Pellet smokers come in handy during parties, tailgating, Thanksgiving, and other occasions. They are also perfect for those summer nights 2020 when everyone wants to stay out drinking wine, eating roasted meat, and catching up with friends or family. What’s more, most pellet smokers are very versatile and can be used for smoking, grilling, barbecuing, braising, roasting, and baking. They also do not take up much space on the deck or patio. Nonetheless, to enjoy great results from your pellet smoker, it is imperative that you choose a quality brand. And that’s where the following top 10 best pellet smokers reviews come into play.
In this updated pellet smokers reviews, our focus is on making clear everything about the best pellet smokers and eliminating ambiguities. We have a list of favorite selections from the most reputable brands in the US and beyond.
In addition to this, we have sufficient reasons to justify our selections and suggestions. Of course, we do all these with one basic purpose – to make you, the potential buyer, the surest consumer of the best pellet grills
The realm of smoking has continued to turn into myth-laden with the stretch of time. As of now, it is growing into a mysterious type day by day. Correspondingly, the need to upgrade the cooking setup of your backyard continues to broaden and you’d certainly not embrace defeat.
Cheap pellet smokers are countable among the earliest cooking equipment yet their potential to match the zest of enthusiasts remains unchanged.
In regards to the best pellet smoker, here are the pellet smoker reviews and comparison chart updated in 2020 from most popular brands that might be of interest to you.
The 7 Best High-End Pellet Grills and Smokers to Buy
|Pit Boss 700FB||low/high temperatures||Check Price|
|Z GRILLS (Editor’s Choice)||quality materials||Check Price|
|Traeger||large cooking area||Check Price|
|Green Mountain Grills||digital control, affordable||Check Price|
|Camp Chef SmokePro||multi-use, lighter||Check Price|
|Traeger TFB42LZBC||very accurate||Check Price|
|REC TEC Grills||easy-to-use||Check Price|
We are committed to helping you make a quick choice and remain clear on it. Thus, we have identified five best but a little bit different smokers for you. Definitely, our selection is considerate of multiple and diverse consumer needs.
Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill
- 700 sq. in. total cooking surface.
- Porcelain coated cast iron grids.
- Digitally controlled burn system.
- Fueled by 100% natural wood pellets.
Before we continue, it’s worth pointing out that everything on this list of the best pellet smokers and grills is an excellent choice, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. While our number 1 pick is the top choice for a reason, there wouldn’t be a grill on this list that wasn’t worthy of your patio. Pit Boss pellet grills are solid for beginners. Be sure to check out our full review of the Pit Boss 700FB.
We’re basically looking at two price ranges. The ones in the $1000 range, and the ones in the $500 range, give or take. So, the first logical choice is to determine the size of the unit you need and what your budget is. From there, you can more or less narrow it down, unless one unit in particular has a feature that you just can’t live without. Alright, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at what this unit from Pit Boss has to offer you.
One interesting feature is a sliding plate to help you sear your steaks. Imagine a slow-smoked steak with that incredibly woodsy flavor, but also with a delicious sear. C’mon!
This grill has a digitally controlled burn system, 700 square inches in cooking surface, and porcelain coated cast iron grids. The cast iron is a great conductor of heat, and the porcelain works to stop your food from sticking. Great combo!
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.
It’s made from heavy gauge steel, feels very durable, and should last you for many, many years if you take good care of it and maintain it. One point of contention is that the hopper could be a bit bigger, some have said it holds around 10 pounds. That’s not horrible, and filling it isn’t some horrible task or anything, but it’s worth pointing out that it could stand to be a bit larger.
- ULTIMATE 8-IN-1--Barbecue wood fire pellet grill: grill, smoke, bake,...
- PELLET GRILL TECHNOLOGY-- FLAVOR--There just isn’t an easier way to...
- EASIER THAN YOU THOUGHT--One button starts up and temperature control...
- 2020 UPGRADE--Known Issues Fixed and More Precise Temperature Control...
- AUTOMATED ELECTRIC FEED SYSTEM--Maintains the heat within 10 degrees...
