Best Portable Pellet Grill
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Pellet Smokers or grills have made backyard grilling a lot easier. With pellet grills you can grill large juicy portions of meat on autopilot. Here are the best pellet grills that you can buy in 2016.
If you are a hardcore barbecue enthusiast and want to spare no expense, then go for the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill, which combines stunning heat control and herculean construction, to give the best cooking experience.
However if you are looking for an affordable option, with doesn’t compromise on quality, the the Pit Boss Grill 340 would be the best option.
Wood Pellet smokers are quite convenient as you are not required to watch over the grill, and once you set the temperature, the grill works virtually on its own.
Since you are using actual wood to generate smoke, the traditional taste is not lost. But the kind of pellet grill which you should go for depends on the kinds of use. Here are the top recommendations according to that.
Best Pellet Grills for BBQ Aficionados
REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill – The smart grill technology used, provides the most precise and constant temperature control among pellet grills. Add high gauge stainless steel construction, and the resulting grill is a complete beast.
Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill – If you need a large cooking surface, but want to make cleaning slightly easier, then the PG24 with drop down technology will be a good option.
Best Pellet Grills for Occasional Grilling
Pit Boss Grills 340 Wood Pellet Grill – If packs solid performance and sturdy construction at an affordable price. It works best for families looking for weekend grilling.
Traeger BBQ155.01 Junior Tailgating Pellet Grill – Offer stunning temperature control, but fails to impress in terms of build quality. Recommended only if you are fan of Traeger grills.
The Best Pellet Grills – The Vijetas
Claimed as the ultimate grilling machine, this combines solid construction with innovative cooking technology, to provide the most convenient barbecue experience to the users. Here is everything you need to know about this beast.
Smart Grill Technology
REC TEC uses the ‘Smart Grill Technology’ to maintain the temperature. You just need to set the temperature and forget about it. This allows you to grill, bake, smoke or even sear. It used actual wood pellets (40 pound hopper capacity), so you don’t need to worry about the fuel. With an inbuilt fan it spreads the smoke throughout the cooking area, which results in juicy well-cooked meat.
Overall, all these features will give your cook a true barbecue experience without the hassle of traditional grills.
Large Cooking Area
The cooking area is quite large (19.5 x 36”). This gives the convince to the user to cook large thanksgiving meals at the same time. You can easily cook large pork butts or over 15 lbs turkey on it. If you occassinsaly have to cook something small like ham, then the grill technology ensures that it is throughly cooked. Although if you will grill mostly small portions, then we won’t recommend this as you would be wasting a lot of energy in the form of pellets. You can check out the Pit Boss Grills 340, for small portions.
It also comes with wheels which makes it easier to move.
Finally it uses tough high gauge metal for construction both on the inside and the outside. Since the grill can reach temperatures as high as 500 degree Fahrenheit, the outer surface is coated with textured powder for safety.
Installing this is not that easy. The attached instructions are not that clear, but you can contact the friendly customer support for assistance.
Other than that, this grill is large and expensive at $1000. It is not meant for everyone and we will recommend this only to hardcore BBQ aficionados who are looking for a amazing grilling experience.
Pit Boss Grills 340 Wood Pellet Grill
If you need a pellet grill for occasional grilling and don’t want a large cooking surface, then the grill from Pit Boss would be the best bang for your buck.
Digital Temperature Control
You can change the temperature using a know, and can vary it from 180 degrees to 500 degrees. This opens wide range of options to the user from searing a steak to cooking medium rare ribs. Complete control is in the hands of the user with an option to smoke, and temperature management is also fairly accurate. It uses the same technology as the bigger 820 inches variant, so food is grilled throughout using a fan.
Also if the grill gets too hot it cools down automatically saving you the trouble of standing near the grill.
At this price, you can’t find a more sturdy pellet smoker. It uses 16 gauge steel for its construction and it is built to last for years. It easily beats established brands like Traeger in terms of construction. No complaints here!
Some users have complained that the thermostat has some issues and the temperature displayed isn’t accurate. We recommend using a manual thermometer for accurate readings.
Overall, for a small family, it offers sufficient cooking area of 340 square inches, and is the best option for weekend grilling.
This is by the far the most easiest pellet grill to clean. Other than that it offers commendable bbq features and decent construction, resulting in a solid package for grilling enthusiasts.
Like other pellet smokers this comes with digital temperature control. You also get two smoke controls, low and high along with other temperature options giving you greater control.
It has a dual temperature display, and also provides temperature of the food. So if you are searing a rib, you don’t need an additional thermometer and cooking rare meats would be far simpler.
Cooking Surface and Hassle free cleaning
First up the hopper capacity is of 18 pounds and with a grilling area of 19.5 x 22 inches, you can easily grill large portions. It also has an additional warming rack, that can be used to de-freeze or heating up something.
The drop down cleaning system, drains down most of the grease and you can easily clean the cooking surface. You can also take apart most components to clean them separately. Also it does a fine job with ash management, so the quality of smoke remains the same throughout.
Even though the quality of the smoke remains the same throughout, the hopper burns through pellets fairly quickly. Even though it has a capacity of 18 pounds, you might need a some extra pellets for refill while cooking for longer durations. Also the material used for lid is a major disappointment and we recommend to use some hand precaution when the temperature is higher than 400 degrees Fahrenheits.
To sum up, it combines excellent smoke technology with innovative grease management design. With easy installation and free shipping it is quite a steal at $600.
Premium Temperature Control
Traeger has years of expertise in grills and it is showcased in the Junior. You have wide range of options thanks to different smoke and temperature controls. The food is throughly cooked and the heat & smoke is spread throughout the cooking surface.
This pellet grill comes with foldable legs which makes it portable. You can easily move it thanks to the attached wheels. If you go for camping and have an electric power source at your disposal, then this grill would be a great option, as it offers convenient use with the same smoky flavour that you are accustomed with traditional grills.
Traeger does a poor job with the build quality, The grill seems cheap and the legs offer weak support to the main cooking surface. It cannot handle regular grilling, which restricts the use.
Overall, if you are beginner or need something for occasional grilling, then you can consider this option, however there is a clear compromise in terms of quality.
Ultimate Guide to Pellet Grills
Pellet grills manage to provide the distinct wood flavor to your food. They use pellets as a major fuel source and also rely on electricity for digital control.
Before you consider the features of the grill, you need to first determine the use.
Hardcore grilling – If you have a large family or enjoy barbecuing, then a pellet grill with a large cooking surface and accurate temperature control will serve you well. They are generally large in size and come with sturdy construction. However they are not that portable and cooking smaller portions can lead to wastage of fuel.
Occasional Grilling – If you have a small family or grill occasionally then you are better of with a pellet grill having a small cooking area. They consume lesser quantity of pellets. They are portable and you can carry them with you while camping.
Here are the top features you need to look for in a pellet smoker.
- Temperature Control – This is the most important aspect of a pellet grill. Most pellet smokers today have digital temperature control and you can choose from different temperature settings. A good pellet grill however maintains the temperature and the smoke is spread throughout the grill. This results in throughly cooked food with a distinct smoky flavour of the wood.
- Convenience – Most pellet grills are convenient when compared to traditional charcoal or gas grills, but some manage to take it to the next level. Few pellet grills, offer complete control over temperature, so you don’t need to stand and constantly check the grill. An easy cleaning experience also increases the convenience. Finally portability in small pellet grills, can increase their value for the user.
- Build – Finally the construction of the grill helps you determine the durability. A good grill should use high gauge metal (mostly stainless steel) for extended life. The quality of the cooking surface and design to spread the smoke is also considered in the build.