Regardless of the season, we absolutely adore grilling, right? Whether it's the classic barbecue or any other dish, the quality of the pellet grill is important.
You might be thinking that pellet grills are too expensive. You're right, but that's exactly why our grilling pros reviewed the best budget pellet grills and smokers this 2022. Let's dive right in!
Reviews of the 5 Top Budget Pellet Grills
This section will give you a detailed review of the pellet grills, along with their pros and cons. Ready to choose your next pellet grill?
1. Cookshack Fast Eddy's PG500 - Top Pick
What You Need to Know
Do you want to know what sets Cookshack PG500 from all the other pellet grills? Well, it's the quality construction and access.
Aside from being entirely made in the United States, the PG500 consists of pure stainless steel. When it comes to access, you can see that it has a lot more doors.
The left and right doors are to create four cooking zones for the pellet grill. Each zone serves its own purpose. With a lot of grill space, you can do anything with the PG500.
You can perform cold-smoking and hold in the last two zones, respectively. For example, you can melt some cheese in the fourth zone while grilling steak in the first zone.
Another reason why we absolutely adore PG500 is its charbroiler technology, which enables you to get the same high-grade and premium quality you get from charbroilers.
Lastly, it won't give you a hard time after you grill, as it only leaves behind 3% ash. Indeed, this is the epitome of everything great in the pellet grill market.
2. Pit Boss Sportsman
What You Need To Know
Pit Boss is a well-known brand of pellet grills that keep it affordable while maintaining quality and value for money.
The Sportsman is a portable wood pellet grill with 387 square inches of cooking space. This cast-iron coated grill has foldable legs made of stainless steel construction.
It has porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates, which are essential if you aim for great sear marks on your steak. It also can retain heat and faster recovery time.
At its price point, it has a digital control board that has LED for easier readability and has both direct and indirect heat available for different dishes.
Although its hopper capacity is limited to 19 lbs, this is more than acceptable given that you can transport this wood pellet grill around. And don't even get us started on its grease management system. This system ensures that the oil that your dishes and foods release are kept properly managed.
With its smart features, pellet cookers are ensured an easy time navigating around the grill and even cleaning it after cooking.
3. Louisiana Grills Premier 800
What You Need To Know
This pellet smoker has been making the rounds in the smoker market, and it's for a good reason. Let us tell you why this pellet smoker is worth all the hype it's been getting.
Louisiana Grills has patented a pressurized Cooking System technology, which enables the heat to circulate evenly in the cooking space to create an even and flawless result.
Not only that, but it has a SearTech technology that can transform your pellet smoker from a grill to a high-temperature station by pulling a lever.
This versatility opens up the possibility of cooking different kinds of dishes. They say that the best pellet smoker will not limit your cooking options, which is what the Premier 800 did.
Not only that, but it has a 22-inch barrel and a 29 lbs pellet hopper with a viewing window. While this is not the largest hopper capacity, it is enough for small-medium events.
Have we mentioned that it comes with an LG Smart Touch Control Pad, which can ensure unrivaled consistency from 180°-600°? Add that to the heavy-duty steel construction, too.
This pellet smoker is superior to most pellet smokers because it has Bluetooth compatibility and can pair with a mobile app.
4. Pit Boss PB850G
What You Need To Know
It is not a surprise that with its quality, Pit Boss has another entry in this list of best budget pellet grills. If you are looking for a better ergonomics design, this one is for you.
The Pit Boss PB850G has a Flame Broiler Lever, which means that you can achieve an instant indirect or direct heat within a range of 180° to 500°F. How cool is that, right?
It also boasts of its 8-in-1 cooking versatility that will allow users to you can smoke, bake, braise, roast, grill, barbecue, char-grill, and sear all in one machine.
In terms of durability and longevity, the 850G Navigator has full-length coverage, with a powder coat finish and modular front-to-bottom shelf.
It also has a stronger design for its legs, which is needed for that 879 square inches of cooking surface.
Couple that with cast-iron cooking grates coated with porcelain, a digital control board, and an all-natural hardwood pellet; it's not hard to see why this is one of the best budget pellet grills.
5. Memphis Grills VG0002S Elite
What You Need To Know
Have you ever imagined a pellet grill that you can control through WiFi? We did not either, but here we are with this beast from Memphis Grills.
If you have the money to spare and are looking for a world-class pellet grill, indulge yourself with all the features that the Elite offers.
One of the best things about this grill is its intelligent temperature control through WiFi. Couple that with dual convection fans and open shelves for enhanced storage.
It also comes standard with a direct flame insert and one meat probe to give you an easier time while grilling. Have we mentioned that it also has double walling for durability?
When it comes to its cooking abilities, it has both indirect and direct flame modes, which adds to its versatility. With 658 square inches of cooking space, what can you not do?
A temperature range between 180° to 700° gives you a powerhouse of a grill.
It has a huge hopper capacity for up to 62 hours of smoking, which is astounding. Of course, it is on the pricier side, but with everything you get, we'd say it's a fair deal.
Budget Pellet Grills and Smokers Buyer’s Guide
With the overwhelming number of choices available for you, it's not impossible to get overwhelmed with what to choose. We are here to help!
In this section, we will share the factors you need to consider when choosing your new pellet grills or smokers. Let's dive right in:
Size and Design
Pellet smokers and grills come in all shapes and sizes, and it is one of the first things you have to consider.
For starters, you can ask yourself this question, "How many people am I cooking for?" If you only want to cook for small family gatherings, it's more practical to stick with smaller ones.
But, if your primary purpose is to cook for large gatherings, feel free to splurge on the larger sizes. On the other hand, when it comes to design, we have built-in, freestanding, and portable.
