Food preferences might be different around the world but there is one thing that almost everyone agrees on. There is nothing better than a well-grilled barbecue on a fine sunny afternoon.
Many conventional appliances used for grilling don’t do justice to the art and tradition of barbecues. That is why you need a dedicated barbecue grill or a smoker that can get the right flavor and make delicious, sizzling burgers and steaks.
The Advantages of Pellet Grills
You have many options at your disposal for buying a grill that makes perfect barbecues. You can go with a charcoal grill that is the favorite among traditional barbecue enthusiasts. You can get an electric or infrared grill that is much easier to operate and clean and loved by new users. Or you can get a gas or LP grill that is a good compromise between the two.
You can also go with something completely different. A wood pellet grill offers a delicious smoky flavor that is almost as good as charcoal grills while it is still easier to clean, like a gas grill. There are a variety of wood chips you can use that create different smells and flavors for the food and give you something new to try out for your barbecues.
Here are some of the main advantages of pellet grills.
- They are versatile. Pellet grills can be used for making everything from burgers, meat and sautéd vegetable to making breakfast and even baked food. Since they don’t create a strong smell like charcoal they offer a wide variety of options.
- Food can be prepared very quickly and easily on pellet grills. Most new grills come with a rapid ignition system and wooden pellets catch fire very quickly. If you are planning to bake something, the pellet grill heats up in less than 15 minutes.
- Pellet grills allow much better temperature regulation than other kinds of grills. With regular grills, it can be difficult to regulate temperature across the length of the cooking area. Pellet grills make it easier to spread the heat out evenly through the convection system that allows food to retain optimum flavor.
- Pellet grills are also very energy efficient, compared to electric or charcoal grills. The wooden pellets catch fire very quickly and they can quickly heat up the cooking surface. Pellet grills are also good at conserving energy as pellets once lit up stay hot for quite some time, unlike gas grills.
- Another advantage of pellet grills it that they are quite easy to clean. The burned pellets leave behind ash that can be cleaned up easily.
- Last but not least is the flavor. Food and barbecue prepared on a pellet grill will have a distinctly sweet flavor and woody smell that makes it much better in taste than regular cooked food.
Wooden pellet grills are some of the best if you are looking to cook great tasting barbecues and meats. They are easier to operate and can be cleaned without exerting too much effort.
We look at 5 of the best pellet grills available in the market today.
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
When it comes to pellet grills, Camp Chef is a name that resonates with users. The company is known for making products that stand out and always deliver high value for its customers.
The SmokePro DLX is their new top class grill that is designed for wooden pellet fuel. It is a full-sized griller that offers plenty of cooking space. The primary cooking area is 570sq inches with an additional secondary cooking rack that adds 140sq inches. It can generate more than 25,000 BTU/hr and go up to cooking temperature as high as 500 degrees that is sure to get that roast done in quick time.
The grill is very easy to use with its electronic control system. Just plug it in, feed the wood pellets and start the ignition system. The grill will reach your desired temperature within half an hour unless you are looking to cook at a really high temperature over 400 degrees.
The grill is very good for storing smoke to cook food. Usually, pellets do not create as much smoke as charcoal, so the food doesn’t get a rich smoky flavor. However, this grill is designed to keep the smoke closed inside the lid to make your food as smoked as possible.
The one major downside is that the grill is quite heavy and it can be difficult to take it to outdoor trips. It has two wheels on one side making it easier to cart so you shouldn’t have much difficulty moving it around the house. It is available for purchase on Amazon and costs just around $500.
Traeger BBQ155 Pellet Grill
This is a beautiful and impressive pellet grill from Traeger that has been popular with users and received high ratings overall. Traeger launched the newer model TFB42LZBC recently that was built on the same model and became an instant success. The newer model costs $700 but you can still find the BBQ155 pellet grill from some suppliers for under $500 online.
The BBQ155 is a medium sized cooking grill that offers a cooking area of just under 300sq inches. This should give you enough space to cook food for 4 people with ease. You can cook 12 burgers, 2 chickens or 18 hotdogs on the grill at a single time.
The design is beautiful and the lid has an attractive bronze finish that makes it very shiny on a bright sunny day. It weighs about 70 lbs and comes with wheels on one side for easier carting.
Additional features include a grease drain system on one side and a large pellet hopper for storing pellets on the other. It has a stainless steel meat temperature probe, a digital control system, a quick electric ignition system and a cover lid that can be used for smoking the food.
