If you love hosting BBQ parties, you probably know that apart from the meat and a finger-licking recipe, you need a high-quality wood pellet. A great pellet grill is going to bring the heat as well as the smoke.
Pellet grills, AKA pellet smokers, work by using a feeding system to shove little wood pellets into a firebox under the grates. They also tend to have built-in technology to control the temperature. Some pellet grills even come with associated smartphone apps, which allow you to get feeding and temperature info on your phone.
Because of this technology and their capability to cook delicious meat and food, pellet grills are more popular, but also more expensive. However, even if you have a tight budget, this doesn’t mean you can’t own a pellet grill packed with top-notch features.
Here, we have compiled a list of the best pellet grill under 500 to help you find an inexpensive yet great pellet grill. Also, read our buying guide if you are having trouble deciding.
At A Glance Pellet Grills Under $500
|Best Overall Camp Chef SmokePro||Check Price|
|Runner-Up Green Mountain Davy||Check Price|
|Premium Pick Cuisinart CPG-4000||Check Price|
|Z GRILLS ZPG-450A||Check Price|
|Camp Chef PPG20||Check Price|
|Z GRILLS ZPG-550B||Check Price|
Top 6 Best Pellet Grills Under $500 In 2021
1. Camp Chef SmokePro Stainless DLX Pellet Grill
The DLX Pellet Grill from Camp Chef is our top choice for the best wood pellet grill under $500. It comes with a stainless steel body, which offers rust resistance and a long lifetime. There are two caster wheels that support the 140-pound grill and also make it portable, allowing you to easily transport it from your storage to the backyard.
This grill provides a massive cooking capacity of 570 square inches. The 3778 cubic inches chamber of this grill consists of 429 square inches of main cooking space and an upper warming rack that measures 141 square inches.
Plus, the grill provides a sturdy stainless steel temperature probe, a dual LED temperature control, and to measure the internal temperature, an integrated sensor gauge. Meanwhile, an automatic auger feeds wood pellets periodically to maintain the set temperature. The temperature control features of the grill offer a wide range from 160 to 500° F. You just have to set your desired temperature, and the smoker will do the rest.
The grill also comes with an 18-pound hopper, which gives you prolonged smoking by minimizing the need for refills. Cleaning after the cooking is also easy because of the smart ash cleanout system. With this system, you just have to pull a lever to clean out all the ash and debris from the pellets.
The grill also has an electronic ignition system for faster start-ups and a side-shelf for prepping food.
- Automatic auger for wood pellets
- 18-pound hopper capacity
- Electrical ignition for faster start-up
- LED temperature read-out
- Built-in sensor gauge
- Temperature probe
- Easy ash clean-up
- Temperature may vary
- Less cooking space for the money
2. Green Mountain Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Green Mountain Grills is a company that specializes in the production of wood pellet grills and its accessories at a budget-friendly price. And they have manufactured one of the most innovative grills in the market, the Davy Crockett Grill.
The grill weighs just 68 pounds with dimensions of 32 x 16 x 21 inches. It has a portable design with foldable legs, which you can turn into carrying handles. This makes the grill compact and allows you to fit it in your car.
There is also a massive 17-pound hopper to automatically feed pellets to the fire. And with a five-degree increment, you can set the temperature between 150 to 550°F. The grill also has the Sense-Mate technology, which allows you to read the internal temperature of the grill pretty accurately.
In addition to this, the grill offers a sufficient cooking area of 12 x 16 inches along with a side rack for your utensils. And to minimize the use of chimneys or lighter fluids, it has an auto-ignition as well. The grill also comes with a 12V adapter that allows you to connect it with a small generator a car battery for powering up the grill.
Lastly, the unique feature of this grill is its Wi-Fi temperature control from its own mobile phone app. This allows you to control the smoke settings, temperature, and add exact cooking timers to have a keen eye on your dishes.
- Lightweight design
- Compact and foldable
- Wi-Fi digital temperature control
- Option to add timer through the app
- Adapters offer powering options
- Precise temperature control
- Small cooking capacity
- Poor grease drainage
3. Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill
The Cuisinart CPG-4000 Pellet Grill and Smoker is very versatile, offering you ways to smoke, grill, braise, barbeque, bake, and even slow cook. And with this model, you won’t have to worry about flare-ups as the smoke will manage the fuel that it requires. Put the pellets inside the pellet grill, and you are good to go. You can also create more blue smoke if you use a low temperature while allowing your pellets to smolder.
