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11 Best Rated Pellet Grill/Smoker – In-Depth Reviews

T oday’s grilling is no longer a challenging activity that can be carried out only by expert chefs, and this thanks to the improvements in technology. Most grills come now with precise gauges and easy starting systems while offering large but also easy-to-clean cooking surfaces. Gas units, especially, are extremely straightforward. Nonetheless, if you are a big fan of wood-fire smoked food, a pellet grill/smoker is the right choice.

Most units come with automatic feed and supplementary features and accessories, like dependable firing systems or fat collectors. You may even find units that employ smart technology, taking the searing and smoking technique to the next level.

These being said, it’s time to take a look at some of the most trustworthy models available and see what makes them more attractive than the competition.

Seared marks are easier to obtain with the right equipment. See here the most reliable infrared grills and start using this quick technology to serve appetizing steaks.


Top 12 Pellet Grills/Smokers Compared

Photo
Product Name
Cooking Area (ft.)
Hopper Capacity (lbs.)
Max Temperature (°F)
Highlights
Warranty
Price
Pit Boss Grills 71820FB Image
Best Overall
820
20
500
Flame Broiler
1-year
Louisiana Grills Series 900 Image
Editor’s Choice
913
14
600
Digital Control Center
5-year
Weber 22510201 SmokeFire EX4 (2nd Gen) Image
672
22
600
Smart App
3-year
Camp Chef PG24SG Image
811
22
500
Cleanout System
3-year
Traeger TFB42LZBC Image
Best for Home Use
418
18
450
Digital Elite Controller
3-year
Image
Best Commercial-Grade
700
20
450
25,000 BTUs/hour
3-year
Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO Image
572
18
450
Digital Pro Controler
3-year
Camp Chef PG24 Image
Best for Beginners
573
18
500
25,000 BTUs/hour
3-year
Z GRILLS ZPG-550B Image
Best for the Money
550
10
538
Smart Digital Controller
3-year
Cuisinart CPG-4000 Image
450
15
550
Portable Design
3-year
Z GRILLS ZPG-450A
452
15
450
Automatic Pellet Feed System
3-year
Green Mountain Grills DCWF Image
219
9
550
Digital WiFi controller
2-year

If you often cook small portions of food, it may not be worth it to fire up a huge grilling station. Consider investing in an electric griddle that will supply you with healthy-cooked veggies and meat all year round.


1. Pit Boss Grills 71820FB

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 580 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 240 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 20 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 500°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 1-year


With a heavy-duty structure and a vast 820 sq. in. hot zone, this model will be the central piece of your patio parties. Bigger than most units in its class and able to supply a heat level between 180 and 500 F, it will deliver burgers and steaks for all your guests simultaneously. Besides, it comes with a flame broiler that allows open flame searing so you can cook variate and appetizing food.

The greatest thing about it is its ability to produce a 40,000 BTU heat output that surpasses by far the power of similar grills and allows efficient, uniform cooking for larger pieces of meat. Plus, it comes with a fan that forces convection and ensures a strong fire during the grilling. The two strong wheels help you move it around the yard, while the robust stainless steel structure ensures stability and offers increased safety while grilling. The iron-cast grates are porcelain-glazed, making cleaning more effortlessly and producing nice searing marks for your steaks.

The convection mechanism forces the air to circulate inside the cavity, turning this grill into an oven, so you can also bake or roast with it. All the surface gets uniformly heated, ensuring that there are no cold spots that can lead to you serving unevenly cooked food. Plus, the grease is collected into a bucket, so cleaning will be an easy job. You will nonetheless need to use a shop vac to remove the ashes, as there’s no dedicated ash disposal mechanism, but, fortunately, this model doesn’t produce a lot of ashes, so you will be doing this job more rarely.

