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Each grill is porcelain coated, like you’d find on professional grills, for exceptional heat transfer and easy wipe cleaning. This attention to excellence is extended over the whole machine, with everything made out of heavy gauge steel and top quality material. The only real let down is the wheels, which are kind of low quality, but they’re real simple to switch out.
The best thing about pellet smokers is that unless you’re buying the absolute cheapest models, there are no bad choices. In this list for under $500, you’ll find pellet smokers and grills perfectly suited for dropping a few burgers at home use like the Traeger Junior Elite, for throwing in the back of the van and using anywhere like the Green Mountain Davey Crockett, or for cooking whole turkeys when you have ten people round on Thanksgiving, like the Camp Chef Smokepro.
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.
I would make that decision based upon desired temperature. Very few of the smokers on your list can surpass the 485 to 500 degree mark. You’ll read a lot of discussion about grill grates helping you get into those higher temperatures and that product does work. I would simply pick a smoker that can get to the desired temperature you want like the Louisiana and the Memphis. Both can exceed 500 degrees and both can hit 600 degrees without problems.
Royall Grills is manufactured by a furnace company. They know about engineering a wood fire system to burn pellets. Royall Grills was engineered by a frustrated husband who wanted to come up with a better cooking system.
As you can see in this selection of pellet grill reviews, the act of heating pellets and generating smoke in any pellet smoker is pretty much the same. Yes, some pellet grills use thicker metal, have better thermostats, air flow, racks, drip flow, etc. But the ask any professional BBQ cooker who uses a pellet grill, and they’ll tell you that the quality of your smoke really does come down to the pellets themselves. Here’s what one very astute BBQ pro had to say over at the Pellet Smoke Ring:
Hey Bill! I think you’d be very happy with a Yoder pellet smoker. From a product and manufacturing standpoint, they’re great pellet smokers. If you’re looking at spending $1,700 and can perhaps go a little higher, you can then consider either a MAK grill or a Memphis Grill Pro Series. These are fantastic pieces of equipment. They are insulated at the point where the lid touches the body at closing, and provide superior convection cooking. Anytime you feel you want some extra smoke, you can always throw in an Amazn Pellet Tube or use a Mojo Cube. These will amp up your smoke profile in a manner you can predict and keep under control. I would NOT recommend adding anything foreign to your burn pot ever. Just keep things from the main pellet smoker function working as per the manufacturer’s design.
Have a big family? Get a grill with a huge cooking surface to fit a lot of meat. A big pellet hopper would be useful so that you don’t worry about running out of pellets within few hours. Your pellet smoker will be automated, and you’ll have time for your guests instead of controlling the temperature or fuel level all the time.
Included secondary cooking racks – If you’re looking to maximize cooking space, you’ll want to know if a pellet grill can accommodate a secondary rack. You’ll also want to know whether that rack is included or an optional add-on.
Make sure the pellet you choose come with a satisfactory cleaning facility. Look out for pellet hopper spoons or shovels that are used to put in and pick out the pellets. Almost all pellet grills come with a drip pan to collect liquids drips: oils, juices, sauces from the food on the grill. Make sure it comes in a good size as well.
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.
Pellet grills are used not only for grilling but also in baking, smoking, roasting, and more. Nevertheless, the significance of pellet grill is to imitate how charcoal works in smoking and how gas grill regulates the temperature.
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.
In fact, 80 to 85% of pellet smokers in the USA are Traegers. The consensus is that they are reasonably well built, though some buyers complain that quality has dropped since manufacturing moved to China. But of course we hear more complaints—as well as more praise—about Traegers, since eight out of 10 pellet smoker owners have one. Traeger can be found in many national chains, like Cabela’s and Costco. It’s not unusual to find special deals on this popular product line, so keep your eyes open.
The Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is a great grill for those looking for a good mix of value and features. With the Traeger name and features behind it, the Lil’ Tex Elite is a solid performer.
Hopefully this guide has helped you understand a little bit more about the pros and cons of cooking with a pellet grill, and helped you pick out the right model for your budget and needs. Happy smoking!
Hey Di! I use Grillgrates when I want to cook steaks on my GMG, and would recommend them for any pellet grill… or grill period for that matter. They leave AMAZING sear marks! I do the “reverse sear” method. This lets you smoke/roast your steaks and then fire them off for searing at the end. Here’s what I do. (Find Grillgrates on Amazon here.)
If you’re a member of the Rockefeller family and price isn’t an issue then you’ll definitely find pellet grills over the $2000 mark but, if you’re more the ‘other fella’ with a budget in mind, then the Rec Tec is one of the best-priced grills, available for under $1,000. There’s also a Rec Tec mini grill which comes in under $750.
Yes. However, some pellet grills perform better in cold weather than others. Most pellet grills that use a standard non-PID controller have been tuned for ideal conditions. That means when a manufacturer claims their grill can maintain that +/- 20°F, they are referring to a 75°F day with no wind or precipitation. If it’s windy or cold, these grills tend to lose their ability to maintain that temperature range.
