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Top 9 Best Pellet Smokers for 2019

Our List of Top 9 Highest Rated Pellet Smokers for 2019

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  
A small product image of Traeger Grills Texas Elite 34
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lb
  • Capacity: 884 square inches
  • Unit Size: 49 x 53 x 27 inches
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A small product image of Traeger Grills Select Elite  
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lb
  • Capacity: 589 square inches
  • Unit Size: 57 x 25 x 46 inches
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A small product image of Camp Chef SmokePro STX  
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: N/A
  • Capacity: 429 square inches
  • Unit Size: 40.5 x 22 x 25.2 inches
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A small product image of Green Mountain Davy Crockett  
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: 17 lb
  • Capacity: 219 square inches
  • Unit Size: 29.9 x 14.4 x 20.5 inches
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A small product image of Camp Chef PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill  
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lb
  • Capacity: 570 square inches
  • Unit Size: N/A
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A small product image of Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E Smoker  
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: 20 lb
  • Capacity: 504 square inches
  • Unit Size: 48.5 x 22.5 x 51.2 inches
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A small product image of Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill  
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lb
  • Capacity: 875 square inches
  • Unit Size: N/A
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A small product image of Traeger TFB42LZBC Grill  
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 lb
  • Capacity: 418 square inches
  • Unit Size: 49 x 42 x 22 inches
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A small product image of Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2019  
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets
  • Hopper Capacity: 20 lb
  • Capacity: 700 square inches
  • Unit Size: 45 x 28 x 49 inches
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What are Pellet Smokers and how they Work

Back in the early 1980s, a company called Traeger Heating started experimenting with pellet-burning furnaces. A pellet is a tiny piece of hardwood that resembles a long pill and which quickly and cleanly burns to a fine ash. Before long, Traeger has invented a device with a special auger that feeds the pellets into the burn pot. 

The company held the monopoly over the pellet smoker market for some time, but the idea was too good not to get copied. Nowadays, there are dozens of manufacturers, and pellet smokers are more popular than ever.

Central to most modern pellet smokers is a digital controller. It is very similar to controllers found on indoor ovens. The user can set the temperature level he wants, and there’s a LED screen that displays the actual temperature. Some controllers are programmable, allowing the user to cook at a particular temperature for a selected amount of the time.

Most pellet smokers have a feed mechanism – the auger. Its job is to push the wood pellets into the burn pot. And once they’re there, the igniter sets them on fire and you get to cook your favorite meals on the cooking grate. Simple, yet very efficient.

Advantages

A quality pellet smoker has many benefits.

First of all, it is very easy to use. Although different than your standard charcoal and gas grills, these devices are surprisingly user-friendly. They have a short heat-up time and provide a heat that is constant and even. Versatility is another benefit, as pellet grills can be used to prepare all kinds of food, from braised short ribs to chicken wings.

There is also a subtle, delicious aroma added by the burning of wooden pellets. Compared to gas grills, these devices are much safer, and there’s also no need to transport heavy propane tanks.

Disadvantages

The most significant disadvantage of pellet smokers is that they rarely provide a temperature that’s higher than 450°F. This makes them unsuitable for searing. Those who need intensely hot temperatures to cook their food should instead opt for a gas-operated grill.

There is also a lot less flexibility when it comes to size – most smokers of this type are full-sized. They’re also quite expensive when compared to other types of smokers. On some pellet smokers, only indirect heat is possible, and all of them need a constant power connection at all times in order to work.

Top Rated Pellet Smokers

Traeger Grills Texas Elite 34

One of the most popular pellet smokers on today’s market is undoubtedly Traeger’s Texas Elite 34 model. Packed with features and providing its user with thorough, delicious meals, it definitely deserves a more in-depth look.

Quality

Weighing some 150 pounds and having the dimensions of 22″ x 54″ x 49″, the Texas Elite is a large and heavy pellet grill. It’s pretty safe to say that it has excellent build quality. The primary material used in its construction is steel, coated with a durable powder finish.

Fortunately, the unit’s heaviness did not have a negative effect on its mobility. This is due to the presence of four convenient caster wheels. Two of these are swiveling and two can be locked in place – moving this smoker from one place to another is effortless.

