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Do you want to wow your friends and family with a perfectly smoked piece of meat at your next BBQ party—but aren't necessarily a fan of the hassle that goes along with cooking it? Then a pellet grill might be for you. Pellet grills, also called pellet smokers, work by using a feeding system to push small wood pellets into a firebox under the grates, built-in technology to regulate the temperature. Some pellet grills even have associated smartphone apps so you can get feeding and temperature data right into your phone.
This technology has made pellet grills more popular, but also more expensive. But this doesn't mean you can't own one with top-notch features if you have a tight budget. Here, we've gathered a list of the best inexpensive pellet grills on the market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!