- 1 Pellet Grills: A Grill-Smoker Hybrid that Gives the Best of Both Worlds
- 2 What Is the Best Pellet Grill for You?
- 3 Reviews of the Best Pellet Grills to Buy in 2019
- 3.1 1. Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill – Editor’s Best to Buy
- 3.2 2. Z-Grill Premium 7002E Pellet Grill – Best Wood Pellet Grill
- 3.3 3. Green Mountain Grills’ Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – Best for the Money
- 3.4 4. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Pellet Grill – Best Rated
- 3.5 5. Rec Tec RT-700 Pellet Grill – Best Pellet Smoker Grill
- 3.6 6. Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 Pellet Grill With Sear Box – Best for Searing
- 3.7 7. Z-Grill 450A Pellet Grill – Best Portable
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 A Comparison Table of the Top-Performing Pellet Grills Reviews
- 6 FAQs
- 7 What Are The Best Pellets For Pellet Grills?
- 8 How Does A Pellet Grill Work?
- 9 Top Favored Brands
In this article, you’ll find out how a pellet grill outperforms its electricity-, charcoal-, or gas-fueled counterparts and, thus, is a wise investment. We’ll then outline criteria for choosing the best pellet grills on the market, followed by our top benchmarked picks. The burning FAQs come next, and we’ll wrap up with a section dedicated to top-favored brands.
When it comes to the “best type of grill” debate, opinions vary from pitmaster to pitmaster, but three choices always win out: the timeless charcoal grill, the powerful gas grill, and the consistent electric grill.
Charcoal grills are second to none in terms of gourmet excellence, but the temperature is hard to adjust and the cleanup is a nightmare.
Gas grills with their constant flow of fuel will give you all the firepower you want and the ease of temperature control, but it comes with the potential risks of leakage and flare-up.
Electric grills’ uniform heating and cooking speed are superior, but they cannot exceed the preset temperature range to get creative.
While they are all valid arguments, each has its own flaws, and none has the capability of smoking.
And that’s where the pellet grills come to the rescue. They can barbecue just as well as with regular grills, plus that distinctive smoky aroma.
Pellet Grills: A Grill-Smoker Hybrid that Gives the Best of Both Worlds
With the convenience of an electric grill and the firepower of a gas grill, pellet grills embrace the best of both worlds. It is a hybrid that functions as a grill and a smoker. With the added capability of smoking, pellet grills dish out steaks with those pinkish smoke rings and an irresistible woody aroma— the hallmarks of a great BBQ— that no other grill can replicate.
Not just about grilling and smoking, pellet grills are highly versatile since they can broil, roast, and bake just as well.
Compared to charcoal grills, lighting up pellet grills is much less of a hassle and you don’t have to rearrange the briquettes or adjust the airflow. It is considerably easier and faster to ignite the pellets than those charcoal chunks. And the preheating process is also quicker.
The temperature can be adjusted with precision and ease thanks to the feeding mechanism that automatically adds pellet accordingly, so there’s no risk of flare-ups. And once the desired temperature is reached, the fan inside will regulate and spread the airflow uniformly so the chance of uneven cooking is drastically minimized. To a degree, a pellet grill is like a convection oven.
Pellets have lower moisture and higher burning efficiency than charcoal and briquettes, as noted by Massachusetts-based Manomet Center for Conservation Center. They recognized pellet’s low moisture content compared to that of woodchips (6% and 40%, respectively). Additionally, the pellets leave less ash compared to the charcoal.
The pellets come in various flavors but the most popular are oak, hickory, mesquite, and maple. The smoke flavor from wood pellets is milder than that acrid smoke of charcoal. And that’s why people praise pellet grills’ ability to dish out rich, flavorful and smoky steaks yet still succulent and juicy.
What Is the Best Pellet Grill for You?
With the right grill, your cooking game is going to be in a brand new level. Before you stroll down the aisle and shop for a pellet grill, let’s go through those criteria that matter most.
Pellet grills are diverse in price, going as low as $300 to over $1000, depending on the brand, capacity and other extra features. But, it is better to just say it upfront: it’s not gonna be cheap.
Sure, there are pellet grills that can go below 400 bucks, but they are really small, and their quality is questionable, to say the least. It is well-advised to opt for grills from a well-known brand.
