We decided to take a closer look at some of the best pellet grills for searing available to find the best model out there.
Of the many models we’ve seen, these are the best pellet grills for searing your meat this year:
- Best Choice for Searing Steaks: Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 Pellet Grill with Sear Box
- Best Pellet Grill for Professionals: Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill
- Great Value Pellet Grill: Z GRILLS-L600D
- Best Portable Pellet Grill: Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Wood Pellet Grill
- Best Pellet Grill for Beginners: Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill
Our Top 7 Pellet Smokers That Can Sear Meat – Reviews
Below you’ll find our detailed reviews of some of our top picks to get you acquainted with their extra features, pros, cons, and tips on how best to use these grills.
1. Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 Pellet Grill with Sear Box
If you’re looking for a near-perfect pellet grill, the Woodwind SG24 might very well be ideal for you. It allows you to smoke, grill, and roast, and is easy to clean and easy to use. It features the new slide and grill technology that will enable you to remove the flame cover, so you can directly grill your meat over direct flame.
It is available in two different sizes – 24 inches and 36 inches. You can buy whichever size suits your and your family’s requirements. It comes with an extensive temperature range, 160-to-500-degree Fahrenheit. You can even bake in the Woodwind SG 24, even if it’s snowing outside. The grill comes with a blanket you can use to cover the grill, helping it retain the high heat inside.
You can get a searing box to get the perfect sear and grill marks on your meat. The searing box works with a propane tank, so you can use it even when you don’t have electricity. The stainless steel burner can reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to grill at higher temperatures.
- Easy to clean
- Easy to use
- A functional ash cleaning system
- Automatic ignition start
- Large hopper capacity
- Smart smoke monitoring technology
- A little pricey
- Make sure you burn off any oil on the grill before you start cooking or using it.
- It would be best if you cleaned residue grease and meat juices occasionally. Do burn or bake any residue grease off before you use it again.
- Use high quality like these camp chef pellets to get the best flavor out of your meat.
2. Traeger Grills Ranger Grill
If you are looking for a portable option, the Trager Ranger Grill is ideal for you. It isn’t exactly the prettiest thing to look at, nor is it the lightest, but incredibly functional. You can use it to grill, smoke, and roast meat and vegetables. Its smart Digital Arc Processor keeps an eye on the temperature and automatically adjusts the pellet dispensing rate to ensure the meat and vegetables cook at the perfect temperature.
The grill features an excellent temperature control system that ensures the internal temperature stays at what you want it to stay at. You can also use it as a food warmer without worrying about overcooking your food, thanks to Traeger’s smart technology.
The grill can go up to around 470 degrees Fahrenheit. It may not get hot enough to get you a restaurant-style caramelized steak, but it does give you a good sear, which is pretty impressive for a portable grill. You can also get a cover for the grill to protect it from external wear and tear if you think of storing it outside.
If you are interested in getting a Traeger pellet grill find out how they compare to other popular brands. We created a great article where we compare Traeger vs Pit Boss Pellet Grills head to head to see which of these two brands has the best pellet grill.
- Large size 21 x 20 x 13 inches
- Ideal for a family of four to six
- Needs electricity.
- Quite heavy to carry
- It is quite heavy, so you will need to prepare yourself mentally to carry the heavy grill on your camping trip.
- Keep it covered when not in use to prevent weather damage.
3. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 PELLET GRILL
The DLX24 is the best option for those who want a high-end pellet grill’s functionality in a lower price range. The minimalistic grill design, decent size, and features, all at an affordable price point, make it a favorite among those searching for value.
The grill features an ash cleanout system that makes it easy to clean. You no longer have to disassemble the grill and vacuum it top to bottom to eliminate any ash present after every 50 hours of use.
It is a medium-sized grill ideal for families of around four to six. What makes this a great purchase is that it heats up to a good 500 degrees Fahrenheit despite its small size and low price point, which is hard to find in grills this size. You can use it as a slow cooker with indirect heat or crank up the heat and grill meat to perfection; it is a versatile grill that is perfect for all backyard chefs.
- Competitively priced
- An excellent temperature control system
- Easy to use interface
- Several unique features
- Narrow grill area
- Problematic pellet feed sensor
- You may want to keep an eye on the pellet feed as there have been multiple complaints about a sensor malfunction. We suggest you get it checked before you purchase it to be sure you don’t get one that does not function properly.
4. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Wood Pellet Grill
The Green Mountain grill features an ideal design that ensures ease of use. It has a built-in tray with utensil hooks that prove quite handy for the user. You also get an additional grease drip tray and a meat probe that helps temperature management and control. If you want to get the perfect sear, you can also get an extra grease tray with open flame technology to get that ideal caramelization on meat.
