soon because I am almost ready to try so sell it.

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