Best Pellet Smoker & Grill Reviews (2018): Our Top Picks For The Money
Cook Delicious Food in the Best Pellet Smoker
There is no shortage of pellet smokers and grills out there. People rely on them to get the juiciest and the most flavorful meats. Their properties enable the flavors from the smoke to delve deeper into the meat to get not just the aroma but also the depth of flavor many grilling connoisseurs look for.
Whether you’re a casual backyard barbecue enthusiast or you like the challenge of creating competition-worthy meat, this guide can help you determine which is the best pellet smoker that will provide you with the benefits you are looking for.
Producing the best-smoked food is an art. Having the right equipment and tools for the job is crucial to get the best results. The best pellet smoker should keep your food moist and tender, while infusing it with a mild smoke flavor.
Quick Comparison: Top Pellet Smokers 2018
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
How Do Pellet Smokers Work?
Smoking meat has come a long way. Gone are the days when your only option is the traditional way of igniting wood and dealing with the ashes and smoke it produces. Today, you can find an assortment of smokers and grills incorporated with convenient and modern features.
The best pellet smokers allow you to “set it and forget it,” thereby eliminating many of the inconveniences that come with grilling and smoking meats. Due to this, the popularity of pellet grills has grown. Now even those who are not experts at smoking meats can do so in their own home with ease.
Pellet smokers use small food grade wooden pellets. Each cylindrical pellet is made of sawdust from hardwood. This sawdust is then compressed to create the pellets.
The pellets burn away cleanly and start smoking at high temperature. It continues to smoke at low temperatures. One of the reasons why this is easier to use is because the pellets are made with only vegetable oils and no other additives, meaning it leaves very little ash residues behind.
Most pellet grills use electricity and can be plugged in and used immediately. Anyone can use them. It’s just a matter of selecting the right settings and filling the hopper with pellets. The hopper controls the number of pellets used and a rotating auger is used to deliver more pellets when needed.
These products have a built-in diffuser that prevents the smoker from getting everywhere. It directs the smoke to the meat, not on your clothes or hair.
The Advantages of Using a Pellet Smoker
The best pellet smokers are foolproof. There’s a very little chance of over-smoking your food using this type of grill. In fact, these grills work just like a convection oven, you can put whatever you want on and leave it, knowing that it will be cooked evenly. Most of the high-end pellet grills come with specific temperature controls, or even pre-set meals, allowing you to cook food at the desired temperature and time.
Designed to heat up fast, pellet smokers will not produce flare-ups or fires, making them safer and easier to use. Pellet smokers are available in a wide range of sizes. Whether you are an individual cooking for your family or you need a pellet smoker for all the barbecue parties you are going to throw in the future, there is something for you out there.
Pellet smokers are versatile and are not expensive to run. A small bag of pellets (20-pound bag) can last for many cook-outs, but outdoor weather conditions and temperature might also change the way you use them.
Most pellet smokers will allow you to roast, smoke, barbecue, bake, or braise food. Plus, pellets come in many different flavors – from bourbon to hickory. This means that you can try different flavors or try something new and use a combination of pellets. Get creative and find a new dish that will leave you craving for more!
The Major Drawbacks of Using a Pellet Smoker
Not all pellet smokers function as grills although you can now find those with a grilling capacity. If you are looking to get beautiful grill marks on your meat, you might not get it from just a standard smoker alone. You might need to get one with a grilling function.
Additionally, pellet smokers tend to be dependent on electricity. You will need an outlet to hook it up so if you are going to take it outdoors where there is no ready supply of electricity, you might need to get yourself a generator first. They are also not advisable to lug around as the moving parts can become susceptible to breakage. Plus, pellet smokers are generally more expensive than an ordinary grill, costing anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand.
Pellets must be stored properly, or they can completely disintegrate. If pellets get wet or are kept in a moist environment, they will get damaged. If you happen to live in a humid climate, it is important to store your pellets in an airtight container to keep them dry.
Pellet smokers may not produce the flavor you were expecting. Most think that a smoker will saturate the food with a woodsy flavor. However, the best pellet smoker will only infuse the food with a mild smoky flavor.
Top 5 Pellet Smokers on the Market
Memphis Grills is an expensive option, but it is worth it. This smoker boasts of Wi-Fi and intelligent temperature control features. These features allow you to remotely check on the condition of your food. You can actually start smoking your meat in the morning, leave it alone so you can go do your errands and just check on it with the use of an application.
Furthermore, this grill comes with built-in automated recipe, so it knows what temperature to cook your food at and for exactly the right time. Regardless of whether you are using indirect or the direct flame mode.
- The Memphis Grill has many great features.
- This top-of-the-line grill is double walled and uses dual convection fans and an oven-grade gasket to produce the most delicious food for your family.
- This grill also has a dual pellet system, which means you can mix and match flavors and know that it will not run out of pellets when cooking.
- This grill works great, but it does have a couple of design flaws. The heating element is not very secure. It may get jostled, which might cause a variation in temperature.
- When it detects temperature changes, this grill will automatically feed pellets to maintain a constant temperature, which could cause an overflow of pellets. To avoid this problem, all you have to do is ensure that you burn away or clean any remaining pellets and ash.
Camp Chef is a great pellet grill and smoker that comes with a digital temperature control panel. This feature allows you to "set it and forget it”. It has a dual LED screen that shows crucial information such as temperature. It shows both internal cooking and food temperatures, giving you more control over what you are cooking, something that can’t be said with other smokers.
