By: Max Good
The CS680 is a large smoker on four legs with two levelers and two black plastic wheels. In 2014 it underwent significant upgrades.
The new Country Smoker controller toggles between set temp and meat probe temp. Set it and forget it, the thermostat will maintain cooking temperature just like your indoor kitchen stove. As a safety feature the meat probe can be set for your desired target temp. When internal meat temp rises within 10⁰ of the target, the controller automatically drops the smoker down to 170⁰ to avoid overcooking. So if you’re cooking low and slow BBQ temps of 225⁰F and looking for an internal meat temp of 200⁰F, when the meat hits 190⁰ the controller switches to the holding temp of 170⁰.
The Arched Flavor Guard, (above) is unique to LGs. Unlike flat diffuser/drip plates found under the grates of most pellet smokers, the Flavor Guard with sliding broiler plate is a 14 gauge curved metal sheet that conforms loosely to the shape of the hood, cresting in the middle of the cook surface and dropping off in the front and back of the cook box. LG feels this design presents a larger surface for meat drippings to sizzle and enhance flavor. The Flavor Guard has a section over the fire pot which can slide out of the way to expose large, slotted openings that allow meats to sear over open flame. This feature, previously optional, is now standard for all Louisiana CS smokers. Some other pellet manufacturers have their own versions of this “sear zone”. They kinda-sorta work, but fire pots are small and don’t crank enough intense radiant heat over a large enough area to do serious searing. They will, however heat up griddles, cast iron pans, or cast aluminum GrillGrates for conductive searing. You can do a nice reverse sear using the flat side of a GrillGrate on this system.
Instead of a chimney, Louisiana Grills uses a row of holes at the back located several inches above the cook surface. The Grease bucket hooks underneath the smoker rather than off to the side like most other brands. Options include a cold smoking box, hopper extension, upper cooking rack and shelves that attach to the front or side. All Louisiana Grills have porcelain coated steel grates.
Louisiana Grills is headquartered in Alberta, Canada. Along with Traeger, they were one of the early entrants to the pellet smoker market. Among pellet cooking enthusiasts, Louisiana is an established name with some history to it. Their Country Smokers are standard, horizontal smokers made of black, powder coated steel. They also make Colonial smokers available in black or stainless steel. Colonials look like gas grills on enclosed carts with doors and side shelves. Lastly they offer the Estate line which consists of three drop-in smoker heads for permanent installations. Colonial and Estate are in process of being upgraded.
Parent company, Dansons, also owns Kentucky Komfort animal bedding and IBT Industrial Bulk Lubricants. Louisiana Grills are available in the USA online and at a limited selection of independent hearth and patio stores.
Published On: 1/22/2013 Last Modified: 2/24/2021
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