It gives me great pleasure to announce the newest addition to the Grillah family: The Davy Crockett portable pellet grill by Green Mountain Grills.
Hark are responsible for importing the GMG pellet grills to Australia and have been for a while now but have only just begun stocking the smaller brother, Davy Crockett, designed for tailgating in the US.
Being the extraordinarily lucky person that I am I was fortunate to have Hark supply me with a Davy Crockett to review.
Pellet grills are quite popular in the US but are only just starting to gain popularity in Australia. The main reason for their success is they take a lot of the guess work out of BBQ, really allowing set and forget cooking.
Running off both electricity and wood pellets they are basically part BBQ, part robot. As such I shall be calling mine Robochop (honourable mentions to the names that did not make the cut: Optimus Prime Rib and The Burninator).
As I unpack the BBQ the first thing that catches my eye is the serious amount of stainless steel that comes with this grill. The hood and all of the internal trays are beautiful stainless steel.
A pellet grill works by filling the side container on the grill, known as the hopper, with wood pellets which are then fed through an auger into a central fire pit to generate both smoke and heat.
You can control the grill either through the control panel on the BBQ or, in what is probably the most exciting feature of the Davy Crockett, via freakin’ WIFI.
At this stage connection is restricted to local wifi access, however there are upgrades in the pipeline to allow remote access – yes, I could be cooking my dinner while I’m at work!
The wifi functionality is accessed via an app on your phone where you can set the grill temperature and monitor both ambient temp and food temp.
You specify temperature changes based on time or internal temperature plus there’s a keep warm function so that once your food reaches the desired temp it stops cooking and keeps it ready and waiting for you to eat!
The start up process is extremely simple: plug it in, press power and it will then cycle through its start up process of feeding pellets, lighting them and getting up to temp.
From pressing power you will be ready to smoke in less than ten minutes.
To give you an idea of how easy this BBQ is to use I’ll tell the story of my first cook on Robochop:
See, I’d picked up the GMG earlier in the week and bought a pork shoulder to smoke on Sunday. However, it didn’t quite work out as planned because I came home from a bucks party about 2am, still rather intoxicated and figured it would be a brilliant idea to fire up the GMG so that my pork is ready and waiting for me the next day.
Ten hours later the sleeping beauty awakens from his slumber. Eventually I remember I’d started BBQing the night before and walked into my backyard in trepidation… only to find Robochop humming along at 104 degrees! Turns out it’s idiot proof!
The results speak for themselves – beautiful pink smoke ring and pork so tender it fell apart.
Since then I’ve run two more overnight cooks, a pulled beef and a pulled lamb, both working out brilliantly. It’s perfect for those bigger cuts of meat because it means there’s no danger of getting to dinner time with nothing to serve up because it’s still cooking.
While marketed as a portable tailgating grill this BBQ still has a decent capacity – I fit two whole chickens in there with no issues. Unless you’re entertaining, space really won’t be a problem.
The Davy Crockett was clearly designed with portability in mind. The legs fold up to convert in to handles and you are provided with three power options: AC power adapter, 12v car plug and alligator clips to run directly off your car battery.
I would note that the unit is pretty heavy when it has all the trays and bits loaded in it so you might want to get someone to help carrying (or just yell “I totally got this bro” and pretend it’s super light).
The Davy Crockett will run temperatures from 65 degrees celsius up to 287 degrees celsius so that you can utilise super low and slow techniques like ‘Cue Vide up to extremely hot for direct flame grilling or woodfire pizzas.
We’ve got a pizza oven in our yard and I love it but it is just not feasible for Mrs Grillah and I most nights because it takes 3 hours to heat up. Using a pizza stone in the GMG resulted in a great pizza in a lot less time.
To access direct flame you simply remove the heat shield and slide open the drip tray to allow the flames through. It gets bloody hot in there – about the only thing I will change is I’m going to order grill grates because I like the classic sear marks on my steak.
Pellet grills are an absolute game changer for the BBQ scene because they make it ridiculously easy to get in to low and slow BBQ; the Davy Crockett is poised to lead this charge being one of the very few pellet grills available in Australia for under a thousand bucks.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my offset smoker, and I think it gives a slightly better smoke flavour than a pellet grill, but the GMG gives me the opportunity to BBQ when I don’t have the time to spend tending to a BBQ (or if I want to cook overnight!)
Over the next few months I’m going to continue to put this little guy through its paces, trialling a number of techniques. Make sure you go over and like the Gusface Grillah Facebook page as well because I’ll be keeping an album of photos just for the GMG there too.
I would note that I had an issue with the motor on my GMG straight out of the box but a replacement part was sent over immediately and it’s been running fine ever since.
If you have any questions about the GMG pellet grills feel free to ask me, alternatively Chris over at Urban Griller stocks the GMG range and is probably better equipped to handle questions (given that’s where I direct all of mine too!)
My GMG is also going to be making a public appearance very soon so if you’re keen to see it in action stay tuned to the Facebook page for updates.
Please note: Hark provided the GMG Davy Crockett to me at no cost but all thoughts, puns and delicious food pics are my own.