In this article, you will discover how a pellet grill is a smart investment for grills who want to diversify their menu options. We will then describe the criteria for choosing the best pellet racks on the market, followed by reviews of our selections. Frequently asked questions about burning come below, and we'll end up with the best grill brands.
Pellet Grills: The Grill-Smoker Hybrid That Offers The Best Of Both Worlds
Pellet Grills inherit the convenience of an electric grill, the dexterity of the charcoal grill and the distinctive smoking ability of a smoker. They can deliver steaks with pinkish smoke rings and an irresistible smoke aroma, hallmarks of a great barbecue and chefs' hallmarks of honor. Not only for roasting and smoking, the pellet racks are versatile : they can also roast, broil and bake.
An automatic feed mechanism adjusts the temperature by adding the corresponding amount of pellets, so you do not need to manually adjust the fuel and air flow. With this system, will reach and maintain the desired temperature with precise precision and ease .
And once the desired temperature is reached, a built-in fan regulates and distributes the air flow evenly through the interior, so the possibility of uneven cooking is dramatically reduced . To some extent, a pellet grill is comparable to a convection oven.
Compared to coal or wood chips, pellets have less moisture and higher combustion efficiency, as noted by Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences . Furthermore, the granules are easier and faster to ignite and leave less residue. Pellets also come in various flavors, but the most popular are oak, walnut, mesquite, and maple.
What is the best pellet grill for you?
To determine that, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Pellet racks are diverse in retail prices, ranging from $ 300 to $ 1,300, depending on brand, capacity, and other additional features. To say it in advance: it will not be cheap. However, there are pellet grills that can go under $ 300, but they are small and their quality is questionable, to say the least.
Regular pellet racks can sell anywhere from $ 500 to $ 900. They come equipped with a fully automatic hopper (the container containing the granules) and a bucket of grease. If the extra features matter to you, you can go for larger grills with remote control options and storage cabinets, but those grills can cost more than $ 1,000.
If you regularly host grill festivals on the weekends , you should choose a large grill with a spacious cooking chamber. Otherwise, if you only plan to make a cozy dinner for your family once in a while, then a medium grill should suffice.
The size of the hopper is another thing to check carefully: a deep fuel box means you won't run the risk of fuel shortages, especially when you're roasting at high temperatures.
Rust and corrosion are unavoidable. It is not about how, but when.
Coated steel grills can withstand high heat well and can resist rust and elements for at least a few years before succumbing to corrosion. Since stainless steel is expensive, you won't find many pellet racks made entirely of this material, but there are a few racks with stainless steel components that are worth a look.
Sometimes you need to move the grill due to rain or the location of the power source. Therefore, look for models that are equipped with wheels and castors with locks, so that they can be easily moved and secured in a new position.
Or, if you are a camp enthusiast, you may want a compact grill that you can bring with you on your trip, as long as there is an outlet, be it a portable generator, your car cigarette lighter, or an RV .
Since the pellet racks are electrically operated, you can adjust the temperature exactly as you need. The control panel can be analog or digital, depending on the model.
Therefore, you want to get an easy control regulator, and possibly an integrated thermometer to check the internal temperature without opening the lid too often.
Ease of Cleaning
The party was fun, the food was excellent, and once the guests were gone, the host will take care of all the greasy mess.
To minimize cleaning problems, you should cover the drip pan and grease bucket with thick replaceable liners. They are made of aluminum foil and are cheap and easy to replace.
When purchasing a new pellet grill, you should look for those with removable components that can be washed and dried separately.
As for the hopper (the container for the granules) and the grill itself, some models have closed doors to empty the ashes and the remaining unburned granules. If there are none, you can use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum all the debris.
- Side Search Box
- WiFi Compatible Control: Allows you to monitor and control the grill from afar when you watch the game on TV, greet guests, or prepare other dishes indoors.
- Bottom Shelf or Cabinet – Will provide additional space for the grill workstation, where they can put spices, condiments, food trays, and utensils.
Comments on the best pellet grills to buy in 2020
Below, you will find find our carefully selected candidates. These best pellet grills will enrich your food with a totally natural smoky flavor!
- Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill – Best Buy from Publisher
- Z-Grill Premium 7002E Pellet Grill – Best Wood Pellet Grill
- Pellet Grill GMG Davy Crockett – Best For The Money
- Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Pellet Grill – Top Rated  Pellet Rack Rec Tec RT-700 – Best Pellet Smoker Grill
- Camp Chef SG 24 Pellet grill with search box – Best for searing
- Z- Grill 450A Pellet Grill – Best portable
Here are our best options for the best pellet grills.
1. Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Rack – The Editor's Best Choice
It is always important to make a lasting first impression, and the Traeger Pro Series 34 surely captures the eyes of onlookers, possibly because of its oversized size and rugged construction.
We chose the Traeger Pro Series 34 for its extra large size and robust construction. It's a versatile grill with multiple cooking options, all packed in the same unit: grill, smoked, baked, roasted, and braised. Of course, its cost can be quite exorbitant, its overall performance is enthusiastically received by the grilling community. In fact, this grill is so loved by barbecue fans, it is not surprising that the Traeger Pro Series 34 makes another feature in our picks for the best grills of 2020.
The grill measures 22 inches in depth by 54 inches width by 49 inches height in exterior dimensions, with the interior offering 646 square inches of grilling surface. The grill can hold several large items at once: eight whole chickens, seven prime ribs, or 30 hamburgers. The hopper can hold up to 18 pounds of granules.
The body and cover are made of coated steel, making them reasonably resistant to rust from high heat, weather and daily wear and tear. Meanwhile, the grill is made of porcelain enameled steel. The frame, named "saw horse chassis" by Traegger, is painted wood.
Weighing in at 125 pounds, the Pro Series 34 is easy to move thanks to wheels and off-road wheels, which can traverse any surface.
Traeger claims that the Pro 34 Series Pro Digital Controller integrates advanced grill logic, a feature that keeps the selected temperature constant. That way, you can adjust the temperature to your liking, get away, and take on other chores.
Ease of cleaning
The grill is easy to clean with a grill brush and dish soap.
The grill has a built-in tilted tray that will collect fat and meat juices. These drops will follow the tray into the bucket on the side of the grill. This design not only eases the cleaning load, but also prevents grease from falling into the fire, creating carcinogenic compounds.
If you don't feel like scraping charred parts and grease from the drip tray, you can use the liners (sold separately). The liners are made of aluminum foil and are disposable, saving you a considerable amount of cleaning time.
As for the bucket, you can stack the cup-shaped liners inside the bucket, and as long as the grease fill the bucket close to the edge, you can take the cup out of the top liner, pour the grease and the new cup is ready .
When you clean the hopper, it has a rear cleaning door so you can get rid of the remaining pellets, clean the ash or change the type of pellet if you want to be creative with the different flavors.
The Pro Series 34 can accommodate a collapsible front shelf and a bottom shelf for cookware. , condiments and spices. But these parts are not included in the grill, so you need to buy them separately.
The included dual temperature probes allow you to monitor food and temperature inside the grill without opening the lid too frequently, losing heat. The display on the control panel will keep you updated with the temperature inside the grill as the reading is updated every second. You can always grill meat at your favorite cooking point, without being more afraid of overcooking or undercooking. If the Pro Series Traeger 34 is too big and over budget, you can take a closer look at the Lil Tex Elite 22. Although much smaller, its construction and performance are similar.
The Traeger Pro Series 34 ranks first for its overall performance, consistency, and durability. As a brilliant example of Traeger's high-quality product, it sets benchmarks for the other pellet racks to follow.
2. Z-Grill Premium 7002E Pellet Rack – The Best Wood Pellet Rack
The Z-Grill Premium 7002 is a combination of price and function. You can cook multiple dishes well enough, with a smoky aroma to boot, at a reasonable price.
The grill measures 22 inches deep by 48 inches wide by 51 inches tall. The primary grill surface measures 504 square inches, while the warming grid provides another 190 square inches, totaling 694 square inches.
The 7002E has stainless steel body and hopper lids, while the rest of the grill is powder coated steel. It can withstand weather, daily use and heat quite well.
