Top 5 Best Pellet Smoker/Grill Reviews for 2018

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.

Pros:

  • check
    Cost-effective
  • check
    WiFi enable
  • check
    Steady temperature
  • check
    Excellent customer service and warranty
  • check
    Highly adjustable flame box

Cons:

  • exclamation-triangle
    Difficult portability
  • exclamation-triangle
    Small cooking surface

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.

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.

Pros:

  • check
    Easy maintenance
  • check
    Accurate temperature control
  • check
    Comprehensive features
  • check
    Excellent smoking
  • check
    Good packaging

Cons:

  • exclamation-triangle
    Need regular cleaning
  • exclamation-triangle
    Not so good at searing

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.

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.

Pros:

  • check
    Excellent digital controller
  • check
    Appealing design
  • check
    Sturdy construction
  • check
    Available in full-size and mini portable version
  • check
    High-class cooldown function

Cons:

  • exclamation-triangle
    Unsteady temperature
  • exclamation-triangle
    Uneasy to dismantle and assemble

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.

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!

Pros:

  • check
    700 sq. inches cooking surface with second-tier rack
  • check
    Digital board for easy and stable temperature control
  • check
    Flame broiler for versatile cooking

Cons:

  • exclamation-triangle
    Poor packaging has been reported.
  • exclamation-triangle
    Temperature calibration may not be clear. 

5. Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 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 Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 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.

The tailgate is easy to move and carry. Thus, you can load it from the truck to the cabin with ease. The Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 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.

This 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.

Pros:

  • check
    Appealing bronze lid finish
  • check
    Easy to ignite
  • check
    Even distribution of temperature
  • check
    Convenient shutdown cycle
  • check
    Easy mobility

Cons:

  • exclamation-triangle
    Pellet-consuming
  • exclamation-triangle
    Slow temperature increase

6. Pit Boss 71820FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler

This grill uses wood as the fuel source. These little natural wonders come in a great flavor diversity such as apple, hickory, pecan, maple, etc. Wood pellets are known for producing incredibly delicious flavors that enrich whatever protein you have, whether it is beef, pork, chicken or fish.

This model is equipped with a dial-in control of oven temperature that makes setting cooking temperatures a child’s play. With just a simple dial, the grill automatically locks the heat and lights up pellets while you’re enjoying time with your friends. The range of temperature is 180 to 500 degrees.

Another great feature is the fan forced convection cooking that dispels any worries about finding a suitable rotisserie for your grill. With this cooking method, you do not have to shell out for a separate rotisserie but can still do everything such as braizing, grilling, smoking, baking, searing.

The flame broiler allows you to expose your food directly to an open flame for searing. You can cook both directly and indirectly. This gives you various cooking experiences such as charbroiling a piece of steak, slow smoking ribs and briskets, making unique wood-flavored pizzas and baking perfect cookies.

Heavy-duty steel ensures the strength and durability of the grill. If you wish to bring it wherever you go, there are two large wheels designed for maximum portability. You also have a total cooking space of 820 squares. The cooking surface is coated with porcelain, and the main grid is made of cast iron.

Whether you are a novice or a master in BBQ, this product is a worthwhile companion. It is super user-friendly. Huge cooking space is a feature that customers have given rave reviews besides, of course, the incredible consistency of delightful flavors.

Pros:

  • check
    Natural BBQ wood pellets
  • check
    Dial-in easy temperature control for stable heat
  • check
    Fan forced convection cooking does not require a rotisserie
  • check
    Flame broiler for direct searing
  • check
    Durability and portability
  • check
    820 sq. cooking space for 2 large chickens and more items at once

Cons:

  • exclamation-triangle
    The grill requires more pellets than other products.
  • exclamation-triangle
    Grease can make it hard to open the lid covering flame broiler after first use.

7. Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

You do not like using the charcoal grills or gas grills, but you love the wood flavor from the foods, do you? Well, the Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 can be one of the suitable options for you because it provides a natural wood-fired taste that is unmistakable.

