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Best Pellet Grill for Cold Weather: 6 Insulated Options

10-Seconds on the Best Pellet Grill for Cold Weather

Do away with greasy thermal or welding blankets and get yourself a fully insulated pellet smoker that doesn’t need anything extra to run in winter.

Our Single Best Insulated Pellet Smoker Pick - Traeger Ironwood
Traeger Ironwood

Packing away the smoker at the end of summer’s always a bit of a bummer. And, so is trying to smoke something, watching the unit struggle to hit a high enough temperature because the weather’s just too darn cold.

Luckily, you don’t have to do either of those things.

In fact, pellet smokers are one of the best choices for cold weather smoking because they’ll automatically regulate the temperature for you, even if they do use more pellets.

Thanks to the growing popularity of pellet smokers and advances in their technology, there’s a wide range of choice when it comes to fully insulated models.

Having insulation built into the smoker itself means you don’t need to find and fit an thermal blanket which is an added expense and an extra thing to store. Plus, your smoker will run more efficiently, using less pellets to do the same thing year round but particularly during those more challenging winter months.

So, here you’ll find our top picks for the best pellet grill for cold weather smoking.

These models have all got built-in insulation so you don’t need to buy an additional blanket. And, they won’t just churn through the pellets like there’s no tomorrow either.

A Note on Pricing and Your Budget

There is a huge variation in pricing for the best cold weather pellet smokers. You can get expensive top of the line models or, cheaper but still do a great job in the cold solutions.

In this review we’ve included a range of different price points so you can choose one that fits your budget.

The smokers here are listed from the most expensive to the cheapest. So, click on the check price button for up to date pricing and scroll down until you find something that’s the sort of price you were expecting.

You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a good pellet smoker for cold weather. The more expensive models here have other features that push their price up too.

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Table of Contents

Our Top Picks for the Best Cold Weather Pellet Smokers

You can mess around with matching a thermal blanket or welding blanket to your smoker. Or, you can buy one of these fully insulated pellet grills that don’t need anything extra to keep smoking year round, even in cold winters.

Traeger Timberline

The Traeger Timberline is THE top of the line option if you want full dual-wall construction for optimal insulation for winter smoking, plus pretty much every other feature you can think of.

It’s got Traeger’s latest D2 temperature controller with Smart Combustion™ technology which really does maintain the most consistent cooking temperatures all year round. There’s Downdraft Exhaust® with Super Smoke® Mode to keep the smoke constantly rolling over your food for even better wood-fired flavor. And, a wide temperature range that’s suitable for both smoking and grilling even when the weather’s cold.

The new color touchscreen is really easy to use.

But, there’s also Traeger’s WiFire technology with 2 MEATER® Wireless Meat Thermometers INCLUDED. This means you can watch the internal and ambient temperature of your grill and change settings from the comfort of your warm house without having to put your coat on and head outside.

But, the Traeger Timberline isn’t finished there.

You’re also getting an Induction® cooktop that sits separately to the left of your barbecue lid.

There’s a brushes motor that’s built to last through Traeger’s 10 year warranty. There’s 3 tiers of stainless steel grates. A pellet sensor to tell you when you need to add more fuel.

It comes with one of Traeger’s StayDRY Pellet Storage Bins for your spare pellets. Internal cook lights. A full storage cart, an extra-large powder-coated side shelf and, a removable magnetic bamboo cutting board.

The Traeger Timberline gives you a whole heap of features that don’t just tick boxes, they really make the pellet smoking experience even more effortless.

In terms of size, you’ve got two choices with the Timberline.

The smaller, but still bigger than average, Timberline gives you 880 square inches of cooking space while the larger Traeger Timberline XL gives you a mammoth 1,320 square inches.

Both have an ample 22 pound pellet hopper.

But, either size you choose, the Traeger Timberline really has everything you could ever want in a pellet smoker including effortlessly consistent cooking in cold weather conditions.