PROS

  • Large hopper
  • Outstanding heat output
  • Extended cooking surface
  • Sturdy stainless steel structure
  • Easy-to-clean grates

CONS

  • Auger needs time to respond to temperature changes
  • Only 1-year warranty

Verdict

Strong and versatile, it can thoroughly cook large pieces of meat, chickens, turkeys, or ribs either at a high or low temperature, depending on your preferences. Provided with a large 20 lbs. hopper, it doesn’t require often refills, being perfect for users who cherish their comfort.


If you are organizing an outdoor kitchen, nothing can beat the stylish look and long-lasting construction of a built-in gas grill. Check out our selection and discover the comfort of grilling with a simple turn of a knob.


2. Louisiana Grills Series 900

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 633 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 280 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 14 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 600°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 5-year


With a hard-wearing structure and a first-rate mechanism, this model stands among the best. It offers a substantial cooking surface of 900 sq. in, divided among the main rack, which measures 633 sq. in., and a secondary rack that completes the surface with another 280 sq. in. Thus, if on the first rack you can place whole chickens, a few racks of ribs, or a generous number of burgers to get them cooked and smoked, the second one can serve as a resting spot for them where they can remain hot and fresh until it’s time to serve them.

It integrates a digital control center that allows you to set the heating level from 170F to 600F, being one of the strongest but also adaptable models. The temperature is maintained even with the help of the included meat probe that reports in real-time the conditions inside and will not let the temperature decrease or increase considerably. This function is connected to the automated auger and tells it to add more pellets or to stop the delivery for a moment. As the hopper is generous at 14 lbs., this operation is done without too much stress on your part

Due to the highly efficient convection mechanism, there are no cold zones, and the hot air is circulated throughout the full volume of the cavity. This turns it also into an oven where you can do some baking or roasting if you prefer. Furthermore, it integrates a flame broiler, so you can remove the tray that sits between the food and the flames and expose your food to direct flame for extra savor.

When you are done grilling, it is recommended to perform a quick cleaning of the system to prevent grease deposits and clogging. As it has an integrated grease management system, which sends the grease directly into a bucket, this is undoubtedly a simple operation. The racks are also easy to wash as they are glazed with porcelain, so the food comes off without any trouble. What may pose a bit of a struggle, conversely, is the removal of the ash, as you will need to use a shop vac to suck it out. Nonetheless, as long as you use good-quality pellets, the quantity of ash will be small, and you can do this operation less often.

PROS

  • Extra-large cooking zones
  • Allows for direct flame exposure of the food
  • Reaches high heat levels and distributes the hot air evenly
  • Meat probe helps you keep an eye on the conditions inside
  • 14 gauge steel construction make it time-resistant

CONS

  • Lacks an ash management system
  • Some say that the smoke flavor isn’t very intense


Verdict

A great pick for a great family, this model can turn your plain weekends into moments of joy when you can gather all your loved ones around and serve them a delicious dinner. The extent to which you can experiment is incredible, as the high-class convection system, along with the flame broiler, make this unit fit for a chef.


Winter cold will eventually bring with it indoor cooking. Take a look at our selection of smokeless grills and start making the same delicious food in your kitchen.



3. Weber 22510201 SmokeFire EX4 (2nd Gen)

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 432 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 240 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 22 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 600°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Drawer
  • Ash Management System: Ash Drawer
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


This is a truly expedient model that won’t give you any trouble when it comes to cleaning it. Not only that it offers a grease tray that will help gather off the oil and fats in one place for easy disposal, but an ashtray is also available in the same drawer. Thus, you can just push the ash with a spoon (included) from the cook box into the drawer and then detach it and empty it. There’s no need to invest in a shop vac for this job. Also, as the racks are covered in porcelain, they won’t let the food stick, so you won’t need to spend time scrubbing them.