It is a compact grill that is ideal for outdoor lovers. You can effortlessly put it in your car trunk, and its small footprint allows you to set it up and use it even in the narrowest of spaces. It isn’t ideal for large parties or families with a grilling area of only around 220 square inches. However, it is perfect for smaller gatherings of about two to three people.
You may want to watch out when trying to smoke meats at low temperatures for longer hours as the temperature control is a little off on the Green Mountain Grills. Other than that, it is an excellent purchase, especially for first-time buyers.
- Built-in tray with utensil holders.
- Wi-fi connectivity for ease of use
- Temperature control panel and monitoring system
- Foldable into a compact piece
- WiFi function is quite problematic.
- Not as easy to use
- Keep a check on the temperature yourself, especially when you run the risk of burning or overcooking your meat.
5. Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill
- PID controller
- Four meat probes
- Smart smoke technology
- Compact design
- It does not include an insulated blanket.
- Issues with the application for Android
- Make sure you stir the pellet hopper occasionally to ensure the wood pellets continue to fall into the fire and burn.
6. Pit Boss Sportsman 1230 Combo w/ Cover
The Sportsman grill brings convenience to your doorstep. You can use it as gas grills or as a wood-fired stove. It is an 8-in-1 cooker allowing you to grill, roast, bake, broil, barbecue, chargrill, smoke, and sear. It is perfect for outdoor cooks with large families and people fond of hosting parties.
The grill can get hot up to 500-degree Fahrenheit, allowing you to cook various meats and cuts. You can also use the open flame searing function that provides up to 1000-degree Fahrenheit heat. It has durable wheels, allowing for ease of portability. The wheels lock in place, providing additional functionality and safety to the user.
It also features a foldable front shelf and a removable side tray shelf that makes it easy to store when not in use and provides optimal functionality. It comes with a cover to protect it from wear and tear in case you keep it outside.
- Enamel coated cast iron skillet.
- Ideal for large families – 1,124 square inches of cooking space
- LED monitor
- Wide temperature range
- Difficult to use
- Make sure you keep the grilled cover to protect it from external damage.
7. Big Horn Pellet Grill and Smoker
The Big Horn Pellet Grill and Smoker is a sturdy griller made of stainless steel. You can use it to grill, smoke, bake, braise, roast, and barbecue, and you can even use different flavored pellets to get the flavoring of your choice every time.
It features a smart temperature control system with an LED display that allows you to monitor the grill’s internal temperature. It is a large grill with enough space to cook a feast for a large party or family of 20. The best part about the Big Horn Pellet Grill and Smoker is that it is very affordable. It offers various features and functionality at a very reasonable price range, making it one of our top picks for this year.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Large cooking area
- Real-time LED temperature monitor.
- All-terrain wheels
- It is quite big and does require a substantial amount of space.
- Requires significant maintenance and cleaning regime.
- Do not leave grease on the grill, and be sure to clean it after every use. You may end up spending extra time and effort cleaning it later.
Pellet Grills vs. Sear Box
Pellet grills are larger than typical grills and offer diversity to the user. You can use them to grill, barbecue, roast, smoke, bake and sear almost everything.
However, if you already have a grill and are looking at other equipment that will help you get that perfect sear on your steak, you should consider getting a sear box.
It is smaller, more functional, and easier to use, especially if you only really want something that will give you the crispy sear.
If you are a beginner griller and invest in a grill for the first time, we suggest you get a pellet grill. They are a lot more diverse and functional and allow you to cook whatever you want, whenever you want.
Best Sear Box Accessory: Camp Chef Sear Box
The Camp Chef BBQ Sear Box is ideal for those who don’t want to invest in a new grill. The sear box features enamel-coated cast-iron grates that ensure optimal heat diffusion. You can get the perfect crispy char and even get the perfect grill marks on the steak quickly. It is powered by propane and gives you the ultimate smoky flavor quickly and easily.
- Easy use
- Optimal heat diffusion
- Ideal for camping
- It may be too small for a large family.
- You will have to get a separate propane tank as that is not included.
Do You Really Need a Pellet Grill for Searing?
You don’t necessarily need a pellet grill for searing. If you already have a grill that works well, you may be better off getting a sear box instead of a whole new pellet grill.
A sear box works just as well as a pellet grill does in terms of giving you that beautiful, caramelized crust on the meat. However, a pellet grill is a perfect option for those who are looking for an all-in-one option.
You can use pellet grills for grilling, cooking, and roasting, and to get that perfect sear with the smoke-infused flavor, recreating the ideal restaurant experience you can even use a pellet grill to cook burgers!
Features to Consider When Buying A Pellet Grill To Sear Meat
When buying a pellet grill, you will have to take a lot of factors into consideration.
