Home Reviews Best Portable Pellet Grill? These 7 Are Winners

Best Portable Pellet Grill? These 7 Are Winners

by Burning Brisket
Best Portable Pellet Grill

Pellet grills are just great when you’re away from home trying to set up a tent, play with the kids or enjoy a cold beer. Set and forget truly is the answer for how to make wood smoked perfection easy.

And, thanks to the ever increasing range of pellet grills on the market, you now have a lot of choice when it comes to portable models. They’re not sub-par options either.

We’ve checked out what’s on the market, red hundreds of real user reviews and paired it with our own experience to select the must-have choices when it comes to the best portable pellet grill.

All of the pellet smokers recommended here are compact, durable and reasonably lightweight. But, most importantly, you’re not sacrificing on quality or performance just because they’re a portable model.

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Recteq RT-340 Portable Pellet Grill

Recteq has built it’s reputation on manufacturing premium-quality smokers built for performance. And, the RT-340 Trailblazer lives up to those standards, providing a smaller and lighter portable model that doesn’t sacrifice on quality.

Like the rest of recteq’s range, the RT-340 is built from almost completely stainless steel for superior durability. The cooking chamber is stainless, the grates, the firepot, heat deflectors, drip pans, and, the list goes on.

There’s a ceramic ignitor rod which can’t corrode or rust meaning it should last for almost 300 years of regular grilling and smoking (recteq’s never had one of these fail them yet).

Inside, the RT-340 has, you guessed it, 340 square inches of cooking space! There’s enough headroom for a turkey or large roast. But, you can also add an optional second rack to boost up the total cooking space to 511 square inches.

Thanks to the best of it’s kind PID-style temperature controller, recteq’s stick within about 5°F of your target. They’re so precise you don’t even need to think about checking it. And, with a wide temperature range you can easily smoke, bake, roast, broil and even grill at the FULL function that boosts the temp to over 500°F.

Not so common on a portable smoker, the RT-340 also has WiFi for remote control. Plus, there’s 2 meat probes included so your phone can tell you exactly when your meat is cooked to perfection.

Other features that make smoking on the road easy include the automatic shutdown mode, locking hopper lids, folding and locking legs and an insulated lid to help maintain heat and minimize fuel usage in colder conditions.

Really, the recteq RT-340 is a smaller version of recteq’s regular pellet smokers with a few bonus features thrown in for portable smoking. You could totally use it as a regular at home smoker too. It’s even still got a 20 pound pellet hopper which is huge for a portable model.

You seriously won’t find any other portable pellet smoker that comes close to the value of this one.

Specs for the recteq RT-340 Trailblazer

Barbecue material: Stainless steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 340 sq in (511 square inches with optional extra second rack)

Pellet hopper capacity: 20lbs

Heat range: 200°F – 500°F+

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: RT-340

Assembled size (in): 41(H) x 39(W) x 19.5(D)

Weight: 80lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the recteq RT-340 Portable Pellet Grill:

  • Very high-quality pellet grill that doesn’t compromise on quality because it’s portable
  • Very durable build
  • PID temperature controller gives precise temperature control
  • Insulated lid protects against heat loss in rougher weather conditions
  • Decent cooking capacity with option to add a second rack
  • Wide temperature range lets you smoke, bake, roast, broil, grill, sear and dehydrate
  • WiFi enabled for remote control
  • Comes with 2 meat probes
  • Automatic shutdown mode is self-cleaning
  • Locking hopper lid
  • Folding and locking legs
  • 20 pound pellet hopper lets you smoke unassisted for up to 20 hours

Cons of the recteq RT-340 Portable Pellet Grill:

  • Only a 2 year warranty which is still alright but not as amazing as recteq’s standard 6 year
  • No pellet hopper emptying door. But, this is because recteq claim they do let more moisture into the pellets. And, because there isn’t a door, you can store the pellets in the hopper safely for a few weeks

Grilla Grills Chimp

Strongly siting as a newer contender on the block, the Grilla Grills Chimp is their self-proclaimed powerfully portable model. And, powerful it definitely is.

