We know that you’re looking for the best pellet grill under $1,000. So don’t make the weeks that we’ve spent sorting through the best all for nothing.
We were ruthless, and we only allowed the top wood pellet smokers onto our list. We even included a wood and gas combo grill, just in case you need that kind of versatility.
When you get to the bottom of this post, you’re going to understand all of the features of our top picks. You’ll know why those features are important to you as well.
So let’s get cooking. You can almost smell that hickory and applewood now, can’t you?
The Best Pellet Grills For Under $1,000
Traeger Pro Series 575View at Amazon
This is an all-around good grill for anyone needing a medium-sized model for smoking and grilling. The maximum temperature is 500, so you can’t really sear, but you can do everything else. You can barbeque for a big family on the nearly 600 sq. in. of rack space.
You can connect to the Traeger app for keeping an eye on your meal’s progress without having to hover over the hot grill. You’ll be able to see the internal temp of your meat, the elapsed time and the estimated time until everything is done. That way you can enjoy your picnic and let the grill do most of the work.
- Size And Weight: 41”x27”x53” and 124 pounds makes it a medium sized grill for all types of events, except for the largest. Assembly is pretty easy, but you’ll need some help moving the box. After that, it rolls easily on two large wheels.
- Construction: The stainless steel body and barrel will last through many years. And the porcelain-coated cast iron grates resist sticking.
- Cooking Area: The combined 575 sq. in. of the full bottom and half top rack will handle 24 burgers, six racks of ribs or four chickens.
- Temperature Range: The low of about 200 degrees is great for slow smoking and making your neighborhood smell fabulous. The upper end of 500 degrees lets you bake and grill the largest slabs of meat with ease in 10-degree increments.
- Hopper Capacity: You can load 18 pounds of pellets into the big hopper for seven to eight hours of cooking.
- Ease Of Use: Connect with the Traeger app to monitor your temps from anywhere and adjust the heat to your liking. The included meat probe means you’ll never have to lift the lid and let your heat out.
- Warranty: Three years on material and workmanship
Grillers have made this the best rated pellet grill in their reviews. They like the durability, ease of use and large hopper capacity. The biggest complaint is that there is only room for one meat probe.
- WiFire connectivity for remote monitoring and adjustments
- Solid construction
- Good hopper capacity
- Fan speed adjusts automatically for the optimum heat and smoke circulation
- There’s only one meat probe, so you can’t simultaneously monitor multiple meats of different sizes
Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett Grill/SmokerView at Amazon
If you’re looking for a good, light grill that’s easy to take along, take a good look at this one. It’s light, and the legs fold up. You can fit it into the trunk of your car. Folding and unfolding the legs takes less than a minute.
This is also a cheap grill. The quality isn’t the best, but the price is comparable to discount grills that you can find on sale at the big box stores.
Cooking is pretty easy with this grill. The temp gauge monitors the grill’s interior temperature. That means you don’t have to open the lid and guess.
- Size And Weight: 32”x14”x22” and 65 pounds. This portable grill can go with you for tailgating and camping trips.
- Construction: It’s made of thin and light sheet steel for ease of transportation. The folding legs and relatively light weight means that one person can carry it, but a helper would come in useful. It’s too bad that it doesn’t have wheels though.
- Cooking Area: With 219 sq. in. of total cooking area, you won’t be able to cook for big parties. But it’s good enough for a few people. It’ll handle a nine-pound brisket and about a dozen burgers, but not much more.
- Temperature Range: The Sense-Mate grill temp monitor shows you where within the 200 to 450-degree range you are. There is no hookup for a probe. The sensor watches the interior temp.
- Hopper Capacity: The eight pounds of pellets that the hopper can hold is enough to completely smoke or grill anything that will fit into the grill.
- Ease Of Use: Connect to the iOS or Android app for remote monitoring while you’re fishing or playing catch. You don’t need WiFi, which is great for camping.
