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Best Portable Pellet Grill?

by Lianne Jones February 22, 2022

Best Portable Pellet Grill?

We have all heard about the wonders of pellet grills in recent years, and the way that they have changed the backyard barbecuing game for good!

They imbue your food with wonderful smokey flavor, and their ability to cook meat low and slow results in tender, succulent cuts that are mouth-wateringly good.

And all this can be achieved with minimal hands-on intervention thanks to the pellet grill's automatic feeding system.

But what if you want to enjoy all the benefits of pellet grilling away from the comfort of your backyard? Most backyard models are pretty sizable and hefty, and most certainly wouldn't be much fun to cart about on a road trip or weekend away!

Luckily, however, there are a number of fantastic portable pellet grills available on the market, and we are going to take you through our top picks today.

These beauties allow you to enjoy slow cooked, succulent food, whether you're camping, fishing, hiking, or enjoying an afternoon picnic. So let's get started!

ASMOKE AS350 Portable Pellet Grill

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 24 x 17.5 x 16 inches
Item weight - 55 pounds
Voltage - 110 V or 120 V
Cooking Space - 256 square inches
Hopper capacity - 4 pounds
Peak Temperature - 457 degrees Fahrenheit

First up, we have the AS305 portable grill by Asmoke, and this unit really is a portable model. It has a lovely compact design that really is small enough to fit in the trunk of your car, and at 55 lbs it is light enough to carry short distances too.

This means you really can take this unit camping, fishing, picnicking and more, and its compact design does not mean that you will be left short on cooking space.

The unit has 256 square inches of cooking space, split over two porcelain coated grill rakes, so you can cook your meats separately and maximize on the units overall capacity.

Better still, it has a deep lid which allows you to  smoke a whole turkey inside the main compartment. The pellet hopper has a small 4 lbs capacity that means it requires regular top ups during long cooks, so this is best suited to smaller cooks.

Pros

  • Deep lid means whole turkey can fit inside
  • Advanced ASCA system for three times faster cooking time
  • Auto ash cleaning feature
  • Side bucket for grease collection
  • Porcelain coated non-stick grill
  • Upper rack to separate food stuffs
  • Sturdy stainless steel construction
  • Micro-particle vapor technology for extra succulent results
  • Oven-like controls and digital display

Cons

  • Customers have noted fluctuations in temperature

Also available at asmokegrill.com.

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Portable Grill

 

 

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H ) - 29.9 x 14.9 x 21.6
Item Weight - 68 pounds
Voltage - 12 v or 110 V
Temperature range - 150- 550 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooking space - 219 square inches
Hopper capacity - 6 pounds

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett led the way in terms of portable pellet grills, and it is still a highly popular model among adventurers and outdoor grilling enthusiasts.

The best thing about this unit is its wide temperature range which allows you to cook very low and slow at 150 Fahrenheit, or sear at 550 Fahrenheit. Having that heightened top cooking temperature gives the Davy Crockett increased cooking versatility.

The unit accepts dual voltage options of both 12 and 110 Volts, meaning that it is adaptable to whatever your electrical setup might be when you are off grid.

Its 219 square inches of cooking space are enough to grill for small parties comfortably, and the 6 pound hopper allows you to leave the unit to fuel itself for extended periods, whilst you enjoy the scenery and spend time with the family. Thanks Davy Crockett!

Pros

  • 3 power options / solar / AC / car
  • Stainless steel components
  • Sense Mate thermal sensor for consistent temperatures
  • Meat Probe included
  • Peaked lid for racks of ribs
  • Folding legs for compact portability

Cons

  • Legs flimsy

Green Mountain Grills Trek Portable Grill

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 24 x 32 x 16 inches
Item Weight - 65 pounds

Voltage - 12 V or 120 AC
Cooking Space - 219 square inches
Hopper capacity - 9 pounds
Temperature Range - 150 - 550 degrees Fahrenheit

Next up, we have another offering from Green Mountain Grills, but this time its their newer unit, the Trek. We love the design adaptations that Green Mountain Grills have made on this model to improve on their earlier Davy Crockett model.

In particular, the short, sturdy legs are far better than the Davy Crockett thin, foldable legs. These provide a stable frame for the grill to sit on and mean you can leave it alone with confidence and peace of mind.

The increased hopper capacity and reduced overall weight are also improvements on the Davy Crockett. And the Trek has an in-build PID controller which helps you to achieve precise temperature control and to maintain a consistent internal temperature.

The Trek also has wifi connectivity and can be controlled from a smartphone app for extra convenience. Fantastic!

