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Best Tabletop Pellet Grill? 5 Portable Performers

Forget folding legs! Tabletop pellet smokers are solid, sturdy and unbeatably fast to set up.

And, thanks to the growing number on the market, if you’re after one of these oh-so-easy portable smokers, you’ve got choice too.

But, when they all look the same on the outside, how do you know what you’re buying will, a, perform, and b, be durable enough to last on the road?

In this review we’ll cover our top 5 choices when it comes to the best tabletop pellet grills. We’ll go into the details on size, performance and quality to help you choose the right smoker for your next adventure.

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Table of Contents

Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill

Traeger is the market leader in pellet smokers and, tabletop pellet grills are no exception.

The Ranger is Traeger’s second generation of breifcase models, bringing improvements and upgrades to their original, now discontinued model, the Scout.

Housing 184 square inches of cooking space on a single grate, the Ranger gives you enough space to cook for 2-4 people comfortably.

Fueled by a pretty generous 8 pound pellet hopper, it’ll do low and slow for about 8 hours before it’ll need refilling. Or, you can crank it up to it’s max temp of 450°F to grill a steak or two (the Ranger comes with a griddle too).

The temperature is controlled by the same Digital Arc technology that’s in Traeger’s larger portable Tailgater as well. It’s not a PID based system so, expect some temperature fluctuations. But, it’s reliable and steady enough for consistent results. You can set the temperature in 5°F increments, it comes with a meat probe and there’s a keep warm mode as well.

At the end of the day, with Traeger you know you’re getting solid quality to cook great barbecue and the durability that makes your investment worth it.

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

WiFi: No

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: TBT18KLD

Price guide: $$

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

Weight: 60 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Traeger Ranger Pellet Smoker:

  • High quality, durable design
  • Decent cooking capacity for a compact pellet smoker
  • Precise temperature controller with 5 degree increments
  • Suitable for smoking, grilling, roasting, baking and braising
  • Substantial 8 pound hopper can give you up to about 8 hours of low and slow
  • Lockable lid
  • Also includes a meat probe and cast iron grilling grate

Cons of the Traeger Ranger Pellet Smoker:

  • Smaller cooking capacity compared to others on this list
  • Pretty heavy for a tabletop model at 60 lbs (but we do feel the weight is reflective of the quality plus the extra cast iron griddle)
  • There’s no side handles for easier setup. But, plus side of that is it fits in the car/storage a little better

Z Grills Cruiser 200A

If the Traeger’s not quite in your budget (or you just can’t resist incredible value), our go-to recommendation is this, the Z Grills 200A.

Now, it is quite a bit cheaper than the Ranger but the quality is still right on up there! The 200A just doesn’t come with a griddle plate or meat probe (there’s a port but you need to buy a probe separately).

But, everything performance-wise is pretty comparable to the Traeger.

There’s Z Grills’ updated temperature controller for consistent temperatures +/- 15°F of your target, an 8 pound pellet hopper, the same 450°F max temperature (just hot enough for grilling), and, lid latches for safe transportation.

You get 202 square inches to cook on (slightly more than the Ranger), it’s similar in size, but, substantially lighter at 40 pounds. There’s also strong side handles that make carrying and moving the unit easier in our opinion too.

Overall, the Z Grills Cruiser performs as well as any top of the line pellet smoker and has the durability you need in a portable grill.

Specs for the Z Grills Cruiser 200A

Barbecue type: Wood pellet grill and smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 202 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 8 lbs

Heat Range: 180-450°F

WiFi: No

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Price guide: $$

Model: Cruiser 200A

Assembled size (in): 25 L x 20 W x 13 H

Weight: 40 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Z Grills Cruiser 200A:

  • Reliable and consistent temperature controller
  • Decent capacity for a tabletop pellet grill
  • Suitable for smoking, grilling, roasting, baking and braising
  • 8 pound pellet hopper will give you up to about 8 hours of low and slow smoking time before needing to add more pellets
  • Fairly lightweight
  • Side bar handles make for easy moving
  • Durable construction

Cons of the Z Grills Cruiser 200A:

  • Doesn’t come with a meat probe even though there’s a port (this one works with it or you can use something completely wireless like the MEATER)

Pit Boss 150 Portable Tabletop Pellet Grill

If grilling is something you plan on regularly doing on your tabletop pellet smoker, the Pit Boss 150 has a huge edge over the competition with it’s open flame searing!

Yes, you can totally grill on the Traeger Ranger and Z Grills Cruiser. But, it’s indirect heat and a bit like grilling in a really hot oven – not exactly ideal.

Enter the Pit Boss 150 and you simply slide the flame broiler into the open position to have the flames licking the grates giving you hotter temperatures (up to 1000° F) and that distinctly flame-grilled flavor.

Yes, you can still do low and slow. The Pit Boss 150 runs off wood pellets just like the competition.

We find the temperature on this model varies a little more than some other brands. It’s still reliable enough to cook great barbecue. But, if you like things super steady, just be aware that you’ll need to expect larger fluctuations on the 150.

In terms of cooking space, you’ve got a larger 256 square inches split over 2 grates. It’s a nice bonus if you’re cooking shorter things like sausages or burgers. But, you’ll need to remove the top rack if you’re smoking a pork butt or something larger.

Another thing worth mentioning about the Pit Boss 150 is that the hopper’s a little smaller, holding 5 pounds of pellets.

You might get 5 hours of low and slow out of it without a refill (it’ll burn through pellets a lot faster at high heat).

Like all of the other tabletop pellet grills on the market, you have to open the lid and then open the hopper to add more pellets. So, you do lose a reasonable amount of heat. We recommend trying to time refills with when you’re wrapping, unwrapping or basting your meat anyway.

