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The Shackelfords

Best RV friendly smoker / grill

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Hey Yall,

One of my favorite weekend hobbies is breaking out the smoker and cooking a brisket or some beef ribs. My wife and I were talking about ways we could continue the same level of weekend cuisine on the road, so I started doing some digging. I found Traeger and Green Mountain Grills have a few "portable-ish" pellet smoker options. The Traeger being the flatter table top scout/ranger for steaks and burgers, and the more all purpose Tailgater smoker for larger items like chickens and turkeys.  Green Mountain Grills has one portable smoker that runs on pellets and 12V called the Davy Crockett. I really like the power consumption of the 12V davy crocket, and its temperature control is programable down to one degree. Over all I'm impressed with both these smokers because I could use them as an oven for baking breads, bacon, and other meals. Additionally their is no propane requirement, and my solar panels can easily keep up with the power usage of these 12v grills drawing less than 1.5 amps per hour.  The grills weigh in at a hefty 60 pounds but are small enough and foldable enough to fit on the back rack of the Ollie cargo hitch w/ carrier & i'm still young enough to throw that kind of weight around without much hassle. I'll attach the green mountain grill and Traeger links off amazon. 

https://www.amazon.com/Green-Mountain-Grills-Crockett-Controlled/dp/B078RXH95C

https://www.amazon.com/Traeger-Grills-Tailgater-Portable-Pellet/dp/B01CD58XMQ/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=traeger+tailgater&qid=1582577583&s=lawn-garden&sr=1-2

 

Does anyone else have any input on good camping smokers, or had any experience with the ones mentioned?

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The Green Mountain grill looks really interesting. I was just thinking about smokers last week.  Hmmmm...


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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At the 2018 Oliver Rally I met @DeanCHS1980, who camps in a Casita. He has been interviewed on a number of the RV Atlas podcasts. On one of these podcasts he was interviewed about grilling and smoking. He recommended the Akorn Kamado for smoking. For transporting to the campsite, the Akorn Kamado does weigh more than the Green Mountain or the Traeger grills that @The Shackelfords mentioned. 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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I use a Primo XL at home to smoke with and grill.  It’s a ceramic like the BGE but made in USA.  They make a small one that I’ve thought about getting for camping.  It would still be heavy but would be an outstanding smoker when on the road.  My brother has a Traeger and likes it a lot.


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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I can't speak to the Traegers. But I bought a Davy Crockett several years ago to use camping. It works great and is a good size to cook for up to four people. Or more. Brisket, ribs, steaks, tri tips, whole chickens, whatever. The WiFi controls make cooking a breeze. And I've heard that some competition folks would like to ban pellet grills because they make cooking too easy. 

I'm a long-time slow smoker, shoveling coals into my big grill at home. Like you, I wanted similar cooks on the road. Pellet grills fill the bill.

The Davy Crocket, and other pellet grills, do not provide an overwhelming smoke flavor. Which is OK. But you can use a smoke tube to add more flavor. Or smoke for several hours at the 150-degree setting for more smoke flavor. I'll often do that with steaks, remove them, crank up the heat and put the steaks back on for reverse searing. Adding Grill Grates https://www.grillgrate.com puts great grill marks on the steaks or whatever. Plus they get hotter than the grill on the smoker. They make a sear station for the Davy Crockett.

One downside for me with the Davy Crockett is the spring-like feet on the bottom. I carried it in my truck bed, and bumps on the road tended to make it tip and flop around. Also, I liked it so much I carried it to the back yard when not traveling. It's a long way, and that got old. Its shape is a little unwieldy.

In November, I saw a smaller one that came out last year -- the Country Smoker Traveler. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VNN775P/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's $200 at Amazon. When I bought it in November, is was $10 less. 

It's a lot smaller and way more portable than the Davy Crockett. It does not fit in the Oliver basement. It weighs 43 pounds and is a much more friendly size and shape to tote around. It does a good job, too, although it does not have WiFi and the grill is smaller than the Davy Crockett. But it's more than big enough for two people. I've cooked the same meats -- and vegetables -- on it as on the Davy Crockett, although a full-size brisket won't fit unless it's trimmed down. Plus the Grill Grates that fit the Davy Crockett also fit the Traveler.

