Are you looking to take your backyard barbecue to the next level? Look no further than a pellet smoker! These versatile outdoor cookers use wood pellets as fuel to infuse your food with rich, smoky flavor. Not only are they easy to use, but they also offer precise temperature control, making them the perfect choice for both novice and experienced pitmasters alike.
Just like an oven, the best pellet smoker allows precise control temperature to prepare perfectly smoked food for you. However, with the best quality comes great expense. The team of smokermasters veterans has spent more than 150 hours researching and testing pellet smokers for a variety of factors like price, size, features, and brand of the smoker in order to select the best pellet smokers on the market.
Our research has not only involved testing, but we have also interviewed experts in ergonomics, productivity, and task lighting to learn more about pellet smokers.
Throughout this guide, we have tried to offer how-to knowledge on how to buy the best pellet smoker along with our picks, since, for example, you will want to know how to buy a pellet smoker before you buy one straight from the market instead of getting some information.
Comparison of the Top Pellet Smokers for 2023
Detailed List of the Best Pellet Smokers for 2023
Green Mountian Grills
1. Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Pellet Smoker
You have to invest a decent amount to buy the best pellet smoker for your backyard. The toughest thing is to select the best one from countless options available on the market. You have to consider your skill level, pellet smoker quality, features and price to make the right decision. Well, we have done our best to select top pellet smokers that suit everyone’s needs and budget.
The Camp Chef arrived in good condition and was relatively easy to assemble with the help of my team member. As far as we know, there was no damage to any of the parts, and once it was constructed, the unit was ready for use. In order to see what kind of space this thing had, we loaded it up with some oak pellets and threw on a whole brisket once it had been running for 4 hours to cook the manufacturing oils and such.
We used the top rack so we could place a drip pan below the brisket (so we would be able to keep the dirty smoker clean as long as possible) and we saw there was plenty of room for a second brisket to be placed on the lower rack, possibly even two briskets if they are 10 pounds. After 18 hours of cooking at 225 degrees, we had a gorgeous and delicious piece of meat that had a better flavor of wood from the pellet smoker.
Whether you are a seasoned smoker or a newbie, you will surely find the best pellet smoker from this list. Featuring all essential functions for grill lovers, this best pellet smoker comes with a slide smoker grill and a digital control probe for easy maintenance.
It offers a variety of options for grilling, roasting, baking, and braising. This new PG24MZG by Camp Chef comes with a slide and grill feature for easy smoking.
This pellet smoker also has a handy digital control with two stainless temperature probes. So, you don’t need to constantly check the temperature of your food. Sit back or enjoy your party with a smoky grill.
The temperature of the smoker ranges from 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the best features of this pellet smoker is the conventional style of cooking with 2 separate tracks.
The 811sq.in cooking surface area allows preparing 6 racks of ribs and toasting 30 burgers at a time. Another great thing about dual-layer cooking racks is that you can clean them in the dishwasher.
2. Grilla Silverbac Alpha Model Wood Pellet Smoker
If you are looking for a pellet smoker with durable construction and versatile cooking features, then Grilla Silverbac Alpha Model Wood Pellet Smoker is made for you. The smoker was super-easy to assemble. We had it set up and cooking in about 30 minutes. It’s well-designed and constructed. Featuring a complete stainless steel body including lids, grates and internal components, Silverbac comes with top quality construction.
The manufacturer has added a powder coat finish on the exterior to improve the durability of the unit. It also has a double-walled thermal jacket for ideal heat insulation.
When switching between the two controller modes, the Alpha smoker technology is an excellent addition to the smoker. Besides the traditional smoker settings, it allows us to utilize the PID controller for ideal temperature control.
Grilla has also added high-quality convection fans inside to spread the smoke and heat evenly in the chamber.
The grill is made for both beginners and experts. The digital controller allows you to set the desired temperature. Its set-it, and forget-it control helps to feed wood pellets with the automatic auger according to the set temperature.
There is also an integrated meat probe for measuring and displaying the meat temperature on its digital control panel. Other notable features include an auto-ignition system, large hopper capacity and stainless steel drip tray for easy cleanup.
3. Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker
One of the most versatile pellet smokers on the market, this Traeger TFB88PZBO Pro grill and smoker, is designed to provide exceptional durability with a steel and powder coat finish. The automatic precise temperature controlling offers ease of cooking.
