The Ultimate Pellet Smokers Buying Guide
Pellet smokers are the latest rage among BBQ enthusiasts. These smokers use compressed wood pellets as fuel and provide consistent heat throughout the cooking process. A pellet smoker is ideal if you’re looking for healthy food options, instant gratification, or both.
At ER BBQ, we are determined to help you make the right choice when it comes to picking the best pellet smoker. Through our unbiased pellet grill reviews, you can rest assured to find one that best meets your needs.
Why Should You Trust Our Review?
Our barbecue grill review should give you the information you need to make an informed barbecue grill purchase. We’ve spent hours researching and testing barbecue grills across the country to bring you only the best. This helps you find the best grill for your needs and budget. We’ll help you avoid the pitfalls of other barbecue grill reviews and steer clear of the scams that plague the industry.
What Should You Consider When Choosing Best Pellet Smoker?
Before purchasing a pellet smoker, it’s crucial to know what makes a good one. Pellet smokers can be categorized based on the type of fuel they use, how many BTUs they produce, and their warranty. Here are a couple of things to look into when shopping for a pellet smoker.
The configuration depends on how you intend to use the grill. If looking for something for just yourself and your spouse, a portable pellet grill like the Traeger Scout could do. For those who want to grill for parties, families, or come-together events, a bigger freestanding pellet grill like the Traeger Pro Series is the most ideal. If your backyard has plenty of space to host an outside kitchen, you can opt for built-in pellet smokers.
Your intended use of a pellet grill determines the heat level requirements. Do you want to do slow smoking or cooking at high temperatures for extended hours? You might want to go for the vertical pellet smokers. They also offer a larger capacity for grilling a lot of food.
Different pellet grill manufacturers have stiffened the competition with the introduction of several features. Some of these to consider include PID and Wi-Fi functionality. With advanced controller features, you will get more power over how your food cooks, such as real-time monitoring.
Pellet flavors preference
Some pellet grills come with a hopper or bin with easy cleaning which allows you to achieve the desired flavor without putting too much work. Others don’t hence you’ll need to scoop the pellets using your hands.
Ease of cleaning
The pellets eventually turn into ash. You want a pellet grill that allows you more convenience in removing the ash. Before buying consider the various cleaning options available.
How Did We Make Our List of Pellet Smokers?
ER BBQ doesn’t rely on user feedback alone to come up with the list of best pellet smokers. But we have our own extensive research and testing mechanisms to ascertain what the manufacturers of these grills claim.
We read innumerable web evaluations and peruse a variety of well-known and obscure brands. Then, we go over their features and the benefits they can offer users. After selecting the best brands, we subject them to physical testing and then create our detailed review. We often do this to maintain an up-to-date list of the best pellet smokers.
Whether looking for the best budget pellet smoker or don’t mind the price and simply want something that performs flawlessly, our review will help you make that choice.
The Best All-Rounder: Traeger Pro Series 780 Pellet Grill
Amazon product link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07SBNFFK2/
The Traeger Pro Series 780 Pellet Grill truly deserves five stars. It is made of premium materials, takes into account all practical conveniences, and works fantastically for smoking, grilling, and searing. It is simple to set up and use, and it makes grilling and smoking as simple as home kitchen cooking.
Why Do We Call It Our Top Pick?
We chose the Traeger Pro Series 780 Pellet Grill as our top pick for its abundant features that make it an ideal choice for all your outdoor cooking needs. It brings plenty of amazing features, including:
• WiFIRE Technology
The WiFIRE feature allows you to connect to the pellet grill using the Traeger app and monitor the cooking process while doing other things. The mobile app is available for both Android and iPhone devices. The app offers more beyond providing information about the temperature of your grill and the cooking time left.
It is jam-packed with lots of recipes (over 1,500) that cover everything from main meat courses to cheese that you can grill or smoke.
• Meat Probe
The meat probe allows you to know the cooking temperature of your meat. One excellent feature about it is that it uses Bluetooth, supporting a range of up to 165ft. This way, you can monitor the internal temperature of the food using your phone from a distance so you won’t have to lift the lid.
• All-Terrain Wheels
While grilling, you may need to move your wood pellet smoker within the backyard. Traeger takes care of this with the rugged wheels with a locking caster, able to navigate over any terrain.
• Turbo Temperature System
One aspect of cooking with a wood pellet barbeque smoker is that it can take a little bit longer to raise the temperature to the desired levels. Thankfully, the Traeger Pro Series 780 Pellet Grill offers the TurboTemp feature to quickly boost the startup time. it also stabilizes the cooking temperature after you’ve lifted the lid.
• Hopper Cleanout Feature
With the hopper cleanout feature, you can swap the pellets with ease. The trapdoor allows you to empty the hopper much faster to swap the desired pellet flavor easily.
