What is a Pellet Grill? (The Ultimate Guide) [2022]

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In the world of grilling, there are many options available. Some people prefer gas or charcoal grills – both have their merits and disadvantages. But what if you could get the best of both worlds? Enter pellet grill technology. Most pellet grills use small food-grade wood pellets to create heat and smoke, giving your food a delicious smoky flavor in minutes! With a pellet grill, you can easily cook for large groups of people and it’s easy to operate and clean up too!


What is a Pellet Grill?

A pellet grill is a type of barbecue grill that uses wood pellets as its fuel source. The pellets are made of compressed sawdust, which is a renewable resource. This makes pellet grills more environmentally friendly than other types of grills.

Pellet grills are also very easy to use. You simply load the hardwood pellets into the grill, turn it on, and set the grill temperature. The grill will automatically adjust the cooking temperature to maintain the desired temperature. This makes pellet grills ideal for busy people who don’t have time to fuss with their grill.

How does a Pellet Grill work?

Pellet grills work by using a small motor to turn an auger. The auger feeds food-grade wood pellets from the hopper (a storage container) into the cooking chamber or fire pot. The heat from the fire pot ignites the hardwood pellets and the heat is then transferred to the cooking grate. The grill controller maintains the set temperature by regulating the number of pellets that are fed into the burner.

One of the biggest advantages of this type of grill is its ability to regulate airflow. By regulating airflow, pellet grills can maintain a consistent temperature, which results in evenly cooked food. This is important because it ensures that your food will be cooked evenly from top to bottom. This prevents the dreaded “hot spot” on your food that can occur when using other types of grills.

Best Pellet Grills

PIT BOSS PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, 440 sq. inch, Mahogany
PIT BOSS PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, 440 sq. inch, Mahogany
  • Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
  • Premium Gauge Stainless Steel Construction
  • Removable Side Shelf/Serving Tray
  • Two large Wheels
  • Digital Control Board w/ LED Readout
  • Fan Forced Convection Cooking
  • Direct and Indirect Heat
  • Porcelain Coated Cooking Grates
  • Hopper capacity: 5 LBS
  • Cooking surface:  465 square inches
Z Grills ZPG-7002E 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Controls, 700 sq in Sliver
Z Grills ZPG-7002E 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Controls, 700 sq in Sliver
  • ULTIMATE 8-IN-1 WOOD PELLET GRILL & SMOKER - bbq✓bake✓roast✓braise✓smoke✓grill✓sear✓char-grill, you can do everything on here
  • PELLET GRILL TECHNOLOGY - It’s the best and easiest way to get wood-smoked flavors. Anyone will instantly realize the taste is better than a gas or charcoal grill
  • MAKES YOU A GOOD CHEF - One button starts up, this pellet grill will maintain the preset temperature within 10 degrees fluctuation and produce the optimal amount of smoke, easy and steady
  • FOR FAMILIES AND PARTIES - Features 700 sq inches of wide cooking space that allows you to place all at once and cook efficiently, 180° to 450° F Adjustable temperature range gives you great flexibility for different food
  • LESS PELLET FILLING, MORE SMOKING - The 20 lbs large-capacity pellet hopper offers a longer cooking time, eliminating the need to refill the hopper constantly
  • STAINLESS STEEL BUILT - High resistance to corrosion, longer-lasting, with a sleek and polished finish
  • Cover included, no need to purchase separately; US Based Brand, Manufacturer 3-year warranty
Traeger Grills Pro Series 34 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Bronze
Traeger Grills Pro Series 34 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Bronze
  • Never use gas or charcoal again: cooking with wood just tastes better. Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill as the ultimate way to achieve wood-fired taste
  • Versatile barbecue cooking: hot and fast, or low and slow, the Traeger Pro Series 34 pellet grill offers 6-in-1 versatility to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ food to juicy perfection
  • Precision temperature control: The Digital Pro Controller rocks Advanced Grilling Logic, which maintains a +/- 15 degree F temperature control to guarantee precision grilling. 450 °F Max Temp
  • Sturdy and Durable: Powerful steel construction and durable powder coat finish, easy to clean porcelain grill grates and all-terrain wheels
  • Large cooking capacity: 884 sq. in. cooking capacity that can accomodate 8 chickens, 7 racks of ribs or 40 burgers

Browse the top Pellet Grills & Smokers

Benefits of Pellet Grilling

Pellet grills offer benefits that make them ideal for delicious meals.

