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What is the Best Portable Pellet Grill? — Cook and Grill Your Favorite Meals Outdoors (2021)

by Outdoor Cooking Pros March 03, 2021

seasoned grilled paneer

Are you a fan of traveling and have finally decided to pick up a portable pellet grill? The question is, which of the million pellet grills would take you on the best trip of your life?

Well, don't fret because we've compiled the best portable pellet grills for you! Shall we get this grilling party started, then?

Reviews of the Best Portable Pellet Grills

1. Traeger Ranger Portable Tabletop Wood Pellet Grill: Best Overall

Traeger Ranger Portable Tabletop Wood Pellet Grill

Starting with a grill from one of the most established manufacturers, Traeger grills' Ranger edition provides you with the best wood-fired flavors.

Defined as one of the best portable pellet grills you could have, this Traeger tailgater is built with a baffled lid design and quality materials [1] to ensure that you have a safe trip across the country!

Moreover, it comes with a digital arc controller, which gives you precise temperature control,  allowing you to adjust at 5-degree increments.

With Traeger grills, you're now able to cook a variety of food at their best quality!

Whether you prefer your steaks with a final sear, this Traeger Ranger portable pellet grill and its cast-iron griddle aren't going to disappoint you!

Indeed, this Traeger tailgater pellet grill model is a great candidate for being the best portable pellet grill on the market!

Pros:

  • Overall great value
  • Easy to operate
  • Cools down immediately once turned off
  • Saves excess wood pellets
  • Maintains temperature

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

2. Camp Chef Pursuit 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill: Best Value

Camp Chef Pursuit 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill

Next on the list, we have the Camp Chef Pursuit portable pellet grill. This is complex technology in portable and foldable packaging!

Camp Chef comes with 10 different levels of smokes, allowing for flare-ups fit to your liking.

They also provide you with a temperature controller, giving you the ability to adjust at 5-degree increments.

There is no need to worry about cleaning your grills because CC's Pursuit portable pellet grill is partnered with an ash cleanout system.

It's designed to be easy to use, with high visibility and low glare display that lets you monitor your cooking chamber as your food cooks.

Moreover, it comes with a meat probe set, a full-sized upper shelf, and foldable legs, making it the perfect tailgater for a long trip!

Pros:

  • Contains ash cleanout system
  • Easy to operate menu dial
  • Excellent design
  • Wide temperature range
  • Adjustable smoke settings

Cons:

  • A bit heavy
  • Slightly expensive

3. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Wi-Fi Controlled Portable Wood Pellet Grill: Best Budget

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Wi-Fi Controlled Portable Wood Pellet Grill

When talking about the best portable pellet grills, we think it'd be a mistake to miss out on Green Mountain!

That said, could we interest you in technologically advanced wood pellet grills?

This Green Mountain grill gives you access to Sense-Mate, a smart thermal sensor that monitors your cooking temperature while you're away.

You don't have to constantly watch over your temperature controller and pellet hopper with this smoking machine!

Moreover, you could also program a set of steps for the portable grill to do while you're out.

There's no need to worry about pellets running out or temperatures falling anymore!

With folding legs, a meat probe set, and pellet smokers, it's the ultimate tailgater grill to provide you with the best and least hassle camping trip possible!

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Wi-Fi controlled
  • Easy monitoring
  • Comes with necessary accessories
  • Folds into almost any trunk

Cons:

  • Folding legs are not as sturdy

4. Grilla Grills Chimp Tailgater

Grilla Grills Chimp Tailgater

If you're not too fond of the smoke flavor from the common charcoal grill, this one's for you!

The Grilla Grills tailgater's operation system and 15 LB hopper provide you with an automated pellet smoker and feeding system.

It's also equipped with a dual system that allows you to have precise temperature and smoke control.

That, and along with a bonus of a wide pellet hopper capacity and pellet customization feature!

You can customize the food not just with heat control but also pellet flavors! That should make up for the weak smoke flavor, shouldn't it?

It's built with a double-wall insulated barrel, durable stainless steel, and twin storage equipment.

With its smaller and compact design, it's perfect for trying to maximize your cooking space, whenever and wherever you go!

Simply put, they've managed to look for a way to make grilling with wood pellets even better!

Pros:

  • Runs on customizable pellet flavors
  • Excellent design and construction
  • Smaller grill but large grilling area
  • Dual temperature controller
  • Automated pellet feeding system

Cons:

  • Weaker smoke flavor

5. Rec Tec RT-340 Portable Pellet Grill

Rec Tec RT-340 Portable Pellet Grill

This model manufactured by Rec Tec provides you with one of the best portable pellet grills!

If durability was the top factor you were looking for in a portable grill, Rec-Tec is an excellent and well-built choice.

