Pellet grills are versatile cooking equipment. It works both has a smoker and a grill, so you can enjoy you can favorite meals in different flavors. Also, you can use different wood flavors to achieve the taste and aroma that you like. With the pellet grill under $1000, you can enjoy all of these without dipping into your savings.
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In the hands of a master griller, a pellet grill can produce the most sumptuous meals. This grill has a learning curve, but beginners will soon learn its ropes. What’s important is that they get a trusty model that can take the beating of regular use.
If you want to revolutionize your backyard BBQs, you should get the pellet smoker. Thanksgiving is also around the corner, so you might as well get a smoker for your turkey and practice your grilling prowess. You don’t have to spend a fortune just to enjoy a smoky meal. With decent equipment and the right technique, even a pellet grill under one grand will be a champ.
In this post, I’ve reviewed five of the best pellet grills and smokers that you can consider. I’ve reviewed the following grills based on my experience as an avid and self-proclaimed pitmaster. Check which one you’d like to have in your yard!
1. Grilla Grills Silverbac Pellet Grill
If you’re looking for a pellet grill that will give the best value for money, you shouldn’t miss the Grilla Grills Silverbac. This is a bundle of a pellet grill, four bags pf premium blend pellet, stainless steel rack, and a grill cover. It’s everything you need to start smoking or grilling right after opening the package.
With this grill, you’ll enjoy a massive 900-square inch cooking surface. The grill has a dual-mode controller that regulates the temperature and smoke levels of the equipment.
Moreover, this grill has a 20-pound hopper that can smoke for hours without the need to refill it over and over again. It has an automated feeding system, too, so you don’t have to babysit this grill while in use.
To ensure efficiency, this grill has a double wall barrel outfitted with an insulation layer. It can maximize heat even if used on cold outdoor temperatures. Its body is made of stainless steel, so it doesn’t rust easily, even if exposed to outdoor elements.
Overall, this grill and smoker can operate in temperature ranges of 180 to 500F. I also like the digital temp gauge built on the hopper.
- Large hopper
- Stainless steel body
- Bundled with wood pellets
- None so far!
2. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
If you’re looking for a more compact option, the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill might be a perfect choice. It comes with a 429 square inches of cooking space on its main grill and upper rack combined.
This grill is also equipped with the New Gen 2 PID controller built on the hopper. This isn’t Wi-Fi compatible, but it works pretty well in projecting the temperature of the grill. You can also tweak it using the built-in knob.
Moreover, it has an 18-pound hopper, which can hold a pretty large amount of pellets at a time. I also like its patented ash can clean out that prevents mess while smoking. It has a grease drain system that prevents the grease from splattering all over the grill.
There’s also a transparent slit on the hopper that lets me see the wood pellets’ level and if it’s due for a refill.
This grill uses an electronic auto-start ignition, so you no longer have to fumble with your lighter. The package also includes a meat probe, stainless steel rack, and recipe ideas so you can start grilling immediately.
This smoker is compatible with Camp Chef’s sidekick or sear box that you can purchase separately.
- Comes with a built-in PID controller
- Grease drain system
- Compact, ideal for small yards
- The warming rack isn’t removable
3. Traeger Pro Series Grill
The Traeger Pro Series Grill is the best pick for those who want smart functions on their cooking equipment. Aside from its reliable cooking space, this grill is also equipped with the WiFIRE technology that allows you to connect the grill into the Traeger mobile app. With this functionality, you can change temperatures, monitor pellet level, and set cooking times. It also works with Alexa!
With this grill, you can grill, smoke, braise, bake, roast, and make BBQs. It’s a versatile piece of equipment that’s a staple for every family who loves hosting backyard BBQ parties.
The set-it-then-forget-it technology of this grill is perfect for the lazy grillers who don’t want to spend time babysitting their grill. It also prevents your food from burning or being undercooked.
You’ll enjoy 575 square inches of cooking space in this grill, which is more than enough for family gatherings. It can cook burgers, chicken, fish, steaks, veggies, and more!
I also like its easy-to-fill 18-pound hopper with a special hopper cleanout design. The grill itself has all-terrain wheels that make it easy to store in and out of your yard.
For its price, this pellet grill/smoker is a wise buy. It’s cheaper than other high-end grills, but it can compete in terms of cooking.
- WiFIRE technology
- All-terrain wheels
- Lower maximum temp
4. Z Grills ZPG100D Pellet Grill
If you want to save some bucks while enjoying good features, I recommend the Z Grills ZPG-100D Pellet Grill. It’s an 8-in-1 grill where you can sear, roast, bake, smoke, and more.
With its 20-pound hopper, you can cook or smoke for up to 20 hours without the need for a refill. It also boasts a whopping 1,060 square inches of cooking surface, including the warming rack. If you’re planning to host a backyard BBQ party, this is the perfect smoker grill to get.
