What is a Pellet Smoker? a Buyers Guide


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Pellet smokers are getting more and more popular, but a lot of people are confused as to how they work.

Pellet smokers use a combination of electricity and wood pellets to slowly cook meat. This combination of electricity and burning wood allows for a lot of control over how the food is cooked.

Work smarter. Not harder. 

Although there are some people that want the bragging rights of working harder than anyone else. Like the volunteer crossing guard or that annoying overachiever in your office that makes you look bad.

But for most of us, we don’t want to work harder than we have to in order to get the most benefit. Like, who doesn’t want to win a million bucks for doing nothing, right? 

Unfortunately, there’s no million-dollar lottery going on here. But there is a way to work smarter and not harder for tender, juicy smoked meat that has that authentic flavor of barbeque. 

If you like the sound of that statement, then a pellet smoker may be the best thing for you. One of the biggest advantages to this kind of smoker is the fact you don’t have to maintain a fire. 

Instead, at the press of a button, you can ignite it. With a couple more buttons, you set the temperature and your pellet smoker maintains the low and steady heat for you. 

Of course, not all wood-fueled smokers are equal. You want to make sure you do your homework and get the right equipment if you really want to make your smoking experience a good one. 

That’s why reviews of the best pellet smokers are here – to help you make an informed decision. And to make sure you don’t get stuck with a heavy paperweight that can’t even smoke meat correctly. 

Before we dig into the actual reviews of pellet smokers, let’s take a closer look at why using wood is favorable to either charcoal or gas.

Enjoy Delicious Wood-Infused Meats Without Extra Hassle

In general, charcoal fires can easily reach 700 degrees. While perfect for grilling, that kind of heat is way too hot to slow cook your meat.

Of course, you can bring a charcoal fire down but it requires constant maintenance to keep it at a steady temperature. That’s one of the major drawbacks of using a charcoal smoker. 

On the other hand, a pellet smoker runs on electricity and uses pellets to fuel the smoking process. It allows you to cook your meat over a low and slow heat without having to manage a fire or constantly monitor the cooking process.

The best part? You can still infuse your food with the smoky flavor of your choice by choosing different wood pellets. 

Overall, charcoal grills have a considerable learning curve while pellet smokers are easy to use, even for beginners. Next, we’ll go over some of the best pellet smokers you can buy.

Reviews on the Top Pellet Smokers Your Money Can Buy

There are a lot of features that set one pellet smoker apart from another. Everything from size to the accuracy of the pellet feed system can affect the quality and price. 

Here’s the #1 choice for the best pellet smoker you can get that will give you perfectly smoked meat every time. 

#1 Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Grill and Smoker (PGVXXL) 

The Camp Chef XXL is the best of the best for quality, versatility, size and durability. 

The sizable 2400 square inch cooking area includes: 

  • 4 smoking grill grates
  • 3 jerky racks
  • 2 Temp read probes
  • 1 hanging rack
  • 12 sausage hooks

Basically, anything you can imagine smoking, the Camp Chef will accomodate. You choose on the digital display what temperature you want from 150 to 350 degrees.

It comes equipped with 2 internal temperature probes so you can track the progress of your meat, even if they’re different cuts. 

The Smart Smoke Technology system helps generate and maintain the perfect amount of smoke to give your food the desired flavor. 

And in the end, your lower back will thank you for choosing this convenient vertical design. Especially after you’ve smoked a few hundred pounds of meat.

Pros

  • Generous 2400 square inch cooking area
  • Digitally controlled cooking temperature
  • Continuous fan for even cooking
  • Easy ash clean out system
  • Optional Deluxe collapsible side shelf

Cons

  • It comes at a hefty price tag

Overall, the Camp Chef XXL Grill is more than enough to satisfy even the most experienced smoking veterans out there. If you can afford it, you can’t do much better. 

Get the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Grill and Smoker here!

#2 Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Wood Pellet Smoker

This model of the Traeger smoker is heavy duty and the perfect tool for backyard grilling or a camping session. At the touch of a button, this grill ignites and heats to the temperature you set it at with the Digital Elite Controller. 

Slap on a rack of ribs or slow cook a brisket on this cooker. It’s fed by the hardwood pellets of your choice and very easy to clean.

