Deciding which grill to buy

Dbiasii

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I’ve been researching and watching the forums for a few weeks now trying to decide on which pellet grill to buy. I’ve had my eye on the pro series 850, but I’m worried about all the issues people seem to be having with the new PID controller. What I’m mainly looking for in a grill is good smoke flavor, quick heat up times, and the ability to sear. Should I get the pro series 850 or look into the sportsman 820 or Austin XL with the older style controller? Tractor supply also carries this new model in the link below.


Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Jmaldonado

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Definitely no on the pro 850. Just a heads up but there have been a lot of returns on this and the 1150 pro from what I’ve seen. I had the 850 pro series and have lost all respect for Pit Boss after that purchase and no customer service response.
 

Srminosky

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IMO run away from PB! Had the 1150 and it was a nightmare! Lost all respect and will not purchase anything else with the PB name on it.
 

Dbiasii

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Sucks to hear. I don’t have many other options with what I’m looking for in my price range. The only other one that caught my eye was the Oklahoma joe rider DLX. There also seems to be numerous problems with those.
 

jdunk54nl

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Sucks to hear. I don’t have many other options with what I’m looking for in my price range. The only other one that caught my eye was the Oklahoma joe rider DLX. There also seems to be numerous problems with those.
Camp chef smokepro sg 24. I got mine at CAL ranch store for $550. 10 different smoke settings, 5 degree temp changes throughout the entire range (160-500), Bluetooth and wifi that work. Firmware updates via app, no need to send in. Same controller used across the entire brand. Still has the slide and grill (sear zone) or sg in the name.

 
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Chefk85

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The pro 850 is what i have and ive had 0 problems except with the app and ill be calling about that today. Could be as simple as reinstalling. The smoker cooks awesome and the sear zone is better than the past 3 propane grills ive owned from walmart cheapo to high dollar weber. I wouldnt hesitate to buy it again given the options in the 500 dollar price range. It is not having the controller issues the 1150 pro is. Good luck!
 

randog311

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I’ve been researching and watching the forums for a few weeks now trying to decide on which pellet grill to buy. I’ve had my eye on the pro series 850, but I’m worried about all the issues people seem to be having with the new PID controller. What I’m mainly looking for in a grill is good smoke flavor, quick heat up times, and the ability to sear. Should I get the pro series 850 or look into the sportsman 820 or Austin XL with the older style controller? Tractor supply also carries this new model in the link below.


Any help is greatly appreciated.
I recently purchased the Platinum Series Laredo 1000 from my local Walmart, very impressed with this Newer Pit Boss Model with "Smoke It" App. for $497. Just prior to getting the Pit Boss a had purchased the Traeger Mesa 22 from Costco, what a disappointment it was (Detuned Traeger Pro Series 22 with far less build quality and features. The Laredo 1000 on the other hand is a "Feature Packed" Smoker / Grill with Betted Build Quality than the Traeger and 2 Dollars less.
Laredo 1000 Beef Roast.jpg
Sliced Roast Beef from Laredo.jpg
Laredo Steaks on a Plate.jpg
Laredo 1000 Photo.jpg
 
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Dbiasii

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I recently purchased the Platinum Series Laredo 1000 from my local Walmart, very impressed with this Newer Pit Boss Model with "Smoke It" App. for $497. Just prior to getting the Pit Boss a had purchased the Traeger Mesa 22 from Costco, what a disappointment it was (Detuned Traeger Pro Series 22 with far less build quality and features. The Laredo 1000 on the other hand is a "Feature Packed" Smoker / Grill with Betted Build Quality than the Traeger and 2 Dollars less.View attachment 819View attachment 820View attachment 818

I actually just picked up the Laredo yesterday. I put it together today and hopefully will do the burn in this Sunday and cook up some steaks. Fingers crossed it performs, it definitely checked all the boxes I wanted in a pellet smoker
 

Dbiasii

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Just did my first cook on the Laredo with a ribeye and some chicken, turned out excellent. Grill got up to temp in a reasonable time even at 26° outside, also held within 10° of set point.
 

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GA Smoker

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I bought my Laredo 1000 last weekend and so far it is fantastic. I researched these grills for over a month and had almost decided to go with the new Camp Chef 24" Slide and Grill, then I ran across this baby. I am glad I did! So far I have used it everyday at least once, cooked burgers, stuffed peppers, sausage, pork tenderloin, filet, baby backs (incredible smoke ring !!) and I will be pulling an 8# butt off in about2 hours. Everything has been perfect and I'm sure the butt will be also.

I'm not saying that this grill is better than the Camp Chef because CC is an awesome machine, but the Laredo is a bigger bang for my buck and appeared to have all of the features of the standard $799 Camp Chef PLUS a 5 year warranty.

