Barbecue enthusiasts around the world have spread their wings when it comes to outdoor cooking and smoking has become a big hit. The pellet smoker is actually one of the best types of smokers available because it allows you to control the temperature that you cook the meat and maintain it easily.
We know how important it is for you to have a good outdoor kitchen, so we scoured the market to find several of the top pellet smokers that are available. There are quite a few, and many of them have amazing features that are great, but during our research, we found one that stands out above the rest.
The REC TEC RT-680 Wood Pellet Grill is a smoker that has a great black and red design that makes it stand out from the crowd. It is made to be durable, and it has plenty of surface space, and it comes with Smart Grill Technology that will make your barbecue experience even more enjoyable.
How to Choose the Best Pellet Smoker
The main reason that you are getting a pellet smoker is that you want to be able to create some amazing tasting, smoked meat in your own backyard.
As long as you can create mouth-watering slabs of meat on the smoker, you’ll be happy, but for convenience and ease of use, you are going to want the best smoker to accommodate all of your barbecue needs.
What are some other considerations that you should make before purchasing a pellet smoker? Let’s take a look.
Pellet smokers are a large investment, so you want to make sure that the one that you purchase is made from high-quality materials that will last for several years.
Purchasing a smoker that is built with less than the optimal durability will only mean that you will have to deal with repairs or replacing the unit down the line. Not only will a smoker with a quality design last longer, it will produce a better smoke as well.
The size of the cooking area is going to depend on your needs. If you are a person who likes to cook for their family and friends a lot, then a smoker with a large cooking area may be required to accommodate the number of people that you want to feed.
If you cater, you may also need a large smoker, but there are also reasons to get a smaller, more portable model. If you have a cooker that comes complete with wheels, then it will be easy to take it with you camping or to other events where a smoker would be welcomed.
Type of Controls
One of the most important considerations that you need to make with a smoker has to do with the ability to control the temperature. There are four different types of controls that are used for most smokers.
A three-position control is one that features three settings: a low, a medium, and a high temperature. This type of control is sometimes called an LMH control. You have less control over the amount of heat the smoker disperses so your food may not be cooked exactly like you want.
A multi-position control is one that has a temperature knob that can be adjusted. It typically will range from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to about 420 degrees Fahrenheit. They give you a little more control, but they can only be adjusted in increments of 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
A one-touch non-PID control allows you to set the temperature by scaling up or down in five or 10-degree increments. The temperature is often shown on an LCD display so that it is easy to see as well.
A PID control is the one that gives you the most control. You can set it to the temperature that you need, and it will adjust the food on the grill is being cooked.
The temperature range that you can get from a smoker is important, especially if you plan to use other methods of cooking as well. Most smokers should not have an issue hitting a temperature that is between 180 degrees Fahrenheit and 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means that you can properly smoke, grill, and even roast on the surface, but searing will not be possible because the temperature cannot reach above 500 degrees. If you plan to sear on the smoker, some of the higher end models can reach 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Amount of Space Available
Another factor that you need to consider is the amount of space that you have to place a smoker in your outdoor living space. You do not want to go with a large model and find out that it cannot fit into the area that you want it too.
Always, make sure to consider a range of sizes that work for your yard.
A smoker is typically an investment that will cost a few hundred dollars, but the ones that are designed with the most bells and whistles can cost a few thousand. It is important to know your budget and how much you are able to spend without breaking the bank.
Also, take into consideration the quality of the smoker because a smoker that needs to be repaired or replaced will cost you much more in the long run than one that simply has a higher price tag, especially if it is not that much higher.
Unfortunately, there are areas around the country where it can be a bit difficult to find pellets to burn in your smoker. Nothing is worse than having a party and running out of pellets before all of the meat is smoked.
This takes local stores into consideration, but if you are willing to purchase the pellets in bulk, then you are more likely to have luck finding what you are looking for at an online retailer.
To make your cooking experience easier, there are also some additional features that you may want on your new smoker.
Some control options come with meat probes that allow you to monitor your meat without even looking at it. Sometimes these probes can even be programmed to lower the heat on the grill when the meat is at the desired temperature.