Weighing 112 pounds, the grill is not that heavy. However, the lack of wheels makes this grill particularly difficult to turn on its side or turn in corners. That said, the dual off-road wheels are versatile enough to cross multiple surfaces.
You must place the grill on a flat and even surface, since the wheels are not blocked, which means that the grill can roll if it is parked on sloping ground.
The automatic pellet feed mechanism, controlled by a knob, allows you to control the temperature, which ranges from 180 ° F to 475 ° F. You can also select the mode of smoking over low heat or roast over high heat.
The built-in sensor reads the internal temperature and automatically adds the correct amount of granules, maintaining the temperature and the amount of smoke. When the preferred temperature is reached, the 110-volt fan circulates the air inside the cooking chamber evenly. You no longer have to stick to the grill – just adjust the temperature as you like, and the grill will keep you warm.
Also worth mentioning is the shutdown cycle, which runs the fan a few more minutes before completely turning off the device for cleaning. At this point, the 7002E is cool to the touch, ensuring it won't burn when you're cleaning or vacuuming the grill.
Ease of cleaning
The racks are reasonably easy to clean by hand.  Like most pellet racks, the 7002E has a built-in drip tray that traps grease and dripping grease and allows them to slide off the grill into the external grease bucket.
The pellet purge system allows you to clean the remaining pellets, or replace the current granules with a different type, in case you want to mix and match or experiment with other wood flavors.
What we really like about the Z-Grill 7002E is its huge sized hopper, which can hold an incredible 20 pounds of granules.
Last but not least, there is the bottom shelf where you can place your kitchen utensils, food trays, and spices. Although the shelf itself isn't that big, it's still nice to have that extra workspace. But the point is, it doesn't come with the grill, so you'll need to buy it separately.
If you fancy a different color, Z-Grill offers the Master 700D, another model worth considering. It is a larger model with an elegant bronze finish and has a built-in cabinet.
The Z-Grill 7002E will infuse the natural scent of hardwood into your food, giving you the irresistible smoky flavor that everyone loves. .
3. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Rack – Best for the Money
If you are on a tight budget, why not consider the Green Mountain Grills (GMG) Davy Crockett? The mini smokehouse is the perfect companion when you're on a camping trip in the RV, or you can place it in the back of a truck to travel to a tailgate party. Not only compact, this grill also generates quite a bit of heat.
The grill measures 23 inches deep by 34 inches wide by 31.75 inches high when the legs are open and 17.5 inches deep by 27.75 inches wide by 20.5 inches high when the legs are closed. Although its modest 219 square inches of grilling surface isn't many, it's still enough for a picnic of four.
The pellet hopper is capable of holding nine pounds of granules, with an inclined design to help the granules fall easily into the feed system.
The Davy Crockett is made of coated steel for durability and rust resistance, and aluminum for portability.
Weighing in at 68 pounds, this pellet rack is heavy to carry, as there are no wheels or casters. Although the folding legs also function as a handle, it can be quite troublesome when unloaded inside or outside the vehicle and moved to other locations.
The Davy Crockett is incorporated in a thermal sensor, called Sense-Mate dubbing: which records and analyzes the temperature every second. It can be easily converted between degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.
The GMG Smart Control allows you to monitor and adjust the grill from a distance via your mobile device, provided there is a WiFi connection. However, you can also control it manually.
With a temperature range of 150 ° F to 550 ° F and a 5 degree step control, you can adjust the heat to your heart's content. The Davy Crockett is also equipped with a meat probe, so you can monitor your steaks without opening the lid.
What we like most about this Davy Crockett is its flexible power supply. Most pellet racks can only be plugged into an electrical outlet. The Davy Crockett, however, can be connected to a portable generator, a recreational vehicle power outlet, or a car cigarette lighter outlet. ), which effortlessly feeds fuel to the fire. Meanwhile, the 4100 RPM combustion fan motor keeps the oxygen in, keeping the pellets on fire while circulating the temperature inside the grill.
The 60 watt Davy Crockett runs on 12 volts, while its lighter is 100 watts.
Ease of cleaning
The grill, drip tray, heat shield and grease bucket are easy to wash by hand, using a grill brush and regular detergents.