Specs for the Traeger Timberline / Timberline XL

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 880 / 1,320 square inches

Pellet hopper capacity: 22 lbs

Temperature range: 160°F – 500°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: TBB86RLG / TBB01RLG

Price guide: $$$$$

Dimensions: 59″ W x 51″ H x 25″ D / 71″ W x 51″ H x 25″ D

Weight: 289 lbs

Warranty: 10 years

Pros of the Traeger Timberline for Smoking in Cold Weather

  • Consistent Temperature Control: The Timberline has one of the most advanced digital controllers to maintain a consistent temperature, even in adverse weather conditions.
  • Insulated Construction: The Timberline has an insulated double-wall design which helps to retain heat and keeps the smoker’s interior at a stable temperature, even in cold conditions. It also uses less fuel than an uninsulated model.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Traegers WiFire allows you to monitor and control the smoker’s temperature and cooking progress from your smartphone or tablet, keeping you out of the cold.
  • Durable Build: Traegers are known for being the best in the business in terms of quality. And, the Timberline is their top of the range model. It’s built to withstand harsh weather conditions, including cold temperatures.
  • A Whole Host of Other Awesome Features: Apart from being ideal for smoking in cold weather, the Timberline has numerous features that make it one of the best pellet smokers out there. This includes stainless steel grates, an induction cooktop, storage cart, bamboo cutting board and 2 of the best wireless thermometer probes, the MEATER.

Cons of the Traeger Timberline for Smoking in Cold Weather

  • Higher Price: The Traeger Timberline is more expensive than some other smokers on the market. It’s advanced features are well worth the cost. But, you can make great barbecue in cold weather on cheaper smokers if this one doesn’t fit your budget.

Traeger Ironwood

If you like the sound of the Traeger Timberline but the price is a little too steep for your budget, consider this, Traeger’s next model down, the Ironwood.

This cold weather pellet smoker is still fully insulated with dual-wall construction so you won’t need an insulating blanket. It’s very efficient on pellet usage, even in winter.

The temperature controller is the same as the more expensive Timberline. This means it’ll still keep a really steady temperature, no matter what the weather’s doing.

There’s Smart Combustion™ technology with Super Smoke® Mode for a woodier flavor. And, you’ve still got WiFire for remote control on your smartphone with the Traeger app so you can stay inside too.

So, what’s the difference with the top of the line Timberline model?

The cheaper Ironwood comes with 2 wired probes instead of the wireless MEATER probes, it doesn’t have the side induction cooktop, and you don’t get the bamboo cutting board or built in storage.

The Traeger Ironwood gives you all you need for cold weather smoking without all those extra, nice to have but expensive features.

In terms of size, there’s two options with the Ironwood. The base model gives you a sizeable 616 square inches of cooking space while the Ironwood XL ups that to 924. Both have a 22 pound hopper which will give you about 20 hours of low and slow time even when the weather is not cooperating.

Specs for the Traeger Ironwood / Ironwood XL Pellet Grill

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 616 / 924 square inches

Pellet hopper capacity: 22 lbs

Temperature range: 160°F – 500°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: TFB61RLG / TFB93RLG

Price guide: $$$$

Dimensions: 59″ W x 48″ H x 25″ D / 70″ W x 48″ H x 25″ D

Weight: 199 / 243 lbs

Warranty: 10 years

Pros of the Traeger Ironwood for Smoking in Cold Weather

  • Precise Temperature Control: The Ironwood uses advanced temperature control technology to maintain a consistent temperature which is crucial for achieving excellent results when smoking in cold weather.

  • Insulated Construction: Ironwood models are designed with double-wall insulation improving heat retention and maintain stable cooking temperatures while using less fuel, even in chilly conditions.

  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Use Traegers WiFire app to monitor and adjust the grill’s temperature and cooking progress from your smartphone or tablet while you’re warm indoors.
  • Durable Construction: Traeger grills are known for their durability and high-quality build. While you shouldn’t leave them uncovered in rain or snow, they shouldn’t instantly rust.

Cons of the Traeger Ironwood for Smoking in Cold Weather

  • Higher Price: Even though the Ironwood is significantly less expensive than the top of the range Traeger Timberland, it’s still one of the more expensive pellet smokers out there.
  • Wired Meat Probes: While the Traeger Timberland comes with 2 wireless MEATER temperature probes, the Ironwood has your standard wired plug in type. If you want a wireless setup to monitor your meat’s progress, you’ll need to grab your own. These are our favorites wireless models for smoking.

