The 9 Best Wood Pellet Grills for a Smoky Treat

Best-Wood-Pellet-Grills-for-a-Smoky-Treat

Anyone new to grilling will soon discover an enormous range of options.

Some people feel nothing compares to a charcoal grill for that authentic BBQ taste. Others feel gas grills offer a winning combination of taste and ease of use, while others find there’s no substitute for the convenience of an electric grill.

You can also find ceramic kamado grills, as well as a variety of smokers and combined grill/smokers.

The best wood pellet grills fall in a class of their own. With these models, you get a corded electric appliance that also features a wood pellet hopper to add more flavor to your food through aromatic wood pellets.

As well as grilling like a pitmaster, these pellet grills also allow you to sear, smoke, bake, roast, and braise your food. In many ways, wood pellet grills are the most versatile grilling solutions you’ll find.

Using these grills couldn’t be easier either. All you need to do is load in some wood pellets and then sit back while the grill hits your target temperature. The best pellet grills all come with an automatic feed, so you can focus on your guests rather than fueling your grill.

Now, even though pellet grills are straightforward to use, you may have no idea what you’re looking for when comparing grills in this class. To make your buying decision easier, focus on the following key pointers:

  • Materials: The most effective wood pellet grills are made from stainless steel throughout. Cheaper models have a stainless steel exterior coating
  • Cooking area: If you need to cook for a larger family, or for a big gathering, look for grills with a total surface area of 700 to 900 square inches. Some of the more compact grills on our shortlist today are ideal for singles and couples, as well as smaller families. We’ve included something for everyone
  • Size of hopper size: Most wood pellet grills burn a pound of pellets every 1 to 3 hours. The hopper capacity will dictate overall performance. Most are sized from 15 to 20 pounds, with 18 pound the most common size
  • Functions: Look for a grill offering you cooking functions you will reasonably use rather than simply looking for the grill with most functionsControls: Many of the best wood pellet grills allow you to take control remotely or using voice control
  • Cooking grates: Cast iron cooking grates treated with porcelain enamel are the most effective. Stainless steel grates can also work well

Now you have these elements firmly in mind, it’s time to dive in and explore our showcase of the 9 best wood pellet grills up for grabs.

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The 9 Best Wood Pellet Grills

1. Our #1 Pick: Traeger Grills Pro Series 575 Wood Pellet Grill

Traeger-Grills-Pro-Series-575-Wood-Pellet-Grill-and-Smoker

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 18 pounds
  • Area: 575 square inches
  • Dimensions: 27 x 41 x 53 inches

Joe Traeger created the original wood pellet grill back in 1985. His company enjoyed exclusive rights to the niche they created until the patent expired in 2006. Since then, as today’s list will make clear, many other companies have now joined the fray.

This is a corded electric grill, but don’t let that put you off. Unlike using an electric grill where you lose out on taste in favor of convenience, the addition of wood pellets allows you to get the smokiness you’re looking for in barbecued food.

If you want a versatile grill offering you multiple functions, the Traeger delivery fully with the following:

  • Grill
  • BBQ
  • Bake
  • Roast
  • BBQ

The spacious grilling area measures up at 575 square inches, making this pellet grill a neat fit for bigger families or anyone entertaining for larger gatherings. To put this surface area into perspective, you can pile on 24 burgers, 4 whole chicken, or up to 5 racks of ribs on this thing, so you won’t be left wanting for cooking real estate.

The cooking grates are coated with a porcelain enamel that improves heat retention and distribution, while also boasting non-stick properties.

The wireless connectivity allows to take control of this grill in-app on your smart device, or using voice control if you have an Echo device at home. Either way, spend more time with your guests and less time fussing over a grill.

Although the vast bulk of user reviews are positive, we found some scattered complaints about maintaining temperature with this grill. As you would expect from Traeger, this is one of the best wood pellet grills out there, but does it make the right fit for your back yard?