GMG also recommends routine deep cleaning after using 2-3 pellet bags (80-100 pounds), during which you must repair the firebox and lighter carefully.
The Davy Crockett has a multi-hook side rack for cookware. Although the shelf is small, extra space and comfort are always welcome.
What we particularly like is the easy to use application. It is available on iOS and Android devices. You can turn the grill on or off, adjust the temperature, and set alarms for the probes. Additional app features include fan mode, timer, and stopwatch.
When the preset temperature is reached, the pellet hopper is running out of fuel, or one of the grill parts is not working normally, you will receive an alert. You can also set custom profiles for your separate dishes.
But what if it's out of your WiFi coverage? You can connect to server mode, so no matter where you are, you can always keep an eye on your favorite steaks on the go.
For such an affordable pellet grill, but with so many additional features, the Davy Crockett is a rare gem among budget models on the market.
4. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Pellet Rack – Top Rated
We chose the DLX 24 for its popularity among the broiler community. The reasons it is highly rated on Amazon are its excellent overall performance, compact size, and low cost.
The DLX 24 has a smaller grill area of 429 square inches combined with an additional 141 square inches on the top warming rack for a total of 570 square inches of culinary creativity. The grill measures 32.5 inches tall, with the cooking chamber measuring 3778 cubic inches. The hopper can hold up to 18 pounds of granules.
The DLX 24 is made of high strength coated steel.
Weighing 140 pounds, the DLX 24 is equipped with wheels for mobility and has locks on the wheels to prevent the grill from slipping, even on a sloping surface.
The built-in electronic electronic ignition can easily start and preheat the grill. Also, you don't have to struggle to keep up with temperature changes, because all the data is shown on the LED display – you can control the temperature inside the grill and the temperature of the meat through the probes, eliminating the need of guesswork.
The temperature selection system is easy to use: just dial the knob to your preferred temperature, and the grill will take care of the rest. The heat is maintained as the automatic auger continuously feeds the granules from the hopper into the burning combustion chamber. With the help of the convection fan, hot air is evenly distributed throughout the grill interior.
You can set the heat from 160 ° F to 500 ° F and anywhere in between. With this wide temperature range, you can smoke, grill, broil and brown at will.
Ease of cleaning
The screen is reasonably easy to clean. For the stubborn dirt, you can use baking soda.
The hopper has an ash cleaning system that collects the ashes that fall from the combustion chamber. All you have to do is remove the mug from the bottom of the grill, dump the debris, wipe with a clean rag, and put it back on the grill.
If you are cleaning the inside of the grill, you can pull a lever to empty the remaining ashes from the bottom of the grill and vacuum the rest.
The side table measures 16 inches by 12 inches, adding workspace for spices, rubs, or tools.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the grill is under warranty for 3 years, the manual says. Only 1 year. However, this is quickly addressed by the support team on the manufacturer's main website.
The only thing to note here is that the previous warming rack could have been bigger. Overall, this is a well-made, well-performing option popular with the barbecue community. If bronze is not to your liking, then you probably fancy a mysterious black grill, which is also from Camp Chef
A pellet grill that promises little but delivers too much like the SmokePro DLX 24 is not something what you often come across.
5. Rec Tec RT-700 Pellet Grill: The Best Pellet Grill Smoker Smoker Grill
Next on our list is the Rec Tec RT700, a unique looking grill with impressive smoking capacity.
The surface of the primary grill measures 702 square inches, spacious enough to fit a whole turkey or six large ribs. However, with an additional grill, which can be purchased separately, you can further expand the interior to 1,054 square inches.
The dimensions of the RT-700 are as follows, as detailed by the manufacturer:
Material  As for the exterior, Rec Tec uses stainless steel for the cooking chamber, bull horn handles, towel ring, control rack, hopper cover and its handles, hinges, lid stop, grease bucket hook, chimney cap and handle. Meanwhile, the lid is made of powder coated steel.
As for the interior, the grates, the fire pot, the heat deflector, the smoke tray and the drip tray are made of 304 stainless steel. Meanwhile, the HotFlash ignition system is ceramic.
It is not just the logo that bears the image of a bull, but the Rec Tec RT-700 also looks like one, with the horns for the hands and the nose ring for the towel rack.
