A Guide to Pellet Grills

There is a potential / probable fuel shortage in the near future but, regardless, wood pellets have become increasingly more popular both as a source of fuel of heating and for outdoor cooking.

We’re thinking about converting both.

I know that pellet grills and smokers have become increasing popular in the U.S.

If you’re thinking about making a change for next grilling season, read on for some info:

What Size Pellet Grill Do I Need?

So, what size pellet grill do I need for my household? If you’ve been considering buying a pellet grill, you’re likely researching the different available sizes. It cannot be obvious at first because manufacturers use many different measurements.

However, the most important thing is to find the ideal pellet grill size for your needs. So what does this all mean? Let’s break it down: The size of your grill will directly impact how much food you can cook at once.

We have all the information you need to buy the perfect pellet grill for your needs.

The best way to determine your pellet grill size is by multiplying the number of people you intend to cook for by 72 inches.

There are more factors to consider when determining the pellet grill size you need. But this method will surely help you out.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Pellet Grill Size

Several factors will help you determine your household’s right pellet grill size. They include:

  • Do you intend to use the grill for entertainment?
  • How much food do you prepare per meal?
  • Do you like traveling with your grill?

The best size for a pellet grill will depend on your specific needs. However, a general rule applies to most people.

If you are an average-sized family with 2-4 people in your household, then a grill in the middle size range (300-500 square inches) is probably best. You can cook enough food for the entire family using a middle-sized grill.

However, if you’re going for a large gathering, you can choose from one of the larger models (700-820 square inches).

When purchasing, use the above method to ensure that the dimensions are appropriate for your needs. Manufacturers use many different measurements.

If you’re unsure of what size would be best for you, don’t fear! We have provided a breakdown of the most common sizes so that you can easily find the perfect fit.

The Importance of Knowing the Size

As we’ve already discussed, it is essential to know the size of your pellet grill before you purchase it. This will help you determine whether you can cook enough food for your household.

You don’t want to realize that you can’t make enough food for Thanksgiving or Christmas just before the holiday!

As well as the amount of food you can cook, the size of your grill is also crucial for how easy it is to use.

Smaller models tend to be more compact and easier to move.

The Most Common Sizes

When shopping for your new pellet grill, it can be challenging to determine what the different measurements mean. Here are the most common sizes you will encounter when browsing for new models.

Mini pellet grills are designed for portability and use on camping stoves. They are small and compact and are usually approximately 24.8 x 17.52 x 14.45 inches (L x W x H) in dimension.

Due to the small size, you shouldn’t use it for cooking for a large number of people.

Small pellet grills (530 square inches) are still portable but are a little bigger than mini models. They can fit on a kitchen countertop but are still relatively small.

Mid-sized models (700 to 820 square inches) are ideal for home and camping trips. They are easy to store and easy to move around.

Large pellet grills (900+ square inches) are for heavy use in restaurants and catered events. They are large and heavy to ensure even cooking across the entire surface.

What are The Different Types of Pellet Grills?

There are a few different types of pellet grills available on the market. Each one offers a unique set of features to help configure it to fit your needs. All have open flame technology and can utilize the pellet storage unit.

Two basic categories are under the broad category of pellet grills. These Traeger types have an auger system to feed the pellets.

There’s also the non- Traeger that has no auger system but still manages to get grill flavor by using a hopper. Now, you can get an idea of what both are like by looking at their reviews and stats.

What Makes a Good Pellet Grill?

When people think of pellet grills, they often think of large, heavy-duty models that cook over an open flame. These large models, often called “grass cookers” or “BBQ pellet grills,” are not the best for first-time pellet grill owners.

Pellet Country recommends that you start with a smaller pellet grill like the Rec-Tec Mini Compact Pellet Grill. This pellet grill is also easy to set up and will be your easiest pellet grill to learn to use.

So what makes a good pellet grill? The article has a few more tips that’ll guide you so that you can find the perfect grill for your needs.

7 thoughts on “A Guide to Pellet Grills”

  1. We have a CampChef pellet grill. It really isn’t a grill in the true sense of the word because your header picture belies the fact that you cannot get a sear on your meat on a pellet grill. Pellet grills are best for smoking and slow cooking. We’ve done pork butt roasts, tenderloins, briskets, a prime rib roast, a turkey, several other larger cuts of meat and they’re wonderful. We’ve done burgers and while they’re tasty, they don’t have any char or crisp at all. There is no flame to give them any. Same with steaks and chops. No grill marks, no char, no nothing like that. I tried putting my cast iron flatiron on the grill to see if I could sear burgers or steaks that way. That also does not work.

    My experience is, keep the Weber Grill. While we love our CampChef, you’re gonna want that charcoal.

    Reply
    • I didn’t know that! I just assumed that, if it was a grill it cooked like a grill. Although the smoking sounds good. We would only replace the gas grill, never the 2 charcoal grills lol
      Further research is needed, however. We use the gas grill for foods the hubs doesn’t consider worthy of charcoal – chicken breasts, sausages, burgers….

      Reply
      • Don’t get me wrong, we love the CampChef. But it’s definitely not a grill. It’s not even like our old gas grill that we had when we were first married. That one was plumbed to our natural gas in the house (came with the house) and it cooked similar to a charcoal grill but wasn’t the same. Our pellet grill is an auger feed so other than occasionally checking the hopper, we don’t have to do anything to it except set the temp, make sure the hopper is full, stick the temp probe in the meat and forget it. I think the butt roast we did was 12 hours and it got a wonderful bark on the outside, crisp and tasty. But it definitely will not sear anything because there’s no real flame to be had. Not like you get with charcoal. Same thing when we do ribs or a beef brisket. The bark on the outside is amazing, but it’s definitely not the char you get like a burger.

        I stuffed a turkey and did that on the Weber one year and while they say you’re not technically supposed to because…turkey, it was fabulous! The juice from the turkey dripped into the stuffing and a catch pan and that gravy I made was spectacular, but the whole thing was a lot of work because we had to keep adding briquettes and watch the temp and it had to be surround heat with the catch pan in the center. We’re thinking of trying it on the CampChef since we won’t have to watch the temp at all, but the flavor will be different because of the pellets. You can get just about any flavor pellet you could want though.

        Anyway, if you have questions, ask. We’ve been using the CampChef for oh…four years now and have tried a lot of things. Most everything ends up more smoked than anything, but we do like it very much. It’s just different. And it’s the same as a Traeger.

        Reply
        • We like the smokey flavor but we can’t get that kind of pellet – or wood chips. Actually, we can’t buy wood chips at all – like in the U.S. I remember buying hickory chips which were great.
          The pellets are for heating. Pellet burners are replacing oil / fuel for house heating. They aren’t worried about flavor lol But I have seen grills that use them also and one can buy them in bags (as opposed to having a truckload delivered)
          But all those thoughts are on hold for a few months. Now we’re more concerned with getting this years firewood in the barn lol. It’s gotten cold. What a weird weather year.

          Reply
          • What kind of wood do you have around you? I mean, like the kind you burn for heat? You don’t have to buy wood chips. You can just use cherry or any of the local woods that would give you a nice smoky flavor. They’ll all burn off to nothing. And yes, we call the bagged pellets for our smoker ‘designer’ pellets because if we had a pellet heater, we’d be buying them by the truckload as well. They’d work the same, but we wouldn’t be able to get them flavored either lol

    • We don’t have much wood that would be good for smoking although we did save a bunch from the crab apple tree we cut down a few years ago. We just gave them an extra long soaking first. The rest is pine, oak or acacia…. don’t know about that one. Hmmmm….
      Our heating wood is all oak.

      Reply

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