The Best Pellet Grills Under $1,000 of 2024

These versatile grills automate the cooking process and can grill or smoke food.

Best Overall

Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill on white background

Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill

Best Bang For The Buck

Pit Boss Mahogany 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill on white background

Pit Boss Mahogany 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill

Best for Steaks

Oklahoma Joe’s Rider DLX 1200 Pellet Grill on white background

Oklahoma Joe’s Rider DLX 1200 Pellet Grill

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Pellet grills under $1,000 offer the best of both worlds—at a great price—by eliminating the need to choose between a standard barbecue and a smoker (or purchasing both). Although they can maintain temperatures as low as 160 degrees Fahrenheit for hours for slow-and-low cooking, they can also reach temperatures in excess of 500 degrees Fahrenheit for traditional grilling. Additionally, they can keep the grilling and smoking process convenient and consistent by automatically regulating the grill’s temperature. 

With pellet grills at about a $1,000 threshold, users can expect to find models with such attractive features as digital controls, Wi-Fi connectivity, and vast cooking surfaces. After researching several models, we liked the Traeger Pro 780 best for its ample rack space and wide temperature range, but there are plenty of great options. Ahead, learn more about features available at this price point and find out which models are the best pellet grills under $1,000.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill
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  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Pit Boss Mahogany 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill
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  3. BEST FOR STEAKS: Oklahoma Joe’s Rider DLX 1200 Pellet Grill
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  4. BEST COMPACT: Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill
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  5. BEST LARGE: Nexgrill Oakford 1000 Pellet Grill
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  6. BEST PORTABLE: Green Mountain Grills Trek Portable Pellet Grill
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Nexgrill Oakford 1000 Pellet Grill on white background
Photo: The Home Depot

How We Chose the Best Pellet Grills Under $1,000

We considered various criteria when choosing the top pellet grills at the under $1,000 price point. Controls are critical when it comes to a pellet grill, so we limited our selections to those that offer digital controls so the user can dial in specific temperatures with little or no guesswork. A good pellet grill should have a broad range of temperature, so we chose models capable of maintaining very low temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit or less for smoking and higher temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit or greater for traditional grilling. 

Other factors that weighed into our decisions included hopper size, Wi-Fi connectivity, and features that make the pellet grill easier to clean and maintain. Since size demands vary, we made sure to include a broad range of pellet grill sizes, including large models capable of cooking for a big backyard barbecue and small portable models for camping and tailgating. 

Our Top Picks

Our list includes quality pellet grills from some of the best-known brands in the business. All of our selections are equipped with digital controls and are capable of cooking at a broad range of temperatures. 

Best Overall

Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill

Given the sky-high reputation of the Traeger name when it comes to pellet grills and smokers, it should come as little surprise that the Pro 780 is the best pellet grill available at the sub-$1,000 price point. It comes equipped with 780 square inches of cooking space, which is plenty of rack space for smoking a variety of meats at one time. 

The Pro 780 also has a wide temperature range—it can smoke at temperatures as low as 180 degrees Fahrenheit and reach a top temp of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is high enough for searing steaks. The pellet hopper holds 18 pounds of pellets, which will last for up to 9 hours at low temperatures. With a controller that has a built-in meat probe and supports Wi-Fi connectivity, an outdoor chef can monitor and change the cook box temperature and keep an eye on meat temperatures, all from a smart device. 

Product Specs

  • Cooking surface area: 780 square inches 
  • Hopper capacity: 18 pounds
  • Temperature range: 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

What We Like

  • Traeger’s excellent reputation for performance and durability 
  • Broad temperature range
  • Wi-Fi connectivity to monitor temperature from afar
  • Ample rack space

What We Don’t Like

  • Some customers complain that Wi-Fi connectivity is unreliable

Get the Traeger Pro 780 pellet grill at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Bang For The Buck

Pit Boss Mahogany 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill

With its low price point, plenty of money will be left over after purchase to buy food and various wood pellet flavors to use in this pellet grill from Pit Boss. It can cook at a broad temperature range of 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is suitable for both grilling steaks and smoking pulled pork. Though it’s smaller than other smokers, its hopper size and rack surface still offer enough cooking capacity for smoking four racks of ribs or three whole chickens. 

A hopper with digital controls helps an outdoor chef maintain the right internal temperature for the cook box. The Pit Boss’s hopper is notably smaller than those of other pellet grills. With a capacity of just 5 pounds, it requires refills much more often than other pellet grills. 

