To find the best pellet smokers, we recommend you look for grills with a main cooking surface of no less than 350 square inches and which reach max temps of no less than 380 degrees, with temperature controls capable of 20-degree intervals. Additional features like automatic pellet hopper feeding systems for maintaining constant temperatures and maximized smoker functionality, direct flame contact side grills for searing, ash and grease management systems, and digital displays for easy monitoring are also good to look for.

After analyzing hundreds of reviews amongst a multitude of products with varying price points and features, we’ve determined that the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett is the best pellet smoker you can buy on the market today. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more about the best grills on the market. 

Top 10 Best Pellet Smokers

 #1  Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Precision temperature controls, built-in WiFi and smartphone connectivity, and a generous main cooking area for a powerful, reliable, and easy to use professional-grade smoker.

Pros
  • 550-degrees max temp
  • 9lb capacity for hours of hands-free slow cooking
  • Wifi-enabled mobile phone controllable
Cons
  • High price point compared to many

The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett is a portable pellet grill/smoker designed for both home use and easy and safe camping and tailgating. Its dual voltage design allows for operation on 12 volt or 110-volt outlets, allowing for maximum compatibility with many campgrounds and outdoor power sources. Its 550-degree maximum temperature, low-temperature slow-cooking functionality, and generous 9 pounds of pellet hopper capacity allow for hours of safe, unattended continuous cooking and smoking, while its built-in WiFi connection and Bluetooth connectivity make it easy to control with your iOS or Android mobile device or phone.

Its fairly lightweight 36lb weight makes it easy to travel with, though it also means its build isn’t quite as sturdy and tank-like as some models, though with proper use and care it should provide years of use. For an easy-to-use, high-heat, and very portable smoker with modern connectivity and a generous cooking area, it’s an excellent value for a great all-around option. For the slow cooking enthusiast, you might also like our best rotisserie grills buying guide.

 #2  Camp Chef Smokepro Lux 36 Pellet Smoker

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: A heavy-duty stainless steel firebox and cooking chamber for long life, digital temperature controls, patented smoker technology, and advanced convenience features in a high-performance and versatile workhorse.

Pros
  • 875 square inches cooking area
  • Smart Smoke Technology for maximum smoking efficiency
  • Wifi-enabled mobile phone controllable
Cons
  • Higher price point than many

The Camp Chef Smokepro Lux 36 Pellet Smoker is a heavy-duty stainless steel pellet smoker and grill that offers a generous 875 square inches of cooking space on a heavy frame featuring 50-millimeter heavy gauge steel legs for superior strength and stability and reaching maximum temperatures of 500 degrees. Numerous advanced features include the Lux Pellet Grill’s patented Smart Smoke Technology that maximizes smoke level output for the most flavorful and even cooking possible, a pellet hopper cleanout purge system, easy-to-use ash cleanout and grease management system, electronic auto-start ignition, and an automatic auger that dispenses pellets as they’re needed for superior efficiency.

Its industrial-grade stainless steel construction, high performance, and a bevy of modern and unique features come at a higher price point than many in its class. But for a professional-level home smoker that’s easy to use and easy to clean and provides consistent and flavorful results, it’s absolutely a top performer that more than justifies its price point. It’s a great option for someone who already has one of the best natural gas grills and is looking to take their BBQ game up a notch.

 #3  Z Grills 700D Pellet Smoker

Award: BEST VERSATILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: Multiple dedicated cooking modes, a non-stick, easy-clean, heat-retaining grill grate, and a generous cooking area in a heavy-duty, full-featured model that can take on a large variety of meals.

Pros
  • 8-in-1 cooking functionality
  • 694 square inches of cooking area
  • Porcelain-coated wire cooking grid
Cons
  • Lower max temperature than many at 450 degrees

The Z Grills 700D Wood Pellet Smoker is a large heavy-duty steel smoker and grill with a fairly generous 694 square inch cooking area with a porcelain-coated stainless steel grill for easy cleaning and non-stick, even-cooking functionality. Its 8-in-1 cooking mode design for smoking, grilling, baking, roasting, searing, braising, BBQ, and char-grilling makes it an incredibly versatile performer while an upper rack for warming allows for convenient cooking of larger meals and is removable to add additional height to the main surface.

