Top 5 Best Pellet Grill & Smoker Reviews in 2017
A pellet grill is a great investment. It makes outdoor cooking much more appealing and enjoyable. However, choosing the best pellet grill & smoker for outdoor kitchen may be overwhelming. With the variety of brands, types, sizes, and feature, many buyers are left with confusion.
So as to help you with your decision making, this guide will now show you everything to consider when buying this product.
Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – WIFI enabled
Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station
REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill
Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill
Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ
Why Use A Pellet Grill & Smoker?
There are so many benefits of using a pellet grill. Here are the major advantages you can easily find out.
There are so many tasks that a pellet grill can do, from BBQ, smoking, to roasting and grilling. Some can even allow you to bake or braise on it. It is an entertaining must-have item for family and friends outdoor parties.
#2. Delicious Wood Fire Flavor
Pellet grills the smell of smoke, and there are many flavors for hardwood pellets. The best part is that you can even mix the flavor together to make the taste your way. My favorite is apple-maple and hickory-cherry.
Pellet grills make outdoor cooking effortlessly. There is no struggling to light charcoal to keep the fire burning. The fire will not run out if there are still pellets inside. Some of the pellet grill also come with the alarm notifying you when the pellets run low.
#4. Easiest Grill to Use
There should be no hassle or puzzle in using a pellet grill. What you do is adding the pellets, set the temperature, and watch it sometimes until the food is done. In fact, it is just as easy as using your indoor kitchen oven.
#5. Wide Temperature Range
The pellet grill can smoke fast without flaring up. And with the variations in temperature setting, it makes smoking and searing efficient. Also, using pellet grill is superior to gas grill because it can avoid over-smoking.
How Does It Work?
In the central of all pellet cookers, there is a controller. This controller is similar to that on indoor ovens. To regulate the temperature, you select the range that you want. And there is a display that shows the actual temperature. A best pellet grill must have a correspondence between the set temp and the actual temp.
Some controllers have a program which allows you to set the timer; some others have leave-in meat probes, they can hold the temperature when the meat hits the optimum heat. Besides the controller, pellet grills have a feed mechanism (auger) that places more pellets into the fire pot.
On the bottom of the fire pot, there is an igniter rod. And when the pellet grill ignites, a fan blows to push more oxygen that keeps the fire burning. At this time, the igniter road will shut off. Also, the fire pot is placed under the deflector plate. This plate absorbs all the heat and spread it out on the cooking surface.
How to Choose the Best Pellet Grill & Smoker?
Identify Your Needs and Wants
Before jumping into reading any product description, you should know what you are in search of. Elaborate on your needs and wants to make sure you are not going to buy a high-value pellet grill of other's perspective. It instead must be the best pellet grill in your mind.
Here are some questions you may want to answer before getting any closer to buying an actual product.
- What size of unit do you prefer?
- What price range can you afford?
- What feature do you have the highest standard for (smoking, searing, grilling, or combination of them)?
- What brand do you prefer and why?
- What are your requirements for the warranty?
Take a Look at the Features
Now as you may narrow down some names in your mind, it’s time to investigate the checklist. And here are the features that you should have a grasp of.
- Temperature control – the algorithm in use to maintain constant temperatur
- Overall package – Material, fire pot, drip pan, grates, and flame deflector
- Cooking surface area – The number of square inches that the unit offers
- Pellet consumption – Big-size units often come with pellet-consuming features
- Construction – baffles, dampers, offset fire pots, heat zones, gimmicks, and gadget
- Warranty – Warranty to the electrical components and the whole unit
- Customer service – Refund policy, information of contact
Consult the Reviews
Reading the reviews play a crucial part in finalizing the buying decision. Reading about what its users think about the product offers an unbiased perspective. It helps you to determine whether that product is the right one, or you may need some more time searching. You can easily find the review of the product on different online forums of pellet users.
Also, serve the purpose of providing you with the review, this writing will now pick up our recommendations. This review hopefully gives you an overview of the best pellet grill on the current market. As a result, your decision making will be a lot more facilitated.
Our Top 5 Picks for 2017
1. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – WIFI enabled
Green Mountain Grills came as a game changer in 2008 with its residential smokers. This brand has long gained the reputation as one with cost-effective yet high-performance products. And with the availability of WiFi for the pellet grill, it set itself from other high-end brands without affecting its competitiveness.
You can download the GMG app on your mobile device to enable the point-to-point connection with the pellet controller. Then, from your device, you can control the internal meat temperature, cooking temperature and timer. You can also get notifications on low fuel and system malfunction, or turn the grill on/off.
What is special about the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett is still in its WiFi connection. It offers users to control the grill from anywhere. But most amazingly, it also allows users to create a profile with steps and instruction. As a result, it helps to refine and improve the smoke.
The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett holds the temperature really well. And it can perform all the tasks of grilling, searing and smoking with ease. Also, this one is very pellet-saving. Basically, you can smoke a 12-pound brisket with just about 3 pounds of pellet.
- WiFi enable
- Steady temperature
- Excellent customer service and warranty
- Highly adjustable flame box
- Difficult portability
- Small cooking surface
2. Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station
If grilling is a little too passive for you, a Blackstone 36” Outdoor Griddle may be a good choice. It offers a more engaging way to grill. And with the wide cooking surface, you can make full use of each square foot.
Also, the Blackstone 36” Outdoor Griddle provides more space for seasoning, making the grilling activity more active and enjoyable.
