When you’re looking for a new grill, you’re faced with a welter of options that can seem initially confusing.
Today, we’ll be showcasing the best wood pellet grills on the market so you can determine whether this cooking method meshes with your needs.
If you’re looking for a traditional BBQ experience, you can’t beat a charcoal grill. That said, many people find these tiresome and messy to use.
Unfortunately, while the best propane gas grills or natural gas grills might be remarkably convenient, many people find them lacking in the taste department.
Well, you get a grill that often also allows you to roast, bake, smoke, and sear. Choosing one of these models gives you remarkable versatility.
All you’ll need to do is load in the wood pellets and then wait for the grill to reach your target temperature. The hopper design incorporates an automatic feed so you’ll need to focus on nothing but chef duty without worrying about grill maintenance.
While these appliances are reasonably straightforward, there are nevertheless a few pointers that should inform your buying decision. Consider the following when you’re comparing the best wood pellet grills:
- Cooking surface area: If you’re planning to cook for a large family and a few friends, grills with surface areas from 700 through 900 square inches should meet your needs. For anyone who regularly cooks for much larger parties, you should consider a grill with over 1000 square inches of cooking area
- Hopper size: The size of the hopper on a pellet grill will determine how long you can cook for, and it will also dictate performance. Most hoppers will grill a pound of pellets in 1 to 3 hours
- Materials: On the best wood pellet grills, you’ll find stainless steel throughout rather than simply applied to the exterior
- Cooking grates: Grates are typically made from cast iron or stainless steel, and they are often coated with porcelain enamel to improve non-stick properties
- Functions: Many pellet grills allow you to do much more than grill. Rather than obsessing over the grill with most functions, look inside for one offering those applications you’ll actually use
- Control: Some wood pellet grills are WiFi-enabled, permitting you to take control remotely. Check that any grills on your shortlist are easy to use and control
- Extras: Pellet grills come with integrated meat probes and thermometers to make your life easier. Many also come with side shelves and warming racks
OK, with those basics sketched in, you should be perfectly placed to explore our breakdown of the 12 best wood pellet grills we could find.
I. The 12 Best Wood Pellet Grills
1. Our #1 Pick: Traeger Pro Series Grill
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds
- Total cooking area: 575 square inches
- Dimensions: 27 x 41 x 53 inches
The manufacturer markets the wood pellet grill with the strapline that you’ll never need gas or charcoal again. If you’re ready to leave those cooking methods behind and to embrace the flexibility and convenience of cooking with wood pellets, as well as benefiting from that trademark taste, you can rely on Traeger.
If you enjoy using smart devices at home for the purposes of remote control, you’ll love this WiFi-enabled grill. Using the free Traeger app, you can take control of your grill at a distance. If you have an Echo device, you can also use Alexa for hands-free control.
It’s not just ease of control where this grill scores, though. You also benefit from an extremely versatile appliance. You can smoke, bake, and braise with this thing, and you can also grill, roast, and BBQ.
The total cooking surface area is spacious and you should easily cater for a large family and guests next time you plan a cookout. To put the surface area into perspective, you can rustle up 24 burgers, 5 racks of ribs or 5 chickens. Sounds tempting, right?
This iteration of the Pro 575 is an enduringly popular model in the Traeger line, and it’s been overhauled with an uprated drive train to deliver even more seamless performance than ever.
While you’ll find nothing but praise for this pellet grill in user reviews, the same cannot be said for this company’s reputation for customer service. Pack plenty of patience if you need to wrangle with the department. Overall, you’re getting one of the best wood pellet grills from an industry specialist. We’re sure this grill will yield years of happy cooking.
2. Camp Chef SmokePro
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds
- Total cooking area: 573 square inches
- Dimensions: 45 x 21 x 51 inches
The Camp Chef SmokePro is another digitally-controlled grill that runs on wood pellets, so what makes this model stand out in a crowded pack?
Firstly, you’ll need to choose from a range of configurations, including this grill/smoker combo. This is the base model and offers you multipurpose and no-nonsense cooking at a reasonable price point.
