What is a pellet grill?
Pellet grills are cooking devices used outdoors that are designed to grill, bake and smoke foods. They are powered by wood pellets and combine the features of a kitchen oven, a charcoal grill and a smoker in one.
Grilling enthusiasts love the versatility of pellet grills. With the right one on your side, you can roast vegetables, grill steaks, bake cornbread and braise ribs, all in one cooking gadget.
Pellet grills can impart an incredible flavor to your barbecue and are considered simple to operate.
They feature built-in electronic control panels that add fuel pellets to the fire automatically. The control panel also maintains a consistent cooking temperature and regulates airflow for an even cooking experience.
The first pellet grills were developed and patented by Joe Traeger in the mid-1980s. Traeger pellet grills are still widely used today.
How does a pellet grill work?
To cook using a pellet grill, add wood pellet fuel to the grill’s hopper. This fuel will be distributed to the cooking chamber.
By the use of a pair of sturdy metal fans, intake air is pressurized and heated, combusting the wood pellet fuel.
The cooking chamber is heated by this circulating hot air and smoke. You can set and maintain the temperature using the grill’s Intelligent Temperature Control (ITC) panel.
A supplied meat probe can check the temperature of your meats to ensure the perfect temperature is reached. The precise temperature will be reflected on the control panel.
Pros and cons of pellet grilling
Before deciding on a pellet grill to purchase, there are many pros and cons of these cooking devices to consider. A pellet grill can be an important investment for your home and many features need to be considered.
Pellet grills are a superb machine if you wish to cook more than your standard barbecue fare. If you want to grill, bake, roast, smoke and more as often as possible, then a pellet grill may be perfect for you.
There are also several other factors to consider which we will go over now.
Features to consider in a pellet grill
While most pellet grills share certain features, particularly the multifunctional cooking styles they provide, there are many features that also differ between them.
It is important to consider the various features available in pellet grills and decide which matter most to you. This can help you choose the right pellet grill for your needs.
Considering what cooking surface size you would prefer your pellet grill to have is a great start. Most pellet grills range in size from about 200-700 square inches.
Large pellet grills are ideal for grilling, smoking and baking large amounts of food at one time. If you do not intend to cook lots of food at once, small pellet grills should be fine.
The size of the cooking surface is not the only measurements you should be considering. Pellet grills also have attached hoppers, into which you add your wood pellets.
Most pellet grills have hoppers that hold an average of 3.5-30 pounds. The larger the hopper, the more smokiness can be imparted to your foods.
Pellet grills with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are popular with grill masters and novices alike. This allows you to control your grill with an app, meaning you no longer have to be chained to your grill.
Connectivity may be an important feature to you in you like the idea of controlling the smokiness and temperature separately. You can set how you want your foods to be cooked and the grill takes care of it, meaning you do not have to keep an eye on your grill.
The price of a pellet grill may be the first consideration for many consumers. There are a vast range of pellet grill prices, mainly due to sizes and features.
You can buy a high-end pellet grill that boasts top features and grills, roasts and smokes lots of food at once for several hundred dollars. Its also easy to find exceptional pellet grills on sale with a bit of time and energy.
No matter your budget, you’ll likely find a useful pellet grill cooker that meets your needs.
There are many popular pellet grill manufacturers on the market. Brand loyalty is another driving force behind what pellet grill you should purchase.
Many of the best pellet grill reviews are crafted by well-known brands, such as Z Grills, Char-Broil, Green Mountain Grills and Country Smokers.
Comparison Table – Our Top 10 Pellet Grills
|GMG Davy Crockett Pellet Grill Tailgating Package||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|REC TEC Grills | RT-700 | Bundle||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Country Smokers CSPEL015010497 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grills (ZPG-700E)||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett WiFi Controlled Portable Wood Pellet Grill - DCWF||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Camp Chef Woodwind Classic Pellet Grill with Sear Box||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker Ourdoor with Update Pid Controller 8-in-1 Outdoor Smoker||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Top 10 Pellet Grill Reviews
1. Davy Crockett Pellet Grill Tailgating Package Includes Cover-Collapsible Rack-BBQ Lights by Green Mountain Grills
Green Mountain pellet grills are some of the best in the business. This Davy Crockett model is a popular choice for those who want a portable outdoor cooking option.
With this pellet grill, you can use the GMG Smart Control app to control the grill without having to labor over it. The smoker and grill offer a temperature range of 150°F to 550°F, perfect for various foods and cooking styles.
A pellet grill of this size is an excellent option if you only plan on cooking for yourself and a couple others. On average, it is capable of cooking two racks of ribs, a few burgers or hot dogs, or four to six steaks at once.
Another bonus is that the grill includes a bundle deal. You’ll receive a grill cover, an extra collapsible grilling rack and magnetic grill lights.
