Table of Contents
- Top 10 Best Pellet Smoker and Grill Reviews
- Top 3 Best Pellet Grills Under $500
- Top 6 Best Pellet Grills Under $1000
- 1. Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker (TFB42LZBC)
- 2. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
- 3. Traeger Texas Elite 34 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker (TFB65LZBC)
- 4. REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill
- 5. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
- 6. Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box – Best for Searing
- Best High-End Pellet Grill
- Pellet Grills and Smokers: Buying Guide
There are various smoker designs available but it is the pellet smoker that is usually preferred by some people because they are easy to use. You can control the thermostat and the cooking temperature. You can just set everything up and just leave it. It will start smoking on its own. Just imagine how convenient that would be especially if you have to run errands.
There are some people who use the pellet smokers at night and they go to sleep thinking that they will have awesome meat the day after. Different pellet smokers and grills are perfectly safe to use that way. The key is to find the best one that will fit your needs. How will you know which one to pick?
There are some factors that you should consider choosing the best pellet smoker or grill and you will know all about these details as you read on.
Here are the best pellet grills/smokers on the market right now.
Top 10 Best Pellet Smoker and Grill Reviews
Top 3 Best Pellet Grills Under $500
1. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – WIFI Enabled
One thing that you should remember about this pellet grill is that it is Wi-Fi enabled. This means that it will be easier to control whenever you need to check on its temperature. This is a small pellet grill and its portability cannot be questioned. The GMG Davy Crockett is lightweight and its legs can be folded underneath. It will not take up too much space. Imagine bringing this with you when you need to camp out. It will be ideal to use for travel.
The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill has 219 square inches of cooking area. Some people may find this a bit small but it works for small groups of people. Up to 17 pounds of pellets can be held by the pellet hopper. This will ensure that it can cook for quite some time provided that you will place enough fuel to allow this grill to smoke for a long time. The GMG Davy Crockett pellet grill also comes with a stainless steel bucket and a fat container.
One best thing about this GMG smoker is the PID controller. This means that the temperature control of this grill is actually very good. You can control it manually before you run your errands or you may check on it through your phone. You can download the application whether you are an Android or an iOS user.
The temperature panel is versatile enough. It will allow you to set the temperature from 150-500 Degrees Fahrenheit. There will be 5-Degrees for each interval. The moment that you set the temperature, expect that it is going to remain the same for the whole time that you are using it.
2. Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler
The Pit Boss 71700FB pellet grill comes with a cooking space of 700 square inches which is very big. This pellet grill also comes with the upper rack space. You can use it as the additional cooking space. The grill’s cooking surface is made of porcelain coated cast iron. This will allow you to grill your food with ease. It will also be easy to maintain the grill.
The Pit Boss 71700FB uses a digitally controlled burn system. You will be able to set up the temperature of the grill from 170 Degrees to 600 Degrees. You can just set your desired temperature, start the pellet smoker and start cooking. It will not require more effort to use. The Pit Boss 71700FB will automatically place the pellets into the smoker whenever needed so the food will be smoking and cooking continuously.
This Pit Boss pellet smoker uses a fan-forced air in order to improve the size of the flame. This will keep the heat constant throughout the smoker. The Pit Boss 71700FB pellet grill will allow you to cook food in two ways: direct and indirect.
3. Traeger Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker (TFB30LZB)
Do you want to have something lightweight? You may want something you can bring around with you easily whenever you need to. The Traeger Tailgater 20 grill will not disappoint. You can use this portable pellet grill and smoker at home or you can also bring it when you go camping. The Traeger Tailgater 20 comes with features that other larger smokers also have.
The Traeger Tailgater 20 (TFB30LZB model) comes with an electronic ignition so you can turn it on easily when you want to use it. The digital controller will help you set your desired temperature to cook the food with ease. The smoker has the ability to be heated up to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit. The Traeger Tailgater 20 can also maintain low temperatures while steadily producing enough smoke for your meat.
Some people find the 300-square inch cooking area a bit small for their needs but for practical purposes, this can be enough to cook for a small group of people. The Traeger TFB30LZB itself comes with porcelain grates. You just need to be extra careful when cleaning the grates as porcelain can be a bit sensitive.