This grill uses a fan-forced convection method of cooking so you’ll enjoy consistent heat. On the hopper, there’s a digital temperature gauge with a control button and switch.
Inside the grill is a drip tray that removes the grease away from food. It also prevents the mess from accumulating under the heating element.
Moreover, Z Grills uses a durable and advanced feed system for a no-fail pellet distribution within the grill and hopper. Such features allow you to cook between 180 and 450F for almost every food item you can think of.
Lastly, it comes with all-terrain wheels, as well as stainless steel racks and a grill cover.
- 20-pound hopper
- Large 1,060 sq. in. cooking space
- Advanced pellet feed system
- Not for use under rainy conditions
5. Cuisinart CPG-6000 Deluxe Grill
My last recommendation for this roundup is the Cuisinart CPG-6000 Deluxe Grill. Aside from its large cooking space, you will also enjoy a two-door storage cabinet beneath. Here, you can store your pellet bags and other cooking tools.
The 700-square inch cooking space of this Cuisinart grill is divided between its main rack and warming rack. It also has a large 20-pound hopper that will give you about 15 to 20 hours of smoke time.
To control the temperature of the grill, you can use the digital controller built on the hopper. This grill uses an electronic auto-start ignition, so you don’t need to use a lighter ever again.
There’s a two-door cabinet with ample space for bags of pellets and other tools under the grill. On one side, there’s a small bucket to catch the ash. If you’re cooking during a windy day, I suggest making a makeshift cover so the ashes won’t spread in the air.
Aside from the grill, the package also includes a grill cover to protect the equipment from outdoor elements.
Overall, this is the perfect choice for those who don’t have a big budget for a pellet grill. It’s also compact and suitable for urban settings.
- Built-in two-door storage cabinet
- Electronic auto-start ignition
- Compact size
- The temperature control can make use of improvements
Wood Pellet Grill Buying Guide
When it comes to grills that use wood pellets, you have to look for specific features. The following are some of the key aspects to look for:
For starters, one thing you should decide upon is the cooking space you need. For large gatherings, you’ll need an equally large pellet grill. However, you should know that the larger the grill gets, the more expensive and heavy it becomes.
Most grill pellets have warming racks that add more space for cooking or smoking softer food items.
Next, you should check what type of controller the grill uses. It could be any of the following:
*PID. PID is the most common controller used on many pellet grills nowadays. It’s considered the gold standard as it uses a more complex algorithm for accurate temperatures and consistent pellet movement. A PID controller is also compatible with programmable meat probes. It features an LCD display, which is usually built on the hopper.
*3-position. Meanwhile, the 3-position controller allows you to set the grill in three temp presets: low, medium, and high. This is commonly used on cheaper pellet grills and doesn’t offer much versatility in terms of cooking.
*One-touch, non-PID. A one-touch controller gives you the freedom to tweak the grill temperatures in 5 to 10F increments. It’s similar to PIDs but is less accurate in terms of temperature consistency and pellet feeding.
*Multi-position. Lastly, the multi-position controller lets you adjust the grill temperature in a much smaller increment. It works similarly with the one-touch type and with the same level of accuracy.
The hopper of the grill is where the pellets are stored and drawn from into the grill. The larger the hopper is, the more pellets it can hold, and the longer the cooking time you’ll enjoy.
Usually, a pound of hopper size is equivalent to one hour of smoking. However, if you’re located in an area with a cold climate, the cooking time might be shorter as the fuel will compensate to keep the grill warm.
Next, you must look for convenient temperature control. I always prefer a built-in knob where you can adjust the temp on the fly.
If you have the budget, look for a pellet grill with a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. This will let you connect the equipment to a smartphone app where you can change temperature and tweak other settings. It’s a good option for those who have busy schedules and can’t sit beside their grill all day long.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are pellet grills worth the money?
A: If you want to bake, smoke, grill, braise, sear, and do more cooking in one equipment, you should definitely get a pellet grill. It’s a great choice for grilled meals that need to be smoked consistently for long hours. It’s also a great addition to your backyard if you love hosting gatherings and parties.
Q: Are pellet grills better than gas counterparts?
A: Unlike gas grills, pellet grills can produce more smoke. It lets you achieve the smoky flavor using different wood flavors. However, the only downside is that the smoke may waft all over the air. Other than that, a pellet grill has its unique purpose you can’t achieve with gas.
Q: Can pellet grills catch fire?
A: Just like any grill, pellet grills may flare up, but it’s a rarity. As long as the grease drip is working properly, flare-ups shouldn’t happen. Many pellet grills are made to be flare-up free for the safety of the user. You should also keep any flammable material stashed away. That includes long hair and untied aprons.
With the pellet grill, you can cook like a pitmaster on a budget. This grill type offers versatility for different types of food that you want to prepare. Whether you’re smoking, grilling, searing, braising, baking, and whatnot, a pellet grill is a topnotch choice.