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Memphis Grills: Are These Pellet Smokers Worth The Price? This Expert Review of 5 Features Will Help You Decide

By James King

June 13, 2023

If you love deliciously juicy, wood-fired meals (who doesn’t?)... Investing in a pellet grill is a no-brainer.

But before you settle for just any old pellet grill… It’s important to compare your options. (And luckily, you’ve got plenty!)

Today, we’ll be narrowing down those options to focus on one pellet smoker brand in particular…

Memphis Grills.

From quality, to cooking versatility, to cost and everything in between... Do Memphis woodfire grills smoke the competition?

Let’s see.

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A Quick Company Overview On Memphis Grills

Let’s kick things off with a quick company overview.

Memphis Wood Fire Grills is owned by the sheet metal fabrication company, Dalsin Industries… And the company is headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Founded in 2009… Memphis Grills debuted their first pellet grill model in 2010.

Since then, they have continued to churn out premium pellet grills with new and improved features.

In 2016, for instance… They enhanced their pellet grills with WiFi control, to give their customers a completely remote grilling experience.

And back in 2021, they began manufacturing pellet grills with Intelliburn Technology.

We’ll go into more detail on this later on… But essentially, this is a secondary combustion system which allows certain Memphis pellet grill models to dish out “more heat with less fuel.”

There’s no denying that Memphis Grills has taken an innovative approach to pellet smoking.

But before you add a Memphis pellet grill to your wish list… There’s still much to know!

And there’s no better place to start than with their product selection.

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Memphis Wood Fire Grills Product Lineup

Memphis Grills offers three different pellet grills, all of which are available as either freestanding carts or built-in models for an outdoor kitchen.

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Memphis Beale Street Grill

memphis beale street grill

First up is the Memphis Grills Beale Street pellet grill.

This is the smallest offering from Memphis, measuring in at 26,” with a 558 square inch main cooking area, and a 259 square inch (optional) secondary grilling rack.

The front loading hopper can hold up to 12 pounds of pellets… So when using the Beale Street pellet grill at 350 degrees or under, you can expect 18 or more hours of uninterrupted cook time.

That said, you’re not stuck at 350 degrees and below! The Beale Street can sustain temperatures as low as 180 degrees, and up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.

Though it doesn’t get hot enough to sear on its own… With an optional direct flame insert, the Beale Street can be adapted to support high-heat grilling (stay tuned for some more info on how this works)!

At the time of writing, the Beale Street freestanding cart has an MSRP of $1,799.00… And the built-in Beale Street is priced at $1,599.00.

Memphis Pro Pellet Grill

memphis pro pellet grill

Next, let’s have a look at the Memphis Pro ITC3 pellet grill (vgb0001s).

This 28” model is a bit larger than the Beale Street… With a 574 square inch main grilling area, plus a 274 square inch optional second grate.

Again, you’ll get a front loading pellet hopper… Though this one’s larger than the Beale Street, with an 18 pound pellet capacity (it can also hold two different types of pellets at a time).

The Memphis Pro ITC3 can also dish out higher temps, with a range between 180 and 650 degrees Fahrenheit.

As with the Beale Street, you’ll also have the option to use this model in open flame mode.

At the time of writing, the Memphis Grills Pro ITC 3 cart model is priced at $4,999.00, and the built-in model costs $4,499.00 (both prices are MSRP).

Memphis Elite Pellet Grill

memphis elite pellet grill

Last up to bat is the Memphis Elite ITC 3 (vgb0002s).

Size is one obvious difference between this model and the other Memphis grills.

At 39”… The Memphis Elite is significantly larger than either the Beale Street or the Memphis Pro!

The main grilling area measures in at 862 square inches… And with the optional secondary cooking grate, the total cooking area amounts to 1,275 square inches.

The dual pellet hopper on the Memphis Elite is also larger, with a 24 pound capacity.

And temp output is more impressive, as well! The temp range here is between 180 and 700 degrees Fahrenheit. (And again, this grill is able to be used in direct flame mode.)

At the time of writing, the Memphis Elite built-in has an MSRP of $5,499.00… And the cart model is set at $5,999.00.

Before You Get Out Your Wallet... Keep These Factors In Mind!

So, now you know what pellet smoker options Memphis Grills has in stock.

But before you get out your wallet… There’s still some key info we need to discuss!

