The mouthwatering taste of smoked bbq always wins over simply grilled ones. And if you take the smoked flavor of bbq seriously then it’s time to make a place for the best pellet grill in your backyard.
Working with a pellet smoker is a bit different from a regular gas or charcoal grill. While a gas grill operates on a propane tank or natural gas, a pellet grill works on wooden pellets. These small flavored pellets provide an appetizing smokey flavor to meat and veggies that we all crave for.
What is a wood pellet grill?
Before beginning with the best wood pellet grill and smoker, you would like to know what exactly a wood pellet grill is. The construction of pellet smokers is different from regular and portable grills. This is because it lits up on wooden pallets. You can choose from a variety of wood pellets to give the perfect smoked flavor to your bbq.
How pellet smokers work
Pellet grill or smoker comprises of a container wherein all you add hardwood pellets. Then these pellets are slowly passed into the ignition chamber with the help of an auger. This auger throws the exact amount of pellets into the chamber according to the set temperature.
The hardwood ignites in the ignition chamber and the smoke is delivered to the cooking area through a combustion fan. A fan is a common part of any pellet smoker. Some models comprise a single fan that helps with better combustion while a high-end pellet grill features 2 fans for proper combustion and heat distribution.
A digital control or dial is to set the temperature. You just need to set the temperature and let the grill handle rest of the things. It will automatically adjust the auger motor speed and ignition rate to reach and maintain the set temperature. Unlike traditional pitmasters, you will not have to go through the hassle of adjusting multiple factors with the best bbq pellet smoker.
The Best Pellet Grill and Smoker for the Money
But with so many options available today it becomes hard to decide which grill is best. After all, we all want a quality product for our hard-earned money. So after going through several products, we’ve picked the 7 best pellet grill and smokers worth buying. Now it is your time to choose which model meets the maximum of your requirements.
1) Z Grills ZPG-7002B Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ
A good quality grill does not necessarily mean you will have to spend a wad of cash. And the Z Grills wood pellet grill is the perfect example of quality and affordability. You might have not heard the brand name before and it may seem like we’ve picked any random product. But this is not the case at all. The company used to make parts for famous pellet grill brands like Traeger but somehow decide to manufacture their own product at lower prices.
This makes Z Grills a value purchase as you will be getting quality a product that will last for years. This particular model from Z Grills is perfect for an outdoor bbq party. With a total of 700 sq inches of rack area, you can smoke multiple ingredients at once. The grill offers enough space for smoking ribs, burger patties, and vegetables, all at once.
Z Grill’s advanced wood pellet technology burns the exact amount of hardwood for perfect grilling and smoking. You can add 20 lbs pellets at once in the large hopper that cooks for about 20 hours.
Setting temperature is a breeze with Z Grill pellet smoker, all thanks to its digital temperature control. You just need to fill the hopper with your favorite hardwood and set the temperature. Leave the rest to the unit as its convection heat distribution technology ensures food gets cooked evenly.
Cleaning the pellet grill is as easy as using it. All the grease, excessive fluid, and fat collect in a specially designed waste oil collector. You can easily dispose of the waste in between grilling or at the end as per your convenience.
2) Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Pellet Grill
Bring out the chef in you with Camp Chef Smokepro wood pellet grill. Its slide and grill technology makes the smoker worth an investment. This technology allows you to switch seamlessly between indirect smoking and direct flame. In short, you can flavor ingredients and sear steaks at the same time.
New PID controller lets you set the smoke intensity in the range of 1-10 levels. So from light smoking vegetables to deep smoking meat, Camp Chef PG24MZG can smoke a variety of ingredients at once.
If not smoking, you can slide the lever easily on the side and take advantage of flare heating. Flare-up cooking is best for searing steaks, beef, and even burger patties for perfect tenderizing.
A particular flavor is not best for all kinds of smoking. So Camp Chef pellet grill offers a hopper cleanout. The bucket on the side collects all the remaining wood pellets just by pulling the lever. On the other hand, the exclusive ash cleanout system collects the remaining ash.
3) Green Mountain Davy Crockett WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill
Turn your regular summer evening into beautiful entertaining hours by serving your friends and family delicious smoked bbq. And Green Mountain Grills will help you make perfectly smoked meats and veggies in your backyard. Thanks to its dual voltage control that lets you operate the pellet grill using a 12V car battery or 110V household outlet.
No matter what power source you use, it offers a temperature range of 150 to 550 degrees F. Such a wide temperature range is perfect for baking, smoking, and searing ingredients. Plus, it includes a meat probe that is ideal to check meat temp for better cooking or grilling.
While most high-end grills are bulky and difficult to transport, the lightweight Green Mountain Davy Crockett is perfect for camping and tailgating. In addition to the lightweight, the foldable metal legs of the unit make it the best portable pellet grill. When folded down, the grill can easily be placed in a car trunk to set and enjoy tasty bbq outdoors.
The wifi controller of the unit is the cherry on the cake. Simply download the Green Mountain Grill app on your android or iOS and you can control smoker settings via smartphone. Turn the grill on/off, set/monitor temperature, etc. Besides, you can save time and temperature settings for your favorite recipes so you do not have to carry a cookbook with your everywhere.
4) Z GRILLS ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 6 in 1 BBQ
The fun of grilling doubles when you get a quality unit under budget. And this Z Grills wood pellet grill and smoker under $500 is perfect for backyard use. With a total cooking space of 450 qs in. you get abundant space to cook your favorite items in one place.