Capacity

Thanks to its large size, the Texas Elite 34 comes with a spacious grilling area. With 646 square inches of it, one can easily prepare six chickens, nine racks of ribs, or 24 burgers at once. This turns the model into an excellent choice for tailgate parties and similar outdoor events.

The hopper capacity, on the other hand, is 18 pounds. This is exceptional for smoking and similarly long cooking options. There’s no need for frequent refilling – you just “set it and forget it”.

Ease of Use

Just like most Traeger smokers, this one is also equipped with a Digital Elite Controller. Featuring just the on/off button, a temperature dial, and a LED screen, it is exceptionally easy to use. Turning the unit on is as easy as pushing the button, and you can select the temperature between 180 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of this model’s primary selling points is that it’s multi-functional. With Traeger Grills Texas Elite 34, you’ll be able to smoke, barbecue, grill, braise, bake, and roast. Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?

Downsides

The biggest downside of this smoker is undoubtedly its price. As a Traeger product, this model is very expensive – those searching for a budget-friendly pellet smoker will have to look elsewhere.

PROS

  • Durable steel construction
  • Large cooking area
  • User-friendly Digital Elite Controller
  • 18-pound pellet hopper
  • Mobile – four caster wheels

CONS

  • Expensive

Not only does this model provide its user with a multitude of cooking options, but it’s also straightforward to use. And once we add durability, mobility, and a huge cooking area, we can easily see why Texas Elite 34 is a bestseller.

Traeger Grills Select Elite

Next up is yet another Traeger pellet smoker – Select Elite. With a large grilling area, cooking versatility, Digital Elite Controller, and dual storage space, it is a model whose price definitely reflects its quality.

Quality

Just like all other Traeger grills, this model has an exceptional build quality. The side shelves are particularly sturdy – they’re made of stainless steel. This means that they’re easy to clean and capable of withstanding years of wood-fired grilling. They provide an ideal spot for food preparation.

However, one of the best things about Select Elite is that it comes with ample storage space. The unit’s dual-door storage space provides a spacious area where you can keep up to two bags of pellets. Your fuel will always be close at hand and ready for refilling the hopper.

We should also mention that the grill grates are porcelain-enameled and non-stick. Therefore, cleaning them is both quick and easy.

Capacity

This Traeger pellet smoker comes with 586 square inches of grilling area. This is more than enough to prepare food for a whole family – you’ll even be able to invite your neighbors. With such a large cooking surface, one can prepare five whole chickens, six racks or ribs, 20 burgers, or 28 hot dogs at once.

The model’s 18-pound hopper, on the other hand, provides hours of uninterrupted cooking. And when the time for refilling finally comes, you can simply take your next bag of pellets from the unit’s storage space.

Ease of Use

The Digital Elite Controller featured on this smoker is a standard on most Traeger products. It’s something that makes setting this smoker as easy as setting your standard kitchen oven. A simple interface allows one to maintain precise temperatures with a single knob-selector. There’s also a small but bright and easy-to-read LED display.

When it comes to transportation, the model is equipped with a set of four easy-glide wheels. They make Select Elite mobile and allow you to roll it around when needed.

Downsides

The only real downside of this smoker is how expensive it is. Traeger’s grills and smokers are some of the best on the market – hence the high price.

PROS

  • A cooking surface of 586 square inches
  • Stainless steel side shelves
  • Enclosed storage space
  • User-friendly temperature controls
  • Four easy-glide wheels

CONS

  • The price

If you’d like to take your meat smoking skills to the next level, the Traeger Grills Select Elite is an ideal option. It’s one of the best pellet smokers in Traeger’s catalog and a genuinely worthwhile investment.

Camp Chef SmokePro STX

Camp Chef’s SmokePro STX model is a solid smoker, and we mean that in all possible ways. Although relatively affordable, it comes with features such as advanced digital control, ample cooking space, built-in meat probe, and patented ash-cleanout system. Let’s have a look at it!