This is a versatile grill. Everything is clear when looking at its name. Not it is only used for grilling, but you can also barbecue, braise, roast, bake, or smoke your favorite foods without worrying about lacking the moisture and juiciness.

The Traeger Grills Tailgater is also portable. The product dimensions are 23 x 21 x 21 inches. Correspondingly, it does not take up more your living space. Plus, the weight is approximately 76 pounds, so the movement is not too difficult whether you are not strong enough.

If the charcoal models make the users difficult to light, the Traeger grill is an entirely opposite. The manufacturer is very precise when designing an auto on/off switch. It will be ready to run only with your push.

Continuously, there is the integrated digital controller. I especially like this feature because it is easy to set the temperature. You can keep the temperatures from -200 – +200F.

With the grilling space, this grill is probably the smallest size in my list ~ 300 square inches. But, it does not mean that you will not have more space to cook. In particular, you can cook chickens (2), ribs (3 racks), burgers (12),…

That’s why the Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 is ideal for camping or cooking at home. Those who are living in a not-large space can also consider it for their shopping list. Because of the foldable legs, the storage is quite easy.

Pros:

  • check
    It has worked pretty well
  • check
    Don’t require much seasoning
  • check
    Easy to assemble
  • check
    The quality of the component is first-rate
  • check
    The unit is small enough to take for camping, tailgating and beach parties

Cons:

  • exclamation-triangle
    There is so much ash when smoking more 9 hours
  • exclamation-triangle
    The warranty does not include labor

If you are looking for products of Traeger Renegade Elite, please take a look at the comparison table below or read our full review!

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:


Working Principle of Pellet Smokers

Via: beavervalleysupply.com

If you are living in an area where smoking is common, then you might need to familiarize yourself with how pellet smokers work so you don't mess it up if you purchase one. In a nutshell, pellet smokers use pellets-squashed sawdust and wood chippings to produce heat that is responsible for smoking your favorite ribs, chicken, beef and turkey.

These pellets are fed into the burning pot by means of an automatic electric auger mechanism. The auger, an elongated screw, is responsible for the delivery of pellets into the chimney depending on the thermostat's preset speeds.

After delivering the wood chips into the unit, the chimney is lit and the pellets burn up to produce the necessary heat for cooking. Then, by convection, the steady heat ensures that a continued supply of warm air is maintained.

In addition, a pellet smoker has an inbuilt heat exchanger that splits the smoke exhaust from the hot air, warming the surrounding without having to smoke everything around it.

Things to Keep in Mind before Purchasing Pellet Smokers

One thing you might not have known as far as pellet smokers are concerned is that they've two major concerns: taste and amount of fuel consumed. As stated above, these units produce very strong smoky flavors, regardless of the type of pellet is used.

Nevertheless, a number of brands with distinct flavors are now available on the market. Overall, pellet smokers are best when it comes to slow-cooking, since they burn longer than conventional smokers.

A Pellet smoker is one of the most reliable, versatile, and efficient pieces of smoking equipment you can ever own. Fueled using one-hundred percent wood pellets, a typical smoker unit can be used in smoke-cooking, baking, and even roasting. Slow-cooking your ribs, pulled pork, and chicken can be done on a pellet unit.

They usually produce some of the most succulent foods, no wonder most competitions are won by foods cooked on pellet smokers. Think how your hamburger will taste if you use this type of cooking!

Using sophisticated design and smart technology, pellet smokers will remove your barbecuing mess and worries, and give you the opportunity to have the best meat and have fun with your friends at the same time.

Therefore, if you've settled for a pellet smoker for your cooking needs, you'll have to learn how to buy the best.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Cooking on a pellet smoker can be very beneficial. You'll love their versatility. You can smoke, bake or even barbecue using pellet units, because they have additional features that are rare in other smoker models.

Source: instagram.com

You can also use then to cook a variety of foods: crispy chicken, turkey, and braised ribs. The following advantages will help you make an informed decision.

