Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Pellet Grill & Smoker
I am shopping around for the best pellet smoker & grill. Can you help me? “If there are Holy Grail products for home cooking, probably one that shouldn’t be missed is a pellet grill. We have been receiving this question a lot on this site, so we’ve decided to give a roundup of the top picks and reveal the reasons they deserve to be a part of our list.
Pellet Smoker & Grill Reviews At a Glance: A Quick Comparison
Pit Boss 71700FB bags the #1 spot for its durable construction, versatility and temperature of up to 500 degrees F.
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill is next on the list for its infrared cooking system and even cooking results you’ll get each time – no hot or cold spots.
Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker is the durable choice with its porcelain-enameled steel and large cooking space.
Next is the Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ that comes with up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and it has a large cooking area, too.
Last but not the least is the Traeger BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill that is quite roomier as compared with other units on the market. It also includes an electronic control setting.
Top 5 Best Pellet Grill & Smoker of 2017 - Comparison Chart
Best Pellet Grills 2016
Best in its class
Solid built and construction
High quality materials
High quality materials
High quality and proven excellent manufacturer
700 sq. inches
180 sq. inches
481 sq. inches
429 sq. inch
836 sq. inches
180 Degree to 500 Degree
9,000 to 18,000 BTU's
160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Digitally controlled temperature and manual settings available
Digitally Controlled Burn System
Shutdown Mode; 18-lb hopper capacity
Automatic auger and auto start
#1 - Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler, 700 sq. in.
You shouldn't miss the product in your selection process of pellet grills. It is one of the best models from Pit Boss, which is known as a reputable brand for grills through the years. I like that this product can offer 8-in1 grill options, allowing for ultimate versatility from smoking to searing – it does it all! It also comes with a wide range of cooking temperature from 180 degrees to 500 degrees F, which you can easily adjust by turning its dial. The best part is that it includes an electric igniter, eliminating the need for a match as well as translating to a mess-free and easy lighting. And because of its durable construction, you can look forward to long-lasting use.
- A wide range of functions: Bake, braise, smoke, grill, char-grill, or sear, to name some, are its useful functions due to its wide temperature range reaching up to 500 degrees F.
- Digital controls: The product is a dependable grill for its ease of use features. With just a turn of a dial, you can adjust its temperature.
- Durable construction: The product is a porcelain-coated cast iron grid, and it is made of coated steel on its upper rack, totaling to 700 sq. in. It is also made with a durable steel construction perfect for cooking, including for convection method.
- Large cooking space: Cook large batches of meat with its 700 sq. in cooking space.
Things I Liked
- Ideal for outdoor use
- Digital control board
- Operated by wood pellets
- 20-lb hopper capacity
- Up to 40,000 BTUs
- Portability for its wheels
- Includes a catch pan
- Thermometer included
Things I Didn't Like
- Heavyweight 118 lb
- Too large for some spaces 41.3 x 26.6 x 43.8 inches (LWH)
#2 - Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
This is another top favorite infrared smoker, grill, and roaster in one for its versatile functions and solid construction. It is a top brand, Char Broil, which is known for quality and reliability. You don't need oil or charcoal to operate it, or a spit rod to balance it. The grill that comes with it includes a smoker box for the wood pellets and wood chips without using any air dampers versus traditional smokers. This product also works as a grill, allowing you to roast your favorite dishes in no time, not mentioning that its grill also uses stainless steel grate for an even cooking to prevent burning your food and flare-ups.
- Efficient cooking system: It operates using between 9,000 BTU to 18,000 BTU, based on your chosen setting.
- Large cooking space: The product can also accommodate up to 25 lbs of turkey with its large cooking space. And if you need to cook smaller foods, you can also use its double stacking system.
- Durable construction: It is made with 180 sq. in. of stainless steel grate and then ½ lb- capacity smoker box.
- Nice design: The product looks elegant for its porcelain-coated hood.
