Just like your kitchen oven, a pellet grill must keep a consistent temperature in order to produce great food. To get tender brisket, the temperature needs to stay as close as possible to 250°F for the entire 12-plus hours its cooking. A pellet grill’s ability to do that is largely determined by its control board, which is essentially the brains of the pellet grill. There are different types of controllers, and their precision and consistency varies. Most can hold a consistent temperature in ideal conditions, but not all controllers can maintain a tight temperature in the cold, wind, and rain.
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.
Everyone loves grilled food, especially if it has been cooked on an outside grill to give it that deep rich roasted flavor. Since their introduction a couple of decades ago, pellet grills have become the simple way to give a distinct flavor when cooking to your steaks, burgers, and roasts.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about pellet grills, pop songs, or pizza, everyone always wants to know which is the best. While that might seem like a fairly straight forward question, there is no simple one-word answer. Is the best pellet grill the most popular one made by the best-known brand? Is it the most expensive one with the most advanced features and high-end bells and whistles? Is it the one that offers the best combination of price and performance? Really, the answer depends on you, your means, and your needs. Or, put another way, maybe the question shouldn’t be what’s the best pellet grill? but what’s the best pellet grill for you?
Easy Storage: Another convenient thing about them is that they are quite small compared to a lot of gas grills and can easily be stored in a garage or shed during the off-season. If your storage area is well-ventilated, you can even use them during the cold months if you want to.
The push-button ignition sets and maintains the selected temperature throughout the entire cooking process and the pellets are automatically fed into the firebox, which means there are no temperature fluctuations. No other grill on the market has this sophisticated ‘brain’. Also you can adjust temperatures from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hey Corey – thanks for checking out the blog man! I did actually do a review of the Pellet Pro smoker and the company’s Smoke Daddy Cold Smoker Attachment. You can find the review here. Again, appreciate you leaving a comment!
Cleanup Considerations: Even seemingly perfect pellet grillers have trouble getting the cleanup part right even in light of how little ash is produced by pellets. You should search for pellet smokers and grills that efficiently keep the ash from building up on the heat deflector that’s located underneath the grates. The ash should remain on the ash cup and nowhere else. Meanwhile, major cleanup with soap and water is a hassle that requires an apron and gloves.
It lowers its temperature by 5° Fahrenheit Increments by lowering the feed rate of the pellets and raises the temp by increasing the feed rate. As for thermostatically controlled grills, the thermostat cycles heat on and off like with the refrigerator as required by your given setting. Some digital temperature controls are so advanced they even include a WiFi setting.
In searching for a good video review of this smoker I actually came across two of them. The first video is from MAK Grills themselves but is hosted by Jonathan Martinez (JM) of CelebrityGrills.com. He does a great job of highlighting some of the innovative features MAK Grills brings to the table.
Hey David, Is there a particular reason why the Grilla grills interest you? I tend to find they’re great smokers, just expensive for what they are. If you’re working with limited space (say smoking on a condo balcony) then the Grilla models vertical footprint can make all the difference between having a smoker or not. But for the price, and for a standard model smoker, the Traeger models tend to be better all around.
You don’t mention Traeger grills other than in you opening paragraphs. Where do they fit into your article. Where do they fit into your list, are they worth considering? Plusses and minuses of this brand. alternate choices, etc.
More important than the brand is the quality of the pellets. Many pellet grill makers state that you have to use their pellets on their grill (some even say you’ll void your warranty if you use another brand). This is their way of ensuring only use quality pellets (and selling some pellets in the process). However, any high-quality food-grade pellet will work with any pellet grill.
A standard digital controller feeds a predetermined amount of pellets to the fire in order to achieve the desired temperature. No matter what the grill’s internal temperature reads it will keep feeding that same amount of pellets. They can maintain a temperature within +/- 25°F. Most of the pellet grills on the market, particularly entry-level models, feature this type of controller.
On the flip side, the parts are not complex, and you may be able to get them from another source. If you are handy, repairs should not be too hard. Some brands have tech support online. MAK leads the pack in this with numerous helpful videos. Are you getting the sense that I am a fan of MAKs?
Pellet Grill Your Way To Success
Kamado smokers are great and very versatile. GMGs are super reliable and offer easier up and ready performance. I can see an argument for owning a Kamado and a pellet grill. I’m partial to GMGs over Yoders for lower cost of ownership. Can’t beat GMG’s customer service.
Firstly, pellet smokers are the easiest type of smoker to use, because they’re controlled almost exactly the same as your kitchen over. Just like we’ve explained above, it’s as simple as setting a temperature, letting it fire up, then throwing on the meat and leaving the system to do all the hard work.
