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Best Pellet Smoker for the Money? These 6 Are Value!

BEST VALUE QUALITY

Recteq RT-1100 Flagship
recteq Flagship
4.7/5

BEST VALUE FEATURES

Z Grills Multitasker 7052B
Z Grills Multitasker
4.7/5

BEST VALUE GRILLING

Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24
Camp Chef Woodwind 24
4.3/5

BEST VALUE BUDGET

Z Grills Flagship 700D3
Z Grills Flagship
4.5/5

BEST VALUE SMALL

Grilla Grills Chimp
Grilla Grills Chimp
4.6/5

BEST VALUE SURPRISE

Z Grills Blind Box
Z Grills Blind Box
4.7/5

“Pellet smokers are expensive!”

We hear you!

They’re great and all with their wood-fired taste and consistent results for almost zero effort. But, most of the time, you’ve got to fork out some serious cash to get one in the first place.

That’s where this review comes in…

Thanks to more competition in the market, pellet smokers are becoming more affordable. And, for anyone who wants great value, there’s actually a few great options out there (some of them are even top rated pellet smokers too).

So, for anyone asking, what’s the best pellet smoker for the money, here’s our top picks. These aren’t the cheapest pellet smokers out there (jump to our best pellet smokers under $500 review for those). But, the models recommended here have the best mix of price, quality, and features so you can buy confidently knowing that it’s money well spent.

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How We Selected the Best Value Pellet Smokers

In reviewing the best pellet smokers overall, the best pellet smokers under $500, the best pellet smokers for searing, and the best cold weather pellet grills, we’ve used a fair share of pellet smokers out there.

And, although we’re always impressed by the top of the line models, it’s always satisfying when you find a smoker that’s clearly just such good value for money, giving you great quality, features, and performance for a very fair price.

The Z Grills Flagship 700D4E cooking with storage cabinet open and full

Because we love a bargain, and understand that your budget is something you should stick by, we’ve shared our top picks of the best pellet smokers for the money here.

The smokers listed here have all been tested on a really wide set of factors. But, this review particularly focuses on these key points:

To make the cut as one of the best pellet smokers for the money, we didn’t require the smokers to be the best quality out there. But, we do expect smokers in this range to be well put together with quality components that will outlast their warranties.

Some of the models recommended below are very high quality though, built with a lot of stainless steel components for added durability and rust resistance.

Because a pellet smoker regulates the temperature for you, you want the heat to sit where you’ve asked it to sit and stay fairly steady throughout the cook.

To test the accuracy and consistency of the temperature output in all of the smokers recommended here, we used the MEATER Block to record the ambient temperature inside each smoker throughout multiple cooks.

As we showed in our extensive review of the MEATER thermometer range, these probes are highly accurate and as such, give a good indication of the reliability of each tested smoker.

You’re looking for a smoker so it’s got to smoke well.

To test the smoking performance of all of the smokers recommended here, we cooked the same cuts of meat, following the same techniques, while using the same Hardcore Carnivore seasonings (our favorites!).

Doing this allowed us to give each smoker a fair trial and see how various features of the smoker itself affected the performance instead of better or worse performance being attributed to our technique.

You’re after value so, if it comes with any included extras, we’ve mentioned them in the reviews below. Some of the smokers recommended here come with wired meat probes so you don’t have to buy your own separate thermometer. Some also come with a cover which is always a good idea to have and use to keep your smoker in good shape for longer.

Please be aware that for the purpose of this review, the best pellet smokers for the money, we have not set a strict budget. Instead, we’ve given you a list of our top picks if you’re after value.

All of the smokers here sit in the mid to low price range in terms of pellet smokers. But, they’re not the cheapest models around. Check out our best pellet smokers under $500 review for strictly cheap but good options.

Table of Contents

The Best Pellet Smokers for the Money: Our Top Choices

In a sea of pellet smokers, these offer the best bang for your buck with quality, features, and/or a price that’s simply unbeatable value.

BEST VALUE QUALITY

Recteq RT-1100 Flagship

4.7/5

BBQ type: Pellet smoker

Material: Stainless steel

Grates: Stainless steel

Grilling: Indirect heat

Capacity: 1109 sq inch

Hopper capacity: 40 lbs

Heat range: 180°F – 700°F

Dimensions: 36″D x 56″W x 52″H

WiFi: Yes

Price guide: $$$

Model: RT-1100

Warranty: 6 years

Let’s start by saying that unlike some of the pellet smokers on this list, the recteq Flagship RT-1100 isn’t cheap. But, you simply will not find any smoker that’s more value packed than this one!

