Best Selling Pellet Grills and Smokers

Last updated on May 28th, 2023 at 08:51 am

Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or completely new to outdoor cooking, a pellet grill or smoker is an excellent choice for your next barbecue. We’ll show you all the advantages of a wood pellet grill, how to use one safely and a few points to consider before purchasing one. You can also find pellet grill smoker combos which offer the capabilities of both a grill and a smoker.

What Is A Pellet Grill?

Perhaps the biggest appeal of a pellet grill is its ability to to cook LOW and SLOW. Pellet grills maintain a low, steady temperature for hours without the need to make any adjustments. This is a grill that is considered easier to use than gas and gives you a smoky flavor usually found with charcoal. That’s what you want when it comes to smoking ribs or brisket without drying out the food. They generally will use 100% all natural hardwood pellets as the fuel source.

Pellet grills have been around for more than 30 years. Traeger built the first pellet grills in the mid 1980’s but you could only get them at specialty retailers and they were considered an expensive alternative to gas and charcoal. In the last 10 years pellet grill companies have partnered with big box retailers to bring pellet grills to the masses. You’ll now find pellet grills at Home Depot, Menards, Wal Mart and Lowe’s.

Be aware that some of these grills are retailer specific, which means you won’t find the same exact grill at Lowes that you will find at Home Depot. For example, the Pit Boss Pro Series pellet grills you see at Lowes are produced as Lowes exclusive grills. You can’t buy them anywhere else. You may find a similar Pit Boss grill, but you will only find that model at a Lowes store.

Another retailer specific pellet grill are Traeger Pro Series grills at Home Depot. There are several Pro Series grill models, but the models you see at Home Depot can’t be found at Lowes or online at Amazon.

One good thing about bringing more pellet grill styles to major retailers, is that they don’t always carry a premium price tag. Many models are available starting around $400. This puts the low end pellet grills in line with a low-mid priced gas grill. However, pellet grills are still considered a niche market and premium brands like Oklahoma Joe’s, Memphis Grills, Camp Chef, Pit Boss, Traeger and Weber will easily cross the $1,500 mark.

The Major Pellet Grill Makers

When shopping for a pellet grill, what brands are out there?

  • Traeger.
  • Green Mountain Grills.
  • Z Grills.
  • Camp Chef.
  • Louisiana Grills.
  • Memphis Grills.
  • Pit Boss.
  • Weber Grills.
  • Oklahoma Joe’s.

Do Pellet Grills Cook the Same as Other Grills?

Pellet grills cook with indirect heat, which doesn’t give you the heavy grill marks you get with a gas or charcoal grill.

However, some models can also cook with direct heat for grilling and searing, like a standard grill does.

Pellet grilling and smoking aren’t your only options. These grills provide even cooking with more precise and consistent temperature control than other grill types, and they also let you barbecue, roast and bake. Cook pork shoulders, ribs, briskets and other large cuts of meat in addition to burgers, sausages, hot dogs and whole chickens.

Pellet grills give you the option of cooking foods lower and slower than you could with a gas or charcoal grill, giving you more culinary options. They’re fueled with wood pellets made of compressed hardwood sawdust, which allows them to heat quickly, burn hot and create clean smoke. Pellet grills and smokers are very user friendly and provide consistent and even cooking for a variety of your favorite dishes.

It’s all about those juicy steaks with that iconic flavor that we all love so much and allows you to use different wood pellets for that extra flavor. We’ll show you all the advantages of a wood pellet grill, how to use one safely and a few points to consider before purchasing one.

Cuisinart CPG-256 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Black and Dark Gray
  • 8-in-1 COOKING CAPABILITIES: 256 sq.in. of cooking space, with an integrated Sear Zone expands your cooking capabilities; Smoke, BBQ, Grill, Roast,...
  • PORTABLE DESIGN: Lightweight at 45lbs, 24 x 18 x 15, and the locking lid with handle makes it easy to take anywhere.
  • ADVANCED WOOD FIRE TECHNOLOGY: With a wide temperature range from 180°F to 500°F, the digital control automatically adds pellets as needed to...

Last update on 2024-04-14  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

What is the Difference Between A Pellet Grill and Smoker?

Pellet grills and pellet smokers are sometimes used to mean the same thing. In general terms, they are the same thing. However, grills aren’t necessarily smokers and vice versa. You’ll see the two names used interchangeably. When it comes to choosing between a pellet grill and a pellet smoker, remember that they can usually do both. However, if you prefer to smoke instead of grill, get the smoker.