The primary cooking rack measures 21.5″ x 15.5″ and provides 324 sq in of grilling space. This much area is enough to fit long ribs and thick chicken breasts to feed a family of 5. Besides, 128 sq. in. secondary cooking area is perfect for toasting buns and keeping the food warm.
No need to go through the hassle of manual feeding of pellets as Z Grill’s digital control makes it super easy to use the grill. All you need to do is fill your favorite wood pellet in the 15-pound hopper and connect the unit to a reliable power source. Set the desired temperature and leave the rest for the machine.
The machine will automatically adjust the speed of the auger motor and feed only the exact amount of pellets in the ignition box to maintain the temperature. The temperature mostly stays within 10 degrees of the set temp to provide excellent results. Besides, a convection fan ensures the heat is transferred evenly across the cooking surface for better grilling and smoking.
5) Pit Boss Classic Wood Fired Pellet Grill & Smoker
A variety of meat tastes best when prepared through smoke cooking. But certain tough meat like beef, steak, brisket, etc takes hours to tenderize. So it is best to cook them on a direct flame for better searing. Not only does it tenderize meat thoroughly and quickly but also leaves behind beautiful grill marks on the surface.
And Pit Boss Classic wood-fired pellet grill features an innovative flame broiler that allows direct flame cooking. To cook or sear over direct flame, simply slide the plate out and place the meat over the grilling grates. The open flame will tenderize meat thoroughly while the fired pellet provides a perfect smokey flavor.
Durability is not an issue with Pit Boss pellet smokers as it is made with heavy-gauge steel components. And such a high-value grill is meant to last for years. Just store the unit inside the garage or storage shed during the rainy season and snow to protect the exterior from rust and corrosion.
6) Traeger Grills TFB38TOD Renegade Pro Pellet Grill and Smoke
Any list of best pellet grills is incomplete without mentioning a Traeger product. The quality and craftsmanship of Traeger Grills have won the heart of many people. And if you wish to own a product of the famous pellet smoker brand then Traeger Grills Renegade Pro is perfect.
This small yet functional unit is extremely easy to operate. You will not have to keep a heavy propane tank or stock of coals for letting the grill up. Simply connect the plug to a reliable power source and set the temperature. Sit back and have fun with your friends and family as the machine adjusts itself according to the set temperature.
Traeger wood pellet smoker measures 27″ D x 39″ W x 50″ H and offers 380 sq in of cooking area. This much space is enough to smoke ribs and grill large chunks of meat for a small family. You can fit up to 3 rib racks, 3 chicken, or 16 burger patties at once.
Apart from smoking and grilling, Traeger’s outdoor bbq pellet grill supports baking, roasting, braising, and BBQing. However, it does not outperform braising or searing as the maximum temperature reaches 450ºF. But you can do surely bake, smoke, and roast ingredients with such great temp control.
7) Camp Chef SmokePro SG Wood Pellet Grill Smoker
Cleaning a pellet grill is a lazy task only if the grease management system of the grill is not up to the mark. And unlike cheap grills, cleanup is a breeze with Camp Chef SmokePro wood pellet grill smoker. All the credit goes to its patented ash cleanout and pellet hopper clean-out.
After you’ve done making tasty bbq, simply pull out the plunger from below. All the ashes fall down and collect in the plunger so you can dispose of them conveniently. In short, there is no need to open the large hopper and get the ashes all over your clothes just to clean off the ashes.
Apart from smoking ribs, brisket, fish, and veggies, Camp Chef outdoor wood bbq smoker offers a sliding grill. This under the hood sliding grill doubles your cooking option as you can sear the steak on an open flare or keep the slider close and smoke food. Either way, you can make the delicious bbq that your friends and family will crave.
Above all, I personally like the wide temperature range of Camp Chef SmokePro SG that reaches a maximum of 650ºF. This much heat is enough to sear, grill, bake, smoke, broil, and roast ingredients. So it’s time to say goodbye to your basic propane grill and upgrade it with the Camp Chef outdoor pellet grill and a smoker for heavenly smokey flavor in each bite.
Offset Smoker vs Pellet Smoker
An offset smoker is a gold standard for all bbq lovers. These traditional-style smokers are best for cooking meat at low temperatures for a long period of time. The slow cooking method not only tenderizes meat thoroughly but infuses smokey flavor perfectly(1). This gives you an authentic smokey bbq that we always end up having extra.
Unlike pellet smokers, you can run the horizontal smoker on a pure wood fire, charcoal fire, or wood chips of your choice. Also, you need to manually input the chips or logs which makes the unit perfect for a camping site, tailgating, backyard, and other such events.
Offset smoker also goes by the name firebox smoker, pipe smoker, barrel, and stick smoker.
On the other hand, pellet smokers are a modern version of outdoor horizontal smokers. Here you just need to add hardwood pellets in the hopper, set the temperature, and sit back and relax. The machine does all other work of feeding pellets into the ignition chute and maintaining the set temperature.
The hot smokey air is circulated to the grilling area via a convection fan while excess smoke leaves from the chimney. Some wood-fired pellet grill features 2 fans, one for circulating smoke while the other fan throws evenly across the cooking grates for better cooking and grill marks on the meat surface.
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The Bottom Line
Now make mouthwatering smokey bbq at home easily with the best pellet smoker. These modern units save you from the manual hassle of adjusting auger speed and ignition control. Besides, they use 100% hardwood pellets, and thus, the name pellet smoker. Slow burning and a good smoking rate of pellets help in making a delicious smokey bbq.
Plus, many high-end models are Wifi and Bluetooth compatible for hours of unattended grilling. So it’s time to choose the best pellet grill and smoker for the money before the grilling season hits to make some mouthwatering bbq recipes in the backyard.