To help you find the perfect pellet grill and master the art of searing meat outdoors, be sure to evaluate each of the following features.
Temperature Range: How Hot Can the Grill Get?
The maximum temperature is crucial for getting the perfect sear on meat. The grill has to be quite hot to caramelize meat and give it the perfect brown, crispy crust that everyone loves. If the grill doesn’t get hot enough, you will end up with an unattractive grey piece of meat.
A grill that is ideal for barbecuing, roasting, and grilling may not be suitable for searing as the latter requires substantially more heat. You should look into pellet grills that can go up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if you want the perfect seared look.
Controls & Temperature Settings:
Controls and settings are the most crucial consideration to make when buying a pellet grill as they affect the grill’s efficiency.
PID Temperature Controller
PID stands for Proportional, Integrative, and Derivative. PID controllers are complex systems that consider the weather conditions and other external influences to stabilize the internal temperature. It calculates the time and fuel required to heat the grill to the desired temperature and then monitors and maintains the internal temperature.
PID controllers are a lot more precise and efficient; thus, they are quick to pick up on temperature changes and adjust the heat accordingly.
If you want to take efficiency and ease of use to the next level, you can also look for a grill with WiFi. Grills with WiFi allow you to remotely control the grill’s temperature, and lower and increase it as required by the recipe.
Related: Click here to find out which pellet grills have Wi-Fi technology to help make your cook easier.
Cleaning: How Easy Can You Clean the Grill?
Nobody wants to cook on a dirty surface so you will be cleaning your grill quite frequently. Make sure you get one that is easy to clean, or else you will find yourself in quite a bit of trouble every time you have to clean.
Grill Size: How Much Cooking Area Is There Grill Size
The grill size of choice will depend upon your requirements. If you have a large family or like to host parties quite frequently, you will need a larger grill with a wider cooking area so you can get done with the grilling faster and enjoy the rest of the time eating with friends and family.
You will also have to consider the space where you will use the grill. If you intend to use it on your patio or a small deck, you might want to consider purchasing a small one.
Portability: Can You Take It with You?
Portability is another essential feature to watch out for, especially if you like camping and picnics. Make sure you take into consideration ease of use, electricity requirements, and size. Depending on the grill’s electricity requirements, you may need to get a power inverter. You also need to get a grill with heavy-duty wheels so that you can set the grill on rugged terrain if you are a fan of outdoor grilling.
Cooking Grate Material: What Is It Made With?
Most pellet grills come with two types of grate materials, cast iron, and stainless steel.
Cast iron is ideal for sear enthusiasts as it heats up very quickly to very high temperatures. They are also non-stick, so you don’t have to worry about excessive cleaning. However, they are quite prone to corrosion and can rust quickly.
On the other hand, stainless steel is rust-resistant and retains heat exceptionally well. But it heats up very slowly, which adds to the overall cooking time. It is also harder to clean as it is not non-stick.
Enamel-coated cast iron grill grates are ideal for those who want a cast iron pan’s functionality without worrying about it rusting. However, the enamel coating is not entirely chip-proof. In case it does chip, you will have to get it repaired quickly so that the cast iron skillet underneath doesn’t rust.
We suggest going for a cast iron grate. Even though it comes with a lengthy maintenance routine, it is the perfect option for cooking, roasting, grilling, and searing.
However, if you are looking for something low-maintenance, you should look into stainless steel grates. Just make sure you clean them timely, or you may have to put in the elbow grease to clean them.
Do Pellet Grills Get Hot Enough to Sear?
Will a pellet grill sear a steak? Not all pellet grills get hot enough to give the perfect sear. Most pellet grills are only good enough for roasting, barbecuing, and grilling. If you want to use the pellet grill to sear, look for one that can go up to 900-degree Fahrenheit.
Are Pellet Grills Good for Cooking Steaks?
If you have a pellet grill with a cast iron grate/grill, you can use it for cooking steaks. You may even be able to get the perfect restaurant-style sear and caramelization on the meat. If you are using a pellet grill with some other material, make sure you get the grill to the right temperature before you start cooking your meat, or you will end up with an unevenly cooked and unappealing steak.
Which Pellet Grill Gets the Hottest?
The Camp Chef Woodwind SG 24 Pellet Grill is one of the hottest pellet grills on the market, literally. It can go up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about as hot as pellet grills go. You may need to invest in a charcoal grill if you want one that goes up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finding the best pellet smoker for searing meat may be more challenging than you think.
We reviewed some of the top pellet grillers available and we guarantee you will be pleased and satisfied with any of these models if you decide to buy one.
Just ensure you consider the factors mentioned above before you make a purchase decision to avoid buying a grill that does not suit your needs.