Though its temperature range of 180 to 450 degrees is more than adequate for great performance for its wide range of cooking applications, it’s a lower max temperature than many in the class. However, its terrific versatility, heavy-duty construction and durability, and long-lasting, attractive powder coat finish making it an excellent all-in-one option for clean-cooking pellet grilling and smoking. It’s a great alternative to some of the best propane grills with a wide range of features.

 #4  Rec Tec Grills RT-700 Pellet Smoker

Award: BEST PERFORMANCE

WHY WE LIKE IT: A tank-like steel build, mobile phone connectivity, multiple cooking modes, excellent heat output, and advanced dual cooking and monitoring systems make it a professional-grade top performer in its class.

Pros
  • Dual thermometer system for monitoring
  • Max temp of 500 degrees
  • Wi-Pellet Wifi Technology for Android/iOS operation
Cons
  • Very high price point in class

The Rec Tec RT-700 is a professional grade heavy duty wood pellet smoker and grilling with five automatic cooking modes for bake, smoke, sear, grill, broil, and dehydrate, with a heat output range of 200-500 degrees for professional results in numerous applications. Its advanced features include Rec Tec’s Wi-Pellet Wifi Technology that allows remote operation using Android or iOS devices, Smart Grill Technology using proprietary PID algorithm controllers for precise temperature control, dual meat probes, and cooking monitors allowing for careful monitoring of two simultaneous cooking functions.

Additional convenience features like automatic lighting and auto-shutdown functions make it even easier to use. Its generous cooking area, high test, heavy-duty steel construction for long life, multiple advanced technologies, and exceptional performance come at a considerably higher price point than many in its class. However, for truly professional results with precision control and versatility to spare, it’s the go-to choice. If you’re looking to add to your outdoor kitchen, you might also enjoy our best built-in grills buying guide.

 #5  Traeger PRO 575 Pellet Smoker

Award: BEST FOR CAMPING

WHY WE LIKE IT: A highly mobile, high-performance option built for use in rough terrain and uneven surfaces, with advanced digital control and monitoring features and easy-clean design.

Pros
  • Full control with Android and iOS
  • D2® drivetrain for fast heat up and superior smoking
  • All-terrain wheels for take-anywhere functionality
Cons
  • Slightly smaller cooking area than some models at 575 square inches

The Traeger Pro 575 is a high-performance pellet smoker/grill built for mobility and precise control. Patented WiFIRE® technology allows you to monitor and adjust your grill remotely using Traeger’s app on your mobile Android or iOS device, while an upgraded D2® drivetrain for a quicker startup, faster heating, and maximum smoke output for consistent, professional results.

A built-in meat probe allows easy monitoring of meat’s internal temperature, and its precision controls and monitor use an advanced digital display for easy, accurate readings. Its sturdy, durable design and all-terrain wheels make it ideal for camping and for stable use on uneven surfaces. While its 575 square inches total cooking area is slightly smaller than many in its class, it’s a great performer that offers maximum control and modern features in a portability-minded build that’s custom made for outdoor adventures. It’s why we’ve named it one of the best camping grills on our list.

 #6  Camp Chef SmokePro Stainless DLX Pellet Smoker

Award: BEST EASE OF USE

WHY WE LIKE IT: An automatic auger system for maximum smoking performance and consistency, LED-monitored controls, multiple auto cooking modes, and convenience features make this a great way to start pellet grilling and smoking.

Pros
  • Warming rack and side prep table
  • Cart-like design for great mobility
  • Advanced grease trap for easy cleaning
Cons
  • Fairly low max temp compared to some of 400 degrees

The Camp Chef SmokerPro Stainless DLX is a mid-sized pellet smoker and grill that offers good performance and ease of use as well as reliability. Modern digital heat control automatically feeds pellets from the hopper for consistent temperatures and maximum smoke output even at a lower heat. A grease drain system and a removable ash can make for easy cleanup and low-mess cooking, while a push-button temperature gauge and meat thermometer allow precise but easy monitoring of your food.

