The Best Pellet Grills Under 500$ – Review Of 2020

The Best Pellet Grills Under 500$ Review For 2020

Preview
Our Pick
Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker - Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise, and BBQ (Bronze)
Runner Up
Z Grills ZPG-7002ENC 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Control, inch Cooking Area, 700 sq in Stainless NO Cover
Budget-Friendly
Masterbuilt SH19260119 WG400B, 20” Pellet Grill
Great For Beginners
Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill & Smoker Pellet Grill and Smoker, 45" x 49" x 39.4", Black
Great Modern Features
Green Mountain Davy Crockett WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill
Product Dimensions
18 x 37 x 36 inches
48.5 x 22.5 x 51.2 inches
21.4 x 43.4 x 40.9 inches
45 x 39.4 x 49 inches
29.5 x 20 x 14.5 inches
Item Weight
62.4 pounds
118 pounds
99 pounds
103 pounds
149 pounds
Cooking Space
300 sq. in
694 sq in
390 sq in
450 sq in
‎219 sq in
Temperature
Up to 450°F
180ºF-450ºF
400ºF
350ºF
up to 500 degrees
Warranty
3 Years
3 Years
3 Years
1 Year
2 Years
Portability
Rating
3.9 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Our Pick
Preview
Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker - Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise, and BBQ (Bronze)
Product Dimensions
18 x 37 x 36 inches
Item Weight
62.4 pounds
Cooking Space
300 sq. in
Temperature
Up to 450°F
Warranty
3 Years
Portability
Rating
3.9 out of 5 stars
Runner Up
Preview
Z Grills ZPG-7002ENC 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Control, inch Cooking Area, 700 sq in Stainless NO Cover
Product Dimensions
48.5 x 22.5 x 51.2 inches
Item Weight
118 pounds
Cooking Space
694 sq in
Temperature
180ºF-450ºF
Warranty
3 Years
Portability
Rating
4.2 out of 5 stars
Budget-Friendly
Preview
Masterbuilt SH19260119 WG400B, 20” Pellet Grill
Product Dimensions
21.4 x 43.4 x 40.9 inches
Item Weight
99 pounds
Cooking Space
390 sq in
Temperature
400ºF
Warranty
3 Years
Portability
Rating
3.7 out of 5 stars
Great For Beginners
Preview
Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill & Smoker Pellet Grill and Smoker, 45" x 49" x 39.4", Black
Product Dimensions
45 x 39.4 x 49 inches
Item Weight
103 pounds
Cooking Space
450 sq in
Temperature
350ºF
Warranty
1 Year
Portability
Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
Great Modern Features
Preview
Green Mountain Davy Crockett WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill
Product Dimensions
29.5 x 20 x 14.5 inches
Item Weight
149 pounds
Cooking Space
‎219 sq in
Temperature
up to 500 degrees
Warranty
2 Years
Portability
Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
Treager Wood Pellet Grill

Features:

  • Versatile barbeque cooking
  • Never use charcoal or gas again
  • Weight 60 lbs
  • Great for camping, tailgating, or at home
  • Material: stainless steel

Overview:

Traeger Tailgater weigh more than 100 pounds, the Traeger TFB29LZA pellet smoker grill weighs in at about 60 lbs. The grills lightweight, and it’s 37 x 18 x 36-inch dimensions makes it easier for the user to store it and transfer it to another place.

With its digital thermostat, this pellet grill can help with gauging cooking temperatures. Thus, giving you control over your cooking situation at all times. But, we should note that the device is prone to temperature fluctuations, especially during cold weather.

Constructed out of heavy-duty stainless steel, the Traeger TFB29LZA is designed to withstand both internal and external elements. 

PROS:

  • Versatile Barbecue Cooking
  • Never use charcoal or gas again
  • Extremely portable design

CONS:

  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Sits a bit low

Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E

Features:

  • Fan forced convection cooking
  • The automated electric feed system
  • Large Grilling Area
  • Digital temperature control
  • Advanced wood fire technology
  • Material: stainless steel

Overview:

First on our list is the Z Grills ZPG-7002ENC. Z grills pellet smoker has a large cooking area of 19.5in x 26 in.

