Davey Crockett Smoker Grill
Reviewing a Compact Smoker and Grill Perfect for RV Travel
Article Date: September, 2021
Article and Photography by Mark Quasius
Cooking outdoors is a popular American pastime and you'll most likely find charcoal or propane grills on most every home
patio. But outdoor cooking and camping also go hand in hand. Compact propane grills have become much more popular than open fire pits when it
comes to cooking, although an evening campfire is always great for smores or hot dogs as well as the center of the evening's conversation.
Smokers that are fired by wood pellets are becoming quite popular on home patios and many can also be used as a grill but most are too large
to be transported. A handful of compact smokers are now available for campers or tailgate parties and after checking a few out I decided to
take the plunge.
At home my patio holds a Two Star Mac Grill. This wood pellet fired grill uses computer technology to monitor the
grill's temperature and control the airflow and pellet flow to
maintain the correct temperature for smoking or grilling. It's built like a tank out
of stainless steel but it's also quite large and heavy so the word "portable"
definitely does not apply here. After looking at some smaller smokers
I settled on Green Mountain's Davey Crockett grill. This compact grill has all of the features that its big brothers have except in a more compact
package. It's made in the USA rather than an import like some other brands, has a stainless steel cover and a separate pellet box so that you don't
have to open the lid and let all the heat out in order to check or add pellets when cooking. A digital thermostat and temperature controller is easy
to operate and has a bright red LED display showing the grill's temperature. A temperature probe is also used to monitor your meat's internal
temperature. Best of all, the grill can be controlled and temperatures monitored via wireless remote control to a smart phone with either Android or IOS
apps via Wi-Fi. And, most importantly, it fits in a basement compartment on our motorhome.
Note: Green Mountain has since renamed their grills. The former Davey Crockett grill is now
called the Trek grill, but the product is basically identical to the Davey Crockett Wi-Fi grill in this review.
The large capacity pellet box can be accessed without opening the lid over the cooking area.
A stainless steel diffuser panel provides even heat distribution.
The main firebox is finished with a high temperature paint job designed to hold up to the temperatures experienced when
grilling. The stainless steel lid is peaked to allow cooking of stand-up chickens if desired. A pellet hopper is mounted on the side of the unit
and can be accessed via its own lid so that you don't have to raise the main lid to check your pellet supply. This allows you to do this without
losing all of the grill's heat when cooking. The pellet drive auger and combustion air fan are located beneath the pellet hopper. A stainless steel
diffuser rests beneath the cooking grates. The top half of this two piece unit can slide to expose an array of holes. You can choose direct heat
cooking for steaks or indirect heat cooking for large items such as roasts or whole chickens just by sliding the diffuser tray to the correct
position. The grill is designed to catch any drippings, which are channeled down a gutter system that drains into a small stainless steel bucket.
The drippings can be either be disposed of easily or used for basting. A small stainless steel removable shelf clips onto the side and serves as
a place to rest your utensils. What really helps for an RV application is the stainless steel legs. These legs fold up so that the unit is compact
and takes up minimal storage space in the coach's basement. They also serve as carrying handles when moving the grill. The legs fold down and lock
into place for use at a comfortable height for cooking without requiring any additional stands or a table top to set it on.
A rain cap covers the chimney when not the grill is not in use.
A removable stainless steel side shelf and bucket to catch drippings hangs on the right side of the grill.
The electronic controller provides control over the grill as well as temperature readings.
What really sets this unit apart is its precise control over the cooking temperature. The pellet auger and combustion air fan are controlled
by an electronic controller that is connected to a temperature probe inside the grill. This controller monitors the grill temperature and displays that in 5 degree
increments on a digital LED display. You simply switch the grill on and set the temperature and the grill will heat up to that temperature, maintaining that
temperature with amazing consistency.
Various power sources allow the grill to run on 12 VDC battery power or 120 VAC power.
Power to the grill can be supplied by three different power sources. For a true roughing it tailgater you can connect the grill's power cable to
a vehicle battery via the supplied alligator clips. The grill can also plug into a 12 volt DC power receptacle via a standard 12 volt power plug. The third method is
via the supplied AC adaptor, which will let you plug into a standard 120 volt AC receptacle, leaving you with plenty of options to supply power to the grill.
A remote temperature probe plugs into the controller to monitor internal meat temperature.
The probe's cable passes through a port in the side of the grill.
