A pellet grill is an outdoor cooking apparatus that uses wood pellets that ignite, allowing its user to cook their food over a direct flame. There are various great options that have adequate hopper sizes (i.e., the storage container that collects the pellets), are durable, and have other unique modern features that can enhance the cooking experience.
Therefore, this article is your guide to the perfect pellet grills for barbecue in 2023. The purpose of this piece is to help highlight specific options so that you narrow down the one you should get based on your barbecuing needs.
Traeger Pro 575
What You Must Consider When Buying a Grill – Pellet Grills Tips And Tricks
Before getting into some of the best pellet grills available, we’ll highlight some barbecue grill tips and tricks for beginners that make some grills better options than others. This way, you’ll know why it’s a good idea to invest in grills that have the necessary features and get better value for money.
Durable Grills Made of High-Quality Materials
One of the most crucial factors of any good pellet grill is that it is durable. Grills are expensive cooking devices, so you would want your new grill to last a long time before considering an upgrade. Moreover, a durable item will also remain in good condition, which can help you get some money if you sell it used to someone to pay for an upgrade.
You should look for a grill that is made of stainless steel construction. These grills will most likely be more expensive than other options, such as those made from powder-coated steel or galvanized steel. Stainless steel can endure various weather conditions when lying outdoors, allowing them to last for years. That said, you can increase the life of your grill by cleaning it often and maintaining it frequently.
Buying Based on Your Needs
You don’t need to look at only the most expensive pellet grills available. While those may have a variety of features, they have options that you don’t need. Instead, you should purchase one based on your needs. For example, if you enjoy cooking brisket, then you should not settle on a grill with a relatively small hopper. In that case, your brisket will not cook at a high-enough temperature, resulting in undercooked and rubbery meat. At the same time, you should not buy one with a particularly large hopper that exceeds what you need. On the other hand, if you plan to cook smaller pieces of meat, then you don’t need to spend extra money on one with a large hopper.
Hopper size is undeniably a critical factor when buying pellet grills. Therefore, you should choose your grill and hopper size based on what you like to eat and typically cook. One way to determine the appropriate hopper size is to know the cooking time for the food. Using the example of the brisket above, a hopper size of 12 pounds is ideal for foods that need 12 hours of cooking time.
The Best Pellet Grills for 2023
Now that you know some crucial aspects of buying these grills, we provide a list of some of the best pellet grills for 2023. We provide details on each and summarize that with the pros and cons section.
Traeger Pro 575
Traeger Grills are known for making exceptional pellet grills, and the Pro 575 is an excellent example of that. It has a peller hopper capacity of 18 lbs and a cooking space of 575 sq. inches. That is enough space to feed a large family or have a small party with outdoor cooking. Traeger equates that cooking space to offering enough area to properly cook 4 chickens, 5 rib racks, or 24 burgers.
Moreover, for a pellet grill, this option reaches relatively high temperatures with a maximum of 500° F. What this means is that you can also use it for searing, allowing you to get that delicious flavor of a charred exterior. It has a D2 direct drive motor that increases the temperature quickly when you need it to do so.
Traeger Grills were previously known for breaking down easily, but they have come a long way since then.
Overview of Its Convenience Features
This model is also fairly easy to use, which is one of the most attractive features of a pellet grill. Some notable features that this model includes to make it easy to use include the following.
- This grill comes standard with a meat probe. So, you can easily check the temperature within your foods without needing to lift the lid. As a result, you won’t need to risk heat from escaping when you lift the lid, allowing for consistent temperatures.
- It comes with what it calls WiFIRE® Technology. This technology is a mobile application that allows you to control your grill using a WiFi connection. So, you can check the temperature of your grill from wherever you’re sitting without needing to actually check the grill. Moreover, you can adjust the temperature from the app, among other features.
- It has a trap door for the hopper, allowing you to quickly remove the used pellets when you’re done cooking.
- You can move it around easily despite its dimensions and weight. It comes with all-terrain wheels that can grip different types of surfaces for additional convenience.
Pros and Cons of this Grill
- It has great build quality, which can offer long-term use with minimal issues
- Makes barbecuing easy with various features and its ability to keep temperatures steady (including low temperatures), thanks to its D2 PID controller that allows temperature adjustments to 5°F increments
- Includes a great mobile app that offers easy remote control, improving the convenience of a grill that’s already great for busy individuals
- Not the most affordable option out there, but the variety of features and exceptional build quality make it worth it
- You will have to pay extra to get the front shelf
Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24
This pellet grill is a close runner-up to the Pro 575. One of the best things about this grill is that it makes cooking a simple and accessible process. Perhaps seasoned barbecuers may not enjoy that, but it makes it an excellent choice for beginners who want to make great food with little to no barbecuing experience. It also has controls for smoke adjustment, allowing you an easy to increase or decrease the smoky flavor in your food.
You should also consider this option over the Pro 575 if you want more cooking space. It has two racks—one upper and lower. The upper one is 429 sq. inches, and the lower is 382 sq. inches, resulting in a total of 811 square inches. Thus, this grill is an excellent option for those of you who enjoy hosting BBQ parties.
Pros and Cons of this Grill
- The grill has a digital display with a clean interface that makes operations extremely simple and quick
- It comes with a sidekick attachment, i.e., it allows you to attach a propane burner to increase the versatility with the types of dishes you can make
- This grill also has WiFi controls, allowing you to monitor and adjust your grill’s settings remotely
- The grill can get hot enough to sear foods like burgers or steaks
- The controls for smoke adjustment simplify the process of getting a smoky flavor, giving you a gauge of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest smoky levels
- The WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity is not very reliable because abrupt disconnections are far too common
- It does not come with a cabinet door, reducing the overall storage options
Weber SmokeFire Gen 2
One of the great features of this grill is that it has an open grill design, allowing you to use it as a smoker or a regular grill. That said, the open grill can result in grease fires, so make sure to keep a close eye on it when you’re using it with the lid open.
