A growing number of people can’t resist the convenience and simplicity of use offered by the pellet grill. All you have to do is start it and then set the desired temperature using a digital controller, leave meat on the grates, and everything else will be taken care of by the system.
A special controller will take care for you of when and how much of fuel to add to the furnace in order to maintain a fixed temperature. More expensive models are advanced enough to take external factors like weather into account ( ambient temperature and wind ).
The pellet Smoker is a technologically advanced machine which is why it’s a good idea to invest in a better quality model in order to avoid any kinds of disappointment. Avoid models from the lowest price range, we have conducted research that gave us clear answers to many questions which allowed us to prepare a list of the best pellet grills.
We have also prepared plenty of tips that will allow you to make the decision whether it is a type of grill that is right for you.
Overview: The 5 Best Pellet Grills & Smokers For 2019
Camp Chef PG24DLX
Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker
Rec Tec Bulls
GMG Davy Crockett
Traeger Junior Elite
The Pellet Smoker has been earning a lot of popularity in recent years thanks to its great advantages. It is also referred to as a wood pellet grill, but remember that this name refers to the same thing. As you may already know, there are many manufacturers on the market and even more different models, which makes it more difficult to make the right final choice.
When choosing a new pellet grill, one has to remember about many things, in reality it is not quite as easy a task as it might seem. You always have to pay attention to the quality of elements/ workmanship which cannot be tested when shopping online, in such case we suggest paying attention to the warranty. When it comes to this type of grill, good quality models are usually covered with about 3 years of warranty which in itself makes a good protection.
Then you have to check out things like size, temperature range, controller and all the useful features ( like the ash removal system ). If you have no knowledge on this type of grill/smoker then I invite you to make yourself familiar with our tips for beginners at the bottom of this guide.
If you’re in a hurry, though, we encourage you to check out our short reviews for the top 5 best rated pellet grills right now. We have really devoted a whole lot of time to conduct a thorough market analysis in search of the best models. The next step was practical tests that allowed us to discover the weak and strong points of each model. Finally, we analyzed all the experience and created a guide with reviews based on it.
The 5 Best Pellet Grills Reviews in 2019
1. Best Overall Camp Chef PG24
The first suggestion in our ranking thanks to its universal size and great price to quality, efficiency and functionality ratio. It is the flag model of Camp Chef that has earned huge popularity by storm and earned trust of many enthusiasts of good barbecue.
It maintains a great balance between quality, price and efficiency. It has nearly no worthy competitors that could offer so much for this kind of money. A pellet grill is a technologically advanced machine which is why one should be prepared for very high prices for high quality models ( prices similar to those for gas grills ).
Camp Chef PG24 is available at a decent price while offering whole 429 square inches of the main cooking area. It includes all the essential features that a good pellet grill should have. We’re talking about ash removal and grease draining systems, precise digital controller and spacious hopper.
What is most important is temperature control, which it doesn’t have the slightest problems with. A digital controller makes it possible to set a precise temperature within the 160 – 500 range at 5 degree intervals. On top of that, it is possible to plug in a meat probe, which makes it possible to monitor the temperature inside the meat.
That’s it for the theory, how does it look in practice? The usage is very simple, whereas the grill itself can very quickly reach the right temperature for grilling ( 10-15 minutes from the start ). It can consistently maintain a precise temperature regardless of the conditions outside, whereas the pellets produce enough smoke to achieve delicious aromatic food.
When it comes to the quality of workmanship, we are most certainly satisfied with what we get for this kind of money, a solid, heavy and durable construction. We believe that it is a very good investment, Camp Chef PG24 is a great Set& Forget style smoker that has everything it needs.
2. Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker
It is the only worthy competitor of Camp Chef PG24 available within the same price range. It wins in terms of cooking area, but it takes the second place on our list due to not having an ash removal ( despite lacking such solution it is not that troublesome to clean it up ).
In terms of efficiency and quality it is a good competitor, but there can only be one winner.
What makes this model stand out compared to other pellet grills is its completely different construction that is more reminiscent of full-sized gas grills. To each their own, but it looks interesting plus behind the door you will find plenty of space for accessories or pellets.
Under the lid you will find whole 513 square inches of the main cooking area plus 187 square inches of the Warming rack. For this kind of money that is a really impressive result especially when you take into account that they didn’t cut many corners when it comes to quality.
The digital controller makes it possible to set the temperature within a range of 180 – 450 degrees F allowing for fluctuations of +/- 20 degrees F. Usage is also incredibly easy, just start the grill, choose the temperature and wait for about dozen minutes.
Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill is a great choice that you should seriously consider. Our team upholds the opinion that it is a solid, large and adequately priced grill, but due to not having an ash removal system and several minor downsides it takes the well-deserved second place right behind Camp Chef PG24.
3. Bull RT-700 Wood Pellet Grill
This time we present a high quality upper-tier pellet grill for a much bigger price. It is a suggestion mostly for well-informed people, more experienced and demanding. Large cooking area, style, useful features, high quality of workmanship and warranty are all things in favor of this model.
Rec Tec stands out compared to others with its high quality of workmanship and great customer support. The model presented is covered with 6 years of warranty which is a great result for pellet grills.
