Grilling means good times, good friends and hopefully, great food – Bobby Flay
Nothing brings people together like good food and the promise of a good time.
Just the thought of sharing an afternoon or an evening with your nearest and dearest or friends that you haven’t seen for a while and putting the world to rights while sharing some good barbeque and grilled burgers can put a smile on your face that all of the mid-week misfortune that fate can throw your way couldn’t chip off.
Even though it might seem like we don’t have all that much to celebrate at the moment, given the way the world is right now, those few precious hours spent with your family and a grill can turn all of that around in a heartbeat.
Trust us, we know. It’s a grilling thing.
If there’s one thing that we do know, it’s grills and grilling. While most people would say that’s two things, and in a roundabout sort of way they’d be right, we know that you can’t have one without the other, so as far as we’re concerned, they’re one and the same.
And as you’re here, we’re guessing that you feel the same way as we do about grilling and grills, but maybe you haven’t been inclined to stretch your grilling muscles to their full potential because the price of a grill was a little too high to indulge your secret vice.
While that may have been true at one time, it isn’t anymore. That’s why we’ve found five of the best pellet grills under five hundred dollars out there so that you can grill up a storm without having to worry about breaking your bank. It’s time to turn up the heat…
Best Pellet Grill Under $500 – Comparison Table
Best Pellet Grill Under $500 – Reviews
Traeger Pellet Grills TFB30KLF TailgaterNo products found.
Traeger Grills greets everyone who flocks to their cause the same way – “Welcome to the Traegerhood’. It might sound cheesy and seem a little corny, but they’re absolutely serious. They’re committed to making the sort of grills that’ll make your weekends, vacations, and downtime even more special than they already are, and one of their most beloved pellet grills is the Tailgater 20.
Weighing in at around seventy-one pounds, this two-wheeled monster is a little on the heavy side but is still portable enough to turn your yard into a barbecuing paradise.
Its eight-pound pellet hopper can store enough fuel to keep the Tailgater grilling for us along as you want or need it to. Its digital arc controller and Keep Warm mode ensure that you’ll have complete control of your grilling experience every step of the way and can dish up whatever you’ve been grilling, whenever you want to serve it.
With a maximum temperature of four hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit, that’s adjustable in five-degree increments and total cooking space of around three hundred square inches. The Tailgater 20 is an ideal way to welcome your friends and family to the party and fire up the kinds of conversations and memories that’ll last a lifetime.
- The Tailgaters’ eight-pound pellet hopper means that you can load as much or as little fuel as you want or need to and can grill for as many, for as many or as few people as you want to. Numbers don’t matter when you fire the Tailgater up.
- Traeger’s patented digital arc controller allows you to maintain an even temperature while grilling, and the five-degree incremental adjustments that it’s governed by mean that you’ll never over or under prepare a steak again. It’s all the outdoor cooking power that you’ll ever need.
- That said, the thing that really sold us on the Tailgater was the ‘Keep Warm’ function, which gives you the peace of grilling mind that you need and means that wherever and whenever you cook, it’ll be ready to serve when you’re ready to eat it. You won’t be controlled by the grill anymore; you’ll control it, and you’ll be the master of your own grilling destiny.
- Traeger put wheels on the Tailgater so that wherever you want to go, it will happily follow. Have wheels will travel is the name of the grilling game, and Trager plays that particular game incredibly well.
- Despite what Traeger and a number of their grill happy following say about the Tailgater, or perhaps because of it, there is a minority of less than satisfied customers who claim that the temperature dispersal of the grill isn’t quite as uniform as the science behind it says it is.
- Even with its wheels, the Tailgater still weighs around seventy pounds, which means that it isn’t exactly a lightweight grill that you can pack up and head away with for the weekend. All that cooking power comes with a burden, and that burden is the fact that the Tailgater weighs more than your favorite diesel truck.
GMG 2020 Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett GrillNo products found.
Green Mountain Grills are like the little engine that could. They discovered something that liked to do, which in their case was grilling with wood pellets, and wouldn’t let anyone stand in their way until they’d achieved what they set out to do.
And what they set out to do was make the best wood pellet grills they possibly could at a price that everyone could afford. As committed to customer service as they are to ensuring that their pellet grills constantly push the grilling envelope, Green Mountain has fast become a firm favorite in the grilling community.
WiFi-enabled and fully controllable from your smartphone, the Davy Crockett is a pellet grill that, pound for pound, delivers far more grilling power than most of its competition.
And talking of pounds, the Davy Crockett weighs in at fifty-seven of them, and its legs are designed to be folded into handles meaning that it can easily be carried from place to place and fit comfortably on the bed of your truck or at the back of your SUV, making it a formidable tailgate pellet grill.