The Traeger Tailgater 20 grill and smoker comes with a leg-folding feature that will make it easy for you to pack it up when you’re not using it. You can bring this portable pellet grill and smoker with you and have access to smoked or grilled food whenever you want.
Top 6 Best Pellet Grills Under $1000
1. Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker (TFB42LZBC)
The Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 comes with a Digital Elite Controller that will help you maintain the temperature of the smoker while you are using it. You can check the LED display to be sure about the grill’s temperature and settings.
Starting up this wood pellet grill will be easy because of the electronic ignition. Jush push the button and it will start up. How convenient, right? This is the perfect grill to use whenever you just want to cook at home or if you want to cook for a group of people at a party. The 418 square inches of cooking space will make that possible.
The Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 comes with porcelain grill grates that will make it easier to clean. They may be a bit more sensitive than the usual grates but dirt and grime can be removed better. Remember that you need to use soft brushes to clean them.
You can use the Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 as a regular grill or you can also use it to sear meat. Smoking will take several hours but since this grill can easily maintain temperature, it will not be a problem. The taste can be enhanced with the wood chips or the pellets you will use while cooking or smoking.
The Traeger Grills is known to be a trusted and popular brand in the United States. This brand is already tried and tested by many people. Take note that the Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 does not have smart features (no meat probes or Wi-Fi) that some pellet smokers already have but as a basic smoker, this is the best pellet smoker that you will find.
2. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
The Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker uses Smart Smoke Technology. You can just “Set It and Forget It”.
There are many grills and smokers that you need to set for a long time before you get your desired cooking temperature but for this one, you can just set up your temperature and press a button to get it heated up. The digital control board will help you to set the cooking temperature from 180°F to 475°F.
The Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker comes with an Internal Temperature Sensor that helps to make the cooking temperature stable. This means that you do not have to look into your grill every time to check the status of your food. You can enjoy doing other things while this wood pellet grill cooks your food appropriately.
The cooking area is quite large at 513 square inches. A warm rack of 187 square inches is also available. Huge cooking space means having the ability to cook for a large group of people.
3. Traeger Texas Elite 34 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker (TFB65LZBC)
The Traeger Texas Elite 34 comes with a large cooking area. The 646 square inches will allow you to prepare large pieces of meat. You will have no trouble cooking turkey or you may also cook a whole chicken with the large cooking area. The Traeger Texas Elite 34 is known to be good at keeping the temperature inside the smoker. The electronic ignition will allow you to turn on the grill immediately. This Traeger grill comes with a LED display that will allow you to check the temperature if it is consistent with what you need. Remember that the more consistent the temperature, the better your meat will taste.
With the Traeger Texas Elite 34 grill you can sear a large amount of meat all at the same time. You can also keep the temperature at the low ranges to cook meat slowly and surely. Slow cooking can be amazing for different types of meat. You can just walk away from your smoker and allow your meat to be cooked thoroughly.
The porcelain grill grates are easy to clean. Less time cleaning – more time enjoying your food.
4. REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill
The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is able to maintain a precise temperature for a long period of time. The moment that you set a temperature, it will be the temperature that this wood pellet grill is going to have the whole time that you are cooking your food.
The Smart Grill Technology allows you to set the temperature from 180ºF to 500ºF in 5º increments. Opening the lid of any smoker while you are cooking will always make a difference with the cooking temperature. If you remove the lid often, this can become a problem in the long run. The Smart Grill Technology will make sure that temperature will remain constant all throughout.
Another thing that you should take note of this pellet grill is its construction. There are many grills that only come with stainless steel on the outside but the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is made out of stainless steel all throughout.
The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill comes with a 40-pound hopper capacity. You can be sure that this is the smoker that can be used when you want to smoke meat overnight. Make sure that you have enough fuel for your cooking needs.
This REC TEC pellet grill & smoker comes with a large cooking area. The 702 square inches work well for cooking a large amount of food all at the same time.
There is no need to worry if this smoker is not going to last for a long time. The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill comes with a 6-year warranty so you can easily have it returned or replaced when you are not satisfied with the features it can provide.
5. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX pellet grill comes with an ash removal system. This can make clean up a breeze that is always a plus especially for people who are always busy.
The Dual LED temperature readout allows you to know internal cooking temperatures and food temperatures.
Most smokers cannot be used for searing but the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX is just one that can be very effective. You have the option to add an LP gas sear burner if you want to use this smoker for searing too.
The porcelain coated grill grate will be highly useful when you are cooking.
The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX comes with the upper rack and drip pan which are made out of stainless steel. The pellet hopper has a 20-pound capacity.
When you get this wood pellet smoker, it is almost fully assembled. You just need to arrange it further so you can proceed to using the cooker.
6. Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box – Best for Searing
You would like to have a pellet grill and smoker that can be used for varying purposes. You will be allowed to smoke meat, grill, or even bake. The Camp Chef Woodwind is a highly functional pellet grill & smoker that you will be happy to have at home.
The main cooking surface is 570 square inches. This is actually quite good especially when you are cooking for a few people. You can adjust the heat from 160° F up to 500° F. The Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill is very effective for slow cooking and for smoking your food.
You can use a meat probe in order to check the meat’s temperature without having to make too much effort.
The Camp Chef Woodwind grill comes with a Sear Box that allows you to reach temperatures up to 900° F. This is a great feature that you should not pass up.
The patented Ash Cleanout system is something that you need and you will not find it in other pellet smokers.
The Camp Chef Woodwind comes with a pellet hopper that can hold 18 pounds of pellets. This may be not enough especially for the price that you have to pay for this pellet grill.
The Smart Smoke Technology feature of this pellet smoker allows you to set up the grill and start cooking while you do other things. Just set it and let it. Who says that you have to be near the smoker all the time while you are using it? Just make sure that you will set it up to your desired temperature if you truly want your meat to be perfectly cooked.
Best High-End Pellet Grill
Memphis Elite Wood Fire Grill Wood Pellet BBQ
The Memphis Elite pellet grill is well-built and looks amazing. The double walled steel construction makes it effective in keeping the heat inside the grill. This works similarly to an indoor oven.
The Memphis Elite is made of 304 stainless steel. The finish is amazing. The stainless steel grates are very heavy too and will be able to withstand heavy-duty cooking. You can double the cooking surface by adjusting the upper grates of the grill.
The Memphis Elite pellet grill comes with a large stainless container wherein all the grease will go. You can immediately dispose the grease and clean the rest of the grill whenever you need to do so.
The Intelligent Temperature Control with Wi-Fi allows you to set the temperature easily. You can also use the meat probe to check if the temperature of the meat is good enough for your needs. There are also different programming options that are available to cook the meat portions properly.
You may choose to cook the food through direct or indirect heat simply by making some small changes.
The temperature range: 180-700 degrees Fahrenheit. The 1252 square inches of cooking space will be enough to feed your whole street.
The Memphis Elite is an impressive pellet grill & smoker you can use when you want to have a barbecue party.
Pellet Grills and Smokers: Buying Guide
What is a Pellet Smoker/Grill?
Pellet smokers, sometimes referred to as pellet grills, are actually a combination of gas grills, charcoal smokers and kitchen ovens that uses wood pellets in order to smoke, grill and bake. They use an electronic control panel to maintain a constant and accurate cooking temperature.
One reason why people love to use a pellet grill in order to smoke their meat is they do not need to check up on their meat often. You just need to make sure that your pellet hopper is full before you start smoking. It will be enough to smoke the meat well even if you leave it for a long time. The moment that the temperature drops, an automatic hopper system delivers more pellets to the flame to ensure that temperature will remain constant all throughout. The better the quality of the pellet smoker – the more accurate the temperature is going to be.
How to Use a Pellet Smoker/Grill?
A pellet smoker is automated, so it is easier to use than charcoal or wood smokers. We can compare it with an electric smoker in simplicity. Still, if it is your first time to use a pellet smoker, you should know more about it and how you can use it appropriately.
- Have enough fuel. You need to check if you have enough wood pellets that the hopper will feed to the grill. The pellets you will place in the hopper may last for a few hours or for a whole weekend. It will depend on the pellet smoker you have.
