New Weber pellet grills for 2020

Jim Lampe

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Come on Jim tell us how you really feel about pellet poopers.;)
Rich, it's not just pellet grills and/or smokers,.... in my opinion (LIKE IT OR NOT), it's WEBER getting into the "lazysmoker" sellout.

to me, pellet machines are like electric machines. there is NO adventure. No thought process involved.
turn a knob, flip a switch, fill a hopper... and you're done.

to me, that's bull***T.

might as well go to the nearest BBQ joint and eat.
but then, you can't say, "Yeah man, I MADE this!"




yeah, I think it's a crock of S**T!
that's how I feel about Weber selling out.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Sounds like cooking in a kitchen oven?
You don't use smoke wood in your kitchen oven do you? :p ;)

Seriously I think weber is doing what they have to so they can stay successful. Look at last fall when HD, Lowels, Ace were deeply discounting their gas grills because they weren't selling. Here even almost a year later those grills are still sitting on Cl and other venues.
It's unfortunate but the younger generation isn't interested in the process just the end result.
Those stores are going to inventory what sells.
From my prospective if I want to cook outside I have to have a gasser because of the summer fire restriction on charcoal grills those restrictions also include my two charcoal smokers so for six months of the year I don't have a choice and it's only going to get worse.
The big question I have before I would buy a pellet grill for smoking would I be able to use that with the restrictions in place.

Fire and smoke just ain't the same anymore.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Rich: I agree. Weber obviously sees the market and is tapping into it. It just isn't something that interests me right now. I may warm up to it, but right now, I am perfectly happy and able to do everything I want to do with my gasser.

I will be interested to see how much they will cost as well. With all the electronics and stuff, it will probably not be something in reach of my budget anyway or at least until the start hitting CL and FB MP as used units.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Well, I would like to try and lay out a middle of the road position. I don’t claim to be an authority, but at the same time I have used charcoal and gas extensively and now have logged a fair number of cooks on my Rec Tec “Bull” pellet grill.

First, I can understand the purist view that the company that pioneered the charcoal kettle should stay “true.” However, had George :george: not listened to others at Weber and authorized the Genesis project there is a good chance Weber would have disappeared. And, we would not have a whole legacy of great gas grills. Are gas grills a “compromise” or worse a “sell out?” In my opinion, yes and no. You can do really good low and slow bbq on one - if you know how to use wood chips, etc. - but it can’t really beat charcoal and wood. On the other hand, gas grills open the door for excellent high heat cooking with ease of use that at least takes cooking outside (where it belongs:D). I wouldn’t want to abandon EITHER my kettles OR my Weber gas grills. So, I don’t think adding the Genesis to its repertoire was a sell out on Weber’s part; it was a great addition.

Now comes pellet grills. I have posted a number of times that I suspected Weber was hard at work on one of these - or they were crazy and in trouble if they weren’t. I do believe this is another time of paradigm shift in the grill world. Weber was in danger of being left behind in the 1980s and again now with the pellet grill advent. The $64K question is whether their entry is a quality built game-changer (as the Genesis was) or just another Traeger. Too early to know yet.

Do pellet grills work? For me, yes. I have found my Rec Tec to be easy to work with and pretty easy to clean (once I got a small shop vac for the job). I do recognize, though, that there are both electronics and moving parts, so breakdowns are inevitable. That is where having a good company behind your grill is that much more important for a pellet grill. Rec Tec has outstanding customer service. I hope the better side of Weber will prevail for this critical new product that is bound to have teething pains (already being talked about based in Chris’ comments). If Weber builds them better than their competitors and stands behind them, they have a good shot at getting some serious market share. (Hopefully the competitive pricing reflects a desire for that market share and not wholesale compromises on construction quality.)

Finally, pellet grills - at least my Rec Tec - deliver reliable, and very good bbq. I enjoy experimenting with wood pellet flavors, and the superb (and subpar) results some have reported may have more to do with the brand of pellets being used than the grills themselves. I would agree that my Big Green Egg can do pork shoulders a little bit better. But even there, the big selling point of the high priced Egg (mine was a gift) is its relative ease of use, sometimes described as almost “set it and forget it.” So is using charcoal and wood in a Green Egg “selling out” when you can get just as good results with a basic kettle if you are willing to work extra hard at it?

My Rec Tec will never push aside my gas grills. If this Weber pellet grill can really hit 600, I could see using it more for fast high heat grilling, but I still would want a gasser. And I still DO enjoy slow bbq with my kettles when time is on my side. The big victim of my Rec Tec acquisition has been my Green Egg, despite how well it performs. I can do almost as good bbq, and I can monitor results including set and actual temps and two meat probe temps all while working at my office. I can even adjust the temperature settings:cool:! If I was retired and had a lot more time, that may not be as big a deal, but my Rec Tec makes it possible for me to do long cooks even on a workday.

Sorry for the looooong post, but this is something I have been waiting for and have thought about a lot.

Last comment: some years ago I was in a professional bbq contest where my team competed with our Green Eggs in the amateur “back yard” division. I took definite note that most of the professional teams, including winners, were using pellet grills. I think that says something about the results. I have had plenty of compliments and nice smoke rings with no fiascos using my Rec Tec. I hope Weber’s pellet grill will be even better! If it is, I don’t feel it will represent a sell out but rather another cool addition to the Weber lineup. The fuzzy picture at least LOOKS good!
 
