Find the Best Portable Pellet Grill for 2023 – Expert Reviews

The world of grilling is evolving, and the best portable pellet grill options are leading the charge. With a myriad of options available in the market, choosing the perfect grill to elevate your outdoor cooking experience can be challenging. This blog post will guide you through the top portable pellet grills of 2023, factors to consider when making your choice, and tips to make the most of your grilling experience with the best portable pellet grill. So, let’s fire up those grills, and discover the wonders of wood-fired flavor!

Key Takeaways

  • Find the best portable pellet grill for 2023 with expert reviews of top 7 models
  • Consider size, power options, cooking area and build quality when selecting a model
  • Tips on proper setup, temperature control and maintenance to ensure optimal use.

Top 7 Portable Pellet Grills for 2023

As we move into 2023, portable pellet grills, including portable wood pellet grill options, are gaining popularity as a flavorful alternative to traditional charcoal and gas grills. These portable wood pellet grills use wood pellets as fuel, providing a rich, smoky flavor to your favorite dishes. After extensive research and testing, we’ve curated a list of the top 7 portable pellet grills for 2023.

The best portable pellet grills this year include:

  • Traeger Tailgater
  • Camp Chef Pursuit
  • Green Mountain Grills Trek
  • Z Grills Cruiser 200A
  • Pit Boss Sportsman
  • Traeger Ranger
  • Country Smokers Traveler

Each of these charcoal grills offers a distinct set of features and capabilities, providing options for every grilling enthusiast.

Traeger Tailgater

The Traeger Tailgater is a well-known portable pellet grill with the following features:

  • Folding legs
  • 300 sq inches cooking surface
  • Versatile grilling and smoking capabilities
  • 8 lbs pellet hopper capacity
  • Foldable front shelf for convenient food preparation and storage.

However, the Traeger Tailgater lacks advanced temperature control features, such as direct-flame access and a PID temperature controller, which may limit its appeal for experienced grillers.

Despite these drawbacks, the Traeger Tailgater remains a popular choice. Its compact size and folding legs make it easy to transport, while the LCD screen indicates the current temperature to ensure consistent cooking results. You’ll need a 12V DC to 110V AC power inverter or equivalent portable power supply to operate the Tailgater outdoors.

Camp Chef Pursuit

The Camp Chef Pursuit is a portable pellet grill featuring:

  • Large cooking area of 501 sq. inches
  • Advanced temperature control with PID technology
  • Unique Slide and Grill feature for direct flame grilling
  • 10 lbs pellet hopper capacity for longer cooking time
  • Double layered full-width cooking racks for ample space

It is perfect for searing steaks and burgers.

This grill also comes with:

  • Folding legs that transform into a rolling suitcase, making transportation a breeze
  • Two meat probes for easy monitoring of your food’s internal temperatures
  • A wide temperature range of 160°F – 500°F

The Camp Chef Pursuit is a versatile and reliable portable pellet grill, perfect for those looking to own portable pellet grill.

Green Mountain Grills Trek

The Green Mountain Grills Trek is a compact and portable pellet grill designed for on-the-go use, making it a strong contender in the tabletop pellet grill category. Its standout features include WiFi connectivity, temperature control using PID technology, and a 12V power supply option for convenient use while traveling. The grill has a cooking area of 219 square inches, making it perfect for small gatherings or camping trips.

The Trek’s power options are versatile, with a standard wall plug attachment and alligator clips for car battery connection, ensuring you can always find a suitable power source. The grill’s short fixed legs differentiate it from the Davy Crockett model, which features folding legs that double as a carry handle.

Overall, the Green Mountain Grills Trek is an excellent choice for those seeking a compact and feature-packed portable pellet grill.

Z Grills Cruiser 200A

The Z Grills Cruiser 200A is an ultra-portable tabletop pellet grill that offers:

  • Lightweight design
  • Consistent temperature performance
  • Maximum temperature of 450°F
  • Perfect for grilling, smoking, and baking
  • 202 sq inches of cooking space
  • 8-pound pellet hopper

It is ideal for small get-togethers or tailgating events.

Despite its compact size, the Z Grills Cruiser 200A is competitively priced and packed with features. The temperature range of 180°F to 450°F gives you the flexibility to cook a variety cooking styles of dishes, while the sturdy side handles make it easy to transport.

