There is a wide range of wood pellet grills that are available on the market. You have different options since each of them has various features to show. Tabletop pellet grills are primarily used for camping as it does not take so much space. This kind of pellet can be bought almost anywhere since it is portable and affordable. If you are looking for the best portable pellet grill, then this article is for you.
What are the best portable pellet grills you can buy online?
1. Asmoke AS300
The most portable easy-to-use choice in this list, Asmoke AS300 delivers what most pellet grills do with its compact design. It falls under the tabletop pellet grill units that you can simply load to work on a fair family-sized BBQ.
The Asmoke portable pellet grill AS300 has a steel body and stainless steel components. For a tabletop grill, it caters to the versatility to cook bbq, bake, braise, sear, grill, broil, and roast. Direct and indirect grilling is also possible.
It comes with two tiers of 256 square inches iron cooking grids. There is also a space for a detachable cooking rack with the dimensions 12.5 by 5.5 inches that are placed on top of the main rack. This cooking space may not be good for a huge party but this size is enough to cook and smoke meat for a family of five.
Asmoke’s temperature ranges from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit which is ideal for smoking. Because of its compact design, this pellet grill heats up 15% faster and uses 20% fewer pellets. You can go low and slow, or fast and hot, depending on what your recipe needs.
This sturdy tabletop griller comes with four color options and a solid chrome handle. Its hopper has a rack length of 14×13 inches and can contain 4 pounds of wood pellet.
With its 8-in-1 use, you can sear fish, grill game, smoke jerky, and more with Asmoke Grill. It’s an ideal easy-to-carry pellet grill for camping and traveling.
2. Traeger Grills Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Built for the road, this portable wood pellet grill and smoker by Traeger Grills will give you a well-packed cooking range. It’s another tabletop pellet grill with great features that let you cook BBQ anywhere.
This portable tabletop grill runs on 120V and cooking temp max at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s convenient for searing a steak, roasting some skewers or cooking an egg breakfast.
The Ranger has a baffled lid design for durability and lid latches that secure it for safe transport. It weighs 60 pounds with a cooking area of 184 square inches. Its pellet hopper capacity goes up to 8 pounds so you can grill and smoke enough for your cookouts.
What’s cool about this unit is its new Digital Arc Controller that allows you to maintain a precise and consistent temperature to manage your bbq. You can also enjoy its Keep Warm mode so you can have food ready to eat whenever. It’s a really sensible feature for those hitting the road.
Another plus for this product is its easy-to-clean porcelain coated-grill grates. When you’re travelling you might not have enough access to water and cleaning up will be a hassle. So, it’s nice Traeger Ranger keeps things easier.
With its compact design and ideal uses, you can have a fun time exploring and relaxing as you cook amazing wood-fired bbq with this portable range.
3. Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Boasting stainless steel construction, WiFi connectivity, folding legs that double as handles, and a peaked lid to give extra height for large cuts, the Davy Crockett packs a lot into its small package and low price.
Made of a stainless steel body, this grill can be connected to WiFi. This lets users control and monitor the pellet smoker through iOS or Android mobile devices. Besides this, Green Mountain Grill has its Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor that constantly monitors the grill temperature.
Speaking of temp readings, this equipment’s reliable temperature controller can set 5-degree increments that can max up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, you can double monitor this since the model comes with a temperature probe. It is directly connected to a digital display and a digital thermometer is no longer needed. With this, it is easier to tell if the meat is done.
This undersized unit is designed for outdoors, thus certain features such as the side shelf and utensil space are removed. The small hopper will limit smoking sessions so if you want to smoke a bigger batch, you should consider a larger unit.
The Davy Crockett model runs on 12V or 120AC so it’s perfect for home or camping, tailgating, hunting, house-boating, festivals, or anywhere you can take it. It only weighs 57 pounds and features foldable legs so that it can be easily placed in the trunk of your van or car.
4. Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill
Coming from a known brand, the Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill is among the portable designs with great quality. It has a large cooking space placed on foldable legs and wheels allowing for more access to a generous share of bbq.
With this grill, you can maintain a plus or minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit to guarantee a precise grilling and smoking process. It has a temperature range of 180 to 450 Fahrenheit that can cover most bbq recipes.
Its 300-square inch cooking surface allows you to cook large quantities of meat and burgers. For reference, it can cover 12 burgers, 3 racks of ribs, or 2 whole chickens. Due to this, the grill is quite bulky and has to be lifted by two people when loading on your transport. However, its wheels make up for an easier movement and retractable legs compress its size.