  • Fast – they only take 10 – 15 minutes to get up to cooking temperature. This makes them great for busy people who want their dinner cooked quickly after work or on the weekend!
  • Versatile – they can cook anything from low and slow barbecue to crispy pizza.
  • Easy to use – set the temperature, load your meat, and leave it alone until your timer goes off.
  • Clean burning – no charcoal or gas means that more of the natural smoke flavor sticks around in your food.
  • Long-lasting – they’re made of high-quality materials that last for years without rusting or warping.
  • Environmentally friendly – no gas, charcoal, or propane means less pollution and deforestation!
  • Direct or indirect heat – you can grill with direct heat or indirect heat by placing the meat farther away from the burn pot.
  • Precise temperature control – they maintain the set temperature without wavering, which makes them great for cooking your food perfectly.
  • Combine elements of gas, charcoal grills, and convection ovens – they burn clean and offer the flavor of a charcoal grill with the ease of a gas grill.
  • Flare-ups – they have a lower risk of flare-ups because the food isn’t directly over the heat source.

Disadvantages of Pellet Grills and Smokers

While there are many benefits to wood pellet grills, they do have some disadvantages that you should know about before making the switch.

  • Price – pellet grills are more expensive than other types of grills due to their high quality. If you make the investment, however, you’ll get a long-lasting grill that will cook delicious food for years.
  • Small capacity – pellet grills have a limited cooking area because of the small burn pot. This isn’t really an issue for most people but it’s something to consider before buying a new grill.
  • Pellets can be expensive – if you want your pellet grill to run efficiently, you’ll need to buy food-grade pellets from your local hardware store. These pellets are more expensive than traditional charcoal or propane fuel sources, so it’s something to consider before buying your new grill.

Wood Pellet Grill vs Gas Grill

There are several key differences between a gas grill and a pellet grill or smoker. One of the most obvious is that a gas grill uses propane or natural gas as its fuel source, while a pellet grill uses small wood pellets as its fuel. Gas grills also tend to heat up more quickly than pellet grills, and they typically have a hotter overall cooking temperature.

Pellet grills also come with many additional features that gas grills do not, such as smoke control and the ability to grill using indirect heat. Pellet grills also tend to be more expensive than gas grills, but they offer superior quality and flavor by being able to smoke foods.

Why pellet grills are better?

One of the best things about pellet grills is the flavor that they produce. Because the pellets are made of wood, they create a smoky, barbecue-style flavor that is perfect for grilled meats and vegetables. Pellet grills also come with smoke control features, which allow you to adjust the amount of smoke that is produced. This allows you to customize your grill to match your own personal taste.

Pellet Grill vs Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills and smokers are a popular choice for those who want to add a smoky flavor to their food. They are typically less expensive than pellet grills, but they also have some disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages is that charcoal grills can be difficult to use – it can be difficult to regulate the temperature, and it’s easy to accidentally overcook your food. Charcoal also produces a lot of ash, which can be difficult to clean up.

Pellet grills are a newer technology, and they offer many advantages over charcoal grills. Pellet grills are easy to use – they come with digital controllers that allow you to set the temperature, and they have an automatic auger that will fuel your grill for you. You can also use a pellet smoker as a charcoal grill, which gives you the power of both grills in one machine.

Pellet Grills vs Pellet Smokers

A smoker is another type of pellet grill, but it has one distinct advantage over its more modern counterpart. Because they cook at lower temperatures using indirect heat, smokers are able to impart a flavor that smolders outside the meat. With pellet grills, on the other hand, cooking happens quickly and doesn’t have time to permeate the meat.