The cooking surface is ample as you have 432 sq. in. for direct cooking and 240 sq. in. for keeping the food warm. The electric ignition sets the mechanism in movement and can increase the heat level to 600F in a fairly short time. At this temperature, you won’t have any trouble getting those appetizing searing marks you’ve seen in commercials. Everything is simple and expedient. The auger automatically feeds the pellets, and the two meat probes send you info about the process. Even when it comes to feeding the pellets, you won’t need to strain a muscle as the hopper is super large (22 lbs.) so you can keep grilling, and roasting, and broiling, and smoking, and baking, and so on.

A nice surprise is the wifi compatibility, which allows you to connect the grill to your phone. Thus, by installing the dedicated app, you will be able to follow the process and receive notifications when it’s time to flip the food or when it’s time to serve it. You even have a special function called Smoke Boost, so, by selecting it at the beginning, you will be able to give your food a more intense smoke flavor. For any functionality or material problems, this model is backed by a 3-year service assurance.

PROS

  • Easy monitoring and control through the dedicated app
  • Includes two generous racks that allow cooking more food at the same time
  • Special functions increase smoke production for extra flavor
  • Low maintenance with the grease and ash drawer
  • Searing is possible due to the high heat supply

CONS

  • As the price is pretty high, it should include a protection cover
  • Some users noticed that the temperature gauge on their products was a bit off


Verdict

It can produce beautiful sear marks, and, due to the efficient convection mechanism, you will never serve food that is not well cooked. You can step aside and savor a nice beer while waiting for the app on your phone to tell you when it’s time to check on the food or serve it. Besides, at the end of the party, you can just empty the grease and ash drawer in one movement without spending a lot of time.



4. Camp Chef PG24SG

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 429 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 144 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 500°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System: Ash can
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


While most pellet units are fast and can ensure an even heat distribution all over the hot zone, most of them cannot achieve the results offered by an infrared grill. To be more specific, they rarely manage to deliver sear marks. This is one of the main reasons this product ranked so high, as the company managed to combine an ingenious design with superior-quality materials that create the effect of infrared searing.

Direct fire exposure

The system consists of an outsized 22 lbs. firepot that comes with a mechanized feeding method. Hence, you only need to fill the firepot with pellets and the integrated sensor will tell the mechanism when it is time to throw more of them into the fire. The firebox is positioned just beneath the grates and separated from them through a heat diffuser. When you pull the knob located on the left side of the unit, it instantly enters the grill mode. More specifically, the diffuser slides to the side, leaving the fire uncovered. The generous 811 sq. ft. cooking zone is now exposed to direct fire and so will be the meat, thus resulting in beautiful sear marks ensured by the high heat. With a heat level that can reach 500F, and two meat probes offered, it is almost impossible not to get it right. The regulator will help you operate the inside heat level.

Powerful Output

It can produce a heat of 25,000 BTUs, ensuring fast and level cooking. Moreover, no dangerous chemicals are released, as it only uses natural pellets. Provided with a sturdy cover lid and presenting a volume of 4,850 cubic inches, it will easily roast 2 whole turkeys or 6 racks of ribs.

Innovative Cleaning Solution

While the ash cleaning system isn’t rocket science, it is a welcomed addition and solves the problem of removing the ashes found in conventional units. To put it short, it offers a detachable cup with a trap door, which is positioned under the firepot. As the ash forms, the door slides, allowing it to fall into the cup. When cleaning the unit, you can just detach the cup and empty it. Furthermore, as a drip tray is comprised, the grease problem is also solved.

PROS

  • Dual stainless steel meat probes
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Powerful 25,000 BTUs output
  • Large cooking zone and volume
  • Great hopper capacity

CONS

  • Assembly can be a little tricky
  • Restaurant-grade sear marks will only be obtained if you buy the special box they offer


Verdict

Backed by a 3-year service contract for parts and labor and built only of resistant materials, this investment will pay off in the long run. Furthermore, you will be able to enjoy incredibly tasty meals with your loved ones without going through the effort of lighting and supervising the operation, as in the case of a charcoal grill.



