Disappointed in myself for not doing my homework on smokers

KennyGolub

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
Silver Springs, FL
I am really disappointed in the KC Combo. My bad. I should have found out before I purchased it.
No smoke. It will bake like an over, but it does NOT smoke.
In reviewing posts here, it appears to be the consensus.. they do not smoke without a smoke tube.

Anyone want to buy a slightly used KC Combo ?
 

Edchad

Member
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
62
Location
N Ga Mountains
I am really disappointed in the KC Combo. My bad. I should have found out before I purchased it.
No smoke. It will bake like an over, but it does NOT smoke.
In reviewing posts here, it appears to be the consensus.. they do not smoke without a smoke tube.

Anyone want to buy a slightly used KC Combo ?


Hey Kenny

I wouldn’t feel too disappointed because a lot of people including myself got into these not really understanding them.

Mine is a different model. The vertical PBV4PS2. But I’ve learned that about all of these things operate similar. I stumbled on a very good price and was pretty much sold on it by a salesperson as being the best, smokiest cookers available and their popularity was the evidence. I already owned several smokers and outdoor cookers but this seemed pretty cool. Also I have a Pit Boss Series 2 Hammertone electric that uses wood chips in a tray. That thing is still to this day one of the best little smokers I’ve ever owned. So the Pit Boss brand wasn’t the issue with me as it and the new pellet smoker are both built like a tank. At least for me the quality of build is exceptional on both.

However, like you I found the smoky taste very lacking. I was pretty disappointed and almost took it back. After researching I came across this site along with a couple of others and found a wealth of information that changed my mind.

Now I’m not trying to convince you of anything because you are correct. A pellet smoker will not produce the same smoky flavor as a stick burner or electric or gas chip and chunk burner. And I have owned all of them.

I learned that these things are different. Very different. However that’s not to say it’s impossible to get a satisfactory result. I finally got it in my head a few things from here that made me feel better about it and actually like it quite a bit now.

The biggest things that helped me were:

Smoke at a lower temperature

Find pellets that suits your taste.

And as crazy as it sounded to me use a tube.

Now with that said I don’t even use a tube all the time anymore. Only when I want the strongest smoke flavor. And some of these folks might think I’m nuts but when I do use a tube I usually load it with pellets and wood chips both. Packed tightly. Actually something I saw here and YouTube as well.

However I don’t use a tube all the time anymore. I found the Kingsford Hickory and PB Charcoal works pretty good for us. I think everybody has their favorites.

My control has an S setting which is for smoke. It will only heat from like 130-180 or so on mine but I get a super smoke from it. At first I was setting at like 225-250 and it just wasn’t working. I finally got it in my head what these guys were saying. They smoke best at a much lower temp.

I’m assuming that’s probably all pellet cookers. Not just Pit Boss? Somebody might want to correct me on that.

But changing the way I cooked a little and finding the pellets we really liked it’s now getting used several times a week. It’s so dang handy to use.

Today I fired up my offset smoker for the first time in ages and while it was definitely a much richer smoke flavor, cooking the way I always have, I still have a little bit of a job tomorrow cleaning it up. And worked my rear end off keeping my temp up. Lol.

These Pellet Smokers are just different animals. A different tool I suppose. At least that how I look at it now.

But don’t feel like you’re the only one experiencing this. Myself and a whole bunch went thru this.

Btw I’m not trying to contradict anything you said. You are absolutely correct.

Best of luck with it.
 

KennyGolub

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
Silver Springs, FL
Hey Kenny

I wouldn’t feel too disappointed because a lot of people including myself got into these not really understanding them.

Mine is a different model. The vertical PBV4PS2. But I’ve learned that about all of these things operate similar. I stumbled on a very good price and was pretty much sold on it by a salesperson as being the best, smokiest cookers available and their popularity was the evidence. I already owned several smokers and outdoor cookers but this seemed pretty cool. Also I have a Pit Boss Series 2 Hammertone electric that uses wood chips in a tray. That thing is still to this day one of the best little smokers I’ve ever owned. So the Pit Boss brand wasn’t the issue with me as it and the new pellet smoker are both built like a tank. At least for me the quality of build is exceptional on both.