Traeger Pro Series 780 Pellet Grill Review
We’ve prepared this review to look at some of the features that make this pellet grill our top pick.
The 780 in this model’s name stands for the cooking space in square inches, allowing you to fit 6 rib racks, 6 chickens, and 34 burgers at the same time. it also offers a pellet hopper with a capacity of 18 pounds with a temperature range of up to 500 degrees.
Traeger D2 Direct Drive
The Pro 780 uses an advanced D2 Direct Drive drivetrain to make the wood pellets last longer. Through a brushless DC motor, it increases the grill’s efficiency, offering a quick startup using TurboTemp and a variable speed fan.
Traeger App with Wi-Fi capability
When you first learned of the Wi-Fi feature of this pellet smoker grill, you probably wondered why would a grill need Wi-Fi. Well, this model offers connectivity to allow you to monitor the grilling process through the Traeger app. The app offers plenty of useful features to make your smoking and grilling more convenient.
The Traeger 780 Pro Pellet Grill has the same design quality as the rest of the Traeger grill models. It’s made of high-quality powder-coated steel that can stand the test of time. Also, the grill doesn’t compromise on quality as it portrays an elegant finish that’s resistant to the high temperatures the grill can give. That’s because of the cooking grate that’s porcelain-coated steel
Ranking as the best wood pellet grill, it offers a larger grilling rack measuring 30” by 19”, which is porcelain coated steel. This also comes with a 30” by 7” extra grill rack to create a total of 780 square inches for a full-capacity grilling.
Temperature range and Power
The Traeger Pro 780 offers great temperature versatility, allowing you to smoke your food at a low temperature of 180 degrees. But you can crank the heat up to attain 500 degrees for a searing perfection. The grill allows natural airflow to support convection cooking. This efficient pellet grill uses the standard 110V wall outlet.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The Pro 780 pellet smoker has a large volume pellet hopper that can carry 18 pounds of hardwood pellets. You can do cleaning after every 20 hours or about 3 cooking sessions. The cleaning process is straightforward, you only need to spray inside the chimney and the grill gate using a degreaser.
You can clean the grill cover using warm water mixed with soap or mild detergent while avoiding harsh bleaching chemicals.
- Reliable temperature control that’s stable and convenient.
- Traeger app with the WiFIRE features is incredibly useful for monitoring cooking.
- Quick temperature recovery, courtesy of TurboTemp.
- A larger cook space for large capacity cooking.
- App offers plenty of simple recipes with instructional videos.
- The pellet grills are costly.
- The front shelf and cover attract additional costs.
- Traeger app can sometimes be slow in sending probe alarms.
What People Say About Traeger Pro 780
From our collected reviews, we have noted that most people have expressed satisfaction with the Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill. One of the most loved features was the accuracy of the D2 PID controller, which speeds up the temperature build-up to start smoking quickly.
Also, most people provided feedback on the Wi-Fi connectivity (WiFIRE technology), which allows more convenience for monitoring the grill from far. The novice BBQ lovers love the abundant recipes available in the Traeger app, which allows you to try out different recipes.
Our Final Verdict
Apart from having to chip into your pockets to buy the accessories, we loved every bit of the Traeger Pro 780. Its upgraded drivetrain, fans, and motor plus the WiFIRE technology make the Pro 780 the best smokers pellet grill on the market today. It’s an excellent choice if you want a larger grill to smoke for a larger group of people.
The Runner Up: Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill
Amazon Product Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CT4FPG6/
Are you an outdoor adventure enthusiast? The Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill is your ideal choice if you like to enjoy your smoked delicacies out in the woods. You only need to have an electric socket outlet where you are. It’s the best pellet grill for camping, offering lots of features such as the cooking timer, accurate temperature controls, and Keep Warm settings.
Why Did We Call This Pick As Our Runner Up?
We were amazed by the fact that this portable pellet grill allows you to cook just anywhere as long as there’s a power outlet. When trying it out, it gave us moist, tasty, and smoky food. It did a marvelous job keeping the temperature within the set range.
It offers everything you’d want in a pellet grill, except for missing Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring, otherwise, we loved every bit of it.
• Food Warming Facility
Even after you’re done with cooking, the Keep Warm feature allows you to maintain the heat until when you’re ready to eat. It keeps the temperature at 165oF without overcooking.
• Digital Arc Controller
The Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill offers a digital control panel accompanied by a small LCD with a meat probe jack. There’s a round controller offering buttons to set the required temperature and a cooking timer. You can increase the temperature in 5-unit increments.
• 8-pound capacity pellet hopper
We loved the sizeable capacity of the pellet hopper, which gave us a cooking space of 184 sq. inches. With this, you can accommodate 10 hotdogs, or 6 burgers, and 1 rib rack.
