I was strolling through my local Wal-Mart Super Center this evening to see what they had to offer in the way of offset smokers. Not much it turned out.
What I did stumble across that got me excited as heck was the Pit Boss Copperhead Vertical Pellet Smoker.
Apologies for the crappy pictures..the lighting in a Wal-Mart leaves something to be desired.
Here is a video from Pit Boss that does a better job of showing this beauty off.
This smoker is remarkably like the Masterbuilt XL vertical pellet smoker. Both of these smokers are huge, look incredible and cost about the same.
Here is a look at the smoking space inside the Pit Boss Copperhead.
And here is how much Pit Boss says you can fit in there.
The Copperhead has nice water pan/grease tray above the fire pot and an easy access front pull out ash pan.
Another detail that I like on the Copperhead is the Pit Boss badge on the window. I realize that this has absolutely no impact on the performance of the smoker but dadgumit…I think it looks good!
The primary difference that I was able to see between the Pit Boss and Masterbuilt vertical smokers is in hopper capacity. The Masterbuilt XL vertical has a hopper capacity of 17 pounds while the Pit Boss Copperhead holds more than three times more at 60 pounds.
I am afraid that I may have spotted the fatal flow in both the Masterbuilt and the Pit Boss vertical smokers: pellet usage.
Check out the picture above. 60 pounds of pellets will get you up to 24 hours of smoking time. This means you will be burning about two and a half pounds of pellets per hour. The Masterbuilt XL has a stated pellet usage in the same range. Modern high end pellet smokers are able to sip pellets at a rate of about one pound per hour.
This suggests that both of these smokers are going to have a hard time holding exact temperatures and will be expensive to run in the long term. Most “food grade” wood pellets cost about a dollar a pound. With a usage rate of two pounds per hour a ten hour brisket cook will set you back $20 in pellets.
I would love to add this smoker and the Masterbuilt to my list of the Best Pellet Smokers for the Money or the Ten Best Smokers Under $1,000 but need more information on the long term cost of pellet usage. Also, the one year warranty on this guy makes me wonder how long it will actually last.
There are Three Versions of the Copperhead
The smoker I put my hands on is the Copperhead 5 and it is sold exclusively through Wal-Mart.
There is a larger model called the Copperhead 7 and a smaller model called the Copperhead 3 that are available on Amazon.
I found a Copperhead 3 at Academy yesterday. It is a fine looking smoker. It’s definitely smaller than the Copperhead 5 but it still has plenty of space.
The Copperhead series is brand new so there are not many reviews posted online yet. However, given how nice they look, their capacity and the attractive price point I suspect they are going to sell like crazy.
Do you have any first hand experience with this vertical pellet smoker? If so I would love to hear how the controls work and what is the actual pellet usage.