Traeger Tailgater Pellet grill is user-friendly, cools down faster after turning off, and can maintain the temperature. Its hopper has an 8-pound capacity and this unit comes with a 20-pound bag of pellets and a drip bucket for easier clean-up.
Traeger prides itself on its precision temperature control that makes sure you get consistent results for your recipe. The Tailgater will be your most efficient cooking partner anywhere you’ll want to prepare and eat authentic wood-fired bbq.
5. The Pit Boss Tailgater
Pit boss portable pellet grill is one of the first in the market. Its strongest feature is its direct flame access which is important for better searing results.
The Pit Boss Tailgater is made of durable steel and porcelain-coated wire. It has a good rear exhaust convection system that helps maintain temperature. Since you’re dealing with high temperature and direct flame, having good materials and design are vital for safety.
Like other portable pellet grills, this one also has a temperature range of 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Its direct flame feature can reach up to 650 degrees. All is well with the temp control and durable material but there is a miss and hit when it comes to hopper and cooking capacity.
Pit Boss Tailgater has one of the widest cooking spaces with its 340-square inch length. However, it’s quite limited with its 5-pound hopper capacity. So, you have to make sure to refill the hopper with pellets according to your cooking needs.
A good thing with this tailgater is its auto-start hot rod and shut-off system. This helps you to quickly fire it up and safely turn it off when not in use. For easy storage and transport, it also has collapsable legs and wheels so no hassle.
As of writing, this Tailgater is unavailable on Amazon but you can find it on Walmart.
6. RECTEQ Grills Trailblazer
Previously known as REC TEC, this portable grill is the first to have features such as temperature control, a WiFi-enabled system, dual meat probes, and automatic lighting to its products. It also has a unique bullhorn design for its handles making a bold statement to its branding.
This trailblazer’s additional features have made grilling at night possible without the hassle. The temperature can be detected using a smartphone and its automatic power button has made it easier to use. The legs can be folded up and the lid can be locked down making it perfect for traveling.
It has dual meat probes that can be plugged in to track the temperature of the meat. You can easily monitor two portions of meat at the same time and the temperature can exceed up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This is important because perfect meat is cooked based on temperature, not time.
This bundle comes with 80 pounds of pellet, cover protection, and a thermometer. However, it does not include a side table for sauces and tools. Also, while it has 340 square inches of cooking space, you can opt for adding one more to grill more.
RECTEQ has built its reputation for build quality and precision engineering and this pellet grill is a product of their standards.
7. Grilla Grills Chimp Tailgater
This is a tailgater that’s slowly getting hotter in the market. It is built well and covers the best features any portable pellet grill should have.
Grilla Grills Chimp Tailgater provides different options in grilling depending on your preference: low and slow smoking or hot and fast grilling. It’s a grill and smoker in one that can be used to customize flavorings using different pellet flavors.
One of the greatest advantages of Grilla Grills Chimp Tailgater is its efficiency. It can be connected to a WiFi controller and has SmokePro mode. This gives the user the ease of remote control for precise temperature and smoke production.
The Chimp can run from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and can be increased or decreased in 5-degree increments. This unit lets you bake, broil, sear, roast, and smoke all on this one portable piece of equipment.
These good features are put together in a sturdy body made of stainless steel and a double wall barrel that can withstand low temperatures. Its unit size is a little less bulky compared to others and has a 15-pound hopper with an automated feeding system.
This portable pellet grill also has automatic shutdowns when the temperature gets too high so you will have fewer risks of overcooking or worse. This grill is large enough for home use and portable enough for a person to carry. Make sure to check it out.
8. Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Grill
A portable pellet grill coming from a company of bbq enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, the Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Grill is a great contender in practicality and features.
This portable grill has a temperature controller that gives you the ability to adjust 5-degree increments of your target temperature setting. It has adjustable smoke settings from 1-10 and a temp range between 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s cool is that smoke and temp levels can be adjusted separately.
With double-layer cooking racks, an auto-igniter, an ash clean-out system, and a wide temperature range, this makes cooking easy and comfortable. In addition, Camp Chef has a Slide and Grill feature that can be used for direct flame grilling. That’s another huge plus for bbq fans who love a good sear.
It has two temperature probes that can be connected to the built-in LCD. Designed with high visibility and low glare, it helps you monitor the food as it cooks.
Since this is a portable unit, the Pursuit has everything a portable pellet grill should have. It has folding legs, leg levelers, locking lids, and hopper lids. These details allow for dual position rolling transport and make the unit easy to carry and store.
