Looking for a more simple way than using charcoal or wood fire to bake, grill, or smoke your meat? A pellet smoker is worth considering. Also, for an outdoor kitchen, a pellet grill & smoker should definitely be the top priority.
However, choosing the best pellet smoker to fit a specific outdoor kitchen and buyer’s preference can be a daunting task. Today’s market is now loaded with many different brands of pellet grillers coming in many different sizes and standards.
Just looking at the thousands of choices and recommendations out there on the Internet, have you just exhausted yourself already? So if you are looking for a comprehensive guide to buying the best pellet smoker, here you have it.
8 Best Pellet Smoker & Grill Reviews
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
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 smoker comprehensively fulfills the needs for grills, griddles, ovens, smokers.
What is unique about the Cam Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 is that it does not create much ash. This pellet smoker 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 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 smoker. 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, there is no wiring required.
- Easy maintenance
- Accurate temperature control
- Comprehensive features
- Excellent smoking
- Good packaging
- Need regular cleaning
- Not so good at searing
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 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
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 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 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
Another product coming from Traeger is this Junior Elite Grill. If you want something, which is easy to move and does not take too much space, it will be an excellent choice. With wheels under its feet, even a 5-year-old kid can move without difficulties.
Also, the parts of the product are quite convenient to assemble. That makes everything so much easier when you are tired and need to clean up quickly after the party. And when you already invite your friends to have the best grilled-chicken-breasts ever, they will not have to wait so long as well.
What many people also like about this Junior grill is its LED digital thermostat. It is fundamentally one of the most modern technologies nowadays that they have applied to pellet grill & smokers. In this product, it is placed on the left side of the grill and very comfortable to adjust.
It helps the grill maintain the high temperature well even when it is turned off. Therefore, you will not have to use every method to keep the dishes hot after they are grilled or smoked. You can shut down the grill and go to the bathroom for 10 minutes. The foods will still be outstanding to serve.
There is only one thing that I have to remind you before processing foods. When receiving the package, you will find a grate, which is placed on the pellet box, on the left of the product.
I highly recommend you not to install it to the system. It will make all the parts harder to clean and be hard to remove the unused pellets.
- Comfortable digital thermostat
- Easy for assembling
- Maintain heat well
- Light weight
- Easy to clean
- Hard to discard unused pellets
In my opinion, if you are a perfectionist, you should purchase this Freestanding one. It is not because the product is perfect. Due to sophisticated details and add-ons with bronze being the primary material, the pellet smoker has high-quality and stunning outlook.
Moreover, it turns out to be very handy. I used to think that such a grill like that could not be brought anywhere. However, it is little enough for you to bring it along to your camp, road trip, or even a beach or pool party.
Also, the product consumes slightly low power that you can even take advantage of your car when there is no separate socket. Just hook up a converter with the 110-volt-outlet in your vehicle, and you will have the most delicious grilled or smoked beef.
I would like to tell you another detail about one of its add-ons, which is very creative, in my opinion. There is a tray that can help you prevent the drippings from your meat from dropping onto your floor or yard. You can install it by sliding it to the front of the grill. It’s straightforward and worth the money.
If there is anything to complain, I believe most people will choose the fragile structure that the product has. It’s quite difficult to discover how to assemble the components with one another. If you don’t have any prior skills or knowledge on appliances, you will need relatively long time to find out everything.
Besides, how to light the grill up may also make you feel confused. The directions for use do not seem to deliver well. Nevertheless, you will be satisfied with an incredible service that the producer offers. All of these disadvantages can be solved with only one call to the service center.
- High-quality components
- Compatible with your vehicle
- Excellent supporting tray
- Outstanding services
- Week instructions
- Complication in starting the grill
One of the first and also the most exciting feature of this Pit Boss is 8-in-1. It means that you can adjust to eight levels of temperatures, from 180 to 500 Fahrenheit degrees. Therefore, grilling and smoking various types of foods, such as steaks, hamburgers, or even pizza, are nothing complicated.
The temperature adjustment is incredibly accurate as well. Several products in the market have about 2 or 3 degrees difference only because they cannot make it right. That never happens on this grill. You can measure the temperature while cooking if you want to examine.
However, if you often process foods at low temperature, this product may not be a good choice. It does not keep the low temperature so well. Therefore, whenever you want to keep it at 180 to about 200 Fahrenheit degrees, you should always put more pellets than usual.
In that way, the grill will not be suddenly turned off when you are cooking. And one thing to remind you is not to get your pellets wet. They will become sticky like glue and never let your auger go. Eventually, both of them will become a united concrete that you will never hope for.
In case that happens, you should call the service center for support. Besides some of those drawbacks, the product runs well with no problems. It can serve an entire party with approx 100 people. You can use it for your daughter’s birthday, your anniversary or any special meeting.
