Best Wood Pellet Smokers of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Pellet smokers are widely used by people of all experience levels and are a fantastic way to enter the smoking community.

Their easy to use functionality is ideal for big game hunters, party hosts, family chefs, and professionals.

In this overview, we’re going to take a look at a handful of pellet smokers and outline their top qualities. We’ll provide you with the pros, cons, and top features of the best pellet smokers. With this, we’ll also provide a brief overview of the difference between a griller and a smoker and touch on the best wood pellets for smoking. Let’s begin!

Comparison of the Best Pellet Smokers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Stainless steel construction and an absolute beast of a smoker
  • 12-month financing is available for purchase
  • 734-square-inches of cooking space
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  • Fuel source: wood pellets only
  • Porcelain-coated wire cooking grates with an 18 lb hopper capacity
  • 700-square-inches of cooking space
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  • Set and forget technology with autofeed system
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 513-square-inches of cooking space and 187-square-inches in the warming rack.
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  • Bonus items: grill cover and pad, ultimate blend pellets, and thermometer
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Features dual meat probes to simultaneously monitor meats
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  • User-friendly app that features a timer to avoid overcooking
  • Constructed with foldable legs for easy storage and mobility
  • Green Mountain offers top-notch customer service
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  • Autofeed auger allows you to focus on more demanding tasks
  • Quick and easy clean up with patented ash cleanout system
  • 570-square-inches of total cooking space
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How Does a Pellet Smoker Work?

A pellet smoker does not work in the same way as other grilling methods. It uses a different method for the generation of heat. As the name suggests, the fuel source in the pellet smoker is wooden pellets. They are added in a hopper, which is normally placed on one side.

The whole process starts by plugging in the grill and setting heat on the digital controller. This is followed by pushing the pellets into a pellet cooker where they are burnt and converted to smoke and heat. The most important component of a pellet smoker is the controller, which is responsible for regulating the temperature during the whole cooking session.

How Do I Choose a Pellet Smoker?

Choosing the right pellet smoker for your needs can be extremely daunting, especially when you have a number of options to choose from. In this section, we have summarized a few features that must not be overlooked in any case to ensure a valued purchase.

Durable Construction

The significant components of a pellet smoker are the fire pot, flame deflector, and grates. Therefore, you must not get fooled by the attractive exterior only. While picking a model, make sure it is coated with high-quality steel in order to avoid rust in the future.

Size of the Hopper

Another important feature is the accurate size of the hopper as the cooking time is greatly affected by it. For example, a pellet smoker with a 40-pound hopper is expected to provide 40 hours of cooking time. A smaller hopper can be annoying and problematic.

Meat Probes

You will find some pellet smokers on the market that are incorporated with outputs in their controller. This lets you plug the meat probes directly. Moreover, you get to know about the readings from your meat on the cooker’s display screen.

 Wi-Fi Capability

Since pellet smokers are established with a computer inside them, companies have started to incorporate Wi-Fi capability in them. This feature allows you to manage the temperature of your grill from a distance with maximum convenience.

Pocket-Friendly

Pellet smokers are available in a wide range of prices. Therefore, it totally depends on your choice and budget. However, it is usually recommended to go for a model that fits your budget easily and features exceptional qualities to avoid any regret in the future.

What is a Smoker? What is a Grill?

A common question asked by people new to the smoking and grilling community is, “What’s the difference between a griller and a smoker?”

Here’s the answer: a smoker uses low amounts of heat whereas a griller uses high heat. Additionally, a smoker uses indirect heat while a griller uses direct heat. For the sake of this article, we’re going to use them interchangeably because some models do both.

Some of the models we’ll be covering feature the word griller, but rest assured, it’s all the same.

Best Wood Pellets For Smoking

Picking the perfect pellets is as important as any other piece of the puzzle. Since pellets produce exquisite flavors and greatly contribute toward your delicious results, it’s critical that you choose the right one.

While you should keep in mind that flavor preference varies and that will ultimately be up to you, here’s our recommendation on the best wood pellets for smoking.

Traeger Grills 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets

  • 20 lb. bag - buy in bulk! 
  • 9 Flavors: Alder, Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Mesquite, Oak, Pecan, and Turkey
  • Infuse everything you bake, BBQ, braise, grill, and smoke with authentic hardwood flavor
  • American made and sustainably sourced in the USA
  • Review of the Best Pellet Smokers

    Now we're going to transition into the review section of our article and go over the models that made our list for the best pellet smokers. 

    Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill

    Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill

    Pros

    • Features side hooks for cooking and prep utensils
    • High-quality, durable, and built to last - this thing is a beast
    • Multiple drawers add extra space compared to other models

    Cons

    • Generates A LOT of smoke so plan the location accordingly
    • Due to size, cleaning can take longer compared to other models
    • Shipping weight is approximately 330 lbs - you may need an extra set of hands

    What Recent Buyers Report

    Users of this pellet smoker are quite satisfied with its superior performance and reliable construction. They report that the high-quality steel construction tends to last long and saves them from any tension of rust. Moreover, it proved to be quite useful in saving a great amount of cooking time.

    Why it stands out to us?

    This pellet smoker from Cookshack mainly stands out to us for its reliable heavy-duty steel construction. Not only is the design attractive, but it is meant to provide a top-notch cooking experience. With an 800 square inch workstation, this pellet smoker assists you in completing the biggest jobs in record time.

    The Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill holds true to the Cookshack name being that it’s as big as a shack!

    This high-quality pellet grill is certainly the most expensive on our list, but with that comes all the bells and whistles. We definitely saved the best for last, let's find out why!

    Main Features of the Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill:

    • 748 sq. inches of cooking surface
    • 36,000 BTU burner - max temperature of 600° F
    • Thermostat is electronically controlled reducing temperature inconsistencies
    • Pellets dispense at an average of 1.2 lbs. to 2 lbs. pellets per hour at 400° F
    • Four-Zone cooking: direct, indirect, cold-smoking, and warming/holding

    Who Will Use This Most

    The pellet smoker is quite suitable for beginners because of its easy handling. This user-friendly model uses an automatic igniter to get the job done. It can be used for family gatherings and other hefty kitchen tasks. Moreover, it offers both options for direct and indirect cooking, which is truly impressive.

    Bottom Line

    In case you want to extend your cooking experience, then you must get your hands on this Cookshack pellet smoker. Manufactured from heavy-duty steel, this model is meant to last longer and provide top-notch performance to its user. Overall, it is a versatile piece of equipment and also worth the price.

    In the end, the Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill comes out on top as our choice for the best pellet smoker. This smoker is constructed by smokers, for smokers.

    It comes with extra drawers for added space and it prepared to smoke whatever is tossed inside. The only downside is its price tag, but you certainly get what you pay for with this smoker. 

    PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill, 700 sq. in.

    PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill, 700 sq. in.

    Pros

    • Well built and very sturdy
    • Outstanding customer service from the Pit Boss team
    • Large size is perfect for a variety of uses: big game meat, parties, holiday hosting, etc.

    Cons

    • Cord is only 6 ft. long so an extension cord is needed in some situations
    • Misleading documentation about including an ‘all important bottle opener’
    • Wheels are made of metal so some customers have encountered trouble while moving

    What Recent Buyers Report

    The users of this attractive pellet smoker have given it many positive remarks. According to them, this model is not only appealing to look at but is also reliable in its performance. It is easy to use, thanks to the digitally controlled burner system. Plus, the installation does not require too much struggle.

    Why it stands out to us?

    Another great product on the list, this pellet smoker is built from high-quality steel that is porcelain-coated to enhance the structural strength and durability of the product. Moreover, it is incorporated with a digitally controlled burner system to ease the task for you. Plus, it consumes only wooden pellets to provide an exceptional taste to your food.

    As Pit Boss exclaims, “The 700FB Wood Pellet Grill offers the best value per square inch in the pellet grill industry”; a statement we would have to say isn’t far from the truth. Pit Boss definitely takes grilling to a whole other level and let’s anyone become a master chef.

    Click here to see our full write-up of this model!

    Main Features of the Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler:     

    • 700 sq. inches of cooking area
    • Temperate ranges from 180° F to 500° F
    • Temperate control is fully digital and is very user friendly - just turn the dial!
    • Porcelain-coated grids provide a strong surface for meat and other food
    • Comes with wheels for easy transporting and storage

    Who Will Use This Most

    This model is a perfect choice for anyone who wants a durable pellet smoker with a user-friendly design. It is quite suitable for beginners, plus the top-notch performance makes it equally suitable for professionals. So, whenever you have guests over for some grilled food, this pellet smoker won’t do you wrong.

    Bottom Line

    One of the most reliable pellet smokers, this model is built to serve the user in the long run, thanks to its quality steel construction. Moreover, the porcelain coating ensures resistance from rust in the future. This versatile unit with 700 square inch cooking station is perfect for providing delicious food in any event.

    The Pit Boss 71700FB is a smoker that is built to do one job and do it well: smoke meats on demand. This model is large and perfect for big game roasts or large parties. Aside from it being a little challenging to move fully loaded, this is a supreme smoker. 

    Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill Smoker with 2020 Newest Digital Controls ,700 Cooking Area 8- in-1 Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise ,Sear,Char-grill and BBQ for Outdoor

    Pros

    • Large size makes it great for hosting massive parties or socials
    • Easy to assemble, has added storage space under grill, and comes with patio cover
    • Wheels help with storage and also feature locks to keep from rolling while smoking

    Cons

    • Does not feature a cold smoker option
    • No additional space built in to prep
    • When fully loaded of pellets, grill is heavy and can be harder to move during the prep stage

    What Recent Buyers Report

    This pellet smoker is highly popular among users for the smart smoke technology that allows them to grill food without the tension of it burning. The design is great and offers an ample amount of space to grill meat and can be employed for a number of tasks. Moreover, the 3-year warranty is quite attractive for some customers out there.

    Why it Stands Out to Us

    This pellet smoker is well-known on the market for being incorporated with advanced smoke technology. With this technology, you don’t have to monitor your food constantly. Talking about the design, it is made from high-quality steel and offers a 700 square inch area to cook food. Moreover, it is backed by a 3-year warranty to ensure reliability.

    Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker has a lot to offer and certainly looks good while doing it.

    This huge model not only offers a main rack and a warm rack, but it also comes with a 3 year warranty to safeguard any mishaps that may occur.

    Main Features of the Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker:

    • 700 sq. inches of cooking space offers a ton of options when smoking or grilling
    • Temperate ranges from 180° F to 450° F
    • 8-in-1 utility allows for a variety of cooking styles
    • Easy to use digital temperature control - “set it and forget about it”
    • 20 lb. hopper capacity

    Who Will Use This Most

    With so many features, this model can be employed for grilling a variety of food whenever you want. Whether you have friends over or are hosting a party for your family, this pellet smoker is there to serve you. From grilling to smoking and from baking to roasting, it is good at getting stuff done in a really short time.

    Bottom Line

    One of the most advanced smoke pellets, this model aces the flavors in food with its smoke technology. Not only is the design impressive, but it is also appreciated for its high-end performance when compared to other models. Plus, the reliable warranty saves the user from additional expenditures of repairing and replacement.

    Z GRILLS is well-known for their high-quality products and this grill certainly fits the criteria to a pin. This massive tank of a model is perfect for whatever you have in store and is sure to hold up to demanding menus.

    This grill is very simple to use and is perfect for storing tools or accessories under the grill in-between uses. One of the massive benefits to this model is the automated pellet feeder, definitely helps automate the process. 

    REC TEC Grills | RT-700 | Bundle | WiFi Enabled | Portable Wood Pellet Grill | Built in Meat Probes | Stainless Steel | 40lb Hopper | 6 Year Warranty | Hotflash Ceramic Ignition System

    Pros

    • Easy assembly makes for quick set-up
    • Wheels make for easy transportation and storage
    • Built in grill light allows you to easily see what you’re preparing

    Cons

    • Does not feature a pellet hopper release lever
    • Optional add-on accessories can get pricy over time
    • Not all parts are removable so cleaning may take more time compared to other models

    What Recent Buyers Report

    Similar to other products, this pellet smoker is no less than its rivals. It is highly appreciated for its compact design and sturdy construction. Plus, it incorporates meat probes to ease the task for the user. Another exciting thing is its 6-year warranty that enhances the confidence of users in this product.

    Why it Stands Out to Us

    The REC TEC pellet smoker stands out from its rivals for its highly advanced design. It is made from top-notch steel and includes two mesh mats that are non-stick as well. Moreover, it is designed with Wi-Fi capability to let you complete the task with a high level of comfort. Lastly, the Hotflash ceramic ignition system ensures the perfect flavoring of food.

    Grill with ease after one simple push! The REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill is a hot commodity and comes with an incredible warranty to say the least.

    This backyard beauty is ideal for a variety of cooking environments and will be the catalyst for your next cooking excursion. 

    Main Features of the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill:

    • 702 sq. inches of cooking space
    • 40 lb. hopper capacity - average of 1 lb pellets/hr at 225°F
    • Temperature ranges from 180° F to 500° F and has the ability to adjust in 5° F increments
    • Welded and sealed helping to ensure smoke doesn’t escape
    • Long-lasting 6-year warranty

    Who Will Use This Most

    With its advanced features, this pellet smoker can be easily used by beginners. Since the installation is a breeze, it is quite suitable for large family gatherings. It is meant to add a smoky flavor to your food whenever you want. Plus, there would be no tension of food sticking, thanks to the non-stick mesh mats.

