Are you a fan of grilling but wish your meat had a smokier flavor? Do you want a pellet grill you can take on the go?
You’ve come to the right place!
In this TheGrillingDad article we will cover:
- The best options
- What to look for in a portable pellet grill
- And much more!
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What You Need to Know About Pellet Grills
Wood pellets are some of the most eco-friendly forms of wood fuel available for people who strive to find a more convenient and safest way of grilling. They also serve to introduce a delicious smoky flavor into any food that is grilled above them!
But pellet grills can sometimes be bulky and large–difficult to take on the go or fit in your backyard. Don’t write off owning one of these just yet, however, as there are many portable versions that can fit into the smallest yard or the back of a pickup truck for camping!
Read on to learn all about the best portable pellet grills to find the one that is perfect for your family.
Our Top Picks For Best Portable Pellet Grill
- Our Top Pick: Traeger Tailgater
- Best Runner Up: Traeger Ranger
- Best For Camping: Green Mountain Trek
- Best for High Heat Grilling: Camp Chef Pursuit
- Best on a Budget: Cuisinart Wood CPG-256 Portable Pellet Grill
Best Picks For Portable Pellet Grills Reviewed
Pick #1: Traeger Tailgater
(Best Overall Portable Pellet Grill)
Known for their quality construction and sleek appearance, Traeger Grills are a favorite among grillers around the world.
By choosing this top-rated portable pellet grill and smoker, you will gain a great cooking area of 300 square inches and precise digital control. The excellent grill is made of porcelain-coated and stainless steel materials that are durable and long-lasting.
Similar in weight to the Traeger grill above, this model comes with foldable wheels. This makes it a bit larger than the Ranger (a little harder to pack) but a cinch to set up in your campsite as you don’t need a table or truck bed.
It’s slightly bigger than the Ranger, and can fit 2 chickens or 3 racks of ribs with ease making it the perfect choice for a larger family!
- Easy to use
- Durable construction
- Top rated brand
- Digital controls
- Large cooking area for a small grill
- Doesn’t compress as small as other grills on the list
- Is only 36″ tall making it a bit awkward for very tall people to grill on.
Pick #2: Traeger Ranger
It should come as no surprise that a Traeger pellet grill made this list not once but twice!
If you are looking for a combination of grilling ease merged with technology then look no further than the Traeger Ranger Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker.
With excellent smoking and grilling technology, the Traeger truly gives you the best of both worlds whether you want to cook hot and fast or low and slow. It also has advanced temperature control to maintain temperature better than almost any other grill on the market.
Plus, with a secure lid design, this pellet grill is easier than ever to transport from place to place, whether you want to pack it in the back of your car or on a truck bed. You won’t struggle to clean it thanks to the porcelain coated grates.
The pellet hopper can hold 8lbs of pellets and this grill weighs about 60lbs making it one of the lightest on the list!
- Pellet smoker that uses digital technology for maintaining temperature
- Attractive design and color
- Eco-friendly pellet grill
- Has secure lid design for easy packing and stacking
- No wifi connectivity
Pick #3: Green Mountain Trek Pellet Grill (Best for Camping)
While we love the Pit Boss and Traeger brands, they just don’t have a pellet grill suitable for camping, at least not one like the Green Mountain Trek.
Built to be small, only 65 lbs, and with short legs, the Green Mountain Trek is the most portable pellet grill on this list. You can easily slip it in the back of a truck bed or camper and pull it out to use anywhere.
With Wifi integration you can monitor this pellet grill from anywhere while using an app. Made from Alloy steel this grill is built to last.
The only downside is that this grill is on short legs which can make it difficult to grill at home when not in the truck bed. But if you purchase the additional cart, this grill can work for your family when on the go, or when you are simply grilling at home on a weekend.
- Excellent performance
- Large cooking area for the size
- Easy to put on a truck bed or set up in a campsite
- Legs are not extendable
- Needs a cart or other stand to be used at home
Pick #4: Camp Chef Pursuit
(Best For High Heat Grilling)
If you’re a digital technology addict and BBQ fanatic at the same time, the latest creation of Camp Chef is the perfect pellet grill for you.
This reputable and reliable brand has outdone themselves with the Camp Chef Pursuit. This innovative pellet smoker offers digital controls for operating the grill as well as a locking lid and hopper, making it easy to pack up and transport this grill.
The exclusively-made smoke pro pellet grill involves an excellent cooking area of 501 square inches and weighs 100 pounds. It is an amazing high heat grill for the size and price. It can reach temps of 650°F making it perfect for searing.
If you love cooking over the flame, there really is no better grill on this list, but it is the heaviest, and you should plan to only take this on trips when you have a helper to help you carry it!