The off-road wheels can traverse different surfaces, while the wheels rotate the grill effortlessly. However, the RT-700 cannot go sideways.
Using Smart Control, the PID algorithm will accurately maintain the temperature: the RT-700 allows you to set the desired temperature (the set point) and control the actual temperature. -Time readings: the actual temperature inside the chamber. For more precise roasting on specific items, on the control panel, there are two more ports where you can connect the two meat probes that come with the grill.
With the temperature range of 200 ° F to 500 ° F, you can adjust it in 5 degree increments until you are satisfied. But if you want slow smoke, the LO setting works below 200 ° F to achieve the maximum amount of smoke. The 110 volt pellet grill is easy to use as the on and off is fully automatic. The Rec Tec RT-700 has multiple cooking options: smoked, barbecue, roasted, baked, and roasted.
Ease of cleaning
Grease bucket, screen and drip tray are reasonably easy to wash by hand. A metal grill brush soaked in warm soapy water should suffice.
The Rec Tec Grills application, available for Apple and Android devices, will allow you to monitor and control the RT-700 from afar. The application is easy to use.
With a 40 pound capacity, the hopper can hold an impressive number of granules. Rec Tec claims that you can cook over 40 hours non-stop with a full hopper.
The bottom shelf provides additional storage space, so you can place trays and spices on it. Tool hooks will keep utensils and tools within easy reach, adding convenience for cooks. Also, the RT-700 has an interior light, which will come in handy at night.
Although its price may raise a few eyebrows, the Rec Tec RT-700 is a worthwhile investment for those who want to smoke large chunks of brisket or ribs. In the long run, it will prove to be not only a wise decision, but also the heart and soul of every barbecue festival you host for the neighborhood.
6. Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 Pellet grill with lunch box: best for roasting
Although pellet grills are versatile, there is one cooking method in particular that does not handle very well due to its maximum temperature: roasting. And that's why we chose the Woodwind SG 24, the ideal solution for those looking for grill marks on their steaks.
A combination of 382 square inches of the top warming rack and 429 square inches on the bottom rack provides a total of 811 square inches of cooking surface. El SG 24 mide 42 pulgadas de alto y la cámara de cocción mide 4850 pulgadas cúbicas. El cuadro de fiador lateral mide 11.5 pulgadas por 16 pulgadas, proporcionando un área de cocción adicional de 184 pulgadas cuadradas.
En cuanto a la capacidad de la tolva, mientras que las parrillas Woodwind más antiguas podían contener 18 libras de gránulos, la SG 24 puede contener 22 libras.
Camp Chef utiliza una variedad de materiales para los componentes: acero esmaltado para el rejilla inferior, acero niquelado para la rejilla superior y acero inoxidable para el cuadro de búsqueda.
A pesar de pesar 150 libras, el Woodwind SG 24 viene con ruedas y ruedas todo terreno, por lo que es fácil de mover la parrilla a través de diferentes superficies. Las ruedas tienen bloqueos para evitar que la parrilla se deslice.
Control de temperatura
Al igual que otras parrillas de pellets, la SG 24 puede fumar, asar, asar, hornear y asar. Sin embargo, lo que diferencia a esta parrilla de pellets de las otras es su capacidad de abrasión. El cuadro de fiambre puede alcanzar hasta 900 ° F, dando a su comida una superficie crujiente y caramelizada. El quemador de acero inoxidable puede distribuir 16000 BTU de capacidad de calentamiento.
Al igual que otras parrillas de pellets, el Woodwind SG 24 tiene un sistema de encendido automático. Todas las lecturas de temperatura se muestran en la pantalla LED, incluida la temperatura dentro de la parrilla y la temperatura de la sonda.
El SG 24 tiene un control digital y un sinfín automático alimenta los gránulos a la fuente de calor ardiente. para mantener la temperatura.
Hablando de temperatura, una perilla le permite marcar el ajuste de 160 ° F a 500 ° F, y las dos sondas de carne le permitirán saber qué tan bien se cocinan sus alimentos.
