Doesn’t just the word barbecue make you excited? Have you ever salivated about cooking and eating delicious steaks and hotdogs? If yes, then you are surely not alone.
But how do you throw the best BBQ party?
How do you achieve the unique balance between smokiness and tenderness in your meat?
Well, you need all the right equipment to get perfectly grilled and smoked food every time. This includes the best meat, exceptional wood pellets, and a fantastic recipe right by your side.
Most importantly, you need to get your hands on one of the best pellet grills.
To help you out, we have reviewed the best pellet smokers in this article. Our list includes portable, versatile, high-end, and all-rounder pellet smokers to help you smoke turkey or grill steaks for your friends and family.
The Best Pellet Smokers & Grills for 2021 Reviews
Since there are multiple options available in the market, it can be challenging to choose a smoker or grill for your BBQ party. Keep reading our top 10 pellet smoker reviews in the following section to find the best one for your needs.
#1. Best All-Around Pellet Smoker – Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker
The Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker has a stainless steel body, which makes it strong, sturdy, and durable. Its rust-resistant body allows you to use your grill for a long time. Even though it weighs around 145 pounds, the brand has added two caster wheels on two of the legs for easy portability.
Besides this, the grill offers a slide and grill feature, allowing you to smoke, roast, grill, and braise your meat. Along with the primary cooking space, it contains a second upper shelf to give you a total of 811 square inches of cooking capacity. The second shelf can be adjusted and removed in the 3788 cubic inches chamber capacity.
Apart from all this, the brand has incorporated a digital temperature control with two stainless steel probes to help you keep an eye out on your meat. An automatic auger also feeds wood pellets to help you maintain the temperature between 175 to 400°.
You can clean the ash easily by just pulling the lever and collecting it in a cup below. Moreover, the grill makes it easy to change the wood pellets too. You have to hook the bucket in place and pull the lever to drop down the contents of the hopper.
For your convenience, Camp Chef has added a large foldable front-facing shelf and a side-shelf to help you keep your utensils, meat, or plates nearby. The smaller side-shelf can be replaced by an optional sear box (With a max temp of around 400°F, this grill isn’t great for searing. You can get around this with the add-on sear box which gives you a 16,000 BTU propane burner capable of reaching 900°F for perfect searing), sidekick side burner, flat-top grills, and other accessories.
- Easy assembly
- Sturdy construction
- Convenient front-facing and side shelf
- Easy ash clean-out
- Efficient consumption of pellets
- Adjustable second shelf
- Built-in two temperature probes
- No hooks
- Few users got a faulty temperature sensor
#2. Runner Up – Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha Model Bundle
Why? Because it is loaded with extraordinary features. Let’s start with the dual controller technology, that allows the smoker to smoke for a twelve-hour cooking or a quick grill. The best part of this grill is the huge grilling space, enough to grill eight whole chickens.
Bring in all the guests you want because Silverbac Alpha can handle large meals easily. Prominent features include a heavy-duty stainless steel lid with a hinge, convenient storage, ample work surfaces, Set n Forget digital control system, and automatic wood pellet feed.
But what exactly makes it so different? It’s the “Alpha Smoke” controller technology. This feature allows you to select the Grilla’s traditional style smoke mode or the PID mode. Hence, you can cook almost anything at any precise temperature that you want.
However, this new feature does not mean the Silverbac Alpha lacks any other Silverbac line features. It flaunts the auto start feature, thermal metal jacket, rugged powder-coat finish, and the EZ glide wheels.
The dimensions of Silverbac Alpha are 51 x 47 x 22 inches. The main cooking area is 26 x 19.5 inches, enough to cook for a crowd. Also, for power, the grill requires a standard three-prong outlet with 120 Volts and 50 to 60 Hz.
- Large cooking area
- Durable and versatile
- Smoke and temperature precision dual-mode controller
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Offers convection-style cooking
- Requires electricity
#3. Top-Rated Pellet Grill – Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
The DLX Pellet Grill is another Camp Chef product that is widely popular for its multiple features. To start, the grill is available in stainless steel, black, and even bronze lid covers for the customers.
