Since posting this and the update, you need to know:
In my prior reviews and posts, I have recommended my Louisiana Grills LG900 and it gave me two years of great service. However, since the start of this season, the pellets in the hopper that feed the smoker have caught fire three times. I feel you need this information considering my prior recommendation.
Mar 21, 2016,this review has been updated after several months of use. See the updated review at:
Louisiana Grills LG900 Pellet Smoker, Update Review
I saved my nickels and dimes, was very nice to She Who Must Be Obeyed, and treated myself to a new smoker. The Bradley had done 3 years of yeomen service and had made much great food. However, its inability to get to higher temperatures finally got to me and I bought a Louisiana Grills LG900 pellet smoker.
The unit come boxed up and is heavy so take help when you go to pick it up and unload it. I purchased the grill, a cover and a bag of pellets and it came to just over $1,000. She Who Must Be Obeyed is still shaking her head.
You cut the straps and open the top of the box where the instructions are. You pull the box up and all the parts are relatively easy to get to. I went to the parts list in the instructions and I had everything plus one extra part. I really hate that.
I started putting it together per the instructions. Each section of the instructions tells you the part you need to complete that section. Two of the sections describe screws you don’t have and aren’t in the parts list. Not wanting to take a chance, I called the toll free support line. I had the right parts, the screws supplied are different from the parts list but perform the necessary functions. The extra part was a handle that hooks onto the hopper without any mention in the instructions or part list. Sigh.
Once I knew what everything was for, it went together quite easily. However, I really wish they put an update page in the box or at least have an updated instruction on their site.
For those of you who don’t know, a pellet smoker uses small hardwood pellets as the fuel to produce both the heat and the smoke. The pellets are loaded into a hopper and an auger feeds the pellets to a box where they burn to produce the heat and smoke. The hopper on this smoker is only of medium size and will need refilling if you do a really long smoke. You can by an attachment that lets it hold more pellets.
The smoker has a start up procedure that ignites the pellets for you and it worked perfectly. It has a controller that you can set to a temperature and the smoker maintains that temperature like your oven. I have done a low smoke of a ham and had difficulty maintaining temperature. However, I did not follow the instructions in the manual.
They recommend you heat to 450 F for every smoke and then back off on the temperature. I didn’t do this with my first low smoke. I thought I would just set it the temperature to 180 F and go. It just didn’t hold temperature. When I followed the instructions on the second low smoke, it held temperature very well. Lesson learned, follow the instructions.
I have done a couple of higher heat smokes and the temperature control and results were perfect. I was even able to bake cornbread in it like an oven.
The unit also has a temperature probe you can use to track the temperature of meat you are taking and it will automatically reduce the heat when it gets to a desired temperature. It worked as advertised but I am a control freak. I want to control the temperature of my unit not a probe. I just set the temperature higher and use it as a temperature display. If you want to use the keep warm feature, it works.
The only other downside I had was some grease dripping if I put anything that splatters too close to the lid. Move it back an inch and it is fine.
As for the food, this unit produces less smoke than my old Bradley. However, it gives a nice mild smoke flavour that She Who Must Be Obeyed likes. A big plus when the missus likes it!
There is more smoke generated at lower temperatures which made for great tasting ribs when cooked around 200 F.
This unit does require some work. It burns wood pellets so it generates ash. I did not notice a lot of ash build up but you will want to clear the burn box of ash every few smokes. This requires removing a large plate. It isn’t a major job but I would recommend doing it regularly.
Now that I have gotten used to it, I love this method of cooking. Great control, nice smoke and good food.
The final verdict is that this smoker does everything I want well and I am looking forward to making many great dishes in it. I would recommend it and I am happy I bought it. I will post the first smoke soon.
The Old Fat Guy
Now you have me thinking about a smoker, but that means that I’ll needs lessons from you 🙂
Hardly, Sam. Looks to me like you know your way around a fire.
Man, that thing is beautiful! I can’t wait to win the lottery so’s I can get one. : ) Looking forward to seeing what else you make with it!
Har! I saved up for over a year, no lottery win here. I do like it though.
One question David. How low a temperature will it reasonably hold? Have you, or can you, start at say 100F and keep it there (and I don’t mean in the middle of a snow storm in the Canadian Rockies)? I have the opposite problem here in So California in summer-time. It is often over 100F. Many reviews indicate on many smokers you can set the temperature but the actual interior temperature can range 100 degrees or more. Not so good for long smoked fish.
It is NOT good for low temperatures. 180 F is about as low as it goes. When I want to do sausage or other low temp cooks I use my home made charcoal smoker. It is fine for low and slow pork, ribs, chicken etc but not cheese or sausage making. You can buy a box that goes on the side for lower temperature smoking that I have heard work well but you would not be able to rely on the controller as it controls the heat in the main chamber.
its a garbage smoker its electric and anything electric tends to have board problems get a real smoker dont buy that junk…telling u from experience
I do disagree. I have had my smoker for heading on to six years. Before that I had an electric Bradley smoker. Both have given great service. As for electric having problems, most home stoves are electric and I haven’t seen a move to cooking with fire yet.
Love it! Very true. I had some problems with mine at first. I noticed that if you think you are done cooking so say you kill the power and it goes into cooling mode, if you decide to turn it back on (because you decided to cook something else) it somehow catches the pellets in the auger on fire which spreads to the hopper. Tried this twice to validate it and sure enough. If you simply kill the power and let it cool all the way not problems at all.
I haven’t had that problem. I did get a hopper fire when I let too much dust get in with the pellets.