If you love the smell and taste of a slow-cooked barbecue, a pellet smoker is an excellent tool to use to get this taste all year long.
They keep an exact heat throughout the cooking process, are easy to control, and they almost no ash while imparting a succulent wood flavoring into the meat.
Additionally, it’s relatively easy to manipulate the final aroma and flavor by using different types of wood chips.
There are several high-quality options available when you start to look for pellet smokers for cold weather, but we’ve hand-picked six of the best options available on the current market.
You can read the short reviews, read the frequently asked questions, and pull up the buying guide to help you make the best decision for your wants and needs. Once you have it, you can get ready to enjoy succulent smoked meats any time that you want.
The Six Best Pellet Smokers for Cold Weather – Reviews
Best Overall – Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill
Traeger has made considerable improvements to their pellet smokers in the past year that makes it a viable option for anyone who wants the latest features from a large brand.
It starts with a WiFi remote control that makes it easy to set, adjust, and monitor your cooking temperatures. There is a brushless DC motor that gives you higher torque with lower rotations-per-minute, and this allows you to get more fuel for hotter and faster cooking times.
You can grill, braise, roast, bake, smoke, and barbecue with this setup, and you get a large 575-square inch of cooking space that allows you to cook for small and large gatherings without a problem.
It’s available in bronze or black coloring for more versatility. There is a temperature probe included in the purchase that lets you use the Traeger app or the grill interface to monitor your temperature.
The solid base with durable wheels makes it easy to move this pellet smoker from space to space without a problem. Additionally, you can monitor the pellet levels remotely, so you never run out and keep a consistent temperature from start to finish.
- Variable-speed fan with five-degree temperature increments
- WiFIRE technology included with an app
- Uses a brushless DC motor for more power
- Doesn’t come with a cover
- Difficult to get in touch with customer service
- Can take an hour or so to assemble
Best Budget – Green Mountain Davy Crockett WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill
Portable and budget are two words that don’t usually come to mind when you’re talking about pellet smokers, but Green Mountain seamlessly blends these two components together to create this product with you and smoke meat on the go.
There is a convenient carrying handle with folding legs on the stand that make it easy to pack in your vehicle, and it weighs in at 68 pounds.
There are adapters on this pellet smoker that allow you to get power using a standard 110-volt or 12-volt outlet in your home, from a generator, from your car’s battery, or from your cigarette lighter in your vehicle.
You can use a tablet or smartphone with WiFi capabilities to set and control your cooking temperature remotely. It comes with a convenient tray, peaked lid, and a temperature probe.
Smart alerts enable this smoker to tell you when the temperature starts to drop off, or the hopper stopped feeding wood pellets.
You can program unique cooking instructions like cooking at a certain temperature for a set amount of hours before increasing or decreasing the temperatures to continue cooking.
- Gives you three power options
- Portable and lightweight design
- Has precision temperature control included
- Grease tray can warp with repeated use
- Temperature runs lower than you set
- Has a learning curve associated with using it
Best Runner Up – Z Grills ZPG-700D 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
This mid-range pellet smoker by Z Grills makes a high-quality product without breaking the bank, and you get large 700-square inches of cooking space that splits between a primary cooking surface and an elevated grate.
There is a 20-pound hopper on this setup that allows you to cook continuously for hours at a time without worrying about having to reload halfway though.
There is no WiFi functionality, but you get a larger storage space for all of your platters, utensils, and items to keep them close at hand when you work, and this is a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to char-grill, barbecue, braise, roast, sear, smoke, bake, and grill all in one. You can cook for 20 hours on one load of pellets, and there is a one-button start.
The digital automatic temperature control gives you precision cooking technology, and there is a bright LED screen that allows you to read your settings at a glance.
pellet smoker will maintain your heat settings within 10-degrees in a large range of temperatures, and there is a waterproof grill cover included in each purchase.
- Has an advanced pellet feed system
- Offers digital automatic temperature control
- Large storage compartment
- No WiFi technology included
- Manuals can be difficult to follow
- Only supposed to use company-branded pellets
Best Under $400 – PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill
Pit Boss has a larger range of pellet grills that run into the slightly less expensive categories without sacrificing handy features or smoking space, and you get a nice sliding plate system that allows you to sear directly into your meat for more versatility.
