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pellet grill reviews

Doing pellet grill reviews is not easy I found out. The opinions are still very divided. Some people love them and use them every day and others hate them and would never buy one again.

I have not made up my mind for the full hundred percent but I am getting more and more impressed after doing some pellet grill reviews with how easy they are to use and how the outcome of your cooking is very consistent.

I hope this pellet grill review will help me make up my, and many other people’s minds, in deciding on what is the best pellet smoker for the best price.

I will try to review as many pellet grill brands as possible as part of my outdoor grill reviews.

Main pellet grill manufacturers

  • Traeger
  • Rec Tec
  • Camp Chef
  • Green Mountain
  • Z grills
  • Pit Boss
  • Louisiana Grills
  • Bradley
  • Expert grills

Let’s dive a little deeper into this pellet smoker review and have a look at the brands I believe are worth looking at.

Traeger

I have to be honest and say that the most looked at name in my pellet grill reviews research is for is the Traeger pellet grill. The reason is probably that they are compared to other brands relatively reasonably priced.
You can have a look at all the Traeger grill reviews here.

These awesome pellet grills have three popular models and we reviewed them on their separate pages. You can find the links to these 3 also there on that page.

In the past, there were some problems with the digital controller but these are solved as far as I know.

Rec Tec

Rec Tec pellet grill

Some people call this the Rolls Royce under the pellet grills in the pellet grill reviews I did. After doing my reviews I have to admit that I am very impressed with this pellet grill that also works great as a grill. I did look at the following models for you.

Rec Tec Bull review
Rec Tec Stampede
Rec Tec Trailblazer reviews
Rec Tec Bullseye review
Recently I added a short impression of the new Wyldside, Chuckwagon, and Beast.
You can find them all here on the Rec Tec grill reviews page.

After reading about these Rec Tec pellet grills I could not find a lot of negative reviews except maybe the price tag of this smoker. But like I have mentioned many times, you get what you pay for in most cases.

Camp Chef

Camp Chef has a nice range of pellet grills and smokers in several price ranges. Here is an overview of all Camp Chef pellet grill reviews I did.

There are several popular models we found doing our pellet smoker reviews and a few of them are reviewed are:

With or without the Sear box and the Sidekick.

Pit Boss

The Pit boss pellet grill is very popular and many people love this smoker. I am working on the reviews of the many available models. However, if you like to see the price you can click on the following link.

You can also read my Pit Boss pellet grill reviews on their own page.

Pit Boss Grills and Accessories Specials

Louisiana Grills

If there is one brand I can’t leave out here it is this one. I started on Louisiana Grills reviews and still have a lot to do to finish all of them.

If you like you can see all models here on their website.

Green Mountain

Green Mountain pellet grills

Green Mountain has a few nice models in their pellet grill category.

  • Green Mountain Davy Crockett
  • Green Mountain Jim Bowie
  • Green Mountain Daniel Boone

Until we review each model separately in our pellet grill reviews, you can find all the Green Mountain grills here!

Z Grills

Z Grills is maybe not on one of the most known pellet grill brands we found out in our pellet smoker reviews, but the ratings surprised me.
There are a few models we will have and had a good look at.

You can find all the  Z-Grills reviews here.
Like I mentioned in these short pellet smoker reviews, we will look at all models on their own page.

Bradley

bradley 6 rack smoker stove

I am still not sure if I will spend time on a Bradley pellet grill review. I have looked at them and found between 12 and 20% of the people gave it a rating that was not that great.

I basically don’t waste my and your time on pellet grill reviews or any other review under an average of 4 stars unless I have formed a different opinion.
You can have a look at all the Bradley smokers on amazon here if you like.

Expert pellet grills

I know that many people have doubts about these grills from Walmart. However, in my expert grill reviews, I found that they have 3 models of pellet grills.

The Concord, Atlas, and Commodore pellet grills are worth having a look at.

Best pellet smoker grill for the money

Answering the question of what is the best pellet smoker for the money is like talking about cars. Everyone has his or her preference.

My personal opinion is that one of the Traeger pellet grills offers a nice bang for your buck. If I could choose, and did not had to worry about the price tag, I would probably pick the Rec Tec pellet smoker, but I am sure that in the comments sooner or later someone will have a different opinion.

I read somewhere that the Z-grills are made in the same factory as the Traegers and the reason is that they wanted to sell their own grills and in that way probably make more money,

I will continue to do pellet barbecue grill reviews here and add them to this page.

