Top 10 Best Pellet Grills & Smokers Reviews – Buyers Guide (2020 Updated)
There is no party like a backyard grill and BBQ party on a hot summer weekend with some good music on the back, and of course the centerpiece: the food. You see, food is a universal language.
It is a way to say how much you appreciate and care for one another; a way to people’s hearts. And there is nothing more comfortable, warm, and heart than some good old open grill and BBQ cooking on your pellet grill. And this is the reason you need an expert pellet grill review.
Nothing says “you are welcome to my home” than some delicious and succulent baby back ribs; some beer can whole chicken cooked your special spice mix, and some wood smoked salmon.
There is no better way to wins the appreciation of your favorite people than cooking up some wood grilled steaks and baked potatoes. But there is a catch, there always is.
Barbecuing and grilling meats to the perfect temperature, texture, and doneness is a skill that is acquired over the years and years of practice. There is a lot that goes into making a good BBQ than just good seasoning and fresh meat, and any pit master will agree.
There are just so many aspects you have to learn how to control: the temperature, the smoke, the placement, the ratios, and so on. But you are lucky that this is new to yesterday.
With modern advances in the outdoor cooking appliances due to their high demands, you too can cook up a great BBQ spread now with the help of a pellet grill! Gone are the days of overcooked and burned steaks. With the pellet grill on your backyard, you can BBQ to standards that even pit masters will approve.
So today I will be giving you a 101 class on pellets grills, also including a list that will provide you with some great pellet grill review so that you can make the right decision when deciding to purchase one for you and your specific needs.
It is almost as we have forgotten how to live life the way it should be lived. We no longer have the time to sit back on a summer’s day and appreciate the show that nature has put up for us. Nowadays we are so committed to our work, responsibilities, and duties towards the external that we often forget that we have our very first priority neglected: happiness.
We are so engaged in our daily 9 to 5 routines that we have actually begun to take it as a way of living while it slowly drains and strains us away over time.
When was the last time you actually got to sit back with your family and friends and chat away over the recent events? While it is understandable that work is important, that is it crucial to put the bread on your table and that you do it to make the lives of your loved ones more comfortable and fulfilling, but it is in no way to live.
There is nothing sadder than have to work on presentations on the weekends while you kids wait behind your desk to finish up and take them to their soccer practice. Nothing is worse when you cannot make time to visit your old folks and best buddy because you have to run to the banks and attend the same old meetings.
One thing we humans tend to forget amidst the hustle-bustle of our fast-paced and commercial lives is that we should earn to live, not live to earn. So I think it is high time you ditch your shoe-box of an office behind for a day and live.
Spend a day with your family at the park, or maybe catch up with your childhood friend over a beer or two and start doing barbecue. You cannot even begin to imagine how much spending some quality time with your loved ones can help you and them, revive and replenish the monotonousness.
And there isn’t a better way to mingle than over a small get-together with some amazing food and great company cooked on your pellet grill.
What is a Pellet Grill?
A pellet grill is an outdoor cooker that runs on electricity. It uses wood pellets as fuel to cook as well as smoke and flavor the meats. A pellet grill is a combination appliance of grills, smoker, oven, and more. It can be used to sear, smoke, grill, roast, and even bake!
A pellet grill can be used to cook almost all types of meats and proteins. It also accommodates a larger quantity and size than a normal indoor appliance. This is what makes a pellet grill so special, its versatility, and convenience of use.
It makes party hosting, as well as small crowd-feeding a breeze! Pellet grills are easy to use because they often come with easy temperature controls (along with other variable facilities depending on grill to grill), making it ideal for beginners who do not have prior grilling and cook-out experiences.
A pellet grill is an answer to every cook enthusiasts who love to cook, but lack the knowledge and experience of skilled pit masters.
Do not confuse a pellet grill for gas grills. As the name suggests, a pellet grill obviously uses pellets for cooking its food. But do not doubt its competence with any other gas or convection appliances.