The unit also has an optional travel cart for easier portability. It is sold separately so comes at an additional cost, but we really recommend it for ease of transportation.

Pros

  • Staunch, sturdy legs
  • PID controller for precise temperatures
  • Meat probe included
  • Peaked lid fits racks of ribs
  • Wifi control with smartphone app
  • Optional travel cart (sold separately)
  • Drip bucket for grease collection
  • 5 degree incremental temperature increase

Cons

  • Auger can be temperamental at times

Also available at greenmountaingrills.com.

Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 20 x 21 x 13 inches
Item Weight - 60 pounds
Voltage - 120 V
Max Temperature - 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooking Space - 184 square inches
Hopper Capacity - 8 pounds

Traeger Grills Ranger portable pellet grill smoker has been designed with the traveler in mind. We love the lid latch that allows you to lock the unit closed and makes carrying and transporting it so much easier and more safe.

The Traeger Ranger grill racks are coated in porcelain for easy cleaning, and the unit comes with a grease bucket (although some customers have noted that it isn't positioned all that well so some grease escapes).

The real innovation with the Traeger Ranger is the advanced grilling technology which means that precise temperatures can be achieved and maintained within 5 degrees. That is really important for aiding perfect cooking performance, so passionate foodies will appreciate this model.

The 'keep-warm' mode allows you to hold burgers at an appetizing temperature without making them dry out, and the built-in timer lets you leave the unit to do its thing without worry.

Pros

  • Cast iron griddle for perfect sear
  • Porcelain coated grill racks for easy cleaning
  • Advanced grilling logic achieves precise temps
  • Handy in-built timer
  • Digital controller
  • Latched lid for portability
  • Keep warm mode
  • Meat probe included
  • Holds temps within 5 degrees

Cons

  • Drip bucket in wrong position

Also available at traeger.com.

Traeger Grills Tailgater Pellet Grill

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 37 x 18 x 36 inches
Item Weight - 62 pounds
Voltage - 115 V
Temperature Range - 180 - 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooking Space - 300 square inches
Hopper Capacity - 8 pounds

Traeger Grills Tailgater pellet grill has an impressive 300 square inches of cooking surface and 8 pounds of pellet hopper capacity, meaning that this unit can deal with larger loads.

If you like to go away with extended family, or love cooking for friends you make at the campsite, then this unit allows you to do so. The Traeger Tailgater has a generous design without being overly bulky.

At 62 pounds in weight, the Traeger Tailgater is the right size and weight for tailgating, camping, fishing trips and more, and the caster wheels aid its portability further, allowing you to push it rather than carry it from the car to the cook site.

We really like how the Traeger Tailgater has a 6-in-1 versatility which allows you to grill, braise, sear, BBQ, bake or roast. This really is a top choice for adventurous chefs - in every sense of the word!

Pros

  • EZ-folding legs for portability
  • 6-in-1 cooking versatility
  • Porcelain coated grill grates
  • Digital arc controller
  • Holds temps to within 15 degrees
  • Keep warm mode
  • 3 rib racks, 2 chickens, 12 burgers

Cons

  • The blower is temperamental
  • Traeger Tailgater has an expensive price point

Also available at traeger.com.

Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet Smoker

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 40 x 22.5 x 20 inches
Item Weight - 100 pounds
Voltage - 110 V
Temperature Range - 160 - 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooking Space - 501 square inches
Hopper Capacity - 10 pounds

The Camp Chef Pursuit is a mighty pellet grill which offers the largest cooking surface area on our list.

With a total cooking space of 501 square inches you can cook up huge amounts of delicious food for all your friends and family.

This really is a wonderfully communal unit which is great for those who like to go on holiday with multiple others.

Camp Chef has made this unit portable through the introduction of folding legs which tuck away for easy storage and compact transportation.

Better still, the Camp Chef Pursuit has a unique Slide and Grill functionality which allows you to switch effortlessly between indirect heat and open flame broiling.

Whether you like slow succulent smokes, or hot, fiery sears, the Camp Chef Pursuit has you covered.

This unit comes with dual meat probes so that you can monitor your cooks closely and achieve perfect results. We also love the 10 heat settings which go up in 5-degree increments, allowing great ease of use whilst also offering precise temperatures. Amazing!

Pros

  • Folding leg design with wheels
  • Huge cooking capacity
  • PID controller for consistent cooks
  • Switch between indirect and direct flame broil
  • Slide and Grill for 650 searing heat
  • Ash clean out system
  • Includes 2 meat probes
  • 1-10 adjustable heat settings

Cons

  • Camp Chef Pursuit has a premium price point
  • Wheels are not great on anything other than flat, smooth surfaces

Also available at campchef.com.

