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Best Pellet Smoker for Your Backyard Cooking

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When shopping for a pellet smoker, there are several important factors to consider to ensure you get the best deal for your needs. First, determine the size and cooking capacity of the smoker. If you frequently cook for large groups, you’ll need a model with plenty of cooking space and multiple racks. Next, think about the temperature range and control options. A good pellet smoker should have precise temperature control and a wide range, allowing you to effortlessly smoke, grill, roast, and bake. In addition, look for a smoker with a strong construction and high-quality materials to ensure durability and long-term performance. Wi-Fi connectivity, easy pellet loading, and convenient ash cleanout systems can all help improve your cooking experience.

This list serves as a comprehensive purchasing guide, highlighting the best pellet smokers on the market to meet a variety of needs and preferences. Whether you’re a beginner looking for an easy-to-use model or an experienced cook looking for advanced features, this guide will provide detailed information on each recommended smoker. By carefully weighing the features and benefits of each option, you’ll be well-equipped to select the ideal pellet smoker for ultimate backyard cooking, ensuring delicious, smoky flavours in every meal.

Best Pellet Smokers in 2024:

  1. Traeger Ironwood XL
  2. Weber Smokefire EX4 (2nd Gen) Wood Fired Pellet Grill
  3. Traeger TBB86RLG Timberline Pellet Grill
  4. Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill
  5. Traeger Pro Series 780 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
  6. Traeger TFB30KLF Tailgater Pellet Grill

Traeger Ironwood XL

Key SpecsDetails
Cooking surface area924 square inches
Dimensions34 x 70 x 40 inches
Temperature range165 to 500°F
Warranty10-year limited
Extra featuresApp compatible; cooking probes; digital display

Reasons to buy:

  • Large cooking area
  • WiFIRE technology for remote control
  • Versatile cooking options
  • Consistent temperature control
  • Durable construction

Reasons to not buy:

  • Expensive
  • Large size
  • High pellet consumption
  • Steeper learning curve

Whether you have a small backyard or want a pellet grill to take to a campsite or tailgate, this Traeger has enough cooking space for 12 burgers and costs less than $500. With two wheels and foldable legs, this thing weighs only 60 pounds. It isn’t the most fancy grill, but it performs admirably for its size and price.

Weber Smokefire EX4 (2nd Gen) Wood Fired Pellet Grill

Key SpecsDetails
Cooking area672 square inches
Dimensions47 x 43 x 33 inches
Temperature range200 to 600°F
Warranty10 years
Extra featuresApp compatible; digital display; two cooking probes

Reasons to buy:

  • Large 924 sq. in. cooking space
  • Super Smoke setting for enhanced flavor
  • Precise 5-degree temperature control
  • Durable and long-lasting

Reasons to not buy:

  • Expensive 
  • Glitchy app and smoker interface
  • Internal thermometer not very accurate
  • High pellet consumption

The Weber SmokeFire EX4 lives up to the brand’s reputation, excelling in our tests with its consistent performance and impressive “smoke boost” option that enhances smokiness by burning pellets lower and slower. With a wide temperature range of 200 to 600°F, it delivered well-charred chicken wings and steak with pleasing grill marks. While its smoky flavor is milder compared to some top picks like Yoder and Traeger, some testers preferred this medium level of smokiness. Over a 10-hour smoke, it maintained accurate, consistent temperatures. However, if you’re seeking a grill with intense smoke flavor, this might not be the one to wow you.

Traeger TBB86RLG Timberline Pellet Grill

Key SpecsDetails
Cooking area880 square inches
Dimensions35 x 59 x 25 inches
Temperature range165 to 500°F
Warranty10 years
Extra featuresBluetooth probes; touchscreen display; induction cooktop; bamboo cutting board

Reasons to buy:

  • User-friendly digital control panel and app
  • Consistent temperatures (200-225°F)
  • Balanced smoke flavor
  • Includes induction side burner and wood shelves
  • Easy assembly
  • Excellent cooking results

Reasons to not buy:

  • Expensive 
  • Limited temperature range

The Timberline grill, with its futuristic control panel, is user-friendly, featuring a straightforward digital interface and intuitive app. It performs exceptionally well, maintaining consistent temperatures between 200 to 225°F and delivering a moderate smoke flavor. During an 11-hour smoke session, it produced chicken wings with a robust smoky taste and pork shoulder with an evenly dark bark and a substantial smoke ring. Additional features like the induction side burner and wood table/shelves, along with seamless assembly, enhance its appeal. However, its steep $3,000 price tag and lower temperature range are notable drawbacks.

Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill

Key SpecsDetails
Cooking area465 square inches
Dimensions50.2 x 24 x 39.8 inches
Temperature range180 to 500ºF
Warranty5 years
Extra featuresN/A
AssemblyModerately easy (requires additional tools)

Reasons to buy:

  • Excellent performance-meets-price point
  • Searing panel gets blisteringly hot for good browning
  • Well-defined smoke flavor

Reasons to not buy:

  • Only two wheels, making transport difficult
  • Lacks smart features

In blind taste tests, the Pit Boss pellet grill consistently finished just behind the Yoder YS640 and Traeger Timberline. Its performance-to-price ratio is noteworthy, with a searing panel that becomes blisteringly hot, resulting in excellent browning despite a lower temperature range. The grill also produced well-defined smoke flavour. The grill is designed with only two wheels, making transportation more difficult. It lacks the intelligent features found on other grills. During a lengthy smoke test, the smaller hopper became noticeable and required refilling after only two and a half hours. Furthermore, it ran hotter and less consistently than recommended for smoking.

Traeger Pro Series 780 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Key SpecsDetails
Cooking area780 square inches
Dimensions55 x 49 x 27 inches
Temperature range165 to 500°F
Warranty3 years
Extra featuresApp compatible; cooking probe

Reasons to buy:

  • Large cooking area (780 square inches)
  • Wide temperature range (165 to 500°F)
  • App compatible for convenient control
  • Includes a cooking probe
  • Easy assembly

Reasons to not buy:

  • Shorter warranty period (3 years)
  • Higher price point compared to some competitors
  • Potential issues with app connectivity

This Traeger model impressed us with its digital control panel, easy-to-use app, and consistent performance. Aside from its high-tech features, the Pro 780 performs like a professional. It had a moderately smoky flavour and produced good grill marks. During the long smoke test, it left a nice 1/4-inch smoke ring on our pork buttocks. This model, like the other Traegers we tested, was simple to put together. Overall, this model produced a less smokey flavour than other pellet grills.

Traeger TFB30KLF Tailgater Pellet Grill

Key SpecsDetails
Cooking area300 square inches
Dimensions36 x 37 x 18 inches
Temperature range180 to 450°F
Warranty3 years
Extra featuresCooking probe

Reasons to buy:

  • Excellent portability with smooth-rolling wheels and foldable legs
  • Mild smoke flavor suitable for a wide range of tastes
  • Ideal for small backyards and tailgating
  • Capable of handling long smoking sessions

Reasons to not buy:

  • Produces less smoke flavor compared to some other grills.

The Tailgater 20 pellet grill is highly portable, thanks to its smooth-rolling wheels and easy-folding legs. It provides a mild smoke flavour when grilling or smoking, making it appealing to guests who are normally averse to smoky tastes. This grill is ideal for those who want to experiment with smoking, those with small backyards, or for tailgating events. It can withstand extended smoking sessions. Among the grills tested, the Tailgater 20 produced the smoked pork butt with the second-lowest amount of smoke flavour.

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