Best Pellet Grills and Smokers Reviews

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Pellet grills are a great option if you want a grill and a smoker in one convenient unit.

You can cook food at low temperatures for smoking and high temperatures for searing, such as searing steak. 

Here, we’ll go through the best pellet grills and smokers for various budgets. This article will cover everything you need to know about buying a pellet grill.

Best Pellet Grills and Smokers: Quick Summary

Reviews of the Best Pellet Grills and Smokers 

The list below shows some of the best pellet grills and smokers on the market. It takes size, quality, and extra features into account. Some of the most well-known manufacturers of pellet grills are represented on this list, which includes both portable and full-size models.

Traeger Pro 575

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The original innovator of pellet smoking was Traeger, and their brand is known worldwide. 

Despite increased competition, this company made the first pellet grills, which is still the most popular brand.

The Traeger Pro 575 is a top-notch pellet grill thanks to its sturdy construction and well-thought-out design. 

The Traeger’s D2 powertrain starts and heats faster than other pellet grills. You can use Traeger’s WiFire technology to control the temperature from a smartphone or Alexa-enabled device.

The Traeger Pro 575 is built to last because of its heavy-gauge steel construction. 

An 18-pound hopper ensures it can run for a long time without needing a refill. 575 square inches of cooking space can simultaneously feed a large group of people.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use controller
  • Porcelain-Coated grill grates
  • WiFIRE Technology

Cons

  • Expensive

Camp Chef SmokePro

Last update on 2024-03-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Camp Chef’s SmokePro pellet grill can operate between 160 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for smoking and grilling anything except steak. 

The slide-and-grill feature lets you switch from indirect to direct flame grilling by pulling a handle. 

If you want to sear steaks, check out our guide to the best grills for steaks.

A digital control panel with a display, a pellet hopper with a built-in window to see how much pellet is in the grill, and a simple ash cleaning mechanism are all standard features. 

In terms of pellet grills, the SmokePro does an excellent job covering all the bases and is supported by a reputable manufacturer. It’s worth the money. 

Pros

  • Attachment capability
  • Two stainless steel meat probes are included
  • Cleanup is easier with an ash catch.

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi connectivity

Z Grills ZPG-7002B

Last update on 2024-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Over the past 30 years, Z Grills has been manufacturing grills for other brands, and in 2017 it began selling under its name, which allows it to keep its prices competitive. 

A large 700 square-inch cooking area and a 20-pound hopper capacity are among the Z Grills ZPG-7002B stainless steel grill features. 

The temperature can be set to anywhere between 180°F and 450°F. It is equipped with a PID controller and a temperature probe to help it keep a constant temperature. 

However, the 7002B’s frame and metal might be a little thinner than other models, which requires more careful handling when preparing food.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • 20-pound hopper capacity
  • A grill cover is included

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi connectivity

Green Mountain Davy Crockett

Last update on 2024-03-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In our opinion, Green Mountain’s Davy Crockett model is the best portable pellet grill. 

It has a large cooking surface and a compact overall dimension. With a nine-pound hopper capacity and collapsible legs, it’s perfect for a day of tailgating or a camping trip. 

You’ll have to feed pellets more frequently, but the smaller hopper is helpful while you’re on the road. 

It has a cooking area of more than 200 square inches for a grill that weighs just 57 pounds. Although it’s a little heavier, it’s small enough to fit in a trunk.

The Davy Crockett is one of the few portable solutions for checking food temperature with digital controls and an inbuilt thermometer (known as the Sense-Mate). Additionally, thanks to Wi-Fi capabilities, you can use your phone to check on the status of your food. 

It’s excellent for tailgating, camping, and music festivals because it can run on either 12V or 120AC power, so you can take it anywhere you want.

Pros

  • Foldable legs
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons

  • The temperature sometimes varies a lot.

Traeger Pro 34

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Traeger Grills Pro Series 34 has 884 square inches of cooking space and enough room to cook seven racks of ribs or up to 40 burgers at a time. 

It features Traeger’s Digital Pro Controller, which uses the grill’s built-in fan and pellet-feeding auger to keep its enormous cooking chamber at a consistent temperature. 

The digital display and dual meat probes make it possible for the cook to monitor the temperature of the meat without lifting the lid. 

A steel sawhorse chassis keeps this grill, which is over 4 feet wide, from wobbling. You can quickly move this large pellet grill around, thanks to the all-terrain wheels. 

