A pellet smoker is one of the most common types of food smoking machines and is also a traditional format of smoking that is still preferred by one and many. Pellet smoking is known to give a certain flavor to the meat that is unparalleled with most types of smoking methods.
While pellet based smoking is a favorable form of meat smoking, a pellet smoking machine is a large investment. These machines are large and bulky in nature and as most of them have outdoor usage, it is imperative that you are careful about which smoker you buy.
A good quality pellet smoker is determined by the following four key features.
- Grilling Area: The first and foremost thing to look for in a pellet smoker machine is the grilling area. Most of these grilling machines come with about 700 square inches of surface area space that is enough for long sessions of smoking up large pieces of meat.
- Technology: Previous era pellet smokers used to work on fire or gasoline (butane based smokers are still prevalent). But most of the modern age pellet smokers are electrically driven. Given that these are outdoor machines, they also come with a giant generator attached to them as well. These digital pellet smokers come with nifty and automated controls as well. Be sure to check for those
- Build quality: Only the stainless steel build quality pellet smokers are to be considered as the best pellet smokers. Smokers with smaller price tags are often made out of wrought iron and they are less durable and end up either getting rusted or broken up due to the outside weather or even the slight mismanagement.
- Versatility: Most of the modern era pellet smokers are not just for smoking meat but they also double as BBQ grills and much more. These many in one model are great as a purchase compared to a single purpose machine. Because you would not only be smoking your meat but also be performing BBQ, grilling some meat, and much more.
We have also answered some frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of the article about Pellet Smokers. Be sure to check that out as well. Now let us jump in to review the best pellet smokers to buy online
5 Best Pellet Smokers
5 Best Pellet Smokers Reviews
First on our list is a pellet smoker from the house of Z Grills. The Z Grills ZPG-7002B 2020 is an upgraded wood pellet grill and a smoker that comes in an 8 in one functionality. This rotisserie has a total of 8 features embedded into a single device.
- 8 in one model that serves as a BBQ, wood fire pellet grill, smoking machine, baker, Roast, Braise, and more.
- Upgraded technology for better temperature management that will keep your meat hot to within 10 degrees of the preset temperature irrespective of the outside temperatures
- 20 pounds of wood pellets can serve to cook food up to a whole of 20 hours thus being effective than gas or electric smokers
- The single button-based operation makes it very easy to operate and use by basically anyone and everyone
- Upgraded digital control board allows for auto ignition and has temperature settings to change from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This upgrade also give you better pellet feed control systems as well.
- The automatic electric feed system will help you maintain the aforementioned stable temperature by optimizing the smoke output.
- LED screen for temperature readout and other data display as well
- Comes with a special waste oil collector that will allow you for easier and safe cleanup later
- The caster wheels allow for easier transportation from indoors to outdoors and beyond
- 700 square inches of large grilling area with a smoking rack of 6.9 inches x 27.5 inches.
- The hopper has a total of 20-pound storage capacity
- Made out of high-quality stainless steel material that has a polished finish and is heavily resistant against corrosion
- It also comes with a free cover that can be used to cover up the grill when you are out and not using it.
Warranty: Comes with a 3 years manufacturer’s warranty and also a 30 days return window as well
- None too specific to mention about
Next up on our list is a pellet smoker with a very large smoking/cooking area. The Traeger Grills comes with an 884 square inches large cooking capacity. The Traeger TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 is a bronze-colored pellet grill of a heavy-duty nature.
- 6 in one mode of a smoking pellet grill. Can be used for grilling, cooking, baking, roasting, braising, BBQ and also for smoking as well
- Has a total cooking space of 884 square inches. To put things in perspective, it can accommodate up to 7 racks of ribs or maybe 8 chickens or maybe about 40 burgers.
- Comes with a precision temperature control option that will give you the ability to maintain the temperature and control it easily till a + or – 15 degrees Fahrenheit level. This enables you to grill perfectly
- The digital pro controller enables easier and simpler control of the smoker with functions such as “set and goes” etc.,
- Made out of high quality and durable stainless steel metal. It is given a neat powder-coated finish that will make it easy to clean, maintain, and makes sure it does not rust away easily.
- Has a total of 34 wood pellet capacity in all and the Hopper has a total of 18 lbs capacity
- The porcelain grill grates enable for non-stick cooking and are very easy to clean post cooking
Warranty: Though there seems to be a warranty, there is no proper mention of it in the literature
- Warranty is not specified anywhere
Green Mountain Davy Crockett is the first Wifi Controllable outdoor wood pellet based grill. This comes with an aesthetically pleasing design and added to that, it is highly portable in nature essentially enabling you to fold it and store it away as well.
