The Best Pellet Smokers for 2021

Among so many available models, the best pellet grill is one that doesn’t cost a fortune, is made of good quality materials, has a large cooking space and obviously is very good at maintaining a steady temperature.

Such is the definition of a really good pellet grill, if you’d like to find one for yourself, you have to get prepared for a time-consuming search as well as visiting stores in order to check every model personally. Have you thought about how long this could take? Add to that the fact that every drive to a store also costs gas money, not to mention precious time.

That’s why we believe that this is almost impossible for a regular person to achieve. We know that there’s plenty of those like you, so we’re here to help you all. We love to cook on a grill and we cook on many different models, we visit grill dealers very often which is why we decided to check out the full pellet grill offer at stores and pick what we believe to be the best models of the year for you.

The most important thing is to match the pellet smoker to your expectations which is why we chose several different pellet grills of different sizes, quality of workmanship and most of all, prices. You will find a decent smoker here that costs a lot as well as a decent smoker that will suit those with a limited budget perfectly.

You need more information on a particular model? Below the table are all the reviews of the best pellet grills in 2019, we invite you to read it!

The Best Pellet Grills for 2021

1. Best Overall Camp Chef PG24DLX

Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe

Currently the definite number 1 among pellet grills thanks to a very good quality to price ratio. You need a pellet smoker that won’t disappoint you? Here you go, Camp Chef PG24 was made with durability and efficiency in mind.

The most important thing in pellet grills is to be precise at maintaining temperature. This device is mostly used for long meat cooking which is why it’s important for the grill to consistently maintain the same temperature without large fluctuations ( like 50+ degrees ).

It’s hard to get anything better for this kind of money, we have only found one worthy challenger, but more on that below.

A total 577 square inches of cooking area ( 429 of the main area and a heated rack with 144 ). Of course there are much bigger pellet grills, but we believe this size to be universal for most people ( especially beginners ).

A solid and durable structure, the pellet container can hold 18 lbs, there’s also an advanced digital controller with a temperature control range of 160 to 500 degrees F. It comes with probes that make it possible to check the internal temperature of the meat and the grill. It is equipped with a good grease draining system as well as an ash removal system which makes it easy to keep it clean.

We have noticed that the price went slightly up recently, but it’s still a brilliant product for this kind of money. Great for slow meat searing, if that’s what you’re looking for then you won’t be disappointed.

2. Runner Up Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker

When it comes to efficiency and quality of workmanship, it’s a great challenger for Camp Chef PG24 for quite a lower price. On top of that, you get a free cover with every order ( the price of such cover is about $50 ).

So what does this grill lack, why did we pick it as number two on our list?

It lacks an ash removal system as well as an advanced grease draining system which is why the price is lower. These are the two main gripes with this pellet grill, but considering the size of the grill and all the other features, this kind of price is most certainly adequate compared to Camp Chef PG24. When compared with other expensive competitive models, it turns out that it is a pellet smoker worth its price.

It is also a whole different structure compared to most traditional pellet grills ( the front doors look like those on a propane grill ). Hiding behind the doors is plenty of place for your bbq accessories, we like the idea of using that empty space under the grill like that.

One big advantage when it comes to this grill is a three-year warranty, not many manufacturers can offer a warranty longer than that. For this price range, 3 years of warranty is a great result, you can only expect a longer warranty with models that usually cost several times as much. For example, Camp Chef PG24 only comes with a 1 year warranty, whereas rec tec coms with whole 6 years of warranty except that it costs three times as much.

A very large cooking area, a total of whole 700 square inches offers plenty of possibilities when cooking.Of course there’s a digital controller that allows to adjust temperature within a range of 180-450 degrees F.

If you can forgive lacking an ash removal system and don’t need gadgets then it’s a good quality, efficient and functional pellet grill.

3. Upgrade Pick – Rec Tec RT-700 Bull

rec tec bulls rt-700

The owners of RecTec have already gotten us used to them valuing their customers’ opinions very much and trying to take their suggestions and improving their grill so that it is even better.