Cuisinart CPG 256 Portable Pellet Smoker

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 24 x 18 x 15 inches
Item Weight - 45 pounds
Temperature Range - 180 - 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooking Space - 256 square inches
Hopper Capacity - 4 pounds

Next up, we have this portable smoker by Cuisinart, and it is a great affordable option for all those who wish to enjoy the joys of portable pellet grilling without breaking the bank.

Many of the other units on our list come with a hefty price tag, but this pellet grill has a value price tag whilst offering great performance and quality.

This portable pellet smoker is the lightest weight unit on our list, and is a whole 10 pounds lighter than the Asmoke model. Believe us when we say that those 10 pounds make a huge difference when lugging a unit from the car to the campsite, or down onto the beach.

It offers a wide temperature range and a very respectable 256 square inches of cooking space. The only downside is the small pellet hopper capacity which limits your freedom away from the unit.

We love that this value unit has a PID temperature controller plus an integrated sear zone so that you can finish off slow smoked cuts and achieve a beautiful charred grill pattern. Yum yum!

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Integrated sear zone
  • Electronic auto start ignition
  • PID digital temperature display and controller
  • Lock latch lid
  • Meat probe included
  • 8-in-1 cooking versatility

Cons

  • Small hopper capacity

Also available at cuisinart.com.

PIT BOSS SPORTSMAN Portable Wood Pellet Grill

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 38 x 25 x 37.5 inches
Item Weight - 79.81 pounds
Voltage - 12 V
Temperature Range - 180 - 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooking Space - 387 pounds
Hopper Capacity - 19 pounds

Okay, Pit Boss really are the masters of wood pellet grilling, and their Sportsman portable wood pellet grill has the largest pellet hopper capacity of any unit on our list.

You can load up to 19 lbs of hardwood pellets into this beauty, and leave it to do its thing for hours on end without having to lift a finger. It is even great for overnight cooks, so long as you get up early to check on the meat!

The unit is well constructed, robust and durable, and the large cooking area means you can cater for many even when you are far from home.

However, we should mention that all this extra space and additional features come at the cost of portability.

This Pit Boss unit is not as compact and lightweight as others on our list, and the large wheels struggle to navigate over uneven terrain.

Even so, you can't beat Pit Boss for performance smoking, and the culinary enthusiasts among you will seriously appreciate the craftsmanship and expertise that have gone into this pellet grill design.

Pros

  • Robust stainless steel construction
  • Single meat probe included
  • Folding legs and sturdy wheels for portability
  • Auto start up and cool down
  • Digital control board
  • LED display is easy to read
  • Cast iron cooking grates are porcelain coated

Cons

  • Less compact than other portable models
  • Expensive price point

Also available at walmart.com

Grilla Grills Chimp Wood Pellet Grill

Specs

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 38 x 20 x 41 inches
Item Weight - 90 pounds
Voltage - 120 V
Temperature Range - 180 -500 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooking Space - 460 square inches
Hopper Capacity - 15 pounds

Grilla Grills Chimp portable wood pellet grill is an absolutely fantastic unit with so many amazing additional features which set it apart from the competition. We particularly love how this grill is doubly insulated so that you can maintain consistent temperatures no matter what the ambient temperature may be.

It means that this portable wood pellet grill is a fantastic option for those who camp in all seasons, not just in summer. Should the wind pick up and the temperature drop, your cook will still be succulent and flavorful.

We absolutely love Grilla Grills' own range of hardwood pellets which are filled with flavor and imbue any cook with another dimension of taste.

The 460 square inches of cooking space is the second largest capacity on our list, as is the 15 lbs pellet hopper, meaning this unit can cope with whatever you throw at it.

There are some great safety features on this Grilla Grills Chimp, such as auto shut off at high and low temperatures, and an anti-flare up grease collection system. All in all it is a reliable and powerful unit that has all the versatility of a full sized pellet grill.

Pros

  • Temp settings at 5-degree increments
  • Heavy duty steel construction
  • Drip pan prevents flame flare ups
  • Folding legs with snap lock
  • Auto shutdown prevents overheating and under heating
  • Alpha connection wifi controller
  • Digital controller system and back lit display
  • Auto ignition
  • Double wall insulation helps maintain temp

Cons

  • Grilla Grills' wifi app is sometimes glitchy

Buyer's Guide

Before you decide which portable pellet grill is best suited to your purposes, here are a few things that you should take into consideration:

Cooking Space

The amount of space you need to accommodate varies depending on whether you plan to use it mainly for smoking or grilling. If you want to smoke food, then you'll need more space than if you're planning to grill.

