I love barbecue, it’s my favorite thing to eat
– David Nail
We’re with David Nail. There’s nothing in the world that can even begin to compare to the taste of good barbecue, except maybe the smell of that barbecue cooking.
Most barbecue fanatics will tell you that good barbecue is dependent on a number of different things.
The company you keep, the fuel you use to fire your grill, the quality of the food that’s cooked and served, and the skill level of the hands behind the controls of the barbecue.
They’re right of course, but good barbecue is also reliant on the grill that takes center stage at any cookout.
And that’s why, being as devoted to barbecue as we are, we thought that we take a look at five of the best portable pellet grills that any self-respecting barbecuer would love to use to hone and perfect their sacred craft.
So gather round and let us tell you about the portable pellet grills that’ll make even the best barbecue even better.
Best Portable Pellet Grill Reviews
Traeger Tailgater 20
Almost certainly named after one of our favorite things to do when we’re waiting for the countdown to race time at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Traeger’s Tailgater 20 is a pellet grill that’ll make your barbecuing heart swell with pride until it almost bursts.
Traeger is all about bringing wood-fired flavor directly to your table and believes that everyone who subscribes to the philosophy of the grill, is part of their family.
That’s why they’re happy to invite all and sundry to the Traegerhood, and when you’ve spent some time with the Tailgater 20, it’s a place you’ll never want to leave.
With a maximum grilling temperature of around four hundred and fifty degrees that you can control in five-degree increments and a total cooking surface of three hundred square inches, the Tailgater 20 is all the grill that you’ll need to get any party started.
Its eight-pound pellet hopper can hold enough fuel to keep any chef at the grill face all day and well into the night, and when you’re finished cooking, the Tailgater’s keep warm mode will make sure that all of the barbecues that you’ve grilled will stay hot until you’re ready to eat it.
One of the things that we love the most about the Tailgater, apart from its incredible capacity for barbecue, is the way that its legs are designed to fold up so that you can throw it in the back of your truck when you want to hit the raceway, and easily store it in your garage when you’re done.
Welcome to Traegerhood; it’s great to visit, but it’s an even nicer place to live.
(Note: we’ve done a full Traeger Tailgater review if you want to read more about this product)
Four hundred and fifty degrees of full controllable heat, three hundred square inches of cooking space, and foldable legs? If you looked up the words portable grill in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of the Tailgater 20 staring back at you.
The Tailgater 20 also has its own built-in meat probe so you’ll be confident that your food is just as hot on the inside as it is on the outside when you serve it.
You’ll never have to let that tiny little nagging voice at the back of your mind that whispers unfounded accusations of food poisoning and ill-prepared meat bother you ever again.
And the Tailgater even comes with porcelain-coated grates which means that nothing will stick to them while they’re cooking to perfection and that they’ll be easy to clean when the barbecue comes to close and you need to pack everything away.
Okay, a lot of slightly longer in the tooth, grizzled barbecuing veterans think that an eight-pound hopper isn’t big enough to hold all of the fuel that you’ll need for a great barbecuing session.
We disagree, but they could be right and we could be wrong.
It all depends on how many people you’re inviting to your barbecue and you’re intending to cook for.
Camp Chef Pursuit PPG20
That said, the grills they make are better looking, more personable and better cooks than any of the chefs at the summer camps that we went to when we were kids were, and the barbecue that they’re capable of producing is absolutely sublime.
The Pursuit’s ten-pound hopper uses Camp Chef’s ten patented ash cleanout system to simplify your barbecuing life so that you can focus on using all of the five hundred degrees of heat that it’ll make to cook as much barbecue as you possibly can on the five hundred and one square inches of cooking space that the Pursuit has.
And just to make things even easier, the Pursuit has a PID controller with a full, easy to use digital menu that’ll turn even the most amateur of would-be grillers into a master of the barbecuing arts.
It’s an all systems go, full-on grilling monster that has a huge appetite for grilling and a hopper that will fully accommodate all of the Pursuit’s barbecuing desires.
If you’re going to cook outdoors, you may as well do it the way that the Gods of Barbecue and science and technology intended you to, and that’s the Camp Chef way.