It cooks just as well, if not better. And the secret to this is in its pellets. While pellets vary from brand to brand, the best ones have more wood and fewer binders like sawdust, etc.
Pellet grill uses various types of flavored wood pellets to flavor the food by infusing smoke into it. Pellets of numerous flavors are available on the market: hickory, strawberry, oak, and olive are just to name a few.
Many pellet grill companies also manufacture wood pellets alongside the pellet grills that go hand in hand with their respective grills. So know your options, and be sure to spend a few extra bucks into buying a good quality wood pellet for your pellet grill as this is what will set apart your smoked exotic BBQ from the mainstream flavors out there.
A Few Mention-able Benefits of Pellets Grills
Versatility and Benefits of a Pellet Grill
The reason why pellet grills are so extremely popular these days among cooks all over the world today is not only because it cooks food amazingly, but also because of how versatile and user friendly these appliances are. Your pellet grill can be used to cook just about any protein, vegetables, and fruits you can think of!
To grill or not to grill, that is the question!
Though it is technically a grill, you can carry out so many cooking styles in it. It can be used to sear meats and other food to a perfect golden crusty perfection; it can be used to bake quiches just like you would in a normal indoor oven.
This is absolutely a trademark appliance that can also be used to smoke food, it can also be used to slow braise food, making it ideal for cooking up winter stews and casseroles. And very obviously you can grill in this thing. The lid on the pellet grills also aids in fast cooking by trapping smoke and heat and allowing the food to cook and flavor through quickly and more evenly.
A pellet grill often comes with many facilities that are usually not available on any other grilling appliances. One of them is its temperature control and settings. This is a huge advantage for inexperienced cooks who do not have the understanding and years of experience of pit masters who know how to cook different foods at different temperatures.
This also means that you do not have to fiddle and fidget around with the heat every 2 minutes after slapping on the steak on to the grills.
One other thing to know about the wonder of pellet grills is that they come with pellet hoppers, varying in capacity from brand to brand, that accommodates and use the pellets you put it accordingly and automatically as per the heat setting, eliminating the need to refill the hopper manually so frequently.
So throw on some lamb ribs on to those hot grills, and go enjoy some cold beer while the pellet grill does the rest for you!
Pellet grills are every lazy man’s dream appliance. These grills need absolute zero to minimal maintenance. You just need to lightly wipe through it after every use, and maybe thoroughly clean it 2 to 3 times a year! All pellet grills now come with a drip pan that catches the accumulating oils that drops from the food.
They are also made with good quality raw materials that enable them to withstand the outdoor atmospheres all year round. If this does not entice your lazy bones, no other appliance will, and that is a fact. Period!
Many people misunderstand a pellet grill of consuming a large amount of power for its working. But it is not even remotely true. While it is true that a pellet grill will use up a good amount for power initially, but it only uses that to come to temperature and form.
Once it is ready and in form, its power consumption drops so dramatically that some pellet grills use almost as little power as a light bulb; an ideal choice for keeping power costs to a minimum.
Pellet grills come in many different sizes that accommodate food as per those sizes. However, even the smaller kinds are able to cook up a meal for a large family of 4 to 5 at a time! The larger ones are obviously able to accommodate large portions of meat and other food in it.
In fact, some large pellet grills are used to cook up a whole baby lamb or large fishes at a time! This is one appliance that has been proven ideal for feeding a lot of heads at a time without the stress and the hard work, of course, making it great for small to medium parties and get-together.
Things to Look for in a Good Pellet Grill
While using and running a pellet grill is a child’s play, catching the right offer on pellet grills can be a hassle for consumers who have little to know clue about it can prove a costly bargain.
Knowing your facts prior to buying one is always a good smart idea. My pellet grill review will do the best it can to educate you on the things you need to look out for when purchasing your perfect grill. Here are a few heads-up:
This is obviously no revelations that temperature is the first on my list. When it comes to cooking appliances, the temperature is always a key factor. However, it is not the sole reason to be on my list.
