There are not many blogs out there dedicated to cooking on a pellet smoker. I have been cooking, grilling & smoking over 35 yrs now. I recently bought a Traeger Lil Tex Elite pellet smoker & have cooked on it over six yrs. now. I would like to share recipes & info I have gained from cooking on it.
Update 2014: I have plenty of recipes here for the pellet smoker so I am now including other outdoor cooking and some of my indoor cooking too.
It was late December and cold weather here in Ohio, when I
got my new Savannah Stoker V3 controller from Billy Merril to install in my
Traeger 07E. When I did cook it was in the 40’s and it worked great with the
default parameters. I was getting good smoke below 225 deg. and higher temps
were holding well. I very seldom cook over 300 deg. at grill level. I monitor
my grill level temperatures with a Maverick ET 732 in the center front of the
grates. I was getting 15 to 20 deg. hotter at grill level than my set
When it started warming up I was getting larger temp swings
and was running hotter than the set temp. most of the time. I started changing
The OtH and OtL and was finally down to OtH 70 and OtL 10. It was acting better
but with the OtL down to 10 I had a flame out. I tried doing an Auto Tune but
that didn’t work too well for me so I went back to my old parameters.
I sent Billy Merril an e-mail explaining my problem and the
next day he sent me some new parameters to try. I have cooked on it four times
since then and I am really happy with it.
My first cook was 2 hours smoking some peanuts. One hour at
190 deg. and one hour at 200 deg. I was getting 8 to 10 deg. temp swings above
and below my set point and some great blue smoke. The swings were nice and
My second cook was just 45 minutes at 190 deg. to smoke some
chicken breasts before grilling on my gas grill.
For my third cook I did a stuffed sausage fatty at 180 deg.
for one hour and then went to 235 deg. for an hour and the fatty was done. At
180 deg. I was still getting the nice 10 deg. +- for some great blue smoke. I
was surprised when I went to 235 deg. it held within 5 deg. it never got out of
the 230 range for that hour. I was getting 250 to 255 deg. at grill level.
My fourth cook I did a 7.75 pound pork butt for pulled pork.
The total cook time was 9 ½ hours. I was watching it pretty close for most of
that time. For the lower smoke times I was still getting the swings that gave
me some good blue smoke. At the higher temps; 235 to 250 deg. it was holding
within 5 deg.+-
At the higher temps I was running about 20 to 25 deg. hotter
at grill level.
I am really satisfied with the way this controller is
working with my Traeger 07E. I still get some higher temps. above set point on
startup and when I have the lid open for a while. I think you will get this
with any smoker. I can control this by waiting until the temp is above set
point before I open the lid. When I do get the higher temps it does not take
long for it to settle down.
My Traeger is pretty much stock, the one thing I have
changed is when my heat shield warped I bolted ¼ inch steel to it and that
straightened it out. It also acts as a heat sink so if you do not have this in
your Traeger yours may not get the same results with these settings. If you
have any problems just contact Billy and he will help you.