Round 3 Pricing And Value
Now, the price you pay for any of the models above can obviously vary based on the time of purchase and any running sales etc. Therefore, Im purely basing my thoughts here on the typical prices Ive come across from various retailers. While the ASMOKE AS300 is the most affordable for around $230, it cannot be determined to be the best overall portable pellet grill when comparing its features to the other models above.
If purchased at the right time the Pit Boss Tailgater or Portable can be a good deal for their size/features around the $250 to $300 price point. Likewise for the GMG Trek, while it has a small cooking area compared to some of the other portable pellet grills above, it provides value with its PID/WiFi features.
The Camp Chef Pursuit is a reasonably good option to take, however, north of $500 it doesnt compare well to the highest specification pellet grills above the RECTEQ RT-340 and the Grilla Grills Chimp. While the RECTEQ is an excellent grill, its also quite expensive to purchase right now at $739. Therefore, overall I think the Grilla Grills Chimp is offering the best deal and value for money at $599.
Best Portable Pellet Grill In 2022
There is a huge range of wood pellet grills now on the market, and the number seems to keep growing year on year. However, what if youre not looking for a full-sized pellet grill/smoker, what if you are looking for a small unit to go in the back of your car, truck or RV to take camping or a day out at the beach etc? Well, thats where portable pellet grills come in and there is now quite a range of options to choose from. So lets look at the contenders to try and work out which portable pellet grill is offering the best deal.
Below well compare the specs/features and price points of eight portable pellet grills to determine which is providing the best deal
Disclaimer: Hey! By the way any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.
In a rush? Jump to my conclusion on what I think is currently the best overall portable pellet grill considering features such as temperature control technology, cooking area, weight, hopper capacity and price point.
Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill
- Size: 21 W x 13 H x 20 D
- Weight: 60 pounds
- Heat Range: 180°F 450°F
- Cooking space: 184 sq. in.
- Hopper Size: 8 pounds
- Price: $429.99
The Ranger is the newer of the two grills, so it has some added features that arent present on the Scout.
The 8-pound hopper capacity allows for a longer smoke time per round of pellets, which is good if you dont want to have to pause and refill your hopper mid-smoke. However, the larger capacity causes it to weigh 15 pounds more than the Scout.
The temperature controller is one aspect where the Ranger has a leg up on the Scout. The Ranger has Traegers new Digital Arc Controller, which lets you choose any temperature using 5-degree increments instead of 25.
The Ranger also offers a warming mode that keeps your food warm but doesnt continue to cook it past a specific time.
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Th Contender The Pit Boss Tailgater/r
The first of two portable pellet grills from Pit Boss the Tailgater was the brands first portable pellet grill. In my article on the best Pit Boss reviews from real owners, I included an owners review who discusses for the money, the Tailgater provides a lot of value.
One of the first portable pellet grills to come onto the market: Images PitBoss-Grills.com
Being one of the first portable pellet grills on the market, the time-based control panel fitted to the Pit Boss Tailgater is not the most advanced available. Therefore, the control panel as its not PID is only able to manage the temperature to within 25 degrees of the set temperature. However, the Tailgater does have strong features such as direct-flame access for better searing/grilling results.
- Total Cooking Area = 340 sq.in
- Weight = 79 lbs
Traeger Ranger Review: Design & Function
If you fancy the idea of grilling and smoking using hardwood pellets but space is an issue, step right this way because this little suitcase is the bees knees of portable pellet grilling and smoking. Like all pellet grills, the Ranger burns small worm-shaped hardwood pellets that are delivered to a fire pot via a slow turning electrically powered auger . Granted, the Ranger isnt the prettiest griller on the grid but, by jove, it doesnt half whip up a good al fresco nosh-up.
A simple control panel to raise and lower temperatures
An electronic controller powered by Traegers Digital Arc processor monitors the grills internal temperature using a built-in probe and instructs the auger to adjust its pellet-dropping speed accordingly. In a nutshell, the higher or lower you set the temperature, the faster or slower the auger delivers the pellets. Traegers nailed its algorithm so well that a temperature of, say, 180C stays like that for as long as there are pellets in the hopper, or until the meat probe it comes with signals the correct level of doneness. The controller is equipped with a bright LCD screen and soft rubberised buttons to fire it up, change temperature and engage the shut-down sequence. It also initiates the utterly excellent warming function which keeps the heat ticking over without overcooking anything.
The Ranger’s ample pellet hopper with auger just in view
T3.com testing the Traeger Ranger.
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My Conclusion On The Best Portable Pellet Grill
Considering all the factors above on temperature control technology, cooking area etc for the price point I believe the Grilla Grills Chimp to currently be the best portable pellet grill on offer today.
While obviously not the cheapest but also not the most expensive option, for the features youre getting I believe it to be the best choice.