Another plus point of Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle is that it has highly reasonable pricing. However, please don't group it with those cheap electric griddles from Walmart. Blackstone delivers the quality that is highly competitive with the commercial griddles.
Even though this Blackstone is quite heavy and sturdy, assembling it is quite easy. It just takes about one hour and a screwdriver to get the task done. However, you may need someone to help you lift the fifty-pound unit up. If you can assemble a Lego set, I don’t think there is any problem with this Blackstone.
The Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle is an entertaining must for average to big parties. With 720 square inches of flat top grilling and four burners, it can entertain up to 20 guests. And the best part is, you won't have to squeeze everything onto the grill surface.
- Highly affordable
- Large cooking surface
- Easy to assembly
- Fast cleanup
- Easy to season the surface
- Small grease drain
- Wide gap between the griddle surface and the burners
3. REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill
REC TEC Grill positions itself in the market as a high-end brand name. Parallel with the price is the high-class features of the products. And REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is no different. It is beautiful outside and powerful inside. Thus, this pellet grill should be the choice for those who want a classy product.
Even though the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill does not have wireless capability or integrated meat probe, its controller can switch between the actual temperature and set temperature. Also, it comes with a cool down function, which is undoubtedly more innovative than most of the today’s brands.
With REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill, you can smoke brisket, pork, chicken, ribs, etc. with ease. With the Extreme Smoke button, the REC TEC gives more smoke and makes the cooking more time-saving and effort-saving. The Extreme Smoke mode is used between 180 and 500 degrees. It makes the pellets to smolder more by direct the fan move back and forth.
REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill has 40-pound hopper capacity, which is a huge plus. It increases the efficiency in pellet transport while decreasing the stress on the auger motor. Also, the burning port in the central can improve the heat distribution, making it faster to grill, sear, and smoke the thick meat.
- Excellent digital controller
- Appealing design
- Sturdy construction
- Available in full-size and mini portable version
- High-class cooldown function
- Unsteady temperature
- Uneasy to dismantle and assemble
4. Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill
The Bronson 20 is also known as Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ 155.1 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill. If you are looking for a small-size pellet grill, this one is a good choice. The cooking space is just enough for small and cozy parties with family and friends. Despite the small space, this Traeger is still convenient as it has a side table in case you want to place the food on the surface.
The grill has an appealing appearance, especially on the sunny day. The bronze finish gives it an exquisite look. But the Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill is more than just a beautiful product.
Its auto-ignition can start the unit with great ease. And the temperature regulation is also amazing thanks to the high-class digital control.
The tailgate is easy to move and carry. Thus, you can load it from the truck to the cabin with ease. The Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill seems to be a full-size unit with a great extent of portability. In fact, there should be no complaint about the design and construction of this pellet grill.
The Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill also comes with a powerful grease drain system. It effectively transports the drips into the oil holding bucket. As a result, your food is always in delicious flavor and smell. This grill also has extensive features in BBQ, grilling, smoking, and even baking.
- Appealing bronze lid finish
- Easy to ignite
- Even distribution of temperature
- Convenient shutdown cycle
- Easy mobility
- Slow temperature increase
5. Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ
Camp Chef has long gained its reputation as a high-quality brand that emphasizes on cooking outdoors. Thus, the Cam Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 Pellet Grill is best fit for campers, nature lovers, and outdoorsmen. This pellet grill comprehensively fulfills the needs for grills, griddles, ovens, smokers.
What is unique about the Cam Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 Pellet Grill is that it does not create much ash. This pellet grill also has a trap door under the fire pot, which significantly enhances its performance in smoking. The ashes drop into a removable cup, which allows ease of cleaning.
The Cam Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 Pellet Grill comes with four options for smoking – Shutdown, Feed, High, and Low. This allows pellets to smolder more than burn. The distribution of temperature is good in this pellet grill. The actual temp stays very close to the set temp, enabling the heat to be evenly provided.
Packaging is well-designed with all parts stay firmly together. When receiving the unit, it is almost fully assembled. In fact, there are not many things to do to put the pieces together. You just need to attach the legs, chimney, side shelf, and lid handle. With Cam Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 Pellet Grill, there is no wiring required.
- Easy maintenance
- Accurate temperature control
- Comprehensive features
- Excellent smoking
- Good packaging
- Need regular cleaning
- Not so good at searing
Which One Is Best for You?
As we have just gone through a long "best pellet grill & smoker" review, you may still find yourself hanging among the five recommendations. And for those who are seeking for the final exact name that I recommend, the Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill is what I will suggest.
Just so you know, this writing does not serve the purpose of advertising any brand name. Instead, it provides you the choices. And each choice may attract different groups of people with different taste and preference. Just that on the personal level, I believe the Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill is the most high-value product with the best price.
Of course, the Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill cannot defeat the Blackstone in term of price. However, I’d rather use the term "best price" with the meaning as the ideal combination of the pricing and the value. And with Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill, it does a great job. It delivers many benefits without requiring you to compromise a significant portion of your budget.
Besides the affordability, the Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill also comes with many comprehensive features. To wrap it up, this product meets all the requirements of being the best pellet grill. It offers restaurant-style cooking, fast electronic ignition, controllable heat zones, easy mobility, and durability.
In short, the Traeger Bronson 20 Pellet Grill is a great value paralleling to an affordable pricing. However, as I clearly stated, this is only my recommendation. And it's totally fine if you have any different choice.
Strongly hope that this piece of writing offers you a useful guide to choosing the best pellet grill & smoker. And whichever you may choose among the top 5, I still believe you had a wise selection. Enjoy your choice!