Devon Ferguson
Published by Devon Ferguson
Last Updated On: January 23, 2023

Over the last ten years, pellet grills have become the go-to grilling tool for outdoor cooks and grill masters alike. I have been using pellet grills for a long time and love everything about them except for their hefty price tags.

So, I tested seven of the best pellet grills under $500 to see if I could get the same quality of pricey grills without breaking the bank.

Here are my top recommendations for top pellet grills you can get for less than $500.

Top 7 Pellet Grills under $500

1

1 - Z GRILLS-550B Wood Pellet Grill

Z GRILLS-550B Wood Pellet Grill

The Z Grills 550B is an excellent wood pellet grill for those looking for a quality product on a budget.

With an impressive 560 square inches of cooking space on two cooking racks and a precise PID temperature controller, this sturdy grill works well for family gatherings and backyard barbeques.

You can cook at temperatures that range from low and slow to fast and hot with complete confidence.

With a wide temperature range and high-temperature powder coating for its heavy-duty steel body, these pellet smokers will provide years of delicious wood-fired flavor.

I appreciate that this very versatile grill lets me operate with eight unique cooking methods. I can set it to sear, BBQ, char-grill, bake, smoke, roast, braise, and grill.

The versatility allows me to cook my meat creatively and produce superb results.

Pros
  • "Set and Forget" operation
  • Pellets deliver great wood flavor
  • Convection cooking heats evenly
  • Holds up to 10 lbs of pellets
Cons
  • The pellet hopper does not come with an emptying slot
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Quick Facts:

  • Total Cooking Surface : 560 sq. in.
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity : 10 lbs
  • Temperature Range : 180-450 °F
  • Material : Porcelain-coated steel
  • Dimensions : 47×24×48
2

2 - Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill

Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill

The Traeger Tailgater is perfect for anyone who loves to tailgate. This small and portable design offers you the same unique backyard smoking, wood-fired grilling experience that Traeger is known for in a more compact size.

The digital control board allows you to set the temperature up to 450°F with accuracy and precision, while the cooking area of 300 square inches means you can cook 14 hot dogs and 10 burgers at once.

Traeger Grill construction is made from durable steel, and the grill's exterior has been finished with powder coating for extra protection against the elements.

The wheels and foldable legs make it easy to move your Traeger Tailgater grill around the yard or into your pickup.

I like that this grill has a "keep warm" function which means I don't have to interrupt the fun and games just because I have finished cooking.

The food stays fresh and warm with the flavor of an open wood-fired flame while using only minimal fuel.

Pros
  • Long-lasting porcelain-coated grill grates
  • Included meat probe speaks to a digital elite controller
  • Comes with a bucket to assist with clean up
Cons
  • Assembling the grill is a two-man job
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Quick Facts:

  • Total Cooking Surface : 300 sq. in.
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity : 8 lbs
  • Temperature Range : 180-450 °F
  • Material : Porcelain-coated steel
  • Dimensions : 37×18×36
3

3 - Pit Boss 700FB Wood Pellet Grill

Pit Boss 700FB Wood Pellet Grill

The Pit Boss 700FB is an excellent pellet grill if you don't want to spend a lot of money but still desire quality.

This large pellet grill has an expansive 700 square inches of cooking surface and uses sturdy steel construction, giving it excellent heat retention.

The Pit Boss 700FB has a hopper capacity of 21 lbs and will give you steady, fan-forced convection heat for up to 24 hours over the entire grilling space.

You can also use the precision temperature control system with a temperature range of 180-500°F that allows you to cook low and slow for maximum flavor or high and hot for a delicious char.

One of my favorite features of this Pit Boss grill is that there is a level that enables you to do direct flame searing at a max temp of 1,000°F. This leaves perfect sear marks from the porcelain-coated steel cooking grids every time I use it.

Pros
  • Large cooking area
  • Heavy-gauge steel construction
  • Simple grease management system
Cons
  • Wheels are on the small side
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Quick Facts:

  • Total Cooking Surface : 700 sq. in.
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity : 21 lbs
  • Temperature Range : 180-500 °F
  • Material : Porcelain-coated steel
  • Dimensions : 41.3 x 26.6 x 43.8
4

4 - Camp Chef Pursuit Pellet Grill

Camp Chef Pursuit Pellet Grill

The Camp Chef Pursuit Pellet Grill is a mobile and versatile cooking device that allows you to cook great-tasting food wherever your outdoor adventures take you.