The normal pellet grill can retail somewhere between $500 and $900. It comes equipped with a fully automatic hopper (the container that holds the pellets) and a grease bucket. If money is no problem, you can opt for bigger grills that come with built-in cabinetry or a rack, which could be somewhere over $1000.
The questions, “How often do you grill?” and, “How many people are you serving?” should help you narrow down the grill size. Despite all the arguments and debates, in the end, size does indeed matter.
If you’re regularly hosting a neighborhood grill fest on the weekends, then you should go for a large grill with a spacious cooking chamber. However, if you’re just planning on doing cozy dinner parties for your family then a small or medium-sized grill should suffice.
You should look for grills made of heavy-duty stainless steel that have a high resistance to rust and can withstand the elements. They tend to be more durable and better in overall performance, particularly at retaining heat.
Grilling outdoors is a pleasant experience, but sometimes you may have to shift location. Look for models that are equipped with all-terrain wheels and casters with locks so you can easily move and secure them to a new position.
Or, if you’re a camping enthusiast, you might want a compact grill that you can bring along on your trip as long as there’s a connection to electricity.
Since pellet grills run on electricity, you can adjust the temperature to an exact degree: you can dial up the heat for regular grilling, or keep it low for long smoking sessions. Either way, both can be controlled via a multiple-position regulator or a fully digitalized panel with a display, depending on the model. The controller will determine the amount of pellet to feed the heat source below.
So, you want to get a pellet grill with an easy-control regulator and possibly a probe to check the inside temperature without opening the lid and causing the heat to leak.
Cleanup is inevitable. Luckily, this can be alleviated by pellet grills that come with a drip tray and a grease bucket, all covered with thick replaceable liners (the metallic foils that cover the drip tray and the grease bucket). All you have to do is just take them out, toss in the trash, and replace with a brand-new sheet.
When buying a new pellet grill, you should look for those with detachable components— like the grates and the heat shield— that can be washed and dried separately.
As for the hopper (the container of the pellets) and the grill itself, some models have latched doors to empty the sawdust inside. If there is none, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the remnants.
- Side sear box: so you can have more cooking options.
- WiFi-supported control: so you can monitor and control the pellet grill from afar.
- Hopper size: if you’re cooking for a large party, or grilling on high heat, a large hopper will make sure you don’t run out of pellets midway.
- Shelf, rack, or cabinet: so you’ll have more room for your cooking utensils, condiment bottles, spice jars, and trays.
- Grease bucket: so you can collect the excess fat and grease onto the drip tray and out of the grill.
- Built-in probes: so you can get the temperature readings without always opening the lid.
Reviews of the Best Pellet Grills to Buy in 2019
Below you’ll find our carefully selected candidates. These best pellet grills will enrich your food with an all-natural wood-burned flavor!
- Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill – Editor’s Best to Buy
- Z-Grill Premium 7002E Pellet Grill – Best Wood Pellet Grill
- GMG Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – Best for the Money
- Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Pellet Grill – Best Rated
- Rec Tec RT-700 Pellet Grill – Best Pellet Smoker Grill
- Camp Chef SG 24 Pellet Grill w/ Sear Box – Best for Searing
- Z-Grill 450A Pellet Grill – Best Portable
Here are our top picks for the Best Pellet Grills to buy in 2019:
1. Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill – Editor’s Best to Buy
It’s always important to make a long-lasting first impression, and Traeger Pro Series 34 surely captures the eyes of the beholders, possibly for its extra-large size and sturdy built.
The Traeger Pro Series 34 is a versatile grill with multiple cooking options all packed in the same unit— grilling, smoking, baking, roasting and braising— so the possibilities are endless.
The grill has a built-in slanted tray that will catch the drops of grease and fat from the meat on the grates above. These droplets will flow down the tray into the bucket on the side of the grill. By removing the excess grease, this will prevent droplets of fat from burning and generating carcinogenic compounds.
The sturdy frame, which Traeger describes as the “sawhorse chassis”, is made of wood, 3-inch thick and wide-angled. The pull bar is for tightly welded onto the side of the grill for a firm grip when pulling and for weight distribution.
