It’s so easy to clean as well, the internal light can actually be removed and washed in water, and a lot of people recommend putting foil into the drip pan, so cleanup there is as easy as swapping over a piece of foil.
The main advantage is versatility. They combine convenience, simplicity and also control of temperature and cooking. For a single price you get a grill and a smoker. People make a wrong assumption that pellet grills are something complicated.
There are some fairly high tech components in pellet smokers. There are also moving parts, such as the auger. This means that there are parts of your cooker that may break, and that you may not be able to fix yourself.
How Pellets Work with the Grill: The pellets contain no additives save for vegetable oils that carry flavor and helps the extrusion process. They burn cleanly and with little to no ash compared to logs. As for the grills themselves, they run with electricity. When it’s plugged in and turned on, a rotating auger delivers the pellets from the hopper to the fire pot and igniter rod.
In our hunt to find the Best Budget Pick, we checked quite a few low-priced smoker grills including the Camp Chef Smoke Pro Se Pellet Grill, the Traeger BBQ 155.01 Bronze Tailgater, and the Pit Boss Grills 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill. We chose these grills to test out in particular because they all fall within the lowest price range for pellet smokers on the market, priced at $350-$400.
I noticed a question on the use of pellet grills in cold weather… living in Minnesota we have an abundance of cold weather. The warm up takes a bit longer but once the grill is going the upper temp ranges seem to hold true. In below zero temps. I throw an asbestos blanket over the grill to save on pellets.
“I have cooked on my new RT-700 twice now and you can’t beat the convenience of this grill. Both of my cooks have been low and slow smoking (225°) and had great smoke flavor. Can’t wait to cook more!”
REC TEC Grills attempt to create the highest quality, most suitable, and most adaptable grill on the market. The REC TEC Mini integrates the equivalent high quality parts as one of their full sized models, but only in a lighter, smaller, and transportable bundle.
Hey Britt… If you’re looking for the smaller footprint pellet grill, you’ll be happy with either the GMG or the Rec-Tec. I like the fold out legs of the Rec-Tec mini over the GMG DC legs. For Traeger, I’d recommend their Pro Series units they sell via their dealer networks.
At present, I am sponsored by and continually use pellets produced by CookinPellets.com. There are two versions of pellets – the Perfect Mix (Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, and Apple Woods) and 100 Percent Hickory. In each of these versions, CookinPellets uses all wood, no bark, no filler woods like oak or alder and no flavor oils. Just 100% of what is on the bag. I get consistently great flavor using these two varieties of pellet smoker pellets from CookinPellets.com, and I think you’ll enjoy them very much as well.
Travelers – Of course there’s a perfect pellet smoker for you too. It differs from a basic pellet grill in that it’s smaller and much lighter. It has foldable legs, which allows you to easily take it to the car with you. Everyone’s been on a camping or a field trip at some point. In moments like those, grilled food is something delicious and wholesome. I found the right portable pellet grill for you, which thanks to its size and weight is portable.
The Bulls exterior is made out of stainless steel from the bucket hook to the controller shelf. This feature not only adds to the grill’s durability but also ensures its components do not easily bend or break.
We all know about Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, but Traeger is the true pioneer of pellet smoking. This company introduced the first pellet smokers, and it remains the best-known brand, although competition is growing. There’s nothing fancy here. Instead of a touch-pad controller, Traeger employs an older-style digital dial controller. No WiFi or meat probes; just no-frills schmokin’ from the industry leader.
Pellets are made from different woods, each of which imparts a distinctive flavor to the meat. Hickory, oak, maple, alder, apple, cherry, hazelnut, peach, and mesquite are among the flavors available. For more about pellets, read my article, The Science of Wood. There is a pretty good forum for people who have pellet cookers at PelletSmoking.com and of course our Pitmaster Club has a lively discussion on them with many active users.
I have been looking into a pellet grill for a little while and reviews tend vary on models from website to website. I’m looking to purchase a midsize unit from $500-$1000. The rec-tec looked good but it’s more on the top of my price range. I was hoping to get a little input to help my purchase decision.
As with all pellet smokers, there’s a lot to like, and a few things that can be improved, but as far as compact portable grills go, there’s very few available on the market, therefore the GM Davy Crockett is our top pick of a rather short list.