However, keep in mind that, with a width of 53 inches, this grill will take up a lot of space on outdoor patios and balconies.

Pros

  • Large cooking space
  • Two digital meat probes
  • Sturdy and durable

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Small hopper capacity for a large grill

Weber SmokeFire EX4

Last update on 2024-03-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Weber, one of the most popular grill manufacturers, has introduced a line of pellet grills. 

As with previous Smokefire EX models, the Weber SmokeFire EX4 (2nd Gen) is equipped with the same flavorizer bars designed to evaporate drippings while cooking to provide more moist results. 

For good searing, most pellet grills cannot reach temperatures high enough. Camp Chef uses the slide and sear technology, which simply adds a small hot zone or the expensive SideKick.

Weber came up with a unique way to get around this by using their Flavorizer bars to help reach 600 degrees Fahrenheit, which made it possible to get searing marks on the steaks. 

This grill cooked food faster than others, but its ribs were caramelized, tender, and superb.

You can manage and monitor the Smokefire’s built-in Weber Connect technology from the grill or your smartphone. 

Two meat probes come with the grill, but you can purchase up to four separately to keep track of different dishes at different temperatures.

Pros

  • Porcelain-enamel finish
  • 200-600°F temperature range
  • Easy-clean system
  • Weber Connect app

Cons

  • The open flame design caused too many flare-ups.
  • Long and noisy shutdown cycle

Traeger Ironwood 885

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Traeger Ironwood 885 is one of the company’s most popular models. 

The cooking surface measures 885 square inches, and the top grate is extra-large. The grates have a porcelain coating to make cleaning and maintenance easier. 

The Ironwood 885 has many new features, including double side-wall insulation, an easier-to-read D2 controller, Super Smoke Mode, a pellet sensor that notifies you when the pellets are low, and a sturdy side shelf with tool holders. 

It also features a door on the hopper so you can empty the pellets if you want to try a different flavor before they run out. The hopper capacity is 20 lbs.

The grill includes a meat probe and links to the Traeger app so you can monitor it remotely.

There is no traditional chimney, just a downward exhaust system on the back of the grill.

Pros

  • Superior heat retention
  • D2 direct drive
  • Pellet sensor
  • Super Smoke Mode
  • WiFIRE Technology

Cons

  • Very expensive

What You Should Know About Pellet Grills and Smokers

A pellet grill is a great way to cook a variety of foods. Here are some things you should know if you have never had the pleasure of cooking on a pellet grill.

Making Smoking Easier

Traditional smoking with wood and charcoal is difficult. Keep an eye on the coalbed and monitor interior temperatures for the next 6 to 12 hours while also entertaining guests. 

Pellet grilling simplifies the process for the cook: fill the hopper with wood pellets, preheat the grill, and put the food on. A computer monitors heat flow and keeps an eye on the grill’s flames, so you don’t have to worry about it. 

However, like all grills, it is essential to preheat the grill before using it.

Less Grilling and More Smoking

Pellet smokers are a better term to describe pellet grills. 

Most pellet grills have a maximum temperature of 450 degrees and don’t use direct heat like a gas or charcoal barbecue. For this reason, we don’t recommend using a pellet grill for cooking steaks or other fast-cooking grilled meals.

What you should know about pellet grills and smokers

Simple to Use

Pellet grills are designed to be easy to use. 

Charcoal grills are relatively complex for beginner grillers to master, despite their renown for high-temperature cooking and their more primitive origins. Compared to charcoal cooking, gas grilling is relatively simple, but gas grills lack a smoky flavor. 

Cooks of all skill levels can enjoy smoking their food on a quality pellet smoker.

Technical Challenges

In reality, pellet grills have more moving parts than gas or charcoal grills, which means there are more chances of a breakdown. 

The value of purchasing a pellet smoker from a firm with good warranties and a helpful customer service team cannot be overstated when it comes to grills of this type. 

To get the most use out of your pellet grill, you must take good care of it.

What Is a Pellet Grill or Pellet Smoker?

A pellet smoker is a type of grill that uses compressed wood pellets as fuel. 

Grilled foods that don’t require a quick sear are better suited to the low and slow cooking methods employed by most pellet smokers, which typically function between 150 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What Is a Pellet Grill or Pellet Smoker

Pellet smokers must be close to an outlet because they are powered by electricity. 

Your cooking temperature is maintained by feeding wood pellets to a fire pot as needed to keep it at your desired level. You don’t have to do anything else. 