- The machine should be turned on. Pellet smokers can be turned on with a push of a button. How convenient, right?
- You need to be patient as you allow the smoker to warm up a bit. It will take up to 15 minutes before you get your desired temperature.
- Place the meat.
- Allow the smoker to cook.
As you can see the process of using a pellet smoker/grill is actually easy.
How Does a Pellet Smoker Work?
All pellet smokers have a controller. With its help you may select the temperature that you need to cook your food. You can also program the pellet smoker to cook for a certain period of time. Some pellet smokers can be programmed to change its setting depending on how you want your meat to be cooked. Some have meat probes that allow you to track the internal temperature of your food.
Pellet smokers have an automatic feed mechanism that places the pellets into the burn pot. The pellets fall into the burn pot and ignite by the igniter rod located at the bottom of the burn pot. As the pellets ignite, an electric fan starts to circulate oxygen through the burn pot. By this time, the igniter shuts off.
What are Pellets?
Wood pellets are the type of fuel made from compacted sawdust. It looks like a long pill with 1/4 inch diameter. Pellets are known to be completely natural. No chemicals in them, no fillers, or binders.
Wood pellets produce very little ash when burning: 10 lb of pellets produce about 1/2 cup of ash. Its energy content is about 8,500 BTU/lb.
Hardwood pellets produce rich flavors. You can choose different flavors for your needs. Some of the popular wood flavors are oak, apple, cherry, and peach.
Electric Smoker Vs Pellet Smoker
Electric smokers are definitely the most convenient smokers available. But for the discerning chef, the best smoker is still a pellet smoker because the taste of the food is going to be much different.
A pellet smoker makes use of natural wood pellets that will definitely improve the flavor of your food. The wood pellets may come from different types of wood.
A pellet smoker can be used for different types of cooking. This multifunctional cooker can smoke, grill and bake.
Electric smokers can only be used to smoke. It is a bit limited but the ease of use cannot be disregarded.
Pellet Smoker Vs Wood Smoker
Pellet smokers are convenient and can be started up easily while wood smokers are very hard to get going.
Pellet smokers are better in terms of keeping the temperature constant inside the smoker so the food will be cooked perfectly.
When you use wood smokers, you need to check them constantly. It is always possible that you will end up with food you can barely eat because it is overcooked and undercooked in certain areas.
A pellet smoker/grill can just be set up and you can leave it doing some errands. Setting up is a breeze and you can easily control its temperature too.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Pellet Smoker
It is evident that there are different pellet smokers that are available, right? How can you possibly choose the one that will work best for your needs? These are the factors that you should consider:
1) Type of pellet grill controller
Take note that there are different controllers that you will find in pellet smokers such as the following:
- Three-position controller (LMH) – It’s very poor at maintaining temperature. This type of controller only makes use of 3 settings namely low, medium and high heat. The problem with LMH controller is that it is not able to maintain the accurate temperature. Furthermore, LMH controllers don’t account for the amount of food being cooked and weather conditions, both of which affect temperature.
- Multi-position and digital controllers – This is the controller that comes with its own LED display. You can see the temperature that you have set. Digital controllers may come with other features such as a timer and alerts.
- PID controller – This is the best type of controller you can have in your pellet smoker. The PID controller is so advanced that it takes into account if there are some weather changes or if you open the lid while you are cooking. The temperatures will be consistent throughout the whole time that you are cooking. You can just leave your pellet smoker cooking while you sleep at night and you can get amazing smoked meat when you wake up in the morning.
2) What size of pellet smoker do you need?
You may need to cook a certain amount of food all at once. For an average size family, a pellet smoker with a cooking area of 400-450 square inches should be enough. The price increases as you choose smokers that are larger in size.
3) How long can you leave a smoker unattended?
There are some pellet smokers that can be left behind for a long period of time. This usually depends on the pellet hopper size. You also need to know how much fuel the pellet smoker uses per hour. These capacities determine how long you can leave the pellet smoker without having to check on it.
4) Extension cords
Pellet grills are mainly placed outdoors. This can be a problem if you do not have an electrical outlet outside your home. One option is to use an extension cord. Some pellet smokers come with their own extension cords while others would require you to purchase extension cords separately.