Louisiana Grills Black Label Pellet Grill Review

Louisiana Grills Black Label LG 1000

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With the Black Label series, Lousiana Grills are promising a “bold redesign” of their original line with “luxury grilling and technology upgrades”.

I’ve been putting the LG 1000 Black Label with WiFi through its paces over the last few months, testing out how well it performs as a grill and smoker.

Keep reading to find out if the Black Label represents the next evolution in pellet grilling or if it’s just another grill in an increasingly crowded market.

Louisiana Grills sent me this grill for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Louisiana Grills Black Label overview and first impressions

If you aren’t familiar with the Louisiana Grills brand they are part of the Dansons group which also opperates Pit Boss and Country Smokers among others.

Louisiana Grills are more premium than Pit Boss, with better build quality and higher prices to match.

The Black Label series comes in three different sizes (800, 1000 and 1200), plus a vertical smoker option.

I did all my testing on the middle 1000 size. Besides the amount of real estate you have to work with, there are no differences between each model although it’s safe to assume the larger grills will burn slightly more pellets per hour to maintain the same temperature.

Black Label grills come with a 5-year warranty that covers all steel and electrical parts. Louisiana carries one of the longer warranties when it comes to pellet grills. Nice to see a company backing up their products!

What I like:

  • Excellent grill grates – Porcelain-coated grill grates are thick and sturdy and produced great grill marks with no sticking
  • Food prep area – Rare for companies to include a front shelf as standard
  • Searing ability – Grill can easily exceed 600°F, and I recorded over 1100°F when using the direct flame mode
  • Warranty – Peace of mind with 5-year warranty, better than most other brands.

What I don’t like:

  • Inaccurate display – In testing I found the display on the grill didn’t always match the real temperature I was reading.
  • Pellet consumption – On the high side although not unusual for a grill of this size so would have been nice to have a larger hopper.
  • No clean-out option for fire pot – You’ll need to take all the racks out and use ta shopvac each time you clean this grill.
  • Lack of a smokestack – Grill uses vent holes at the back instead of smokestack which I found allowed wind to blow through and cause temperature fluctuations.
  • Average app functionality – The app does the basics well but is missing any innovative features

I found the Louisiana Black Label grill to be a solid performer for grilling AND smoking.

I wouldn’t exactly call it a “bold redesign”. The grill nails the basics but is missing a few nice quality of life features and the app experience is average at best.

That said, anyone looking for a durable grill that will last years to come would be pleased with this purchase. The high temperature and quality grill grates make this an especially good option for anyone that wants to be able to grill and smoke.

Unboxing and setup

The grill arrived packed in a thick cardboard box with lots of styrofoam, cardboard, and plastic wrapping around almost every part. I think anyone would be pleased with the packaging that Louisiana grills have done for their grills.

louisiana grills black label pellet grill packaged in a cardboard box

There was no metal to metal contact found anywhere. I could not find any loose pieces that were sliding around inside the main box or inside the grill fire box either. 

Assembly took about 45 minutes. Most of this grill comes already assembled so you only have to install things like wheels, lower storage racks. This was a piece of cake.

There were no surprises or challenges that arose from the instructions or the actual assembly. Although it was not required, I did, at times, use a cordless drill for installing screws.

assembling Louisiana grills black label pellet grill

Build quality

The overall build quality is very good on this grill. All of the parts are sturdy and appear well made. The black stainless steel handles are a nice touch!

I did notice a couple of small issues during the unboxing. The folding front shelf had a nick in the black coating. Because of how it was packaged, I believe this nick occurred at the manufacturing plant and not during transportation.

chipping in the coating on the pellet grill front shelf

The upper rack had a small imperfection in the porcelain. It is possible that this was seen by QA and deemed acceptable. I’m not really sure. But it’s my job to look everything over thoroughly and share with you what I see. This is what I see!

porcelain grill grates with a defect

From moving this grill around quite a bit and using it, the main theme I feel with this grill is that it is sturdy. It’s heavy. The steel parts have a decent thickness.

The grill comes with 4 heavy duty locking casters. This was very helpful in moving the grill in and out of my garage.

louisiana grills black label grill wheels

Nothing on this grill makes me concerned about parts tearing up anytime soon.