Every component of the RT-1100 is premium. From the stainless steel body, to the stainless steel grates, firepot, smokestack cap, and drip trays, to the 300 year ceramic ignition system, PID temperature controller, WiFi, and, the list just goes on and on… Recteq have built this smoker to last long enough for you kids to hand down to their kids.

recteq RT-1100 grates

But, the price is super reasonable.

It smokes, it grills, it sears, it bakes and it even dehydrates too. And, with 1,100 square inches of cooking space plus a huge 40 pound hopper, you’re getting a heap of value per square inch of this model. And, the performance is top notch!

The PID based temperature controller keeps the heat inside super steady. In our testing, the recteq Flagship didn’t get more than about 10°F over or under it’s target throughout really long smokes. The smoke it produces is really great quality. Plus, there’s a LO setting you can use to pump out more of the good stuff if you’re after a stronger smoke boost for that bit of extra flavor. Set to LO, the smoke output is impressive.

Grilling on the recteq RT-1100 Flagship

But, one other area where the recteq Flagship really stands out from the crowd as well is in it’s higher temperature range.

Personally, we’re not that into trying to grill on most pellet smokers. It does work but it’s a bit like trying to grill in a really hot oven. But, the recteq Flagship gets upto 700°F which is a LOT hotter than most so you’ve got a really high heat to play with. It’s still indirect. And, we will warn you, above that 500°F mark, you can’t select the temperature, it’s just a single FULL setting. But, the whole grill heats up that much hotter for better grill marks and a faster steak. We do rate it and absolutely don’t feel the need to have a gas grill by its side with this pellet smoker.

Grilling on the recteq Flagship RT-1100

The only area where I’d say the recteq Flagship is slightly lacking is in it’s WiFi app. Recteq simply isn’t as big of a company as some of the more mainstream brands so the app isn’t as well developed or tested. Personally we haven’t run into any major issues. But, some people have reported connectivity issues, the app crashing, and a few minor usability peeves.

At the end of the day, we absolutely love our recteq Flagship! Not only is this pellet smoker incredible quality, there’s a whole heap of useful features, plus a 6 year bumper to bumper warranty. It’s twice the length that Traeger give you and the customer service has a great rep.

Seriously, you won’t find better value for money than this!

Grab the recteq Flagship itself, or one of the packages with pellets, covers, and other accessories thrown in for even more value as well.

Pros
Cons
BEST VALUE FEATURES

Z Grills Multitasker

4.7/5

BBQ type: Pellet

Material: Powder-coated

Grates: Porcelain-coated

Grilling: Indirect heat

Capacity: 709 or 1,068 sq in

Hopper capacity: 28 lbs

Heat range: 160 – 500°F

Dimensions: 32″D x 45″W x 47″H

WiFi: Yes

Price guide: $$$

Model: 7052B

Warranty: 3 years

This smoker, the Z Grills Multitasker, is similar to the more expensive Traeger Ironwood range, but comes in at a fraction of the price. There’s features galore in what’s not as good a quality but still decent package that most importantly, performs really well.

I love this smoker. It’s got pretty much everything that could be handy without the exorbitant price tag.

Full body insulation coupled with the Z Grills upgraded PID temperature controller keeps the heat super steady inside. There’s a gasket that runs the full length of the door too, so nothing leaks out, all of the heat and smoke is going to your food.

Z Grills Multitasker 7052B Lid Open

With the insulation, we noticed a significant boost in fuel efficiency compared to uninsulated pellet smokers when using the Multitasker in cold but not freezing conditions. And, keeping those running costs down is always appreciated!

For those of you who like a stronger smoked flavor, there’s the popular Super Smoke mode which produces a noticeable boost in smoke production. But, Super Smoked or not, the food off of the Z Grills Multitasker really does rival that of a much more expensive smoker. Moist and tender with a nice thick smoke ring and good bark, no one’s going to be complaining.

Hook up the two included meat probes directly into the control panel. Or, view your progress, ambient temperature, and make adjustments from the Z Grills WiFi app on your smartphone.

Z Grills Multitasker 7052B Loaded and Cooking

The app isn’t our favorite. We haven’t personally experienced any connectivity issues, it’s been just fine. And, it’s got all the basics you need but the app is just pretty basic. I guess it’s reflective of a smaller company who’s put less into it’s development. But hey, it works just fine.

To go with the Multitasker, you’ve got a choice of two sizes. There’s 709 square inches of cooking space in the 7052B or 1,068 square inches in the 11002B. Both have generously large hoppers that can handle the longest of cook times. And, there’s a hopper clean out door too.