This grill and smoker combo comes with excellent versatility as it can cook different foods perfectly.
In fact, it is a consistent temperature that gives you perfectly cooked food. This amazing pellet smoker offers excellent temperature consistency that can remain for four after hours. Also, porcelain grill grates are non-sticky to prevent excessive oil and keep your food healthy.
Using the smoker is as easy as you like. The digital pro controller allows check the rise and fall of temperature and also set the temperature accordingly. Other than that the build quality is excellent we felt the materials are heavy like they are made to last.
4. Camp Chef Woodwind Wi-Fi 24 Pellet Smoker
An amazing mid-sized pellet smoker with an ideal balance between quality and value of your money, the Camp Chef Woodwind 24 comes with new Gen 2 digital PID control to allow you to dial in your desired smoker level. You can easily control the grill by using a large color touch screen and also a companion App.
The Woodwind pellet smoker is available in two different sizes. The one with a medium size (24 inches) provides 811 squares inches of cooking space (382 sq inches upper rack and 429 square inches in the lower rack). Another model with 36 sizes offer 1236 square inches of cooking surface and is an ideal choice to cook for a crowd.
This pellet smoker is extremely easy to use. The PID controller allows regulating both smoker and temperature. Its detailed controller offers the precise griller temperature to smoke your food perfectly. The best thing about the PID controller is that it can be connected with both WiFi and Bluetooth.
There are four meat probe ports and meat probes for ideal cooking performance. Its slide and grill technology allows for direct flame smoking with temperatures up to 650 degrees Fahrenheit. Last but not least, the patented Ash Kickin’ Cleanout system allows dumping the ash conveniently after every cook.
5. Z Grills ZPG-700E 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker- Best Budget Pellet Grill
If you are tight on budget but still want to buy the best pellet smoker, then this Z Grill smoker is made for you. Offering 700 square inches of cooking surface and a 20lb hopper, you can enjoy the best pellet performance without a load of fancy features.
Made from durable stainless steel to last for a long time, this pellet smoker comes with an updated digital temperature, pellet system and black lacquer finish. The ZPG-700E also has a set of durable wheels on the bottom. The wheels are essential as the fully-assembled grill has 146 lbs of weight, so moving it without wheels can be a serious issue.
Cleaning the grill is effortless as a grease bucket collects drained grease to prevent unwanted dirt. Other notable features include an electric auto-start ignition, automated electric feed system, free grill cover and 3 years warranty for this unit.
6. PIT BOSS PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker- Best Vertical Smoker
Featuring increased capacity, digital control, and a top-loading pellet hopper, this new vertical pellet smoker is a great choice for those who are looking to save some space. With the 40 lb hopper, you can conveniently smoke for up to 24 hours consistently without adding more pellets.
The pellet smoker comes with the ability to smoke between 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also adjust the temperatures in 25 degrees Fahrenheit increments. The best thing about the hopper system is easy cleaning. All you need is to burn out the pellets through an auger system after cooking.
Another great feature of this best vertical pellet smoker is the adjustable food rack layout. In fact, adjustable racks are one of the best benefits of vertical smokers. The unit also has one large simple display for internal temperature and meat probe temperature located next to the temperature control knob.
Last but not least, the double-walled construction of the smoker along with the blanket insulation protects the internal temperature in colder environments.
7. Masterbuilt SH19260119 WG400B, 20” Pellet Grill and Smoker
Featuring a wire grid coated porcelain cooking area, this pellet smoker by Masterbuilt is ideal for smoking various recipes, including full-sized roast turkey, seafood, chicken, briskets and racks of ribs. This grill and smoker combo operates on the principle of indirect cooking.
Slow and even cooking produces more authentic results. The temperature of the smoker ranges from 275 degrees Fahrenheit to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The build quality is sturdy and can easily last for a long time. It comes with a steel barrel construction perfectly mounted on a high-quality frame. Also, the sheet metal is quite thick and durable, which is resistant to dents and cracks. The powder coating finish only gives the smoker a touch of class but also prevents it from corrosion.
One excellent feature of this best budget pellet smoker is the LED digital thermostat that allows convenient monitoring and temperature control. Another plus point of the pellet smoker is the pellet delivery system.