Z GRILLS offers, when you factor in quality, price, size, and overall value. This is an excellent choice. If the Traeger, is a bit too small and you’re looking for something with a few more features, that’s still within the same price range, you’ve found what will likely be ideal for you. Camp chef is a really solid brand, and it was one of the first pellet grills my Dad owned. We reviewed another camp chef grill in another article.
Arguably the best value overall, it’s a great middle-point between both of the best pellet grills we’ve featured thus far. It’s not overkill, but it’s got plenty of room and some very useful features.
First of all, this unit includes a temperature probe that plugs into the front and allows you to accurately determine the temperature of whatever you’re cooking. This ensures the center of your meats are getting enough heat and are safe, and that everything is working optimally in general. In addition to that, you’ve got an excellent temperature control with a thermometer that’s accurate to about 10 degrees, so between that and the probe you’ll know exactly where you need to be and exactly where you’re at.
The hopper holds 18 pounds, and the cooking area is 429 square inches. It’s less than some units offer, more than others, and generally a pretty happy medium if you aren’t really sure how big or small to go. You can fit a couple chickens or turkeys on here, a handful of racks of ribs, a brisket or two, and more.
The overall dimensions are 51x21x45 and it weighs about 130 pounds. This unit has some great features that help with cleaning and maintenance, as well. This is an excellent place to start if you’re a beginner, this pellet grill will definitely hold your hand through the process, but don’t get the wrong idea – it’s far from being an “entry level” unit.
Generally, we’d advise you against anything “entry level” since you’re going to have a worse experience and it could turn you off of the art of smoking your foods in the first place. Something in the $500-$1000 range seems like a huge investment upfront, and frankly it is, but when you consider that you’ll have it to enjoy incredible meals for years that’ll blow the socks off all your buddies, and prove to your family that you really can cook after all, it’s a small price to pay.
Traeger Pellet Grill
- With 292 square inch cooking surface
- Bronze lid finish
- Fully automatic auger
- Electronic auto start
- State of the art digital control
If you’re looking for something less expensive than the Rec Tec unit, but still want something very decent, and don’t mind not having the very top of the line, this pellet grill by Traeger is an excellent choice. It comes in at around half the price, but it’s no slouch. It’s a solid way to save some dough if the Rec Tec is overkill for you. You can read our full review of this grill here.
The Traeger has a 292 square inch cooking surface, which is less than half of that of our #1 pick, mind you it’s still plenty big for most people, you can certainly cook your family dinner on here, you just might not be able to feed the entire football team.
This is right up near the top of our list for best pellet grill because it’s got a high-tech computer to correctly regulate the temperature, and automated auger, fully-electronic starter, and does a lovely job of smoking your foods.
It’s not perfect, though. There are certain features left to be desired. For instance, this smoker doesn’t have a temperature probe as we’ve seen with some models. It’s not a deal breaker, it does come with a very accurate thermometer, but we have seen probes on units in this price range, so that’s left to be desired.
This pellet grill is made of steel, and the dimensions of it are 21 x 23 x 21. It’s not huge, but it’s still ample. It weighs 70 pounds, which seems like nothing compared to the 250-pound weight of the Rec Tec. We don’t want to compare them side-by-side too much, since it does cost quite a bit less, and offers a more-than-adequate introduction to the wonderful world of backyard smoking.
There are cheaper units, but if you can afford this (And not quite ready to go all out on the Rec Tec), this is a great option. It’s a very high-quality unit that will serve you well for many years, even though there’s some breathing room between this and the very top of the line.
Best pellet grill for the money
- Features Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill...
- Includes a meat probe, peaked lid for rib racks, convenience tray
- Weighs 68 lbs. and folds to fits in nearly any trunk, making it the...
- 110V or 12V with adapters for 3 power options
The Davy Crockett Pellet Grill by Green Mountain Grills is a pellet smoker that comes complete with open-flame technology, 110v or 12v with adaptors (3 power options).Is this one of the best pellet smokers? It certainly has quite a lot going for it to make that claim. Like being WiFi-enabled, of all things.