As far as accuracy goes PID controllers are in a league of their own. They feature an LCD display and have one touch buttons that allow you to set the temperature in 5° increments. This of course gives you more control over how you are able to prepare your dishes.
Keep your Pellet Grill and Smoker fired up Keep your Pellet Grill and Smoker fired up with Camp Chef’s Premium Hardwood Pellets. Made of 100% natural hardwood these food grade pellets are an excellent way to add that unique smoky flavor. Choose from 4 distinct flavors. Smokehouse Hickory impart a rich and smoky bacon-like flavor to all meats … More + Product Details Close
Cook Shack is the most used competition pellet grill in the United States. There is a mixture of other pellet grills out there. Cook Shack has a smaller thin unit that fits in a trailer and the exhaust can be put out through the wall. Should a pellet cooker be used in competition. By all means. Its heat source is wood. Its smoke is produced by wood. It gives out some of the best flavor that a cooker can put out. You still have to trim, inject, season, cook correctly and present your competition categories.
The Select Elite has over 500 square inches of cooking space and can be easily moved around on the caster wheels it sits on. This grill also incorporates a storage cabinet beneath the grill, providing some extra storage space. Porcelain grates really round out this premium grill by giving users a non-stick surface that’s easy to clean and maintain.
The Woodwind Pellet Grill impressed us the most with its “Smart Smoke” feature, which generates the ideal temperature, providing constant heat. Plated with stainless steel, this visually-pleasing grill offers top-grade functionality that you’d expect from the best pellet grills. It boasts a 570-square-inch cooking area best for grilling, roasting, and more at up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. We loved this pellet grill because of its twist-out feature that makes it convenient to empty the container. This durable pellet grill is 2nd not because it’s not as good as our first pick – it just costs a bit more.
Make sure you’re loaded with enough fuel. Pellet smokers all have hoppers to hold the wood pellets before they’re delivered into the machine, with fuel loads that last anywhere from a few hours to the entire weekend.
One of the main considerations to think about when deciding to buy a pellet grill is the cost and availability of pellets in your area. There is no substitute fuel for pellet grills and they generally cost between one and two dollars per pound. If you plan on doing a lot of grilling, you can usually get them cheaper in bulk. When burning at a temperature high enough to cook steaks and burgers, a pellet grill will use about two pounds of fuel per hour. When you are smoking, it will go through about a half a pound per hour. Since the best pellet grill has to be on considerably longer to smoke meat than it does to cook it, you will actually use more pellets during the smoking process. For ten hours of smoking (which is the average for most meats) you will burn about five pounds of pellets, verses a half an hour of grilling time where you will only use about one pound of pellets. It is very important to purchase good quality pellets as well because cheap ones can actually plug up your grill.
Multi-position controllers: These controllers allow you to adjust the temperature in smaller increments. Pellets are fed in fixed cycles meaning these controllers still don’t offer amazing accuracy. A multi-position controller is typically accurate +/-20°F, in ideal conditions. A nice feature of these controllers is the addition of an LCD screen.
The Camp Chef SmokePro is probably the best pellet grill on this list by rating and by performance. It has a decently large area for cooking at 19.2 inches by 22 inches plus its smoking or warming rack is also 6 inches by 24 inches in size. This is one of the Top rated pellet smokers because of its combination of quality features that are never superfluous and works as advertised.
Hey Ben! Cool re: your Camp Chef! Pellet smokers produce a light smoke as compared to stick burners, gravity fed smokers, Ugly Drum Smokers, etc. Most feel that the smoke provided is enough. If you need more – check out the Amazn Tube Smoker. You can find the Tube Smoker and Cookin’ Pellets via this link. Look for the Pellet Smokers and Pellets links.
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As you can see, for Plowboys Barbecue, as with most other winning teams out there, competition BBQ success is all about mastering a process that you can duplicate. Not having to sweat the fire management side of things is what Todd Johns loves most about his Fast Eddy’s Pellet Smoker.
Louisiana Pellet Grill eliminates the hassles of setting up the grill fire, with lighter fluids and maintaining the temperatures manually. This grill is simply equipped with push-control buttons that light up the fire automatically with just a push and enables you to set your desired cooking temperature with ease.
