The Best Pellet Smokers

Pellet Smokers are easy to use, affordable, and can convert new grillers into grill masters in no time. These smokers can easily reach a temperature of 450 degrees, and unlike a gas or charcoal grill, they don’t use direct heat.

The 3 Best Pellet Smokers
The 3 Best Pellet Smokers

The Best Pellet Smokers

Pellet Smokers, also known as Pellet Grills, use a temperature-controlled auger system to feed wood pellets into a smoke drum and create a small fire that generates smoke and heat to cook food. A Pellet Smoker is basically an outdoor wood-fired convection oven and is able to cook any food that a regular indoor oven can. Pellet smokers are very versatile and can be used to grill, smoke, braise, and even bake any type of food.

The Pellet Smoker generates heat by placing wood pellets inside a chamber called the “Pellet Hopper”. These wood pellets move through an auger and to a firepot. This heats the entire cooking chamber of the pellet smoker. The smoke and heat are distributed throughout the grill area by the fan system. This process, plus the addition of wooden pellets, gives your food a natural and rich smoke flavor.

If you want to get hold of the best Pellet Smoker/Grill, this article will help you find one. In this article, we will review the top Pellet Smokers on the market and help you pick the best one based your individual needs. So if you need some help picking the Best Pellet Smokers or Best Pellet Grill for your backyard, you’ve come to the right place!


Quick Overview of The Best Pellet Smokers


Traeger Pro 575 WiFi Pellet Grill [Best Overall]

Traeger Pro 575 WiFi Pellet Grill
Traeger Pro 575 WiFi Pellet Grill
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If you’re looking for a pellet smoker that excels in multiple areas, this model won’t disappoint. The Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill in our opinion is the best overall pellet smoker on the market. This pellet smoker is very easy to assemble. It is constructed using heavy-gauge steel ensuring long-lasting durability. It also features 572 square inches of cooking space, perfect for small gatherings.

What we love the most is that this model operates with better precision compared to most of the models in its price range. The versatile pellet grill by Traeger is also quite fuel-efficient with a lower pellet consumption than most pellet grills on the market.

This grill has Wi-Fi connectivity that makes it easy to control and maintain the internal temperature. One temperature probe is included which allows you to monitor the internal temperature data directly from the app.

PROS

  • Fuel efficient
  • Easy to assemble
  • Good grill space for a small family
  • Offers Wi-Fi connectivity and a user-friendly app

CONS

  • Grill cover not included

Z GRILLS 700D4E Pellet Grill Smoker [Runner Up]

Z GRILLS 700D4E Pellet Grill Smoker
Z GRILLS 700D4E Pellet Grill Smoker
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The Z GRILLS 700D4E Pellet Grill and Smoker is another one of the best pellet grills, with a PID temperature controller, two meat probes, and an LCD screen that lets you check the temperature of your meat without opening the lid.

A PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) temperature controller that allows very precise controls on fan speed while also helping to maintain accuracy and temperatures. PID controllers are a must-have if you want to be more efficient in your grilling.

This amazing grill has 504 square inches of cooking space (plus another 193” on the elevated grate) and a hopper capacity of 20lbs. The unit is also quite versatile, with a temperature range of 180° to 450° F, allowing you to grill, bake, sear, roast, braise, and barbecue, resulting in an excellent wood flavor.

PROS

  • Durable construction
  • Large cooking space and hopper capacity
  • PID technology helps maintain temperature
  • Convenient pellet cleanout system
  • Comes with cover and gloves for assembly

CONS

  • Heavy unit
  • Elaborate assembly

Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Wood Pellet Grill [Editors Pick]

Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Wood Pellet Grill
Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Wood Pellet Grill
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The Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Wood Pellet Grill is a great bang for your buck. For its price point, it is very well-built and the extra features like shelving, a spice rack, and even a bottle opener make this a great choice. It has 8-in-1 cooking versatility so you can smoke, bake, braise, roast, grill, barbecue, char-grill, and even sear – all in one place!

The Pit Boss Flame Broiler Lever lets you choose direct or indirect heat in a temperature range of 180° to 500°F and the slide plate flame broiler is perfect for open-flame searing or direct flame grilling at 1,000° F.