The grill measures at 53” W by 27” D by 49” H in outer dimensions, while its interior is 646 square inches from the main rack, plus 238 square inches from the extra rack above. That’s a total 884 square inches of surface for cooking space. The grill can house various large items all at once, like up to 8 whole chickens, 7 racks of ribs or a staggering 40 burgers.
With a powerful steel frame coated with a layer of finishing, the grill is highly durable and resistant to the wear-and-tear, be it on a daily or occasional use. Not only that, the Pro Series 34 also has a high tolerance against all types of weather.
The grates are adjustable with 3 different tiers. They are made of porcelain-enameled stainless steel for superior heating, rust resistance, and cleaning ease.
The grill comes with all-terrain casters for easy transportation over any bumpy ground, be it grass, rock or dirt. Wherever you light up the grill, be it the front lawn, the backyard, the patio or the gazebo, you can always shift its location at will, and hold it to a stationary position thanks to the locks on the casters.
The manufacturer claims that the Pro Series 34’s Digital Pro Controller integrates their patented Advanced Grilling Logic, a feature that keeps the selected temperature constant for customized grilling techniques. That way, you can just set the temperature to your liking, walk away and forget about it. Just let the grill work its magic, and you’ll get gourmet results every time.
The nonstick coating of the grates makes it easy to scrub off burn marks and charred pieces with a grill brush or a soapy sponge.
However, there is no information regarding whether the detachable parts are dishwasher-compatible, so it’s a safe bet to wash them by hand, let dry and put back in. That goes for the heat shield as well.
When it comes to cleaning the grease bucket and the drip tray, Traeger makes it simple. The metallic sheets that catch drops of grease and fat— also known as liners— are placed above the tray, so you don’t have to muscle up and scrape it later. As for the grease bucket, the liners are folded into cups that sit snugly inside the bucket. You can stack it all inside the bucket, and whenever it’s filled near the brim, you can just take the top liner cup out, dump the grease, and the new cup under is ready.
The grill’s hopper size can hold 18lbs of pellets. It is going to take a while to use up all of the fuel before the need to refill arises, so rest assured you won’t lose any heat midway of grilling or smoking. The hopper also has a cleanout backdoor so you can get rid of the remaining pellets, clean out the sawdust, or change the pellet type if you want to get creative with the different flavors.
The Pro Series 34 model also has a folding front shelf and a bottom shelf for cooking utensils, condiments, and spices. But these parts are not included in the grill, so you have to purchase them separately.
The included dual temperature probes let you monitor the food and the ambience inside the grill without opening the lid too often, thus losing the heat. You will receive up-to-date data readings, which are refreshed every second. Now you can always grill the meat to your favorite doneness, with no more fear of overcooking or undercooking!
Here, you can take a look at another grill from the same manufacturer. Although smaller, its performance is much the same.
The Traeger Pro Series 34 ranks first for its overall performance, consistency, and durability. As a shining example of Traeger’s high-quality product, it sets the benchmarks for the other pellet grills to follow.
2. Z-Grill Premium 7002E Pellet Grill – Best Wood Pellet Grill
Pitmasters, meet the Z-Grill Premium 7002E.
Of all the well-made and reliable pellet grills out there on the market, this steakhouse-on-wheels gets the most out of the wood pellets with its diversified cooking options, besides the standard grilling and smoking.
Using 110-volt fan-forced convection like an oven, the 250-watt 7002E can bake, roast, and braise. But what surprises us even further is that the 7002E can do searing as well, though this function is not as strong and noticeable as that of a regular grill.
The 7002E is equipped with an internal temperature sensor that monitors the interior’s ambience and keeps you informed. Using an automatic ignition system, all you have to do is load the pellets into the hopper, plug in, hit the button, and the grill will do the rest. It’s just that simple.
With the main grilling area measuring at 504 square inches and an additional 190 square inches from the smoking rack above, the 7002E boast an impressive near 700 square inches.
This grill measures 48” W by 22” D by 51” H.
Made of stainless steel, the 7002E has a respectably high resistance to common rust and corrosion from common use or the outside weather. Polished with a protective coating, this grill will keep its pristine condition and last quite a while before it shows any signs of wear-and-tear.
With a silver and sleek look, the 7002E is a nice touch for any outdoor kitchen and would fit nicely in any modern backyard.
