The Best Portable Pellet Grills for 2021

The market for grilling equipment keeps expanding year after year. These grills and smokers come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and other distinct features such as weight, which differentiate one type from the other.

The portability of pellet grills was not put into much consideration until the past few years when long-distance outdoor activities such as camping and tailgating started gaining popularity.

When outdoors, nothing beats meat chunks, vegetables, hamburgers, or other food types prepared in woody and smoky flavors, using the best available wood pellets, inside a portable grill.

A good quality smoker or grill like Traeger Fit Pit, for example, is a go-to brand but limited to fuel sources other than wood pellets. The beauty of grilling, smoking, or searing using wood pellets such as hardwood BBQ pellets can be felt with every bite of the savory meals that come from it.

Pellets grills have received a warm welcome in the market and are continually in demand given the number of competitive features they spot.

Of the available pellet grill brands, we have compiled a list that our team has tried, tested, and acquired proof of their functionality. The pros, cons, and reviews of each listed item have also been highlighted to give you a full preview of their value and whether or not they are worth buying.

1.Traeger Tailgater 20 Portable Pellet Grill

The Traeger brand has been the portable pellet grill of choice for most people who enjoy smoking and grilling foods.

Tailgater 20 is a model under this brand, weighing 62 pounds. It is fueled by electricity and its weight makes it easy to move it to a new destination.

In terms of price, this grill is a total bargain given that it has the lowest price range as compared to other grills from this manufacturer.

From the experience our team has had while using it, we can affirm its reliability and validity. It is equipment that offers you value for your money and an enjoyable grilling or smoking experience. The grill is compact and suitable for small backyards or transportation inside a minivan and other less spacious vehicles.

The biggest upgrade of the season in grill brands has to be the Traeger Tailgater 20’s Arc Controller, which enables you to preset your grill’s temperature and increase it at intervals of 5 degrees, through a given period. Once you’ve done the manual settings, the feature handles the rest until the food is ready.

This equipment is fitted with one probe on the outside with an internal extension. With it, you can monitor the heat changes inside the grill even when the lid is closed.

Another unique aspect of the Traeger Tailgater 20 is its keep-warm feature. It works when the food has been ready for a while and the temperature is turned off. The settings keep the food heated up despite the low-temperature range in the grill, enabling you to complete other tasks without worrying about having to reheat the food once it’s time to eat it.

Its legs are foldable, creating much-needed space during its transportation. The grill stands out against its competitors because of its lightness and ease of portability.

Another noteworthy feature is its reasonable heat range of 160°F to 450°F. This enables you to grill a variety of foods whose temperature requirements fall under this category.

Pros

  • Light and portable.
  • Fold-able legs for more space during transportation.
  • A 3-year warranty.
  • Has a meat probe for monitoring temperature.
  • Fitted with an Arc Controller to maintain steady temperatures.
  • Has a keep-warm feature to prevent food from getting cold.
  • Built sturdily.
  • Stainless steel and porcelain-coated material for easy cleaning and rust prevention.

Cons

  • Small cooking space.
  • Does not support WiFi settings.
  • Cannot grill foods that require a temperature range above 450° F.

Related article: Pit Boss VS Traeger in 2021: Which Pellet Grill Should you Buy?

2. Traeger Ranger Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

This pellet grill weighs 60 pounds, making it light enough to move. It can be powered by charcoal or wood pellets.

With dimensions of 13 inches in height, 21 inches in width, and 20 inches in length, the equipment is designed to occupy as minimal space as possible.

It has a digital Arc Controller that regulates temperature according to your settings. Other desirable features of this grill include a meat probe and a keep-warm system that prevents the cooling of food after cooking.

Its grilling logic is advanced enough for precision and accuracy in terms of temperature performance. The grate is coated with porcelain, making its cleaning an easy task.

If you are carrying out several tasks alongside grilling, you need not worry as the cooking timer will alert you when the food is ready, according to the time you’ve set it at.

Like most other small-sized grills, the Traeger Ranger Wood pellet grill has a minimized cooking space of 184 inches squared. It is, therefore, not suitable for large gatherings. The maximum temperature range is 450° F, making it incapable of searing or grilling foods that require higher temperatures.

Pros

  • Easy to clean.
  • Temperature is easy to keep in check with features like Advanced Grilling Logic and Ark Controller.
  • Encourages multitasking through its food-timer feature.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Has a keep-warm system to prevent food from getting cold.
  • It is durable.

Cons

  • Has no searing abilities.
  • The small-sized grate offers little space for cooking.

Related: Best Traeger Grill Reviews: Are Traeger Still King in 2021?

3. Green Mountain Davy Crockett Portable Wood Pellet Grill

The first desirable feature you’ll notice on this wood pellet grill is its WiFi connection abilities. In a world where almost everything is digitalized, nothing beats cooking equipment that you can control regardless of your distance.

It is compact and made to fit a small family or group of friends who fancy a great grilling experience. Its portability is made possible by its relatively small weight of 57 pounds.

The grill is made of stainless steel material, meant to shield it from damaging elements like corrosion and rust.

WiFi connection abilities give you a smart option to monitor and control temperature and the food’s cooking progress from given dimensions. For this, you’ll be required to have the GMG app on your device.

Green Mountain Davy Crockett grill has a temperature range of between 150°F to 550° F, a notch higher than most of its competitors.

It is fitted with fold-able legs that make way for additional space during transportation.

