In recent years, pellet smokers or grills have become very popular. Without the best pellet smoker, hangouts and parties feel incomplete. Why? These units offer ease and convenience when cooking for friends and family.
Further, statistics show that about 3 out of every 4 Americans own a grill or smoker. However, finding the best one isn’t always an easy task and can be overwhelming. There are a plethora of these products from good to great, which makes choosing lesser easier.
Thus, we compiled a list of the best pellet smoker or grill and a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help make the right choice.
What’s a Pellet Smoker?
Pellet smoker, also called pellet grill, are outdoor cookers combining the element of kitchen ovens, gas grills, and charcoal smokers. Wood pellets fuel this type of cooker.
They can grill as well as bake and smoke using an electronic control panel to feed the fire with more fuel when needed automatically. This feature helps regulate the airflow of the grill and ensure your cooking at consistent temperatures.
Despite being able to cook anything thrown at it, the pellet smoker is easy to clean and use, especially for models with an ash cleanout system.
How Do Pellet Smoker Works?
As said above, pellet smokers are fueled by wood pellets, which are poured in a chamber called a hopper. After which an auger feeds them into the cooking chamber.
There is where combustion takes place, the pellets ignite and heat cooking chamber. Air is drawn in via the intake fans, while smoke and heat are then dispersed throughout the cooking area.
Pellet smokers offer precise temperature control with a dial or digitally. Most models often range from 150 degrees F to 600 degrees F. Plus, you can cook low ‘n’ slow or searing hot.
Benefits of Pellet Smoker
There are a lot of advantages that come with a pellet grill. Aside from the delicious meal, here are the following thing you can enjoy from a pellet smoker:
Easy to Use
With a pellet grill, you don’t have any difficulties using it. This grill is safe and does not flare up like other smokers, which means your eyebrows are safe from fire.
Also, most pellet grills feature one-button start-up, which is simple to operate and no lighter fluid needed.
Without considering the weather or the level of temperature, pellet grill keeps the temperature within a ten-degree range of your set temperature.
Another benefit with this pellet grill is that it can be used to make different varieties of foods with varying methods of cooking.
Its precise control of cooking temperatures which ranges between 189 degrees to 500 degrees allow you to bake, sear, smoke, and roast with a pellet grill.
Likewise, this grill has an extra warming rack which allows you to keep your food warm while out of the grill. A pellet grill will enable you to smoke chicken, beef, pork, burgers, ribs, and other categories of foods all in the same smoker.
The most important benefits you get from pellet grills is the smoky flavor that comes with them. This is because these grills make use of wood which offers that mouth-licking smoke meat flavor.
When compared with other grills such as charcoal grill or gas grill, pellet grill flavor varies based on the type of wood you make use of to get your meal ready.
Also, pellet grill allows you to mix and match woods to create the perfect flavor for any kind of wood you put on your smoker.
Best Pellet Smoker, Grill For the Money – Top 12 of The Year
Best Seller Pellet Smoker – Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill
Not everyone has enough room for a massive grill, or want a large-size unit. Portability will always come handy when you need to take along your grill on the next camping or tailgate trip.
If you are in the market for a small-size model offering amazing portability, then the Traeger Tailgater should be on top of your list. With its compact design measuring 36 x 37 x 18, this model can easily be transported and stored. Plus, it comes with a set of folding legs.
The Traeger Tailgater offers the same impressive cooking controls featured on other Traeger models, including temperature control and electric starter.
Despite being a small-sized pellet smoker, this unit offers a reasonable 300 sq in of cooking space, which should be enough to cook 12 hamburgers and two whole chickens.
This small grill features the same 18 lb hopper capacity, which gives its precisely 36 hours of smoking time and 7 hours grill capacity as the Lil Tex Elite 34.
Twisting the knob ignite the pellet inside the grill quickly and safely by heating the electric heating rod. An extra feature is the interior adjusted knob for customizing the temperature within 20 degrees of the ideal temperature.
With this, users have more control over how you cook your meals and are assured that it will never be under or overcooked.
