In this guide, we give an overview of the ten models that we have selected, after countless hours of research, to be the best pellet smokers in 2021.
The popularity of pellet smokers has exploded in recent years. And with that, a large number of products have come out from many different manufacturers, making it difficult to know which one to choose.
Not only that, but with the smoking charcoal, the smoking electrical and more, it makes the purchase decision very difficult to take.
However, since you have reached this guide, you can assume that you have chosen to become a pellet smoker.
Good choice! They are incredibly easy to use and maintain, extremely versatile, capable of making a great grill with little time and effort to master.
The best grills pellets are the perfect tool for an amateur cook who is new to smoking and to COMPETITION Pitmaster the same for the products of meat smoking incredibly accurate, reproducible and stable .
The purpose of this guide is to show the best pellet smokers in different categories and describe why we love them, but also to highlight the drawbacks that one model can have compared to others.
Now that we’ve broken down our top tips, we’ll conclude the article with a detailed buying guide that lists the specs and features you want to look for, as well as how a pellet smoker works , uses, and benefits. . smoke with wood pellets. and where they are slightly behind other types of smokers .
By the end of this guide, you will be equipped with the knowledge to make the right decision when choosing the best pellet smoker for your personal taste, needs and budget.
BEST PELLET SMOKERS – REVIEWS
Here is our list of ten high quality grills that are much loved and recommended in the market.
They come in different sizes, budgets and functions, all of which meet our quality guidelines and accommodate different people with different needs. Somewhere on this list, you are sure to find the right option for your budget and needs.
Just keep in mind that the list below includes all but one full size pellet grills, and we’ve got a separate guide to the best portable pellet grills if that’s what you’re looking for.
Let’s move on to the recommendations.
Best choice – Smokehouse and Grill in granules Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi with sealed box
The Camp Leader is relatively new to the tobacco industry, founded in 1990. However, the new kid on the block has built a reputation for quality SmokePro and Woodwind pellet smoking products at affordable prices from around the world. manufacturing .
And at the end of 2019, they really raised the bar for the WiFi enabled Woodwind series , especially when you add the Sear Box accessory!
Yes, the WiFi 24 Woodwind Camp Chef does everything from 160 F for low smoke levels to 650 F for browning on the main grill and 900 F for scorching on the propane powered side of the setting , so this appliance can do everything from smoking to broiling, braising and roasting and anything you want to do with an outdoor stove.
The first impressive feature of this device is the smoke controlled PID controller.
The PID has a constant feedback loop that allows this smoker to maintain temperatures more accurately than the vast majority of its competition. Not only that, but it has “ smoke settings ” from 1 to 10.
To generate smoke, the pellets must burn and not burn. However, this is difficult to control precisely and as a result there will be temperature fluctuations, sometimes up to 20 ° F on most pellet grills. In this unit, they have more control that way.
When the smoke setting is set to a high value (near or around 10), it is best to keep the unit at a constant temperature but focus on the smoke. Temperature fluctuations do occur, but less than with other pellet smokers.
But here’s the good part! When you are satisfied with the amount of smoke (remember that after reaching around 22 ° C the smoke will no longer be absorbed by the food), simply reduce the smoke setting to a low value and the unit will turn off. will focus on it, the temperature more constant. . instead, it is possible to maintain.
It does this by burning the pellets in a more controlled manner and without worrying that they are burning smoke. Best-in-class temperature accuracy in this setup.
The second impressive feature is the WiFi capability .
You can connect this unit to your WiFi at home , and then use the application ‘Camp Chef Connect’ to monitor your leader anywhere in the world where you have a mobile Internet phone signal.
This means monitoring the internal temperatures of smokers and food, receiving notifications and changing your device settings from the palm of your hand anywhere in the world. You no longer need to be strapped to the grill, so you can spend more time with your family or guests while cooking.
The third awesome feature that sets this grill apart for me is the “search box” attached to the side.
Although smokehouse pellet grills are referred to as pellets interchangeably, they have never been good for roasting , which is a milestone in extreme grilling due to the Maillard reaction .
A good high temperature burn is necessary and most pellet smokers simply cannot reach them. Well, Camp Chef has found a solution.
The woodwind range offers a selection of “buddy” accessories, including a flat plate, a pizza oven or a browning accessory. It was the Sear Box that caught my attention!