Its bundle deal, portability and superb functionality make this Davy Crockett Pellet Grill Tailgating Package are number-one pellet grill.
2. Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill
This SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill by Camp Chef boasts digital controls and a spacious cooking area, perfect for those who want to cook lots of food at once.
It utilizes Smart Smoke Technology and automatic wood pellet auger to ensure your food has the desired amount of rich smoky flavor. An included probe takes the internal temperature of your meat for a perfect finish.
The exclusive ash cleanout system means that cleanup will be easy after using this Camp Chef pellet grill.
We appreciate the spacious cooking surface and ease of use with this Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill, making it our number-two choice.
3. REC TEC Grills | RT-700 | Bundle | WiFi Enabled | Portable Wood Pellet Grill | Built in Meat Probes | Stainless Steel | 40lb Hopper | 6 Year Warranty | Hotflash Ceramic Ignition System
REC TEC’s RT-700 pellet grill is a popular option for grilling enthusiasts and offers maximum cooking and hopper space.
With the optional second rack in place, this grill boasts more than 1,000 square inches of cooking space. You can cook multiple whole chickens and turkeys, several racks of ribs, burgers and steaks, all at once.
Its durable stainless-steel parts and HotFlash ceramic ignition system means this pellet grill is designed to last for many grilling seasons. Easy cleanup is ensured by the grill’s drip pan that collects grease and drippings.
Rec Tec’s RT-700 pellet grill nabs one of our top spots thanks to its user-friendly design and superb design.
4. Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill
Camp Chef’s PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker offers digital temperature control and automatic auger fed wood pellets for simple and even cooking.
As well as a durable stainless-steel fire box, this Camp Chef smoker has an optional upper shelf. This helps keep foods warm and adds a secondary space for smoking meats.
This pellet grill also boasts a simple ash and hopper cleanout system, which work with just the pull of a lever. Slide another lever and you can operate an indirect or direct flame system.
A foldable front shelf allows you to easily store your cooking tools and food. Optional attachments, like a sear box and a sidekick flat top grill, give you extra cooking choices.
Thanks to its thoughtful details and versatility, this Camp Chef SmokePro Slide Smoker is one of our top pellet grill picks.
5. Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker
Manufacturer of the original pellet grill, the Traeger TFB88PZBO Pro Series features generous cooking surfaces and thoughtful details.
It features two cooking racks, with the main one capable of grilling up to 24 burgers, while the secondary can grill up to 16. You can check the internal temperatures of your food with ease thanks to the dual probes.
This pellet grill is easy to control thanks to its advanced temperature dial. Rugged wheels with locking casters and a sawhorse chassis make this pellet grill stable and easily portable.
The incredible design and simple-to-operate pro functions make this Traeger pellet grill one of our top picks.
6. Country Smokers CSPEL015010497 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
This CSPEL015010497 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker by Country Smokers is perfectly portable and ideal for small cookouts and camping trips.
It offers a primary and secondary cooking surfaces and a temperature range of 180°F to 500°F. This means it can cook low and slow or fast and hot, depending on your cooking style and desired tastes and textures.
You can grill, smoke, sear and barbecue by setting the dial on the digital control.
This CSPEL015010497 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is one of our top picks since it offers 8-in-1 cooking versatility in a lightweight and portable design.
7. Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grills (ZPG-700E)
This pellet grill from Z Grills is an eight-in-one powerhouse that allows you to cook large amounts of food at once.
It boasts a 700 square inch grilling space as well as a 20-pound hopper. It can hold up to 20 burgers, six rack of ribs or five whole chickens.
You can set the temperature from between 180°F to 450°F to reach your desired taste and texture. You can easily use this grill to cook delicious smoky food with just the push of a few buttons.
Storage space is also offered for your grilling accessories. Thanks to details like this and its spacious design, Z Grills’ Wood Pellet Grills (ZPG-700E) is our number-seven pick.
8. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett WiFi Controlled Portable Wood Pellet Grill – DCWF
Another Davy Crockett pellet grill by Green Mountain, this one without the bundle deal but with the same excellent portability.
Like many other models, this pellet grill is Wi-Fi enabled. This means you can set the temperature and number of pellets used by a handy app.
The size makes this pellet grill ideal for taking on camping trips and other outdoor expeditions. It can even use your cars power adaptor to operate.
It offers a temperature range of 150°F to 550°F. An internal food probe and accessory holder are other great features.
The portability and functionality of this Davy Crockett put it within our top-10 rankings.
9. Camp Chef Woodwind Classic Pellet Grill with Sear Box
With the Woodwind Classic Pellet Grill by Camp Chef, you can enjoy the classic features of a pellet grill along with an attached sear box.
You can adjust the grilling temperature within a range of 160°F to 500°F, a larger range than many other models. The attached sear box can reach up to 900°F, perfect for imparting deep smoky flavors and textures.