Cooking on the Louisiana Grills Black Label

The Black Label grills from Louisiana falls right in line with what you would expect from pellet grills these days. It’s very easy to use. Fill with pellets, hit the on button, set your temp, and away you go!

You can also change the desired temperature from the display panel or the app at any time. Start-up and shutdown are very predictable and mostly autonomous.

Overall grilling performance

The Black Label is definitely a top performer when it comes to grilling. The grill can hit up to 600°F without using the direct flame mode. With the direct flame mode, you can achieve up to ~1100°F (although over a smaller area).

steaks on a grill

The searing capability of this grill is amongst the best of seen. Match that with some outstanding grates, and you have a nice grilling machine! 

A rare thing for pellet grll.

I do also take into account that the grill’s actual temperature runs hotter than the set temperature. I have seen this in quite a few pellet grills though. Just best to be aware of it when deciding to purchase a pellet grill. 

The grill grates really shined throughout the entire testing process.

They are porcelain-coated cast iron and feel decently thick and sturdy. Food released from them easily. They are easy to clean, and they tend to produce great grill marks.

louisiana grills black label grill grates

These are among the best grates that I have tested, providing a great grilling and smoking experience with easy clean-up! Just a wire brush dipped in water cleaned/steamed all of the food/char right off of the grates. 

Overall smoking performance

While the Black Label grill doesn’t blow the competition out of the water, it makes for a perfectly fine smoker.

Its overall minute-to-minute temp consistency is very tight with a pretty small range of variation. In my experience testing multiple pellet grills, this seems to be the exception, not the rule. Kudos to Louisiana for good fire management!

The slight downside is the big zone temperature differences from the left, middle, and right sides of the grill. If you have read my other pellet grill reviews, you know that this is not the only grill that displays this behavior, but it will be nice when companies find a way to level the zones out some.

Thermoworks signals BBQ thermometer
All my testing was done using my super accurate ThermoWorks Signals thermometer

I also want to point out that more smoke vents out around the edges of the lid than the vent holes in the back of the barrel.

This could have been improved with the addition of a seal around the inside of the grill. I believe a good seal on the lid would also help the smoke linger longer and circulate better inside the grill. This might lower the overall pellet consumption as well. 

I noticed that wind seemed to blow through the vent holes in the back of the grill and mess with temperature stability. I believe this would be remedied if the grill was using a smokestack instead of vent holes.

Storage and prep areas

I loved the food prep area! The fold down front shelf is worth its weight in gold, and is often packaged as an expensive extra with other grills (cough Traeger cough).

louisiana grills black label grill with front shelf

I truly believe that companies are starting to catch on that this is a feature that should absolutely be standard. I’m happy to see that Louisiana has stepped up to provide this with the grill instead of it being an add on. 

Storage isn’t quite as good. I like grills with a closed cart design. You do get a shelf to hold a few items but it won’t keep them out of the elements.

Ease of cleaning

This is an area I’ve seen companies launching new innovations in lately. The Black Label is just middle of the road when it comes to cleaning. Nothing new here. It still pretty much requires a shop vac to clean out the fire pot. So you need to keep an eye on it because it fills up with ash quickly due to the pellet consumption of this grill.

The other aspects of cleaning are just par with others. Cleaning out of the drip cup from time to time, vacuum out the ash out of the fire barrel. Wipe off the outside from time to time. 

Hopper capacity and pellet change out

The hopper capacity is a pretty good size at 18 lbs. However, it doesn’t seem that big when actually using the grill due to the high pellet consumption of this grill. I noticed that I had to keep an eye on it a bit more often because it went through pellets faster, grilling and smoking.

louisiana grills black label grill pellet hopper

The pellet chute for changing out pellets is neither great nor terrible. It’s just, meh. It does, in fact, work but requires a fair amount of manual effort to get the pellets out due to where it is located on the pellet hopper.

Plus, due to the little drop gat mechanism that it uses, I seemed to get pellets stuck on the bottom side of it fairly often during the changing process, which made it impossible to close until all pellets were swept from the area.

louisiana grills black label grill pellet chute

Again, it’s not terrible, but I’ve seen better ideas come from other grills. 

App performance and connectivity

I am happy to report that I really didn’t have any connectivity problem with this app. The caveat is, the app’s features are just “ok”.

Sure, it looks cool and it’s nice to be able to change the grill temp from the app. You can monitor the two grill integrated plug-in meat probes from the app, and even set an alarm to tell you when you have reached your desired food temperature.

