Best Pellet Smokers & Grills Reviewed

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Traeger Grills Tailgater
Test Winner: Traeger Grills Tailgater
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As far as backyard cookers go, Pellet Grills are the newest products on the market. With their roots in the 1970s, these versatile outdoor grills combine the capabilities of a traditional grill, with the wood-fired flavor, and even the convenience of a modern oven. Below, we will be taking a deep dive into some of the best Pellet Grills on the market in order to give you the most up to date information about the best models on the market. This list aims to answer any all your questions about this type of grill and why it may soon be your favorite summer tool!

Standout Picks

Memphis Grills Elite Wood fire
If cost isn't an issue, check out the Elite Wood Fire. This 200+ pound behemoth from Memphis Grills costs more than some used cars, but it's fully loaded. Wifi-enabled, an extraordinary temperature range, and a cooking space large enough to be used by a small restaurant - the Elite has it all. The pellet hopper is built to match capacity, with enough fuel space to go for up to 62 hours straight.
Amazon Link
Traeger Texas Elite 34
Traeger truly is the last word in Pellet Grills. The company invented them and, for many years, held the sole patent on the product. The Texas Elite is their flagship model: Durable, versatile, and user-friendly. The grill is ideal for cold weather conditions, as the self-feeding fuel pellets won't go out due to inclement weather or wind.
Amazon Link
Rec Tec Grills Bull
In the Grills Bull we have another large, unwieldy, but fully loaded grilling system. With a price that would make most grillers wince, this Pellet Grill comes complete with all sorts of bells and whistles. Aside from the large, wifi-enabled grill itself, Rec Tec throws in a terrific 6-year warranty as well as over 150 pounds of Pellets, which goes a long way towards justifying the cost. The Bull also has a large, 100% stainless steel cooking space which offers terrific durability long-term
Amazon Link
Traeger Grills Tailgater
With their portable model, Traeger has its own version of the classic 'tailgater'. Still fairly hefty at a little over 60 pounds, this grill is still far and away the most lightweight model Traeger offers. The legs fold up for ease of storage and transportation. As with all other Traeger products, temperature controls allow grillers to use the Tailgater as either a conventional grill.
Amazon Link
Camp Chef Woodwind
The Woodwind is a Pellet Grill for the connoisseur. Along with a high price tag come all sorts of fancy extras, from a specially constructed 'sear box' to a lever-operated cleaning system for removing wood ash. It's roomy too, with over 500 square inches of cooking space so whether you're cooking for one or smoking several racks of ribs at the same time, the Woodwind will get the job done.
Amazon Link
Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill
Z Grills is a lesser known manufacturer and a great low-cost alternative to the more expensive Traeger grills. Their pellet grill is a sturdy, heavyweight model with a roomy 500 square inches of cooking space and an electronic feeding system for fuel pellets. An additional warming rack provides additional space for cooking at lower temperatures. Furthermore, Z Grills also ensures its product with a generous 3 years warranty.
Amazon Link
$531.38
Cookshack PG500
The Fast Eddy by Cookshack is an American designed and manufactured Pellet Grill with a riveted stainless steel body and solid digitally controlled system to maintain the consistent temperature. The name of the game here is sturdy reliability. What it lacks in little extras like wifi controls it makes up for inconsistency. Whether you're smoking, grilling, or searing, the Fast Eddy performs.
Amazon Link
$3,404.76
Camp Chef Deluxe
Camp Chef has already been mentioned several times on this list. It's a venerable company that makes up in quality what it lacks in the name recognition of a Traeger or Weber. Their Deluxe Pellet Grill is built to reach and hold ideal temperatures for smoking. An internal system syncs pellet delivery to temperature instead of simply feeding in fuel when it begins to run out. This ensures a clean, consistent cooking experience. A removable ash can makes clean-up a snap as well.
Amazon Link
$549.99
Camp Chef DLX
This grill comes with many of the extras that define the Camp Chef line of products, such as the easy-to-use ash removal system as well and an interior fan. This model comes with easy-to-use controls and an LED temperature readout so you can monitor internal temperature at all times, even if you're cooking at night. The unit also comes with a convenient meat probe for ensuring that perfect finish.
Amazon Link
$549.99
Green Mountain Grills
If small and portable is what you're after, look no further. At less than 60 pounds, this is one of the more lightweight Pellet Grills on the list. Perfect for camping or tailgating, the Davy Crockett is also wifi enabled so you can monitor temperature and cooking time anytime, anywhere. An ideal grill for small groups.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

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.

Materials

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 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.

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.

Ease of Use

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.

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.

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 grill 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.

BEST PELLET GRILLS REVIEWED & RATED FOR QUALITY

1. Memphis Grills Elite Wood fire

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Memphis Grills Elite Wood fire
Amazon Link

If cost isn't an issue, check out the Elite Wood Fire. This 200+ pound behemoth from Memphis Grills costs more than some used cars, but it's fully loaded. Wifi-enabled, an extraordinary temperature range, and a cooking space large enough to be used by a small restaurant - the Elite has it all. The pellet hopper is built to match capacity, with enough fuel space to go for up to 62 hours straight.