A 180 square inch propane fueled 16,000 BTU Seng Oxide , which can go up to 900 F, means you can slowly and gradually smoke food in the main unit before frying it perfectly in the page box, or turn this process into a perfectly burnt one. steaks upside down.
With this, Camp Chef has finally solved the main argument that pellet smokers cannot brown and allows users of pellet smokers to light a second grill just to brown it. Save time and money.
Other notable features are:
Slide and Grill: With the push of a button, you can slide the “ flame deflector ” out of the way of the firebox so that the flames can lick through the slotted drip tray and reach the meat, with 650 F burning in the main unit. (You might be wondering why the search box? The search box is just better, cleaner, and more powerful.)
Ash Cleanup Made Easy: The general procedure for cleaning a pellet smoker is to enter the intestines, remove most of the giblets, and vacuum the ashes . With this device, the ashes from the combustion chamber fall into a removable cup under the grate at the push of a button. It’s easy!
4 meat probes included – On the right, Camp Chef includes four meat probes with this device that are not sold separately. This allows you to monitor the internal temperature of 4 types of meat at the same time without having to purchase a separate smoke thermometer.
Grating upper and lower full grandeur of many competitors have only one heat setting or a main grill and a heated grill. Camp Chef has enlarged the Woodwind by adding a second full-size rack which increases the total cooking area to over 800 square inches on a medium-sized rack.
Hoppers with window 22 lb and “easy to empty”: the most granular bags weigh 20 pounds , most hoppers weigh less. The Woodwind has a 22- pound funnel , which means you can throw it in a full bag. I’m not the only one who hates having to store partial bags of pellets, I’m sure? The funnel also has a window so you can easily see how much is left. Almost none of the others have this feature, so no guesswork.
In addition, the funnel can be easily emptied via a chute. Just press a button, a hatch opens and the pellets fall through a chute into the container you are using. You will no longer have to remove the pellets when storing your smoker or changing your wood pellets for smoking .
Take a look at this video from the Camp Chief for a great look and a complete look at the woods and some of yours to get the best features:
- Smart smoke, top-notch temperature control (160-500 degrees F)
- WiFi enabled to monitor and control anywhere
- It can be burnished at 900 F.
- Durable and stable
- Easy cleaning and emptying of unused pellets
- Great kitchen area
- Extremely versatile
- 3 year warranty
- Lots of new technology on the market, so longevity has yet to be tested.
Woodwind’s Pellet Grill and Side Sear Box Smoker is probably the most versatile, complete, easy to use, maintain and clean pellet smoker I have ever put on the market, all at a reasonable price. It also helps that it looks good!
The WiFi digital control for monitoring and remote control, a wide temperature range and a real ability to abrasion make the simplicity and performance of this device perfect for inexperienced cooks and experts.
Honestly, there is almost nothing I don’t like about this grill and a lot of things I do. That’s why I was ranked first on my list of the best pellet smokers for 2021. For current prices and more details, click here:
Traeger Grills Pro Series 575 Smoker
Traeger is the original brand for pellet grills and easily (at the time of writing) the most popular brand with the most sales in the world. They’ve been making high-quality, affordable grills for almost three decades, so they had to be at the top of this list.
Among their product stands, the “Pro- Series” are the best sellers. At the end of 2019, they released improved models with a variety of updates and new features that keep them at the forefront of pellet smokers.
The new Traeger Pro 575 brings new advanced controller and a technology WiFi to an already versatile grill that allows smoking, grilling, baking, braising and grilling.
Many features of the Pro 575 were previously only available in the high-end Timberline range, which costs significantly more. That’s why they really brought their best tech to the Pro line in this iteration. Let’s see what you get:
D2 controller connected to WiFi
The new D2 Traegers driver is a PID controller with constant temperature feedback and variable speed fans that work together to maintain constant temperatures. It is an improvement and a solution for complaints about temperature variations in older models.
It also comes with a meat temperature probe which connects to the controller to monitor the internal temperature of the food, so you need an independent third party smoking thermometer .
The Pro Series 575 controller is also connected to WiFi . Traeger calls it the ” WiFi controller “.
This allows you to connect the smoker to the internet to monitor and change temperatures, set timers and more from anywhere in the world with an app on your phone.
