The 12 Best Pellet Smoker Grill to Buy in 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.

12 Best Pellet Smoker/Grill Reviews

Pellet Smokers

Cooking Area

Hopper Capacity

Our Rating

Price

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett

219 sq. in

9 lb

Camp Chef PG24

429 sq. in

18 lb

REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill

702 sq. in

40 lb

Pit Boss 71700FB

700 sq. in

18 lb

Traeger BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU

292 sq. in

10 lb

Pit Boss 71820FB

820 sq. in

18 lb

Traeger Tailgater 20

300 sq. in

8 lb

Camp Chef Woodwind

570 sq. in

N/A

Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill

513 sq. in

20 lb

Z-grills Wood Pellet BBQ Grill

513 sq. in

20 lb

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX

570 sq. in

N/A

Pit Boss Grills 440

440 sq. in

10 lb

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett

Cooking Area

219 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

9 lbs

​Camp Chef PG24

Cooking Area

429 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

18 lbs

​REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill

Cooking Area

​702 sq. in


Hopper Capacity

​40 lbs


​Pit Boss 71700FB

Cooking Area

700 sq. in


Hopper Capacity

​18 lbs



​Traeger BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU

Cooking Area

​292 sq. in



Hopper Capacity

​10 lbs




Pit Boss 71820FB

Cooking Area 

820 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

18 lb

Traeger Tailgater 20

Cooking Area 

300 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

8 lb

​Camp Chef Woodwind

Cooking Area 

570 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

N/A

​Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill

Cooking Area 

513 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

20 lb

​Z-grills Wood Pellet BBQ Grill

Cooking Area 

513 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

20 lb

​Camp Chef SmokePro DLX

Cooking Area 

570 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

N/A

​Pit Boss Grills 440

Cooking Area 

440 sq. in

Hopper Capacity

10 lb

1. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – WIFI enabled

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – WIFI enabled

297 Reviews

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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:

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

Cons:

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    Difficult portability
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    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:

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    Easy maintenance
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    Accurate temperature control
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    Comprehensive features
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    Excellent smoking
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    Good packaging

Cons:

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    Need regular cleaning
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    Not so good at searing

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

REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill - Featuring Smart Grill Technology

373 Reviews

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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:

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

Cons:

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    Unsteady temperature
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    Uneasy to dismantle and assemble

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

Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill, 700 sq. in.

150 Reviews

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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:

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

Cons:

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    Poor packaging has been reported.
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    Temperature calibration may not be clear. 

5. Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill

Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill

159 Reviews

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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:

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

Cons:

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    Pellet-consuming
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    Slow temperature increase

6. Pit Boss 71820FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler

Pit Boss 71820FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler, 820 sq. in.

55 Reviews

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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:

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

Cons:

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    The grill requires more pellets than other products.
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    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

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker - Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise, and BBQ (Blue)

141 Reviews

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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:

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

Cons:

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

If you are looking for products of Traeger Renegade Elite, please read our review!

8. Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box 

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box - Smart Smoke Technology - Ash Cleanout System

65 Reviews

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Are you looking for a smart pellet smoker? Or simply, you love the technological appliance, right? Well, it is difficult to ignore the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill – a cooking tool with a clever smoke technology.

Exactly, thanks to the temperature control with the digital design and the automatic system when you do not have to add the pellets, you can easily maintain the optimal heat and smoke. After setting, it will do itself – no babysitting.

Of course, the versatility does not likely lack. Not only the ability to grill and smoke are perfect, but you can still use it for other needs such as braising, roasting, baking or barbecuing. Then, it has to mention to the taste – a natural wood-fired flavor.

To get that great taste, the temperature contributes no less. With the huge temp range ~ 160 degrees F – 500 degrees F, it allows you to comfortably cook the favorite foods.

Another advantage of cooking with this grill is the large cooking surface ~ 570.sq.in. It is quite ideal for the families with many members. Furthermore, don’t make you difficult to grill many steaks or the whole chickens.

Finally, you will not also need to worry about cleaning. The convenient ash clean-out system helps you not to take more time to clean it. If you do not feel expensive, the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill is really a good sufficient option.

Pros:

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    Set up is easy
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    No hassle
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    Both the ash cup and pellet dump parts work well
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    Possibly cook different meats
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    Easy to monitor the temperatures
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    Cook with real smoke flavors

Cons:

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    The quality of materials is not too great
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    There is a bit of noise

9. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker 

Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker with Patio Cover,700 Cooking Area 7 in 1- Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise and BBQ with Electric Digital Controls for Outdoor (Grill Cover included)

72 Reviews

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There are the pellet smokers that are both the quality and the good warranty, aren’t there? Yes, you can try considering the Z Grills 7-in-1. It likely brings the more-expected things, owing to its dominant features.

