Pellet Grill Vs Electric Grill
Electric grills are somewhat different than other types of grills because they need to be plugged in to work. However, this can make them a viable choice for people who live in apartments and cant have gas or charcoal grills on their back decks or patios. In fact, some electric grills are so small that they can be used in an enclosed kitchen.
With that being said, electric grills are not necessarily right for all occasions or buyers who want to grill food. Check out the pros and cons of electric grills vs. pellet grills below.
How Does A Pellet Grill Work
Pellet grills operate a little bit differently than a gas- or charcoal-powered grill. These grills have a “hopper” that you fill up with hardwood pellets, and when you turn the grill on, the pellets are automatically fed into a cooking chamber by an auger. The pellets are burned in the cooking chamber, and heat and smoke are dispersed throughout the grill, cooking food with indirect heat instead of open flames. One of the main differences between pellet grills and other fuel types is that they maintain their own temperature. Similar to an oven, you set the temperature you want to cook at using the grill’s control panel, and the unit holds the temperature on its own, adding more pellets when needed. This saves you from having to monitor the grill constantly.
Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill & Smoker
The name Traeger is a hallmark of quality when it comes to pellet grills. Theyre the leading brand for a reason and have an impressive range of different options to choose from. This grill the Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 is the perfect size for a small to medium-sized family. Its not the biggest grill in their range but it still has space for four chickens, five racks of ribs, or 24 burgers. That should give you plenty of space, even if youre entertaining. It also has a hopper capacity of 18lbs, which allows you to cook for longer.
One of the most impressive features of the Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Digital Pro Controller. This amazing cooking system allows for precision temperature control, taking the guesswork out of grilling. This turns the average cook into a world-class chef. Buy it now and impress your family and friends.
Grill dimensions 27 D x 41 W x 49 H
Space for 4 chickens, 5 racks of ribs, or 24 burgers
Digital Pro Controller with Advanced Grilling Logic
Wooden utensil hooks
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Take The Guesswork Out Of Grilling And Smoking
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If you’re searching for a grill that’s easy to use and extremely versatile, a wood pellet grill might be just the product for you. These grills are powered by wood pellets that you put into a hopper attached to the grill, and they’re automatically fed into the grill’s firebox as you cook. This results in extremely even heat and minimal smoke and flare-ups, and most pellet grills automatically regulate their own temperatures, taking a lot of the trial and error out of grilling.
That’s not all, either. Wood pellet grills are also extremely versatile and can be used for grilling, smoking, searing, and even baking. Some of today’s top models are even Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to control the unit right from your phone.
Here, the best wood pellet grills to add to your grilling arsenal.
Round 1 Temperature Control & Cooking Performance
PID control panels provide the most accurate temperature control, therefore those contenders that offer the technology are the most advanced. Therefore, that includes the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX, Lifesmart 760, Pit Boss Platinum Laredo, Pit Boss Pro Series 850 and the Z Grills 450B.
Of those contenders, they all offer a maximum temperature setting of 500 degrees, except the Z Grill which maxes out at 450 degrees. In terms of direct-flame access that feature is only found on the two Pit Boss models, the Laredo and Pro Series 850. Therefore, they have the potential to reach temperatures around 650 degrees plus in the centre of the grate.
So what about WiFi/App connectivity and control? Well, again, thats a win for the two Pit Boss models as they are the only contenders to offer this feature. While you may not at first think WiFi/App functionality will give you much value, I think you would be surprised by the convenience it can provide.
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Are Pellet Smokers Worth It
In truth, pellet smoker-grills are flawed but still valuable, depending on what kind of cook you are. If you want to grill the perfect steak, pork chop or carne asada, consider a charcoal or gas grill. If you’re interested in smoky ribs, pulled pork, burnt ends, chicken, turkey and really any other meat , pellet grills are worth the money, as they effectively eliminate the learning barbequing learning curve associated with manual smokers and smoking on a charcoal grill. The convenience of Wi-Fi controls, which is present in many mid-market pellet grills, accentuates this.
- Excellent mobility with roller blade-style wheels
- 849 square inches of cooking space is a lot for the price
- Beefy build quality
- In and out of stock, price has shifted significantly in recent years
Likely the most popular budget-minded pellet grill maker, Pit Boss consistently offers grills with the space and looks of more premium pellet grills for a couple hundred dollars less. So if this medium-sized back porch pellet grill doesn’t suit your needs it’s wise to browse the company’s many other options in the pellet space.
