Barbecuing is supposed to be hard. It should involve chopping wood, breathing in charcoal dust, and hours upon hours to keep a constant temperature from your grill. A pit master would never subscribe to the “leave it and forget it” philosophy that a pellet smoker brings to the table, right? The best pellet smoker reviews 2018 shows that this isn’t necessarily the case.
In this updated pellet smokers reviews, our focus is on making clear everything about the best pellet smokers and eliminating ambiguities. We have a list of favorite selections from the most reputable brands in the US and beyond.
In addition to this, we have sufficient reasons to justify our selections and suggestions. Of course, we do all these with one basic purpose – to make you, the potential buyer, the surest consumer of the best pellet grills
The realm of smoking has continued to turn into myth-laden with the stretch of time. As of now, it is growing into a mysterious type day by day. Correspondingly, the need to upgrade the cooking setup of your backyard continues to broaden and you’d certainly not embrace defeat.
Cheap pellet smokers are countable among the earliest cooking equipment yet their potential to match the zest of enthusiasts remains unchanged.
In regards to the best pellet smoker, here are the pellet smoker reviews and comparison chart updated in 2018 from most popular brands that might be of interest to you.
Top 5 Pellet Smokers
We are committed to helping you make a quick choice and remain clear on it. Thus, we have identified five best but a little bit different smokers for you. Definitely, our selection is considerate of multiple and diverse consumer needs.
Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – best pellet grill for the money
The Davy Crockett Pellet Grill by Green Mountain Grills is a pellet smoker that comes complete with open-flame technology, 110v or 12v with adaptors (3 power options).Is this one of the best pellet smokers? It certainly has quite a lot going for it to make that claim. Like being WiFi-enabled, of all things.
Or the fact that it lives up to its “Ultimate Tailgating Grill” moniker for all you campers out there. You need to watch your roast closely so you won’t have to finish your pork butt in the oven. It’s not quite a “set it and forget it” kind of smoker grill because you still have to make sure that there’s a steady supply of pellets so that it won’t shut down.
Everything said, it is our belief that you will take moments musing over how helpfully this smoker can serve you. If your final decision is to purchase this smoker, be assured of premium-class performance for several years to come. Notably, the quality of food you will ever smoke or grill with this pellet smoker will always be awesome.
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Wood Pellet Outdoor BBQ Grill and Smoker – best outdoor smoker
The Camp Chef SmokePro is probably the best pellet grill on this list by rating and by performance. It has a decently large area for cooking at 19.2 inches by 22 inches plus its smoking or warming rack is also 6 inches by 24 inches in size. This is one of the Top rated pellet smokers because of its combination of quality features that are never superfluous and works as advertised.
This pellet grill and smoker is used to accomplish grilling, smoking and baking a wide variety of foods. It has accessories such as the Rack, Sear Box, Pizza Stone and Front and Side shelves, which makes your grilling process heightened. Its patented ash clean out makes your cooking neat and organized.
The smoker is offset-made, featuring a design in which food smokes in a long and horizontal chamber. This in turn increases your BBQ capacity
It really is a professional smoker with large-capacity pellet hopper action that makes all the difference on its ratings. It’s not perfect, though. It has issues with ash collection to the point that the SmokePro itself collects more ash than its ash tray or cup. You also have to hit the ash removal system hatch with a hammer to open it.
Generally, the price at which this smoker sells is not bad for its functionality. Compared to other pellet smokers, this is simply a great bargain. Despite its lower price, it is still a functional smoker. This camp chef pellet grill and smoker is widely recognized for its versatile nature and ample cooking space.
Because of convenience, busy people and those whose desire is to achieve quality results are potential users of this smoker. It is highly rated and positively reviewed hence associated with great results.
Pit Boss Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler – best bbq smoker
The Pit Boss really is the boss with its 700 square inches of cooking surface. The space alone isn’t what makes the Pit Boss 71700FB one of the best wood pellet smokers available. If you thought the Traeger Junior Elite Grill had a lot of space at 300 square meters, then get more than double that with Pit Boss (the Rec Tec grill below beats it by only 2 inches).
This a strong pellet grill with a total cooking surface of 700 sq. inch. It comprises of cast iron grids coated with porcelain for both protective a quality purpose. Equally important, the smoker uses a digitally controlled and efficient burn system.
It also uses 100% natural wood pellets which significantly enhances food test. Added to the fact that the smoker is durable, its entire design is innovative
Summing up, it is a great source of joy to learn of Pit Boss Pellet Grill. Most other smokers are nowhere close to this model. Do not be deceived by the cost. A competitive product is often marked by a competitive price. In fact, a very cheap pellet smoker is more of a scam than a genuine product.
Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker – best wood pellet smoker
Among the best wood pellet smokers under 1000, this model tops on the list. Most significantly, this grill is fueled up by complete pure hardwood pellets which in turn enriches food flavor.
