At the mere mention of barbecues, mouths waters, and palms sweat, there is a general excitement in the air. While it’s easy to imagine what a delicious hotdog or steak will taste like, it cannot be compared to experiencing it for oneself. But therein lies the problem. How do you achieve the same tasty, juicy, delicious, smoky meals you see on Tv shows and fancy parties?
Do not fret, we have the answers right here, all you need is a pellet smoker, the right meat, suitable condiments, and just a healthy dose of patience. While all others are quite easy to achieve, getting a good pellet can be tricky as there are so many products on the market with the same claim of being the best. Again, we say, do not fret as we have you covered. Fortunately, in this article, we will be reviewing not one but ten of the best pellet smokers, but beyond that, we will be taking you through some buying guide to consider, answer some questions you may have, and give you other relevant information that will facilitate a good choice.
We have a lot to learn, so let’s get started already!
- 1 Top 10 Best Pellet Smokers & Grills for The Money
- 1.1 1. Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker
- 1.2 2. REC TEC Grills RT-590 Bundle
- 1.3 3. Green Mountain Grills Pellet Grill
- 1.4 4. Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill
- 1.5 5. Z Grills 8-in-1 BBQ Smoker
- 1.6 6. Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill and Smoker
- 1.7 7. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
- 1.8 8. Z Grills ZPG-7002E Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
- 1.9 9. Memphis Grills Elite Wood Fire Pellet Smoker Grill with Wi-Fi (VG0002S)
- 1.10 10. REC TEC Grills RT-700
- 2 How Does A Pellet Grill Work?
- 3 Who Pellet Smokers Are Best Suited For?
- 4 Best Pellets Smoker Brands
- 5 Buying Guide
- 6 Benefits & Drawbacks of Pellet Smokers
- 7 FAQs on Best Pellet Smokers
- 8 Wrap Up
Top 10 Best Pellet Smokers & Grills for The Money
To ensure you purchase the best products, we carried out extensive research and market survey, only then were we able to narrow our list to the best ten products we could find. Here they are:
1. Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker
We begin our list with the Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker. It’s not only ideal for baking but can also be used for grilling, barbecuing, smoking, roasting, and braising of meats and other types of food like apple pie, ribs, bacon, pizza, and so on.
Size: The pellet smoker with its 884 square inches is big enough to accommodate six whole chickens or nine racks all at once. Enjoy hours of cooking without the need to refill the wood, this is thanks to its spacious hopper size, an impressive 18lb hopper capacity.
Ease of Use: The product features a digital controller that ensures consistent cooking of meals. It’s a ‘set and forget’ griller whereby you can simply turn the dial to your preferred temperature and leave it be. It also comes with porcelain grill grates; they do not stick and are easy to clean after use.
Versatility: Also, it is a versatile product as it gives you the choice of either cooking your meals quickly or using the slow ‘n’ low cooking method, either way, it produces tasty, delicious meals that will delight your taste buds.
Other Features: The device also features a LED display; this enables users to see the cooking temperature at any point in time. Furthermore, the product makes use of 100% hardwood pellets to ensure consistent smoking and to achieve that smoky wood-fired flavor you desire.
- Controls are easy to use
- Grill grates do not stick and are easy to clean
- Features locking wheels for ease of transport
- It has a large cooking grill area
- Its takes longer to cook when the temperature is over 166oC
- More suitable for large cooking
2. REC TEC Grills RT-590 Bundle
REC TEC Grills RT-590 Bundle is specifically tailored to meet your family’s needs; hence you need not settle for a smaller griller anymore. It not only weighs over 100 pounds, but it’s also capable of holding 30 pounds of the pellet. We like that its portable and that the legs are foldable, hence it can be transported easily from one place to another.
Size: This product is large enough to accommodate a large family. Hence, it’s suitable for small gatherings and parties. Despite its large size, it is still portable enough to be fit into a small corner and will serve you well.
Ease of Use: Cooking on a pellet smoker has taken another dimension with this product, it is easy to use, this is all thanks to the Wi-Pellet Wi-Fi Technology that enables you to control the product from anywhere you. That’s not all, it also features a proprietary PID controller, this helps to maintain a stable and consistent temperature that’s needed to produce gourmet cooks.
