Top 4 BEST Pellet Grills Under $500

Top 4 Best Pellet Grills

Jump to Topic Quick Links:

Pellet grills are genuinely some of the best grills on the market in terms of both flavor and functionality. For most people, using a pellet grill is the simplest and most affordable way to enjoy an authentic, smokey wood flavor without having to go to a restaurant. Today, we have rounded up the top four best pellet grills on the market for under $500. First, let’s discuss what a pellet grill is, what it does, and how it is of use to you.

What is a Pellet Grill?

In essence, a pellet grill, sometimes called a pellet smoker, is an outdoor cooker that uses a combination of elements borrowed from charcoal smokers, gas grills, and regular kitchen ovens. They use wood pellets to fuel the fire (hence the name).

They can perform baking, smoking, and grilling activities, providing you with unmatched versatility compared to any other type of grill on the market. Pellet grills use an electronic control panel to automatically feed pellets to the fire, regulate the airflow of the grill, and maintain a much more consistent temperature while cooking than charcoal or gas grills.

Grill Sizing

For this price point, some of the best pellet grills can range anywhere from portable grills, great for camping, and also go up to commercially-sized grills, spectacular in big parties or gatherings. It is great to have this many options available to you, as it ensures you can find something functional no matter the circumstances. It is essential to decide what you’re trying to get out of your pellet grill in order to determine what grill size you require.


Knowing the temperature range you require is of vast importance to ensure you get the grill that suits your needs most – namely, the food you’ll be making. Most pellet grills can reach temperatures of 180°F – 425°F; this is plenty high enough for smoking, baking, roasting, and grilling. Notice I didn’t say searing, though.

Be that as it may, searing requires higher end pellet grills, preferably ones that can reach temperatures of 550°F to get great results. As a side note – do yourself a favor and pick up a digital thermometer as well. This is necessary for just about any grill – the thermometers that come built-in are pieces of garbage.

Not only are they slow and somewhat inaccurate, but they don’t even measure the right part of the grill for searing, where temperature control is critical. It would be best if you had a decent thermometer to get an accurate reading of the grill plates’ temperature.

Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) Electronic Controllers vs. Standard Electronic Controllers

PID Controllers use proportional, integral, and derivative variables to decide the pellet feed’s timing more precisely. These variables adapt to change in temperature and determine the most efficient interval of pellet feeding to the grill in order to reach and maintain the desired temperature.

On the other hand, standard controllers use a far simpler mathematical algorithm, resulting in much more temperature deviation, continually straying up and down from your desired result.

More often than not, only the very best pellet grills will have PID controllers, with some lower-priced grills joining in on the fun in recent years. PID controllers will give better results, so it’s vital to consider how important this is to you before making your final decision.

Hopper Sizing

The pellet grill’s hopper is where pellets will be stored and automatically transported to the fire via a motor, known as the auger motor, as you cook. In essence, the larger your hopper, the longer you can cook on your grill continuously. Therefore, if you’re planning on cooking for many people in one grilling session, it is crucial to ensure you purchase a grill with a hopper that meets those sizing requirements.

Generally speaking, an 18lb hopper is considered large enough for long cooking/searing sessions, as well as being sufficient for the slow-cooking times associated with smoking your meats.

Are Pellet Grills Worth The Money?

Pellet grills are, by all means, worth the money. They usually cost about as much as their gas grill equivalent, while offering features you won’t find anywhere else. They are highly versatile and enable you to get an authentic, smokey, wood flavor that can only ever be replicated in steakhouses or other meat-loving restaurants.


With all of that information out of the way, you’ve now been told just about everything there is to contemplate and consider before buying a pellet grill, or more specifically, before choosing the best pellet grill for under $500. 


Let’s begin.

1. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett WiFi Pellet Grill

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crocket WiFi Pellet Grill

Green Mountain Grills is a USA-based company that finds its specialty in the production of budget-friendly wood pellet grills and accessories. The Davy Crockett model is one of the most innovative products in their lineup, and quite frankly in the entirety of today’s market. 

This grill features a portable design, with its dimensions only being 32in x 16in x 21in, and a weight of just 68lbs. Foldable legs that double as carrying handles are also included, making this grill the ultimate picnic companion for just about anyone.

By far the most unique feature this grill boasts is its WiFi-enabled temperature control. Thanks to this, you can control your grill’s temperature remotely from a mobile phone app. Besides temperature, you can also utilize this app to tweak smoke settings, and even add cooking timers to ensure you don’t burn anything accidentally.

The Davy Crockett also has a large, 17lb hopper, enabling you to automatically feed pellets to the fire for extended periods of time. Temperature increments jump 5 degrees each and range from 150 to 550°F.

Besides all this, the grill has a rather small cooking area of 12in x 16in, a side rack to hold your cooking utensils neatly, and an automatic ignition system to minimize the need for using chimneys or lighter fluids.

  • Large hopper capacity
  • WiFi controllability via an app
  • Cooking timer
  • Compact and foldable
  • Lightweight build
  • Precise, incremental temperature control
  • Inefficient grease drainage
  • Small cooking surface area

Final Verdict

With a large hopper capacity and WiFi-enabled controlability via an app, the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett WiFi Pellet Grill is genuinely one of the most functional and flexible pellet grills under $500 on the market in 2020. It truly does enable you to cook a wide range of food in various styles using a single outdoor contraption and all of the perks that come with it.



2. Traeger Tailgater 20 Pellet Grill

Traeger Tailgater 20 Grill

The Traeger Tailgater 20 has a sturdy, durable, and rust-resistant build that will be sure to uphold its quality for years to come, giving you peace of mind that you’re investing your money into something that you needn’t replace next year. Further strengthening this is the use of high-quality materials such as porcelain coating for the grill grates themselves.

