10 Best Pellet Grills – Reviews and Buying Guide
Table of Contents
What is a Pellet Grill?
Having a backyard barbecue is slowly becoming a fad amongst many households, and the intricate nature of preparing certain meals makes the importance of having an effective grill more pronounced. People are beginning to get more and more interested in the use of grills in recent times, and the usage of these grills in the outdoor kitchen island is soaring daily.
There are three types of grills to choose from:
- Pellet Grills
It’s safe to say that each type of grill has its advantages. The gas grill is quite convenient to use, and the charcoal grill gives you more control as you get to decide on the amount of heat you want. However, while the gas grill and the charcoal grill offer so much in terms of quality service, pellet grills provide more.
Pellet grills are a combination of gas grills and charcoal grills in terms of ease of use and control over heat supplied. Pellet grills make use of wood pellets, and these wood pellets tend to enhance the taste of cooking. Furthermore, unlike air fryers, pellet grills are unmatched when it comes to precision with regard to cooking temperature. These grills have digital thermostats that enable the user to enter an exact cooking temperature.
Here are the best pellet grills on the market:
1. Top Pick – Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24
2. Second choice – Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill
3. Best Budget – Z Grills ZPG-6002B Wood Pellet Grill
4. Best Smoking and Grilling – Z Grills ZPG-450A
5. Best Portable – Traeger Tailgater
6. Best High End – Z Grills ZPG 600D Wood Pellet Grill
7. Best for Steaks – Traeger Grills Ranger Portable Wood Pellet
8. Best Freestanding Pellet Grill – Z Grills Wood Pellets Smoker-7002BPro
9. Best Cheap Pellet Smoker – Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood Grill BBQ Grill
10. Best Easy Cleaning – Masterbuilt MB20071117 Electric Smoker
Top Best Pellet Grills
1. Top Pick – Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24
Arguably one of the smartest grills you can use, this equipped is developed with a touch of versatility that enables easy use. It is fully equipped with a WiFi-enabled controller which offers a new grilling experience. This controller allows you to control the operations easily from the Camp Chef App. Thus, you can change the temperature of your steaks, set them to your preferred cooking warmth, set timers and get notified once your meat is cooked. All of these can be done from your palm with no stress involved.
It also has an ash cleanout system which makes it easy to empty ash thus making the cleaning process an easy one. One feature that makes it stand out is its attachment capability which allows persons to add certain utilities to enhance the grilling experience.
2. Second Choice – Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill
This grill operates with electricity as it utilizes a cord as a means of connection. It also offers 6 in 1 versatility which implies that you can grill, bake, braise, roast, BBQ and smoke with the single grill. Thus, you can carry out different activities with it making it a multi-purpose grill.
In addition to this, the grill operates with smart technology which enables you to control the grilling process from anywhere in your home so you can monitor the grilling process effectively. It also allows you to do your cooking by voice if you choose with the Alexa technology. This grill is also very essential for big families as it allows for multiple cooking.
3. Best Budget – Z Grills ZPG-6002B Wood Pellet Grill
When cooking with this grill, you should be cautious as the temperature can get up to 1000°F. You just need to set the control to the maximum and then it changes to searing mode. If you compare it with other grills, it is easy to operate and control as the temperature regulation is fluid and it utilizes digital temperature control.
It is your perfect grill for baking, roasting, braising, smoking, barbeque and grilling thus making cooking an easy process. It is also very easy to clean and can be moved around with its locking caster wheels. This grill supports use by all classes of chefs including beginners and even with its plenty of features, it is quite affordable and gives you a great cooking experience.
4. Best Smoking and Grilling – Z Grills ZPG 450A
If you are in search of the best grill for smoking and grilling, then this grill is just right for you. It has an excellent pellet technology that gives your meat a perfect taste much better than gas or charcoal grilling. It can carry out as many as eight different operations which include baking, smoking, barbeque, roasting, smoking, and char-grilling.
In addition to this, you do not need to constantly watch your meat while cooking as you can just set the grill to your desired temperature, sit back and allow it to cook. For small families and those with little numbers, this is the right grill for them as it is designed to provide for few persons while maintaining premium taste. It is also quite affordable and it is a valuable asset when acquired by families. As it is one of the products of Z Grills, there is an assurance of durability as it is built to last long
5. Best Portable – Traeger Tailgater
One thing that makes this grill special is its portability which means that it can be moved around easily and quickly. Its portability however doesn’t reduce its efficiency as it can be used for more than grilling. This grill can be used to roast, smoke, bake, braise or barbeque. It is one of the most portable grills that Traeger has to its name. Cooking with this grill is also made an easy process as it is fitted with an auto temperature control system thus making regulation less of a problem.