- Technology: It features the TRU-Infrared cooking system that channels the heat evenly to get rid of cold or hot spots.
Things I Liked
- Wide temperature range from 9,000 and 18,000 BTUs
- Grease collection trayS
- mokes, roasts, and grills
- Variable temperature control
- Stay cool handles
Things I Didn't Like
#3 - Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker
This 18-in smoker deserves a spot on this list for its durable construction and efficiency. The product lets you make smokehouse meats from home. It is also a top value for money because it includes two pieces of cooking grates, making up 481 sq. in. of cooking space. It also includes a built-in thermometer, water pan, individual vents, storage cover and nylon handle.
- Wide grates: The product comes with 18-1/2-inchcooking grates that make up its 481 sq. in. of cooking space.
- Temperature monitoring: The grill comes with a built-in thermometer that lets you check for proper temperature all the time to know if the food is cooked.
- Versatility: It includes two pieces of cooking grates for simultaneous cooking.
- Durable construction: It is made of porcelain-enameled steel that makes it one of the top choices on the market for solid built. The product also includes a lid and a bowl made of premium steel, which is porcelain enamel coated both on the inside and outside.
Things I Liked
- Heavy-duty cooking grates
- Allows simultaneous cooking
- Large cooking space of 18.5-inch diameter
- Cookbook included
- Built-In Thermometer
Things I Didn't Like
- A bit expensive
True-blooded barbeque lovers out there might appreciate this product. It is a compact, full-featured pellet grill that can attend to their grilling needs. You might want the product that comes with everything you might need. Once you have heated it up, you can look forward to a perfect temperature and heat based on what you have selected.
Just like when you have found a suitable latte machine for you, you would feel proud of yourself for choosing a tough product that keeps up with your needs. Another feature you might appreciate in the product is that can keep the right temperature throughout the grilling or cooking process—whether you sear, grill, smoke or bake.
And because the heat is supplied by real wood, you can expect a full flavor that tastes so authentic. Your kids and your loved ones will surely love every dish that you cook! Your next cookout will become an envy of your neighbors.
The product is backed by a 6-year limited warranty, proving the maker's excellence in bringing households with the product that will last them for years! And because a reputable maker is behind the wood grill, you can look forward to high-quality and convenient product that will keep up with the needs of your family. It is also guaranteed to produce an accurate, consistent temperature when you use it with hardwood pellets that the brand also produces. The cooking instrument is a precise griller that won't make you worried about any temperature fluctuation. So whether you are a newbie or a pit master, you might want to take a look at this product that can take your grilling to the next level.
- Smart Grill Technology: REC TEC boasts the feature that works by maintaining consistent temperature from the start to the finish of the cooking product. In this case, all you need to do is to set the temperature and you can forget about it, letting you grill, smoke, bake or sear without any worries. The griller is using actual wood pellets and it has a 40-lb hopper capacity. Thus, you don't have to worry about loading it up with fuel. In this case, you can plan of cooking several dishes in one day without having to mind about running out of fuel with its big capacity of holding wood pellets. And because it is built with the smart tech, it is added with a built-in fan, which works by distributing and spreading smoking in the cooking area. With that said, you can look forward to tender and juicy meat all the time. So even if you're someone new to using a griller like it, you won't really have to worry about anything at all because the smart grill technology has made the process even easier for you than ever.
- Hassle-Free Grilling: When compared with traditional grills, REC TEC Wood pellet grill may be the one that will give you a barbeque experience that you did not have before.
- Large Cooking Area: This REC TEC grill has a spacious cooking area, accommodating your large needs. It comes with 19.5 by 36 inches cooking surface, giving you peace of mind that cooking for Christmas and Thanksgiving would be a breeze. You can cook large meat sizes of up to 15 pounds on the grill. On the other hand, you can also use it in cooking small sizes of meat, such as a ham, and be sure that it will be fully cooked. The only problem I can see with this unit is that you might want to consider something smaller than REC TEC if you are cooking mostly in smaller portions. Otherwise, you might be wasting too much pellet in the process.
