Best Pellet Smoker Reviews 2019: Top 5+ Recommended
You think you have the skills for grilling and smoking meat? Say no more and read my best pellet smoker reviews and help yourself out. Jack’s Guide Through Fire And Smoke!
I was always fond of grilling. It makes me feel relaxed and honestly, I have so much fun doing it. We have a large family and a lot of friends so having a big grill party in the backyard was something that we do any time we have a chance. The kids are running around and laughing, girls are chatting and we boys are drinking beer talking about sports and making sure the meat comes out perfectly.
But unfortunately last week I said goodbye to my old grill. I had this grill for years and it did the job well, but everything has its expiration date. So I decided to buy a new one and head off to my computer to see what is on the market. There I saw a new trend among passionate grillers - a pellet smoker. So, I did my research and I was amazed. The versatility of this product is surprising and that was more than enough for me to start thinking of buying one for myself.
I was so excited when I realized I will be able to smoke my own cuts of meat because that was kind of my dream thing to do. But I was sure that smoking meat is so hard and that I will fail in my attempt to do this so I let that stay just a dream. After I searched some more I realized by the experience of other users that these new pellet smokers are way easier to use than the classic ones and that there is little to no chance of failing.
Encouraged by these facts I bought my first pellet smoker and I am happy to announce I am hosting a party this weekend and I am already prepared to smoke some pork ribs for this occasion.
What Is A Pellet Smoker Grill And Why Should You Buy It?
They are fueled by wood pellets and they have a digital control that defines the rate at which the wood pellets will be delivered from a storage tank to fire pot. This is in short called an electric auger system. The higher the temperature, the more pellets are distributed into the smoker. But with lower temperature more smoke is created. Pellet smokers use wood pellets not just as fuel but as a flavor enhancer.
Pellet smokers are great for people that love outdoor cooking and provide you the possibility to experience savory smoked dishes. Great thing is that you can use them for barbeque, cooking and even slow-roasting. So, they are an all-in-one product that you should consider buying.
What To Consider When Buying A Pellet Smoker?
There are a few features you should be looking for when you are about to buy a pellet smoker. So here is the list:
1. Durability and construction material
- Make sure that the components that matter the most on your pellet smoker are made from stainless steel. Those components are fire pot, flame deflector, drip pan, and grates. Don't let the fancy exterior of pellet grill fool you because often the manufacturer will cut corners and make those components from cheap materials that will rust easily.
- Be very careful with powder-coated steel too because if it's not a high-quality coating the high temperatures will cause the paint to start to chip off and that will lead to rust. If you choose high-quality material it's not only that your pellet smoker will last longer, it will retain heat longer, ensure more efficient pellet consumption, and maintain temperature better.
2. Size of hopper
- The size of your hopper dictates how long you can cook. So, if you buy a pellet smoker with a small hopper you are in trouble. For example, you have 18-pound hopper and need to do the cooking for around 20 hours you are short for 2 hours and that is a problem.
- But almost every problem is solvable so you can buy a hopper extender but make sure it's compatible with your pellet smoker. Remember that if you live in a colder climate your cooker will use more pellets to maintain the desired temperature.
- When deciding about the size of your smoker you must ask yourself will you use it only for family dinners or you will be hosting a backyard party where you need to feed a bunch of people. Bigger doesn't mean better, if you purchase a huge pellet smoker and don't use its capacity right you will just waste wood pellets.
4. Warranty length
- There are some high tech components in your pellet smoker that can unfortunately brake. So study the warranty well, how long it lasts, what it will cover, and where you will need to take your smoker for any possible repairs that are included in the warranty. Every manufacturer offers a different type of warranties so always make sure to ask anything you don't understand.
- Low-cost brands, in the long run, can often cost you way more than you think because their quality is questionable. Pellet smokers go for a price of $1000 but you can buy a great one for half that price too. Avoid going below $350.
6. Unique features
- The great thing about pellet smokers is that they can come with many useful features like Wi-Fi capability, meat probes, grilling options, and add-ons.
- Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to control your smoker temperature from wherever you are as long as you have internet access.
- Some models of pellet smokers have outputs in their controller so you can plug in the meat probes directly and the reading from your meat will be displayed on the screen of your smoker.
- Some manufacturers have made grilling possible on the smokers by removing the part of the diffuser plate or providing a grilling area within the smoker.
- A lot of add-ons are available now. So if you want some particular feature but it's not included in the basic offer you can always check if it's available as an add-on before purchasing the pellet smoker.
7. Ease of cleaning
- This is the last but not less important feature. Make sure your fire pot is removable or have an access door so you can clean it easier. You also need easy access to ash and grease, and an access door on your pellet hopper.
Most Recommended Pellet Smokers: Detailed Reviews 2019
Okay, now that we got through all the essential informations about pellet smokers we can start with reviewing the best-ranked smokers on the market.
This model is a handy product for busy mums and beginners. It has an easy-to-use system consisting of electronic auto ignition, digital auto-temperature control with an internal temperature sensor, and an LED-temperature readout.
The automatic-electric feed system is one of the top reasons why this smoker is so popular. This system regulates heat, and maintains a temperature in a range from 180°F to 475°F which allows you to cook the meat just right without you watching it over and over again.
The bad news is that this grill consumes a lot of wood pellets and if it's colder outside it easily runs out of pellets. But the good thing is that it's still environmentally friendly no matter the high pellet consumption. Temperature fluctuations are up to 20 +/- degrees and the lack of ash removal system are the main flaws of this smoker.
I already told you how pellet smokers are versatile products but this model is at the top of the game. It has ultimate 8-in-1 features:
- Barbecue or Char-Grill function;
- Wood Fire Pellet Grill function;
- Main Grill function.
All those functions are a great way for you to learn how to cook if you are a beginner and you don't want to mess up your kitchen.
This smoker is highly durable and will be your life-long kitchen partner. It's made out of stainless steel so it has a solid construction. The capacity of the hopper is 20 pounds which means you can cook your food for 20 hours straight and it has a large grilling area which is a big plus. And you can make good use of the free space under the grill as bottom storage. If you plan to move this smoker around you may have some troubles cause the wheel size is uneven and that makes it difficult.
Overall this is a very good pellet smoker and it has a warranty for 3 years and the price is more than reasonable for the quality you get.
This pellet smoker is mid-sized and very sophisticated. It is easy to assemble this grill - it takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
It features a built-in innovative dual-temperature sensors and digital smoker controls which both help to avoid temperature fluctuations. Electronic auto ignition makes it easy to use so you can be sure that the heat will be maintained all the time and an optimal amount of smoke is produced. Just set it and relax while this smoker does his job.
A great feature of this product is that it can hit high temperatures in no time. The temperature range of this smoker is from 160°F to 500°F. You can use it for grilling, roasting, braising, smoking and barbecuing. But wait, I still didn't tell you it has meat probes included!
So, like we all know every pellet smoker runs on burning wood pellets and creates ash. What makes this smoker stand out among others is the ash cleaning system. Now every time after you use this smoker you can easily clean it out by pulling a lever of the ash cleanout system and it's done.
But this doesn't mean you don't need to vacuum it every now and then because ash gets blown away over the grills’ bottom section. Furthermore, make sure that you put the dump tray back properly.
Camp Chef Smoke PRO is made out of stainless steel and it's highly durable. It is heavy and well-built so you can conclude that it is very hard to move around if it's needed especially because it lacks the front wheels. This grill has a large grilling and smoking area. On the other hand, the hopper capacity is 18 pounds and that is very good but the pellet storage is not big enough to fit the needs of this smoker.
This pellet smoker is versatile just like the previous smokers from this article but the main difference is that this one features the integrated digital elite controller and a 3 porcelain grill grates. One more thing, it is much harder to assemble this smoker then others from this list.
This grill allows grilling, barbecuing, baking, smoking, roasting, and braising meat to perfection. Since it is a slow cooker (if you set it so), you could use it to prepare food overnight and wake up to a finished meal.
