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Home » Best Portable Pellet Grills You Can Grill and Smoke Everywhere

Best Portable Pellet Grills You Can Grill and Smoke Everywhere

The reputation of pellet barbecues as being easily transportable is not exactly stellar. The vast majority of types are cumbersome, wall-wart-like devices.

As pellet grills have grown in popularity, manufacturers have released a number of high-quality portable versions that include nifty features to make it easy to carry your pellet smoker with you wherever you go.

After many months of testing a wide variety of grills for smoking and cooking, we concluded that the Traeger Tailgater was the finest portable pellet grill due to its exceptional mobility characteristics, amazing grilling performance, and inexpensive price point.

Top-Rated Portable Pellet Grills of 2023 Explained

The products listed below are the top choices for portable pellet smokers currently available. We tested each model in this book extensively over the course of many weeks, cooking numerous varieties of meat and making detailed notes on our experiences.

In all, we looked at seven portable pellet grills and narrowed it down to our top pick, runner-up, budget pick, and ultra-portable pick.

1. Best overall – Traeger Tailgater

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The Traeger Tailgater’s name gives away the grill’s convenient portability: its legs fold up and attach to the unit’s side.

The Traeger Tailgater is ideal for tailgating cooking because to its integrated 15 Amp power supply and meat probe.

One of the Tailgater’s strongest points is its grilling capability. The 429-square-inch cooking surface is large enough to feed a large group and can maintain the high heat necessary for successful grilling and searing.

The Tailgater is not just a great grill, but also a great smoker.

There are, however, certain drawbacks to consider. It’s not the easiest pellet grill to set up, what with its finicky folding legs and its tiny (8 pound) pellet hopper and complicated settings.

The Traeger Tailgater, on the other hand, is the finest option for those in need of a sturdy, portable, tailgate-ready pellet grill that works beautifully with burgers, ribs, and chicken.

A broad temperature range and outstanding performance when grilling and smoking at higher degrees make up for the lack of Bluetooth and WiFi compared to other models on the market.

Even though it’s best to have two people to carry it, this is still one of the most transportable pellet smokers available.

The Traeger Tailgater is all it claims to be: portable, user-friendly, and offering a wide variety of cooking options.

For those with little outside space, such as a patio or deck, it is large enough to serve as a home barbecue.

2. Best Budget – Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett

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As the finest portable pellet grill in terms of value for money, we recommend the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett.

Davy Crockett has been reimagined and rebranded by Green Mountain Grills. It’s been rebranded as simply “Trek,” and it now has sturdier legs and an adjustable heat barrier to do away with hotspots. When we’ve got some experience with the new model in the kitchen, we’ll update this article.

The Davy Crockett is a stainless steel pellet grill with its own built-in 120v power supply, and it is advertised by Green Mountain Grills as “the go-to grill for small families, campers, tailgaters, RVers, or anybody who wants to cook two racks of ribs or 4-6 great steaks or a lot of burgers.”

The Davy Crockett may be operated with either the included battery terminal clamp and wires, or with the optional 12v automotive power connection.

A meat probe, spring folding legs, WiFi connection, and a side mount rack are some of the other features.
Our research led us to conclude that the Davy Crockett is the greatest low-cost alternative because of its sturdy construction, respectable temperature range, and wide selection of shockingly high-tech features for the price you spend.

The problem was resolved by a new circuit board sent by Green Mountain Grills’ technical assistance, however that solution was not without its own problems, as detailed in the complete review.

Overall, we found the Davy Crockett to be nicely constructed, to have a number of useful functions, and to be portable enough for usage at tailgates, in RVs, and at campgrounds, despite minor temperature changes.

3. Pit Boss Sportsman

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The Pit Boss Sportsman is a compact pellet smoker that can grill or smoke meals rapidly and effectively without sacrificing portability.

The Sportsman’s durability is what sets it apart from other small pellet grills, making it a standout in its category.