This Pit Boss 700 Series Pellet Grill provides 700 sq. in. of cooking surface as well as an additional rack which is ideal for cooking for a group consisting of four to six people. It is constructed from heavy gauge steel parts, has ample operational strength and stability, and is a high-value grill that is intended to last. This Grill also includes a porcelain coated cast iron grid and a digitally controlled burn system. This Pit Boss Pellet Grill uses 100% natural wood pellets as a fuel source and does not require gas or propane. Simply choose your desired cooking style with the digital control board and flame broiler. This is an eight-in-one grill that varies in temperature from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. With this Pit Boss product, you can bake, smoke, sear, grill, barbeque, braise, or char-grill your food.
Yes. Pellet grills go by many different names: pellet smokers, wood pellet grills, electric pellet smokers, electric smoker grills, and wood fired grills, just to name a few. They all refer to the same thing: a versatile electric outdoor cooker that’s fueled by hardwood pellets.
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.
Hello.. You recommended a couple weeks ago to go with a GMG grill and that is the one I’m going with. I’m just a little torn between the DB and JB. They are only $150 apart but I’m not sure if the bigger size is worth the money when I can spend that on a cover and some pellets. Do you think the bigger size is worth it for a back yard smoker with the occasional party? I know people say bigger is better but I went bigger with my previous barrel smoker and it was much harder to keep an even temp with the bigger size. I would have went smaller given the chance. Thanks for any input!
Note: more pellet grill reviews will be published soon but all our favorites have been listed above. Read below for some elite pellet grill reviews, portable pellet grill reviews and our list of pellet grill deals and packages.
Comes with a 633 square inch main grilling surface, but also includes a 280 square inch removable upper cooking rack (total cooking area: 913 square inches). Includes a digital thermostat and gives you precise heat control from 170 Fahrenheit to 600 Fahrenheit (5 degree increments).
Pellet Grill Your Own Success – It’s Easy If You Follow These Simple Steps
It really is a professional smoker with large-capacity pellet hopper action that makes all the difference on its ratings. It’s not perfect, though. It has issues with ash collection to the point that the SmokePro itself collects more ash than its ash tray or cup. You also have to hit the ash removal system hatch with a hammer to open it.
It’s an inexpensive suggestion, I think if you’re at the start of your journey with a pellet smoker and don’t want to spend over 1000$ for the device. Then it’s a good choice to start your journey with this wood pellet grill.
Because of its Smart Smoke Technology, you can set this grill up and just forget about it and your food will cook well. Assuming that you don’t need to turn your food, you can guarantee that it will cook right because this grill has automated electric feed system that maintains cooking temp up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
** Memphis Wood Fire Grills: Stylish design, sophisticated electronics, and great thermodynamics. This is one of the few pellet grills that lets you remove the top of the burn chamber so you can direct grill over a wood pellet fire.
This grill comes with porcelain grill grates which provide easy cleaning. It is constructed from steel and contains a powder coat finish. This Traeger grill also comes equipped with wheels with locking casters which makes it easy to move. Another great benefit that this grill comes with is the Digital Elite Controller with an LED display which helps maintain the temperature of your grill. You can also enjoy the benefits of an electronic auto-ignition switch that is found on this grill.
People choose pellet smokers because they are easier to use than conventional smokers; once you set a temperature, they will automatically dispense pellets to maintain it for as long as you need to cook your foods. When people see the benefits of cooking with pellets, they often rush out to buy the first smoker they see.
Thank you for stopping by to read this article pertaining to Pellet Grill Reviews. If you’re here, it’s likely you’ve already read a few reviews about pellet smokers. As such, you’re in the process of figuring out whether Pellet Smokers are a good choice either for personal backyard BBQ cooking or as a means of getting started on the BBQ competition circuit.
You can’t cook as hot or generate as much smoke – You won’t get quite as good a sear as you could with a charcoal grill. And you won’t get that dominate smokey flavor you would get with an offset stick burning smoker.
Pellet smokers are chosen by most home chefs because they use a unique system to indirectly cook all of their favorite meats. When you turn a pellet smoker on, you activate its igniter rod, and the rod starts to feed wood pellets into the unit’s firebox. This creates the smoke that you need to cook your favorite foods; it does this automatically, so you don’t have to spend time messing around with charcoal, wood or temperature settings.
I use a home depot bucket head shop vac top (under $30.00) and home depot buckets for quick removal and storage of pellets. It works great. I have different buckets for different pellets and just move the bucket head to the bucket I need to use. Cheap, easy and works well.
Some of the “smoke” from a pellet cooker, comes from the drippings burning off of the deflector over the pellet pot. So in the grills, where the deflector is, and how heat is spread across it, usually makes a difference.