This Z-Grill has two wheels with locks. Although it is still easy to move the grill from place to place, the wheels aren’t 360-degree, so it may take a bit of muscle to turn corners. Nonetheless, this is merely a small setback.
The automatic pellet feeding mechanism, controlled by a knob, lets you have complete control over the temperature. You can select the smoking mode on low or searing on high, or adjusting the temperature between 180°F and 475°F, or up to 25000 BTUs per hour.
At each different temperature mark, the internal sensor will read the ambience and add a corresponding amount of pellet, maintaining the temperature and amount of smoke. No longer do you have to stay glued to the grill: just set the temperature however you like it, and shift your focus on other things. The 7002E will grill your food to perfection.
The grates are reasonably easy to clean by hand, however, there’s no information regarding its dishwasher-safety.
Like most pellet grills, the 7002E has a built-in drip tray that catches the dripping grease and fat from above, and lets it slide out of the grill into the external grease bucket. It’s a shame that a grease bucket isn’t included with the 7002E. You have to purchase it separately.
The pellet purge system lets you clean out the remaining sawdust, or replace the current pellets with a different type, in case you want to mix-and-match or experiment with other combinations.
Also worth mentioning is the shutdown cycle, which runs the fan for a couple more minutes before completely turning off the device for cleaning. By this point, the 7002E is cool to the touch, assuring the hand that touched it won’t burn when you’re wiping or vacuuming the grill.
What we really like about the Z-Grill 7002E is its enormous hopper size, which can house an amazing 20lb.
Last but not least is the bottom shelf that adds a touch of convenience, because you can put your cooking utensils, food trays, and spices. Although the shelf itself isn’t that big, it’s still nice to have that extra working space.
If you fancy a different color, this Z-Grill here is another model worth considering. It’s a larger model with a stylish bronze finish and has a built-in cabinet.
The Z-Grill 7002E truly brings the best out the all-natural hardwood pellet flavors and infuses everything inside it extra-large interior with an amazing wood-fired aroma.
3. Green Mountain Grills’ Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – Best for the Money
May we introduce the Green Mountain Grills’ Davy Crockett.
The mini smokehouse is the perfect companion when you go on a camping trip in the RV or set in the back of a pickup truck. Not only compact, this grill packs quite a lot of heat, too.
What we particularly love about this Davy Crockett is its flexible power source. Most pellet grills can only plug into a wall socket, however, the Davy Crockett, with its versatile adaptor, can connect to a portable generator, your RV’s power outlet or attach to your car battery.
Its auger system— the motor that adds the pellets into the firebox— has an RPM (revolution per minute) of 4.7 to 5.2, which effortlessly feeds the fuel into the fire. Meanwhile, the 4100 RPM combustion fan motor maintains the inflow of oxygen, keeping the pellets aflame while circulating the temperature inside the grill.
The 60-watt Davy Crockett runs on a 12-volt, while its igniter is 100-watts.
One word to describe the Davy Crockett is “compact”.
Though its modest 219 square inches of grilling surface isn’t a lot, it is still enough for a picnic trip of four.
The dimensions measure at 31.75” H by 34” W by 23” D when the legs are open, and 20.5” H by 27.75” W by 17.5” D when the legs are closed.
Like most modern pellet grills, the Davy Crockett is made of stainless steel for durability and resistance to rust.
Weighing 68lbs, this pellet grill is quite hard to move around since there is no wheel or caster. Although the fold-up legs also act as a carry handle, it can be quite troublesome when unloading it on or off the vehicle and moving to other spots.
Built-in the Davy Crocketts is a thermal sensor called Sense-Mate that records and analyzes the temperature every second. It can seamlessly convert between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
The GMG Smart Control allows you to monitor and adjust the grill from afar through your mobile device, as long as there’s WiFi connection. However, you can also manually control it. With a temperature range from 150°F to 550°F and a 5-degree increment control, you can set the heat to your heart’s content.
The Davy Crockett is also equipped with a meat probe, so you can monitor your steaks without opening the lid as well.
There is no information regarding whether the grill’s components are compatible with dishwashers, so it’s better to take the detachable parts out and wash manually. That includes the drip tray, the heat shield, and the stainless grease bucket.