It has an adjustable temperature range from 160°F to 500°F, allowing you to sear or slow-cook whatever is on your menu.

This Camp Chef model has a digital temperature control that allows you to dial your desired temperature level precisely, and the automatic auger dispenses pellets as needed.

It also has a smoke control technology that creates the right amount of clean smoke for your taste.

I like that this Camp Chef grill has a slider that allows me to shift from indirect heat to a direct flame broil over the cooking area simply and easily.

There is no readjustment of hot or clunky parts - one simple sliding movement, and I can put the final char on a smoked brisket.

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Smoke settings using Camp Chef smoke control technology
  • Slider to shift from indirect to direct flame broil
Cons
  • At 500 square inches, smaller than some other options
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Quick Facts:

  • Total Cooking Surface : 501 sq. in.
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity : 10 lbs
  • Temperature Range : 160-500 °F
  • Material : Stainless steel
  • Dimensions : 38 x 18.5 x 21
5

5 - Monument Grills 89679 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Monument Grills 89679 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

The Monument Grills 89679 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is an excellent option for those who want to enjoy smoking with wood pellets.

It has an impressive 572 square inches of cooking space over two racks, with one being excellent for a warming rack that can also be used for slow cooking.

This pellet grill keeps the temperature at your set point by funneling just the right amount of pellets into the fire pot. This means you can cook from 180 to 475 °F without babysitting the grill.

I found that this grill uses less than 2 pounds of pellets per hour. And with its 15-pound hopper capacity, I only needed to refill it during the most prolonged grilling sessions.

Pros
  • Automatic, self-lighting fire and pellet feed systems
  • Convenient 6' 6" electrical cord
  • Adjustable smokestack to dial-in smoke flavor
Cons
  • Assembly can be challenging
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Quick Facts:

  • Total Cooking Surface : 572 sq. in.
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity : 15 lbs
  • Temperature Range : 180-475 °F
  • Material : Cast iron
  • Dimensions : 47.75 x 21.38 x 49
6

6 - Recteq RT-B380 Bullseye

Recteq RT-B380 Bullseye

The Recteq RT-B380 Bullseye is a pellet smoker with a 380-square-inch main cooking grate.

This pellet smoker has a long-lasting stainless steel cooking surface and a sizeable 15-pound hopper, which doubles as a heat-resistant side tray.

The grill has a digital thermostat system that fires as high as 749 degrees Fahrenheit. The PID temperature control ensures that the set temperature stays constant and within your desired range so that you can concentrate on the rest of the meal.

I like that the Recteq RT-B380 Bullseye's kettle design harkens back to the traditional charcoal grill but is much more convenient. The pellets are direct fired, so there is no need for a separate fuel source.

Pros
  • Electric ignition system
  • Accurate temperature control
  • Included meat probe
Cons
  • No access to the auger chute
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Quick Facts:

  • Total Cooking Surface : 380 sq. in.
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity : 15 lbs
  • Temperature Range : 200-750 °F
  • Material : Porcelain Coated Steel
  • Dimensions : 40 x 22.5 x 36
7

7 - Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill

The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett is a portable pellet smoker designed for tailgating or camping. This model has a 219-square-inch cooking area and uses natural hardwood pellets as fuel.

The Green Mountain Davy Crockett is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so you can adjust the temperature from your phone if desired. It also has a digital temperature control system and can reach temperatures up to 550°F.

What I love about this model is that it is designed for portability, making it easy to bring along on camping trips or any outdoor event.

The Davy Crockett folds up and fits in my trunk while bringing a convenient side rack, ash cleanout system, and meat probe.

Pros
  • Great wood flavor
  • Bluetooth temperature probe and Wi-Fi controller
  • Peaked lid to accommodate large cuts of meat
Cons
  • Small hopper and cooking capacity
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Quick Facts:

  • Total Cooking Surface : 219 sq. in.
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity : 9 lbs
  • Temperature Range : 180-550 °F
  • Material : Stainless Steel
  • Dimensions : 31 x 24 x 33 (legs open)

Buyer's Guide for the Best Pellet Grill under $500

Here is a buyer's guide to help you navigate your way through the best pellet grills under $500.

1. Cooking Area

An image of a man using a pellet grill with a good cooking area

Sufficient cooking space and grilling area are one of the most important factors to consider when buying a pellet grill.

If you plan on hosting large backyard barbecues, your cooking area must be large enough to accommodate all of your guests' food. However, if you just need something basic for small family meals, you won't need as much cooking space.

