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Pellet Grills: Advantages and Drawbacks

With so many great pellet Grill on the market it can be hard to decide which one best suits your needs. To help make your decision easier our BBQ experts have compiled a best-of-the-best list. These high-end pellet Grill are our favorites when it comes to price and performance. It’s time to get cooking with the best Indoor Grill of 2017!

  1. Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler, 700 sq. in.
  2. Z-grills Wood Pellet BBQ Grill and Smoker with Digital Temperature Controls
  3. Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill without Sear Box – Featuring Smart Smoke Technology
  4. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill – Bronze
  5. Pit Boss Grills 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill
  6. Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill
  7. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – WIFI enabled
  8. Louisiana Grills 60800 Stainless Steel Wood Pellet Grill, 800 sq. in.
  9. Louisiana Grills 60700-LG700 LG 700 Pellet Grill, 707 Square Inch
  10. Memphis Grills Elite 39-inch Pellet Grill Built In – Vgb0002s
  11. Pit Boss Grills 72820 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill
  12. Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station – 4-burner – Propane Fueled – Restaurant Grade – Professional Quality
  13. Camp Chef SmokePro SE Pellet Grill, Black
  14. Landmann Vista Barbecue Grill
  15. Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill
  16. Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box – Smart Smoke Technology – Ash Cleanout System
  17. Pellet Pro Deluxe 1190 Stainless Pellet Grill – NEW 35# Capacity Hopper & 7-Year Warranty
  18. Traeger TFB65LZBC Texas Elite 34 Series Wood Pellet Grill, Black and Bronze
  19. Pit Boss 71820FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler, 820 sq. in.
  20. Char-Broil Stainless Steel Portable Gas Grill
  21. Pit Boss Grills 71820 Wood Pellet Grill
  22. REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill – Featuring Smart Grill Technology
  23. REC TEC Grills™ Mini Portable Pellet Grill
  24. Smoke Hollow 2415PG Pellet Grill, 24″ 480 Cooking Area
  25. Smoke Hollow PS2415 24-Inch Pellet Smoker Grill
  26. Traeger Pellet Grills TFB30LUB Natural Organic 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill
  27. Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill
  28. Traeger BAC344 22 Series Insulation Elite Blanket
  29. Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill
  30. Traeger TFB29PLB Bronson 20 Grill, One Size, Black


  • Pellet grills are versatile. You can barbecue, smoke, roast, grill (sort of—more on that below), and even bake or braise in a pellet grill. At BBQ University, we have used them to cook everything from crisp chicken wings to braised short ribs to smoked pork chile verde and crème brulee.
  • Like gas grills, pellet grills preheat fast (10 to 15 minutes). The design discourages flare-ups.
  • Some pellet grills allow you to regulate temperatures in 5-degree increments, giving you pinpoint heat control. A thermostat in the cooking chamber sends precise signals to the controller and regulates pellet delivery.
  • Because a pellet grill works like a convection oven, you can load up the cook chamber without fear of uneven cooking.
  • You don’t normally over-smoke food on a pellet grill. The smoke flavor is more subtle than the sometimes acrid smoke generated by a straight wood or charcoal fire. The grills are available in a number of sizes from small to large, as well as commercial-size units that can accommodate a whole hog or pulled pork for a crowd. For additional wood smoke flavor, you can position hardwood chunks or pouches of soaked wood chips directly on the heat diffuser plate.
  • Pellets come in a variety of flavors—hickory, pecan, alder, mesquite, cherry, apple, maple, bourbon, etc., and can be mixed or changed in minutes. One 20-pound bag is sufficient for several cooks, though usage will depend on the temperature setting and weather conditions (wind and cold will increase pellet consumption). Under normal circumstances, a pellet grill will use about 1/2 pound of pellets per hour on the smoke setting and 2-1/2 pounds on high.
  • Some companies offer cold smokers as an accessory—perfect for Nova Scotia-style salmon or cheese.


  • Pellet grills are dependent on electricity, limiting their portability unless you have access to a generator or inverter.
  • Though they are marketed as “grills,” you won’t get grill marks or a dark sear, as the units run on fan-driven indirect heat. In my opinion, these are smokers—not grills. You can increase the amount of caramelization you get on the outside of food by preheating a cast iron grill grate, skillet, griddle, or plancha directly on the grill grate for 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Pellet grills are relatively expensive, retailing from a few hundred dollars to more than $4000.
  • The higher the cooking temperature, the less smoke the unit generates. You’ll get the most smoke flavor at temperatures below 250 degrees.
  • Any grills with moving parts and electrical components can break down (a risk not associated with charcoal or wood grills). If exposed to moisture, pellet fuels will disintegrate. People who live in humid climates must keep their pellets dry, preferably indoors in airtight lidded containers.

The bottom line? We now have several pellet grills at Barbecue University and some students love them. Of course, there are still a lot of purists (or masochists) out there who insist on burning charcoal or wood.

Photo Gallery of the Pellet Grills: Advantages and Drawbacks