Pellet Smoker Reviews

pellet smoker reviews
Doing pellet smoker 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 am getting more and more impressed after doing some pellet smoker reviews with how easy they are to use and how the outcome of you cooking is very consistent.

I hope you can help me make up my, and many other peoples mind, in deciding on a what is the best pellet smoker for the best price.

I will try to review as many pellet smoker brands as possible.
Here is a list of what I think are the main pellet grill manufacturers.
1. Traeger
2. Rec Tec
3. Camp Chef
4. Green Mountain
5. Z Grill
6. Bradley
7. Best pellet smoker
8. FAQ pellet smokers


(Back to Top)
I have to be honest and say that the most looked brand in my pellet smoker reviews research is for is the Traeger pellet smoker. Reason is probably that they are compared to other brands relatively reasonable priced.
You can have a look at all the Traeger wood pellet smoker 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 here 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

(Back to Top)
Rec Tec grillSome people call this the Rolls Royce under the pellet smokers in the pellet smoker reviews I did. After doing my I have to admit that I am very impressed with this pellet smoker that also works great as a grill. I did look at the following models for you.

Better Grills Rating: 4.9

Rec Tec Bull review
Rec Tec Stampede
Rec Tec Trailblazer
Rec Tec Bullseye review
Recently I added a short impression of the new Wyldside, Chuckwagon and Beast.
You can find the 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

(Back to Top)
Camp Chef has a nice range of pellet grills and smokers in several price ranges.
There are several popular models we found doing our pellet smoker reviews and a few of them e reviewed are:
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX
Camp Chef SmokePro XT
Camp Chef Woodwind review
With or without the Sear box and the Sidekick.
I have some more on my list, but these are the most popular three models.

Green Mountain

(Back to Top)
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 separate in our pellet smoker reviews, you can find all the Green Mountain grills here!

Z Grill

(Back to Top)
z grills pellet smoker
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 our Z-Grill reviews here.
Like I mentioned in these short pellet smoker reviews, we will look at all models on their own page.


(Back to Top)
bradley 6 rack smoker stoveI am still not sure if I will spend time on a Bradley smoker review. I have looked at them an found between a 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 smoker 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.

Best pellet smoker grill for the money

(Back to Top)
Answering the question 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 offer 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 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 smoker reviews – frequently asked questions and answers

(Back to Top)
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 to work as a glue.

There are opinions about wood pellets being healthier than regular charcoal. 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 a what some people call self feeding pellet smoker is pretty straight forward. You add the pellets to the hopper and turn the thing on.
The cycle most of the time start 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 a high searing temperature and some pellet grill can only get up to 450 Fahrenheit.

Because the meat is not direct 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.

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 amount 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 you 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 fire pot. 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 on the right temperature.

How long does a bag of pellet last in a smoker

This a hard to answer question how many pellets it takes to smoke since it depends on how high you have set the temperature and even outside temperature. Most people smoke on 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 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 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:

  • Saw dust
  • Wood chips
  • lumber mill scraps
  • full trees

All these materials are chipped into small pieces. After drying these parts at a 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 in the pellet grills and smokers band wagon.

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 it 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 grills at more affordable prices but we also have to watch things like customer service and reliability.

Eddie Vandam


Leave a Reply

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