Versatility: The pellet smoker allows you to cook various meals on it, from steak, bacon, pie, to ribs, pork, pizza, vegetables and so much more. Its slow n low cooking produces the smoky flavor needed to keep you salivating and wanting more.
Other Features: This product features a unique octagon-shaped cooking chamber that’s made of stainless steel, this sets it apart from other products. Also, it is durable, giving you your money’s worth.
- Ease of transport
- Great temperature control
- It is sturdy and durable
- Portable and compact
- Wheels may slide out due to the heavyweight of the product
- It has a high price tag
3. Green Mountain Grills Pellet Grill
Green Mountain Grills Pellet Grill is just what you need to take with you on camping trips, road trips or just use in a small backyard. It is available in three power options with a weight of 57 pounds.
Size: As earlier stated, this product is compact and portable, hence it can be moved from one place to another with ease. The legs fold in easily and have a weight of 57 pounds making it easy for camping, home use, tail-gating, house boating, hunting, music festivals, and anywhere else you wish to go.
Ease of Use: The product is very easy to use, it can be controlled using an android phone or IOS, with this you can monitor and control the grill using a Wi-Fi connection. It enables you to change the temperature and also monitor the progress of your cooking.
Versatility: It features a meat probe and a peaked-lid that makes it ideal to cook stand-up chicken, rib cracks, large fowl, and other meals. There is also a convenience tray along with utensil hooks for more convenient and stress-free cooking. It can be operated on 12v or 120VAC and has adapters for three power options.
Other Features: The product features lots of space for cooking. It can accommodate three racks of baby back ribs all at once. It gives a smoky flavored meal that is known with pellet smokers and is very durable.
- Smoke is contained in the grill
- Temperature can be adjusted as you cook
- Portable and easy to transport
- Can be used for slow cooking at an even temperature
- Features hot spots sometimes
- It’s a bit heavy
4. Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill
The product is not only versatile, it is practical too, it can cater for about four to six people. It is ideal for baking, roasting, searing, grilling, smoking, braising, for barbecues, and char-grill your meals to perfection.
Size: Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill comes with a 700 square inch total cooking surface; this makes it big enough to cater for up to six people at once. It an 8-in-1, hence it can be used to bake, smoke, sear, grill, roast, braise, barbecue, or char-grill your meals as much as you want.
Ease of Use: It’s easy to use the product, this is because it has a temperature range of 180o to 500o, hence you can easily choose your preferred cooking temperature and style using the control board along with the standard flame broiler. It’s a ‘set and forget’ device, hence you need not babysit your food while it cooks.
Versatility: Its versatility is perhaps its strongest point. Not only is it suitable for eight types of cooking methods, but you can also choose to slide the plate or sear it over a flame. It requires no natural gas or propane as the wood pellet produces an exceptional smoky flavor and rich taste. The pellet smoker is made from 100% natural hardwood pellets.
Other Features: Furthermore, this product comes with heavy gauge steel components, its porcelain-coated cast iron grids ensure the meals cook without sticking and is easy to clean up after use. Also, its digitally controlled burn system will ensure you do not fret while cooking.
- Easy to assemble
- Loading pellets on the grill is simple and easy
- Its exhaust system and dome heat allow for consistent cooking temperature
- It is durable
- When in need of a searing finish, you will need a screwdriver to open the grill
- Pellets are added based on time and not internal temperature
5. Z Grills 8-in-1 BBQ Smoker
Looking for a product that grills more food at once? Then this product is worth taking a look at. Its large cooking area, fancy design, and versatility make it worth the money. One of its best features is its lifetime warranty along with 100% customer satisfaction.
Size: Z Grills 8-in-1 BBQ Smoker has a huge grilling area along with HOPPRT capacity, this makes it ideal for use in homes, tailgating, and parties. Its main rack measures 399 square inches while the warm rack measures 139 square inches. It has 10lb capacity, hence it can comfortably accommodate 10 burgers, 3 racks of ribs, or 3 chickens.
Ease of Use: It has an automated electric feed system that maintains a consistent temperature that’s between the range of 82o to 232oC. It has a smart digital control that keeps the temperature within +/-20 degrees Celsius while also ensuring that it’s easy to adjust the temperature with just a dial.