• Meat Probe
Monitoring the cooking temperature is made easy with the ergonomic meat probe. The meat probe and the alarm come in handy to alert you when the desired cooking temperature is attained.
• Porcelain-Coated Grill Grates
For an outdoor adventure, the porcelain-coated grill gates, the cast iron griddle, the grease bucket, and the grease drip tray come in handy.
Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill TBT18KLD Review
Thinking about an outdoor camping event and need a pellet grill? This Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill review will highlight a couple of things to help you make a decision.
Design Quality & User Interface
Generally, the Ranger has a simple design that increases portability. With its 13” by 21” by 20” (HWD) size, this wood pellet barbeque smoker can perfectly fit on your tailgate or picnic table. It comes with a matte black finish plus stainless steel handle that makes it look stylish. The lid is secured in place by a set of hinges.
The grill’s left side has a digital control panel accommodating a small LCD screen and a meat probe jack. We loved the simplicity of the interface and the temperature controls as everything is laid perfectly and is self-explanatory when it comes to usage.
Performance & Results
We tested the Ranger by slow cooking a batch of pork ribs. After seasoning with the Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub, we set the temperature at 225 degrees. It took the grill about 15 minutes to attain the set temperature. Next, we placed the ribs on the grate and then cooked for 3 hours. As the cooking continued, we continuously checked the temperature of the chamber and gladly it was within the 5-degree range from our initially set temperature.
The Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill also performed wonderfully grilling hot dogs and hamburgers at high temperatures. We tried to slow cook chicken and the result was equally amazing with a lightly smoked and satisfying flavor with moist crispy skin.
- Great at maintaining the set cooking temperature.
- Highly portable.
- Cooks delicious, crispy, and smoky food.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Keep food warm for long without overcooking.
- Lacks Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring.
- A little heavy for its size.
What People Say About Traeger Ranger TBT18KLD
Most of the reviews we received about the Traeger Ranger TBT18KLD is that its portability was a great advantage to many grilling enthusiasts. The average size of the cooking space was also a great plus to most people who love to go on adventures as a family. But the lack of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for remote monitoring, although a disadvantage, wasn’t much of an issue with most people.
Our Final Verdict
The Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill is the perfect wood pellet smoker for outdoor adventure lovers. We loved its ability to deliver a consistent temperature range once you set your cooking temperature. Since it only takes about 15 minutes to reach the set temperature, we think it’s an excellent choice for its price range.
The Best Budget Pellet Smoker: Traeger Tailgater 20
Amazon product link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B082N6BV3X/
The Traeger Tailgater 20 brings onboard all the excellent features we love about Traeger in a more compact and portable pellet grill. It offers a 300 sq. inch cooking space, has EZ foldable legs, for portability, and excellent temperature control to keep the range within 5 degrees above or below the desired setting.
We’ve tested this grill for several weeks, both smoking and grilling. Its performance was as we expected for its price.
Why Do We Call It Our Best Budget Pick?
When shopping around for the best pellet smokers but with a limited budget, it can be hard to land on a good grill smoker. However, the Traeger Tailgater 20 will surprise you because it presents amazing features you would want in a pellet smoker but at a budget-friendly price. Here’s why we chose it as our best budget pellet grill.
• Enabled Warm Mode
With the digitized panel control, you can warm up the pellet grill to the required temperature in 15 minutes once you close the lid.
• Digital Arc Controller
The tailgater supports a 180-450oF temperature range and comes with a digital arc control offering a temperature display on an LCD screen. This comes in handy to help you monitor the cooking temperature with ease.
• Meat Probe
With the meat probe, you’ll get to check the internal cooking temperature of food with ease to ensure it cooks to the desired flavour.
• EZ Foldable Legs
When tailgating or camping, portability is a necessity and the Tailgater 20 pellet grill has EZ foldable legs that easily collapse. You can therefore move the grill from your truck to the ground with ease.
• Food Warming Facility
After cooking, you can use the Keep Warm feature to maintain the heat within the cooking surface until you’re ready to start eating.
Traeger Tailgater 20 Portable Pellet Grill Review
Check out our experience with this best built-in pellet grill to know if it’s a good fit for your barbecue.
To avoid corrosion and chipping, the Tailgater 20-inch grill comes with powder-coated steel construction. Additionally, the cooking grates consist of porcelain-coated steel for easy cleaning and polishing. The overall look is aesthetically appealing and adds a little elegance to your outdoor camping gear.
Electronic Control System: Traeger Tailgater 20
The Traeger Tailgater 20 offers a heat control feature to maintain the temperature within the upper section. You adjust the temperature via the side panel, therefore, reducing temperature fluctuation through a probe.
The Traeger Tailgater 20 offers a 300 sq. inch grilling space. It’s among the small Traeger grills that are portable within their price range. So, it’s best suited for those seeking a more compact option with space for cooking delicacies for four people.
