Best Pellet Grills Reviewed & Rated for Quality
As far as backyard cookers go, Pellet Grills are the newest products on the market. With their roots in the 1970’s, these versatile outdoor grills combine the capabilities of a traditional grill, with the wood-fired flavor of a smoker, and even the convenience of a modern oven. The “Pellet” in the name refers to the specific variety of fuel used. These are specially made cylinders constructed of compressed sawdust. The grill is powered by electricity and doles out specific amounts of pellets to maximize fuel efficiency. The primary benefit of these types of grills is their versatility. Wood pellets can be burned at all different temperatures and volumes, making it possible to sear, smoke, or slow cook a whole array of meats in an infinite variety of styles.
- Traeger Texas Elite 34
- Grilling Space
- Green Mountain Grills
- Cookshack PG500
- Cook Big
What’s more, as Pellet Grills are electric-powered and regulate their own fuel intake, they are a far more foolproof option than other smokers and grills which may require a large amount of maintenance and care during the cooking process. Wood pellets themselves are also incredibly versatile. Aspiring smokers can experiment with a whole array of wood varieties in order to explore the flavors that each lends to meat.
Below, we will be taking a deep dive into some of the best Pellet Grills on the market. Featuring high on the list are several models by Traeger, the first company to pioneer this style of cooking. As we will see, however, many different manufacturers have stepped in over the years to put their own grace notes on this versatile cooking system.
10 Best Pellet Grills
1. Traeger Texas Elite 34
Despite its relatively small size, at least in comparison to other Pellet Grills, the Texas Elite boasts a solid 400+ square inches of cooking space, making it possible to cook for a large group at once. Furthermore, the non-stick cooking grating makes clean-up a cinch.
Users love the solid construction of this grill, which insulates meat even in the coldest conditions. Sub-zero temperatures needn't keep you from enjoying the wood-smoked flavor that the Texas Elite will lend to any kind of meat.
Cost and Value
The brand name alone adds dollars to the price tag of this grill. On the whole, it's a mid-range model, perfect for someone serious about their grilling, but a bit of an investment for the occasional user. The inherent quality of Traeger's product line more than makes up for the price, however.
- Digitally controlled for true 'set it and forget it' experience
- Solid steel design
- Porcelain grates are easy to clean
- Large cooking area
- Grills or smokes with ease
- Far from the cheapest item on the market
- Separate folding shelf can be flimsy
2. Green Mountain Grills
This one is so lightweight, it doesn't even need wheels. The Davy Crockett is built with foldable legs that double as handles, so you don't even need to take the time to tediously take the grill apart and put it back together every time you want to transport it.
The Davy Crockett has some of the most high-tech temperature controls available. With wifi enabled features, users can control temperature and be cooking tie from Green Mountain Grills' phone app. Another feature that makes this ideal for tailgating.
Cost and Value
With the decreased size and cooking space comes greater savings. This Grill is reasonably affordable for what it is. That said, given the automated temperature control and regulated fuel supply of the grill, one can expect to pay a bit more than a standard charcoal-fueled model.
- Portable and lightweight
- Wifi enabled temperature control
- 2 Year warranty
- Comes with adapters for three power options
- Reasonably affordable
- Less cooking space than other models
- Must be carried by hand, no wheels
3. Traeger Grills Tailgater
Traeger stands by their products and this one is no different. Warranties on Traeger grills are typically three years, a whole year longer than many other companies allow. This speaks to the company's faith in their grills. So owners can rest easy knowing that any issues will be taken care of promptly and on the company's dime.
This grill is built for the tailgate. The collapsible legs make moving this grill quick and painless. Furthermore, the rear set of wheels makes moving the fully unloaded grill simple as well. Perfect for a small family or a group of friends getting ready for the big game!
Cost and Value
Once more, this is a Traeger grill, which comes with a Traeger price tag. A bit more than your typical Pellet Grill, especially one this small. That said the extended warranty alone is an added bonus when buying Traeger, along with the quality craftsmanship of the product.
4. Camp Chef Woodwind
The separate searing station is a serious upgrade. Separately powered by propane, the sear box allows for temperatures that no other grill on this list can touch. Perfectly sear steaks or flash-cook any number of meats for a completely different cooking experience.