Pellet grills use more heat than smoke and cook faster than pellet smokers.

A pellet smoker means longer cooking at lower heat. Pellet smokers are better if you want smoke flavored food. A pellet grill would be your better choice if you’re going to sear and barbecue.

A pellet grill and pellet smoker use the same fuel source: hardwood pellets.

They both use wood pellet and both need electricity to ignite the pellets and regulate the thermostat, fan, and auger, among other features. Again, they are not the same but work very similarly.  

You may find that a pellet grill/smoker combo is what you need.

Maybe you want to do both, but purchasing them separately is too expensive. If you do both, you may want to consider a grill/smoker combo. BBQ everything from slow-smoked brisket to flame-seared steak. Owning a combo grill and smoker will give you the chance to prepare delicious meals in a variety of ways.

Pellet Grill and Pellet Smoker- Main Differences

A pellet grill is typically a larger, freestanding outdoor grill that can be used for grilling, smoking, roasting and more. It often has a hopper to hold the wood pellets and a temperature control system to regulate the heat. Pellet grills are versatile and can be used to cook a variety of different foods.

A pellet smoker, on the other hand is generally smaller and more compact and designed specifically for smoking food. It typically has a smaller hopper for wood pellets and may not have as many features as a pellet grill. Pellet smokers are your best choice for smoking and slow-cooking meat.

Too add to the confusion, a few companies manufacture pellet grill and smoker combos. These are supposed to do everything from grilling and smoking to baking, roasting, searing, and more. This comparison guide for pellet grill vs. pellet smoker should help you decide. A smoker is a device that allows cooking at low temperatures in a controlled and smoky environment and is ideal for smoking food. We mainly use smokers for making barbecue ribs, pork butt and use a grill for steak and burgers.

Pellet grills and smokers are really today’s upgrades to traditional charcoal or wood smokers and grills. The most important feature is that they work on hardwood pellets. wood pellets are the fuel source that provides indirect heat. Unlike in a normal grill, the food in a pellet grill is not cooked over direct flame.

The main difference between pellet grill and smoker is that pellet grills offer many cooking options like grilling, smoking, roasting, and baking, while smokers mainly offer the option of smoking food. If you love the taste of slow-cooked smoked meats but hate to stand over and monitor a charcoal smoker for hours on end, then a pellet grill might be perfect for you.

Pellet Grills

Pellet grills have elements of ovens, smokers, gas grills, and charcoal grills. They have a similar appearance and mechanism as traditional smokers. The most important feature of pellet grills is that they work on pure hardwood pellets. They act as the fuel source that provides indirect heat. Unlike in a normal grill, the food in a pellet grill is not cooked over direct flame

Pellet Smokers

Pellet smokers perform the same function as traditional stand-alone smokers but require less monitoring. They are heated with wood pellets fed from a hopper, just like pellet grills, and have a temperature control for long, slow smoking. The best pellet smokers for entertaining have multiple racks with lots of surface area for accommodating large racks of ribs, chickens and turkeys, and side dishes.

The smoke produced by the wood pellets is clean and mild. As a result, your food is infused with a subtle touch of smoke.

Pellet Smoker and Grills Comparison Table

Here’s everything you need to know about one of the best selling pellet grills and smokers. By going through this review, you can find out about the build quality, features, and performance. So without any delay, let’s dig in!

Our Choice
Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill, Pack of 1, Black
Popular
Pit Boss PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, 440 SERIES, Black
Trending
Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill Smoker with PID 2.0 Controller, 700 Cooking Area, Meat Probes, Rain Cover for Outdoor...
Model
Camp Chef Model PG24MZG
PIT BOSS PB440D2, 440 Series
Z GRILLS Model 7002C
Description
Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill, Pack of 1, Black
Pit Boss PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, 440 SERIES, Black
Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill Smoker with PID 2.0 Controller, 700 Cooking Area, Meat Probes, Rain Cover for Outdoor...
Dimensions
40.5 x 25 x 22 inches
50.2 x 24.02 x 39.8 inches
48 x 26 x 51 inches
Weight
144 lbs
96 lbs
84 lbs
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
-
Our Choice
Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill, Pack of 1, Black
Model
Camp Chef Model PG24MZG
Description
Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill, Pack of 1, Black
Dimensions
40.5 x 25 x 22 inches
Weight
144 lbs
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
More Details
Popular
Pit Boss PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, 440 SERIES, Black
Model
PIT BOSS PB440D2, 440 Series
Description
Pit Boss PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, 440 SERIES, Black
Dimensions
50.2 x 24.02 x 39.8 inches
Weight
96 lbs
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
More Details
Trending
Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill Smoker with PID 2.0 Controller, 700 Cooking Area, Meat Probes, Rain Cover for Outdoor...
Model
Z GRILLS Model 7002C
Description
Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill Smoker with PID 2.0 Controller, 700 Cooking Area, Meat Probes, Rain Cover for Outdoor...
Dimensions
48 x 26 x 51 inches
Weight
84 lbs
Prime Status
-
More Details