The app also includes a recipe-filled grill guide that lets you automatically download your phone settings to your smoker and control all cooks from start to finish with optimal setting changes. Cool feature, am I sure you are ok with that?
WiFire also makes the Pro 575 “Alexa-enabled” so you can ask Alexa to use voice commands to make changes to settings.
Direct drive D2 helical motor
On rare occasions, but it has happened to some, a pellet smoker’s snail can get clogged and stuck. This means that no more granules can be put in the casserole dish and that the cooking stops naturally.
On the Pro series, Traeger improved the pellet delivery system with a brushless direct drive motor and drive train with higher torque and lower speed.
This means the parts are stronger, stronger, much less prone to jamming, and have a longer period between required maintenance.
Again, Traeger’s response to some previous complaints about older models, very well done! They listen and respond to customer feedback.
Turbotemp is a feature that combines the new PID controller and D2 drive motor with the variable speed fan for faster warm up and start times .
Not only does the combination reach cooking temperatures much faster, it also creates a strong swirl of smoke and heat throughout the cooking chamber, enveloping food more evenly and helping to stabilize temperature gradients from left to left. bedroom. , so you cook more evenly.
See the following video from BBQGuys on, an overview of all the new features of getting the protractor and a detailed description of the build quality and getting all the angles of the grill:
- Simple operation at the touch of a button, ideal for beginners and professionals.
- Quick start-up and precisely maintained temperatures thanks to the PID controller and variable speed fan.
- Good ability to cook for a crowd.
- Use of pellets more effective and more economical than previous models.
- WiFire technology to monitor and control temperatures and timers from anywhere in the world or while spending more time with guests than on the grill.
- The maximum temperature of 450 ° F is a bit low with many competitors hitting 500 ° F. You almost certainly want a separate burn station at both temperatures, so not much of a problem.
- Double meat probes (or more) would have been nice.
The Traeger Pro Series 575 is a very powerful and versatile grill that strikes the right balance between affordability, functionality and technological advancements.
I’m a huge fan and would happily recommend this grill as it only places Camp Chef Woodwind in second place, even though Porter has a cheaper MSRP at the time of writing.
I’m sure almost everyone would love to own this grill and enjoy years of wonderfully smoked grilled food with consistent results while supporting the capabilities of this appliance with a wide variety of features.
Current prices, more photos and customer ratings can be found at the following link:
Best budget: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX
The Camp Chef DLX Pellet Grill and Smoker has features you won’t find on even the most expensive models. At 127 pounds, he’s a very capable smoker with a generous 429 cubic inch cooking surface.
With the removable top heating rack, you get a cooking surface of 429 square inches.
It comes with a built-in meat probe that goes through a special port on the side wall. It is connected to the smart digital temperature controller, which provides cooking temperatures from 71 ° C to 260 ° C. You can set it to low or high smoke, which is around 107 ° C.
This smoker has two big chickens or three back ribs. And with the accessories available, including an optional pizza stone , you can even bake pizzas! A browning box and a flat baking tray are also available.
The rear is square rather than round, so there is more space in the top frame.
Two of the best features of this smoker are the ash cleaning system and the pellet cleaning door. No vacuum cleaner is needed to clean the ashtray. You simply pull a lever and the ashes are emptied from the combustion chamber into a cup which is mounted under the cooking zone.
You can also quickly clean the pellet hopper thanks to a hatch.
Leaving pellets in the funnel can make them wet and difficult to burn. Additionally, there are times when you might want to switch up the wood pellets to improve the flavor of the smoke.
This smoker weighs 18 pounds. Hopper with an easy-to-remove hatch for quick emptying. Also, the pellet container lid will not prevent rain from entering, so you will want to empty it and store the pellets in an airtight container.
It has two plastic wheels on the right side while the left legs are upright, making it a very stable platform. Camp Chef makes installation and cuisine with seven training videos in line in your selection of multimedia window. This smoker has a one year warranty.
- The integrated meat probe and port make it easy to monitor the meat.
- Access to the hatch to clean the brazier is quick and easy
- The hopper cleaning door allows you to quickly change pellets or store them indoors.
- The rear mounted fireplace leaves the right side open as a staging area.
- Big enough for six cans of beer.