With other grills, it's necessary to bust out a vacuum cleaner to properly clear out the ash sediment that can build up over time from burning wood pellets. Not so here. The Woodwind is built with a specially designed lever-operated chute that quickly and efficiently removes the ash from each use.
Cost and Value
This one is a Cadillac. The price point is hefty with the Woodwind, and users should expect to be using it on a regular basis to get their money's worth. The Sear Box alone is like having a separate gas grill along with your pellet grill, a factor that helps to justify the price.
- Separate gas powered sear box
- Easy to use Ash removal system
- Automated temperature and pellet delivery
- Large cooking space
- Tough ceramic igniter works every time
- Cost prohibitive for some users
- Automated auger can be prone to breakdowns
5. Camp Chef Smokepro DLX
The Smokepro DLX really excels when it comes to maintaining a steady internal temperature. The LED display is large and easy to read, while the included probe maintains an accurate measurement of what's going on in the smoker. This is truly a foolproof system.
Unlike other models, the Smokepro has an extra removable grading which allows for another level of cooking space. This effectively doubles the amount of food you can prepare, making it a worthwhile upgrade for those looking to cook for a larger audience.
Cost and Value
This model is a bit more affordable than comparable big-name Pellet grills on the market. Despite this, many of the Camp Chef innovations on the product -- Such as that convenient ash chute -- really make it a strong buy for the casual user.
- Meat probe included to monitor internal temp
- Easy to read LED temperature read-out
- Ash Removal chute
- Extra rack for increased cooking space
- Electrical ignition ensures easy lighting
- Bulky and difficult to move
- Temperature gauge can be overly sensitive
6. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill
The Z Grill is sturdy, with a body made of heavy-gauge steel. The lid, in particular, is of solid construction, where many other products feature a cover that is made of flimsier stuff. This is an ideal grill for cooking and smoking large amounts of meat.
Not only does the Z Grill have a large cooking space, it also has a large capacity for pellets. The 20-pound pellet hopper ensures that cooking over a long period of time isn't a problem. You can set it and forget it all day long.
Cost and Value
Z Grills' are manufactured in China, which can be a downside for many users. The upside is lower assembly costs which translate into a more affordable price point when compared to USA-made grills. The end result is a lot of grill for not a lot of money.
- Heavy-gauge steel construction
- Solid lid
- Large capacity Pellet Hopper
- 500+ square inch cooking space
- Separate Warming Rack
- Manufactured outside the US
- Temperature can fluctuate during cooking process
7. Camp Chef Deluxe
The Camp Chef Deluxe excels at maintaining a consistent temperature. The system is entirely digital, with a built-in probe to measure the internal temperature of the grill at all times. Wood Pellets are fed in just enough to ensure a set temperature is held. no more wild fluctuation in heat!
Easy to Clean
Camp Chef has a patented ash removal system featured on all of its grills. This consists of an easy to remove ash box that can be taken out and emptied when needed. No more taking the grill apart to vacuum out wood ash, which is as time-consuming as it is tedious.
Cost and Value
As with other Camp Chef products, the price is right on this one. Though they do not offer the same quality warranty of Traeger, Camp Chef has the same level of craftsmanship without the price point of more well-known companies.
- Built-in meat probe
- Digital temperature control
- Easy to remove Ash pot
- Good value
- Holds up to 18 pounds of Pellets
- Heavy at well over 100 pounds
- Internal fan motor can be finicky
8. Memphis Grills Elite Wood fire
Pound for pound, this is the largest grill on the list and the only one with a commercial-grade capacity. Space itself is well over 800 square inches and can cook continuously for more than 2-days straight. This makes it perfect for a user who cooks professionally or regularly prepares meals for large groups.
Set it and Forget it
The Elite allows for a variety of temperature controls. Beyond the integrated digital monitoring system in the grill itself, Memphis Grills allows mobile monitoring through their phone app. This is another great feature for a small business owner on the go who needs to run errands while finishing up the smoking process
Cost and Value
The cost and size of this unit make it a hard sell for domestic use. Unless you regularly entertain large groups of people, the cost of shipping and maintaining this mammoth unit just doesn't make sense. For those that smoke commercially, however, this is a great investment.