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BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
Jon: if part of your assistance to Weber involved research on a pellet grill will you ever be at liberty to discuss any detail regarding your experience?
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Few observations on the fuzzy picture:

Weber looks to be going for the latest trend in pellet grill style. No "smokestack" like my Rec Tec and many other pellet grills have. Must have something similar to the newest Traegers with the exhaust built into the barrel.

The small box on the right must be for electronics. It can't be the pellet hopper. I am guessing that Weber will be doing what RecTec does and put the hopper in the back. That probably also means a short middle mounted auger, another Rec Tec feature that I really like. The grills that feed the pellets from a side hopper have to have a much longer auger with more opportunity to jam.

No hanging bucket for grease. Looks like Weber has the grease collection underneath in the middle, possibly a similar setup to their gas grills with a pull out tray. It would have to be large like the Summit trays. Since the burner would be directly above the grease collection in that case, maybe that is the source of the ash mixing with grease that Chris referenced. My Rec Tec makes a little bit of ash, but it has so far always been contained below the heavy duty stainless heat and drip shield that covers all but the very outer edges of the grilling area. The grease on mine and most other pellet grills flows to the right away from the center burner.

Some of the style features are classic Weber. I hope the entire barrel and not just the lid are porcelain covered steel. My Rec Tec has a porcelain lid, but the barrel is stainless. I also hope they use stainless grates and stainless hardware (as my Rec Tec does).
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Yah, I hate to bash cooking methods and implements too much since my go to gasser is considered sacrilege to the sea of coal burners out there. However, I have to think it is just a natural evolution in cooking. Even the traditional coal burners can be considered non-traditional if you consider that the original BBQ's were nothing more than a few logs in rock fire ring. So, maybe Wood Pellet grills is more of coming full circle in the evolution of BBQ'ing.

That being said, my Genesis gasser is going no where and don't touch my ribs.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
To some BBQ/Grilling it's the journey and to others it the destination. Myself I would just say a pellet grill would be another tool in my outdoor cooking adventure, something else to learn on and experiment with. It certainly would not become my only grill, got to have a variety of toys to cook on.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Jon: if part of your assistance to Weber involved research on a pellet grill will you ever be at liberty to discuss any detail regarding your experience?
Can’t discuss anything but I can say I never had any opportunity for input regarding possible pellet grills.
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Someone mentioned the younger generation getting into smoking wants it easier?
Well I agree to a point.
Wifi and smartphone apps are the latest craze in BBQ. Set it and forget it and wait for your phone to chime you when there's a problem or it's done.
I get it, and the last backyard BBQ I attended was surrounded by Tragers. I did a lot of talking with the younger crowd and they prefer a hands off set it and forget way to BBQ.
Most said they were charcoal challegened and whatever they cooked came out tasting like a campfire.
So If it's a trend or reality, I accept it. Cause everything usually runs in circles, and what most of us do the old way with wood, charcoal, and hands on fire control will be called Artisanal BBQ.;)

Tim
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
I never want to abandon classic charcoal bbq. Artisanal sounds like a great name for it! But, I DO enjoy bbqing with my pellet grill, too. Hopefully there is room for both and gas grilling, too!
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Today I'm going to do some St. Louis ribs on the performer, it's a hi heat cook that I'm perfecting from my experiences with HH baby backs. Why the performer and not one of the gassers, because I can get a better taste profile with charcoal and smoke wood. The gassers cook just as well and the smoke wood adds a nice pleasant flavor but the charcoal adds something to the taste.
So the performer is the tool of choice on this cook. Just like a hamburger or even a steak it's hard for me to tell the differences between the two on short cooks.
If I get a pellet grill I will be really interested to see where that falls on a HH cook.
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I never want to abandon classic charcoal bbq. Artisanal sounds like a great name for it! But, I DO enjoy bbqing with my pellet grill, too. Hopefully there is room for both and gas grilling, too!
Jon I just missed out on a Rec Tec 4 months ago. Price was too good to pass, but he gifted it to his SIL.

Tim
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Today I'm going to do some St. Louis ribs on the performer, it's a hi heat cook that I'm perfecting from my experiences with HH baby backs. Why the performer and not one of the gassers, because I can get a better taste profile with charcoal and smoke wood. The gassers cook just as well and the smoke wood adds a nice pleasant flavor but the charcoal adds something to the taste.
So the performer is the tool of choice on this cook. Just like a hamburger or even a steak it's hard for me to tell the differences between the two on short cooks.
If I get a pellet grill I will be really interested to see where that falls on a HH cook.
Rich,
One way the pellet grill can get closer to that charcoal experience is to use pellets like Lumberjack “Char-Hickory” that includes a blend of charcoal pellets in the mix. Or you can use Smoke Daddy charcoal pellets and make your own blends. I am not saying there still isn’t an advantage to REAL charcoal and wood bbqing, but it does get you closer and is one of the fun parts of pellet grilling where you still DO participate in the process.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Jon I just missed out on a Rec Tec 4 months ago. Price was too good to pass, but he gifted it to his SIL.

Tim

Tim,
Maybe that is a good thing since now you can wait and see what Weber’s pellet grill will be like. I can personally recommend Rec Tec as a great middle of the road choice - the same market Weber is going after. It will be very interesting to see how they compare when we can actually find out more about the new Weber.
 

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