Things We Like

  • Multiple cooking functions
  • Generous capacity
  • Remote or voice control

Things We Dislike

  • Some temperature glitches

2. Camp Chef SmokePro

Camp-Chef-SmokePro-DLX-Pellet-Grill-w/New-PID-Gen-2-Digital-Controller

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 18 pounds
  • Area: 573 square inches
  • Dimensions: 45 x 21 x 51 inches

Next up comes a wood pellet grill that manages to combine a space-saving form factor with a reasonably spacious cooking grate.

Using this grill couldn’t be easier thanks to the automatic pellet loading system. All you need to do is choose the flavor of your wood chips, and then load enough into the 18-pound hopper for your planned cookout. Less is more with chips, so use a light touch.

You benefit from a PID controller that makes adjusting the temperature seamless as well as consistently accurate.

There are 10 dedicated smoke settings, allowing you to customize the smoking environment to taste.

As far as temperature goes, there is a broad band at your fingertips. Cook your favorite meats slow and low at 160F, or ratchet up the heat and sear your steaks at a scorching 500F.

The purging function in the ash system helps to keep mess to a minimum and giving you a much cleaner experience than grilling with charcoal.

The modular design of the grill allows you to attach optional extras like a sear box or a side kick.

A pair of meat probes onboard means you can keep tabs on the internal temperature of different meats. You can see the temperature clearly displayed on the LCD.

 Efficient cord management and grease management systems complete a winning package from a brand you can trust. The only gripes we could find among a sea of positive user testimony concerns issues reported with temperature consistency. Do your due diligence here. Overall, you’re getting a great wood pellet grill at a pretty keen price point.

Things We Like

  • Compact footprint
  • Ideal for small families
  • Easy to keep clean

Things We Dislike

  • Inconsistent temperature control

3. Green Mountain Davey Crockett Electric Grill

Green-Mountain-Davy-Crockett-Sense-Mate-Electric-Wi-Fi-Control-Foldable-Portable-Wood-Pellet

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 18 pounds
  • Area: 219 square inches
  • Dimensions: 29.9 x 15 x 21.7 inches

Next in line is a competitively priced wood pellet grill from Green Mountain in the form of the enduringly popular Davey Crockett. How does this thing shape up, then?

The first thing that strikes you with this grill is the lightweight build and highly portable nature. Set on legs which provide a stable foundation for grilling but break down for easy transportation in the boot of the car, this is a great tailgating solution.

Despite its portable nature, though, this wood pellet grill also works well as a permanent installation on the patio or deck.

You can run this corded electric appliance on 120V or 12V, and you get adapters included to widen your power options.

Beyond this, you’ll impart the smoky flavor you crave by loading wood pellets into the 18-pound hopper.

If you’re partial to grilling ribs, the peaked lid of this pellet grill is designed to more ably accommodate a full unfolded rack.

Thanks to the Sense-Mate technology, the meat probes will keep monitoring the internal temperature of your grilled food on-demand.

As an added kicker, you get a tray complete with utensil hooks for good measure.

With the exception of a few niggles about issues with the grease management system, you’re getting one of the most effective wood pellet grills that’s almost universally praised, as well as very reasonably priced. What are you waiting for?

Things We Like

  • Continuously monitors temperature
  • Integrated meat probe
  • Lightweight and portable

Things We Dislike

  • Some reported snags with grease tray

4. Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Traeger-Grills-Ironwood-885-Wood-Pellet-Grill-and-Smoker-with-Alexa-and-WiFIRE-Smart-Home-Technology

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 20 pounds
  • Area: 885 square inches
  • Dimensions: 53 x 27 x 47 inches

Traeger has many imitators, but few brands have mastered the wood pellet grill in quite the same way. How does the Ironwood 885 shape up, then?

Firstly, and as the model name hints, you get a sprawling 885 square inches of cooking grates for all your favorite grilled treats. This allows you to cook for larger families or more ambitious cook-outs without multiple grilling sessions.

This model comes with a beefier wood pellet hopper as well as that oversized cooking capacity. Load in up to 20 pounds of your preferred pellets to infuse your grilled food with that unmistakable smokiness.

You get 6 cooking functions at your fingertips with the Ironwood. You can:

  • Grill
  • Smoke
  • Roast
  • Bake
  • Braise
  • BBQ

Versatility also extends to the ways in which you can control this grill. The wireless connectivity lets you control the time and temperature remotely. If you have a compatible Echo device, you can even use voice commands to control the grill. While this remote control is welcome, we found some issues reported with app functionality.