The build is reassuringly solid throughout. As long as you look after this thing, you should enjoy years of faithful service.
There is an automatic pellet auger, so you’ll achieve seamless grilling without endlessly fueling your grill, a common bugbear of cooking with charcoal.
The overall cooking area is generous at 573 square inches, so this grill makes a neat fit for larger families or anyone looking to frequently entertain for guests. The pellet hopper holds enough wood pellets to keep you going all day long, too.
When your food is ready to serve, you can use the warming rack to keep it until your guests grab it away
You can adjust the temperature through a wide band from 160F to 500F. Whether you’re looking to cook low and slow, or to hit the higher temperatures required for smoking meat and fish, you have all bases covered here. Control is PID and highly precise.
There are a pair of meat probes onboard, so you won’t need to fuss over whether or not those burgers are safe to eat.
Ash disposal is lacking and you’ll need a shop vac to get rid of this efficiently. This minot gripe aside, you’re getting one of the best wood pellet grills on a budget, and it’s a home run from an industry specialist as an added bonus.
3. Green Mountain Davy Crocket Grills
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds
- Total cooking area: 219 square inches
- Dimensions: 29.9 x 15 x 21.7 inches
Wood pellet grills are not limited to permanent setup on the patio or decking. If you need a portable grill for tailgating, camping, or fishing, this is one of the best pellet-based options at your disposal.
The grill weighs less than 60 pounds, so you won’t strain yourself transporting it. The legs fold down, enabling it to fit neatly into most regular car trunks. When you need traditional barbecued food on the go, Green Mountain should be your go-to.
Sense Mate is baked into this grill, constantly monitoring the temperature in the background so you can cook with precision without tinkering about with a thermometer.
When you think your meat is ready to serve, why leave it to chance? Slide in the meat probe included to check that it’s safely and properly cooked all the way through.
You can run this unit on 110 volts, and there are also adapters included to give you a total of three power options, making this one of the most versatile grills out there that makes use of wood pellets.
There is a large digital controller supplied, and you can use the iOS or Android app for hands-free control. This wood pellet grill from Green Mountain would make the perfect addition to any smart home, so why not treat yourself this summer?
4. Z Grills 8-in-1 BBQ Grill
- Hopper Capacity: 20 pounds
- Total cooking area: 700 square inches
- Dimensions: 48 x 22 x 51 inches
Next up is a great grill from Z Grills, proving that not all lesser-known brands fail to deliver. If you’re prepared to take a chance on a relative unknown, how does this thing shape up?
Off the bat, you get a rugged steel build and precision engineering that outs many more pricey grills to shame. As long as you keep this grill clean and stay on top of maintenance, you should get plenty of life out of this workhorse.
There are two colorways available, this black model and a silver alternative. Both look elegant and understated while also hinting at the power under the hood.
The total cooking surface area of 700 square inches offers you ample space to cook up a storm for a large gathering. If you’re still spending more time at home than usual, why not make the very most out of it with regular cookouts?
The automatic electric feed takes all the sting out of fueling the grill and lets you focus on whipping up your signature dish rather than endlessly stoking the fire.
Most user testimony concerning this grill is pretty positive. The complaints we found centered on temperature maintenance. Bear this in mind if accuracy is paramount when you’re grilling.
With 20 pounds of pellets loaded into this thing, you could cook for 10 hours straight, more than enough for most reasonable requirements.
So, if you’re looking to embrace the taste of grilling with charcoal but you want a more seamless cooking experience, try using one of the best wood pellet grills like this and you’ll never look back.
5. Pit Boss Pellet Grill
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds
- Total cooking area: 700 square inches
- Dimensions: 24.8 x 22 x 43 inches
Pit Boss is one of the most reputable names in this vertical and with just cause. This classic pellet grill shows why so many grillers the world over place their trust in this brand.
If you want a grill with enough cooking area to cater for large gatherings, you’ll appreciate the 700 square inches of space on offer here. Rustle up burgers, hot dogs, and steaks galore without needing to whip them up in tiny batches.
The burn system is digitally controlled for maximum efficiency and minimum effort. All you need to do is load in the pellets before firing this unit up and then you can turn your full attention to grilling.
