If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Top 7 Best Pellet Grills Under $500 (Review)

by Lianne Jones May 25, 2022

Top 7 Best Pellet Grills Under $500 (Review)

Are you looking for a good pellet grill that won't break the bank? If so, then look no further because we've got you covered. In this article, we'll show you some of our favorite pellet grills under 500 dollars.

On a hot summer's day, slaving away in a hot kitchen can be very far from fun. On occasions like this, firing up the grill for an impromptu barbecue is a great choice for fast and easy food.

There are lots of modern grills that come packed with incredible features, but they come at a hefty price. Don't worry, though, it is possible to find great pellet grills online for a budget price.

Pellets are basically compressed sawdust or wood chips that burn cleanly and efficiently. They are often compared to charcoal briquettes, but they are much cleaner burning and produce less ash.

Pellets also tend to last longer than charcoal briquettes and are used in many grills to produce flavored smoke. This allows you to smoke your meat while you cook it, adding an authentic smokey flavor that is delicious.

So without further ado, let's look at some of the best pellet grills available online for under $500

Green Mountain Portable Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill

Green Mountain Portable Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill

This tailgating grill is designed to be highly portable, so you can pack it in the back of your pickup truck and enjoy an instant barbecue whenever you want.

It runs on very low electricity, which makes it easy to hook up to a car battery or a small solar panel.

As such, this will make a great choice for a cheap camping grill, so you can enjoy delicious seared and smoked delicacies no matter where you are.

The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is one of the most versatile pellet grills out there.

With 219 sq of cooking space, you will be able to make enough food for your whole family. Its compact footprint, also makes this model even easier to store and transport, especially when you fold away the legs.

There are three different adapters for plugging this grill into a regular 110V plug socket. There is also a 12V adapter, so you can hook up your grill to a car battery when you are camping out in the sticks.

Thanks to these adapters, you shouldn't have any trouble connecting this versatile grill to any kind of power source below 110V.

With a sense mate temperature sensor located in the main grilling area, this model knows exactly how much heat you are exposing your food to.

This makes it much easier to control, and you can even alter the temp from your phone with the inbuilt Wi-Fi. The hopper can hold 9lbs of pellets, which should be enough for preparing a whole meal before you need a refill.

Specs

  • Dimensions (in): 30(l) x 15(w) x 21.7(h)
  • Weight (lbs): 67.60
  • Cooking Space (sq in): 219
  • Hopper Capacity (lbs): 9
  • Max temperature: 550 °F
  • Additional Features: Foldable legs, digital temperature controls, Wi-Fi smart controls, 110V, and 12V power supply

Pros

  • The foldable design makes this grill easy to store and transport.
  • In-built Wi-Fi allows you to control the temperature from your phone
  • Sense-mate keeps the inside of the grill at a constant temperature.

Cons

  • Maybe too small for a home grill, but perfect for a camping model.

Also Available At

Z GRILLS ZPG-450A Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

 Z GRILLS ZPG-450A Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

If you're looking for something that is a little more accessible than a standard pellet grill, then the Z GRILLS ZPGB-450A wood pellet grill and smoker may be just what you're looking for.

Not only does this unit offer a larger cooking surface than the Green Mountain grill, but it also comes with a variety of other great features as well.

First off, the Z PGB-450A comes equipped with a large cast-iron lid that holds the heat in perfectly. Coupled with automatic digital temperature controls, you shouldn't have any trouble getting your grill hot enough for a sizzling barbecue.

You can use this model to braise, sear, roast, bake and char grill, making a versatile cooking tool that can be used to make all of your favorite foods.

There are large wheels on one end of the grill, which makes it easy to roll in and out of your garage when you are ready to cook outside.

The 15lb hopper should have a large enough capacity, to cook for a whole family without needing a refill.

Thanks to the advanced pellet feeding system, this grill can produce a lot of smoke for making delicious meat and fish with a smokey flavor.

The Z PGB-450A is a durable model that is very satisfying to use. There is a rust-resistant coating over the metal components, so they won't rust if exposed to a little bit of rain.

When you buy this model, you will receive a waterproof grill cover so that you can keep it safe when it's not in use.

Specs

  • Dimensions (in): 45(l) x 28(w) x 49(h)
  • Weight (lbs): 84
  • Cooking Space (sq in): 452
  • Hopper Capacity (lbs): 15
  • Max temperature: 450°F
  • Additional Features: PID temperature controls, waterproof cover, advanced pellet feeder.