Put it in place and forget about it. It’s easy to go to bed at night knowing that your brisket will be perfectly smoked when you wake up the following day because you can use a pellet smoker and set the temperature to 225°F.

Even the most basic pellet smoker might be a little expensive. Consumer demand is increasing, and manufacturers are rising to meet it with a broader range of options, more features, and lower prices. 

Why Do You Need a Pellet Grill and Smoker?

The simplicity and versatility of a pellet-style smoker are two of the main reasons most people purchase one. 

You don’t have to worry about anything more than checking the hopper for pellets and setting your preferred temperature. You can set the temperature to within five degrees, and most pellet smokers do a decent job of keeping that temperature.

Pellet smokers are more fuel-efficient than charcoal because they use a convection fan similar to your oven.

A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Pellet Grills and Smokers

Consider construction quality, cooking space, hopper capacity, and other important features when looking for a pellet grill and smoker. 

Best Overall Pellet Grill

Construction Quality

Avoid being misled by the pellet grill’s beautiful look. Even if the outside is made of stainless steel, the manufacturer may have cut costs by using inferior materials that may corrode. 

The most critical pellet grill parts are the fire pot, flame deflector, drip pan, and grate. 

In addition, high-quality materials will keep heat in, use pellets more efficiently, and keep the temperature more stable when it’s cold.

Cooking Space

It’s essential to know how much room a grill will take up on a deck or patio and how much cooking surface it has.

Pellet grills typically have a cooking surface area ranging from 350 to 550 square inches. 300 square inch surfaces are sufficient to cook for two people. 

At least 450 square inches are needed to feed a family of four. Larger grills, such as those with a surface area of 500 square inches or more, are ideal for large gatherings.

The greater the cooking area, the larger the grill, and the more room it will take up on your grilling deck. 

A 40-inch width is typical for small pellet grills. Larger models might be as wide as 50 inches.

Hopper Capacity

According to the control panel temperature setting, pellets are added to the grill via the automatic feeder. So that the cook does not have to add fuel to the fire manually, the pellets in the hopper are fed into the grill’s firebox by an electric auger. 

This automation often makes pellet grills more expensive than gas or charcoal barbecues. Size and temperature choices affect the number of pellets needed to cook a meal. 

Roughly 12-pound per hour to smoke; about 2 pounds per hour to cook on most pellet grills. 

Remember that your grill will take much more fuel to heat and maintain the smoker’s temperature if you live in a colder climate. 

It’s a good idea to have a few extra bags of pellets in a cold, dry location at all times. The wood dust and pellets can be separated with a mesh filter in a bucket like this one from Oklahoma Joe’s.

Last update on 2024-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Versatility

It is possible to use a pellet grill as both a smoker and a grill. 

You can use high temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit to sear steaks and burgers while using low temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit to smoke foods. 

Pellet grills are more expensive because of their greater versatility. 

Temperature Control

Pellet grills and smokers have more precise temperature controls than charcoal and gas grills. 

With a pellet grill, you can control the temperature like an oven, which makes it superior to other grills. 

Pellets are added to the hopper as needed to maintain the preset temperature by a sensor located within the grill chamber. 

There are also pellet grills that you can control via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, so you can use your smartphone or tablet to control the temperature. 

Temperature range of the Weber SmokeFire EX4

Easy Cleanup

Cleanup is a breeze with most pellet grills, thanks to their convenient design features. 

Unused pellets can be removed from the grill and stored in the hopper until the next time they are used. Thanks to a built-in catch, you can easily remove pellet ash from the bottom of the grill. 

Drippings are collected in a bucket under the grill for easy disposal. 

Warranty

Pellet smokers have several high-tech components. Additionally, there are moving parts, such as the auger. 

If some parts of your grill break, you might be unable to fix them.

When purchasing a smoker, ensure you understand precisely how long the warranty is for, how much coverage is provided, and what would void it.

Additional Features

Other handy features, like wireless connectivity, are often included in pellet grills, making it easier for users to control and monitor temperatures from a smartphone app.

Some pellet cookers feature controller outputs that enable a meat probe to be connected directly. Then, the pellet grill can show your meat’s temperature on the display screen.

Some models have a chute that makes it easy to get rid of the pellets you don’t need. Others require vacuuming out.

Camp Chef WIFI and Bluetooth Connectivity

Price

The price of pellet grills varies widely. Some cost just a few hundred dollars, while others can run you a few thousand dollars or more. If you’re going to buy a cheap grill, don’t confuse it with a high-value one.

