The 7 Best Inexpensive Pellet Grills to Buy in 2018

Take your grill game up a notch

Man and woman laughing while barbecuing on patio at family lunch
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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett at Walmart

"Billed as 'the ultimate tailgate grill' it can operate on 120AC or 12V."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX on Amazon

"The best combination of grilling space, heat control, and easy-to-achieve flavors."

Best for Tailgating: Traeger Grills Tailgater Grill and Smoker at Home Depot

"Large enough for the family dinner, but compact enough transport to the neighbor’s party."

Best Grill with Broiler: Pit Boss 440D with Flame Broiler at Lowe's

"Broiling option for great browning, along with a 440 square inch grilling surface."

Best Portable Grill: Pit Boss 340 at Amazon

"You’ll be cooking whole meals in this grill, even though it’s the smallest model that Pit Boss makes."

Easy Cleaning: Camp Chef Smokepro SE at Amazon

"Convenient lever-operated ash cleanout system and a grease management system for easy cleaning and maintenance."

Best Mid-Sized: Smoke Hollow 24 In. at Home Depot

"Your cooking will be simple, whether it’s burgers, a whole turkey, or racks of ribs."

Best for Pizza: Uuni 3 Portable Pizza Oven at Amazon

"It can cook a pizza up to 13 inches in diameter in about a minute."

Best for Steaks: Z Grills Wood Pellet at Amazon

"That smoky, wood flavor many steaks have is not impossible to get with the right pellet grill."

  • 01 of 09

    Best Overall: Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill

    Green Mountain Davy Crockett Wifi Control Portable Wood Pellet Electric Grill

     Courtesy of Walmart

    Very Good

    More and more appliances are WiFi enabled, like this handy pellet grill. Billed as “the ultimate tailgate grill” it can operate on 120AC or 12V, for home use, camping or tailgating. The legs fold and function as handles when it’s time to pack up the party and go home.

    Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor, monitors the grill temperature while the WiFi controller lets you monitor and control the grill via an iOS or Android app. The peaked lid offers enough space for a stand-up chicken or other large foods. This includes a meat probe, a tray with utensils and a grease tray.

    Weighing in at 57 pounds, this is designed to fit into the trunk of most cars.

  • 02 of 09

    Runner-Up, Best Overall: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

    Pellet grills come in many different sizes with a variety of features. To take the top spot among pellet grills, the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Grill offers the best combination of grilling space, heat control, and easy-to-achieve flavors that will create tasty meats time and time again. The grill makes cooking with pellets quick, easy, and enjoyable no matter how much skill you have on the grate.

    Digital temperature controls with an automatic auger maintain the desired amount of heat without any input. As a result, you can focus on grilling on the large, dual-tier cooking surface. Combined, the two grilling surfaces offer 570 square inches of cooking space. Clean up is also easy thanks to the built-in hopper/ash clean out system.

  • 03 of 09

    Best for Tailgating: Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

    traeger-pellet-grill
    Courtesy of Home Depot.

    Traeger was the first company that sold pellet grills, and they’re still making quality grills in many sizes. This 20-inch grill is large enough for the family dinner, but compact enough transport to the neighbor’s party or to the vacation cottage. The legs fold, so they won’t get in the way of transportation or storage.

    The Digital Elite Controller keeps the temperature steady at +/- 20 degrees, so you don’t need to constantly check and adjust the temperature, whether you’re grilling, smoking, baking, roasting or braising.

    Even though this is compact, it offers 300 square inches of grilling space, which is enough for a dozen burgers, two whole chickens or three racks of ribs. Nonstick porcelain-coated grates are easy to clean.

  • 04 of 09

    Best Grill with Broiler: Pit Boss 440D Wood Fired Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler

    pit-boss-440
    Courtesy of Walmart 

    Grilling is great, but sometimes a broiler is the best option. This pellet grill offers that broiling option for great browning, along with a 440 square inch grilling surface including the second tier rack.

    The cooking temperature can be adjusted from 180 to 500 degrees for low-and-slow or hot-and-fast cooking, and a digital control board lets you select your cooking method and temperature as easily as your home oven.

    The cooking grids are a porcelain-coated wire for easy cleaning.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Best Portable Grill: Pit Boss 340 Wood Pellet Grill

    37" Wood Grill
    Courtesy of Wayfair

    With 341 square inches of cooking space and a digital control board that sets the temperature from 180 to 500 degrees, you’ll be cooking whole meals in this grill, even though it’s the smallest model that Pit Boss makes. It will hold up to a dozen burgers for parties, or a chicken and vegetables for the family dinner. When cooking is done, the porcelain coated grill grates are easy to clean.

    A pair of wheels make this easy to move, then they can be locked so the grill won’t move if it’s accidentally bumped. While this is portable enough to be rolled to a new location or into storage, at 66 pounds, it’s still a very sturdy grill.