- Massive 800+ Cooking space
- Holds over 20 pounds of pellets
- Nickel-plated non stick cooking surface
- Wifi enabled
- internal temperature control via probe
- Too expensive for most private users
- Incredibly large and heavy. Not portable in the least.
9. Rec Tec Grills Bull
When purchasing the Grill Bull, expect a lot more than just a pellet grill. Rec Tec also ships you enough specially formulated fuel for several involved smoking sessions along with a customized grill cover. Both are items that most companies force you to buy separately.
This grill doesn't skimp on extra space. A foldable front shelf allows users a handy prep station for readying sides, preparing meat, or inspecting the fruits of their labors. Meanwhile, the lid stays down and the smoking process continues uninterrupted.
Cost and Value
This one is an investment. One should plan on using it quite frequently to get their money's worth. That said, repeated use is easy to do when the unit comes with the fuel needed to use it as well as a whopping 6-year warranty in case anything goes wrong.
- Bundle includes cover and over 100 pounds of fuel
- Folding front shelf
- Wifi enabled
- 6 Year warranty
- Durable Stainless steel design
- Cost prohibitive
- Ships at 200 pounds
10. Cookshack PG500
The Fast Eddy is made entirely from 100% stainless steel. In addition to the aesthetics of that gleaming chrome finish, this makes it far easier to clean. Other grills are painted or feature a textured finish that makes it extraordinarily difficult to remove grease after repeated use. This one cleans up like a dream.
This is another massive pellet grill that can more than accommodate a large group of hungry people. Between the stainless steel cooking grate, warming rack, and indirect cooking grate the Fast Eddy has nearly 800 square inches of cooking space.
Cost and Value
As with any other American-made product, the Fast Eddy costs more than other models constructed with cheap foreign labor. The trade-off is quality standards and craftsmanship. Additionally, users have the pride of supporting American industry.
- 100% Riveted stainless steel
- American made
- Nearly 800 square inches of space
- Automated temperature control
- Smokes, grills, and even sears meat
- Less cost effective than other comparable grills
- No wifi capability
As a new and nervous cook or just a busy one, it is always a struggle to get the results you want without having to tend to a grill or stovetop all day long. Luckily, Pellet Grills offer a convenient solution. These foolproof devices allow you to truly set it and forget it. Whether you crave perfectly grilled spare ribs or smoked pork butt, Pellet Grills allow you an unprecedented degree of control over the temperature and cooking style you want. What’s more, Pellet Grills are a terrific way to infuse your food with the real flavor of wood smoke, whether it be hickory, mesquite or maple. Unlike gas grills, the flavor is right there in the fuel with wood-pellet grills.
As we have seen, once you have decided to invest in a pellet grill, there are an incredible variety of options in terms of styles and features. What they all have in common is the smoky flavor of a real wood-burning grill with the convenience of a high-tech oven.
Criteria Used To Evaluate The Best Pellet Grills
The moment we found this as one of our most desired articles, we had to conduct extensive research on what a pellet grill is. With that said, if you are new to the pellet grill industry and want to know what it is, here we go! Pellet grills are often considered, ‘pellet smokers’, due to the construction quality and design. The reason is that pellet grills combine different cooking elements such as charcoal, gas grills, and a conventional kitchen oven. Now, they are fueled by wood pellets, hence the name. With that said, pellet grills can smoke, cook, and grill all in one simple mechanism and design. With an electronic control panel, an individual can control the wood pellets that fuel the fire to regulate airflow and maintain the proper cooking temperature. Did you get that? We hope so because it is time we share with you the criteria to evaluate the best pellet grills.
As we started to learn more about pellet grills we realized that we had to take different aspects into consideration when it comes to the quality of the grill. With that said, we are eager to share with our readers the criteria that we used to come up with this top ten list. With this, we can say that all of the grills we share are made of the best quality materials and craftsmanship to be able and withstand the test of time and provide a delicious meal. Other than that, we share this criterion so individuals can find the best pellet grill that suits there needs.
Without further wait, let’s talk about the first criteria of our guidelines in choosing the ideal grills for you!