The thing about temperature you need to look for in a good pellet grill is its ability to control, change, and maintain it. Any grill can turn screaming hot, but only the best ones provide you with multiple temperature settings and are able to maintain it constantly to ensure an even cooking surface where it is not too hot on the left and cold on the right. Many pellets come with special, even patented, temperature features.
A pellet hopper is what you put your pellets in. The grill will automatically help itself from the hopper and use it to maintain the temperature you want it to. More heat requirements will use more pellets, and less heat will use less.
What you need to make sure is that you have a good-sized pellet hopper so that your grill can keep using from it and you do not have to keep refilling the hopper too often. There are pellet grills out there that are powerful and gentle enough to be cooking for hours, and sometimes overnight, all thanks to its large pellet hoppers that keep replenishing and refueling the fire all throughout.
Brand History and Consumer Satisfaction
I always encourage consumers to get to know a little bit about a brand and company before purchasing a product from them. What differentiates a smart consumer from a consumer is preparedness. Get to know about the company history, its commitment to consumers, its consumer service, after-sales services, and warranty.
It is also a great idea if you can go through consumer ratings and reports the company’s pellet grill review before buying it. Do not just fall for intelligent marketing and chic packaging. Get your facts checked; remember it is your hard-earned money on the line.
Make sure the pellet you choose to come with a satisfactory cleaning facility. Look out for pellet hopper spoons or shovels that are used to put in and pick out the pellets. Almost all pellet grills come with a drip pan to collect liquids drips oils, juices, sauces from the food on the grill. Make sure it comes in a good size as well.
Useful features and add-ons VS. unnecessary features and scams
Remember, you are paying for every little feature, attachments, and details on any product. So do not end up paying your inheritance for a feature that you are probably never going to use. Instead, invest in a pellet grill that caters to your needs and has features that will actually enhance your experience when using it. So do not, I repeat: do not fall for fancy marketing features that sound too drastic.
For example, many grills use and charge for collaborating with a software application on it. I, personally, think this is an absolutely silly feature to include on a pellet grill. Yes, it does start on and off from your phone and change temperatures while you are in Switzerland enjoying Swiss cheese on a lake, but really, is it even logical?
I mean, pellet grills have already made the cooking experience as easy as a dream, the least you can do is set the temperature by the click of a button on the appliance yourself! You can’t possibly be that lazy!
Now, for the good stuff: do not hesitate to spend an extra or even two bucks for a feature that you will use and appreciate. Consider your pellet grill as an investment, something you are going to buy and be using and enjoying for years and years to come.
Features like meat probes to check the internal temperature of foods is excellent for taking the guesswork away from cooking meat to a particular doneness. You will never end up with an overcooked and rubbery, or undercooked and raw steak ever again!
Features like smartly designed grills that consume and spread heat evenly are also great for cooking food to perfection without having to move it from side to side to find the right temperature spot.
Now, I will be very honest about this topic here. While prices vary from model to model and brand to brand, one thing to understand is that the best pellet grills are made with the best materials, made by keeping consumers’ needs in mind, made with intelligent designs and features that can serve and last a long time.
There are pellet grills in the market ranging from extremely cheap and affordable to very expensive, and sometimes even unnecessarily expensive.
While there are exceptions in many cases, the blatant truth is that good stuff will cost an extra penny. This is why I will be giving you my pellet grill review so that you can see and identify your specific needs and buy a grill according to that instead of spending a fortune on low quality or unnecessarily multiple-feature grills.
Best Pellet Grill Reviews Consumer Report 2019-2020
Choosing the one perfect pellet grill that could change your cooking experience is easier said than done. There is just so know you have to know before committing to it. Though I did give you a run-through of all the basic and important things to look for in a pellet grill before buying one, it is still a scratch on the surface.
