Thanks for checking out this Pellet Pro Grill Review. I hope you find it useful as you continue your research about which smoker is best for you. As always, I welcome feedback in the comments below, and of course – be sure to check out my overview article on What Everyone Should Know Before Buying Pellet Smokers.
The Pellet Pro Smoker Review
Some time ago I was contacted by Mr. Dan Seppala of Smoke Daddy and Pellet Pro to review a Pellet Pro Grill with a Smoke Daddy Cold Smoke Generator (Magnum Pig model). In short order, Dan had units sent out and they arrived expertly packed on a pallet – ready to assemble and try out.
(NOTE: This model is now unavailable. The comparable model is the Pellet Pro Grill 770 model.)
You can see the unit in its shipping box above, and I want to stress just how well it was packed by the good folks at Pellet Pro Grills. Seriously, this thing could have withstood being down right dropped from the rear gate of the shipping truck that delivered it and would have come through without a scratch.
The Current Model: Pellet Pro® 770 Pellet Grill Smoker – W/ PID Controller – Free 100lbs of BBQ Pellets & Grill Cover
As many of us have received dented or damaged stuff over the years, I feel it’s a plus on the Pellet Pro side of things that the staff there takes extra special care to ensure the money you spend with them results in wholly intact goods in perfect condition. Click here to see a few photos of how these guys inspect and pack their units prior to shipping.
Pellet Pro Grill Review – A General Walk Around
Similarities to Other Pellet Grills on the Market
My first impression of the Pellet Pro CPG 627 is that it uses a body style much like if not the same as Traeger Junior Elite. As such, the grill shares some basic construction features, including heavy 13-14 gauge steel construction putting this little guy at 140 lbs of grilling muscle not counting a full hopper of wood pellets.
Traeger Junior Elite Grill
Let me say that as manufacturing of pellet grills in China took off a few years back, Traeger led the pack. Sources I’ve spoken with state that as Traeger moved from one Chinese manufacturer to another, the factories either kept producing the grills under the same basic blueprint or modified them as requested by companies, like Pellet Pro, to resell under a different name.
You can type in a search for “Pellet Grills” on the Alibaba.com site and you’ll likely see pellet grill body styles being sold that pretty much mirror the one you see from Pellet Pro above.
In truth, unless you’re going with all stainless steel construction like a MAK Grill or Memphis Grill (see here), or a Yoder Pellet Smoker made with 10 gauge steel – all entry level pellet smokers share pretty similar build traits.
In my view, the unit’s body is solid, and the “roller blade” style wheels are both durable and free wheeling – making the unit very easy to move around and position as desired.
Proprietary Elements with the Pellet Pro Grill
Understand that the money in most pellet grills goes into the body of the grill, and buying ready made pellet grill bodies from overseas sources that are of good quality steel means that companies like Pellet Pro can spend a little more money on developing and fine tuning the “brains” behind their grills… namely, the PID Controller Units.
The Pellet Pro Grill differentiates itself from similar body style model pellet grills by utilizing a proprietary PID Controller unit. According to the Pellet Pro site, this PID Controller uses Autotuning Algorithm Technology™ based on relay feedback from the RTD every 4 sec to adjust the auger feed rate and fan speed to maintain your set temperature.
This PID unit is clearly where the Pellet Pro guys have put their focus. Per the literature provided, the unit delivers the following (photo on the right is from my test session):
- Temperature range from 160°F-450°F in 5° increments
- High setting for max temps of 500°F +
- Smoke Setting for temps of 200°F 250°F (predetermined timed cycle)
- Autotuning Algorithm Technology™ holds temperature within 5° of where temp is set to.
- Meat Probe temperature input
- Meat Probe
- 15 min shutdown cycle
- LED temperature display
- Manual Pellet Feed Option
- Automatically runs start up cycle when temp drops below 130°F
- Easily compatible with other brands
- Operating Voltage: AC 110V ±10%, 60Hz
You can find a PDF manual for this PID Controller on the Pellet Pro site.