The new Rec Tec RT-700 Bull is undoubtedly a great pellet grill. Before I get into details, let me briefly explain why it takes the third place on our list. The main cause is the price, most of beginners pay attention to the price. It is normal that when something is new to you then you usually start with buying something in the lower or the middle price range. That’s why Rec Tec RT-700, despite being a great device, ends up third, as it is a choice for those with a thicker wallet or those who are already experienced with this type of grill and want something better.

A well-made digital controller that makes it possible to set the temperature within a range of 200-500 degrees F ( at 5 degree intervals ). Besides the current temperature, the digital controller allows to plug in two probes for measuring the temperature inside meat.

It is possible to connect it to a cell phone or tablet app using Wi-Fi.

The appearance is also worth mentioning here – we believe that this time the black color as well as small elements such as the lid handles, the logo on the lid etc give it more character, and the structure as a whole is simple and pleasant to the eye.

It gets thumbs up for the pellet container, do you want your grill to be able to cook for a long time on a single container? In this model you will find a container that can hold whole 40 pounds of pellets. This much is enough for as long as several dozen hours of continuous cooking.

Are you looking for a solid and durable pellet grill that comes with plenty of technologies and gadgets? Rec Tec RT-700 means quality and functionality, 6 years of warranty is a rarity among grills of this type. Taking all the aspects of this grill into account, we believe that it is the best choice in this price range for 2019.

4. Best Budget & Portable GMG Davy Crockett

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill

A great suggestion for those who love to travel and to eat in such places as camping grounds, picnic grounds, beaches or anywhere they please as long as they have something to prepare the food on. GMG Davy Crockett was made with those who wish to take their pellet grill along on a trip in mind.

The structure was designed in a way that makes the whole grill easy to transport in a car. It is a small pellet smoker with a main cooking area of 219 square inches.

On top of being great as a portable pellet grill, it can also simply serve as a small pellet grill for places with limited space. Do you have a small backyard or porch and want something smaller but of good quality? Here you go, you have just found a perfect product for yourself.

When it comes to the price, it is adequate and it can actually fit the „everyone’s pocket” category which means the budget one with those with limited funds.

Out of the basic equipment, particularly noteworthy is the high-quality digital controller that allows to precisely set the temperature within a range of 150-550 degrees F. What is amazing in this model is Wi-Fi, which makes it possible to manipulate the controller on your cell phone’s or tablet’s screen – a neat gadget for this kind of price.

A small-sized structure contributes to a much lower fuel consumption. The whole container can fit 17 lbs of pellets which for such a small pellet grill should really be enough for plenty of hours of continuous cooking at low cost.

Do you want to have a portable pellet smoker that is perfect to go camping with? Your search is over, this is the best option in every regard. It is good at holding temperature and is very economical.

5. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24S + Sear Box

Camp Chef SmokerPro DLX with sear box

Something different from other pellet grills we have described. Efficiency and quality of workmanship are as high as in the previous grills, but this model is more versatile. Why?

It is equipped with a high-quality Sear Box that can reach very high temperatures very fast. A great option to prepare steaks or hamburgers. The Sear Box is heated with a burner that runs on gas, all you have to do is turn the knob and wait few minutes for the right temperature for cooking.For this kind of price, this model also offers many other significant features such as an ash removal system, grease draining system, large cooking area ( over 500 square inches ).

A good quality digital controller that is good at handling maintaining a desired temperature. It makes it possible to plug in probes that allow to monitor the temperature inside the meat.

We mostly chose it because it comes with all the most important features plus an obscure one which is sear box, worth about $200. If you are interested in a sear box then we suggest considering this model.

6. Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite 22

Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite 22

The most popular brand among pellet grills – Traeger. Many other manufacturers have popped up over the recent years who keep improving their products every year, whereas the grills from Traeger stand out from the competitors a little when taking the price to actual value ratio into account.

That’s why this model places so far on our list.That doesn’t mean that the Traeger offer doesn’t include any good pellet smoker. Of course it does, but it is up to you whether you’re okay with such grill for this kind of price. In our view, the price is a little inflated considering what we actually get for that much, but let’s get to the point.

We could compare it to Camp Chef PG24, both represent more or less the same size and are available at almost the same price, although we have to admit that Camp Chef has figured out plenty of details better and that’s why it’s the number one in our article.

Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 is a good pellet grill, but for this kind of price it offers much less than competitive models. If you like this brand for its history and have had good experience with this grill in the past then you can most certainly buy it.

If you’re a beginner, however, or simply expect something more, then it will be a better solution to pick something like Camp Chef PG 24 for that kind of price and in that size.

Buyer’s Guide

For many years, pellet grills have always been associated with the Traeger brand. Today it is changing, plenty of manufacturers have started making new pellet grills that offer many more interesting features and solutions.

In our view, that’s great news that so many manufacturers compete with one another. This kind of situations always pushes the market and technology forward much more because every manufacturer wants to create something innovative of their own that would help them take over a bigger share of the market. For many years, the leader has been Traeger, today there are many other recognizable brands such as Camp Chef, Rec Tec, Yoder, GMG Davy Crockett and more.

Each of those manufacturers tries to have something better to offer and forces the competition to work on not getting left in the dust. We like those manufacturers more or less, but that’s not the point here. What matters the most to us is to be able to buy a very good pellet smoker for adequate money.

Plenty of you might be wondering why our list doesn’t include items from manufacturers such as Yoder or Blaz’n Grill Works as well as other manufacturers of the top-quality pellet grills. The answer is simple – those are definitely more expensive and obviously much better made top-of-the-line pellet grills ( made in USA ), BUT this is not something for a vast majority of people visiting our website.

This article was made for beginners and those less advanced who are definitely not going to spend several thousands on a new pellet smoker.

Most of people starting their adventure with a pellet grill begin by deliberately buying a cheaper model. It allows to gain experience at your own pace while cooking on a simple equipment, and only after you feel like you need something better you spend bigger money on a better grill model. Nobody who’s just starting their adventure with this type of grill is going to spend several thousands on a new model.

That’s why we chose not to place top-quality pellet smokers on our list ( which cost up to several thousands ), because grills of such quality are mostly bought by those with a lot of experience, who already know very well what they want.

What to Pay attention to when choosing a Pellet Grill

  • The Size
  • Cooking For
  • Controller
  • The Price
  • Features
  • Mobility
  • The Warranty

Perfect Size  Of course as always, first we recommend thinking about what size of a grill suits you best. Take into account how many people you are going to cook for as well as your backyard and how much space to spare you have. It is very important as there is no point buying a grill that is too big or too small.

It is the best to properly predict our needs so that we don’t regret it later. Whereas having a big grill is no disaster as every household will have a bigger party once in a while, if you buy a smaller grill and are going to throw a bigger party then you will see that it is too small to cook enough food on.

It is also worth noting that the bigger the grill, the higher the price and bigger fuel consumption which in a longer run matters a lot when it comes to the economics.

Who you are going to cook for – That’s another important thing related to the grill’s size. Think about how many people you are going to cook for, if there’s only two of you then there’s no point buying a big pellet grill. A much better solution will be a smaller model that will be cheaper, more cost-effective and faster to warm up.

In most cases, the manufacturers disclose how many hamburgers can fit on the grates’ surface, use that data to precisely determine if that much will be enough for you.

In our view, the best universal option will be Camp Chef PG24 or Traeger, if you’re looking for something more, however, choose Rec Tec ( definitely more expensive, but the quality and the 6 year warranty are worth that price ).

If you have a limited space in your backyard then think about GMG Davy Crockett, it is a great pellet smoker for those who not only travel a lot but also have a small backyard. A little over 200 square inches of the cooking area is enough to cook delicious food for 1-3 people.

Temperature Controller – The most important thing is for your grill to have a good quality modern controller. The old three-digit ones or the simple multi-digits controllers were not a technical marvel and the temperature differed from the set one to a significant degree. In plenty of cases it was largely influenced by the weather outside ( mostly wind and the ambient temperature ). Today modern digital controllers take changes in weather into account and are much more advanced in terms of technology compared to their predecessors. They also make it possible to control the temperature inside the meat, all you have to do is plug in a probe.

That’s why you should make sure that your grill has a modern digital controller. It just so happens that all the pellet grills we recommend come with such controller.

A modern digital controller allows to precisely set the temperature from 160 to 500 F ( in some models even more ) at 5 degree intervals. The system decides when and how many pellets to add to the fire so that the temperature is just right. It takes many factors into account, including the ambient temperature and wind.

