What Are The Advantages of Pellet Smokers? (Answered)

What are the advantages of pellet smokers

Pellet smokers have become a pretty popular topic in the world of barbecue and smoking.

Pellet grills have risen to such popularity that many can be purchased alongside traditional grills and smokers in department stores. However, pellet grills tend to come at a higher price compared to other grills.

So you may be wondering what the advantages of a pellet smoker over other grills?

Pellet smokers have the following advantages:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Effortless ignition
  3. Easy temperature controls
  4. Consisten and even heat
  5. Tasty smoke flavor
  6. Wireless controls
  7. Versatile
  8. Safety
  9. Fewer flare-ups
  10. Enjoyable to use

Now let’s dive into each one of these advantages so you can understand all the advantages of a pellet smoker and why they tend to cost more than other grills.

1. Easy to Use

The biggest and main advantage of a pellet smoker is how easy these grills are to use.

There’s minimal setup and pellet smokers provide all the main benefits of a smoker without the intense labor needed to make a stick or charcoal smoker work.

In fact, pellet smokers are designed to make smoking hands off which makes these grills beginner-friendly.

Pellet smokers just need wood pellets and electricity in order to work. Simply set a cooking temperature, place the food on the grill and wait until the food is ready. It’s really that simple to use a pellet grill.

Pellet smokers are so easy to use that meat can be smoked overnight, can be used for everyday grilling, and can even bake a pizza. Just set the cooking temperature and wait until the food is ready.

2. Effortless Ignition

The next main benefit of a pellet smoker is the effortless ignition process.

First, let’s think about firing up other grills.

On a traditional smoker or grill, you have to get your fuel ready, which entails hauling logs or charcoal around. Then, you have to determine your method of ignition. Are you going to stoke a wood fire, or are you going to grab the lighter fluid and light things up?

On the other hand, firing up a pellet smoker is simple.

Simply load the hopper with pellets, plug the pellet smoker in, and set the smoker to a cooking temperature. The pellet smoker will start a fire, feed-in pellets, and reach the desired cooking temperature.

You can essentially “set it and forget it” with pellet smokers since the pellet smoker will maintain the cooking temperature even as you walk away from the smoker. This means smoked meat is easy to make for everyone!

3. Easy Temperature Controls

One of the biggest advantages of a pellet smoker is the easy temperature controls.

Newer models of pellet smokers will have a digital display that shows the internal temperature of the grill. The smoker will either have a dial or digital control where the desired cooking temperature can be set.

Below is a photo of the digital display and temperature controller on my Traeger pellet grill:

Pellet Smoker Digital Temperature Control

Unlike a charcoal or propane grill, the cooking temperature can be precisely set on a pellet smoker similar to an oven.

So smoking a brisket at 225°F for 12 hours is easy to do on a pellet smoker since the cooking temperature can be set to 225°F. The pellet smoker will regulate how often wood pellets are fed into the fire in order to maintain this cooking temperature.

4. Consistent and Even Heat

Pellet smokers can be compared to convection ovens where an induction fan is used to blow the heat throughout the cooking area.

The benefit of indirect heat is that all sides of the food are cooked at the same time.

Unlike a charcoal or propane grill where the side of the food facing the flame cooks faster, pellet smokers will generally cook food at the same rate from all sides.

The only exception is when a pellet smoker is cranked to a high cooking temperature such as 450°F since the heat does blow up from the bottom of the grill which means the food facing the grill grate will cook faster.

Since food cooks consistently and evenly on pellet smokers, food usually does not need to be flipped or rotated on pellet smokers. However, food can be flipped on pellet smokers when being cooked at high temperatures or if you want grill marks on both sides of your food.

5. Tasty Smoke Flavor

Pellet smokers are not only easy to use but they also create a smoke flavor on the food.

Wood pellets are the fuel source for pellet smokers so a the wood burns, the wood smoke is what is blown around the cooking area. The huge benefit of having smoky hot air used to cook food is that meat can be smoked low and slow, which means a rack of ribs can come out with a nice smoke flavor.

In fact, pellet smokers can create smoke rings on meat!