Or the fact that it lives up to its “Ultimate Tailgating Grill” moniker for all you campers out there. You need to watch your roast closely so you won’t have to finish your pork butt in the oven. It’s not quite a “set it and forget it” kind of smoker grill because you still have to make sure that there’s a steady supply of pellets so that it won’t shut down.
Best outdoor smoker
- Large capacity pellet hopper with exclusive ash cleanout system
- Electronic auto-start ignition for quick and easy start every time
- Dual LED temperature readout shows internal cooking temps and food...
- Simple temperature selection system maintains heat
- Automatic auger dispenses pellets as needed for improved smoker...
The Camp Chef SmokePro is probably the best pellet grill on this list by rating and by performance. It has a decently large area for cooking at 19.2 inches by 22 inches plus its smoking or warming rack is also 6 inches by 24 inches in size. This is one of the Top rated pellet smokers because of its combination of quality features that are never superfluous and works as advertised.
This pellet grill and smoker is used to accomplish grilling, smoking and baking a wide variety of foods. It has accessories such as the Rack, Sear Box, Pizza Stone and Front and Side shelves, which makes your grilling process heightened. Its patented ash clean out makes your cooking neat and organized.
The smoker is offset-made, featuring a design in which food smokes in a long and horizontal chamber. This in turn increases your BBQ capacity
It really is a professional smoker with large-capacity pellet hopper action that makes all the difference on its ratings. It’s not perfect, though. It has issues with ash collection to the point that the SmokePro itself collects more ash than its ash tray or cup. You also have to hit the ash removal system hatch with a hammer to open it.
Generally, the price at which this smoker sells is not bad for its functionality. Compared to other pellet smokers, this is simply a great bargain. Despite its lower price, it is still a functional smoker. This camp chef pellet grill and smoker is widely recognized for its versatile nature and ample cooking space.
Best wood pellet smoker – Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise, and BBQ
- Assembled Dimensions: 22" D x 42" W x 49" H | Cooking Grid Dimensions:...
- Never use gas or charcoal again: cooking with wood just tastes better....
- Versatile barbecue cooking: hot and fast, or low and slow, the Traeger...
- Grilled to perfection every time: integrated digital Elite controller...
- Easy and predictable: The Lil' Tex Elite 22 offers consistency you can...
Among the best wood pellet smokers under 1000, this model tops on the list. Most significantly, this grill is fueled up by complete pure hardwood pellets which in turn enriches food flavor.
Additionally, its operation is even made easier with the digital elite controller which works like an oven. Users achieve mobility with this smoker using its front wheels, while the smoker is sizable for most home users
For the ultimate wood pellet grilled taste you might not have tested and tasted elsewhere, this easy and predictable Traeger smoker is worth experimenting. Now, you have an opportunity to leave aside the hassle of hectic charcoal lighting and gain your entry into convenience.
This Traeger Lil Tex Elite review provides a systematic analysis that touches on all aspects of this Traeger TFB42LZBC pellet smoker. Ultimately, you will be able to transform your dilemma into certainty upon reading this Traeger grill reviews.
Basically, all there is about this traeger wood pellet grill is excellent performance. Do not be deceived with the few limitations stated because they are perfectly manageable for dedicated users. In fact, if you love smoking, the big size becomes a source of exploration as you share grilling experience with your beloved ones.
Undoubtedly, the best wood pellet grills and smoker performs excellently for both hot and fast smoking and low and slow cooking. To this end, you understand how versatility matters in choosing cooking equipment. Traeger lil tex elite 22 covers all your desires for versatile equipment.
For this very reason, feel confident t to pay for this smoker, for it is a long-term investment in your backyard.
Best EVER produced pellet grill
- Two Mesh Non-Stick Grill Mats
- 200 lb REC TEC Ultimate Blend Pellets
- Premium Cover
- 6-Year Warranty
This is the bigger version of the smaller and mobile REC TEC Grills™ Mini Portable Pellet Grill. However, it’s more than just the Mini Portable Pellet Grill but bigger. This one has Smart Grill Technology™. What that means is that it allows you to adjust by 5° Fahrenheit increments temperatures that can go from 180° Fahrenheit to 550° Fahrenheit.