It is simply a great technology that allows to set the right temperature and then forget about the grill for the rest of the day. Temperature fluctuations are low which is why you don’t have to worry all the time about whether the food is cooking in the right conditions.

The digital controller has opened the door to many other interesting solutions. Plenty of manufacturers have introduced gadgets such as Wi-Fi, which allows to connect to the controller using an app on your phone or tablet where in turn you can monitor and set the grill’s temperature in real time while being away from it.

The price – It is one of the most important criteria when shopping, it is also a good idea to add the price to quality ratio. Our guide contains the most popular pellet grills in the price range of about 300 to 1500 dollars. We have only selected the best items out of that price range, as we believe that it is the most popular price range among buyers, and made effort to find something adequate at different prices so that everyone can choose something for themselves.

If you’re a beginner and wish to buy something good at the lowest possible price then check out the grills that cost $300-400. They are smaller, don’t have as much technology in them, but are cheaper and more cost-effective, they’re perfect for those with a limited budget.

Another price range is $500-800, for this kind of money you can already get a slightly bigger pellet smoker that is better made and comes with a longer warranty. In most cases grills in this price range already come with an ash removal system which is a very useful feature as well as several other less significant gadgets.

Above $1000 is the kind of price where you can already get a big pellet grill, made of materials of much higher quality. Equipped with an ash removal system and several other innovative technologies and gadgets. In most cases it comes with a much longer warranty and you can expect much better manufacturer’s support in case of any malfunctions.

Features and Gadgets – What are the things that you actually need, do you need to connect to the grill using a smartphone app? Or maybe a much better thing for you is an ash removal system that will make cleaning up after cooking significantly easier. Maybe you need both, that also depends on your budget.

If you have a limited budget, however, we advise against looking for features like a Wi-FI app. These are gadgets that only make cooking more convenient, their downside is increasing the grill’s price significantly. A much better solution is a pellet smoker that comes with a practical ash removal system, such feature can be enjoyed by everyone.

Mobility – If you’re the kind of person who travels a lot by car or spends their time doing things like camping, you need to know that there is a portable pellet grill adapted specifically for easy and convenient transportation. It isn’t big, has foldable legs and doesn’t weight a lot ( two people are usually enough to comfortably transport this grill ).

Everyone at the camping grounds will be curious to ask and look how it works, until they finally get the exact same model for themselves, by which I mean GMG Davy Crockett, as in the number one among portable pellet smokers. It combines efficiency, money saving and great price to quality ratio, more on that in our review above.

If you love food made on a grill, especially a pellet grill, you have to consider that offer.

The Warranty – A very important issue when it comes to shopping, when buying a new grill it is nice to have a warranty. Preferably one that is as long as possible, because it shows how seriously the manufacturer takes their product.

Obviously, the more expensive the product, the longer the warranty. That’s normal, but is it always the case? No, which is why it is better to always analyze what exactly the warranty is like before making the purchase. How long it is and what exactly it covers, it is not uncommon for the elements that are prone to malfunction to be covered with a much shorter warranty despite the manufacturer advertising a 5 year warranty, for example.

Pellet grills have some electronics in them, the whole temperature control system ( digital controller ) is electronic and one can often be faced with this element malfunctioning. It’s a good idea to check out how long is the manufacturer’s warranty for those elements, since nobody wants to have those elements malfunction as early as within the first 2-3 years since buying the grill.

Among all of those pellet grills we have mentioned above, the best warranty comes with Rec Tec, although one has to take into account that it costs about $1500 which is why it has to have a better warranty than competitive models that cost a fraction of that and are of poorer quality. On the other hand, at lower prices, as in about $500, the best choice in terms of warranty is Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, which offers a 3 year warranty ( just like Traeger, which also comes with a 3 year warranty ). Despite Camp Chef PG24 being a very good product, the manufacturers only offer a 1 year warranty for most elements.

Why a Pellet Grill?

It is a great invention for those whose favorite thing is slow meat cooking for many hours, mostly at low temperatures. Most of pellet grills can maintain a temperature within a range of 160-500 degrees F at small intervals. Slow cooking is great for large slabs of meat, and a pellet smoker is a device that you only have to set up and then you can forget about it for majority of the cooking time.