Even if you’ve never used a pellet smoker before, this grill’s digital control panel makes it easy to get started.

The heat rod lever allows the grill to reach temperatures in excess of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for searing.

It includes a 10 pound pellet hopper, so you won’t have to keep stopping what you’re doing to restock it, and its porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates can easily accommodate a family’s worth of meals.

4. Traeger Ranger

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Tabletop pellet grills like the Traeger Ranger, Z Grills Cruiser, and Country Smokers The Traveller are all available. offers a total of 280 square inches of cooking surface, enough for most families, and massive cast-iron grates with no spaces between them for simple cleaning.

The computerized Elite Controller provides precise temperature regulation for up to 12 individual zones (so you can easily use both direct and indirect heat).

In terms of features, it offers everything you might want in a contemporary BBQ gadget, including Wi-Fi connectivity for remote cooking monitoring by smartphone or tablet.

Traeger Ranger is a high-quality portable pellet grill, but it has a few flaws that keep it from being at the top of our list. These flaws include a smaller temperature range and a steeper learning curve than competing manufacturers.

5. Camp Chef Pursuit 20

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The Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill is our top pick, so we couldn’t wait to test out their portable version.

The Pursuit 20 is an affordable and portable smoker that nevertheless has all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, such as PID control, dual meat probes, and a variety of user-defined smoke settings.

The Camp Chef Pursuit 20 pellet grill is a high-quality investment that delivers reliable results with any cooking method.

A total of 501 square inches of cooking space is provided between the base grill’s 253 square inches and the top rack’s 248 square inches.

We found this model to be user-friendly, which is not typically the case with grills in this price range due to complications with the controller and its connection to the hopper.

With the digital control panel, you never have to second-guess turning on your grill, and it heats up in no time at all. You may adjust the Pursuit 20’s smoke output to your liking with the included smoke control.

6. Best Ultra Portable Option – Z Grills Cruiser 200A Portable Pellet Grill

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All the smaller grills we’ve seen so far are quite similar to their bigger counterparts. The Traeger Tailgater may have been downsized and given folding legs, but it would still look right at home as a permanent barbecue on your patio.

Z Grills’ Cruiser 200A is an alternative take on the pellet grill. This grill is intended for camping and was created with portability in mind.

Since there is no cart or legs included with this barbecue, you may set it up anywhere you choose.

When compared to standard barbecue barbecues, you sacrifice some space (the Z Grills comes in with 202 square inches, less than half that of the Traeger Tailgater).

In exchange, you get a barbecue that’s 22 pounds lighter and can be moved about by one person with ease.

The grill worked well in our testing, maintaining stable temperatures throughout. Depending on the temperature outside, an 8-pound hopper will allow for 10 hours of continuous low and slow cooking.

Burgers and hot dogs may still be grilled at a maximum temperature of 450°F, but the grill marks won’t be as nice as they would be on a charcoal grill.

The Z Grills is far less expensive than the Traeger Ranger, yet its construction is on par with that model’s.

The Z Grills Cruiser 200A is a great option if you’re looking for a portable wood pellet barbecue.

7.  Country Smokers The Traveler

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The Traveler is a superb portable pellet grill and smoker since it is efficient, simple, and low-maintenance. An additional possible top pick for portable pellet barbecues.

In combination with a 100-watt inverter, the grill may be powered directly from a 12-volt DC outlet in your car. The Traveler was a portable barbecue that managed to keep a steady temperature.

This is one of the lightest portable pellet grills available at only 52.9 pounds, perhaps due to its tiny 5 lb hopper and lack of legs.

While the Traveler boasts several nifty features—a searing zone and a detachable grill grate for more headroom—it also has a few small downsides, such as no backstop to prevent food from falling off and onto the floor.

For a portable wood pellet barbecue, The Traveler has everything you could want: it is very lightweight, simple to use, and simple to clean.

