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7 Best Pellet Grill & Smoker Brands of 2024, Expert Reviewed

By James King

January 5, 2024

Looking to mix up the menu at your next cookout? 

If so, a pellet grill makes it easy to take your outdoor cooking to the next level.

But there are so many options out there… Trying to pin down the best wood pellet grill can be a daunting task.

Don’t fret! We’re here to help you find the best pellet grill for your space.

And in no time, you’ll be effortlessly roasting, baking, slow-cooking, or searing.

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

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pellet grill island

Thinking of Buying a Pellet Grill? Here’s What To Consider

Before you start browsing… You should consider what exactly it is that you’re looking for in a pellet smoker.

Below are a few helpful questions to ponder.

How Big Should Your Wood Pellet Grill Be?

28 inch coyote pellet grill
28" Coyote Wood Pellet Grill
36" Coyote Wood Pellet Grill

You can expect most pellet smokers to range from 24” – 36.”

A 24”-32” grill would be best suited for small parties or simple family meals… But for those more ambitious grillers, consider pellet grills in the 36” and up range!

If you’re unsure, it never hurts to opt for a larger model.

You should also think about how long you’re planning to cook.

If you’re all about low-and-slow cooking, you should look for pellet grills with larger hopper capacities.

Hopper capacities usually range from 5 pounds to 20 or more pounds. Generally, one pound of wood pellets equates to one hour of cook time at a medium temp.

For cooking overnight with no interruptions… Look for models that can hold more wood pellets!

Want to bring your idea to life?

Use our free 3D design tool to bring the outdoor kitchen of your dreams to reality in just a few minutes.

What Materials are Best?

sheets of stainless steel used to build an outdoor kitchen

For pellet grills that you can use year after year… High quality materials are key.

We like to see appliances made with 304 stainless steel, both inside and out… This won’t rust or corrode!

However, this isn’t the norm. Most other pellet grills are made with lower quality materials, like powder-coated steel and porcelain coated grates.

These materials may be fine if you want a short term solution…  But they’re unfortunately quite prone to rust! 

If not made with 304 stainless steel, most pellet grills simply won’t hold up for more than a few years.

What Features Are You Looking For?

Lastly, consider how you plan to use a wood pellet grill.

Many pellet grills are super versatile, and can bake, grill, smoke, roast, and sear… But to confirm versatility, you should check temp output.

Many models top out at 500 degrees, which isn’t quite hot enough to sear.

For something low-and-slow, like briskets, a lower temp output will suffice.

But if you want to sear steaks at high heats… Look for options with higher temp outputs, or that support direct flame grilling.

Next, consider maintenance.

Many manufacturers have taken measures to make cleanup a bit easier (like removable ash or grease buckets), so you may want to keep an eye out for features that make cleaning less of a hassle.

Other special features to be on the lookout for are WiFi control for remote grilling, meat probes to easily monitor internal temperatures, lighting, secondary racks for indirect heating, and portability, to name a few.

Alright, with these considerations in mind… There’s just one question remaining.

What is the best pellet grill?

The Best Pellet Grill Brands

We’ve compiled a list of some of the highest rated freestanding pellet grills on the market, so you don’t have to spend hours searching.

Lets see how all these pellet grills compare:

  1. Best Pellet Grill For Beginners: Z Grills 450B
  2. Best Portable Pellet Grill: Traeger Tailgater
  3. Best Small Pellet Smoker: RecTeq RT-340
  4. Best Large Capacity Wood Pellet Grill: Traeger Timberline XL
  5. Best WiFi Pellet Grill: Camp Chef WoodWind
  6. Best Affordable Pellet Grill: Pit Boss 440D2 Wood Pellet Grill
  7. Overall Best Pellet Grill: Coyote Pellet Grill

1. Best Pellet Grill For Beginners: Z Grills 450B

z grills pellet grill
Product Highlights

Cooking Area: 459 Square Inches

Materials: Exterior Metal Unknown, Porcelain Coated Steel Grates

Warranty: 3 Years

Price: $399.00

PROS
  • Price is reasonable for what you get.
  • PID controller for precise target temperature control.
  • Innovative hopper view window and cleanout door.
CONS
  • Lack of clarity on exterior materials.
  • Would like to see a wider temp range.
  • Porcelain coated steel grill grate may invite rust.
  • No WiFi connectivity.