Product Specs 

  • Cooking surface area: 518 square inches 
  • Hopper capacity: 5 pounds
  • Temperature range: 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

What We Like

  • Broad temperature range
  • Digital thermostat controls for maintaining temperature with ease 
  • Priced lower than other pellet smokers with comparable features

What We Don’t Like

  • Small hopper capacity
  • Limited amount of rack space

Get the Pit Boss pellet grill at Amazon or Walmart.

Best for Steaks

Oklahoma Joe’s Rider DLX 1200 Pellet Grill

While pellet grills might be great at smoking meat, not all can reach the high temperatures needed to really sear a crust on steaks and burgers. The Rider DLX 1200 is an exception. Most pellet grills top out at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but the Oklahoma Joe’s Rider can reach top temps of 650 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to its built-in sear mode. It can also go low with a minimum temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Other notable features include a large 20-pound hopper, which can hold enough pellets for an entire day of smoking. The Rider DLX 1200 also boasts a vast cooking surface for grilling and smoking with 1,234 square inches of rack space. A digital controller allows the user to change the internal temperature of the grill and includes four ports for meat thermometers. 

Product Specs 

  • Cooking surface area: 1,234 square inches 
  • Hopper capacity: 20 pounds
  • Temperature range: 200 to 650 degrees Fahrenheit

What We Like

  • Sear mode hits a higher temperature than other models
  • Huge cooking surface
  • Digital controller includes 4 ports for meat probes

What We Don’t Like

  • Does not have Wi-Fi connectivity

Get the Oklahoma Joe’s pellet grill at The Home Depot.

Best Compact

Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill

With its small footprint, Traeger’s Pro Series 22 pellet grill is a great option for those who might not have the real estate on their deck or patio to support a large model. The grill measures just 41 inches wide, making it one of the narrower full-size pellet grills on the market. 

Despite its compact size, the Traeger Pro Series 22 still offers ample space for smoking and grilling with a total of 572 square inches of cooking surface. It also comes with an 18-pound hopper, which is large enough to smoke for up to 9 hours. Other notable features include a digital controller for setting the grill temperature and dual meat probes for monitoring food, though this compact Traeger does not feature the Wi-Fi connectivity found on the company’s other grills. 

Product Specs 

  • Cooking surface area: 572 square inches 
  • Hopper capacity: 18 pounds
  • Temperature range: 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

What We Like

  • Sizable cooking surface for compact grill
  • Includes a digital controller 
  • Includes 2 ports for meat probes

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t support Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Low maximum temperature

Get the Traeger Pro Series 22 pellet grill at The Home Depot.

Best Large

Nexgrill Oakford 1000 Pellet Grill

Those looking to smoke or grill for a large gathering will want to consider Nexgrill’s Oakford pellet smoker. Though it falls well below the $1,000 price range, it offers more than ample capacity for grilling and smoking with 1,008 square inches of rack space. What’s more, much of that space is available for direct-flame grilling. The Oakford can fit up to 55 burger patties, so it is ideal for large backyard barbecues or big-time smoking efforts. 

The grill comes equipped with a digital controller that has four ports for meat probes; users can connect to the grill through a smartphone app. The hopper has a whopping 32-pound pellet capacity, allowing this grill to smoke for many hours without a refill. The Oakford also boasts a broad temperature range of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for low-temperature smoking to 550 degrees Fahrenheit for searing. 

Product Specs 

  • Cooking surface area: 1,008 square inches 
  • Hopper capacity: 32 pounds
  • Temperature range: 160 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit

What We Like

  • Massive main cooking surfaces
  • 390-degree temperature range
  • Large hopper can sustain an all-day smoke

What We Don’t Like

  • Wide footprint at nearly 5 feet long

Get the Nexgrill pellet grill at The Home Depot.

Best Portable

Green Mountain Grills Trek Portable Pellet Grill

Take pellet grilling to the next tailgating event or camping trip with this portable model from Green Mountain Grills. At just 30 inches wide and 15 inches deep, the Trek is small enough to fit inside most car trunks. While its capacity is much smaller than full-size pellet grills, it still offers enough space to smoke a rack of ribs or a pork butt or sear four to six steaks. It has a broad temperature range of 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for searing steaks or smoking ribs. 

The Trek’s hopper has a 9-pound pellet capacity, plus digital controls and Wi-Fi connectivity for smartphone control options. There’s also a port for a meat thermometer. The pellet grill plugs into a standard outlet and includes attachments for running off a 12-volt accessory port in a car. 

Product Specs 

  • Cooking surface area: 219 square inches 
  • Hopper capacity: 9 pounds
  • Temperature range: 150 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit

What We Like

  • Small enough to take along for tailgating or camping
  • Broad temperature range for smoking and searing
  • Users can monitor temperature with a smart device

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy to move at 63 pounds

Get the Green Mountain Grills pellet grill at Amazon, Walmart, or

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Pellet Grill Under $1,000

Understanding what size and capacity to shop for when choosing a pellet grill is crucial, as are temperature range, controls, and extra features. Ahead, learn more about the important characteristics of a pellet grill. 