The pellet smoker features a great design and ability to maintain consistent cooking temperature. As a matter of fact, using this smoker only requires you to set your fire and forget.
Additionally, the smoker is characterized by high quality results marked by a six-year warranty. Moreover, the hopper capacity of this REC TEC wood pellet grill is 40 pounds
All said, these features and details are enough to let you know why indeed REC TEC wood pellet grill is worth your money. Whichever your situation and needs, comfort and satisfaction comes with no other smoker than this one.
Choosing a pellet grill is no easy task. There are a lot of options, and they all look pretty similar to the untrained eye. Well, they’re not all created equal…
We’ve painstakingly compared all of the models we could muster, and from that, we’ve come up with a top 5 list. Now, just because something’s lower on the list, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice for you. All of these grills are great, and we’ve ranked them on a number of criteria. The importance of each criterion will vary from person to person; thus a grill that ends up lower on our list might be the perfect fit for your needs.
We’ve ranked them based on the price, the value, the performance, the size, the overall durability and build quality, and the taste they’re able to help produce.
We’re sure that you’re eager to get smoking, so let’s not waste any more time, let’s get right into it…
What is a Pellet Smoker and How Does Pellet Smoker Work?
A pellet smoker in the present-day context refers to a thermostatically controlled smokers or grills with a pellet feed command system. This system relies on the temperature sensor inside the cooking box for adjustment and regulation.
In other terms, a pellet smoker functions in the same way as oven. All you have to do is simply set the cooking temperature and its cooking system auto-kicks on and off to maintain your set temperature point.
An LED display is also integrated to show your set temperature. The best competition pellet smokers allow for easy toggling between your set temperature and the actual temperature readings obtained from the internal thermostat.
There might be a slight fluctuation when switching or off the controller. However, most advanced touch-pad controllers are better able to withstand fluctuations as opposed to the indoor oven.
Most recent pellet controllers come with integrated probes thus, allowing you to monitor the internal temperature of your BBQ. Of late, pellet smokers come with wireless remote control and monitoring from using your Smartphone or tablet.
How to Use a Pellet Smoker?
Using a pellet smoker is somehow technical if you are a beginner. This is because there are many things you have to do with your smoker right from assembly to the end of food preparation. Let us delve through the steps of using pellet smoker one by one.
Instead of logs, the pellet smoker is fed with food-grade cylinders of wood pellets that are an inch long and ¼-inch wide and are made of compressed hardwood sawdust. According to the best pellet smoker reviews, pellet grills are easy to use because it’s easier to maintain its temperature because of these sawdust pellets that are subjected to great heat and high pressure, which ignites lignin (natural wood glue).The Benefits of the Pellets: Pellets work so well with the ease of use of a pellet grill because they’re 100% all-natural. They don’t have binders, chemicals, fillers, or petroleum products within them. They serve as a source of compact energy (8,500 BTU per pound) and smoke flavor. Most importantly, there’s little to no ash from them. Compared to coals, there are no flare-ups involved.
How Pellets Work with the Grill: The pellets contain no additives save for vegetable oils that carry flavor and helps the extrusion process. They burn cleanly and with little to no ash compared to logs. As for the grills themselves, they run with electricity. When it’s plugged in and turned on, a rotating auger delivers the pellets from the hopper to the fire pot and igniter rod.
The Igniter Rod: This rod then glows red hot for a couple or more of minutes, igniting the pellets and making them go up in flames. Smoke and heat from the combusted pellets are then distributed by a blower fan and metal plates under the grate of the grill. Upscale models even allow you to directly grill and smoke your food over a wooden pellet fire.
A Mainstream Product: At present, pellet grills are mainstream products, with pellet refills filling the market versus having to find timber, sticks, and charcoal to start a fire (since these pellets are made of sawdust, it’s easier for them to cast fire and completely combust into smoke with minimal residue). Old school pit masters dislike this product mostly because it’s too easy to use, like a microwave versus an oven.