Quality

The dimensions of 40.5″ x 22″ x 25.2″ and the weight of 113 pounds put this model into a category of medium-large pellet smokers. Its firebox was manufactured from stainless steel, and it is compatible with the sear box made by the same company. There are also slots for additional front shelves and warming racks.

When it comes to mobility, the SmokePro STX comes equipped with two caster wheels. These are made of hard rubber and allow one to push the smoker across every type of terrain. We should also mention that it’s pretty easy to assemble this smoker – you’ll be ready for cooking in a matter of minutes.

Capacity

Camp Chef SmokePro STX has 429 square inches of cooking area (19.5″ x 22″). As you can already guess, this is more than enough space for any outdoor cooking session. You’ll be able to prepare a large amount of meat and veggies at once.

The unit’s pellet hopper is just as large. It can accommodate 18 pounds of pellets, ensuring lengthy cooking sessions without the need for frequent refilling.

Ease of Use

The automatic auger and the digital temperature control make using this smoker exceptionally easy. The unit’s auger feeds the pellets into the firebox, maintains even heat, and infuses your food with an optimal amount of smoke. You just have to sit back and relax!

One of the most significant advantages of SmokePro STX is that it comes with an integrated meat probe. Once inserted into the food, it shows the meat’s accurate temperature and saves the user from having to buy the probe separately. The patented ash-cleanout system also deserves mention. To take the ash out of the grill, you just have to pull a lever.

Downsides

Like with most other pellet smokers, the biggest disadvantage of SmokePro SXT is temperature fluctuations. Do not expect this grill to maintain the desired temperature as accurately as a gas-operated grill.

PROS

  • Solid construction
  • Spacious grilling area & pellet hopper
  • Integrated meat probe
  • Patented ash-cleanout system
  • Two rubber wheels

CONS

  • Temperature fluctuations

For the price it comes at, the SmokePro STX is a great pellet smoker. There is room for some minor improvements, but it’s still a purchase that you won’t regret making.

Green Mountain Davy Crockett

Green Mountain describes this model as the ultimate tailgating grill. In truth, there’s a lot to like about this unit – it is reasonably priced, portable, allows versatile cooking, and comes equipped with Wi-Fi technology.

Quality

This pellet grill is extremely portable – it weighs just 67.7 pounds and has the dimensions of 29.9″ x 14.4″ x 20.5″. This is quite lightweight for a pellet-style grill. The model features foldable legs, whose job is to provide a smaller footprint for easier storage.

Green Mountain Davy Crockett was made to last. Manufactured from 13-gauge and 14-gauge steel, it is very robust and easily withstands daily wear and tear. The warranty covers two years from the date of purchase. It’s not too generous, but it’s still better than 1-year warranty deals provided by lesser-known manufacturers.

Capacity

As it was made to be portable, Davy Crockett provides only 219 square inches of cooking space. However, this is still enough room for two racks of ribs, a couple of chicken breasts, or about ten burgers. This makes the model highly suitable for the families of four.

The hopper’s capacity is as equally small – only nine pounds.

Ease of Use

One of the best features of this portable smoker is that it’s equipped with Wi-Fi technology. Some might see this as a frivolous novelty, but it’s actually very useful. This feature removes the need to worry about the grill’s temperature.

Once synchronized with your smartphone (through the appropriate Android/iOS app), the unit’s temperature can be adjusted and monitored in the simplest way possible. You’ll be able to turn the unit on and off, control the internal cooking temperature, but also get low fuel notifications. Moreover, the user can save cooking profiles from his favorite recipes. Pretty convenient, wouldn’t you say?

Downsides

Although foldable and quite useful, the legs of Davy Crockett are too short. For that matter, taller people will find that using this smoker requires a lot of bending. In case of height being the issue, we recommend placing the unit on a fold-up table.

PROS

  • Reasonably priced
  • Great for families
  • An extremely portable pellet smoker
  • Small footprint – easy to store
  • Wi-Fi enabled

CONS

  • Legs are too short

Green Mountain Davy Crockett successfully exceeds expectations for a mobile pellet smoker. While mainly marketed for portability, it can easily become your regular smoker due to its convenient features and ease of use.