Just like the recteq RT-340, the Chimp features all the same great features as Grilla Grill’s regular smokers rolled into a smaller, lighter, folding version. There’s a bit less stainless steel than on the recteq. But, it’s built from a mix of powder-coated steel with stainless components. And, most importantly, the firepot and cooking grates are made of stainless steel, offering better durability where you really need it.

But, what’s really different about the Grilla Grills Chimp is it’s temperature controller. Forget PID vs traditional. You get both to choose if you want the most precise temperature control, or, a bit more of a smoky flavor from the traditional mode.

And, because you might be smoking in cooler or windier conditions on the go, the cooking chamber is insulated from the grates down to help the temperature stay more steady.

How about the size? On the Chimp there’s a 340 square inch bottom rack and a 120 square inch top one. The temperature stays pretty even throughout thanks to the blower fan so you can confidently use the top rack too. The 15 pound hopper gives a decent unassisted cook time even if you’re using it at home.

Another thing we really like about the Grilla Grills Chimp is their folding legs. If you’ve ever used a portable pellet smoker, getting them folded down can be a bit tricky. But, Grilla Grills use a ‘snap lock’ feature so you just press the button and fold the leg away easily.

With a few well thought out improvements over their competition, the Grilla Grills Chimp does a great  job of balancing great value and great performance.

Specs for the Grilla Grills Chimp

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel with stainless steel lid

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 460 sq in

Pellet hopper capacity: 15 lbs

Heat range: 180°F – 500°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: Chimp

Assembled size (in): 41(H) x 38(W) x 20(D)

Weight: 90 lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the Grilla Grills Chimp:

  • Combination stainless and powder-coated steel construction balances durability and affordability
  • Dual temperature controller gives you the choice of PID preciseness or traditional smokiness
  • Suitable for smoking, baking, roasting and grilling
  • Insulated cooking chamber helps regulate temperature and improve fuel efficiency
  • Blower fan circulates the heat for even temperature throughout
  • Snap lock folding legs are so easy to use
  • High and low heat safety shutdown
  • Comes with 1 meat probe

Cons of the Grilla Grills Chimp:

  • Max’s out at 500°F which is okay for grilling but isn’t great for high-heat searing

Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill

There’s a lot of really great things about the Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill. But, our absolute favorite thing might have to be that the folding legs turn into a rolling suitcase that, paired with the locking lids, make transportation really easy. The whole unit just feels sturdy and secure which is appreciated over rough ground or when you don’t have anyone else to help with the lifting.

But, that’s definitely not all that’s earnt the Camp Chef Pursuit a spot in our best portable smokers review.

There’s the PID temperature controller that keeps it within 5°F of your target, adjustable smoke settings, wide temperature range, double layered full width cooking racks and Camp Chef’s oh-so-good Slide and Grill feature for direct flame grilling. You also get 2 meat probes so you’ll know exactly when it’s time to eat and cleaning it out at the end isn’t too time consuming.

The Camp Chef Pursuit is a little cheaper than the recteq or Grilla Grills. That’s because you’re not getting as many stainless steel components. The pellet hopper is a little smaller at 10 pounds or 8-10 hours of smoking. And, there’s no WiFi for remote control.

But, if you’re looking for a solid portable smoker that has all the basics for great performance and aren’t fussed on the extras, the Pursuit won’t disappoint.

Specs for the Camp Chef Pursuit Pellet Grill

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel with stainless steel lid

Grate material: Enamel-coated wire

Cooking capacity: 501 sq in

Pellet hopper capacity: 10 lbs

Heat range: 160°F – 500°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: Pursuit PPG20

Assembled size (in): 41(H) x 38(W) x 18.5(D)

Weight: 82 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Camp Chef Pursuit Pellet Grill:

  • Solid construction
  • PID temperature controller keeps the heat within about 5 degrees of your target
  • Separate smoke level adjuster gives you greater control over how smoky your flavor is
  • Slide and Grill feature means you can grill at higher heat over the direct flame by simply sliding a lever
  • Folding legs turn into handles and wheels so you can pull the unit behind you
  • Locking cooking chamber and pellet hopper lids
  • Comes with 2 meat probes for accurate feedback on how your cook is going
  • Full sized top rack gives more space for food
  • Very good warranty length for a portable smoker

Cons of the Camp Chef Pursuit Pellet Grill:

  • No WiFi
  • Not insulated so it will use more fuel in cooler conditions in order to maintain a steady temperature

Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill and Smoker

Of course the original makers of the pellet grill, Traeger, would feature in our best portable pellet smokers. And, here it is, the Traeger Tailgater.