For a cheaper pellet smoker that’s full of features, is built to last, and makes some darn good food, the Z Grills Multitasker is without a doubt, up there as one of the best.

Pros
Cons
BEST VALUE GRILLING

Camp Chef Woodwind 24

4.3/5

BBQ type: Pellet smoker

Material: Stainless steel

Grates: Stainless steel

Grilling: Direct heat

Capacity: 811 sq inch

Hopper capacity: 22 lbs

Heat range: 160°F – 500°F+

Dimensions: 44.5″ W x 55″ H x 26″ D

WiFi: Yes

Price guide: $$$

Model: PG24WWSBAU14

For better grilling than you’ll get on the average pellet smoker, there’s the Camp Chef Woodwind with it’s awesome Slide and Grill heat deflector plate.

On this pellet smoker, you don’t have the usual indirect high heat to try to sear a steak on. Instead, simply slide the heat deflector open to give you access to the pellet fire underneath for hotter temperatures and that unbeatable flavor you get from open-flame cooking.

Grilling on the Camp Chef Woodwind with slide and grill

One thing to be aware of if you’re buying this one for grilling though is that you don’t have open flame grilling over the entire bottom rack. The firebox is relatively small and only gives you enough space to sear up about four decently sized steaks at a time. Still, if I wanted to be able to grill as much as smoke, this would definitely be my pick.

Not included in the base price but still available for the Camp Chef Woodwind is also a propane side burner, giving you another convenient method of grilling. It’s a cheap way to get add propane grilling to your backyard without having multiple barbecues set out and works as well as you’d expect.

But, grilling isn’t all that the Camp Chef Woodwind is good for.

This smoker is very well-built with some, although not as many as the recteq’s, stainless steel components for added durability. There’s a full color screen and WiFi for remote control, plus Camp Chef’s awesome external firepot that lets you empty it without taking the grates and heat deflector out.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pro loaded up and smoking

But, our favorite thing about the Woodwind is the control it gives you over the smoke.

Camp Chef’s the only brand of pellet smoker that let you set how much smoke you’d like separately. Choose 1 or another low number for a lighter smoke profile or pump it up to 10 for heavier smoke and more flavor.

But, this most recently upgraded model also has an extra smoke box. In it you can add wood chunks, wood chips, or even charcoal to really customize the flavor of your meat.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pro Smoke Box

The hardwood pellets are still the source of the heat. But, whatever extra you add (and, you can leave it empty if you want to), sits over the top of the fire and smolders away to create what can be really unique smoke profiles for a pellet smoker. It’s pretty cool if you like having that bit more control but still want the ease and convenience of a pellet smoker.

Oh and, you can also use the smoke box for cold smoking.

Pros
Cons
BEST VALUE BUDGET

Z Grills Flagship 700D3

4.5/5

BBQ type: Pellet

Material: Powder-coated

Grates: Porcelain-coated

Grilling: Indirect heat

Capacity: 697 sq in

Hopper capacity: 20 lbs

Heat range: 180 – 450°F

Dimensions: 22″D x 48″W x 52″H

WiFi: No

Price guide: $$

Model: 700D3

Warranty: 3 years

If you’re looking for the best pellet smoker for the money, and you want to keep that money very low, the Z Grills Multitasker has been one of my most reliable workhorses for years now.

This smoker is cheap, has everything you need to smoke great food, and is of respectable quality too.

There’s nothing too fancy about the Z Grills Flagship. Inside you’ve got a decent 697 square inches of cooking space split over two racks. There’s a PID temperature controller which does a good job of keeping the heat fairly steady throughout your cook. And, there’s dual wall insulation for improved fuel efficiency, particularly in cold weather.

Z Grills Flagship 700D3 loaded up for grilling

The quality isn’t as good as you’d get by going recteq or a more expensive brand like Traeger. But, the pieces all fit together well and the steel handles the heat well. The only quality-based complaint we have is that the included cover doesn’t last that long. Out in the rain and full sun, ours didn’t even make it through a year before fading and ripping over the sharp hopper corner which was then the end of it. We replaced it with a generic brand’s one over time.

The built-in storage cabinet is a handy feature that you don’t get with other brands. We store spare pellets and barbecue tools in ours and like how clean it looks. They’re also that much more out of the weather.

Z Grills Flagship 700D3

Included in the price you also get two wired meat probes that plug directly into the control panel so you can cook your meat perfectly the temp without having to buy a separate unit.

At the time of writing this, the black lidded version doesn’t have WiFi but, the stainless does have the upgraded wireless controller if operating it remotely is on your wish list.