5. Traeger TFB42LZBC

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 418 sq. in.
  • Warming Area:
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 450°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


It can be difficult to get an accurate heat level with a conventional grill, and this can lead to unevenly cooked or burnt meals. This unit is designed to prevent these situations, thus, it comprises a digital controller that keeps heat difference between +/-20 degrees. Furthermore, you can decide between slow cooking by selecting the ‘Smoke’ option, or fast cooking, and it will provide uniform heat that can go as high as 450F.

Provided with a plentiful 418 sq.in. hot zone, it is ready to deliver tasty meals for your guests. The large 18 lbs. firebox will last you for the full activity, and you can fill it with regular pellets or choose the flavored ones for a more distinctive taste. Furthermore, you will never have to buy another accessory or cooking device, as it allows you to grill and smoke meat, bake pizza or apple pies, roast veggies, braise, or barbecue chickens, and you can get them all flavored with an amazing wood-fired taste. Plus, you don’t need to constantly supervise the cooking, as there are no flare-ups or bursts of heat that can ruin your food.

Built almost entirely of steel and powder-coated, it can bravely face corrosion and rust, and it will last you for many years to come. The porcelain-covered grates provide a non-stick surface that is easy to clean and maintain. Besides, if you want to make things even easier, you can always purchase the drip tray that fits this model, and it will collect fat and juices, keeping your grill extra clean.

PROS

  • Ample cooking zone
  • Easy to clean
  • Powerful 25,000 BTUs output
  • Versatile

CONS

  • The assembly manual is difficult to understand
  • The cover is not waterproof

Verdict

Provided with electric auto-start firing, it is not only easy to use but to start. You can forget about charcoals or matches, as it starts instantly with just the flip of a switch. Multipurpose and easy to clean, this is the best pick for people who appreciate both a great meal and the comfort of cooking it.



6. Z Grills 700D

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 513 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 187 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 20 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 450°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


It has everything it needs to gratify even a professional chef, as it comes with an ample cooking zone of 700 sq. ft. and a huge 20 lbs. pellet holder, being able to simultaneously grill and smoke 20 burgers, 6 racks of ribs, or 5 chickens. You can invite your friends, your neighbors, or your family for dinner, and it will cook you enormous portions of food, all at once, and with minimum supervision from your part. And when we say it will cook it, we mean it. With the smart digital regulator included that sustains the heat level within +/- 20 F, you won’t have to check on your meat more often than you check on oven-cooked food.

The lid turns it into a multifunctional station that allows you to use variate cooking techniques, and it opens the path to smoke-flavored pizza, turkey, veggies, or even pie. With a heat range of 180 to 450 F that is easy to regulate, everything will be cooked in the right rhythm, and you will no longer serve overcooked food. Plus, cleaning is easy, with an integrated bucket holder in which you can place a recipient to collect the hot grease.

PROS

  • Large hopper
  • Great cooking area
  • Smart digital controller
  • Sturdy and versatile

CONS

  • No grease recipient included
  • Hard to remove pellets for storage


Verdict

To summarize, you will get a fully-loaded cooking station that grills, bakes, roasts, and smokes all types of meats and vegetables at the perfect heat level, all without requiring too much effort on your part. Moreover, it comes with a 3-year service contract and a heavy-duty structure, so if you are looking for a highly performant and resistant unit, this is it.



7. Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 418 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 154 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 450°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


It is easy to get the perfect smoked ribs or well-cooked whole poultry with this unit’s integrated digital pro controller. You just need to set the right heat level, depending on what you are putting on the grids, and forget about it. It allows you to cook a great variety of meals, as it features a maximum heat level of 450 F and a large 18 lbs. firebox, which can hold the necessary pellet quantity to preserve a constant and strong fire. The porcelain glazed grates ensure a non-stick operation and make cleaning more efficient. Plus, it comes with a drip tray that collects fat and reduces the odds of it gathering on the grill’s surface and getting burnt.

