Bigger isn’t necessarily better, especially if you’re just paying for space you never use. The best pellet grill is the one that suits your needs. For an average size family, a pellet grill with a primary cooking area of 450-500 square inches should be sufficient. Singles and couples can go smaller, while larger families and those who like to entertain should consider larger pellet grills.
What I like about this grill is its robust construction, and the amount of smoke it puts out compared to other pellet grills. There is a built in temperature swing that guarantees that every so often, a strong but not overpowering amount of smoke will enter the cook chamber.
It’s true that even the entry-level models of pellet smokers are a bit pricey. But I’ve never met an unhappy pellet smoker owner, even if they paid a few hundred bucks more than the cost of their neighbor’s grill. While many folks struggle trying to get cheap offset and bullet smokers to work, with a pellet smoker, it’s easy to make the best smoked ribs, brisket, and pulled pork in the neighborhood.
It’s a good idea to take some time before the purchase to compare different grills. Only this way you’ll be able to choose the best pellet smoker. I think that my suggestions will make the choice much easier on you.
Whether you are new to the scene or a long-time grillmaster, everyone has unique preferences when it comes to their cooking method of choice. From propane to charcoal to wood, people take their method of grilling quite seriously, and some argue quite passionately about the pros and cons of each method.
It will notify you of any system malfunction or low fuel situations. Turn it on or off from your phone, monitor temperatures from the built-in digital meat probes. You can even set up multi-stage cooking based on recipe profiles. For example, step one: low and slow until a certain temp. Step two: raise it up to crisp or brown any skin. Step three: the cool down. This is all done automatically, you don’t have to touch a thing. That’s about as set it and forget it as you can get.
The diversity of BBQ smokers available makes fair judgment a challenge, and personal cooking preferences will go a long way in determining which type of smoker is best for you. However, our evaluation hinged on five key criteria by which any smoker can be judged. They are as follows:
This large grilling area lets you cook for a large family, for a party or a gathering and cook large pieces of food. Grill steaks, smoke large pieces of fish or roast pounds of poultry; you will save time and effort plus impress your guests with your great cooking skills.
Some people think simple is best and some love a smoker grill that comes with all the bells and whistles on the market. If you are someone who likes to have all the latest features have a look out for a smoker grill that has some of the extras below:
There are various strong points that can be made about this product, such as its durability, porcelain coated cast iron grid, and its digital control burn system. However, every product has its weaknesses. Even though the porcelain coating on the grid is meant to aid in the prevention of food sticking to the grids, the porcelain can actually become a nuisance as it can chip, break, and come off in your food. Another issue that this grill can potentially run into has to do with the temperature gauge.
Choose your flavor. The good thing about pellet grills is that the pellets are flavored. Pellets may come from apple wood, cherry, pecan, mesquite, and hickory wood. You can also match a combination of wood flavor and food like using apple pellets when cooking fish or using hickory with beef.
Other important parts of the pellet smoker that one should watch out the joints, the welding and the hardware. They should be made of good material, most preferred, aluminum or steel. The joints of the pellet smoker should be well lubricated in a way that they do not produce uncomfortable sounds while the cooking is on. The grill should generally feel sturdy with all the seams and joints fitting together snugly, leaving no spaces for heat produced to escape in any way.
It’s really a lot like charcoal in terms of brand loyalty. Thus far the brands of BBQ wood pellets that stand out as being best of breed come from the following manufacturers. Note – this list is not in any specific order.
Another reason I like pellet grills is that it’s like having the benefits of a smoker, a gas grill, and a wood/charcoal grill all in one. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably decided to get one and that means you’re already ahead of the 95% of grilling enthusiasts. Congratulations!
So, if you want to do a pellet smoker cook using 100 percent cherry wood pellets, you’re going to use more fuel than you would with a cherry/hardwood blend, and it’s going to cost you more as well on average.
This little baby looks like a dorm fridge and it shares a lot in common with it. The walls are well insulated, the door latches tight, there’s a clever reverse flow heat and smoke transit system, temp control is incredibly simple, and it can hold standard hotel pans. A water pan between the charcoal and the food keeps the cooking chamber moist. There are larger sizes that are popular among the professional competition teams. We have the next size up, the Party, and it is truly impressive. Click here to read our complete review of the Backwoods Smoker Chubby.
Z GRILLS: Z GRILLS or Z Grills is a maker of smokers, grillers, and stainless steel prep work tables galore. It entered the world of pellet grills recently and launched an IndieGoGo campaign in order to fund its “affordable wood pellet grill” for $500,000 and currently gives even Traeger’s economical offerings a run for their money with its ability to accept all types of pellets and do all sorts of cooking styles.