You can load the best wood pellets on the right side in the box-shaped compartment. The auger-fed delivery system then inserts the measured amount of the pellets into the firebox. The best thing is the pellet delivery system is automatic.
8. Traeger Grills Pro Series 575 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
If you are looking for a pellet grill and smoker combo with updated features, then you have to stretch your budget. The Traeger Pro 575 offers WiFi for remote control and convenient monitoring of your food. This new D2 direct drive features a brushless DC motor to gain higher torque at lower RPM. The motor turns the pellet auger fast, which provides more fuel into the firepot for quicker and hotter cooking.
The Traeger pro is available in two sizes that are 575 square inches and 780 square inches of cooking space. However, you have to pay a bit extra for getting that extra space in 780. The WiFIRE technology allows controlling temperatures and monitoring the food from anywhere using your smartphone.
Also, you can choose from hundreds of pre-programmed recipes that help to control the entire cooking cycle, air circulation and changing the temperature.Its 575 square inches of cooking space allows preparing five rib racks, twenty-four burgers or four chickens effortlessly.
It also offers 6-in-1 versatility to bake, grill, smoke, roast, BBQ, and braise all on the same grill. There is a built-in meat probe to help you prepare your food perfectly. The porcelain cooking grill grates are easy to clean.
9. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett WIFI Grill- Best Portable Pellet Smoker
Most people don’t look for the portability option in pellet smokers as you need a source of electricity to plug the grill in. What if you have to take your pellet smoker with your friends and family for an outdoor activity?
Well, Green Mountain Davy Crockett has been specially designed for camping, hunting, tailgating or anywhere you can take it. Featuring only 57 lbs of weight, this best pellet smoker comes with foldable legs for convenient portability and storage.
The Wi-Fi control via smart phone or tablet is an excellent feature that allows controlling the grill’s temperature remotely. It also has a sense mate, a thermal sensor to monitor grill temperature constantly.
One unique feature of this best portable pellet smoker is the smart alert. The application tells you that your hopper is not feeding the wood pellets, and the smoker’s temperature is dropping.
Overall, the built quality of the smoker is excellent, with high-grade stainless steel that can last for a long. The temperature of the smoker can easily reach up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Other notable features include a peaked lid for ribs rack, a meat probe and a convenience tray.
10. Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill- Best Large Pellet Smoker
It’s time to take outdoor cooking to the next level with this best Camp Chef Pellet Smoker and Grill. Designed with a home griller in mind, this smoker offers excellent built-in features to simplify the process of smoking. The digital temperature readout takes your guesswork out of the cooking procedure.
One of the best features of this pellet smoker is the advanced digital temperature chip that offers a more steady smoker and temperature to eliminate large temperature swings and also gives you a more consistent cooking temperature. Its automatic auger dispenses when required and shits down when the cooking is done.
Cleaning can be a serious headache after the party as your energy level is too low to clean the smoker. Well, the patented Ash Can Cleanout System makes cleaning effortless for you. Other notable features include electronic auto ignition, side shelf, hopper cleanout and grease management system.
Best Pellet Smoker Buying Guide- Things you must consider before making a decision
Though there are plenty of options available but you should consider some important aspects before buying a pellet smoker.
Cooking Surface Area
The best pellet smoker comes with a cooking space of 300-1300 square inches. The larger the cooking area is, the expensive the smoker will be. The cooking surface area mainly depends on your requirements, such as how many people you usually cook for and the amount of food you want to smoke in one cycle.
A small pellet smoker with 570 square inches or less cooking surface may result in more sessions of barbecue, whereas a large pellet smoker with 600 square inches of cooking surface or more may waste pellets. A pellet smoker with a large cooking area is usually used for big parties or gatherings.
Pellet smokers deliver wood pellets into an auger tube, and then they are transferred into the combustion chamber. The maximum wood pellets that enter into the combustion chamber, the maximum heat will be produced.
When buying a pellet smoker, make sure that the tip of the electric auger tube is at a safe distance from its combustion chamber to prevent the heat and fire from reaching any unused pellets in storage. Choose wide sized augers to prevent jamming of wood pellets and the capacity in its hopper of at least 18 pounds for consistent cooking.