Facilidad de limpieza  La rejilla, el cubo y la bandeja de goteo se pueden lavar fácilmente a mano. Debe usar agua tibia y jabón y un cepillo de parrilla para fregar la suciedad y las piezas carbonizadas.
El sistema de limpieza de cenizas recogerá la ceniza que cae en la parte inferior de la parrilla, y la puerta de la tolva le permite vaciar fácilmente el resto pellets
El Woodwind SG 24 también viene con un estante inferior para espacio de almacenamiento adicional y un abridor de botellas incorporado, para arrancar.
Si la plata no es de su agrado, entonces quizás la versión negra o la versión de bronce puedan despertar su interés.
Cuando se trata de cortar en una parrilla de pellets, el Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 es insuperable. Ofrece una amplia gama de métodos de cocción que pueden satisfacer los paladares de diferentes comensales.
7. Z-Grill 450A Pellet Grill – Mejor portátil
Con la elección final, elegimos el Z-Grill 450A. Al igual que otros productos de Z-Grill, es una buena combinación de funcionalidad, portabilidad y presupuesto amigable.
Combinando el cuadrado 324 pulgadas de la parrilla de cocción y las 128 pulgadas cuadradas de la parrilla para fumar, la 450-A ofrece un total de 452 pulgadas cuadradas de superficie para asar. La tolva puede contener 15 libras de gránulos.
La parrilla está hecha de acero pintado resistente para resistir los elementos y el desgaste diario.
Con el peso indicado Con 98 libras, el 450-A es más liviano que la mayoría de las parrillas de pellets presentadas en este artículo. La parrilla también viene con dos ruedas todo terreno y dos ruedas para movimientos sin esfuerzo.
Control de temperatura
Al igual que todas sus contrapartes Z-Grills, esta parrilla de pellets de 250 vatios funciona con una corriente de 110 voltios. El encendido automático se controla fácilmente mediante un interruptor en el panel, que también incluye un modo de reciclaje de apagado automático para la limpieza.
El 450-A tiene un rango de temperatura de 160 ° F – 450 ° F, con una capacidad de calentamiento de 25000 BTU.
Facilidad de limpieza
El sistema de purga de pellets recogerá la ceniza después de una sesión de parrilla. If you want to clean the hopper or change the flavor of the smoke, you can use the hatch door to unload the pellets and add new ones.
The grate, grease bucket, and drip tray are to be scrubbed manually with a soft-bristled brush and dish soap.
This grill doesn’t have any notable extra feature.
If you prefer the all-black look, maybe this Z-Grill model may be worth your time.
The Z-Grill 450A is a lightweight grill that’s perfect for small gardens, backyards, front lawns, or wherever space is limited.
And we’ve reached the end of the product reviews. Hopefully, this article can assist you in choosing the right pellet grill. Anything you’d like to share, contribute, or if you feel we’ve left something unsaid, your comments are always highly welcomed.
A Comparison Table of the Top-Performing Pellet Grills Reviews
|Model||Cooking Area (sq in)||Extras||Warranty|
|Traeger Pro Series 34||646||
|Z-Grill Premium 7002E Pellet Grill||504 on main grate + 190 on warming rack = 694 in total||
||3-year limited warranty|
|Green Mountains Grills’ Davy Crockett||219 sq||
||3-year limited warranty|
|Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24||429 on lower grate + 141 on upper rack = 570 in total||3-year warranty|
|Rec Tec RT-700||702 on lower grate + 352 on optional upper grate = 1054 in total||
||6-year non-transferable limited warranty|
|Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 with Sear Box||429 on lower grate + 382 on upper grate = 811 in total||
|Z-Grill 450A||324 on main grate + 128 on warming rack = 452 in total||
||3-year limited warranty|
Pellet grills are a different beast compared to your average charcoal or propane cooker, so we’re here to help. Below are the burning questions that stir confusion among even the most seasoned pitmasters when using a pellet grill.
What Are the Best Pellets for Pellet Grills?
We first need to know what the pellets are made of to determine which ones are the best.
Pellets are biofuels from organic matter (also called biomass). They’re made from various materials, the most common of which include sawdust, organic waste, and tree barks. These materials are compressed into dense chunks known as pellets, which helps them burn longer and more efficiently. The most popular type are wood pellets, which have been processed to food-grade safety. Since wood pellets have less moisture than some other types, they burn more effectively and give off more heat.