While its max temperature of 400 degrees is notably lower than many in its class, it still offers a full range of cooking possibilities including smoking, lower temp searing, broiling, and more. But the easy-clean design, simple but powerful controls, modern monitoring features, and consistent, clean, and reliable performance, it’s a great value for a fuss-free smoker and grill. It’s a great gift for anyone also considering purchasing the best kamado grill as it has many of the same features and capabilities.

 #7  Camp Chef Woodwind WIFI 24 Pellet Smoker

Award: BEST COOKING AREA

WHY WE LIKE IT: An extremely generous total cooking area, powerful heat output, unique customization options, and convenience features like mobile connectivity make it an excellent performer for creating large meals.

Pros
  • 800 square inches total cooking area
  • 650-degrees max temp
  • Unique adjustable smoke settings
Cons
  • Higher learning curve than many similar models

The Woodwind WiFi 24 is a large-sized wood pellet smoker and multi grill featuring 2 levels of grilling (adjustable to 1) for a very generous total cooking area of 800 square inches. Its switchable direct-flame grilling burner reaches a max temperature of 650 degrees for excellent searing and charbroiling, while its conventional smoker and grill have a temperature range of 160 to 500 degrees for a full range of cooking options. Convenience features like an ash cleanout system, bottom utility shelf, grease management system make it easier clean, while four stainless meat probes allow for precise internal temperature monitoring for up to four items simultaneously.

All these features and functionalities along with others give it a higher learning curve than many pellet smokers in class, and it may be more than BBQers and smokers making small meals or working in a small space can use. But its long list of advanced features, versatility, and impressive heat output along with plenty of cooking space for the largest meals, and heavy-duty, ultra-safe firebox makes it a powerhouse for entertaining large groups and smoking multiple items simultaneously. If you need a large cooking area, we also suggest our best flat-top grills buying guide.

 #8  Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Smoker

Award: BEST FOR TRADITIONAL BBQ

WHY WE LIKE IT: Stick-resistant cast iron cooking surfaces including a side direct flame grill for high temperature searing, 8-in-1 cooking modes design, and a large total cooking surface meets a heavy-duty, heat-retaining design for the perfect go-to for traditional barbecues.

Pros
  • Max temperature of 600 degrees
  • Patented “flame broiling” side grill
  • Fan-forced air for convection-style cooking
Cons
  • Slightly top-heavy design compared to some models

The Pit Boss 700F features 700 square inches of total cooking surface featuring a large cast-iron porcelain-coated stick-resistant main grilling area and an additional “Flame broil” direct flame side grill for professional-grade searing and other high-temperature techniques. A push-button electric ignition allows for a fast and reliable startup in minutes and a fan-forced air acceleration system allows for a clean-burning flame for convection-style heating and smoking.

Its cart-style design allows for a good amount of mobility on medium wheel casters, though its design and build is slightly top-heavier than many models in its class, so some extra caution should be used during use to prevent tip-over- though it’s a minor concern. Its extremely generous cooking area, high-quality searing grill, cast-iron reliability, and even-cooking action, and convenience features like a digital display and control panel for controlling cooking temperatures and times with precision make it perfect for traditional BBQ fare like steaks and burgers, and it’s also a top performer for smoking meat. For indoor use, our best indoor grills guide has several options as well.

 #9  Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite Pellet Smoker

Award: BEST FOR SMALL SPACES

WHY WE LIKE IT: A compact version of Traeger’s line of heavy-duty, high-performance pellet smokers featuring advanced digital controls, a generous cooking area for its smaller size, and other modern features for a great small backyard option.