Just like the other Camp Chef grills, this model also has a sturdy stainless steel body, making it durable as well as rust-resistant. The two caster wheels make it easy to move the 140-pound grill from your storage to the backyard too.
When it comes to the cooking surface, the grill offers a total of 570 square inches in a 3778 cubic inches chamber capacity. The grill contains a lower 429 square inches rack and an upper smoking area measuring 141 square inches.
Besides this, it features a stainless steel temperature probe, a dual LED temperature control, and an automatic auger to feed the wood pellets to the grill. Moreover, you even get a built-in sensor gauge to keep an eye out on the cooking temperature. All these features allow you to maintain the temperature of the grill between 160 to 500° F by choosing the desired settings.
The hopper can hold 18 pounds of wood pellets, which supports fewer refills and prolonged smoking. Along with this, the grill includes smart grease management and a lever system for cleaning out the ash and hopper. If all this was not enough, you get a side-shelf and an electronic ignition system for your convenience.
- Easy to clean
- Large hopper capacity
- Grease management
- Three color options
- Electrical ignition
- Built-in sensor gauge
- Automatic auger for wood pellets
- Temperature probe
- LED temperature read-out
- Less cooking space for the money
- Variation in temperature control
#4. Best Value Pellet Grill – Traeger Grills Pro Series 780
There is a reason why Traeger is one of the leading sellers in wood pellet grills. With continuous innovation, their goal has always been to make cooking easier, faster, and better. Especially with the Traeger Pro 780’s amazing features, you won’t even have to babysit the grill.
How? Because the Pro 780’s WiFire technology will allow you to adjust and monitor your grill’s cooking temperature from literally anywhere. You will just have to install the Traeger app on your phone, and you are good to go.
While the WiFire feature surely is the winner, the 780 offers many other great features to make you a pro griller. With this grill, you can forget about using gas or charcoal again. It allows doing the best wood-fired cooking.
Also, the Pro 780 allows you to cook with versatility. You can barbeque in almost any style you want: low and slow or hot and fast. It offers six different cooking modes, including smoke, grill, braise, roast, and BBQ.
Furthermore, with its precise temperature control system, you can set a temperature and forget about it until it’s done. The large cooking surface area of the 780 Pro can help you cook for those large family meetups.
With the Traeger’s Pro 780, you can handle anything from burgers to ribs, chicken, steak, vegetables, fish, etc.
- Precise and stable temperature control
- WiFi connected with easy to use the app
- Roomy grill space
- Fast temperature recovery
- Easy to set up
- Requires electricity
- App requires WiFi
- The app can become slow at times
#5. Best Budget Wood Pellet Smoker – Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E 2021 Upgrade
With over 30 years of experience in manufacturing pellet grills for other companies, Z Grills was officially established in 2017 as one of the most affordable brands in the market.
Their stainless steel ZPG-7002E Wood Pellet Grill offers 8-in-1 versatility by allowing you to grill, BBQ, roast, braise, bake, smoke, sear, and char-grill on just one grill. Besides this, Z Grills uses porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grids for durability and includes a heavy-duty wheel to move the grill.
It offers a primary cooking area of 504 square inches and an additional warming rack that bumps the capacity to about 700 square inches. The grill is exceptionally easy-to-use and includes an automatic electrical ignition for faster start-up. With the waste oil collector, you can clean the pellet grill quickly and safely.
Along with this, you get a massive 20-pound hopper with an automatic auger to feed the pellets into the grill for optimum smoke. A fan allows the heat to distribute evenly inside the chamber for precise temperature control.
Moreover, the digital control board helps you adjust the temperature between 180 to 450°F and displays it on the LED screen. Being the best pellet grill under $500, it keeps the temperature variation under 10 degrees.
- Cliturdy construction
- Large cooking space
- Automati pellet feeder
- Precise temperature control
- 8-in-1 versatility
- Relaively inexpensive
- Quality control issues
- Does not contain meat probes
- No proper ash disposal system
#6. Best Portable Wood Pellet Smoker – Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Wi-Fi
Green Mountain Grills is an American company that produces some of the best wood pellet grills and accessories at an affordable price. Their Davy Crockett Grill is the best portable one on our list.