For example, if you're going camping, then you might want something small enough to fit inside your tent. However, if you're looking for something bigger, then we recommend checking out the Grilla Grills Chimp.

This model comes with a whopping 460 square inches of cooking area, making it perfect for large parties and barbecues.

Power Source

When you are out in the wild you need a unit that accepts the right power supply. Most portable pellet smokers come with a 12V input socket, but some also have a 24V input.

If yours does not, then you'll need to make sure you bring along a suitable adapter. You can find adapters for most common power supplies online.

Hopper Capacity

This refers to the size of the container where you store your pellets. A larger hopper means you can feed more pellets into the cooker.

Some models offer two different sizes of hoppers, one for smaller amounts of pellets and one for larger ones. When choosing between these two options, make sure that the larger one is compatible with the size of pellets you intend to use.

Ease of Use

If you intend to use your portable pellet smoker for smoking meat, then you'll need a unit that's easy to clean. Pellets tend to stick around after they've been smoked, so you'll need to keep them away from your food.

Cleaning the cooker itself is usually pretty straightforward, but when cleaning the drip tray and ash catcher be careful not to get any ashes in the holes. It will clog them up and cause problems.

Easy clean out systems are great because they mean you don't have to spend your vacation scrubbing your grill!

Temperature Control

If you are planning to use your portable pellet smoker to smoke meat, then you'll probably want to set the temperature control to 200°C (400°F). This ensures that your meats cook evenly and retain their juices.

Make sure that you select the correct temperature setting for the type of wood you intend to use. For instance, hardwood burns hotter than softwood, so choose the appropriate setting based on what kind of wood you intend to burn.

Safety Features

As mentioned above, safety features are important when using a pellet smoker. They include an auto shut-off feature, which automatically shuts off the fire once the lid has been removed.

Another safety feature is a thermostat, which prevents the temperature from rising too high. These are both very useful features, especially if you are cooking in remote locations.

Cost

The cost of a pellet smoker depends largely on the quality of the product. There are cheaper models available, but they won't last as long or perform as well as higher end units.

We suggest buying a good quality pellet smoker that offers all the features you require at a reasonable price.

Compact Design

Portable pellet smokers are designed to be compact and light weight, so they are ideal for carrying around. Many people prefer this style of smoker over traditional barbecue pits because it doesn't take up much room and is easier to transport.

Folding legs are another advantage of this design, making it possible to carry your smoker anywhere. And grills with wheels are even better because they're easier to move around.

PID Temperature Control

A PID controller allows you to adjust the temperature of your cooker according to how many pellets are being burned.

You can also adjust the heat output by adjusting the amount of pellets burning per hour. This makes it possible to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the entire cooking process.

Durable Construction

Durability is something that every outdoor enthusiast looks for in a piece of equipment. The best pellet smokers should be made from sturdy materials that won't break easily. Durable construction is essential if you plan to use your smoker outside.

Meat Probes

These are small tubes that allow you to insert probes into the meat while it cooks. Meat probes come in different shapes and sizes depending on what you plan to do with your pellet smoker.

Some are designed specifically for beef, others for pork, chicken or fish. look out for units that offer a meat probe included in the price as they really enhance your ability to monitor your cooks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Pellet Grills Smoke And Grill Food?

Yes! Pellet grills are great for smoking and grilling food. They have two separate chambers, one for heating and the other for smoking.

Depending on the size of your unit, you may need to preheat the chamber before putting any food inside.

How Do I Clean My Pellet Grill?

To keep your pellet grill looking new, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the racks and shelves
  2. Clean the grease trap
  3. Wipe down the exterior of the unit with a damp cloth
  4. Spray the interior of the unit with a non-stick spray
  5. Rinse the unit thoroughly under hot water
  6. Dry the unit completely

What's the difference between a pellet smoker and a regular BBQ pit?
There are several differences between a pellet smoker vs. a regular BBQ pit.

A pellet smoker has an enclosed area where the fire burns, whereas a BBQ pit does not.

Also, a pellet smoker will have a lid that covers the whole top of the unit, which helps retain heat and keeps the smoke contained within the unit.

Another difference is that a pellet smoker uses wood pellets as fuel, whereas a BBQ pit uses hardwood logs.

Conclusion

Getting the right portable pellet grill will enable you to enjoy top quality smoking and grilling even when you are far from home.

Make sure that you consider size, price, and functionality, and you are sure to find the perfect wood pellet grill for your travels!

Lianne Jones
Lianne Jones


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