Always choose a pellet smoker with powder-coated stainless steel body construction. Such sturdy construction ensures that the smoker will last long. The best thing about such material is that it is rust-resistant and weather-proof.
The best pellet smoker also has handy features, including porcelain-enamelled grates, a drip pan and a firebox. There is also marine-grade 304-stainless steel for improved durability.
A pellet smoker with digital controllers is great as they make temperature and grilling control effortlessly. These smokers are best for set and forget smoking and also allow moving away from the smoker during the cooking. Some of the popular types of these controllers are the following.
Such controllers allow for auto-pilot smoking. They have complex algorithms to maintain the temperature within specific ranges.
They help to change the temperature of the pellet smoker to increase in 5-10 degree Fahrenheit temperature intervals. Such controllers also have meat probes, one-touch operation and LED display.
3 Position Controllers
Such controllers have three heat settings, including low (225 degrees Fahrenheit), medium (325 degrees Fahrenheit) and high (425 degrees Fahrenheit). At fixed intervals, these controllers feed pellets into the combustion chamber and allow less control over the temperature. However, they are often available with low priced pellet smokers.
Some pellet smokers have outputs to plug-in meat probes. You can read the internal meat temperature conveniently on the LED display of the pellet smoker.
Most smokers have a temperature that ranges from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is great for baking, smoking and grilling. If you love to smoke low and low, there are pellet smokers that operate from 180 degrees to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are looking for sear or hot smoking, then choose the smoker with a temperature range from 500 degrees to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
The hopper of the pellet smoker is basically a container that stores the pellets for the auger to take them into the fire pit. The size of the hopper dictates how long your cook will be. A pellet smoker with a small hopper may be annoying as the cook will fail to go the distance due to the number of pellets.
A pellet smoker with a 40lbs hopper offers around 40 hours of cooking time at common smoking temperatures. If you are living in colder climates, then make sure to choose the pellet smoker with maximum fuel for the best performance. You can also buy hopper extensions for your pellet smoker. Make sure to select the one that is compatible with your pellet smoker.
Common features and Capabilities
Unlike traditional charcoal or offset smokers, pellet smoker offers a variety of bells and whistles. Some important features you should look for are the following.
Most manufacturers are taking benefit of the fact that a pellet smoker comes with a computer in them by design. By utilizing Wi-Fi connectivity, you can easily control and monitor the temperature of the smoker from anywhere. Renowned manufacturers are also offering free apps for ultimate convenience.
Various pellet smokers have outputs in the controller that helps to plug in the meat probes directly. The readings from the cooking meat are displayed on the screen of the smoker for convenient monitoring.
There was a time when pellet smoker lacks grilling capability. However, manufacturers are providing grilling options either by offering a dedicated grilling area within the cooker or removing part of the diffuser plate.
Some smokers have a sear box for additional char-grilling and hot smoking.
You can find portable pellet smokers with foldable legs for convenient transport and secure storage.
This feature is best for low light conditions to smoke your food perfectly.
Multiple Level Cooking Racks
These racks allow cooking different types of food at once and with different heat levels on the smoker.
There are some high tech parts in pellet smokers. Also, there are moving components, such as an auger. It means some parts of the smoker may break, and you may not be able to fix them by yourself. Make sure to check the warranty length, parts and customer service. Warranties vary between the manufacturers, so you can ask questions for your satisfaction.
Pellet smokers are available at different prices. Some cost a few hundred dollars while others cost thousands. Remember, there is a difference between a cheap smoker and the best smoker.
A cheap smoker may help you to save money, but the components will start to break down within a short time period. The worst thing is they are not backed by a decent warranty or customer service.
If you buy the best pellet smoker with durable construction, features and a good warranty by spending a decent amount, you will surely enjoy the excellent smoking performance for a long time.
It depends on your skill level and needs to buy the pellet smoker. However, a smoker with typical features costs less, whereas if you are looking for more fancy features, you have to invest a healthy amount to buy the best one.
Pros and Cons of Pellet Smoker
The best thing about pellet smokers is their convenience and versatility.
Pros of Pellet Smoker
Take a look at the pros of the pellet smoker.
Simple temperature control
A good pellet smoker offers to dial in temperature to within five degrees, and the smoker does a decent job of maintaining a consistent temperature.