Green Mountain Grills recommends routine cleaning after an interval of 2-3 pellet bags (80-100lbs), particularly the firebox and the igniter.
The pellet hopper is capable of holding 9lbs of pellet, with a sloped design to help the pellets fall easily into the feeding system.
The Davy Crockett has a side rack with multiple hooks for cooking utensils. Although the rack is small, the extra space and convenience are always welcomed.
But, what we particularly like is the user-friendly app. It’s available on both iOS and Android devices. You can start or turn off the grill, adjust the temperature and set alarms for the probes. Additional app functions include fan mode, timer, and stopwatch.
When the preset temperature is reached, the pellet hopper is running low on fuel, or one of the grill’s parts isn’t functioning normally, you’ll get an alert. You can also set personalized profiles for your separate dishes.
But what if you’re outside of your WiFi coverage? You can connect to server mode, so no matter where you are, you can always keep an eye on your favorite steaks on the go.
For a pellet grill this affordable, yet with so many added features, the Davy Crockett is a rare gem among the budget-friendly models on the market.
4. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Pellet Grill – Best Rated
What’s so hot about the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24, anyway?
The built-in electronic automatic ignition can light up and preheat the grill with ease, even a first-timer can do it. Also, you don’t have to struggle with keeping up-to-date with the temperature changes, because all data is shown on the LED screen: you can monitor the ambience inside the grill and the meat’s temperature via the probes.
The DLX 24 has a lower rack area of 429 square inches combined with an extra 141 square inches of the upper rack for a total of 570 square inches of cooking creativity, or 3778 cubic inches.
The grill measures 32.5” H and weighs 140lbs.
The DLX 24 is made of heavy-duty steel for durability and heat retention, just like other conventional pellet grills
The grill is equipped with casters for mobility and locks on the casters to prevent slippages or slide-offs.
This is where the SmokePro DLX 24 makes its mark.
The temperature selection system is easy to use: just dial the knob to your preferred temperature, and the grill will take care of the rest. The heat is maintained as the automatic auger continually feeds pellets from the hopper into the burning firebox below. And with the assistance of the convection fan, the hot air is spread evenly throughout the grill’s interior.
You can set the heat as low as 160°F for slow smoking, or as high as 500°F for regular char-grilling, and basically anywhere in between. But no matter what temperature you set, your meat is always grilled to perfection, because you can keep track of its doneness via the built-in probe. You will no longer have to struggle with the guesswork!
Since whether the detachable parts can be washed inside a dishwasher is unknown, so you should wash the components by hand. Brushing off the charred pieces from the grate, the drip tray, and the grease bucket, and washing them with soap should suffice.
The hopper has an ash cleanout system that collects the falling sawdust from the firebox. All you have to do is remove the cup at the bottom of the grill, dump the remains, wipe with a clean rag, and reattach to the grill.
If you’re cleaning the interior of the grill, you can pull a lever to empty the remaining ash from the grill bottom and vacuum the rest.
The hopper is quite large, and it can house up to 18lbs of pellets.
The side table adds extra working space and a sense of handiness for the chef. It measures 16 inches by 12 inches.
Another thing worth mentioning is although the grill is under warranty for 3 years, the manual says only 1 year. However, this is quickly addressed by the support team on the manufacturer’s main website. They admit that the 1-year warranty is a typo, and the SmokePro DLX is still under a 3-year warranty.
The only thing to nitpick here is that the warming rack above could have been bigger. On the whole, this is otherwise a well-made, well-performing and a popular choice among the grilling community.
If bronze isn’t to your liking, then you’d probably fancy a mysterious black. Check out this one, which is also from Camp Chef.
A pellet grill that under-promises yet over-delivers like the SmokePro DLX 24 is not something you come across often.
5. Rec Tec RT-700 Pellet Grill – Best Pellet Smoker Grill
It’s not just the logo that bears the image of a bull, but the Rec Tec RT-700 itself resembles one as well, with the horns for the handes and the nose ring for the towel holder.
Pellet grills are known for their smoking capability, and the Rec Tec does it better than others, even better than a standalone smoker. So every time your steak comes out of the grill, it will have a signature pinkish layer and an irresistible smoky fragrance.
