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March 03, 2021

One of the best ways to get-together with loved ones has to be BBQ parties. Of course, you're going to need great cooking appliances to make the feast memorable.

This article features the hottest picks for the 5 best pellet grills under 500 to get for your outdoor kitchen.

Reviews of the Best Pellet Grills Under 500

    1. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

    Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

    We think that this model provides an effortless cooking experience for any of its 8-in-1 functionalities - grilling, roasting, smoking, searing, braising, char-grilling, BBQ-ing and baking.

    The Z Grills 700 is one of the most popular, affordable, and best pellet grills under 500 since its features include an automated electric set-it-and-forget-it feed system, plus its special fan-forced convection cooking.

    The temperature settings range from 180 to 450° F and can be set with a smart digital LED screen. 

    This pellet grill provides a substantial700 square inches of cooking space and a greathopper capacity of 20lbs. It has a sturdy stainless steel build and rust-resistant, porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates that retain heat evenly, and do not chip. 

    Extra features include an electrical auto-ignition system, a side and bottom shelf for holding utensils, locking caster wheels, and a handy waste oil collector.

    Pros

    • Hassle-free cleanups
    • Generous cooking space
    • 8-in-1 versatility cooking that includes convection fan
    • Automatic pellet feeder
    • Precise temperature control

    Con

    • Does not contain meat probes

    2. Camp Chef SmokePro Stainless DLX Pellet Grill

    Camp Chef SmokePro Stainless DLX Pellet Grill

    This perfect pellet grill has reviews all over the place.

    Camp Chef is on their second series for the DLX model of wood pellet grills, and it sure has pretty great feature upgrades that bump it up to the top of this list of overall pellet grill and smoker favorites. 

    The SmokePro DLX has a total of 570 square inches of cooking area and an 18-pound hopper.

    One of the highlights for this product is its patented Ash Cleanout system, which cleans out all ash and debris by just pulling a lever.

    There are 10 smoke settings, and a temperature setting range of 160 to 500 ° F. This pellet grill smoker smokes your food the best. There’s also a sear attachment and an integrated sensor gauge.

    On top of all that, it has an electronic ignition system, an LED temperature readout, automatic auger, stainless steel temperature probe, fan, terrain wheels, a solid stainless steel exterior with a powder-coated finish, convenient side table, and porcelain-coated cooking grates.

    That seem like to much for you? Well, a bad boy like this will leave you never wanting another grill for years.

    Pros

    • Easy to use, assemble
    • Most convenient ash cleanup
    • Fast automated ignition
    • Flawless digital temperature control and display
    • Automatic pellet auger dispenses when needed and shuts down when done
    • Built-in sensor gauge

    Cons

    • Priced over $500, but is under $500 on sale
    • Grease pan is relatively small and needs to be emptied out often
    • Grill is quite heavy for transporting

    3. Green Mountain Davy Crockett Wifi Wood Pellet Grill Tailgating Package

    Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate

    The Davy Crockett Grill is one of the most innovative grills in the market, especially if you’re looking for one of the best pellet grills under 500 that can fit in your car to tailgate with you on your road trips.

    This grill runs on both 12V and 120AC, and comes with 12V adapters to connect it with a car battery or small generator for powering it up. 

    There’s no doubt you’ll enjoy this model. Its star feature is its digital Wi-fi functionality that lets you monitor and adjust the temperature, smoke settings, and even add timers - all from your mobile phone.

    Thecooking surface is 216 square inches and thehopper's capacity is 18lbs, with a pellet window. The temperature range is 150-550° F with 5° increment temperature control.

    Another innovative feature of this wood pellet grill is its SenseMate - a thermal sensor that constantly makes sure the heat is at the right level.

    Pros

    • Wi-Fi digital temperature control and timer with mobile 
    • Foldable legs and relatively lightweight grill for maximum portability
    • Adapters offer powering options

    Cons

    • Poor grease drainage
    • Small cooking capacity may not make it appropriate for large groups/gatherings

    4. Traeger Pellet Grills Tailgater 20 Grill

    Traeger Pellet Grills TFB30KLF Tailgater 20 Grill

    Traeger is renowned worldwide to be one of the leading manufacturers of the wood pellet grill. The Tailgater 20 grill is a solid compact smoker that can fulfill your basic outdoor cooking needs.