Using the Pellet Pro Grill , I found the temperature readings from the PID controller unit (both internal temp and meat temp) to be within 5 degrees +/-. The high quality temperature gauge that sits on top of the unit read approximately the same, which was nice to see.
Here’s a great video overview from Dennis at Smoke Daddy discussing the new PID Controller Unit.
Referring again to the Pellet Pro site, the PID controller is designed to adjust to your particular grilling set up. In their words:
Unlike most controllers that are used for other brands of hopper assemblies, our PID controller will auto tune to your particular application. No need to be concerned about changing outdoor weather conditions or factors such as the pellet BTUs.
Gone are the frustrating drastic temperature swings and having to manually change your settings. Our controller maintains your temperature consistently for the entire duration of long and slow cook times. Also available is our own custom-made wire harness. It enables you to operate two or even three hopper assemblies with one controller on larger applications. — Pellet Pro
I did find the diagrams posted on the Pellet Pro site to be useful in seeing how their new PID controller functions in comparison to standard timed cycle controller. See the following images:
In the end, I can see a lot of work has gone into fine tuning the Pellet Pro PID controller, and the resulting unit functioned very well during my test cooks.
Hopper Assemblies with Pellet Pro Grills
One thing I want to mention for sure is that folks who like the Pellet Pro Grill Hopper Assemblies are able to buy them for use in other preparations. From what I am able to discern, Pellet Pro is the only company that offers these hopper assemblies for customers that want to build their own custom pellet smoker.
The hopper assembly itself is becoming really popular and are in high demand. Reports from users state that these unis work GREAT for custom builds since the PID Controller autotunes the hopper assembly for each application based on varying ambient temperatures. You can learn more about the hopper assemblies here.
Pellet Pro Smoke Daddy Magnum Pig Cold Smoking Attachment
Another area where the Pellet Pro folks stand apart from their competitors is that as a company, they operate under the Smoke Daddy brand name. As such, when you buy Pellet Pro grills, you’re in effect dealing with the Smoke Daddy folks. Knowing this, I requested that Dan send over the Smoke Daddy Magnum Pig Cold Smoking Attachment for me to test out during my Pellet Pro Grill trial. He obliged, and the pellet grill was sent with a hole pre-drilled into the hopper side (left side) of the unit just below where the drip pan sits. All Smoke Daddy Cold Smokers are made out of Heavy Gauge 6061-T6 Aluminum Pipe (approx. 1/4″ Thick.)
One of the knocks against pellet grills is that they are unable to produce the robust smoke profile attainable by using charcoal and wood fueled smokers – stick burners, gravity fed smokers, Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers, etc.
Not only does the Smoke Daddy Magnum Pig attachment solve this by providing a considerable bump in quality blue smoke, it produces little residual heat inside the grill, so you can use it as a cold smoking attachment, too. You cheese and salmon smokers out there will like this feature.
I loaded the unit with a lighter cube, a few chunks of lump charcoal, and some cherry wood splits I cut down from some cherry wood chunks I had on hand – then just fired it from below with a small butane torch.
Filled to capacity, the Magnum Pig ran several hours and added a nice rounded out flavor bump to the pork butts I cooked.
Oh, in case you’re wondering, the air pump is what provides oxygen to the Smoke Daddy Magnum Pig at variable speeds depending on where you have the dial turned. The spring you see acts as a spacer inside the aluminum tube body of the Smoke Daddy – functioning a bit like a chimney.
My Test Cook on the Pellet Pro CPG 627
For my test cook I cooked two IBP Pork Butts trimmed more or less as I learned from attending Jim Elser’s Sweet Smoke Q Cooking School several months back. Per the class, I used his Sweet Smoke Q Pork “Q Juice” and some peach nectar as my injection, followed by a mixture of Smokin’ Guns Hot and Cimarron Doc Rib Rub I picked up from Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply. Of course I glazed the pork with some Swamp Boys Original BBQ Sauce blended with just a touch of Swamp Boys Bootleg Red BBQ Sauce – also picked up from Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply.
