agmss15's post on her amazing win of a Big Green Egg - the Kamado BBQ grill - reminded me of another product BBQers might be interested in.
A friend of our is a BBQ fanatic, and of course in Northern CA you can pretty much BBQ all year round. With a busy career, it's hard for her to have the time to fire up the barbie after work, wait for the coals to get just right, and then BBQ. They're just usually too tired, so her classic Weber mostly sat around except on weekends.
She toyed with the idea of a gas BBQ, but really prefers the wood or briquet flavor. While walking through Costco one weekend (always dangerous, LOL), she was given a pitch on the new wood pellet BBQ.
This is a modification of the European wood pellet stove. Fill the hopper as needed with the wood of your choice (they have all the classic kinds: mesquite, applewood, etc.), turn it on for 11 minutes, and start cooking! What she really likes about it is that like the Kamado, it's also a smoker.
The first time we came over she grilled burgers. Week after that, marinated filets. Third time she decided to try a light smoking, then final fast, high-heat grilling, of a tri-tip. All of them were outstanding, but the tri-tip went all the way to superb! That light kiss of smoke was amazing.
I use our medium-size gas Weber quite a lot. I've had her charcoal-grilled meats and they were good but not that different from what I get on my gas grill.
But her pellet grill really bumped it up to a level that a gas grill just can't reach. The wood - she's used both mesquite and applewood so far, with plans to try some of the others - makes a big difference.
Pellets are a good ecological use of otherwise-wasted wood scraps. But our friend gave us our first real-life 'taste test' on its BBQ/smoking potential, and we have to say, we're impressed by the results.
Anyway, thought some of the folks here might be interested in hearing some first-hand experiences with this new type of grill.