Imagine having the amazing cooking ability of a high end pellet grill but in a highly portable and easy to use version that fits on a tabletop or a tailgate? Well now you can - we have put together this article which runs though the different types and which ones are best.
Before we dive into the meat of the article (see what we did there), let us show you our top portable pellet grill pick - The Traeger Tailgater 20 Portable and our top tabletop pellet grill pick - The Traeger 15" PTG+.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard of the Traeger brand.
They are synonymous with great quality grills and smokers. In fact the Traeger Texas Elite made it into our Best Pellet Smoker and Grills of 2020 guide.
The Traeger Tailgater allows you to enjoy amazing BBQ food literally anywhere. The portable design means you can cook the family a delicious meal in the backyard before folding it up and taking it to the game, camping or even to a friends house - how impressive!
Even though it is smaller, it has all the same capabilities of a full-size pellet grill - you can smoke, grill, roast and bake!
It has a decent 300 square inches of cooking space which is pretty amazing considering its portability. That's enough space to handle 2 whole chickens, 3 full racks of ribs or multiple port butts.
Overall we recommend this as our Best Portable Pellet Grill.
Okay so we know what you are thinking - is this a grill or a suitcase?
Sure with its compact case, flip latch and easy carry case it's as easy mistake, but this grill is unbelievably powerful.
Thanks to its portable design and powder-coated steel case, the PTG can be taken camping, boating or just about anywhere you can imagine.
Don't let it's small size deceive you though, it can still do everything the big boys can - grill, smoke, roast and bake.
It has a great little multi-position digital controller which means you can set the temperature quickly and be sure that it stays constent throughout the whole cook.
The cooking area is 173 square inches - big enough for 8 burgers, 16 hot dogs or even a small chicken. We know that this isn't massive, but you sacrifice cooking space for portability.
Overall we recommend this as our Best Tabletop Pellet Grill.
Pellet smokers have been getting more and more popular in recent years and it is easy to see why.
They are known for their amazing cooking versatility and thanks to the way pellets burn, they have awesome precision temperature control.
With the touch of a button you can quickly and easily cook everything from roast chicken, to Truffle Cheese-stuffed Burgers.
Now imagine being able to cook that same delicious food but on the go - maybe at the game, while camping or while RV'ing.
Now you can with the a portable pellet grill!
The first thing you should consider when purchasing a portable pellet grill is the price. Obviously you will something that is high quality yet affordable, however there is a fine line.
You can find a few models coming in under $100, however the build quality is pretty poor.
The second thing you should consider is the material and build quality. Even though they are portable, you can still leave them outside - so make sure it is make of strong steel so that it won't rust. Some people say they have rust issues with some of the REC TEC models (even though we have never experienced this personally).
The third thing you should consider is cooking space. Sure, you want something that is portable and easy to move, however you will have to give up a little cooking space.
If you have a large family then you may want to consider both a full-size and a portable if your budget allows. If not then it would be better to go with one of the larger portable grills like the Traeger Tailergater above.
The final thing to consider is the temperature controller.
The sub $100 units will usually have a dial and it is hard to set the temperature accurately and you will need a thermometer to check the internal temperature. However most of the higher priced models will have a digital control, complete with LED display. These are great because you literally set the temperature and time and be safe in the knowledge that your food will be cooked to perfection.
Overall we think Portable Pellet Grills are typically best for people who value a smokey flavour, mobility and convenience.
Using wood pellets mean you don't have to babysit the grill and if you choose one with a digital temperature control you can sit back and leave the cooking to the pro.
This post was last updated on July 8th, 2019 at 08:49 pm
William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.