Lastly, the number of additional accessories and add-ons available to the Pit Boss customer is a plus, albeit a smaller one. Accessories like a stainless steel wing-smoking rack, sausage hooks and other odds and ends more easily fit the grill to the griller.
Pellet Vs Gas Grills The Differences In Searing Performance
As Ive discussed above, as a general rule you will find a gas grill will more quickly get up to temperature and achieve a higher grilling/searing temperature. But why is that? Well, quite simply, its due to energy density. The combustion of propane gas is releasing more energy than the size of pellet fire in a typical pellet grill.
But what temperatures do you really need at the grate to achieve good searing/grilling performance? Well, as a general rule you want to achieve at least 450 degrees. Below that temp, you are not going to get the grill marks on your food, you wont hear the meat sizzle and you wont see it properly caramelise. Can all pellet grills actually achieve and exceed that required 450 degrees? Many yes, but not all. Some pellet grills need a little assistance.
Some Z Grill pellet grills will struggle to reach/exceed 450 degrees for reasonable grilling/searing performance without the assistance of some GrillGrates: Image ZGrills.com
Typical examples of pellet grills which are going to struggle to actually grill without some assistance are Gen 1 Traeger Pro Series grills, several Z Grills and basically any pellet grill with a non-PID control panel and without access to direct flames.
Camp Chef pellet grills fitted with PID controllers and Slide N Grill direct flame broiling offer some of the best grilling/searing performance of mid-range pellet grill models: Image Campchef.com
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Best Budget Pellet Grills: The Verdict
Do any of these cheap pellet grills stand out above the rest? While its a close call, we would award the prize to the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX, especially if you enjoy intense smoke flavor. Assembly is simple, the digital control panel is user-friendly, and the temperature remains accurate throughout the smoking process. If you want to heat the grill to higher temps, a sear box option is available for an additional price.
You dont have to drain your bank account to invest in a high-quality pellet grill. If you follow our advice and choose the grill that best suits your needs, your new appliance should serve you well for years to come.
Improvising A Pellet Grill
If going and buying an actual pellet grill is a bit much maybe you already have a charcoal grill then theres ways to still get that woody, smoky flavor.
For this you need two items: a smoker bot, and wood chips.
The difference between wood chips and pellets is that wood chips retain much more of the trees actual flavor, thus impart better smoke flavor.
Youll find a very good and sturdy smoker box on my Best Smoker Box page , which is made of thick aluminium, and will not warp when exposed to severe heat.
Its easy to load, and easy to clean, and most importantly it can hold enough wood chips to let you smoke an entire meal in one go !
Second, youre going to need the wood chips to smoke the meta .
There are many wood types to choose from , and you should always soak those chips in a little water before using them.
For example Oak and Whiskey are medium hardness woods, and lend their flavor better to stronger meats. If you were tog rill chicken, I recommend you use Apple or Pecan.
A good set of smoking chips can be found on my Best Smoking Chips page, where youll find the Western brand. Theyve got bags of 180 sq inch of wood chips, and those can last you the whole grilling season.
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Best Pellet Grills From Cr’s Tests
As a classically trained chef and an enthusiastic DIYer, I’ve always valued having the best tool for a jobwhether the task at hand is dicing onions for mirepoix or hanging drywall. When I’m not writing about home products, I can be found putting them to the test, often with help from my two young children, in the 1860s townhouse I’m restoring in my free time.
Additional Notes On Charcoal And Wood Pellet Grills
If youre not familiar with pellet grills you should check out our What is a Wood Pellet Grill? page. For the purposes of this post, however, well provide a quick overview. A pellet grill will usually have the standard look of a gas grill or charcoal cart or barrel grill , with the addition of a pellet hopper on the side to holds quite a few pounds of pellets for fuel. Theres an electric powered auger at the bottom of the hopper that pulls the hardwood pellets into the fire pot where they are lit. From there, you simply set your pellet grill to the temperature you want and the pellet grill will use fuel as needed to maintain that temperature with convection-style cooking that makes for an even, smoky cook.