Pros

  • 300 square inches total cooking space
  • Built-in Digital Elite Controller for temperatures up to 450 degrees
  • Auto-start ignition
  • Porcelain grilling grates
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Its height is not suitable for tall people

If you can stand stooping a bit lower or setting this grill on some blocks to increase its height, this smoker is sure to last for years to come.

Click here to get the Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Wood Pellet Smoker!

#3 Z Grills ZPG-450A 2019 Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

The newest model of the Z Grills Smoker offers advanced features to make grilling and smoking convenient for you. 

The 2019 upgrade has an auto-ignition feature with temperature control that you can set anywhere from 180 to 450 degrees. 

Simply set it and forget it. The automated electric feed system maintains the heat for you while the fan-forced convection ensures even cooking. 

Backed by a 3-year warranty, you can feel good about this purchase. Not only is it jam-packed full of features, but you also get to enjoy a sizable cooking area too.

Pros

  • 450 square inch cooking area
  • 2019 model auto ignites with temperature control
  • The automated pellet feed system
  • 15 lb hopper capacity
  • Manufacturer 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Temperature sometimes runs high so set lower than desired and monitor progress

Overall, this Z Grills smoker is an excellent option for someone who wants a quality smoker without paying top notch for it. 

Get the Z Grills ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker now!

#4 Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Wifi-Enabled Pellet Grill

The Green Mountain Davy Crockett is the ultimate portable grill and smoker. With foldable legs and an electric system with adapters for 3 power options, take it anywhere you want to go. 

Governed by the Sense-Mate thermal sensor, your grill’s temperature remains constant. You can even track it on the iOS or Android app and control the temperature wirelessly. 

Weighing in at just 57 pounds, you can grill, smoke, bake or roast wherever you are. 

Pros

  • Portable, foldable legs
  • Built-in Sense-Mate temperature sensor
  • Monitor grill digitally through Wifi
  • Compatible with 120AC or 12V

Cons

  • Not suitable for more than 2 people 

The ultra-portable Green Mountain Davy Crockett Pellet grill is perfect for anyone who wants to take their barbeque on-the-go or wants an apartment-sized unit. 

Get the Green Mountain Davy Crockett Pellet Grill and smoker here!

#5 Masterbuilt MB20251719 MWS 330S Pellet Smoker 

The final smoker on this list is the Masterbuilt MWS 330S. It boasts a generous cooking area of over 700 square inches and includes internal meat probes so you can easily monitor progress. 

The digital control panel has an on/off button, temperature control and cook/smoke time. Not sure how long to cook for? The Masterbuilt includes preset features to help you decide. 

With enough room for 12 chickens, this pellet smoker is adequate for the biggest family and sizable dinner parties. 

Pros

  • 724 square inch cooking area
  • Digital control panel for on/off, temp control and cook time
  • 4 chrome cooking racks
  • Meat probes for easy cooking monitoring
  • Automatic pellet feed system
  • Wheels for convenient transport

Cons

  • Not insulated so increases cook time

Overall, the Masterbuilt MWS 330S is the best budget option for a pellet smoker that’s affordable but still produces quality smoked meats.

Click here for the Masterbuilt MWS 330S Pellet Smoker!

Cook Meats to Perfection the Tasty, Fuel Efficient Way With a Pellet Smoker

Using wood pellets to cook is fuel efficient and doesn’t cost a lot to run your grill. But above all, it gets you that smoky flavor characteristic of traditional barbeque. 

Most barbeque enthusiasts swear by this taste as it’s irreplaceable with anything else. Cheaper charcoal grills can get you the same flavor, but require a lot more effort while cooking.

The biggest drawback to pellet smokers is the big start up cost. If you can get past the initial price tag, they cost the least to run while providing you with delicious, authentic flavored meat. 

Wherever you decide to purchase your pellet smoker, make sure it’s from a reputable source. Most importantly, the seller should have a strong return policy in case you receive a damaged or defective item. 

Right now, you could keep living without knowing the magic of a pellet grill. Or you could go with some nameless option in hopes it doesn’t let you down. Why risk it when you can have the best pellet smoker backed by serious minded barbeque enthusiasts? 

Don’t waste another day eating regular meat. Join the barbeque pros with the Camp Chef XXL Pellet Smoker. 

Click here for the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Grill and Smoker!

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