Besides all these, the Tailgater 20 grill offers foldable, stainless-steel legs, useful for packing the grill when taking it with you for tailgating. This compact, 76lb grill also has two heavy-duty wheels, making it very easy to transport.

This grill provides excellent versatility that will fit many use cases, allowing you to smoke, bake, roast, sear, BBQ rub, and braise your meats to get perfect results, no matter what you’re making.

When temperature control is of concern, this Traeger model does well in competing with even high-end grills. It boasts a Digital Elite Controller (a type of PDI controller) that limits temperature fluctuations to an astounding twenty degrees. Furthermore, the grill features temperature increments that will suit both slow-cook smoking and searing (and everything in between).

  • Compact design
  • Versatile cooking applications
  • LED display
  • Foldable legs
  • Small hopper capacity (only 8lbs)
  • No temperature probes

Final Verdict

The Traeger Tailgater 20 Pellet Grill is a refined example of a relatively small, mid-range grill. It provides excellent versatility, build quality, and the peace of mind you get from buying a Traeger. It does just about everything the larger, more expensive Traeger grills do, minus a few tricks and gizmos that they keep to their top-end products, only on a much smaller scale. It is perfect for those who are going to use the smoking feature often and holds its own in the searing department when compared to its big brothers.



3. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Grill

Camp Chef is a US-based company that has been in the business for the last three decades. It originates in Utah and generally makes robust, high-quality outdoor cooking appliances.

The SmokePro DLX model is composed of a stainless steel body and two robust caster wheels. These offer rust resistance, guaranteeing a product that will last long, even in less-than-ideal conditions. The mentioned wheels allow for easy transportation that is particularly useful when moving your grill in and out of storage.

Along with this comes a large, 429 square inch cooking surface and a 141 square inch warming rack, making for a 570 square inch total cooking capacity. The cooking chamber itself measures at 3778 cubic inches.

Additionally, you get a stainless steel temperature probe for your meats, and an integrated sensor gauge to measure the temperature inside the cooking chamber. This sensor gauge is especially useful for roasting and smoking, as you don’t necessarily care about the heat of the inside of the meat when fully cooked, but rather about the chamber’s temps.

You control the grill’s temperature via a relatively large LED screen, making it very easy to change temperatures as required while cooking. While we’re on the subject, it is also worth mentioning that the temperatures range all the way from 160°F to 500°F, guaranteeing you can get the best of both worlds in terms of smoking and searing, and all that is in between.

The former is complemented by a substantial, 18lb pellet hopper, significantly minimizing the need to refill during prolonged cooking sessions very often. An electronic ignition system and side shelf are both included in this product as well, both of which are excellent at enhancing productivity.

  • Easy clean-up process
  • Integrated sensor gauge
  • LED temperature control and reading
  • Large, 18lb hopper
  • Electrical ignition
  • Stainless steel temperature probe
  • Fairly high temperature fluctuations
  • Lacks cooking space considering price

Final Verdict

All things considered, the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is a well-rounded entry nearing the top of our budget range. It does exceptionally well in making up for its few shortcomings through its excellent build quality, large pellet hopper, and LED temperature control and readings. It is an attractive option for those looking for a robust setup with helpful features that don’t necessarily need larger cooking capacity.



4. Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill

Pit Boss 700FB Grill

Pit Boss, like the majority of the grills in today’s lineup, is another USA-based company that has been around for over two decades. Their 700FB Pellet Grill boasts a high-grade steel body, with cast-iron grill grates, coated by porcelain.

Its construction and choice of material proves to be rust-resistant, durable, and sturdy, giving you confidence that this grill is built-to-last rather than the more common ‘recyclable’ designs we see popping up on the market nowadays. The mentioned material choices go further than just lasting long though – the grill’s solid steel wheels grant you with maximized portability, despite its weight of 118lbs.

The Pit Boss enables you to broil, grill, smoke, sear, bake or roast your food, making it the winner in terms of versatility out of today’s lineup. Using a smart, set-and-forget approach, this grill grants you the ability to choose your preferred cooking style with outstanding ease, or, if you’d rather, set your temperature manually.

Temperatures range from 180°F to 500°F, making use of a digital control board. Moreover, an LED display shows you the internal temperature – it greatly helps you make sure you don’t burn anything without having to open the grill and thus let heat escape in the process.

When it comes to total cooking capacity, the Pit Boss 700FB boasts 700 square inches, composed of the main cooking surface and a warming rack.

  • Pellet cleanout door
  • LED temperature display
  • Digitally maintained temperatures
  • Vast temperature range
  • Large cooking area
  • Highly-versatile use cases
  • ‘Broil’ option when searing
  • Aforementioned ‘broil’ feature is difficult to adjust
  • Relatively short warranty period

Final Verdict

The Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill is the definite jack of all trades in this product roundup. It does everything you would want a pellet grill at this price point to do and more, making it hard to fault in the vast majority of aspects. It is a superb option for those looking for a grill that won’t necessarily be used for one specific feature – as it is simply not designed to be one of those grills. In my eyes, everyone interested in a pellet grill at this price range should at least consider the Pit Boss 700FB.




With all that we’ve told you about the best pellet grills under $500, I think it would be fair to assume that you can now make a well-informed choice on your own. Be sure to refer back to the beginning of this article if you don’t remember any of the explained features or specifications featured on pellet grills.

It’s also a good idea to look briefly at the pros and cons of each product once again before making your final decision – something may catch your eye that you never noticed the first time around.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Comments
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top