The 110-volt pellet grill is easy to use, since the ignition and shutdown are completely automatic. The Rec Tec RT-700 has multiple cooking options: from the regular grilling and smoking, to baking, broiling, roasting and searing, and even dehydrating.
The main grilling chamber is 702 square inches, spacious enough to fit whole a whole turkey, a chicken or up to six large racks of ribs. However, that isn’t the maximum capacity. If you’re willing to go the distance, you can purchase an additional warming rack and get an astounding 1054 square inch.
The Rec Tec RT-700 is made of stainless steel for durability. All of its exterior and interior parts are highly resistant to rust and extreme heat because it is caulked with high-temperature RTV. All the wiring is encased in rubber rings call grommets to prevent chafing and tugging, and the integrated heat vents protect the electronic components from heat.
The cooking chamber is made of stainless steel for better heat retention. Other stainless components include the controller shelf, the hopper with its lid, hinge, and handles.
The lid stop, the pull handle, and the bucket hook are sturdy, since they are tightly welded into the grill. The lid is also made of heavy-duty stainless steel, and coated with a protective coating against corrosion.
As for the grates, they are made of 304 stainless steel for durability, heat retention and rust resistance. The fire pot, the heat deflectors, the smoke tray, and the drip pan are also made from the same material. Meanwhile, the HotFlash ignition system is made of ceramic.
The Rec Tec RT-700 comes with wheels and casters for easy movement.
Utilizing Smart Control, the PID algorithm will maintain the temperature precisely.
The dual meat probes are included in the grills, so you can measure both the air temperature inside the grill and the meat. Just insert them through the probe, so the wires wouldn’t be bent or pinched when the lid is closed.
With a vast temperature range from 200°F to 500°F, you can adjust it with 5-degree increments until you’re satisfied. But if you want a slow smoke, the LO setting operates under 200°F to achieve the maximum amount of smoke.
There is no information regarding the ease of cleaning the Rec Tec RT-700, so it’s safe to assume that the detachable parts are reasonably easy to clean using a grill brush and soapy sponge. The grease bucket, the grate, and the drip tray should be easy to clean.
The Rec Tec Grills app, available for both Apple and Android devices, will allow you to monitor and control the RT-700 from afar. The app is user-friendly.
With a 40lb-capacity, the hopper can hold an impressive amount of pellets that Rec Tec claims to be able to cook up to 40 hours non-stop.
The bottom shelf provides extra storage room, so you can place trays and spices on it. The tool hooks will keep the utensils and tools at your arm’s reach, adding convenience for the chef. Also, the RT-700 has an interior light, so you can check the interior even at night.
Although its price tag may raise some eyebrows, the Rec Tec RT-700 is a worthwhile investment for the foreseeable future. In the long run, it will prove to be not only a wise decision, but also the heart and soul of every grill fest you throw for the neighborhood.
6. Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 Pellet Grill With Sear Box – Best for Searing
When using a pellet grill, it is virtually impossible to get the sear marks, since the grill cannot reach a high temperature like its charcoal or gas counterparts. However, this can be easily remedied by purchasing a separate sear box, provided that your model is compatible and has enough space.
Not the Woodwind SG 24! The pellet grill has a fully-integrated ser box offering the best of both worlds.
Much like other pellet grills, the Woodwind SG 24 has an automatic ignition system. All of the temperature data is displayed on the LED screen, including that of the ambience inside the grill and that of the probe.
However, what sets this pellet grill apart from the others is its searing ability. Pellet grills aren’t known for making that signature mark on the surface of the steak due to their low, smoke-filled cooking mechanism. However, the accompanying sear box on the SG 24 solves this dilemma. It can reach up to 900°F for a crisp and caramelized texture.
Besides this added searing ability, the SG 24 is capable of grilling, smoking, roasting, baking and braising like other pellet grills.
A combination of 382 square inches from the upper rack and 429 square inches from the lower rack provides a total 811 square inches of cooking surface, or 4850 cubic inches. With that much space, you can grill for a neighborhood or a large family.
The Camp Chef model is 42” H and weighs 150lbs.
The overall exterior is made of stainless steel with a heat-resistant coating. The lower rack is made of enamel, while the upper rack is made of nickel.
The Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 comes with all-terrain wheels and 360-degree casters for easy movement and transportation.
The SG 24 has a digital control, where an automatic auger feeds the pellets into the burning heat source to maintain the temperature.
Speaking of temperature, a knob lets you dial the setting from 160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can opt for your favorite heat setting. And you’ll receive the data reading of the heat inside the lid, thanks to the dual probes.
There is no information on the dishwasher being able to clean the detachable parts, so you should scrub the grease bucket, the drip tray and the grate with a soapy solution and a brush.
The ash cleanout system will collect the falling sawdust gathering at the bottom of the grill, and the hopper purge lets you clean out the remaining pellets inside.
The side sear box weighs 34lbs and measures at 11.5 inches by 16 inches, providing an additional cooking area of 184 square inches. The stainless steel burner packs an astounding 16000 BTUs of heating capacity, has its own drip tray, and a heat diffuser plate for infrared grilling.
Regarding the hopper, while the older model Woodwind grills had an 18lbs hopper capacity, that of the SG 24 is added up to 22lbs, so you will have more room to store the pellets. It will be quite a while before you have to refill again.
The Woodwind SG 24 also comes with a bottom shelf for extra storage room and a built-in bottle opener, to boot.
When it comes to searing on a pellet grill, the Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 is second to none. It offers a diverse range of cooking method that can satisfy the palates of different diners.
7. Z-Grill 450A Pellet Grill – Best Portable
Last but definitely not least, is the Z-Grill 450-A.
If you’re looking for pure grilling sans the additional features, this mini steakhouse will get the job done.
Much like all of its Z-Grills counterparts, this 250-watt pellet grill runs on a 110-volt current. The automatic ignition is easily controlled via a switch on the panel, which also includes an automatic shutdown recycle mode for cleanup.
By combining the 324 square inches from the main grilling rack and the 128 square inches from the smoking/warming rack, the 450-A offers a total 452 square inch of grilling surface.
The 450-A measures 45” H by 28” W by 49” H.
The grill is made of heavy-duty steel for endurance against the elements and the wear-and-tear.
Its two all-terrain wheels are large and durable, but like the 7002E model, they are not 360-degree, so turning corners can be quite tricky. However, this is merely a slight annoyance.
Having these wheels makes moving the grill from one place to another easier.
The 450-A has a 160°F – 450°F temperature range with 25000 BTUs of heating capacity. You can control all this heat via the knob on the side of the grill.
You should take the grate, the drip tray, and the grease bucket out of the grill. Scrub these parts with a brush, and wash them with a sponge soaked in a soapy solution. However, the grease bucket has to be purchased separately.
The pellet purge system will collect the ash after a grilling session. If you want to clean the hopper or change the flavor of the smoke, you can use a hatch door to unload the pellets.
The 450-A hopper has a 15lbs capacity.
It’s quite a shame that the front shelf and the side table is too small to put anything on it. To make matters even worse, this model doesn’t have an attachable shelf under the grill. Therefore, the comfort and convenience of additional area are sorely missed.
If you’re on a tight budget and are looking for a pellet grill that can give the better bang for the buck, here is another Z-Grill model.
This smokehouse-on-the-wheel will bring the party and the festivity to wherever you want, be it by the swimming pool, the lakeside or on your front lawn.
And we’ve reached the end of the product reviews. Hopefully, this article can assist you in choosing the right pellet grill. Anything you’d like to share, contribute, or if you feel we’ve left something unsaid, your comments are always highly welcomed.
A Comparison Table of the Top-Performing Pellet Grills Reviews
|Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill||646 sq” from main rack + 238 sq” from extra rack = 884 sq” in total||Casters,|
Folding front shelf (sold separately),
Bottom shelf (sold separately)
|Z-Grill Premium 7002E Pellet Grill||504 sq” from main rack + 190 sq” from warming rack = 694 sq” in total||Wheels,|
Grease bucket (sold separately)
|3-year limited warranty|
|Green Mountains Grills’ Davy Crockett Pellet Grill||219 sq”||Side rack,|
|3-year limited warranty|
|Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Pellet Grill||429 sq” from lower rack + 141 sq” from upper rack = 570 sq” in total||Wheels,|
|Rec Tec RT-700 Pellet Grill||702 sq” from lower grilling area + 352” sq from optional upper rack = a maximum 1054 sq” in total||Casters,|
|6-year non-transferable limited warranty|
|Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 Pellet Grill With Sear Box||429 sq” from lower rack + 382 sq” from upper rack = 811 sq” in total||Casters,|
|Z-Grill 450A Pellet Grill||324 sq” from main rack + 128 sq “ from warming rack = 452 sq” in total||Wheels,|
Grease bucket (sold separately)
|3-year limited warranty|
These are the burning questions that stir confusion from even the most seasoned pitmasters when using a pellet grill. And we’re here to answer them all!