This 32 x 16 x 21 inches grill weighs only 68 pounds, and its legs can be folded into carrying handles. Hence, you can fit it in your car and take it for tailgating, camping, or picnic. The included 12V adapters allow you to connect the grill with a car battery, generator, or home outlet to light up the grill.
Moreover, the grill features Sense-Mate technology, which reads the temperature of the grill precisely, and a 17-pound hopper to maintain the heat at a constant level. Thus, you can adjust the temperature from 150 to 550°F with five-degree increments.
Besides this, it offers digital Wi-Fi control on their mobile phone app, allowing you to control the smoke and temperature settings remotely. You can even set precise cooking timers through the device and keep an eye out on the temperature and wood pellets.
With a cooking space measuring 12 x 16 inches, you can cook all kinds of food on the grill. If all this was not enough, the grill contains auto-ignition and a convenient side rack for holding and hooking up utensils.
- Adapters offer powering options
- Wi-Fi digital temperature control
- Large hopper capacity
- Precise temperature control
- Poor grease drainage
- Small cooking space
#7. Best Design Pellet Grill – Pit Boss Classic Wood 700 Sq In Fired Pellet Grill
You know how most grills lack proper searing. Pit Boss, the grill manufacturing industry pioneer, has tried to solve this long-lasting problem by introducing the fantastic Classic Wood 700 FB. From the plate sliding design to offering real flame searing, this grill has won the hearts of many reviewers.
It offers a total of 700 square inches as the cooking surface. The pellet hopper capacity is 21 pounds. This grill also features porcelain-coated wire cooking grates, making them super-easy to clean.
This grill has a digitally controlled burn system to avoid burning disasters. Also, it uses 100% hardwood pellets as fuel. You can cook simultaneously for four to six people on this grill.
The cooking temperature ranges from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can almost cook in any style. The 700 FB will also maintain the set temperature throughout the cooking. Moreover, for an easy readout, the thermostat controls have LED displays.
The Pit Boss 700 FB has a heavy-duty steel construction. The design is perfect for open fire pot searing.
- Allows proper searing
- Easy to clean
- Durable construction
- Elegant design
- Large cooking area
- Costly for fuel
- Not smokeable
#8. Best Pellet Grill for Truckers/Campers – Traeger Grills Ranger Pellet Grill
Of course, you expected another grill from Traeger on this list. Traeger is known for making grills that we all love, and the Traeger Grills Ranger pellet grill is no less. It comes with a lot of features that we look for in the best Pellet grills.
Let’s begin with the digital Arc Controller that allows you to adjust the temperature, offering an increment of five degrees. Then, there is a Keep Warm mode that keeps your food hot, tender, and juicy, no matter when you eat.
Furthermore, there is advanced grilling logic for precise temperature control. Another feature called the Meat Probe helps you in checking the temperature without lifting the lid. There is also a cooking timer that reminds you to check or sauce the food.
What makes this grill a good option for campers is its portability. The Ranger also comes with a baffled lid with latches for a longer lifetime and safe transportation. You will find it extremely easy to clean this grill grates as they are coated in porcelain.
The pellet grill comes with a compact design, specifically to meet the needs of people who want to travel with this grill. The dimensions of this cooking guru are 20 x 13 x 21 inches. The weight is 60 pounds. With the grilling capacity of 184 sq inches, you can grill six burgers or ten hotdogs at a time.
- Precise temperature control
- Keeps the food warm
- Meat Probe for checking the temperature with lifting the lid
- Easy to clean
- Easy to move around
- For small to medium gatherings
- Requires electricity
#9. Best Large Pellet Grill – Camp Chef SmokePro LUX
SmokePro is the fourth exceptional pellet grill model of Camp Chef on our list. Available in both black and bronze-colored lids, the grill is one of the largest from the brand. It offers a massive 875 square inches of cooking space and includes a first rack as well as an additional warming rack.
The stainless steel grill comes with four wheels and two locking casters for easy transportation. Besides this, you get a bottom and two side shelves for storing your utensils.