For starters, do Memphis Grills have quality construction?

Memphis Grills Material Quality

No matter what type of outdoor appliance you’re thinking of buying… Material quality should always be taken into account!

So, what level of quality do Memphis grills bring to the table?

Across the board, all Memphis pellet grill models feature double-walled hoods for better heat retention.

But aside from this similarity… Quality will vary depending on which model you’re looking at.

So, let’s start with the Beale Street.

This pellet grill features 430 stainless steel exterior construction… Which isn’t ideal.

430 is one of the cheapest grades of stainless steel available, and it’s just plain not great at holding up to rust and corrosion… Especially when exposed to the harsher outdoor elements.

If you’re leaning towards this grill… Make sure you invest in a water resistant grill cover to keep it protected! Otherwise, your new pellet smoker may not last all that long.

On the other hand, quality is better for the Pro and Elite Memphis Grills. These are constructed with a heavy duty 304 stainless steel exterior!

Unlike 430 stainless… 304 stainless steel has superior rust and corrosion resistance. These grills should look great, and hold up, for years to come!

It’s worth noting that for all Memphis Grill models… We can’t say for sure what grade of steel is used for the interior components and cooking grids.

But if it’s not 304 stainless steel… It’s not good news. This would make the interior prone to rust and corrosion, as well!

Before you commit to any Memphis Grill, it’s certainly worthwhile to check on this detail.

But that’s enough on quality (for now)

What can you expect from cooking on a Memphis wood fire grill?

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Memphis Grills Cooking Capabilities & Versatility (Plus Other Special Bells and Whistles)

In deciding whether or not a Memphis pellet grill is right for you… Of course, cooking capabilities will be front of mind.

Generally speaking, pellet grills are renowned for their outstanding cooking versatility And in this regard, Memphis Grills doesn’t fall short!

As a reminder, the Memphis Beale Street can sustain temps between 180-550 degrees Fahrenheit… The Pro can get as hot as 650 degrees… And the Elite can reach 700 degrees.

So, at the very least… All three Memphis Grill models can be used for smoking, roasting, and baking…

And the Pro and Elite models can also be easily used for higher temperature grilling!

As well as wide temp ranges… All Memphis Grill models also feature built-in convection fans, for even heat circulation (and even cooking).

But, the cooking features don’t stop there.

What else do Memphis Grills have to offer?

Direct Flame Insert

All Memphis Grill models can be used with optional direct flame inserts.

Using the Memphis Genie tool (which is essentially a heavy duty pair of tongs)… You can easily swap out the standard cooking grates with the direct flame cooking surface.

Exactly as you’d imagine… The direct flame insert enables you to use a Memphis Grill for open flame grilling, allowing for high heat searing (pushing upwards of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit!).

This feature is most useful for the Beale Street model, which tops out at a max temp of 500 degrees.

The direct flame insert would allow you to significantly increase this max temp, for even more cooking versatility!

Somewhat ironically, though… The Beale Street is the only Memphis Grill model that doesn’t come standard with a direct flame insert. You’ll have to buy it separately!

But along with the direct flame insert… The Memphis Grills Elite and Pro also come standard with an indirect flame insert.

This indirect insert allows you to achieve those smoking hot searing temps, without an open flame.

So, if you’re looking for a pellet grill that can sear and char… These direct and indirect flame inserts are certainly useful!

Now, let’s move onto another special feature.

WiFi Control

As well as the option for direct flame grilling… All three Memphis wood pellet grill models can also be used completely remotely, with WiFi control.

The free IOS or Android Memphis mobile app allows you to monitor your cooks (and adjust temps) from anywhere… No matter how far away you are!

You can also set up the app to alert you when your food is done cooking… And for added convenience, it comes standard with a few preset recipes for completely automated cooks.

Intelligent Temperature Control

memphis grills temperature control probe

For cooking consistency… The Beale Street, Memphis Pro, and Memphis Elite BBQ grills all come equipped with Intelligent Temperature Control (ITC).

This allows you to set your desired temperature on a digital control panel… And the ITC will then monitor and maintain that precise temp for you, by automatically adding pellets when necessary.

The ITC can also work in tandem with an integrated meat probe… So, you can set a targeted temp to prevent overcooking your recipes! (The meat probe comes standard with the Pro and Elite models, but has to be purchased separately with the Beale Street).