Is it a Smoker or a Grill?
The question as to whether pellet smokers as simply smokers or grills has trended for quite some time. Finally, we have found the answer. Because of its multipurpose nature, manufacturers have consistently advertised this equipment both as a grill and a smoker.
Considering the role that each one will plays best place this equipment in its category. Searing is one function a grill performs best. But does this pellet equipment sear and steak better than a charcoal grill? Or even a gas grill with a sear burner?
Certainly, this equipment lags behind on this particular function. Because a charcoal grill selling at around will sear better than this pellet equipment. But when it comes to smoking, this is where the smoker overwhelmingly wins.
For this reason, it is wiser and rational thinking of it as a superbly-designed indirect heat convention smoker. It is therefore, more of a smoker than grill, based on the function it performs best. However, this definition doesn’t eliminate it from the list of possible grills.
Only two companies manufactured pellet grills or smokers back in 2008, and they’re MAK and Traeger (both of which are based in Oregon). This changed when Traeger’s original patents expired and the floodgates for competitors opened.
Traeger: As the launcher of the pellet smoker trend, it’s only natural that the innovative Traeger Pellet Grill Company would perfect its pellet grill technology and come up with some of the most affordably priced smokers around costing 0 upwards. It’s the Ford Motors of the pellet grilling world and many a pellet griller on the market to date owes the existence of their industry to this one company.
Green Mountain Grills: This maker of top-quality wood and pellet grillers is the company spearheading the digital revolution in the pellet smoker industry like its digital controller that manages pellet flow to control internal temperature and WiFi that connects your phone to the grill, allowing you to use it to control your grill for good measure. It’s the more gimmicky of the different pellet grill makers.
Pit Boss: The Pit Boss Company manufactures an extra-large pellet grill with 700 square inches of cooking surface. It closest competitor in pellet smoker largeness is the 7-year veteran known as Rec-Tec. It has probably one of the largest cooking surfaces (or the largest at that) in the pellet grill and smoker industry. It approaches grilling with the idea that sometimes bigger really is better, at least in terms of cooking more meats at the same time.
Camp Chef: Camp Chef is the company that perfected the pellet grill formula that Traeger made up, hence its introduction of an effective pellet auger that dispenses pellets only when needed and a large capacity hopper that reduces the need for pellet refills (that people find really annoying). It’s economical in terms of fuel rationing even though the griller itself is quite expensive.
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 0,000 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.
REC-TEC: REC-TEC, also known as Rec Tec, has been in business for more than 7 years. Its pellet grill offers up to 702 square inches of cooking surface real estate, beating out the Pit Boss and its 700 square inches by (only) about 2 inches of extra space. Its grills can also calibrate themselves in 5° increments and its pellet hopper is capable of holding 40 pounds of pellets (no constant refills required).
Pros and Cons of Using the Pellet Smoker
Here are the pros and cons of getting a pellet grill or smoker.
Electric Smoker vs Wood Smoker vs Pellet Smoker
Basically, there are considerate differences between electric smokers and pellet smokers under 500. In the same way, there are differences between pellet smokers and wood smokers.
Although the differences are numerous, what we have outlined in this article only surrounds important aspects. These include of ease of use convenience, temperature control, price, flavor and safety.
To wrap up the debate about pellet smokers, it is worth noting some of its outstanding features. First, this smoker uses pellets and can function both as a smoker or a grill. It performs multiple functions. However, because it lacks settings for an ideal grill, we have categorized it as a smoker, for which functions it performs the best.
Writing this review, we have analyzed factors to consider when planning buys your model. These include cost, online reviews, purpose, and brand reputation among others. These are the guidelines towards achievement of your ultimate needs.
In comparison with other smokers, though best pellet smokers might not take the lead in all aspects, it’s a convenient smoker. The manner in which it functions is perfect and convenient for almost all categories of users. Despite its high price, buying this product won’t let you down.
How to Smoke a Brisket – The Best Pellet Grill Recipes
If you’re looking for some recipes to use your smoker’s cooking space, check out this list of smoker recipes on Pinterest