The 18-pound hopper feeds pellets to the grill automatically to control the temperature precisely. It even features an innovative temperature chip to prevent substantial temperature variation and provide consistent smoke. The dual sensors, on the other hand, measure both the food and the internal temperature, which are displayed on the dual-LED readout.
Overall, you can reach a maximum temperature of 400°F on the grill. However, you can replace the side shelf with a sear box to reach high temperatures needed for searing your meat.
Apart from all this, the grill has a secure ash cleaning system that removes the burnt wood pellets from the grill. With a smart automatic electric ignition, you will not have to wait for the grill to start-up.
- Quick start-up
- Convenient shelves for storage and prep
- Durable body
- Dual sensors and temperature read
- Automatic pellet feeder
- Large cooking space
- Temperature variation
- Quality issues
#10. Best Pellet Grill Consumer Reports – Camp Chef 24-inches Wi-Fi Woodwind
Since this is the third Camp Chef grill in our top pellet grill reviews, you can guess that the brand offers only the best features in their models.
The 24-inch Woodwind Pellet Grill, just like the previous models, has a stainless steel stylish body and comes with wheels for portability. Compared to others, it offers 40% extra chamber space and comes with the option for 20, 24, and 36-inch pellet grills.
Besides this, you can even select either direct flame or indirect flame with just a twist of your knob, allowing you to reach temperatures ranging from 160 to 650°F. The grill comes with four built-in meat probes to measure the temperature of your meat accurately and displays it on its digital LED.
Most importantly, this grill can be connected to the Camp Chef app on your phone via the Wi-Fi and PID controller. It allows you to monitor, set alert notifications, control, and alter the smoke settings according to your needs. Such that, you can choose a number from one to 10 to select the degree of smoke you want in your chamber.
Apart from this, the grill offers easy clean-up by installing a removable cup right below the grill. It collects all the ash with a pull of one knob, allowing you to dispose of it before cooking a new batch of steak or burgers. Furthermore, the grill offers a convenient bottom and side shelf for storing utensils.
- Large cooking capacity
- Bottom and side shelf for storage
- Remote smoke control through Wi-Fi
- Easy ash clean-up
- Four built-in temperature probes
- LED displays temperature
- No hook attachments
- Small hopper capacity
- No automatic start-up from the app
How To Pick The Best Wood Pellets for Smoking?
Now that you have picked your pellet grill, it’s time to select the best wood pellet for your dishes. Keeping in mind that high-quality pellets can make all the difference in your recipe, let us learn what distinguishes a good pellet from a low-quality one.
Hardwood or Softwood
When it comes to choosing between hardwood and softwood pellets, both of them hold their merits as well as cons. On the one hand, hardwood pellets are stable and burn at a consistent temperature. Thus, they burn for a longer time and provide pure, thick smoke.
Softwood pellets, on the other hand, contain more lignin and burn at higher temperatures. They have higher BTUs, making them burn out faster than hardwood too.
If you want to smoke your dish slow and at low temperatures, opt for hardwood. However, if you’re going to cook for a large crowd in a short time, go for the softwood pellets.
Before purchasing your pellets, you should also look at its content. Many brands try to lower their production cost by adding alder, oak, and chemical fillers to their pellets. It might save them money, but it affects the flavor negatively. Moreover, they burn at a lower temperature and produce a larger quantity of ash.
Make sure to purchase 100% natural flavored wood pellets for the best possible smoke in your BBQ.
Different types of woods offer different flavored smoke for your meat. We have listed some of the best woods for your pellet grill.
- Hickory is a widely popular wood that offers the classic strong BBQ flavor in your meat. Its modest smoke is perfect for grilling pork, beef brisket, or even poultry.
- Found in the Northeast and Midwest, Applewood gives off a mildly sweet smoke, which is ideally suited for cooking pork, poultry, fish, and vegetables.
- Although Birch is softwood and burns faster, it is suitable for cold-smoking fish.
- Cherry offers a bold yet sweet smoke, just like the applewood. You can use these wood pellets for low and slow smoking dishes like duck, salmon, and even chicken.
