Best Electric: Traeger Pro 575 Wifi Pellet Grill And Smoker
Expensive for its size
Wi-Fi abilities are unreliable
All wood pellet grills are dependent on electricity, but not all grills have an electric starter and temperature control. As the brand behind the first wood-pellet grill, Traeger has upgraded the original with bells and whistles such as an auto-ignition to fire up the grill quickly as well as an automatic auger system that feeds the pellets and controls the heat to your desired temperature.
Reviewers rave about the set it and forget it temperature control because it makes grilling so much simpler. Simply turn the dial to your desired temperature, push ignite, and the grill does the rest of the work. The total cooking space measures 575 square inches and includes an 18-pound hopper capacity. It supports temperatures of 165 to 500 degrees. This grill is also versatile in that it can smoke, bake, braise, and barbeque.
This unit is also equipped with Wi-Fi technology, allowing users to monitor and adjust their grills temperature from their phones.
Weight: 124 lbs.| Grilling Area: 575 sq. in. | Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs. | Temperature Range: 165-500ºF | Dimensions: 41 x 53 x 27 inches
Weight: 160 lbs.| Grilling Area: 672 sq. in. | Hopper Capacity: 20 lbs. | Temperature Range: 200-600ºF | Dimensions: 47 x 43 x 33 inches
“The cooking programs and recipes were nice, but I also liked that I could set my own cooking temperatures when I wanted to.” Donna Currie, Product Tester
Memphis Grills Elite Pellet Smoker
BEST IN CLASS
Memphis Grillss Elite model is the Rolls Royce of pellet smokers. The grill packs some impressive features and spec, but what really makes it the best pellet grill is build quality. The Elite is made of 100% dual-walled, sealed stainless steel. This premium construction means it can sit your backyard for years without rusting, but it also cultivates the tastiest meals possible.
One of the benefits of this high-quality build is a scorching max temperature of 700 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature can also go as low as 180 for extra-slow cooking and is controlled via Memphiss smartphone app.
The Elite grill also features a large 24-pound hopper that can keep the smoker going for up to 62 hours all by itself. As for the cooking area, its not the biggest on our list with 844 square inches, but thats enough for most families and small gatherings.
Cuisinarts Clermont is an all-in-one grill and smoker whose multi-functionality actually works. The high-tech grill runs on wood pellets, which Cuisinart offers in an assortment of styles. The auger feeds pellets into the hopper at a sustained rate, so all you have to do is set the temperature, and wait for the Clermont to get hot enough.
How Pellet Smokers Work
As the name implies, these smokers run by burning cylindrical wooden pellets. A typical set up will include a hopper on the side where you add the pellets.
When you plug in grill in and set the heat on a digital controller, the pellets start getting pushed through and turned into heat and smoke.
Meathead explains in more detail how this process works over at amazingribs.com.
Meathead Goldwyn, Pellet Smokers Buying Guide
Central to all pellet cookers is a digital controller similar to the controllers on modern indoor ovens. You select a temp you want, and there is an LED display that tells you the actual temp.
Pellet cookers usually have an auger or another feed mechanism that pushes the pellets into a burn pot typically about the size of a beer can ripped in half. An igniter rod sits in the bottom of the pot and when you turn on the grill it glows like the element on an electric stove.
As the pellets ignite, a fan blows to feed them oxygen, and the igniter shuts off.
The controller is one of the most important parts of a pellet smoker. Its the computer that regulates the temperature in your pellet cooker throughout the cook.
There are a few different types of grill controllers out there:
The D2 controller you get with a Traeger Pro is a PID controller.
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The Pros And Cons Of Buying A Pellet Smoker
As weve mentioned above, most people end up choosing a pellet style smoker because of the convenience and versatility. Like an electric smoker, you get:
- Set it and forget it smoking Just make sure the hopper is full of pellets and set your desired temperature and there isnt much else you need to worry about.
- Simple temperature control Most pellet smokers let you dial in the temperature to within five degrees, and the unit does a good job of maintaining a stable temperature.
There are also a few advantages unique to cooking with a pellet smoker:
- Super fuel efficient Pellet smokers are similar to your home oven, with a super efficient convection fan, so you spend a lot less in pellets than charcoal.
- Less effort cleaning up Charcoal smokers can make a bit of a mess every time you cook. With a pellet grill you might have to clear out the firepot every now and again but its rare .
Steven Raichlen has an excellent breakdown of the various pros and cons of pellet grills that you may want to check out.
Steven Raichlen, New Kid on the Block: Pellet Grills
Pellet grills are versatile. You can barbecue, smoke, roast, grill , and even bake or braise in a pellet grill. At BBQ University, we have used them to cook everything from crisp chicken wings to braised short ribs to smoked pork chile verde and crème brulee.