Camp Chef PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill

Another Camp Chef product that deserves a closer look is the PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill. This model comes with an abundance of useful features, such as the electronic auto-ignition, dual temperature readout, and a patented ash cleanout system.

Quality

Smoking and barbecuing are always fun when there’s no need to add fuel continually. Fortunately, the PG24 comes with an automatic pellet auger. Its job is to channel the pellets into the firebox. The auger feeds only the necessary amount of pellets at a time, and, in that way, maintains a consistent temperature.

The model itself is well-built and looks very durable. There are two caster wheels that make it mobile when needed, while the patented ash cleanout feature takes care of the cleaning. There’s a special lever that, when pulled, releases the ash directly into a special bucket.

Capacity

With a cooking surface of 570 square inches, you’ll be able to feed everyone at a large outdoor gathering. There’s more than enough space to smoke, braise, roast, grill, barbecue, and bake all of your favorite food.

The pellet hopper, on the other hand, accommodates 18 pounds of pellets. The size of the hopper is vital to every pellet smoker, and with the one on Camp Chef PG24, you won’t have to worry about refilling at all. Load it only once and it will last for an entire cooking session, no matter how lengthy it is.

Ease of Use

Using this model is very easy thanks to its intuitive digital control system. Consisting of just a couple of buttons and a LED screen, even the biggest grilling amateur will find that using it is effortless.

The unit comes with an internal meat temperature probe, letting the owner know the exact temperature of the meat he’s cooking. All you need to do is to put one end of it into an input socket and insert the other end into the meat. The LED screen will then show you an accurate temperature of the meat – it’s as simple as that.

Downsides

The only disadvantage of the Camp Chef PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill is that it has relatively high power consumption. This is mostly due to the electronic auto-start ignition system.

PROS

  • Sizeable cooking surface
  • Meat temperature probe
  • A large capacity pellet hopper
  • Easy ash cleanout
  • Two caster wheels

CONS

  • High power usage

As it comes at a relatively reasonable price but has plenty of convenient features, Camp Chef PG24 is a worthwhile purchase. It is effortless to use and can suit anyone’s barbecue expertise level.

Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E Smoker

Although not as popular as those made by Traeger or Camp Chef, Z GRILLS smokers still have a lot of fans across the country. The ZPG-7002E Smoker is one of their best-selling models – let’s have a closer look at it:

Quality

The fact that this smoker is well-engineered is apparent right from the start. Its powder-coated stainless steel structure ensures durability and reliability. The unit easily withstands extreme heat and corrosion, as it was built to meet the customers’ demand for longevity.

The ZPG-7002E operates on a convection cooking principle. It is, actually, a multi-functional cooking station, as it allows braising, searing, smoking, grilling, roasting, and baking. In other words, it’s the only grill you’ll ever need.

Capacity

Another significant advantage of this pellet smoker is its wide-expanse grilling area. It features both a primary grilling area (19.5″ x 26″) and a removable cooking rack (7.5″ x 26″). Together, they provide the user with 700 square inches of cooking space. This is more than enough for any picnic or a barbecue party.

The hopper, on the other hand, comes with an impressive capacity of 20 pounds. This allows one to fill it with as many wood pellets as needed for lengthy cooking sessions. There’s no need for frequent refilling, and that’s always a welcome thing.

Ease of Use

Just as we expected, using ZPG-7002E is as easy as it gets. As it comes with a clearly written manual and instructions, you won’t get confused by the installation and setup. And once you assemble the grill, you’ll just need to load the hopper with pellets, turn it on, set the temperature, and start grilling.

The unit comes with an adjustable temperature regulator, allowing you to set temperatures from 180ºF to 450ºF. There’s an internal sensor that controls the amount of heat released in the griller. The controls are straightforward – there are just the on/off button and a dial selector, as well as a small LED screen.

Downsides

Although it does have two caster wheels, this pellet smoker is still quite tricky to lift and roll. As it weighs over 130 pounds, Z GRILLS should have equipped it with four instead of two wheels.

PROS

  • Solid construction quality
  • Easy to assemble
  • Huge grilling area
  • 20-pound pellet hopper
  • Easy to use controls

CONS

  • Heavy and difficult to move

Although not perfect, the Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E is one of the best options in its price category. It’s an ideal choice for those who often prepare food for lots of people at large outdoor gatherings.

Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill

If you’re looking to enhance your outdoor grilling experience, this pellet grill might be one of your best options. It is one of the largest models in Camp Chef’s catalog, and it’s packed with convenient features.

Quality

Well-built just like all other Camp Chef grills; the SmokePro LUX weighs 180 pounds. As it is extremely heavy, it comes equipped with a set of four caster wheels. Two of them are larger and made of rubber, while the other two have a swiveling function. Although quite bulky, the unit is easy to move around thanks to these convenient wheels.

Just like most other pellet grills, this one also works on an automatic auger system. The pellets are efficiently channeled into the unit’s firebox, with no need for manual effort. A potent fan, combined with the standard auto-ignition system, produces the right amount of heat and smoke inside the model’s cooking chamber.

Capacity

One of the primary selling points of this model is its huge cooking space of 875 square inches. The grilling area easily accommodates meats of types and sizes, allowing one to cook enough food for a large gathering. The pellet hopper is one of the largest on any Camp Chef grill, at 18 pounds. You’ll always have enough fuel, no matter the length of your cooking session.

Ease of Use

SmokePro LUX comes equipped with an LCD digital temperature control. One can easily toggle between 160 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit to smoke or grill.

However, one of the best things here is the presence of a special stainless steel probe. With it, the user can easily ascertain the current temperature of the food. Once you insert the probe into the meat, the unit’s LED screen will display an accurate inside temperature of your steak, rib, brisket, or any other food.

A standard on all Camp Chef grills, the ash cleanout system also deserves mention. For quick and easy cleaning, the user just has to pull a special knob, and the ashes will fall into a cup situated below the fire pot.

Downsides

Like with all pellet smokers, the displayed temperatures can sometimes be way off on SmokePro LUX. This is why we advise using the meat probe – it will show you an accurate temperature of your food.

PROS

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Vast grilling area
  • User-friendly digital controller
  • Convenient ash-cleanout system
  • Four caster wheels

CONS

  • Doesn’t show an accurate temperature

This model’s only major problem can easily be solved by using the meat probe, which is included in the deal. Therefore, Camp Chef SmokePro LUX undoubtedly deserves its status as the best Camp Chef smoker on the market. It’s a well-built, high-capacity, easy to use model that you won’t regret purchasing.

Traeger TFB42LZBC Grill

When it comes to smaller Traeger pellet smokers, the TFB42LZBC (Lil Tex Elite 22″) is undoubtedly a popular choice. It’s a convenient-sized smoker with many interesting features – let’s check them out:

Quality

Measuring 49″ x 42″ x 22″, the TFB42LZBC has the right size for most grilling enthusiasts. However, it’s not really light, as it weighs close to 100 pounds. Fortunately, it comes equipped with two wheeled legs on its base – moving it is as easy as it gets.

In terms of build quality, the model is not as good as top-of-the-line smokers. That said, it can serve you for the years to come with routine cleaning. The metal grates of TFB42LZBC are porcelain-coated. This means that they’re rust-resistant and that the food easily slides off them.

Capacity

This pellet smoker features 418 square inches of cooking space. Although one of the smallest models in Traeger’s lineup, it still has enough space to hold 24 hot dogs, 16 hamburgers, a couple of racks of ribs, or four whole chickens.

The hopper, on the other hand, holds 18 pounds of pellets. When used at medium heat, the model will burn around one pound per hour. This makes it very efficient – you’ll be able to engage in long cooking sessions without having to refill the hopper frequently.

Ease of Use

As we expected, using TFB42LZBC is exceptionally easy. Once you fill up the auger with wood pellets of your choice, you just have to turn the smoker on and set the temperature. At that point, the model’s auger will automatically feed the pellets into the firepot. The induction fan and the igniter rod will activate and provide the user with red-hot temperatures.

The unit’s temperature range stands at 180°F – 450°F, with the temperature being controlled via the Digital Elite Controller. It has a convenient location and displays the temperature on a simple LED screen.