Versatility: With this product, cooking is fun and versatile as it enables you to smoke, braise, grill, bake, barbecue, roast, char-grill, and sear.
Other Features: The device runs on 100% hardwood pellet; this generates the heat and smoke needed to give your meal the savory wood-fire taste. Also, it features a stylish and unique design giving it aesthetics while its 84lb weight ensures its light and can be transported easily. Furthermore, it comes with a handy grease bucket holder thereby making it easy to maintain the product.
- Features a lifetime warranty
- It is an aesthetic product
- Assembling is easy and straightforward
- Comes with a handy grease bucket holder
- Inaccurate thermostat
- It’s not so durable
6. Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill and Smoker
From the stables of Traeger comes yet another product, this time it’s the Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill and Smoker. With this product, you get to enhance your outdoor cooking. It’s just what you need to have perfect pork ribs, better briskets, and to take your cooking skills to a whole new level.
Size: The product has a dimension of 27″ x 41″x 49″, with a weight of 103lbs and a cooking capacity of 572 square inches, this makes it large enough to cook four chickens, 24 burgers, or 5 racks of ribs all at once. The main rack measures 418 square inches, while the extra rack measures 154 square inches and a hopper capacity of 18lbs.
Ease of Use: The item features an advanced digital pro controller which has advanced grilling logic to ensure food is kept within +/-15 degrees Celsius to produce precise grilling.
Versatility: You can choose to cook your meals hot and fast or to settle for low ‘n’ slow, whichever your option is, this product makes it possible. It offers 6-in-1 versatility making it possible to grill, bake, roast, smoke, braise, and barbecue your food the way you want it.
Other Features: Besides, Traeger is known to be long-lasting, this is due to its steel construction as well as its powder coat finish that’s gives the product a durable and beautiful finish. It’s easy to switch out hardwood pellets, all you need do is open the hopper cleanout. Furthermore, it features easy to clean porcelain grill grates, these grates give your meal the right flavor without grill marks.
- It is lightweight
- It is sturdy and durable
- Has an easy to use digital pro controller
- Grills won’t leave mark on your meal
- Poor customer service
- Care should be taken during delivery to avoid defects
7. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
Cooking on a grill has never been made easier and fun, you need no babysit it and it will certainly not make you break a sweat. As the name implies, it is compact enough to fit into a truck and be taken on a road trip. It comes with all the features needed to ensure your meals turn out smoky and delicious.
Size: With a grilling area dimension of 19.5″x 22″, a smoking rack dimension of 6″x 24″ and a hopper capacity of 18lbs, it is large enough to cater to your family’s needs while also being compact enough to be carried on trips.
Ease of Use: It features a digital heat control; this feed pellets automatically into the system to maintain a consistent temperature while also allowing you to monitor the internal cooking temperatures of meals with just the push of a button. Also, it comes with a grease drain system as well as removable ash can that conveniently collect waste to give an easy cleanup process.
Versatility: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is engineered to bake, grill, barbecue, braise, roast and carry out other culinary activities. From briskets, ribs to chicken and fish, this pellet grill has got you covered.
Other Features: There’s more. You can cook within a range of 160 to 400 degrees; hence it allows users to cook at a precise temperature. It has a sturdy leg design that bears the weight of the product while its deluxe stainless-steel lid is strong and durable. This product helps bring out the culinary skills in you.
- Features 2 new PID controller
- Easy cleanout and maintenance
- Automatic pellet feeding system
- Easy to assemble
- The quality of the product needs an improvement
- Care should be taken during delivery to avoid defective parts
8. Z Grills ZPG-7002E Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
With over 30 years’ experience in the production of grill smokers, Z Grills are arguably one of the best brands on the market, and the Z Grills ZPG-7002E Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker live up to this expectation. Since 2017 when the product was officially launched, it has consistently proven it’s worth and has maintained its stand as one of the most affordable products there is.
Size: The product offers a primary cooking area of 504 square inches along with a warming rack that increases its capacity to 700 square inches. This makes it the ideal size for the family, also it comes with an impressive 20-pound hopper.
Ease of Use: Its extremely easy to use, as it features an automatic auger that feeds pellets into the grill when the time is right, hence it won’t have you babysit it. It also has an automatic electrical ignition; this makes it fast and easy to start up the grill. Its waste oil collector ensures easy and quick clean up after use while a fan also ensures even distribution of heat within the chamber for precise temperature control.