The Lil Tex Elite 22 performs every function like the big brother, the Elite 34 from perfectly roasting, smoking, braising, grilling, and barbecuing.
Sadly, this product comes with a small grilling space, which results in limited applications. This unit works best for people with a single family’s grilling needs.
Includes an insulating blanket
Ideal size for small kitchen
Not everyone likes the old style
Highly-rated Pellet Smoker – Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
This model, Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill, is an ideal model for home use. This unit offers a lot of incredible features without having to break a bank.
With an ample cooking space of about 600 square inches, this unit offers a lot of room to cook for your family and friends. Plus, its large capacity allows it to hold more pellets.
Further, the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill incorporates a dual LED temperature readout and easy-to-use automatic starter to ensure users can easily get started and monition both the food and the temperature of the grill.
Plus, this unit sports a unique ash removal system; allowing users to get rid of old ashes by pulling the lever.
Large Hopper Capacity
users will enjoy more freedom, as it 18 lb hopper capacity house a lot of pellets sufficient for smoking or grilling for the entire day. Thus, help optimize your effort and time.
this unit is easy to ignite. Twisting the knob will set the pellets aflame with the ignited electronic heat rod. To ensure no-hassle grilling and smoking, this model has its internal components designed to keep the pellets cycling and flaming hot for an extended period.
Convenient Side Table
this is another incredible feature to love. It helps eliminate the need for another table to place your sauces and utensils. Unfortunately, this space might not be enough to fully prep your food.
On the other hand, this product comes with a small 429 square inches grill capacity, which is a bit too small for the price. Also, the smokestack is poorly positioned, which limit the range you can use the top of the grill. Plus, the top has higher chances of crashing back closed with the slightest wind.
Quick and easy to use
Work great for outdoor cooking
Difficulty removing the ash removal system sometimes
Best Easy to Use Pellet Smoker – Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Whether it’s camping or tailgating, on-the-go grilling is always part of it all. The incredible thing about this unit is that it offers several impressive portable options.
This unit is a top recommendation for people looking for a portable smoker. The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett has foldup legs and does not weigh up to 60 pounds.
At around 21 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 32 inches long, this unit should fit your car trunk and stow hassle-free in an SUV or truck.
For an optimized versatility, this smoker will run on AC 110 or DC 12 volt power. Additionally, the model includes a Wi-Fi option that allows users to have control of the unit using the Green Mountain Android apps or iOS.
With automatic ignition, the Davy Crocket’s temperature is easily adjusted between the range of 150 – 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
this model is designed for camping, tailgating, and other similar adventures. Without weighing more than 68 lbs, this unit offers a unique mobile pellet grilling experience anywhere.
Vast Hopper Capacity
unlike the Traeger grills, this smoker holds 17 lbs of the pellet. This huge hopper capacity is impressive, considering its small size. Thus, you can easily fill this grill once, start smoking on it and enjoy your pursuits.
it has a temperature range from 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s not all: users should expect an extraordinary precise smoking experience; thanks to 5-degree increments.
Convenient and easy to use
this grill can be easily controlled using the Green Mountain mobile app, which offers precise internal temperature mobile readout and easily controlled; thanks to the innovative Wi-Fi feature.
Features Sense-Mate for easy monitoring and use
Portable and easy to move
Using the Wifi option can be a bit challenging if not properly used
Best Reasonably Priced Pellet Smoker – Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill & Smoker Pellet Grill and Smoker
This thoroughly-designed pellet smoker is a perfect choice for outdoor fun and entertaining.
This unit comes with enough room to grill more food; thanks to its two-tiered cooking grates. Also, it features a handy folding shelf offering your serve ware, spices, and rest tools.
More so, cleaning the Cuisinart CPG-4000 Pellet Grill and Smoker is hassle-free. This unit remains clean; thanks to the integrated spigot for draining hot grease into a cup at the bottom of the grill.
Coming with a solid handle and all-terrain wheels for easy positioning on a patio or deck for grilling and rolling into your storage unit when not in use. On top of that, this fantastic pellet smoker and grill make dining alfresco incredibly exciting.
one of the models on the market with a versatile innovation is the Cuisinart Wood Pellet BBQ Grill and Smoker. Offering a wide range of cooking options from grilling to smoking, baking, roasting, braising your food.