Set it and forget it smoking
Make sure that the hopper is loaded with pellets and set the desired temperature. Sit back and enjoy your party as the smoker will automatically adjust the cooking temperature.
Easy to clean
Charcoal smokers can take some time while clean them, whereas pellet smokers are easy to clean. All you need is to clear out the firepot every now and again (once after every 60 usages).
Super Fuel efficient
Pellet smokers are just like your home oven with an efficient convection fan. Also, you spend less on pellets as compared to charcoal.
Cons of Pellet Smoker
Here are some common issues you may face with pellet smokers.
Can cook as hot and generate maximum smoke
You will not get quite as good a sears as you can with a charcoal grill. Also, you wouldn’t get a perfect smoky flavor, which is provided by an offset stick burning smoker.
Costs more to buy the best one as compared to other smokers
You can buy the best electric, gas or charcoal smoker between $200-500, whereas you have to spend $400-$1000 to buy the best pellet smoker.
Must keep an emergency pellet stockpile
If you are grilling with charcoal or propane and run out halfway through a twelve-hour cook, then you can easily nip down to the nearby store. But when you want to get your favorite brand of pellets, you need to visit a specialized store.
Need to plug the smoker into electricity
This drawback can limit the movement of the pellet smokers, and you cannot take them camping (need a generator).
Best Pellet Smoker Brands
Here are the top five brands for a pellet smoker.
Without any double, Traeger is the best pellet smoker brand on the market. Best known for its durable quality, features, and elegant designs, Traeger grills and smokers are dominating the market.
Commonly known as Rolls Royce, the Rec Tec grills and smokers are in great demand for their unique style. The main feature of these pellet smokers is their user-friendliness.
Available at affordable prices, Green Mountain grills and smokers are popular for their compact design and convenient portability.
Camp Chef has been on the market for more than two decades. The Camp Chef Woodwind is one of the best pellet smokers available on the market with decent features.
From charcoal to propane, Pit Boss is a reliable brand for producing kitchen products. Pit Boss pellet smokers are excellent for temperature control and versatile grilling options.
Best Pellets for Smokers
There is a variety of pellets available on the market. Here are the top five pellets that can surely improve your smoking performance.
Cherry pellets offer a groundbreaking flavour. These universal pellets can be used to smoke anything.
Applewood pellets are ideal for smoking chicken, seafood and lamb. These pellets are mild and can be easily mixed with other flavours.
The best choice for vegetables and chicken, maple wood pellets, are just like cherry pellets and an excellent flavor to keep on hand.
Hickory wood pellets are best for smoking beef and chicken.
If you are looking for the best wood pellets to smoke beef with, then mesquite is an excellent choice for you.
In conclusion, the best pellet smokers are those that offer a balance of features, durability, and affordability. Some of the key features to look for in a good pellet smoker include a large cooking area, a durable construction, a digital control panel, and the ability to hold a consistent temperature. Some of the most popular brands in the pellet smoker market include Traeger, Pit Boss, and Camp Chef. Ultimately, the best pellet smoker for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
Hope you will find the best pellet smoker from this top ten smokers list.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Are pellets smokers best smoking meat?
Yes, pellet smokers are the best option to smoke a variety of foods, including meat. These smokers offer convenient control with excellent smoking performance.
Do pellet smokers give good smoke flavor?
Yes, pellets smokers offer good smoked flavor, but it depends on the brand of pellets you select to smoke your food.
Should I use a water pan in my pellet smoker?
The water pan is used to help food retain moisture when using a charcoal grill or smoker. You don’t need to use a water pan under the grill grate in a pellet smoker as there is no place for it.
Does pellet smoker use a lot of electricity?
Well, a small metal igniter rod needs to red hot properly to ignite the first few pellets in the firebox. A pellet smoker needs about 300 watts to accomplish this. After this, a pellet smoker needs only 50 watts to keep the control panel, fan and auger running. Most of the work is done by burning pellets.
Are pellet smokers better than gas?
Pellet and charcoal grills are best for ideal smoked flavor, but they need more support and high-end running expenses. Commonly, pellet smokers are considered as the best option as compared to gas.
About Shawn Summer
Best when it comes to BBQ. From charcoal grills to pellet smokers, I’ve got you covered. My goal is to share my knowledge and passion for grilling with you, so you can create delicious meals for your family and friends. Let’s get grilling!