One thing I found disappointing is that the app won’t tell you what you ACTUALLY set the desired meat probe temperature to. It only displays the current temp of the food probe. There is no way to know what temp you set the alarm to other than just hoping you remember.

louisiana grills black label app screenshots

I do like that the app will send you an alert on your phone when the grill reaches the desired set temperature, and it will send an alarm when the food probe reaches the desired set temperature.

So there are some pluses here, but I think they need to fix the app to show the desired set temperature for the food probes also. 

The Louisiana Grills app currently has a 2.6/5 rating on the Apple App Store and an even lower 1.9/5 on the Google Play Store.

Technology and innovations

The Black Label series grills are a bit light on innovations. The only real innovation that I saw was the dedicated probe storage area located in the hopper. I’m glad to see them considering conveniences for users, but I didn’t find this to be particularly useful as I take the “idiot guard” out of the hopper of every grill that I test and use.

pellet hopper with a meat probe storage space

To me, the idiot guard is just a huge hindrance to cleaning all of the pellets out of the hopper whether it be for changing flavors or purging the auger of pellets to prevent auger jam when the grill won’t be used in a week or more. (I have had the pellets swell and jam an auger once before, IT’S NOT FUN TO FIX).

louisiana grills black label grill display

I also give them props for providing a “prime” button on their control panel. Although I believe this feature should be STANDARD on every grill, I was happy to see that Louisiana took offered it to their customers. 

Temperature variance and accuracy

The meat probe quality on the Black Label seems to be run of the mill. I have no reason to believe that they won’t last quite a while, but there is nothing special about them either.

integrated meat probes of the louisiana grills black label grill

They appear to read accurately though. They matched up with my Thermoworks temp probes within a few degrees when inserted into the same meat at the same locations. That tells me that I can trust their readouts. This is not true for all pellet grills. There are some that I test that are off by considerably. 

I ran a few of my standard tests to understand how much temperature variance you can expect as well as pellet consumption.

Temperature setting accuracy/consistency test

Grill Display TempActual Temp 
225°F231°F (in middle of the grill)
450°F476°F (in middle of grill)

After using the grill extensively, I found the temp on the display to be mostly inaccurate. It is slow to respond to the actual temperature changes in the grill, and therefore, never really found it helpful.

However, at low temps, the grill tended to be quite accurate with the intended target temperature regardless of what the display indicated. I also found that it was consistent over time only varying 7 degrees or less from its baseline temperature.  

Yes, at higher temps, the display tends to be off worse, but I have seen this trend with MOST pellet grills. 

Zone temperature variance test

Grill SettingLeftMiddleRight
225°F232°F248°F248°F
450°F482°F476°F508°F

The right side of the grill tends to consistently be hotter than the rest of the grill. I am guessing that is due to the shape and design of the diffuser plate and where the hot air flows out around it. 

Searing temperature test

I measured up to 1097°F in direct flame mode. It’s hot!

Pellet consumption test

 Average consumption rate @ 225°F: ~1.6 lb per hour.

 Average consumption rate @ 450°F: ~4.5 lb per hour.

Yes, this grill is a pellet hog. But it is a large grill also. Keep this in mind when deciding on grill size. There is a trade off!

Other grills to consider

This grill size is in direct competition with the Weber Smokefire EX6 that I tested a while back.

Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill

Both grills boast a large cooking area, and both carry a bit larger pellet consumption rate. I definitely favored the Black Label grates over those on the Weber, though Weber’s grates are not bad by any means.

Innovations and technology would definitely go to Weber. They have several innovative features including a low pellet sensor, a smoke boost mode, and cook recipe settings already built into the app. With that said, the Smokefire severely lacks a food prep area unless you purchase additional components.

Temperature consistency is very good for both of these grills. Though both have searing capability, the edge goes to the Black Label series with the direct searing mode capable of up to 1100°F. I think it’s fair to say that the competition between these two is fierce!

Final verdict

I found the Louisiana Black Label grill to be a solid performer for grilling AND smoking. Anyone looking for a durable grill that will last years to come would be pleased with this purchase.

With its lack of innovative features, it wouldn’t wow the tech driven crowd though. If feeding and entertaining a large group of people is your aim, this grill can certainly shine for you with its large grilling area and quality grates. 

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