This model manages the temperature automatically for an even cook throughout no matter what you are grilling. With this one, your mind can be worry-free, knowing that your food is being cooked at the right temperature. The thermostat has an LED display that maintains the heat itself. You have the option to cook food on hot, fast, slow, or low settings.
The cooking area of this smoker grill is 450 square inches and has enough internal cooking space in the main chamber to hold two chickens. And for easy start-up, it features electric ignition.
The sleek design of the Cuisinart CPG-4000 also features 2 terrain wheels, making it easy to move the pellet smoker wherever you want. There is also a stable handle that allows you to carry it around and once it’s not needed, store it.
This, along with its extensive list of additional features, makes it one of the best pellet grills under 500.
- Versatile and cooks food evenly
- While the side shelf is stationary, the lower shelf folds down for easy storage when not in use
- Digital display for temperature control
- Electric ignition for easy start-up
- Included weather-resistant grill cover
- Low-quality door latch
4. Z GRILLS ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Grill
The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A can cook various kinds of food using auto temperature control. It has an automatic electric feed mechanism that gives you effortless control of the wood pellets. This grill has various functions and is easy to use.
It has a hopping capacity of 15 pounds and 450-Square inches of grilling space. The grill also has a heavy-duty all-terrain wheel, which allows you to move it around or store it. There is also a foldable working shelf that provides you with ample space to store the food items that you plan to cook or smoke and your cooking utensils. It also includes a rustproof cover and racks that adds to the durability of this pellet grill.
The automated electric feeding system maintains the heat between 180ºf and 450ºf and helps you generate the highest amount of smoke you need. This means you don’t have to babysit the grill as it can work on its own. The pellet feed control, as well as the temperature system, comes with an upgraded digital control board, which ignites the pellet grill and allows you to set the preferred cooking temperature.
The grill supports fan-forced convection cooking, which creates a flexible environment for roasting, smoking, baking, braising, and grilling. It is pretty easy to use the grill with the digital automatic temperature control and electronic auto-start ignition. And to make your post-cooking chore easier, the grill has a waste oil collector that helps you with the safe and easy cleanup.
- It has a versatile grill
- Comes with an automated electric feed mechanism
- It includes fan-forced convection cooking
- Has a big cooking space
- It is pretty easy to use
- It is not Wi-Fi enabled
5. Camp Chef PPG20 Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill
The Camp Chef PPG20 Pellet Grill Smoker comes with a larger capacity cooking area and digital controls. And with its lever-activated searing feature, it can sear your meat. This is one of the best portable pellet grills. The dual LED temperature checker is the coolest feature of this model. This completely digital temperature control allows you to check the temperature inside the closed lid as well as the temperature inside the meat.
It also has a dual convection function that regulates heat currents in the pellets and helps you get perfectly cooked meals. With a lockable lid, this grill is child-safe, so there is nothing to worry about when your child is around the PPG20.
It has a large amount of grilling space, measuring up to 501 square inches. It can be heated up to 550F. The grill grates have a nonstick layer, allowing you to remove and wash when needed. This pellet grill comes with a hopper that has a ten-pound capacity as well as an automatic ignition. It also features a patented ash cleanout system that assists with the cleanup.
- Two LED thermometers for greater temperature monitoring
- Lightweight and portable pellet grill
- Dual shelf convection cooking
- Lockable lid design
- Features digital controls and a patented ash cleanout system
- Limited sear feature
- A bit pricey
6. Z GRILLS ZPG-550B Wood Pellet Grill
Z Grills ZPG-550B Wood Pellet Grill Holiday 8-in-1 BBQ is ideal for smoke, grill, sear, roast, char-grill, braise, and barbeque. This grill also functions as an oven so it can bake foods like pizza, cornbread, and biscuits. It comes with smart smoke technology, which is an automated feed system that maintains the temperature from 180°F to 450°F. It has a great digital maneuver that allows you to control the temperature at +-/20 intervals.
The cooking capacity of this pellet is 550 square inches in size, which is very useful and also comes with 10lb hopper capacity. It comes with digital control that easily ignites your grill and offers an easy way to control your cooking temperature.
Another great feature of this pellet grill is the lower storage capacity, which allows you to store different items while you cook. It is a portable model, and with its large wheel, you can move it from one place to another. There is also an oil collector that drains hot grease into the bottom of the grill.