Double-walled insulation locks the heat inside this grill, and you’ll also find it copes well with colder weather conditions, giving you year-round grilling.

Grill grates are coated with porcelain enamel for perfectly even cooking results as well as minimal food splatter and easy cleanup.

This iteration of the Ironwood comes with a new and improved drivetrain leading to enhanced overall performance, as well as swifter heat-up times. As an inbuilt bonus, the quality of the smoke kicked out is better than ever, too.

Things We Like

  • Voice control with Echo device
  • 6-in-1 functionality
  • Works well in cold climates

Things We Dislike

  • App could be smoother

5. Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900 Pellet Grill

Oklahoma-Joe's-20202105-Rider-900-Pellet-Grill,-Black

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 20 pounds
  • Area: 900 square inches
  • Dimensions: 35.5 x 55.1 x 49.4 inches

Oklahoma Joe’s Rider is a traditional offset wood pellet grill that delivers a powerful and user-friendly grilling experience on a budget.

This base model comes without a cover, but you’ll pick the grill up at a steep discount if you already have a suitable grill cover in place.

You can flick between two distinct modes when you’re grilling. With timer mode, you’ll receive an alert when the grill finishes up a preset time period, while temperature mode alerts you when your food reaches your preferred target temperature.

The oversized 20-pound wood pellet hopper allows you to load on enough fuel for an all-day cookout. Remember, you don’t need to go over the top with wood pellets to achieve a delicious smokiness. The quick-draw design allows you to release pellets through the bottom for seamless operation.

A nice touch on this grill is the presence of an open fire. Open the live fire plate and add a new dimension to grilling.               

The racks and grates on this grill are intelligently-designed and precision-engineered, so you’ll get a seamless and flexible cooking environment for all your favorite grilled treats.

This grill is built from heavy-grade steel throughout, ensuring you’ll get plenty of grilling seasons out of your new investment.

Standing on a pair of oversized wheels, although this pellet grill is heavy and bulky, you’ll find it easy enough to shift around the yard if required.

Almost all user feedback concerning this wood pellet grill is positive, but we found some unfortunate issues with quality control reported, so check the contents of your delivery closely upon arrival.

Things We Like

  • Classic offset layout
  • Generous quick-draw hopper
  • Rugged build

Things We Dislike

  • Quality control issues

6. Z-Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Z-Grills-ZPG-700D-2020-Upgrade-Wood-Pellet-Grill-&-Smoker

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 15 pounds
  • Area: 700 square inches
  • Dimensions: 48 x 22 x 51 inches

Z-Grills make some costly but highly effective wood pellet grills, including the ZPG-700D, a compact unit that’s ideal for singles, couples, and smaller families.

Despite the reasonably slender form factor, this grill performs admirably across the board.

Total cooking surface area nudges 700 square inches, giving you the scope to cook sizeable batches of food rather than spending your whole day fussing over a grill. You get a warming rack as well as the primary cooking area for your convenience.

You get 8 cooking functions with this wood pellet grill:

  • BBQ
  • Char-grill
  • Grill
  • Smoke
  • Bake
  • Braise
  • Sear
  • Roast

With all of these options at your fingertips, you’ll be able to rustle up much more than hot dogs and burgers next time you invite friends over for a barbecue.

Getting this grill started is a cakewalk thanks to the seamless push-button ignition. Start your grill first time, every time.

With fan-forced convection cooking, you can get away without a rotisserie, while still enjoying delicious spatchcocked chicken.

Pellets are fed through automatically, and it’s super-simple to set the time and temperature on this grill so you can whip up all your favorite grilled snacks with ease.

You get a broad band of temperatures on the Z-Grill. Whether you want to cook low and slow at 180F, hot and fast at 450F, or anywhere in between, you get great flexibility here.

Aside from the stiff price tag, there’s nothing much to knock about this first-class pellet grill from a brand you can rely on.