The grill is very efficient in electricity consumption. It takes in 400 watts of power during the first 4 minutes of use and then only intakes 50 watts after that for cooking. The grill has a convection system that ensures an even temperature across the length of the cooking area for uniform cooking. It is great for dinners, barbecues, and outdoor parties.
Pit Boss Grills 72440 Deluxe
The Pit Boss wooden pellet grill can be a good option for people who are looking for a bigger and more powerful pellet grill within budget. This model is very easy to use and assemble. It has an ignition start system that makes lighting up your grill a piece of cake. It also comes with a digital control board that allows you to feed cooking instructions and temperature controls while grilling.
The cooking temperature ranges from 180 degrees to 500 degrees. It has a fan forced air accelerator and a convection system that maintains even temperature throughout the cooking area.
The auger feeds the pellets to the fire pot automatically and you don’t need to worry about managing the fuel. Once done grilling, simply turn off the device and its digital control center will manage a cool down period before shutting the grill off.
The grill is relatively bigger and heavier than other grills with the same features. It weighs around 88 lbs and the cooking space is just over 440sq inches. The porcelain covered cooking grid is made of stainless steel and can be removed for washing and cleaning. The exterior is quite beautiful and made with dual tone and black copper finish. The body is made of sturdy metal frame.
Additional features include dynamic temperature control that runs in the range of 180 degrees to 500 degrees based on your cooking needs. This is a multi-purpose grill that can be sued for everything from baking, grilling and smoking to searing and even from cooking dinner. The grill is ideal for people who want to do some serious cooking on a pellet grill and don’t want to worry about cleaning and maintenance much.
Smoke Hollow PS2415 Pellet Grill
The PS2415 pellet grill is a good option for people who want a low-cost grill that offers plenty of features and good cooking space. Smoke Hollow isn’t a well-known brand in grill manufacturers but they have come up with a great model in PS2415.
The design is simplistic but useful. The first thing you will notice about the grill is that it is very heavy. It weighs around 130 lbs which is on the high end of grills we’ve reviewed in terms of weight.
It has four carting wheels at the bottom, making it very easy to move around. The grills and cooking area is shaped like a horizontal barrel and the top lid opens up to reveal the porcelain enameled cooking grate inside.
There is a table at one side for preparing and serving food and a pellet hopper on the other side for storing wooden pellets. It includes an auger fed, pellet delivery system and a quick ignition system that makes the model as easy to operate as other grills. It also includes a grease drain management system that makes it much easier to clean after use. The grate can be pulled out allowing users to clean the grill much more easily.
It has an electronic, programmable control system that can be adjusted to your preferred style of cooking. The lid can be used to cover the grill and let the food cook in the smoke for that wonderful smoky flavor.
The grill has many positive reviews and ratings at online stores. While it may not be from a big brand company it certainly does not fall short when it comes to functional utility and other features.
GMG Green Mountain Davy Crockett Grill
The review of the 5 best pellet grills wouldn’t be complete without a portable pellet grill that you can take outdoors for picnics or beach parties. The Green Mountain Davy Crockett from GMG is a perfect grill for your outdoor adventures and grilling needs.
The Davy Crockett is a lightweight grill that weighs about 60 lbs. It has removable legs and the ignition system can be powered from a small generator. It has a nice and sleek body design with dual coatings for the body and the lid.
It has a controllable electronic chip and the heating capacity is in the range of 200 degrees to 550 degrees. The lid is combined with a fan that provides better airflow for even convection throughout the cooking area. The cooking surface is roughly 215 sq inches that should be enough to make food for a family or four people out on a trip. You can even grill a couple of chickens or a medium sized turkey on the grill without problems for space.
The main selling point for the grill is how easy it is to use. The grill can be assembled and taken apart in a matter of minutes.
Starting the grill is as easy as filling up the pellets and switching the ignition on. It has a sophisticated digital thermostat controller that helps manages cooking temperature across the grill surface. It also includes a stainless steel drip pan for managing the grease and drippings.
Overall it is a nice compact grill that is easy to operate and will be useful for outdoor trips. It is available for purchase at Amazon from different suppliers.
Our Last Thoughts on the Best Pellet Grills Under $500
Any of these grills will suit your grilling needs well. The Traeger would be our first choice as they are the pinnacle of pellet grills, but they all do a great job. If you’re looking to upgrade your grilling, add a pellet grill to your arsenal.