- Warranty: It’s two-year warranty covers craftsmanship and defects in materials.
Those in the market for a cheap and light portable grill for trips or apartment balconies are happy with their choice. They say that, with proper care, this grill will outlast its warranty by years. All in all, people are very satisfied with the top-rated pellet smoker that they got for their money.
- Small and light
- Easy to store
- Easy to assemble
- Remote monitoring
- Nice hopper capacity
- Can be damaged easily
- No wheels
Oklahoma Joe’s Rider Deluxe Pellet GrillView at Amazon
This is basically a professional unit scaled down a bit for the backyard cook. Indeed, you can see this very model at cookoffs and barbeque competitions all over the country.
With about 1,200 sq. in. of cooking space, you can feed a large gathering. You can even roast an entire suckling pig. That’s not to mention all the burgers, ribs and briskets you can fit inside. And don’t forget about steaks. You can slide the sear lever to heat the center of the bottom rack to a blazing 650 degrees. That’s not a very common feature among pellet grills.
Watch the probe temperature to keep an eye on your meat’s internal temps, or just set a timer on the control. There’s only one probe included for this huge grill, but the price is right.
- Size And Weight: The 31”x56”x54” size is large, sure, but it’s deceivingly small considering the cooking space you get. And at 223 pounds, it’s no small task to move it anywhere. But the oversized wagon wheels and rubber-coated handle does help you scoot it around.
- Construction: The heavy-gauge steel is tough, and the black enamel ensures that the elements can’t easily get to the steel. It’s made to last. You get the high-quality porcelain-coated steel grate that indicates overall superior build. There’ll be no sticking here.
- Cooking Area: There’s a big main bottom rack and two removable upper racks. All together, you get a whopping 1,200 sq. in. of cooking area. This is a restaurant-sized cooker.
- Temperature Range: For all kinds of outdoor cooking, you’ll be somewhere in the 175 to 550-degree range offered here. Do you want to sear? Then you hit sear mode to raise the temp of the circular searing disk in the middle to over 650 degrees.
- Hopper Capacity: Big grills need big hoppers. The 20-pounder on this grill fits the bill nicely, and it lets you cook uninterrupted for up to 18 hours.
- Ease Of Use: Here’s where things get interesting. You can set a timer to let you know when your meat is done. Or you can use the probe to monitor the internal temp of the meat. There is no remote monitoring or PID controls.
- Warranty: The company will repair or replace, at their discretion, grills that have defects in materials or workmanship in the three-year warranty period.
The reviews we found are all very similar to the ones for the Z-Grills model detailed above. Customer satisfaction is high, but people complain about having to replace the auger. It’s covered under the warranty, but replacements can take up to three weeks to ship.
Aside from that one problem, the reviews are outstanding. Everyone loves the amazing capacity of both the grill and the hopper. Besides the auger, the durability is legendary.
- Over 1,200 sq. in. of cooking space
- Large wheels make it easy to move
- Sear function
- Wide temp range
- Durable, with one exception
- Large hopper
- Great price
- Issues requiring replacement augers, and labor is not included in the warranty
- Very heavy grill
Pit Boss Austin XL Pellet Grill With Flame BroilerView at Amazon
The first thing you’ll notice is how gorgeous this grill looks. But that copper inlay on the lid isn’t just for looks. Copper is highly resistant to discoloring from heat. That’s why it’s there. It protects the hottest part of the grill.
You can slow cook all the way down to 150 degrees for Boston butts that fall right off the bone. But you can also speed the heat up for all other kinds of cooking. It has about 1,000 sq. in. of rack space. That’s plenty for just about any kind of event you can think of.
It’s solidly built and backed by a long five-year warranty. You’ll be unlikely to need it, however. If you do have a problem within the warranty period, it’ll likely be one of the digital components that fails. The rest of the grill is solid steel and porcelain.
