I've never used a pellet smoker, but it looks fantastic and if you want to deal with pellets and can afford the smoker, go for it! I would recommend you look at the electrics that are much cheaper, but I know they aren't allowed for comp cooks.
I can't speak about current use in comps but they are consistent and convenient. Is it worth it? That depends on what you are doing. For most people it's overkill. If you like smoking 8-10 butts, 3-4 Packer Briskets, or 20 racks of ribs then it is definitely worth it. I vacuum seal and freeze as well as give away a lot of meat. The case discount price can be huge so it's not a big deal to gift a couple of racks of ribs. It is extremely well built, well supported, and produces competition winning BBQ. The FEPG 500 or 1000 are a great residential option (I own FEC 100 and FEPG 1000). They are excellent grills and SMALL smokers. If I could only have one, it would be the FEPG.
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