It has a second cooking area with a removable rack of ribs that’s 7.5 x 26 inches. This is enough cooking surface area for you and your family to have a barbeque party over the weekend. Read more about Z-Grills here.

You don’t have to use blowers or fans to stabilize the griller’s heat. The Z grills has an adjustable temperature regulator that ranges from 180ºF-450ºF. It has an internal sensor that helps you with temperature control inside the griller.

Additionally, pellet grill has an electronic feed system that monitors the entry of wood pellets with a limit of 20 lbs as needed. Z grills grilling system ensures quality and less supervision of the grilled meat. This helps maximize the bonding between your family and friends.

PROS:

  • Corrosion-resistant Z grills body
  • Wood Fired
  • Versatile Grilling

CONS:

  • No accessory grill on the shelf
  • No ash cleaning

Smoke Hollow wood pellet

Features:

  • Easy to clean out pellets
  • Digital readout
  • Warming rack of ribs and porcelain-coated grate
  • 390-Inches² of cooking area
  • Holds 11.5lbs of wood pellets without reloading

Overview:

First off, the Smoke Hollow SH19260119 WG400B is known for its expansive cooking area.

It’s approximately 390 square inches, giving you enough space to cook your favorite meats and vegetables at once. For large BBQ parties, you should give this pellet grill a look.

The Smoke Hollow SH19260119 lets the user cook for hours without needing to reload, The auger system regulates the wood pellet feed rate for consistent digital temperature control.

And we also like the wood pellet grill’s build construction. The pellet grill consists of porcelain covered grate and warming racks of ribs. This helps with making your cooking process easier, as it allows for your food to be evenly heated throughout.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Evenly distributes heat
  • Good build construction

CONS:

  • No advanced features

Cuisinart CPG-4000

Features:

  • 450 square inches cooking area
  • Weather-resistant smoker grill cover
  • 15-pound hopper capacity
  • All-terrain wheels
  • Grease bucket holder

Overview:

With this model, you don’t have to think about flare-ups because the smoke will manage the fuel that it needs. Pop the pellets inside the device, and you’re good to go. If you use a low temperature, you can create more blue smoke while allowing your pellets to smolder.

With the Cuisinart CPG-4000, you can have peace of mind knowing that your food is cooked at the right temperature. The thermostat has an LED display that works by maintaining the heat itself. You can cook foods on fast, hot, low, or slow settings. It can add pellets to fire if it’s requested.

No longer do you have to pack everything together. This smoker grill has a 450 square inches cooking area, which gives you room to space out and not worry. It has enough internal cooking space in the main cooking chamber to hold a flat brisket, pork shoulders, and two chickens.

The Cuisinart CPG-4000 has a sleek design that features 2 terrain wheels. This makes it easy to move the pellet smoker where you want, and it has a stable handle that allows you to carry it around and then store it once it’s not needed.

PROS:

  • Easy installation
  • Electric ignition and easy display
  • Cooks food evenly

CONS:

  • Low-quality door latch

Features:

  • 12V or 11V adapters
  • 3 different power options
  • Sense-Mate
  • Folded legs that double as handles
  • Weighs 60 lbs

Overview:

Here is another addition to our list. The Grills Davy Crockett pellet peaked lid that’s combined with a fan to provide superior convection (airflow) and has more space for food.

Green Mountain pellet grill improves your cooking based on the law on not overcrowding your food.

The Green Mountain Davy Crockett has a 12″ x 18″, which is smaller than the largest stationary grill in the market and is large for a portable pellet grill. This is enough room for a 10-12lb, a small turkey, or a few chickens.

If you plan on using the Grills Davy Crockett pellet grill as a portable grill, then its weight factors its ease of use. This Green Mountain smoker grill weighs in at 60lbs, making it lighter than other pellet grills.

You can fold the Green Mountain Davy Crockett grill legs into handles, making it easier for carrying, and it can be placed on a flat cooking surface, like a tailgate.

