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The 5 best wood-pellet grills in 2024 deliver peak old-school flavor

The 5 best wood pellet grills in 2024
Brisk It, Recteq

As every grill master knows, there are many options when it comes to outdoor grills. Charcoal grills have been a classic choice for ages, while propane and natural gas grills also have their diehard fans. Recently, the newest smart grills, which use artificial intelligence to take the guesswork out of grilling, have become popular. More recently, people have also started turning to wood pellet grills for their backyard BBQs.

Wood pellet grills offer unforgettable flavor and aroma that can be customized based on the type of wood pellets used. Some of the many pellet options include maple, hickory, cherry, mesquite and apple, with some grillers choosing to mix pellets for a more personalized flavor. Additional benefits of wood pellet grills include better temperature control, faster cooking times and environmental friendliness.

What is the best wood pellet grill?

Using one of the best wood pellet grills, you can grill, BBQ, sear, smoke, roast, bake or braise. And just like other types of outdoor grills, they come in a wide range of sizes and prices. We've curated this roundup of the best five wood-pellet grills that are available right now. You're sure to find one that perfectly meets your needs and budget.

For reviews, roundups and more, be sure to read our always-fresh tech and home, kitchen and outdoor coverage. Or if you're looking to give your entire patio a makeover, you'll want to see our favorite 10 ways to upgrade your patio with picks from Amazon, Walmart, West Elm and more.

Best wood-pellet grill overall: Brisk It Origin-940 smart grill

Brisk It Origin-940 smart grill
Brisk It

Whether you need to feed a family of four or a gathering of 15 or more, the Brisk It Origin-940 is ready to deliver the flavor that only a wood pellet grill can produce. This grill handles smoking, barbecuing, baking, searing and braising on its vast 940 square inches of grilling space.

Even if you don't consider yourself a grilling master (yet), the Origin-940 will fix that. It pairs with your smartphone, so you can discover delicious recipes and grilling techniques, and then be guided every step of the way through the cooking process.

This well-designed grill uses AI to maintain precise temperatures and sends notifications to your phone when it's time to flip the food. Simply by following the on-screen advice and taking advantage of the grill's sensors and probes, it's almost impossible to overcook or undercook your food. 

This grill will definitely make your neighbors jealous. And once the grill helps you build a reputation as a grilling master, don't be surprised if people invite themselves over when they smell the incredible aromas that fill your outdoor space.

Best portable wood-pellet grill: Recteq Road Warrior 340

Recteq Road Warrior 340 Portable Pellet Grill

With this Recteq grill, you'll deliver major flavor from a portable package, so you can take it camping or set it up at your next tailgate party. 

The Road Warrior 340 is aptly named. Thanks to its 340-grade stainless steel construction, it's durable, easy to clean and versatile. You can use it to grill, bake, dehydrate, smoke, sear and more. It provides 340 square inches of cooking space, which is enough room for up to 50 wings, 20 burgers or two ribs.

The grill generates temperatures between 180 and 700 degrees Fahrenheit and has a hopper that holds up to 14 pounds of wood pellets -- enough to keep the grill going for up to 14 hours of non-stop cooking. In keeping with its Road Warrior name, the base of the grill folds up, the lid locks down, and the built-in wheels make it easy to transport this 85-pound grill.

Best value wood-pellet grill: Z Grills ZPG-450A

Z Grills ZPG-450A
Z Grills

Many wood-pellet grills fall on the expensive side because they're often designed using higher-end components than their propane- or charcoal-burning counterparts. But there are a handful of models, like the Z Grills ZPG-450A, that are more affordable. 

This model offers 450 square inches of total cooking space, has auto temperature control and can grill, BBQ, roast, braise, smoke or bake. The fan-forced convection cooking feature eliminates the need for a rotisserie when it comes to evenly cooking your food. The ZPG-450A generates cooking temperatures between 180 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit and has an integrated, 15-pound wood-pellet hopper.

The outer shell is made from alloy steel, while the interior relies on a stainless steel construction. The 84-pound grill measures 27 x 42 x 49 inches. Other useful features include electronic auto-start ignition, digital auto temperature control and an LED temperature readout. 

Thanks to its sturdy construction, this grill is designed to last for many years.