Pellet Grills vs Traditional Smokers

A pellet grill is a newer technology that uses small wood pellets as its fuel source, while a traditional smoker uses charcoal or propane. Pellet grills come with many additional features that traditional smokers do not, such as smoke control and the ability to grill using indirect heat. Pellet grills also tend to be more expensive than smokers, but they offer superior quality and flavor.

Because pellet grills have an automated fuel and air delivery system, maintaining a steady temperature is much simpler than in a traditional barbecue.

Pellet Grill vs Gravity Charcoal Grill

Gravity charcoal grills are also a type of pellet grill that uses an old-fashioned design to propel burning charcoal into the cooking area. Gravity smokers do not come with temperature control features like pellet grills and they don’t come with any additional features. They do, however, offer more flexibility than gas or electric pellet grills.

Pellet Grill vs Green Egg

The Green Egg is a type of smoker that’s designed to be used as an all-purpose grill, smoker, and cooker. They come with three different cooking surfaces that you can use to cook meat, fish, and vegetables. The Green Egg comes with a hefty price tag, but it also offers unmatched flexibility and quality.

Pellet Grill vs Kamado Grill

Kamado grills are one of the older grill designs, and they have a few advantages over pellet grills/smokers. One of the main benefits is that kamados can reach high cooking temperatures quickly, so you don’t have to wait around for your food to cook. They are also much more fuel-efficient than pellet grills, so you’ll save money in the long term.

The main disadvantage of kamados is that they typically don’t have as many features as a pellet grill. They also cook at lower temperatures than pellet grills/smokers, which reduces their ability to impart a smoky flavor to your food. Traditional charcoal and gas grills have a similar disadvantage.

Things to consider when purchasing a Pellet Grill or Smoker


If you know how to cook, then you should be able to save money by purchasing your own pellet grill rather than eating at restaurants. If you’re just starting out as a grill master, however, it may be more cost-effective for you to buy a standard charcoal or gas grill until you get the hang of cooking outdoors.

Grilling space

The size of your grilling surface is one of the most important things to consider when purchasing a pellet grill/smoker. The cooking area should have enough room for you to cook multiple items at once without overcrowding or undercooking them.


Pellet grills are much more expensive than traditional charcoal and gas grills, so you may want to purchase one that comes with additional features. As previously mentioned, some of the most popular features are temperature control, smoke control, indirect cooking space, and easy cleaning/maintenance.

Temperature range

A pellet grill with a good temperature range will be able to reach extremely high temperatures for searing meat, but it will also be able to reach low cooking temperatures to produce the smoky flavor associated with barbecue. Most pellet grills can go as low as 150 degrees, which is significantly lower than the oven-like temperatures of a kamado or charcoal grill. Some models even come with an electronic control panel that controls temperatures.


Many pellet grills come with accessories that can make your grilling experience easier and more enjoyable. One of the most popular accessories is a meat probe, which allows you to track the internal temperature of your meat as it cooks. Many pellet smokers (like Traeger pellet grills) come with meat probes that allow you to monitor the cooking process remotely. This is a great feature for novice grillers because it prevents them from overcooking or undercooking their food.


A pellet grill is a type of smoker that uses small wood pellets as its fuel source. Pellet grills come with many additional features that traditional smokers do not, such as smoke control and the ability to grill using indirect heat. Pellet grills also tend to be more expensive than smokers, but they offer superior quality and flavor.


What is the point of a pellet grill?

A pellet grill is designed to cook your food over an open flame, much like charcoal or wood-fired grill. However, it uses small wood pellets as its fuel source instead of hardwood chunks. This allows you to control the flavor of your food through your cooking method because different types of wood produce different amounts and flavors of smoke.

What is the difference between a gas grill and a wood pellet grill?

A gas grill consists of burners that are connected to a natural gas or propane tank. You control the heat in your grilling area by adjusting the flow of gas coming out of your burners, much like you would on a traditional stove. A wood pellet grill is similar to a traditional kamado in that it uses an indirect cooking method. Instead of heating your burners directly, it heats something to produce the smoke that will cook your food.

What wood should I use to smoke my food?

This is entirely up to you! Different types of wood produce different flavors and aromas when they are burned, so you should experiment with various types of wood until you find one you like.

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