Pellet grilling may not be as popular as charcoal grilling, but it is one of the best ways to prepare a tasty barbecue feast! It offers plenty of benefits, including ease of use, versatility, and flavor. It allows effortless ignition, even heat distribution, and fewer flare-ups!
Looking for the best pellet grill under $500? Keep on reading and learn from some of our recommendations.
America’s Test Kitchen Best Pellet Grill and Smoker Under $500 by Consumer Reports 2021
The options are overwhelming, but this is not an excuse to pick any grill. To make things easier, below are some of the top products that should be on your list!
1. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
From smoking to grilling, this is the perfect outdoor cooking companion. It eliminates guesswork and automates functions, making it easier to prepare a mouthwatering feast for your family and friends.
You will have plenty of space with this pellet grill. The lower cooking area is 429 square inches, and the upper cooking rack is 141 square inches. This means that you have a total cooking surface of 570 square inches.
It is also worth noting that it offers exceptional versatility to suit different applications. There are ten smoke settings. Meanwhile, you can adjust the temperature range from 160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a convenient dial for setting the desired program.
Lastly, clean-up is a breeze, so you don’t have to dread using the pellet grill. There is an Ash Cleanout system. It has an ash container that you can quickly pull and dump.
2. Z Grill ZPG-450A 2020 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
The versatility of this product is one of its best assets. Aside from grilling and smoking, you can also use it for roasting, baking, searing, braising, and barbecuing, among other cooking applications.
With 450 square inches of cooking area, this pellet grill is spacious! You can cook more in one batch, allowing you to save time and effort. It has a main cooking area and secondary rack, so that you can utilize the available space.
Ease of use is one more thing that we love in this product. Grilling does not have to be intimidating. It has a digital controller that regulates the temperature automatically. There is also an advanced system for feeding the pellet. Even clean-up does not need to be labor-intensive.
Lastly, this model has the revolutionary PID System. This is responsible for ensuring consistent results in every use.
3. Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill
Spoiled for space – that is what you will be when you choose this option for the best pellet grill under $500. It has a total cooking area of 700 square inches. The hopper, on the other hand, can hold up to ten pounds of pellets. This prevents the need to refill it often.
For your peace of mind, it boasts of its durable construction. It is made of porcelain coated cast iron, protecting the unit from external elements that speed up damages.
The Digital Control Center is another highlight of this product, making it seamless to operate. You can set the desired temperature depending on what a specific recipe requires. You can choose from a heat range of 170 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
The innovative flame broiler is also a plus. The slide-plate allows you to have better control of the heat. This lets you prepare burgers and steaks similar to what you will find in high-end restaurants.
4. Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill and Smoker
This model has a total cooking space of 572 square inches. Approximately, this is more than enough for cooking four chickens, five rib racks, or 24 burgers. It has a main and extra rack, so you can utilize space efficiently. Plus, the hopper can accommodate 18 pounds of pellets, which is pretty generous.
Weighing 103 pounds, the pellet grill is heavy. Luckily, it comes with two side wheels and a steel handle, making it easy to move the unit around as needed.
It has a Digital Pro Controller and Advanced Grilling Logic. These features make sure of the best grilling results without too much effort. They also automate the grilling functions, eliminating guesswork on your end.
Lastly, it has porcelain grill grates. They are non-sticky and effortless to clean, regardless of what you cook.
5. Trager Grills TFB57GZEO Pro Series 575 Pellet Grill and Smoker
This is from the same manufacturer as the product mentioned above, so you can expect the same great quality. It offers 575 square inches of cooking area, which is slightly larger than the model above. The hopper capacity is the same at 18 pounds.
One of the best things about this unit is the variable speed fan. This allows easy adjustments on air circulation depending on a specific application. As it is common with pellet grills, there is also an adjustable temperature control.
Another impressive feature of this pellet grill is the wireless control. You can download a compatible mobile application and use your smartphone to control the grill. Through WiFire Technology, you will have a fully-connected experience and enjoy wireless control.
6. Z Grills ZPG-7002B 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
With its 8-in-1 functionality, this makes a great investment for those who love cooking outdoors. From grilling to roasting, you will enjoy the many functions of this model! It has a cooking area of 700 square inches and hopper capacity of 18 pounds.
Even if it is your first time to use a pellet grill, there’s no need to worry. It is designed with your needs in mind. All that you need is to push one button and the unit is ready to use. There is also a convenient temperature control so you can change the heat as required.
The automated electric feed system is another notable feature of this pellet grill. This allows the grill to maintain the heat within 10 degrees depending on what you have set. You can set the temperature from 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Green Mountain Davy Crockett Wi-fi Wood Pellet Grill
If you are looking for a more compact and affordable alternative to the products mentioned above, this is one worth considering. It weighs only 57 pounds and has four folding legs, making it easy to grill wherever you want as long as there is a power supply.
Even when you are camping or tailgating, this is perfect. It runs on both 12V and 120AC, making it a great option for portable outdoor cooking.
One of the highlights of this pellet grill is its wireless functionality. You can connect it through an app. In turn, you can use your phone as a Wi-Fi controller so that you can control the unit even at a distance.
Lastly, it has Sense Mate, one of its most notable features. It is a thermal sensor that constantly monitors the heat, making sure that it is at the right level.
How to Choose the Best Pellet Grills and smokers Under $500
The price alone is not enough indication of a product’s quality. To help you differentiate the possibilities, below are some of the most important considerations.
Ease of Use
Most of us are impatient! We don’t have the energy to deal with complications, so it is a must to choose a pellet grill with user-friendly features. It must have automatic functions, which eliminates guesswork. The cleanup must also be effortless. For instance, having non-stick grates and an ash pan will help minimize effort needed for cleaning.
While it is called a pellet grill, this does not mean that it is used exclusively for grilling. Some units are versatile enough that they can also be functional for smoking, braising, and roasting, among others. To be versatile, there should also be wide temperature adjustments, allowing you to change the heat level depending on a specific recipe.
Choosing the right size of the pellet grill depends on several factors, such as the number of people you will be cooking for and the space available in the patio. For the 500-dollar price range, the size can go up to 700 square inches. Some will have primary and secondary racks for better space utilization. Others will even have a warming rack on the side. The size of the hopper is also a crucial consideration as it dictates how much pellets it can hold at a time.
This is indicative of the durability and performance of the pellet grill. Choose one with a sturdy construction, so that you can be confident that it will withstand many years of use. The materials should also be heat-efficient, making it easier to maintain the right temperature when using the pellet grill.
Pellet grills are constantly moved from one place to another, so choose one with a portable design. It does not matter even if it is heavy, as long as there are wheels. This makes it effortless to move the unit around depending on where you will use it. Some are portable enough to have foldable legs, which means that you can bring it outdoors, such as when camping or tailgating.
How To Choose A Grill/Smoker/Pellet Grill
Best Pellet Grill: FAQs
Got questions about pellet grills? We’ll try to answer some of them below.
Does an electric pellet grill need electricity?
Yes, it is a must to connect the pellet grill to an electrical supply that will power its parts. It powers the auger, controller, and igniter, among other components.
How do you clean a pellet grill?
Use a grill brush to scrub the surface of the grates. Do it as soon as you are done grilling. Waiting too long will cause the dirt to harden, making it more difficult to remove. For the body, use a cloth or sponge soaked in water with mild soap. Make sure that the electrical components do not get wet.
How long do pellets last in a grill?
This depends on a couple of factors, such as the size of the hopper, quality of the pellets, and level of heat. A 2-pound bag of pellets will last about one hour for smoking. Meanwhile, for grilling, four pounds of pellet can last one hour.