Temperature control – A very important thing in searing meat for many hours is to maintain a fixed temperature. No other grill can offer such precise temperature control, a digital controller makes it possible to set the temperature within a range of 160-500 degrees F ( in most cases ) at 5 degree intervals. This device can maintain a fixed temperature like 180 degrees F all day long as long as there are pellets in the container.

The ability to cook for a long time – When cooking at low temperatures, the pellet container can last for more than a dozen hours of continuous cooking ( in some grills, for as long as few dozen hours ). Some models come with advanced technology that makes it possible to program the whole cooking process. For example, you can set your food to be cooked for 3 hours at the temperature of 160 degrees first, then change the temperature and cook the food at the  temperature of 200 degrees F for two hours. It allows to create cooking patterns so that you don’t have to control the cooking process.

Versatility – A pellet grill is also a versatile grill that makes it possible to cook at higher temperatures. The cooking area is large in most cases, so you can cook a whole turkey or chicken. It is very easy to use, all you have to do is set the temperature and start the grill by pushing a button. The fuel is pellets that you pour into a special container.

Simplicity – Of course a pellet smoker is a very easy to use grill. All you have to do is fill the fuel ( pellets ) tank, set the desired temperature using the digital controller and click the ignition button. You don’t need to worry about controlling the temperature or firing up the grill. All you have to do is set the grill, start the ignition and wait for it to reach your chosen temperature. Truly a Set & Forget smoker, all you have to do is set it and you can forget about it for the rest of the cooking process.

It’s a great response to gas and charcoal grills. A pellet grill offers the convenience of cooking of gas grills plus the rich smoke flavor of food similar to charcoal grills.

Depending on the model, it is also easy to clean, for instance, if it comes with a special ash removal system then cleaning up after cooking isn’t anything too tiring.

How did we Test?

Just like with many other of our tests, we started by extensively analyzing all the available products on the market so that we can preliminarily rule out the poorest products based on the scores and reviews by customers. Then, having several most promising grills selected, we proceeded with testing.

We bought all of them, waited to get them in our hands and then we started assembling them. We didn’t have any problems here, the instructions were clear and simple, which is why we handled that task pretty fast and moved on to the practical tests that consisted of checking how fast each grill warmed up.

For that purpose, we set the same desired temperature on every grill and started timers so that we could measure the time precisely. Then we cooked the same amount and type of food on each grill so that at the end of the tests we could compare how it all turned out.

Then the time came for a special test which was what people love this type of grill for. Slow food searing at low temperatures for many hours. For that purpose we decided to prepare a smoked salmon. It requires a fixed low temperature, and in this test we wanted to check how each grill handled maintaining a constant  temperature.

As you might suspect, the tests were a tedious and time-consuming task, but it was the only way to honestly test each of the grills. It also allowed us to evaluate how useful several gadgets and features were.

Finally, we evaluated the results of cooking and started cleaning up. After all of that, we shared our opinions and experiences and wrote reviews of the best pellet grills participating in the test for you. 

Why Trust Us?

Our website was created with those who love to cook on a grill just like we do in mind. There are many types of grills, and each of them includes dozens of competing grills. We love to cook and do it everyday using different grills, we’re experienced with every type of grill, which is why we have created that website so that we can share our knowledge and help others in many things related to grilling.

You’re looking for a place where you could find objective product reviews and honest information on them? That’s exactly what we made this website for, our experience allows us to create guides based on practical tests and sharing our personal experience related to a particular topic.

All pellet grill reviews contained in this article are based on our experience we gained from, among other things, practical tests of the most popular grills. We try to provide you with a wide choice so that everyone can find something for themselves. We understand those with a limited budget as well as those with a thicker wallet, what matters is to buy something that is really worth the money, and not some overrated product.

Probably everyone would agree that choosing a new pellet grill is a time-consuming task ( especially for beginners ). Not everyone knows what to pay attention to, which is why we can help you save a lot of time and money by getting honest information on the best pellet grills of the year. Imagine how much time you would have needed to check out each of the grills at the store with your own eyes, it is difficult, time-consuming and tedious, which is why the guides such as ours are made so that your job is easier.