Z Grills Multitasker

This smoker, the Z Grills Multitasker, isn’t as good a quality as the Traeger Timberline. And,  it doesn’t have all the same fancy features. But, if all you need is a well-insulated pellet grill with WiFi for remote control so that you can smoke through not so pleasant winters, this barbecue is it!

Available in two different sizes; the 709 square inch 7052B or the larger 1,068 square inch 11002B, the Multitasker’s barrel is fully insulated with a gasket sealing the cooking chambers lid to provide great heat retention while keeping the cold air out.

The Z Grills Digital PID control panel with color screen keeps a tight handle on your target temperature. Even when the chill sets in and the wind whips through you’re looking at swings of up to about 15°F, nothing that’s going to break your cook.

The 28 pound pellet hopper shouldn’t need refilling even during really long smokes. There’s a prime button to help you get your grill up to temperature faster after opening the lid. And, there’s WiFi so you can see, change and monitor every aspect of your cook without having to put on a coat and drag your warm self out in the cold.

With everything you really need for cold weather pellet smoking and not much else, the Z Grills Multitasker is exceptionally good value and won’t leave you feeling like you’re missing anything extra.

Specs for the Z Grills ZPG 7052B / 11002B Pellet Smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material:  Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 709 / 1,068 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 28 lbs

Heat Range: 160-500°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: 7052B / 11002B Multitasker

Assembled size (in): 45 L × 32 W × 47 H / 57 L × 32 W × 47 H

Weight: 163 / 192 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Z Grills Multitasker

  • Full Dual-Wall Insulation: With a double wall design wrapping around the Multitaskers body and a gasket to seal the cooking chamber’s lid, this smoker holds the heat well while keeping any cold air out, reducing temperature fluctuations and improving fuel efficiency.
  • Precise Temperature Controller: With a PID-based system you can expect the temperature to stay really steady throughout your cook, even in very cold or snowy conditions. Use the prime button to get back up to temp faster after loading your meat. And, use Super Smoke mode for a more intense smoky flavor.
  • Remote Control: Use the Z Grills app along with your WiFi to connect the Multitasker to your smartphone or tablet. Check the ambient temperature of your grill, change the settings and watch the internal temperature of your meat go up with the 2 included meat probes.
  • Good Quality: The quality of this smoker is impressive, especially when you see the price tag on it. You should be able to enjoy many years of smoking with proper care.

Cons of the Z Grills Multitasker

  • App Setup: Some people have problems doing the initial app setup. But, once you’ve got it linked, the app is pretty easy and intuitive to use.
  • Limited to 2 Probe Ports: There’s only 2 ports to plug probes into. If you want to monitor the temperature of more than 2 cuts of meat you’ll need a separate wireless system and have to use a separate app to watch the progress.

Grilla Grills Silverbac

It’s still not super cheap. But, for a mid-priced pellet smoker, the Grilla Grills Silverbac is packed full of value in one insulated barrel of a design whose price blows most of the competition out of the water.

For a lower price than either of the two Traeger’s we’ve recommended above, you’re getting stainless steel grates, firepot, heat deflector, and lids for improved durability and rust-resistance. There’s built-in storage too and a decently large 692 square inches of cooking space, powered by a 20 pound hopper.

But, the Grilla Grills temperature controller is where things start to get really interesting. The Silverbac has their dual-mode Alpha Connect WiFi Control Board.

What that means is that if you want precise temperature regulation, you can set it to PID mode. Or, if you want more smokiness from the larger heat fluctuations, you can use it in regular mode. Options, options, options… basically you’ve got more flexibility for even more versatility up to the maximum grilling temperature of 500°F.

Other features that are worth mentioning are the TempTamer which is unique to Grill Grills. This helps to reduce that huge temperature drop you get from opening the lid which is even more pronounced when it’s cold and/or snowing out.

With the Silverback you’re also getting a meat probe that plugs directly into the control panel and a pellet dump door.

