The Best Pellet Smokers for 2021 – Buyers Guide

Pellet smokers and grills have become increasingly popular among people who like the flavor of charcoal smoked food but are looking for an easier to use smoker which can be set and left untended.

Good quality pellet smokers are easy to set up and offer thermostatic control, which will ensure that the temperature you have set will be kept no matter the weather, and without the need of “babysitting” the unit all of the time.

Pellet-Smokers
Photo credit: murdochs

Plus, they feed the necessary amount of pellets automatically instead of you. You can choose among the different kinds of pellets on the market, including apple, hickory, cherry, and others, which are affordable and will ensure that the food is cooked to perfection.

If you are looking for a pellet smoker, which will make your life easier while allowing you to prepare the best smoked meats and food ever, then read on.

Here are the top-quality pellet smokers for all budgets and preferences.

Camp Chef SmokePro Slide Pellet Smoker

Investing in the Camp Chef SmokePro Slide Smoker is among the smartest things you can do because it is a versatile outdoor cooker that can be used not only for smoking but also for grilling, braising, baking, roasting, and barbequing all-in-one.

Thanks to the included slider smoker grill, you can use the SmokePro with a direct or an indirect flame, depending on your preferences and needs.

It is a smart and easy-to-use pellet smoker with an automated auger feed, which means that you won’t need to change or adjust the temperature during use. At the same time, the smoker will adjust and optimize the smoke at the desired level as well.

Cleaning this smoker from the ash is easier than ever and can be done by pulling a single lever. This releases the ash cleanout system and drops the leftover ash into a cup without the need for a vacuum.

The pellet smoker has a digital controller and two temperature probes so that you can keep an eye on the cooking process without opening and closing it.

The cooking area of 811 square inches is divided among two racks. The upper shelf can be removed or adjusted as needed, depending on the type and size of the food you are preparing.

You can adjust the smoke level from 1 to 10 via the easy-to-use New GEN 2 PID of the pellet smoker. This means that you don’t have to worry about any excessive smoke because the digital temperature control will adjust the heat and smoke accordingly during the entire process of cooking or smoking.

The unit is easy to assemble and use and is a perfect choice for someone looking for a smoker, grill, and cooker which prepares excellent food with minimal effort and tending.

Pros:

  • Made of sturdy metal parts which can withstand different weather and years of use outdoors
  • Easy to assemble and set up
  • An ash and grease catcher
  • A removable upper rack
  • Automatic digital controls for maintaining the temperature and smoke as desired
  • Large cooking area
  • Eco-friendly

Cons:

  • The wheels are not very stable, especially if the unit is moved around a lot

Traeger Grills Pro Series 575 Smoker and Grill

If you are looking for a high-end, smart, and versatile pellet smoker and grill, then you should definitely consider buying the Traeger Grills Pro Series 575 Pellet Smoker and Grill.

It works with 14 different types of wood pellets and offers absolutely precise temperature control.

The premium quality pellet grill has built-in Wi-Fi, so you can use the dedicated Traeger App to control and monitor the smoker from your phone or via voice commands with an Alexa-enabled device.

This means that you can set the temperature to up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and let the grill and smoker do its magic while overseeing the process from your smartphone.

The mobile app also offers some great recipes, tips for use, and other useful features.

It has a D2 Direct Drive drivetrain which allows for quick starting, fast heating, and an improved smoke flavor.

The Pro Series smoker and grill can be used for grilling, roasting, baking, braising and barbequing apart from smoking all types of foods, so it is a very versatile outdoor cooker. You can use it for slow cooking as well.

The motorized auger will transfer the pellets to the electric furnace from the storage hopper, so you won’t need to worry about the smoker running out of pellets and loading them manually.

The temperature is easy to set via the LCD push-button control panel or the mobile app. Once set, this top-quality smoker will ensure that the temperature is held without deviation throughout the cooking process. You can easily adjust the temperature from your phone whenever necessary.

It has a built-in meat probe so that you can cook each meal to absolute perfection and doneness.

The cooking area of this pellet smoker is 575 square inches, which is sufficient for grilling five racks of ribs or 24 burgers at the same time.