Ash content of a wood pellet is the amount of ash produced in comparison to the burnt wood. The larger the quantity of ash, the lower the quality of the wood pellet. Besides this, ash lowers the burning efficiency of the stove or burner.
You should opt for a wood pellet that provides high BTUs while maintaining a low burn rate.
This feature affects the amount of time it will take to light up the grill. Wood pellets with low moisture content light up and heat the grill much faster than those with higher content. Top-quality pellets will offer moisture content of less than 6.5%.
The Features of A Pellet Grill
Let us take a look at the standard features of a pellet grill.
The best wood pellet grills are made from the highest quality stainless steel to ensure durability. Their rust-resistant feature allows you to use them for a long time. Since pellet grills are quite heavy, the grill offers sturdy wheels for easy transportation too.
Besides this, the best grills contain heavy-duty cast-iron or tempered steel cooking grates to distribute heat evenly and quickly.
Depending on the size of your pellet grill, you can get a sizable primary cooking space and an additional secondary warming rack. Generally, the latter is smaller and best suited for indirect heating.
While some pellet grills may provide the option of attaching a sear box, some of them include a separate sear box on the side for searing meat at high temperatures.
The hopper holds the wood pellets and comes with an automatic auger to feed them to the fire. This feature helps to maintain the temperature of the grill precisely. The hopper capacity, on the other hand, depends on the size of the grill as well as the manufacturer. Large hoppers allow you to cook continuously without taking a break.
Undoubtedly, temperature control is one of the most vital features of a pellet grill. You will have different types of controllers in different brands of grills. The three-position temperature control is the simplest out of all, with the option to choose between low, medium, and high. Apart from this, the multi-position controller allows you to adjust the heat in small set increments.
Then, we have the non-PID and PID controls, which offer a higher degree of control. The former helps to alter temperatures using set increments by feeding wood pellets in a set pattern. However, the latter is the gold standard control. It offers precise temperature control by feeding pellets consistently and using smart meat probes.
How To Choose The Right Wood Pellet Smoker?
Now that you know about the common features of a pellet grill, how will you choose the right pellet smoker for your needs? Read on to clear all your confusions.
This one is entirely dependent on your needs. If you have a small family or you cook for small gatherings only, it makes sense to invest in a cheaper grill with lower cooking capacity.
On the other hand, if you hold large BBQ gatherings regularly, a larger grill with increased cooking capacity can be a life-saving decision. Not only will you save time, but you can cook various dishes at the same time.
Cleaning your grill after cooking can be quite frustrating when it does not have the right features. To make your life easier, look for a grill with a proper grease management system, or removable grease trays. Besides this, many grills have an ash removal design and dishwasher-safe adjustable grates for your convenience too.
Along with this, look for hoppers that allow you to clean and replace your wood pellets with ease.
There are many grills in the markets with amazing features. However, they are cumbersome, making it challenging to move them from one place to another. Look for grills that offer sturdy wheels, locking caster, foldable legs, and carrying handles for easy transportation.
In the case where you want a grill suitable for travel, look for a grill that offers features like the Country Smokers Pellet Grill. They should be compact, lightweight, and easy to move.
If you can afford expensive pellet grills, you can have the most innovative temperature controls in your hand. Your grill can have a PID controller, which maintains the temperature accurately. It might feature an LED read-out for the warmth, sensitive meat probes, and temperature gauge.
Luxury and high-end grills like the RT-700 and Memphis Elite Grill offer remote Wi-Fi temperature controls on your phone too.
On the other hand, if you want a budget-friendly grill, you can find some of the best wood pellet grills with non-PID or multi-position controls. Make sure that you opt for one with accurate temperature gauge and broader temperature change.
How Does A Pellet Grill Work?
Although they might seem similar to charcoal or gas smoker, wood pellet grills work differently. Firstly, they use longer-lasting, natural wood pellets to fire their grills. They are fed into a hopper, which delivers them to the cooking chamber through an electricity-powered auger.
Next, the wood pellets are burnt, through an electrical ignition system or by using lighter fluid and matches. The convection fans disperse the smoke and heat from the burning pellets to all the corners of the chamber. As you cook along, the auger rotates in set periods to add new pellets to the fire.