So, a few drawbacks plus a major bonus if you’re grilling, the Pit Boss 150 is solidly built and comes with a best in it’s class 5 year warranty to boot.

Specs for the Pit Boss 150 Tabletop Pellet Grill

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 256 sq in

Pellet hopper capacity: 5 lbs

Heat range: 180°F – 500°F or 1,000°F in open flame mode

WiFi: No

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: 150

Price range: $

Assembled size (in): 25W x 18D x 14H

Weight: 47 lbs

Warranty: 5 years

Pros of the Pit Boss 150 Tabletop Pellet Smoker:

  • Heavy-gauge build
  • Flame broiler means you can grill and sear over the open flame
  • Indirect low heat smoking, baking and roasting
  • Large cooking capacity for tabletop style
  • Longest warranty in it’s class
  • Latching lid for safe transportation

Cons of the Pit Boss 150 Tabletop Pellet Smoker:

  • Doesn’t include the meat probe even though there’s a port (get one here or you can use something completely wireless like the MEATER)
  • Smaller pellet hopper capacity
  • Botton and top rack configueration means you loose space if you’re cooking a taller cut
  • Temperature does vary quite a bit throughout the cook

ASMOKE AS350

Is the latest technology your jam?

Well, ASMOKE’s AS350 is the most innovative tabletop pellet smoker on the market in 2022.

Just like other tabletop models, you’re using 100% wood pellets to smoke, grill, bake, roast and braise. But, the all-new Advanced ASCA System that powers it uses micro-particle technology to boost humid airflow letting you add liquid seasonings like beer, whiskey, wine or sauces to add another level of flavor to your cook.

This new system also cools the the vapor down to auto-collect ashes on the bottom of the tray creating a cleaner burn. Plus, you don’t need to vacuum the firepot out during regular cleaning which can be a huge bonus if you’re suing this portable model regularly out camping or in an RV.

Like the Pit Boss 150, you’ve got 256 square inches of cooking space over 2 grates.

The only notably downfall with the AS350 is it’s smaller than usual 4 pound pellet hopper. It’ll mean more refills and you’ll have to open the lid to the cooking area to do so.

But, the AS350 does come with a meat probe and a solid 5 year warranty too.

Specs for the ASMOKE AS350 Tabletop Pellet Smoker

Barbecue type: Portable wood pellet grill and smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel and stainless steel

Grate material: Ceramic-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 256 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 4 lbs

Heat Range: 180-475°F

WiFi: No

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Price guide: $$

Model: AS350

Assembled size (in): 16″H x 24.4”W x 17.5”D

Weight: 47 lbs

Warranty: 5 years

Pros of the ASMOKE AS350:

  • Quality steel and stainless steel body
  • Large capacity for a tabletop pellet grill
  • Extra deep lid gives you the height you need to cook taller cuts like turkey (you will need to remove the top rack though)
  • Advanced ASCA System lets you add and use liquids like beer, whiskey and wine to add even more flavor to your food
  • Auto-ash collection means you don’t need to vacuum out the ash as part of your regular cleaning
  • Includes meat probe that plugs into the control panel

Cons of the ASMOKE AS350:

  • Small 4 pound pellet hopper will need to be refilled more often during longer cooks (you need to open the main lid to access the hopper, letting out some heat)
  • Double rack configuration means you do lose some cooking space when you’re smoking a taller cut

Green Mountain Grills TREK

The Green Mountain Grills Trek has two major things that set it apart from the other tabletop pellet smoker options.

Firstly, it’s the only model that has an externally accessible 9 pound pellet hopper so you can add more fuel without distrupting the smoke and heat levels mid-cook. And, secondly, it’s got WIFI.

You’ll notice that the Trek doesn’t have the same briefcase-style design as the other smokers we’ve included on this list. It will take up a bit more space in the trunk and isn’t quite as hardy as smokers that include everything in one box. But, it’s still a-couldn’t-be-faster-to-set-up tabletop model and a great alternative.

Giving you a reasonable 219 square inches of cooking space, the Trek is enough to cater for 4-6 people with ease.

The GMG WiFi controller lets you choose the temperature in 5° increments anywhere between 150°F to 550°F. Plug in the included probe and monitor your cooks’ progress wirelessly on your phone. Adjust the temperature and set alarms, it can all be managed remotely.

Easy, effective and a bit more like your regular full-sized pellet smoker, the GMG Trek is as great as a small home smoker as it is on the go.

We will also mention that the Trek is run directly off of 12V power. It also comes with an attachment to convert the cord to standard 120V if you want.

Plus, you can get an open flame grease tray if you want to next-level the Trek’s grilling.

Specs for the Green Mountain Trek WiFi Tabletop Pellet Grill

Barbecue material: Stainless and powder-coated steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 219 sq in

Pellet hopper capacity: 9 lbs

Heat range: 150°F – 550°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: Trek

Price guide: $$

Assembled size (in): 24 (H) x 32 (W) x 16 (D)

Weight: 63 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the GMG Trek Pellet Grill:

  • WiFi connectivity lets you set, change and monitor your cook from your smartphone
  • Wide temperature range suitable for most types of cooking
  • Decent cooking capacity that’s all on a single rack with a tall chamber height to fit larger cuts
  • Stainless steel lid and grates give an extra layer of durability and rust-resistance vs powder coated
  • Externally accessible pellet hopper so you can add more fuel without opening the lid
  • You can get an open flame grease tray if you want to do open flame even higher heat cooking
  • Includes 1 meat probe
  • Runs off 12V power to plug directly into your car. But, also comes with a regular cord for at home-use

Cons of the GMG Trek Pellet Smoker:

  • Not quite as hardy and durable as the briefcase style tabletop pellet grills
  • This style needs to stay upright and the lid doesn’t latch closed

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 commited 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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