- Size And Weight: This grill is long, but not too high or deep at 63”x26”x29”. And at 181 pounds, you’ll be glad that you have the stainless steel casters for pushing it around on hardtop.
- Construction: Black enameled steel is common among premium grills. But the copper enameled lid that you see on this grill isn’t. The copper protects the hottest part of the grill, the lid, from heat discoloration. We like the thick porcelain that coats the cast iron rack. It will last for decades, possibly.
- Cooking Area: Go ahead and grill 44 burgers or smoke eight chickens with the 1,000 sq. in. cooking area.
- Temperature Range: The lower range of 150 degrees almost offers true cold smoking. You can’t make jerky with it, but you can smoke the most absolutely tender cuts of meat at that low of a temperature. You can go up to 550, which is great for all other types of cooking. And here’s the kicker. It has a real flame broiler for direct heat cooking. Anyone up for a London broil?
- Hopper Capacity: You’ll be able to slow-smoke a small whole hog all day and all night without having to add any pellets if you fill the 31-pound capacity hopper at the beginning. The hopper purge function easily and cleanly removes all leftover pellets for you, in case you want to change flavors or just clean the grill out for storage.
- Ease Of Use: Its digital readout gives you the temperature from the meat probe at a glance. You won’t find much storage, but the removable serving tray is a convenient and classy feature.
- Warranty: You can supplement the five-year warranty with an affordable extended warranty if you wish.
This is the best pellet smoker grill, or at least that’s what we gather from the reviews we’ve studied. People love that they can get all the features of a premium pellet smoker, yet still keep the charm and simplicity of traditional grills. And the flame broiler is a big hit.
- Beautiful protective copper enamel on the lid
- Great lower end temp range
- Nice and wide for plenty of cooking room
- Simple and durable
- Flame broiler included
- Easy-to-use digital temp control
- The LCD readout and control buttons are very small and not easy to see
Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24 Pellet GrillView at Amazon
This is one of the best smart grills out there. It lets you keep tabs on your internal temps and keeps track of the time you got left before you have to flip your burgers or check your roast. And it’s a lot bigger than most other smart grills on the market. You get over 800 sq. in. for your cooking.
There are two accessories that you should be aware of, even though they’re not included with the purchase. The Sidekick is basically a range that replaces the storage table on the side. You can simmer sauces and cook sides, just like you could with a side range on a propane grill. And the sear box gets really hot to lock in the juices of meats. Both of these accessories are worth a look.
The temperatures are constantly adjusted for accuracy with a PID controller. It slowly feeds pellets into the fire box to keep the inside temp within just five degrees of where you set it.
- Size And Weight: This medium-sized unit measures 30”x42”x49”, which is good for even small spaces. 132 pounds of steel and iron make it nice and sturdy.
- Construction: It’s made of durable black powder-coated steel. And those legs are 50 millimeters thick. That adds to the stability. You’ll love the porcelain-coated steel racks that keep food from sticking, even when searing.
- Cooking Area: Two racks give you a total of 811 sq. in. of cooking space. Add the sidekick range for making side dishes. It replaces the shelf, so you’ll lose a little convenient storage space, but it’s a good accessory to have for cooking complete meals.
- Temperature Range: The cooking chamber has a range of 160 to 550 degrees, all in five degree increments on the PID controller, for most types of outdoor cooking. Use the slide and grill feature to sear meats at over 650 degrees over direct wood flames. You can also add a sear box for blazing temperatures and superior charring.
- Hopper Capacity: 22 pounds of pellets, the full capacity, should burn for about 20 hours. But you’ll get much less burn time when you use the slide and grill or sear box.
- Ease Of Use: Connect to the app with WiFi or directly via Bluetooth. That lets you monitor and adjust the temp from anywhere. You can also get notifications about the progress of your food sent right to your phone.
- Warranty: You get the standard Camp Chef three-year warranty.
