In November, my Traeger Lil Tex died, failing to work at all. After experimenting with various theories, I came to the conclusion that it was the original Traeger controller that was broken. Unfortunately, replacements suitable for my old 240V model are as rare as hen’s teeth.
I have a long-term plan to bring the Traeger back into use (more on that elsewhere), it spurred me into buying myself a Christmas present – a brand new GMG Davy Crockett Grill/Smoker, complete with WIFI.
Green Mountain Grills (GMG) have a good reputation in the States, and are now being imported by The American BBQ Company, who were previously selling the Traegers. The Davy Crockett is the latest in the range.The DC is about half the size of my existing grill, but it still has plenty of space – it will hold two pork shoulders, comfortably. Being smaller (and more modern technology), one would expect to see economies on pellet use, and this size smoker is probably more suitable for the kind of cooking I do from day to day.
As mentioned, it comes with WIFI, and this enables you to connect to it by a phone or tablet and set and monitor temperatures, without even having to venture out into the cold. It even lets you set up “profiles” – essentially cooking programmes – e.g. “Cook at 240 F until food reaches 150 F, then increase grill temp to 400 F until food is at 165”. Very clever stuff. At the moment, access is limited to being able to connect directly to the grill’s WIFI itself, but there are plans to let the grill piggyback on your home network, in the near future.
Another new feature – which I haven’t seen in any smoker before – is a two part drip-tray. The two trays both have holes drilled through, and it works a bit like a louvre – with the holes closed, it is just like a normal pellet smoker, using a mixture of convection and radiant heat; with the holes open, you get direct flame grilling.
The grill was delivered 2 weeks ago, and I assembled it and successfully used it to grill some hamburgers – nothing daring, but it proved it worked. I have deliberately been waiting until today to use it properly – after all, it is a Christmas present to myself – and it is currently smoking a turkey crown, to provided cold cuts for the next few days. I’m not silly enough to rely on brand new tech for my actual Christmas dinner, which is going in the oven.
I am tremendously impressed with the grill so far, and I think it is going to be a lot of fun.