Size and Capacity

The size of the cooking surface and hopper capacity are key specs to pay attention to when shopping for a pellet grill. Cooking surface size determines how much food the grill can handle at one time. Portable units typically offer around 200 square inches of cooking surface, while the largest pellet grills at this price point offer closer to 1,000 square inches of rack space. 

A pellet grill’s hopper capacity dictates how long it can smoke before it requires a refill. A 20-pound hopper, for example, will allow smoking for between 6 and 20 hours depending on the cooking temperature. Pellet grills have hoppers that range in size from 5 pounds for portable models up to 30 pounds or more for large full-size pellet grills. 

Temperature Range

Since pellet grills are designed to cook with direct heat for grilling and indirect heat for smoking meats, a pellet grill must be able to cook at a wide temperature range. The pellet grill should be able to maintain low temperatures of around 180 degrees Fahrenheit for many hours to allow for the slow-and-low cooking needed to smoke ribs, port butts, brisket, and other delights. On the other end, the grill should be able to reach a maximum temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit to be able to sear steaks and burgers. The best pellet grills under $1,000 have digital controllers that have more accurate temperature control than analog controllers. 


Most pellet grills at this price point have digital thermostats that allow the user to set the grill to a specific temperature. Once the user dials in a temperature, the controller automatically maintains that temperature using a fan and by regulating the flow of pellets into the cook box. 

Pellet grills with Wi-Fi connectivity allow the chef to monitor and control the temperature of the grill and any connected meat probes remotely via a smartphone app. Some pellet grills also have additional controls that allow the user to regulate the amount of smoke the grill produces, which is helpful for controlling the smoky flavor of the food. 

Additional Features 

Many pellet grills have additional features that make them easier to cook with and to clean. Most pellet grills sit on either casters or wheels; this allows the user to move them into position when in use and back into storage when the day’s cooking is over. Some models also have meat probes, allowing the user to monitor the temperature of the food without having to open the smoker. 

Some grills are equipped with grease catchers and ash collectors that are easy to remove and empty, easing post-grilling or smoking cleanup. Another useful feature includes a hopper clean-out that allows the user to empty pellets out of the hopper to easily change pellet flavors mid-smoking. 


If you’re wondering whether pellet smokers require a lot of electricity to operate or what their weaknesses are, then read on for answers. 

Q. What is the best budget-friendly pellet smoker?

The Pit Boss Mahogany offers more than 500 square inches of cooking surface and a digital controller, all at a price below $500. This makes it one of the most budget-friendly smokers on the market. 

Q. Do pellet grills use a lot of electricity?

Since pellet grills use wood pellets to create heat, they require very little electricity to run. A pellet grill only needs electricity to operate the hopper that adds fuel to the cook box and the fan that regulates the temperature inside the cook box. Most use so little electricity that they can operate off a 12-volt car battery. 

Q. What are the cons of a pellet grill?

There are few cons to be aware of with pellet grills. While they do an excellent job of smoking, their indirect heat design makes them less effective for grilling at high temperatures. That means it’s harder to sear steaks or burgers with a pellet grill than with a gas or charcoal grill. Pellet grills also require an electrical connection to operate the hopper, which can limit their location. Finally, pellet grills are generally more expensive than other types of grills. 

Q. Are pellet grills expensive to operate?

The cost of operating a pellet grill can vary depending on the quality of pellets you use as well as the cost of the electricity powering the grill. In general, pellet grills can be more expensive than an electric grill to operate but are slightly less expensive than a gas grill. 

Q. Do pellet grills cook slower?

One of the advantages of pellet grills is that they can maintain low, indirect heat for long periods, slowly infusing meat with wood-fire flavor. That means they can cook more slowly than gas or charcoal grills. At the same time, pellet grills can also cook and sear meat quickly with direct heat, so you get the best of both worlds.

Q. What burns hotter, wood or pellets?

Pellets burn more efficiently than natural wood, which means that the same quantity of pellet can produce more heat than wood. 

Q. Do pellet grills break down?

Since pellet grills have more moving parts than charcoal or gas grills, they do have a greater potential to break down. That’s why it’s so important to purchase a high-quality pellet grill. 

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Tony Carrick

Contributing Writer

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer who has contributed to since 2020. He writes how-to articles and product reviews in the areas of lawn and garden, home maintenance, home improvement, auto maintenance, housewares, and technology.