This pellet grill has perhaps the best reviews we’ve perused. It was actually pretty hard to find any legit complaints. Folks love the versatility of the side kick range and the slide and grill, which lets you grill over direct flame just as you would with a propane grill. The thing people regret is the price.
- Side range and sear box available
- Slide and grill allows grilling over open flame
- Smart Smoke Technology allows you to control smoke output in 10 increments, with the auger automatically feeding the correct amount of pellets
- Smart monitoring and adjustments from your device when connected to the app
- On the expensive side
Pit Boss Wood Pellet And Gas Combo GrillView at Amazon
Both pellet and gas grills have their advantages. This grill combines them both. One side is fired with wood pellets, and the other is fueled with propane burners. You can use the both at the same time. Or you can just use whichever you want to at the time.
Each side has 500 sq. in. of cooking surface. Both together give you a thousand inches. The pellet side goes up to a respectable 500 degrees, but the gas side will reach over 1,000. This grill will truly handle any kind of outdoor cooking you will ever want to do.
Both sides are controlled with a simple dial, and each side has a meat probe.
This may be the best bet for you if you like the versatility that a combo grill has to offer.
- Size And Weight: At 70”x34”x47”, this is among the longest of the grills on our list. And its 203 pounds make it among the heaviest. But that means it’s more stable.
- Construction: The powder-coated steel body will last a lifetime if it’s properly cared for. And the porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates are heavy and stick-free.
- Cooking Area: You get 500 sq. in. of cooking space on each side. When you combine the gas and pellet sides, you get a sweet 1,000 inches total.
- Temperature Range: Each side is more or less adjustable from 180 to 550 degrees. But the propane chamber is capable of up to 1,000 degrees for searing tasty meat juices in.
- Hopper Capacity: You can load up to 16 pounds of pellets into the hopper for long, slow bouts of smoking. A full hopper should last about 13 hours.
- Ease Of Use: Both the propane and pellet sides adjust with dials, and each side has a probe for internal temp monitoring. Everything is displayed on the LCD digital readout.
- Warranty: The five-year warranty exceeds the industry standard of three years.
The reviews are clear. This is the best gas and pellet grill combo. You can thank the ease of use and versatility for that. Backyard cooks like that they can simultaneously smoke and grill in a traditional manner. And the durability of this grill gets a lot of thumbs up.
- Cooks with both propane and pellets with dedicated chambers for each
- Easy to see and use readout and dial temp controls
- Extended warranty
- Great traditional design
- Although there is 1,000 sq. in. of total cooking space, it is split between the two sides. This means that you get less space if you’re only going to use one side for a cookout
Broil King Baron 500 Pellet GrillView at Amazon
Not only is this one among the most affordable, but it is also one of the easiest to use. You can just put your food into the grill, load the hopper and push a single preset button. Then you can let the grill do the cooking. It will send a notification to your phone when your food is done. Don’t you just love smart grills?
You don’t get a whole lot of room for cooking. But 500 sq. in. will cook a decently sized meal. The temperature goes from 225 to 600 degrees, which should really be all you’ll ever need.
Another thing we like is the warranty. You usually don’t see five-year warranties come with grills in this price range.
- Size And Weight: The 49”x23”x31” size means that you can still use it on a balcony, but it will be right at home in your yard as well. It weighs 175 pounds, so it’s stable and feels nice and solid.
- Construction: All materials that are in direct contact with heat are made of steel, except the grates, which are pure cast iron with no porcelain coating. That means you won’t have to worry about chipping the coating when doing a good cleaning.
- Cooking Area: About 500 sq. in. is nice for several racks of ribs over a dozen burgers.
- Temperature Range: Slow smoke at 225 degrees, grill at 600 and do everything in between. There are three preset buttons for smoking, baking and grilling to make things simpler. You can also precisely control the temp with the dial, although the readout is digital.
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds of pellets will go for about 14 hours at mid to lower temps. Leftover pellets can be removed easily with the clear out chute.
