Even though tried and true grilling methods, such as using an open flame, gas, or charcoal grill, will never die, pellet grills are having a moment.
In particular, portable pellet grills are quickly becoming the it girl of the grilling world.
Portable pellet grills are the ideal cooker for a camping, road trip, or any traveling adventure. With its attractive set and forget nature, you can sit back and relax with your family and friends.
- What To Look For in a Portable Pellet Grill
- Best Portable Pellet Grills
- FAQs About Portable Pellet Grills
- Do Pellet Grills Get Hot Enough To Sear?
- Do Pellet Grills Always Smoke?
- Are Portable Pellet Grills Worth It?
- Are Pellet Grills Expensive To Operate?
- What Are the Advantages of a Portable Pellet Grill?
- Can You Cook Burgers on a Portable Pellet Grill?
- Can I Use a Pellet Grill Without Electricity?
- Are Pellet Smokers Bad for Your Health?
- How Long Do You Cook Chicken on a Portable Pellet Grill?
- Do Pellet Grills Smell?
- Are Pellet Grills Better Than Gas Grills?
- Is a Pellet Grill the Same as a Smoker?
- Are Charcoal Pellets Good?
- Can You Sear a Steak on a Portable Pellet Grill?
- Does It Take Longer To Cook Food on a Pellet Grill?
- Do Pellets Smell Like Wood?
- Can You Use a Portable Pellet Grill in the Rain?
- Do I Have to Plug in a Pellet Grill?
- Do Pellet Grills Break Down?
- Do Wood Pellet Grills Produce Better Flavor?
- Will Pellet Grills Create a Strong Smoky Flavor?
- How Long Does a Pellet Grill Take To Preheat?
- Are Soft or Hardwood Pellets Better?
- Can I Leave a Pellet Grill Outside?
- Can I Use My Pellet Grill in the Garage?
- Do Wood Pellet Grills Flare-up?
- Final Thoughts
What To Look For in a Portable Pellet Grill
It is no surprise that once portable pellet grills blew up, their production increased. As a result, we now have different sizes, designs, colors available on the market that all claim to be the best.
However, the only way to find the best portable pellet grill for you is to look at the features.
Dimensions and Weight
Buying a portable pellet grill without considering the weight and dimensions is like going into battle without your armor.
Of course, no one would ever willingly go into battle without armor, so you need to consider the dimensions and weight of your pellet grill.
Portable does not mean compatible. Consider the size of your trunk, kitchen, and storage area before committing to a pellet grill.
Measuring the size of the portable pellet grill and the kitchen, trunk, and storage space will help you select a portable grill that is the right size measurement of the pellet grill.
Transportability goes hand in hand with the dimensions and weight of a portable pellet grill. Choose a portable pellet grill you can carry.
If you take road trips or camping trips a few times a month, you do not want a portable pellet grill you cannot carry.
While weight may not seem like a big issue, it could turn into a serious problem down the line when your wrists or back begin to hurt.
Moreover, you should also consider where you will store your portable pellet grill and the distance from your vehicle. For example, will you store your portable grill in the garage, backyard patio, inside your home, in the shed, or in your RV?
If your portable pellet grill does not have a designated home, a grill with wheels will serve you well.
In contrast, if you have a designated area for your portable pellet grill, a compact grill or a grill with strong, foldable legs is the best option.
Design is another critical feature you must take into account before purchasing a portable grill. Design plays a huge role in the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the grill.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a fashionable portable pellet grill. It can be one of the highlights of your camping experience.
Additionally, this also increases the chance that you will take better care of your grill.
Although it is a complicated field, engineers use simple designs to create cutting-edge technology. The same principle applies to portable pellet grills.
You may notice that most portable pellet grills are all the same except for a few variations. These variations are used to improve the grill’s functionality.
Whether you are cooking for two or seven people, there’s nothing more frustrating than an inadequate amount of cooking space.
Most people prefer a large cooking area, so you should factor in the amount of food you plan to cook on your grill.
If you intend to cook a lot of food, a portable pellet grill with a large cooking area is probably best.This will eliminate having to cook food in batches.
In addition to this, you should also note the cooking area as well as the material of the grill influence the way your food cooks.