A low-cost cooker may save you money in the short term, but if it rusts quickly, the components fail after only a few years, the warranty is inadequate, and the customer service is poor, you will be spending more money overall.

In contrast, purchasing a high-end cooker with all the bells and whistles but never using them is a waste of money that you might have spent on a less expensive pellet smoker. 

Because of the wide range in pricing, knowing what you’re looking for in a pellet smoker is essential. 

Review all of the information provided above before making any purchase. Then it’s just a matter of sitting back and enjoying your brand-new grill.

Tips for Using a Pellet Grill and Smoker

Cooking with wood pellets is a great way to get a variety of flavors into your meat. How you use a pellet grill will need to be different from how you use a charcoal or gas grill.

  • Check out what kind of wood pellets you’ll use for the meal you’re smoking or grilling.
  • Use a thermometer instead of a timer when grilling or smoking meat.
  • It’s better to keep your meats in the fridge until it’s time to cook them on the grill because cold surfaces are better at retaining smokey flavors.

FAQs

How Does a Pellet Grill Work?

Hardwood pellets are the fuel used in pellet smokers. It takes only a few simple steps to prepare the grill:

  1. Add the pellets to the hopper.
  2. Switch the grill on.
  3. Choose the temperature, and wait.

A motorized auger transports the pellets to a fire pot underneath the grill, where a hot rod ignites them to start a fire, stoked by a fan to create convection. 

Camp Chef 24 in. WIFI Woodwind Pellet Grill

Is It a Smoker or a Grill?

Honestly, it’s best to think of a pellet grill as an excellent indirect-heat convection smoker rather than an actual grill, even if it’s advertised that way by the manufacturers. 

Most models don’t perform as well as charcoal grills or gas grills with sear burners when searing a steak. Using a hibachi grill instead of a pellet smoker can help you get a superior steak sear.

Several companies have devised different methods of exposing food to the flame, such as allowing you to use the small area right above the fire pot. 

Compared to the conventional indirect designs, it’s still not as effective as a charcoal or gas grill for searing steaks.

Are Pellet Grills and Smokers Safe?

Yes, pellet smokers are safe in comparison to most other grills. 

Pellet grills use convective heat instead of direct food-to-flame contact, making them more like a smokey oven. For long-term safety, pellet grills feature diffusers and grease management systems that prevent food drippings from reaching the fire pot. 

Are Pellet Grills Worth It?

Pellet grills are highly versatile because they are used for many different cooking methods. 

For a wood-smoked flavor, pellet grills are a better option than charcoal grills because they require less work to cook and require little maintenance other than making sure there are pellets in the hopper. 

Unlike charcoal or propane grills, pellet grills don’t use any fuel, and wood pellets are more straightforward to purchase and store than either of those alternatives. 

Pellet smokers are expensive, even entry-level, but they’re worth the investment if you want to smoke your meat and don’t care about high-level grilling capabilities. 

Many different grills are available, but pellet grills are the most versatile because you can use them for smoking, grilling, and more. 

How Long Do Pellet Grills Last?

With regular use, most pellet grills will last 6 to 10 years. With the proper maintenance and care, premium pellet grills could stay longer.

What Pellet Brand Is the Best?

We recommend using pellets made by the brand of your pellet grill. There are a wide variety of pellet grills on the market, each with its unique set of pellets. Starting with the same brand is excellent, but you can experiment to determine which one works best for you.

You can choose various hardwood tastes for pellet flavor, depending on your cooking. For example, apple hardwood goes well with chicken and vegetables, whereas you might want to choose oak or maple for beef. 

Last update on 2024-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Clean a Pellet Grill?

To keep a pellet grill in excellent working condition, clean it every three to five times. 

Start by scraping any buildup from the interior of the lid using a putty knife. Take out the inside parts and scrape the inside clean. Use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate all the debris you’ve scratched. 

It would be best to clean the pellet grill inside and out before the next cook. After each barbecue session, clean the grates while they are still hot. 

Conclusion

A pellet grill is a good choice if you’re looking for an easy way to smoke meat. This article covers some of the best pellet grills and smokers, including features, materials, and buying guides.

Traeger and Weber are the best brands on the market. Pit Boss, Z Grills, or other Traeger alternatives are good choices if you want affordable pellet smokers.

Not a fan of the pellet grill? 

Learn more about gas grills in our buying guides.