Pros:

  • Built-in Wi-Fi for easy smart control and Alexa enabled for voice control
  • Very easy to set and control at an accurate temperature and smoke level
  • 6-in-1 functionality, making it a very versatile cooking appliance
  • Automatic temperature and smoke control, and pellet feeding

Cons:

  • It is not as affordable as some of the other pellet smokers on our list
  • It does require electricity for starting

Camp Chef 24 in.Woodwind  Wi-Fi Pellet Grill & Smoker with Sear Box

If you are tech-savvy and like the convenience of having smart devices and appliances in your home, then the Camp Chef 24-inch Woodwind Pellet Smoker and Grill is an excellent addition to your smart home.

It has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, allowing for easy setting, optimizing, and monitoring of the smoker and grill from a smartphone or other Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled device.

The premium quality pellet smoker and grill has two full-sized grates, which allow for adjusting the cooking area depending on the volume of food you are planning on preparing.

The unit can be used for grilling or slow smoking, and its temperature can easily be adjusted from 160 up to 650 degrees Fahrenheit with direct or indirect flame thanks to the adjustable Slide & Grill technology. This will allow you to prepare food with flame-kissed flavor and quality, which is usually possible only with charcoal or gas-powered grills.

The smoke level can be adjusted from 1 to 10, depending on your recipe and taste.

The unit has a large-sized hopper with a capacity of 22 lbs. of pellets, for easy automatic loading, without the need to refill it throughout the cooking process.

You can monitor the level of pellets left in the hopper through the window on the front.

Once the hopper needs to be emptied or refilled, all you need to do is pull a knob to release them and clean out the unit from the ash, which falls directly into a cup. This makes it very easy to clean and maintain with minimal effort required.

The smoker has four built-in meat probes, which will allow you to achieve the temperature you desire for a perfect cook and doneness every time.

Pros:

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity enabled
  • Four meat probes and meat ports for precise temperature control and a perfect doneness
  • A temperature range of160 to 650 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Up to 250,000 BTUs
  • The smoke can be adjusted from level 1 to level 10
  • Innovative Slide & Grill technology
  • Large-sized pellet hopper
  • Easy ash cleanout with a simple pull of a knob

Cons:

  • It is pricey
  • Some users have found it difficult to connect and stay connected to the smoker via Wi-Fi

Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha Model Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill

This is another excellent choice on the market. The Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha allows for hot and fast searing as well as for low and slow smoking.

The smoker comes with a sturdy cover for the grill and an added stainless steel upper rack for increasing the cooking area. When removed, the cooking area can fit a whole turkey, thanks to the airy headroom.

The entire cooking area can be increased to 692 square inches, while the main grate is 507 square inches and the upper rack is 185 square inches.

You can use this versatile pellet smoker for grilling, baking, broiling, roasting, searing, and smoking all kinds of foods easily and deliciously every time.

The temperature of this pellet smoker can be set to as low as 180 degrees Fahrenheit, which is excellent news if you want to hold a brisket or prepare smoked jerky.

The Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha is sturdily built and is powder coated, caulked, and welded, which will ensure that it endures all types of weather conditions and long years of use.

It features superb double-wall insulation to keep the heat and smoke inside the chamber.

You can choose and adjust the smoke from Standard to Alpha smoke which has a more accurate PID control for precise temperature maintenance and less smoke when needed.

Pros:

  • Easy to access and a user-friendly push-button control
  • A temperature range of 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, adjustable in increments of 5 degrees
  • A large-capacity hopper for 20 lbs. of pellets
  • Sturdily built with a stainless steel protective lid for the hopper and grill
  • Easy automatic ignition
  • Double-wall insulation of the cooking chamber

Cons:

  • No Wi-Fi connectivity for monitoring the smoker via a smartphone

Related Content: The best vertical pellet smokers in 2021

Camp Chef SmokePro Stainless DLX Pellet Grill

If you want a high-quality pellet smoker without breaking the bank, then the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX could be the option for you.

It is affordable and easy to use and is fitted with the new Gen 2 PID controller system for more precise temperature control.

The smoker also has an innovative ash and hopper easy cleanout system for hassle-free maintenance after use.