The cast iron cooking grids are coated with enamel so you’ll avoid food debris splattered all over the grate. As with all grills, you should clean up after each use. By doing this, you’ll sidestep any lengthy and involved cleanups. Little and often always wins.
This is the base model and it comes without a side shelf so make sure this won’t pose a problem before committing to purchase.
By using completely natural wood pellets, you’ll give your food a taste that propane grills or natural gas grills simply can’t achieve. So, if you’d like the convenience of these cooking methods with the taste sensation of a charcoal grill, we’d suggest you road test the Pit Boss.
6. Weber SmokeFire Wood Fired Pellet Grill
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds
- Total cooking area: 672 square inches
- Dimensions: 30.3 x 43.5 x 31.3 inches
Weber has a large stable of great grills in many different shapes and styles. This model is the second-generation EX4, so how does this wood pellet beauty deliver?
You get a nice combination here of a grill that’s reasonably compact and lightweight while still offering a spacious cooking area for a small family feast. The dual grilling area totals 672 square inches, so you won’t be left wanting.
You can cook a variety of dishes using this grill thanks to the broad temperature band from 200F to 600F. This lets you smoke your food slow and low if you have the time for some succulent treats. At the upper end, you’ll be able to sear your food to impart that classic BBQ taste.
Heat distribution is precise and even. You’ll get everything you throw on the grill plates cooked all the way through with no nasty dry patches and no spots that don’t get cooked either.
The engine is highly capable and designed to minimize the chance of auger jams.
With smart functionality baked in, you can take control of your grill remotely, a nice conversation piece at your next garden party.
While most user reviews of the Weber are positive and the brand image is outstanding, we found some complaints from users experiencing issues with the controller freezing and requiring a hard reset. If you find yourself overwhelmed when tech goes wrong, you may want to consider one of the more seamless grills on our shortlist.
7. Ooni Fyra Wood Fired Pellet Pizza Oven
- Maximum temperature: 950F
- Weight: 22 pounds
- Dimensions: 18.9 x 10.2 x 27.2 inches
Next up we have something slightly different for all you lovers of Italian food. The reason traditional pizzas taste so great is the way they are cooked at high heat for a very short duration. You’ll need to try this pizza oven from Ooni Fyra to believe the performance on offer.
Once the temperature is up – and it takes just 15 minutes to hit a scorching 950F – you can then rack up a simple Neapolitan pizza in just 60 seconds. It’s not just the speed that will impress you either. Since this oven runs on wood pellets, you’ll also get a similar taste sensation to the wood-fired ovens in pizzerias.
This model is the new and improved version of the world’s first pellet-fueled pizza oven.
While this is a much more limited option than many on our shortlist today, if you’re looking to cook pizzas at home on the regular, you should view this oven as an investment rather than an expense. Kiss goodbye to $50 pizza deliveries and usher in a new era of cooking superior versions out in the yard in one minute flat.
The legs fold down on this oven giving you easy storage in a limited space. The oven weighs just 20 pounds, too, so you’re getting a great deal of power and performance in a very small footprint.
8. Traeger Grills Ranger Grill
- Hopper Capacity: 8 pounds
- Total cooking area: 184 square inches
- Dimensions: 20 x 21 x 13 inches
Traeger hits another homer with this compact wood pellet grill that makes a wonderful travel solution, and is also equally at home permanently installed in the back yard.
The overall dimensions of this thing are just 20 x 21 x 13 inches, and it’s reasonably lightweight, too.
The griddle on this unit is made from cast iron, universally acclaimed for its heat retaining properties. The grate is easy to keep clean, and we would advise taking care of this after every cookout. If you allow food debris to accumulate, you’ll end up needing to roll your sleeves up and deal with a very unpleasant job. Keep on top of this and it will prove no problem at all.
There are multiple configurations available in this line. This is the grill/smoker combo, allowing you great freedom to cook up a variety of dishes using a single compact appliance.
Advanced Grilling Logic baked in helps to keep the temperature nicely regulated, allowing you to cook with confidence and precision.