In order for you to decide which pellet smoker is best for you we need to understand the fundamental differences between these grills. By the way, if you are trying to decide between a pellet grill and an electric smoker then you might want to check out this article on the best Masterbuilt electric smokers.
The push-button ignition sets and maintains the selected temperature throughout the entire cooking process and the pellets are automatically fed into the firebox, which means there are no temperature fluctuations. No other grill on the market has this sophisticated ‘brain’. Also you can adjust temperatures from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
As one of the cheaper options on our list, this product holds a lot of value, despite its vulnerability to drafts and malfunctioning hardware. Many cooks like to use their own thermometers regardless of whether or not one’s provided, and it’s not an expensive replacement. The draft challenge is more of an issue, especially for users living in harsh climates, and these users may benefit more from one of our other options.
Today, all serious players in the pellet smoker market have switched to digital thermostatic controllers that dictate pellet-feed commands based on a temperature sensor inside the cooking box. Just like with the oven in your kitchen, you set the desired cooking temperature, and the heating system kicks on and off to maintain that set point. An LED display shows your set temp, and most models allow you to toggle between set temp and actual temp readings from the internal thermostat. Actual temperatures will fluctuate a bit as the controller switches on and off to hover around your set temp, but many sophisticated touch-pad controllers can maintain tighter tolerances than your indoor oven. Some pellet controllers also have integrated probes that let you monitor the internal temperature of whatever you’re smoking. Wireless remote control and monitoring from your smartphone or tablet are also increasingly common. (You can learn more about pellet smokers on AmazingRibs.com.)
Costs more to get a reliable unit compared to other types of smoker – You can pick up excellent charcoal, gas or electric smokers between $200-$500 while a good pellet will run you between $400-$1000+
With an electric smoker, you can get started with hosting a backyard barbecue or just cooking a delicious dinner for your family right away. Once you invest in one of these easy-to-use units, you’ll want to cook out all the time, and you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it. If you’re looking for a great way to prepare moist turkey, flavorful pork, perfectly-prepared briskets and smoky, tender vegetables, you are sure to love the ease and convenience of an electric smoker.
The last thing you want inside a pellet smoker is any dampness. If the pellets themselves get wet at all they can turn into a wood concrete, that will make it difficult for the auger within the hopper to dispense them. Pellet smokers usually have some electrical parts inside so it is vital that they do not get wet as they could short and become inoperable. If your pellet grill has not been used for a while, and not kept dry, you might find white furry patches inside when you open it up. The mold inside needs to be dealt with, and the smoker thoroughly cleaned to prevent food contamination. Fire up your smoker to get it as hot as possible, and keep it there for about 20 minutes. Let it cool, and then remove all the internal parts and give them a good clean in hot soapy water. You may have to pressure wash some of the items to get rid of the mold spores. Once the internal parts are dry, replace them in the smoker and start it up again to remove any final mold and residue from the cleaning process. To stop mold building up inside your smoker, always let it run hot at the end of every cook. Also, store it in a dry place with the vents open.
Rather than design their own digital controllers, they buy them from a company named Ortech. Ortech’s RealTemp TR-100 Digital Controller is shown here and its operation is not intuitive so let’s take a little time to explain it.
Pit Boss makes the claim that this unit offers the “Best value per square inch in the pellet grill industry!” and that claim is hard to argue with. From 180 up to 500 degrees, it features the standard temperature range that you’d expect.
The exterior is made of a heavy gauge porcelain-coated steel for extremely high heat resistance levels. The one drawback is that you’re still going to be limited to charcoal use. That doesn’t need to be a deal-killer, but just be aware that it could cause some issues if you have other smoking dreams.
This grill comes with porcelain grill grates which provide easy cleaning. It is constructed from steel and contains a powder coat finish. This Traeger grill also comes equipped with wheels with locking casters which makes it easy to move. Another great benefit that this grill comes with is the Digital Elite Controller with an LED display which helps maintain the temperature of your grill. You can also enjoy the benefits of an electronic auto-ignition switch that is found on this grill.
This is a serious pellet smoker for the serious smoked food enthusiast. Standing tall among the more expensive alternatives, this Camp Chef PG24 combines a rare set of attributes: solid construction, capability and value. It will give seriously good smoked meat or vegetables to anyone who wants to spend a minute or two getting to grips with the intuitive design. It is not cheap, but it is not expensive either. It is good value.
Weber is a name you’ve heard of. It’s really the best known smoker and grill company on the market. Everyone knows Webber. The smoker is covered with really cool features. For example, the grates are coated with nickel for a non-stick and highly durable cooking experience. The smoker has two large sized cooking surfaces, and the handles are made of nylon for high temperatures. There’s also a thermometer at the top of the smoker to help you know if you’re capturing enough heat, as well as individual vents on the lid and bowl.