Last update on 2024-04-14  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Selling Pellet Grills

Bestseller No. 1
Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2024 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Control, 450 Sq in...
  • ★Ultimate 6-in-1-- barbecue wood fire pellet grill: bbq✓bake✓roast✓braise✓smoke✓grill
  • ★Fan-forced Convection cooking-eliminates the need for a rotisserie and creates a versatile environment for grilling, roasting, smoking, braising...
  • ★2019 UPGRADE--Temperature and Pellet Feed Control System. The new upgrade digital control board auto ignites the grill and allows you to set the...
Bestseller No. 2
Cuisinart CPG-465 Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker with Digital Controller, 465 sq. inch Cooking Space, 8-in-1...
133 Reviews
Cuisinart CPG-465 Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker with Digital Controller, 465 sq. inch Cooking Space, 8-in-1...
  • 8-in-1 COOKING CAPABILITIES: 465 sq.in. of cooking space expands your cooking capabilities; Smoke, BBQ, Grill, Roast, Braise, Sear, Bake, and...
  • PORTABLE DESIGN: All-Terrain Wheels and Lift Handle makes it easy to move when not in use. 13 lb Hopper Capacity, 13 inches of prep space with bottle...
  • ADVANCED WOOD FIRE TECHNOLOGY: With a wide temperature range from 180°F to 500°F, the digital control automatically adds pellets as needed to...
Bestseller No. 3
Traeger Grills Pro 22 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Bronze
1,763 Reviews
Traeger Grills Pro 22 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Bronze
  • Never use gas or charcoal again: cooking with wood just tastes better. Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill as the ultimate way to achieve...
  • Versatile barbecue cooking: hot and fast, or low and slow, the Traeger Pro Series 22 pellet grill offers 6-in-1 versatility to grill, smoke, bake,...
  • Precision temperature control: The Digital Pro Controller rocks Advanced Grilling Logic, which maintains a +/- 15 degree F temperature control to...

Last update on 2024-03-26  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

Camp Chef Pellet Grills. Gaining in popularity among pellet grill users.

Bestseller No. 1
Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 24 Grill - Pellet Grill & Smoker for Outdoor Cooking - Comes with WIFI Connectivity -...
  • WIFI Smoker & Pellet Grill: This Camp Chef pellet grill lets you monitor and control cooking from your smartphone using Bluetooth or WIFI
  • Sidekick Compatible: Attach a Sidekick to your Camp Chef pellet grill; lets you add a griddle, grill, artisan oven, stock pot, and more
  • Camp Chef Pellet Grill: Download the app to set timers, receive notifications and monitor your food from anywhere with this smoker and pellet grill
Bestseller No. 2
Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill, Pack of 1, Black
871 Reviews
Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill, Pack of 1, Black
  • SLIDE AND GRILL- grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and barbecue with Premium wood-fired flavor on a single grill. Digital control, best of both...
  • NEW PID CONTROLLER- Gen 2 PID Controller 1-10 Smoke Setting (Not WIFI Compatible)
  • EASY ASH CLEANOUT- cleaning between cooks is as easy as pulling a lever, thanks to the exclusive ash cleanout system You won’t find on any other...
Bestseller No. 3
Camp Chef - Woodwind Pro 24 Sidekick Sear
  • Smoke Box - You've never experienced total cook customization like this. The newly added Smoke Box allows you to simultaneously control heat and...
  • Down & Out Ventilation - Get even heat and smoke throughout the entire chamber with an edge to edge convection.
  • WIFI Controller + Camp Chef Connect - Connect our top of the line controller to the Camp Chef Connect App

Last update on 2024-03-26  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

How Does a Pellet Grill Work?

To use a pellet grill or pellet smoker grill, start by pouring the wood pellets into the hopper that is mounted on the grill. An electric motor powers an auger that moves the pellets from the hopper to the firebox. The wood pellets provide the fuel for cooking, but the grill requires electricity to power the auger, controller and fan. An ignition device lights the pellets, creating the combustion that cooks the food in the cook chamber. Intake fans bring in air to keep the fire burning. The fans then circulate heat and smoke inside the cooking area and creates a convection cooking environment.