The easy-to-use control dial can be used for choosing the preferred cooking mode and setting the temperature. All of the information you will need to monitor the cooking process being made available on the easy to view LED display.

The pellet smoker has a built-in digital thermometer and an internal meat probe for monitoring the temperature and achieving the perfect doneness every time.

It has an automatic restart feature in case of a power failure.

You can adjust the temperature and smoke levels from 160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The smoker has a main cooking area of 429 square inches which can be increased with the help of the additional 144 square inch cooking rack.

The automatic auger for the pellets switches off automatically when it is done. The capacity of the hopper is 18 pounds, so you won’t have to worry about having to refill it during the food prep.

The smoker and grill combo unit is portable and takes up little space.

It comes with all the accessories you will need to start using it right out of the box, including a side shelf, a rake for the pellets, and a drip bucket.

All you will need to do is to load the pellets of your choice, and you can get started.

Pros:

  • Less expensive than many of the other pellet smokers
  • An internal temperature sensor and a stainless steel meat probe
  • Automatically restarts in case of a power outage
  • A large hopper capacity of 18 pounds

Cons:

  • It may not be as durable as the higher-end smokers if left outdoors without a suitable cover

Related article: Top picks for the finest portable smokers

Traeger Grills Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker

The Traeger Grills Pro Series 34 Pellet Smoker and Grill offers a generous cooking area of 884 square inches.

This is another versatile pellet smoker which can be used for grilling, baking, and roasting, braising, and barbequing food as well.

The smoker has a hopper with a capacity for 18 pounds of pellets and which has an easy-to-use cleanout system.

Thanks to its Digital Pro Controller, you can easily set the cooker to the desired temperature and go ahead and do something else while the unit does its job of preparing the perfect meal.

The Traeger pellet smoker features the innovative Advanced Grill Logic technology, which will ensure that the desired temperature is maintained throughout the entire cooking process, exactly as you want it to be.

The pellet grill and smoker have two meat temperature probes and an additional removable grill rack. You will also receive a useful cookbook with interesting ideas and recipes to try out on your new grill.

The smoker is portable with all-terrain casters, which can be locked into position to keep the unit in place when in use.

The large cooking area of the appliance can fit up to 40 hamburgers or up to 7 racks of ribs at the same time.

The smoker is made of powder-coated stainless steel for added durability in all kinds of conditions.

It has porcelain non-stick grates, which are easy to clean and ensure that no food gets stuck during the cooking.

The pellet grill is reasonably priced and is sold with a three-year warranty for any defective parts.

Pros:

  • Large capacity hopper for 18 pounds of pellets
  • Six cooking functions in one versatile pellet grill
  • An innovative Advance Grill Logic feature for reliable and accurate temperature maintenance
  • Portable thanks to the all-terrain lockable casters
  • A cooking area of 884 square inches

Cons:

  • It preheats slower than some of the other pellet smokers on this list

PIT BOSS PB1150G PG1150G Wood Pellet Grill

If you want an extra-large capacity pellet smoker and grill, you should check out this Pit Boss pellet grill. It features a huge cooking area of 1,158 square inches.

Its extra-large pellet hopper can hold up to 32 lbs. of pellets and has a door for easy access and cleaning after use.

This makes this pellet smoker suitable for people who often grill or smoke large quantities of food.

The large-capacity pellet smoker has non-stick porcelain coated grids made of cast iron with nifty tool hooks.

It has an easy-to-read LED display and a digital control panel for easy setting of the temperature and monitoring of the cooking process.

The temperature can be adjusted from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The unit has a slide-plate flame broiler which can be used to switch from direct to indirect heat for different recipes and preferences.

Pros:

  • It has a very large cooking area of 1,158 square inches
  • The pellet hopper can fit up to 32 pounds of pellets
  • The slide-plate flame broiler allows for direct or indirect flames and heat
  • A temperature range of 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Easy to set, adjust and monitor via the digital control panel and LED display
  • Includes two meat probes
  • An easy to access and use cleanout system for the hopper
  • A large pellet hopper window
  • Convertible front-to bottom shelf and built-in hooks for tools
  • Caster wheels which can be locked
  • A 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • It may be too big and overkill for some people who do not need to cook such large volumes of foods

Buying a Pellet Smoker

When buying a new pellet smoker, there are many things to consider.

