Suggestions for a new smoker under $600?

Daba's BBQ

Active member
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
82
Reaction score
106
Points
33
Location
Metro NYC
Grill
Pit Boss Pro Series 850
2/11/24

Good morning everyone.

I currently own a Traeger Pro Series 34. I bought this in April 2021, and have had nothing but trouble with it over the past 12 months. I've had to replace the thermostat, hot rod, and now, the entire controller. I've had it with Traeger.

I am selling it and looking to buy a new rig. My budget is between $500-600. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

BTW - Enjoy the Super BowlPellet Smoker Suggestions
 
My next smoker will be a Yoder. That being said I’ve heard good this about Pitboss. But I haven’t been shopping for a new pellet grill. Just remember no matter what pellet grill you purchase, it will have its own learning curve, aka problems.
 
I also own a Weber Smokey Mountain. The learning curve was much harder than a pellet grill. It took me a few cooks to understand and learn how to regulate the temp on my WSM. A Traeger, or any other pellet grill, is essentially a set-it-and-forget type rig. The Pit Boss that I bought has wifi, so it will be a piece of cake.

As I said in my original post, the Traeger simply gave me too many problems and I had to replace numerous components over a 12-month period - the controller twice! Pretty damn embarrassing when you have 12 people over for dinner, only to have your Traeger crap out on you in the middle of a cook. This happened 4 times since July 2023. Hence the reason I decided to go with a new brand, and Pit Boss fit the bill.

BTW - I am glad that you can afford to buy a Yoder. Personally, I would never spend thousands on a pellet grill. But to each their own, right?
 
There are a number of pellet grills in your price range, but they are all the low-end models of each of the brands. In order to meet a price point, the manufacturers have to cut costs somewhere, so the lower priced grills are often made with thinner metal and less technology than higher priced models. They also might be smaller than your current Series 34. Thus, you are going to have to do a lot of research to make sure that the model you purchase is not a disappointment.

I suggest you visit some other grill forums to see what kind of issues their owners experience. Many grill manufacturers tend to use similar parts to construct their grills, so I you might encounter similar issues with other brands that you did with Traeger. The only way to avoid such issues is to purchase a high end grill like Yoder, but they start around $2200 and go up beyond $10,000.

It is like going shopping for new cars, you can purchase a new Nissan Versa for $17,500, a standard model sedan for $25,000 or spend $85,000 for a full size Lincoln Navigator. Just do not expect the Versa to have the same level of features and comfort as the Lincoln. But for getting to work and back, the Versa might get the job done just fine.
 
I bought a Pit Boos Pro 850 Series. Total cost was $569 including tax, delivery, and set-up. It comes with a 5-year warranty, and wifi. It meet all of my needs, and my budget

Thaks for the input.
 
I bought a Pit Boos Pro 850 Series. Total cost was $569 including tax, delivery, and set-up. It comes with a 5-year warranty, and wifi. It meet all of my needs, and my budget

Thanks for the input.

BTW - I would never spend money on a luxury car either, which is what I consider a Yoder in the world of grills. I bought a brand new Chevy SUV and have manageable payments that don't break my budget

Whatever works for you, right? Enjoy the rest of the week.
 
My next smoker will be a Yoder. That being said I’ve heard good this about Pitboss. But I haven’t been shopping for a new pellet grill. Just remember no matter what pellet grill you purchase, it will have its own learning curve, aka problems.
If I were to go back before I bought my T1300 knowing what I know now, I would have gone with a Yoder as well. I don't think they have anything in the $600 price range, though.
 
I also own a Weber Smokey Mountain. The learning curve was much harder than a pellet grill. It took me a few cooks to understand and learn how to regulate the temp on my WSM. A Traeger, or any other pellet grill, is essentially a set-it-and-forget type rig. The Pit Boss that I bought has wifi, so it will be a piece of cake.

As I said in my original post, the Traeger simply gave me too many problems and I had to replace numerous components over a 12-month period - the controller twice! Pretty damn embarrassing when you have 12 people over for dinner, only to have your Traeger crap out on you in the middle of a cook. This happened 4 times since July 2023. Hence the reason I decided to go with a new brand, and Pit Boss fit the bill.

BTW - I am glad that you can afford to buy a Yoder. Personally, I would never spend thousands on a pellet grill. But to each their own, right?
That's a horrible experience for sure. Hopefully the Pit Boss will work MUCH better for you.
 
BTW - I would never spend money on a luxury car either, which is what I consider a Yoder in the world of grills. I bought a brand new Chevy SUV and have manageable payments that don't break my budget

Whatever works for you, right? Enjoy the rest of the week.

I was not expecting you to purchase either a Yoder or a luxury vehicle. What I was hoping is that you would set realistic expectations for what you can get for your money. Hopefully your Pit Boss will live up to your expectations, but don't be shocked if it has some of the same issues as Traeger. Very few appliances made these days, whether for use inside or outside, have the reliability of those made in years past.
 
It's exactly how one looks at it, the OP is correct in that. You can purchase cheaper items on most things. But if you have to replace it with something because it doesn't function properly or doesn't suit your needs, then you have another purchase to make. All the costs add up after a while.
I did my research when I got into the pellet grill, decided on an IW650. It suited my purpose for getting into cooking and smoking on a pellet grill. I wasn't sure if I'd use it. Well, I used the heck out of it. My issue, was the size. It wasn't large enough. Had I bought a larger Traeger I probably wouldn't own a Yoder today. For the price of some of the high end Traeger grills, I got a Yoder 640s. This made the most sense to me, and I stress 'to me'. I factored in the way it was made, the Fireboard technology and the size, and the main reason...future proof. History on the Yoder has been that every update or upgrade and attachment made is backward compatible with their first generation grill. So, you can always upgrade your current grill to meet the specs of future enhancements they make on newer models. You aren't left out in the cold on attachments either, as all of the new attachments fit right back to the first generation grill.
As in everything in life, it seems you pay for what you get, so get what YOU want.
When my sister and brother-in-law got a pellet grill, they got a Pit Boss and are very happy with it. Every manufacturer has some great products and some duds. Pick the one that has the flaws you can live with and you will be happy.
 
When I started looking at Pellet grills, I looked at quite a few different brands and models. I am a Costco member, so I looked at the Traeger exclusives there . While the Costco models seemed to offer a lot for the money, I could see areas where they had cut corners to meet the Costco price point. Even with standard grills, some appeared to be cheaply made with thin steel and augers did not seem to be robust. I finally settled on the Ironwood 885, which is more than twice the OP budget. . While I am only cooking for my wife and I most of the time, I like having the larger cooking space. I cook enough for several meals at one time and put the extra in the freezer.

I have had my IW885 for two years now. So far I have not had any QC issues. I did purchase a spare hot rod and a RTD temperature probe as these are expected to fail through normal wear and tear, but I have yet to need them. Like most people, I do not trust the Traeger temperature readings, so I use 3rd party devices for temperature reference. The Traeger grills are far from perfect, but I have learned how to work around any shortcomings.
 
For that price point I think I’d go with a Pit Boss
 
Me too! Either a Yoder or a Lonestar Grill. Both come with integrated Fireboard.
Lonestar seems to produce the most smoke compared to any other pellet grill. They are constructed well and utilize the Fireboard Drive with their proprietary algorithm.
I would just like to see how they deal with the next grill they offer. Are they going to keep it backwards compatible so that they future-proof their customers and products
LS wasn't an option for me north of the 49th. No one sells them up here and shipping costs for one grill would have been outrageous.
The Yoder and Lonestar both have their issues, but I doubt anyone would be disappointed with either
 
Back
Top