Most models operate in the same way. Pour the wood pellets into a storage container or hopper. The pellets are then fed into a burn pot or firebox by a rotating auger. When the pellets ignite, they cause a flame. As we pour more pellets in, the flame is maintained. A temperature controller controls the timing of the feed. The intake fans in the grill bring in air, which blows heat and smoke throughout the device.

A digital controller regulates continued delivery of the pellets to the firebox to keep the grill at the designated temperature, usually between 160 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This controller gives you precise control of the cooking environment just like an oven. You can cook slowly at a low temperature or more quickly with some high heat. Most pellet grills include a meat probe that monitors the temperature of the meat you’re cooking and connects to the temperature control system.

How Does a Pellet Smoker Work?

A pellet smoker works like a pellet grill by heating a cooking chamber where air circulates, heating food via convection. Hardwood pellets burn at the bottom of the cooking chamber or fire pot, while food sits on grill grates near the top of the chamber.

Mainly, since pellet grills use an automated fuel and air delivery system, it is much easier to control temperatures with a pellet smoker. Unlike a grill, a smoker injects that beautiful smokey flavor into your food. You can also experiment with different kinds of wood pellets according to taste.

Pellet Grill Advantages and Disadvantages

Here are few points to think about when considering a pellet grill versus a gas or charcoal grill:

  • Pellet grills and smokers don’t heat up as quickly as a gas grill, but they maintain a more even temperature once they’re hot.
  • Pellet grills and smokers cook with indirect heat that is circulated using a fan for a more consistent smoke flavor, but they don’t char food quite like a gas grill. Some of the best pellet grills include a flame broiler feature for finishing meats at high temperatures.
  • They both use electricity, so they’re not as portable as gas grills and are best for cooking at home rather than tailgating and camping.
  • The location of the power outlet and cord length will affect where you can place the grill. You can use an extension cord with some models but follow the manufacturer’s specifications.

Smart Pellet Grills

Some of the latest-model pellet grills and smokers include convenient smart technology that makes using them even easier and worry free. Using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, you can pair them with a smart device and use an app to keep up with when preheating, monitoring the correct cooking temperature, know when your food is done or when to flip your food among many other helpful features.

The Heat Source

The heat source of burning wood pellets are close to the food. Since a pellet grill has a horizontal design, you lay the food out at one level over the heat. However, a few pellet grill models of different brands have an additional rack above. 

A pellet smoker has a heat source at the base of its vertical design. You have a couple of racks where you place the foods to be smoked. The foods on the upper racks are farther away from the burning pellets and will cook slower. 

Shop related products like cookbooks and accessories.

Traeger Grill & Smoker Cookbook 2022: The Complete Guide to Master Your Traeger Wood Pellet Grill with 200 Tasty...
Traeger Grill & Smoker Cookbook 2022: The Complete Guide to Master Your Traeger Wood Pellet Grill with 200 Tasty...
Welsh, Michael T. (Author); English (Publication Language); 118 Pages - 12/19/2022 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
Pit Boss 40 lb Hickory Blend Hardwood Pellets
Pit Boss 40 lb Hickory Blend Hardwood Pellets
No artificial flavors, spray scents, glues or chemicals; Burn hotter and cleaner; Our raw wood is sourced across North America to make a superior product
Amazon Prime

Last update on 2024-04-14  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

The Taste Test- Pellet Grill vs. Pellet Smoker

A pellet smoker can be used to smoke meat that you generally would grill, like a steak. However, you need a pellet grill if you wish to sear the steak. Some people like to use both, a pellet smoker for the delicious smoky flavor and a pellet grill for an awesome searing finish. 

Vegetables are a different story, of course. If you do not have the required low heat setting, a pellet grill may burn your veggies instead of smoking them. This problem is also common among those using a pellet grill for smoking meats at the highest temperatures. 

You need an appropriately low temperature and the required cooking time for the desired smoky flavor. A pellet grill or combo is not a truly fitting or practical alternative for a pellet smoker. Similarly, a vertical pellet smoker cannot grill, sear, or barbecue. 

If you want a subtle smoky flavor instead of going full-throttle with the smoked cooking method, a pellet grill capable of smoking can be worthwhile. If your pellet grill comes with an additional rack you can use it for slow and long smoking.

What Foods Can You Cook on a Pellet Grill or Smoker?

If you can smoke it, grill it or roast it, you can try it on a pellet grill or smoker. Versatility is probably the number one advantage of a pellet grill or smoker over most other cookers like gas or charcoal grills.