Quality of The Pellet Grill
When buying an item as important as a grill, it is evident that an individual should look for the best quality for what they desire as well as learn properly what are the best in the industry. With that in mind, pellet grills are even more unique than a regular grill because of the design and the way the grill functions. With that said, the quality of a pellet grill is the first criteria we took into consideration because there is a slew of different elements that have to ensure the grill is made of the best possible quality design. With that in mind, one important aspect of quality design that we took into consideration is how all of the functions are built. Meaning, we wanted to make sure that no area was designed and manufactured in a cheap way. Other than that, one method in which we figured out the best quality grills is how the grill cooked and how the items tasted. However, since we cannot buy every single grill and spend weeks cooking steaks and vegetables, as nice as that sounds, we relied a lot on individual reviews and what people had to say about that particular grill.
With that said, we can guarantee that all of the grills on this list are designed from the best quality materials and design elements to ensure that it not only lasts the test of time, it is safe to use, easy to set up, and also designed to cook the best meals possible. With that said, let’s talk about a pillar that has added to the quality criteria, the material design.
Pellet Grill Material
When it comes to the material design of a pellet grill, the material is one of the most important aspects to consider for many reasons. First of all, the material has to be able to withstand extremely high temperatures and also be able to cook properly without the heat escaping the grill. With that said, the exterior or the grill has to be able to withstand high temperatures so the color does not peel, rust, or other defects. With that in mind, we discovered that all pellet grills have to be designed from some of the most important materials in the industry, so they can withstand the test of time. Alongside this, pellet grills are built to last so individuals can enjoy them for years to come. When it comes to the exterior craftsmanship of a pellet grill, the most common material is a powerful steel construction. Steel is also known as one of the most powerful and durable materials in the industry today. However, steel does rust if it is exposed to water. Therefore, many quality brands have powder coated the steel so it can be water resistant and does not rust easily.
Now, there are different materials that certain pellet grills are made from. Since steel is such a heavy duty and heavy item, some brands have opted in for more cost-efficient materials, such as a stainless-steel lid to remove some of the weight from the pellet grill. With that said, the interior grill gates are as equally important as the exterior. For example, some grill gates are made from an easy to clean porcelain material while some are designed from stainless steel to be more user-friendly and cost-effective. With that said, let’s discuss another important element to consider when it comes to a pellet grill.
Pellet Grill Size
As another criterion that we took into consideration, we felt that the pellet grill size was important to include in our selection process. One of the main reasons is because we wanted to share a wide variety of pellet grills that were designed for multiple uses. With that said, other reasons include the size and weight of the grill as well as the price. Meaning, the bigger the grill the more pricey it can become and the more it will weight depending on the material design. However, we also wanted to share compact varieties such as the Green Mountain Grill which is perfect for tailgates and small outdoor events or camping.
With that said, depending on the size of the green an individual may need more pellets to fuel the food. However, a bigger sized pellet grill allows the cook to grill for a large number of people. While a compact grill can easily be taken anywhere. With that in mind, one important criterion that we wanted to take into consideration is how easy the item is to set up.
Easy To Set Up Design
Does anyone know how to set up a pellet grill? Since pellet grills are a bit less common than a regular conventional gas grill, we had to conduct a bit of research and realized that pellet grills are as easy to set up, they just have more components. The components of the grill include a lid, which is designed to cover the contents of the grill as well as keep the heat in. Other than that, the ‘hopper’ is known as the area of the grill where an individual places the wood pellets and the grill drips the pellets onto the fire to keep the heat going.
Other elements of the grill are the legs, which come in varies designs and construction materials. The automatic ignition starter to start the fire as well as the digital controller where individuals can achieve up to six different cooking methods ranging from grilling to baking and smoking. With that said, one of the most important aspects that we highly recommend individuals to consider is a green with a grease bucket or an ash cleanout design that vents out all of the ash sediment from the grill.
Other small design elements include locking leg mechanisms, a side tray for easy placement of cooked items and of course, the pure hardwood pellets and the grill grates.
Easy To Cook
As another one of the most important elements to consider when it comes to a quality grill, we wanted to make sure that the grill was easy to use, turn on, and cook with. With this, we discovered that all brands have the same design system when it comes to using the grill. The best quality grills, which we have shared, come with an electronic auto-start ignition so individuals do not have to deal with starting a fire or having to light a propane grill. Everything is done with a flip of a switch or a press of a button. With that said, this happens to be one of the best design elements of the grill that makes it easy to cook. The next is the controller system, which quickly became a criterion on its own.