Like gas grills, pellet grills preheat fast . The design discourages flare-ups.
Pellet smokers arent without their issues though. Some potential problems include:
Best Pellet Grills Of 2021
Could these multitasking newcomers be the only grill youll ever need?
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Pellet grills have largely become the cool kids at home centers and hardware stores. And with good reason.
They promise to blend the flexibility of a charcoal grill and smoker with the convenience of a gas grill. Long employed by barbecue enthusiasts, pellet grills have now gone mainstream.
These grills have a large metal bin, or hopper, to which you add pellets made from compressed sawdust of flavorful woods, like oak, hickory, and mesquite. An electronic igniter draws out these pellets and ignites them, creating heat and smoke, which imparts a distinct flavor to your food. An especially convenient feature: A thermostat allows you to adjust the heat to a precise temperature, something you cant do with gas or charcoal grills.
But you pay a premium. The nature of pellet grills makes them more expensive than many comparably sized gas or charcoal models, says Mark Allwood, CRs market analyst for all grills.
The electronic ignitions, thermostats, and auger-fed hoppers all contribute to their relatively high starting prices, he says. Prices for the pellet grills in our ratings range from $400 to $1,200, far more than the starting prices of most gas or charcoal grills.
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Why You Should Trust Us
I love cooking meat over fire. Its one of my greatest joys in life. Cooking over mesquite wood fire is my favorite, but who am I kidding? Ill gladly grill over charcoal and propane gas flames, too. This affinity started when, at 23, I began working the wood-fired grill at a restaurant. It was my responsibility to build and maintain the fire in that grill from the moment I started my shift until the end of dinner serviceabout 10 hours a shift for two and half years. Every night I walked out of the restaurant a smoky, sooty mess, and I loved every second of it.
Now my scrappy line-cooking days are behind me, and as a senior staff writer for Wirecutter I help review grills and grilling tools, along with all kinds of other kitchen tools and appliances.
Pit Boss 71700fb Pellet Grill Review
With a massive 700 square inches of primary grilling space, this grill impressed us when compared to other Pit Boss grills we reviewed. Its size is large enough to cook for large groups of people. It features a Flame Broiler that uses slide-plates which allow for direct flame grilling, which means you get an even cast-iron cooking each time. If the 700 square inches isnt enough, you can make use of the additional upper cooking rack space. The racks are made of porcelain-coated cast iron for optimum grilling as well as easier maintenance.
Pit Bosss real wood cooking lets both beginners and pros cook and smoke everything from ribs to fish, bake biscuits to pizza, grill burgers to vegetables, sear and charbroil steaks and more. Its an 8-in-1 beast that will spice up your kitchen.
The flame broiler uses a digitally controlled burn system. Its Digital Control Center lets you set the temperature ranging from 170F to 600F with ease. The desired temperature is set and maintained through an electric auto-start and fan-forced air mechanism. These, in addition, give that flavorful smoky taste to all of your foods. The auger automatically feeds pellets into the smoker, so you can pretty much let it take care of everything.
- Some users on Amazon reported that its temperature fluctuates from time to time
- No PID controller
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Best Pellet Smoker Under $500 Camp Chef Smokepro Dlx Pellet Grill
The Camp Chef DLX Pellet Grill is another Camp Chef product that is widely popular for its multiple features. To start, the grill is available in stainless steel, black, and even bronze lid covers for the customers.
Just like the other Camp Chef grills, this model also has a sturdy stainless steel body, making it durable as well as rust-resistant. The two caster wheels make it easy to move the 140-pound grill from your storage to the backyard too.
When it comes to the cooking surface, the grill offers a total of 570 square inches in a 3778 cubic inches chamber capacity. The grill contains a lower 429 square inches rack and an upper smoking area measuring 141 square inches.
Besides this, it features a stainless steel temperature probe, a dual LED temperature control, and an automatic auger to feed the wood pellets to the grill. Moreover, you even get a built-in sensor gauge to keep an eye out on the cooking temperature. All these features allow you to maintain the temperature of the grill between 160 to 500° F by choosing the desired settings.
The hopper can hold 18 pounds of wood pellets, which supports fewer refills and prolonged smoking. Along with this, the grill includes smart grease management and a lever system for cleaning out the ash and hopper. If all this was not enough, you get a side-shelf and an electronic ignition system for your convenience.
- Automatic auger for wood pellets
- Temperature probe
Are All Pellet Grills Smokers
Different pellet grills have different temperature capabilities, but generally speaking, pellet grills can cook at temperatures between 180 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows you to cook low and slow, or at super high heats. So yes, pellet grills can act as smokers because of their potential to cook at super low heat and with wood pellets. Some home cooks like to use their pellet grills overnight so that food can cook for an extra-long time in the hot, smoky chamber. Pellet grills use an automated fuel and air system, which means its much easier to control their temperature than that of a traditional smoker.