Total temperature control:
this model offers users total, precise temperature control, which allows you to cook your food hot and fast or low and slow. Besides, the thermostat comes with a temperature LED display, and regulate the heat automatically by adding more pellets if needed.
Unique fuel system:
Unlike gas grills, flare-ups are not experienced with pellet grills. The Cuisinart Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker manages will only supply the grill with pellet when needed.
If you need more smoke, then allow the wood pellets to smolder by cooking with a low-temperature setting.
Sleek and portable design
Easy to use
Precise cooking temperature
The wood stray sometimes spell trouble
Best High-end Smoker – Z GRILLS ZPG-7002ENC 2019 New Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
One of the few models out there with an eight cooking option – roast, sear, braise, char-grill, barbeque, bake, grill, and smoke – is Z GRILLS ZPG-7002ENC.
This high-end smoker features fan-forced convection cooking to help remove the need for a rotisserie, then creating a versatile environment for roasting, baking, smoking, braising, and grilling.
What’s more? This model features some upgrade, especially the Temperature and Pellet Feed Control System. The new upgraded digital control board ignites the grill automatically and allows users to personalize the cooking temperature within the range of 180 to 450-degree Fahrenheit.
Further, an automated electric feed system ensures the heat is maintained 180 to 450 degree Fahrenheit and produce the maximum amount of smoke. All you have to do set it and let this unit will perform as instructed.
Advanced Wood Fire technology
Z Grills wood pellet technology offers that unique wood fire flavor without the hassle associated with gas or propane grill. With this unit, you get 20 hours of cooking per 20 lbs of pellets.
Plus, you get to enjoy a wide temperature range from 180 to 450 degrees and super versatile from grill to smoke, bake, roast, sear, and braise.
Easy to Use
this unit is an excellent choice for a beginner as it offers incredible super easy cooking; thanks to its Real-time LED temperature display and Digital Auto temperature control.
On top of that, Z GRILLS ZPG-7002ENC has a stainless steel build construction which is highly resistant to corrosion for better durability without compromising astonishing outlook.
Consistent and Precise
like other best pellet smokers with digital temperature control, the temperature of the grill is regulated automatically by adding pellets when needed. Usually, the cooking temperature stays within 10 degrees Fahrenheit of the set temperature.
More so, the convection heat distribution technology help avoid foods from getting over or undercooked.
Huge grilling area
Easy to clean
Troubles with setting the temperature
Best Budget option Pellet Smoker – Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill
For customers looking to purchase a budget option grill or smoker, this model from Pit Boss offers incredible versatility without having to break the bank. This pellet is an excellent choice if you are looking to cook for a large number of guests.
Pit Boss 700FB is one pellet smoker you need to handle it all. This unit offers both aspiring or new backyard cook to bake pizza, biscuits, smoke jerky, ribs, fish; grill vegetables, burgers; or char broil or sear a steak with utmost confidence, every time.
Further, this unit is one of the easiest to assemble pellet grill and of super quality. Plus, it comes with an easy-to-understand user’s manual to make assembling an easy peasy.
That’s not all: this unit comes with a total cooking space of 700 square inches and contains only natural wood pellets. Also, it comes with porcelain-enameled cast-iron grids and an electronically controlled ignition system.
Innovative Flame Broiler:
Pit Boss 700FB helps you master your burgers and steaks just as your favorite steakhouse. This feature is a simple slide plate that offers total control of the flame when grilling. This model makes cast iron cooking a lot easier!
More Cooking Space
Another incredible thing about this pellet is its additional upper cooking rack space. Its unique dome exhaust and heat shield system allow users to cook at a temperature as high as 600-degree Fahrenheit. Also, the design enables grilling and smoking on the upper.
Natural Hardwood Forest
Pit Boss pellet is 100% sourced from the American hardwood, which means no fillers, no adhesives or spray scents – 100% All Natural.
