Pellet grills don’t come cheap, but you can still end up with a substandard one if you don’t do your research. So while both Memphis and Traeger are great brands, this still begs the question: which one is better? After hours of testing and comparison, we found out the answer.
To give a little background, Memphis Wood Fire Grills was first introduced to the market in 2010. Their American-made grills are engineered and manufactured in Bloomington, Minnesota.
While relatively new to the market, Memphis has already established a firm footing by positioning itself as a premium brand. The three things they put an emphasis on are technology, durability, and performance.
Made of the highest-quality 304 stainless steel, Memphis Grills are built to last. Their models are also available in built-in or freestanding units, so you have the freedom to choose your own style.
However, there are two functions that make Memphis stand out from the rest: its touch-pad Intelligent Temperature Control and the direct heating mode.
The ITC is a true innovation in pellet grills. With the app, you can easily monitor and control the temperatures of the grill even when you’re at work, in another room, or in your car.
Also, Memphis is one of the only few grills that allow a direct grilling mode. There’s a direct flame insert that comes with your purchase so you can get a more authentic smoky taste.
With all its features, we find Memphis Grills to be extremely durable and versatile models.
Traeger is another very popular name in the pellet grills industry. Having been introduced to the market in 1985, they have more years in the business compared to Memphis. Traeger patented their technology in 1986, making them the only manufacturer of pellet grills for 20 years.
Today, Traeger remains one of the best brands in the market. However, it falls short in a few areas compared to Memphis - variety, warranty, temperature range, and direct searing capability.
Traeger grills are only available in freestanding models, which is a point of advantage to Memphis due to their built-ins. Memphis also comes with a direct flame insert, allowing you to replace the EZ access insert for direct grilling over the pellet fire .
This function also gives Memphis an advantage when it comes to temperature range. While the max temperature you can reach with Traeger is at 500°F, Memphis has it at 700°F. As such, you can reach record temperatures similar to what gas grills can provide.
Memphis also has a longer warranty than Traeger—more than twice, in fact. Traeger only has a limited warranty for 3 years, while Memphis has 7 years.
With these factors in mind, Memphis is the better option than Traeger. To give you a headstart on finding the best Memphis Grills, we’ve listed the best models we’ve tested below.
Alternatively, you can also check how to build a pellet smoker with your existing grill.
The Memphis Elite series prides itself on combining luxury and function in one machine. With its 304 stainless steel construction, this wood fire pellet grill is built to last.
In our test cookout, we’ve had no problems serving a big crowd with the Elite because it has a generous 1,252 sq.in. of cooking space. Even without the optional grates, you still get an 844-square inch surface—more than enough for the average party.
You can also cook a wide variety of dishes with this pellet grill. It has a temperature range of 180-700°F, a large-capacity 24 lb. pellet hopper, and a direct flame insert for direct searing.
And with the proprietary Intelligent Temperature Control, you can monitor your grill temperature from your couch or on-the-go. It also keeps the set temperature by automatically adding in pellets as needed and taking into account external factors as well.
Overall, this grill delivers a great all-around performance that stands out from the rest.
For those who’d like to have the ability to move their grill around in the backyard, this Memphis Pro freestanding pellet grill is a great choice.
It has a double-walled hood that has an oven-grade gasket seal that effectively keeps the heat in. Plus, the dual convection fans work to effectively circulate the heat throughout the grill for a nice, even cook.
When it comes to the cooking area, this grill has a spacious one that measures 834 square inches. It’s great for medium to large parties because it can fit in a considerable amount of meat. And with a wide temperature range at 180-650°F, you can cook a wide variety of recipes from tough meats to mac n’ cheese.
An advantage of freestanding grills is the additional storage it provides. This Memphis Pro model has shelves that you can use to keep your grilling tools so they’re always ready at hand. As such, this reduces the hassle of prep time and getting things ready.
The price of a Memphis Grill reflects highly in the quality it delivers. But if you’re a bit limited on budget, Memphis’ Beale Street is a pellet grill that doesn’t compromise on features.
It still has most of the features that higher-priced Memphis models - such as Intelligent temperature controls, dual convection fans, a perforated direct flame insert, and a spacious cooking area.
The temperatures in this grill range from 180-550°F. While its max temp is a bit lower than our previous options, it still allows the same flexibility for searing, baking, smoking, and roasting.
Despite the price, Beale Street proves its worth during our tests. The performance was great and the technology functions the same as the higher-end Memphis models, so it’s great for budgeteers who still want quality.
With the technology and features that come with Memphis Grills, it’s not a surprise that they’re one of the most popular pellet grill brands today. Whether you’re having a small or a large BBQ party in your backyard, a Memphis model will provide a great outdoor grilling experience for you and your guests.
How about gas grills? We compared AOG and Weber gas grills here.
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