Additionally, its operation is even made easier with the digital elite controller which works like an oven. Users achieve mobility with this smoker using its front wheels, while the smoker is sizable for most home users
For the ultimate wood pellet grilled taste you might not have tested and tasted elsewhere, this easy and predictable Traeger smoker is worth experimenting. Now, you have an opportunity to leave aside the hassle of hectic charcoal lighting and gain your entry into convenience.
This Traeger Lil Tex Elite review provides a systematic analysis that touches on all aspects of this Traeger TFB42LZBC pellet smoker. Ultimately, you will be able to transform your dilemma into certainty upon reading this Traeger grill reviews.
Basically, all there is about this traeger wood pellet grill is excellent performance. Do not be deceived with the few limitations stated because they are perfectly manageable for dedicated users. In fact, if you love smoking, the big size becomes a source of exploration as you share grilling experience with your beloved ones.
Undoubtedly, the best wood pellet grills and smoker performs excellently for both hot and fast smoking and low and slow cooking. To this end, you understand how versatility matters in choosing cooking equipment. Traeger lil tex elite 22 covers all your desires for versatile equipment.
Additionally, the smoking capacity is large enough to accommodate your needs, whether commercial or home-based. Additionally, the amount of money you pay for this smoker is consistent with its wide range of benefits.
For this very reason, feel confident t to pay for this smoker, for it is a long-term investment in your backyard.
REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill – best EVER produced pellet grill
This is the bigger version of the smaller and mobile REC TEC Grills™ Mini Portable Pellet Grill. However, it’s more than just the Mini Portable Pellet Grill but bigger. This one has Smart Grill Technology™. What that means is that it allows you to adjust by 5° Fahrenheit increments temperatures that can go from 180° Fahrenheit to 550° Fahrenheit.
The pellet smoker features a great design and ability to maintain consistent cooking temperature. As a matter of fact, using this smoker only requires you to set your fire and forget.
Additionally, the smoker is characterized by high quality results marked by a six-year warranty. Moreover, the hopper capacity of this REC TEC wood pellet grill is 40 pounds
All said, these features and details are enough to let you know why indeed REC TEC wood pellet grill is worth your money. Whichever your situation and needs, comfort and satisfaction comes with no other smoker than this one.
Pellet grills are not cheap, neither should they be, considering the kind of investment the brands make. And for this particular model, we even consider it a rare bargain on your side. Moreover, we have a secret to share
What is a Pellet Smoker and How Does Pellet Smoker Work?
A pellet smoker in the present-day context refers to a thermostatically controlled smokers or grills with a pellet feed command system. This system relies on the temperature sensor inside the cooking box for adjustment and regulation.
In other terms, a pellet smoker functions in the same way as oven. All you have to do is simply set the cooking temperature and its cooking system auto-kicks on and off to maintain your set temperature point.
An LED display is also integrated to show your set temperature. The best competition pellet smokers allow for easy toggling between your set temperature and the actual temperature readings obtained from the internal thermostat.
There might be a slight fluctuation when switching or off the controller. However, most advanced touch-pad controllers are better able to withstand fluctuations as opposed to the indoor oven.
Most recent pellet controllers come with integrated probes thus, allowing you to monitor the internal temperature of your BBQ. Of late, pellet smokers come with wireless remote control and monitoring from using your Smartphone or tablet.
How to Use a Pellet Smoker?
Using a pellet smoker is somehow technical if you are a beginner. This is because there are many things you have to do with your smoker right from assembly to the end of food preparation. Let us delve through the steps of using pellet smoker one by one.
Instead of logs, the pellet smoker is fed with food-grade cylinders of wood pellets that are an inch long and ¼-inch wide and are made of compressed hardwood sawdust. According to the best pellet smoker reviews, pellet grills are easy to use because it’s easier to maintain its temperature because of these sawdust pellets that are subjected to great heat and high pressure, which ignites lignin (natural wood glue).
The Benefits of the Pellets: Pellets work so well with the ease of use of a pellet grill because they’re 100% all-natural. They don’t have binders, chemicals, fillers, or petroleum products within them. They serve as a source of compact energy (8,500 BTU per pound) and smoke flavor. Most importantly, there’s little to no ash from them. Compared to coals, there are no flare-ups involved.
How Pellets Work with the Grill: The pellets contain no additives save for vegetable oils that carry flavor and helps the extrusion process. They burn cleanly and with little to no ash compared to logs. As for the grills themselves, they run with electricity. When it’s plugged in and turned on, a rotating auger delivers the pellets from the hopper to the fire pot and igniter rod.
The Igniter Rod: This rod then glows red hot for a couple or more of minutes, igniting the pellets and making them go up in flames. Smoke and heat from the combusted pellets are then distributed by a blower fan and metal plates under the grate of the grill. Upscale models even allow you to directly grill and smoke your food over a wooden pellet fire.