Pros

  • It is WiFi-enabled.
  • Can be controlled from a given distance. You don’t have to be at the grilling site the whole time.
  • Easy to carry around.
  • Fitted with legs for support.
  • Has a higher temperature range than most of its competitors.
  • Suitable for high-temperature grilling.

Cons

  • It is electric and may not be suitable for places with no electricity.
  • Small cooking area, unsuitable for grilling large amounts of food.

Related article: The Best Pellet Smokers for 2021

4. Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill

Out of all the favorable features attached to the Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill, our top pick is the rolling wheels joined to its hind legs and the suitcase-like handle at the front. You can roll it behind you and pull it forward as you do with traveling bags. This is a convenient way of transportation as the wheels and handles also double up as the grill’s support system when it’s not in motion.

Another thing we liked about this grilling equipment is its sturdy build. This characteristic prevents it from moving on its own.

The temperature control system is PID and can adjust the heat at intervals of 5°F until you acquire the desired range. The grill also has two probes for more accuracy.

Its hopper is its downside due to its small size. It can barely handle enough pellets for a 10-hour grilling period.

Another undesirable factor is that the equipment is not WiFi supportive, making its operations more manual than digital.

Every part of the grill is coated with powder steel apart from the lid which is made of stainless steel. Unlike other competing brands, the Camp Chef Pursuit Pellet Grill’s grate is not coated with porcelain but made of wire that’s enamel coated. This makes cleaning it a tedious task.

On the brighter side, it has a bigger cooking capacity than most other portable grills. Its cooking space measures 501 inches square.

Pros

  • Easy temperature control as a result of its two meat probes, and PID heat control system.
  • Suitcase design when in motion, making it easy to pull forward.
  • It has a big cooking area.
  • Presence of a top rack that is large enough to hold more food.
  • Has a lockable lid for securing the grilling zone.
  • Offers an open flame grilling option by the use of a sliding lever, used to slide the grate to a higher temperature zone.
  • It is more pocket-friendly than the Grilla and Recteq brands.

Cons

  • Lack of insulation makes it hard to maintain a constant temperature.
  • Does not support a WiFi connection.

Related content: Camp Chef vs Traeger: Which is the Best Pellet Grill

5. Grilla Grills Chimp Tailgater Smoker and BBQ Pellet Grill

This grill comes in a small, light, and compact version, fitted with fold-able legs like most other contending brands.

The material used to construct the Grilla Grills Chimp Tailgater is a mix of stainless steel and powder-coated steel.

There are two cooking areas just an inch apart, to create more cooking space. The upper grate measures 120 inches squared while its lower counterpart occupies 340 square inches, a maximum of 460 sq. inches.

With this grill, you have a choice between traditional temperature control and the PID controller, as it comes fitted with both.

The cooking chamber is insulated to create a constant temperature distribution while the grates are made using stainless steel for easy cleaning, rust prevention, and durability.

Despite its few downsides, our team can confirm that you will never go wrong with this pellet grill, given its highly competitive features.

Pros

  • Its legs have a snapping lock to ease fold-ability.
  • Double temperature control system for easy monitoring of heat distribution.
  • Can be used for grilling, baking, roasting, or smoking.
  • Has a meat probe for temperature check.
  • Fitted with a blower fan for uniform heat distribution.

Con

  • Cannot perform searing activities as its highest temperature goes up to 500° F.

Reasons to Go for a Pellet Grill instead of a Charcoal or Gas Grill

Reasons-to-Go-for-a-Pellet-Grill
Photo credit: gearpatrol 

While most gas and charcoal grills are made to perform tasks that are almost similar to the pellet grills, the difference occurs in their fuel sources. For a gas grill to function, there has to be propane or other similar gases that are up to the task.

Similarly, you have to have some bags of charcoal to fire up a charcoal grill. The two types of fuel are less affordable, compared to pellets, and sometimes out of stock in your local store when you need them most.

In comparison, pellet grills are fueled by pellets but can also be fueled by other sources interchangeably.

Pellets are readily available as most grill brands come with compatible wood pellets.

Their temperature ranges are also high and they are suitable for most food types. The additional smoky flavors given by pellets give food new savory tastes in regulated measures.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Portable Pellet Grill

Buying-a-Portable-Pellet-Grill
Photo credit: consumerreports 

Size

Different brands offer different sizes of pellet grills. Ensure that the overall size and cooking space are suitable for your needs. The weight should also be considered because it determines the level of portability.

Cost

Some pellet grills are of higher quality than their competitors. Some low-priced brands are made of low-quality materials that require a lot of maintenance to avoid breaking down, soon after they are purchased. On the other hand, high-quality grills will require you to dig deeper into your pockets to get the value you seek for. Between the two there is another type that is both pocket-friendly and of standard quality.

Once you know what works for your budget, look into their specs, pros, cons, and reviews from other users and you’ll be in a better position to make an informed choice.

Portability

If you are a fan of camping, tailgating, or other activities that require you to be in constant motion, then looking out for pellet grills with the most competitive mobility features should be top of the considerable factors. Study the handles, legs, wheels, and other compartments that allow the grill to move with ease, then buy the one that meets your requirements.

Conclusion

The compiled list is created to guide you and show you the endless options you have in regards to portable pellet grills. Some have better features than others and it’s upon you to decide which ones check your list of tastes and preferences.

Related: How to Use a Pellet Grill – Easy Tips & Tricks

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