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Top 8 Best Pit Boss Pellet Grills For 2021
Pit boss pellet Grills are one of the best grillers which you can buy. They often give a smoky flavor to your recipes which can help you get the authentic taste which you usually want in your delicacies.
No longer, you have to head over to the family diners to enjoy those authentic delicacies. You can now cook them right within the confines of your home. It is essential to choose the pellet grill carefully to get that authentic taste. There are quite a few models available. You need to however look at the features of every model before taking a call.
Why Should You Choose A Pellet Grill In The First Place
For starters, these units can be ready to cook within minutes. That means you can decide on the spot whether or not youd like to fire up the grill. This feature comes in especially handy when the weather is erratic.
Second, pellet grills imbue the food with a delectable smoky taste. Since pellets are made of real wood, they offer an excellent variety in the flavor department. Thats something that youll never get with a gas-powered unit.
Youll also have more control over the temperature when you cook with a pellet grill. Most models are equipped with digital control panels that allow you to pre-select the temperature and simply walk away. Grilling enthusiasts refer to this perk as set it and forget it, and it comes in particularly handy when youre entertaining guests. Some modern pellet grills are even equipped with WiFi capability, so you can control the temperature using an app thats downloaded to your smartphone.
Finally, pellet-burning units offer more versatility than gas or charcoal grills. Since the temperature can be controlled manually, you can use the grill for multiple cooking techniques, from braising to searing.
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What Is A Pellet Smoker
A pellet smoker is a grill-smoker that is fueled by tiny pellets of compressed wood. Generally, most pellet smokers operate between 150 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and as such are better used for low-and-slow barbecuing and grilled foods that aren’t as reliant on developing a fast sear . Pellet smokers are powered by electricity and much be placed near an outlet .
They’re known as both pellet grills and pellet smokers for the most part, the words are interchangeable, the only exception being pellet-fueled cabinet smokers and whatnot.
Pellet Grill Vs Gas Grill
Gas grills are extremely popular, especially if you walk into your local big box store. There are all the brand names youve come to expect, you can get as few or as many square inches of cooking space that youd like, and the prices can range as high or low as youre willing to go. Gas grills often time come with some cool features as well, like side burners that run off of the fuel tank.
If youve been a Grilla Grills fan for a while, youll know that we offer a gas grill we call the Primate. It includes many of the above-mentioned features, in addition to offering a superb griddle surface. So its safe to say that we know and appreciate gas grills just as much as we do pellet varieties.
While gas grills are the most popular grills on the market there are some very clear positives and negatives in choosing a gas grill.
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Pellet Vs Gas Grills Why Choose Have Both In One
As Ive discussed above, it is possible to get really any pellet grill up to at least a reasonable level of searing/grilling performance. Though some pellet grills do perform better at searing than others. However, a gas grill is still going to get up to temperature quicker than a pellet grill and potentially get close to 900 degrees at the cooking surface.
If this is causing you a real dilemma between choosing either a pellet or gas grill, fear not, you can actually have both fuel options within a single grill. They are called pellet/gas combo grills. Your three main options are currently provided by Pit Boss, Cuisinart and Camp Chef. Though there is also now an Expert Grill option for under $600.
The Pit Boss KC Combo and Cuisinart Twin Oaks are two examples of 50/50 split pellet/gas combo grills: Images Pitboss-grills.com and Cuisinart.com
The two examples above from Pit boss and Cuisinart are 50/50 split pellet/gas combo grills. In other words, the total cooking area provided is spilt equally between the pellet grill side and the gas grill side. Therefore, within a single grill, you have the option to use the pellet grill side to smoke and grill and get the best flavour possible into your food.
The propane Sear Box does not offer as many cooking options as the SideKick : Image Campchef.com
A To Z List Of The Best Bbq Wood Pellets
A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.
In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.
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Which Grill Is Right For You
Pellet and gas grills are great cookers that can turn out amazing food. To know which is the right choice for you, you need to weigh cost, ease of use, cooking style and any safety concerns.
Go with a pellet grill if price is no object and your goal is to smoke meat low and slow, infusing it with incredible smokey goodness.
Gas grills are a better choice if youd prefer a low-cost, straightforward, potentially portable option, and prize high heat for searing over smoky wood flavor.