Best wood-pellet grill for families: Weber SmokeFire EX6 (2nd generation)

Weber SmokeFire EX6 (2nd Gen)

The best grills for families offer a large cooking space, are easy to operate and are designed to last for many years. The SmokeFire EX6 from Weber checks all of these boxes and provides the functionality needed to enjoy all of the benefits of a wood-pellet grill. And it's made by one of the biggest and most respected brands in grilling.

The EX6 offers a whopping 1,008 square inches of total cooking space divided across two levels. It's designed to provide even (but adjustable) temperatures throughout. One of the perks of the EX6 is that it incorporates smart functionality, so it can be controlled from your smartphone. If you follow the app, it's almost impossible to overcook or undercook your food. Plus, there are plenty of recipes and instructions for a wide range of techniques.

The grill includes two meat probes (but has a four-probe capacity) and grills, sears and smokes with a 200- to 600-degree Fahrenheit temperature range. When it comes to cleanup, the grill has a built-in ash and grease drawer that's easy to remove. We also like that the EX6 comes with a 20-pound capacity wood-pellet hopper. This will keep the grill functioning at peak efficiency for an entire day.

For even more cooking versatility using this grill, a variety of accessories are available, including a folding front shelf, side table, rotisserie, cast iron griddle, gourmet BBQ cooking grates, wok, poultry roaster, specialty sear grate and more.

Best premium wood-pellet grill: Traeger Ironwood XL

Traeger Grills Ironwood XL Electric Wood Pellet Grill
Traeger Grills

Here's another version of a smart grill that relies on wood pellets. And while it's not cheap, it offers a premium design and a robust collection of features that someone serious about outdoor grilling will truly appreciate. Its smart combustion and fully-insulated design ensure consistent burn for perfect cooking results. It also provides a temperature range between 165 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

And as a smart grill, you can remotely control it using an app on your smartphone. Among the things we really like about this grill is its "Firepot Super Smoke Mode," which cranks up the wood-fired flavor while reducing ash buildup. You don't need to worry too much about cleanup, however. Grease and ash are collected in one convenient place that's easy to empty.

Another benefit of this wood-pellet grill is that it offers 924 square inches of total cooking space -- a 594-square-inch lower rack and a 330-square-inch upper rack -- and thanks to an integrated heat shield, you get fast and even cooking throughout the grill. You'll get reliable results every single time you cook.

This grill offers versatility, too. The all-natural hardwood pellets deliver true wood-fired flavor, whether you're grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, braising or barbecuing. The Ironwood XL offers a 22-pound wood-pellet hopper capacity. The entire unit measures 48 x 70 x 25 inches. However, if this is too large for your outdoor living space, Traeger also offers the Ironwood model ($1,600) that provides 616 square inches of total cooking space and measures 48 x 59 x 25 inches. And it has all of the same features as the XL model.

How to choose a wood pellet grill

With so many options in wood-pellet grills, here are six things to consider: 

  • Size: Based on the size of your yard, patio or porch, make sure your grill will fit safely. It could pose a fire risk if it's set up too close to your home, decking or overhanging trees.
  • Cooking space: This impacts how much food you can make at once. Keep in mind that some grill brands include the warming rack in their calculations for overall cooking space. For a family of four, 400 and 500 square inches of primary cooking space is adequate. For eight to 10 people, you'll want 650 and 800 square inches of primary cooking space. A wider cooking space is best for a rack of ribs. If you plan to grill a large turkey, also pay attention to the height of the cooking space.
  • Grill grates: Most grill grates are made from stainless steel, porcelain enameled cast iron, or porcelain enameled steel. All of these of these options are durable and easy to clean. When cooking steak, these grate materials create impressive sear marks.
  • Materials and durability: For the main housing of a wood pellet grill, you want a durable material and that retains heat well. Stainless steel, cast iron, enamel or sheet metal are the most common options. Out of these, stainless steel is the strongest material. It can withstand outdoor conditions the best.
  • Ease of cleanup: Get a grill with a layout and materials that are easy to clean, but be sure to follow the instructions in the owner's manual to prevent damage to the grill or the possibility of mixing harmful chemicals into your food.
  • Wood-pellet capacity: This determines the quantity of wood pellets (measured in pounds) the grill can hold, as well as how much is used at once. A larger hopper feeds the grill with fresh wood pellets during extended cooking sessions and provides longer continuous cooking time.

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