The Tailgater is a lot cheaper than the rest of Traeger’s range. And, at this stage it’s not feature-packed like a lot of the competition. But, for anyone who values the solid reliability that this industry-leading brand delivers, the Tailgater is a great option for on the go smoking, or, even small backyards.

Compact, consistent and well-built, Traeger’s portable Tailgater Pellet Smoker now features their Arc Controller so you can set your temperature in 5 degree increments and it’ll do the rest for you.

It comes with 1 meat probe so you can check the internal temperature without opening the lid. And, there’s a keep warm setting which comes in handy when you’re too busy with the game or your family and want the food to wait a few minutes.

The legs fold like scissors and are fairly easy to get down. And, we like that this model is a little lighter than the competition.

Specs for the Traeger Tailgater Pellet Smoker

Barbecue material: Stainless steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 300 sq in

Pellet hopper capacity: 8lbs

Heat range: 160°F – 450°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model:TFB30KLF

Assembled size (in): 36(H) x 37(W) x 18(D)

Weight: 62lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Traeger Tailgater Pellet Smoker:

  • Good quality, sturdy build
  • Upgraded Arc Controller maintains a steady temperature well
  • Comes with 1 meat probe
  • Keep warm setting
  • Scissor folding legs are fairly easy to fold down
  • Lightweight
  • Decent 3 year warranty

Cons of the Traeger Tailgater Pellet Smoker:

  • Smaller cooking capacity and pellet hopper capacity than competing portable pellet smokers
  • Temperature maxes out at 450°F which in our opinion is marginal for great grilling
  • No WiFi

Pit Boss Sportsman Portable Pellet Grill

For something that looks more rugged and hardcore than the standard, the Pit Boss Sportsman Series Portable delivers durability and reliability in a package that couldn’t be easier to take with you wherever you go.

With powder-coated stainless steel construction, porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates and a reasonable, but not overboard, 387 square inches of cooking space, the Portable Sportsman is compact, lightweight and super sturdy.

The legs are built to slide together in one movement instead of having to do each of them separately. And, there’s built-in handles and a latching lid so you can comfortably wheel this baby quite a way.

You’ve got both direct and indirect heat options so you can smoke, grill, sear, bake, braise or roast anything from burgers and brisket to your latest catch.

At this price, you won’t get WiFi control. But, you do get a great quality portable smoker and grill that’s robust, reliable and tough enough to handle more than a parking lot cookout.

And, it’s covered by a 5 year warranty which is huge for a portable pellet smoker!

Specs for the Pit Boss Portable Sportsman Pellet Grill and Smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated stainless steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated cast iron

Cooking capacity: 387 sq in

Pellet hopper capacity: 19 lbs

Heat range: 180°F – 500°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: PB260PSP2

Assembled size (in): 37.5(H) x 25.2(W) x 25.2(D)

Weight: 80 lbs

Warranty: 5 years

Pros of the Pit Boss Portable Sportsman:

  • Premium gauge stainless steel construction
  • Durable porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Compact design
  • Sliding folding legs work together so you can put it up or down with one movement
  • Wide temperature range with direct and indirect cooking lets you smoke and grill excellently
  • Convection fan helps to keep temperature steady throughout the cooking chamber
  • Comes with 1 meat probe
  • Great warranty for a portable grill

Cons of the Pit Boss Portable Sportsman:

  • No WiFi
  • No insulation so fuel usage will be higher if using it in cooler conditions
  • Not PID temperature controller so the temperature won’t be kept as steady

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett WiFi Pellet Grill

Popular and top rated, the Davy Crockett Portable Pellet Smoker is one value-packed option for on-the-go, set and forget smoking.