Let’s start with one of the best wood pellet grills for beginners: The Z Grills 450B.

Z Grills uses PID technology, which allows their pellet smoker to maintain a precise, consistent temperature. You won’t have to constantly make adjustments!

Speaking of temperatures… Output is between 180-450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Though this grill doesn’t get hot enough to sear… It’ll be great for low-and-slow smokes, baking, roasting, and grilling.

The total cooking area comprises 459 total square inches (enough room for 18 burgers, four rib racks, or three chickens).

A 15 pound pellet hopper will auto-supply fuel throughout your cooks… Though there’s also a manual pellet feed feature to funnel more wood pellets through the auger into the firebox.

Other special features include two wired meat probes, a wood pellets view window, and a convenient hopper cleanout door.

Now, onto construction.

There’s no specifics on the exterior, but you will get a free grill cover.

This leads us to believe that build quality is low… And if you don’t cover this grill after each and every use, there’s a good chance it’ll quickly rust through.

It’s a similar story for the interior. The grill grates are made of porcelain coated steel, which is known to chip easily, and invite rust.

The Z Grill 450B is covered under a three year warranty.

So, you’ll get a wonderful, entry-level experience… But be prepared to replace this grill in a few years!

At the time of writing, the 450B costs $399.00.

2. Best Portable Pellet Grill: Traeger Tailgater 20

traeger tailgater pellet grill
Product Highlights

Cooking Area: 300 Square Inches

Materials: 430 Powder-Coated Stainless Steel Exterior, Porcelain Coated Steel Grates

Warranty: 3 Years

Price: $529.95

PROS
  • Compact design and folding legs make this grill a great choice to use on the go.
  • The “Keep Warm” mode and grease management system are useful.
CONS
  • Would like to see a wider temp range.
  • Low quality materials won’t hold up to rust.

Traeger’s Tailgater 20 is specifically designed for, well, tailgating!

These portable pellet smokers have a compact design and folding legs, making them one of the best tailgate pellet grills for your next road trip.

Though compact, the 300 square inches of cooking space still has enough space for up to two chickens, three rib racks, or 12 burgers.

And the eight pound hopper capacity, which should get you through a tailgating party or camping cookout!.

Like the Z Grills smoker… The Tailgater can sustain temps between 180 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Traeger’s Digital Arc Controller allows you to easily adjust temps in 5-degree increments.

Other special features include a wired meat probe, a “keep warm” mode, and a grease management system, which funnels drippings into a bucket for easy cleanup.

As for construction, Traeger grills are made with black, powder-coated 430 stainless steel.

It’s a good thing this grill is so easy to pack up and store… Because you’ll want to keep it protected from the elements when not in use! 430 stainless steel is notoriously prone to rust.

The grates on these portable pellet grills are made with porcelain coated steel… As with the Z Grills option, if the porcelain coating chips, the grates will inevitably rust.

The Traeger Grills Tailgater is covered by a three year warranty… And at the time of writing, it goes for $529.95.

3. Best Small Capacity Pellet Smoker: RecTeq RT-340

the road warrior recteq
Product Highlights

Cooking Area: 340 Square Inches

Materials: Powder-Coated Steel Exterior, 304 Stainless Steel Interior

Warranty: 2 Years

Price: $599.00

PROS
  • Durable 304 stainless steel cooking grates and interior components.
  • Impressive 200-700 degree maximum temperature output.
  • 14 pound hopper capacity for longer grill cooks.
  • PID technology for consistent heat control and precision.
CONS
  • Lack of clarity on exterior materials.
  • Would like to see a longer warranty.
  • No WiFi control.