Pellet grill reviews – frequently asked questions and answers

There is a lot to tell about pellet smokers and grills and I try to answer a lot of the questions I found and had myself here in the pellet smoker reviews

I found that the wood pellets that are used in the pellet smokers, do not have any glue to hold them together and this was a concern I had. I use a chimney starter for my charcoal because I do not like the Lighter fluid. A great alternative is an electric charcoal starter.

The high pressure used to manufacture the pellets makes the natural lignin work as glue.

There are opinions about wood pellets being healthier than regular charcoal. The reason is that smoking has less charred meat and this is considered a carcinogen according to the national cancer institute. In the electric pellet smoker reviews we did we found that a lot of people share that opinion.

Smoking on a pellet grill

Smoking on what some people call self-feeding pellet smokers is pretty straightforward. You add the pellets to the hopper and turn the thing on.

The cycle most of the time starts with lighting the pellets with a heating element and after that, they keep them-self burning. You can almost compare it with using a smoke tube to add smoke to a BBQ or smoker. I guess this also answers the question that I have read are pellet grills good for smoking?

Grilling on a pellet grill

I have read different opinions about using this type of pellet smoker for grilling. It seems that it is not easy to reach the high temperature you need for grilling on a pellet smoker.

I like high searing temperatures and some pellet grills can only get up to 450 Fahrenheit.

Because the meat is not directly over the fire it is more like using a very hot oven. Some brands, like Rec Tec, offer a sear insert for their products to help with this.

More brands are starting to see this problem and add searing options to their models.

How do wood pellet smokers work?

Although there are differences between brands the basics of how a pellet grill works is this:

  • Fill the hopper with pellets

Depending on the hopper size and how long you will smoke you can add the number of pellets you need.

  • Set the desired temperature

This can be a temperature button or a low/medium/high setting depending on the brand, or a more exact controller.

  • Press the start button

This will light the burn pot and start the pellets to burn. After this, the pellets will keep themselves going.

  • Add your meat to the smoker and watch the time

Now the auger will keep feeding pellets to the fire pot and maintain the right temperature for you.

Do pellet smokers use a lot of electricity?

When the pellet smoker starts it will use electricity to heat up the element in the firepot. After the pellets are burning it will shut this off.

The only component that keeps using a small amount of electricity after that is the auger that feeds the pellets into the fire-pot and the controller that keeps the smoker at the right temperature.

How long does a bag of pellet last in a smoker

It is hard to answer the question of how many pellets it takes to smoke. Since it all depends on how high you have set the temperature and even the outside temperature has an effect on this.

Most people smoke at a low temperature like 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. I think it is safe to say that the average pellet smoker uses between 1 to 3 Lbs pellets per hour.

Which pellet grill is the best?

It is impossible to answer this question because there are too many opinions out there. It is like answering the question of what is the best car?

There are several brands that stand out and we had a look at most of them here on this page. We will keep adding more brands and reviews so you can find the best pellet grill for your family and the type of smoking and grilling.

How long does it take a pellet grill to heat up?

Depending on the brand it will take about 5 to 10 minutes after you turn it on. Depending on your temperature setting and of course the outside temperature.

What are wood pellets made and held together?

One of the questions we found in our pellet smoker review is how are wood pellets held together. I thought they had to add some type of glue but this is not the case.
The pellets are most to the time made of materials like:

  • Sawdust
  • Wood chips
  • lumber mill scraps
  • full trees

All these materials are chipped into small pieces. After drying these parts at the desired dryness they go to the pellet mill and are, under high pressure, formed into the pellets you and I buy. The natural lignin keeps them together. This means that they do not contain any glue.

A pellet smoker or grill is only for use outdoors and you can read more outdoor grill reviews here if you feel that a pellet smoker is not for you. For a regular smoker, you need wood chips for smoking and you here can read all about that.

New Trends and updates

I think that there will be more companies jumping on the pellet grills and smoker bandwagon.

It is my personal opinion and looking at, and comparing, many models that there are a few Chinese manufacturers that build pellet grills for several companies, and all they do is change out the logo or the lid.

I looked at the Z-grills and they look almost identically to the Traeger models. I have seen this model pellet grills even under the Cuisinart name.

These new brands will give us the opportunity to find pellet grills at more affordable prices but we also have to watch things like customer service and reliability.

More pellet grill brands

I am working on a few more brands and models for these pellet grill reviews. The reason for that is that the technology in the pellet grills is getting soo much better in the last few years. From better controllers to even the options to use your phone to keep an eye on them and change the settings by using WiFi, just to name a few.

So, come back to my pellet grill reviews and see what is new there.

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has run his own full-service restaurant for many years. Before that, he worked as a grill and buffet cook in some of the mainstream restaurants. With his experience using professional kitchen equipment, he is able to write expert reviews. You can read more about Eddie van Aken here.

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