The Pursuit has more cooking space than most of us will ever use. We would say that it has too much, but that would be barbecuing blasphemy as we all know that there’s no such thing as too much barbecue.
The Easy Clean system that Camp Chef patented and the Pursuit uses? You’ll thank your maker for it at the end of your barbecuing day. It makes the whole cleaning process easy, simple, and straightforward.
We all hate the dreaded clean-up and anything that spares us from any of its misery is a cause for celebration.
It isn’t exactly the most portable grill that you’ll ever stumble across in your barbecuing adventures, but it does have wheels so it can be moved, and as it weighs in at one hundred pounds, you’ll get a great workout when you do move it.
If you do buy a Pursuit, you’ll be able to cancel your gym membership.
Camp Chef also has a portable-esque pellet grill in their Woodwind WiFi series of grills if you want to check those out next.
Green Mountain Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Everyone knows the story of Davy Crockett, so if you’re going to name a grill after a bona fide American hero, it had better live up to its namesake’s reputation, or you may as well just hang your head in shame and leave the barbecuing party.
Green Mountain, who have fast become a Venada grilling institution, has nothing to be ashamed of, as their Davy Crockett is an all-singing, all-dancing portable grilling phenomenon.
With a deceptively large cooking surface area and temperature range of one hundred and sixty degrees to five hundred and fifty degrees, the fully Wi-Fi enabled Davy Crockett is the sort of grill that sneaks up on you and becomes your best barbecuing buddy in less time than it takes to cook a couple of burgers.
You can just set it up, sit back, and control everything from your smartphone.
And when it comes to portability, the Davy Crockett has the competition beat hands down.
Its legs are designed to double up as carrying handles, and as it weighs in at relatively light (for a grill) sixty-eight pounds, it’s easy(ish) to load it up and go wherever you want to.
It’s like we said if you’re going to name your grill after Davy Crockett you’d better make sure it lives up to his legend, and this legendary barbecuing institution from Green Mountain absolutely does.
You’re probably already guessed that we’re fans of anything that we can control with WiFi, as it makes life easier and much more fun.
And the fact that we can use it to grill and barbecue? That’s just the icing on our barbecuing cake.
Those folding legs that turn into handles? They’re remarkable. It’s just like a Transformer, except you’ll have more fun with the Davy Crockett than you would if you were watching a Michael Bay film.
It’s got an incredible temperature range. Five hundred and fifty degrees? That’s the stuff of grilling myth and the fact that the Davy Crockett can reach it, just makes it even more desirable.
Honestly? We’re kind of hard pushed to find anything wrong with this grill, and we’re not alone either.
Everyone who has hauled it from yard to tailgating party to camping trip and back again seems to have fallen in love with the Davy Crockett.
It’s got all the yes’s and none of the no’s that you’ll want from, and are looking for in, a portable grill.
Don’t worry, you didn’t make a mistake and your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, it really does say Cuisinart.
The brand that made their name by conquering everything in the kitchen, has branched out into the world of outdoor cooking, and with the CPG-4000, they’ve proved that their previous successes weren’t a fluke.
With four hundred and fifty square inches of cooking space, a maximum grilling temperature of four hundred and fifty degrees, and a massive fifteen-pound hopper, this barbecuing behemoth is a delight to grill with.
It’s easy to use too and has a full LED display to show you what it’s doing and when it’s doing it, so you’ll be able to perfect any and all of the barbecuing recipes you want with the CPG-4000.
Cuisinart is proud of the fact, as well they should be, that this grill is capable of cooking just about anything that you want it to and thieves in versatility.
Fully weatherproof and UV resistant, the Cuisinart will last a lifetime and accompany your family into a future of barbecuing bliss.
It’s probably the most versatile portable grill on our list and has been designed and built to fulfill just about all of your barbecuing needs.
If you can imagine cooking it, the CPG-4000 can grill it. We just wish that Cuisinart had come up with a snappier and catchier name for this portable grill.
With a maximum temperature of around four hundred and fifty degrees and four hundred and fifty inches (that’s synchronicity for you) of cooking space, the Cuisinart has enough grilling power to cater to all of your barbecuing needs.