Design Quality & User Interface
The Traeger Tailgater 20 grill features a design similar to the professional Pit Boss competition smoker except for a small and portable size. Its exterior is forged from heavy-duty steel, and powder coated to withstand elements and heat.
We loved the LCD screen which featured push buttons instead of dials. Unlike the dials, the push buttons seem more durable and efficient.
Performance & Results
This best-budget pellet smoker performed excellently as we had expected. We loved its spacious cooking space, which gave us different alternatives like smoking and grilling. When grilling, we highly recommend placing the copper grill mats on the grill to avoid the tedious cleaning process after.
We tried to slowly smoke briskets at low temperatures for about 6 hours and the performance was commendable. For that crispy and juicy flavour, wrap your briskets tightly. Surprisingly, the Tailgater 20 can also sear steaks. You can also cook hot dogs, rib cracks, and anything else you might want to try out without losing the natural flavour.
Value for the Money
The Traeger Tailgater 20 has a reasonable price generally but tends to be a little more expensive than most other portable grill smokers. Of course, the price tag comes with a little more features than you can find in rival models, hence we think it’s worth every penny.
Cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning this pellet smoker can be a little challenging. That’s why we recommend using aluminium foil over the grill’s drip tray. It also has an ashtray you can empty when full. When it comes to polishing the grill grates, you only need to heat the grills to the maximum temperature then scrape its surface with steel wool or grill brush once it cools down.
- Excellent portability.
- LCD screen with digital control panel.
- Set and forget design.
- 8-pound hopper capacity.
- Temperature variations of 5oF above or below the set temperature.
- Lacks Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring.
- Needs an initial burn-in to raise the temperature.
What People Says About Traeger Tailgater 20
Our thorough testing revealed that the Tailgater 20’s premium aluminium and steel components made it above average when it comes to construction quality. Most reviews given online showed that this pellet smoker has a good rating of about 4 stars out of 5.
Our Final Verdict
from customer feedback and based on our detailed testing, we can conclude that the Traeger Tailgater is a superb pellet smoker. Its heavy-duty construction makes it more durable compared to most portable smoker models. We highly recommend it as the best budget pellet smoker due to its portability, grilling, and smoking capabilities.
The Best Camper Smoker: PIT BOSS 10697
Amazon product link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08Y66479M/
Pit Boss pellet grills are known for their sleek finish and design. We were moved by the elegance of the Pit Boss 10697, featuring a dial-in digital control system to display and track every crucial cooking data. You’ll find this grill very convenient for perfect grilling.
The PIT BOSS 10697 offers a wide temperature range from 180oF to 500oF, and also offers a simple slide plate to allow you to cook directly or indirectly on the flame.
Why Do We Call It Our Best Camper Smoker Pick?
For every camping enthusiast out there, you’re going to love every bit of this pellet smoker grill in making your camping a remarkable experience. The fact that its tabletop design makes it ideal for loading at the back of your pickup car. Here are a few more features that make it ideal for camping.
• Cooking Grates
The cooking grates are made of steel and porcelain coated for a durable finish against heat and elements. It’s 256 inches large, sizeable enough to cook food for about 4 people out in the wild.
• Digital Control Board
The control board is a digital dial-in with an LED screen for readout. We found this highly convenient because we could operate it with ease in wet surroundings.
• Cooking Temperature
The PIT BOSS 10697 allows you a cooking temperature as low as 180oF for grilling to as high as 500oF for searing.
• Power Source
As one of the best pellet grills for camping, the PIT BOS 10697 is powered by wood pellets once you connect it to a standard wall outlet.
• Flame control
The pellet grill uses an adjustable Flame Broiler Lever, allowing you to control the flame to achieve indirect and direct flame cooking.
PIT BOSS 10697 Table Top Pellet Grill Review
Are you thinking about getting yourself the PIT BOSS 10697 pellet grill? Check out our review of the features we thought you’d love in this grill.
Hardware/Build Quality: PIT BOSS 10697
Compared to other portable tabletop pellet grills, this model stands out as highly durable and elegant. The fact that its cooking grate is porcelain coated and made of steel makes it resistant to heat and elements.
It offers a 5-pound hopper, heavy-duty steel construction, high-temperature powder-coated finish, and a locking lid. All these features make it an excellent choice for a tailgating and camping experience.
Control System: PIT BOSS 10697
The control system features a digital dial-in board that lets you set and control the cooking temperature. The LED display will allow you to monitor this in real-time. also, the pellet grill comes with electronic ignition to allow you efficiently heat up the pellets in readiness to start smoking.
Design Quality & User Interface: PIT BOSS 10697
Your backyard cook mates will look up to you because of the elegant design of the Pellet Grill. which features a dial-in digital control system that monitors and displays all the crucial cooking data on the LED screen for consistently excellent grilling.