The 572 sq. ft. hot zone ensures sufficient space for extended family meals, being able to easily accommodate 24 burgers, 4 whole chickens, or 5 racks of ribs. With 2 integrated casters, you can place it wherever you need it most in your backyard and invite everybody over. Plus, it is incredibly hardwearing, with stainless steel structure, and powder coated, so it can resist rust and corrosion, so you will be able to enjoy its services for many years to come.

PROS

  • Smart control knob
  • Large hopper and cooking surface
  • 3-year warranty
  • Very sturdy

CONS

  • Doesn’t include a cover
  • Rather expensive

Verdict

Perfect for patio parties, this model doesn’t disappoint when it comes to hopper capacity or cooking aria size. Plus, the price is fair, and it is covered by a 3-year warranty for parts and labor, so we would say it is a safe acquisition and a great present for every grilling enthusiast.



8. Camp Chef PG24

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 429 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 144 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 500°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


A large firebox means a longer, more comfortable grilling session, during which you don’t have to constantly follow if the pellets in the firebox are getting low. With a firebox capacity of 18 lbs., and a mechanized pellet auger included, PG24 ensures a strong, constant fire and great smoking, allowing you to cook multiple meat pieces simultaneously. Moreover, the large 573 sq. in. cooking zone can house chickens or rib racks that are easy to cook with the high 25,000 BTUs output.

It can reach a high heat level of 500 F, allowing you to bake pizza and pies, roast poultry, or barbecue the tastiest steaks. The meat probe gauges the internal heat level and helps you figure out when the food is ready. Furthermore, it comes with an electric igniter, designed to offer an easy start-up, while the ashcan cleanout system allows the disposal of the ashes cleanly and efficiently.

PROS

  • Great heat output
  • Large cooking area
  • Versatile
  • Automatically evacuates ash

CONS

  • Difficult to remove pellets from the hopper for storage
  • The auger is pretty noisy

Verdict

Cooking outdoors has just become a lot simpler with this performant and easy-to-clean machine. Provided with an ample cooking zone and able to reach high temperatures, it is versatile enough to cook pizza and pie, being ideal for people who like to experiment with different types of food.



9. Z GRILLS ZPG-550B

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 399 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 139 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 10 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 450°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


Featuring a mechanized feed system, it keeps your fire burning and the heat high for well-cooked courses, allowing you to relax and drink a beer with your friends. The smart digital regulator is easy to use, and it keeps heat within +/-20 F, reducing heat bursts and, thus, the odds of you getting burnt food. Moreover, you can choose to cook your steaks fast or slow by picking the perfect heat level from a range of 180 to 450 F. Fueled only by 100% hardwood pellets that produce good smoke and heat, it produces an amazing flavor that will infuse your food and thrill your tastes.

The large 538 sq. ft. surface can house up to 3 chickens, 10 burgers, or 3 racks of ribs, while the 10 lbs. hopper holds enough pellets for a strong fire that can cook all your food in a single session. Plus, it uses fan-forced conviction to create the perfect environment not only for smoking and grilling but for braising veggies and meat, roasting poultry, and baking. It’s time to take your apple pies to the next level and cover them in incredibly flavored wood-fire smoke.

PROS

  • Forced-fan conviction increases versatility
  • Good capacity
  • Easy temperature control

CONS

  • The remaining pellets are hard to remove for storage
  • Hopper size could be larger

Verdict

With a compact and modern design, it is easy to move around the yard and store in the garage when the party is over. Plus, it is easy to clean, due to the incorporated oil collector and comes at a very good price, being the ideal choice if you are on a budget.



10. Cuisinart CPG-4000

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 450 sq. in.
  • Warming Area:
  • Hopper Capacity: 15 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 550°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


Equipped with all-terrain wheels and a comfortable handle, it offers the ultimate portability for patio parties and nice family gatherings, allowing you to effortlessly carry and store it in your garage when its job is done. It presents a spigot that makes fat eviction easier and a helpful grease bucket holder for you to place your recipient. The 450 sq. in. cooking zone is large enough to house multiple burgers, steaks, or even a whole chicken. Moreover, it offers multiple cooking options that allow you to bake pies or pizza, or make roast chicken.