This is the first feature I want to share with you – the advanced smoke technology. After setting it, you do not need to babysit in order to observe the later process. The system will automatically feed the pellets to make sure that the temperature is maintained within 1800F – 4500F.

The next is the big hopper capacity. The area total is 700.sq.in – 513 square inches of the cooking area and 187 square inches of the warm rack. Correspondingly, you do not meet any difficult to cook a large number of foods.

And then, to cook the different foods, you will need a variety of the cooking methods. The Z Grills 7-in-1 is an 8-in-1 model, so it allows you to roast, barbecue, bake, sear, smoke, or braise, aside from grilling.

Furthermore, the manufacturer does not forget to provide the natural flavor when coming with the pure hardwood pellets to create the smoke and heat. It ensures that your dishes are delicious and healthy.

In a nutshell, this is an ideal grill for anyone, who is finding a quality outdoor cooking model. With any problems originated, you will give the money back because the maker offers a 3-year warranty.

Pros:

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    Solid and heavy grill
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    Cabinet with the locking caster wheels
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    The instruction is easy to follow
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    Easy to control the temperature
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    Easy to assemble
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    Smoke effectively

Cons:

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    Due to the large size, the storage seems difficult

10. Z-grills Wood Pellet BBQ Grill and Smoker with Digital Temperature Controls

Z Grills ZPG-7002 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Control, 700 sq inch Cooking Area, Black

38 Reviews

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Who says the wood pellet grills that are not as convenient as the propane or gas models? That thought is wrong. Looking at the Z-grills Wood Pellet BBQ Grill, you will change the outlook on them.

If the versatility and flexibility are the main factors to decide a good grill, the Z-grills Wood Pellet BBQ Grill will not make you disappointed. Aside from the versatile temperature – 180-450 degrees F, the users are provided a myriad of the different cooking method, including, smoking, Searing, Grilling, Braising, Baking, Roasting, or Barbecuing.

Continuously, let’s look at its name. With the digital temp controls, you will save no less your effort. Don’t have to manually add the pellets. The system will do itself.

At once, the model is built in the convection heat technology, so the foods are cooked in an even way. It combines with the various flavor of the wood pellets that contributes to bringing the fine smoky taste. In particular, there are hickory, mesquite, or oak.

The model is quite beneficial when minimizing your cleaning task. The stainless steel material is durable, nice, and easy to clean after each use. Plus the waste oil collector made from the standard iron, it is both safe and helpful for cleaning.

Honestly, the Z-grills Wood Pellet BBQ Grill is good enough to get a wonderful outdoor party. The capacity is large – 20 lbs of hopper capacity while the weight is only 140 pounds. So, it is also suitable for those who are not too strong.

Pros:

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    Easy to place the parts together
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    The usage is not difficult
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    Set up the temperature easily
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    Provide the natural flavor
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    The reasonable price
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    Even heat
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    Cool down

Cons:

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    The heat controller is not actually effective
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    The wire access hole is too close

11. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Wood Pellet Outdoor BBQ Grill and Smoker

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Wood Pellet Outdoor BBQ Grill and Smoker, Bronze | PG24B

46 Reviews

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Gathering the optimal features that a pellet smoker should have makes the Camp Chef SmokePro PG24B become one of the reliable options for most consumers. Particular, there are…

The model has owned a large hopper capacity ~ 127 lbs so that you can have a large cooking surface. Yes, with 19.5 x 22 inches of the area-grilling dimensions and 6 x 24 inches of the warming rack, they show that the cooking space is not small. It will persuade anymore when the number of the total area is approximately 570 square inches.

You do not take more time to start, owing to the auto-start ignition operated with the electronic design. In that way, you can quickly start it quickly and at whenever.

While cooking, you can know the cooking temperature in an exact manner based on the dual LED display that shows the internal temperature. In addition to that, there has the temp selection system in order that you do not meet difficult to maintain the desired heat.

Similar to others, this pellet smoker also involves the automatic system to dispense the pellets without needing your intervention. Beyond that, the model also offers an exclusive ash clean-out system, which helps to simplify your cleaning task, instead of vacuuming the ash after each use.

As previously stated, you can be going to change your thought after knowing all features of it. How? Do you think that it is worth to purchase?

Pros:

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    Very easy to utilize
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    Offer great tasting food
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    The size is ideal enough
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    Well built
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    Easy to clean

Cons:

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    The temperature gauge is a bit finicky
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    Take more one hour to assemble

12. Pit Boss Grills 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill

Pit Boss Grills 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill

112 Reviews

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The combination of two colors – black and copper make a nice appearance. It can say that the Pit Boss Grills 440-Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill is a suitable option for someone, who loves a nice thing.

