For people looking to own a simple to use, yet versatile cooker, then a pellet smoker should be on top of your list. While using the old-fashioned pitmaster won’t help you win many points, pellet smokers, on the other hand, offer excellent BBQ effortlessly, which is quite tempting.
But to enjoy versatility and simplicity, you might have to pay a little extra up front. I guess you already know that pellet smokers are taking over patios, which is probably why you are looking to purchase the right pellet grill.
Fortunately, there are dozens of these units out there, which means you can always find one that fits into your budget and matches your needs. Sadly, choosing from this plethora of options can be challenging.
In this guide, we’ll review the top 7 best wood pellet grills or smokers on the market and discuss some key factors to help you make up your mind.
Best Wood Pellet Grill Reviews – Top 7 Picks by Consumer Reports
1. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is our top choice for people looking for an excellent mid-sized smoker striking a perfect balance between value and quality for the dollar. Controlling this unit’s temperature is easy to control and offers a lot of options to dial in based on what you’re cooking.
Not just that: it comes with a sufficient 570 sq. in. of grilling space that fits several rib racks at once. Unlike the traditional charcoal smoker, this unit will be up and running in less than 10 minutes. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill ticks all the boxes you’d expect from a mid-priced pellet smoker.
Another fantastic thing about this unit is its set-and-forget feature for easy cooking. Also, it produces less ash, which means less cleanup and clean flavor. More importantly, the main parts should feel sturdy and made of heavy gauge stainless steel.
Similarly, this model offers a wide range of dial-in pre-set temperature settings, which allows you to choose between 175 to 400 degrees F. That’s not all: it comes with an exclusive ash cleanout system for easier cleaning and an electronic auto-start ignition system to offer reliable and quick start.
Infused food with hardwood flavor
Ample cooking space for holding two turkeys
Easy clean out with the dump tray
Temperature probe and easy temperature control
Power failure restart
Getting out the pellets from the hopper can be challenging
The warming rack gets in the ways
2. Z Grills ZPG-7002B 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
The Z Grills ZPG-7002B 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker is a smart choice for people looking to do more than just grill their food. This BBQ wood fire pellet grill allows you to char-grill, BBQ, braise, sear, roast, grill, and bake. Its impressive 8-in-1 cooking versatility makes it rank high on our review.
With a fan-forced convection cooking, there’s really no need for a rotisserie. This pellet smoker creates a versatile cooking environment for any style. Further, Z Grills ZPG-7002B Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker comes with some upgrades. Now, this wood fire smoker offers precise temperature control and comes with a digital control board to ignite the smoker automatically and set the cooking temperature.
Huge cooking area
Large hopper capacity
3-years manufacturer warranty
Reliable electronic auto-start ignition
Stainless steel construction to resist corrosion
Assembling this unit can be exhausting if you are not a DIYer
3. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett WiFi Controlled Portable Wood Pellet Grill
When it comes to one of the top brands offering innovative grills for a smooth cooking experience, the Green Mountain Grills takes the lead, and the Davy Crockett WiFi Controlled Portable Wood Pellet Grill is no exception.
This unit ticks almost all boxes you would expect for a top brand pellet smoker. It’s equipped with Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor, to allow you to monitor the cooker’s internal temperature with ease. Another impressive feature of this model is its incredible portability, which lets you fold into a small size that would fit in most trucks. What a decent decision for an ultimate tailgating experience!
Davy Crockett WiFi Controlled Portable Wood Pellet Grill includes a convenience tray, peaked lid for rib racks, and a meat probe. Now, let’s discuss its innovative add-on – digital WiFi controller, which allows users to monitor and control the pellet grill through your Android or iOS mobile application.
The pellet grill runs on 12V or 120AC, making a perfect choice for camping or home, hunting, music festival, tailgating, house-boating, and lots more. Above all: it’s hassle-free to use even for a BBQ novice.
Easy to use
Foldable leg for more portability
Digital WiFi controller to allow you to cook from distance
Sturdy build construction
The manufacturer stands by their product
Extra costs for purchasing the inverter and other accessories
4. PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill
If you’ve got a large family, this model might be the right one for you. PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill comes with a large 700 sq. in. overall cooking space, which should be to feed a large-sized family and a couple of guests at once.
This product is bigger, which means you should expect it to be heavy. However, it offers versatile and practical cooking modes. The unit’s grids are made of cast iron and coated with porcelain to ensure heat is trapped and distributed evenly for mouth-licking results.
What’s more? PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill is equipped with a digitally-controlled burn system to ensure you cook at the precise temperature to prevent under or overcooking your food. It’s a perfect choice for anyone looking to enjoy some outdoor cooking sessions in the summer. More importantly, it runs on 100% natural hardwood pellets, which means clean cooking and sweet flavor infusion.
Large cooking space
Comes with a competitive price tag
Clean cooking with natural pellets
On the heavier side
5. Traeger Grills TFS60LZC Select Elite Pellet Grill and Smoker
Cooking with wood, unlike charcoal or gas, makes your food taste better. This model helps infuse your food with wood-fire taste using natural wood pellets. Traeger Grills TFS60LZC Select Elite Pellet Grill and Smoker comes with versatile BBQ cooking mood: low ‘n’ slow, and hot ‘n’ fast modes.