- Portability: I love picnics, but not without BBQs. When it comes to portability, then you may want to consider the product that comes with wheels, allowing you to take it anywhere and move it around. So if you're planning a weekend getaway and you don't want to miss a barbeque cookout, then you may want to take a look at this product that has its portability feature you should not miss.
- Durable & Heavy Construction: REC TEC Wood pellet grill is durable, as it is made with high gauge metal on the inside ad on the outside. Because the temperature can reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, a heavy construction is one of the factors I would like to recommend when looking for a grill. And because the temperature can go as high as 500F, the outer surface is powder textured for user's safety.
Things I Liked
- Durable construction
- Excellent temperature control and settings
- 702 square inches of cooking area
- 40-lb hopper capacity
- 6-year warranty
- No frills package
Things I Didn't Like
- Installation isn't easy
- Hefty price tag
- Not energy efficient for family's cooking mostly in smaller portions
- May not be suitable if you have a small space to store it—one of the biggest models out there
#5 - Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker
All right we're on our second smoker on the list. Just like the first one. Bradley is a promising brand, and I believe it deserves a spot here. The product is suitable for both home cooks and pitmasters because it is easy to use. This is, by the way, an upgrade to the original smoker of the Bradley with its digital feature. With this model, users do not have to worry about smoke, time and temperature—perhaps these are the benefits you will love about this innovative model. All these factors are 100% controllable, so you can simply set the time and the temperature and then you can forget about it. Aside from its controllable temperature, the product is built with the smart feature of allowing users to decide how much smoke they want, what temperature to cook and how long their food should be grilled or smoked.
So for occasions like birthdays and Thanksgiving, Bradley 4-rack smoker may be what you need because it also lets you prepare gourmet dishes without you shelling out big money for catering. You can cook your food while controlling the ingredients you add to your dishes. So if you are into healthy eating, then you may want to consider the product that lets you control what you put in food and how you want it to be cooked.
Smoking food adds flavor to your dishes, and it's exactly what this grill can bring for you! The product lets home chefs and grill masters roast, BBQ and smoke outdoors or indoors. And just as when you're cooking with cookware for glass top stoves that let you cook on a low-temperature setting, this smoker is, too. It allows you to cook on low temperature smoking, at 320 degrees Fahrenheit max.
- Fully controllable time, temperature and smoke: It will be perfect cooking all the time! Just select your settings and forget it. You don't have to worry about exceeding more than the needed temperature for your chickens, sausages, and steaks. In this case, you can always look forward to juicy and tender meat cuts and forget worrying about dryness that meat would otherwise get if the temperature were more than what is required to cook it. The product can make sure that you get flavorful and delicious meals all the time, whether you are a new cook or a seasoned chef.
- Insulated interior: At first look at its inside, I was impressed. It has an insulated interior as compared to other smokers on the market. For me, this feature is unique at least for energy saving. You can just imagine how much energy to spare if heat won't be able to escape. In this case, you can expect a smoker that isn't influenced by any temperature changes in its surroundings. With its insulated interior that does not leak heat, its temperature controller does not have to do much work, meaning you can save on repairs, too. Speaking of insulation, it is not that heavily insulated because the heat is consistently supplied by the heated smoke, which is being distributed well inside.
- Bisquette-fueled: If you are not looking to use pellets in your grill, then this may be the smoker for you. Bisquettes have the same function as the pellets in other grills, but they are just different in terms of size and shape. So instead of the fuel being fed by an auger, it is forced down a tube. For it to get started working, you need to feed it with at least four pieces of bisquettes into the hopper. For some of my friends who use this smoker, they said that using this product needs a little getting used to, but it is perfectly fine once they become familiar with how it works.