The Digital Elite Controller maintains precise temperatures within fluctuations of 20 +/- degrees and allows you to cook low and slow on the 'Smoke' setting too hot and fast at up to 450°F. The LED display allows you to read on your grill temperature clearly and easy. But however, this smoker is great for smoking meat but not so good for searing and grilling.
Made entirely of stainless steel, the grill is sturdy and highly durable. It has enclosed storage space with dual doors so you can easily store 2 bags of pellet. The built-in shelves come very handy if you need to store your already prepared food or let your meat rest after grilling.
The porcelain grill grate is very easy to clean and that helps this grill to stand out among others. Easy-glide wheels make this pellet smoker move easily when needed and even have locking casters to ensure it stays put where you park it.
This grill is a beast! Honestly, this one made such an impression on me with almost everything it can offer. And it looks so damn cool.
It features Smart Grill Technology Controller to maintain a precise temperature. All you need to do is press the power button and your job is done. It also features automatic shutdown and enters the cool down mode.
You can download the REC TEC Grills app and connect the grill with Wi-Fi which is very useful if you decide to smoke something overnight so you can be sure it will alert you if something goes wrong. Monitoring and controlling your smoker from your wireless device sometimes can go wrong. So, if by any chance, that happens to you, you can always call the REC TEC Grill's tech department to assist you in solving this problem.
It will for sure last long because it is made out of 304 stainless steel and it is very heavy and solid. Both exterior and interior are made out of this material so you can relax now that you know your grill will never rust or warp. Remember to assemble it near to the place you want to put it because this bad boy is seriously heavy and it is not made for moving.
It is made for preparing massive amounts of food, so be sure that this grill fits your needs or on the other hand you won't use his full potential. Just to make an example, you can easily fit 2 Thanksgiving turkeys in this smoker and you can control them both at the same time because there is not one but two built-in meat probes.
I mean the hopper on this smoker can hold 40 pounds of pellet! That is 40 hours of grilling. The temperature range is from 200°F to 500°F within a fluctuation of 5+/- °F. A generous shelf is included on the side of the grill that can be used for BBQ prep, or like extra storage place.
And the best part is that the warranty for this piece of art is unbelievable 6 years! Price is a big deal - I know, but my opinion is that people who want to use a smoker only occasionally for family gatherings should not purchase this grill.
If you have strong feelings toward smoked meat this is the product for you my friend! It has four meat racks, three jerky racks, and a sausage rack with twelve hooks, so you will never run out of space for your favorite foods. You can smoke jerky, sausage, pork shoulders, and other cuts that you can't fit in your pellet grill.
Like all Camp Chef models, it is featured with Smart Smoke Technology and digital temperature display. The temperature range in this model is lower than in other and it is from 150°F to 350°F but this is more than enough for slow smoking and baking.
It is made from stainless steel and it has a hopper capacity of 18 pounds, and it is very easy to use this smoker because the digital controller automatically maintains temperature and has a large capacity as I already mention it. Big advantages are the grease management system and the ash cleanout system. If you are buying this model because you want to smoke your own cuts of meat you will be glad to know that continuous fan provides evenly distributed smoke and heat.
There are a few bad sides to this product that I will gladly share with you. The door size on this smoker is a big problem first because you must fully open them before you can slide the racks out, and second, because of the wrong size, doors leaks out a lot. Lack of Wi-Fi connectivity is bad too because you really want to be notified if something goes wrong so you can react on time. And always remember that pellet smokers can never provide the same smoke flavor as smokers that burn out wood chunks.
Final words and conclusion
Well, it is already obvious who is the ultimate winner this round. REC TEC Grills Bull is something that everyone who loves smoking and grilling needs to own. So, if you are looking for pellet smokers don't feel guilty for spending a little bit more money on this model.
The value you get for the price is way beyond the charts if you ask me. Hopefully, this guide has helped you all to understand a bit more about the pros and cons of having and using a pellet smoker and helped you to pick out the right model for your budget and needs. I hope you all will have a great and exciting grilling season! 😉