However, like you I found the smoky taste very lacking. I was pretty disappointed and almost took it back. After researching I came across this site along with a couple of others and found a wealth of information that changed my mind.

Now I’m not trying to convince you of anything because you are correct. A pellet smoker will not produce the same smoky flavor as a stick burner or electric or gas chip and chunk burner. And I have owned all of them.

I learned that these things are different. Very different. However that’s not to say it’s impossible to get a satisfactory result. I finally got it in my head a few things from here that made me feel better about it and actually like it quite a bit now.

The biggest things that helped me were:

Smoke at a lower temperature

Find pellets that suits your taste.

And as crazy as it sounded to me use a tube.

Now with that said I don’t even use a tube all the time anymore. Only when I want the strongest smoke flavor. And some of these folks might think I’m nuts but when I do use a tube I usually load it with pellets and wood chips both. Packed tightly. Actually something I saw here and YouTube as well.

However I don’t use a tube all the time anymore. I found the Kingsford Hickory and PB Charcoal works pretty good for us. I think everybody has their favorites.

My control has an S setting which is for smoke. It will only heat from like 130-180 or so on mine but I get a super smoke from it. At first I was setting at like 225-250 and it just wasn’t working. I finally got it in my head what these guys were saying. They smoke best at a much lower temp.

I’m assuming that’s probably all pellet cookers. Not just Pit Boss? Somebody might want to correct me on that.

But changing the way I cooked a little and finding the pellets we really liked it’s now getting used several times a week. It’s so dang handy to use.

Today I fired up my offset smoker for the first time in ages and while it was definitely a much richer smoke flavor, cooking the way I always have, I still have a little bit of a job tomorrow cleaning it up. And worked my rear end off keeping my temp up. Lol.

These Pellet Smokers are just different animals. A different tool I suppose. At least that how I look at it now.

But don’t feel like you’re the only one experiencing this. Myself and a whole bunch went thru this.

Btw I’m not trying to contradict anything you said. You are absolutely correct.

Best of luck with it.
Thank you VERY much for taking the time to write your experience.
I too have a wood chip electric smoker by PitBoss and was very used to how it smoked. (You're right about the clean up of those things too).
I'm just disappointed that I didn't do my homework and find this out before I purchased it. I'm a solid Blackstone guy and only bought this because it had a griddle and I hoped to be able to smoke at the same time.
But in any case, if I can find someone local to buy it (which I doubt unless I give it away) I'll sell it and get another Blackstone and continue with my wood chip smoker. In the meantime I'll try using a smoke tube and see how that works out.
Thanks again for taking the time !!!
 

Edchad

Member
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
62
Location
N Ga Mountains
Thank you VERY much for taking the time to write your experience.
I too have a wood chip electric smoker by PitBoss and was very used to how it smoked. (You're right about the clean up of those things too).
I'm just disappointed that I didn't do my homework and find this out before I purchased it. I'm a solid Blackstone guy and only bought this because it had a griddle and I hoped to be able to smoke at the same time.
But in any case, if I can find someone local to buy it (which I doubt unless I give it away) I'll sell it and get another Blackstone and continue with my wood chip smoker. In the meantime I'll try using a smoke tube and see how that works out.
Thanks again for taking the time !!!

No problem Kenny me. I’ve been there!
I'm hoping you can figure something out that you can live with as I did. Def give a tube a shot but I think more importantly make sure you’re smoking at a lower temp. That was the biggest thing of all that helped me. Good luck!
 

KennyGolub

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
Silver Springs, FL
I have to wonder if it's just a problem with temperature control. When mine is set to smoke and hits about 160-degrees, it smokes fine for about a minute, BUT the temperature keeps climbing to 200+ and the smoke, of course, stops.
I confirmed this by turning it off, letting it cool below 100, and then turning it back on. Same result: smokes at around 160 but keeps climbing past 200.
 