- Advanced digital grill
- Exclusive design
- Made of high-quality stainless steel
- 501in of cooking space
- Reaches high temperatures with ease
- Is on wheels
- Requires 2 people to move
- Legs are difficult to fold and unfold
Pick #5 Cuisinart CPG-256 Portable Pellet Grill
(Best on a Budget)
The Cuisinart CPG-256 is the lightest portable pellet grill on this list. At only 46.72lbs, it is simple to pack up this pellet grill with you and take it anywhere.
It comes at a price though, as it is also the smallest pellet grill with only 256in of cooking space, meaning you might be pressed to fit everything for your family on this grill while camping.
With temperatures ranging from 180°F-500°F you can truly make a large variety of meals on this grill. It is also the least expensive on this list, making it a good choice for the budget conscious household.
It may not have a wifi hookup, but it does have a digital display that makes it easy to find and select the settings you need to grill your meats.
- Only weighs 46 lbs
- Wide range of cooking temperatures available
- Small cooking space
- No WIFI connectivity
What Is a Pellet Grill?
A pellet grill is an electric-powered and wood-fired grilling device for cooking many types of food and tasty and smokey BBQ. Because it uses both wood and electricity, most pellet grills double as a smoker.
These grills are an affordable way to enjoy the convenience of cooking food in your home while using smoke to give the meals an unforgettable and delicious flavor. They come in many sizes to suit the needs of any household.
Pellet grills work by lighting pellets on fire and burning them beneath your food. While you’ll need to load the pellets yourself, the flame is electrically powered and the lighting portion of the operation doesn’t require your input (beyond turning it off and on).
Therefore pellet grills are a convenient addition to any household which enjoys grilling and wants to expand to adding smoky flavor to their meats.
Related >> How To Use A Pellet Grill (Beginners Guide)
How Do Pellet Grills Work?
If you have never used a pellet grill before and are used to conventional alternatives to grilling, it is essential to understand how these grills work.
The grilling process with pellets goes fast and easy, and all you have to do is put the pellets into the hopper and the grill will automatically feed them into the fire pot based on your settings.
In the fire pot, the pellets are ignited and smoke is produced. A fan which is installed in the firepot then circulates the air and smoke inside the grill and creates a convection cooking environment.
When the knob is turned to the off position, the grill will stop feeding pellets into the fire pot. It will take a few moments for the ones currently in the fire pot to burn out however, and then the fan will also switch off.
Related >> How Do Pellet Grills Work? (An In-Depth Explanation)
What Do You Look For When Buying a Portable Pellet Grills?
There are many aspects to consider when you are shopping for a pellet grill. We’ve listed the most important below.
The last thing you want to do is buy a pellet grill that doesn’t fit in your yard. You also want to consider whether you will always grill in your yard, or if you want to take your grill with you on the road.
But before you buy the smallest pellet grill, know that cooking capacity is also part of size. You want a grill that will allow you to feed your whole family in one go. Therefore you may want to look at larger grills if you have a large family or plan to host guests frequently.
Price is also important as you look at pellet grills, as you don’t want to go beyond your budget. But remember, with grills, you get what you pay for.
Never purchase cheap grills as they are usually made of cheap materials that will rust or break down quickly. As a general rule, you want to buy the best grill you can with the money you have available, never skimping on quality to save a few bucks.
Before you buy a pellet grill that requires electricity to run, ensure you have an outside outlet to plug it into.
Another essential factor you must always consider before investing in a pellet grill is the overall warranty period that the manufacturer offers. Usually, pellet grills have a warranty that varies from three to five years, depending on the supplier.
However, choosing a high-quality grilling device with a larger warranty period is always a good idea.
Before purchasing a pellet grill, you should also take the time to look at reviews.
While we do our due diligence and we only recommend pellet grills that we’ve either used or have done deep research on, reading recent reviews can offer insights if something has changed.
For example, if you’re purchasing a product from Amazon, read the customer reviews and ratings and determine whether that grilling device is a good option for you or not.
Pellet Grill Safety Tips
Pellet grills are generally considered safe, but users should always follow some safety tips to stay safe while grilling in the backyard. You should also always follow the general grilling safety tips to keep yourself and your family safe while grilling outdoors.
Set-Up in a Non-Flammable Area
First, you should give your pellet grill an excellent and stable foundation. Ensure your device is not put directly on the grass or other materials. Watch out for any trees in the vicinity of the pellet grill so that you will avoid fires or other unwanted and unpleasant situations.
Cover From the Elements
Moreover, you should always keep your pellet grill dry and not use this device on rainy days if uncovered. Ensuring your electrical cords are connected and secured is always essential and required for all users.
Never Run Unattended
Whenever you run your pellet grill you should be nearby. This doesn’t mean you can’t use app monitoring with the grills that are equipped with it, rather you just need to alway be in the area (and monitoring the app) if something were to go wrong.