Aside from a handful of isolated complaints concerning the build-up of grease on this thing, most users are extremely satisfied with their purchase.
9. Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds
- Total cooking area: 780 square inches
- Dimensions: 48.7 x 26.7 x 54.4 inches
As you’ll see by now, Traeger has a heavy presence in this vertical, and when you cook using one of their grills, the reason for this reputation becomes clear.
The Pro 780 is one of the larger grills in this deep product bench, so how does it cope with cooking duties?
The 6-in-1 model allows you to braise, smoke, grill, roast, bake, and BBQ using a single unit. Create an imaginative many catering to the taste of all your guests without needing to spend all night in the kitchen.
Throw over 30 burgers on the grates, or cook up a half-dozen racks of ribs or chickens at the same time. The total cooking surface area totals almost 800 square inches, making this model a neat fit for larger families.
These grill grates are coated with porcelain, so you’ll find keeping them clean and absolute cinch, and you shouldn’t end up with your burgers disintegrating all over the grates. Spray some oil on before cooking to streamline this process further.
This is a smart grill that comes WiFi-enabled and lets you take charge of everything at a distance in-app. You can still control the grill using the standard method, too, so don’t panic if you’re not the biggest tech-lover.
Overall fit and finish could be tweaked on this grill considering the price point, but it still makes one of the best wood pellet grills out there and comes from one of the best-loved brands in the business.
10. Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill
- Diameter: 20 inches
- Total cooking area: 469 square inches
- Dimensions: 27.1 x 45.8 x 43.8 inches
Char-Broil has an expansive stable of grills and smokers, with the Kamander one of the most flexible models in the line.
One of the key selling points with this unit is the fact you can perform grilling and roasting duties inside, while also smoking all your favorite delicacies for a taste sensation. Few other grills and smokers deliver this range of choice.
Like all the best kamado grills, you’ll benefit from the insulating and heat distribution properties of double-walled steel.
When it comes to the cooking grates, the porcelain enamel ensures that food release is slick and easy every time. The primary rack measures 327 square inches, and you also get a secondary rack that swings down into place when you need more room to cook.
The design of the ash pan means you remove this from the top. Not only does this layout streamline cleanup, but you’ll also enjoy a completely sealed unit with no leaks anywhere to be seen. The drip pan is also removable, meaning this grill/smoker is as simple to clean as it is to use.
Unlike some kamado grills, you’ll find very little learning curve with temperature control. The dampers are intuitive and easy to control, so get all your food at just the right temperature with the minimum of fuss.
For anyone considering a kamado grill but uncertain of the difficulty level, this makes a superb beginner-friendly choice.
11. Primo 774 Charcoal Smoker Grill
- Diameter: 20 inches
- Total cooking area: 360 square inches
- Dimensions: 21.5 x 24.5 x 21 inches
Ceramic kamado grills are the most popular style and this effort from Primo is well worth a second look.
The space-saving form factor makes this grill a great bet for anyone with a small yard or limited patio and deck space. Despite the compact footprint, this grill is heavy, weighing just under 100 pounds. You don’t get any wheels either so you might want a hand shifting the Primo into place.
One it’s set up, you’ll enjoy a strong and stable base and an expansive cooking area. This model gives you 360 square inches of real estate for all your favorite grilled treats.
The cooking grate is treated with a porcelain enamel that means none of your food should end up stuck on.
Although the manufacturer states that all ceramic parts are guaranteed for 20 years, we found a number of complaints about problems with the warranty, so buyer beware.
All that remains is to choose between the Junior or Large models of this enduringly popular kamado grill and you’re in for some tasty cookouts this coming season.
12. Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker
- Hopper Capacity: 20 pounds
- Total cooking area: 694 square inches
- Dimensions: 45 x 22 x 51 inches
Z Grills might not be the first name that springs to mind when you’re searching for the best wood pellet grills, but this 8-in-1 gem is well worth popping on your shortlist.
You can grill, bake, smoke, roast, braise, or BBQ on this multipurpose pellet grill, so you’ll have the ability to cook burgers, pizza, ribs, jerky, veggies, and just about anything else that takes your fancy.