With this Rec-Tec portable pellet grill tailgater, you're able to cook your food almost like a gas grill with a quick press of the button.

It features Wi-Fi technology and a built-in meat probe set, which allows for precise monitoring of your food!

Moreover, it has lockable folding legs, is built with a stainless steel cooking chamber, and a safely engineered pellet hopper.

To top that off, Rec-Tec also claims to use the best stainless steel possible for their products, and this pellet grill tailgater is no different!

Partnered with the ability to adjust itself at 5-degree increments, Rec-Tec lets you cook however you like with its variety of smoke levels!

Pros:

  • Engineered with durable stainless steel
  • Contains a dual meat probe set
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Automated shutdown system
  • Reaches and maintains higher temperatures quickly

Cons

  • None

6. Country Smokers Portable Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker

Country Smokers Portable Wood Pellet Grill Smoker

Dominantly fueled by its wide hopper capacity, Country Smokers presents to you one of their best portable pellet grills!

Compared to other portable pellet grills, Country Smokers maximizes its features to let you grill at amazing qualities and pace without using too many wood pellets.

Believe us when we say that this grill definitely takes less overall space from your cooking area.

Being one of their biggest assets, this tailgater has a removable cord feature and a temperature arc controller capable of balancing the smoke machine that this grill is.

All that said, it's also worth noting that Country Smokers designed this portable pellet grill to run on low wattages.

It would be one of the most efficient grills possible if you were a camp chef relying on generators, and just a frankly great option for your grilling adventures!

Pros:

  • Relatively lightweight yet durable
  • Uses fewer wood pellets to maintain the temperature
  • Wide temperature ranges
  • Runs without high wattage requirement

Cons:

  • Smaller cooking space

7. Pit Boss PB440TG Portable Pellet Grill

Pit Boss PB440TG Portable Pellet Grill

Finally, we have one of Pit Boss' portable pellet grill models!

Partnered with a durable yet collapsible folding leg design, this Pit Boss grill could easily be brought wherever you like.

For starters, it's built with an innovative flame broiler that allows direct cooking, if that's the type of grills you happen to be into!

Pit Boss has also ensured a wide temperature range and an exhaust convection system, which maintains its temperature.

All you need to do is plug in your desired temperature and let it do its magic!

Once you're finished setting up, allow its auto-start hot rod and LED display to help you cook your meals to perfection!

You and your little camp chef persona will have nothing short of the easiest smoking with this tailgater grill!

Pros:

  • Powered by automated temperature control
  • Allows direct flame cooking
  • Wide grilling space
  • Easy to setup
  • Durable construction

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Difficulty maintaining temperature

Portable Pellet Grills Buyer's Guide

We understand that even if you have finished going over this list, you may still want something specific for your portable pellet grill needs.

And you know what, that's completely fine because you don't deserve anything less.

Shall we start with this buyer's guide, then?

Dimensions and Weight

When talking about portable pellet grills, it's important to figure out your desired grill's dimensions and weight.

That is, just because they're all portable pellet grills mean they're going to be the ideal tailgater for your car trunk's storage space!

This is especially crucial when you're a full-time RV-er.

Ways on How You Can Evaluate Dimensions and Weight:

Look out for the square inches measurements of the pellet grills available for your trunk and cooking area, and evaluate the items from there.

For more accurate measurements, we also recommend that you check the square inches measurements of your preferred grill, specifically when it's folded.

chicken and onions on grill

While you're at that, you'd also want to filter out pellet grills that you don't think you can constantly carry—especially if you're one to go on camping trips frequently.

If you'd like to work systematically, you could list down the individual dimensions and weights of the grills you're a fan of and go from there.

Eventually, we hope that you find the perfect grilling option for your needs.

Design

Another important factor you may want to look into is the design of your grill.

If you, by chance, think that aesthetics is an important part of your camping trips, this is a factor in the best portable pellet grills you shouldn't have to miss!

We can't disagree that aesthetics may play apart in the desirability and the amount you want to take care of your grill.

But we also can't forget that design plays a part in the items' functionality!

Don't believe it?

How Important Is the Design of a Portable Pellet Grill?

Engineers aren't big fans of complex designs. An often-noted engineering principleis to keep everything simple.

That is, engineers are less likely to add any design variations unless they're going to improve the item's functionality.

For example, a grill design with larger square inches of cooking and surface area could affect the grill's temperature range and maintenance. In turn, that affects the cooking time. Depending on the materials they used, of course.

To further illustrate that, a smaller but compact grill could easily produce higher temperatures (Note: that isn't always the case!).

The point is, don't be shy of asking why a grill looks the way it does!

Portability

This factor ties with dimensions and weight.

Indeed, it may be a portable pellet grill, but is it portable enough for you?