Pros

  • The thick metal lid traps in the heat for a more stable cooking temperature.
  • Advance pellet feeding system.
  • Large cooking space for small families and gatherings.

Cons

  • The PID temperature control isn't the most reliable.

Also Available At

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

This Camp Chef SmokePro DLX pellet grill is a simple yet efficient grill that offers all the things you need along with a few extras.

It is compatible with a range of attachments, and you can easily attach a griddle for making burgers and fresh bread, as well as smoked meats.

The attachments don't come included, but if you can find a suitably sized griddle, then it will make your grill even more versatile as a cooking tool.

With this unit, you'll be able to easily prepare meals like burgers, chicken, ribs, steaks, and even pizza. It comes with a meat thermometer, so you can keep track of how your food is coming along.

The PID controls make it very easy to maintain a consistent temperature inside the grill so that your food will be perfectly done.

The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX has a maximum temperature of 500 °F, which is perfect for searing meats and preparing other high-heat dishes.

With its side shelf, you can store extra ingredients and tools, and even place a chopping board for cutting upside dishes to go with your meat.

This grill has an 18lb hopper that won't need to be constantly refilled while you are cooking. It is also very easy to clean out thanks to the removable ash cup that just needs to be knocked out after every use.

There are wheels on the bottom which make the grill easy to move around from place to place. However, these wheels don't have very thick tires, which will make them difficult to push over thick grass or other types of rough terrain.

Specs

  • Dimensions (in): 45(l) x 21(w) x 51(h)
  • Weight (lbs): 127
  • Cooking Space (sq in): 570
  • Hopper Capacity (lbs): 18
  • Max temperature: 500 °F
  • Additional Features: Attachment compatible, 2 meat thermometers, grease management system.

Pros

  • Ash cup is easy to clean out.
  • PID temperature controls are great at maintaining a steady temperature.
  • Compatible with different attachments such as a griddle.

Cons

The wheels will struggle to move over rough terrain.

Also Available At

Camp Chef 20" Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill

Camp Chef 20 Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill

 

This is another awesome Camp Chef product that is perfect for anyone who wants a portable grill that they can take with them when camping.

This model has foldable legs that can be tucked away to make it incredibly compact. The lid on the main compartment and hopper both lock down so that they won't fly open while you are transporting the unit from place to place.

For a portable camping grill, this model is a little on the heavy side, weighing in at just under 100lbs. As such, you may need two people to safely lift in and out of your pickup truck or car.

While it may make it a little heavy, the extra weight is a sign of this grill’s durable construction that will ensure you are using it for many years to come.

The PID temperature controls are easy to use and great at maintaining a consistent cooking temperature.

Even in bright sunlight, the display is designed for both high glare and low glare conditions, so you can always read it with ease. When you buy this product, you will also receive two meat probes, so that you will know exactly when your food is nearly done.

Everything about this grill is designed for convenience. The ash cup is easy to remove and clean out after each cooking session.

With the slide and grill technology, you can instantly switch between indirect heat to cooking over an open flame, which is great for searing and chargrilling.

Even with the legs at full extension, this grill sits a little low and may be annoying to use for anyone who is very tall.

Specs

  • Dimensions (in): 38(l) x 18.5(w) x 32(h)
  • Weight (lbs): 82
  • Cooking Space (sq in): 501
  • Hopper Capacity (lbs): 10
  • Max temperature: 500 °F
  • Additional Features: Foldable legs and lockable lids, meat probes, slide, and grill technology.

Pros

  • Foldable legs for easy transport.
  • PID temperature controls help to maintain a consistent temperature.
  • Comes with two meat probes.
  • Slide and grill technology allows you to instantly start cooking over an open flame instead of over indirect heat.

Cons

  • This grill is a little short, even with the legs at full extension.
  • Heavy for a camping stove.

Also Available At

PIT BOSS 71700FB 700FB Pellet Grill

PIT BOSS 71700FB 700FB Pellet Grill

If you want a high-quality pellet grill that is available at an affordable price, then this model made by Pit Boss is worth considering.

It's made from very durable materials, with all of the features you could want from a budget pellet grill, as well as a few extras.

The digital temperature controls are incredibly easy to navigate and very stable, so you won't risk burning or undercooking your meat.

Another feature that makes this model stand out is the ability to cook directly over an open flame. There is a slide plate located just below the grill, which can be slid back to allow you to cook over an open flame.

This makes the 71700FB a versatile cooking tool that you can use for baking, flame broiling, or searing.