This wood pellet grill has a large hopper capacity complete with a large hopper viewing window so you’ll never run out mid-cook ever again. Also included is one Pit Boss meat temperature probe that notifies you once the desired temperature has been reached.

PROS

  • Easy pellet clean-up
  • 5-year warranty
  • 8-in-1 cooking chamber

CONS

  • No WiFi connectivity

Camp Chef DLX Pellet Grill [Best Small Budget]

Camp Chef DLX Pellet Grill
Camp Chef DLX Pellet Grill
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Next, we have the Camp Chef DLX Pellet Grill which has a good balance of clever design, quality materials, and technology for a great price, a great option if you want great heat control while also saving a few bucks.

The overall weight of this grill is 140 pounds and it has a rack area of 573 square inches with a temperature range of 160 to 500 degrees. There is also a removable warming rack to keep your grilled food warm!

The DLX pellet grill has an easy-to-read computer screen operated on the new Gen 2 PID controller for amazing temperature control and stability. The hopper capacity is 18 pounds which is more than enough for efficient fuel consumption.

PROS

  • Excellent temperature control
  • Adequate hopper capacity
  • Easy ash clean-out system
  • Large grilling space

CONS

  • Cannot grill steaks
  • Heavy unit
  • No WiFi connectivity

Traeger Timberline 850 WiFi Pellet Grill [Best Luxury]

Traeger Timberline 850 WiFi Pellet Grill
Traeger Timberline 850 WiFi Pellet Grill
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The Traeger Timberline 850 WiFi Pellet Grill is a competitive high-end option if you’re looking to splurge on one of the best pellet grills out there. It’s designed to tick all the right boxes for any grill master and has a high-tech grill model that makes every user experience quite delightful.

The high-quality insulated construction provides excellent heat retention and it has a whopping 1343 square inches of cooking space. For reference, that could hold 8 racks of perfectly smoked ribs!

Paired with WiFi and a user-friendly app, you’re able to monitor your grill temperature from a long distance and with the help of a probe that comes with it, you can check the temperature of your meat without lifting the lid. The Traeger app also has 1600 recipes that you can access to create magic on your grill.

The D2 controller has digital controls and a display that makes it quite easy for anyone to adjust the temperature. Plus, it has a built-in pellet sensor that monitors the levels of pellets, alerting you when it’s time to add more pellets. Though it is one of the more expensive grills, we think it’s worth the money.

PROS

  • High-tech grill with advanced features
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Pellet Sensor
  • WiFi connectivity + user-friendly app
  • All-terrain wheels for easy transport

CONS

  • Consumes a lot of wood pellets

Traeger Tailgater Portable Pellet Grill [Best For Beginners]

Traeger Tailgater Portable Pellet Grill
Traeger Tailgater Portable Pellet Grill
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The Traeger Tailgater Portable Pellet Grill is a great grill for beginners, plus it’s compact and portable! With 300 square inches of cooking space, you can conveniently accommodate a few smoked pork ribs at a time. The unit weighs around 62 pounds and has foldable legs, making it easy for you to place the unit on the backside of your car.

Unlike most other pellet grills that are advertised as being portable, this unit works just as well, if not better, than other grills. Plus, the interior parts of the pellet grill are conveniently removable, making it easy to clean the unit after a grilling session.

The Tailgater is able to hit a high-temperature range quite easily, making it a great option for grilling, smoking, and searing. That said, the size of the hopper is just 8 pounds, which is quite low compared to competitors.

PROS

  • Portable grill with a good grilling area
  • Digital Arc controller manages temperature
  • Good temperature range
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Small pellet hopper
  • Folding legs difficult to deconstruct

Our Verdict


Things to consider when buying a Pellet Smoker

There are plenty of wood pellet grills available and most pellet grills will have the same basic features. However, there are also plenty of features, some advanced, that only the best pellet grills have. These features can make your pellet smoking and grilling experience a lot more convenient and efficient.

Smart Technology

WiFi connectivity is a game-changer in the wood pellet grill world. This feature allows you to monitor and control the cooking temperatures without standing next to the grill at all times or opening the lid to check the internal temperature of your meat. Most pellet smokers have some sort of smart technology, but how smart is the question.