At the same time, this grill also has a significant temperature range, allowing you to cook with temperatures anywhere between 200°F to 600°F. The grill comes with its proprietary Flavorizer bars that allow it to hit such high temperatures. Thus, it is the best option among the rest when it comes to searing.
You can also get great smoky flavors with this grill. Most of the food you cook with this grill will taste fantastic, provided that you season your food well and follow the correct cooking techniques.
It also has more than enough cooking space, with a total cooking area of 672 sq. inches.
Like the other two pellet grills mentioned above, this one also has a mobile app to monitor and set the temperature. The app is also easy to use, making it a useful feature for most users.
This option made it to the end of our list because it is more expensive than the other options. At the same time, it does not offer features that make it stand out from the competition, reducing its value for money.
Pros and Cons of this Grill
- The open grill design and the high temperatures it can reach allow for excellent searing—easily the best among the other options in this guide
- The mobile app is easy to use, and so is the controller, making it simple for users
- It infuses your food with an excellent smoky flavor
- It is more expensive than the other options, with fewer selling points
- The temperatures tend to fluctuate, especially at higher temperatures
- The grease drainage system is flawed, causing ash and grease to get clogged easily
- There’s no area to prep your food before you put them on the grill
Pros and Cons of Pellet Grills
This guide on buying the best pellet grills of 2023 is designed to help you make an informed choice. A new grill is a big investment, so you should know whether you should get one or not. So, in addition to knowing what the best options are, you should note if a pellet grill is right for you or whether you should consider a different grill type instead. Thus, we have prepared a list of the pros and cons of pellet grills so that you can make a decision without doubts.
Benefits of Pellet Grills
We highlight the benefits of pellet grills first so that you know why many people consider them.
They Are Convenient and Easy to Use
One of the most popular reasons why people consider pellet grills is that they offer a great level of convenience for their users. Therefore, once you put your food to cook, you don’t need to keep checking on the grill to make sure that the temperature remains consistent. These grills are made for slow and steady cooking without the need for adjustments. Well-made grills like the ones mentioned above also maintain the temperatures effectively. So, you can put your meats to cook and focus on other work in that time.
At the same time, a pellet grill may reduce the wastage of some meats because its cooks slowly and evenly. Therefore, you’ll less likely ruin some expensive cuts, allowing you to enjoy your food fully.
Pellet grills are, thus, an excellent option for busy professionals who enjoy BBQ and the cooking process but cannot afford to stand in front of a grill for hours. Moreover, they are an excellent option for BBQ beginners who don’t know many cooking techniques. This form of cooking is relatively simple because you have to only ensure that the temperature is correct and that you make other minor adjustments like turning over the meat.
They Are Versatile
Another reason why people consider pellet grills is that they are versatile. Despite being focused on a slow form of cooking, you can use one to make various types of meats, including pork shoulder, brisket, and smoky, tender chicken. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes to see what you can make.
They Do Not Use Gas
With the growing gas prices, you may be relieved to know that these grills do not use gas to ignite. They operate on electricity instead. So, it’s certainly a more fuel-efficient option. At the same time, the pellets in the hoppers last a long time, allowing you to get a considerable amount of food without needing to buy many pellets.
They Offer a Unique Smoky Taste
Of course, you can get a smoky flavor when cooking on other grill types as well, but cooking over a direct flame igniting over wood gives the food a unique flavor. You can also vary the smokiness based on the temperatures you cook at. For example, cooking at higher temperatures can increase the smoky flavor of the wood. However, you can reduce the temperatures to reduce that flavor. That said, doing so can increase the cooking time.
Cons of Pellet Grills
While pellet grills are an excellent option for many people who want to cook outdoors in their homes, they have some noteworthy cons. We’ve discussed them in detail below.
They Do Not Reach High Temperatures When Compared with Gas Grills
An important concern with most pellet grills is that they do not reach particularly high temperatures when compared with other grills. A consequence of this issue is that you may not reach the temperatures necessary to caramelize your meats or make crispy-skinned chicken wings. So, you may need to alter your cooking technique for such foods. However, if your barbecuing style is predominantly based on searing foods at high temperatures, then you should consider a gas grill instead. A pellet grill is made for slow cooking.
They Are Often More Expensive Than Gas Grills
Another reason that may be a concern for those looking to buy a new grill is that pellet grills can be relatively expensive when compared to gas grills. Gas grills often have fewer features, which help keep the prices relatively affordable. The running costs may or may not be more, however. This will depend on the prices of gas, the wood pellets (and their quantity), and the electricity bill.
In addition to that, gas is accessible in just about any location. However, you may not find wood pellets everywhere. So, make it a point to find a place nearby where you can buy wood pellets before you buy this type of grill. You don’t want to invest in this grill if it’s a hassle to find the pellets necessary to cook your food.
They May Take Longer to Cook Food Than with Gas Grills
The slow cooking and relatively low temperatures of pellet grills can result in a longer cooking period than with gas grills. So, if you cannot afford to slow-cook everything, then a pellet grill may not be the best option available.
We hope this guide on the best pellet grills for 2023 has given you some direction on what product to buy for your outdoor cooking. Remember that you should buy a grill that fits your cooking needs and styles—not what sounds the fanciest.
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