Best Rated Pellet Grills

Should you get a pellet grill for backyard barbecues? Learn the ins and outs of pellet grill designs and how to choose the best one for your next cookout.

In the United States, grilling is extremely popular. In fact, some citizens think of grilling as a necessity during warm weather. It is particularly popular to hold backyard barbecues on major holidays, such as the Fourth of July. Although many Americans agree on the sanctity of the backyard barbecue, not all barbecue aficionados agree on the methods used. There are several different grilling techniques employed throughout the United States. The grills themselves also come in many shapes, sizes, and types. 

If you want to purchase a new grill to do your own barbecuing, you could opt for a charcoal grill. You could also select one that uses gas as fuel. Both options are quite popular. However, you also have the option of purchasing a pellet grill to meet your grilling needs. Pellet grills are rapidly increasing in popularity, even though charcoal and gas grills are considered more traditional. Here are some pellet grill benefits, top brands, and tips to consider before you buy one.

What is a Pellet Grill and How Does it Work?

Traditional grills use charcoal or gas as fuel sources. A pellet grill uses wood. The wood is in the form of compact pellets. The pellets are placed in a portion of the grill called the hopper. Then they are carefully fed into a larger area that heats the entire grill. Fans are used to regulate the temperature within the grill during the cooking process. Smoke is also regulated using the fan system, which allows the grill user to infuse meats with smoky flavors. 

What Are the Benefits of Using a Pellet Grill Instead of a Gas Grill?

If you are considering purchasing a pellet grill or a gas grill, it is important to compare the two carefully. The first consideration is flavor. Gas can cook meat thoroughly, but it does not infuse flavors into meat the way wood pellets can. Temperature is another top consideration. A gas grill burns hotter. However, a pellet grill maintains a specific temperature more consistently. That makes it perfect for smoking various meats using a slow smoking process. Other pellet grill benefits include:

  • Ability to Use Several Cooking Methods, Including Braising and Baking

  • Clean Wood Fuel Source

  • Quick Initial Heating Process

  • Uniform Heating Throughout

  • No Need to Stand at the Grill and Monitor it Constantly

What Equipment is Used With a Pellet Grill?

If you wish to use a pellet grill, there are several accessories and pieces of equipment you can use with a pellet grill, beginning with the fuel itself. Many brands of wood pellets are available for grills, including Pit Boss. Find a type and flavor you like. Then stock up by also investing in waterproof storage containers for your pellets. Wood pellets are useless when they become wet. If your pellet grill does not come with its own thermometer, you must also buy one. Regulating the temperature of the grill is essential for consistent cooking.

Many other pellet grill accessories are available. Most are not essential, but they are often helpful. For example, grilling and smoking racks can help you cook large batches of meats for parties. Here are some other optional pellet grill accessory purchases to consider:

  • Cast Iron Cookware

  • Knives

  • Grilling Tools (Brushes, Meat Forks Etc.)

  • Grill Vacuum

  • Spices and Marinades

A final pellet grill accessory you may wish to purchase is a grill cover. A grill cover serves multiple useful purposes. One reason to use one is to protect your grill from bad weather when it is not in use. Another is to keep the outside of it clean. A grill cover can also deter mice, squirrels, and other small animals from nesting in or on your grill.

What Pellet Grill Types Are Available to Purchase?

Pellet grills come in three primary types. A cart style grill is somewhat large and has a rectangular or box-like shape similar to that of some traditional gas grills. A more non-traditional shape is the barrel style pellet grill. As its name suggests, it usually resembles a cylindrical barrel laying on its side. Although, some barrel grills have a more sphere-like appearance. The third option is a portable pellet grill. A portable pellet grill is approximately the size of an average cooler. It often has feet, allowing it to easily set on a counter or other hard, flat surface.

What Are the Best Pellet Grill Brands to Buy?

Pellet grills are not as popular as other grill types. Therefore, fewer models are available to purchase. However, there are still several choices. Among them are certain brands that stand out from others. Here are some models available to purchase from those top brands:

  • The Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker has a 518 square inch cooking surface and a hopper capacity of five pounds. It comes with a stainless steel side shelf for serving and its own dome thermometer.

  • The Traeger Tailgater comes with the Digital Arc Controller for easy temperature manipulation. Its compact size is perfect for transporting to the homes of loved ones or major events, such as tailgate parties. It has an eight-pound hopper capacity and offers 300 square inches of cooking surface.

  • The Weber SmokeFire EPX6 Stealth Edition is a high-end pellet grill and smoker capable of reaching a maximum temperature of 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It features built-in lighting for night grilling and 1,008 square inches of cooking surface, making it perfect when cooking for a crowd. 

  • The Z Grills 700D4E is a high-tech, low-heat grill. Searing is not its strong suit, but it is perfect for low and slow grilling or smoking. The grill, which comes with two meat temperature probes, reaches a maximum temperature of approximately 450 degrees.

  • The Green Mountain Daniel Boone Grill features a 458 square inch cooking area. It has a large, 17 pound hopper capacity. Its specialized thermal sensor allows fast heating, even in cool outdoor climates.

What is the Average Price of a Pellet Grill, and Where Can You Buy One?

Pellet grills come in such a wide range of sizes, shapes, and features that you can find one to suit almost any budget. The least expensive models typically start at prices around $350 to $400. However, larger models with more features often cost more than $1,000 apiece. You can find them on manufacturer websites like those above. However, when searching for a pellet grill deal, some of the best resources are often websites like Amazon. You can also find pellet grills at most home improvement retailers, such as Lowe's.