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Home » Best Inexpensive Pellet Grills To Try for Your Next Barbecue

Best Inexpensive Pellet Grills To Try for Your Next Barbecue

The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill will help you enhance your grilling game. With its constant temperature control, grilling capacity, and high degree of performance, it was rated as the best overall throughout our testing. Despite its small size, the Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 600 Pellet Grill has more than enough room for a few hog shoulders and can smoke all day without needing to be refilled.

Do you want to wow your friends and family with a flawlessly smoked piece of meat at your next BBQ party, but don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of cooking it? Then a pellet grill may be ideal for you. Pellet grills, also known as pellet smokers, operate similarly to ovens in that you choose your preferred temperature and they will automatically maintain the ideal heat level to cook your meal.

Some pellet smokers may be pretty pricey, so we decided to test out some of the less costly ones. We examined a range of low-cost pellet grills, both in our experts’ backyards and in our Lab. Our testers used them to cook anything from hamburgers to pig ribs to chicken thighs, and we graded them based on characteristics like temperature control, convenience of use, unique features, and more.

Based on our testing, these are the best low-cost pellet grills on the market.

1. Best Overall: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

 1. Best Overall: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

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What We Enjoy

  • Simple user interface
  • Temperature management that is consistent
  • Price competition
  • Characteristics that are unique

What We Dislike

  • Dimensions are restricted.
  • Concerns with pellet feed

Pellet grills are available in a number of sizes and configurations. The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Grill takes the top rank among pellet grills by providing the ideal mix of grilling area, heat control, and easy-to-achieve tastes that will produce excellent meats time and time again. No matter how skilled you are on the grate, the grill makes cooking with pellets fast, simple, and pleasant.

Without any input, digital temperature controls with an automated auger maintain the optimum level of heat. As a consequence, you’ll be able to concentrate on grilling on the huge, dual-tier cooking surface. The two grilling surfaces together provide 570 square inches of cooking area. When we sent this to our product tester’s house, he said it was “easier than putting together the typical piece of IKEA furniture.” He lit up the grill after seasoning the grates and enjoyed how it remained within 10 degrees of his intended temperature. He also liked that it reached 500 degrees, which is 50 degrees higher than typical models.

Our reviewer discovered was with the 18-pound hopper during testing. When the pellets run out, it has difficulties putting them onto the grill, resulting in an error message. You should keep that full. Finally, the built-in ash cleaning mechanism makes cleanup a breeze. Camp Chef SG 24 Pellet Grill fared well in our lab testing if you require a little bigger hopper and want a smart pellet grill. It remained linked to our phones, and the automated temperature adjustment and shutdown menu made it very user-friendly.

Check out Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Review

2. Best for Novice Grillers: Z Grills 450A Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

 2. Best for Novice Grillers: Z Grills 450A Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

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What We Enjoy

  • Affordable
  • Food has a lot of taste.
  • Maintains a constant temperature of +/- 15 degrees.
  • Cover included

What We Dislike

  • Preheating takes longer than intended.
  • Preparation tables are too tiny.
  • It never gets hot enough to sear.

Z Grills improved their ZPG-450A pellet grill, making it user-friendly for novice grillers. They improved the temperature control and pellet feed systems, among other things. The digital control board now automatically ignites the grill and gives temperatures ranging from 180 to 450 degrees for a variety of cooking ways. A large fold-down front table holds food, dishes, and tools before folding out of the way when not in use.

The temperature can be easily checked using the LED display, and the automated feed adds pellets as required to maintain the desired temperature. The porcelain-coated cast iron grates offer 452 square inches of cooking area. With a 15-pound hopper capacity, this can endure numerous cooking sessions without needing to reload, or up to 15 hours in one go. The bronze color of the lids is appealing, and the two huge wheels make it simple to move into position.

This grill was used by our tester to cook hamburgers, steak, pulled pork, and even pizza. She was blown away by the taste of the meat and the grill’s ability to keep a steady temperature. Long this grill won’t get hot enough to sear and takes a while to heat up, our tester called it “an outstanding deal.” Its simple and effective controls also make it ideal for someone who is new to grilling.

While we reviewed the 450A in 2021, Z Grills has since produced an updated model, the Pioneer 450B. This model has not yet been tested by Spruce Eats, however it includes enhanced digital controls and a new pellet cleanout mechanism. It’s also reasonably priced.

Check out Z Grills 7002C2E Review

3. Best Traeger: Traeger Tailgater 20 Pellet Grill

 3. Best Traeger: Traeger Tailgater 20 Pellet Grill

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What We Enjoy

  • Simple to use interface
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Excellent for grilling and smoking.

What We Dislike

  • prone to temperature fluctuations
  • Little hopper

Review of the Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill

Traeger is one of the most well-known pellet grill brands, and with cause. Its grills are typically dependable, well-made, and simple to use. They are, however, more pricey, so if you’re on a limited budget, the Traeger Tailgater 20 is one of the most economical alternatives from the company. While it is officially meant for tailgating, its 300 square inches of cooking area is ideal for a small patio or outdoor camping. Our Lab tester observed that it could hold enough food for a few individuals, holding up to four 8-ounce steaks at a time.

This grill’s previous iteration had an amazingly basic UI, and it’s grown much simpler. Simply set the digital settings to the appropriate temperature and let the machine do the rest. While it rapidly reached temperature, it does not surpass 500 degrees, which is a problem if you often sear. It can store up to 8 pounds of pellets in its hopper, so keep an eye on it during lengthy smoking sessions, as we discovered during a 7-hour pork butt roast test.