Many smokers have a direct grilling option that you can use once you have your meat flavored like you want it. You may also want to look into secondary cooking racks if you are cooking for a lot of people.
Since our lives are so connected, many smokers are as well so that you can maintain that connection while you are smoking your food in the great outdoors. The Wi-Fi functionality that is included with some smokers even allows you to control the temperature and cooking time for an app if you like.
Let’s take a look at the best pellet smokers below.
Best Pellet Grill Reviews on the Market
1) REC TEC RT-680 Wood Pellet Grill
The REC TEC RT-680 Wood Pellet Grill is a durable unit that is built with a solid stainless steel frame. The grill comes with PID temperature control to make it simple to adjust the temperature, and it has Smart Grill Technology that helps to maintain the desired temperature throughout the entire cooking time.
The pellets are fed into the smoker automatically, which helps keep the temperature from fluctuating too much. In addition, the range for the temperature starts at 180 degrees Fahrenheit and reaches 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
• It has amazing temperature control.• The pellet hopper is quite large.• It has a nice exterior design that will stand out, especially the bullhorn handles.• It comes with a six-year warranty.• The cooking surface is rather large.
• This smoker could produce a bit more smoke.• It is a bit tedious to assemble.
2) Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill
The next smoker on this list is the Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill. It is a durable model that is designed to accommodate most grilling needs. It comes with a temperature gauge that is ideal for cooking at a precise temperature.
It comes with a stainless steel meat probe that makes it easier to monitor the heat of the smoker as well. In addition, the surface area is large enough to use in your backyard or at a function with a lot of people to feed.
The wheels and the fact that it is only 180 pounds makes it easy to transport. There is also an Ash Can Cleanout system that is designed to make it simple to clean out the pellet hopper.
• The digital temperature display is extremely precise.• It has a large surface area.• It has wheels, which makes it easy to move.
• It does require electricity to start.
3) Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill
This smoker is a very portable option that allows you to take the grill to any location. It is sitting on wheels so that you can move it on the ground, and it has folding legs that make it easy to haul in your truck.
In addition, the temperature is controlled with a LED thermostat that automatically monitors the heat so that it can be adjusted. It has a 305 square inch grilling area, so it is great for large family gatherings.
• This unit is very easy to clean; in fact, it will not need to be cleaned after each use.• It features a very portable design that is only 61 pounds.• The legs fold, which makes it simple to transport in a vehicle.• It is simple to assemble.
• It requires electricity to start.• The grill is a bit small, especially for a tall individual.
4) Camp Chef PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill
The Camp Chef PG24 is designed with a large cooking surface that is great for a crowd, but it also has a warming rack that can be used to keep the meat warm after it has been cooked.
The temperature is easy to control, and it can be set anywhere within a range that starts at 150 degrees Fahrenheit and goes to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you can you cook it low and slow as well as get a nice sear on the outside of the meat if you want.
It has an automatic pellet dispenser and a meat probe to help maintain the heat. And the pellet hopper can hold 20 pounds so that you never run out in the middle of cooking your food.
• It is very easy to clean.• The temperature control is very efficient.• It has a large cooking area.
• The warming rack can get in the way at times.
5) Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
This is one of the most portable options on this list. It has a low, medium, high-temperature control as well as a meat thermometer that utilizes a digital display to help you keep track of the temperature.
This smoker also comes with Wi-Fi for your convenience. It has a 100-foot range, and it allows you to control the temperature with your cell phone. It also allows you to set a timer so that you know when the food reaches a certain internal temperature.
• It holds heat very well.• It can be controlled through Wi-Fi.• Cleaning this unit is easy.• It is very portable.• It is easy to assemble.
• The surface area is a bit small for a larger crowd of people.
6) Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 Pellet Grill
The next smoker on this list comes from a company that originated the pellet smoker. It has a dial temperature control that allows you to maintain the temperature that you want easily. It has the temperature range to allow you to bake, braise, grill, smoke, and more, which means that no matter what you want to cook, you can get that delicious smoky taste.