Performance & Results: PIT BOSS 10697
In terms of delivering full-flavored food, the PIT BOSS 10697 created a rich hardwood flavour through its simple portable construction. The locking lid also adds to the great performance of this pellet grill by preventing loss of heat when grilling.
The grill takes about 15 minutes to heat to the desired cooking temperature. Once attained, the temperature will vary within a 5-degree range, hence the perfect performance to obtain full flavour.
Value for the Money: PIT BOSS 10697
This pellet BBQ smoker is a real value for money if you’re looking for a tabletop grill with advanced grilling features. You can do a lot of cooking with the grill, including grilling, baking, searing, roasting, braising, and smoking.
Cleaning & Maintenance: PIT BOSS 10697
The PIT BOS 10697 offers a simple way of cleaning and maintenance. You’ll only need to clean the grease drip tray, burn pot, and the smokestack at least every two weeks for smooth airflow.
- Uses 100% natural wood pellets as the power source and hence burns without soot.
- Offers 8-in-1 functionality for cooking in four various ways; grilling, smoking, roasting, and baking.
- Includes a single meat probe with a 256 sq. inch cooking surface area.
- Versatile grill and porcelain-coated grates.
- Simple tabletop design for maximum portability.
- Dial-in digital control technology.
- It’s a little challenging to use. You need to read the manual to understand how to set it up.
What People Say About PIT BOSS 10697
From all the reviews and feedback from clients that we sampled, most people seemed impressed with the performance of the PIT BOSS 10697. Most people, especially couples going out camping rated it 5 stars while those on family trips rated it 4 stars out of 5. On average, this pellet grill received a 4-star rating.
Our Final Verdict
After three tests with the PIT BOSS 10967, we loved the simple portable design of this tabletop grill in supporting full-flavoured grilling, roasting, smoking, braising, and searing. In terms of physical appeal, the sleek design was a plus. We also loved the dial-in digital control which allowed us to keep track of the heat when cooking.
Although it lacks Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, we can conclude that this pellet grill is the best camper smoker for those who can’t get enough of their camping experience.
The Advanced Pellet Smoker: Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
Amazon product link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08HVLJBWK/
The thought of assembling a grill can sometimes be a nightmare even to grill masters like us. However, the Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro turned out to be one of the simplest to set up and use. Its 8-in-1 cooking feature compacted in a 700 sq. inch cooking space is amazing when it comes to grilling, smoking, searing, or cooking anything you want.
Why Do We Call It Our Most Advanced Pick?
The reason we termed the Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro as our advanced pick is because of the simplicity it brings when it comes to grilling. It has everything well laid out so you can have the simplest experience cooking anything you like. Check out these features that make it an advanced pellet grill.
• Digital Temperature Control
It comes with a digital temperature controller that’s super easy to use, allowing you to adjust the temperature in increments of 25oF. you’ll only need 30 minutes to attain the set temperature and stabilize it.
• Automatic Auger System
If you like to get your food ready without too much work, you’ll appreciate the automatic auger. We burnt several kilos of pellets with this grill without much hassle. The 9kg pellet hopper design allowed us to consistently feed the auger without our intervention.
We loved the heavy-duty set of wheels, which makes it easier to move the pellet grill wherever we wanted. You’ll also find the stainless-steel handles quite useful in pushing the grill when setting it in the desired position.
• Large grilling area
The Z Grills 7002B comes with the main grill rack measuring 513 sq. inches while the warming rack has 187 sq. inches, making a cooking area of 700 sq. inches.
• Searing System Enabled
This pellet smoker grill comes with 8 different cooking settings, including the sear setting. So if you want to enjoy some tasty grilled meat outdoors, you won’t be disappointed with this pellet grill.
Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro Pellet Grill Review
Are you ready to try out the Z Grills ZPG-7002B? check out our experience with it through this review to find out if it’s worth every penny.
Hardware/Build Quality: Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
The Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro is a heavy-duty pellet grill with a large hopper capacity. It’s built from heavy-duty steel with powder coating for excellent durability. We also loved how the grill grates were porcelain coated, which came in handy to retain the elegant look of the grill even after several uses at high temperatures.
Control System: Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
The grill features 8-in-1 cooking settings and a digital control board, allowing you to set the temperature from as low as 180oF to 450oF. we had a great experience with the digital control system as it created the ultimate flame that eventually produced that satisfying flavour of hardwood on our smoked food.
Design Quality & Assembly: Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
As far as we and most of the feedback we received, Z Grills went overboard with the quality of the grill. They used high-quality steel with a sleek finish if you like to keep it stylish while outdoor camping. When it comes to assembling the pellet grill, we can say the instruction manual is a little frustrating to follow.