- Four cooking racks: If you want to cook your pork, chicken and all other types of meat simultaneously, then you may want to give this model a look. It comes with four racks, which provide you with plenty of room for cooking. Thus, you can also save up much time, especially if you plan on preparing several meals at the same time. This feature also makes the model convenient to use, especially during the holidays when most mothers are very busy cooking for the occasions. Every rack measures 213 square inches. While it is not as big as the cooking space as with the REC TEC, this product might be at an advantage when it comes to accommodating smaller cooking requirements of smaller families. Thus, you may want to have a look at it if you're considering a smaller model than the bulkier REC TEC we have featured in #1.
- Consistent heating: This Bradley model can offer up to eight hours of controlled smoking. In this case, you don't need to mind about the heat being supplied to whatever you are smoking.
Things I Liked
- Controlled slow heating of up to 320 Fahrenheit only
- Comes with four racks to accommodate most of cooking needs at the same time
- Insulated interior is ideal for saving on energy and fuel
- Fully controllable smoke, time and temperature
Things I Didn't Like
- Bisquette-fueled which may be not suitable to those who prefer pellets over it
- Not much of a big room to offer for large cooking requirements
- May be pricier than other similar products in the same category
- May not be for you if you want to fire a pizza, for example
#6 - Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ
Indoor or outdoor cooking, the Camp Chef pellet grill comes next on our list of the best pellet grills on the market. There is no doubt on this matter since it is made by one of the most reliable makers on the market. The product is a two-in-one model that works as both a grill and a smoker. That said, you could save some serious cash because you don't have to spend on two separate products anymore.
Plus, the product is designed with the home pit master in mind. It is easy to use and it provides users with perfectly cooked meat all the time, without undercooking or overcooking. The product is designed with simplified and efficient features that you might appreciate if you're the type that wants to make things simpler and faster.
- Digital control settings: The model comes with dual temperature digital readout for its temperature settings, so you don't have to open the grill to see if your meat is burned. This feature gives you an exact data on what temperature food is cooking inside the chamber. In the process, you also prevent the heat from escaping, saving you fuel and energy at the same time. Thus, you don't have to mind any guesswork at all. What you can look forward to instead is perfectly grilled or smoked dishes all the time. The temperature settings let you eliminate any mistake in the cooking process. With the digital temperature control, you can prevent temperature fluctuations, but expect steady and consistent temperature and smoke. Additionally, the product comes with dual temperature sensors, letting you arrive at perfection in cooking all the time.
- Ease of cleaning: Another thing that impresses me is easy to clean overall make of this product. It may be one of the easiest to clean product on the market now in the category of grill and smokers. This model provides users with an easy and instant access to a burn pot with its trap door that lets you clean it up easily. Such a trap door also eliminates the need to dig through the grease and the ashes. A feature like it is an essential to the everyday cook, and it's somehow impressive for this unit that is sold at an affordable price.
- Solid construction: One more thing that's worth the mention about this product is it comes with heavy-duty construction. It weighs 128 pounds and its pellet hopper capacity is at 28 pounds. In this case, you can really expect long-term use of this product as compared to others in the same category.
- Large hopper capacity: Speaking of a 28-lb pellet capacity, it simply means that you don't have to mind about running out of fuel and reloading it from time to time, especially if you're in the middle of cooking. It will be such a hassle and you know that.
- Electric ignition switch: This is another important feature of this product that simplifies the process of cooking even more. You can just imagine if you had to do manual ignition of your grill or smoker.Automatic fuel dispensing: Because the Camp Chef model is using pellets, you can expect convenience in cooking because they can be dispensed automatically in the process. Speaking of automatic fuelling, the hopper instantly throws another pellet if the temperature falls out of the set temperature you made. If you're looking for added cooking convenience, then you may want to consider this product and not a conventional gas, charcoal or wood unit to find on the market. It works just as precise as you want it to.
- Energy efficient: Because the unit is able to hold up to 20 pounds of pellets and it is built with an efficient thermostat, there is no energy to waste. In the end, you will be able to save money, letting you smoke or cook your meat for hours without you having to refill in the middle of cooking.