If you are searching for an ultra-portable pellet grill that doesn’t compromise on performance, the Z Grills Cruiser 200A is a fantastic choice.

Pit Boss Sportsman

The Pit Boss Sportsman portable pellet grill offers:

  • Large cooking area of 849 square inches
  • Digital control panel for precise temperature control
  • Heat rod lever for searing at high temperatures
  • 21 lbs pellet hopper capacity for long cooking sessions without frequent refills.

Though the Sportsman is a reliable and versatile portable pellet grill, it lacks a backstop for food. However, its large cooking capacity and easy-to-use design make it a popular choice for grillers who need ample space for their culinary creations.

With its durable construction and exceptional performance, the Pit Boss Sportsman is an excellent option for those seeking a portable pellet grill with a large cooking area.

Traeger Ranger

The Traeger Ranger is a compact tabletop pellet grill with WiFi capability, digital Elite Controller for temperature control, and large cast-iron grates, perfect for cooking a variety of dishes. However, it has a limited temperature range, and its learning curve may be steeper compared to other portable tabletop pellet grills. Despite these shortcomings, the Traeger Ranger remains a popular choice for those seeking a compact and feature-rich portable pellet grill.

One of the main selling points of the Traeger Ranger is its features:

  • WiFi connectivity, which allows you to control the grill remotely using a smartphone app
  • Digital Elite Controller for precise temperature control
  • Large cast-iron grates for ample cooking space

If you’re looking for a compact and versatile portable pellet grill, the Traeger Ranger is a solid option.

Country Smokers Traveler

An image of the Country Smokers Traveler, which is the best portable pellet grill for outdoor cooking enthusiasts.

The Country Smokers Traveler is a lightweight and efficient portable pellet grill with a searing zone, removable grill grate, and an easy-to-use design. This grill is perfect for those who want a simple and effective cooking solution without any unnecessary frills. Though it lacks a backstop for food, its performance and ease of use make it a popular option for those seeking a no-fuss portable pellet grill.

Weighing 52.9 pounds, the Traveler is easy to transport and set up at your desired location. The grill can be powered by a 100-watt inverter connected to a 12-volt DC plug in your vehicle, ensuring that you can use it wherever you go.

If you’re in search of portable pellet smokers that focus on simplicity and efficiency, the Country Smokers Traveler is an excellent choice for a portable pellet grill smoker.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Portable Pellet Grill

Before deciding on a specific portable pellet grill, various factors should be considered:

  • Size
  • Power options
  • Cooking area
  • Build quality
  • Specific features

Each grill has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and understanding how these factors align with your specific needs will help you make an informed decision.

Each factor will be discussed more in-depth in the subsequent sections.

Size and Portability

The selection of a portable pellet grill should be based on considerations like its dimensions, weight, and features that enhance portability like folding legs and pellet hopper capacity. A compact and lightweight grill will be easier to transport and set up at your desired location. However, it is also essential to ensure that the grill has enough cooking space to accommodate the amount of food you plan to cook.

Additionally, when choosing a portable pellet grill, consider the following factors:

  • Pellet hopper size: A larger hopper allows for more wood pellets to be loaded, but keep in mind that a larger grill will consume more pellets.
  • Total cook time: Consider how long you typically cook for and choose a grill that can accommodate your needs.
  • Size and portability: Balance the size and portability features of the grill with your specific needs.

By considering these factors, you can choose the perfect portable pellet grill for your culinary adventures.

Power Options

Portable pellet grills come with various power options including:

  • 12-volt DC plug
  • Car hook-up
  • Generator
  • Battery

Each power option offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so understanding which option best suits your needs is crucial.

A 12V DC plug is a convenient and straightforward way to power a portable pellet grill, providing a secure and dependable option. Utilizing a car hook-up is an optimal choice for powering your own portable pellet smoker or grill when you are traveling, as it is also a dependable and secure option.

Generators and batteries are excellent choices for powering your portable pellet grill when away from a power source. Both options provide reliable and safe operation, though they may require additional equipment or maintenance.

Considering the power options available for your portable pellet grill will help you ensure that your grill is always ready to use, no matter where your adventures take you.

