Digital Controls And Wi
Most modern pellet smokers come with programmable digital heat control. Some are Wi-Fi accessible and programmable with your smartphone.
One newer innovation is PID controllers It calculates the variables in the grill and keeps the temperature within 5 degrees of the set point. These controllers make cookers as close as you can get to smoking meat on auto-pilot.
Other older types of controllers, such as the three-position and multi-position controllers that have three temp settings or step up in 5 or 10-degree increments, often suffer from 15-degree Fahrenheit swings either way.
In addition to a temperature probe for the smoker, look for controllers with at least one meat probe to monitor the meats internal temperature for better results. Some other pellet grills can have up to three separate meat probes.
- The best smokers in a few other styles make sure youve considered all the options!
- The best electric smokers As easy to use as a pellet smoker, though admittedly not as capable.
Feel Free To Mix And Match Wood Pellets
What happens if you cant seem to find the right wood pellets for smoking meat, veggies, seafood or anything else? Thats when your innovation kicks in.
Pitmasters love to combine wood pellets to give their smoked foods unique flavor palates. For example, you might want to smoke apple and pecan wood pellets together. Youll end up with foods imbued with a nutty vanilla finish with strong fruity overtones. Or try this suggestion:
Two-For-One: Mixing Mesquite and Cherry
One flavor is great for the backyard, but during competition, Ill mix two pellet tastes. I love taking 6lbs of Mesquite pellets and mixing them with 4lbs of Cherry pellets. This mellows the Mesquite just a bit yet gives me the smoke ring and color benefits of Cherry.
The Wood Pellet Grill
Wood Pellet Grilling, invented in the 80s, has come a long way and has some increased popularity today.
Most Wood pellet grills are fueled by Wood pellets and powered by electricity, although with more improved technology, there are some other options today.
Pellet grills today are here for good with their many excellent Benefits.
A Pellet grill uses all Natural wood pellets that are moved from the hopper to the fire pot by an auger and then ignited with a HotRod that feeds the flames and the delicious wood-fired flavor to your food.
The higher your Grill temperatures, the more Pellets are dispensed, and the more smoke you will get to infuse delicious flavors into your food.
All in all, you get the advantages of a Smoker and Grill in one system with the Wood Pellet grill.
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Pit Boss Pb820d3 Pellet Grill
This is the grill that allows you to do virtually any type of cooking you want. Whether you want to roast, braise, grill or even bake, this grill is up to the task. You can cook at any temperature ranging from 200 degrees all the way up to 500 degrees and its large capacity gives you an opportunity to cook enormous amounts of food without taking forever in order to do it. Its also well made with a solid bottom shelf and casters on the wheels to make sure that it stays wherever you decide to put it.
Features Of A Good Wood Pellet Grill
- Grates You can look at 380 square Inches up to 700 and even extra-large 892 square inches in cooking space. Most grates are manufactured of Porcelain Coated cast iron or steel.
- Design -A sturdy and durable design consisting of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, cast iron, or cast aluminum.
- Fuel and Operation you will be looking at electrical options of110V or 12V with adapters for 3 power options, as wellas Hardwood pellet Fuel consumption.
- Temperature Control different technologies of Digital temperature controls are used, some of which automatically use the Auger to place Pellets in the grill when needed.
- Extra Features -Extra features may include a Chicken hanger and cover, side shelves, and bottom shelves or baskets, as well as a Rub and pellets that come with the Grill. Some models also include a meat probe, a peaked lid for rib racks, a convenience tray.
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The 8 Best Pellet Grills You Can Buy Now
Its hard to believe that it was 32 years ago that the first pellet grill was sold by Joe Traeger. It didnt have all the bells and whistles these types of grills have today. Still, pellet grills certainly revolutionized grilling and smoking for home and professional grillmasters. Its really been in the past 10 years or so that pellet grilling has really taken off.
There are many reasons why someone might prefer a pellet grill over a gas grill or charcoal grill. However, the most likely reason is that pellet grills combine the smokey flavor of charcoal with the convenience of gas. You can achieve the heavy sear that gas is known for or do a slow-and-low smoke as with charcoal. With recent developments in temperature-control technology including Wi-Fi you can set and forget your meats to smoke.
Pellet grills come in various shapes, sizes, and levels of functionality. Check out our picks for the best pellet grills on the market right now.
Types Of Temperature Controllers
We mentioned the importance of being able to control the heat and also touched upon digital controls. The other factor to bear in mind is what kind of heat control system you feel confident operating. You do have a couple of basic choices.
Three-Position Controllers – these are basic control systems that offers Low, Medium and High settings only. While better than just charcoal which you cant control, if you are looking to take your grilling expertise to the next level and wow your guests with your culinary prowess, you might want more control than this.
Multi-Position Controllers – with this type of controller, you should be able to adjust the temperature within a pre-designated range, up and down in 25-degree increments. These provide the next level in control and are better suited if youre lacking in confidence in the kitchen and want to eliminate some of the guesswork.