The ITC certainly contributes to these pellet grills’ ease of use… Temperature control should be simple and straightforward!

Intelliburn Technology

Last but not least… With the Memphis Pro and Elite pellet grills, you’ll also get the new and improved Intelliburn Technology. 

We briefly touched on this earlier… But this secondary combustion system allows these pellet grills to dish out more heat, while using less fuel.

Simply put, the secondary combustion system burns fuel from the initial ignition, allowing for increased hot air in the cooking chamber.

The benefits of this are a cleaner burn with less ash buildup, and better fuel efficiency overall.

Though less tangible than some of the other cooking features… The Intelliburn Technology definitely still has some appeal for those looking for better fuel efficiency!

Plus, the Intelliburn system may also make for easier cleanup, since less ash will be produced.

Speaking of cleanup…

Memphis Grills Maintenance

By and large, pellet grills aren’t all that difficult to clean.

That said, there are many brands who have taken steps to make cleaning less of a hassle (the Traeger Timberline’s removable ash keg comes to mind).

So, has Memphis Grills done anything to make the maintenance process lower maintenance?

Well… As we mentioned earlier, the new Intelliburn Technology may make cleanup a tad easier, since it’ll produce less ash buildup.

And the newer Memphis Elite and Pro models have a pre-programmed grill cleaning routine (this likely serves to burn all food residue off the grill grates).

But other than these features… You will have to put in a bit of work to get your Memphis pellet grill clean, no matter what model you have!

Ideally, you should clean your pellet grill after each and every use… And do a full deep clean at least once a year.

And luckily, Memphis does provide extensive cleaning instructions on their site.

We won’t bore you with all the details here… But as a general overview, expect to spend time scraping down the grill grates, cleaning the hood and sides, removing and cleaning the grease pans, burning food residue off the grates, and vacuuming ash buildup from the interior.

As you can see… Maintenance isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

Alright… There’s just a few factors left to discuss!

Memphis Grills Warranty

Along with materials… A product’s warranty is another great indication of how long it’ll last.

And we won’t sugar coat it… We’re not blown away by Memphis Grills’ warranty!

The Beale Street freestanding and built-in pellet grill models are covered under a five year limited warranty, with electronic components warranted for two years.

We can’t really say this comes as a surprise… As we mentioned earlier, 430 stainless steel is far from the best material for long term outdoor use!

So, surely… The warranty is more impressive for the 304 stainless steel Pro and Elite models?

Well, it may be a little longer… But ultimately, it still leaves something to be desired!

Both the Pro and Elite models are backed by a seven year limited warranty against any defects, with the electronic components covered for three years, and the meat probe covered for 30 days.

All Memphis Grills warranties exclude any damage caused by corrosion.

Honestly, for the price you pay… We’d like to see a significantly longer warranty!

Memphis Grills Reviews

memphis grills in outdoor kitchen

If the less-than-ideal warranty didn’t deter you… Another great way to get a feel for if a product is worth it is to read through its customer reviews.

We won’t rehash all the ratings here… But the general consensus for each Memphis Grill model is as follows:

The Beale Street hovers around a 4.5 star rating…

The Pro ITC3 averages about 4 stars…

And reviews for the Memphis Elite are few and far between… But of the few we could find, the rating is quite high (around 5 stars)!

Now, try not to let these positive ratings influence your opinion too much!

They’re just one small consideration among many, and they are certainly not the only thing that should be taken into account as you ponder whether Memphis grills are right for you.

Alright. With all these considerations in mind… What’s the final verdict? Is it worth proceeding to checkout on a Memphis Grill?

The Verdict: Is a Memphis Wood Fired Grill Worth It?

memphis beale built in grill

So, is a Memphis pellet grill really worth it?

Well… We’re not going to outright tell you that they’re not.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to take all of the considerations into account, comb through reviews, and factor in your own wants, needs, and how much you’re willing to spend.

That said, we’d suggest steering away from the Beale Street. The low quality materials and short warranty don’t do much to impress us, and this pellet grill likely won’t last for longer than a few years!

And though the material quality is better for the Pro and Elite models… For the high price you pay, the warranty is surprisingly short. (As a reminder, these products cost between $4,499.00 and $5,499.00!

So, there’s no denying that Memphis pellet grills come packed with some great, innovative features! 