On the other hand, a compact grill might be better if you want a quality grill instead of a large cooker. Furthermore, you may want to search for a grill with a convenience tray.
You can place your cooked food on it and create more cooking space.
Ease To Use
No one enjoys struggling to set up any piece of machinery. You are already under mass amounts of pressure to feed a room full of hungry people.
You do not want to make simple grilling mistakes because you did not set your grill up correctly.
Opt for a portable pellet grill that is easy to set up and operate. This will create a hassle-free grilling experience.
Make sure your portable pellet grill has an ash cleanout system, temperature control, meat probes, pellet hopper ability, and a digital display.
Having the ability to prepare a variety of foods using a portable pellet grill is the goal. Temperature influences cooking times as well as the degree of doneness.
Therefore temperature range is very important as it will allow you to BBQ foods at accurate temperatures. Pay attention to the portable pellet grills temperature range.
While you will have fun cooking on a portable grill is fun, sometimes a lazy grilling experience is the best experience. Smart technology allows you to cut out all of the trips to the grill to monitor the progress of the food.
Once you have a strong internet connection, WiFi-enabled portable pellet smokers let you cook meals with the flick of a button.
Consider whether you want to watch the grilling process step by step or want to relax and enjoy spending time by yourself or with friends and family.
No portable pellet grill is complete without accessories. After all, you need more than just the grill to cook food. You need the essentials such as utensils, fuel, or an outdoor misting fan.
However, before getting blinded by the accessories, you need to evaluate how useful they are.
Some portable pellet grills come with accessories that enhance the cooking process. Other grills come with accessories that drastically affect the grilling process.
Price and Warranty
Though it is the final characteristic, it is the most crucial feature of portable pellet grills. Before you start searching, create a portable pellet grill.
Once your portable pellet grill budget is set, do not go over it. There are lots of quality, affordable portable pellet grills available on the market.
Furthermore, do not purchase a smoker grill without a warranty. Warranty is everything, especially when you are investing money into a product that will last you a very long time.
If you encounter manufacturer defects with your portable pellet grill, you can contact the manufacturer and have it fixed.
Best Portable Pellet Grills
There are hundreds of portable pellet grills on the market. It’s almost too many to count.
Luckily you do not have to be bombarded with hundreds of options as we’ve cut your options down to the five best portable pellet grills.
Z Grills Zpg-450A 2020 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
Z grill’s grill and smoker is an 8 in 1 BBQ wood fire pellet grill. Best of all, this portable pellet grill is not limited to grilling.
You can BBQ, roast, smoke, grill, sear, bake, braise, and char-grill your food.
Unlike gas or charcoal grills, this grill infuses the flavor of wood chips into food.
Using PID technology, this grill consistently maintains temperature throughout the entire cooking process. After you program the temperature, you can walk away and enjoy your day.
The temperature of this grill ranges between 180°F up to 450°F, and it is ideal for a small family. Z grills pellet grill and smoker has a total of 452 square inches of cooking space.
This pellet grill will last for decades. It was constructed from strong steel and coated with a high-temperature powder finish.
The most attractive feature of this portable pellet grill is it has a 15 lb capacity pellet hopper.
This characteristic eliminates the need to restock the hopper periodically. It even includes a cover to keep it protected from the elements.
All in all, Z grill’s portable pellet grill does all of the work, so you don’t have to. You won’t even break a sweat getting this grill started, and you can sit back and relax while the grill prepares your food.
Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Portable Wood Pellet Grill
Green mountain’s portable wood pellet grill uses Sense-Mate. This nifty technology is a thermal sensor that consistently controls the grill’s temperature.
Best of all, this grill comes with all of the accessories. It includes a meat probe, a peaked lid for rib racks or stand-up chickens, and a convenience tray with utensil hooks.
This pellet grill weighs approximately 68 lbs and folds to fits in almost any trunk. It gives you three power options, including 110V or 12V adapters.
Green mountain’s pellet grill has a digital WiFi controller. You can monitor and control the progress of your food through the iOS or Android mobile application.
In general, this is the ultimate tail-gaiting portable pellet grill. It is ideal for home use, camping, hunting, house-boating, music festivals, parks, or any place you can think of.