The drain management system, on the other hand, effortlessly draws out grease and deposits it into a special bucket, which is situated on the side of the smoker.

Downsides

Although immensely versatile, the Traeger TFB42LZBC still isn’t suitable for searing, as it struggles to achieve a temperature of 450°F.

PROS

  • Small footprint
  • Solid state cooking system
  • Porcelain grill grates
  • Digital Elite Controller
  • Drain management system

CONS

  • Not suitable for searing

All in all, TFB42LZBC is an ideal entry-level smoker. Coming at an affordable price, it will assist you in getting a good start in the world of pellet cooking.

Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2019

One of the newest models in Z GRILLs’ catalog, the ZPG-450A model is a reasonably-priced and feature-packed pellet smoker. As it offers a pretty good value for the price, this pellet smoker deserves a closer analysis.

Quality

As one of the company’s newest models, the ZPG-450A looks very sleek and attractive. In fact, it is one of the most modern-looking units on the market. It has no sharp edges or out-of-place elements – a look that’s easy on the eye is always welcome.

For the price it comes at, ZPG-450A undoubtedly has a construction of satisfying quality. Built from stainless steel and highly resistant to corrosion, it is a long-lasting appliance that could serve you for the years to come. Due to its weight of 98 pounds, it comes equipped with two rubber wheels for smooth relocation.

Capacity

The cooking space of this sleek pellet smoker is quite ample. The dimensions of the primary grilling area measure 19.2″ x 26″, while the warming/smoking rack measures 6.9 x 27.5 inches. That is 700 square inches in total – more than enough for meats of all types and sizes. With this model, you’ll be able to grill, smoke, braise, roast, bake, and barbecue – it’s a versatile cooking station and the only appliance of this type you’ll ever need.

The hopper accommodates 20 pounds of wood pellets. When filled to the top, it allows for 20 hours of cooking.

Ease of Use

Z GRILLS ZPG-450A provides super-easy cooking for the beginners. Operating on a wood pellet technology, it gives a fantastic wood fire flavor with only a little effort required from the user.

The temperature range of this model is a standard one when it comes to pellet smokers in this price category, at 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Its digital temperature control has the job of automatically adding the amount of fuel required to regulate the temperature.

Downsides

If you’re not a mechanically inclined person, you may have trouble with putting this smoker together. The instructions are somewhat confusing and can make the assembly quite tricky.

PROS

  • Versatile cooking station
  • Sleek and polished finish
  • Stainless steel build
  • Large cooking space
  • 20-pound pellet hopper

CONS

  • Somewhat difficult assembly

Although reasonably priced, the ZPG-450A still has all the features found on the top-of-the-line smokers. This turns it into a worthwhile investment, particularly if you’re a beginner who is still learning the ways of pellet cooking.

Pellet Smokers - Things to Consider When Buying

Deciding which pellet smoker is the right one for your needs isn’t easy. There are multiple factors one needs to consider – such as build quality, capacity, ease of use, and mobility. To help you make the best decision, we’ve created a short but comprehensive buying guide.

Build Quality

Don’t ever be fooled by a sleek exterior of a pellet smoker. Even it has a lot of stainless steel elements on the outside; there could still be cheap parts that are prone to rusting on the inside.

The components that matter the most are the grates, drip pan, flame deflector, and the fire pot. A model whose essential parts are made of marine-grade stainless steel will last you a lifetime. In case you need a powder-coated smoker, try to obtain one with a high-quality coating. The smoker will start to deteriorate and rust as soon as the paint chips and blisters.

An important thing to mention here is that a high-quality pellet smoker is also a better performer. High-quality materials maintain temperature better, ensure efficient fuel consumption, and retain heat well.

Capacity

Another critical factor is the capacity. Ask yourself the following questions: Will I cook large cuts of meat? How many people will I be preparing food for? A bigger pellet smoker is not always a better pellet smoker. Buying a huge model can easily lead to wasted pellets.

If you only cook for the members of your household, a model with only a couple of hundreds of square inches of cooking space will be enough. If you often host parties, on the other hand, consider purchasing a model with a much larger cooking chamber.