Davy Crockett rocked the wild frontier, and you’ll be rocking the backyard BBQ with this pellet grill. It comes in under the $500 mark because of its size; it’s a portable pellet grill, but it’s pretty big on design and described by some as the ultimate tailgater pellet grill.
Ninth spot to make it to our compilation of the pellet grill review is the Louisiana pellet grill. It has 2 cooking levels and a total 1061 square inch cooking surface. The Louisiana pellet grill has got porcelain cast iron main grids and porcelain steel removable upper cooking grid. It also has a digital controller centre. This grill weighs around 173 pounds and is made with high quality material that is going to last you a life!
So Kevin here is where you come in. Been wanting to make getting consistent Q on the table regularly and easily. Been looking at pellet poopers for about 5 years now and decided to take the plunge. Had already done enough looking a few years ago Traeger’s issues had scared me off. Several friends had them and raved but always mentioned problems. I decided from my work I don’t want to be buying someone’s, ‘we know the problems and are fixing them’ if you can find something solid for similar cost. Yoder and FEC were pretty much my finalists. So I was doing my final thoughts and found your article.
First, you have to figure out what your budget looks like. Of the pellet smokers I cover here, the Rec Tec Grill Pellet Smoker is the most economical and best overall value – with solid construction and top end electronics controls.
When we tested the “Traeger BBQ 155.01 Bronze Tailgater”, we discovered that this grill has a very common pellet jamming problem. After a couple of cooking sessions, we found ourselves constantly checking the wood chip tray to make sure the feed was not jammed and that there was enough smoke in the cabinet. An issue like this makes grilling inconvenient, and repairs in the long run will cost even more than the extra $40 to $50 you will spend on this smoker as opposed to our Best Budget Pick.
Multi-position and digital controllers ( LED display ) – a much better solution, but it does have its flaws. First a multi-position controller, then a digital controller that allows to set the temperature at intervals of +/- 25 degrees F. It’s a controller that also has poor responses to weather. A great advantage of a digital controller is that it allowed to implement other innovative solutions. It helped introduce such technologies as alerts, timer or better meat control.
If you live in an area where wood furnaces are used (not like down here in FL where a few heat strips will do the trick), you may also be familiar with pellet furnaces. In short, pellets compressed from sawdust and wood shavings fill a hopper and are then fed into a burn pot using an electric auger system. The auger, which is basically a long screw, delivers pellets to the burn pot based on the speed dictated by the unit’s thermostat.
When you look at standard fuel fired smokers, pellet smokers annihilate them when it comes to convenience and ease of use. A lot of other types of meat smoker are also single usage, meaning they only function as a smoker. Pretty much every pellet smoker we’ve seen can also be used as a grill, a roaster, and sometimes even a barbeque.
The Rec Tec is a hard act to follow and it almost doesn’t seem fair comparing other pellet smokers to it, so for the purpose of this review let’s assume the Rec Tec didn’t exist or was no longer manufactured. What would we choose then?
My Egg will last past my lifetime. And I have a lifetime warranty on it as well. I don’t want to plunk down good money(even $500 is good money if you think about it) to have a grill of no use in 5 years. I guess I’m looking for a do it all grill. Not that I need one to do it all, heck I can use my Old Smokey to grill up some mean steaks and burger and hotdogs if need be.
Royall is a high quality cooker. Second to none. I’ve know several BBQ Cooks who loved the Royall because of its wide surface to cook on. They now have an insulated model that is a huge jump in technology. Instead of having to deal with charcoal in a gravity flow. Royall 5000 uses pellets that are cleaner to handle and cleaner to burn with with very little ash, no mess. Royall should be your first choice in buying a pellet grill because they are made in America with the highest quality parts. There are many Pellet Smokers Grills made in China that have fragile parts and thing cabinets. Get a Royall Grill and have a great cooker for life.
Turn it on to “Smoke” mode and use the P settings, or cook mode by selecting a temperature. When you select smoke or a temp setting you start the ignition sequence. The fan, igniter and auger motor turn on. The fan stays on until the smoker is turned off. The auger motor continuously delivers pellets to the red hot igniter rod in the firebox for two minutes under normal conditions. Then the igniter rod shuts off and the pellet fire burns with only the assistance of the auger and the fan.
The Traeger TEXAS ELITE 34 has a 646 sq. in. grilling surface and uses 100% pure hardwood pellets as its fuel source. This grill also has an upgraded digital controller with an LED display which sustains accurate internal temperatures, just as an oven would do.
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.