    This model helps you to achieve the “fire wood” taste without the work needed for cooking over an open flame.

    It has acooking area of 300 square inches, with a pellethopper capacity of about 8lbs. The Tailgater 20 is sturdy and rust-resistant thanks to its non-stick porcelain-coated grilling grates.

    This product offers a 5° F temperature setting increments and contains a Digital Elite Controller, which keeps the temperature variation within a 20° F limit. Not to mention, it has a meat probe included.

    This pellet grill provides 6-in-1 versatility acting as tool that grills, smokes, bakes, roasts, braises, and barbeques to perfection. 

    Pros

    • Compact and portable with foldable legs and caster wheels
    • Digital controller with LED display
    • Easy to clean after each BBQ

    Cons

    • Small hopper capacity
    • Thermostat can rise and fall at times

    5. Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill

    PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill

    The Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill is well-known for its excellent durability and craftsmanship. Its steel build and porcelain-coated cast-iron grilling grates provide rust-resistance and protection.

    A main highlight feature of the Pit Boss 700FB pellet grill is its seamless digital control center, with an LED display, that lets you choose from a heat range of 170 to 600° F 

    This best pellet grill under 500 is spacious, giving you a total of700 square inches of cooking area, including a warming rack. Not to mention, the hopper has a highcapacity of 10 lbs of pellets.

    Additional highlights of this Pit Boss model that give it versatility include its automatic auger, a cleanout door, steel wheels, an innovative flame broiler, and a slide-plate for better heat control.

    Pros

    • Large cooking space
    • Versatile 8-in-1 cooking with broil/searing feature 
    • Large temperature range
    • Digital control and display

    Cons

    • Adjusting the broiler may be difficult

    Pellet Grills Under 500 Buyer's Guide

    Design and Size

    Do you also want a grill that functions as a pellet smoker? Selecting the proper design and size of your pellet grill is more or less be determined by the space allocated for your grill choice and the people you'll be cooking for.

    Variations in design depend on the features that suit your personality, needs, and cooking goals, while size variations depend on your choice of desired cooking capacity, number of racks, and the size of the hopper.

    Material

    Considering you're choosing a grill that's meant to be outdoors, you definitely want something weatherproof and durable.

    These mentioned grill favorites are made of stainless steel, and equipped with rust-resistant technology, which means they'll be cooking many dishes for you for many years to come.

    Grilling Performance

    The pellet grill is extremely versatile as an appliance, and that boosts its performance compared to a regular grill.

    It's capable of more than just grilling through different temperature settings. These settings also allow for smoking, BBQ-ing, braising, roasting, and many more.

    Ease of Use

    What's the use of a wide cooking surface if you can't tend to all the food at once?

    We want to grill outdoors like it's easy peasy. In selecting a pellet grill, you may select one with numerous automatic features for ease of use.

    Choose a grill that's easy to assemble, set, and manage. Having non-stick grates can also be ideal to easily get your food from the cooking rack, and perhaps an ash pan for a neater cleanup. You can also invest in grill mats.

    Temperature Range

    High precision temperature control means perfectly cooked food, just the way you want it.

    How hot do you want your meat to be cooking? There are several options to choose from that make you in control of the exact grill temperature, whether it's a low smoke or high flame.

    Pellet Consumption

    Pellet smokers use wood pellets to produce a flame that evenly heats your food through a convection system for that perfect savory taste.

    Pellet grills save more energy compared to gas counterparts. Lit pellets remain hot even after some time, and after grilling, these wood pellets then become ash for that easy cleanup afterward.

    Portability

    Many pellet grill units can come with wheels for easy movement and constant repositioning. Some may also have the feature of foldable legs that convert into carrying handles, making them extremely easy portable for travel.

    Extra Features

    Additional pop-up tables for food prep, meat probes for monitoring, extra sensors, automatic pellet feeding, and cleanup are all useful extra features that contribute to the most memorable grilling experience.