- Ease Of Use: Connect the grill to your phone with Bluetooth or WiFi. Then you’ll be able to check your temps and adjust them without walking over to the grill. And the two probes mean that you won’t even have to lift the lid if you’d rather stay by your grill.
- Warranty: It comes with a five-year warranty on the grill body and a two-year warranty on everything else, including the powder coat. Few grills warranty their exterior coating like this
Good pellet grills like this get a lot of attention. It wasn’t hard to find rave reviews on this one. The things that people like the most are the smart features and the pellet chute. What they don’t like is the cooking area. Most wish it was just a little bigger.
- Remotely check and adjust temperatures
- Easy to use dial and easy to see digital readout
- Warranty includes powder coating and all parts
- Three temperature preset buttons for ease of use
- Somewhat smaller cooking space
- Meat may stick to cast iron grates if they’re not properly seasoned from time to time
Louisiana Grills LG900 Pellet GrillView at Amazon
We like the traditional design of this grill. It looks like an old-time smoker. But a closer look will reveal the modern digital control panel. And it’s accurate too. It’ll hold temp as closely as within five degrees of your setting.
Most pellet grills max out at 550 degrees. But this one has a special feature. You slide a handle to move the deflector plate out of the way to expose the flames from the fire box. Then you can move your meat directly over the wood flame for authentic char or searing.
To be fair, this grill doesn’t offer the highest value. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have useful features. It surely does. It’s just that the price is rather high for what you get. But don’t look away without seriously considering this one if you like to sear your meat or if you like that traditional smoker design.
- Size And Weight: The 44”x39”x24” size makes it a good grill for yards and patios, but not so great for smaller spaces. One person can wheel this 166-pound grill around on hard surfaces. But these wheels are thin, so they don’t go through grass or dirt very well.
- Construction: It’s made of steel in a naturally strong barrel shape. Both grates are non-stick, sturdy porcelain-coated steel.
- Cooking Area: The large main grate on the bottom and the slightly smaller top rack offer a total of 913 sq. in.
- Temperature Range: It’s digitally controlled from 170 to 600 degrees. That’s a good range for everything from slow roasting and smoking to grilling. You can easily slide the baffle out of the way for direct flame grilling. That’s how you get a good char and quick searing.
- Hopper Capacity: A full hopper, which is about 14 pounds, will keep the heat flowing for around 12 hours for slow cooking. Grilling uses more heat and offers six hours or less.
- Ease Of Use: You set the temperature and forget it. The meat probe is programmable in increments of as low as five degrees. You usually only find this kind of precision in grills with PID controls. It’s also easy to clean, and the lid is much lighter than it looks.
- Warranty: It has a three year warranty for craftsmanship and five years for parts.
The most common complement directed at this grill is its charming traditional barrel shape. You can tell it’s a smoker from far away. If you like that kind of design, which is getting rarer nowadays, you may love this one. There aren’t many complaints, except for those about the small, thin wheels.
- Good amount of cooking space
- Good temp range
- Direct flame broiling function
- Very precise temperature control
- Easy to clean and use
- It’s hard to move over anything other than paved or hard surfaces because of the weight and sub-par wheels
- When looking at price versus features, this isn’t the best value out there
The Bottom Line
The Traeger Pro Series 575 is the winner here. It has a great value for a medium-sized grill, and its many features include an app that lets you control and monitor everything from your phone.
If you need a bigger cooking area than that, take a look at Z-Grills Wood Pellet Smoker. It’s way bigger, with over 1,000 sq. in. of cooking area split into three racks. It can’t be remotely controlled or monitored, but the LCD display and digital control are really easy to master.
Our pick for the best budget and the best portable model is the Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett. It’s small and light, and it costs just a hair over $300.
Now you are well armed with all the info you need to get the best pellet grill for the money. Why not go ahead and get your new smoker today?