  • 06 of 09

    Easy Cleaning: Camp Chef Smokepro SE Pellet Grill

    Camp Chef is a familiar name in grills and smokers, including pellet grills. This one offers a heat range from 160 to 500 degrees, and includes a stainless steel meat probe to monitor your roasts.

    The adjustable chimney top and smart smoke technology help to maintain the optimum temperature when you prefer smoking over grilling.

    This has a convenient lever-operated ash cleanout system and a grease management system for easy cleaning and maintenance, while the roller wheels make it easy to position anywhere you want it. The ample cooking area and 18-pound pellet hopper make it easy to cook for the family or for a party.

    Additional warming racks and an additional front shelf are sold separately.

  • 07 of 09

    Best Mid-Sized: Smoke Hollow 24 in. Pellet Grill

    Smoke Hollow 24 in. Pellet Grill
    Courtesy of Home Depot

    With 440 square inches of cooking space, an auger-fed pellet delivery system, and a digital LED thermostat and controller, your cooking will be simple, whether it’s burgers, a whole turkey, or racks of ribs. The side shelf is a convenient place for cooking tools or plates while the bottom shelf can hold spare bags of pellets or jugs of sauces out of the way.

    The porcelain coated cooking grids are easy to clean, while the easy-drain grease system makes maintenance a snap. Wheels and casters let you easily move this grill to the perfect position despite it weighing over 100 pounds.

     

  • 08 of 09

    Best for Pizza: Uuni 3 Portable Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

    Most pellet grills have a similar shape, but this one stands out from the rest — for good reason. It’s designed specifically for cooking the best wood-fired pizza in the neighborhood.

    While the shape is optimized for pizza, you can also use it for cooking other foods, including artisan flatbreads, steaks, burgers, ribs or other foods that cook quickly and don’t stand tall. It can cook a pizza up to 13 inches in diameter in about a minute.

    This heats in just 10 minutes and can reach a maximum temperature of 932 degrees for super-quick cooking. The body is insulated to help maintain heat and the newly designed pellet burner offers better temperature control for more consistent cooking. The 3-legged design keeps this stable, even on lumpy and uneven surfaces.

    This comes with a baking stone and a pizza peel.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Best for Steaks: Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill

    While many people enjoy pellet grills, some find it difficult to use pellets to produce true, flavorful steaks and barbecue since the fuel often lacks the same flavors as traditional grills. That smoky, wood flavor many steaks have is not impossible to get with the right pellet grill however. The Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill sports a combined grill/smoker setup with temperature control for the best pellet grilling experience available.

    The wood pellet grill features a dual rack design with a 513 square inch main cooking surface and 187 square inch warming rack. With a 20-pound hopper capacity, the grill has plenty of space for wood pellets to keep grilling during long event and parties when you have many mouths to feed. An automatic pellet feeder makes it easy to maintain the desired temperature, so you can focus on just the grilling itself.  

Products Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 12 hours testing a top-selling, budget-friendly pellet grill. To get the most comprehensive feedback possible, we had our testers take this grill for a spin and had them consider its most important features — from how much it can cook at a time to how easy it is to travel with. We've outlined the key pointers here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in an Inexpensive Pellet Grill

Capacity Just like with other grills, cooking capacity is an important consideration. Will you only be using the grill for family dinners, or will you be hosting backyard parties where you’ll need to feed a crowd? While pellet grills cook food quickly, you don’t want to make your guests wait in line while you’re putting the second wave of burgers on the grill.

Portability Even if you never take your pellet grill on a road trip, you might want to move it from one side of the yard to the other when you’re having a party, or move it out of the way when you’re not using it. While some pellet grills are light enough to pick up and carry, wheels make the job easier. Of course, if you have a permanent spot for your grill, portability is less of a consideration.

Unique features Though all of the pellet grills on our list perform the same basic function, each has unique features that make it stand out from the crowd — like Wi-Fi capability or foldable legs for portability. While some of these add-ons may be of little interest to you, others might make that particular grill a must-buy — so look closely!

Test Results: Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill (Best Overall)

Green Mountain Davy Crockett Wifi Control Portable Wood Pellet Electric Grill
 Courtesy of Walmart
Very Good

What We Like

  • Easy to use

  • Wi-FI enabled

  • Very portable

What We Don't Like

  • Instructions are slightly unclear

  • Heavy

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Green Mountain Grill
Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Green Mountain Pellet Grill
Davy Crockett Grill

Although our testers thought this grill was a bit heavy, they loved its small footprint and still found it to be very portable: “It’s a great size and convenient to bring in an RV or SUV for tailgating and grilling on the go,” reported one reviewer. Our testers were also pleased with how easily you could control the grill’s heat from its corresponding smartphone app. The only real downside? The instructions were a little unclear, according to one of our reviewers.