When your food is cooking, the grill automatically dispenses more pellets when needed to maintain a consistent temperature. Plus, it automatically shuts off when done, whether you are slow smoking or grilling.
- This grill has different heat settings, so you can easily find the temperature that will work great for your cooking needs.
- With a lot of room to cook food and a removable upper rack, you get plenty of space for additional things you want to use for grilling and smoking.
- The grill has a cleaning system that drops down, which means you no longer have to take apart the grill to clean it.
- It also has a removable drip tray to clean out the ashes, which makes it the best smoker for those who don’t want the hassle of disassembly.
- This grill works great, however, there are a couple of minor problems. Assembly can be tedious as some parts are hefty. You might need an extra pair of hands to get this assembled.
- It tends to consume more pellets than average smokers.
- Without proper maintenance and care, this might succumb to deterioration faster.
Louisiana Grills create some of the best pellet grills that you can be proud to add to your cooking tools. The pellets you can use in this grill will allow you to inject as much flavors to the food you are smoking as possible.
This grill takes the hassle out of watching your food. Worrying about fires or flare-ups is a thing of the past. With the easy push button controls, you can automatically set the temperature, and have it automatically shut off, reducing the chances of burning your food. Whether you have 30 minutes or a whole day to slow cook your food, this grill and smoker will be a great cooking ally.
- This grill has some great features and many benefits.
- It uses a burner and exhaust system to circulate the air and reach a higher temperature faster. It has a spacious grilling surface, so you can cook bigger chunks or portions of meat at a time.
- This grill offers a convection method of cooking, so it can cook your meals evenly and deliver the most flavors.
- With just a few flaws, this grill is very efficient and works well to cook any type of food. The construction of the grill could be a bit better as there are parts that look and feel cheap. The paint looks like it could have been done better.
- This grill could use a drip pan or a small door where you could change pellets easier. It could also use a place to attach your cooking utensils, like a shelf or hooks.
This handsome-looking, all-black grill is an all-around solution to your cooking needs. It has a large cooking grill that can cater to home and professional cooks alike. If you want to have a reliable alternative cooking tool, this is the best thing you can rely on as it does more than just smoke meats, you can also use this to grill pizza and burgers, bake biscuits and sear steaks. You can also grill more delicate food like fish and vegetables.
Say goodbye to conventional grilling that makes use of gas and propane. This uses cooking-grade wood pellets that is natural and good for the health. With its seamless engineering and design and convenient features, this is a great smoker to buy for people who don’t like to use a complicated cooking equipment.
- It allows you to grill and smoke a wide range of ingredients
- It has a digital control center that allows you to tweak its temperature settings with ease. You can set it up to the lowest heat setting of 170-degrees Fahrenheit to the highest setting of 600-degrees Fahrenheit
- The electric ignition makes this uncomplicated to set up.
- It produces clean and flavor-infused smoke, thanks to its fan-forced air acceleration system
- It cools down automatically after you are done cooking, thereby reducing the risks of damaging the smoker or starting a fire
- It’s a heavy-duty griller that users have enjoyed having in their home for years.
- Many users have had this for years and they said it still looks as great as it did when they first had it.
- It is not tedious to clean or maintain.
- It also comes with an upper cooking rack, allowing you to do indirect cooking
- Some users had complaints with its temperature sensor, saying it’s not the most accurate out there
- If you experience problems with the product delivered to you like some users experienced, sending it back will cost you a good amount of money
- Some users said the metal covering flame box feels a little flimsy
This can be your ally in making the best smoked and grilled food. Its design has a vintage feel to it, that makes you think you can pass it on to the next generation with no issues. It does more than just smoke and grill meats, you can also roast, bake and braise with this product.
Unlike other smokers that might be difficult to take with you for outdoor excursions, this one doesn’t have that problem. If you are looking for a smoker that you can take with you for your camping trips or even for tailgating, this is the one to buy.
- This has a good amount of grilling space. You can cook a variety of food in one go
- The digital controller is foolproof. It allows you to set the smoker to the temperature you prefer. The LED display that is integrated in it also allows you to see how hot or cool the inside of the grill is getting.
- It has an auto-start ignition. This nifty feature just makes smoking your favorite meats so much easier.
- The steel components seem well-built. The powder coat finish doesn’t peel off or turn a different color after a few uses.
- It comes with a hopper storage box for the pellets.
- There is a drip tray for the excess oil from the meats.
- It has porcelain grill grates that are easy to clean.
- Some said this isn’t backed by good customer service
- There were issues about the hopper not feeding pellets to the smoker efficiently
Still not sure which one to buy? If budget is not an issue and you’re just looking for a smoker that can deliver quality and prime results, the Memphis Grill and Pellet smoker won’t fail you. It has earned a good reputation when it comes to the best-tasting smoke meats, thanks to its seamless functions and consistent temperature.
You can’t go wrong with either the Camp Chef Deluxe Pellet Grill or the Traeger Junior Elite Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker if you are looking for a smoker that you can use for outdoor camping needs. You can set it up easily and it’s not difficult to lug around.
Home cooks will love the Louisiana Grills Pellet Grill and the Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill that gives them more flexibility in cooking. Roast, bake or braise in these grills. They can become your kitchen’s extension. Use the best pellet smoker like this one: Smoker BBQ with Digital Controls and Stainless Temp Probe if you want to cook delicious food.
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