As I said, the Smoke Daddy added a nice boost to the smoke profile for this cook without creating anything overpowering. There was no off taste or ash at all using the unit, and since there was probably more wood in the Smoke Daddy Magnum Pig than I needed to burn for this BBQ Pork Butt cook, I simply wrapped the butts when they got to the color I wanted, thus limiting any of the extra smoke getting into the meat.
Pellet Pro Grill and Smoke Daddy Magnum Pig Final Thoughts
The Pellet Pro Grill on its own is a good choice for someone looking to move into pellet grills for the first time or maybe a competition cook looking for something to cook chicken on or use an extra place to use when setting the sauce on a rack or ribs or a keep a pork butt warm. Throw in the Smoke Daddy Magnum Pig and you have a solid option for adding into the competition lineup or ramping up the smoke profile on what you’re doing in the back yard.
Though the folks at Pellet Pro have yet to garner the cult following that Traeger once cornered the market on and that Green Mountain Grills seems to now be garnering, I think these guys can make a go of it if they continue to promote the use of the cold smoker addition with these grills. As I said, the pork I cooked on the Pellet Pro Grill CPG 627 was really good, and all temps held quite steady.
Additional Reviews of the Pellet Pro Grill
Additional reviews of the Pellet Pro Grill are out there, and some are quite good. I especially like the one my buddy Jay Prince over at BBQ Sauce Reviews did — you can read it here. Great photos of the components of the Pellet Pro Grill in an “unboxing” manner along with Jay’s input on the smoker as well. I agree with what he says about adding some locking casters to the grill’s wheels – especially when on a sloping driveway or the like.
Updated Product: Pellet Pro® Deluxe Stainless Steel Lid Pellet Grills – Models 770 & 1190
I just received an update from Dan over at Smoke Daddy, Inc. about the new Deluxe Stainless Steel Lid Pellet Grills they have on offer. Here are the details as I have them so far. Purchase of these grills comes with 100 lbs. of pellets!
Pellet Pro 1190
770 & 1190 Features:
- 7-Year Limited Warranty
- Stainless Steel Hopper Lid and Grill Lid
- Stainless Steel Heavy Gauge 9-hole Burnpot
- NEW* Heavy Duty Bottom Storage Rack
- NEW* 35lb Capacity Hopper with Stainless Lid
- Heavy 14 gauge construction.
- Large capacity grilling space.
- Heavy 13 gauge drip pan and heat deflector.
- Extra Large Stainless Steel Grill Lid
- Dual Full racks with a combined grilling surface of 770 or 1190 sq. inches.
- Comes with Exclusive PID Controller!
- Extra outside rack and a shelf are convenient places for your grilling accessories.
- High quality casters and wheels are attached to heavy gauge round legs for a stylish appearance.
- Improved Hot Rod Design
- Upgraded 9-hole burnpot; creates a more efficient burn
- Combustion fan facilitates a natural convection throughout the grill area
- Heat resistant, powder coated finish and porcelain covered grill racks.
- Operating Voltage: AC 110V ±10%, 60Hz
- 2 RPM Auger Motor
- 36,000 BTUs
- 7-Year Limited Warranty
- *Stainless Steel Hopper Lid and Grill Lid
- *Stainless Steel Heavy Gauge 9-hole Burnpot
- *NEW* Heavy Duty Bottom Storage Rack
- *NEW* 35lb Capacity Hopper with Stainless Lid
770 Cooking Area: 770 sq Inches
- Top Full Rack: 22″x16″
- Bottom Full Rack: 22″x19″
1190 Cooking Area: 1190 sq Inches
- Top Full Rack: 34″x16″
- Bottom Full Rack: 34″x19″
Standing Dimensions: (LxWxH)
- 770: 42″x20″x48″ (180lbs)
- 1190: 54″x20″x48″ (200lbs)
Looking for more information on Pellet Pro Grill sales? Here’s the info:
Pellet Pro Grills
Phone: (847) 336-1329