Since there are a lot of choices when you’re looking for the best pellet smoker/grill, we got the best of the best pellet grills on the market reviews by America’s Top Chefs and narrowed down the list to the Top 5 Pellet Smokers on the market right now.
For example, many grills use and charge for collaborating with a software application on it. I, personally, think this is an absolutely silly feature to include on a pellet grill. Yes, it does start on and off from your phone and change temperatures while you are at Switzerland enjoying Swiss cheese on a lake, but really, is it even logical? I mean, pellet grills have already made the cooking experience as easy as a dream, the least you can do is set the temperature by the click of a button on the appliance yourself! You can’t possibly be that lazy!
Pellet grills already have an electronic control board which makes them a natural fit for WiFi. When your pellet grill is connected to WiFi you will have more freedom to roam and do other things as you will be able to monitor and control everything remotely.
Hello Mark! Thanks for commenting here. The Kalamazoo Hybrid Grill looks like a BEAST! If you can swing it, I’d go for it. I truly enjoyed cooking on the Memphis Grill, which is to date the most high end pellet grill I’ve used. It offered a nice blend of professional grade convection with the wood fire taste of the pellets. The Kalamazoo hybrid really does seem to offer one step beyond with the addition of charcoal and wood chunks. I see that Derrick Riches of About.com stands behind the Kalamazoo brand. You’re hard pressed to get a better endorsement of a grilling product than that! Keep me posted at email@example.com and let me know how your search goes! 🙂
The single biggest advantage though, especially for beginning outdoor chefs, is that when you’re paying this much, damn near everything is automatic. As an example, if we look at our number one choice, the Camp Chef PG64 pellet smoker, literally everything can be controlled by the built in systems, so I could grab a friend who’d never cooked anything more complicated than boxed mac and cheese over, give em a five minute masterclass and be confident that the automatic systems would do most of the heavy lifting when it came to getting everything right.
Yoder had to be second on my list. Yoder is a top of the line Pellet Smokers Grill. Its tuff, its good quality, it maintains a great temperature. Yoder is one of the best cooker companies in the world. Offset Smoker, Pellet Grills just look at there resume.
Who Else Wants To Know How To Pellet Grill?
Another one of America’s finest home-grown products comes from MAK Grills Pellet Smokers. Based out of Dallas, OR, MAK started out as a steel fabrication company back in 1990 and ventured into making pellet smokers with the goal of making a pellet smoker that’s more like a grill than an oven. Said in their own words…
Honestly, I can’t think of anything negative to say about the Memphis Pro. The only thing I can see that sets the MAK pellet grill apart from this Memphis Pro is that it has the built in cold smoking ability that this Memphis Pro model does not.
Oh yeah, it also has a built in bottle opener. At first, I found this hilarious, but once I cracked my first brew whilst I was standing directly in front of this thing, I started to wonder why it wasn’t
Pellet grills are versatile. You can barbecue, smoke, roast, grill (sort of–more on that below), and even bake or braise in a pellet grill. At BBQ University, we have used them to cook everything from crisp chicken wings to braised short ribs to smoked pork chile verde and crème brulee.
Wood-pellet grills were first introduced onto the market over 20 years ago by Traeger Pellet Grills LLC. They’re all-electric: No fluids, no lighters, and no gas. Instead, a pellet grill is powered by pellets of wood shaped much like a large pill capsule. Unlike charcoal grills, which take up to 30 minutes or more to heat up, wood pellet grills can give off an even heat quite quickly. And, unlike propane grills which heat up quickly but lack flavor, foods cooked on pellet grills are rich in smokiness and succulence.
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.
Loved the article and read the entire thing. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an in-depth piece to help the rest of us out. With that said, I now want one of each!! It’s really so difficult to purchase one without being able to compare the taste side by side for each. We also just bought one of the Traeger’s on the last day of a Costco show. We have LOVED the taste, and aren’t looking back, from a pellet perspective that is. However, we’ve already had a couple of issues that concern me from a longevity and a safety perspective. So we’re going to return it, and ‘upgrade’ to something more substantial. I was leaning pretty hard toward Yoder, and then after reading the article, the Memphis really intrigued me (could have something to do with being born there, and raised on southern pulled pork). And then, Fast Eddy came into the picture. Any advise on how to make a decision without being able to conduct taste comparisons, which is really the most important thing. (We’ve been smoking a brisket and pork shoulders every week, with the occasional steak and veggies. So we’d like something that does both smoking and grilling, so both important, with the smoking component being the feature we’ll use a bit more of.)
Finally, a PID (Proportional–Integral–Derivative) controller uses a more sophisticated algorithm and a feedback loop to precisely maintain its temperature. A PID controller constantly checks the grill temperature, compares it to the set temperature, and adjusts the pellet feed as necessary, allowing it to maintain a desired temperature within a few degrees.
I see a lot of opinions about Traeger not being good at maintaining a desired temperature. It is very important if we’re planning very long and slow smoking of the meat. Unless you have a time and will control the temperature.
Also, the digital display will allow you to check the meat internal temperature using the meat probe that comes with this grill. It’s a great solution, and why? Because you can check the meat’s temperature without opening the grill lid. You probably know well that feeling when you open the lid to check the temperature inside the meat.