Yes, it not only has the beautiful look but also a variety of the functions. You just need to pay one that you can receive one more. Apart from grilling, you can still roast, bake, barbecue, sear, braise, smoke, or char-grill. Like that, you likely do the different recipes as desired.

During the cooking process, you can monitor the cooking temperature through the LED display of the dual digital control. Accordingly, you can know the precise temp of the foods. Averagely, the temperature can range 170 – 600 degrees F. It is very ideal, isn’t it?

Additionally, using the pure hardwood pellets are safer than using propane and gas. Importantly, it contributes to bringing the 100% natural smoky flavor to your foods without including the chemicals.

Don’t stop! This model has the auto-start system and the ability to cool down, so it is safe when using, especially if you have little kids or pets.

The product is very durable because of being built up the heavy-duty 16 gauge steel while the cooking surface is made from the cast iron. It allows you to use for a long time if you maintain it properly.

Finally at last, if chosen to use the Pit Boss Grills 440-Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill, you will still get the series of the accessories such as the side shelf, bottle opener, serving tray, and solid bottom shelf.

Pros:

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    Less expensive
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    Produce great tasting food
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    Easy to operate
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    Really heavy-duty construction
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    Large wheels for moving
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    Various electronic control

Cons:

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    Create a cloud of smoke when cooking at the low temperature
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    Difficult to maintain desired cooking temperatures

Top 10 Products Bought Together With Pellet Smokers

The introduction of pellet smokers into the market by manufacturers was and has always been seen as a game changer to various users. They often come in different designs, which is packaged with different features. However, there are various products that enhance the work of the pellet smokers and therefore, need to be bought alongside it. Here is a list:

1. Firepots

A firepot is where cold air is actually converted to hot/warm air. This is the most important piece of a pellet smoker because it is where heat is created so as to be able to smoke your meat. However, because an extreme change in temperature can cause a lot of wear and tear, your firepot needs to be replaced regularly.

Make sure to regularly clean your firepots so that air circulation is maximized. This will prevent soot from building up and ruining your meat. As usual, we do not want our meat to be covered in soot, when all we want for ourselves is some good steak.

2. Drip Pans

Drip pans catch all of the juices that fall off your meat during the smoking process. This eases the cleaning process by not having to scrape the dried juice off your brand new pellet smoker. However, the primary purpose is to keep the juice off the flame, which could cause flare-ups that could burn your meat or be hazardous.

As an added bonus in your cooking ventures, you can keep the collected juices for use in sauces or a stock.

Expert tip: To reduce the heat and regulate the temperature in your smoker, you can add water to your drip pan. The heat from the fire below will be absorbed by the water.

3. Heat Shields

It has long been debated on whether heat shields are entirely necessary or not. However, most agree that they are necessary to increase the lifespan of your burner and for safety reasons.

Heat shields protect your burner from meat drippings that can cause damage to the metal. They also prevent fires when cooking on a flammable foundation such as a wood deck.

These are becoming more popular than the alternative rock grates because bacteria do not stick with them, they are lighter, and they are easier to replace.

4. Rock Grates

Rock grates are placed directly above the burner with the same purpose as heat shields, to protect the burner from juice dripping from the meat. On these grates, the cook will place lava rock or ceramic briquettes, which protects the burner. While it does this, it also distributes the heat throughout the smoker, more evenly.

Whether you choose rock grates or a heat shield, it is entirely up to your preference.

5. Cooking Grates

Cooking grates are what you place the meat on to be cooked. The most crucial component in buying cooking grates is to make sure that they are heavy duty. The best thing about a smoker is that it can cook large pieces of meat all at one time. That’s a lot of weight to put on a grate shelf. Meaning you need to find cooking grates that can handle the job.

They must also be stainless steel, along with most of your other accessories in order to handle the heat. Some smokers already come with cooking grates, but make sure to check your owner’s manual for size specifications if you intend to purchase cooking grates.

6. Hopper Extensions

Hopper extensions are boxes that hold extra pellets. These boxes are attached to your pellet smoker. They increase the time it takes to burn through your pellets which means you don’t have to keep feeding the smoker more pellets during the cook time. What that means for you is, less time checking the smoker and more sleep.

7. Pellet Savers

Pellet savers work in conjunction with your hopper extension. They are small pieces of steel that fit on the bottom of said extension to force the last few pellets out with every smoking.

When you’re trying to get through a long night of smoking meat, the last thing you want to do is reload an entire pound of pellets back into your smoker when it’s at the tail end of finishing. Sometimes all you need is a few pellets. Pellet savers will save you money by avoiding the addition of more pellets. Scrimp and save.