If you rely on the manual, it might disappoint you. However, it has an intuitive design, and with a little technical know-how, you can assemble it with less hassle than you would with the instruction manual.
Performance & Results: Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
The Z Grills 7002B satisfies all of your requirements for a high-end, sizable wood pellet barbecue. Just make sure to allow it to be fully warm. For a low temperature, this could take only ten minutes, but if you need to cook with a really high temperature for something such as a freshly baked pizza, it could take twenty to twenty-five minutes. We advise that you set it away from the wind’s path to attain the required temperature faster.
One minor issue we had with the performance of this grill is the smoke produced on reaching a certain temperature. It has a lower smoke setting, about 180-200oF.
Value for Money: Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
As one of the best wood pellet grills, this guy is a real value for money. The automatic auger system makes the work of feeding the pellets much easier. The venturi-style of the firebox creates a hot airflow cyclone for complete burning, therefore, reducing wastage.
Power Control: Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
The Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro offers a digital elite controller dial, featuring a digital LED readout. After setting the required temperature, the internal fan and hopper will adjust accordingly to decrease or increase the flame. This power control makes it ideal for producing large food amounts for families at one go.
Cleaning & Maintenance: Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
Cleaning this pellet grill isn’t much of a hassle as long as you don’t leave to get greased up for too long. We used a Shop Vac for cleaning the grill’s inner parts. This seemed much of a task only because we had left it for long before cleaning.
You’ll need to wipe clean the grease pan after every use. After everything cools down, use a shop vac to clean the smaller ash amounts in the fire pot.
- Offers a large 700 sq. inches of cooking area.
- Comes with 8-in-1 cooking settings for roasting, searing, braising, grilling, smoking, and more.
- Offers a great auto-ignition technology.
- Has a digital temperature controller for consistent heat.
- “Set and forget” design so you won’t have to babysit the grill.
- Infuses a hardwood flavour on your food.
- Even cooking through the convection heating mechanism.
- It takes a little longer to attain the desired temperature.
- Initial setup with the manual is challenging.
- Different grilling areas produce different temperatures.
What People Say About Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro
Generally, we are satisfied with the Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro, just like many other reviews and feedback we received from clients. Most people who bought and tried it out loved the “set it and forget it” operation design.
We also received positive feedback about the 8-in-1 cooking settings, although the initial setup wasn’t much welcomed. All in all, the average rating of the Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro was 4 stars out of 5.
Our Final Verdict
The Z Grills ZPG-7002B is a reliable wood pellet grill that quickly gained recognition while competing against Traeger, another well-known brand. Its performance overall wasn’t disappointing as it cooked food just like we had expected.
Although the big hopper capacity can be overwhelming for starters. It is not necessarily required because typical wood pellet packs are 15–18 lbs, leaving some room in the hopper. Its advanced digital control system, automatic auger, and 8-in-1 cooking settings were all amazing to us.
Z Grills ZPG 450A Pellet Smoker Review
Amazon product link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B099C9GGRK/
The Z Grills ZPG 450A Pellet Smoker offers a set of features that make it one of the best smokers pellet grills on the market. The design is compact and sleek and it does not take up too much space, which makes it perfect if you like to take a weekend off the city bustle.
It’s quite an inexpensive no-frills grill that produces great hardwood flavour. However, its performance is best when smoking at low heat than the usual high heat grilling.
Feature Details of Z Grills ZPG 450A
Here are some of the features of the ZPG 450A pellet grill worth looking at when considering this grill.
Design and build
This pellet grill has a fairly small size, only 45” wide and 49” tall. Its compact size can fit on a deck and has a sleek finish that’s eye-catching. The construction is from average-weight powder-coated steel while the lids on the hopper and grilling chamber are mostly dark brown. The rest of the body is black.
With the ZPG 450A, you’ll get a total of 331sq. inch cooking area with the upper rack consisting of 128 sq. inches.
This pellet grill offers a 180-450oF temperature range but can be difficult to maintain the set temperature within this range, despite having a PID controller. It uses a dial to control the heat with increments of 25 degrees starting from 225oF. It also takes a little longer to attain the required temperature, about 30 minutes to get to 350oF.
With only 15 lbs. hopper capacity, you’ll have to refill it severally for slow, long hour cooking.
The pellet grill uses a set of two sturdy wheels for portability when needed. Its feet are made of rubber to station it firmly in position while cooking. We didn’t like its prep tables as much. The two tables, a foldable one at the front and another on the right-hand side under the chimney, are a bit small to accommodate a standard plate.
Below the grates, there’s a grease drain pan that holds the overflowing grease while cooking. However, we recommend lining this pan with aluminium foil for easy clean-up after use.
- Small and lightweight construction for portability.
- A larger cooking area for a small-sized pellet grill.
- Consistent temperature control, especially at lower temperatures.