Versatility: To say the product is versatile would be accurate, it offers 8-in-1 versatility, hence it allows you to braise, smoke, sear, roast, char-grill, bake, BBQ and grill with just a single product.
Other Features: Z Grills with its stainless steel along with its porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grids is durable and sturdy, its durability is further reinforced with its heavy-duty wheels that help you move the item wherever you wish. It comes with a digital control board that makes it easy to adjust the temperature within a range of 82o to 232oC. There’s also a LED screen where you can view the cooking temperature of your food.
- Features an automatic pellet feeder
- Has a low price-tag
- It has a large cooking space
- Features sturdy construction
- Does not accommodate meat probes
- Does not feature an ash disposal system
9. Memphis Grills Elite Wood Fire Pellet Smoker Grill with Wi-Fi (VG0002S)
The pellet smoker which was founded in 2016 is ideal for outdoor cooking, it features innovative technology and is ranked as a luxurious product suitable for the elites. We like all its features but more especially its proper grease management system, large storage space, quick start-up, large temperature range, and many more.
Size: Memphis Grills Elite Wood Fire Pellet Smoker Grill with Wi-Fi (VG0002S) comes with 844 square inches cooking capacity along with 24-pound hopper, this gives you 62 hours non stop cooking. It has a temperature range of 82o to 371oC thereby giving a wide range within which you can cook your meals. That’s not all, it also has a huge storage compartment at the bottom, hooks to hang your kitchen utensils and two side shelves.
Ease of Use: You can control and monitor what goes on in your pellet smoker from anywhere by using connecting the product’s wi-fi temperature to its mobile app, its ITC probes monitor the internal cooking temperature, displaying them on the LED for you to see. It’s easy to start up, requiring just the push of a button.
Versatility: The freestanding pellet smoker can be used for smoking and grilling, it features dual-wall firebox as well as oven quality gasket, this creates an airtight cooking area for extended cooking time.
Other Features: This product is made of high-quality stainless steel along with nickel-plated grates, these features make it a durable, rust-resistant product, not only that it also prevents food from sticking to it, hence with this product you get optimal smoking and grilling. It won’t drip oil all over the place as it features proper grease management.
- It is air-tight for proper insulation
- Has a large storage compartment
- Quick start-up
- Features wi-fi temperature control
- It is heavy
- It has a high price tag
10. REC TEC Grills RT-700
The company which is based in Augusta, Georgia has remained relevant eleven years after it was founded by two friends. REC-TEC is committed to producing high-quality, durable grills and they haven’t disappointed so far. We end our review with REC TEC Grills RT-700, another product we find fascinating.
Size: Its primary rack has an impressive 702 square inches with an additional shelf that boosts the capacity to 1054 square inches, that’s not all, it also features 40-pound hopper capacity thereby allowing users to cook non-stop without the need to take breaks in between.
Ease of Use: The product with its rust-resistant body and its horn-shaped bull lid handles as well as its towel rings and bottom shelf that hold your kitchen utensils is easy to use. The grill comes with wheels along with locking casters for ease of movement and storage while also featuring tool hooks to keep your items close by.
Versatility: With this product, you can bake, smoke, sear, grill, roast, broil and even dehydrate your meal using its dual meat probes which are labeled probe A and probe B. It features a smart grill technology that helps to moderate the temperature of your grill while the Wi-Fi technology connects the grill to the mobile app thereby allowing you monitor and cook your food remotely. Also, it comes with an automatic lighting and shutdown features.
Other Features: Its two mesh grill mats ensure you cook without stickiness, it offers a premium cover and an impressive six years warranty, the product operates under 93oC, giving maximum smoke output.
- It features a large cooking space
- Detachable drip for an easy cleanup
- Features six years warranty
- Works with two probes for increased versatility
- Firepot cannot be detached for cleaning
- Does not feature a wood pellet auger
How Does A Pellet Grill Work?
The mechanism of a pellet grill is quite simple. First, hardwood pellets are fed into a storage compartment called a hopper, from there the pellets goes into the cooking chamber using an auger, this auger is usually powered by electricity. Secondly, the hardwood pellets then light up through combustion, thereby heating the cooking chamber. After this, air is introduced to the chamber via intake fans. As it cooks, smoke and heat are dispersed all through the cooking area.