The heavy-gauge steel construction is very durable, and the steel will resist rust and corrosion with heavy use without a problem.
For the best results, you use natural wood chips and pellets to power this product and inject flavor into your cuts of meat, and you get impressive 700-square inches of cooking space with dual shelving that allows you to cook for small or large crowds without running out of the room.
There is a steel shelf on the bottom of this unit for pellet storage, and the wheels make it easy to move around.
There is a digital controlled burn system with a temperature gauge built into the lid that makes it easy to set and keep the perfect temperature, and you can choose from a model with no side shelf or one with a side shelf and storage cabinet.
- Available in two designs
- 700-square inches of cooking space
- Features dual cooking racks
- Temperature can be off by a few degrees
- Pellets may not feed uniformly
- No WiFi monitoring capabilities
Alt One – Camp Chef SmokePro SG Wood Pellet Grill Smoker
This is a solid mid-sized pellet smoker that balances value for quality, and it comes with the newer Gen two PID controller that allows you to control how much smoke you produce and your temperature.
There are 429-square inches of cooking space on this model, and you get a 382-square inch rack that allows you to fit several cuts of meat at one time. It’s simple to set up, and you’ll be ready to smoke in 10 minutes or less.
There are several convenience features on this model as a set it and forget it cooking system with dual meat probes and minimal ash clean up when you finish using it.
There is WiFi with this model that lets you control and monitor your cooking times and temperatures from your smartphone app. The heavy-gauge stainless steel construction resists rust and corrosion, and it has a solid feel to it.
This pellet smoker lets you set the temperature at 160-degrees up to 500-degrees, and you get a smoke range of 1 to 10 to help you impart the perfect amount of flavor. If you need to sear, you can easily slide a plate over the flame to give you temperatures up to 650-degrees.
- Smokestack is out of the way
- Comes with a searing capability
- Uses fewer pellets per use
- The temperature sensor is finicky
- App has limited features
- Takes more wood chips to impart flavors
Alt Two – Weber 23510001 SmokeFire EX6 Wood Fired Pellet Grill
The final entry on our list of pellet smokers comes from Weber, and the EX6 model gives you 1,008-square inches of cooking space, and there are two racks to give you more space to work.
The grill will smoke and sear using temperatures ranging from 200-degrees to 600-degrees, and there is a porcelain-enamel finish on the grates that help prevent rust or cracking to help it last longer.
The DC brushless engine comes specially designed to prevent jams in the auger, and this will give you a much smoother smoking experience from start to finish.
You’ll get an even heat distribution throughout the cooking space, and the shelf on the edge gives you space to hold your utensils or platters. There are sturdy legs with casters that make it easy to move this smoker from point A to point B.
You can choose from the smoker or the smoker with a cover, and the smoker comes with 3D interactive assembly instructions if you download the BILT app when you buy it. There is no WiFi, but the large temperature control dial with LED display is easy to see, monitor, and adjust.
- Has a very sturdy design
- Casters make it easy to move the smoker
- DC brushless engine included
- Clicks into automatic shutoff mode if you get around 600-degrees
- Hopper doesn’t have a smooth application
- Updates are buggy
Pellet Smoker Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between a pellet smoker and a regular smoker?
Pellet smokers don’t require as much constant monitoring as you do with regular smokers when you cook low and slow.
However, they may not impart as much smoky flavoring into the meat as regular smokers, but they leave your cuts of meat moister at the end of the cooking process.
2. Are horizontal or vertical pellet smokers better?
The answer to this question will depend on your preferences. When you use a vertical pellet smoker, the heat is further away from the meat, and this makes it possible to roast foods but not grill them.
A horizontal pellet smoker can grill, bake, smoke, and some offer char-broiling to make them more versatile.
3. Should you empty the pellets out of the hopper after every use?
Yes. Leaving the pellets in the hopper when you finish smoking will leave them exposed to the elements, and this can lead to rot. Instead, you should clean out the hopper each time you finish using your smoker and store the pellets into a sealed bucket to make them last longer.
4. What makes pellet smokers so popular?
One of the largest draws with pellet smokers is their unique ability to give you steady, low temperatures for hours on end without having to adjust anything.
This is the level of precision you want when you slow-smoke your pulled pork, brisket, or ribs without drying them out or burning them.