Temperature Probes

Some smart pellet cookers come with outputs that make integrating a meat probe into their system easy. You can then see the readings on the main cooker screen, making your cooking hassle-free with the added bonus of being able to check on the desired temperature without lifting the lid.

Pellet Removal

Because pellet grills cook by burning wood pellets, it’s essential that there be a mechanism for removing the ashes that accumulate. Some units come with chutes that help eliminate all the unused pellets. However, some models require you to vacuum out these pellets manually.

Add-Ons

Your chosen pellet cooker may also come with a few bonus add-ons. Things like pellet sensors, replacement parts, durable wheels for transport, or extra meat probes can make a big difference in your grilling experience.

BBQ Hero Tip: Store your wood pellets in a cool, dry place. Wet pellets may clog your system and fail to generate heat.

Features to consider when choosing a pellet smoker

Here are a few more essential features to consider when choosing the right pellet grill.

Construction Materials

An attractive and shiny grill doesn’t always mean worth your money. While analyzing the build quality of a pellet grill, pay attention to its vital components such as flame deflector, fire pot, grates, and drip pan. These should be made of solid and marine-grade steel, which is long-lasting and is rust-free.

It’s important to not compromise on the material’s quality while selecting a pellet smoker. A wood pellet grill featuring high-quality construction can retain heat in a better way. This allows the unit to grill food with efficiency even under cold temperatures.

Dimensions

Pellet smoker models can vary in size, from compact portable ones to commercial size units. To determine the right model size for you, determine how many people you’re going to cook for. You should also consider the space you have at home.

Find a wood pellet grill that has a big enough primary cooking area to suit your needs, without going too big and compromising on heat control. Portable pellet grills are also great for camping trips.

Also worth mentioning is the pellet hopper size. A Pellet Hopper is like a container designed to store all the wood pellets required for the cook. The wood pellets are transferred to the fire pot through an auger from the hopper. Therefore, your hopper’s size determines the duration of your cooks. If the size of the hopper is smaller than you need, you will be unable to cook for the required time.

To extend the size of a hopper, you can also buy hopper extenders. However, make sure that these are from a reliable brand and are compatible with your pellet smoker.

Warranty

Warranties are especially important to watch out for when shopping for pellet smokers. Ask the length of time and coverage of the warranty the manufacturer offers. The typical length for pellet smoker warranties is around two years.


Safety Tips for Pellet Smokers

Pellet Smokers of any kind should be handled with care and caution. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when handling your new pellet smoker.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

Because you’re dealing with very hot materials, it’s important to practice extreme caution and have a fire extinguisher nearby in case things go wrong.

Do Not Place Against Walls

Find the right place to set up your pellet smoker that is away from any exterior walls or flammable objects. Pellet smokers get very hot and can catch fire if they are too close to other objects.

Avoid Wearing Loose Clothing

Loose clothing may catch fire if too close to the hot pellet smoker. Protect yourself and your loved ones by wearing appropriate BBQ attire.

Did you know Traeger introduced their first pellet grill back in 1985?

Pellet Smoker FAQs

Do pellet grills require regular maintenance?

Yes, a pellet grill will require a regular cleaning procedure. The burnt pellets release ashes that can accumulate on your heat deflector or around the pot. Some models will have a pellet removal system, but in some cases, you have to remove pellets ashes on your own. Cleaning a pellet grill is imperative as an extreme build-up of ashes may cause ignition problems.


Do pellet grills require electricity?

Yes, because pellet grills use electronic systems to operate, electricity is usually required.


Are pellet smokers easy to use?

Yes, once you know what you’re doing, pellet smokers are relatively easy to use. First, fill the pellet hopper with the required amount of wood pellets. Then let the unit pre-heat before you can place your food in. That’s it. You don’t have to monitor the temperatures or airflow yourself as the built-in fans and computers do that job for you.


What size pellet hopper is right for me?

The size of your pellet hopper depends on how long you plan to use your pellet smoker in a single cook. A 40-pound hopper will last for around 40 hours. If you live somewhere with cold temperatures throughout the year, you may need more fuel to maintain the high heat in your pellet grill. In that case, you will require a bigger hopper.