With a temperature range of between one hundred and fifty and five hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit and enough cooking space to feed your family and buddies at a yard cookout, festival, or on a camping trip, the Davy Crockett is the ultimate combination of technology and tradition.
Green Mountain is what the future of grilling looks like.
- Thanks to the wonders of the internet and the science of modern grilling, you can control the Davy Crockett from your smartphone, so you can focus on spending time and making memories with your friends and family while it concentrates on grilling and cooking.
- At fifty-seven pounds and with an innovative carrying system, the Davy Crockett is a fully portable pellet grill that’ll transform even the dreariest camping trip into a magical grilling adventure.
- It’s a deceptively versatile grilling machine that includes a meat probe, so you’ll never get the temperature wrong and all the utensils that you’ll need to make grilling easy.
- While it’s a portable, technological cooking miracle, the Davy Crockett isn’t exactly the biggest pellet grill. So if you’re going to be grilling for larger parties, it’s going to take a while to feed everyone.
Masterbuilt SH19260319 WG600B Pellet GrillNo products found.
Masterbuilt believes in sharing the goodness of every day, every single day by combining good times with good food and good people, and that’s exactly what this pellet grill is designed and made to do.
It may not be the prettiest pellet grill you’ll ever lay your eyes on, but like the Millenium Falcon, the Masterbuilt has got it where it counts and punches way above it’s grilling weight.
Its larger-than-life pellet hopper lets you grill for hours on, and its auger system ensures that pellets are automatically added to fuel the Masterbuilt’s fire whenever they’re needed. And when you’re done?
Its easy hopper clean-out means you can empty this beast’s belly and get ready to start all over again whenever you want to. With three hundred and ninety inches of porcelain coated grilling and warming space, the Masterbuilt is a full force grilling machine that’ll never let you, your family, or friends down.
Built to last with a digital readout that’ll keep the grill and cook firmly in your hands from the word go, the Masterbuilt only knows how to do one thing. Grill, And the thing that it knows how to do, it does incredibly well.
- When Masterbuilt says they believe in sharing goodness, they mean it. This pellet grill is a whole lot of grilling power at an incredibly affordable price. You’ll be grinning all the way to grilling nirvana every single time you think about how little all the good times actually cost you.
- Three hundred and ninety square inches of grilling space is nothing to be sneered at. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much meat you can grill, smoke, and char on its surface. Or, if you’re into the plant-based lifestyle, how many vegetables the Masterbuilt will grill to perfection on its porcelain-coated cooking surfaces.
- That easy to clean the hopper system that it uses? After a long day of grilling, it’ll be your new best friend. Just pull it out, empty it, and you’ll be ready to go again in next to no time.
- It does what it’s made to do and nothing else. It doesn’t feature any technological bells and whistles, and it isn’t made to make your life easier. It’s a solid, dependable old fashioned pellet grill. That’s what it was made to be, and that’s all that it is.
- At just over ninety-pounds, it isn’t exactly what you’d call light or portable. Just because it’s got wheels, that doesn’t mean that it’ll be going anywhere in a hurry unless you’re packing the sort of gun show that’d make Arnold Schwarznegger jealous.
Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ GrillNo products found.
We know Cuisinart isn’t the first name that springs to mind when you think about the rough and tumble of outdoor grilling, but it seems like they haven’t just mastered the indoor kitchen. They’ve also got their finger on the pulse of the barbecuing world.
This Cuisinart pellet grill is the one-stop, does it all machine that fires newbie grillers up with joy and fills a long time grill-aficionados hearts with happiness.
With four hundred and fifty square inches of cooking surface, an eleven-pound hopper that feeds pellets into the flames of the grill as and when they’re needed, it’ll grill, smoke, braise and bake anything you can imagine. It’ll even double up as a pizza oven if, and when, you need it too.
With an easy to use and simple to maintain, thanks to its LED display, temperature control, and more extras than a Martin Scorcese film, this fully weatherproof Cuisinart pellet grill proves that the best things sometimes come from the most unexpected places, and you should never judge a grill by the name it wears.
- It’s an all in one pellet grill that brings the convenience of cooking in a kitchen into the world of the barbecue. It’ll grill, roast, braise, smoke, bake, and even make pizza. Honestly, we’re trying to find something that it can’t do.
- Powered by an automatic pellet feeder, all you have to do is load the Cuisinart, step back, push the electronic ignition, monitor the temperature, and it’ll do the rest.
- It has four hundred and fifty square inches of grilling space. In grilling terms, that’s like a football field size cooking area, and it’s more than enough to cater to anyone and everyone that you’ll ever need it to cook for.
- The list of things that the Cuisinart can do is simply staggering. We know that we’ve already mentioned some of them, but the grill is literally designed to smoke its competition.
- With the amount of grilling firepower that the Cuisinart is packing, it was never going to be a lightweight, and sure enough, it weighs in at just over one hundred pounds, which means that is easily moved from one place to another isn’t high on the list of things that it can, and will, do.
Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet GrillNo products found.
Camp Chef’s roots are firmly planted in the outdoors, and they believe that no matter how far you travel or where you go, as long as you have one of their grills with you, you’re never too far from home. And the Pursuit Portable 20 is like tasting the best home grilled food you’ll ever eat wherever you go. Provided, of course, that you can cook.
If you never thought that you could be blown away, or have your socks knocked off by a pellet grill, then Camp Chef’s Pursuit 20 will almost certainly change your mind.
Full PID controlled with a temperature range of one hundred to five hundred degrees Fahrenheit, slide and grill technology, and an ash cleanout system that makes the process of grilling and cooking with it easier than heating soup in a microwave, the Pursuit 20 is a game-changing pellet grill.
The Pursuit 20 won’t just change the way you think about pellet grills and what they can do. It’ll help to transform your outdoor experience into the adventure of a lifetime.
- Names have power, and in the grilling world, Camp Chef is a name that has the power to shake the pillars of the underworld and wake Zeus from his eternal slumber on Mount Olympus. And that’s a lot of power.
- Thanks to its integrated PID system, its easy-to-control grill features a whole host of different settings and temperature controls. If a season of ‘MasterChef’ were condensed into a simple, straightforward pellet grill, it’d be the Camp Chef Pursuit 20
- Whatever you do, and however many people you cook for, at the end of the day, you’ll thank your maker for the ash cleanout system that the Pursuit 20 uses. The days of hard to clean grills are a thing of the past thanks to Camp Chef’s patented uncomplicated ash cleanout.
- The bad news is, it weighs almost as much as a small family sedan. Or at least, it’ll feel like it does when you try to move it. At around one hundred pounds, the Camp Chef isn’t light, and if it weren’t for the fact that it was on wheels, it would never go anywhere.
Best Pellet Grill Under $500 – Buyers Guide
When it comes to buying a pellet grill, there are a number of different factors that should guide your final decision, and you need to take into account before laying your money down.
Grilling And Cooking Space
Every grill has a different amount of grilling space. Measured in square inches, the more grilling or cooking space a pellet grill has, the more food it can comfortably cook.
Before buying a pellet grill, you should ideally consider how many people you’re likely to be grilling for and factor that consideration into your decision.
The bigger the hopper a pellet grill has, the more fuel it can hold, and the longer it can cook.
Some pellet grills also use automatic feeding systems, which means that you just have to load the hopper, and the grill will keep using the pellets to provide the heat it needs to grill until they run out.
Realistically, how long are you going to be grilling for? The bigger the hopper, the longer your grill will be able to cook for.
While all of the pellet grills on our list use wood pellets to provide the heat they need for their grills. Some require an additional electrical power source for the other features that are built into them.
Are you going to be near an electrical output when using your pellet grill? Are the extra features that you’ll need electricity for necessary?
It’s worth asking yourself these things before buying a pellet grill; after all, you don’t want to be caught somewhere in the wilderness on a camping trip where you can’t use your pellet grill.
How much a pellet grill weighs will have a direct impact on how portable it is. If you’re not going anywhere and your grill will become a permanent resident of your yard, then the weight isn’t going to matter. It isn’t going to go anywhere, and you won’t need to move it.
However, if you’re looking for a grill to go tailgating with or to take on camping trips, how much it weighs is going to be incredibly important. If you’re going to be moving it around a lot, you’re going to want to try and make sure that your grill is as light as possible as you don’t want to give yourself a hernia or throw your back out before you even light your grill.
The lighter a pellet grill is, the more portable it will be.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Pellet Grill?
Sometimes called pellet smokers, pellet grills are barbecues, or outdoor cookers, that are a fusion of traditional barbecues, smokers, conventional kitchen ovens, and gas-powered grills.
They are fueled by wood pellets and can bake, grill and smoke and are sometimes controlled electronically or via a WiFi connection. Often portable, pellet grills can be used for tailgating parties, camping trips, or can just be the mainstay of backyard barbecues.
Which Pellet Grill Under 500 Is The Right One For Me?
That is dependent on a number of different factors.
Do you want your pellet grill to be portable? What is your budget, and how much are you willing to spend on a pellet grill? Do you want it to be WiFi enabled? Or are you simply looking for a grill to enjoy some downtime in your yard?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, take another look at our list, as there’s a pellet grill on it that will fulfill all of your criteria.
However, if you’re looking for our opinion, based on our long-running fascination with pellet grills, then without hesitation, we’d always recommend the Green Mountain Davy Crockett, which will do everything that you’ll ever want or need it to do. It’s our pellet grill of choice, and in our humble opinion, the best pellet grill on our list.
That said, the choice is up to you. Let’s barbecue…