With the summer months finally here, it is time to let loose and enjoy the warm, sunny days with your family. This means going on picnics, exploring beaches, and of course, bringing the party to your own backyard with sudden family barbecues. After all, what is a summer without homemade grilled burgers and roast chicken that you prepare from scratch yourself.
However, these barbecue parties are only as good as the smoker you have got. No chicken, beef, or ham can taste heavenly if it was prepared poorly on a rusty old grill. With meat that is either overcooked or uncooked in the middle, you do not only end up ruining the party but also invite cramps and really bad tummy aches. This is why you need to have the best wood pellet smoker when you decide to host a banging backyard barbecue.
In recent years, wood pellet smokers have become quite popular. If someone does not already own a wood pellet grill these days, chances are that they are saving up so they can afford the very best wood pellet smoker in the near future. This increased demand for wood pellet grills has encouraged brands to flood the market with more and more options - making the competition tough, and choosing the best wood pellet smoker as a customer even tougher.
This is where this review comes in.
Today, we will break down everything you need to know about the best wood pellet smokers available today. We will not only talk about the five most popular options in the category, but will also discuss what one should look for when buying their first wood pellet smoker.
We will review your options in detail, and at the end, answer a few frequently asked questions about wood pellet smokers in general. So, get up, fasten your apron around you, and get ready to have your backyard barbecue parties considered the most deliciously fun in the entire family!
In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best
Got to run somewhere and cannot read through all of that information right now? No worries! Let’s cut to the chase and talk about the number one wood pellet smoker that you can buy today.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker - Our Overall Best
If there has ever been one wood pellet smoker to sort out all your meaty recipes, it is the Z Grills ZPG-450A 2020 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker. With its 8 in 1 versatility, you can barbecue, smoke, grill, char grill, bake, sear, braise, or even bake your food! This lets you enjoy countless flavors and textures with only a single cooker.
While being incredibly versatile in the style of cooking, this best wood pellet smoker is also amazingly consistent with the quality. Hence, you can rest assured that your meal will be just as delicious every time you make it, saving yourself from a whole lot of embarrassment when you have guests over.
In addition to the above, the Z Grills ZPG-450A 2020 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker have a number of cool features that make it our absolute favorite.
- It has a set it and forget it cooking style
- The sturdy steel construction lasts you a long time
- It has a large capacity hopper for backup wood pellets
The Five Best Wood Pellet Smokers At A Glance
OUR TOP PICK
The Z Grills ZPG-450A 2020 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is a powerful cooker that is absolutely perfect for your backyard parties. It allows you to smoke, grill, and everything in between without the added hassle of keeping an eye on your food.
With a large hopper that can store 15 pounds of pellets at a time, you do not have to worry about reloading the grill or running out of fuel. This smoker is easy to use, gives great results every time, and lets you enjoy your own party to the fullest. What more could one want from the best wood pellet smoker?!
- Built to last
- Large capacity hopper
- Can cook your food in 8 different ways
- Customers complain that the temperature setting on this smoker is not quite right
- The pellet can sometimes get stuck in the hopper while being loaded
Our next best wood pellet smoker is also one by Z Grills. This model is called the Z Grills Wood Pellet Smoker 7002BPRO, but this one also lets you cook in all the different ways like the one above.
This smoker features a 330 square inch main grilling area, with an additional 270 square inch smoking and warming rack. This cooking space is enough to hold a decent meal for a small family at one time. What we love the most about this wood pellet grill is the amazing temperature range it offers. The smoker can reach up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, removing all cooking limitations that come with mediocre wood pellet smokers.
- Can cook for about 20 hours with 20 pounds of wood pellets
- Enjoy temperature control and Auto Pellet Feed Control System with PID controller
- High temperature range
- Easy operation
- Unused pellets are not easily removed to be used the next time
The Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate is the best wood pellet smoker for those who do not want to be bound to their own backyards for barbecues. Although it has an admittedly smaller cooking space of 210 square inches, the compact size makes it super portable.
Additional features that allow easy transportation of this smoker include its folding design and the fact that it only weighs a total of 68 pounds.
With its unique Sense Mate technology, the grill constantly monitors the temperature of your food, making sure it is neither overcooked nor undercooked.
- Includes a meat probe, peaked lid for rib racks, convenience tray
- 110V or 12V with adapters for 3 power options
- Sturdy steel body
- The auger sometimes malfunctions to push more pellets in the smoker than necessary
- Temperature can sometimes go above the setting you have selected
Last on this list but definitely not the least, we have the Camp Chef Smoke Pro DLX Pellet Grill. As opposed to the Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate discussed above, this wood pellet smoker is designed for those who value excellence over portability.
With its 573 square inch cooking rack and an overall weight of 140 pounds, moving this beast is no piece of cake. However, if you intend to stay put in your backyard when enjoying a barbecue, this is an amazing smoker to consider.