Besides this, pellet grills offer precise temperature controls, either with a dial knob or digitally. They offer a wide range of temperatures, allowing you to cook on low flame or sear your meat on high setting.
Moreover, handy meat probes keep reading the temperature of the internal chamber as well as the meat. The probes are connected with your control board to help you adjust settings accordingly.
Apart from all this, some brands have incorporated smart technology into their grills. For example, complex control boards allow you to control the temperature from your mobile phone, helping you to keep a keen eye on your lean meat. They might even feature smart shut-down and faster cool-down of the grill too.
How To Use A Wood Pellet Smoker?
To start, you need to fill the hopper to the top with high-quality natural wood pellets. While most grills can work with any type and brand of pellets, some require specific ones from their brand.
Next, assemble your cooking grates correctly inside the chamber to keep them in place, set your desired temperature using the control panel, and connect it to a power supply. If you want to cook in a short time, keep a higher temperature.
After this, you have to turn on the grill. If your grill contains an auto-ignition button, press down on the button for a few moments. Otherwise, you can ignite the pellets manually using a lighter.
Your smart meat probes will measure the internal temperature and display it on the LED. When your heat levels are up, place your meat inside the grill and follow your recipe step-by-step.
You can even insert the probes inside your meat to keep an eye on your dish without opening the temperature. The set-it and forget-it grill will do all the rest of the cooking for you while you enjoy a drink.
Just make sure to keep an eye on the hopper and refill it with pellets if needed. After the set time, turn off the grill, remove your dishes, and wait for the grill to cool down. Next, you have to clean out the grills before storing it away until the next time you might need it.
How To Maintain A Wood Pellet Grill?
After cooking on your favorite pellet grill, you must clean them to increase their lifetime. Most often, food and grease get stuck on the grill grate and ruin the taste of the next dish. Hence, it is essential to wash them before or after you have cooked your meat.
To clean the grates before cooking, turn the temperature to around 200 to 300°F and wait for 10 minutes to melt the grease. After this, use a brush to remove any food particle left on the grates.
Next, take out the grates and clean the grease drip tray with a scrapper. Instead of cleaning it every time, you can place tin foil pans over the tray to catch all the grease next time. Use a long wooden stick to scrape and clean the grease shoot also.
For the chamber, use a vacuum to take out any leftover ash from the inside and the firepot. Wipe the chamber and the metal probes with a lightly damp cloth for the final finish. Some pellet grills might come with an ash-removal system for easier clean-up too. Just dispose of the ash from the bucket and replace it.
As for the chimney, you should clean it out every year with a brush and damp cloth. Along with this, make sure to wipe the exterior of the grill and use a polish to maintain the stainless steel surfaces.
The Benefits of Using A Pellet Smoker
As listed below, pellet smoker can be a life-changing investment for you. Read on to find how they make your cooking game strong, and your life much more comfortable.
- The versatility of the grill allows you to smoke, grill, BBQ, roast, bake and even braise on the same grill. By investing in a pellet smoker, you will not have to purchase other appliances like a griddle.
- Pellet grills rival some of the best gas grills when it comes to quick preheating. They barely take a maximum of 15 minutes to reach the desired temperature.
- Since these grills work on natural wood pellets, you can choose different woods like hickory, applewood, or maple, to add different flavors to your dish.
- The set-it and forget-it pellet grill includes built-in meat probes for measuring the temperature, thereby, eliminating the need for wireless meat thermometers.
- Convection currents from the fan spread heat evenly around the chamber, allowing you to add a large quantity of meat on the grate.
- The grills offer precise temperature control, helping you adjust the heat within three to five-degree increments.
- They are incredibly fuel-efficient, using very few pellets than charcoal for the same cooking time.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, our top ten pellet grills offer the best possible features at their price. While some are more expensive than others, they include smart new technology to help you throw a BBQ in a breeze. Before investing in one, make sure that you learn about all the essential features of the grill, and pick the right one for your needs.
Hopefully, this article has provided enough insight on some of the best wood pellet grills in the market for you.
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