Easy to use and assemble
Having a side shelf would be a great option
Camp Chef PG24STX SmokePro Pellet & Smoker
The Camp Chef Deluxe Pellet Smoker and Grill is a perfect choice for your home. It offers a wide range of handy functions including a spacious cooking chamber without being too heavy on the pocket.
This unit only weighs about 18 pounds; meaning you should have no challenges moving this pellet smoker around. In addition to that, it’s powered by an incredibly advanced digital control allowing users to automatically control the amount of smoke and heat while sitting and relaxing.
The Camp Chef SmokePro is designed to offer fantastic versatility from roasting to braising, smoking, grilling, baking and barbecuing. Besides, users get a wide temperature range from 160 to 500-degree Fahrenheit.
Here’s more: the Camp Chef Deluxe is one of the easiest pellet grills to clean. Thanks to its patented ash cleanout system allowing a super easy cleaning by pushing a button.
Thus, users can enjoy their delicious cuisine without getting stressed out cleaning the pellet smoker.
Pellet Smoker Cooking System
Once you have this unit on your back patio, you can enjoy a fantastic cooking experience. The perfect combination of wood-fired perfection and slow-smoked flavors will make your taste buds crave for more.
Digital Temp with SS Probe
If you are in the market for a grill offering precision cooking, you’ll find this digital temperature selection and control system. More so, its stainless steel meat probe works in tandem to provide seamless control of your cooking, at all times.
Ample 570 sq in
Lightweight, easy to move around
Patented ash cleanout system for easy cleaning
Pricey replacement equipment
Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box
The Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill is one of the best products from this manufacturer. It’s highly sought after due to its endless features this exceptional unit offers.
There’s one exciting feature on this pellet. It comes with innovative smart smoke technology. This feature allows users to control the temperature automatically without having to stand over the unit every time to avoid your steak getting overcooked.
Thanks to its automatic heat control, you can now have the right amount of smoke and no more burnt food.
The Woodwind Pellet grill is an excellent choice for those who often have grand Barbecue at their backyard. Aside from this unit being able to cook for a lot of guests, it can handle cooking more than one kind of food at the same time.
What’s more? You can adjust your cooking temperature between 160 degrees F to 500 degrees F. Plus, you can choose to bake, grill, smoke, or barbecue your food. The top cherry offers an ample cooking space of 570 sq in for cooking a massive amount of food.
Slide and Grill Technology
This feature is a revolutionary addition to this model and always come in handy at all times. By pulling the knob, you can unleash a quick flame to char broil your burgers or smoke briskets for more than 12 hours. Enjoy two profiles of flavor in one grill.
More Hopper Capacity
Unlike the traditional woodwind grill with a hopper capacity of 18 lb, this model packs 22 pound of pellets for extended cook-time.
Large cooking space
Wide temperature range
Frequent replacement of the additional supplies
REC TEC Grills | RT-700
With the REC TEC Grills Bull RT-700, users get more revolutionary features from REC TEC grills. This model project the incredible stands of this brand by offering high-quality, durable, and reliable pellet smoker.
Several features have been added to “The Bull” for a better and yet bigger cooking experience.
Coming with a cooking space of 702 square inches, which should be enough to hold a turkey, chicken, and large racks of ribs. Plus, you can opt for an optional shelf offering an additional 1054 sq in.
Speaking about its cooking chamber, it’s made entirely out of stainless steel, which means you won’t be dealing with paint coming off or looking old with time.
Here’s more, REC TEC Grill Bull features Wi-Pallet Wi-fi technology to ensure users can cook from anywhere in the house using the REC TEC grills app on their mobile phone. Besides, this app is only available on Andriod and iOS.
Dual Meat Probe
Another latest addition on this model is its dual meat-probe will is plugged directly into the controller of your grill. This feature helps you avoid purchasing an aftermarket thermometer to help monitor your food.
More, this pellet is powered by temperature controls smart grill technology to ensure you are cooking at the exact temperature.
This feature allows users to enter a cool down mode by pushing the button. With a wide range of cooking temperature from 200 degrees F to 500 degrees F, this model will entirely smoke, bake, grill, roast, broil, and even dehydrate.
