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January 20, 2021

A grill is an essential investment when building an outdoor kitchen. With new and modern models popping left and right, selecting the best pellet grill smoker to enhance your cooking experience is a tough challenge.

Before you settle on your purchase, make sure to check out our team’s recommendations and reminders when buying grills for your backyard.

Reviews of the Best Pellet Grills/Smokers

1. Louisiana Grills Estate Series 860 Square Inches 304 Stainless Steel Built-In Grill (LG ESTATE 860BI)

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a cooking adventure beyond grilling, like smoking, broiling, roasting, or baking during your food preps — then Louisiana Grill is one of the best pellet smokers our team could recommend.

You can set an accurate cooking temperature with Louisiana Grills’ standard flame broiler with a digital control center that can heat the cooking surface up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It offers the most versatile grilling functions with a total cooking area of 860 sq. inches when measured along with its upper rack. You can also cook your meat in style with its double-wall construction and top-tier heat retention feature

Pros:

  • Durable and heavy-duty 304 steel construction
  • 579 square inches cooking space, 281 square inches upper rack, and a total of 860 square inches pellet grill construction.
  • Has 28 pound hopper capacity
  • Can heat up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Includes meat probes that prevent overcooking
  • Auto-ignition and feed system that makes it easy to use
  • Offers 5-year warranty on defects for steel parts and a 3-year warranty on electrical components
  • Ensure even smoking with convection cooking and exhaust system Removable grease tray

Cons:

  • Shipping delays due to the pandemic
  • Consider consulting experts before installing this product in your backyard

2. Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Electric Wi-Fi Control Foldable Portable Wood Pellet Grill with Meat Probes

green mountain grill

Grills and smokers are the perfect companions when it comes to camping. The problem is, how can you transport it from one place to another? Lucky for you, Green Mountain grills are known for their portable functions. This specific grill weighs at 68 lbs mass and has a foldable structure that can fit any trunk.

This Green Mountain pellet smoker can be operated in dual-voltage and be hooked up to any car battery. Monitor and control the grill via WiFi, and navigate cooking functions through the brand's mobile application.

It offers the most versatile grilling functions with a total cooking area of 860 sq. inches when measured along with its upper rack. You can also cook your meat in style with its double-wall construction and top-tier heat retention feature

Equipped with a digital temperature meat probe and sear box, you can smoke your meat as low as 150 degrees Fahrenheit or as high as 550 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros:

  • Pellet smokers with dual voltage control that has multiple power options that can be hooked with different power sources
  • Has Sense-Mate feature that continuously monitors the grill temperature
  • A portable structure that’s perfect for an outdoor grilling experience
  • Adjust and monitor your food temperature with your phone
  • Electric smoker with a heat range of 150 up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Has a pellet hopper with 9 lbs capacity
  • Offers a two-year warranty period from the date of purchase
  • 219 sq. inches grilling area

Cons:

  • Does not offer multi-user application warranty
  • Not made in the USA

3. Z Grills ZPG-700D 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Control, inch Cooking Area, 700 sq in Bronze

Z Grills ZPG-700D grill

 

If you're looking for an affordable option with excellent grilling action, our team recommends the best pellet grill offered by Z Grills. Get outstanding value for your money with its 8-in-1 cooking functions.

Whether it’s for grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, searing, braising, or the good old BBQ, this pellet smoker can cook up your meal from 180 to 450 degrees. It also has 694 to 1060 inches of cooking surface and 20 pound hopper capacity.

This auto-start ignition cooking companion is also recommended to kitchen beginners as it’s equipped with temperature control and a real-time display.

Pros:

  • Advanced wood-fire technology
  • Has a huge cooking area of 694 to 1060 sq. inches and 20 pound hopper capacity
  • Maintain the optimum amount of temperature from 180 degrees to 450 degrees
  • Designed with waste oil collector for safe and easy cleaning procedures
  • Installed with auto-start ignition and heat controls for cooking beginners
  • Extremely versatile for any kind of high-temperature cooking

Cons:

  • Shipping delays due to the pandemic
  • Consult an expert to evaluate if this pellet grill will suit your cooking needs

Pellet Grill/Smoker Buyer’s Guide Design

Design

When buying a pellet grill and smoker, the design is of the utmost importance. There are two types of pellet grills in the market, the free-standing design and the built-in design. This will depend on the kind of construction and functionality you’re looking for in pellet grills. 

A free-standing pellet grill offers more mobility, which is great if you plan to move them around the backyard or use it during campings. On the other hand, built-in pellet grills are the most commonly installed cooking devices in kitchen islands. It usually has a striking appearance that makes it the centerpiece of any outdoor kitchen.

Durability and Build

Outdoor pellet grills must stand the test of time mainly because of exposure to different weather conditions. Most of the recommended models that made this list are built with steel construction, which means they have incredible durability and easy to clean characteristics.

It’s also essential that the exterior of pellet grills suits the high-temperature cooking environment like Louisiana Grill with its double-wall construction and heat retention functions. The right type of model must suit the kind of cooking you usually do and your budget range.

Grilling and Smoking Performance

Many types of food are best cooked by grilling and smoking. The question is, how well do these pellet grills perform their functions? These grills must deliver the wood-fire flavor into the meat and keep the heat consistent throughout the duration of cooking.

Some of these options also have auto-ignition functions that make the smoking and grilling process easier for first-time cooks.