RecTeq’s RT-340 is an all-around solid choice for those with a smaller outdoor space!

The cooking chamber is 340 total square inches. You’ll be able to cook 50 wings, 20 burgers, three rib racks, or two pork butts.

The hopper capacity is 14 pounds, which’ll give you plenty of fuel-space for longer, uninterrupted cooks.

So far, this is the best pellet smoker for searing… With a 200-700 degree Fahrenheit internal temperature range.

RecTeq also utilizes PID technology, for precise control of your desired cooking temperature.

Other special features include three handles and folding legs for easy transport, as well as one temperature probe.

As for durability… The grill grates, heat deflector, fire pot, and drip pan are made with heavy-duty, 304 stainless steel. No need to worry about rust, here!

We can’t say anything for sure on the exterior, though. It’s made with a powder-coated steel, but the grade used isn’t specified!

For peace of mind, you’d be best keeping this cooker stored away when not in use.

Recteq warrants this grill for two years.

And at the time of writing, the RT-340 is priced at $599.00.

An easy outdoor kitchen solution

Add a wood pellet smoker to your outdoor kitchen grill island using our free 3D design tool.

4. Best Large Capacity Wood Pellet Grill: Traeger Timberline XL

traeger timberline xl pellet grill
Product Highlights

Cooking Area: 1,320 Square Inches

Materials: 430 Powder-Coated Stainless Steel Exterior, 304 Stainless Steel Grates

Warranty: 10 Years

Price: $3,799.95

PROS
  • Grease and ash keg makes for easy maintenance.
  • Easy to use, with both WiFi control and the digital controls.
  • Durable, 304 stainless steel grates.
CONS
  • Quite costly for what you get.
  • The 430 powder-coated stainless steel exterior will be prone to rust.

Looking for a large pellet grill for your next cookout?

The new Traeger Timberline XL may be of interest!

With a large cooking area of 1,320 square inches, you can supply your entire neighborhood with deliciously smoked meats.

The Timberline will be best for low-and-slow smokes, with a max temperature output of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

And a Super Smoke Mode makes it easy to take that smoky flavor to the next level!

If you do want a good sear, this grill cart comes with an attached induction side burner.

You’ll also get the “keep warm” mode, an EZ-Clean Grease+Ash Keg for low maintenance cleanup, internal and external lights, meat probes, and a fully insulated hood for better heat retention.

As well as this… The Timberline can be controlled via WiFire Technology, which means you can adjust your desired temperature for cooking remotely!

But for a more hands-on approach, the digital control panel can also be used to set desired temperatures.

So, how will the Timberline hold up outdoors?

Like their Tailgater model… These wood pellet grills have a powder-coated, 430 stainless steel exterior. They are too big to store indoors… So you’ll want to invest in a grill cover to keep rust at bay!

The inside will hold up much better… The grill grates are made of 304 stainless steel!

As for warranty, the body, shelf, and hopper cover are covered for 10 years… The controller, pellet auger, fan, and cooking grates for three… And the hot rod, pellet sensor, flame sensor, lighting, and other components will be covered for one.

So far, these are the most expensive pellet grills on our list! At the time of writing, a freestanding Traeger Timberline will cost you $3,799.95.

5. Best WiFi Pellet Grill: Camp Chef WoodWind

Product Highlights

Cooking Area: 797 Square Inch (24”) / 1,236 Square Inch (36”)

Materials: Exterior Steel Grade Not Specified, Porcelain-Coated Grates

Warranty: 3 Years

Price: $899.00 (24”) / $1,199.00 (36”)

PROS
  • Innovative Camp Chef Connect App makes remote grilling easy.
  • Hefty 22 pound hopper capacity for long, uninterrupted cooks.
  • Four meat probes to easily monitor internal temps.
CONS
  • Would like to see a longer warranty.
  • Porcelain coated steel grates may rust.
  • No clear info on exterior materials.