There is also a drippings bucket included with this unit to make cleaning up a breeze. There is also an automatic shutdown cycle on this unit that helps to create less ash in the bottom of the grill while you are cooking.
• This smoker is easy to set up.• The smoke rings that are left by this smoker are amazing.• It has a large cooking space, which is great for feeding crowds of people.
• The temperature could be a little more accurate.• There is no meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of food.
7) Louisiana Grills 61100-LG1100 Pellet Grill
This smoker has one of the largest cooking areas on this list; in fact, it is a full 900 square inches. It has a simple push button control that is easy to use. It heats up very quickly, which means that your food will be cooked sooner with this grill. There is also an indirect cooking surface that you can use for slow cooking your meats.
The digital temperature display ranges from a mere 170 degrees Fahrenheit to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can easily get a nice sear on your food if you wish.
• The cooking surface is extremely large, which makes it a great option for parties.• It is a very durable device; in fact, the grids are even made out of cast iron.• The temperature is simple to control.• The grill heats up quickly.
• The instruction manual is not clear.
8) Pit Boss Grills 71820 Wood Pellet Grill
This unit is rather large; in fact, this Pit Boss pellet smoker has a cooking area of 820 square inches between two different racks. It is also very easy to control the temperature with the digital control. It has an automatic start and cools down mode to help you save pellets.
The temperature of this unit ranges from 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a LED display that is designed to help you keep track of the temperature without opening the lid.
• It has a large grilling surface.• It offers direct heat as well as indirect.• This smoker is easy to assemble.• It has a wide temperature range.
• It uses a lot of power.• The thermostat can be temperamental.
9) Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill
The Traeger TFB29LZA is a smoker that is designed with a LED display that allows you to monitor the temperature of the grill so that your meat is cooked perfectly. The unit automatically feeds the pellets into the hopper, and the heat is distributed with a fan.
Once the food reaches the desired internal temperature, the grill goes into a shutdown cycle that cools it slowly so that no more pellets are being used. In addition, the Junior Elite has a drain system that makes it easy to clean.
• The thermostat is positioned in more than one location to maintain consistent heat across the smoker.• It has a large surface area.• It is very easy to clean and maintain.• It has a very durable design.
• The pellets do not always fall from the hopper properly.
10) REC TEC Grills Mini Portable Pellet Grill
This grill is a more portable version of our top pick, so if you prefer a smaller grill, this may be ideal for your needs. Once you set the temperature, it will maintain that level of heat until the food is cooked to the internal temperature that you desire.
The grill temperature can be adjusted in increments of five degrees anywhere in the range between 180 degrees Fahrenheit and 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface area is only 341 square inches, but it has wheels and a lot more portability compared to some larger models.
• This smoker has a great exterior design.• It has an impressive temperature consistency.• Setup for this smoker is simple.• The legs are foldable.
• The cooking area is a bit small so it may not accommodate larger events.• The legs are a bit narrow so it may be difficult to move with food on it.
When it comes to pellet smokers, we chose the REC TEC RT-680 Wood Pellet Grill as the best grill from our reviews. It is a unique looking grill that has a black and red exterior with bullhorn handles and all. The grill is crafted from mostly stainless steel, and the surface area and pellet hopper are large enough to cook for a crowd.
The grill has a temperature range that can be adjusted from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to an intense 500 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that you can smoke meats low and slowly raise up the heat to give the outside a nice sear that will add a beautiful caramelized crust to your meat. The temperature is easy to control on this model, and it also comes with Smart Grill Technology to help maintain the temperature as you cook.
Overall, it is a great all around smoker. It does cost a bit of money, but the quality that you get with this model makes it an excellent value.
If you like smoked meats, there are a lot of options for creating them at home in your own backyard. A pellet smoker is a great cooking device that is becoming more and more popular in the barbecue world. Hopefully, our pellet smoker reviews have helped you decide which one works for you.
We liked the REC TEC RT-680 Wood Pellet Grill for its design, durability, and cooking space. It also reaches a temperature of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit so you will be able to get a beautiful sear with this grill. If this smoker does not fit your needs, check out the other models that we reviewed to find one that does.