- Recipe book: The Camp Chef model comes with a recipe book of your most favorite BBQ dishes—something you might find useful if you have not been grilling for a while.
- Meat probe: Eliminate the worry about burning food. By choosing the product that comes with a meat probe, you would know exactly what temperature is actually cooking in that chamber. And without you having to open the door and to make heat escape, you can instantly find out the temperature inside the chamber. All you need is to stick it to your fish, chicken or turkey to know the exact temperature, letting you track the temperature, and at the same time, ensuring your meat is well cooked each time.
- Versatility: The unit is impressive with its versatility. You can grill, sear, bake or smoke without any hassles because its temperature can reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In this case, you can use it for an indoor grill for steaks, and you don't need to buy a separate product for that purpose.
Things I Liked
- Temperature reaches up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, letting users cook in many ways—grill, smoke, bake or sear
- Large cooking area and a squared backside for plenty more of space
- Meat probe lets users find out the exact temperature of the meat inside the chamber with this feature
- Digital control settings for that perfect time, temperature and smoke all the time
Things I Didn't Like
- For the best cooking performance, you may have to buy only Camp Chef pellets that burn hotter and longer; it may be inconvenient for some.
- Pricier than the other products in the same category
- May be bulky for some people who don't have that much space in their homes
#7 - Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Grill
There isn't any doubt that Traeger is one of the leaders in the grilling industry with its top end and innovative products that have made the lives of the thousands much easier than before, just like the Cuisinart cookware in the cooking and kitchen sphere did. Ever since Traeger has opened in the 90s, it did not stop innovating and introducing new products that will make home cooks and pro chefs happy. And just like when you found your perfect sausage stuffer, you might also feel happy and proud if you would consider buying a product that's from and by a reputable name in the business.
The Elite model is the upgraded version of their junior pellet smoker and it is added with several features that make it a better one. This one comes with a digital control module that works by keeping the consistent temperature inside the chamber, making it ideal even for those who have just started cooking or those who are trying to get back to it. Nevertheless, the model is geared for amateur and professional cooks—it is a breeze to use and it works perfectly fine for all types of cooks.
- Consistent temperature settings: Whenever you cook your meat, such as chicken or steak, the last thing you want to find out is to get your meat undercooked or overcooked. That is not going to happen with one of the strongest features that this model is boasting about. It comes with consistent temperature settings, keeping the temperature inside the chamber the same throughout the entire cooking process. Thus, you don't have to worry about the fluctuations in temperature due to cold, rain, weather or snow. Just set the pellet grill's temperature and you can leave with peace of mind that the grill will have the same temperature.
- Digitally controlled thermometer: It works by releasing pellets automatically when the temperature drops to what you have adjusted it for. In this case, you can just set your grill up at night and wake up to find out that it has the same temperature in the morning, letting you use it for slow cooking pieces of meat without you experiencing any inconvenience.
- Convection blower: Are you looking for a grill that distributes heat evenly? Then, you may want to consider the model that won't leave you disappointed with hot and cold spots. As you know, meat has to grill properly and the only way to achieve that is even heating. With the convection blower of this product, you will have peace of mind that your meat is cooking properly, so no worries about food contamination or poisoning. Inside the cooking chamber, the maker includes a built-in convection blower to ensure that heat is inside the entire pit. How it works is that it turns on and starts circulating hot air in the chamber. In this case, it won't also matter where you position your meat in the grate because they'd be reached by heat, either indirectly or directly when cooking food. Those are the options to choose from when you selected this model for your kitchen. And with the convection blower, there will always be the right temperature inside the cooking chamber.
- Quick start: If you're always in a hurry cooking, you don't have to worry at all by selecting a grill that features a push of a button ignition. Thus, you don't need gas, fire or fluid to light it up and start cooking. This model comes with an electric ignition that gets the grill going quickly without any hassles. That said, all that is left for you to do is to choose the right meat temperature and to make sure that its hopper has enough pellets.