Perhaps you’re looking for the best wood pellet grill with WiFi…

If so, let’s talk about Camp Chef’s WoodWind BBQ grill!

This grill comes in two sizes: 24” and 36.”

The 24” has a 797 square inch total grilling space (for up to 32 burgers)… While the 36” has a 1,236 square inch grilling area (with cooking space for 54 burgers).

Apart from the size, all other features are the same across the board.

Camp Chef utilizes PID technology to maintain precise temperatures between 160 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can set temps on site via an integrated digital control panel… Or, you can monitor your cooks from anywhere via the Camp Chef Connect App.

This app allows you to easily adjust temps, set a timer, and will notify you when your cooks are done (with the help of four wired meat probes).

On the Camp Chef App, you’ll also be able to review past cooks, label each temp probe, and the in-app Smart Meat Assistant will allow you to select the type of meat you’re cooking.

Plus, it allows you to adjust your grill’s “Smoke Number” from 1-10, right on the app. (With 1 being minimal smoke, and 10 being maximum smoky flavor.)

Along with the innovative WiFi control, the Camp Chef Woodwind also boasts a sliding heat deflector plate for open flame searing, a 22-pound large pellet hopper capacity with a view window and built-in bottle opener, and an easy-to-use Ash Cleanout knob for straightforward maintenance.

For more versatility, there’s also an option to add a griddle or sear burner insert on the attached side shelf.

This all sounds great so far… But how long can you expect the WoodWind to last?

Well, the exterior is constructed with painted steel, and the grade used is unknown. We can’t confirm how it’ll hold up, so it’s worth checking with Camp Chef!

Like many of the other options on our list, the grates are made with porcelain coated steel.

Camp Chef warrants their pellet grills for three years, though the paint and finish aren’t included in this warranty.

So, you’ll get a few short years of use out of this grill… But you may have to replace it sooner than you’d like.

At the time of writing, pricing for this wood pellet smoker is set at $899.00 for the 24,” and $1,199.00 for the 36.”

6. Best Affordable Pellet Grill: Pit Boss 440D2 Wood Pellet Grill

pit boss pellet grill
Product Highlights

Cooking Area: 518 Square Inches

Materials: Powder-Coated Steel Exterior, Porcelain-Coated Steel Grates

Warranty: 5 Years

Price: $319.00

PROS
  • Many great features at a fair price, making these the best inexpensive pellet grills.
  • WiFi control.
CONS
  • Lack of temperature precision.
  • Low hopper capacity.
  • Takes a long time to preheat.

Looking for the best budget pellet grill? Pit Boss’s 440D2 has some great features, at a lower price point.

First and foremost, you’ll get a 518 square inch cooking surface, with space for up to 19 burgers.

Temp output is similar to most of the other options on our list, at 180 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit. For searing at higher temps… The Pit Boss 440D2 also has a direct flame function.

Unfortunately, this grill lacks temperature precision. You can only toggle in 25 degree increments!

Hopper capacity is a bit lower here, too, at just five pounds… So don’t plan any overnight cooks.

Other special features include WiFi control, a removable grease bucket, a side shelf with utensil hooks, a digital control panel, one meat probe, and a built-in thermometer.

The exterior is made of an unknown grade of powder-coated steel, and the cooking grates are constructed of porcelain coated steel.

Without knowing the grade used, it’s hard to gauge how the grill will hold up! It’s worth checking with Pit Boss for clarification on these details.

Pit Boss offers a five year warranty on this pellet smoker.

So, just how affordable is this grill?

Well, at the time of writing, you can purchase it for just $319.99.