Moreover, this grill will help you transform from a BBQ neophyte to a BBQ expert in no time.
Traeger Grills Ranger Wood Pellet Grill
Trager grills made this portable pellet grill with the accessory junkies in mind. This grill comes with Traeger grills cast iron griddle.
That’s right; you do not need to buy it separately. You can get it for free with your purchase.
Now you can get the perfect sear on your steak, sausages, or chicken breast and cook up sunny side up eggs for the entire family.
This portable pellet grill’s dimensions are 20 inches in depth, 13 inches in width, and 13 inches in height and rounds out to about 6 lbs in weight.
It has 184 square inches of cooking space and an 8lb pellet hopper capacity.
Furthermore, this grill can reach temperatures up to 450ᵒF and has a voltage of 120V. The porcelain-coated grill grates are extremely easy to clean.
With advanced grilling, logic technology provides you with precise, consistent temperatures.
In fact, the timer lets you know when it’s time to baste your meat with sauce and when it’s time to check on your food.
This grill is not limited to grilling. You can also roast, smoke, bake, braise, and barbeque your food. From a rack of ribs to a whole chicken and grilled peaches to an apple pie, you can cook it all with this grill.
Lastly, the Traeger grill portable pellet smoker is powered by 100% all-natural hardwood pellets. It will saturate your food with that signature smoky flavor we all know and love.
In general, if reliability and consistency are the top characteristics on your feature list, the Trager portable pellet grill is for you.
You will achieve consistent temperatures and quickly move up in the world of BBQ in a short time.
Monument Grills Octagonal Column Portable Wood Pellet Grill
The monument grills portable pellet grill is definitely unique. Its octagonal column design is strong and energy-saving.
In addition to being energy-saving, it is also low-carbon. This means you can burn your wood pellets low and slow, making it more energy-efficient than gas grills and charcoal grills.
The chimneyless design promotes even heat distribution. Furthermore, this grill is suitable for indoor and outdoor use is very rare for a pellet grill.
Monument grill gives you a whopping 530 square inches of total cooking space.
Moreover, it comes with two adjustable chrome-plated cooking racks to maximize the number and kinds of food you can grill.
With accurate temperature control and a pellet feed control system, this grill guarantees a precise grilling experience.
Furthermore, it comes with two additional food-grade stainless steel meat probes. These probes can be used to monitor both meat and ambient temperatures.
The metal fiber sealing strip serves as a layer of extra protection to ensure smoke circulates evenly inside. In addition to this, the strong solid wheels allow this pellet grill to be moved virtually anywhere.
Asmoke Electric Portable Wood Pellet Grill
The Asmoke eight in 1 portable pellet grill is a beauty to behold. You can cook delectable fish, game, jerky, chicken, and so much more on this grill.
Better yet, you can prepare baked, barbecued, braised, seared, roasted, smoked, broiled, and char-grilled foods on this grill.
This grill allows you to achieve unprecedented amounts of flavor through all-natural applewood pellets. This flavor will not be replicated by a gas or charcoal grill.
This grill provides you with a massive 256 square inches cooking surface outfitted with two tiers of porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates.
It’s perfect for camping, backyard BBQ parties, or taking it on the road on a family road trip.
Using cutting-edge smart technology, it has a temperature control system and a programmable meat probe port. You can program the grill to a low and slow setting or a quick and hot setting.
With temperatures ranging from 180° to 500°F, the color LED digital temperature control display allows you to easily set the temperature and monitor your meat until it literally falls off the bone.
Furthermore, the auto-pellet reloader and heating fan maintain the preferred temperature.
Asmoke’s portable pellet grill features an independently developed patented air duct system.
This system is essential for even heat distribution, and it increases the efficiency and safety of this instrument. In fact, this pellet grill will achieve a temperature of 500℉ 15% faster than other grills.
Asmoke’s wood pellets burn at approximately 8,500 BTU per pound, allowing you to save 20% more wood pellets. This translates to less ash, less money spent on pellets, and fewer grill cleanups.
With a five-year limited warranty, this grill comes with bonus accessories.
In addition to the cooker, you will receive a waterproof grill cover to keep it protected from the elements and a precision tracking stainless steel meat probe!