Double-check the dimensions of any pellet grill before purchasing it so that you get one with enough cooking area for your needs.

2. Portability

Portability is another key factor in choosing among the best pellet grills under $500. Most models will have handles, making them easy to move from place to place.

However, larger models may not be as mobile – so if portability is an important factor for you, then select one with caster wheels or other means of transportation.

Read More: Best Portable Pellet Grills

3. Durability

A close up image of an open budget pellet grill that is made from durable materials

When it comes to choosing the best wood pellet grill, durability is vital. You want something that won't rust or break easily over time.

Fortunately, most reliable pellet grills are made of durable materials such as stainless steel or powder-coated metal to withstand the weather and last for years.

Check the warranty period before making your purchase; some companies offer extended warranties of up to 10 years.

4. Performance

The reason to buy a pellet grill smoker is to get great cooking results without worrying about charcoal or gas grills' inconvenience or mess.

The best pellet grills under $500 use hardwood pellets or compressed sawdust pellets as their fuel source, ensuring consistent results in these pellet smokers.

Look for models with digital temperature gauges so you can set and monitor your desired cooking temperature accurately and efficiently.

Also, a large pellet hopper capacity makes it, so you don't have to add pellets continually while cooking.

5. Power

An image of a person adjusting the temperature of a pellet grill

Most of the best pellet grills under $500 offer temperatures ranging from 180°F up to 500°F—plenty of room for low-and-slow smoking as well as searing steaks.

Some models even allow you to adjust the temperature in 5° increments so that precise temperatures can be achieved when needed, making them ideal for more complex recipes, like pizza or bread.

Many modern grills also have advanced features like direct flame broiling and app control capabilities that allow you to monitor your food without opening up the lid.

6. Convenience

Another priority when looking for a pellet grill smoker is convenience. The best way to make sure you choose the most suitable grill is by looking at its features.

Many of them come with digital control systems for precise temperature settings, as well as automatic ignition, automatic shutoff timers, and meat probes.

Additionally, some pellet grills come with pellet hopper extensions or larger hopper capacity so that you can cook for longer periods without reloading pellets.

7. Accessories

A close up image of a pellet grill that has Wi-Fi feature

Pellet grills come with all kinds of helpful accessories, even when you're shopping on a budget.

Look for models that include side shelves for prep space; handles for easy portability; integrated thermometers for precise temperature control; and even Wi-Fi connectivity so you can monitor your food from anywhere.

And don't forget about storage space—look for larger grill models with plenty of room in the hopper, firebox, and ash pan so you can stock up on supplies before your next cookout.

Also Read: Best WiFi Pellet Grills & Smokers

8. Safety

Regarding safety, most pellet grills are second-to-none thanks to their integrated sensors and controllers that keep temperatures consistent throughout the cooking process.

Plus, some high-end grills feature built-in shutoff timers that will turn off the grill after a period of non-use—a great feature if you tend to forget about your food while socializing with friends.

FAQs

Is Buying a Pellet Grill Worth the Investment?

Yes, buying a pellet grill is worth the investment because these grills offer convenience, consistency, and control that you wouldn't get with a traditional charcoal grill.

Many models come with helpful accessories like side shelves and thermometers for easy internal temperature monitoring.

Does Food Taste Better on a Pellet Grill?

Owners say that food tastes better on a pellet grill because of the wood pellets' smokey flavor. Additionally, many pellet grills allow you to cook food at a consistent temperature which helps ensure that everything is cooked evenly.

Are Pellet Grills Easy to Clean?

Yes, most pellet grills are very easy to clean. The best pellet smokers come with a removable ash pan and a grease management system that allow you to quickly dispose of any leftover ashes or debris after cooking.

What Is the Best Inexpensive Pellet Grill for You?

After looking at the top options in the pellet grill space, I can freely say that these inexpensive pellet grills offer outstanding versatility and quality comparable to high-end models.

Still, my vote for the best among them goes to the Z GRILLS-550B.

This model offers plenty of features, like a good hopper capacity, temperature monitoring system, and convection cooking––all for a great price.

Plus, online users rave about the flavor that this grill produces thanks to the wood pellets it uses. So, if you're on a budget but still want a quality pellet grill experience, consider the Z GRILLS-550B.

Z GRILLS-550B Wood Pellet Grill

Our #1 Recommendation

  • "Set and Forget" operation
  • Pellets deliver great wood flavor
  • Convection cooking heats evenly
  • Holds up to 10 lbs of pellets
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of January
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