Temperature Range

The best pellet grills should have an adjustable heat range. Making a perfectly cooked meal requires a consistent and precise cooking temperature. To perform multiple cooking styles, the best pellet grills must maintain a temperature range between 200 to 400 degrees. 

In our selection of pellet grills, all three options have an adequate heating range, with Louisiana Grills even capable of reaching up to 600 degrees.

Hopper Size

Your hopper capacity is as essential as your grilling space. The larger your hopper, the easier it is for you to manage longer cooking hours, especially when handling a meat-y situation. However, this will always depend on how big your grill is.

Larger pellet grills tend to have larger hopper sizes than small ones. Among our recommendations, Louisiana Grills Estate Series has the most immense pellet grill hopper capacity. Perfect for high volume food servings.

Pellet Consumption

Based on the tests our experts conducted, most pellet grills burn around one to two pounds of pellets per hour. The burning rate of wood pellets like Pit Boss goes faster with high temperatures and significantly slower with low temperatures.

Amount of Cooking Necessary

You’ll find that pellet grills are more cost-effective than gas or charcoal powered grills when it comes to cooking. These top-tier models such as Z Grills can cook up to 20 hours with 20 lbs of pellets.

Extra Features

But of course, these best pellet grills have a lot more to offer than just flavorful cooking. Most pellet grills nowadays center on a digital controller for power, heat consistency, and efficient feed system. 

Price

Setting your budget can get dreary when investing in kitchen appliances. The best advice we can give is to make sure that every penny you spend is worth the functions and convenience your pellet grill of choice will bring.

The most affordable on our list is the best pellet grill manufactured by Z Grills, but there are many options out there that cost even less. When purchasing pellet grills, you must remember that every price has an equivalent value. It’s wise to go for models that will last in the long run.

Warranty

Considering that the best pellet grills are built with modern technology and state-of-the-art designs, it’s only natural for them to be prone to malfunctions and defects. From WiFi connectivity, temperature probes, and digital controllers, these pellet smokers need constant assistance.

Therefore, it’s wise to choose a pellet grill brand that offers an extended range of warranty services if you intend to use it for the longest time possible.

Customer Service

Adding the best pellet grill in your kitchen isn’t as easy as you’d think. It involves careful decision-making and constant maintenance. From purchase and installation to reporting a technical issue, the best pellet grills providers must thoroughly assist you for the benefit of your outdoor experience.

Gimmicks to be Avoided

Never depend on the exterior aesthetic of any pellet grills. Even if it’s made all-out steel, it’s crucial to consider other functions that might affect its grilling and smoking performance.

The best pellet grills must have useful components that make them versatile and valuable companions in your backyard cookouts.

How Pellet Smokers Work

A pellet grill can provide a rich smoky flavor to your meat, similar to authentic and traditional log-burning grills. The best pellet grills in the industry have a digital controller that keeps the grill at a consistent temperature and regulates the use of pellets.

Are Pellet Grills Healthier?

Aside from added flavors from wood pellets, pellet grillers don’t reach the same heat as other grillers. Because of this, it is considered a safer and convenient barbecuing option. However, the health risk factor still depends on what you’re grilling and smoking.

Who Should Use Pellet Smokers

For those who are looking for a fast, easy to maintain, and flavor-centric smoking option, our experts recommend installing a pellet smoker in your outdoor kitchen.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Pellet Grills

Pellet grills are incredibly convenient and easy to manage. Once you set up the temperature and fill up the hopper, you can attend to different tasks until the food is ready to serve. The amount of pellets you’ll need is also less compared to charcoal because it has a faster cooking time.

However, even the best pellet grills need to be plugged in as they are still considered electric appliances. You must also have enough pellets in stock in case of emergency cooking situations.

FAQ

What is the best pellet?

The best pellet for smokers is Pit Boss Natural Wood Pellets. There are countless manufacturers for these pellets, but Pit Boss has a wide-range of wood flavors like apple, mesquite, hickory, and cherry.

Pit Boss pellets are excellent for smoking as it has no artificial flavors, glues or chemicals added into its mixture.

Are pellet grills worth the money?

Yes, the best pellet grills are worth the money. Besides investing in its utmost convenience, you’re also buying its versatile capabilities that allow you to grill and smoke, roast, bake, barbecue, and sear any kind of meat in one cooking unit.

Are pellet grills bad for your health?

Pellet grills are not bad for your health. Occasional smoking and grilling have a shallow risk of affecting one’s overall health according to experts. When considering health risks, we should be warier of the types of food and cooking procedures. There’s a more significant danger in not being able to cook meat thoroughly.

Can a pellet smoker replace a gas grill?

Yes, a pellet smoker can replace a gas grill. If you’re looking for a cooking companion with more heat retention function and faster grilling duration, then you should grab the best pellet grills available in the market. Unlike gas grills, pellet grills produce more wood-fire flavor, and their digital functions make it easy to control cooking temperatures.

Our Top Pick For a Pellet Grill/Smoker: Louisiana Grills Estate Series 860 Square Inches 304 Stainless Steel Built-In Grill (LG ESTATE 860BI)

 

 

 

The best pellet smoker among the three options we listed is Louisiana Grills Estate Series 860 sq. in.304 Stainless Steel Built-In Grill (LG ESTATE 860BI). With its massive cooking surface and 28 pound hopper capacity, the ease of using this cooking appliance is on the next level.

Although all three options offer impressive and almost similar features, Louisiana Grills provides a remarkable five-year warranty period for its customers, becoming one of the deciding factors in this review.


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