7. Overall Best Pellet Grill: Coyote Pellet Grill

coyote 36" pellet grill
coyote 28 inch pellet grill
Product Highlights

Cooking Area: 609 Square Inches (28”) / 808 Square Inches (36”)

Materials: 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: Lifetime

Price: $3,499.00 (28”) / $4,399.00 (36”)

PROS
  • High temperature output and burn pot grates make this one of the best pellet grills for searing.
  • 304 stainless steel construction.
  • Impressive warranty.
CONS
  • No WiFi connectivity.
  • Higher price.

Let’s round out our wood pellet smoker review with our top pick!

Coyote offers one of the best pellet grills on the market.

It comes in two sizes: 28” or 36.”

For the most part, these two models have similar features. That said, there are a couple differences!

For starters, the 28” has a total 609 square inch cooking surface, for up to 15 burgers… And the 36” has a 808 square inch total grilling area, which can fit 21 burgers.

While the 28” can heat up between 175-600 degrees, the 36” can reach 700 degrees.

With the 28,” you’ll get a 12 pound hopper capacity… And the 36” can hold 15 pounds.

So, that covers the differences. What else can you expect from Coyote pellet grills?

Well, both models have an easy-to-use touch screen control panel… Three wired meat probes, and burn pot grates for direct flame searing.

Both also utilize a dual fan convection system, for sustaining precise temps.

And other special features interior and exterior lighting, a wind guard, and a spring-assist hood.

All in all… The features aren’t that much different than the others on our list. Why is Coyote our top pick?

Well, Coyote offers the best quality pellet smoker, with full 304 stainless steel construction.

They also have the most impressive warranty. The exterior is covered for a lifetime, the interior is covered for five years, and other components are covered for three.

At the time of writing, the 36” goes for $4,399.00, and the 28” for $3,499.00.

Though these grills may have a more “high-end” price than many of the others on our list, you can rest assured that a Coyote high end pellet smoker will look, work, and hold up splendidly for decades! You won’t have to replace it in just a few short years.

Elevate Your Pellet Smoker Experience

couple using their built in coyote pellet grill

Now that you’ve seen some of the highest rated pellet grills… What’s the next step?

Well, you could simply buy a freestanding pellet smoker and place it in your backyard…

Or, you could take your outdoor cooking to the next level!

How do you do that?

Well, an outdoor kitchen island is the absolute best solution for getting the most from your new pellet smoker.

Not only will it be the perfect place for food prep…

It’ll also provide a secure spot for storing your wood pellets…

And even a nearby seating area for your guests during those low-and-slow pellet cooks.

So… How do you make this all happen?

Here at RTA, we offer the most convenient and customizable outdoor kitchen solution… Perfect for pairing with your new pellet smoker!

And if you ever want to make things more cohesive with a built-in pellet grill…

We’ve partnered with Coyote for all of our outdoor appliances, which means adding their built-in pellet grill model into your design will be a breeze.

But don’t just stop at a pellet smoker… You can also add a propane grill insert, a kamado grill & smoker, or even an outdoor pizza oven from Alfa!

And since your appliances will last a lifetime… You should be confident that your kitchen island will, too!

That’s why we make our custom kitchen kits with high performance concrete, backed by a limited lifetime structural warranty… So you can enjoy your outdoor kitchen for decades!

If you’re intrigued, check out our Learning Hub or test our free online design tool to get a better feel for how an outdoor kitchen will enhance your backyard cooking endeavors.

And when you want to get started… We’ll be here!

Need Help With Your Plans?

Talk to one of our expert designers and they will guide you from planning to installation. Schedule a call today.

FAQ

Coyote makes some of the best pellet smokers… With durable 304 stainless steel construction, an impressive temperature range for smoking, baking, grilling, and searing, and the most included special features, such as a direct flame grate, a wind guard, a spring assist hood, and lighting. 

You’ll get to enjoy low-maintenance cooking, you can impress your guests with the smokiest, juiciest foods they’ve ever eaten, and you can diversify your next cookout thanks to increased versatility of pellet smokers.

Depending on your wants and needs… Pellet smokers may be well worth investing in over charcoal grills or gas grills.    

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