Just like an oven, a pellet grill comes with either a dial or precise temperature control, this temperature range is usually within 82o to 260oC. This enables users to cook slow ‘n’ low or quick and searing hot.
Usually, pellet grills feature meat probes, this connects with the control board and then monitors the internal cooking temperature of your meal. Also, some pellet grills feature a patented sear zone plate that allows for indirect or direct heat while also featuring up to 8 cooking options.
Who Pellet Smokers Are Best Suited For?
Pellet smokers are for those who desire to have flavored delicious meals with a smoky taste that excites the taste buds. They are generally more expensive than gas grills and are scarcer too but they are faster, more cost-effective, and leave great sear marks on your steak.
Pellet smokers can be explained in two words ‘adaptability’ and ‘comfort’. A product that just allows you to toss a brisket on it, set the temperature and go about your duty is one you don’t want to miss out on. It’s also suitable for those with an inadequate supply of wood and charcoal as the product runs off power thereby saving you from using lots of extra fuel.
Best Pellets Smoker Brands
While there are many brands on the market, some others have distinguished themselves as the very best on the market. They include:
This is one of the best brands there is in the world of pellet smokers, not only have the brand continued to dish out high-quality, functional products, they have consistently improved on their products featuring and incorporating the latest technology to make pellet smoking easy. They have a wide range of products, from the affordable ones to the more luxurious ones.
Green Mountain Grills
This is another product we identify as the best brand and it for good reasons. The products in this brand are reasonably affordable. One of the brand’s best model is the Green Mountain Davy Crockett Wi-Fi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill, the product is affordable and in the light of the current economic situation, this feature can be appealing to many buyers.
But beyond that, it is portable, with legs that can be folded in to reduce the structure of the product making it easy to carry with you anywhere you go. The model can also operate on 110v and 12v power, but with a weight of 70 pounds, it’s considered heavy and so will require two people to carry it.
This brand is often called the Rolls Royce of pellet smokers by industry owners and this cannot be further from the truth. A look at the brand’s model will reveal products that are extraordinary in every way, they are functional, easy to clean, comes with the right features, and produces the right results. Reading reviews by customers will help you realize how good models from this brand are.
With over 20 years in the industry, this brand can be said to be one of the stakeholders in the pellet smoking industry. Numerous grills are being made by this company with the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill being arguably one of the best there is. The model offers open-air with more than 500 square inches of cook space and a temperature range between 71o to 260oC.
To complete its amazing features, the model also incorporates a burn box that can be delivered at a temperature as high as 482oC, this way it allows users to secure in the flavors. The model also works with an electric starter as well as an indoor regulator, it features a meat thermometer that is used to intently monitor screen cooking progress.
Another significant brand in the industry is Pit Boss. It features lots of products, from those powered by electric to charcoal and even propane, they make almost everything. However, one of the most outstanding models from Pit Boss is the PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill, 700 sq. in.
It exploits a more vertical and electric configuration and yet makes use of wood pellets; the pellets are fed from behind while the electronic controls are located on the façade of the unit. The product is reinforced to further protect it and has a temperature range that’s between 65o to 232oC. It features four porcelain grilling grates, giving the user a more extensive grilling surface.
Now, to complete this list is the Z Grills Pellet Smoker, they have also established themselves as one of the best brands and with products such as the Z Grills 450, Z Grills 7002, Z Grills 700E and the Z Grills 700XL, its no one wonder they are considered so good. The products are all unique and range from the more compact ones to the large ones. They have a large cooking area depending on the model being used and are considered versatile as they can be used to bake, grill, roast, smoke, BBQ, braise, sear and do lots more.
It’s not enough to purchase any product that catches your fancy, this is because there are hundreds of pellets smokers on the market and merely making a choice based on instincts or aesthetics won’t cut it, not when you will be spending quite a lot. To ensure you end up with a worthwhile product, we have pulled together some buying guides you should consider before making a choice. This includes:
There is a need to consider the construction of the pellet smoker as this goes a long way to establish the durability and sturdiness of the product. It’s best to go for a product made of durable and dependable materials. One of such materials is steel, this is because steel does not rust. Consider a product with astounding improvement as this ensures heat maintenance and generally improve the execution of the pellet smoker.