Things We Like

  • Class-leading 8 functions
  • Seamless push-button ignition
  • Automated pellet feed

Things We Dislike

  • Pretty pricey

7. Traeger Pro 575 Grill

Traeger-TFB57GLE-Pro-575-Grill

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 18 pounds
  • Area: 575 square inches
  • Dimensions: 40.7 x 26.7 x 53.1 inches

We have yet another Traeger up next. It’s no surprise this brand is such a dominant presence in this vertical. As the inventor of the pellet grill, the company has spent the past three decades refining the art. How does the Pro 575 stand and fall, then?

Like all Traeger models, the name reflects the 575-square inch cooking area on offer. This should be more than enough for small families or restrained cookouts. If you need more cooking area, Traeger offer several bulkier grills.

Assuming this sizing works for you, you’ll get a smart grill for a keen price. Use the app to control the time and temperature from your mobile device. Alternatively, use Alexa and an Echo device for hands-free control. You’ll even be able to check pellet levels from a distance, so circulate with your guests and enjoy a drink rather than fretting over the grill station.

You get the following cooking functions baked in:

  • BBQ
  • Braise
  • Roast
  • Grill
  • Bake
  • Smoke

Use the proprietary Traeger hardwood pellets sparingly and add a delicious yet subtle flavor to all your favorite grilled delicacies. You won’t need to use many pellets, so don’t worry about the ongoing cost of these. It is negligible.

 Most user reviews of this pellet grill are positive. We did, however, find a handful of complaints related to temperature-management issues. Do your own due diligence here. Overall, you’re getting one of the best pellet grills from the brand that invented the concept. What have you got to lose?

Things We Like

  • Wireless connectivity
  • Cook for the whole family
  • Unbeatable brand heritage

Things We Dislike

  • Problems getting up to temperature

8. Z-Grills 8-in-1 Grill and Smoker

Z-GRILLS-ZPG-7002E-2020-Upgrade-Wood-Pellet-Grill-&-Smoker

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 20 pounds
  • Area: 700 square inches
  • Dimensions: 48 x 22 x 51 inches

As we near the end of our quest for the best wood pellet grills, we have another entry from Z-Grills, a trustworthy brand offering upscale grills at an affordable price point.

Although this grill weighs over 80 pounds, the wheeled cart arrangement makes it easy to shift around on-demand.

One of the key selling points of this model is the class-leading number of functions. These include:

  • BBQ
  • Roast
  • Braise
  • Smoke
  • Grill
  • Bake

As with all the grills on our shortlist, these cooking functions are only of genuine benefit if you plan to use them. Don’t shop for pellet grills based purely on its multipurpose nature if you only ever grill burgers and hot dogs. Conversely, don’t sell yourself short with a more limited model if you have versatile grilling tastes.

To give you an idea of the running costs, you’ll be able to cook for 20 hours on this grill with a 20-pound pack of wood pellets.

With 700 square inches of total cooking area up for grabs here, feel free to host a large gathering confident of grilling all the food you need without making lots of small batches.

Push-button electronic ignition allows you to fire your grill up seamlessly every time, with no need for matches or a lighter.

This is the upgraded version of the outgoing classic, with several known issues overhauled and rectified.

If you’re looking for a mid-range wood pellet grill that punches above its weight, we can’t recommend this Z-Grills strongly enough.

Things We Like

  • Expansive cooking surface
  • Cook all day on a hopper of pellets
  • Forced-fan convection cooking

Things We Dislike

  • Temperature control issues

9. Pit Boss Pellet Grill

PIT-BOSS-700FB-Pellet-Grill,-700-sq

Features

  • Pellet hopper capacity: 18 pounds
  • Area: 700 square inches
  • Dimensions: 24.8 x 22 x 43 inches

Last up in our search for the best wood pellet grills on the market comes from industry heavyweight Pit Boss. This company is perhaps most famous for their smokers, but this pellet grill is a superb grilling solution.

The cast iron cooking grates are treated with porcelain enamel. This material has outstanding heat retention and heat distribution properties. Beyond this, your food won’t get splattered all over the grates either, simplifying cleanup.

You get a spacious 700-square inch area for all your grilled faves, perfect for bigger cookouts in a single session.