    Bottom Line

    If you are looking for a compact yet durable pellet smoker, then you should not miss this unit at any cost. The construction is durable, and the performance can’t be matched in providing perfectly grilled food. Moreover, it comes with a great warranty to add on to perfection.

    Another fan favorite is the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill, and for good reason. In general, this is a massive smoker packed with high-end features.

    The excellent 6-year warranty speaks for itself while the versatility and functionality of the smoker will make every smoking session one to remember.  

    Green Mountain Grill 2019 Davy Crockett Pellet Grill with Cover- WiFi Enabled

    Pros

    • Great customer service from Green Mountain
    • App is very user friendly and comes with timer to assist with cooking process
    • Legs fold under grill and double as a handle - easy to transport and perfect for socials

    Cons

    • WiFi range is limited - people have reported a max range of roughly 20 ft.
    • Radiates a lot of heat on the bottom - be sure to prop legs and lay cover if tailgating
    • Weight of fully loaded hopper is about 75 lbs. making it difficult to transport when full

    What Recent Buyers Report

    Most of the customers of this pellet smoker are highly impressed with it. They love it for its portable design and easy handling. Since it features Wi-Fi capability, it can be monitored from a distance without compromising on your comfort level. Plus, a 3-year warranty has proven to be highly attractive for the majority of customers.

    Why it Stands Out to Us

    A model packed with a great set of exceptional features; this pellet grill is appreciable for its appealing design that is weather-resistant as well. It is integrated with Wi-Fi capability to allow you to grill the food remotely from any corner of your house. Plus, the model guarantees reliability with its 3-year warranty.

    The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill is number three on our list and is a smart little, on-the-go grill, perfect for people who love to camp, tailgate, or travel.

    Weighing in at only 57 lbs., this grill can conveniently be transported in nearly any car and makes smoking a breeze.

    Main Features of the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill:

    • Smart Control allows you to connect via WiFi and have full control over your grill
    • 17 lb. hopper capacity and pellets are automatically fed via sloped design
    • Sense-Mate thermal sensor guides temperature to maintain control
    • 110V or 12V with adapters for 3 Power Options
    • Includes stainless steel grease bucket for catch, cleanup, and cover!

    Who Will Use This Most

    This grill smoker is equipped with a portable design, making it useful for your courtyard parties. There would be no tension about its storage as well. Plus, some highly-advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity makes it completely user-friendly. Moreover, the weather-resistance feature allows it to endure harsh conditions easily without getting damaged.

    Bottom Line

    Equipped with an attractive design and weather-resistant properties, this model is undoubtedly a steal on the market. It is highly portable and lets you complete your grilling tasks with great ease, thanks to the Wi-Fi capability. Additionally, you get to enjoy a 3-year warranty. What more could you ask for?

    The bottom line with the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill is that this is a top of the line model with some innovative technology behind it.

    In addition to it being so tech-friendly, this model is very user-friendly and easy to transport - great for all experience levels and occasions. 

    Pros

    • Easy to assemble and start-up is very user friendly
    • ‘Ash Clean out system’ making cleaning pellets as easy as pulling a lever
    • Camp Chef is well known for their customer service, they’re easy to work with
    • Backed by a 1-year warranty

    Cons

    • Meat probe accuracy wears down over time
    • Temperatures can be hard to maintain in cold or windy conditions

    What Recent Buyers Report

    This excellent pellet smoker is highly admired by users for adding value to their bucks. The design is compact and, therefore, does not require too much space for storage. Another loved thing about it is that the cleaning does not take much time after you’re done using it, which is a relief for many customers.

    Why it Stands Out to Us

    This is known to be an excellent pellet smoker that provides a perfect balance of performance and value for your bucks. It is incorporated with a large hopper to offer intense smoke during your cooking session. Moreover, the pellet auger dispenses automatically once you are done. All in all, you’ll not find a more exciting deal on the market.

    Last but not least is a supreme smoker, the Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe Pellet Grill.

    This moderately priced model is backed by the trusted Camp Chef name and will deliver tasteful flavors every time.

    Whether you’re in search of your first smoker or a seasoned professional, this is perfect for all experience levels.

    Camp Chef smokers are made from only the finest materials and contribute toward tasty, delicious outcomes.

    In addition to the great qualities mentioned above, there are some added benefits you should know about. Here are the perks of owning this smoker.