- The lid is thin and does not close tightly. In cold and windy weather, it is difficult to maintain the temperature without the help of a windbreaker or insulation such as a sweat blanket.
- The pellet cover is not resistant to rain and may wet the pellets if left uncovered.
- The controller is not programmable, so you will need to monitor more often.
If you are looking for hassle-free cleaning and a grill that smokes two chickens and a breast at the same time, this grill is for you.
Most barbecues require you to break down and vacuum the ashes. But as mentioned above, on the PG24 all you need to do is pull a lever and the ashes fall into a cup which is mounted on the floor.
This will save you a lot of time and encourage you to use the smoker more often, or at least it won’t put you off for fear of the cleaning routine!
Best High End – REC TEC RT-700
The REC TEC RT-700 replaces by far the most well-known pellet smoker, the RT-680, coated in bright red powder, with megaphone shaped handles made of stainless steel.
This new model RT-700 smoker has a generous 40 pound pellet capacity, making it suitable for long stoves. Construction is sturdy, most internals are stainless steel including cooking chamber, grill grates, napkin ring, shelf bracket, funnel lid and handles, hinge top piano and much more.
The RT-700 uses Smart Grill Technology ™ , a PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative Controller) to keep the temperature constant. The grill has an operating temperature of 93 ° C to 260 ° C, which can be programmed in 5 ° F steps for best cooking results.
REC TEC contains an internal ceiling light which is connected to the system for better visibility. One cool feature is the control box on the left, which doubles as a small shelf with attached tool hooks. The funnel cover on the back serves as a nice heat shield shelf.
This model has 702 square inches of cooking surface, one of the largest cooking areas on the grates we’ve reviewed.
You can cook 6 large racks for ribs, double if you have racks. Or it can hold one pork belly and two ribs at the same time. If that’s not enough, it can be expanded to 1045 square inches with the optional second shelf.
Moving the grill is easy with the handle under the chimney.
- The large 40-pound funnel and grill size provide plenty of cooking space for a crowd.
- Internal parts and grille are made of stainless steel for long life.
- It looks remarkable in your backyard.
- Internal hood lighting for 24 hour cooking.
- The 6 year warranty is one of the longest you will find for pellet grills and smokers.
- There is no release from the pellet hopper in case you want to switch to another pellet.
- The pressure cooker does not come out to clean, but you can vacuum it at any time.
The REC TEC (BULL) RT-700 Wood Pellet Grill is easy to use and suitable for both beginner and competitive chefs.
The stainless steel finish of many components and shelves makes them the focal point of your patio or garden. It’s great for parties, easy to move around, gives great results, and earns the # 1 best pellet grill.
We went into more detail in our test article on the Tec Rec pellet grill RT-700 . Or you can click here to see current prices and customer ratings on Amazon.
Best Laptop – Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett
Drive other campers crazy with the smell of smoked meat. The Davy Crockett Pellet Grill and Smoker from Green Mountain Grills combines portability with the convenience of a digital Wi-Fi controller. You can control and monitor your meat using the iOS or Android mobile app.
Take it camping, set it up and go play.
A temperature probe is used and the digital controls are set in 5 degree increments. The “Sense-Mate” heat sensor monitors the temperature of the meat and the grill. It is fully programmable from any Wi-Fi enabled device.
The Davy Crockett has three performance options for maximum portability. It works with the 12 volt cigarette lighter, 110 volt converter or even the 12 volt flying cables included in the kit . At 69 pounds (and a little help), it fits in the trunk of a car. The folding feet serve as handles.
The cap is pointed rather than rounded and increases the height of ribs or entire birds. Comes with a clip-on tray with utensil hook and an outside grease cup for easy cleaning.
- It has three power options, including your vehicle’s cigarette lighter, which makes it portable.
- With the Wi-Fi enabled digital control, you can monitor and adjust the cooking progress from any device, from anywhere.
- Large enough to hold a brisket and a beef tenderloin at the same time.
- It has an open flame option and can go up to 500 degrees to burn.
- Just 69 pounds and the legs fold up into handles for easy portability.
- Because the device is so compact, the pellets can be pre-ignited in the auger.
- The hopper holds only 8 pounds of pellets.
- The left side tends to cook hotter due to the sloping grease plate under the grill.