Size

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 cook professionally, however, this is a great investment.

Amazon Link

2. Traeger Texas Elite 34

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Traeger Texas Elite 34
Amazon Link

Traeger truly is the last word in Pellet Grills. The company invented them and, for many years, held the sole patent on the product. The Texas Elite is their flagship model: Durable, versatile, and user-friendly. The grill is ideal for cold weather conditions, as the self-feeding fuel pellets won't go out due to inclement weather or wind.

Grilling Space

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.

Insulation

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 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.

Amazon Link

3. Rec Tec Grills Bull

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Rec Tec Grills Bull
Amazon Link

In the Grills Bull we have another large, unwieldy, but fully loaded grilling system. With a price that would make most grillers wince, this Pellet Grill comes complete with all sorts of bells and whistles. Aside from the large, wifi-enabled grill itself, Rec Tec throws in a terrific 6-year warranty as well as over 150 pounds of Pellets, which goes a long way towards justifying the cost. The Bull also has a large, 100% stainless steel cooking space which offers terrific durability long-term

Bundle

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.

Shelf

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.

Amazon Link

4. Traeger Grills Tailgater

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Traeger Grills Tailgater
Amazon Link

With their portable model, Traeger has its own version of the classic 'tailgater'. Still fairly hefty at a little over 60 pounds, this grill is still far and away the most lightweight model Traeger offers. The legs fold up for ease of storage and transportation. As with all other Traeger products, temperature controls allow grillers to use the Tailgater as either a conventional grill.

Warranty

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.

Collapsible

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.

Amazon Link

5. Camp Chef Woodwind

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Camp Chef Woodwind
Amazon Link

The Woodwind is a Pellet Grill for the connoisseur. Along with a high price tag come all sorts of fancy extras, from a specially constructed 'sear box' to a lever-operated cleaning system for removing wood ash. It's roomy too, with over 500 square inches of cooking space so whether you're cooking for one or smoking several racks of ribs at the same time, the Woodwind will get the job done.

Sear Box

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.

Ash Cleanout

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.

Amazon Link

6. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$531.38
Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill
Amazon Link

Z Grills is a lesser known manufacturer and a great low-cost alternative to the more expensive Traeger grills. Their pellet grill is a sturdy, heavyweight model with a roomy 500 square inches of cooking space and an electronic feeding system for fuel pellets. An additional warming rack provides additional space for cooking at lower temperatures. Furthermore, Z Grills also ensures its product with a generous 3 years warranty.

Construction

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.

Fuel Space

Not only does the Z Grill have a large cooking space, but 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.

Amazon Link
$531.38

7. Cookshack PG500

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$3,404.76
Cookshack PG500
Amazon Link

The Fast Eddy by Cookshack is an American designed and manufactured Pellet Grill with a riveted stainless steel body and solid digitally controlled system to maintain the consistent temperature. The name of the game here is sturdy reliability. What it lacks in little extras like wifi controls it makes up for inconsistency. Whether you're smoking, grilling, or searing, the Fast Eddy performs.

Steel

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.

Cook Big

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.

Amazon Link
$3,404.76

8. Camp Chef Deluxe

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$549.99
Camp Chef Deluxe
Amazon Link

Camp Chef has already been mentioned several times on this list. It's a venerable company that makes up in quality what it lacks in the name recognition of a Traeger or Weber. Their Deluxe Pellet Grill is built to reach and hold ideal temperatures for smoking. An internal system syncs pellet delivery to temperature instead of simply feeding in fuel when it begins to run out. This ensures a clean, consistent cooking experience. A removable ash can makes clean-up a snap as well.

Temp Control

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 the 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.

Amazon Link
$549.99

9. Camp Chef DLX

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$549.99
Camp Chef DLX
Amazon Link

This grill comes with many of the extras that define the Camp Chef line of products, such as the easy-to-use ash removal system as well and an interior fan. This model comes with easy-to-use controls and an LED temperature readout so you can monitor internal temperature at all times, even if you're cooking at night. The unit also comes with a convenient meat probe for ensuring that perfect finish.

LED Readout

The 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 inside. This is truly a foolproof system.

Cooking Capacity

Unlike other models, it also 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.

Amazon Link
$549.99

10. Green Mountain Grills

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Green Mountain Grills
Amazon Link

If small and portable is what you're after, look no further. At less than 60 pounds, this is one of the more lightweight Pellet Grills on the list. Perfect for camping or tailgating, the Davy Crockett is also wifi enabled so you can monitor temperature and cooking time anytime, anywhere. An ideal grill for small groups.

Portability

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.

Wifi Enabled

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.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Steven Raichlen, Huff Post Life, Lifestyle Site
  2. Editorial Team, Divine GRill, Grill Blog