With any of the portable pellet grills above, you have to make sure you have sufficient power available. Therefore, I would also encourage you to check out my article on portable power for pellet grills. I discuss the pros and cons of inverters, generators and battery banks.
What I will also say is if you are looking for a pellet grill for a tailgating party, particularly then you may want to choose one of the other portable pellet grills above with direct-flame access.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this post informative/useful on the smallest most portable pellet grills on the market today. Please also check out well my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more. Cheers
Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill Key Features
Fuelled by all-natural hardwood pellets eg apple, hickory, cherry etc
Approximate overall dimensions mm H330 W533 D508
Space-saving design also makes it great for urban living where space is at a premium
16,000 BTU of cooking power in a small footprint
Two sturdy baffled latch locks for secure transport
Large stay cool lid and carry handle
Weighs approximately 27kg
Completely enclosed compact design in robust ‘flight case’ outer so nothing gets separated
Perfect for boating, camping or caravanning
Easy-clean porcelain coated open grill tray
Pre-seasoned cast iron griddle with even heat distribution included as standard
Drip tray with base heat shield and drippings run-off spout
Handy separate grease bucket for easier cleaning
Digital controller with Advanced Grilling Logic for precise temperature control
Push-of-a-button automatic ignition for quicker starts
Operating temperature range approximately 74ºC to 230ºC in five degree increments
Maximum temperature hot enough for quick and easy searing
Shut down mode safely burns off any excess pellets left in the burn chamber
Large grill surface area easily handles food for 4 to 6 people
Space for 6 large burgers, 10 hot dogs, 2 regular chickens or a good-sized rack of ribs
Hopper capacity 3.6 kg for longer cooking periods
Cheap to run one cup of pellets will last for approximately an hour operating at around 200ºC
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Traeger Grills are fueled by 100% all-natural hardwood pellets that infuse amazing wood-fired flavor into everything you cook.
Traeger’s aren’t just for grilling, you can smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ food too, from ribs to apple pie.
Get reliable results thanks to consistent temperatures every single time. Traeger makes mastering your BBQ easy and repeatable.
Pack your wood-fired flavor wherever adventure takes you. Cook a feast fit for the wilderness right on your truck bed while you spend the day at your favorite fishing hole, or bring it along for a weekend away.
Traeger Ranger Review: Feel The Weight
Although it looks easily portable, in reality the Ranger weighs a ton . This makes it totally impractical for carrying to a picnic spot or indeed any further than about 10 metres at a time unless you fancy a hernia. Granted, theres a lovely strong aluminium handle on it, but because the unit is quite large , it tends to bang against your leg as you walk. We should point out that this weight issue isnt unusual for a portable barbecue indeed most of the portable BBQs weve reviewed are too heavy to carry long distances. If you fancy using this model outside your caravan or RV, then you will probably need a suitable power inverter which converts standard 12V DC power to 110v or 240v, depending on which country you live in.
In case youre interested, Traeger also produces the Scout, a marginally lighter model with the same size body and grill but a smaller pellet hopper and less functionality. Its currently only available from US stores.
Traeger produces 14 varieties of hardwood pellets
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Traeger Ranger Review: Verdict
This portable pellet griller and smoker impressed us from the word go. Yes, its heavy and yes it isnt the most attractive looking barbie in the yard, but it excels at grilling, smoking and roasting and its cooking grate is of decent enough size for a family of four to possibly six.
This writer hasnt burned anything to date on the Ranger I just tap the ignite button, slap on the meat, leave the lid shut and chat to the guests, returning once or twice to turn the food over. It really is that foolproof and the subtle, wood smoke-suffused food it produces is as succulent and tender as you could wish for. Traeger does provide a cover for it and we highly recommend adding it to the shopping basket, especially if youre considering storing it outside.
Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill And Smoker The Full Size Traeger Flavour In A Compact Portable Design
The Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill and smoker already has a huge number of fans in the USA, where the locals quickly embraced it to make it the number one outdoor choice just check out the enthusiasm they have for this great bit of kit on YouTube as well as their great recipe ideas. You can count The Stove Yard as one of the Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill’s biggest fans as well.
The Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill compares very favourably with its bigger brothers in the Traeger collection, so even though it’s a portable barbecue the Traeger Ranger still gives you virtually all of the renowned Traeger Pellet features and benefits including the ultimate one: convenience. With its robust ‘black ‘flight case’ outer, big grab handle and securing latches it will make a great travelling companion for caravanners and especially campers in fact anyone on the move who has access to electric power.
A handy automatic Count Down mode burns off any unused pellets in the fire chamber at the end of the cooking session and there’s a convenient timer which can be used to notify you of various preparation stages, such as basting or loading vegetables, without the grill’s operation being disrupted. There’s also an integrated meat temperature probe to ensure perfectly cooked meat every time.