The Davy Crockett is the best option for tailgate smoking. It’s compact, portable, and lacks your car’s cigarette lighter. You can smoke a split chicken from start to finish in just 2 hours and plan and monitor the entire cooking progress on your phone on the go.
See our review GMG Davy Crockett for an in- depth research , or click below – below for current pricing and more details.
Best 100% Stainless Steel – Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy’s
The two big differences between the Cook Shack PG500 and other smokers are design and accessibility.
The PG500 is made in the USA with stainless steel construction riveted inside and out . And instead of a lid that opens vertically, this grill / smoker uses two doors, left and right. The cooking space is rectangular rather than rounded and has a flat heat protection shelf on top.
The reason for the two doors is the way they install the main cooking surface. By dividing the primary level into direct and indirect flame, four cooking zones have been created:
- Zone One is a 10 “wide x 18” deep direct cooking zone directly above the dutch oven and broil / sear pan. Does a good job of broiling and broiling steaks.
- The second zone is to the right of the fire pan, an indirect 18 “by 18” zone for high or low temperature frying with or without smoke.
- Zones three and four refer to the nickel plated steel top frame (10 x 28 inches). Zone three is above the fire pan and therefore much hotter than zone four above the indirect cooking zone.
In total, the PG500 has a cooking surface of 784 square meters, which can be converted into 4 cooking zones, direct, indirect, smoking and cold keeping. It has the versatility of grilling steaks or smoking cheese.
The 36,000 BTU torch requires a 120 VAC power supply of at least five amps. The digital controller has a range of 82 ° C to 315 ° C. At 315 ° C it is the hottest smoker we tested, although the direct cooking zone is small.
The 22-pound funnel capacity should give you about 33 hours of smoke time at 107 ° C (225 ° F).
You have designed a practical ashtray with front access for easy cleaning. The fat drips into a bucket hanging to the right of the spout. It has two wheels and two fixed feet for maximum stability.
CookShack offers a 2 year limited warranty on the grill, but they also give you a 30 day money back guarantee to try it out.
The PG500 digital controller maintains a constant temperature of a few degrees from start to finish.
- Made entirely of stainless steel inside and out for maximum durability.
- 4-zone cooking gives you more cooking options with the same grill.
- Cleaning is easy with two removable grease and ash drawers.
- Large capacity 22 pound hopper for longer cooking times.
- The direct fire zone heats up enough to grill steaks perfectly.
- Due to the open design of the Dutch oven for the high temperature zone, ash from the fan convection air may blow onto the food.
- The high heat zone in Zone 1 is relatively small and only contains four slices of steak or 6-8 patties.
- There is no thermal probe option for the controller, which means you have to check the interior temperature by opening the door, resulting in heat loss.
The PG 500 does an excellent job of smoking the meat and maintaining the temperature. It’s versatile enough to be used as a grill if you’re only cooking small batches at a time. It is durable and easy to clean. It also comes with an infusion rack on the side and a 40 pound bag of pellets so you can get up and smoke right away.
Cookshack, Inc. manufactures these pellet grills in the United States.
Ideal for small spaces: Traeger TFB29PLB Bronson 20
At 77 pounds, this compact Traeger pellet grill is perfect for small areas and small families. It is only 38cm wide and 22cm deep.
An interesting feature is that there is no open flame that conforms to most HOA rules. The 300 square meters. In. (20 “x 15”) grill area can accommodate four chickens or a 20 pounder. Skirt. The grill grates are porcelain coated steel for easy cleaning and protection against rust.
The frame and body of the grill are made of powder coated steel, which combines economy and durability. It has a “trestle” frame for stability and large plastic wheels for easy movement.
The temperature controller has an LED display and an oven button for adjustments. Not as accurate as other models with 25 ° F increment settings and +/- 15 degrees of jitter.
The generous 10 pound pellet container provides approximately 8 to 16 hours of smoke time, depending on cooking temperature. It comes with a 10 minute decomposition cycle, during which the fan also blows excess ash from the burn pot.
This grill is perfect for small homes, back doors, or as a second grill for your vacation home.
- The compact size makes this smoker a perfect smoker for small areas.
- This smoker complies with most HOA rules regarding open flames on balconies.
- Large plastic wheels make it easy to move.