A jack is provided on the front of the controller for a meat thermometer. This thermometer can be used to monitor the internal temperature of
the meat in real-time and display it on the grill's control panel. A small port on the side of the cooking chamber is opened to allow the meat probe to pass into that
area without getting pinched when closing the grill's cover. But one of the most popular features is the Wi-Fi controller, which really kicks this grill up a notch.
The Wi-Fi app as viewed on an iPhone.
The Wi-Fi controller is built into the grill's controller. While previously an option, it appears that this feature is now standard. That's a
good thing because it really adds a ton of convenience to this grill. The Wi-Fi controller connects to a free app on a tablet or
Smart phone. Apps for both Android
and IOS are available. This app connects your phone or tablet to the grill, which serves as a hot spot. You just connect to its Wi-Fi channel, enter your grill's
serial number as the password and you have complete control over the grill from your smart phone. You will be able to start or stop the grill from your phone and
display the current temperature of the grill. If you are using the included meat temperature probe you will also display the internal temperature of the meat. You
can change the grill's temperature right from your phone and set alarms to warn you when the desired temperature of the meat has been reached.
You can also program cooking profiles into the app. These can set the grill temperature to remain at one level until the meat reaches a certain
temperature, then change the temperature to another value once to finish cooking. This is perfect for smoking where you want to cook the meat at a low temperature for
smoking then change to a high temperature to sear the meat once that internal temperature has been reached. Or vice versa. You control what you want to do and can use
time or temperature as the trigger points and add multiple steps. The sky is the limit and you can save multiple profiles so that you don't have to re-enter them every
time you cook that particular meat. Just start the grill, put the meat in, load the cooking profile and go in and watch the game for a while. We've come a long way
since bending over a campfire and tending the coals.
We've cooked a number of different items on the grill. To cook a pair of chickens I removed the grill from the basement compartment and folded down
the legs. I hung the shelf and the bucket that catches any juice runoff on the side of the grill, then plugged into an available basement outlet in the basement of the
coach, loaded it up with hickory pellets and switched on the grill. It immediately began a preheat cycle so I used my iPhone to connect to the grill's Wi-Fi signal on the
grill's point-to-point network and loaded the app.
Chicken loaded up with remote temperature probe inserted.
Leann had prepared the chickens with a tasty dry rub so once the grill was up to the desired temperature I brought them out and set them on a rack.
I plugged the meat thermometer probe into the grill's control panel, ran the cable through the access port and inserted it into a meaty part of one of the birds, then went
inside the coach to relax. I then set the temperature alarm to alert me when it reached the desired temperature.
Chickens are done!
Once the internal temperature of the meat reached the desired temperature the alarm went off and I went out to check the chickens. I inserted the
probe in a few locations to ensure that the birds were done all the way through. Then I removed the probe and took the birds inside. I then shut off the grill, using the
app, and it entered a timed cool-down cycle where the fan continues to run but the pellet auger stops. After its cool down period it shut itself off.
Packing it up to store in the motorhome.
After dinner I went out to the now cold grill, removed the shelf, bucket and power supply cords. I then folded up the legs to the carrying position,
wrapped a small piece of Velcro tie wrap around them to keep them together and carried the grill over to its basement storage compartment. The only thing left to do was to
go inside and make some ice cream sundaes.
What's Great about the Grill
I'm very impressed with the Davey Crockett grill. It's very well-constructed and the stainless steel parts make it easy to clean. If you have a major
cooking project that gets the diffuser panels all caked up with burnt stuff you can go after it with a stiff wire brush without any fear of damage. In fact the accumulated
residue and barbecue sauce from a number of cooking projects came off quite easily. The ability to use multiple power sources is a plus. You can use either direct cooking
to sear steaks or indirect cooking to cook large items without worrying about burning the outer skin. However, it will never totally replace a gas grill. The cast iron grates
on our Weber Q grill do a great job of searing grilling marks on steaks. The more even heat and stainless steel cooking grate on the Davy Crockett grill won't give you those
kinds of marks. Plus the Weber sets up and is hot in 10 minutes whereas the Davey Crocket takes about 20 minutes to set up and get to temperature.
The folding legs are a great plus for RV storage and the ability to choose different wood pellets lets you tailor the flavor. The grill heats up fast
and the electronic control that manages the temperature is the best I've seen with even temperatures consistent with what my setting was. And the grill really is a miser on
fuel. The relatively small pellet hopper only went down about halfway when grilling those two chickens so constantly having to monitor your pellet level isn't a concern. Not
having to guess what the grill's temperature is makes it easy to achieve excellent results and the integral meat thermometer helps that as well. Throw in the remoter control
that the Wi-Fi feature offers and you have a great choice of a grill for an RV.
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