We know that it can be overwhelming when there are so many different options out there, but don’t worry! We have researched them extensively and will only provide you with a list of the best ones we found.

Follow this buyer’s guide and choose the best pellet grill to match your needs.

Size

The size and type of the smoker will depend on what you need it for. If you plan to host grill parties often with your friends and family, then you should opt for a larger grill. Another important thing to keep in mind is whether or not the pellet smoker comes equipped with a secondary rack which increases cooking space.

Cost

What to look for in a pellet smoker? That’s the question most f the people ask themselves before purchasing one. This answer depends on how much you’re willing to spend, according to the features that are important to you. However, you can pick any of the smokers on our list that matches your pocket, with no hesitation about its functionality.

Heat Retention

The benefits of smoking food are many, but the process can be tricky. The smoker should offer accurate temperature control via an advanced PID temperature controller. It should also have an even cook zone throughout the cooking process.

Consumption and Pellet Capacity

The hopper of a medium-sized pellet grill can store up to 20 pounds of pellets. It usually burns one pound per hour, – but the amount can vary based on the temperature! If you have your grill set at high temperatures, then more will burn while this number decreases as the temperature lowers.

Additional Features

Well, there are many new features to choose from these days. Smokers now come with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity so that you can monitor the grill’s temperature remotely on your phone! Other features include interior light so it is easier at nighttime grilling, tool hooks for storage space on the unit itself, and built-in shelves if you need an extra cooking prep area.

Warranty

Warranty is an important aspect of pellet smoker selection. You need to check the duration and application for a warranty before purchasing because they usually do not cover wear or tear but only defective parts.

How Does the Pellet Smoker Work?

  • Hopper – it is the container for your hardwood pellets.
  • Controller – оnce you fill the hopper, turn on that smoker and set it to your desired temperature. The digital controller will keep the temperature consistent so nobody has a bad time!
  • Auger – this is a device in the smoker, that transfers the pellets from the hopper to the firepot. The speed at which it does this is directly proportional to the temperature set on the temperature controller!
  • Firepot – The fire pot is the area where pellets burn and create heat. The auto-ignition starts up, burning through the pellets when they reach their destination in the firepot!
  • Rod – An auto-ignition system, commands the hot rod to start up and light the pellets. The rod is responsible for burning pellets inside the firepot.
  • Fan –  it provides a constant flow of air to ensure the pellet-burning in the firepot. Also, the fan circulates both smoke and heat around food during the cooking process.

What Are the Benefits When Using a Pellet Smoker

  • Pellet smokers are a great way to save money when you’re grilling. Instead of spending time and resources on charcoal or wood, all you need is some cheap pellets that will last for hours!
  • Wood pellet smokers are easy to keep clean and the cleanup process is much faster than a charcoal smoker.
  • Most of the operations are automatic, leaving you with little more than a light touch to monitor. Once set up and running, your pellet smoker will maintain its cooking temperature so that all you need is an occasional spritz or two for flavor.
  • The best thing about the pellet smoker is that it can be used to BBQ, grill, roast, and smoke. You don’t need four different appliances if you use one of these machines!
  • A pellet smoker will heat up in less than five minutes, so you can start cooking your food right away! The auto-ignition from the electric element starts burning pellets as soon as they reach the firepot.
  • The drip tray and the ash cleanout bucket make it easy to keep your smoker looking as good on the inside, as you’ll want. All of its racks can be removed for deep cleaning.
  • One pellet grill offers you everything from slow cooking to fast, and even the option of direct or indirect smoking.

Conclusion

For those who want to save money, the most cost-effective choice would be a pellet smoker.

These smokers are affordable, yet they also maintain an efficient temperature control without the need of monitoring it constantly. This means that you get more quality time with your friends and family and less worrying about maintaining the heat of your grill!

Furthermore, many features such as WiFi connectivity allow for remote access, when adjusting temperatures is necessary, or if certain foods need extra attention from being monitored closely.

The versatility of the pellet smoker enables BBQing, smoking, roasting, and baking.

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