Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: May 10, 2022

Pellet grills have been around for over three decades, but their popularity has soared over the last few years. These days it seems that if people are not gushing about their air fryer, then they’re yapping about their pellet grill. Thus, we looked to the experts to determine what contributes to the cost of pellet grills and if they are worth it.

Quick Summary

  • Pellet grills utilize unique technology that makes them easy to use.
  • Pellet grills produce great flavor.
  • Pellet grills are versatile, allowing you to smoke or grill.
  • Pellet grills give you the freedom to walk away while it does their job.
  • Many pellet grills even come with wi-fi.

Why Are Pellet Grills Are So Expensive?

Close up image of a pellets

Pellet grills are expensive because of the technology that is involved in making them incredibly easy to use, versatile, and allowing you the freedom to go about your day (or sleep) while it does its job.

So easy, it is nearly impossible to burn your food in one.

As Meathead from amazingribs.com put it, It’s all about control. And convince. Oh yeah, taste, too.

Set it and forget it. Great flavor. No brainer. Pellet burners are a real revolution [1].

Pellet grills are not just easy; they provide busy cooks with the gift of time. Unlike many other grills and smokers, pellet grills do not require you to stand there or constantly check on them.

With the addition of wi-fi, it has become even easier, allowing cooks to monitor and control the temperature from their phone.

What Technology Is Used In Expensive Pellet Grills?

Holding pellets with bare hands

At first glance, pellet grills might not sound that unique. As David Marks, Operation BBQ Relief’s head of business development, points out that regardless if you are using gas, charcoal, or a pellet grill, they work with the same basic principles of thermodynamics, or heat and energy transfer [2].

But having the same principles is not the same as doing a job brilliantly.

For example, a flair-up that chars your meat is still an energy transfer, but it might not be achieving the flavor you desire (unless carbon crunch is your goal).

Not all pellet grills work exactly the same. There are various modifications, and some come with additional features, such as wi-fi. But there are standard components.

Standard components of a pellet grill:

  • Hopper
  • Induction fan
  • Motorized feed auger

Pellet grills achieve consistent temperatures and smokey flavor by using standardized pellets of the same size and quality. The pellet grill monitors its own temperature and feeds the pellets into the “burner” as conditions require.

Thus, you don’t have to stand there and adjust gas flames or move the charcoal around while continuously lifting the lid.

How a pellet grill monitors its temperature depends on the model and brand. But, in general, it is similar to how an oven controls its own heat. Thus, there are thermostats, sensors, and they may even include probes that can be placed on or inside the meat. The one with wi-fi will send all this data to your phone.

Like fancy coffee makers, many pellet grills are programable so that you can set the various temperatures for specific periods.

This means you don’t even have to swing by the pellet grill to adjust the temperature manually, as you would with an oven. Again, if yours has wi-fi, you can even change your mind during the process and adjust the settings from your phone.

Are Pellet Grills Worth The Money?

Holding an amount of money

Pellet grills are worth the money for anyone with a busy life that loves tender, slow-cooked meat with a juicy and smokey flavor.

They are also worth it for cooks who love consistent quality meat, rather than rare today, well done tomorrow.

Thus, the questions to ask yourself when considering a pellet grill are:

  • How much is your time worth?
  • Do you enjoy consistently succulent smoked meat and vegetables?

Is A Pellet Grill Right For You?

Many people adore their pellet grills or are carefully saving up for one. But others shrug and are happy with what they already own.

So, it really depends on your personality and food preparation preferences.

Pellet Grills: Searing Vs. Versatility

Cooking meats on a grill with high flames

Some outdoor cooks prefer the searing capabilities of a gas or charcoal grill to a pellet grill.

They feel the heat a pellet grill produces just doesn’t produce that hot-seal as quickly or as well.

Thus, if grilling is mostly what you enjoy, a pellet grill might not be worth the price. It would be like buying a fancy hot tub when all you wanted was a bath.

However, pellet grills excel at:

  • Baking
  • Broiling
  • Roasting
  • Smoking

Pellet Grills: Electricity, Gas, Or Charcoal

While some people are not fans because pellet grills require electricity, others prefer it as they are often cheaper to operate than buying gas or charcoal.

If you buy your pellets online and in bulk, the savings are even greater. Thus, while pellet grills may cost more initially, you might save in the long run.

Pellet Grills May Be Healthier

Cooking a steak on a pellet grill with pellets close up image

There are also those that want to avoid charcoal out of health concerns. These folks feel that cooking on a pellet grill is healthier, even when it comes to smoking.

Pellet grills appeal to health-conscious individuals because they:

  •   Use food-grade hardwood pellets
  •   Use moderate temperatures, reducing or avoiding heterocyclic amines (HACs) [3]
  •   Use less smoke to produce its rich smoky flavor, which reduces polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) [4]

Pellet Grills May Be Kinder To The Environment

Some people also feel they are kinder to the environment as the wood pellets are made from hardwood scraps, not potential lumber. Also, the pellets burn cleaner than charcoal.

Related Articles:

Is There A Cheaper Alternative To Traeger Grills?

Traeger is the name that comes to mind when people discuss pellet grills.

They last for ages and work brilliantly. However, they are part of the reason so many people ask, “Why are pellet grills so expensive?” Traeger grills do give the bank account a knock.

Thankfully, there are more affordable alternatives that are still excellent. These grills may not have all the bells and whistles of a Traeger pellet grill, but they are still worth a glance.

Suggestions include:

  • Z Grills 8-1
  • Camp Chef 20 in.
  • Green Mountain Davy Crockett
  • Camp Chef Smoke
  • Pit Boss 700FB

References:

  1. https://amazingribs.com/ratings-reviews/grill-smoker-combos/pellet-smokers/?p=22310
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/select/shopping/best-pellet-grills-ncna1272627
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/heterocyclic-amine
  4. 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673601/

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