Overall though, this smoker is a solid performer that really does have everything you need to make really great food.

Pros
Cons
BEST VALUE SMALL

Grilla Grills Chimp

4.6/5

BBQ type: Pellet

Material: Stainless steel

Grates: Stainless steel

Grilling: Indirect heat

Capacity: 460 sq in

Hopper capacity: 15 lbs

Heat range: 180 – 500°F

Dimensions: 41 H x 38 W x 20 D

WiFi: Yes

Price guide: $$

Model: Chimp

Warranty: 2 years

This pellet smoker is technically a portable one but, it’s strong and sturdy and there’s absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t be used as a regular backyard barbecue.

In fact, for individuals, couples, smaller families, or really anyone who just doesn’t want to have to smoke up half a cow to feel they’re not wasting pellets heating space they’re not using, the size of the Grilla Grills Chimp is pretty spot on.

Grilla Grills chimp smoking three racks of ribs

And, because you’re going that much smaller, you’re getting a great value for money pellet smoker that’s every bit as good a quality as it performs.

So, why the Chimp?

Like recteq, Grilla Grills focus on giving you as good a quality as possible so there’s a lot of stainless that’s gone into producing this smoker. It’s insulated with what Grilla Grills coin their Thermal Metal Jacket for better fuel efficiency year round. And, the seams are all welded, powder coated, and caulked for better weather production. The construction is really up there and particularly impressive for the price!

Aside from how well built this value smoker is, we really love it’s dual mode temperature controller. There’s no need to debate weather you want the more precise control you get from a PID based system or the extra smokiness you get from either, this thing can do either. It’s more flexibility and more control so you can cook just the way you like it.

Set the temperature straight from the control panel or hook it up to your smartphone via the WiFi. The Grilla Grills app is one of our favorites because the layout is so simple. It’s really easy to use and we haven’t had any connectivity issues. You also get one meat probe thrown in to cook to temp without needing to buy a separate probe.

In terms of exactly how much space you’re getting on the Grilla Grills Chimp, there’s 460 square inches of cooking real estate. It is split over two grates though. To cook taller cuts of meat like what you see below, you’ll have to take the top rack out which will limit how much you can cook. But, throw that top rack back in there and the blower fan circulates the heat really well for very even temperature distribution. Loaded up with multiple racks of ribs, ours always finish at about the same time indicating how even that temperature is throughout.

Smoking on the Grilla Grills Chimp

The Chimp is a solidly performing smoker that gives you great value in a smaller package.

Pros
Cons
BEST VALUE SURPRISE

Z Grills Blind Box

4.7/5

BBQ type: Pellet

Material: Powder-coated

Grates: Porcelain-coated

Grilling: Indirect heat

Capacity: Varies

Hopper capacity: Varies

Heat range: 160 – 450°F

Dimensions: Varies

WiFi: No

Price guide: $$

Model: Varies

Warranty: 3 years

I don’t like taking risks. But, I feel that the odds on this one are pretty good.

Heard of the Z Grills Blind Boxes? Yep, they’re like a lucky dip for pellet smokers, and for a really low price, you get yourself one of five Z Grills smoker that are all worth more than you spent on the box in the first place.

None of the models included in this deal have WiFi. And, they’re all pretty basic in terms of features and function. But, we’ve used a lot of the Z Grills range and are consistently impressed with the quality, value, and performance of their line-up. I mean, you simply won’t get a deal as good as this anywhere.

So, if you’re sick of researching smokers or just like the fun of it, grab a Z Grills Blind Box and snag yourself a bargain. Whichever actual model you get you’ll have yourself a solid barbecue that can smoke up some really great food.

Pros
Cons

FAQs About the Best Pellet Smoker for the Money

You won’t find the best pellet grill money can buy here. Instead, check out our best pellet smokers round-up and our best high-end smokers for the very best on the market.

If you don’t want to pay for the Traeger brand name, check out recteq, Grilla Grills, and Z Grills as alternate smokers. All of those brands produce good quality pellet smokers that perform really well but don’t have the premium price tag on them.

You’ll find our favorites in terms of value reviewed above.

Pellet grills or smokers are so expensive because there’s a lot to them. Like a charcoal or wood burning barbecue, you’ve got the smoker body itself. But, you’ve also got a lot of electrical components that are needed to run the electric control panel, power the auger that regulates and feeds the pellet fire, and sometimes run fans too.

When you consider what goes into a pellet smoker, they’re actually much better value than some types of smokers including offset smokers which will set you back a fair chunk of cash.

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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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