- A little daunting to set up due to the poor instruction manual.
- Takes longer to attain the desired temperature.
We found the long preheating time a little frustrating but not much of an issue if you’re patient. Its lack of advanced features was compensated with consistent heat control and a delicious flavour common with the top range expensive grills. It’s ideal for a one-person grilling experience on weekends away from the city.
Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker 6002B Pellet Smoker Review
Amazon product link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B091JHJY5L/
The Z Grills 6002B is another famous pellet grill, coming between the 450-550 grills and the 700 series. It’s a mid-range pellet grill ideal for a weekend outdoor grilling experience. We were amazed by its sturdy construction, despite being thin-walled. Its light build makes it superb for a one-man grilling event.
Feature Details of Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker 6002B
The Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker 6002B offers several features worth considering when shopping for a budget-friendly pellet grill.
This pellet BBQ grill comes with a 573 sq. inch cooking area fitted with a warming rack. The area is quite big allowing you to cook a range of foods in one go. The warming rack comes in handy to prevent overcooking or drying out while maintaining the desired warmth.
We found the 8 pounds pellet hopper volume convenient for cooking in one go without refilling often for grilling. But if cooking for longer hours, get ready for several refills.
The pellet grill is quite light and simple to move around, thanks to its set of wheels. The light design is due to the thin metal sheets it’s built from.
The Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker 6002B comes with an in-built temperature probe that gives a digital readout on the LCD. The temperature accuracy was quite impressive when grilling since the heat tends to be higher closer to the firebox. The pellet grill was able to produce 180oF as its lowest and 450oF as the highest.
If not ready for some serious cleaning, we suggest that you do. According to the manual, you have to cover the drip plate using heavy-duty aluminum foil for easy cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll need to scrub it clean after every use.
- Light and easy to move around.
- Maintains consistent temperature with the PID controller.
- The cooking area is quite big, able to hold 24 burgers or 5 rib racks at one go.
- Has a smaller pellet capacity requiring a frequent refill.
- Not built from heavy-duty steel.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly pellet grill for one-person use, you cannot go wrong with the Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker 6002B. The 6002B should be on your list if you’re looking for a pellet grill.
It performs significantly better in terms of temperature consistency and plays much bigger than it does. In terms of pellet grills in the mid-price range, I think the Z Grill 6002B excels.
Cuisinart CPG-256 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker Review
Amazon product link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09KVHWCFP/
Are you looking for the best pellet grill for camping? The Cuisinart CPG-256 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker is a budget pellet grill for those who want to spend the weekend away. It’s built with a compact design to handle eight different cooking styles; grilling, searing, roasting, braising, char-grilling, and baking.
Feature Details of Cuisinart CPG-256
The Cuisinart CPG-256 presents lots of features, which we found ideal for grilling. Here are a few more features to look forward to when considering this pellet grill.
Design and build
This best-budget pellet smoker has a lightweight construction made of light-duty steel. It only weighs 20kg. with a size of 24 by 18 by 15 inches, featuring a locking lid design and handles to carry it anywhere you need.
It offers a 256 sq. inches of cooking area, integrated with Sear Zone to bring in lots of cooking capabilities. You can roast, grill, smoke, char-grill, sear, bake, or braise.
The Cuisinart CPG-256 offers a temperature range of 180-500OF with a digital control that adds the required pellets automatically to regulate the heat. There’s an LED display to show the readings required. We found the auto-start ignition very handy as it reduced the grill warm-up time for us.
We have to admit that the 4 pounds capacity of the hopper isn’t impressive. The only time we didn’t refill the hopper is when grilling some hot dogs, otherwise, it can get tiring if cooking for long hours.
The Cuisinart CPG-256 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker is a tabletop pellet grill with two stainless steel handles on both sides for mobility. With the 20kg weight, you’ll need some assistance to move it to and from your pickup car.
- Efficient digital controller with an auto-start ignition.
- 8-in1 cooking settings with a 256 sq. inch cooking area.
- Automatic pellet addition for temperature regulation.
- Easily manageable weight for a tabletop pellet grill.
- Relatively smaller hopper capacity hence frequent refilling is required.
We can say that the Cuisinart CPG-256 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker performed as much as we had expected for its size and capacity. It turned out impressive in instilling the real hardwood flavor on food, especially when grilling. Although its performance wasn’t very satisfying while operating at high temperatures. It’s a good pellet grill for a one-man show and the budget.
PIT BOSS PB440FB1 Pellet Grill (482 sq. In.) Review
Amazon product link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09GPYQWLW/
The Pit Boss 440FB1 Wood Pellet Grill offers the best value in grilling by providing unmatched, hardwood flavor to your backyard meals. It brings forth a larger, fierier, heavier outdoor grilling experience thanks to cutting-edge technology with hardwood pellets.