It’s seriously great value for a heavy-duty pellet smokers that performs very well all year round.

Specs for the Grilla Grills Silverbac

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel with stainless steel lids

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 692 square inches

Pellet hopper capacity: 20 lbs

Temperature range: 180°F – 500°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: Silverbac

Price guide: $$$

Dimensions: 47″ W x 51″ H x 22″ D

Weight: 170 lbs

Warranty: 4 years

Pros of the Grilla Grills Silverbac

  • Competitive Pricing: GrillaGrills offers such good value for money compared to some other pellet smoker brands, making it an attractive option for those looking for lots of features at an attractive price.
  • Double-Wall Insulation: The Silverbac is built with a double-wall design they call an internal thermal jacket. This helps retain heat, keep the temperature stable and gives an estimated 33% improved fuel efficiency in cold weather.
  • Flexible Alpha Connect WiFi Control Board: This lets you choose between precise PID temperture mode or a more smoky and variable temperature regulation.
  • Exclusive TempTamer Feature: Reduces the drastic heat dip from opening the lid which is especially useful when cooking during winter.
  • WiFi Connectivity: Fully monitor and operate your grill from the warmth of your couch via your smartphone.
  • Stainless Steel Components: The grates, lids, burn pot and heat shield are all made from heavy duty stainless steel for improved weather tolerance and durability.

Cons of the Grilla Grills Silverbac

  • Lid Isn’t Insulated: The lid is made from a single piece of stainless steel. So, although it’s quite thick, it won’t insulate as well as the Traegers do.
  • Limited Availability: GrillaGrills are only sold in the United States and only through their own website with shipping anywhere in the continental United States.
  • Only One Probe Port: If you want to monitor more than one cut of meat, you can’t do that with the Silverbac alone. You’ll need a separate wireless set which means a separate device or app for monitoring your cook as well.

Z Grills Flagship 700D4E

If you live somewhere that gets cold and you’ve got a tighter budget, the Z Grills Flagship 700D4E is a great option.

No, this smoker doesn’t have all the fancy features that the Traeger’s and Grilla Grills have. But, what’s here is solid and reliable with a dual wall insulated design for improved heat retention.

You’ve got Z Grills’ updated V2.1 PID temperature controller which holds the heat within about 5°F of your target. The temperature distribution is incredibly even from one end of the grill to the other. There’s a manual feed button so you can heat the grill up faster.

And, you get not just one, but two temperature probes that hook straight up to the controller for accurate feedback on how your meat is going.

Inside, it holds a similar amount of meat to the other smokers on this list. 697 square inches should see you smoke 5 chickens, 6 rib racks or 29 burgers at one time. The pellet hopper holds a whole 20 pound bag so won’t need refilling, and, there’s the built-in storage cabinet and a waterproof cover included as a nice bonus.

If you’re looking at using the 700D4E for grilling, the maximum temperature of 450°F is slightly lower than the options above. It does actually grill surprisingly well. But, uses a lot of pellets to get up to temperature and stay there.

Overall, the performance of the 700D4E far outdoes it’s price! And, although the built-quality isn’t as high as the more expensive options, it’s very reasonable while giving enough protection from the cold without having to use a thermal blanket.

We’ve been using Z Grills in cold weather conditions for years and the results you can get on this barbecue are impressive, particularly when you consider it’s price.

Specs for the Z Grills 700D4E

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel with stainless steel lid

Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 697 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 20 lbs

Heat Range: 180°F – 450°F

WiFi: No

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: 700D4E (was known as 700D3)

Price guide: $$$

Assembled size (in): 48 L × 22 W × 51 H

Weight: 132 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Z Grills Flagship 700D4E

  • Double-Wall Insulation: The Flagship 700D4E is built with double-wall design, which helps retain heat and stabilize the smoker’s ambient temperature in chilly conditions. This also improves fuel efficiency.
  • Precise Temperature Control: The updated V2.1 PID controller offers precise temperature control and keeps a consistent heat for smoking even in cold weather.
  • Competitive Pricing: The Z Grills Flagship 700D4E is one of the cheapest smokers you’ll find that will still do a great job in cold weather. You’re sacrificing a few of the extra features to keep the price down but the core functions you need to make great barbecue are still there.
  • Manual Feed Button: Press this after opening the lid and it’ll help to get the temperature back up faster so your cook is less affected by the heat dipping.
  • Waterproof Cover Included: The matching waterproof grill cover comes with the Flagship so you can keep your barbecue protected from rain and snow without having to spend any more money.