The grills for this model are porcelain-coated, which means that they will retain their heat better to remove the chance of temperature fluctuations.

There are wheels for moving this grill around, although they are the weakest part of this product.

You should have no trouble rolling them over short grass or flat surfaces, but when it comes to anything more overgrown, they may get jammed very easily.

Despite its compact footprint, this grill has 700 sq inches of cooking space, which makes it perfect for family barbecues and small gatherings.

It comes with a special cover made from waterproof PVC materials. As such, if you don't have space for it in your garage, you can simply leave it outside and throw the cover over the grill to keep it safe from the elements.

Specs

  • Dimensions (in): 24.8(l) x 22.05(w) x 43(h)
  • Weight (lbs): 118
  • Cooking Space (sq in): 700
  • Hopper Capacity (lbs): 18
  • Max temperature: 600 °F
  • Additional Features: Waterproof cover, flame plate.

Pros

  • Offers a large cooking space.
  • Can reach temperatures of up to 600 °F
  • Can be used for flame broiling.
  • The controls are simple and easy to use.

Cons

  • The wheels aren't very sturdy.

Also Available At

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill And Smoker

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill And Smoker

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 offers a lot of value for money. With a maximum temperature of 450° F, it is suitable for most types of food, including steaks, chicken, pork chops, vegetables, fish, etc.

Just like the other tailgating grills we have looked at, this model comes with foldable legs that make it easy to store and transport.

The whole grill only weighs 62 lbs, so you should have no trouble at all lifting it into the back of your pick-up truck or van.

You get 300 sq inches of cooking space, which should be more than enough for everyone in your family to enjoy a sizzling barbecue while camping.

Just like all Traeger products, this grill has an advanced pellet feeding system that provides great economy and will allow you to cook a large amount of food on a small number of pellets.

This grill sports a durable build that is sure to last you for years to come, provided you look after it properly. It has insulated walls, which means it will hold its heat very well.

As such, you won't have any trouble getting your grill to the right temperature for cooking your meat.

The digital temperature controls also help with preventing temperature fluctuations. They are simple, easy to use, and feature a stay warm mode that will put the grill on stand-by.

You can use this grill to braise, smoke, sear, bake, and barbecue, making it the perfect tool for cooking outdoors.

Specs

  • Dimensions (in): 37(l) x 18(w) x 38(h)
  • Weight (lbs): 62
  • Cooking Space (sq in): 300
  • Hopper Capacity (lbs): 8
  • Max temperature: 450 °F
  • Additional Features: Foldable legs, keep warm mode, porcelain-coated grates, meat probe.

Pros

  • Insulated walls for a more consistent internal temperature
  • Compact and highly portable.
  • Stay warm mode means your grill is always ready for action when you need it.

Cons

  • The maximum temperature is quite low.

Also Available At

PIT BOSS PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill

PIT BOSS PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill

If you want a high-quality grill that won't break the bank, then the Pit Boss PB440D2 is the one for you.

This is a top-selling product because of its excellent performance, durability, and ease of use.

The main reason why this grill stands out from the crowd is due to its stylish design that strikes the right balance between form and functionality.

The lid of this grill features a temperature gauge, so you will always be able to tell exactly how hot it is inside the main compartment.

This works in conjunction with the PID temperature controls, to help you perfectly cook all of your food. The lid itself is made of heavy-duty stainless steel to offer both durability and better heat retention.

On the side of the main cooking chamber, you will find a removable side shelf. This is a great space for chopping side dishes and preparing your next cut of meat before placing it on the grill.

There is a fan in this grill, which is designed to prevent temperature fluctuations that could spoil your food.

Like some of the other premium grills we have looked at, this unit comes with a movable searing plate.

This allows you to cook over an open flame whenever you want, offering a versatile range of cooking options when using your grill.

When you purchase the PB440D2, you will also receive a stainless steel thermometer, so you will know exactly when your food has been cooked to perfection.

Specs

  • Dimensions (in): 50(l) x 24(w) x 40(h)
  • Weight (lbs): 97.8
  • Cooking Space (sq in): 465
  • Hopper Capacity (lbs): 5
  • Max temperature: 500 °F
  • Additional Features: Stainless steel meat thermometer: bottle opener, removable side tray, automatic start and cool down.

Pros

  • A removable side shelf provides space to prepare your food before you put it on the grill.
  • The temperature gauge on the lid lets you know exactly how hot it is inside the main cooking chamber.
  • Durable construction
  • Comes with a meat thermometer.