With porcelain non stick grill grates cleaning this grill is quick and easy. Just rinse, wipe and store. Thanks to easy clean up you can spend more time enjoying friends and family and less time cleaning.
You should make sure the pellet smokerhas all the features you want. The control board is a feature used to input meat to the grill. Some pellet smokers though have an outdoor control board for meat probes. Some other important features include Wi-Fi capability, direct grilling option, secondary cooking racks and included probes. A computer, tab or mobile phone connectivity is also another important consideration because it helps with regulating heat.
Hi there i want to recommend the CAMP CHEF pellet smokers you get the bang for your buck with these smokers i know a lot of you out there are turning up your noses but these smokers have all the extras at a very good price well under a $1000 customer service second to none you get the pellet clean out in the hopper they have a ash tray under the body you just pull a lever and all your burnt ash is cleaned out digital temp for the food digital temp for the chamber lo smoke and high smoke setting and it goes up to 500 degrees at 25 degree increments mine coast me $359 out the door includes shipping it dose a wonderful job holding the temps with a 10 to 15 degrees swing i bought mine at CAMP SAVER.
The better a pellet grill’s temperature range, the more it can do. Performance pellet grills have upper ranges of 500°F- 700°F, which is hot enough to get a great sear and fire-bake pizza. Many of those pellet grills also offer a direct grilling option that allows you to cook over an open flame in addition to cooking over indirect heat.
No wonder we’re addicted to smoking meat! If you’ve gotten started, you know the fun of pulling a rack of ribs off the smoker at just the right time and watching as the meat falls off the bones. The flavor of the charcoal smoke and the smell of the dry rub are enough to make you go crazy.
When you’re looking for the best charcoal smoker, you’ve got to analyze the features. Start by considering what kind of meat you want to smoke, usually. Is there a certain brand that makes a difference? Are you wanting ceramic coatings? Or even solid ceramic? What about fuel? Are you a wood devotee, or is charcoal or wood chips best?
You might be wondering what the difference is between this grill and our runner-up pick. The Traeger Grills Tailgater is quite similar to the Traeger Lil Tex Elite (Which is our Runner-up pick), but it has lesser storage space, which is why it’s been called Traeger’s portable product.
Equipped with a digital controller that allows you to set the temperature between 160 and 500 degrees F. Dual LED allows you to check the current temperature inside the grill and read the internal temperature of the meat using a meat probe for that.
This controller also gives the cook control over slow cooking over low heat as well as fast grilling over high heat and provides appetizingly reliable outcomes each time. The Texas Elite 34 utilizes wider legs to provide steadiness. It unites strong, wood-fired convection implementation with easy functionalty. This grill also comes with porcelain grill grates which are easy to clean and also has an electronic auto-start ignition.
The flame broiler is an absolute fan favorite. It allows you to directly or indirectly cook while adding a great deal of flavor back into the foods you are preparing. And don’t worry, this grill will channel all the excess grease so you don’t have to.
So Kevin here is where you come in. Been wanting to make getting consistent Q on the table regularly and easily. Been looking at pellet poopers for about 5 years now and decided to take the plunge. Had already done enough looking a few years ago Traeger’s issues had scared me off. Several friends had them and raved but always mentioned problems. I decided from my work I don’t want to be buying someone’s, ‘we know the problems and are fixing them’ if you can find something solid for similar cost. Yoder and FEC were pretty much my finalists. So I was doing my final thoughts and found your article.
Any grills with moving parts and electrical components can break down (a risk not associated with charcoal or wood grills). If exposed to moisture, pellet fuels will disintegrate. People who live in humid climates must keep their pellets dry, preferably indoors in airtight lidded containers.
Yoder pellet smokers maintain a very strong reputation for quality and precision. Based out of Hutchinson, KS, the company prides itself on producing a 100 percent Made in America product that is one of the sturdiest and most reliable brands of smokers available. Check out this Yoder Smokers promo video to get an idea of how they are branding themselves.
You don’t mention Traeger grills other than in you opening paragraphs. Where do they fit into your article. Where do they fit into your list, are they worth considering? Plusses and minuses of this brand. alternate choices, etc.
Brad Barrett at Grill Grates makes a fantastic product. Reverse searing 2″ steaks and chops (or thicker) works great on pellet smokers as you can get the internal temp up to 10-15 degrees below your desired finish temp, remove them and loosely wrap / cover in foil, crank up the smoker with the grates on to say, 400 degrees, and then sear off your protein getting great grill marks with little to no sticking at all. Huge fan of Grill Grates.