Factors you'd like to evaluate along with this is the amount you'd want to travel with your portable pellet grill.

Would you like to keep your grill outside, inside, or are you a full-time RV-er?

Options You Can Take Into Consideration:

If you'd like to move your grill around as you cook or transfer with your camp chef friends, then you're more likely to want a grill with wheels!

On the other hand, if you'd like to take your tailgater out of the truck and immediately place it in the cooking area, a grill with sturdy folding legs would be in your best interest.

All of the ones in the list above are great portable grilling options, but of course, we'd like to make sure you're getting the most out of it!

Grilling Area

When working with a grill and camping out with a group of loved ones, it's perfectly normal to want a big enough cooking area!

Think of all the meals you'd want to cook with your grill while you're at this.

That said, you'd want to evaluate the square inches measurements of your list of stainless steel portable pellet grills.

Keep in mind that the surface area and the material of your grill play a part in the way the food cooks, so don't be shy of asking and doing your research!

Thoughts You Could Consider Regarding to Grilling Area:

  • Is your priority cooking big amounts of food at once?

 Then a grill with a wide grilling area would be your best bet!

  • Would you prefer just enough cooking area to closely monitor all your food?

 If you're one to prefer quality or quantity, you may want to pick up a small and compact grill instead!

More than that, you may also like to check if your stainless steel grill option contains a convenience tray!

That way, you're able to monitor your food easily and swap it for others in your little menu search.

Ease of Use

Do you really want to have a difficult time trying to set up your grill?

Everyone's waiting for all the food to cook, and you won't want to have any mistakes while you're at it.

You'd want something that lets you enjoy cooking on your trip, after all. Isn't that why you're buying a pellet smoker in the first place?

Camp Chef portable pellet grill

A few things we recommend you look into while you're evaluating this is the following:

  • Ash cleanout system
  • Temperature controller
  • Meat probes
  • Pellet hopper capacity
  • Digital display

Once you've checked the above qualities, you can move on to check how easy they are to operate!

And if they can maintain their performance.

Temperature Range

Considering that you're here to buy a wood pellet grill and smoker, we're assuming that you'd like to cook a variety of food!

This is where temperature range comes into play.

We understand you'd want to cook your food at a precise temperature. After all, things only make sense that way.

After all, the temperature plays a part in how fast and how well your meals are done.

While you're at this, a good thing to also evaluate is whether your pellet smoker and grill can hold temperature.

Connectivity

Cooking with wood pellets is a fun activity; we'll agree with you on that. But with a busy weekend and getting a hold of all your camping activities, sometimes you don't have the time to monitor your grill continuously. And that's fine!

New smart technology such as Wi-Fi-controlled pellet smokers and grills makes it possible to move around and have your meals cook in the background.

With a little press of a button and a stable internet connection, you're well assured that your meals are cooking the way you like them.

That said, evaluate if you'd like to not worry about your meat probes and wood pellets going crazy while you're away.

Or whether you'd prefer to stand and monitor your food yourself.

Accessories

When you're cooking, you need more than just your portable pellet smoker and grill.

While the grills on the market are made to work with most of the accessories they need, you must evaluate how complete they are.

For example, some other grills need an additional set for their full abilities to come into place.

smoking pellet grill on white tiles

That is, you might want to check for the following:

  • Meat probes
  • Grill deck
  • Convenience tray
  • Latched lid
  • Foldable legs
  • Temperature controller
  • (if applicable) Digital arc controller

You can also add other accessories such as a grill mat that helps maintain the pristine condition of your grills.

Price and Warranty

The last and probably most important thing to check when buying a pellet grill is the price and warrantyHow much is your budget? And how confident are you that the grill of your choice is worth the price? This is where all the collective factors we've discussed earlier play a part.

As you buy the grill of your choice, it's also important to check the customer service and the product's warranty.

This way, you're ensured that if any issues (you think are the fault of the manufacturers) occur, you'd be able to get into terms with them and restore your grill to good quality!

Or have it returned if the damages weren't all so forgivable?

Our Top Pick for a Portable Pellet Grill: Traeger Ranger

This Traeger tailgater, along with the other Traeger tailgater models, is on top of the market for a reason.

With the Traeger Ranger's built-in meat probes and a latched lid, you know your meals are being maintained at the right internal temperatures even when you're away!

Traeger makes sure that your wood pellets last a long time and is programmed to save extra pellets for your next meals.

This Traeger tailgater's materials and mechanism are flawless and will surely keep you on the go!

The convenience and flavor they provide you with this Ranger model are simply unsurpassed. It looks like no one wants to miss out on it, and rightfully so!

Traeger Ranger

Outdoor Cooking Pros
Outdoor Cooking Pros


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