Best Pellet Smoker Grills – All Pros And Cons

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best pellet smoker

Finding the best pellet smoker grill 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.

Updated: May, 2024

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 these unbiased pellet grill reviews 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 smoker grill brands as possible as part of my BBQ grill reviews and hope it will help you find your top pellet smoker.

Main Pellet Grill Manufacturers

  • Traeger
  • Rec Teq
  • Camp Chef
  • Green Mountain
  • Z grills
  • Asmoke
  • Weber
  • Broil King
  • Pit Boss
  • Louisiane Grills
  • Bradley
  • Expert Grills
  • Cuisinart
  • Broil King
  • Yoder
  • Big Horn

More companies adding pellet grills to their product line and I will add some more as soon as I find the ones that I can recommend


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 the Traeger pellet grill.

The reason is probably that they are compared to other brands relatively reasonably priced.

The past issues with the digital controller seem to be resolved.

You can have a look at all the Traeger grill reviews here.

These awesome pellet grills have three popular models and I 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.

RecTeq

RecTeq 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.

Although a bit on the expensive side, but great quality.

I did look at the following models for you.

RecTeq Bull review
Recteq Stampede
Recteq rt 700
Recteq Bullseye review
Recently I added a short impression of the new Wyldside, Chuckwagon, and Beast.
You can find them all here on the Recteq 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 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.

Offers several models across different price ranges doing my 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 reliable. Many people love this pellet 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 I review each model separately in my pellet grill reviews, you can find all the Green Mountain grills here!

Z Grills

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

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

Z grills zpg-450a

Z grills 10002b

Z grills 7002b

Z grills L600e

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.

Smoke Hollow

Smoke Hollow pellet grills are made by Masterbuilt and just this name should be enough to show that this is a good brand. I did the Smoke Hollow pellet grill review for you to see if this affordable pellet smoker might be the one you are looking for.

Asmoke

Asmoke makes some of the better portable pellet grills.

I did the Asmoke AS300 portable pellet grill review for you to start.

Late I have added the Asmoke AS350 pellet grill review to compare the 2.

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 have to worry about the price tag, I would probably pick the Recteq 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.

Best Pellet Smoker – 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.

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, I did i 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 themselves 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.

You can also read my pellet grill vs pellet smoker article for more information on the subject.

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 Pellets Last In A Smoker

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

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

Several brands stand out and I had a look at most of them here on this page.

I will keep adding more brands and test them so I can share my personal experience in the reviews.

My experience can help you 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. It also depends on your temperature setting and of course the outside temperature.

What Are Wood Pellets Made And Held Together?

One of the questions I found in my 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 of 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 can read all about that.

New Pellet Smoker 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 identical to the Traeger models. I have seen these model pellet grills even under the Cuisinart name.

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

More Pellet Grill brands

Eddie van Aken looking at pellet grills in the store

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 has gotten so 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, to name a few.

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

Before buying a pellet grill I suggest keeping the following things in mind and I will write about them on the pages of the individual pages.

  1. Pellet Consumption: When choosing a pellet grill, consider the rate of pellet consumption. Some grills may be more efficient and require fewer pellets for the same cooking time.
  2. Maintenance: Ease of cleaning and maintenance can vary among grills. Look for grills that offer easy ash removal and simple maintenance routines.
  3. Temperature Range: If you’re looking to sear steaks, ensure the grill can reach high temperatures, preferably above 500°F.
  4. Build Quality: Look for grills made of high-quality materials like stainless steel which can offer longevity and better resistance to elements.
  5. Features: Modern pellet grills come with a range of features like Wi-Fi connectivity, meat probes, and more. Decide which features are essential for you and choose accordingly.
  6. Customer Support: Brands with strong customer service can make a significant difference, especially if you run into issues or have questions.
  7. Warranty: Check for a good warranty period. This is a sign that the company stands behind its product.

Best Pellet Smokers – My Experience

Although pellet smokers have been around for a while they had a hard time gaining in popularity.

Nowadays I have seen them at some BBQ competitions and a few years ago that was almost a No-No for some competitors.

I have used a few pellet smokers and love the convenience and easy clean-up. However, sometimes I miss the “real” charcoal flavor a little.

I guess that is a trade-off we do for the convenience of using and pellet smoker and the, in general, easy way of cleaning.

You can always add more smoke by adding a smoke tube to the smoker chamber.

So, to answer the question what is the best pellet grill I can only answer that it is the one you decide to buy and learn to use in the best possible way.

You can buy an expensive pellet grill and not know how to use it and cook some average food.

You can buy a more affordable pellet grill and know how to use it and cook some awesome food.

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews he is doing. You can read more on the about page for Eddie van Aken

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