I thought I would start things off by describing my smoker. I have a Lil' Tex Elite Grill made by Traeger. The box to the left of the grill, as is the case for all Traeger Grills, is the hopper in which the wood pellets are stored. From the hopper, an auger carries the wood pellets into a small fire pot located in the bottom of the grill. In the middle of the fire pot is a hot rod: a metal rod that gets red hot in order to ignite the wood pellets. Once the pellets are ignited, the hot rod is no longer heated and the auger maintains a steady supply of pellets to keep the fire going. When the temperature knob is turned up, the auger simply spins slightly faster to feed more pellets into the fire. The 20 lb. pellet bags are around $20 and you can choose Alder, Apple, Cherry, Garlic, Grapevine, and Hickory-each impart their own distinct flavors to the meat.
I am most impressed by the convection-like cooking style of this grill. Since it uses indirect heat, the grill temperature is relatively uniform throughout and a grease guard ensures that juices don't increase the flames and burn your food.
Of course the most important point of wood cooking is for taste . . . and you won't taste anything like this on a propane grill.
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