Overall, if you’ve got picky eaters or are looking for a budget purchase, this is the portable pellet grill for you. You diversify your cooking skills while catering to everybody’s food needs.
Best of all, this grill will heat up faster, stay hotter, and burn longer, saving you tons of money in the long run.
FAQs About Portable Pellet Grills
This is a lot of information about portable pellet grills to process. There must be a few pressing questions on your mind about portable pellet grills.
Fortunately, we’ve discovered the most common questions about pellet grills and answered them.
Do Pellet Grills Get Hot Enough To Sear?
Even though most pellet grills can achieve high enough temperatures to roast, BBQ and grill foods searing requires a little more heat. That does not mean that they cannot sear food.
To achieve a good sear, a pellet grill has to achieve a temperature of at least 900ᵒF.
Do Pellet Grills Always Smoke?
Yes, pellet grills always smoke. Pellet grills generate copious amounts of smoke, especially when they are heating up.
Are Portable Pellet Grills Worth It?
Any grill that has a set it and forgets it feature is worth it. Pellet grills are so versatile they have been compared to an outside oven.
However, pellet grills cost more than regular gas grills. Additionally, pellets are harder to source than gas.
Are Pellet Grills Expensive To Operate?
Despite their price, pellet grills are inexpensive to operate. Programmed at 225ᵒF, a pellet grill will burn about a pound of pellets an hour.
Depending on the region you live in, this means the average is less than a dollar per 1-hour grilling session.
What Are the Advantages of a Portable Pellet Grill?
Besides being portable, a wood fire pellet grill will allow you to grill foods with less smoke. It is as if you are cooking your food in an oven, but the food ends up with the perfect hint of smoky flavor.
Furthermore, pellet grills are the superior option compared to their grilling counterparts. They produce less acrid smoke allowing the food to retain its beautiful flavor.
Can You Cook Burgers on a Portable Pellet Grill?
Yes, portable pellet grills are perfect for burgers. Best of all, your burger will have that signature wood-fired flavor.
If you want to smoke your burgers, program your grill to 225ᵒF. Add your burger and cook it for 25-30 minutes until it reaches your desired temperature.
On the other hand, if you do not want to smoke your burger, program the pellet grill to 425-450ᵒF degrees. This temperature will be hot enough to sear and infuse the burger with a smoky flavor.
Can I Use a Pellet Grill Without Electricity?
Though you can use a portable pellet grill without electricity, it would be like driving in the rain without the windshield wipers on.
Electricity is needed for critical features such as digital control, which severely limits the grill’s capacity.
Are Pellet Smokers Bad for Your Health?
No, pellet grills are not dangerous for your health. Though there are health claims surrounding grills, pellet grills are not directly associated with cancer.
Considering pellet grills are easy and convenient to use, newcomers are prone to using a pellet grill to grill or smoke meat incorrectly. This behavior is associated with the onset of cancer, not pellet grills.
How Long Do You Cook Chicken on a Portable Pellet Grill?
To cook chicken on a portable pellet grill, heat it to 350ᵒF for 15 minutes. Place the chicken pieces onto the pellet grill and cook it for 10-12 minutes per side until it has a temperature of 165-170ᵒF.
Do Pellet Grills Smell?
Technically, yes, pellet grills do smell. Most pellets are constructed from high-quality wood materials. However, if the grill is functioning correctly, there should only be a light smoky aroma.
If your pellets have a strong odor, the pellets are no longer good, or the stove’s burn is less than ideal.
Are Pellet Grills Better Than Gas Grills?
Even though grills are a matter of preference, most BBQ experts would agree that pellet grills are better than gas grills.
In terms of design, pellet grills give you greater control than a gas grill. Additionally, you can program the temperature and go about your day.
Is a Pellet Grill the Same as a Smoker?
In theory, a pellet grill is not the same as a smoker. However, pellet grills possess both qualities of a grill and a smoker.
Pellet grills are powered by wood pellets produced from compressed hardwood sawdust. This allows them to heat quickly, burn hot, and generate clean smoke.
Are Charcoal Pellets Good?
Yes, charcoal pellets are worth it. 100% all-natural hardwood charcoal pellets impart the fragrance of oak hardwood.