- Porcelain coated steel grates for long life.
- 3 year warranty A full one year warranty on the grilles.
- The controller is not as responsive as it could be.
- There is no meat probe option.
- Pellet hoppers require better design because not all of the pellets enter the auger without assistance.
The Traeger Bronson 20 is a good option for a second smoker or ideal for a small balcony or patio. This inexpensive smoker has all the basic features that larger or more expensive grills offer.
This grill works with a standard 110 volt outlet. The lighter ignites with approximately 300 watts in the first four minutes. After that, only about 50 watts of power is needed.
Best Extreme High End: 28-inch Memphis Grills Pro
If you are looking for the highest quality construction, materials, features and design, the Memphis Grills Pro-28 Inch is for you.
They built this smoker / grill out of 430 stainless steel, double walled where it counts. An upgrade to 304 stainless steel. All internal and additional parts are stainless steel so you don’t have to worry about corrosion. The cover has a standard oven gasket for a tight seal.
It weighs 213 pounds and has four locking casters for mobility and stability on hard surfaces. However, do not try to roll it on soft ground because they are too small.
The cooking area is 562 square inches or 834 square inches with optional racks. This grill has one of the highest temperature ranges of 82 ° C to 343 ° C.
All internal parts are made of stainless steel for long life. You can switch from direct heating to indirect heating with the “Genie Tool” you provided. This tool cleans the cooking grates and holds the various parts of the grill for access and cleaning.
You can schedule your cooking from start to finish using Intelligent Temperature Control (ITC) on the grill or from any Wi-Fi enabled device.
This unit has two fans instead of one for better circulation and cooling. The Pro-28 comes with a stainless steel meat probe, but the controller has sockets for two more if you want to monitor different meats.
This smoker comes with a double rear mounted container that can hold a total of 18 pounds of pellets. You can add two different granules at the same time for different flavor profiles.
Two cool features unique to the Pro-28 are the left and right combination storage shelves. The lids open to reveal the stainless steel storage trays which are used to store all of your secret ingredients.
The Memphis Grills Pro-28 comes with a Direct Flame Insert, Genie Tool, Meat Probe, and a complimentary 20- pound bag of pellets . This USA made grill is backed by a 7 year limited warranty.
- All stainless steel construction makes it durable for life.
- A 7-year limited warranty means the company stands behind its product.
- Double hopper for mixing wood pellets.
- Two shelves with hidden storage is a feature that no other smoker has.
- Wi-Fi enabled so you can set it up and forget about it. Monitor cooking from any device.
- It is not necessary to clean the hopper, which makes it difficult to change the pellets.
- You will need to clean the brazier after each use as it may cause too much fire in the next round as the start cycle was not read correctly.
- You need Flavorizer Flame Direct to buy separately the increase of temperatures in order to grilling steaks.
If you are looking for a high tech low maintenance grill this is the way to go. The stainless steel construction of the double wall lasts a lifetime.
This grill / smoker is on the higher end of the cost, but it pays for itself over time. The convenience of Wi-Fi programming and the ability to use three separate meat probes make this pellet smoking contest a great value in your backyard.
Who are the best pellet smokers? How do you work
If you’ve come to this guide and made it this far, you probably already know how pellet grills work, but for those who don’t, here’s a quick rundown .
Pellet smokers generate heat by burning small wood pellets, which are made by compressing sawdust into a small cylindrical shape. They are incredibly dense, burn hot, and last a long time.
Pellet smokers have a hopper that can hold up to 22 pounds of pellets at a time and feeds a worm or pellet dispenser that pushes the pellets into a fire pan in the oven cavity.
There is an electronic ignition in the combustion chamber which is bright enough to ignite the wood chips. As the pellets burn, a fan supplies the flames with oxygen to ignite them, “fan” the flames and circulate heat more evenly in the oven and around the smoked foods.
The brain of a pellet smoker is the digital control that tells the snail how much to feed at any given time. More pellets means more heat and less smoke, while less pellets means less heat and more smoke.
The controller measures the temperature of the cooking space at all times and , based on the information received, decides how many more pellets to put into the burnpot and how slow or fast the fan should be. blown to control heat.
Pellet grills are very similar to some charcoal or offset smokers, but have an angled funnel rather than a cylindrical firebox.