You can get up to 8 hours of cooking time from just 10 pounds of wood pellets. Not only will this work out cheaper than cooking with propane, but you’ll also impart that trademark smoked taste into your grilled treats. You can’t achieve this kind of flavor with gas grills. You’ll enjoy much more convenience as you can load the hopper and then get on with cooking rather than constantly feeding in charcoal.
The cart is rugged and built to withstand sustained use. The cart is made of steel and the porcelain enamel cooking grates are designed not to stick.
The smart control system is easy to navigate and you don’t need to be a tech genius to get started. The temperature is clearly and digitally displayed on the LCD so you can see everything at a glance without breaking your stride.
The cabinet also comes with ample storage space for all your extras and accessories. You can create an organized cooking environment with all that you need within easy reach, and you can enjoy a traditional BBQ flavor without the hassle that goes with it.
1) Are wood pellets all I need to power my new wood pellet grill?
No. These grills also require electricity to power the electronic components like the control panel and the temperature display. Make sure you have access to an electrical outlet where you’re planning to place your new pellet grill.
2) Can I only grill on a wood pellet grill?
Absolutely not! Most of the best grills in this class also allow you to smoke your food slow and low. Many also let you roast, bake, braise, and BBQ as well. All that counts when you’re comparing these grills is finding one that caters for the cooking applications you use most often. Don’t chase needless features on a grill or you’re just spending money for nothing.
3) Do pellet grills make a more environmentally-friendly choice than gas or charcoal grills?
Yes. Wood pellets are a clean and renewable source of energy. You won’t need any lighter fluids, and these grills don’t draw down much electricity either. Overall, they make a green option for grilling.
4) How long does it take to burn through wood pellets?
This will differ from brand to brand. A reasonable accurate baseline to work from is between 1 and 3 pounds of pellets per hour. These things are not expensive to operate.
5) Can I put some wood chips in the hopper of my wood pellet grill?
No, don’t do this. Flavored wood pellets should give you the taste you need without reaching for the wood chips. Use only the pellets recommended.
6) How hot do pellet grills get?
This varies from 500 to 700F. You should be able to sear your food on many of these grills. The pizza oven on our list today is also pellet-fueled and hits an incredible 950F.
7) Can I use my new pellet grill in cold weather?
Yes you can, but expect a dip in efficiency. If the temperature outside is below 35F, you should cover your grill using an insulated blanket. Fail to do this and you’ll end up needing to burn substantially more wood pellets to achieve the normal temperature. If you’re cooking in cooler conditions, aim to keep the lid shut as often as possible to keep as much of the heat inside the grill as possible.
8) How often do I need to clean my pellet grill?
You should wipe the cooking grates down after each use. After every 5 to 10 cookouts, you should consider deep cleaning your grill. If you often embark on all-day cookouts, you should clean your grill more frequently.
9) How long can I store my wood pellets for?
This depends to a large extent on the humidity levels of the storage environment. If humidity levels are low, expect a bag of wood pellets to last up to 6 months. When humidity levels are higher, lifespan is reduced to 3 months or so. Always keep pellets stored in a dry area inside an airtight container.
10) Is it possible to cook pizza on a grill?
You certainly can, although this will take a while to master. Instead, consider the wood pellet pizza oven we review today allowing you to create delicious pizzas in just 60 seconds.
Well, if you arrived here today at Madiba without the first idea about how to find the best wood pellet grills in a crowded space, that should have changed by now.
Wood pellet grills offer exceptional convenience without forcing you to sacrifice that smoky taste that characterized a great BBQ. So, if you’re looking for an experience that’s as convenient as cooking with gas while approximating the taste of a real charcoal grill, pellet grills are well worth exploring.
If you stick with any of the grills we review, you can proceed with a clear idea of where they stand and fall. You should also be able to easily compare these models like-for-like in terms of total cooking surface area and grill hopper capacity.
For anyone encountering a wood pellet grill not on our shortlist, we created the brief buying guide above to help you determine if it makes the right fit.
In closing, bookmark our blog and be sure to come back soon!