It reaches a peak heat level of 550 F, which can be regulated for slow or fast cooking, according to your taste. Furthermore, Cuisineart pellets are made of a great variety of hardwoods, allowing you to choose between mesquite, cherry, maple, pecan, and many other flavors. Provided with a 15 lbs. firebox that keeps the fire burning for long cooking sessions, it will save you the effort of always having to check if more pellets are required. Besides, it automatically adds pellets to preserve a constant fire, so you won’t have to worry that your guests get unevenly-cooked food.

PROS

  • Portable and easy to use
  • Good cooking surface
  • Water-resistant cover included
  • Versatile

CONS

  • Water pan is hard to manage
  • You need to check on the heat level

Verdict

With a portable design and side shelves comprised, it is a wonderful choice for people who like to party. It only takes minutes to get it out of the garage and set it for grilling. Plus, it comes at a great price and is backed by a 3-year service assurance, with a cover offered, so you get the whole package for long years of amazingly tasting cooking.



11. Z GRILLS ZPG-450A

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Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 324 sq. in.
  • Warming Area: 128 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 15 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 450°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 3-year


If you are looking for a unit that can cook enough food to feed your family or close friends, there’s no need to spend your money on a large, expensive one that will consume lots of pellets to get hot. This model is designed to be compact and portable so you can easily get it in and out of your garage for everyday use. Provided with a mechanized feed system, it will keep your pellets coming once you get it started, so you won’t have to constantly supervise it during grilling. Moreover, it allows you to set the heat level by choosing a value between 180 and 450 F, so you can decide if you want your food fast- or slow-cooked.

The 452 sq. ft. cooking zone is divided between the main rack and the warm stand and can house up to 3 racks of ribs, 10 burgers, or 3 chickens. The smart smoke technology keeps the heat between +/-10 degrees F, ensuring even cooking without heat bursts that can overcook your food. Plus, it comes with digital auto ignition, so getting it started shouldn’t be a problem.

PROS

  • Compact and easy to move
  • Versatile
  • Good temperature control
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Not great in very cold weather
  • Small capacity

Verdict

Strong and reliable, this grill is built to last, and it will cook many delicious meals for you and your loved ones. Plus, the forced fan conviction turns it into an upgraded oven, so if you are looking for a machine that can deliver pizza, pie, or turkey covered in the flavor of wood-fire smoke, you should consider this gill.



12. Green Mountain Grills DCWF



Specifications

  • Cooking Area: 219 sq. in.
  • Warming Area:
  • Hopper Capacity: 9 lbs.
  • Control Type: Digital
  • Max Grill Temperature: 550°F
  • Grease Management System: Grease Bucket
  • Ash Management System:
  • Automatic Auger:
  • Warranty: 2-year


At first sight, this model doesn’t resemble a bit the other models we’ve reviewed so far. It has neither the shape nor the matte black finish. Nonetheless, there’s a good motivation for this, namely, this unit has been specially crafted to fit in a trunk and be easily carried. It is advertised as ideal for tailgating and camping, and we must say, the fact that it weighs only 57.3 pounds and has a square tight shape with a stand that can be folded surely makes it a nice fit. The steel housing will withstand exposure to sun and humidity. Furthermore, the handle and lid are thick and resistant to wear, while the cooking zone measures 265 sq. ft., being sufficiently small not to make it bulky but adequately large to supply food for more than one person.

Getting the right heat level is easier than ever, as it uses the sensor incorporated in the 3.5 lbs. hopper to determine when to add extra pellets to sustain level heat. You will be the one setting it, using either the regulator placed on the unit or, and this is a nice surprise, your phone. Yes, this unit has WiFi capability and will send you data remotely. You will know what heat level has been reached inside (the peak is 500F) and if the meat is done (it comprises a meat probe).