However, unlike these other smokers, they are very straightforward and forget what we will see in the next section.
How to choose the right model for you
Size and cooking capacity
From small portable models that fit the tailgate to giant monsters with over 1,000 square inches of cooking surface, they’re available in all sizes, at a price to match.
If you’re only cooking for 2-6 people at a time, it doesn’t make much sense to splash out on a model that can cook 4 full-sized breasts.
Know what size you need before you see what to buy.
The pellet distribution system
Things to look for:
- The worm and the tube should be large enough so that they do not get stuck.
- The end of the auger tube and the firepot should be far enough apart that the fire cannot flow back into the funnel.
- Will the funnel stay dry in the rain?
- The larger the funnel, the less need to babysit.
- Cleaning of hoppers. Is there a clean door or do you have to remove it manually?
The combustion system
The combustion system consists of two parts, the firepot and the lighter. The Dutch oven is nothing more than a heavy steel box with a few holes for ventilation. The ignition rod works much like the cigarette lighter in a car. The tip turns red when first lit and as soon as the controller detects heat in the grill, the igniter turns off.
Look for heavy metal or stainless steel fire pots. Lighters can burn over time. So ask yourself how difficult it is to replace and uptime.
Grids and construction
In general, the more stainless steel used in construction, the lower the likelihood of corrosion, but the higher the cost. Most manufacturers construct painted or powder coated steel, an enamel coating that burns.
Look for internal parts like stainless steel cooking grates and Dutch oven for longer life. Porcelain coated iron grates are the next best option.
Digital control and WiFi capability
Most modern pellet smokers have programmable digital controls. Some are accessible via WLAN and can be programmed with your phone.
A more recent innovation is the PID (proportional-integral-derivative) controller. Calculate the variables on the grill and keep the temperature within 5 degrees of the set point. These controls bring the herd as close to the steaming meat as possible on autopilot.
Other older types of controls, such as 3-position and multi-position controls, which only have 3 temperature settings or are increased in 5 or 10 degree increments, often fluctuate up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit in both ways.
In addition to a smoker temperature probe, look for controls with at least one meat probe to monitor the internal temperature of the meat for best results. Some models may have up to three separate meat probes.
Ease of use
Would you like a simple analog switched model with an on / off switch and 3-10 temperature settings? Or a model “all the bells and whistles ” activated Wi-Fi , Bluetooth – enabled smartphone-controlled, technologically advanced?
To be fair, all pellet grills are easy to use, some more so than others. But make sure you know which one you prefer.
All pellet smokers can smoke, but would you like to fry on high heat too? Maybe you want an accessory for a shallow pan? What temperature range would you like to expect from your purchase?
I think it’s worth making up your own mind before looking to avoid getting sucked in by extra features that you might not really want or need.
Easy to clean functions
Most of us hate cleaning. Therefore, it is important to find functions that make work easier and faster. Some features to look for are:
- Removable combustion chamber or access door for cleaning.
- Easy access to clean ash and grease.
- Pellet bin cleaning door or easy access
Some cheaper or older models require you to open the lid and remove the pellets from the top to empty them. Worse yet, you will have to take the interior apart to clean the firebox.
Be sure to look here for modern, time-saving and labor-saving design features. Your future self will thank you.
You can find warranty periods of one to ten years from various manufacturers. While the warranty is not usually a deciding factor, it can give you an idea of what the manufacturer thinks about your product and if you like their products.
We believe that a strong warranty is a must for a pellet smoker as they have so many mechanical and electronic parts compared to other types of simpler smokers that can more simply be wrong.
You can see the warranty in each of our reviews.
Power Source : Consider the distance between your smoker and the nearest electrical outlet, as all pellet grills require a 110V / 120V power supply. Unless you plan to have a permanent installation by an electrician, you will want to purchase a durable outdoor extension cord with at least 12 gauge wire.
Maintenance : Anytime you mix steel, electronic components and inclement weather can occur. Engines, detonators and electronics can wear out. Take into account the age of the business and inquire about the availability of spare parts for the future. Some parts are common, some are personalized. Can you get spare parts later?
Your Cooking Style: Before choosing a pellet smoker, consider how often you will actually be using it. Do you open a restaurant that serves smoked meat, or do you occasionally smoke a brisket for yourself and your wife?