Pros
  • Push-button electronic ignition
  • Porcelain-coated stainless steel cooking grates
  • 418 square inches of cooking area
Cons
  • Less than suitable for large meal prep

The Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite 22 is a compact-sized high-performance pellet smoker/grill with a generous-for-its-size 418 square inch total cooking area on stainless steel porcelain-coated grates for hot, consistent, even-cooking performance. Advanced features include Traeger’s proprietary Digital Elite Controller technology for precise temperature control within 20 degrees and easy monitoring of food temperature. Its 6-in-1 functionality offers reliable results in grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, braising, and traditional barbecuing.

While it’s definitely less suitable for large events and creating large amounts of food quickly, its grill space is still capable of accommodating up to 16 burgers, 4 whole chickens, or 5 racks of ribs. Its highly mobile, compact size, top performance at a number of different cooking functions, and other modern features like easy push-button ignition make it a professional-grade choice for smaller backyard spaces. We also like some of the best electric grills for small space grilling.

 #10  Z Grills Holiday 8-in-1 Pellet Smoker

Award: BEST ADVANCED FEATURES

WHY WE LIKE IT: Automated pellet hopper feeding for ultra-consistent temperatures, a high precision digital controller, one-button automatic modes, and multiple grilling and heating surfaces for an ultra-modern pellet smoker.

Pros
  • Digital temp control within 20 degrees
  • 139 square inch warming rack
  • Advanced pellet hopper maintains exact temperatures
Cons
  • Somewhat bulky build for its size class

The Z Grills Holiday 8-in-1 is a heavy-duty cast iron and stainless steel mid-size pellet smoker and grill with a variety of advanced features that offer precision control combined with ease of use. Its 399 square inches main rack & 139 square inch warming rack allow for preparing larger meals than many in its size class, while the Smart Smoke automated electric pellet feeding controllers maintain exact temperatures consistently between 180 and 450 degrees regardless of cooking times.

Precision digital temperature control allows for temperature tuning within 20 degrees of accuracy for a wide range of cooking applications, and convenience features like a built-in grease bucket and one-button automatic modes make operation even easier. It has a somewhat bulky build compared to many in its size class, but it’s an exceptional value for high precision but easy to use performer built on cutting edge cooking technology. If that’s attractive to you, you might also enjoy our best infrared grills buying guide.

How We Decided

We preferred pellet smokers and grills with heavy-duty stainless steel construction that outputted a maximum temperature of no less than 380 degrees, had a pellet hopper capacity of no less than 9 pounds of pellets, and which were designed for multiple cooking functions including smoking, braising, searing, broiling, and standard grilling. We liked features like automatic pellet feeders for precision temperature maintenance and maximum smoke output for efficient pellet use.

We also preferred smokers and grills with advanced, precise temperature control for dialing in cooking heat within 20 degrees, as well as digital displays for easy reading. We liked grills with other monitoring functions like meat thermometers and smoke output readers, smoke control features that allowed for precision smoking at various temperatures and cooking times, and other digital controllers that allowed for hours of safe, unattended cooking

Finally, we liked grills and smokers with total cooking surfaces of no less than 350 square inches for a mid-sized model and up, and which featured additional grill surfaces like direct-flame side grills for to sear meat with and for other high-temperature cooking. We also like the convenience and mobility features like grease and ash traps, porcelain-coated grates for easier cleaning and cleaner cooking, additional warming racks, and heavy-duty caster wheels.