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Traeger Ranger Review: The Best Portable Pellet Barbecue You Can Buy
Traeger Ranger is the perfect portable pellet grill for gardens, patios, balconies, caravans, RVs and tailgate grilling
Traeger Ranger is an ideal sized pellet grill for balcony and patio use and a great option to take away on camping trips. Although heavy to carry, once in situ its a cinch to use and it grills, smokes and roasts meat and veg with great results all but guaranteed. If youre looking to jump on the pellet train, then this ones a great place to start. Are we impressed? Do bears congregate in the woods?!
Very heavy for a portable grill
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Traeger Ranger arguably pulls off an even cleverer trick than the much-hyped Weber SmokeFire range. The Traeger Ranger is a pellet grill that can fit in a picnic hamper. Although you will need strong arms.
And here it is, the new suitcase-shaped Traeger Ranger, a portable pellet grill for balcony, patio and verandah use and a shoo in for campers, caravaners, RV fans and tailgaters. But, is it one of the best small BBQs you can buy?
Lets strip the Ranger down, slap on some grub and find out.
The new Traeger Ranger pellet grill a barbecue in a suitcase
Th Contender Camp Chef Pursuit
A well-known pellet grill brand with their SmokePro and Woodwind models, Camp Chef also offer their own portable pellet grill the Pursuit. The latest version of the Pursuit is fitted with a Camp Chef Gen 2 controller which benefits from PID technology providing 5-degree temperature control/accuracy. However, it should be noted the Pursuit doesnt currently benefit from WiFi connectivity which is found on some versions of the Gen 2 controller.
The Camp Chef Pursuit has one of if not the largest cooking areas of any small/portable pellet grill on the market today: Images CampChef.com
Other notable features of the Pursuit include the large 10lb pellet hopper. The Camp Chef Pursuit does also have a novel and quick ash cleanout feature and the folding legs with wheels perform reasonably well. While the Pursuit is widely available in terms of price there are significant differences from outlet to outlet, so bear that in mind.
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Nd Contender Traeger Tailgater
When it comes to the most well know brand in pellet grills/smokers outside of the Traeger Ranger, the Traeger Tailgater is their portable pellet grill offering. While the tailgater is a reasonably capable small/portable pellet grill as discussed below its not currently the best offering when it comes to its control panel technology or the design of its folding legs.
The Traeger Tailgater was one of the original and most widely available portable pellet grills: Images Traeger.com
I discuss this more in my Traeger accessories post, but when out and about you will need a 12V to 110V power inverter or another means of portable power. It should also be noted, the Tailgater does not feature WiFire compatibility. Therefore, unlike most Traeger grills today, you cannot control/monitor the Tailgater via your phone.
Round 1 Temperature Control & Cooking Performance
The most modern pellet grills today feature control panels using PID algorithms to precisely control the temperature to within 5 degrees of the set temperature. Of the portable pellet grills above, the Camp Chef Pursuit, GMG Trek, RECTEQ RT-340 and Grilla Grills Chimp are using PID control panels. Furthermore, all of those grills except the Camp Chef Pursuit also offer WiFi/App functionality.
However, of the PID temperature-controlled portable pellet grills above, the Camp Chef Pursuit is the only model to provide direct-flame access offering searing up to around 650 degrees. However, put in a set of GrillGrates and load up some charcoal pellets and you can now get good searing performance out of pretty much any pellet grill.
While the likes of the ASMOKE AS300, Pit Boss Tailgater do offer direct flame, the lack of PID temperature control really hurts their claim as the best portable pellet grill. The Traeger Tailgater lacks direct-flame and a PID temperature controller.
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Portable Pellet Barbecue Traeger Ranger
Portable Pellet Barbecue Traeger Ranger.
Enjoy the wood-fired flavour on-the-go. The Traeger Ranger portable pellet barbecue, allowes you to bring your wood-fired flavour wherever your journey may take you. Whether away for the day, weekend, or longer, the Traeger Ranger offers the usual great Traeger quality and loved wood-fired flavour.
Featuring Traegers digital arc controller, you can control the temperature of the Ranger in 5-degree increments.
When you’re enjoying your time away, it’s important your food is ready when you are, with the “keep warm mode” Traeger is ensuring your food is always “hot-off-the-barbecue regardless of when you eat.
Other features which make The Ranger the ideal travel companion are things like a meat probe, allowing you to check the temperature of your food without opening the lid. Cook timer, so you can remind yourself when it is time to sauce or check on food and a cast iron griddle for added cooking versatility.
When you’re on the go, you want your barbecue to be ready for the same, that’s why The Ranger comes equipped with baffled lid latches for durability and safe transport.
What are you waiting for? Get your Traeger Ranger pellet barbecue today, ready to plug-in and be your familiar barbecue away from home.
Keep Warm can be used to pause the cook cycle at any time during grilling. Simply press KEEP WARM again to resume cooking. Keep Warm maintains the barbecue temperature at 74°C.