Top 5: Best Pellet Smoker/Grill Reviews for 2017

In summer, many of you hold the barbecue parties outdoor, right? Instead of charcoal or wood, now you can think about using a pellet smoker, which is an excellent investment for smoking yo​​​​ur meat. It allows you to get smoked foods quickly and safely. It is a multi-task appliance that adds great versatility to your kitchen.

It serves as both smoker and grill, that’s why people use the terms "pellet smoker" and "pellet grill" for the same thing. Today, I will show you some insights on the best pellet smoker/grill on the market which has been bombarded with thousands of products.

Also, you will get to know some tips on buying and operating the grill. After reading this comprehensive buying guide, you will have a chance to make better decisions.

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.

What is special about the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett is its WiFi connection because it sets itself from other high-end brands without affecting its competitiveness. 

This product offers users to control the grill from anywhere. But most amazingly, it also allows them to create a profile with steps and instruction. As a result, this pellet smoker helps to refine and improve the smoke.

Download the GMG app on your mobile device to enable the point-to-point connection with the pellet controller. Then, from your device, you control the internal meat temperature, cooking temperature and timer. You can also get notifications on low fuel, system malfunction, or turn the grill on/off.

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. You can smoke a 12-pound brisket with just about 3 pounds of pellet.

The attached car plug cord makes to run off the electric of your car including the control box, auger, and fan with just a little power. You can use your extra automotive battery to run this car plug cord for your cooks.

The small size of this ultimate pellet smoker suits with camping activities if you drive an RV because you can move it around easily and quickly without any help.

Whether you use the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett at home, in your camping trips, hunts, or at music festivals, it can work well on 12V or 120AC. No matter how is your car’s trunk, the 57-pound foldable legs can give the best convenience to carry and move.

Thinks I Like:

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    It’s straightforward for both beginners and experienced users to use due to the tutorial videos on everything.
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    While cooking, you can lower the temperature to warm your meats until everything is ready.
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    If you still hesitate, the fact that the manufacturer provides buyers 2-year warranty and excellent customer service may lead to this pick quicker.
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    How to cook is easy and simple, but it can produce a better taste of your meat even compared to wood or charcoal smoker.

Thinks I Don't Like:

  • I don’t highly recommend you carry this model for your trips if you drive a car which comes with a truck bed because it is quite heavy.
  • Sometimes, it doesn’t start up as desired. Getting hot requires you take more time for a lengthy shutdown or startup procedure.
  • You need to wait within a long time with a lot of fuel to reach temperature. What’s more, maintaining the temperature outside is also pretty hard.
  • If you require a large amount of food at the time, it’s hard to do that with this model because its cooking surface is pretty small.

2. Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ

Camp Chef is famous for 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.

This is the smart design because it comes with the most advanced digital control and automatic auger feed pellets which both create the optimal smoke and maintain the heat. Thanks to that feature, you just need to press the button and wait until everything is ready.

The special feature of 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 of 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.

The area of the cooking surface is 570 square inches so you can cook a large amount of food with this model at the same time. In particular, it comes with the removable upper warming rack which promotes this process quicker.

The relight feature of the Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe helps you bypass power outage when you are cooking. Furthermore, this is also a great way to minimize wear and tear on the hot rod.

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.

Thinks I Like:

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    The outcome has smoky (hardwood) flavor
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    This is considered as a convection oven, free of cold and hot areas but keeps the heat consistent and even.
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    The smart design of smoke stack in the back provides you the benefits when working by your right hand.
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    In place of you have to probe wires under the cover, meat probe port will support you do this work.
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    It comes with a very good controller which has cool down function and pellet prime to charge auger especially you can choose the smoke setting as desired: high or low level.
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    Because of being squared off back side, the smoker has more room inside, and the upper grill rack is very spacious.

Thinks I Don't Like:

  • The smoking process is pretty low so it suits with cooking at home more.
  • It’s difficult to remove pellets out the hopper to store
  • This model requires you clean it more regular

3. REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill - Featuring Smart Grill Technology™

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. 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.

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 directing 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 center can improve the heat distribution, making it faster to grill, sear, and smoke the thick meat.

The big cooking area of 702 Sq allows you to cook more foods at the same time to service for a large number of guests in a party.

The average consumption of this model is 1b pellets per an hour if you smoke your meat at 225 degrees. Therefore, as you can see, this is a great way to save your money compared to other products.

When it comes to smoking, the worst thing is that smoke may escape from all the seams and joints. With REC TEC, its manufacturer minimizes this by welding and sealing, so smoke just comes out the top of the cover or the stack.

