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Smoking on the new 86030 Monument Grills 26 Inch wood Pellet Grill & Smoker - Review

Where I come from, Pellet Smokers are on the pricier side of things, so they are far less common than they are in the US. Because of this, I learnt how to smoke low and slow using just charcoal and adding wood chunks for smoke.

This is why I was so interested to try out the new Monument Grills Pellet Smoker and share my review.

To give some transparency on this, the smoker was gifted to me by Monument Grills, with the expectation that I would share an honest review of the product. I am not being paid for my opinions or have any kind of ongoing partnership with the brand.

Who is this Smoker for?

  • If you are looking for a beginner smoker.
  • If you don't want to manage your smoker temperature throughout the whole cook.
  • If you are looking for an affordable cooker.
  • If you are cooking for a small household 3-4 people.

  • In my opinion, the Monument Grills 86030 is a good pellet smoker for someone looking to get into low and slow barbecue but doesn’t want to spend a ton of time managing temperatures, smoke or learning how to dial in the vents on a charcoal smoker.

    The price point makes this model accessible for someone looking for a reliable pellet grill, without breaking the bank. It comes in cheaper than the Traeger 22inch, which has a similar sized cook chamber and about the same price of similar models by other brands.

    The firebox and cook chamber walls are thick enough that it will hold your temperature accurately during a typical cook, without burning through fuel too fast. I haven’t had a chance to smoke with this grill in extremely cold/snowy temps yet, but I would expect it may get extra hungry during this weather. If you are someone who plans on cooking during the summer or less regular when it’s snowing outside, you’ll do fine with this unit.

    The smoke chamber is 391 Sq inches, which is big enough for most things you will want to smoke. You can remove the top rack for added space if needed. Placing a pork butt or two on the 86030 will be no problem, but you will have trouble with larger cuts of meat like a brisket or more than a couple racks of ribs. The heat source in this smoker sits directly beneath the first 1/3 of the smoke chamber, so it’s a great spot for your water pan, but is probably not where you want to lay your brisket flat while cooking.

What makes this Pellet Grill different?

High Precision Temperature Control.

The smoker comes with a High precision Temperature control, which I found really great. All you need to do is switch the smoker on and turn the dial to your desired temp. The smoker then starts feeding more pellets, until it hits temp. The temperatures range between 180F to 475F which will give you enough range for just about all low and slow barbecue recipes.

Searing Mode.
Switch quickly between smoking and searing with the Searing Wheel. Simply push the button and reverse sear that steak or add some texture to your brisket.

Fast Cleanout Hopper.

The hopper is where the pellets sit as they wait to enter the fire chamber. The 86030 includes a clean out chute, making it simple to remove additional pellets from the hopper at the end of your cook. Great option when wanting to switch between different pellet types or “flavors”.

Key Specs:

Where I live, the smoker retails for $559 USD,

15 lb. hopper capacity gives 14 hours of high temp smoking or 8 hours of lower temp smoking.

Smoker comes with ambient thermometer in the smoker hood, as well as an internal meat probe included, which is a really nice addition.

Comes with two grill grates, to increase smoking space to 391 Sq Inches.

My experience

The smoker arrived quickly and did require some assembly. This is not uncommon and was certainly less complicated than some units I have had to put together. For the most part the directions were clear and only required one Philips head drill bit throughout.

The smoker looks slick, once assembled. The bronze, textured lid makes it a patio center piece and the foldable front ledge makes adding things onto the smoker much easier. It’s a little shorter than I would usually want in a smoker (I’m 6’8”). But for most people it will be fine.

Using this smoker for the first time was super easy, even for someone like me who had never used a Pellet Smoker before. All you need to do is switch it on, twist the dial to your desired smoking temperature and you are good to go.

Because it was the first time being used (you will also need to do this when you have entirely run out or emptied your pellets) I needed to tap the prime button as the smoker was starting up. The prime button just helps to draw more pellets into the hopper, to help the ignition process for the first few pellets. After that, it should be an issue.

The display screen can even switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, but always remember-Fahrenheit makes BBQ taste better.

Seasoning the 86030 Monument Grills Smoker

To start with, I seasoned the smoker. This is an important step to help clean out any of the additives and chemicals added during the manufacturing process, as well as preparing the smoker for cooking. Think of it almost like you would with a cast iron skillet.

Begin by cleaning the whole inside of the smoke chamber and grill grates with hot water and a mild dish soap. Clean all of the inside surface area, being careful not to let water near any of the electrical components. Rinse thoroughly and dry with paper towels.

Next, use a paper towel to coat all areas with a thin layer of high temperature oil (I generally use avocado oil). Fill the hopper with pellets and turn the smoker to 400F and maintain for 60 minutes.

At this point you can reduce to your desired temperature and start cooking.

Seasoning is generally something you only need to do the first time you use a smoker, but if you give it a really deep clean, I generally recommend another round of seasoning.

The verdict

If you are looking for a smoker which is affordable, easy to use and allows a good range of temperatures, then the 86030 Monument Grill is a good option for you. The cook chamber has enough room for a couple or small family-Or if you ae just knocking out a couple ribs for yourself.

Let me know what you think of the Monument Grills 86030 below or connect with me on Instagram HERE.

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