It is tiring to have to go from store to store to find the quality ones that you can choose from. So, to come to your rescue once again, I will now give you some pellet grill review.
I have put together the best pellet grill reviews consumer report of the top 10 pellet grills in the market today. Mind that this list was not just put together in a jiffy; all the names in this list have been carefully picked and chosen through strict inspection on performance, ratings, and consumer preferences.
Let’s take a look at the pellet grill review I have for you:
The first name to kick start our list of the best pellet grill review is the Camp Chef PG24 Pellet grill. It measures 45 inches by 21 inches by 51 inches, in dimensions.
This pellet grill weighs 127 pounds and capacitates a 550 cubic inch cooking surface. It has a removable upper rack, and it comes with a stainless steel food probe. Camp Chef PG24 Pellet grill comes with an LED digital temperature control system and has a patented down cleaning system. It can provide temperatures from 160 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and has an internal sensor.
Moreover, it has a BTU’s per hour of 25000 and it also comes with a stainless steel probe that let you detect the internal temperature and doneness of foods. It has a patented, drop down cleaning system that accumulates of the grease, fat, and gunk without having you to disassemble the pellet grill at all.
- The Chef Camp PG24 Pellet grill comes with a handy stainless food probe that takes away the guesswork and lets the cook perfect the doneness and internal temperature every time
- It comes with a removable top rack that not only increases space but also makes cleaning easier
- It has a very low capacity of 18 lbs only of pellets in its pellet hopper meaning that the cook will have to refill the hopper more frequently.
- The customer service is scrutinized by my consumers to be unreachable, especially on the weekends.
Second, on our list of the best pellet grill reviews consumer report, the Traeger pellet grill has a 292 square inch cooking surface area. It weighs 70 pounds and measures 21 inches by 23 inches by 21 inches in dimensions.
This pellet grill is made out of steel and arrives in a black and bronze body. It has an automatic auger, an electronic auto-start, and digital temperature control. The Traeger Pellet grill also features a Digital Thermostat Control which detects the temperatures inside the grills using an RTD detector and instructs the auger to fuel the fire and release the pellets according to that.
Other than that, they also come with a manual temperature setting of smoke, medium, and high.
The Traeger Pellet grill can accommodate temperatures from 180 degrees to 375 degrees, and high. It has a state of the art digital temperature control system that not only monitors the temperature to keep it consistent and even but also regulates the pellets the auger feeds to the fire according to that temperature. This is truly a grill worthy of a place in our pellet grill review.
- Traeger Pellet Grill is easy to assemble, and it fits into small spaces due to its compact size.
- It requires minimal cleaning.
- It takes a little time to heat up and get ready for use.
- It has a small cooking surface, making it difficult for larger cuts of meat to fit in.
The third name to make it to my list of the best pellet grill reviews consumer report is The REC TEC Wood Pellet grill. It has a trademark Smart grill Technology, which maintains precise temperature.
This amazing pellet grill has a whopping 702 square inch cooking area and a 40-pound capacity pellet hopper. It is made out of high-quality stainless steel. It comes with a drip pan.
A few other mentionable features are that it has a highly durable temperature proof textures powder coat finish, it features auto start. The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill accommodates temperatures from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with 5 degrees increment.
This amazing temperature control features let you be in control of how much heat you want to cook your food in, without having to worry about it getting dry or burnt.
This low increment allows you to cook delicate meats like fishes and seafood as well! It smart grill tech makes sure that the temperature you set is always consistent and constant. It also has an “Extreme” smoke feature from the 180 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit setting that intensifies the smoke in the grill.
- It has a generous cooking surface of 702 square inches.
- There is a large-capacity pellet hopper of 40 lbs
- It has been constructed with high-quality materials of stainless steel, and weather coats
- It is not foldable
Who says bigger is always better? Our fourth contender to make it to our pellet grill review is The Traeger TFB29LZA Junior elite grill. This petite pellet grill has been specifically designed to meet the needs of small households.