Camp Chef Pursuit 20 has fewer stainless steel components, the pellet hopper is smaller and does not have WiFi for remote control. Smoking time is approximately 8-10 hours because the pellets are smaller. This grill is cheaper compared to RECTEQ or Grilla Grills.
What to consider when buying a portable pellet grill?
The point of portable grills is for them to be able to carry anywhere. You should have an idea where you are going to use it and how to carry it. Also, you should know how much food you’re going to cook so you won’t end up grilling lots of batches because of small cooking spaces.
If you want to use it outdoors for one-day camping, consider a smaller one. If you’re going for an adventure with a good camping van in use, then you can opt for the bulkier and heavier but still portable units.
2. Connectivity and temperature control
Modern technology has allowed easier access to the internet connection. One of the strongest features a pellet grill can have is its connectivity to WiFi. You can leave your meals being cooked while remote controlling it. This smart technology allows you to move around while your meat is being cooked.
Temperature determines the outcome of your food. If you are aiming for a precise temperature, you have to consider if the grill can hold and maintain the temperature.
When looking for a new grill, you should consider its functionality. This might include convenience features like the workspace, folding legs, locks, and wheels. You might need to think about how you like to cook your food and look for those features.
This depends on the grills that you bought. Some have bundles that include a cover to protect the grill or drip buckets for cleaning. Some pellet grills do not include any accessories at all. This means that you need to buy a set of accessories to complement your grill.
Every pellet grill comes with a price. The quality of the grill you will be having can depend on the price you are willing to pay for it. However, budget and quality don’t always parallel each other. There are affordable choices that can offer good quality with simple features that are great enough for basic bbq. There are also pricier ones that offer the same features but with proven standards and quality materials.
Consider the grills that will be worth the investment. What is worth your budget depends on your preferences.
6. Ease of Use
You want your pellet smoker or grill to be easy to set up. There are a few things that you might want to look into: ash cleanout, meat probes, temperature controller, and the capacity of pellet hopper. These features will affect your bbq experience as well as the flavor of your recipe.
What should you use: Portable Pellet Grill vs Gas and Charcoal Portable Grill
Pellet grills are preferred if you want a wood-fired savory flavor for your meat. The pellets are ready to burn and easier to handle. What you would need is just a thermostat and let it do the job.
Firing up and controlling the temperature of the pellet grill is also easier. Some grills even have connectivity. Electric wood pellet grills are operated easily since you just push the button to start. No propane gas or tanks is needed.
Consistent temperatures are also easier to achieve with automated pellet grills, giving you more consistent and perfect bbq results. You can also do almost any kind of cooking on it- smoke, roast, grill, sear, and bake.
Yes, gas and charcoal can also allow for various cooking styles but these cooking ranges do not have a lot of features. You just get the basic tools for grilling or smoking your food and you have to be very hands-on.
To get a nice flavor, you would need to add wood and constantly adjust it by yourself. So, this means more work- lighting, cutting, cleaning, and arranging both food and fuel. Moreover, you can’t precisely control the cooking temperature so there are higher chances of overcooking or undercooking.
How does a pellet grill work?
Pellet grills need electricity for them to function. Hardwood pellets are placed in a hopper. As it turns, the pellets reach the bottom into the firebox. Inside the firebox, the heat-rod ignites and there’s a combustion fan that regulates the air. This maintains the pellet and keeps them burning.
Most of the pellets have digital controllers that keep the temperature of the grill. Sometimes a precise temperature is needed to attain the desired outcome. This is important when you are smoking meat. It is done in low temperatures to keep it from cooking. It usually ranges from 180F to 224 F.
What happens if there’s a shortage of pellets when cooking?
If the pellets were all consumed up when cooking, the fire will just go out. Some grills should be restarted, which depends on the manual.
How many pellets do I need?
This depends on the temperature and the duration of the cooking. When cooking the food for 150F, a half-pound is needed per hour.
What type of wood pellet do I need for smoking?
This depends on the kind of flavor you want to impart to the meat. Generally, a signature blend is used and is good with almost all types of meat. An applewood is great for poultry, pork, and veggies. Maple wood is for beef, pork, and lamb.
Make sure before buying a pellet grill, especially if it is your first time, to weigh in different factors. Some grills are cheaper for less features. Some have great features and design but can make you break the bank. There are also options that are price-worthy with nice features but the design and size makes it harder to fit in your trunk.
Cooking and smoking bbq are fun activities, especially when done with your friends and family. The experience is even better outdoors. However, it can be a real hassle if you don’t have the right tools and equipment. So, take in different considerations and your preferences, and make sure you have the best portable pellet grill in tow for your next cookout.