With this grill, you don’t have to be worried when travelling as it can always fit into your car and would be essential when you eventually reach your destination. Its portability is also enhanced with its foldable legs which allows it to be packed compactly.
6. Best High End – Z Grills ZOG-600D Wood Pellet Grill
Outdoor cooking is made easier and more pleasurable with this grill as it supports the cooking of other foods such as pizza, vegetables, fish and even jerky. You can cook any way you wish, whether fast or slow or low depending on the food being cooked. Grilling is not the only function of the grill as it can also be used for baking, smoking, roasting and braising.
It has an advanced cooking system which allows you to get the best taste of your cooked foods. Its smart digital technology makes cooking faster, easier and less stressful. One added advantage is that it has space to store food for a while and some cooking equipment keeping them within reach during the cooking process.
7. Best for Steaks – Traeger Grills Portable Wood Pellet
This cooking equipment surely provides you with the best-cooked steaks as it has a perfect sear technology that gives your meat the best taste possible. It operates at a maximum temperature of 450° F. In addition to this, beginner chefs would enjoy this machine as it has easy to clean grates which are less time-consuming to keep neat.
One advantage of this machine is that it has a cooking timer that notifies you when your steak or egg is cooked. It is your best choice if tasty steaks are a priority for you. Steak lovers often fancy this grill as it affords them the chance to cook their steaks to their desired taste.
8. Best Freestanding Pellet Grill – Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker-7002BPRO
This cooking machine comes with a huge grilling area. It also cooks with a searing technology which takes the temperature as high as 1000°F. You can also utilize the temperature control feature which provides precision and allows food to cook between 180°-450°F.
It also supports cooking for a large number of people and big families as it performs different culinary operations such as baking, roasting, smoking and grilling. However, it is quite cumbersome when movement is involved as it was largely designed to be stationary.
9. Best Cheap Pellet Smoker – Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill
It is unique cooking equipment that allows you to smoke, bake, braise, roast and barbecue. One amazing fact about this device is that it is quite affordable for the wonderful features it offers. It is very ideal for use within homes as it comes with storage spaces. It has a side shelf that is fixed and a front shelf that can be retracted.
This feature is helpful as it can be used to store pieces of steaks for quick consumption and can house cooking utensils for quick reach during the entire process.
10. Best Easy Cleaning Pellet Grill – Masterbuilt MB20071117 Electric Smoker
Most people are often discouraged from using grills. A major reason is that they are often too scared or too tired of cleaning them. For this cooking machine, however, cleaning is not a problem as it utilises digitally controlled electronic smokers to cook. So there is essentially no need for charcoal or propane.
You just simply plug it in, set the controls right and watch your food cook speedily. Amazingly, this cooking equipment is quite affordable and it is an essential household asset. It doesn’t matter the cooking operation we have in mind, we can always carry it out effortlessly with this grill as its digital control features contribute to making this possible. So with this equipment, there is a guarantee of an exciting grilling experience.
How to Choose a Pellet Grill?
Having seen the advantages that pellet grills offer to the user, it’s easy to see why its popularity has spiked recently. However, there’s still a point of concern for most people, and that’s about buying a pellet grill. Since it’s relatively unfamiliar territory, a lot of people find it challenging to choose from a wide array of models.
This article gives a deep insight into what to expect when you set out to buy a pellet grill and what to consider for obtaining the most suitable pellet grill for you.
10 Factors to Consider When Buying A Pellet Grill
#1 Construction Type
If you truly desire to buy a pellet grill that will serve you over a long while, then this point is vital for you. A grill that’s built with quality parts is sure to stand the test of time. Take a look at the sturdiness of the grill you’re about to buy, and you should also lift the lid to know how heavy it is.
Furthermore, when you drop the lid, then you should observe how it lays on the grill- it either covers it conveniently, or it unevenly leaves gaps. You should also check out the joints and welded parts along its ends. The right pellet grill should not have joints that do not fit correctly, as this can be an avenue for heat loss.
#2 Construction Material
When it comes to the durability of a pellet grill, you must take into consideration the construction material. An excellent way to observe this is to check the quality of material used; stainless steel is mostly used. However, it is common to see an inferior pellet made from stainless steel that’s not rust-resistant.
A proper pellet made from stainless steel should be resistant to rust and also very easy to maintain. Like a kamado grill, you should also pay careful attention to the quality of the paint job as a thin coated steel plate is more prone to rust in the long run.