The Controller System
As another one of the most important criteria to consider, we read a lot of the reviews that individuals had to say about the controller system and how simple they are to use. With that said, we can say that all of the grills we have shared have a simple digital controller design that makes the grill simple to use and easy to adjust. Now, the digital controller is the way in which an individual will be able to adjust the temperature of the grill, which can range from an incredibly low temperature to as high as 450 degrees. Now, another really cool aspect of a digital temperature reader is that most brands have an LED display that makes it easy to read the temperature of the grill.
Cost and Value
Now that we have covered the most important criteria to take into consideration when it comes to quality pellet grills, we wanted to share the cost and the value criteria and why we have included this on this list. Now, It is evident that the more costly the grill is, the better quality designed it will be and the better functions it will have. With that said, most grills that are costly have some of the top of the line premiere features available such as high-quality construction that is rust resistant and up to 600sq in. of grilling space.
With that said, we also wanted to take into consideration the smaller grills of the family. For instance, we wanted to share pellet grills that were intended for portable use or individuals that want a small smoker that is of the best quality. As far as cost and value are concerned, we can say that all of the grills on this list are top of the line and have expert quality features that make them ideal for the individual that wants their ideal pellet grill.
Variety of Pellet Grills
As the last criteria that we took into consideration, we have shared this a couple of times but we really wanted to focus on variety. We not only wanted to share some of the best tops of the line brands in the industry but we also wanted to share brands that may be unknown but offer excellent craftsmanship and material design. For instance, some of the grills we have shared are perfectly designed for everyday use, while some are designed for large events and parties.
Whether you opt in for the small and portable Green Mountain Grill or the large family and even Traeger Texas Elite grill, we can say there is a large variety to choose from and we sure hope that our audience has found the best one.
Now, if you have any further questions, here is an opportunity to get them answered. We want to share the frequently asked questions that individuals want to know when it comes to a quality pellet grill.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the lid made out of?
A: As one of the most frequently asked questions, we can see why individuals are interested in this question. The lid material depends on the manufacturer. However, we have commonly seen that most brands use a steel lid that is powder coated or a stainless steel lid that is reflective. With that said, individuals can expect that the will be very durable and hold in the heat of the grill very well.
Q: Is it water-resistant?
A: As another key question that many individuals are asking for, users want to know if the grill is water resistant. Now, the inside of the grill in no scenario should be exposed to water. However, the exterior of the grill, once covered can be exposed to water. However, it is always best to ensure that the grill is powder coated and is able to withstand a bit of moisture, so it does not rust. If this is the case, then an individual will need a grill cover, which brings us to the next question.
Q: Does it come with a cover?
A: As one of the most frequently asked questions, consumers want to know if the grill comes with a grill cover to protect the grill. With that said, most brands do have a grill cover when it comes to the grill. However, it is important to always as the manufacturer if they include a grill cover with the purchase. In most cases, the grill cover is made from some of the best materials in the industry for durability and functionality.
Q: How long do pellets last?
A: Now, this next key question is one of the most asked questions and we can see why. For the new individual that wants to know how long pellets will last. There really is no overall actual answer because it all depends on the size of the grill and the heat that the grill is on. With that said, a nine-pound bag of pellets can last as long as 2.5 hours at a heat of about 225. However, the higher the heat the quicker it will cook.
Q: How do you clean it?
A: This may be considered the million-dollar question for many reasons. When it comes to a pellet grill, individuals have to clean it out a bit different than a regular grill because there are unique elements to clean. Many individuals recommend cleaning a grill after every use depending on the size. However, for larger grills, it is recommended to clean it after four or five bags of wood pellets. Now, what you do is vacuum out the ashtray. Some brands do have an automatic ashtray cleaner. If not, then you have to vacuum it out with a vacuum. Other aspects to clean include removing the grease drain pan, removing the porcelain grills, the heat baffle, and properly washing with warm water and a bit of soap. Most brands will have cleaning instructions in the guidelines.