Pellet grills are first smokers and then barbecues. The brazier is generally small and not as good at grilling large batches of steaks and burgers as your standard charcoal grill. Most of them do well for a burger or two if that’s all you need.
Advantages of the best pellet smokers over other types
Ease of use
Yes, the most important benefit is ease of use.
There is no charcoal or wood fire to ignite, there are no upper and lower vents to master first, then adjust to control the airflow and heat in the oven cavity, no wood chips to stuff to create smoke and no need to refuel in between. whether it is the kitchen.
Lighting a pellet grill is as easy as turning it on, setting the desired temperature using a rotary knob or digital knob. It turns off on its own, maintaining a near-perfect cooking temperature and smoke production until it’s done.
Most are able to withstand temperatures below 200 F to 500 F or more. This means you can smoke, broil, braise, bake, roast and grill on a pellet grill.
You can cook just about anything in a pellet smoker that you can cook in your kitchen, on the counter, or in the oven.
Low maintenance and easy to clean.
Pellet grills are very easy to fill. Just pour an envelope into a large opening of a funnel.
And when the cooking ends because the pellets produce little ash, cleaning is also easy.
Most models these days even have a door or hatch that opens to remove ash from the floor, although some cheaper models require an ash vacuum.
They also have fat management systems in which the oils and fats that drain from food are collected in a drip tray for easy removal and cleaning in the kitchen sink or even in the dishwasher.
Wood pellets are very dense, energetic and inexpensive to burn, like using gas.
Most pellet smokers are also very well constructed, sealed and insulated to retain heat well. They also have a convection fan that blows heat around the oven cavity.
All of this makes them relatively cheap and inexpensive.
Charcoal and wood smokers take a long time, sometimes up to 45 minutes, to reach cooking temperature after lighting.
A good pellet smoker is ready to use in just 15 minutes after lighting it. This saves time and avoids the occasional frustration.
Disadvantages compared to other types.
It’s not good to grill
The biggest mistake most opponents of pellet grills make is the fact that although they are known as “grills,” they don’t grill particularly well! (You are officially a smoker who also has a barbecue!)
Since pellet grills are limited to 450-500 F on the upper end, they will never burn as well as a charcoal or gas grill. However, as you can see from the top options in this list, manufacturers are finding solutions!
High acquisition costs
You can get a smoker of coal, electricity or gas in perfect condition for less than $ 200 to $ 400. The pellet smokers an average of $ 500 to $ 1000. Thus, the cost of acquiring one is much higher.
You can buy charcoal or gas refills in any supermarket , you are never far from a source. However, wood pellets, which are used for smoking food, are not as readily available.
For anything so if you have to ensure a good supply of pellets and that the goal is never to work because often the only source for purchase of pellets will be online and will mean a delivery of 24 hours or more.
You will never run out of pellets while cooking!
Low smoky flavor
Many people who have the habit of smoking on grills with charcoal or wood burners offset find that the flavor of smoked food a pellet grill lacks a certain … The flavor of the smoke is neither strong enough nor deep enough.
While this is somewhat true, a charcoal or charcoal smoker does not pronounce it as a food, it also tastes cleaner, a bit more refined, and some say the ingredients in the food are more visible.
When you use electricity, it is tied to the length of the power cord and close to a power source. If you want to move to another area of your garden, this is not always easy to do.
Pellet grills combine the expertise of well masters with thermal probe and computer chip technology to make meat smoking easier for everyone. Set and forget technology makes these grills a must have for anyone who wants high quality smoked meat every time.
Grilling and smoking are two very different cooking techniques. While all smokers smoke well, few reach temperatures high enough to grill.
For this reason, we chose the Camp Chef Woodwind as our most recommended model in our search for the best pellet smoker and grill.
It has unmatched performance and temperature control. It has a large cooking surface and the direct flame zone of the grill reaches high temperatures that would cook a steak properly … but it has a side browning box that can reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit just in case.
In addition, it is very advanced with its color screen, its WiFire functions and its smartphone application . It’s also very good looking, easy to maintain, well built, and should last for many years, making it the only smoker / grill combo you’ll ever need.
If you have any feedback on the rating or experience with any of the pellet grills here, please let us know in the comments below!