As it is aimed to be portable, it comes with adapters that allow you to connect it either to a regular 110V outlet or to a 12V power source. Moreover, it is backed by a 2-year service contract and comes at a super attractive price, so, overall, it is a nice investment.

PROS

  • Lightweight and foldable
  • WiFi controller
  • Versatile and affordable

CONS

  • Small cooking area
  • Small hopper capacity

Verdict

If camping, music festivals, hunting, or house-boating are some of your favorite hobbies, this unit will only add flavor to them. Compact and versatile, it will easily fit in your trunk. Plus, you can control it from distance with the smart digital WiFi controller for extra comfort and more precise grilling.



Frequently Asked Questions



Are pellet grills good for smoking?
They release a fine smoke that infuses the food with an amazing taste without making it taste too smokey. However, most users say that it is less intense than the flavor produced by a charcoal smoker.

Can you leave pellets in the hopper?
As you will install this machine outdoors, leaving the unused pellets inside the hopper for longer can lead to them becoming moist and starting to rot. This will not only cause a waste of good pellets but may, in time, expose the hopper to rust. This is why it is recommended to empty the hopper after each use. You can store the pellets into a sealed bucket to ensure they stay dry and in perfect condition for the next use.

How often should you clean your pellet grill?
To preserve it in good condition, you will want to do some routine cleaning after each use. Nothing too complicated, just empty the hopper and the grease bucket and wipe clean the lid and the racks. This won’t take you more than 10-15 minutes. Then, do a more thorough cleaning after about 50 hours of use by spraying a stainless steel cleaner on the metal parts and letting it sit for about half an hour until it breaks down grease and other deposits. Wipe it off and repeat if necessary until your unit looks sparkles. Also, use a shop vac to remove the ash in case your model doesn’t have a special ash disposal mechanism.

Is it OK to leave the pellet grill outside?
These units are built to be used outside but they should be stored in a covered space, especially in the winter or if the weather is humid. Moreover, they should not be exposed to direct sun. In the summer, however, you can leave it outdoors if the weather is nice. Just make sure to empty the pellet hopper after each use to prevent the pellets from gathering moisture.

Do you need a water pan in a pellet smoker?
It depends on your taste and, some say, on the type of pellets you are using. As the gill works more like an oven with the convection function, humidity is necessary to some degree to help heat spread uniformly and prevent the food from turning dry. Thus, a pan with water inside the grill can deliver more tender meat but can also reduce the caramel effect on grilled meat. Conversely, if you use good pellets that have an optimal level of moisture (about 10%), you won’t need the water pan.

Are pellet smokers better than regular smokers?
The level of smoke and flavor produced by these types of grills is somewhere between the one released by charcoal smokers (the highest) and the smoke level produced by electric smokers (the lowest). So this is actually a sweet compromise between flavor and health, as you have less of the harmful substances released by burning charcoal but still, sufficient flavor to be happy with the results.

Can you use a pellet grill without electricity?
Even if they run on pellets, they still need electricity as they integrate automatic mechanisms. Thus, the auger needs to be electrically actioned to feed the pellets, while the digital panel needs power as well to keep an eye on the conditions inside and send instructions to the auger.

Can you use a pellet smoker in the garage?
To stay safe and ensure no dangerous gases build up around the grill, it is advised to use it in open air or in a roofed space that has great ventilation, like a shed. You can store the grill in the garage afterward, but avoid using it in an enclosed space.

How long does a bag of pellets last in a smoker?
Some factors can influence the quantity of pellets consumed per session. For example, it depends on the size of the grill. The larger it is, the more pellets it will consume (but it will also cook more food at the same time). The weather can also influence this variable, as the grill needs more pellets in cold weather to maintain a uniform temperature. But, overall, for a regular-sized gill used in good weather, a 40-lb. bag of pellets will last you for about 24 hours of cooking.