- Ease of operation and cleaning: This may be one of the easiest to clean models that I have tested. In fact, I love its unique drain system that catches grease to prevent the unit from being messy and damaged by the drippings and the grease. Thus, you may want to consider this model if you're looking for an easy to maintain grill that does not require much effort and time in cleaning after use, making it ideal for busy mothers who should attend to most of the house chores and take care of their kids.
- Quick setup/assembly: This unit is easy to assemble. Upon receiving it, all you have to do is to use the three bolts for each leg and them the four bolts to its feeder or legs. If you want a detailed instruction, just get its manual and read it through. You can assemble it in an hour for only a couple of minutes.
Things I Liked
- Easy to assemble
- Consistent cooking temperature
- Easy to clean
- Drain system
- Digital thermostat controller
- Authentic wood smoked meat flavor each time
- Versatile for most cooking needs, including baking, grilling, smoking and roasting
- Steel construction
- Convection blower
Things I Didn't Like
- May be a bit small for big households, only 15"x 20"
- May be a little bit expensive as compared to other products of the almost the same size in the same category
Video: Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Grill
#8 - Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill
Among grills, I've mentioned here, this one from Traeger features a medium-sized smoker that can make delicious and juicy meats and cooking easy! If you don't want to use a rotisserie oven for your chicken, for instance, you may want to pick a grill instead for sumptuous, decadent dishes through this pellet smoker that can bring out the best flavor in meats, including fish, turkey, beef, and pork.
The Traeger Company is a well-established brand that has been one of the pioneers when it comes to introducing new products in the grilling and smoking industry. It has been a household name that has been chosen by home cooks and professional chefs for making their lives easier due to its quality and durable make without breaking your bank. If you want to learn more about this grill, check out the following features and benefits that it could offer to your table.
- Ample cooking area: The medium-sized smoker has a grilling area of 836 sq. inches, something large enough to accommodate your everyday cooking needs. For families looking for a sufficient cooking space, especially for the holidays, then they might be surprised with this product's ability to accommodate their needs. Its dimension of 44 x 19 inches make is a good choice among pellet smokers. In this case, it can handle more than 16 rib racks, 450 burger patties or 12 chickens without giving users a headache.
- Electric ignition: The unit uses an 11 volts electric current and it can auto start. The only thing that I have to do upon testing this is to push a button, which then turns the igniter on to heat the pellets fed to the pot via the auger. With the great design of the induction fan and auger working together, a heat shield is created, allowing for an equally heated surface at the temperature I have set.
- Temperature control: Speaking of heating, nothing beats the unit that has a digital controller, which works efficiently in controlling the heat during the entire cooking process. The heat produced isn't affected by the surrounding's fluctuation in temperature. I find this useful, not mentioning the constant environmental temperature changes due to wind, rain and snow. It also has a detector that works impressively by controlling the amount of pellet to feed to the pot when the temperature drops below my selected temperature setting. But aside from digital controls, there are also manual controls that let user select the right temperature medium, smoke or high.
- Environment-friendly: Pellet grills are some of the most impressive inventions of humankind when it comes to preserving the environment. These products do not emit any harmful elements and toxins in the air. With that said, you don't only make cooking easy with this BBQ grill but also help conserve the earth.
- Maintenance: One of the main features when shopping around for a pellet grill is its ease of cleaning and maintenance, and this is one department where this unit shines. You can clean the grill grates right after cooking to prevent the buildup of mold and other harmful elements. For the ash, you only have to vacuum or clean it up after three uses, but a deeper cleaning if you would use yours for long hours—something that the maker requires at least two times a year.
