Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill at Amazon
"The best combination of grilling space, heat control, and easy-to-achieve flavors."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Green Mountain Grills Pellet Grill at Walmart
"Billed as 'the ultimate tailgate grill' it can operate on 120AC or 12V."
Best for Steaks: Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill at Amazon
"A combined grill/smoker setup produces flavorful steaks."
Best for Tailgating: Traeger Grills Wood Grill and Smoker at Home Depot
"Large enough for the family dinner, but compact enough to transport."
Best Grill with Broiler: Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grill Flame Broiler at Lowe’s
"Broiling option for great browning, along with a 440 square inch grilling surface."
Best Portable Grill: Pit Boss 340 Wood Pellet Grill at Amazon
"You’ll be cooking whole meals on this grill, even though it’s a small model."
Best Easy Cleaning: Camp Chef Smokepro SE Pellet Grill at Amazon
"Has a convenient lever-operated ash clean-out system."
Best for Pizza: Uuni 3 Portable Wood Pellet Pizza Oven at Amazon
"It can cook a pizza up to 13 inches in diameter in about a minute."
01 of 08
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.
02 of 08
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
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.
03 of 08
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.
04 of 08
Best for Tailgating: Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
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.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Grill with Broiler: Pit Boss 440D Wood Fired Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler
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.
06 of 08
Best Portable Grill: Pit Boss 340 Wood Pellet Grill
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.
07 of 08
Best 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.
08 of 08
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.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought four top-rated inexpensive pellet grills and our reviewers tested them for more than 110 hours. To get the most comprehensive feedback possible, we had our testers consider the grills’ most important features—from how much they can cook at a time to how easy they are to travel with. We've outlined the key points 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!
Watch Now: Get a Taste of Our Favorite Pellet Grills In Action
Test Results: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill (Runner-Up, Best Overall)
What We Like
Consistent temperature control
Many unique features
What We Don't Like
Pellet feed issues
Somewhat narrow dimensions
Our tester thought that the CampChef stood out for its many add-ons, including “its ash clean-out system, its side shelf, and its dual meat probes.” He also felt that its temperature control was much more accurate than other reasonably-priced smokers. In terms of downsides, he observed that “the hopper struggled to deliver pellets into the auger when low and required re-feeding pellets.” Overall, though, he felt that this product was worth buying: “You get pro performance and many higher-end features at a budget-friendly price.”
Test Results: Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill (Runner-Up, Best Overall)
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Temperature interface tricky at first
Some design quirks
Our tester loved this grill's small footprint, which made it very portable: “It’s a great size and convenient to bring in an RV or SUV for tailgating and grilling on the go,” he said. He was also pleased with how easy it was to control the grill’s heat from its corresponding smartphone app, which he thought had a "friendly interface." In terms of downsides, he felt that it had a few design quirks: "One confusing aspect of the tailgate mode is that when we folded the legs up, the front leg stuck out from the front of the grill," he explained. "It didn’t necessarily get in our way, but we wish there was an option to use it as a staging tray."
Test Results: Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill (Best for Steaks)
What We Like
Large grilling surface
What We Don't Like
Expensive for novice smokers
Our tester felt that this pellet grill was a great choice because of its ample grilling space and easy-to-use interface—especially for its relatively low price point. He also noted that it’s backed by a three-year warranty, which increases its value. On the other hand, he said its temperature reader could have been more precise and also noted that it was heavy: “It’s hard to move despite its wheels,” he said.
Test Results: Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker (Best for Tailgating)
What We Like
Simple to use
What We Don't Like
Some temperature fluctuations
Legs are awkward to fold up
Our tester liked this pellet grill for its size and straightforward design: “The smoker is simple to use and compact enough to be portable or at least moveable,” he explained. The negative? “The occasional unexplained wild temperature fluctuations make it hard to walk too far from the unit and feel at ease,” our reviewer revealed. He also wished the legs were easier to secure for transport. The takeaway? ”It is a good buy for someone who wants a simple, traditional pellet smoker in a smaller form factor,” our tester explained. “However, if you have the space and aren't going to move it often, you may be happier buying a full-size smoker for a bit more money.”