So now the Davy Crockett is set up in my backyard kitchen. And it has a big brother. I bought the Green Mountain Grills' Jim Bowie, their largest model. They must have an affinity to the Alamo. But, hey -- so do I. I live in San Antonio and know the Alamo's former historian/curator. And a Western artist who recently completed what may be the definitive painting of the battle. The Jim Bowie, which I use to feed crowds, replaced my big steel wood-fired grill, that after 25 years, finally rusted through in too many places to be able to control the heat properly.

For pellet usage, the Jim Bowie goes through a lot. The Davy Crockett much less. The Traveler less than the Davy Crockett.

I use the Davy Crockett often. Yesterday, I spatchcocked a chicken. Smoked it for about two hours and turned the temperature up to 250 until the chicken breast reached 165 degrees -- about an hour and a half more. It was juicy and delicious.

BTW, when I cranked up the temperature, I was working in my office upstairs and changed the setting with the app on my phone. And it notified me when the internal temperature reached 165. I did that sort of thing while camping, too, as the Davy Crockett has its own WiFi. If you have a hotspot or WiFi at the campground, you can do that while out hiking or whatever. Sure beats shoveling coals.

Let me know if you have any questions about these pellet grills.

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John Goodspeed, Marianne Odom and Mattie, a St. Bernard, Labrador retriever and Boston terrier mix, of San Antonio, Texas


"Gulliver," 2016 Legacy Elite II, twin beds, Hull No. 128


Tow vehicle: 2002 Ford F350 Lariat crew cab long bed 4x4 with 7.3 Power Stroke diesel, 3:73 differentials and Diamondback cover

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That is an awesome right up, thank you. I'm seriously leaning toward the Davy Crocket after a bunch of research, they seem to be well made for the price. We entertain to often for anything much smaller though. 

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Posted (edited)

A hobby-

We have owned our Traeger pellet smoker for over 5 yrs and have smoked baby back ribs, a few 9# briskets, chicken, trout, wings, plenty of wild game. Venison, wild turkey and bacon wrapped pecan smoked wild dove pictured, my wife’s favorite. 
We have been extremely happy with our Traeger and would not hesitate to replace it with another Traeger. I use apple, pecan, hickory and mesquite pellets depending on what I meat or game I am going to smoke. Ours is the Little Texas model, not for travel. We may consider a smaller Traeger scout grill or the Traeger ranger for travel. We really have enjoyed our Traeger. I also pecan smoke our own 12 hr marinated jerky.
I need to determine if the scout or ranger is compact enough to carry in our TV-

https://www.traegergrills.com/pellet-grills/portable/scout

 

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Edited by Patriot
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Tundra Platinum CrewMax - 2020 LEll - Hull #634 

 

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We use the Davy Crockett, it's small enough to carry around, runs on 12V or 120V.  We used the tote to keep it in the SUV so any pellets or grease don't escape too far, will probably keep using the tote with the truck.  I also have the thermal blanket for it, it helped with temperature stability and pellet usage.  It is big enough inside to do a rack of Ribs or a modest brisket but small enough that finding a place to put it is easy.  It can also be a little noisy so overnight smokes in a smallish campground can be harder.   None of the pellet smokers will sear as good as hot grill, so we pan sear if searing is desired and then grill/smoke.  The pellets you use are important, and sometimes expensive. We've had good luck with CookinPellets and Lumberjack.  Generally look for ones that are 100% of what you want (ie 100% mesquite) and don't have other fillers in there.  It doesn't smoke as well as my UDS smoker, but it does pretty well on its own.   Great smoke ring on the brisket and flank steaks I did.  Also was able to do enough pork butt for about 40 people with it (two or three batches).

 

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2019 LE2 #529.   

2018 Navigator L   2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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I ended up going with the Davy Crocket for all the reasons mentioned above. I have to say it has been excellent so far. It's the perfect blend of size and portability. Running on 12v was a huge pro. 

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