Durable and affordable
Supported by Wifi
Heavy equipment which makes it a bit difficult to move around
Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill
By now, you should have realized that Camp Chef is a favorite brand for pellet smokers. In a situation where you have to cook for the whole neighborhood more often than not, then Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill will come in handy.
This model features a 663 sq in lower and an upper rack offering 221 sq in, bringing the total space to about 884 sq in. The pellet hopper capacity holds about 18 lbs of pellets for continuous cooking without running out.
Despite its massive size, this unit still has effective temperature control.
The automatic auger dispenser and Smart Smoke Technology create the best smoke flavor to leave your taste buds dancing. Its wide temperature ranges from 160 degrees F to 500 degrees F.
Besides that, the unit offers several other handy features such as warming rack, auto ignition, meat probe, and utility shelf.
Ease of Use
On top of that, this unit is easy to assemble. Most users have Camp Chef SmokePro LUX up and running in no time. Moreover, it’s easy to clean and use.
This pellet smoker comes with the usual Camp Chef grease management system, ash cleanout system, and pellet hopper purge.
Feature a simple and straightforward system of temperature selection. This unit has a dual LED temperature display, which helps you monitor both internal food temperature and cooking temperature.
Huge cooking area
Easy to use
The temperature control could be better for precise cooking
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24B Pellet Grill
The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24B comes with several features most budget-priced pellet smokers does not sport. These features set this unit apart in the budget-priced pellet smoker.
This unit is capable of cooking anything from low ‘n’ slow classic pork shoulder to lightly smoked salmon to dry rub chicken drumsticks.
Like most smokers, it comes with an all-black motif design and, in terms of aesthetics, it would not immediately stand out. However, its hopper lid and stainless steel grid lid are of subtly glossy finish, unlike the basic matte.
While this pellet smoker fails to be very impressive in aesthetic, it excels in the details, from built-in bottle opener to a secondary staging shelf.
Excellent temperature control
This model is said to have a more advanced controller to help maintain the cooking temperature within 20 degrees F of the set temperature. Surprisingly, this model does not come short on everything it promises.
Unlike the traditional models which fluctuates about 60 degrees or more from the set temperature, this model makes it easier to cook a pulled pork roast, touchier meats like salmon or racks of ribs.
Ash Cleanout System
The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX comes with many attributes often featured on high-end grills. Thus, making this product remarkably enjoyable to use.
With the ash cleanout system, users can easily clean the grill and remove any stray pellets. Smokers without this feature make cleaning much more difficult, as you have to disassemble the smoker and use a vacuum after more than 40 smoking hours.
Convenient to use
Easy to clean
Aesthetics could be better
Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy’s Pellet Grill
Cookshack PG500 differs from most smokers available in the market in terms of access and construction. The model is made in the USA using stainless steel only.
Also, you don’t have to access your food by opening the lid vertically; this smoker has two doors that open left and right. Plus, the cooking chamber is not round but rectangular, offering users a top flat warming shelf.
The manufacturer opted for a door design to divide the primary level into an indirect flame and direct flame.
Four Cooking Zones
The first zone is a 10 inches wide by 18 inches deep direct cooking area above the diffuser plate and fire pot for searing and grilling. The second zone is an indirect 18 inches by 18 inches area on the firepot’s right for low or high-temperature roasting.
The third and fourth zone area is the upper 10 inches by 28 inches nickel-coated steel rack. The third zone is right on top of the firepot, which makes it hotter than the fourth zone, which is above the indirect cooking area.
Above all, the PG500 offers a total cooking space of 784 square inches, which is divided into four cooking zones – indirect, direct, cold smoking, and holding. Speaking about versatility, this model works great for either smoking cheese or grilling steaks.
Huge Hopper Capacity
This unit is one of the few models on the market with a large hopper capacity capable of holding 22 lbs of pellets for more than 30 hours of smoke time.
Also, users can enjoy a cooking temperature from 180 degrees F to 600 degrees F, which makes it one of the hottest pellet smokers on this review.