But the short warranties (and high prices!) may give you pause. 

If that’s the case… We have a fantastic alternative for you!

Looking for an Alternative Pellet Smoker? Consider Coyote

couple using their built in coyote pellet grill

If you’re not mesmerized by Memphis, allow us to suggest a different pellet grill…

Coyote Outdoor Living offers a full suite of premium outdoor appliances… Including two pellet grill models!

Like Memphis, Coyote’s pellet grills are available as either freestanding carts or built-in grill inserts.

Their 28” pellet grill is the smaller option, for those with tighter backyard spaces.

This grill has a 609 square inch total grilling area, including a removable secondary cooking rack… And is fueled via a 12 pound hopper.

The 36” model, on the other hand, has an 808 total square inch cooking area, with a 15 pound hopper.

While the 28” model can sustain precise temps between 175 and 600 degrees… The 36” can reach a hotter 700 degrees!

Both pellet grills are powered by a dual fan convection system… And both have included burn pot grates for direct flame grilling!

So, just like the Memphis pellet grills… Coyote’s pellet grills can be used for smoking, baking, roasting, grilling, and high-heat searing!

Also like Memphis… The Coyote pellet grills have an easy to use digital control panel for precise temperature control. (However, Coyote’s pellet grills don’t support WiFi control, if that’s important to you!)

And you’ll also get three included temp probes (Memphis only offers one)!

Alright. At this point… You may be scratching your head.

Aside from a few minor variations… How is Coyote that much different from Memphis?

Well, it all comes down to better build quality, a longer warranty, and a fairer cost.

Both Coyote pellet grills are constructed with full 304 stainless steel construction and double-walled hoods.

And Coyote stands behind this quality! They offer a lifetime warranty on their pellet grill’s exterior, with five years of coverage on the interior frame.

And to make things even better… Coyote’s pellet grills come at a much more practical price for the great quality you get. At the time of writing, their pellet grills cost between $2,999.00 and $4,399.00.

With Coyote, you can feel confident that your investment will last for the long haul!

And since you’ll be using your Coyote pellet grill for the foreseeable future… Why not make the most of it?

Make the Most of Your Pellet Grill... With an Outdoor Kitchen!

pellet grill island on deck

Pellet grills are already so versatile in and of themselves…

But if it’s max versatility you’re after, why stop with a pellet smoker?

For unmatched outdoor cooking capabilities… Pairing your new pellet grill with an outdoor kitchen is your best bet!

Of course, you can smoke, roast, bake, and sear on your pellet grill…

But with a full grill station, you can do so much more!

Include an outdoor refrigerator for keeping things cool A sink for easy cleanup… A side burner for backyard boiling or frying… Or a pizza oven for whipping up cheesy pies…

You could even include a built-in gas grill or charcoal grill! The more cooking power, the merrier.

Hold on… This all sounds great, but how do you make it happen?

Well, that’s what we’re here for! At RTA Outdoor Living, we make getting a quality outdoor kitchen a piece of cake.

We’ve partnered with Coyote, which means you’ll have full access to their line of premium outdoor appliances and accessories as you design your summer kitchen!

And speaking of design… With our free online design tool, you can come up with a custom kitchen layout, from the comfort of your own home.

And when your design is good to go… All that’s left for you to do is set it up!

Once your kitchen is built to your specifications… We’ll ship it straight to you, 95% complete.

With a few sets of hands and a couple spare hours, you can have your entire BBQ island ready to use!

And once it’s set up… You can enjoy it for decades! Our kitchens are built to last a lifetime, with high performance concrete panels, a structural guarantee, and a limited lifetime structural warranty.

Eager to get started?

Check out our Learning Hub for everything you need to know about planning an outdoor kitchen.

Or, just reach out! We’re happy to help you get a jumpstart on your outdoor oasis.

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FAQ

Memphis Grills are designed, manufactured, engineered, and tested in Bloomington, Minnesota… Though manufacturing for all Memphis Grills products takes place in Asia.

Memphis Grills is owned and operated by Dalsin Industries, a sheet metal fabrication company.

Depending on the grill model… The max heat of Memphis Grills varies.

While the Memphis Grills Beale Street pellet grill can get as hot as 500 degrees Fahrenheit… The Memphis Pro model can reach 650 degrees, and their Elite pellet grill can get up to 700.

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