A Mainstream Product: At present, pellet grills are mainstream products, with pellet refills filling the market versus having to find timber, sticks, and charcoal to start a fire (since these pellets are made of sawdust, it’s easier for them to cast fire and completely combust into smoke with minimal residue). Old school pit masters dislike this product mostly because it’s too easy to use, like a microwave versus an oven.
Is it a Smoker or a Grill?
The question as to whether pellet smokers as simply smokers or grills has trended for quite some time. Finally, we have found the answer. Because of its multipurpose nature, manufacturers have consistently advertised this equipment both as a grill and a smoker.
Considering the role that each one will plays best place this equipment in its category. Searing is one function a grill performs best. But does this pellet equipment sear and steak better than a charcoal grill? Or even a gas grill with a sear burner?
Certainly, this equipment lags behind on this particular function. Because a charcoal grill selling at around $20 will sear better than this pellet equipment. But when it comes to smoking, this is where the smoker overwhelmingly wins.
For this reason, it is wiser and rational thinking of it as a superbly-designed indirect heat convention smoker. It is therefore, more of a smoker than grill, based on the function it performs best. However, this definition doesn’t eliminate it from the list of possible grills.
Only two companies manufactured pellet grills or smokers back in 2008, and they’re MAK and Traeger (both of which are based in Oregon). This changed when Traeger’s original patents expired and the floodgates for competitors opened.
Traeger: As the launcher of the pellet smoker trend, it’s only natural that the innovative Traeger Pellet Grill Company would perfect its pellet grill technology and come up with some of the most affordably priced smokers around costing $300 upwards. It’s the Ford Motors of the pellet grilling world and many a pellet griller on the market to date owes the existence of their industry to this one company.
Green Mountain Grills: This maker of top-quality wood and pellet grillers is the company spearheading the digital revolution in the pellet smoker industry like its digital controller that manages pellet flow to control internal temperature and WiFi that connects your phone to the grill, allowing you to use it to control your grill for good measure. It’s the more gimmicky of the different pellet grill makers.
Pit Boss: The Pit Boss Company manufactures an extra-large pellet grill with 700 square inches of cooking surface. It closest competitor in pellet smoker largeness is the 7-year veteran known as Rec-Tec. It has probably one of the largest cooking surfaces (or the largest at that) in the pellet grill and smoker industry. It approaches grilling with the idea that sometimes bigger really is better, at least in terms of cooking more meats at the same time.
Camp Chef: Camp Chef is the company that perfected the pellet grill formula that Traeger made up, hence its introduction of an effective pellet auger that dispenses pellets only when needed and a large capacity hopper that reduces the need for pellet refills (that people find really annoying). It’s economical in terms of fuel rationing even though the griller itself is quite expensive.
Z GRILLS: Z GRILLS or Z Grills is a maker of smokers, grillers, and stainless steel prep work tables galore. It entered the world of pellet grills recently and launched an IndieGoGo campaign in order to fund its “affordable wood pellet grill” for $500,000 and currently gives even Traeger’s economical offerings a run for their money with its ability to accept all types of pellets and do all sorts of cooking styles.
REC-TEC: REC-TEC, also known as Rec Tec, has been in business for more than 7 years. Its pellet grill offers up to 702 square inches of cooking surface real estate, beating out the Pit Boss and its 700 square inches by (only) about 2 inches of extra space. Its grills can also calibrate themselves in 5° increments and its pellet hopper is capable of holding 40 pounds of pellets (no constant refills required).
Pros and Cons of Using the Pellet Smoker
Here are the pros and cons of getting a pellet grill or smoker.
Electric Smoker vs Wood Smoker vs Pellet Smoker
Basically, there are considerate differences between electric smokers and pellet smokers under 500. In the same way, there are differences between pellet smokers and wood smokers.
Although the differences are numerous, what we have outlined in this article only surrounds important aspects. These include of ease of use convenience, temperature control, price, flavor and safety.
To wrap up the debate about pellet smokers, it is worth noting some of its outstanding features. First, this smoker uses pellets and can function both as a smoker or a grill. It performs multiple functions. However, because it lacks settings for an ideal grill, we have categorized it as a smoker, for which functions it performs the best.
Writing this review, we have analyzed factors to consider when planning buys your model. These include cost, online reviews, purpose, and brand reputation among others. These are the guidelines towards achievement of your ultimate needs.
In comparison with other smokers, though best pellet smokers might not take the lead in all aspects, it’s a convenient smoker. The manner in which it functions is perfect and convenient for almost all categories of users. Despite its high price, buying this product won’t let you down.
How to Smoke a Brisket – The Best Pellet Grill Recipes
If you’re looking for some recipes to use your smoker’s cooking space, check out this list of smoker recipes on Pinterest