Best Pellet Smokers & Grills Reviewed
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!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Massive 800+ Cooking space
Holds over 20 pounds of pellets
Nickel-plated non-stick cooking surface
internal temperature control via probe
BEST PELLET GRILLS REVIEWED & RATED FOR QUALITY
1. Memphis Grills Elite Wood fire
Massive 800+ Cooking space
Holds over 20 pounds of pellets
Nickel-plated non-stick cooking surface
internal temperature control via probe
Too expensive for most private users
Incredibly large and heavy. Not portable in the least.
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.
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.
2. Traeger Texas Elite 34
Digitally controlled for true 'set it and forget it' experience
Solid steel design
Porcelain grates are easy to clean
Large cooking area
Grills with ease
Far from the cheapest item on the market
A separate folding shelf can be flimsy
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.
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 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.
3. Rec Tec Grills Bull
Bundle includes a cover and over 100 pounds of fuel
Folding front shelf
6 Year warranty
Durable Stainless steel design
Ships at 200 pounds
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
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.
4. Traeger Grills Tailgater
Comes with a three-year warranty
Easy to control the temperature
Weighs a little over 60 pounds
Limited grill space
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.
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.
5. Camp Chef Woodwind
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
The automated auger can be prone to breakdowns
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.
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.
6. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill
Heavy-gauge steel construction
Large capacity Pellet Hopper
500+ square inch cooking space
Separate Warming Rack
Manufactured outside the US
Temperature can fluctuate during the cooking process
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.
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, 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.
7. Cookshack PG500
100% Riveted stainless steel
Nearly 800 square inches of space
Automated temperature control
Grills, and even sears meat
Less cost effective than other comparable grills
No wifi capability
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.
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.
8. Camp Chef Deluxe
Built-in meat probe
Digital temperature control
Easy to remove Ash pot
Holds up to 18 pounds of Pellets
Heavy at well over 100 pounds
The internal fan motor can be finicky
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.
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.
9. Camp Chef DLX
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
The temperature gauge can be overly sensitive
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.
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.
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.
10. Green Mountain Grills
Portable and lightweight
Wifi enabled temperature control
2 Year warranty
Comes with adapters for three power options
Less cooking space than other models
Must be carried by hand, no wheels
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.
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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
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.
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.
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Pellet Grills are electric-powered and regulate their own fuel intake, they are a far more foolproof option than other grills which may require a large amount of maintenance and care during the cooking process. Wood pellets themselves are also incredibly versatile. Aspiring outdoor chefs can experiment with a whole array of wood varieties in order to explore the flavors that each lends to meat.
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 or slow cook a whole array of meats in an infinite variety of styles.
Other Factors to Consider
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.
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.
Most options are around the same size as a BBQ, and that is because, for many people who buy a one, it will be replacing their BBQ. This means that your new cooker needs to be able to do an okay job as a barbecue so that you can use it for grilling up burgers, as well as, slow cooking some brisket. The best options can be switched from around one hundred and seventy degrees Fahrenheit to around five hundred Fahrenheit. That much variability means that you can cook all kinds of food in any way that you want. Something to remember is that even though the heat is there, the flame is not. These grills are great for cooking your food and infusing them with smoke, but less so at giving them a crispy burnt skin. The higher the rating in this category, the more versatile your new grill will be.
This category is referring to the amount of pellets that it can hold. This will determine how long you can continue to smoke your food. Think of it like the propane tank attached to your barbecue, but more delicious. It is also much easier to see how much you have left. The capacity for the tank will determine a few things, such as how often you will need to refill the tank, as well as how long you can cook for. They are slowly burned and the smoke and hot air is blown out of the bottom and into the grill's chamber. The capacity that you should look for is from around fifteen pounds to around eighteen pounds. This will give you around twenty-four hours of cooking time, which is more than long enough to cook anything, no matter how big.
Even more so than with BBQ'ing, smoking your food should be done on a sunny day. If your equipment gets wet, then you won't get that beautiful smoky taste that is the entire point of owning this equipment. For this reason, you are going to want to do something about making sure your cooker is defended from the elements. The most important thing is to buy a cover. Most rain covers will make it easy for you to defend it from water. Look at the store pages to see if the products come with a cover. More than a few on this list do. It is still possible for moisture to get at your equipment, though, so make sure to store the spares in a cool dry place so that they can last for as long as you need them. They will still cook if they are wet, but you won't be able to get that additional flavor.
There are lots of reasons to think about the portability of your new cooking equipment. It will make your life easier and more convenient in many ways. A lot of the options grills on this list are designed so that they don't sacrifice too much in space when you take them out. This makes it an easy choice to bring it from your back deck out into the blue without needing to sacrifice much to achieve either. These cookers are a perfect choice for a tailgate party, and for a camping trip. The long-winded nature of smoking food means that you have a long time to get excited about what you are soon going to be eating. Buying an option that is designed to be portable means that you can be the grill master in all kinds of different situations that pop up.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is the lid made out of?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.