Decided that moving these beasts was a little challenging so I bought a Backwoods Party 10 years ago and loved it. But basically have about worn it out. And as I got older I don’t enjoy getting up at 2 AM and then having to get up every couple of hours, after the 45 minutes of getting it ready at 2 AM, to check it and feed it. I also bought a smaller lightly used Open Range, The Good One. Used their recommended method the first time I cooked with it and hated the Q off of it so bad most of it was wasted, wife hated it too and the son ate most of it. It was extremely ash/strong smoke flavored!
Hey Oscar, based on what I think and my discussion with my buddy Shane Draper of Draper’s BBQ, you’ll probably only need to run 14 hours for a brisket cook – given the convection nature of your pellet grill. You’ll probably go about 1 lb per hour or a little less – depending on the weather and other variables you mentioned. Again, pellet cooking is a little bit give and take where you’re getting ease and a more set it and forget it cook experience in exchange for some additional fuel use.
Editor’s Note: If you’re looking to upgrade your backyard cooking setup this summer, you’re probably in need of a little advice. We’re longtime admirers of the folks behind AmazingRibs.com, the site dedicated to unraveling the science of barbecue and grilling. Please welcome back Max Good, the only person in the world whose full-time job is testing, rating, and reviewing grills and smokers. The database he maintains includes over 500 grills and smokers, ranging in price from $30 to $50,000. When it comes to barbecue equipment, nobody knows it better.
Regarding getting a good draft, this is a common misconception for pellet grills. The burn pot on pellet grills receives oxygen via a fan unit. As such, there’s no need for a draft to get a measured burn in the traditional sense. Most pellet grills lack sufficient insulation / gaskets, etc to prevent smoke from leaking out of the body. So, unless you’re going with the Memphis or something that uses oven style insulation, you don’t really need a chimney at all IMHO.
I think you get the picture. In any case, you can see how pellet smoking really does have its own culture to it. I really hope you’ve found value in this selection of Pellet Grill reviews. If so, please consider sharing it with your BBQ friends! And for sure comment below and let me know about your favorite pellet grills, pellet blends, and methods! 🙂
Cooking Area – Search for one with a substantial cooking region. Keep in mind that pellet barbecues arrive in an extensive variety of sizes. In this manner, pick a unit that can meet your size necessities in light of its cooking territory. You don’t need to purchase an additional extensive unit in case you’re utilizing the grill for your home. Check for the physical measurements of the item and figure out which one can fit your space and stay aware of your cooking style and lifestyle.
The zest for barbequing is growing every year with more and more BBQ lovers venturing into the mystery of the myth-laden empire of smoking. We have spent years encouraging the outdoor cooking buffs to embrace pellet smokers, and until now, our efforts have brought about fruitful results.
My new Yoder YS480 is being delivered today. Great size for the home smoker. I chose the Yoder after talking to a couple of buddies that have them and tasting their smoked meats. Living 30 miles away from the factory doesn’t hurt either.
It’s a device that offers consumers a primal wood flavor from their meats. This is coupled with the convenience of a gas stove that you can easily turn on and off or regulate its temperature by dialing its knob forward or back.
Mak Grills is a great grill. I once saw one in Las Vegas with a team that competed at The Rib Throwdown at the ACM Country Music Awards. Mak is a top of the line Pellet Smoker that has proven itself over and over again.
Green Mountain Grills have give a lot of BBQ Teams a grill over the years. Right now Newman BBQ has 4 of them on there team. Green Mountain makes a real good pellet grill. I has to be the third one listed on my list because it is used so much in BBQ Competition.
We at Grills Forever have been using all kinds of pellet smokers for over 4 years and have come up with different strategies to finding the best pellet smoker. That’s why all of our reviews are so detailed — because they come from first-hand experience. After 15 hours of testing and researching numerous products, our team of outdoor cooking enthusiasts have decided to crown the Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Smoker as the best. It emerged as the perfect choice for beginners and pros, always delivering that rich BBQ flavor and fragrance.
Choosing the one perfect pellet grill that could change your cooking experience is easier said than done. There is just so know you have to know before committing to it. Though I did give you a run-through of all the basic and important things to look for in a pellet grill before buying one, it is still a scratch on the surface. It is tiring to have to go from store to store to find the quality ones that you can choose from. So, to come to your rescue once again, I will now give you the some pellet grill review.