Pellet smokers are chosen by most home chefs because they use a unique system to indirectly cook all of their favorite meats. When you turn a pellet smoker on, you activate its igniter rod, and the rod starts to feed wood pellets into the unit’s firebox. This creates the smoke that you need to cook your favorite foods; it does this automatically, so you don’t have to spend time messing around with charcoal, wood or temperature settings.
When you can set and forget your unit, it gives you free time to do other things during the lengthy smoking process. This isn’t the case with conventional wood or charcoal smokers; they need a full day of maintenance and tending.
The pellets used for smoking contain all natural materials; they are compacted units of sawdust. Unlike charcoal, pellets don’t contain any additive or fillers, so you always know that your food will come out safe and perfectly cooked. When you cook with a pellet smoker, you never need to add extra wood chips or flavoring agents, the natural pellets produce a smoke flavor that rivals all conventional smoking methods.
Top 3 Best Pellet Smoker Comparison Chart
|Smoker Model||Our Review||Cooking area (inches)||Color|
|REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill – Featuring Smart Grill TechnologyTM||19 x 34||Black & Red|
|Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Grill – Digital Thermostat Controlled||15 x 20||Black|
|Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ – Digital Controls and Stainless Temp Probe||45 x 21 x 51||Black|
3 Best Pellet Smoker Reviews
The REC pellet grill is an easy to use unit that automatically turns on with the click of a button; once on, the unit keeps a level temperature for the whole time that it is running. As a user, you can easily change the unit’s temperature to smoke, sear, bake or grill your favorite barbecue recipes.
The REC TEC uses all natural wood pellets, so you always get an authentic barbecue flavor, and with their six-year warranty, you never have to worry about your smoker breaking down. The smoker is calibrated to give you precise cooking temperatures, and the pellets are automatically fed into the firebox to prevent temperature fluctuations. The unit gives you a generous 19 x 34 inch cooking area, and it allows you to adjust temperatures from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
REC TEC Pros:
- Large cooking area
- Smart Grill Technology to keep up an exact temperature
- Temperature control from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Powder coat finish for durability
- Wheels for easy movement
- Great warranty and customer support
The instructions that come with the unit could be a little clearer, but most people find that they can assemble it in under an hour. People have experienced great customer service with this company; they quickly walk you through any problems you are having, and they will send replacements for broken items with no hesitation. If you need a dependable smoker with a great warranty, then this unit will fit your needs perfectly.
The Traeger Junior Elite is a compact unit that’s perfect for people who are just getting into pellet cooking; the unit is ideal for tailgating, small spaces and households that don’t have enough room for a large unit.
The 15 x 20 inch cooking area give you a generous 292 square inches of cooking space, and its digital thermometer lets you accurately control the temperature of the unit. The unit uses convection technology to make sure that air circulates around your food at all times; you never have to worry about hot or cold spots with this unit.
The Traeger is made of solid steel, and it uses wood pellets to accurately maintain temperature throughout the cooking process. When you turn the unit on, you simply need to set the temperature; the unit will automatically dispense pellets when they are needed.
The natural pellets allow you to grill, smoke, bake or roast your favorite recipes in a healthy way. The grill comes with an easy start button, porcelain-coated grate, smoke exhaust and an EZ grease drain system for easy cleanup.
Traeger Junior Elite Pros:
- 15 x 20 inch cooking area
- Digital thermostat with 11 settings
- Easy start button
- Solid steel construction
- Compact unit
- Heats up quickly
The Traeger Junior Elite is a great unit for both novice and expert home chefs. It’s a compact unit that weighs in at about 70 pounds because of its steel construction.
The Camp Chef is a perfect unit for people who want to take their outdoor grilling and smoking to the professional level. The unit was designed for home chefs, and it does its best to simplify the cooking and smoking process; it includes a digital thermometer to help take the guesswork and variance out of the smoking process.
This innovative smoker has dual temperature control sensors that allow users to maintain a consistent temperature without any fuss, and its dual temperature readout gives you both the chamber’s temperature and your food’s internal temperature. The unit is turned on with the push of a button, and it will automatically dispense pellets until your food is done. It has a large capacity pellet hopper; that means you don’t have to refill it often. Its ash can and unique easy access design makes cleanup a cinch.
Camp Chef PG24 Pros:
- Dual LED temperature display
- Recipe booklet included
- 560 cubic inches of cooking space
- Removable upper rack
- Easy cleaning
- Large capacity hopper
The unit weighs in at 132 pounds, so you might need a hand when you are putting it together. It’s a solid unit that is constructed of steel, so you know that it’s going to last for a long time.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Pellet Smoker
If you rush into buying a unit without proper consideration, you may end up with something that you aren’t completely satisfied with. Make sure to consider the following factors before buying a new unit:
The first thing that you need to look at when buying a pellet smoker is your budget. There are tons of different models on the market, and they all come with various accessories. If you’re looking to spend a lot of money, then you can buy a unit that comes with tons of bells and whistles, but if you’re like most people, you are better off buying a decently priced unit that cooks well.
Pellet Availability – Depending on where you are located, you might need to buy pellets in bulk; it can be difficult to buy pellets year round in some regions. The best way to buy pellets is to buy a lot of them at one time, or you can buy them over the Internet. You need to make sure that pellets are available before you start cooking. If you don’t have enough of them, you won’t be able to properly smoke your meat.
Pellet smokers can be quite large, and if you don’t have the room for a unit, it can become a hassle. Always make sure to look at a unit’s weight and dimensions; this gives you a good idea of how mobile the unit is. If you’re going to be moving your unit a lot, you probably want to get a smaller unit that can be easily moved. If you plan on leaving your unit in one spot, then you need to buy a unit that is the right size; you don’t have to put as much consideration into its weight and mobility features.
Quality And Durability
When you buy a pellet smoker, it should last you for years. If you buy a unit that’s dependable, then you won’t have to worry about costly repairs and replacements. It’s important to buy a smoker that comes from a dependable manufacturer; when you do this, it’s much more likely that your unit will produce quality smoke without breaking after a few uses.
When you buy the best pellet smoker, you get a unit that automatically controls the temperature of your food; this is great for people who don’t want to sit around and keep a careful eye on their unit all day. The units come with many accessories, so you have many choices when it comes to what you want your unit to do.
Always make sure that you get a unit that is appropriate for the size of the meals you are going to be cooking; you don’t want to buy a small unit that only allows you to cook for yourself. The units can be heavy, so if you are going to be moving your smoker a lot, you probably want to buy something that is a little lighter and comes on wheels. If you find a unit from a dependable manufacturer, you’ll get a great warranty; this ensures that your unit will last you a long time.