When speaking of capacity, one also needs to consider the size of the pellet hopper. Its size dictates how lengthy your cooking sessions can be. Buying a model with a small hopper can easily prove frustrating, as you’ll often have to replenish the fuel. Try to buy a pellet smoker whose hopper capacity is at least 20 pounds.

Ease of Use

Most modern models come equipped with digital controllers. Some of these are Wi-Fi compatible and can be programmed with your smartphone.

One of the best innovations is the PID controller. By calculating various variables inside the smoker, it maintains the temperature within 5°F of the chosen point. A smoker with this kind of a controller allows one to “set it and forget it” – to smoke meat on auto-pilot.

Furthermore, we advise looking for controllers with at least one internal meat probe. With one of these, you’ll be able to get better results by monitoring the meat’s internal temperature.

Mobility

Most of the users prefer having a lightweight pellet smoker. These can be quickly taken from one house to another, making them compatible with all sorts of outdoor gatherings.

For ultimate mobility, however, try to obtain a model with two or four caster wheels. Make sure that the wheels can be locked, though – it will make your unit much more stable.

Different Types of Pellets and their Characteristics

One of the best things about pellet smokers is that they provide a distinctly satisfying alternative to standard smokers and barbeques. If you’re planning to purchase one, you probably know that there is a huge selection of different pellets on the market. Here are the most popular choices and their characteristics: 

Mild flavors

Maple

This flavor of pellets is sweet and soft. It is ideal for vegetables, cheese, and poultry. Moreover, it darkens the meat and can be easily mixed with other woods.

Apple

Apple works wonders with lamb, poultry, ham, and pork. It can also be used with beef and seafood, although some consider its flavor overly mild for red meat.

Grape Vine

This flavor infuses a tart and fruity flavor to game birds, lamb, sausage, pork, and poultry. It’s recommended to use it in small amounts.

Alder

This one is excellent for smoking poultry and fish. It comes with natural sweetness and a subtle smoke flavor.

Cherry

As it gives the meat a mahogany color, cherry is great for beef. It mixes well with hickory, pecan, and alder.

Olive Wood

The flavor infused by olive wood is similar to that of mesquite. However, it’s a lot lighter flavor, and always a better choice for poultry.

Strong flavors

Hickory

A favorite of Midwesterners, hickory adds a sweet and smoky flavor, particularly to ribs and bacon. Be careful not to over-smoke, though – it can make the food taste very bitter.

Mesquite

This is an oily wood, which, therefore, burns hot and fast. Its flavor is extremely strong, which makes it ideal for dark meats. If you’re not so familiar with it, we recommend blending it with other woods.

Pecan

Although a member of the same family as hickory, pecan is not as strong. It’s a type of cooler-burning wood that gives a very delicate flavor to poultry and pork.

Conclusion

Food provides a beautiful way of bringing people together. Every summer, many people find themselves enjoying grilling, barbecuing, and smoking food with their family and friends. Every year, we see various manufacturers coming up with new and exciting appliances to make outdoor cooking more relaxed, more accessible, and more appealing.

There is no doubt that the pellet smokers are one of the best ongoing trends in the world of outdoor cooking. These appliances are incredibly convenient and can easily make one’s life easier. However, they’re not so cheap – getting one is a major investment that should be taken seriously.

That is precisely why we’ve decided to round up the market’s most popular models and analyze their characteristics. We went over the features of every model and tried to determine their value for the money. Although they look quite similar, each of the pellet smokers we’ve reviewed has its own advantages in disadvantages.

In our opinion, the best all-around model is Traeger’s Texas Elite 34. It has a vast grilling area, allowing one to cook whatever food he wants no matter its size. It also has a large hopper capacity and doesn’t require you to replenish the fuel frequently.

Our budget pick, on the other hand, is Green Mountain Davy Crockett. This unit provides a way to get a quality pellet smoker without having to break the bank. It is relatively lightweight and comes with features found on much more expensive models.

However, all of the models we’ve reviewed are worth purchasing – it’s all up to your individual needs. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to cook for your family and friends, which is not only satisfying but also brings everyone closer together. And we haven’t even mentioned the delicious food that is involved in all of this.