Portability of Product
Sometimes, you want to take your pellet smoker with you on camping trips, parties, and other outdoor activities, if this is your aim then you need a lightweight product as this makes it easy to transport from one place to another. But beyond being lightweight, the product should also feature wheelable and foldable legs, this enables you to tuck the legs in when you want to transport them and move them when its in motion. Also, ensure the wheels can be a steady position, you certainly don’t want your smoker moving as you cook.
Size of Pellet Smoker
The size of the product to go for should depend on the people that are to use it. If it’s sorely for home use, then you don’t want something so big, on the other hand, if you intend to have guests over once in a while or you love hosting parties and get-togethers, then it’s only wise to purchase a much bigger smoker as this will contains lots of items at once and save a lot of cooking time.
The larger the cooking area, the more meals can be cooked per time. Also, if you are looking for a product that’s easy to carry along on picnics or camping trips, then a more portable product should be your choice.
With the advancement in science and technology, pellet smoker companies and brands are also beginning to incorporate this into their products. The latest one is the incorporation of Wi-Fi into their products. The use of Wi-Fi enables users to control the temperature of their grills from anywhere they are, so long as there is a network connection. Some companies like Green Mountain Grills are giving out free apps, all you need do is download and utilize for your luxury and comfort. Option for a product with a Wi-Fi connection will save you lots of stress and ensure you know what’s going on in your grill even when you are not there.
These are devices used to check the internal cooking temperature of your meat. Often there is a need to know the temperature your meat is cooking at as this will help you regulate the temperature and ensure you are cooking at the exact recommended temperature. The readings are taken after which they are displayed on the LED of your cooker for your view. It is important to purchase a product with accurate meat probes, this way you will always be cooking at the right temperature.
Before this time, one of the disadvantages of pellet smokers have always been the lack of grilling capacity, this is no longer the case today as many products now have grills infused in them. This is done by either carving out the grilling region in the cooker or by removing some parts of the diffuser plate.
Using a pellet smoker is fun and everyone loves the cooking process, but no one loves the clean-up process and that’s because its tedious and messy. This is not often the case these days as many products have a proper grease management system that traps the oil and makes the cleanup process a lot easier. Hence, look for products with proper grease management system or removal trays, also consider products with ashtrays and even easy-to-clean detachable grates as these do not stick to food and are easy to clean. Besides, also look out for hoppers that are easy to detach, clean, and reattach.
If you aren’t on a budget, then it’s best to invest in a product with innovative temperature controls, this is usually more expensive than regular products. With a PID controller, you can maintain an ideal cooking temperature and prevent your food from overcooking or undercooking. The pellet smoker can go further to have an LED readout as this shows the warmth, the temperature range as well as sensitive meat probes.
However, if you are on a tight budget, then you can purchase a product with a non-PID controller, just ensure that whatever product you are purchasing has an accurate temperature gauge and broad temperature range.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Pellet Smokers
Pellet smokers are without a doubt a life-changing cooking technique that everyone should invest in. They make life more comfortable and easier while giving products that will keep you salivating and wanting more, life is simply better with pellet smokers. Below are some of the numerous advantages that come in using pellet smokers.
- With pellet smokers, users get more options. It enables you to BBQ, roast, grill, sear, bake, and even braise without having to use different grills. Purchasing a pellet smoker ensures you don’t have to spend extra money buying a griddle. Some products also have the option of more direct grilling thereby making it a better option than others.
- Pellet smokers are by far better than some of the best gas grills on the market with regards to preheating. Pellet smokers do not spend as much as 15 minutes before getting to its desired temperature, unlike gas grills which often take more time.
- Since the smoker works with natural wood, it allows you to choose woods of your choice, some of the best woods you can consider include hickory, maple, cherry, alder, pecan, or applewood, with this you get to add more flavors and aroma to your meals.
- Pellet smokers can be set and forgotten, no need to sit with it, and monitor the food. This type of pellet smokers features meat probes that are used for checking the internal cooking temperature, this way there is no need for wireless meat thermometers.