Let’s move on to the features and the controller, the new Rec Tec is also as great as its previous version. The digital controller is great at maintaining a fixed temperature, on top of that it warms up very fast from the moment it is started. You have a temperature range of 200-500 degrees F available at 5 degree intervals as well as the possibility to plug in as many as two probes in order to monitor the temperature inside the meat.
Rec Tec relies not only on quality but also on innovation in accordance with today’s standards. Each of us very often uses the technology offered to us by the world which is why the new model comes with a special app that you can connect with using Wi-Fi. It will allow you to monitor the whole cooking process on your phone/tablet screen while away from the grill.
Which is why Rec Tec RT-700 Bull is a high quality pellet grill & smoker that will meet the expectations of more demanding individuals. Sadly, all good things must have a high price tag and that is also the case here, which is why we recommend it to those who are familiar with BBQ and know what they really need.
4. GMG Davy Crockett
You wish for mobility and small size or you need a good grill for Camping / Tailgating ? GMG Davy Crockett is a perfect portable pellet smoker that will prove itself useful in the above mentioned places.
We all know that a pellet grill relies on electricity which is why manufacturers include an adapter for 3 power sources in the package. That way you can get power from different sources such as a car lighter or simply a car battery, for example.
The construction is well thought-out in terms of mobility, the folding legs definitely make it easier to transport by car. When it comes to the quality of workmanship itself, everything is satisfyingly good, it is especially important in a grill that will often change its location.
When it comes to the most important thing, however, which is temperature control, the digital controller does a very good job. You can set the temperature at 1 degree intervals using the app or every 5 degrees using the digital controller. It maintains a fixed temperature without major problems while using a truly small amount of pellets.
We recommend the GMG Davy Crockett not just when going camping but also in all the places where you want to save some space. Despite being a portable pellet grill, you will find plenty of space in there for grilling as well as features not present in many full-sized grills.
What got us really surprised was the Wi-FI feature, but what always matters the most is the results of cooking and efficiency. When it comes to those two things, GMG Davy Crockett passes the test with a very good grade.
5. Traeger Junior Elite
The Traeger brand is by now a very well known BBQ icon that is responsible for creating and promoting this type of grills. Sadly, in recent times, right after the Traeger patent expired, a lot of companies popped up that started working on their own pellet grill. All of that has improved the whole market a lot, leaving Traeger behind, below you will find out why it took the last place on our list.
Total cooking area ( 300 square inches ), digital controller, well thought-out construction and price make it a good small-sized pellet smoker, the price of which should be suitable even to those with a limited budget.
If we compare it to other competitive models with similar prices, though, we will discover a lot of more or less significant downsides.
First of all, the controller is not exactly the best, it only offers 9 temperature settings which is a very poor result these days. On top of that, the auger works based on the timer settings which means that during windy or winter days you may have a huge problem with maintaining a fixed temperature. On normal days it has no problem maintaining a temperature within a range of +/- 20 degrees.
Next comes the lack of any side shelf or additional work area as well as any additional features like the ability to plug in probes or a phone app.
Traeger Junior Elite is a good but simple pellet smoker available at a lower price that makes it possible to make great barbecue. When compared with other competitive models, however, it loses and although many of us are sentimental towards this brand, in the end we have to choose something that is simply better or more worthy of our money.
Pellet Grills Buyer's Guide
The large offer and significant differences in prices make the choice of a new pellet grill much more difficult for a beginner, we are perfectly aware of that problem.A Pellet Smoker is a much more technically advanced machine than a charcoal grill for example.
When choosing a new grill, you have to carefully analyze your choice in order to avoid disappointment. The quality is much more important than price, but try to look for models that maintain the best quality to price ratio. Next think about your needs, if you have a large family then the best solution will be at least a mid-sized grill.
Choosing a perfect pellet grill means having to understand your own needs, which is exactly why we have prepared a guide together with a list of the top models in order to make this slightly complicated task easier for you.
How we Tested ?
All the information in this guide is based on our experience and our practical tests. We are a team of people who love BBQ and have many years of experience on the topic. Plenty of grills that you can see in those guides have been in our backyards for years, whereas the rest is bought specifically to be put to a test in real life.
From the moment of receiving a grill, we start assembling and technically analyzing it, then we move on to grilling or smoking meat ( often times both depending on the type of grill ).
When cooking, we test all the features and monitor efficiency and look for all the strong or weak points of each model. During the last step, we summarize all the information obtained, discuss it and share it all in this exact guide.
What to Look for in a Pellet Grill
Why you should buy a Pellet Grill
About Pellet Grills
It is definitely not a suggestion for the enthusiasts of the traditional real BBQ. This is a solution for those who want to effortlessly prepare truly great barbecue. It is a technologically advanced machine that controls the cooking process without your input. How much pellets it uses, how it is made, how it works, read more on the history and on what the pellet grill is and fall in love with it.
In our view, every BBQ enthusiast should have this type in their backyard, it is a great alternative to other types of grills and smokers. We have also prepared guides for you where you will learn what is better, pellet grill vs gas grill, or maybe pellet grill vs charcoal grill. We sincerely encourage you to check it out, but be warned that our answer might surprise you.