Manufacturers make various types of pellets with different flavors and scents using different types of wood. There is no golden rule for which pellets go with which kinds of food, so you can experiment until you find pairings to match your taste. The most common wood pellets are made from oak, maple, mesquite, cherry, hickory, and pecan, just to name a few.
So, the short answer is wood pellets are generally the best. Simple as that.
How Does a Pellet Grill Work?
The pellets are stored inside a container called a hopper, which can be designed above or beside the grill, depending on the manufacturer. Once the griller sets a specific temperature, the pellets fall through a funnel. An auger conveyor— a motor with large ridges like an oversized corkscrew— spins and carries the pellets toward the burning fire pot. The auger conveyor is a variation of the Archimedes screw, which is likely the oldest conveyor machine in history— sometimes the oldest solutions are still the best!
Inside the fire pot is a burning rod or igniter. After coming into contact with the heat source, the pellets catch fire, producing heat and smoke. The fan inside the grill helps distribute the heat and smoke evenly inside the entire cooking chamber.
People always say “A picture is worth a thousand words”. We didn’t think a thousand words were necessary since pellet grills aren’t too complex, but an illustration is still helpful:
Top Favored Brands
Whatever pellet grill you ultimately choose is up to you,but going with a well-known brand may offer a little extra peace of mind. Most brands also make their own pellets.
A household name among meat lovers, Traeger has been in business since 1985. Founded by Joe Traeger, this brand was the pioneer and trailblazer in the pellet grill manufacturing industry.
Ever since its patent expired in 2006, Traeger has lost its exclusivity in the market and has faced many competitors. Nevertheless, the name Traeger is still synonymous with the pellet grill itself, and this brand is not going away anytime soon.
The folks at Z-Grill have one goal: globalization.
With its warehouses in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Z-Grill has plans to expand its reach even further. Having exported their products throughout North America, they are now taking aim at Europe.
Their objective is to offer high-quality products and reliable customer service. Z-Grill insists it will not stop until it becomes the go-to brand. And with the new 6002 series coming available for purchase soon, they should be able to capture the attention of the BBQ community with an improved and more powerful pellet grill.
3. Camp Chef
Founded in 1990 in Utah, Camp Chef knows a thing or two about the fun of picnics and camping. Understanding travelers’ struggles with the weather when making outdoor meals, Camp Chef’s products have their customers’ best interests at heart. They encourage people to be closer to nature, so all of their products are tested against the harshest elements. That’s probably why grills with this unmistakable red-and-black logo are among the barbecue community’s favorites.
4. Rec Tec
Founded in 2009 by friends-turned-business-partners Ray Carnes and Ron Cundy in Augusta, Georgia, this new player still has a lot of catching up to do before it can hang with the veterans in the field. However, if Rec Tec can keep offering well-made grills and reliable customer service, it won’t be long before it can go toe-to-toe with the household names. Rec Tec grills are known for their extra-large interiors that are great for use in competitions or when hosting particularly festive parties for large crowds.
5. Green Mountain Grills
Started in 2007, Green Mountain Grills is another rookie in the pellet field. They are known for their grill line named after famous frontier figures— Davy Crockett, James “Jim” Bowie, and Daniel Boone are their top offerings. And although still far behind in the race for the go-to pellet grill brand title, that doesn’t stop GMG from striving for improvement. Not only focusing on the grills, GMG also puts a lot of energy toward improving customer experience by developing their mobile app for the grills.
A pellet grill is the all-in-one cooking appliance that inherits the smoking function from a smoker, the ease of control from an electric grill, and the firepower of a charcoal grill. That said, these grills come in different sizes, brands, and costs, which can be frustrating for buyers to pick if they are unclear of what they actually need.
With that in mind, we wrote this review article of the best pellet grills— along with the buying guide. So no matter who you are, a veteran griller, an amateur home cook, or a frequent camper, there is always a pellet grill that best matches what you asked for.
If you have used any of these grills and have any tips, insights, or grilling experience you want to share with us, you can comment right below this article.