It weighs in at just under one hundred and three pounds, so even though it has wheels and can be moved around, it isn’t going to be easy to move it. All of the versatility that Cuisinart has packed into this grill comes at a hefty price, which might if you’re not careful, give you a hernia.
Rec Tec Grills RT-340
We know the name that Rec Tec has used for this go-too grill makes it sound like a robot that stole the show in some obscure nineteen-eighties science fiction film, but don’t let that fool you, the only science this machine knows is the advanced evolution of grilling.
And the RT-340 is packed full of the technology that it needs to execute its duties flawlessly.
The RT-340 is Wi-Fi enabled so you’ll be able to monitor, adjust, and cook your barbecue from your smartphone while you’re hanging out, and spending time, with your friends and family.
With a temperature range of between two hundred and five hundred degrees Fahrenheit and three hundred and forty square inches of cooking space, the RT-340 (or Trailblazer as it’s more commonly known by the folks in the know at Rec Tec) also has two built-in meat probes to monitor the internal as well as the external temperature of your barbecue and an automatic lighter, so you don’t have to get down and dirty with charcoal bricks when you fire it up.
Whether they took a leaf out of Traeger’s book or Traeger’s used Rec Tec’s idea seems immaterial right now, but whatever way around it happened doesn’t change the fact that the RT-340 has the same sort of folding legs as the Tailgater does.
This means that it’s just as portable and is relatively easy to pack up and go wherever you want it, and you, to head for.
And it’s also got wheels, so you can push it around your yard and position it in any corner you feel like, whenever you feel like doing it.
The whole Wi-Fi thing gives the RT-340 a sort of futuristic geek charm that we wouldn’t normally associate with the world of barbecuing and makes it seem even cooler than it already is. And as it’s already cool, it just boots it all the way up to eleven on the grilling Cool-O-Meter.
It doesn’t just have a meat probe, the RT-340 has two of them and it can reach temperatures of up to five hundred degrees, both of which you can monitor and control from your smartphone. What an age we live in.
And it’s made ceramic coated stainless steel, so it’s built to be long-lasting, durable and weather all sorts of weather and barbecuing conditions. The RT-340’s longevity earns it a double thumbs up from us.
While we love the illusion of the portability that it’s folding legs and wheels give the RT-340, as it weighs slightly over one hundred pounds, in the real world, you’re going to need to be packing some serious muscle to cart the RT-340 from place to place.
Best Portable Pellet Grills Buying Guide
What Is A Pellet Grill?
Also known as pellet smokers, pellet grills are cookers designed and made to be used outside that combine elements of traditional grills, conventional kitchen ovens, and charcoal smokers.
They use wood pellets as a source of fuel, and as well as grilling can also be used to smoke food and bake bread and are usually controlled electronically, via either a digital panel or WiFi.
What Makes A Pellet Grill Portable?
The two factors that determine a pellet grills portability are the ease with which it can be moved and how much it weighs.
Most portable pellet grills are fitted with wheels and handles are designed to be tilted and moved in the same way that a wheelbarrow is.
Some pellet grills use folding legs and/or handles which makes them easier to transport and move.
As a rule of thumb, the less a pellet grill weighs, the easier it is to move. For a pellet grill to be portable, it should ideally weigh well less than one hundred pounds.
As most grills are usually packed with technology and features, finding one that weighs less than one hundred pounds can often be difficult.
Which Portable Pellet Grill Is The Right One For Me?
The answer to this question depends entirely on two things – how portable do you want your pellet grill to be and what your budget is.
There’s a pellet grill on our list that’ll cater to every level or portability and budget, so the choice is entirely up to you.
That said, if you’re wondering which grill we use for tailgating and camping, then we’re more than happy to tell you.
We use the Green Mountain Davy Crockett, as it’s incredibly portable, easy to use, will barbecue and grill just about anything you want it to, anywhere you want it to.
And we’re suckers for anything that you can control with WiFi.
So now that you’ve made your choice, there’s only one thing left to do. And that means it’s time to fire up your pellet grill and start barbecuing.
There you have it. Which one did you end up with? Disagree with our list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.