Because pellet grills combine the abilities of a grill, smoker, and kitchen oven, there’s no limit to what you can cook. You can grill burgers, hot dogs, chicken, seafood and vegetables; smoke authentic BBQ like ribs and brisket; slow-roast a turkey, tenderloin, or prime rib; braise short ribs; you can even bake pizza, bread pudding and blueberry pie.
The best solution: Have an electrician custom make a cord the proper length for you. Don’t buy a cable much longer than you need it because the longer the cable, the higher the resistance and the power diminishes. You don’t want to see the equations for that.
John’s concern here is the same as mine – while my Bradley pucks are compressed wood, they create a crap ton of smoke. Anyone know how it would compare to the Bradley? Does a pellet smoke box create a comparable amount of smoke?
Pellet grills are available at a wide range of prices, from inexpensive bargain-priced models that cost as little as $399 to premium high-end models that cost $5,000 or more. In general, though, a medium-sized pellet grill of decent quality starts at around $699. If you’re willing to go smaller, you can get a quality pellet grill for under $500. If you want more cooking space, expect to pay more money. As you add features PID temperature control, a direct grilling option, meat probes, WiFi, and stainless steel construction, the price tag goes up.
Yoder pellet smokers maintain a very strong reputation for quality and precision. Based out of Hutchinson, KS, the company prides itself on producing a 100 percent Made in America product that is one of the sturdiest and most reliable brands of smokers available. Check out this Yoder Smokers promo video to get an idea of how they are branding themselves.
Something you may not have read in other Pellet grill reviews is that there are two key concerns: flavor and fuel consumption. As previously stated, pellet smokers are not known for producing a strong smoke flavor, no matter what pellets you use. Though, some brands can be more pronounced than others. Hardwood pellets provide longer overall burn times per pound than fruit wood pellets. 1oo percent fruit wood pellets will also be more expensive on average.
There’s less smoke from the alleged smoker the higher the generated cooking temperature is. You can get that smoke flavor at below 250°. You need to do the hardwood chips technique in order to get that smoke flavor back.
Pit Boss: The Pit Boss Company manufactures an extra-large pellet grill with 700 square inches of cooking surface. It closest competitor in pellet smoker largeness is the 7-year veteran known as Rec-Tec. It has probably one of the largest cooking surfaces (or the largest at that) in the pellet grill and smoker industry. It approaches grilling with the idea that sometimes bigger really is better, at least in terms of cooking more meats at the same time.
Consistency is the key to having the best results. If you want a tender brisket, your cooking temperature should be close to 250 F during the whole 12 hour period of cooking. The control board is responsible for precision. There are one-touch Non-PID, PID multi-position, and 3-position controllers. Check out the different types of controllers for the one that is right for you.
This allows bypassing the relight feature in case of a power outage in your home. Power outages may not happen often but when it does, this feature can save the hot rod from any wear and tear. It proves that the manufacturers actually did a lot of homework when designing this unit.
This pellet grill is guaranteed to take your cooking game to a whole new level. The versatile grill offers endless options for grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, braising, and barbequing anything your heart desires. The pellet grill can reach temperatures anywhere from 160 F to 500 F! Talk about a whole lot of grill power. We gave it the 2nd spot on our list doesn’t mean it has less number of features than PG24 (INFACT IT HAS MORE). The main reason we chose this grill as our second pick to the Camp Chef PG24 is its price which is on the higher side.
It’s not recommended. Controllers aren’t universal. Even if the controller works on another grill, it may not perform as expected. Controllers are precisely tuned for a particular pellet grill, taking into account grill size, shape, and airflow, as well as the design of the fan and fire pot. These factors are not consistent from brand to brand, making it unlikely that a digital controller designed for one grill will perform nearly as well on an altogether different pellet grill.
Pellet grills are also very easy to clean up. This is in large part due to burn efficiency. Since pellets are used to produce the burn you get a more efficient burn than you would with charcoal or logs. Because the burn is so efficient there is a lot less waste for you to worry about.
There are no food probes with this controller as there are on the MAK Pellet Boss, and the controller is mounted to the surface with two screws and no gasket so I fear rain could get into the electronics, but after more than a year of sitting out without the cover in rain and snow, the controller on the IPT I tested is still working fine. Ortech recommends covering your smoker.
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.
Most people recommend the SmokePro SE Pellet Grill for its affordability, despite its plethora of features including a dual LED temperature readout and accurate temperature controls. But what impressed us the most was its large cooking surface of 560 cubic inches. It comes with extra space with the smoke stack behind the unit so you have somewhere to prepare. Inside, the chamber ensuring that meats are cooked evenly to produce the moistest and most flavorful food. It has turned the beginners into pros (or at least, their food tastes like pro-level BBQs!) in no time. The only downside is that it’s a bit heavy so it’s not portable.
Its digital-control, centrally placed oven gives you accurate cooking temperatures from 170 F to 600 F. The probe interface included can be programmed to cook and control the temperature with high precision. A steady burning flame is maintained by air forced into the chamber by the fan with the help of an electric ignition. The flowing air creates abundant convectional heat to bring out the best flavor of your grilled food.