    Main Features of the Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe Pellet Grill:

    • 570 sq. inches of cooking space
    • Temperature range effortlessly varies from 160° F to 500° F
    • Pellets are auto fed via auger feed to ensure heat smoke output is constant
    • Easy to use digital controls and can be adapted to bake, braise, BBQ grill, and smoke
    • 18 lb. hopper capacity

    Who Will Use This Most

    Due to its compact and user-friendly design, this model is an ideal choice for anyone who does not have much space for storage. Plus, the pellet smoker is equipped with a large hopper to make through the party with ease. So, whether you want to grill chicken or roast your meat pieces, this model won’t disappoint you.

    Bottom Line

    Overall, this pellet smoker is versatile and meant to serve the user for a longer period of time. It is super-compact and guarantees to deliver crispy and smoky flavored food whenever you throw a BBQ party for your friends or family. To put it in a nutshell, it is the ideal equipment for acing your cooking experience.

    When it comes down to it, the Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe is an excellent model for all experience levels. It's easy to clean, very straightforward to operate, and makes smoking seem like a walk in the park. 

    Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker - Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise, and BBQ (Bronze)

    Pros

    • Easy to assemble and ready to use in minutes
    • Comes with wheels and is easy to move or store
    • Quality made and constructed from highly durable materials

    Cons

    • Temperature can fluctuate under windy conditions
    • Grill is 36” so taller customers have experienced height challenges
    • Goes through pellets quickly so be sure to stock up before long smoking sessions

    What Recent Buyers Report

    This pellet smoker has received many positive reviews from its users due to its exceptional performance. Users report that not only does it come with an exquisite design, but there is no doubt on its superior performance as well. It is quite easy to handle and highly versatile in its working; therefore, it improves your cooking experience.

    Why it Stands Out to Us

    If you love to have perfectly grilled food, then you should not miss this pellet smoker from Traeger. It is built from high-quality materials and consumes wood to deliver a crispy, smoky flavor to the food. Moreover, the advanced digital elite controller ensures easy monitoring of temperature to offer perfection.

    The second smoker on our list is the Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Grill and this thing packs quite the punch.

    This smoker is filled with features and offers customers a variety of great qualities. Perfect for all chefs, this easy to use model will have you smoking in no time.

    Main features of the Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Grill:

    • 3 racks can hold wide assortments of meats and vegetables 
    • 6-in-1 utility allows for a variety of cooking styles
    • 300 sq. inches of cooking space - perfect for hosting socials or tailgating
    • Traeger Digital Elite Controller sets and controls temperature with ease
    • 8 lb. hopper capacity

    Who Will Use This Most

    Since the pellet smoker comes with a user-friendly design, it is ideal for beginners and inexperienced people. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including grilling, roasting, and smoking of meat whenever you have guests over for family hangouts. Plus, the reliable controller ensures perfect grilling without food getting burnt.

    Bottom Line

    A powerhouse of features, this pellet smoker is built to last long and provide amazing service whenever it comes to grilling and roasting food. It is best known for its automatic controller that efficiently controls temperature and delivers perfectly cooked food in record time. Overall, this model is versatile and reliable.

    Overall, the Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Grill is great for those who are looking for a straightforward model that sets up in minutes and is easy to store. This smoker is nearly stress free and perfect for parties, socials, or relaxing kickbacks. 

    Our Top Picks

    In the end, the bottom line is these pellet smokers all come with qualities that make any grilling or smoking session special. Whether the model be big or small, many racks or few, the final decision comes down to identifying which is best for you.

    If you want the top dog, we recommend the Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill, if you’re a tailgater or avid camper, go with the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill, and if you’re just looking for a solid smoker to plant on your deck or backyard, go with any of the rest.

    Conclusion

    We hope this review of the best pellet smokers has helped you along your journey toward enjoying some delicious meals.

    The flavor achieved from pellet smokers is unlike anything else and we can’t wait to hear about your experiences. Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know which one you ultimately went with. We love hearing from folks! Happy smoking!

    People Also Ask

    A pellet smoker is known to be a new type of grill for the preparation of healthier food at a BBQ party. However, customers have certain queries about its use. Therefore, we have tried our best to provide enough information in this frequently asked queries section to ensure you have a better cooking experience.

    Do Pellet Smokers Give Good Smoke Flavor?

    Yes, pellet smokers can be employed in order to add a smoky flavor to the food. The smokers that are incorporated with thicker metal and better thermostat are quite well at doing so. However, in case you need an intense smoke production, pellet smokers are just not good enough.

    Are Pellet Smokers Healthy?

    Pellet smokers are known to be better smokers as compared to grills. Although they say pellet smokers use an indirect method, according to recent studies, they are no healthier than any other grilling method. It involves the production of PAHs, which are carcinogenic substances, and their coating on the food, just like other methods.