I read hundreds of reviews and testimonials and several Pitt Boss issues (as well as other grill makers) were brought up. I had pretty much ruled PB out entirely because of the issues that I read about, like these:
1. Uneven temperature across the grill with hotspots. I haven't seen this at all and I have cooked at temps between 180 to 450+. The more I read, the more it seemed that the larger smokers (900 sq. in. and up) have trouble side-center-side and that makes sense with a single burn pot in the center.
2. Customer Service is not good. One of my probes was reading 18F less than the actual temp so I filed a claim on Tuesday and my new probe arrived today! Along with a free gift! Problem solved, free gift... I'm happy.
3. And the winner for the biggest PB complaint of all time.....(drum roll).....The "Smoke IT" app SUX. Not only does it not, it is flawless! It stays connected wherever I am. When I smoked the baby backs, I watched the temps from my office 45 minutes away. It works great. You can even turn on the interior grill light with Smoke IT.

I'll post a 2 month update, but I'm super happy with this grill today. Compared to the way I have I have been doing it for 30 years, it's like cheatin'.
 
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primeone

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I’ve been researching and watching the forums for a few weeks now trying to decide on which pellet grill to buy. I’ve had my eye on the pro series 850, but I’m worried about all the issues people seem to be having with the new PID controller. What I’m mainly looking for in a grill is good smoke flavor, quick heat up times, and the ability to sear. Should I get the pro series 850 or look into the sportsman 820 or Austin XL with the older style controller? Tractor supply also carries this new model in the link below.


Any help is greatly appreciated.

Welcome to the forum @Dbiasii - Congrats on the Laredo. Keep us updated on how it does for you. Maybe Pitboss has solved most of the issues from the old models.
 

Dbiasii

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Welcome to the forum @Dbiasii - Congrats on the Laredo. Keep us updated on how it does for you. Maybe Pitboss has solved most of the issues from the old models.
Will do, just got a new puppy so I haven’t had much time to use it between him and the weather. Spring is on its way though and hopefully I will get to use it a lot more soon.
 

Dbiasii

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Just did another ribeye and the grill worked great again. I’ll be doing a long cook this week with a pork butt so I’ll really get to test temp consistency etc...
 

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Dbiasii

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Want to give one more update for anyone stuck between which grill to buy. So far I’m very happy with the Laredo. After doing two more cooks, (a pork butt and then chicken thighs today) it has been performing great. One con that I’ve noticed is the right side is consistently 50° cooler than the left, and the left is dead on with the grill set temp, so I may make some sort of heat deflector. The only other con I can think of is obviously the app, which is horrible on my iPhone but hopefully will get updated. Everything else has been great, heat up time is good, temps hold consistently, build quality is excellent with ease of access to the grills parts etc. sear function and ash clean-out are also fantastic. Hopefully this will help someone that was in my situation struggling to make a decision. Now I just can’t wait for next hunting season to do my deer jerky and snack sticks.
 

Rbwny

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Glad to hear the Laredo is working well for you. I have kept my eye on that along with some of the pro series from Lowe’s. I don’t think I can get over the horrible reviews on the pro series and the controllers being such spread out for temp increments and not having a 275 degree setting. Hopefully I can catch a good sale on the Laredo
 

david_ski

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Want to give one more update for anyone stuck between which grill to buy. So far I’m very happy with the Laredo. After doing two more cooks, (a pork butt and then chicken thighs today) it has been performing great. One con that I’ve noticed is the right side is consistently 50° cooler than the left, and the left is dead on with the grill set temp, so I may make some sort of heat deflector. The only other con I can think of is obviously the app, which is horrible on my iPhone but hopefully will get updated. Everything else has been great, heat up time is good, temps hold consistently, build quality is excellent with ease of access to the grills parts etc. sear function and ash clean-out are also fantastic. Hopefully this will help someone that was in my situation struggling to make a decision. Now I just can’t wait for next hunting season to do my deer jerky and snack sticks.
The heat differential is because of the sloped drip tray and no heat deflector above the burn pot. Heat rises and the drip tray pushes heat to the left. The controller thermometer probe is on the left where it is hottest. There are several threads in the Modifications section on how to even out the grill temps on a Pit Boss designs. Add a heat deflector and/or change out the drip tray slider with vents to a solid slider.
 

mikenburnie

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Want to give one more update for anyone stuck between which grill to buy. So far I’m very happy with the Laredo. After doing two more cooks, (a pork butt and then chicken thighs today) it has been performing great. One con that I’ve noticed is the right side is consistently 50° cooler than the left, and the left is dead on with the grill set temp, so I may make some sort of heat deflector. The only other con I can think of is obviously the app, which is horrible on my iPhone but hopefully will get updated. Everything else has been great, heat up time is good, temps hold consistently, build quality is excellent with ease of access to the grills parts etc. sear function and ash clean-out are also fantastic. Hopefully this will help someone that was in my situation struggling to make a decision. Now I just can’t wait for next hunting season to do my deer jerky and snack sticks.
It makes great jerky, I had 6lbs left and made it last weekend.
 

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