If you’re concerned about cleanup, this pellet grill boasts an ash cleanout system and a grease management system. A clear hopper window and attached bottle opener are other nice features.
Its temperature range and versatility make this Woodwind pellet grill by Camp Chef one of our favorites.
10. Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker Ourdoor with Update Pid Controller 8-in-1 Outdoor Smoker
This Z Grills pellet grill is an ideal size for small to medium-sized gatherings and is easily portable, thanks to its wheels.
Its more than 500 square inch of cooking surface and 15-pound hopper allow you to grill and smoke three racks of ribs, 10 burgers or three whole chickens at once.
Set the Smart Digital Controller dial to your desired temperature. This grill has a temperature range of 180°F to 450°F, allowing for slow or fast cooking times.
The smart design of this pellet grill by Z Grills and its consistent cooking style make it our top-10 pick.
Even after consulting the reviews listed here, it may still be difficult to find the right pellet grill for your needs. Make an educated decision by consulting our frequently asked questions below and their informative answers.
Do I need a pellet grill?
You may need a pellet grill if you are a grilling enthusiast who is interested in having a grill, smoker, oven, rotisserie and more in one cooking device.
Pellet grills are prized for their multifunctionality.
Conversely, if all you want is a simple grill or a smoker, there is probably no need to invest in a pellet grill that manages these cooking styles and so much more.
Also consider your living space. Pellet grills can only be used outdoors, so you will need to live in a home with backyard or an apartment with a spacious enough patio to grill safely.
If you love to spend time outdoors and relish the thought of grilling, smoking, braising and roasting a variety of meats and vegetables, a pellet grill is perfect for you.
Are pellet grills environmentally friendly?
Yes, pellet grills are considering far more environmentally friendly than other outdoor cooking devices.
Pellet grills are powered by renewable wood pellets. They also use only a small amount of electricity to operate.
Pellets also do not release toxins into the air unlike charcoal. Once burned, they also produce minimal ash.
Unlike gas and charcoal grills, pellet grills never need lighter fluid, another boost for the environment.
Thanks to the design of most pellet grills, they heat quickly and trap the heat, minimizing waste. Digital controllers also allow you to set your desired temperature and leave it be, so you don’t have to open the grill to check its progress.
How do pellet grills stack up to other grills?
Pellet grills are gaining popularity with consumers who love to cook outdoors and stack up well against the competition. Still, traditional charcoal and gas grills are still top choices for the average griller.
Charcoal grills are powered by the use of charcoal, while gas grills operate by a fuel source. Being a hybrid grill of sorts, pellet grills combine elements of both of these types of grills.
Pellet grills use a minimal amount of electricity to power up and then rely on the burning of hardwood to cook foods.
What truly sets pellet grills apart are their incredible ability to offer several cooking styles in one machine. Your average pellet grill allows you to grill, smoke, roast, braise and bake.
This means you can cook a variety of different foods at one time, unlike with other grills. You can grill steaks, smoke sausages, roast veggies and bake cornbread all in one contraption.
Does my pellet grill need much maintenance?
Like with any other cooking device, a pellet grill needs plenty of maintenance. It should not be so much maintenance as to drive a potential buyer away, however.
It is important to clean the grill surfaces after using the pellet grill. This can easily be achieved through the use of a wire brush.
It is also important to empty the hopper, as well as the ash tray and grease trap, should you pellet grill have these features.
Many pellet grills have special built-in cleaning features. So if you worry about keeping your pellet grill clean, you may want to purchase such a pellet grill.
During grilling season, you can drape your pellet grill with a weather-resistant pellet grill cover. Be sure to store your pellet grill in a shed or garage when not it is the off season.
With proper cleaning and maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your pellet grill to many grilling seasons.
Grilling tips and tricks
By adhering to some of the following tips and tricks, you can make the best use of your pellet grill.
If you tend to use a lot of grilling utensils, sauces and other accessories, be sure to purchase a pellet grill with storage options. Many have built-in shelves and hanging hooks for this reason.
Exploring grilling blogs and YouTube channels can help you enhance your recipe repertoire. This will help you make the most of the myriad functions of your pellet grill.
As mentioned, maintaining your pellet grill keeps it functioning properly, protecting your investment for years to come.
Buy a grill cover if your pellet grill does not come with in. Invest in proper cleaning apparatuses that help make post-cooking cleanup a breeze.
Pellet grills are a relatively new multifunctional cooking device. They are also burgeoning in popularity, appreciated by both master grillers and novices alike.
Finding the perfect pellet grill for your needs takes an abundance of consideration. Before making a decision, be sure to consider features, price, brands and size.
By using our pellet grill guide, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision and buy the best pellet grill for you and your home.