Feature Details of PIT BOSS PB440FB1
This pellet grill comes with several features that we found amazing while some needed improvement. Let’s look at these features in a brief.
Design and build
The manufacturer claims that it’s built from heavy-duty steel. Although it’s steel, we don’t think it’s heavy-duty. The walls felt a little light, but we think it’s worth the price tag. The outside features a powder-coated black finish with a sleek look, which everyone agreed is a notch higher compared to other brands within its price range.
This best competition pellet smoker measures 40 by 24 by 45 inches offering a total cooking space of 482 sq. inches. This was enough for cooking food for up to 4 people; 25 burgers or 5 rib racks.
It has an integrated Flame Broiler Lever for direct and indirect heating at 180oF up to 500oF. Through the digital control board, you can set the desired grill temperature and monitor it.
The dial-in control board is digital with an LED readout for monitoring the crucial information about your grilling process.
It’s quite easy moving the pellet grill around since it comes with two in-line wheels. With little assistance, you can move and position it as you desire.
For its size, the 5-pound hopper capacity isn’t bad if grilling. But when slow cooking for long hours, you’ll have to refill it quite often.
The cooking grates come with a porcelain coating for easy cleaning. However, it can be very tiresome to clean off the grease, especially if grilling a chicken breast or pork. For that reason, we found placing an aluminium foil below the grates quite useful to allow easy cleaning.
- Wide cooking area, despite a small size.
- Integrated with Flame Broiler Lever for direct and indirect heating.
- Consistent cooking temperature.
- A digital control board allows “set it and forget it” operation.
- Cooking grates are porcelain coated for easier cleaning.
- Offers an 8-in1 cooking setting.
- A smaller pellet hopper capacity requires refilling when slow cooking for long.
Among the small-sized pellet grills, we found the PIT BOSS PB440FB1 Pellet Grill quite efficient, especially in maintaining a consistent cooking temperature. Unlike other brands of a similar size, this pellet grill could sear perfectly. The only disadvantage was its small pellet hopper size, otherwise, it’s worth every penny for its size and price.
What is a Pellet Smoker?
A pellet smoker is an electric-powered metal box unit built for different styles of cooking food depending on the required heat level. It uses burnt wood pellets in conjunction with heating elements and a fan system to attain the temperature desired. Think of it as an open-air convection oven!
Why Is It Called a Pellet Smoker?
The term pellet smoker comes from the fact that the grills use cylindrical wood pellets, 100% natural hardwood.
A Brief History of Pellet Smoker
The pellet smokers are attributed to Joe Traeger, who first specialized in heating. He came up with the idea and invented a smoker that could burn wood pellets sourced out of compressed dust. After this invention in 1985, he first publicly sold the first pellet smoker in 1988 after which the company expanded rapidly to become a strong brand in the grilling industry today.
Concluding Our Best Pellet Smokers Review
Every backyard grill master understands that pellet grills go a little overboard with lots of versatility by infusing features of both grills and smokers. Even though they can’t deliver the searing efficiency of the charcoal or gas grill, the top brands such as the Traeger Pro Series 780 Pellet Grill deliver an impressive performance.
Depending on your preferences, you can get this pellet grill if you’re after the best grilling experience with full-flavored rib racks or burgers. But if constrained with the budget, the Z Grills ZPG-7002B Pro can give you amazing features close to the Trager Pro Series 780 but at an affordable rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need electricity to operate a pellet grill?
Yes, you’ll need electricity for the different digital parts of a pellet grill, such as the control pane, temperature display, auger for feeding pellets to the firepot, etc.
Can I store wood pellets longer than 3 months?
There’s no definite answer for this because it entirely depends on the pellet brand. However, the humidity of the storage space will dictate the length of storage. Pellets can go up to six months in low humidity areas while in highly humid places, they can only go for 3 months. Always keep the pellets in airtight storage within a fully dry area.
Can I use a pellet grill to cook pizza?
Yes, it’s very much possible! Simply learn pizza preparation on a pellet grill by checking out some of our recipes.
Is Pellet Grill Better Than Gas?
Wood pellets are better than gas, both environmentally and health-wise since they’re made from recycled compressed sawdust. They also use minimal electricity and don’t need lighter fluids.
How does Traeger differ from Pit Boss?
These are both top brands that deliver excellent portability. However, Traeger pellet grills offer more compact and easily portable options. It’s the oldest brand in the market and often launches the latest technologies, hence are more expensive. Pit Boss on the other hand is mid-range and hence less expensive.
Is worth investing in a pellet grill?
If you cherish outdoor cooking and want to try out different cooking methods apart from grilling, such as baking, roasting, braising, or searing, it’s worth the price. They let you get the most of your grill for a full hardwood flavor that’s more satisfying.