PROS:

  • Large area of Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill
  • Portable folded legs
  • Digital temperature control

CONS:

  • The legs can tip unexpectedly

camp chef pursuit 20

Features:

  • Simple Temperature Select System
  • Patented Ash Clean Out
  • 2,100 Cubic Inches Grilling Volume
  • Dual Meat Probe
  • Automatic Auger

Overview:

Let’s talk about the most obvious thing, its size. The Camp Chef Pursuit 20 has a lot of grilling real estate. Not only does it have a large smoker grill cooking surface, but it also includes a split second rack that increases the available grilling space.

When it comes to grilling, the Camp Chef Pursuit 20 does well. The Camp Chef pellet grill provides a nice smoky flavor. Despite being portable and compact, Camp Chef has enough room to smoke at least four racks of spare ribs.

Make sure to rotate your Camp Chef racks from top to bottom in the smoking session to make sure they have the same level of smoke and heat exposure.

PROS:

  • Slide and grill technology
  • LED  display thermometers for improved temperature monitoring
  • Easy to clean ash cleanout system

CONS:

  • Still a bit heavy
  • Legs are unstable

Traeger BBQ155 Junior Elite

Features:

  • Versatile Barbecue Cooking
  • 300 square inches grilling area
  • Digital Elite controller
  • Electronic Auto Start ignition
  • Grilled to Perfection every time

Overview:

Compact and well built, the Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155 is one of the top-rated pellet grills on our list.

The pellet grill has about 300 square inches of large cooking space. And its large enough to place a small turkey inside of it, so it has enough space for 6-8 people.

With its automatic electric start, foolproof digital temperature control, and a front-mounted thermometer, even a beginner can walk to the grill, play around with the controls, and start cooking.

We also like BBQ155 because of its carrying capacity. The hopper capacity can hold up to 10 lbs of pellets, and it uses 2lbs an hour. So it can last for about 5 hours, which means you can set it going without having to worry about it one day later.

Wondering how Pit Boss and Traeger compare against each other? Check out Pit Boss vs Traeger here.

PROS:

  • Digital temperature control for simple usage
  • Electronic automatic start
  • Automatic pellet feature.

CONS:

  • Slow to cook up meats

Masterbuilt

Features:

  • Four coated chrome racks
  • Meat probe thermometer
  • Digital control panels on/off
  • Pellet Hopper doors to help with pellet maintenance
  • Removable crucible

Overview:

Last on our list of the best pellet grill under $500 is the Masterbuilt MB20251719 MWS 330S. It comes with four coated chrome racks that can be used to cook different components at once. This gives you enough room to smoke 2 turkeys, 3 pork butts, 12 chickens, and 4 racks of ribs.

Also, this pellet smoker includes a clean pellet-burning system that adjusts the auger speed and cabin temperature, feeding the right amount of pellets to maintain the right temperature for slow-cooked tenderloin.

With its digital control panel and preset cook cycles, you’ll have BBQ competition results from the comfort of your backyard.

Here are some additional grill options at an affordable range.

PROS:

  • Pellet maintenance
  • Accurate thermometer for better cooking
  • Large cooking space

CONS:

  • Needs for advanced features

Buying Guide

Still confused about the best pellet grills and smokers?

Continue reading this buying guide!

Temperature Range

Knowing the temperature range  is important for the final result of your food. What you’ll need will depend on what cooking techniques you plan on using. High-end pellet grills can reach to 180°F – 425°F which is enough for smoking, grilling, baking, and roasting.

However, if you want to sear meat, you’ll want a pellet grill that can reach 500°F – 550°F heating levels. A good thermometer is necessary. You’ll need an accurate and precise reading so you know that you’re cooking meat at the right temperature.

Cooking Size, Area, Portability

The best Pellet grills under $500 can range from portable grills for tailgating to large grills for commercial usage.

If you’re someone that wants to take your pellet grill on the go, be it partying, camping or any event, you’ll want one with wheels and easy to lift.