Its small body makes it ideal for traveling and tailgating. It features a 300 square inch cooking surface. This pellet grill weighs just 60 pounds. You will get an LED digital, multi-position thermostat that comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Its compact build makes it ideal for fitting it into smaller spaces, as well as travel.
- The legs are not collapsible
This pellet grill has a 440 square inch cooking surface and weighs 73 pounds. It measures 36 by 18 by 39 inches in dimensions and is made out of durable steel and heavy-duty 16 gauge steel construction.
It has a dial-in control with an LED read-out. Its temperature reaches from 180 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with a meat probe. This Pit Boss is a worthy name to be in our pellet grill review’ list.
- It comes with a meat probe to detect internal temperatures.
- Small size lets it fit into any corner.
- While I do not think Chinese products lack quality, but many consumers seem to be put off by the fact that it is not made in the USA. It is made in China.
- There were complaints about temperature drops after the start-up.
Next in our pellet grill review is the Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill. Its small size makes it a portable grill. It weighs 57 pounds and measures 14.5 by 20 by 29.5 inches in dimensions. The Green Mountain pellet grill has 110V or 12V adaptors for 3 power options.
It has foldable legs that also function as handles. This pellet grill also features a thermal sensor which monitors the grill temperature called Sense-Mate. One coveted feature on this pellet grill is that it is Wi-Fi compatible.
- It comes with 3 power options
- This pellet grill is portable and compact.
- It has compact legs
- Not many consumers end up using the wifi controller eventually
The seventh pellet grill to achieve its place in our best pellet grills is the YOYO wood pellet grill and smoker. It is a 679 square inch griller (1 cooking surface) with 2 level cooking levels surface. This pellet grill weighs 170 pounds.
It maintains temperature from 180 degrees to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Another feature of this pellet grill is that it has a digital thermostat controller and comes with the assembly tool kit included.
- It has 2 cooking levels that maximize the cooking area
- You will get a large-capacity pellet hopper.
- It has swivel casters for easy movement
- None reported and found so far
Up next to find its place in our pellet grill review is the REC TEC’s mini portable pellet grill. It has a 341 square inch cooking surface with 180 degrees to 550 degrees Fahrenheit temperature limit, with 5 degrees increment.
But it can easily reach 600 degrees Fahrenheit in full mode. It has a satisfactory pellet hopper capacity and has folding legs. It is great for travel and movement as it is compact and small in size.
- It can 5 degrees Fahrenheit temperature increment. This lets you have the closest control of the heat being used to cook your food.
- Great to use at small spaces and while traveling.
- It can reach up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
- It has complained of having weak lower body stability as its wheels cannot hold the weight of the grill perfectly.
Ninth spot to make it to our compilation of the pellet grill review is the Louisiana pellet grill. It has 2 cooking levels and a total 1061 square inch cooking surface.
The Louisiana pellet grill has got porcelain cast iron main grids and porcelain steel removable upper cooking grid. It also has a digital controller center. This grill weighs around 173 pounds and is made with high-quality material that is going to last you a life!
- It has a large cooking surface area
- It is made for some heavy-duty action
- It tends to misbehave under cold and chilly conditions
The last, but definitely not the least, to earn its review on our pellet grill review is theSmokePro from Camp Chef. It has a 19.5 by 22 square inch cooking area, a large pellet hopper, and a grease dip system with a bucket and roller wheels. It also has built-in gauge control.
- It has a large size pellet hopper
- Roller wheels for movement convenience
- Produces a lot of smoke
So, there they are my pellet grill review of 2019-2020. This information is surely going to help you from going nuts when trying to purchase your own pellet grill. These pellet grill reviews will give you a clear straight forward understanding of the best and most conventional features in pellet grills in the market today.
Now that you are all set thanks to the pellet grill reviews, go grab yours, call some friends over and have a great weekend!