Cons of the Z Grills Flagship 700D4E

  • No Insulation in Lid: The single layer stainless steel lid isn’t insulated. So, this part of the smoker won’t retain heat as well as the body of the smoker does.
  • No WiFi: This model doesn’t have wireless control. If you want to change the temperature on your grill or read the meat probe temps you’ll need to go outside. We do, however, recommend using this smoker with a wireless meat thermometer so you can see how your meat is going while you’re inside and warm. If you want to change the smoker’s temperature then you’ll need to pop outside. But, monitoring how you cook is progressing won’t have you piling on all your jackets.
  • Limited Upper Temperature Range: You can grill on the 450°F maximum and the results really are alright. But, it doesn’t get hotter like the more expensive models recommended above.
  • Build Quality: While Z Grills are built very well for the price, the build quality is not as robust as higher-end pellet smokers.

Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker

If your budget’s really tight, it’s not quite as good as the more expensive options above, but, the Pit Boss’s 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker also features an insulated double-wall design, and, a huge cooking capacity.

Inside there’s 5 grates giving you a huge 1,513 square inches of space. And, thanks to Pit Boss’s multi-position racking system you can pretty much move them anywhere you want to suit whatever you’re smoking.

The hopper holds an impressive 55 pounds of pellets so you can easily do really long cold weather smokes (like 2 days worth) without needing to add more fuel.

The VP1 temperature controller isn’t PID so it won’t hold the heat super steady. But, partnered with convection fans, it does a great job of heating the space for an even cook throughout. There’s also a manual feed button to push more pellets into the firepot for a faster heat up too.

Just be aware that you can’t grill on the Pit Boss 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker, or any other vertical pellet smoker for that matter. The heating element is just too far away from the grates even though the temperature maxes out at a doable grilling temperature of 450°F.

For an affordable fully insulated cold weather pellet smoker though, the Pit Boss 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker is a great option for the budget-conscious buyer who wants to smoke big all year round.

Specs for the Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Smoker:

Barbecue type: Wood pellet smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material:  Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 1,513 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 55 lbs

Heat Range: 150-420°F

WiFi: No

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Price guide: $$$

Model: 77550

Assembled size (in): 53”H x 29”W x 27”D

Weight: 127 lbs

Warranty: 5 years

Pros of the Pit Boss 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • Insulated Construction: The Pit Boss 5-Series smoker has a double-wall design for improved insulation, helping to maintain a consistent cooking temperature even in cold weather.
  • Large Cooking Capacity: The vertical design of this smoker provides ample cooking space with multiple cooking racks, allowing you to smoke a significant amount of food at once.
  • Huge Pellet Hopper Capacity: You can cook low and slow on this smoker for up to 2 days off one hopper full of pellets. Top it up when you turn it on and you won’t be going back out into the cold to refill it.
  • Glass Viewing Door: It does get smoky while it’s on. But, you can see exactly how your meat is going without opening the lid and letting heat out that’s even more important when you’re cooking during winter.

Cons of the Pit Boss 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • No WiFi: There are wired meat probe ports (and 1 probe included) with this smoker. But, no WiFi means you do need to go outside to see what temperature your meat is at and change any settings on your smoker. You can get a separate wireless smoker thermometer if you want to be able to see how your cook is progressing without going outside.
  • Build Quality: While Pit Boss smokers offer competitive pricing, the build quality is not as good as the higher-end insulated pellet smokers on this list.

What To Look For In A Pellet Grill for Smoking In Cold Weather

You’re right, just because a pellet smoker automatically regulates the temperature for you, it doesn’t mean that any old pellet smoker will be able to do the job in really cold conditions.