Cons

  • The wheels are small and won't roll easily over rough terrain.
  • The 5lb hopper is a little small.

Also Available At

Buyer’s Guide

Cooking on a pellet grill is a lot of fun, and it offers a large variety of approaches when it comes to how you prepare your food. Even though this list focuses on budget grills, that doesn't mean you don't want to buy a quality product that will last a long time.

In this section, we will be sharing some helpful tips to help you choose the right pellet grill for your outdoor cooking needs.

Temperature Controls

One of the most important things to consider when buying a pellet grill is whether or not they come with digital temperature controls.

These types of grills tend to cost more than their analog counterparts, but they do provide much greater control over the temperature of your main cooking chamber.

Digital controls will often be able to raise the heat to the required level, and then automatically turn off to save on energy and prevent burning your food.

As such, they are much better at maintaining a constant temperature, which is essential for properly cooking both meat and fish.

If the temperature inside your cooking area rapidly rises or falls, then it will lead to your food being either burnt or undercooked.

It isn't just about the controls themselves though, other factors such as the thickness of the walls and efficiency of the pellet feeder will also affect heat stability.

Metal Thickness

You want the walls of your main cooking chamber to be suitably thick. Not only is this a sign of a durable grill, but it will also provide better heat retention.

This means that the temperature control unit won't have to work as hard to keep the heat in your grill at a constant level.

If you are buying a portable grill that you want to take camping with you, then you may want to trade heat retention for something slightly lighter.

This will make it much easier to load the grill into your van or pickup truck. Many Traeger grills come with extra thick insulated walls.

This is perfect for anyone who lives in colder climates, as they can still grill food outside, even when standing in the middle of a snowdrift.

Portability

Most grills will live in your garage and only get rolled out in the summer for a nice barbecue now and then. As such, you won't need to lift or carry the grill much, especially if you buy a model that has wheels on the legs.

However, you will need to take a good look at your garden and see what kind of wheels you are looking for.

If you want to push your grill over a patio, then you can buy one that has smaller wheels, but for pushing it over long grass you may need something a little more heavy-duty.

You can also find plenty of tailgating grills on the market. These are smaller models, often with folding legs, that are designed to be used and transported in the back of a pickup truck or van.

They are great for camping trips, or other occasions when you may want to use your grill away from home.

If you are considering a tailgating grill, then you will want to buy one that is lightweight and easy to carry. This will make loading it into your car much easier.

It also helps to have one that can run on both 110v and 12V power supplies. This will give you the option to plug your grill into an ordinary wall socket or power it using a car battery.

While tailgating grills may have less cooking space, they are perfect for feeding a small family on a camping trip.

Cooking Space

You should think about what you plan to use your grill for and how many people you intend to feed at once with it.

If you want a grill just for you and your family to enjoy a nice summer barbecue, then you can afford a cheaper model with less overall cooking space.

However, if you plan on hosting large get-togethers and parties, then you will want a larger model that can prepare food for more people.

Most grills will have two shelves, with the bottom one being the hottest since it is closer to the flames.

This allows you to use the top shelf for keeping things warm while other items cook, allowing you to have a constant rotation of food on and off the grill.

Cooking Styles

The wonderful thing about pellet grills is how versatile they are. You can use these devices to grill, char-grill, smoke, sear, and even bake.

If you want to make your grill even more versatile, then some models will allow you to add attachments such as griddles over the main rack. This will open up even more cooking styles and allow you to make things such as fresh bread and pizzas.

Some grills will come with moveable sear plates. This is the piece of metal covering the burner, which heats the main cooking area.

Moveable sear plates can be retracted, allowing you to cook over an open flame. This is a great feature to have if you enjoy flame-broiled meats.

Hopper Capacity

The hopper is the box on the side of your grill that holds your wood pellets. Naturally, you want your grill to have a larger hopper since it means you won't need to refill it as often.

You don't want anything too large, though as if your pellets are left to sit in the hopper for too long they may absorb moisture from the air. This means that they won't burn as efficiently, which may slow down your cooking process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are PID Temperature Controls?

A common feature on many pellet grills is PID temperature controls. A PID is a special device that turns the temperature controller on and off to maintain a constant internal temperature inside your grill.

PIDs are a very useful feature since they can be used to make minute alterations in temperature very quickly.

This means that they can turn the heater on or off as needed to keep the temperature inside your grill at just the right level for cooking your food.

Lianne Jones
Lianne Jones


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.