Country Smokers CS150PPG Traveler Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker Review
For years the wood pellet grill and smoker market was dominated by big names like Traeger. It was also dominated by large appliances that were nearly impossible to move, cumbersome and not suited for traveling. If you wanted to smoke something when you were camping or on an RV adventure, you had to reluctantly invest in a second unit. Often at a budget price point that left you lamenting the quality.
Country Smokers is a somewhat small manufacturer, that’s affiliated with Dansons. They put pride in offering quality grills, in hopes of generating a groundswell of future loyal customers. Their CSPEL015010497 Traveler Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker was specifically designed to be portable, yet still, be the sort of thing that can live on your back patio.
It has a 3.5-pound capacity wood pellet hopper. When set to 250-degrees Fahrenheit it can run for nearly 9-hours. It has a temperature range between 180 to 500 degrees and is controlled by an analog dial with a digital display.
The Country Smokers Traveler can be run off a small generator. It needs at least 1,000 watts at the initial start-up from there it only consumes a modest 100 watts to run the internal workings.
The grill grates provide 256 total square inches of cooking space. This is divided between a 191 square inch primary grate and a small, removable 65-square inch warming grate.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The wood pellet grill marketplace has become extremely competitive in recent years, which has encouraged many manufacturers to produce large, units made from materials that drive the price tag astronomically high.
With the smaller size and not so much overhead costs, Country Smokers is able to use reasonable quality materials in the Traveler. This also means they don’t jack up the price out of range of the casual consumer.
The overall size can be a little bit of an issue, depending on how much food you want to cook at one time. The 3.5-pound wood pellet hopper might be a little on the small side depending on how hot you want to grill.
When it comes to assembly, there isn’t a whole lot to do. You should be able to get the traveler put together in less than half an hour.
Wood pellet grills inherently work on an indirect heating principle that doesn’t directly expose the meat to flames. While the Country Smokers Traveler talks about “Broiling” it share’s this indirect heating principle throughout all it’s various functions.
Still, that doesn’t mean it’s limited. There’s enough area under the lid to accommodate a lot of different foods. If you remove the small warming rack, there’s arguably enough room to fit a small pork shoulder, a broiler-fryer size chicken, or even a pair of ribeye steaks.
The temperature range can go as low as 180-degrees, for things like salmon fillets, shellfish and other types of seafood. Yet it can also roar up as high as 500-degrees, which puts baking applications and even fresh dough pizzas on the map.
The analog dial has 25-degree degree increments up to 350 and then 50-degree increments from there. The temperature is then displayed on the digital display screen.
The 3.5-pound capacity hopper might seem a little small. Yet it can last for 8 to 9 hours at a temperature range between 225 to 250 and can be easily reloaded in the middle of a smoking session.
It’s also worth noting that the Country Smokers Traveler was designed to run without a high wattage requirement. This makes it a great option for campers and RV travelers who are boondoggling and running off a generator. The Traveler needs 1,000 Watts at startup. After that, the internal workings only need a minimal 100 watts. This is great compared to other cooking devices that sometimes compete with the wattage you’d rather be using for a rooftop or window air conditioner.
The Country Smokers Traveler only has 191 square inches on the main grill grate and a small 65 square inch removable warming rack. You can make the most out of this limited space with careful placement or by cutting things like ribs and chicken leg quarters into single portion sizes.
Ease to Clean
The Country Smokers Traveler has a curved internal heat shield, which redirects any drippings toward the exterior drippings cup. When you are done you can simply give the grates a light scrape down and then pour off the reusable drippings cup.
Just like a lot of other wood pellet grills, any pellets leftover in the hopper can be vulnerable to gradual breakdown in high humidity. If you aren’t going to be using the Traveler in the next day or so, you should let it cool all the way down before removing any extra pullets.
If you leave them in there during very humid conditions, the natural lignan binding the wood fibers together can break down jamming the hopper. This won’t necessarily damage it but can be a hassle to cleanout.
Under the Dansons manufacturing umbrella, the Country Smokers Traveler carries an impressive three-year warranty against defects and workmanship on all parts, as well as a three-year warranty on electrical components. This level of coverage is rare at this price point and typically something you only see in higher-end wood pellet grills.
If you love smoked meat and wood pellet grills, but you wish you could take one with you camping or RVing, then you might want to give the Country Smokers Traveler a good hard look. Even though it is a little on the small side, it can still smoke a considerable amount of food. It’s backed by a great warranty, and it’s hard to argue with the price.
- Backed by an impressive 3-year warranty
- 180 to 500-degree range
- Easy to clean
- Very friendly price
- A little small
- No hopper cleanout feature
- Weighs nearly 50-pounds