    Price and Warranty

    Something that you can use very frequently for various occasions, like a grill, should have a perfect price balance that's affordable but at the same time makes sense for an investment.

    In any case, no matter the price range of any product, having warranty in your back pocket can be beneficial.

    A warranty assures you that the pellet grill you invest in with your hard-earned money is high quality, and without defects.

    Advantages of Using Pellet Grills

    1. Better Flavor Options

    Commercial wooden pellet chips can come with various flavor options [1] like hickory, pecan, maple, cherry, apple, oak, walnut, mesquite, and not to mention alder.

    This is more convenient than other smoking options. Plus, a small pellet bag can be used to cook many times.

    2. Versatility 

    According to your taste, you can directly grill, barbecue, roast, bake, sear, and smoke with a pellet grill. They can function as a convection oven, allowing you to load the cooking grate without fear of uneven cooking. This convection feature is not applicable to other griller/smokers.

    3. Faster Cooking Time for More Food

    They have the capacity to preheat fast, in a matter of 10-15 minutes. By doing so, pellet grillers take less time than other types of cookers apart from gas grills.

    With multiple cooking racks with large surfaces, you can freely cook many different food items at the same time. 

    A pellet grill has compartments with different sizes. For instance, you can use a medium-sized grill for cooking 5 pieces of baby back ribs. 

    4. Ease of Use and Temperature Control

    Although a pellet grill looks intricate, it's not complicated. Just pour wooden pellets into the hopper and press several buttons to automate the process.

    Some models also have advanced functions: programming, remote control, smartphone/internet control, and more.

    You can control the heat to the extent of five to ten degrees centigrade. Designed for Low, Medium, and High levels of heat, pellet grills are not too difficult to use.

    You don’t need to trigger fire manually or add wood when necessary. Forget paper, kindling, and matches. Pellet stoves have electric igniters and a thermostat.

    5. Reduce Flare-ups

    If you've ever grilled food on a gas grill or charcoal, know that a flare-up can happen if you don't pay attention to what you're cooking. No need to worry about trimming excess fats or using certain marinades since they are designed with a shield placed between the flames and your food.

    Disadvantages of Using Pellet Grills

    1. They are Electricity-Dependent

    Electricity is required to operate pellet grills. If you want to use a pellet grill on a picnic, you should bring a generator as well.

    2. Not Good for Wet Conditions

    These devices can actually malfunction when they get wet due to their movable parts and electrical components. Keep them dry every time.

    3. Wooden Pellets Can Go Bad

    Wood pellets readily absorb moisture. Even if rain isn’t directly getting into the hopper, over time a humid environment will eventually break the wood apart.

    Therefore, when the pellet grill is not being used, the pellets should be removed from the hopper and stored in a dry place.

    Want to expand your options? We compared Kamado Joe vs Primo here.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Is the Best Pellet Grill for the Price?

    TheZ Grills ZPG-7002E Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is an incredible investment one can make if you love cooking BBQ outdoors but are on a budget. 

    For its price, you get more than basic functions and a wide cooking area that make the buy well worth it.

    Z Grills has experience in manufacturing some of the most affordable yet high-quality pellet grill smokers in the market. Their 700 square inches cooking area upgrade makes their ZPG-7002E series top-selling.

    This wood pellet grill smoker just makes cooking compact, and so convenient for anyone!

    All you need is one push of a button and the pellet grill and smoker is ready to use. Its special fan-forced convection cooking eliminates the need for a separate rotisserie.

    Our Top Pick for a Pellet Grill/Smoker: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

    The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX just ticks all the boxes for a perfect outdoor cooking companion.

    It has the toughest build, internal sensors that help out not only beginners but also busy outdoor chefs attending to a feast, and the best grill attachments that come with the model.

    It's versatility lets you do almost everything within its total cooking area, but the winning feature has to be the Ash Cleanout system that eliminates any cook's dreaded cleanup after cooking.

    Ready to host the most delicious BBQ party? We recommend the SmokePro DLX the moment it goes on sale because this stainless steel pellet grill is a sure sweet steal!

    Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

     


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