What Are The Best Pellets For Pellet Grills?
We need to know what the pellets are made of to determine which ones are the best.
Pellets are biofuels from organic matter called biomass. The compressed matter is made from various materials, including buzzsaw, organic waste, and tree barks. The most popular type is still wood pellets, which have been processed to food-grade safety. Since they have less moisture, they burn more effectively and give more heat.
Manufacturers make various types of pellets of different flavors and smells from different types of wood. There is no golden rule for which pellets go with which kinds of food, so you can experiment until you find pairings to your taste.
The most common wood pellets are made from oak, maple, mesquite, cherry, maple, hickory and pecan, just to name a few.
So, to answer shortly: wood pellets are the best. Simple as that.
How Does A Pellet Grill Work?
The pellets are stored above, inside the hopper. Once the temperature is set, the pellets fall through the funnel. A motor with large ridges like an oversized screw or a wine opener (auger conveyor) spins and carries the pellets towards the burning firepot. It’s just like a conveyor belt.
Inside the firepot there is a burning rod. Once coming into contact with the rod, the pellets catch fire, producing heat and smoke. The fan inside the grill distributes the heat and smoke evenly, and this is called convection.
People always say “A picture is worth a thousand words”. We didn’t need a thousand words to explain how a pellet grill works, as we try to make it as concise and clear as possible. And, if somehow the technical jargons and the explanation doesn’t make sense, here’s an illustration:
Top Favored Brands
Whatever pellet grill you ultimately choose is up to you, however, going with a well-known brand logo gives extra assurance. Most brands also make their own pellets.
A household name among meat lovers, Traeger has been in business since 1985. Founded by Joe Traeger, this brand is the pioneer and trailblazer in the pellet grill manufacturing industry.
Ever since its patent right expired in 2006, Traeger has lost its exclusivity in the market and has faced many competitors. Yet, the name Traeger is still synonymous with the pellet grill itself, and this brand is not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
Folks at Z-Grill only have one goal: globalization.
With its warehouse in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Z-Grill is planning to expand its reach even further. Having exported their products throughout North America, they are aiming for Europe as the next destination.
Their objective is to offer high-quality products and reliable customer service. Z-Grill will not stop until it becomes the go-to brand. And with the new 6002 series available for purchase in the foreseeable future, soon they’ll be able to capture the attention of the BBQ community with an improved and more powerful pellet grill.
Founded in 1990 in Utah, Camp Chef knows a thing or two about the fun of picnics and camping. Understanding travelers’ struggles with the weather when making outdoor meals, Camp Chef’s products have their customers’ best interests at heart. They encourage people to be closer to nature, so all of their products are tested against the harshest elements. And that’s probably why grills with this unmistakable red and black logo are among the barbecue community’s favorite.
Founded in 2009 by friends-turned-business partners Ray Carnes and Ron Cundy in Augusta, Georgia, this new player still has a lot of catching up to do before it can hang with the veterans in the field. However, if Rec Tec can keep offering well-made grills and reliable customer service, it won’t be too much longer before it can go one-on-one with the household names.
Rec Tec grills for known for their extra-large interior that can be used for competitions or hosting really festive parties for large crowds.
Green Mountain Grills
Started in 2007, Green Mountain Grills is another rookie in the pellet manufacturing field. They are known for their grill line named after famous frontier figures— Davy Crockett, James “Jim” Bowie, and Daniel Boone. And although still far behind in the race for the go-to pellet grill brand title, that doesn’t stop GMG from striving for betterment. Not only focusing on the grills, GMG also pays a lot of attention to developing their app for the customer’s convenience and comfort as well.