Thinks I Like:

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    If you are looking for a product which has an appealing appearance to decorate the area where you organize BBQ party, this is a perfect choice.
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    Whether you need to serve for a small get-together or a big party, REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill can meet all because it is available with 2 versions: full-size and mini models.
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    Don’t worry, if you are a beginner as you can easily find out the excellent video tutorials on the Rec Tec website. Most of people cook juicy meats from these.
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    Sturdy construction is the feature which the majority of users love much since they won’t easily break it out on uneven terrains

Thinks I Don't Like:

  • This is a complicated design, so it’s very essential to consider thoroughly before dismantling or assembling. Before doing, you should make sure you or someone you know can take all accessories back their original positions correctly.

4. Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler, 700 sq. in.

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. You can measure the temperature while cooking if you want to examine.

This model just consumes natural fuel, free of gas, propane, and, charcoal, so it’s really environmentally-friendly and makes healthy foods.

Its Digital Control Center allows you to operate the model quickly. When finishing the cooks, you just need to press the power button so that your model can cool down before it shuts off completely. Specifically, the control is in your hands so you can adjust freely from 170 to 600 Fahrenheit.

When it comes to the flame broiler, you can select smoke the direct cooking or indirect cooking. This product also has an additional metal plate which adds your meat a smokier. This flame broiler can make your dream come true – a perfect seared steak with charred flavor like what you see in the restaurant.

Normally, most of the cast iron smokers are prone to the buildup of rusting and dirt while cooking, but Pit Boss 71700FB with porcelain-coated cooking grids doesn’t let that happen because it’s heavy and durable especially it’s easy to hold the temperature. Moreover, the porcelain coating material can protect your meat away from sticking to the smoker, leading to easy to clean.

It can serve an entire party with approx 100 people. Therefore, using it for your daughter’s birthday, your anniversary or any special meeting is simple and straightforward.

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!

Thinks I Like:

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    For the Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler, there is no need to spend too much time and effort on your end to clean.
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    The grill will not be suddenly turned off when you are cooking.
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    The grill will give foods with excellent taste that your guests can never forget.
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    It’s best for beginners who can assemble this model quickly and easily. What you have to do is just preassemble most of the parts
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    According to many buyers, this is budget-friendly, so it’s worthy to invest.

Thinks I Don't Like:

  • 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.
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    Don’t get your pellets wet. They will become sticky like glue and never let your auger go. Eventually, they will become a united concrete that you will never hope for.

5. 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 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.

This model is produced with digital control. Specifically, there are 3 position cooking controls so that you can adjust the temperature as desired inside that means the complete control is on your hands. Furthermore, the sensor installed inside lets you know if the auger is in need of pellets or not.

Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU is packed stainless steel meat temperature probe. You should be happy because of this accessory. This tool lets you know your food’s the inside temperature to take it out at the right time without being too sear.

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 efficiently 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.

Thinks I Like:

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    You can quickly move this model around thanks to its compact size and smart design
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    The ignitability of Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU helps you save more or less time, effort on your end to operate.
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    This produce is packed with a recipe book which is extremely useful for beginners of a pellet smoker.
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    The size is an advantage for most of the food kinds excepting a turkey which you need to look for a bigger model.
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    It’s very easy to both use and clean, but you should clean regularly. After each use,  it’s best to make a quick clean.

Thinks I Don't Like:

  • It consumes many pellets so your wallet may be hurt with too many uses
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    It takes a long time to increase temperature. Thus, this is not a good option for the urgent cases

If you are looking for products of Traeger, please take a look at the comparison table below:

Digital Elite Controller

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Grilling Area

646 sq in
418 sq in

300 sq in

300 sq in

300 sq in

Hopper Capacity

18 lb

18 lb

10 lb

8 lb

8 lb

Grill Size (HxWxD)

49x54x22

49x42x22

38x35x22

36x37x18

36x39x18

Weight

125 lb

98 lb

76 lb

62 lb

60 lb

Related Article:


Who Needs to Buy a Pellet Smoker?

Pellet smoker is perfect for people who are fans of BBQ. There are many ways to make BBQ, but this tool is the easiest and environmentally friendly way especially it’s hassle-free smoking. With the housewives love cleaning and convenience, they also prioritize to choose using these models. And you? If you are finding a cooking appliance for the outdoor parties, you should also consider one.

What to Consider When Choosing a Pellet 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 smoker of other’s perspective. It instead must be the best pellet smoker 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.

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    Temperature control: This feature should be the top priority when looking at a pellet smoker. The quality of the temperature control and the heat range significantly contribute to the evenness and the consistency of the heat distribution.
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    Durable material: 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.
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    Hopper size: 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.
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    Cooking space: 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.
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    Pellet consumption: 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.

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.

What are the Benefits of Using a Pellet Smoker?

Source: instagram.com

There are so many benefits of using a pellet smoker. Here are the major advantages you can easily find out.

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    Ease of use: 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.
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    Versatility: You can cook at any temperature range in the pellet smoker. 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.
  • Delicious wood fire flavor: Pellet smokers 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.
  • Performance efficiency: 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.