Cooking Area and Workspace

Choosing the ideal cooking area for a portable pellet grill should be based on your specific needs and the number of people you intend to cook for. Most portable models will offer around 200-500 square inches of cooking space, with popular options including grills with 280, 387, and 501 square inches of cooking area.

Considering the cooking area size and workspace will help you ensure a sufficient food supply for your gatherings, without sacrificing portability.

Build Quality

The build quality of portable pellet grills is essential to guarantee that they are sufficiently robust and long-lasting to tolerate being handled roughly while in use. Opt for collapsible pellet grills with stainless steel components, cast iron, and porcelain components, as these materials are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear.

Investing in a grill with high-quality materials will ensure that your portable pellet grill, also known as a portable grill, remains a reliable cooking companion for years to come.

Features and Accessories

Portable pellet grill with digital control panel and temperature range

Standard features typically include PID controllers and meat probes, while non-standard features may include WiFi connectivity. Additional features, such as side shelves, utensil hooks, and temperature probes, may be available as non-standard options.

Consider the features and accessories that are most important to you and your specific grilling needs when choosing a portable pellet grill. The right combination of features and accessories can enhance your grilling experience and make your portable pellet grill a valuable addition to your outdoor cooking arsenal.

Tips for Using Your Portable Pellet Grill

To optimize your use of the portable pellet grill, ensure proper setup, accurate temperature control, and regular cleaning and maintenance.

The subsequent sections offer tips and advice for effective and efficient use of your portable pellet grill.

Proper Setup

For optimal use, place your portable pellet grill on a level and stable surface, with sufficient clearance around the grill for proper cooking chamber ventilation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembling the grill, attaching the legs, shelves, and other components as necessary.

Fill the pellet hopper with pellets designed specifically for pellet grills, ensuring a consistent fuel source for your cooking sessions.

Finally, connect your grill to an appropriate power source, such as an electrical outlet or a power generator.

Temperature Control

Maintaining accurate temperature control is crucial for achieving consistent cooking results with your portable pellet grill. PID technology can help maintain the desired temperature in the pellet smoker, ensuring your food cooks evenly and predictably.

Monitor the grill’s internal temperature using the built-in temperature probe or an external thermometer, and adjust the temperature settings as needed to maintain your desired cooking temperature. Proper temperature control will help you achieve mouth-watering results every time you fire up your portable pellet grill.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of your portable pellet grill. Clean the grill after each use, using hot water, mild dish detergent, and a sponge to remove any grease and residue from the cooking grates and interior surfaces.

Inspect your small pellet grill for any damage or wear, and replace any worn or damaged parts as necessary. Proper maintenance and cleaning will help keep your portable pellet grill in top condition, ready for your next grilling adventure.


In conclusion, portable pellet grills are a fantastic addition to any outdoor cooking setup. With a variety of top models to choose from, such as the Traeger Tailgater, Camp Chef Pursuit, and Green Mountain Grills Trek, there’s a grill to suit every grilling enthusiast’s needs. By considering factors such as size, power options, cooking area, build quality, and features, you can find the perfect portable pellet grill to elevate your outdoor cooking experience. So, gear up, fire up that grill, and savor the delicious, smoky flavors that await you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best portable pellet smokers?

For portable pellet grills, the top picks are Traeger Tailgater, Camp Chef Pursuit 20, Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett, Z Grills Cruiser 200A Portable Pellet Grill, Pit Boss Sportsman and Country Smokers The Traveler.

What are the disadvantages of pellet grills?

Pellet grills require a power source, limiting their mobility, may not reach the high temperatures needed for searing, and can be more costly due to pellet cost; they also require frequent maintenance.

Which pellet grill produces the best smoke?

The Traeger Timberline XL Wood Pellet Grill and Weber Smokefire EX4 (2nd Gen) Wood Fired Pellet Grill provide the best smokiness, offering specialized smoke settings for those who like a strong flavor.

What is the main advantage of using a portable pellet grill over a traditional charcoal grill?

The main advantage of using a portable pellet grill over a traditional charcoal grill is the unique and flavorful cooking experience it provides, with wood pellets offering a richer, smokier flavor than charcoal.

How do I power my portable pellet grill when I’m away from a power source?

For portable pellet grills, you can power it with a 12V DC plug, car hook-up, generator, or battery when away from a power source.

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