When the right material is used in the construction of a pellet grill, it tends to retain heat better, and this enables it to serve its purpose perfectly. Furthermore, quality materials guarantee efficiency in the grills, and this goes a long way in ensuring that the grill optimizes pellets conveniently.
#3 Temperature Range
A good pellet grill should be able to heat top temperature conveniently. The pellet grill should be ready to serve the purpose of roasting, grilling, baking, and smoking. All of these activities require an average temperature ranging from 1800F to 4250F. It’s even preferable to have a pellet grill that can significantly optimize its temperature range as this broadens the performance level of the grill.
Some pellet grills make it possible to cook over an open flame with indirect heat, like a smoker, and this makes the options of cooking quite wide.
#4 Pellet Grill Controller
One important thing when it comes to grill is the amount of control such grills give the user when it comes to temperature regulation. Consistency in the amount of temperature supplied goes a long way in determining how well the food turns out. Maintaining a constant temperature is largely down to the control board of the pellet grill, which mainly serves as the brain box of the grill. Controllers vary in terms of accuracy, precision, and consistency. It depends on you to buy a grill that has controllers that will serve you best.
You will most likely use the grill on the outdoor, and this essentially means that the grills will function in different kinds of weather. Safe to say that some grills can maintain consistent temperatures in any condition, while others fluctuate when it’s rainy or snowy.
#5 Searing Zone
It’s not always ideal to have your food burnt on your grill every single time you use it. A lot of pellet grills have heat deflectors along with their panels that prevent food from burning.
#6 Size of the Grill
You should prioritize this particular factor when looking for the perfect grill. Pellet grills come in varying shapes and sizes, and you should determine the right one with the amount of space you need. The grill can be as small as a portable model that you can fit into the kitchen or even as big as a large unit which you can permanently station outside.
You must consider the amount of space you have that can conveniently accommodate the pellet grill as well as the size of your family. An average size family can do with a medium-size grill while a couple can do with a smaller version. Furthermore, bigger families and those that usually entertain guests can work with larger pellet grills that will serve them well.
#7 Ease of Maintenance
You’ll always want to get a perfect pellet grill that will never break down at one point or the other. You must get a grill that can easily be serviced when the need arises. Also, it’s good if you can install the grill without the need for a professional. It’s also essential that you buy a grill that fits the kind of environment you live in. A grill with a glass lid might not be particularly suited to an environment with lots of kids.
It should also be easy to clean when there are spills from the food you cook with it.
#8 Hopper Size
The hopper size of the pellet grill plays an essential role in determining the efficiency of the grill. It determines how many pellets the grill can hold at once, and this goes a long way in helping you know the refill time. A big hopper size simply means the grill can cook for longer periods while a small hopper size makes it impossible for a long duration of cooking.
Apart from that, you should also note that colder climates will require you to use more fuel to maintain the temperature. You can also buy a hopper extension for the grill.
#9 Smoking Ability
Smoking of food can be pretty convenient on a pellet grill if the grill is capable enough. Unlike charcoal grills and gas grills where you have to regulate the smoke continuously, the pellet grill only needs you to fill the hopper with pellet and then dial in your preferred temperature.
#10 Specifications and Features
Pellet grills have varying capabilities, and as more and more models are being made, the competition is leading to more groundbreaking innovations. You should thoroughly study the features and capacity of whichever grill you intend to buy to know if it’ll suit the purpose for which you intend to buy it. Some popular features include;
- Direct grilling option
- Secondary cooking racks
- WiFi capability
- Programmable capability
- Control boards with meat probe input
Wrapping It Up
Pellet grills are a very important part of outdoor cooking that can not be undervalued. It is, therefore, necessary to choose the right grills to give us a premium cooking experience and still maintain the taste of our foods. While making our choice of cooking machine, it is also important to take into consideration our budget and financial capacity. Other things to look out for include durability, temperature control feature and digital assistance.
Our overall pellet grill well suitable for outdoor cooking is Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24, one of the best of its kind.
For individuals that might find this one too expensive, the Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill is just the right choice for them.
Pellet grills are an essential item for every home, and it’s important to reiterate that their importance in making delicious barbecues and grills cannot be overemphasized. After all that has been said and done, the final choice of pellet grill that will best suit the purpose lies with you. Pay attention to your budget and do all of the necessary market research to know which pellet grill is ideal for you.
Furthermore, besides the pellet grill’s price, you must consider all of the factors listed above with special attention to the quality of the pellet grill and the amount of space you have. It’ll be awkward to have a pellet grill boxed up within your room simply because there isn’t enough space to set it up. In addition, the quality of the grill greatly dictates the durability and efficiency of the grill, and this should be top of your priority list.