Boasting stainless steel construction, WiFi connectivity, folding legs that double as handles, and, a peaked lid to give extra height for large cuts, the Davy Crockett packs a lot into it’s small package and low price.

It doesn’t hold quite as much as the portable pellet smokers we’ve reviewed above. But, it’s 219 square inches of cooking space is still enough to hold 6 steaks or 2 large racks of ribs at a time.

The 9 pound pellet hopper sits between the Traeger Tailgater and the Camp Chef Pursuit and should give you up to about 9 hours of unassisted low and slow smoking in good weather conditions.

The temperature controller is fairly accurate and reliable. You can set the temperature in 5 degree increments and because it maxes out at 550°F, grilling on the Davy Crockett is great as well.

Specs for the Green Mountain Davy Crockett WiFi Pellet Grill

Barbecue material: Stainless steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 219 sq in

Pellet hopper capacity: 9 lbs

Heat range: 150°F – 550°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: Davy Crockett

Assembled size (in): 31.75 (H) x 34 (W) x 23 (D)

Weight: 68 lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the Green Mountain Davy Crockett Portable Pellet Smoker:

  • One of the most affordable portable pellet smokers
  • Stainless steel construction gives durability and protection from the weather
  • Wide temperature range lets you smoke, bake, roast, grill and sear
  • WiFi enabled for remote control
  • Reliable temperature regulation gives consistent results
  • Comes with 1 meat probe
  • Folding legs double as handles for easy transportation
  • Lightweight

Cons of the Green Mountain Davy Crockett Portable Pellet Smoker:

  • Not insulated so it will use more fuel when cooking in colder conditions
  • Smaller cooking and pellet hopper capacity

Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill

If you’re looking for something that’s even more compact for portable pellet smoking, you can’t beat the quality and performance of the Traeger Ranger.

Designed to look just like a hard shell suitcase, the Ranger is pretty much a 21 inch square. And, with a locking lid and weighing only 60 pounds, you should have no problem finding enough cargo space to fit this grill, no matter where you’re going.

In terms of cooking space, the Ranger has 184 square inches. That’s enough to cook for 2-4 people, fitting 4 steaks, 6 burgers or even 2 small chickens. The pellet hopper is a reasonable 8 pounds and the max temp is 450°F, giving you just enough heat to grill as well as smoking and roasting.

It’s got the same Digital Arc Temperature Controller as the larger Traeger Tailgater, letting you set the heat in 5°F increments. And, it does a good job of keeping it there. There’s also a keep warm mode if you’re not quite ready to eat as well.

Included with the Traeger Ranger, you get a cast iron griddle as well as a regular cooking grate. And, there’s a meat probe so you can check exactly when you’re food is ready without opening the lid.

Well-built at a great price, the Traeger Ranger is a great option for RVs and car camping. But, can really be used anywhere.

Specs for the Traeger Ranger Pellet Smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel and cast iron griddle

Cooking capacity: 184 sq in

Pellet hopper capacity: 8lbs

Heat range: 160°F – 450°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: TBT18KLD

Assembled size (in): 13(H) x 21(W) x 20(D)

Weight: 60 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Traeger Ranger Pellet Smoker:

  • One of the most compact portable pellet smokers
  • Reasonable cooking capacity considering the size of the unit
  • 8 pound pellet hopper gives you a decent amount of unassisted cook time
  • Precise temperature controller lets you set the temp if 5 degree increments
  • Comes with a regular smoking grate plus a cast iron grate for excellent grilling
  • Locking lid keeps things safe during transportation
  • Comes with 1 meat probe for accurate feedback on how well-done your meat isGood warranty

Cons of the Traeger Ranger Pellet Smoker:

  • It’s still a reasonably heavy 60 pounds even though it doesn’t take up a lot of space
  • The hopper is inside the unit so you do need to open the lid to add more fuel. No a big deal if you’re expecting it but something that’s a little different to most pellet grills
  • Make sure you buy one of the new versions like the latest on TraegerGrills.com because the first generation had problems with grease leaking and creating a fire hazard.

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