8. Thermostats And Thermometers

The toughest part about smoking meat is temperature control. During all those hours of loading more pellets and checking on the meat, a lot of factors can alter the temperature. The amount of pellets you add in, the exterior temperature, how long it’s been cooking, etc. That’s why every smoker needs a thermostat to monitor the constantly changing temperature.

Over time, you will come to learn the best ways to increase the temperature or bring it back down. But it takes a thermostat to get to know your smoker better and how it reacts to different circumstances.

Until you are a regular smoke master, you also will require a thermometer for the meat itself. Because temperature changes so quickly and easily within a smoker, it’s difficult to tell when the meat is done, or close to being done.

A small thermometer kept next to your smoker will help with that. The temperature at which different meats are done can be found in a quick Google search. Simply place the thermometer in the meat for a reading, and continue to check until it reads a temperature you are happy with.

9. Meat Hooks

For best results smoking hams, roasts, and sausages, meat hooks are a must. These are perhaps the simplest accessory bought for pellet smokers. All they are is stainless steel hooks that hang inside your smoker. Meat is then hung on them with smoking nets.

The purpose of meat hooks is to make sure the entire meat is smoked consistently on all sides. They are used for larger or whole meats like hams, whereas slices of meat can be laid on the grates.

10. Smoker Cover

A cover for your smoker is a necessity because the weather can take a great toll on how long your smoker lasts and how well it performs. A cover will prevent rain and snow from creating rust that wears down your smoker. Protection from outside heat will also help to keep the paint from chipping.

In a safety sense, it is also a good practice to cover your smoker to prevent any curious children from playing with it.


How Pellet Smokers Work?

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. Learn more details on this article.

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.

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!

Size of the Hopper

This is the first thing you need to consider when finding a pellet smoker. But, to know the accurate size of the hopper, you ought to define the numbers of your members or friends in a meal.

For the large families, it prioritizes to choose the model with the big hopper capacity and vice versa. Of even, with organizing the outdoors parties frequently, you should also select a large hopper since it enables you to cook a great number of the foods.

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.

Warranty

Coming with the affordable, you also need a product with a longer warranty. It would be best to be longer and better. As a whole, the pellet smokers provide the warranty time within 3-5 years.

With the quality-high products, they can have a lifetime warranty for the separate parts. Let’s check this one carefully before giving your decision.

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. Learn more in our guide to the best charcoal smokers.

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. Learn more in our guide to the best electric smokers.

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.

Pellet Grill Problems

Everything has the benefits and the certain problems while using, a pellet grill, too. To avoid the risks to be able to occur, you necessarily know the problems that the pellet grills can have. For example,…

  • Maintain Temperature

Perhaps, this is a common situation for most grills. Even though there has equipped the temp control, it is still hard to maintain the desired temperatures during cooking.

The temperature can be too low or high. It leads to the control that becomes more difficult. Suffering from this problem, this is the grills from Green Mountain, in particular, Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill.

  • Built-in Material

The majority of the pellet grills are made of the stainless steel from the body to the parts. But, in fact, not all they are durable and solid. There are likely due to many objective reasons from you as well as the external factors such as the maintenance, storage, or the hard conditions.

It can rust as the case of the Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill. Some of the others are broken parts after using for a period of time, the Camp Chef GP24DLX, for instance.

  • Ability to Run

When saying to the pellet grills, everyone immediately thinks of its versatility. The users can grill, roast, braise, bake, smoke, char-grill, or barbecue, depending on their recipes. This is an advantage and also a disadvantage.

It is hard to work well all in. Constantly, each of the models just operates in an effective way with a couple of the cooking method mentioned. Take a specific example, there is the Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 that smokes more effectively than grills.

  • Clean

The biggest problem of the pellet grills is to use the hardwood pellets for cooking. It is often difficult to clean if compared to the gas or propane models.

In spite of being equipped the exclusive ash clean-out system in some cases, the hassles of maintaining after each use still have. Even, the pellet grills that do not include this system require cleaning regularly to make sure the longer usage.

How to Clean and 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:

  • check
    Empty the ash into a cup
  • check
    Wipe away all grease spots and food residue
  • check
    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 on 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 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 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 easier, 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.

Final Thought

View from different angles, I love a pellet smoker because it brings the certain benefits during the use process (all are listed above). What about you? Why do you like using a pellet smoker?

If you are owing to the pros of it that looks for the best pellet smoker/grill, the information is really useful for you. Aside from the quality products and what you should consider buying one, you can be based on the problems related to it in order to choose the most suitable model.

How? My article is helpful for you, right? I hope that you can quickly find a right smoker. Happy cooking enjoy!!!

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Last update on 2018-08-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API