Proportional Integrative Controllers – incorporating next level digital technology, you should be able to maintain a more steady and consistent temperature with this type of setting. PID controllers are continually pulling heat information, monitoring the internal temperate, in order to produce a reasonably accurate reading which will typically be available to view on a LED readout.
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Take Your Grill Game Up A Notch
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Do you want to wow your friends and family with a perfectly smoked piece of meat at your next BBQ party, but aren’t necessarily a fan of the hassle that goes along with cooking it? Then a pellet grill might be for you. Pellet grills, also called pellet smokers, work by using a feeding system to push small wood pellets into a firebox under the grates and built-in technology to regulate the temperature.
Some pellet grills even have associated smartphone apps so you can get feeding and temperature data right into your phone. This technology has made pellet grills more popular, but also more expensive. But this doesn’t mean you can’t own one with top-notch features if you have a tight budget. Here, we’ve gathered a list of the best inexpensive pellet grills on the market.
Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Wood Pellet Grill
If you dont want to splash out on a Traeger grill and youre looking for a sensible alternative, the Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Wood Pellet Grill is perfect. This well-design grill shouldnt be seen as a budget option though. Just because its not a Traeger, doesnt mean its not a really high-quality pellet grill. You can tell immediately that this steel-constructed grill is built to last a lifetime. It has a large grill with space for cooking large racks of ribs, briskets, and more.
One of the most impressive features of this grill is the Sense-Mate thermal sensor. It constantly monitors the internal temperature of the grill. This information is then sent to the smartphone app, allowing you to keep a constant eye on the food without having to open the lid. It also has a peaked lid for rib racks, making them much easier to cook. Oh, and on top of that, it folds down to fit into any trunk, making it perfect for tailgating parties.
Dimensions -29.92 x 14.96 x 21.65 inches
Sense-Mate thermal sensor
110V or 12V with adapters for 3 power options
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Get A Baseline Understanding Of Popular Pellet Flavors
You wont be able to experiment with different pellets until you get a better idea of how strong each pellets flavor is going to be.
Some of the most intense wood pellet flavors include mesquite pellets, hickory pellets and cherry pellets. So when you want your smoked and grilled ingredients to be infused with wood pellet flavor, aim for those pellets.
If youre looking for less obvious undertones, opt for lighter wood pellet flavors like apple pellets and pecan pellets.
If you just want a quick reference, our chart below is a handy guide to which flavors work with which foods.
Camp Chef Smokepro Sg 24 Pellet Grill
BEST BEGINNER SMOKER
YouTube / Camp Chef
If you just want to dip your toe into pellet grilling or dont want the commitment of a large smoker, check out Camp Chefs SmokePro SG. Its smaller than our other picks but an extra rack brings the total cooking area to a respectable 811 square inches, or enough for 40 burgers.
Despite the SmokePros smaller size, it packs a serious punch in terms of power and technology. With a very impressive temperature range of 160 to 650 degrees Fahrenheit, the grill is quite powerful. Add a large 22-pound hopper and youre ready to smoke, grill or bake for more than 10 hours.
Technology is top-notch as well with connectivity to Camp Chefs own smartphone app. From the app, you can monitor and control the grill, but itll also let you schedule an automatic shut off when your meat is done cooking.
The only downside with the Camp Chef is the build quality. The SmokePro cant compete with the construction quality of Traeger or Memphis, so this is best for casual chefs rather than aspiring pros.
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Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill
If youre looking for the ultimate travel pellet grill, the Ranger from Traeger is hard to beat. Although this grill is 3 pounds heavier than the Green Mountain Davie Crockett , it has a more compact design making easy easier to pack away. The compact design, however, does sacrifice some grill space. You wont fit a large brisket , but you can grill 10 hot dogs or six burgers. The included cast iron griddle is perfect for reverse searing two thick ribeyes.
Which Features Should Be On Your Best Pellet Grill For Searing To Make It Easier To Sear
The features that make them excel at cooking are their ability to maintain precise temperature settings and control smoke production. Pellet grill manufacturers can offer various options such as additional accessories like cast iron cooking grates and folding shelves and side tables for ease of storage and transportation
The nice thing about pellet grills is that they automate the process of getting the fire hot enough to sear. However, you will need other features on your grill to make it just as easy to sear food on a gas or charcoal grill.
First, you should look for a model with at least four prongs on its burner to maximize contact between the heat source and the grate. Look for models with stainless steel construction so that they can tolerate searing temperatures without warping or degrading over time. Finally, look for models with an insulated lid and body these features keep more heat inside, allowing shorter preheat times and making it easier to get good results when searing.
All of the above features are available on models of the best pellet grill for searing, which we have listed above.
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Other Pellet Grills Worth Considering
These are the pellet grills that narrowly missed out on our main selections.
They are definitely still worth checking out and depending on your specific requirements they might be the best option for you.
While Weber stumbled out of the block with the release of the SmokeFire, they seem to have fixed almost all the issues we had with the release of the Gen 2 SmokeFire.