Gas grills are the most common type of grill used in outdoor cooking. They are built or attached to your islands, while some may be standalone islands on their own.
Then we have the freestanding grills, aka pellet grills. Full-sized pellet grills can be as big as a built-in one, while some have a smaller cooking chamber.
Portable pellet smokers are the last type of design we have. They can be horizontal - like the Louisiana Grills Premier 800 or vertical.
The difference in design will mainly boil down to the type of cooking and speed that a user wants. For instance, vertical pellet smokers are for those who want low and slow cooking.
Unless it is a built-in grill, the general idea is that you will be using your grill outside, right?
The best pellet grill or pellet smokers will be able to withstand the seasons, may it be rain or shine. Inexpensive pellet grills may tend to use substandard materials and therefore compromise the longevity and durability of the grill. But quality pellet grills won't.
Make sure that the grill and the grill grates it has you are choosing are made of reliable stainless steel and are constructed for long-term use .
Stainless steel is rust-resistant, which is essential, especially if you are handling food that you or other people will be consuming.
Let's make one thing clear; a large grill does not always equate to a large cooking area. Sometimes, the cooking surface is smaller due to other features inside the grill.
For us, the best pellet smokers and grills will prioritize a bigger and more spacious cooking surface above all the extra features.
When you have a bigger cooking area, you will be able to cook more dishes, even when they require different levels of heat and speed.
Fast Eddy's PG500 showed us exactly that. With its four cooking zones, pellet grilling can be more efficient and simultaneous. Gone are the days when you have to wait for the dishes to cook one by one. Now, you can cook your side dishes as you cook your main course.
This answers the question, "For how long can I grill/smoke my meat?" The hopper size or capacity is the storage area linked to the automatic feeding system.
A smaller hopper size would mean that you have to keep refilling the pellet hopper and believe us when it's the middle of the summer, that's the last thing you want to do.
We recommend that you get a pellet smoker or grill that has a bigger pellet hopper capacity. This way, you won't have to frequently refill the pellet hopper and just let the grill do the work.
The cooking temperature can affect the quality of the dish you will be serving. Maintaining the desired temperature and being consistent are vital in grills.
A wider temperature range would mean that your grill or pellet smoker is much more flexible and can handle different kinds of food and cooking.
The existence of direct and indirect heat can somehow be attributed to the temperature range.
The best pellet grills will be able to adjust the temperature settings and achieve precise temperature control while your food is cooking. With a wider temperature range, you can smoke, barbecue, roast, and even braise meat.
Price and Warranty
Of course, everyone wants to ensure that they are getting the value for their money. Ask yourself, how much are you willing to spend on a grill or pellet smoker.
From this, you can narrow down your options to those falling inside your price point. While some will say that the more expensive, the better, it's not always true in some cases.
Make sure to assess and prioritize your needs, so you don't buy a huge grill with a lot of square inches of cooking space only to find out you won't be able to maximize it.
Warranty is also important. The manufacturers of the best pellet grills are not afraid to give long warranties on all their products because that shows their trust in their own. Choose a product that will offer you a warranty because if anything happens, you will be ensured that they will repair the product without any further costs.
Some extra features that we have noticed from the grills above include being able to be cleaned fast or having a grease management system.
Let us tell you another feature you should consider: environmental impact.
It's not a secret that grilling involves a lot of carbon being released, but it does not mean that there are no ways to minimize your footprint. When choosing from a gas or charcoal grill, we'd recommend that you choose the gas-powered ones. Other than being sustainable, the food is also healthier in the former.
If we tell you that there is a more environmentally sustainable option, would you believe us? Well, there is.
Wood pellets used in wood pellet grills are infinitely better than charcoal and gas grills. They also use minimal electricity, making them the choice with a minimal carbon footprint.
Benefits of a Pellet Grill
Having a pellet grill will help you cook with mostly even heat, not to mention that it doesn't need you to learn rocket science to understand how a pellet grill works.
Some grills also have amazing pellet hopper capacity, so you won't have to refill them continuously. Pellet feed systems are also available for convenience. Some have minimal pellet consumption, such as those who utilize wood pellets.
Have we mentioned that most pellet grills are also less prone to common flare-ups in a gas grill? Aside from being easy to use, some improvements ensure convenience.
This can come in the form of wifi or Bluetooth connectivity and a PID temperature controller. Overall, a pellet grill is a much easier and more reliable option than other grills.
Dishes You Can Make with a Pellet Grill
There are some of the most mouth-watering dishes that you can make with a pellet grill:
1. Do You Need Electricity to Power a Pellet Grill?
Yes, you need electricity to power a pellet grill. This means that you have to position the pellet grill in an area with a nearby electrical outlet or source.
2. How Does a Pellet Grill Function?
After the grill is turned on, the wood pellets will be fed to the auger. The Hot Rod will ignite the wood pellets as they fall into the burn pot. After this, a convection fan will intensify the fire by blowing air.
The heat and smoke will course through the drip plates towards the food, and the drippings will be carried to the removable grease tray.
Our Top Pick For a Budget Pellet Grill: Cookshack Fast Eddy's PG500
The winning factor of the PG500 that made it better than the rest is its ability to have four different cooking zones and remain consistent and evenly made.
It can provide a great smoke flavor for the food with its charbroiled technology and maintain the internal temperature even in the other three cooking zones. It has made maximum use of its provided square inches of cooking space.
Quality will be the least of your concerns because it is entirely made and constructed in the United States.
Leaving only 3% ash, this grill surely satisfies the environment while satisfying all its users.
Some Final Words
We hope you have learned a thing or two from this list!
Most pellet grills are expensive, given their features and heavyweight performance, but it is not impossible to find the best budget pellet grill.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to these grills. At the end of the day, choose what best fits your taste.