If you have a lot of tailgating parties or you cook often at home, then you’ll want a larger pellet grill. Decide your needs before buying a pellet grill to ensure you buy one that properly sized.

When it comes to cooking, consistency is the key if you want better results. For instance, if you’re cooking brisket, the cooking temperature needs to be around 250°F throughout its 12 hour cooking period.

3 Position Controller

The controller board is necessary for precision. The three types of position controllers are 3-position, non-PID one-touch, and PID multi-position. Check out the types of controllers and pick the one that works best for you.

Hopper Size

Your pellet cooker’s hopper container stores pellets ready for the device’s automatic auger to bring them to the firepot. Basically, the size of the hopper will determine how long the cooks will be.

So, buying a pellet grill with a smaller hopper capacity will be annoying because it will fail to go the distance while cooking.

Additional Accessories

Despite being more complicated than standard grilling equipment, best pellet grills under 500 are easier to repair once you have the right parts.

It doesn’t matter if you need to replace the fan or the automatic auger; for most brands, you can find replacement parts easily. Here are the most common pellet grill smoker accessories that can be easily replaced.

  • Auger Motors: Your pellet smoker needs this to run properly. If you need to get them replaced, then you can buy them online or your local hardware store for $30-$40.
  • Fan Motors: Fan and motors come pre-bundled if your pellet grill isn’t working properly. You can easily replace these parts, and with the internet available, it won’t be difficult to find a video tutorial after buying one.
  • PID controllers: PID controllers are replaceable, but you have to buy them separately. Sadly, there is no one size fit all PID controller for pellet grills. 
  • Meat Probes: You’ll want to know the temperature of the meat you’re cooking. For pellet grills without meat probes, or if your current one is broken, then you can purchase meat probe to help you.
  • Pellet Hopper: Some pellet grill smokers come with a hopper extender, which allows you to hold a larger amount of wood pellets. This is useful as it increases your slow cooking time without needing supervision.
  • Chimney, Body Parts, Hinges: Loose body parts like chimneys, screws, and hinges for pellet smokers are widely available online. Whether it’s a broken axle or the casters of your wheels, you won’t find many issues with replacing it.
  • Direct Grill Gates: These protect the grill and pellet smoker from dust, moisture, and weather in general.

Should I Upgrade My Current Pellet Grill?

For best results, we suggest you get a pellet smoker that’s well-made and has a longer warranty. The key to keeping your grill for longer than five years is to maintain it properly. This means you should clean it thoroughly replace the components regularly, so it doesn’t wear out the full system.

Will Upgrading My Grill Fix My Problem?

Fixing your pellet smoker can be as simple as replacing a faulty part. Usually, you’ll spend $50 or less instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for a new smoker. If issues still arise with the grill’s digital operations, then you should hire a professional to help you.

When Should I Look For a New Wood Pellet Smoker?

The answer to this question will depend on the type of malfunction your grill or smoker is expecting. If the problem is fixable, then try repairing it before chucking out money and buying a new one.

Sometimes, you can easily replace the digital temperature control levels or changing the hopper capacity to maintain the smoke levels fully.

Are Pellet Grills Worth the Money?

Well, yes, we don’t see any reason why shouldn’t be investing in a pellet grill. That said, a pellet grill is versatile and will allow you to barbecue, bake, and grill while also letting you explore other cooking methods. What’s more, they are pretty easy to use and inexpensive to own. 

Conclusion

To conclude, we believe that you can get the the right grill with the help of this list. Although we did not include products from good companies like Pit Boss 700fb and Camp Chef Smokepro Dlx, If you want something that’s easy to use, try using the Camp Chef Pursuit 20.

But, for those wanting something more advanced, try the Green Mountain Davy Crockett or check reviews about Summerset grills . Whatever pellet smoker you choose, you’ll have a reliable pellet grill that will be the life of your next BBQ party.

Noam

This article is written by Noam Shahar the founder of Limited-Red, Noam is a serious carnivore, And he has a strong passion when it comes to meat and cook, He Decided to review the "BBQ world" 9 years ago after discovering how many people struggle with choosing their dream grill.
Noam
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