The secret is the convection heat style of cooking. That heat is perfect for cooking large cuts of beef, lamb, or pork, or whole poultry. They’re great for smaller items, too, like steaks and burgers, sausages and wings, and more.

  • 1. Chicken. On a pellet grill, you can cook anything from chicken thighs, chicken breasts, and even whole chicken. A smoked chicken is genuinely delicious and works well with any of your favorite seasonings. Smaller chicken breasts or thighs may take about an hour to cook, whereas a whole chicken may take several hours. Smoking chicken on a pellet grill is something that can quickly work for a weeknight meal.
  • 2. Burgers. Can you cook burgers on a pellet grill? Absolutely! The wood pellet grill’s smoky flavor gives your burger a unique taste and pellet grills with a searing feature allow you to get desired sear marks on your burgers. You get a great grilled flavor. Once you grill your first cheeseburger on a pellet grill, you’ll taste the difference.
  • 3. Pulled Pork. Pulled pork is the perfect meat to start with when you’re new to a pellet grill. A pork shoulder will cook low and slow for 6-8 hours, depending on the size and produce a delicious meal for a family get together.
  • 4. Ribs. Smoked baby back ribs are hard to beat. When you get a craving for restaurant style ribs at home, the best way to cook them is with a pellet grill or smoker. The low and slow smoke approach gives the ribs an incredibly tender and flavorful taste. Most ribs will take 3-5 hours so put these ribs in the pellet grill and you’ll have a meal ready by dinner!
  • 5. Brisket. Brisket is another meat that works well in a pellet grill or smoker. It’s also simple to cook with your desired seasoning rub in a pellet grill. You place your beef brisket in the pellet grill and let it smoke to perfection all day for a delicious dinner. A juicy and tender meat that everyone will talk about. 

More Food Options For Grills and Smokers.

1. Vegetables. Looking for a quick side dish? Pellet grilling vegetables is the solution! Brussels sprouts and asparagus are some of our favorite vegetables to pellet grill, but root vegetables such as carrots get that slight caramelization that you can’t not love when you cook them on the pellet grill.

2. Turkey. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, the pellet grill is the easiest and most delicious way to cook your turkey. Once your turkey is prepared and seasoned, you simply place it in the pellet grill and leave it until it’s time for the big meal. Then, you and your guests will taste the difference in your holiday turkey cooked on the pellet grill!

3. Wings. It’s time for the big game, and you need a meal that will feed your hungry guests. Instead of take-out, your pellet grill can whip up delicious wings that satisfy a crowd. Smoking and baking the wings make for an incredibly tender and tasty meal.

4. Salmon. For all the seafood lovers out there, you can make some of the best smoked salmon at home on your pellet grill. Salmon is the perfect type of fish to cook on the pellet grill because it holds up well to the low and slow smoking. Use your favorite seasoning rub, place it in the pellet grill, and you can have a tender and flavorful salmon in about an hour!

Smoker, Grill or Combination Model

Cooking in a pellet grill or smoker is straightforward, provides creative opportunities and unforgettable flavors that will have everyone coming back for more. Try out one of different meats, poultry and vegetables. When you are ready to bring home that new pellet grill or smoker, be sure to come back here for more tips and recipes!

The ultimate deciding factors will be your primary cooking method and personal preference. A pellet grill and smoker combo may give you the best of both worlds. A pellet smoker will not sear, grill, char, or barbecue like a pellet grill. You can always consider a grill and a smoker if you can afford both. Compare relevant models and choose an appropriate one that works for you but make sure a particular pellet grill or pellet smoker can deliver what you want it to.

Is A Pellet Grill Worth It?

Lets be real here. Pellet grills are not for everybody but they do have their fans! Grilling is a huge market with gas grills leading the way followed by charcoal grills . Pellet grills are easy to start and offer temperature control that you won’t find with gas or charcoal. They also excel at cooking meats with that touch of smokey flavor.

I would recommend a pellet grill if you like the taste of smokey BBQ but don’t care too much about searing steaks. They are your best choice if you cook ribs, brisket, and pulled pork. But if you’re just into burgers and brats, spending $1000 on a pellet grill is probably overkill. My advice for aspiring pitmasters is to buy an entry level pellet grill for around $400. Try it for one season and get to know exactly what it requires to get those ribs or brisket to a mouth watering delight. I think after you try it, a pellet grill may become your grill of choice over gas or charcoal.

Your possibilities are endless so it’s time to grill and chill.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.