The advantages of a portable pellet barbecue outweigh the costs

One of the most often inquiries we hear when recommending a portable pellet grill is why someone wouldn’t simply obtain a portable gas or charcoal barbecue instead.

Pellet grills have to be big and cumbersome and run on electricity, right?

Actually, you’re right about it. Unlike a basic charcoal barbecue like a Weber Go-Anywhere or a gas alternative like the Weber Q1000, a portable pellet grill will never be as light and easy to move.

A portable pellet grill may not be as portable as some of the alternatives, but it has several advantages that make up for this.

  • Many people are beginning to see the advantages of using wood pellets as a fuel source due to its many positive qualities. Therefore, it does not add any taste to what you are cooking. If you want authentic BBQ flavor without the flue-cured undertones of gas or charcoal barbecues, this is your best bet.
  • The ease with which even a beginner can operate a pellet barbecue is remarkable. The more advanced versions have digital controls that let you set a temperature and leave it alone for the duration of your cooking session.
  • A portable pellet grill, such as the Davy Crockett, may be powered in a variety of ways, including by its own built-in power source, by connecting it to a battery, generator, or vehicle, or by utilizing charcoal.
  • Pellet grills are easily capable of reaching high temperatures in comparison to charcoal or gas barbecues. With the touch of a button, you can obtain a fantastic sear on any meat or veggies you’re preparing.
  • Grilling your meat on a pellet grill not only gives you the option to grill it, but also gives you the option to smoke it, giving you a degree of versatility not seen with other grills.

Tips for selecting the best portable pellet grill

There are a lot of things to think about while shopping for a portable pellet barbecue, such as:

Miniature and transportable

Whether or whether the grill you select is really portable will depend on your chosen method of transport. You must check that the grill’s measurements fit the trunk or cargo area of your vehicle.

Consider how easily the legs fold away, how heavy the grill is, and whether you’ll need more than one person to put it up and take it down.

Larger pellet hoppers allow for more pellets to be loaded at once, although larger isn’t necessarily preferable. Check the manufacturer’s website for the recommended total cook time, since a bigger grill will use more pellets.

The Available Power Sources

In the past, we’ve discussed the many power sources that may be used to run your portable pellet barbecue.

You may use either regular electricity or the 12-volt DC socket in your car to power the grill.

The majority of today’s versions may be run off of a car’s power outlet, a generator, or a battery.

Kitchen and desk space

You’ll have less space to prepare meals since portable equals small.

Be careful to verify the cooking chamber size if you want to prepare for a big number of people or many dishes at once.

You don’t want people to be hungry because you can’t make enough food all at once.

Construction Excellence

When shopping for outdoor cooking gear, it’s important to prioritize durability.

You need it to be strong and long-lasting so that it doesn’t crumble under pressure.

Taking a look at the building materials will give you an indication of how much abuse your new portable pellet grill can withstand before breaking.

In most cases, stainless steel components are preferable than plastic ones; nonetheless, multiple grades of stainless steel exist.

Keep in mind that mobile devices and other similar devices are more likely to be jostled than fixed ones.


Each grill we looked at had a unique set of characteristics. Commonplace ones are meat thermometers and PID controllers. Still others, like access to WiFi, were missing.

If you’re in the market for a new grill, it’s vital to give some thought to the characteristics that are most important to you and then compare them to what the various models provide.

Accesories that may be purchased separately

Look at the available add-ons for any portable pellet grill that catches your eye but is lacking a necessary function.

For those who possess a Traeger Tailgater, for instance, an optional front folding shelf is available for purchase to facilitate food preparation and storage. A more expensive variant of certain models does, in fact, come with WiFi support.

Before writing off a grill because it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you want, consider what accessories are available.


The convenience and versatility of a pellet grill may now be taken anywhere with the help of portable models.

If you want all the advantages of a pellet grill in a compact and portable form, go no further than our top selection, the Traeger Tailgater.