- The grill is highly portable and does not even need a power socket to be plugged in and used. The legs of the grills are foldable and they can be converted into a carry handle to further its agenda on being portable
- Has two power adapters one of 110 V and the other of 12 V as well. This enables you to plug in the grill both to a car battery or even your car’s cigarette lighter as well.
- Through the WiFi control module, you can now control and operate this pellet smoker from the comfort of your tablet or a smartphone too. With this, you can either control the temperature of the grill, set timings, and much more.
- The app also lets you make manual temperature adjustments of the range of 5 degrees as well. The timer function in the app lets you set up preset cooking temperatures and then work on other stuff.
- Smart alerts will give you alert on situations such as the hopper being empty etc.,
- Has a total of 219 square inches of cooking space
Warranty: Has 2 years manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase.
- As it is portable, the 219 square inches of cooking area is comparatively smaller than its alternatives but it’s great for camping and as such
Next up on our list, we have the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet grill that comes with an improved PID gen 2 controller and a large 570 square inches cooking space.
- Large capacity pellet hopper that can store about 20 lbs of pellets in the hopper
- The grill comes with an exclusive ash cleanout system that enables
- With its electronic auto-start ignition, it paves way for faster and quick starting every single time
- The dual LED temperature readout will show you what the internal cooking temperature is and the food temperature is at any given point of time.
- It also has an automatic auger dispensation system that will dispense wood pellets when you need larger smoke or improve the smoke efficiency of the grill.
- There is a simple temperature selection system for you to directly toggle and select an optimal temperature. The PID controller enables a fast and quick feedback system.
- The large 570 square inches cooking rack surface area is more than enough for generic grilling and much more
Warranty: This grill comes with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase.
- None too specific to mention about
Last on our list is the versatile Masterbuild SH19260119 WG400B, a 20 inches large pellet smoker grill. This moderate cooking area based grill comes with dial up temperature control and a digital screen for readout near the hopper. It also has a stove away bucket for pellet storage.
- Masterbuild has a 390 square inches large cooking area that is decent for most outdoor camping for a small group of people.
- The grates of the grill are porcelain coated and also the warming rack too which enables for easier and better cooking and also, easier cleaning.
- The easy dial temperature control and the digital readout screen makes for easier control of the grill
- With a total of 11.5 lb wood pellet storage capacity for the pellet hopper, you can cook for hours without the need to reload.
- There is also a small tiny bucket under the pellet smoker for additional pellet keepsake.
- This pellet hopper also has a cleanout function that enables for faster and easier cleaning out of the pellet hopper.
Warranty: There seems to be a warranty but it is not specified anywhere in the product literature
- The construction of the smoker is made out of high-quality materials but the overall reliability is a bit doubtful
- Rustic reports
- No proper mention of any warranty for the product
- There have been reports of the hopper failing or the digital function not being able to maintain the desired temperature and irregularities in cooking as well
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The central difference between grilling your meat and smoking your meat lies in the temperature you use. Grilling is mostly high-temperature heating of your meat for very short intervals of time. Smoking is the low-temperature heating of meat for a very long time. While grilling cooks your meat faster, smoking adds a distinctive flavor to your meat.
Almost after every use, a smoker gathers a lot of ashes and grease deposits. Hence it is vital that you clean up the grill or smoker after each and every use.
Before beginning to smoke your meat on a new smoker, make sure you are curing or seasoning it. This is basically heating the smoker at high temperature so it will burn off any residual manufacturing process leftovers on the grill. This is to make sure that the grill is safe for food making. It usually takes about 2 hours or so and you need not do it again and again.
For seasoning a smoker, you have to use high burning point cooking oil. For this, you can go for grapeseed oil or maybe even canola oil will do the trick as well
Rust is the oxidation of the iron metal. While it is not toxic if it accidentally mixes in your food in very tiny amounts, it is always safer to be rust free as large flakes may end up causing injury to intestines or mouth etc., You can remove the rust of the smoker with proper oiling, painting, and other such techniques and then later, seasoning it before using it again. Proper regular maintenance is required to prevent rust from forming on your grill
Out of all the smoker grills mentioned in the list today, the Z Grills ZPG-7002B is the best pellet grill and smoker out there. This 8 in one machine can be used as both a grill, a smoker for BBQ for baking, for braising, roasting and much more.
With a very large 700 square inches cooking area, it is perfect for all occasions and a lot of people gatherings. It also has a great and upgraded digital control, perfect temperature control and also, 3 years of warranty too. All of these, and the absolutely promising reviews and ratings make it the best pellet smoker machine to buy online.
While that was our list, we want to see if you liked it. Or even if you have any questions for us. Feel free to write to us in the comments section below and our team will write back to you as soon as possible.