Our home tester reported some crazy temperature fluctuations after setting up the grill, however our Lab team only recorded greater temps towards the rear of the grill. All in all, this is a really adaptable grill in a little size. Furthermore, the lightweight (for a pellet grill) design with folding legs for convenient storage is unbeatable, albeit we found it little challenging to move during home testing.

Check out Best Traeger Grill Reviews in 2023

4. Most Compact: Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 600 Pellet Grill

 4. Most Compact: Oklahoma Joe's Rider 600 Pellet Grill

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What We Enjoy

  • Ideal for modest families
  • Searing mode is separate.
  • Enough area to smoke four pork shoulders at the same time
  • Pellet storage container is included.

What We Dislike

  • There are no handles to assist with movement.
  • Cleaning is a little difficult.

If you just cook for one or two people, you probably don’t need a large grill. Consider the Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 600 Pellet Grill, which is smaller in size but not in features. This grill features an extraordinarily deep primary cooking surface of 380 inches—plus a retractable warming rack—and the team found that it could accommodate at least four hog shoulders or two huge beef briskets when tested in the Lab. Its hopper can contain up to 20 pounds of pellets and does not need to be refilled on a regular basis.

The grill has two modes of operation: smoking between 175 and 300 degrees and grilling on low, medium, or high heat. When we tried it, it swiftly reached temperature and performed well in baking and grilling. The last batch of chicken wings was the best of the 18 pellet grills we used that day.

The Oklahoma Joe’s Pellet Grill has a more basic feature set. It has a built-in timer to help you keep track of your food and two temperature sensors to tell you when your meat reaches the proper internal temperature. The cooking chamber has a detachable ash cup for simple maintenance, but it required some washing to get the grates clean after testing, and it even comes with a pellet storage container that hangs handily behind the hopper. You should also use caution while moving it since there are no handles and if you move it incorrectly, the pellets will leak, as our lab discovered.

Check out Oklahoma Joe’s Reverse Smokers Complete Reviews For BBQ Lovers

5. Best Easy Cleaning: Camp Chef SmokePro SE Pellet Grill

 5. Best Easy Cleaning: Camp Chef SmokePro SE Pellet Grill

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What We Enjoy

  • Ash cleansing method with a lever
  • Meat probe is included.
  • Simple upkeep

What We Dislike

  • Smoke level is low.

Camp Chef is a well-known brand of barbecues and smokers, including pellet grills. This one has a temperature range of 160 to 500 degrees and two meat probes for monitoring your roasts. When you prefer smoking to grilling, the adjustable chimney top and clever smoke technologies assist to keep the temperature consistent.

This model boasts a handy lever-operated ash cleanout system and a grease management system for easy cleaning and maintenance, and the roller wheels let you to put it anywhere you choose. The large cooking surface and 18-pound pellet hopper make it simple to prepare meals for the family or a group. Additional warming racks and a front shelf are available for purchase separately.

Check Out Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven Review

Final Decision

Because of its professional-grade performance at an affordable price, the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is our top selection. It has 570 square inches of cooking area and wowed us with its steady temperature management and distinctive features. If you’re new to pellet grills, the Z Grills 450A Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker is simple to operate and will help you cook up delicious meals.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Low-Cost Pellet Grill


Cooking capacity, like that of other grills, is an essential issue. Will you solely use the grill for family meals, or will you organize outdoor parties that need you to serve a crowd? Although pellet grills cook food rapidly, you don’t want to have your guests wait in line while you prepare the second round of burgers.


Even if you never take your pellet grill on a road trip, you may want to transfer it from one side of the yard to the other during a party, or move it out of the way while not in use. While some pellet grills are light enough to handle on their own, wheels make the process simpler. Of course, if you have a permanent location for your barbecue, mobility is less important.

Distinctive Characteristics

Though all of the pellet grills on our list serve the same fundamental purpose, each offers distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from the competition, such as Wi-Fi compatibility or folding legs for mobility. While some of these extras may be of little interest to you, others may make that specific grill a must-buy—so take a good look.


What is the operation of a pellet grill?

Pellet grills work a little differently than a gas or charcoal barbecue. These grills contain a “hopper” that you load with hardwood pellets, and when you turn the grill on, an auger mechanically feeds the pellets into a cooking chamber. The pellets are burnt in the cooking chamber, distributing heat and smoke throughout the grill and cooking food with indirect heat rather than open flames.

One major distinction between pellet grills and other forms of fuel is that they maintain their own temperature. Using the grill’s control panel, you choose the temperature you wish to cook at, and the machine keeps the temperature on its own, adding additional pellets as required. This eliminates the need for you to continually check the grill.

Is a pellet grill powered by electricity?

Pellet grills, unlike gas or charcoal grills, need electricity to operate. A pellet grill’s control panel, thermometer, auger, and fans are often all powered by electricity, so the item must be plugged in before you can begin cooking.

What are the benefits of a pellet grill?

Some individuals prefer pellet grills over standard charcoal or gas ones for a variety of reasons. One of the key advantages is that they allow accurate temperature control with minimum supervision, which is important if you want to smoke food for extended periods of time, for example.

Pellet grills also provide a delicious smokey taste to food, and you can alter the flavor profile of your meals by using various kinds of pellets. Furthermore, since pellet grills utilize indirect heat, they reduce flare-ups and provide more uniform cooking.