Edchad

Member
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
62
Location
N Ga Mountains
Hmm. If it’s climbing 200+ when you’re actually trying to Smoke, something doesn’t sound right to me. You have a different control than I have. On mine the S setting runs from 130-180 I believe. I haven’t figured out when it climbs. Lol. But as long as I have it set there and it’s running below 180 it’s smoking like Cheech n Chong.
Some of these things have a P setting I’ve read about in here. Has something to do with it. I just don’t know because mine doesn’t. But I can promise you if you can keep the temp down for awhile it’ll smoke up good. My routine now is I start it on the S setting and just let it go 2-3 hours. Depending on what I’m cooking. Then I’ll raise it to maybe 250 and finish the cook off kinda normal like. Regarding temps. My S setting will run low. And it’s smoking good.
Does yours have the P setting? If so you might read around in here about it. Seems to be a hot topic most of the time. Mine just doesn’t have it.
And also you’re going to have to find your pellet!
 
Last edited:

Edchad

Member
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
62
Location
N Ga Mountains
Let me add this. I know I’ve mentioned Find your Pellet more than once. When I finally learned how to get it to smoke, at lower temps, it still didn’t really solve my complaint. Then I started studying and researching pellets. I could get it to smoke like crazy for a couple to three hours and bump up the temp and continue but I still didn’t have a good Smokey flavor.
I found that a lot of these pellets have artificial stuff in them for the wood flavor. Also most of them have an assortment of hardwood in them but not 100% the wood you’re wanting. I finally ran across and tried Kingsford Hickory. The bag and their site says they’re made of 100% hickory. A lot of let’s say hickory may only have like 30% hickory and the rest is different hardwoods. To me that ought to be illegal. Lol. I learned to look out for the word Blend and also look for 100% flavorwood.
I got a garage full of pellets that I picked up here and there to try. But so far if it isn’t 100% flavor wood we don’t care for them.
The Pit Boss charcoal pellet I learned about in here. I think it’s a Walmart exclusive. Anyway lately I’m using those in the hopper for heat. And using a tube with the Kingsford Hickory pellets. Sometime chips mixed in. But this way I get a good consistent heat. And smoke that suits me and the wife. It was a game changer for us.
I have some competition blends I haven’t tried yet. We basically like hickory and mesquite. But if I buy one of them, say hickory, I expect hickory! Not true most of the time. A lot of the bags and brands will say 100% hardwood!!!
well la Dee da. Lol. Hardwood covers quite a territory. I guess the other woods may be cheaper to use? I don’t know. All I know is the Kingsford says 100% Hickory. Not hardwood. And it does just fine.
sorry for jumping back in but just wanted to stress when you get your low smoking temp under control the pellet is all so important. I’m at the point if it’s not 100% flavorwood I won’t even try it. Some have a wierd after taste.
I’ve accumulated so many of em I’m about to trash em or give em away. I was a dummy and usually bought two bags at a time. And then find I didn’t care for it.
I’ll shut up now. Lol. And again best of luck. I hope you wind up liking it!
 

Novenom

New member
Joined
Jul 12, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Location
Winter Garden Florida
You should give Lumberjack pellets a try...best out there imo. Also a pellet smoker will always put out a white smoke when you 1st start it up...thats not the smoke you want. When it changes to a thin blue smoke you are good, but it just isn't that noticeable, so you might think it's not producing smoke but it is actually making the smoke you want. I will say the pellets make a huge difference..I used Traeger pellets in a pinch one time and barely any smoke flavor at all.
 