Grilling And Smoking Performance
Many types of food are best cooked by grilling and smoking. The question is, how well do these pellet grills perform their functions? These grills must deliver the wood fired flavor into the meat and keep the heat consistent throughout the duration of cooking.
Some of these options also have auto-ignition functions that make the smoking and grilling/cooking process easier for first-time cooks.
Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Wifi Grill
If portability is a priority for you, the green mountain grills davy crockett wifi grill is definitely the best choice. It comes with a portable accessory package that enables you to connect your smoker to different power sources such as car battery, car cigarette lighter, and generator. Aside from its edge in portability, it also is very convenient with its smart alert feature which warns you when the temperature drops or when the hopper does not feed in wood pellets. Moreover, this smoker is durable and materials are made to last.
- Foldable legs for convenient handling and portability
- With remote Wifi control through smartphone or tablet
- With programmable cooking instructions in the apptemperature, hours and automatic change in temperature after a given time.
- With manual and dial in temperature control. Manual for 5-degree increments and dial-in for one-degree adjustments.
- Not recommended for one-man moving because of awkward leg placement and heavy smoker.
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Grate Materials And Overall Construction
In general, the more stainless steel used in the construction, the less chance for corrosion, but the higher the cost. Most manufacturers build using steel that has either been painted or a baked on powder-coated enamel-like coating.
Look for internal parts like the grill grates and fire pot made with stainless steel for the longest life. A porcelain-coated cast iron grate is the next best choice.
Durability And Construction Material
Dont be fooled by an attractive pellet grill exterior. Even if there is plenty of stainless steel on the outside, the manufacturer may have cut corners and used cheap materials that will rust on the inside.
The components of your pellet grill that matter the most are the fire pot, flame deflector, drip pan and grates. If these components are made of marine grade stainless steel, you have a cooker that will last you a lifetime.
If youre looking at a grill made with powder coated steel, make sure that it is a very high quality coating. As soon as the paint blisters and chips, your cooker will start to rust and these components will deteriorate.
It is also worth noting that a pellet smoker made of high quality materials will perform better. High quality materials will retain heat, ensure more efficient pellet consumption, and maintain temperature better in the cold weather.
Recommended Reading: Where Are Pit Boss Grills Manufactured
Why Should You Trust Us
I remember a time when I was going through some quad-bike reviews it was all so confusing and I had no clue whom to believe and whom not to. Even when I eventually decided to put my faith in one of them, I kept having second thoughts regarding whether or not they would fail me. If youre someone like me, let me give you four reasons our reviews wont fail you:
First, we are unbiased: We are not affiliated with any certain brand of grills or smokers, nor we are getting any money from them. This means that our reviews are accurate, the best, and geared towards you: were only here to help you decide on what to buy.
Second, were the experts: We know what were talking about. Grills Forever is run by hardened grilling top enthusiasts and hobbyists. This means that were experts in this field and know what to look for and how to conduct a proper research.
Third, were experienced: We have burnt our foods and fingers and while we were at it, we learned from our mistakes. In doing so, weve managed to become the best and mastered the art to perfection. So, we went through the same learning curves that you did or might do. So, were aware of the things that matter and were going to impart that knowledge with you, so that you dont make the same mistakes as us.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Sara Tane has written nearly a dozen buying guides for The Spruce Eats, understanding what consumers and cooks need to consider before making a new purchase for their culinary adventures. After researching gas grills, charcoal grills, budget grills, and portable grills, she can help you find the best outdoor cooking set up for your home.
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What Makes A Good Pellet Grill
Pellet grills are a no-brainer for cooks and certified carnivores, but because pellet smokers only became mainstream quite recently, many shoppers dont know where to start. To help out, weve rounded up some of the best pellet grills to help upgrade your backyard and your dinner table. Below are a few things to consider while shopping for the best pellet grills.
Cooking Space: How many people will you be feeding? If its just your family or a few friends, something with a cooking area of around 700 to 900 square inches is best. If you want to cook for larger parties, go with a pellet grill that has over 1,000 square inches of cooking area.
Materials: The build quality of a pellet smoker not only dictates how long it will last while sitting outside, but also how well it will cook. The best pellet grills have stainless steel throughout not just on the exterior.
Hopper: The size of a pellet grills hopper dictates how long the grill can cook. Generally speaking, more pellets equals longer cook times. Some grills burn pellets more efficiently than others, but most pellet grills burn a pound of pellets in about one to three hours, depending on the heat setting.
Cooking Options: As mentioned, most pellet grills can do more than just grill. The best pellet grills feature an array of cooking options such as baking, braising, BBQing and smoking.