With these pre-set cooking modes, this pellet smoker allows you to braise, roast, bake, smoke, BBQ, and grill to juicy perfection. More so, it offers a precise temperature control using the Digital Elite Controller with a +/-20 degree Fahrenheit.
More importantly, it comes with durable and sturdy construction. Traeger Grills TFS60LZC Select Elite Pellet Grill and Smoker comes with dual door storage cart, stainless steel side shelves, and increased hopper capacity.
What’s more? This pellet smoker comes with an ample cooking space of 589 sq. in. which should be enough to accommodate 20 burgers, 4 racks of ribs, and 4 chickens.
Huge pellet hopper capacity
Sturdy and durable construction
Precise temperature control
Large grilling capacity
Installation can be a bit tricky especially for first-timers
6. REC TEC Grills RT-700 Portable Wood Pellet Grill
The REC TEC Grills RT-700 Portable Wood Pellet Grill is another game-changer in the grilling space. It features more than quality components and precision craftsmanship, the RT-700 comes with innovative features and several upgrades.
This model is equipped with a stainless steel cooking chamber, which eliminates any worry about the grill’s peeling or cracking. On top of that, the REC TEC Grills RT-700 Portable Wood Pellet Grill rocks Wi-Pellet WiFi Technology to allow you to monitor and control your cook from anywhere with the REC TEC GRILLS App (on the Google Play Store and App Store).
More importantly, it comes with dual meat-probes plugged into the controller directly, which eliminates the need for an after-market thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.
Versatile cooking option
6-year manufacturer warranty
Huge hopper capacity
The alarm with the app is set 10 degrees F below
7. Traeger Grills Ranger Grill TBT18KLD Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Another grill from Traeger Grills is the Ranger Grill TBT18KLD Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker with a very portable design. This unit is built for the road. It comes with a baffled lid design and lid latches to ensure this compact-sized pellet grill is safe to transport and durable.
This model is equipped with the new Digital Arc Controller to offer a consistent and precise temperature. Plus, it has a Keep Warm Mode to make sure your food is ready to eat.
Easy to use
Ideal for on-the-go grilling
Not ideal for large social events
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Wood Pellet Grill
Before heading to your local or online store to purchase just any unit that crosses your path, you consider some factors to ensure you are purchasing the right unit.
The smoker’s nature of fabrication is a significant thought as it tells a lot about the solidness. Therefore, you should consider models made with dependable materials. For impressive durability, you should lean towards treated steel, since it’s rust-free and capable of withstanding daily stress.
When it comes to portability, lightweight pellet smokers are incredible because they allow you to move them from one spot to the next without any hassle. Besides the lightweight design, a unit featuring wheeled development to help make maneuvering easier.
Keep in mind that the wheels should be able to remain in a steady position when grilling with the unit.
For people with a small-sized family and not looking to utilize the pellet grill a great deal, smaller models do just fine. But if you are a larger family and always welcoming guests over, you should probably consider a unit with ample cooking space. In our opinion, a pellet with a warming rack would be a decent choice.
If there’s one thing that helps make using a pellet grill simple is advance controls that allow you to monitor the unit’s temperature. Besides, the upkeep and cleaning of the grill ought to be effortless. Also, the right pellet smoker should have the capacity to gather oil and debris.
The kind of controller determines the level of convenience a unit offers. Most products come with a three-position controller: low, medium, and high setting. With the multi-position controller, you can easily modify the cooking temperature. But if you want precise modifications, then a decent decision is going for one-contact non-PFID controllers, since it lets you add about 5 – 10 degrees.
Hopper is a container for stacking pellets. Therefore, it’s important that it’s enormous to hold enough pellets to allow you to cook for a reasonable amount of time before having to reload. Smoking takes a while, which means having a small hopper capacity means you’ll have to deal with the hassle of reloading after a short while. Take it from one BBQ griller to another; this can be really annoying.
Common Handy Features of a Wood Pellet Smoker
Unlike traditional offset or charcoal smokers, the pellet grills offer more bells and whistles. Some features to bear in mind, includes:
- WiFi capability: some models from top brands are equipped with innovative technologies such as WiFi connectivity to help monitor and control the grill’s temperature from anywhere provided you have an internet connection. Most companies like Traeger and Green Mountain Grills offer free apps, which are easy to download and use for ultimate convenience.
- Meat probes: some models come with output in their controllers, allowing you to plug in the meat probes directly. The probe takes reading from the meat and then displays it conveniently on the cooker’s screen. This is a much easier way to know the grill’s internal cooking temperature to avoid undercooking or overcooking the meat.
- Grilling options: one of the main drawbacks of pellet grill, in the past, was the absence of grilling capacity. Now, most manufacturers make grilling possible by either providing a dedicated grilling space or removing part of the diffuser plate.
- Add-ons: most pellet smokers feature a wide range of add-ons. Therefore, the best wood pellet should come with extra features aside from the standard ones. But keep in mind that the add-ons mean additional cost. While some companies offer add-ons independent of the brand, it’s best to opt for a cooker equipped with add-ons from the manufacturer.
How To Choose A Grill/Smoker/Pellet Grill
Choosing the right pellet grill doesn’t have to be daunting, which is why we reviewed the top 7 best wood pellet grills to make the decision process much easier. Now, it’s up to you to make the call based on your cooking needs and budget.