When you're struggling to choose between gas and charcoal grills, sometimes the right answer is to forget both of them and look at pellet grills instead.
Pellet grills offer the best of both worlds. Their wood pellets give you a finely controlled, perfectly smoky grill experience that only the best grills offer...and they can deliver it at an a affordable price.
Once you've decided to go with a pellet grill, you don't want to purchase the first one you see. You want the best pellet grill on the market. And that's why we've put together all the pellet grills worth considering.
Take a look through this list, and you're sure to find the ideal pellet grill for your barbecue.
8 Best pellet grills
Pellet grills are less common than their gas or charcoal cousins, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of them out there...and not all of them are great.
So, it's best to start your search by looking at the best on the market. These are the best pellet grills you'll get for your money. If you don't want to waste time looking or waste money buying an inferior option, read through this carefully.
1. Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grills & Smoker
One of the best smokers, with plenty of space and even smart technology!
2. Smoke Hollow SH19260119 WG400B Pellet Grill
Not as big as some of the other pellet grills here, but so easy to use.
3. Big Horn Pellet Grill and Smoker
Pretty, and offers a pretty great smoke as well.
4. US Stove USSC Grills Irondale USG890 Pellet Grill
A lot of extra features on this one, including internal heating temp for your meat.
5. Louisiana Grills LG-001000-1750 WH-1750 Country Smoker Whole Hog
For those who feel one massive pellet grill isn't enough, this has the space of two!
7. Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker
Lots of versatility in how you cook, so you always have the right options in front of you.
8. Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill
Two doors, stainless steel, and an efficient, cool design: just by the look of it, you know it's a great pellet grill.
6 Portable Pellet Grills
One of the things that work against pellet grills, sometimes, is that a lot of them are quite large. For those who are looking for a portable grill that allows them to enjoy tailgating while also still ensuring the great pellet grill taste, they'll be happy to know there are still a lot of great options.
9. Camp Chef Pursuit 20 Portable Pellet Grill Smoker
Plenty of grilling room and easy enough to move wherever that grill is needed.
10. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
The foldable legs let you set up shop anywhere.
11. Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill & Smoker
A great grill with a great design.
12. Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2019 Upgrade Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
A big, bold, technologically advanced smoker, all at a size that lets you maneuver it around.
13. Traeger Grills Ranger Grill TBT18KLD Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker Black
If you're truly looking for tiny in the pellet grill market, this is it.
14. Pit Boss Grills PB440TG Pit Boss 440 sq in Portable Wood Folding Legs Pellet Grill, Black
Easy to move and with the ability for direct flame cooking.
How To Pick The Best Pellet Grill
So many savory options above, it's almost impossible to choose. We know. It's never easy to pick from a list of great options. You've got to move away from "which of these pellet grills is the best pellet grill" and move towards "which is the best pellet grill for me"?
That's an easier transition than you may expect. If you just follow these 6 steps, you'll be able to find the perfect pellet grill for your barbecuing needs.
1. Get to Know What a Pellet Grill Can Do for You
Before you jump to a decision about which pellet grill is right for you, take a breath and make sure you're certain you know what a pellet grill can do for you in the first place.
There's no denying that there's a lot to love about pellet grills. That wood-smoked flavor is not one you want to be missing, particularly if you're a barbecue fanatic. They also heat up quickly, can be used in a variety of cooking methods (including roasting, grilling, and smoking your meals), and they're easy to clean.
Lots of them also come with some technological extras (like better temperature controls) that are rarer on other grills.
2. See How Each Grill Deals with the Limitations
We know that the pellet grill can do a lot to make a great grilling experience. However, there are also some downsides to going pellet over charcoal or gas. The pellet grill is often less portable (as we'll discuss in Step 6) and does less smoking than some other grills. Pellets can fall apart if they get wet, so pellet grills have to be able to insulate and keep those pellets dry and working.
So, as you're shopping keep those limitations in mind. Look for how each grill addresses those issues. How do they ensure you get enough smoky flavor into the meat? How do they deal with the risks of breaking down? Do they have tools that allow you to sear the meat more effectively?
The good news is, as we've mentioned in Step 1, pellet grills are famous for lots of technological features that really improve the grilling experience. Look for grills that haven't just added random features, but ones that improve on the overall limitations of the grill and really make a difference when it's time to cook.
The more features that a grill offers to accommodate for the issues pellet grills struggle with, the better it's going to be.
3. Set Your Price
Okay, you know what your pellet grill can do. You know what its limitations can be. You know that some grills are going to find great ways to give you everything you want in a single pellet grill package...What's left to worry about?
The price tag, of course. Before going any further, once you've got the basics in mind, set a price you're willing to pay for this grill. There will always be a more expensive option out there with more features.
There's no limit to how much a grill can cost. We're sure someone out there will sell you a gold-plated, diamond-encrusted pellet grill just so they can put a price tag on it.
Knowing the highest price you're comfortable with allows you to eliminate grills that are both too cheap and too expensive. It also allows you to recognize the kind of quality and features you can expect, and then it's easier to make your choice.
4. Check How Hot It Gets
Do you love to cook hot and quick? Or are you more of a slow-roasting sort of guy? Pellet grills come with all sorts of heating options. We know by now they heat up quickly, but just how hot do they get? And how hot do you need it?
Take a look at your recipes and find out just how hot you need your pellet grill to get to meet your meat needs. Obviously, anything that fails to meet those parameters is out.
5. Find Out How Much Cooking Area You Need
You've got price. You've got the heat. Now, you need to know how much space you need. Pellet grills can be absolutely enormous. They can also be relatively small. If you're cooking just for yourself or a small group of friends or family, there's no need to clear so much space to store a massive pellet grill.
However, if you're responsible for steaks for the neighborhood pool parties, you're probably going to want something bigger and more heavy-duty.
As you might expect, size often does relate to price, so keep that connection in mind as you shop.
6. Settle the Portability Debate
We've made it easy for you by breaking up the best pellet grills into these categories already. Now, it's time for you to decide which category you want to choose from.
Before you do that, though, think about a couple of important facts: pellet grills are heavy. And they tend to need electricity. That means even when they're easier to move, they're still less portable than some other types of grills.
That being said, there's still a way to make it easier to move these big boys around. Smaller grills and lighter weight can make a real difference when you're on the move. Just keep in mind, you'll probably still need an outlet to get cooking.
More Awesome Grill Buying Guide
Hard as it is to imagine, not everyone is looking for that great, wood-smoked pellet grill experience. For those of you who think you'd like a different kind of grill, you don't need to go elsewhere. We've got all the guides you need, no matter what you're grilling, or where. Just check these guides out:
- Seize the barbecue and become the most popular guy on the block by getting the charcoal grills around.
- Get one of the best gas grills out there, and combine affordability with deliciousness.
- Never fear the rain again when you have indoor grills sitting inside, waiting to be fire dup.
- Love grilling but hate the smoke? Just get the best smokeless grill you can find, and you can truly have it all, at least when it comes to your grilling.
At this point, there's nothing standing between you and the pellet grill of your dreams. It's as easy as following the steps above, clicking the link, and making the purchase. In no time, you'll be cooking with pellets.
Like all the best grills, there's always a tough choice in making that final decision, but the great thing about the best pellet grills on the market is...they're all great. So relax. Choose the grill that fits your needs, and start dreaming of that next barbecue session.