Best Pellet Smokers Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Easy To Clean
    Pellet smokers and pellet grills are versatile, heat up fast, and produce tasty food reliably, but unlike gas grills (and more like traditional charcoal grills and charcoal smokers), they leave an extra mess in the form of ashes. Thankfully many pellet smokers have built-in systems to deal with this so that cleanup is less of a nightmare, so it’s a good thing to look for in a model if you’re cleaning-averse.Additionally, many pellet smokers, like gas grills, come with some sort of grease management system. As for the cleaning of the actual grilling or cooking surface, cast iron, and especially porcelain-coated cast iron tend to cook cleaner and have naturally stick-resistant properties, further making cleanup hassle-free.
  2. Pellet and Cooking Capacity
    Since pellet smokers are heated via specially made and treated wood pellets, finding a smoker with a large enough pellet hopper capacity for your needs is important, especially considering a typical mid-sized smoker can burn up to one pound of pellet an hour. An infrequent user doesn’t have to worry too much about this, as a smaller average capacity will still generally be more than enough, so a 10 lb compartment should be enough.If you’re a frequent user and you tend to cook larger amounts of food or need to accommodate hours of cooking look for a minimum pellet capacity of at least 20 lbs- which will be enough for several rounds of average cooking. Of course, the efficiency of the smoker in question also factors in greatly. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the pellet smoker you choose has sufficient cooking capacity for the tasks you expect to use it for the most. It might seem obvious, but it’s easily overlooked with so many other factors being considered.
  3. Fuel Efficiency
    Fuel in this case of course being treated wood pellets manufactured specifically for use with pellet smokers (it’s a good idea not to use any old wood pellet unless the manufacturer says otherwise.) Wood pellets made for smokers come in a variety of flavors and types of wood including hardwood pellets, hickory, pecan, alder, mesquite, cherry, apple, and while different woods will burn differently (hardwoods burn slower, for example,) the design of the smoker plays a major factor.If you’re going to be using your pellet smoker a lot, you’re going to be going through several pounds of pellets frequently, so it’s a good idea to look for a smoker that features some sort of automatic pellet feeder system that not only uses the wood more efficiently but also tends to increase the intensity of the smoking function, leading to more flavorful food that cooks more evenly. In this case, fuel efficiency also tends to mean more flavorful food.

Pellet Smokers FAQs

Are pellet smokers safe?

In terms of fire safety, anytime you’re burning a solid material instead of a liquid fuel, there are going to be different safety concerns, but generally speaking, wood pellet smokers are fairly safe to use because unlike charcoal, a burning or hot wood pellet doesn’t stay burning or hot for more than a few seconds, and generally, pellet smokers feed pellets into flame in compartments that aren’t well-exposed and thus don’t carry a huge risk of spilling hot wood anywhere. Moreover, pellet smokers are convection cooking process ovens and are thus aren’t subject to flare-ups, so hot flames aren’t likely to jump out at anyone while in use. Of course, since pellet smokers do often reach maximum heats in the 500-600 degree range, some degree of caution with hot surfaces is always advisable.

Are pellet smokers and wood pellet grills healthy?

A question people sometimes have about wood pellet grills is if they’re healthy or if they carry any potential carcinogens or degree of toxicity. Luckily, the answer is a proven “no” to both. Wood pellets for pellet smokers are generally made from one of the following materials: sawdust, wood chips, sticks, and lumber mill scrap. While some of those things may sound a bit suspect, legally speaking, all pellets for pellet smokers must be certified food grade, and thus pose a health risk to the consumer of food cooked with them. Additionally, they tend to be eco-friendly, since they’re almost always made with recycled material or byproduct, reducing industrial wood waste while cooking tasty burgers.

What are the benefits of wood pellet smokers and grills?

The most notable benefit of wood pellet smokers and grills over other kinds is their versatility- they can do anything from standard BBQ grilling and searing to braising, roasting, baking, and of course, smoking meat- and they quickly- since they’re convection cookers, they heat up fast and cook food consistently and quickly. Additionally, pellet smokers themselves of course come in a lot of different styles with different varieties of functionality, but the wood pellets themselves can come in a wide variety of flavors and wood types that can add extra flavor to food that other cooking methods simply can’t.

What’s the best pellet smoker?

The best pellet smoker will feature the main cooking surface of no less than 350 square inches and reach max temps of no less than 380 degrees, with temperature controls capable of 20-degree intervals. Additional features like automatic pellet feeding systems for maintaining constant temperatures and maximized smoker functionality, direct flame contact side grills for a professional sear, ash and grease management systems, and digital displays for easy monitoring are also good to look for.

Jed Smith

I'm a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

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