The 18-pound wood pellet hopper allows you to load up enough hunks of flavored wood to fuel a lengthy cookout. The only real snag is that pellets are added based on time rather than temperature, so you may find you struggle with some recipes.

The burn system onboard is digitally-controlled, ensuring you get a stress-free grilling experience.

You get a flame broiler that allows you to create separate zones for direct and indirect heat, delivering a truly seamless grilling experience. The slide plate baked in gives you total control when you’re grilling, allowing you to produce professional results, even if you’re a complete newcomer to grilling.

The range of temperatures is impressive. You can cook at anywhere from 170F for your slow-cooked favorites up to a scorching 600F at the upper end. Few wood pellet grills in this class give you quite such flexibility in terms of temperature.

Controlling this wood pellet grill couldn’t be easier, and you’ll be rewarded with rock-solid build quality throughout and the confidence that this grill will gives you years of faithful service.

Things We Like

  • Cast iron cooking grates
  • Responsive digital controls
  • 100% natural wood pellets

Things We Dislike

  • Adds pellets based on time not temperature

FAQs

1) Can I do anything beyond grilling on a wood pellet grill?

You certainly can. All wood pellet grills will let you cook your food low and slow. This is arguably the key selling point of this cooking method. Beyond this, many models also let you BBQ, bake, roast, braise, and sear your favorite meat, fish, seafood, and veggies. Rather than chasing the wood pellet grills with the most cooking functions baked in, instead focus on finding one that gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

2) Is using a wood pellet grill an eco-friendly method of grilling compared to using a charcoal grill?

Yes, it is. Wood pellets are a renewable and very clean source of energy. You won’t need to introduce any lighter fluid to proceedings thanks to the push-button electronic ignition that’s standard on these grills. They don’t use much electricity either, so you’ll get a green grilling option that’s also very user-friendly.

3) Are these grills purely powered by wood pellets?

No. You’ll also need electricity to run the control panel and the display panel. The wood pellets you use in addition to electricity.

4) Will I burn through wood pellets quickly when I’m grilling?

Expect to get through somewhere between 1 pound and 3 pounds of wood pellets for every hour of grilling. This will vary from brand to brand, but you should not concern yourself with running costs. Wood pellet grills are highly cost-effective.

5) Do I need to clean my pellet grill frequently?

Wipe down the cooking grates after every use. Deep clean your grill after every handful of cookouts. If you find yourself regularly engaging in day-long cookouts, consider increasing the frequency of cleaning accordingly.

6) Is it possible to use my wood pellet grill in cold conditions?

Absolutely, but you’ll typically notice a drop in efficiency if you’re grilling in a cold climate. As soon as outside temperatures dip below 35F, cover your wood pellet grill with an insulated blanket. If you neglect this, you’ll need to burn far more wood pellets to get the grill up to temperature. When you’re cooking in cold weather, aim to keep the lid closed as much as possible so you keep all the heat locked inside the grill.

7) Is it possible to add wood chips to the hopper of a wood pellet grill?

Don’t do this. Using flavored wood pellets will impart all the taste and aroma you need without resorting to wood chips. Only use the pellets recommended for your grill.

8) Do pellet grills get very hot?

Yes, they can often hit temperatures of 500F to 700F. Most of these grills get hot enough for you to sear your steak.

9) Can I cook pizza on a wood pellet grill?

Yes, although you can expect to encounter a slight learning curve. This is all part of the fun, though.

10) How long do wood pellets last for?

 In low humidity levels, a bag of wood pellets might last for 6 months. If humidity levels are higher, though, the pellets will only be good for 3 months or so. Always pop your pellets in an airtight container, and store them in a cool, dry place.

Conclusion

If you came here to Hempen Hill today unsure about the benefits of wood pellet grills and how to choose the most suitable grill for your needs, you should now have plenty of options at your fingertips.

For anyone that encounters a wood pellet grill we didn’t review today, we hope our brief buying guide above helps you determine if it’s the right grill for you.

Although summer is drawing to a close, there’s still plenty of grilling season stretching ahead of us, so be sure to bookmark our blog before you head off and come back soon for more great grilling content. See you soon!

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