The grill will give foods with excellent taste that your guests can never forget. The producer also shows their intelligence when providing a heat shield, which can be used to prevent grease from spilling all over your grill. Instead, it will fall into a bucket. How amazing!
- Accurate temperature controller
- Enough for a-100-people-party
- Give wonderful flavor for foods
- Convenient heat shield
- Inconvenient auger
- Does not maintain low temperature
Unlike the Junior Elite, this Texas Elite makes it every convenient to clean up the mess. Some people must always wonder about how they are going to tidy the pellets after use in order not to make their house dirty. Here is their answer.
There is a private place for you to keep the pellets so cleaning them will take only less than 5 minutes. Moreover, the burnt pellets leave minimal ash, so all you have to do is dumping it in the garbage. I don’t think there is anything to worry about that.
If you are busy and don’t want to waste too much time on tidying everything, Texas Elite will be an appropriate option. One more feature that will take minimal time is the electronic automatic start/stop.
The product will start on your demand and stop when the temperature exceeds, which can spoil your foods. To my point of view, that is the most outstanding characteristic that not many open grills are possessing.
And because of that, grilled dishes also become the best foods you ever taste with pellets grill and smoke. Smoked brined pork, steaks, fishes, or pizzas are incredibly delicious as well. If you have some skills in smoking foods, other types will also be excellent.
Although the product is a little hard to move when you only have 99 pounds like me, it still fits nicely in any corner in your house. Keep it anywhere you like, and it will even be a terrific decoration.
- Easy to clean unused pellets
- Leave a small amount of ash
- Automatic start and stop
- Beautiful color and style
- Good for grilling
What are the Benefits of Using a Pellet Grill & Smoker?
There are so many benefits of using a pellet smoker. Here are the major advantages you can easily find out.
Grilling, baking and smoking with a pellet smoker are as simple as cooking on your oven. Feed it with the wood pellets, turn it on, set the temp, and you are ready to get your meat done. Also, there is no fighting the fire and no need for adding charcoal or wood every few minutes.
You can cook at any temperature range in the pellet grill. At low heat, you can smoke the food. And at higher temps, you can cook it hot or even bake it to your taste. A pellet smoker is like an outdoor oven, so you can use it to your own advantage.
Also, the pellets come in many different flavors including maple, cherry, pecan, hickory, mesquite, etc. These flavors provide the natural sense of smoke to the meat. And in comparison with charcoal or wood fire grillers, the pellet grillers offer a more enjoyable smoke.
The pellets make up a clean fuel source. They burn up almost completely, which produces low ash and enough smoke for the food. Thus, you don’t need to worry about over smoking your foods. The pellets also offer an economic way of using the fire while providing even heat distribution to the foods.
How Does It Work?
Basically, a pellet smoker uses the heat from cooking off the wood compressed pellets. The smoker comes with a hopper where the fuel goes, and the pellets come in many flavors, giving the meat certain smell when smoking.
On the front, there is a control panel. And when you turn the unit on, the fan will automatically kick on to drive air into the cooking chamber. At the same time, the auger will also start spinning, through which the pellets in the container will start feeding into the burning area.
The heat comes from the burning pellets, and the fan keeps the fire burning by blowing the air to provide it a constant flow of oxygen. The deflector inside the pellet smoker also helps to radiate the heat. The deflector shield goes underneath the cooking surface so that when the pellets burn in the fire pot, it produces even heat distribution to the meat.
The auger right behind the panel constantly feeds pellets to the pot right below it. Then, the heating unit kicks in and starts the fire. Normally, it takes the smoker a few minutes to get the fire going. Finally, it turns off when all the fuel source runs out to burn the pellets.
Many quality pellet smoker comes with temperature settings, which is quite similar to those in the oven. You may have the temp range coming from 150 degrees to 600 degrees. And most of the best pellet smoker units can hold heat between plus or minus 5 degrees of the set temperature, which gives the consistency in heating the meat.
What to Consider When Choosing a Pellet Grill & Smoker?
This feature should be the top priority when looking at a pellet grill. The quality of the temperature control and the heat range significantly contribute to the evenness and the consistency of the heat distribution.
It’s important to consider the material of the fire pot, flame detector, grates, and drip pan. Most of the pellet smoker units come in stainless steel material for both outside and inside parts, which makes them much more durable than other medium-quality units.
As a rule of thumb, the bigger the hopper is, the more efficient the burning process becomes. Especially when it needs to perform a long cook, a big hopper will keep you from the risk of running out of fuel.
Depending on your servings, opt for one with appropriate cooking space. The bigger cooking interior will, of course, allow for more space to cook more foods. However, a smaller one will offer a more economical usage of pellets and more evenness in its temperature distribution to the foods.
The pellet consumption does not only depend on the size of the unit but also its particular mechanism. There are now many high-tech grillers that utilize the computer technology to regulate the consumption of pellets. Even though buyers should expect a higher pricing from these grillers, they give more savings over the long run.
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.