Can you sear a steak on a pellet grill?
It depends on the unit. For searing, you need high temperatures, and some grills like Pit Boss Grills 71820FB, Louisiana Grills Series 900, or Weber 22510201 SmokeFire EX4 (2nd Gen) can offer it. Some even offer the possibility to cook the meat on an open flame with the help of a flame broiler, which will give the food not only beautiful sear marks but a divine taste.



Conclusion

No matter if you are on the hunt for a large station that can supply enough food for your extravagant parties or a smaller unit for everyday cooking, there’s a model for everyone. Moreover, we’ve chosen models with variate prices but able to meet the highest quality standards, with functions and designs that can fulfill as many needs as possible.

If you haven’t decided yet, here are some models that deserve a second look:

Best Overall: Pit Boss Grills 71820FB

Packing a strong 40,000 BTU cooking power and an extra-large grilling surface, this model is the one to go if you are organizing an outdoor kitchen or planning on throwing large barbecue parties where to invite your family, friends, and neighbors. It integrates a flame broiler and can heat up to 500F, so getting those restaurant sear marks will be no problem.

The digital controls help you keep everything under control with the least effort, while the automatic auger keeps feeding the right amount of pellets not to mess with the optimal heat level inside. It is durable and comes with two large wheels that will help you push it outside whenever you feel like tasting a gorgeously smoke-flavored stake.

Editor’s Choice: Louisiana Grills Series 900

Ready to cook deliciously flavored food for a whole party, this model is equipped with a huge 913 sq. ft. cooking zone that can accommodate large pieces of meat and vegetables. The 14 lbs. hopper can maintain a great fire, while the digital regulator allows you to set the right heat level for either slow or fast smoking. Super strong and featuring a powerful heat output, it is great for extended people gatherings where a large quantity of food must be ready at the same time.

Best Pellet Grill/Smoker for Home Use: Traeger TFB42LZBC

Ideal for home cooking, it comes with a 418 sq. in. cooking zone and an 18 lb. hopper volume. It incorporates digital controls, so you will be able to easily set the preferred heat level while choosing between multiple cooking methods. Furthermore, the firing is electronic, and it starts automatically when you flip the integrated on/off switch.

The mechanized auger is present as well, and it will feed the pellets into the fire to maintain it even during the grilling. Additionally, the controller monitors the heat, ensuring that it doesn’t go up or down with more than 20 degrees from the selected temperature.

Best Pellet Grill/Smoker for the Money: Z GRILLS ZPG-550B

If you are wondering what you can get for less than $500, allow us to present Z GRILLS ZPG-550B. It has the best quality-price report on the market, as it comes with a large 550 square feet hot zone and a 10 pounds firebox that can keep the fire lit and even, ensuring the optimal conditions for up to 8 cooking methods.

With it you will be able not only to smoke and grill meat but to braise, roast, sear, barbecue, and Char-grill it, all with a little help from the mechanized auger that keeps sending pellets into the fire, keeping the heat up without requiring your assistance.

Best Commercial-Grade Pellet Grill/Smoker: Z Grills 700D

If cooking outdoors is your passion or your business, you will appreciate this model’s versatility, as it comes with a huge lid and forced-fan conviction, allowing you not only to grill and smoke but to employ a broad array of cooking methods. Plus, thanks to the mechanized electric feed system, your fire will stay strong and constant without requiring your attention.

Best Pellet Grill/Smoker for Beginners: Camp Chef PG24

Champ Chef is renowned for its user-friendly grills, and this unit is surely one of them. Created to be easily used by both beginners and experimented grillers, it features an 18 pounds firebox and a mechanized auger to reduce the user’s effort to a minimum. Besides, the ignition is electric and automatic, so it will fire up instantly. Not to mention that you will get the ashcan cleanout system and the integrated grease controlling system, so the cleaning will be a breeze.