Edchad

Member
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
62
Location
N Ga Mountains
You should give Lumberjack pellets a try...best out there imo. Also a pellet smoker will always put out a white smoke when you 1st start it up...thats not the smoke you want. When it changes to a thin blue smoke you are good, but it just isn't that noticeable, so you might think it's not producing smoke but it is actually making the smoke you want. I will say the pellets make a huge difference..I used Traeger pellets in a pinch one time and barely any smoke flavor at all.
I too was disappointed in the Traeger pellets. Several places they were highly recommended for smoky flavor. Well me being me and living where we don’t have an extreme availability when I ran across some I bought like 2 bags each of a few flavors. I’d have to go look to be certain. But what I DO know is for ME and MY smoker they were very disappointing.
I realize every person has a different taste and probably every pellet smoker MAY react to a pellet differently. But for my PBV4PS2 I’ll have to say they were in like the worst ones I’ve tried so far.
I know somebody out there will disagree. And there’s no doubt somebody loves these things. But for us they just didn’t cut it. I’m pretty picky. But so far Kingsford 100% hickory and PB Charcoal have been our best so far. I haven’t found the Lumberjack so far but I do want to try them. I could order I guess but I hate paying the shipping.
I wish I could find somebody close by. I have several unopened bags of two or three brands I’d give somebody a deal on. Lol.
Ive still got a few I haven’t tried yet.
Im hoping I run into some we really like.
 

Novenom

New member
Joined
Jul 12, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Location
Winter Garden Florida
Yeah I'm fortunate that I have a local bbq shop 10 minutes from me and they carry the lumberjack pellets and at a reasonable $12.99 for 20 lbs. I tried a bunch of different brands when I got my first pellet grill..an og Camp Chef Woodwind...and the Lumberjack have been by far the best.
 

EOF

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
FL
Let me add this. I know I’ve mentioned Find your Pellet more than once. When I finally learned how to get it to smoke, at lower temps, it still didn’t really solve my complaint. Then I started studying and researching pellets. I could get it to smoke like crazy for a couple to three hours and bump up the temp and continue but I still didn’t have a good Smokey flavor.
I found that a lot of these pellets have artificial stuff in them for the wood flavor. Also most of them have an assortment of hardwood in them but not 100% the wood you’re wanting. I finally ran across and tried Kingsford Hickory. The bag and their site says they’re made of 100% hickory. A lot of let’s say hickory may only have like 30% hickory and the rest is different hardwoods. To me that ought to be illegal. Lol. I learned to look out for the word Blend and also look for 100% flavorwood.
I got a garage full of pellets that I picked up here and there to try. But so far if it isn’t 100% flavor wood we don’t care for them.
The Pit Boss charcoal pellet I learned about in here. I think it’s a Walmart exclusive. Anyway lately I’m using those in the hopper for heat. And using a tube with the Kingsford Hickory pellets. Sometime chips mixed in. But this way I get a good consistent heat. And smoke that suits me and the wife. It was a game changer for us.
I have some competition blends I haven’t tried yet. We basically like hickory and mesquite. But if I buy one of them, say hickory, I expect hickory! Not true most of the time. A lot of the bags and brands will say 100% hardwood!!!
well la Dee da. Lol. Hardwood covers quite a territory. I guess the other woods may be cheaper to use? I don’t know. All I know is the Kingsford says 100% Hickory. Not hardwood. And it does just fine.
sorry for jumping back in but just wanted to stress when you get your low smoking temp under control the pellet is all so important. I’m at the point if it’s not 100% flavorwood I won’t even try it. Some have a wierd after taste.
I’ve accumulated so many of em I’m about to trash em or give em away. I was a dummy and usually bought two bags at a time. And then find I didn’t care for it.
I’ll shut up now. Lol. And again best of luck. I hope you wind up liking it!
@Edchad, where are you located? Maybe I can help you make some space and take the pellets off your hands?
 

EOF

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
FL
Hello there. I’m in north Ga probably 50 miles from Chattanooga Tn.
To bad. I am in South Florida. Hope you find someone in your area that wants to play around with different pellets.
 

Edchad

Member
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
62
Location
N Ga Mountains
To bad. I am in South Florida. Hope you find someone in your area that wants to play around with different pellets.
Thanks a lot neighbor. I’ll either gradually use em for heat or find somebody that can use em.
 
Top