Advantages:

Versatility

Pellet smokers come with a grill. This means that you can do your barbecuing, smoking, roasting, grilling, as well as baking or braising using a single pellet unit. Most home chefs have used them to cook everything: crunchy chicken wings, turkey, braised ribs and smoked beef.

Temperature Control

A number of pellet smokers are specially designed in such a way that you can automatically control the temperatures in uniform increments, therefore enabling you to have complete control over your smoker's cooking temperature.

An inbuilt thermostat located in the unit's cooking chimney precisely relays signals to the control unit, which in turn regulates the delivery of pellets.

Even Cooking

Uniform cooking can only be achieved by carefully regulating your smoking temperature. And this is one area in which pellet smokers don't disappoint. In addition, they work in almost the same way as convection ovens.

You can comfortably load the cooking chamber without having to fear uneven cooking. This will ensure that you get the best out of your cooker and your food is tender, sweet and flavorful.

Diversified Flavors

Pellets can give you a range of flavors: hickory, the famous alder flavor, that special apple flavor, the great mesquite maple flavor, the little-known bourbon flavor, and the unique pecan flavor. You are at liberty to mix or change them in a matter of minutes.

A few pounds can provide several cooks, although the overall usage is dependent on the weather conditions as well as the temperature setting. In ordinary conditions, a typical unit will need a half two pounds of pellets in one hour to effectively produce the best smoking flame.

With pellet smokers, you will never overcook or undercook your meat. They produce a subtler flavor. These units come in different sizes. If you have a smaller space, you can choose a small one. Equally, if you intend to throw a relatively large party for your friends, it is wise to buy a larger unit.

Remember, you can get additional smoke flavors by positioning your wood chunks or wood chippings directly on your unit’s diffusing plate.

Disadvantages

Relatively Expensive

Pellet smokers are more expensive when compared to conventional smokers, and they usually retail from around $300 to $2000. Compare different models on the market to make a wise decision. Remember: do not base your decision on price alone.

Little Smoke Production

Pellet smokers are known to produce very high cooking temperatures. And, the higher the temperature the lower the amount of smoke generated. A nice smoking flavor can be obtained at 250 degrees of cooking temperature, on average.

Things to Look for in Pellet Smokers

Choosing the right smoker for your outdoor and indoor cooking can be tricky. Don't be deceived by the outward look and end up buying an inefficient pellet smoker. 

The best smoker is all about quality, usability, durability and space. Therefore, grab the following beneficial tips and you’ll be good to go!

Price

Budget should be your number one factor to consider when shopping around for a good smoker unit. These modern smoker units come in different sizes and types of accessories.

If you can afford to spend considerable amounts of money, then going for a unit with loads of bells, and whistles aren't a bad idea either! But if you fall in the "average class", you're better-off going for a fairly priced unit that can effectively serve your cooking needs.

Availability of the Pellet 

Depending your place of residence, you might require loads of pellets, and this can prove difficult in some areas where pellets are scarce. The most convenient way to purchase pellets is by purchasing them in bulk, or ordering them via the Internet. 

It's therefore important to ensure that you have enough pellets for your cooking. Otherwise, you will have a poorly cooked meat.

Space Concerns

Pellet smokers are normally larger than conventional smokers, so if you have limited cooking space for your unit, it can be very tricky. Always make sure that you familiarize yourself with your smoker's size and weight. This will give you a rough idea of the mobility of the equipment. If you will want to regularly move your unit around, you're better off with a small-sized movable unit.

Conversely, if you prefer stationing your smoker at a specific spot, then buying a large-sized unit would be wise.

Quality and Durability

Quality influences durability. If you purchase a robust unit, it will serve you for a long time. Therefore, ensure that you settle for a reliable unit. Otherwise, you'll be overwhelmed with costs associated with your unit’s maintenance.

It is vital that you purchase a unit from a reputable company. Doing this, you are more likely to have a quality smoker that will last for years to come.

Read More:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*