We bought the larger EX6 model which comes with 1008 square inches of grilling space. You can also opt for the smaller EX4 which includes 672 square inches.
What we liked:
- Excellent at searing Most pellet grills make good smokers, and average to bad grills. The design of the Weber SmokeFire allows you to get a pretty good sear when cooking at max temp.
- Food has a great flavor While we have been harsh on this grill in our review, all food weve cooked has still turned out great, and that is really the most important thing at the end of the day.
- Fixed issues with initial launch Seems Weber have been able to re-engineer the issues with pellet bridging, and the app has continued to get better.
What we dont like:
- Lack of side trays or front cabinet While it sounds like Weber will be releasing an accessory you can buy to fix this, a grill at this price should include some shelf space as a default
Read full review.
We could definitely include this REC TEC grill with our top choices above.
You can see the grill in action in the video below.
Check out our full Pit Boss Sportsman review.
Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker
WHY WE LIKE IT: Precision temperature controls, built-in WiFi and smartphone connectivity, and a generous main cooking area for a powerful, reliable, and easy to use professional-grade smoker.
- High price point compared to many
The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett is a portable pellet grill/smoker designed for both home use and easy and safe camping and tailgating. Its dual voltage design allows for operation on 12 volt or 110-volt outlets, allowing for maximum compatibility with many campgrounds and outdoor power sources. Its 550-degree maximum temperature, low-temperature slow-cooking functionality, and generous 9 pounds of pellet hopper capacity allow for hours of safe, unattended continuous cooking and smoking, while its built-in WiFi connection and Bluetooth connectivity make it easy to control with your iOS or Android mobile device or phone.
Related: Check out our other top-tier portable grills.
Its fairly lightweight 36lb weight makes it easy to travel with, though it also means its build isnt quite as sturdy and tank-like as some models, though with proper use and care it should provide years of use. For an easy-to-use, high-heat, and very portable smoker with modern connectivity and a generous cooking area, its an excellent value for a great all-around option. For the slow cooking enthusiast, you might also like our best rotisserie grills buying guide.
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Grilla Grills Alpha Grilla Wood Pellet Smoker
Using convection airflow and a uniquely-shaped EvenTemp Chamber to evenly distribute heat, the brands Alpha Grilla model boasts its signature Alpha Smoke Dual Controller that affords users the option of the utilizing Grilla Grills new PID Controller which precisely-controls and regulates heat over the entire course of cooking, or call on Grillas traditional temperature mode which maximizes smoke output in a bid to enhance flavor. Offering an impressive heat range between 180 and 500-degrees, this model also features a digital control panel, include meat probes, a push-to-ignite starter, and a two-tiered stainless-steel cooking surface. And, as its name suggests, this 145lb grill is extremely rugged, with all stainless steel internal components and side trays, heavy-steel main construction, and powder-coating throughout.
Fuel Source: Wood Pellets
Introduction To The Best Pellet Grill Under $600
So Ive created a shortlist of 8 contenders for the best pellet grill under $600, including models from many of the leading brands such as Traeger, Camp Chef and Z Grills along with other smaller brands. Now, to determine the best pellet grill under $600 Ive been researching models that get as close to that price point as possible. Hence, all of the models below are between $500 and $600.
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What Are The Benefits Of Wood Pellet Smokers And Grills
The most notable benefit of wood pellet smokers and grills over other kinds is their versatility- they can do anything from standard BBQ grilling and searing to braising, roasting, baking, and of course, smoking meat- and they quickly- since theyre convection cookers, they heat up fast and cook food consistently and quickly. Additionally, pellet smokers themselves of course come in a lot of different styles with different varieties of functionality, but the wood pellets themselves can come in a wide variety of flavors and wood types that can add extra flavor to food that other cooking methods simply cant.
Fast Eddys By Cookshack Pg500 Pellet Smoker
If we talk about some bets semi- professional Pellet Smoker, then the name of Fast Eddys by Cookshack PG500 Pellet Smoker suits the best in this respect. Due to cooking versatility, it catches the customers attention. The terms like competition-ready results, perfection, and versatility all are for this naughty baby.
Fast Eddys by Cookshack PG500 Pellet Smoker offers great flexibility in the barbecue world. The users are pleased with its four-zone cooking capacity. It is more than the wood pellet barbecue smoke and grill because you can use both direct and indirect heat, and you can cold smoke too.
If you are a lover of food versatility, then we recommend Fast Eddys by Cookshack PG500 Pellet Smoker to you because it will add more colors to your lovely world of food smoking. The versatility of cooking will surely bring an unlimited compliment for you.
Cookshack has structured the unit, keeping in view all the aspects of the BBQ line. The unit is made of stainless steel and free of any paint. Due to its size and shape, it is the best smoker in the residential line. It is a durable and sturdy unit and is best for home use as well. The cool baby has 784 square inches of cooking capacity. This is sufficient for 7-8 people. Using the unit, you can enjoy smoking anything from the cold and hot smoking line.
To add this, the unit is pretty handy to use. It is the best choice of all the stars in the world of barbecue.
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