Having the largest cooking space of all the best wood pellet smokers discussed today, this one is best suited for large families or a party. The grilling area measures 19.5 by 22 inches, while an additional smoking and warming rack is 6 by 24 inches. This allows you to prepare tons of food in one go, so that you can spend more time with your family or guests.
- Automatic pellet auger
- Easy clean-out ash can
- Large capacity pellet hopper
- The temperature swings around the set value instead of being consistent throughout the cooking process
If you value perfection but are a little tight on the budget, the Pit Boss PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill is one to consider. This wood pellet grill allows you the convenience and versatility of these smokers while not weighing too heavily on your pocket.
The Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker features a digital control board that makes the machine simple to use. The LED readout enables you to clearly visualize the buttons even as the sun goes down. You can conveniently switch between direct and indirect heat according to your requirement and preferences, and cook the most delicious meal every time.
With a cooking surface of 465 square inches, this wood pellet smoker is just the right size for a small family or an intimate party.
- Removable side shelf and serving tray
- Two large wheels make it portable
- Fan forced convection cooking ensures that your dinner is cooked throughout
- Porcelain coated cooking grates
- Not as cheap as a charcoal grill
- The controls can sometimes go whack, so consistent results are not guaranteed
Best wood pellet smokers - Buying Guide
Like we said, there is a lot to choose from when it comes to wood pellet smokers. With so many options, how does one even begin to shortlist? Well, we are hoping this little buying guide will help you get started. Here are a few things that you should be paying attention to if you are in the market for the best wood pellet smoker.
What To Consider When Shopping For The Best Wood Pellet Smoker?
The ease of use
Alright, first things first. You want a smoker that is easy to use, not one that gets you all frustrated even before the party has started. This means that your best wood pellet smoker should be easy to operate as well as easy to clean. So, if you see anything that you cannot quite figure out, strike it off your list at once.
The temperature range
One of the downsides of getting a wood pellet smoker instead of a traditional charcoal smoker is that you cannot get some of them as hot. Hence, getting a wood pellet smoker with a low-temperature range may limit you with regards to what kind of cooking you can do with it.
If you want to keep your cooking options open, we suggest that you get the best wood pellet smoker with a wide temperature range - ideally something that can reach up to 500 to 55 degrees fahrenheit.
The cooking space
The third important thing that you should be considering is the cooking space that a particular wood pellet smoker offers. Before you decide to purchase a grill, ask yourself if the featured cooking area is in line with your requirements.
Are you planning to throw large barbecue parties, or is this baby just for the immediate family? Based on the number of people you are cooking for, you can easily decide if the cooking space of the smoker you are eyeing is enough or not.
The size and portability
When you are exploring your options, the size and portability of a wood pellet smoker are important to note as well. Just like with the cooking space, there is no one size that is the best. In fact, the ‘right’ size really depends on your own requirements and purpose for buying the smoker. Where are you planning to put the smoker? How big is your backyard?
Are you planning to only use the grill at home, or take it along on your camping trips? The answers to these questions will help you figure out if you should be buying a particular wood pellet smoker or move on to the next one on the list.
The price point
Lastly, of course, the price of a wood pellet smoker is something that you absolutely must consider before taking it home with you. Let’s be straight here - even the cheapest wood pellet smoker can cost you a serious amount. It is very important to gauge what you can afford, and not get carried away on your shopping trip and end up bankrupt.
Make sure the wood pellet smoker you are buying is the best that you can get in your budget, and be satisfied with it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Who should buy a wood pellet smoker?
Wood pellet smokers are a big investment, even if the rewards are delicious. This can make you question if you really should get one of these, or if you are good with a traditional charcoal smoker instead. Well, if you value convenience and versatility, then the extra money you end up spending is worth the upgrade you will get.
Simply put, wood pellet smokers are for those who want the very best, and are willing to pay for it.
Q. How exactly do wood pellet grills work?
Wood pellet smokers plug into an electrical outlet and burn cylindrical wood pellets to produce heat and smoke. They are semi automatic smokers, which load the pellets on their own from the hopper as they burn up. Once you have set the smoker at the beginning, they will do much of the work themselves without you having to constantly check up on your food.
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a wood pellet smoker instead of a charcoal smoker?
- You do not have to constantly check up on your food
- You are able to control the cooking time and temperature
- They use less fuel than a traditional charcoal smoker
- You spend less time and effort cleaning up a wood pellet smoker than you would spend on a charcoal smoker
- They are more expensive than a traditional charcoal smoker
- Many wood pellet smokers cannot get as hot or generate as much smoke as a charcoal smoker can
- You need an electrical outlet to make a wood pellet smoker work
- Getting wood pellets is not as easy as sourcing charcoal
While having the best wood pellet smoker might be the “cool” thing right now, this does not negate the fact that these cookers will pay off beautifully in the future as well. If you are a meat lover and love to throw barbecue parties for your friends and family, you will absolutely love yourself for deciding to invest in a wood pellet smoker.
Having the right cooker for your needs will take your backyard barbecues to the next level, while ensuring that you are not too busy as a host to enjoy the party yourself!