- The convection currents coming from the fan ensure heat is spread evenly around the chamber, this allows you to add more meat to the grate.
- There is a more precise temperature range with pellet smokers, hence you can adjust the heat within the range of three to five-degrees increase.
- Pellet smokers are fuel-efficient and more eco-friendly since they use fewer pellets than charcoal for the same cooking time. A standard 20-pound pellet bag is enough to cook several meals.
With the many benefits of pellet smokers, there are still some not so nice features, this however is mostly insignificant considering its many benefits. Some of the drawbacks of pellet smokers include:
- Pellet smokers require electricity to function. This can be a source of concern if you are planning an outdoor party on a camping trip. However, this little inconvenience can be easily taken care of by providing a generator.
- Although another name for pellet smoker is pellet grills, however, not many products can directly heat food. Hence, for expect, they consider pellet smokers quite different from pellet grills or at best a poor substitute.
- Unlike charcoal grills which cost less, pellet smokers have their range of prices from as low as $400 to as high as $4000.
- Pellet smokers only give the desirable smoky flavor and perfectly cooked meat if the meals are cooked slow ‘n’ low. The higher the temperature, the less the smokiness and flavor of the meat.
- Grills such as charcoal come in one piece like kamado, this way the electrical components and other parts stay at a fixed position. This is not the case with pellet smokers, they have many moveable components and electrical parts which can pose a safety risk.
- With pellet smokers, you are required to regularly clean and maintain the grill and all the parts, this way rustiness will be avoided.
FAQs on Best Pellet Smokers
Q: How ideal are pellet grills for smoking?
A: Pellet grills are quite suitable for smoking your meals. Since they make use of thicker metals, have racks, wind currents, trickle stream with better indoor regulators, they can smoke your meals just fine. If you enquire of an expert that makes meals that have the true smoky flavor and taste, they will tell you it all comes down to the pellets themselves.
Q: Pellet grills or charcoal grills, which is better?
A: Charcoal grills are often considered better than pellet grills in terms of flavor, however, they require a higher cost of operation, it also requires more time to preheat, a luxury many cannot afford. On the other hand, pellet grills give a two-in-one option, it runs at a lower cost, has less preheating time, and also give a smoky flavor to your food.
Q: How suitable are wood chips in pellet smokers?
A: Wood chips are certainly suitable for pellet smokers. As soon as you notice that the smoke from the wood chips has become slight and it’s seething, it indicates that its time to put your meat on the grill. To better utilize the wood chips, you can also add wood pieces to the charcoal, this way it takes a longer time for the wood to burn. A few cups of wood chips can be added as time goes on.
Q: How healthy are pellet grills?
A: Scientists and health experts consider pellet grills more healthy than other grill options. They utilize a circuitous cooking technique, this reduces synthetic concoctions which can cause cancer, and even when you toss in some wood chips for added flavor, they have no adverse effect on the health.
Q: How much electricity do pellet smokers consume?
A: Although pellet smokers are fueled by wood pellets, they also require electricity to function, as various parts of the device such as augers, thermometers, control panels, and fans depend on this electricity. However, the power consumption is not so high as it requires only an average of 120VAC power. This electricity can be sourced from a gas generator, power stations, or power inverter. This power can also be connected to a car or boat battery.
Q: Do pellet smokers produce rich smoky flavor?
A: Pellet smokers do not produce rich smoky flavor no matter the kind of wood used, at least not as rich as charcoal grills. However, some products produce more smoky flavors than others. Hardwood can be used though since it provides longer burning time than other fruitwood, hence increasing the smokiness of the meat being cooked.
Q: Should water be added to a pellet smoker?
A: Yes, you can add about 2 to 3 liters of water. Other liquids such as apple juice, beer or wine can also be added to the water pan. A drip pan can be placed at the base of the cooking grate, adding just a dash of water to collect the drippings.
Say no to charcoals and stains, stress and sweat, and yes to pellet smokers which are generally more convenient, faster, and easy to operate. Having reviewed the best pellet grills and gone further to take you through some buying guides, FAQs, and other relevant information, making a decision shouldn’t be such a difficult task anymore.
So, go ahead and make a choice today, your friends, family, and neighbors will thank you for the delicious, juicy, and tasty meals that can only be gotten from pellet smokers.