A pellet grill that’s not designed for cold weather smoking might struggle to get up to your set temperature, fluctuate more once it gets there and/or chop through the wood pellets like there’s no tomorrow.

So, keep an eye out for these key features when you’re shopping for the best pellet grill for cold weather.

Built-In Insulation

The critical factor for successful cold-weather smoking is heat retention.

Pellet smokers featuring double-walled construction offer superior insulation, preventing heat loss and making it easier for the barbecue to keep a stable temperature.

Check out Grilla Grills’ video below explaining the difference.

PID-Based Temperature Controllers

Pellet smokers equipped with PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) controllers are designed to keep a steadier temperature than your regular, old school type of digital controller.

They’re also better set up to deal with changing external temperature due to wind or persistent cold.

Quality Materials

Opt for a smoker made from good quality materials. This will help it to withstand the rigors of harsh winter climates.

Stainless steel or heavy-gauge powder-coated or porcelain enamelled steel is the ideal choice for durability and protection from rust.


You don’t need WiFi to smoke in cold conditions.

But, it’s a nice to have feature that means you don’t need to go outside to check what temperature your smoker or meat is at. Most will also let you change the temperature of your smoker right from your app as well.

If your cold weather smoker doesn’t have WiFi, consider getting a wireless smoker thermometer so you can watch how your cook is progressing without having to brave the cold. These are our favorite wireless thermometers.

Hopper Capacity

In cold weather, longer smoking sessions may be necessary and you might be using more pellets to cook for the same amount of time.

Choosing a smoker with a large hopper will reduce the frequency of refills.

Good Seals

A well-sealed smoker keeps the heat in and cold out, helping your barbecue to maintain a stable temperature in chilly conditions.

Look for quality gaskets along the lids and a tight seal between the hopper and smoker body.

5 Tips for Using a Pellet Smoker in Cold Weather

Smoking in cold weather can be challenging, but with the right approach and an insulated smoker, you can still achieve delicious results.

Here are five tips for smoking on a pellet smoker in cold weather:

  1. Be Mindful of Your Smoker Position: Wind can have a significant impact on your smoker’s temperature control as can driving rain and snow. If possible, position your smoker in a location protected from the weather or create a windbreak using items like outdoor screens or furniture. 
  2. Carefully Choose Your Pellets: One, choose a high-quality hardwood pellet without fillers or additives. Using top-quality pellets ensures they burn efficiently and produce consistent heat, even in cold conditions. Two, you might also want to go with an oak based pellet because oak generally burns a little hotter, your smoker will have an easier time getting up to temp. These are our favorite high quality pellets for smoking.
  3. Keep Your Pellets Dry: Wet pellets don’t burn as well as dry ones, and, might jam the auger. Through winter and any wetter time of the year, it’s even more essential to make sure you’re storing your pellets properly to prevent any moisture absorption, which could lead poor performance in cold weather. Here’s how to store your pellets properly.
  4. Preheat Your Smoker: Just like you do with your regular kitchen oven, preheating your smoker can reduce the strain on it and make it easier to get up to temperature.
  5. Adjust Cooking Times: If the cold weather is impacting your smoker’s temperature, it can extend your cooking times. Instead of fighting it, be prepared for longer smoking sessions. Rely on your meat thermometer to determine tell you when your meat is cooked properly instead of going off of time alone. These are our favorite wireless meat thermometers that are the perfect cold weather smoking companion.

FAQs About Using a Pellet Smoker in Cold Weather

Yes, you can use a pellet smoker in really cold weather. But, without proper insulation in your smoker itself, or an insulating thermal blanket your smoker might have a hard time getting to temp and maintaining it.

Choose from one of the best pellet smokers for cold weather we’ve recommended above and you’re ready to go without needing an extra insulating cover.

Yes, Traeger’s are built to be run in most weather conditions.

But, be mindful that cheaper Traeger’s don’t have any insulation built in to their bodies and do need a thermal blanket to work well in really cold weather.

Check out Traeger’s tips for grilling in cold and snowy weather.

While Traeger don’t give an exact temperature as a cut off for where their smokers can be operated at, they do recommend using an insulated smoker like the Timberline and Ironwood, or, grabbing a thermal cover if you’re smoking below freezing (32°F / 0°C).