How to choose the right pellet smoker
There are hundreds of thousands of pellet grills in the market today, which seems to make it challenging to choose the right grill. However, here are a few tips for you, which would help you make the right choice.
For grillers who are in search of smokers that would last them for years, the best tip is to look for grills made with right quality materials.
Good pellet smokers most of the time don’t come in a heavy-weight either do they come in a delicate feel.
Also, make sure you look out for grills with sturdy materials which has no gaps or spaces for heat to escape.
This is another crucial tip which would help you make the right choice. Pellet grills come in a different range of cost, and you are sure to get the one that perfectly matches your budget.
However, some pellet grills which come at a low price tend to require a lot of repairs in the long run. So, it is advisable to invest a lot on the pellet grill you are purchasing.
A pellet grill with a temperature range between 180°F to 500°F is the perfect choice for you. This temperature range will adequately allow you to smoke, roast, bake, and grill any food you want.
How to install a pellet smoker
Although you won’t experience any difficulties installing a pellet smoker, here are some instructions to guide you while putting it into place. First, you need to get a 1 1/8 hole saw which would drill a hole in your barbecue down the burner.
After that, you insert the outlet tube into the hole and hold it with the nuts that come along with the grill.
However, if you are putting in place a kettle type smoker, you would need additional ¾ 45-degree pipe elbow fitting and a 3/4 nipple added to your outlet tube. Then, you can light up your grill to prepare a delicious meal for your family.
Pellet vs. Electric vs. Charcoal Smokers
With the wide range of options, you have to choose from a pellet, charcoal; to an electric grill, it is most of the time challenging to choose the right smoker for your home.
However, this article has been written to give you full details on each of the products.
Pellet smokers are categories of grills that make use of elements of charcoal smokers/grills, and kitchen ovens to produce a delicious and flavorful meal. Unlike other types of units, these grills are most suitable as outdoor cookers.
Wood pellets fuel them. They are versatile smokers as they do not only smoke meats but also grill, bake, sear any food using an electronic control panel to feed fuel pellets to the fire automatically
Likewise, this electronic control panel also helps to regulate the grill’s airflow and maintain consistent cooking temperatures. Pellet smoker as a general cooking method which is referred to as convection heating with a lot of advantages.
- Cook at a constant internal temperature
- Comes with varieties of cooking methods
- Easy to clean and to use
- Features electronic control panel
- Produces flavorful aroma
- Does not heat higher than 450°F
- Comes at an expensive rate
Electric smokers are units which are easy to use and operate. It is an ideal one for grillers who are in search of smokers to smoke their meat. Beginners would do not have any difficulties making use of this product.
It features a digital control panel that does not only make the grill convenient to use but also enhances the performance of your unit. That is, whenever you want to use this grill, the first thing you need to do is to put on the smoker.
Next, set the grill temperature at the level that would perfectly fit the food you are smoking, set a timer to guide your cooking, refill the wood chips container, likewise, the water tank and you can begin to grill your food.
After doing all these, you do not need to do anything apart from taking a rest and watch how the digital control panel prepares the meal for you.
- Convenience and simplicity
- Has reliable temperature control
- Cooks your food at a high speed
- Easy to clean
- Prone to malfunctioning
- Require more mobility
If you are a smoker in search of a unit to make tender and delicious meat that is full of flavor, this is what you are looking for. This meat helps you to cook all foods in an indirect cooking method.
Charcoal smoker helps you to cook your food within the temperature range of about 220°F to 250°F. However, you need to monitor and fine-tune the fuel and air supply to keep the temperature within the perfect range for the food you are cooking. These units are top-rated for backyard grilling parties.
- Produces a high level of heat
- Give additional flavor to the meat
- Not expensive
- Easy to use and to maintain
- Does not heat up fast
- Flares up and not too safe for eyes
Absolutely, with so many options on the market to choose from, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But we are sure that you have been able to derive one unique feature or the other that attracts you with all the hills discussed in this article.
However, Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill comes with the much-needed features and meet up with most users’ requirements. Nevertheless, you have a list of the best pellet smoker to choose from based on your preference.