The Differences of Pellet Smoker, Electric Smoker, Charcoal Smoker:

In general, each type of smoker has its own pros and cons so depending on you are a beginner or enthusiast, you should have the most appropriate choice. Know all features which can lead you to the right pick:

Charcoal smoker:

Although charcoal smoker requires more effort on your end to work and maintain, it provides you the better taste, bark as well as smoke rings.

As I mentioned, you need more time and effort to clean it after use. When cooking, pay attention to monitor your dishes more but that’s also an excellent way to take the cooking experiences.

Electric smoker:

This choice is suitable for beginners. Apart from easy-to-use feature – press and wait, you can clean it quickly after using because there is no need charcoal to function which it doesn’t produce gas. The electric smoker is a budget-friendly model.

Sometimes, it’s hard to cook outdoor as you need a power source to use. Furthermore, compared to charcoal one, this produces less smoke rings.

Pellet Smoker:

Its size is bigger than others especially the large pellet hopper. Thanks to the temperature controller, what you need to do with this model is just to press the button and until there is an outcome (like the electric smoker). Moreover, its cooking area is also very big.

However, it’s more expensive than others, and it can’t make the smoke ring like what a charcoal model can do. If you see electric and charcoal smokers are not what you are looking for, go on reading to know what you will get if owning a pellet model.

How to Clean & Maintain Your Pellet Smoker:

A good pellet smoker provides your family a steady source of tasty foods every day from freshly baked pizza to smoked brisket. Thus, it’s very important to maintain your investment careful by cleaning it after each use. In case you don’t do that regularly, it can lead to ash buildup influencing the airflow of your pellet smoker even ignitability, and maintenance of consistent temperature.

Below, I will provide you the useful ways to extend the lifespan and keep your model in the tip-top condition, free of ash on the fire pot, and grease, food residue, as well as any debris on the diffuser plates and grates:

Cleaning before and each use:

There is a wrong point of view that the soot and grease buildup can give your food more flavor, but in fact, it not only can’t make your foods more delicious but also harms your health in some cases.

Therefore, before anything else, make sure your model clean to maximize the performance and make the safe and healthy dishes by checking the grease pans and collector which can end up a fire if it is full and overflow. Do this quick cleanup without being too dramatic as follows:

  • Empty the ash into a cup
  • Wipe away all grease spots and food residue
  • Use a spatula or a wire grill brush to scrape down the grill grates.

In spite of this simple, small guide, it can help you save much time and effort in the deeper cleaning.

Make a deep clean:

When it comes to the deep cleans, do that every 2 days if you use regularly. In case you don’t use it often, it’s ok to clean your model every a few months. Below is what you need to follow:

Note:

  • To ensure your pellet smoker is safe while cleaning, unplug it from the power source and wait until everything is in the cool condition totally. Moreover, the pellet hopper should be empty to protect your model away from wet and contacting directly with cleaning substances.
  • Read the instruction manual of the manufacturer. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, reading the specifics will provide you some significant benefits of cleaning and maintaining. For example, protect the smoker away from the hose pipe. Some products available on the market can’t touch to water directly due to a motorized auger, digital controllers, a fan as well as an igniter rod for the fire pot. To deal with, you just can dry scrub without disassembling.

Clean exterior:

  • Spray stainless steel cleaner or use the mixture of hot water and soap (the low effect on the end) on the painted surfaces or stainless steel area. Don’t let it touch the plastic components. Wait around 30 seconds so that the cleaner has enough time for breaking down grease and smoking stains.
  • Then, use a rag or a paper towel to wipe off the cleaner residue. Remember this rule applying the circular movements for painted surface and the grain for stainless steel areas.
  • To remove the remaining grease and smoke completely, you should repeat this step at least once more. It’s important to rinse the mixture of soapy water thoroughly.

Clean interior:

  • Make sure the burn cup is free of ash.
  • Remove all accessories from lid to cooking grate, drip tray, extra racks with heat diffuser plate. Before doing that, you should make sure that you can reassemble all into their original positions
  • The option of a wet or dry vacuum attached to a hose can help you get rid of loose ash as well as debris.
  • Pay attention that grease may locate in somewhere inside the grill, and it requires you use a flat edge of pan scraper or paint stick for removing.
  • Let you dip a rag into the mixture of hot water and soap to wash the interior.
  • Repeat this process until your model is free of grease.
  • After rinsing, let it dry one day.

If you want the next cleaning times more relaxed, try to cover drip tray and heat diffuser plate with aluminum. When using, you just need to throw away and replace a new one in place of dealing with grease.

The Final Thoughts

Whether you would like to have a fun outdoor party with your friends, relatives, and family or an exciting camping trip, you should think about preparing foods to enjoy during at that time. To consume great meats and save more your time and effort, buying a pellet smoker is a must.

After finishing my post, perhaps you have a proper pick in your mind as well as take yourself some helpful information to take care of your product in the future.

Obviously, with most of the readers here, you are the first buyer of the smoker so don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the section below. I will answer all in my free time.

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