Although Traeger is one of the best brands of pellet smokers out there, they can struggle to work well in really cold conditions, particularly below freezing.

If you want to use a Traeger in really cold condition, we recommend going for one of their fully insulated models like the Timberline or Ironwood. Or, you can grab an insulation blanket to provide that extra layer of insulation for some of Traeger’s cheaper models.

Your Traeger definitely doesn’t need to be off-limits during winter.

Pellet smokers aren’t designed to be used in the rain.

Firstly, the digital control panel has electric components that might get damaged by water. And, secondly, when pellets are exposed to water (even in your hopper from high humidity), they swell which causes poor performance and potentially, your auger to jam.

Try to pick a spot for your smoker that’s undercover so you can smoke better in any weather conditions.

Depending on how well insulated your pellet smoker is, cold weather can make it hard for your smoker to reach your set temperature and make it harder to maintain a consistent temperature.

Because an uninsulated pellet smoker will have a harder time keeping the temperature, your pellet smoker will use more pellets, increasing your running costs.

If you’re smoking in cold conditions, particularly if it’s close to freezing or sub-freezing conditions, it is best to use an insulated smoker in cold weather.

An insulated smoker might mean adding a thermal blanket to an uninsulated smoker. Or, using one of the pellet smokers above that have an insulating double-wall design that means you don’t need the extra blanket.

Generally, yes, smoking meat when it’s cold outside does take longer than smoking on a summers day.

Instead of going off of time alone, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat. Cooking to temp instead of time with ensure that your food is safely and deliciously cooked.

These are our favorite wireless smoker thermometers that mean you don’t need to go outside to check the temperature of your meat when it’s too cold.

We prefer using an oak or oak-based pellet mix when we’re smoking in cold weather.

Oak can burn nice and hot and by giving your smoker something that burns well at high heat, it’ll have an easier time maintaining your desired temperature.

Summary of the Best Pellet Grill for Cold Weather

When it comes to the best pellet grills for smoking in cold or freezing conditions, we simply can’t go past a Traeger.

With a full body, double-wall design, the Traeger Timberline and Traeger Ironwood hold the heat in and keep the cold out so that the digital control panel doesn’t have to work as hard to fight the cold.

This feature also means that these pellet smokers are some of the most efficient in cold conditions in terms of pellet usage. They simply don’t need to burn as many pellets because the heat is being retained better than a pellet grill with a single wall design.

But, if the higher price of the Traeger Timberline and Ironwood models isn’t what you wanted to spend, you can still get yourself a great smoker for less money that’ll perform in cold weather too.

The Grilla Grills Silverbac and the Z Grills Flagship both offer the same double-wall design. The only difference is that the lid of these cheaper pellet grills isn’t insulated, the quality isn’t quite the same as a Traeger, and they have fewer other features overall.

And, for the most budget-friendly option, there’s the HUGE Pit Boss 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker with a dual-wall design and a convenient glass viewing door.

But, the thing about choosing the best cold weather pellet smoker for you is that, all of these grills will work well year round. The more expensive models are better quality and have more features like WiFi, meat probes and a fancier digital control panel.

So, if you’re still not sure which is right for you, make sure you look at smoker size and those other nice to have features.

But, take comfort in knowing that any of the pellet grills listed here are designed to be used in really cold conditions and you shouldn’t have any performance issues from a bit of wind or the mercury dropping.


Kate Brown, the founder and voice behind Burning Brisket, is not your typical pitmaster or restaurateur. Her expertise in barbecue grew from a humble desire to cook exceptional meals for her family. From overcoming burnt brisket mishaps to establishing her boutique cattle ranch, Kate shares her passion to help 'ordinary' individuals cook extraordinary barbecue, believing that simplicity often yields the best flavors. Kate is committed to making great barbecue accessible to all with the right resources and some tasty practice.

About Burning Brisket

Burning Brisket is one of the leading, independent authorities on all things barbecue. Family-owned and run, it's our mission uncomplicate the art of smoking to help you enjoy making incredible food at home for your family and friends to create memories over.

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