- Easy to set up
- Easy to clean using waste oil collector
- Features heavy-duty castor locking wheels
- Temperature can be set between 180°F to 500°F
- Ultimate 8 in 1 grill that allows for a roast, smoke, char-grill, sear, bake, braise, and barbeque food
- Inefficient temperature gauge
Pellet Grill Under $500 Buyers Guide
If you are still confused about which one to choose, or you don’t know what to look for, keep reading this buying guide to get informed. This should help you get the best pellet grill under 500.
What is a Pellet grill?
A pellet grill or a pellet smoker is a technologically advanced cooking machine combined with the elements of the gas grill, charcoal smoker, and heating oven. It can cook perfectly smoked meat and different BBQs in various ways.
Variation in temperature Range
The temperature range is important to get nicely cooked food. A good quality pellet grill can offer temperatures between 180oF – 4250oF. This is just the perfect temperature for roasting, grilling, baking, and smoking of meat. Some of the grills can also reach the high-temperature level up to 500OF – 550oF.
You should also look for a good thermometer with the grill to get an accurate reading of the temperature. And choose a grill with a wider temperature range, so you will be able to cook at the desired temperature.
How long you can smoke your meat is determined by the hopper size. It is a storage area, which is connected with the grill’s automatic feeding system. This area stores hopper pellets and a good hopper capacity will allow you to grill for a long time.
Different temperature is needed to cook different types of food and meat. Therefore, it is very important to select a pellet grill with temperature controls. It could be manual using a knob dial or digital using a screen interface.
Cooking Size, Area, Portability
The best wood pellet grill under $500 can range from large grills for commercial use to portable grills for tailgating.
If you want to take your pellet grill on the go for camping, partying, or any event, then you will want to get one with wheels and which is easy to lift. If you often cook at home or have a lot of tailgating parties, then you’ll want a larger pellet grill. Before buying a pellet grill, decide your needs to ensure you purchase one that is properly sized for your needs.
3 Position Controller
For precision, the controller board is necessary. The three types of position controllers are PID multi-position, 3-position, and non-PID one-touch. Pick the type of controller that works best for you.
Whether you need to replace the automatic auger or the fan, for most brands, replacement parts can be found easily. Here are a few of the common pellet grill smoker accessories that you can easily replace.
Auger Motors: Your pellet smoker requires this to run properly. They can be easily found online or in your local hardware store if you need to replace them.
Fan Motors: Fan and motors come with the package. But if you need it, you can easily replace them.
PID controllers: PID controller or simple temperature controller is a great feature that allows you to set an exact temperature between grill ranges.
Meat Probes: To know the temperature of the meat you are cooking, you need meat probes. If your pellet grill doesn’t have one or it is broken, you can buy one.
Pellet Hopper: There are some pellet grill smokers that come with a hopper extender. This allows you to hold a larger quantity of wood pellets. This is quite useful because it increases the slow cooking time without needing your supervision.
Direct Grill Gates: Generally, these protect the grill and pellet smoker from moisture, dust, and weather.
Price is a very important aspect to consider because not everyone can go over their budget. However, as the above listed are some of the best pellet grill under 500, you should find an affordable one.
Question: Are Pellet grills worth the money?
Answer: Of course, investing in a quality pellet grill will allow you to explore different cooking methods such as roasting, grilling, BBQ, and baking
Question: When should I look for a new wood pellet smoker?
Answer: This depends on your needs. You need to replace your wood pellet with a new one if your current pellet grill is malfunctioning. However, if the problem is repairable, fix it by replacing the parts rather than purchasing a new pellet grill.
Question: Should I upgrade my current pellet grill?
Answer: Again, it depends on your needs. If your current pellet grill lack features that can be found in the new ones, and also helps cook better food, then yes, you should upgrade your current pellet grill.
Question: Which is the best pellet grill under 500$?
Answer: There are many models that can be considered as the best pellet grill under 500. You can go for our top pick, the Camp Chef SmokePro Stainless DLX Pellet Grill w/New PID Gen 2 Digital Controller. It provides great value for the money.
A premium pellet grill can change your whole BBQ experience by adding a desirable wood-fire taste to your dishes. If you are on a tight budget, you can go for the best pellet grill under 500. These are high-quality grills with a lot of features to offer. Many of these devices also come with smartphone apps that help you track the cooking data, allowing you to cook your food accurately. These pellet grills will not only make your food tasty but also make cooking easier. And these devices also make the post-cooking chore easier.
So even if you are on a tight budget, you can still enjoy BBQs with your friends and family.