In fact, BBQ veterans recommend using charcoal pellets as a fuel source. It will amplify the smoky flavor.
Can You Sear a Steak on a Portable Pellet Grill?
This is one of the most popular questions about pellet grills. In short, yes, you can sear a steak using a pellet grill.
However, some individuals sear their steaks on a cast-iron griddle while others use a sear box or a slider plate to gain access to the flame.
Does It Take Longer To Cook Food on a Pellet Grill?
Cooking times are a bit longer with a pellet grill. Grilling with propane is much faster. Nonetheless, cooking times vary according to multiple factors.
Whether the food is fresh or frozen, the size of the food, bone in-or bone out, marination, and fat content impacts the cooking time of the food.
Do Pellets Smell Like Wood?
A good quality wood pellet should always have a fresh, natural wood aroma. The wood aroma is due to raw materials such as sawdust and other wood materials.
Nevertheless, if your pellets smell unusual, the material may not be pure, or a binder may have been used during the manufacturing process.
Can You Use a Portable Pellet Grill in the Rain?
Absolutely not. Never use your wood pellet grill if it is raining. It could potentially destroy the electronics system of your grill. Pellets must be dry to burn at high temperatures and produce smoke.
Wood pellet grills are popular because they can achieve and maintain an accurate temperature.
Additionally, you have to check your food periodically. No one wants to get soaked in the rain just to check on their food.
Do I Have to Plug in a Pellet Grill?
Most pellet grills have a digital electric control, a pellet feeder, and a fan that needs 120vAC power in order to operate.
So yes, you need to plug in a pellet grill into an electrical outlet. Furthermore, ensure the outlet is located near the grill.
Do Pellet Grills Break Down?
Like anything on this planet, pellets will eventually break down. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable.
There is not a quality grill on this planet that is completely maintenance-free. Pellets virtually burn into nothing, leaving a minuscule amount of ash.
All that’s needed is removing the ash from your pellet grill, and it will be ready to use again.
Do Wood Pellet Grills Produce Better Flavor?
Even though wood pellets allow pellet grills to produce a beautiful smokey taste, most individuals favor charcoal instead of pellets. Unfortunately, the deep smoky flavor of charcoal is hard to replicate.
Will Pellet Grills Create a Strong Smoky Flavor?
It does not matter which pellets you use; pellet grills are not the strongest producers of robust smokey flavor.
However, some brands will produce a stronger flavor than others. The bright side is, hardwood pellets produce longer overall burn times per pound than fruit wood pellets.
How Long Does a Pellet Grill Take To Preheat?
Similar to gas grills, pellet grills will usually preheat within 10 to 15 minutes. Additionally, the design is optimized to prevent flare-ups.
Moreover, some pellet grill brands enable you to control temperatures in 5-degree increments, giving you precision heat control.
Are Soft or Hardwood Pellets Better?
Contrary to popular belief, the physical mass of hardwood and softwood does not have as much of an effect on wood pellet efficiency as they do their original compositions.
Notwithstanding, softwood pellets have higher BTUs than hardwood pellets. Due to higher frequencies of lignins, softwood pellets burn at high temperatures.
What Do Quality Wood Pellets Look Like?
Shiny pellets are also a tell-tale sign of a superior quality product. Quality wood pellets have a delicate, smooth surface, with minimal to no cracks or blemishes.
Dull pellets with cracks on the surface symbolize a bad batch of pellets as they will not be durable.
Can I Leave a Pellet Grill Outside?
You can leave your pellet grill outside in milder climates.
However, it is not recommended. Pellet smokers are not created with sun or rain exposure in mind. You should store it in your garage or shed.
If you do store your pellet grill outside, ensure you store it in your garage or a roofed area during the winter months.
Can I Use My Pellet Grill in the Garage?
Unless the instructions specifically say your pellet grill can be used indoors, never use it indoors.
Do Wood Pellet Grills Flare-up?
Though pellet grills are designed to prevent flare-ups, it is still a grill which means there is still a possibility the grill can flare-up.
Pellet grills pull the grease away from the flame or firebox into a drip tray.
Portable pellet grills are worth it. They are efficient, money-saving gadgets that will serve delicious foods for several years to come. Happy pellet grilling!
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.