Things I Liked
- Larger than conventional models on the market, can accommodate a medium-sized family's cooking needs
- Electronic control settings
- Auto ignition
- Quality and durable built and materials
Things I Didn't Like
- Quite heavy for lady cooks, weighing 70 pounds
- A little bit pricier than other brands
- Space may be enough for only small chunks of meat
- May test your patience for waiting for the igniter to heat up the chamber to meet temperature requirements
Video: How To Cook On A Pellet Grill | Steak And Veggies
Do You Really Need a Grill/Smoker?
If you're a BBQ fan and you love cooking in your backyard, then you might need a grill or a smoker. Just as a kitchen won't be complete without a microwave, a patio/garden/backyard/kitchen won't also be without it. With a smoker, you can cook healthy gourmet food for your kids and loved ones. Using it, you also save money for not needing to order food and have it delivered to you from time to time.
A pellet grill is a breeze to use; thus, you won't have to deal with a headache when grilling or smoking. Most models now come with an electronic ignition feature, meaning you do not have to use gas or charcoal for grilling or smoking. And with this feature, you do not also have to deal with the temperature changes in the environment because the unit will be ignited by its electric igniter whatever happens, and then it will start heating and cooking your food. And no matter you are a part of a small or a big household, there is the right model with the size ideal for your family's cooking needs.
Pellet Grill Benefits
Using a pellet grill, you can save so much on energy. Because the products use an intelligent technology wherein it automatically feeds the pot with pellets once the temperature drops, there is no pellet wasted and energy is saved. Another advantage for this section is that a pellet grill does not require users to open the unit's door from time to time to check on their meat but only let them set the desired temperature and leave. And because they do not have to open the unit, the heat does not leak or escape. In this case, you can always be sure that meat is fully cooked, not overcooked or undercooked, too.
Smokers and grills are versatile. They do accommodate not only grilling or smoking but also baking, searing and so on. For that matter, you can use them on many occasions, and you do not have to buy separate units to accommodate each cooking method. Pellet grills can be used for cooking different dishes because many of them can reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature.
All the models I've reviewed here lets you control the temperature setting and then leave. You don't have to go back and check for the temperature from time to time because most of these models automatically add pellets when the temperature drops below your desired settings. In this department, I think it would be best to go for REC TEC.
Many of the products I've mentioned here come with an ample cooking area; thus, you can cook several dishes at once using any of these. But then if you are in a small household and you don't have the plan to use your smoker for large meat sizes and quantities, then you may select the smaller models, such as the Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Grill.
Convection Even Heating/Cooking
Because pellet grills work like an oven, heat is evenly distributed. Thus, you won't find hot or cold surfaces. The heat can be set at a temperature and it will stay consistent throughout the cooking process. In this case, you can depend on the even cooking that a grill would give you all the time. Plus, you don't have to think about over smoked food because that won't happen with a pellet grill.
Juiciness and Rich Meat of Meat
With a smoker or grill, you don't have to worry about the dryness of food. In fact, it would taste even better by using such kind of product for cooking. Plus, you do not only get tenderness in meat but also a rich flavor that you will not be able to get with a traditional grill. You can choose from a variety of flavors for pellets to use, including alder, cherry, bourbon, pecan, and hickory, to name some. You can also mix pellet flavors as you wish. [A bag of pellet will last you several cooking sessions.]
Things to Consider Before Buying Pellet Grill
Because there are plenty of options available, just as when you're shopping for cookware, such as All Clad D5, you might be easily overwhelmed with the huge selection. You don't have to be provided you know about certain important factors to consider when looking for the right pellet grill for your family.
In everything that you buy, price is the single most important factor to consider. But in this case, you should not consider something cheap—when it comes to materials and construction. A cheap price tag of a product may not always be the determinant for saving. Thus, it would be wise to choose something offered at a great price but can last for years and can offer reliable performance. Do not settle for bargain pellet grills because they are more likely than not to break down so easily and quickly. Instead, look for quality pellet grills offered at a great price. Based on this review, you can check out models out there at reasonable price.