5. Do pellet smokers need electricity to run?
Yes, your pellet smoker will need a small amount of electricity to run. The electricity will mainly operate the temperature control suite and feed the pellets through your smoker’s auger system. You get to set it and forget it setup if you can run a cable to your pellet grill to feed the electricity to it.
Pellet Smoker Buying Guide
When it comes time to pick out your new pellet smoker, it can be challenging to know what to look for or how to compare products if you’ve never bought one before.
There are so many brands, styles, settings, and optional controls available that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, this short guide will highlight everything you need to know about picking out a pellet smoker for cold weather.
Since this can be an expensive purchase, it’s important that you go with a reputable brand that has a history of producing quality products using durable materials.
The brands you see on our list have a long history of selling pellet smokers for cold and warm weather conditions, and they have a very responsive customer service team.
This ensures you’ll be able to get in touch with them if something comes up and get the repairs you need to continue to use your smoker.
Your budget will play a role in the pellet smoker you end up getting because they have a huge range of price points. It’s a good idea to set a price range before you start to shop because this can help you narrow down your choices from the start.
Think of a few options you have to have and explore the options while staying in your set budget.
Yes, you’re purchasing this smoker with the main objective of smoking cuts of meat, but it’s nice to have other options available to make it more versatile.
Some smokers allow you to braise, sear, bake, grill, smoke, and more all by switching up the settings, and this allows you to cook more as a whole. Most horizontal smokers have multi-use capabilities, while vertical smokers don’t because the meat sits further from the heat source.
Your cooking space on your pellet smoker will be in square inches, and the bigger space is, the more food you can smoke at one time.
Ideally, your smoker will have at least two racks on varying levels to allow you to easily smoke various cuts of meat without drying anything out, and you should have enough space to maneuver comfortably.
Think about how many people you cook for and try to find a smoker with cooking space that aligns closely with this need.
Durability and Material
It’s important to pay close attention to the materials your pellet smoker uses because this will directly impact how durable your setup is and how long it lasts.
Pay close attention to the grates, drip pan, flame deflector, and the fire pot and ensure that they use stainless-steel for the construction.
The quality of the materials also impacts the overall performance because high-end materials will ensure you get more pellet consumption, retain heat better, and help maintain your set temperatures in colder weather.
Ease of Use
Generally speaking, most pellet smokers are usually very straightforward and easy to use with a minimal learning curve. Your features will impact how easy it is to use, and the more features you get can make it more complicated to use. Read reviews to see what customers say about the setup process and the learning curve.
Several pellet smokers on our list come with single or dual meat probes included, and this can help you monitor the exact temperatures of whatever you’re cooking to prevent it from over or under-cooking.
These probes plug directly into your smoker and display on an LCD screen for your convenience, and they can take away some of the worries that come with using these smokers on expensive cuts of meat. You can also buy meat thermometers and manually check the temperatures as it smokes.
Pellet Consumption and Hopper Size
Your hopper size will dictate how many pounds of pellets your smoker can hold on a single fill, and the pellet consumption is how fast your smoker burns through them when it’s running.
Getting a hopper that holds 20 pounds of pellets and has a routine consumption rate will ensure your smoker can run for up to 20 hours on a single fill.
Also, take a look at the feed system to make sure you get a smooth operation from start to finish to avoid it burning out or getting too hot and burning your food.
Temperature Range and Control
When it comes to smoking cuts of meat, having precision temperature control is the difference between getting moist and flavorful meat and dried-out end results.
Your pellet smoker should come with a temperature range that allows you to slow-cook or sear, and you want to have small temperature increments that give you precision control. If your smoker has these settings, you’ll be able to cook more items without worrying about how they turn out.
Depending on the pellet smoker, you could shell out a decent amount for it, and this means that you want some type of warranty attached to it to protect you from defects or damage.
Ideally, you’ll get a smoker with a full warranty over a limited one, but pay attention to how long it lasts from the purchase date. You should also have a good understanding of what it does and doesn’t cover.
One of the newer convenience features of many pellet smokers is the ability to use WiFi and a smartphone app to monitor, set, and adjust your cooking temperatures or times while you’re away from the smoker.
Once you download the app and sync it to your smoker, you can keep easy track of all of your settings while you’re in the house or across the yard. Some pellet smokers don’t have this feature yet, so you want to keep an eye out for it if you think you’d like to have it.