Before buying a smoker, you should also determine your cooking needs and style. Perhaps, you do not want to buy a unit that only does the grilling but not the baking, searing or smoking. When it comes to shopping for a new kitchen appliance like a pellet grill, shoppers also have to consider their cooking style. If you are planning to use a grill for a variety of cooking, then you may select one that can accommodate them for you. For instance, you may want a model that can reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit to cook in multiple ways, including baking.
Go for a pellet grill that can accommodate your family's cooking needs, and one factor to check on is the unit's size. Based on the above review I've made, you can select from a small to a large pellet grill that could meet your requirements. If you plan on cooking larger chunks of meat and several dishes at the same time, including meats and sausages, you may want to look for a model that is roomy enough for all those.
This is another factor to look into when shopping around for a pellet griller that can work for you. Remember that a large temperature range may be the most versatile choice for you because it can let you sear, roast, smoke and grill. Thus, if you're looking to cook pizza, do an open flame grilling or do a true searing, then you may want to pick a model that has a large temperature range.
How to Choose the Best Wood Pellet Grill
- Look for one with a large cooking area. Remember that pellet grills come in a wide range of sizes. Thus, choose a unit that can meet your size requirements based on its cooking area. You don't have to buy an extra large unit if you're using the grill for your home. Check for the physical dimensions of the product and determine which one can fit your space and keep up with your cooking style and lifestyle.
- Determine the capabilities or features of the product you are considering. Important functions to consider include control boards, if they just track temperature or if they are also programmable. You should also check if the unit comes with a grill grate or if it will let you do open flame grilling. Speaking of features, there are now models that have a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capability.
- Check if the unit is easy to setup and operate. Some units are a breeze to assemble, and all you have to do is to follow the manual of instructions that come with it. And then, you should also find out how to operate the grill and it should offer you with ease of operation. For the most products I have reviewed here, they can be operated with the push of a button, so they will let you just set the timer and temperature and forget about it.
- Choose a product that is easy to clean and store. Avoid bulky units if you don't want your grill to be hanging around in the kitchen when not in use. You may also want to choose one that your space can accommodate. And then, look for a model that can be easily cleaned and that comes with a drain system and a grease/drip tray/collector.
Cleaning and Storing Pellet Grills
- Keep them away from water, which is one of its biggest enemies. The reason is that they are made with electronic components, such as a blower or fan, a digital controller, and a motorized auger.
- Clean and dry it up after each cooking to ensure that mold and other residues won't build up in the unit.
- Clean the thermostat or meat probe. Read the maker instructions on how to take care of it.
- For complete information on the proper cleaning and storage of a pellet grill, refer to its manual guide.
FAQ Pellet Grills
What should I do if my grill is not lighting?
Check on the hotrod and induction fan to find out if they are running. Also, see if there are pellets to the firepot.
Why is my grill not powering on?
It can be due to a break in the power cord or a blown fuse. Do not repair it yourself. Call a professional.
Why is the auger not moving?
It may be due to a jammer one, or it may be due to a defective gear in the auger motor.
Why is the fan not working?
It may be due to grease on the fan's shaft, or if there is no power coming from the controller.
Why is my unit too hot on SMOKE setting?
The temperature of the smoke may be affected by weather changes due to the timed cycle that you are using for your unit. It may be happening because you might have not left the lid open long enough when you have turned the unit on.
Do I need to use specific pellets?
In many cases, yes, you should. Read the maker's manual guide for your reference.
Can I mix pellet flavors?
Yes, you can.
*For any other questions, you should contact the customer support of the unit you have bought for specific answers. The above FAQ is only for GENERAL REFERENCE, not referring to a specific model or unit.
Select your pellet grill based on cooking requirements and lifestyle, price, built, temperature control and settings and ease of operation, among other factors. For this roundup, our clear REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill—due to its top performance, innovative features, and overall robust construction. Nevertheless, each unit that I've included on this list is top-quality, durable and high performing to meet every need.