Pellet Smokers Can Create Smoke Rings

BBQ enthusiasts will always point to the smoke ring that gets developed on meat that is smoked low and slow with wood smoke. A huge benefit of using a pellet smoker will create smoke rings on meat smoked at low cooking temperatures.

Just make sure to use a low temperature since that means the meat will stay on the smoker longer. Food that has more time on the smoker will have a stronger smoke flavor.

6. Wireless Controls

Newer pellet smokers that have all the bells and whistles will usually have WiFi or wireless controls.

For example, Traeger has WiFire which allows the pellet smoker to be controlled using a smart phone and internet connection.

The pellet smoker can be started and turned off remotely, the cooking temperature can be monitored and changed, and even times and alarms can be set for certain temperatures or times.

So the wireless controls really make pellet smokers even more convenient than they already are.

Generally, WiFi pellet smokers are more expensive so checkout this article when determining if WiFi is worth the extra cost.

7. Versatile

Pellet smokers are incredibly versatile cooking machines. Although pellet smokers are known for being able to smoke meat, they can also do so much more.

Pellet smokers can grill burgers, bake pizzas, and even sear a steak. The temperature controls of a pellet smoker is what will determine how fast or slowly the pellet smoker cooks food.

Given the wide range of cooking styles and food that can be cooked on a pellet smoker, it’s no wonder that folks are replacing thier gas and charcoal grills with pellet smokers.

8. Pellet Smokers Are Safe

When you use a traditional charcoal or propane grill, you have to worry about a number of hazards.

When you’re cooking over wood, you have to worry about flames spreading to places that they shouldn’t. With gas, you run the risk of leaks and explosions. Pellet grills don’t have to deal with either of these issues!

Pellet grills allow you to cook your food through indirect heat. This means that the pellets are ignited, and the hot air is pushed into the cooking cavity. By using a pellet smoker, you eliminate the risk of an open flame, like what you get with a wood-fired smoker or charcoal grill.

Additionally, all of the heating is self-contained, and guarded by a thick layer of metal. This prevents any mishaps, and most burns that could be caused by carelessness.

A pellet smoker is your safest option for smoking meats, or barbecuing just about anything.

Simply put, pellet smokers are safer than propane, gas, or charcoal grills.

9. Fewer Flare-Ups

Flare-ups are when fats or meat juices leak from the meat being cooked into the fire causing the fire to flare up. Flare-ups can be dangerous at times since a flare-up can lead to grease fires.

Pellet smokers cook through indirect heat and there’s a drip tray in most pellet smokers. The drip tray is what captures any fats and meat juices and directs these liquids into a bucket or pail.

Since the fire in pellet smokers are covered and there’s a drip tray that captures the excess fats and meat juices, there are a fewer flare-ups on pellet smokers compared to traditional grills.

10. Enjoyable to Use

One of the big problems that you get with grilling or traditional smoking is the amount of labor that goes into them. This can make them fairly unenjoyable at times, because you have to keep going back to them.

A pellet smoker allows you to get that delicious, outdoors cooking you crave, without all the work and labor of making sure the fire is still on or that the temperature is just right.

Again this plays into how easy pellet smokers are to use, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. You don’t have to put in a lot of work with a pellet smoker, you just need to make sure it’s loaded with pellets.

This means that while you cook outdoors with your friends and family, you don’t have to watch the grill the entire time. Instead, you can spend time with your friends and family while still getting the smoked meat you want.

Final Thoughts

Pellet smokers are the best way to get the smoked, baked, or grilled outdoor foods that you love.

Pellet smokers are easy to use and can cook a variety of food through different methods all on the same grill. Not to mention, you can simply load a pellet smoker with pellets, place the food on the grill, set the temperature, and walk away.

The pellet smoker will cook the food as long as there are pellets in the hopper and the electrical cord is plugged in.

To recap, pellet smokers have the following advantages:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Effortless ignition
  3. Easy temperature controls
  4. Consisten and even heat
  5. Tasty smoke flavor
  6. Wireless controls
  7. Versatile
  8. Safety
  9. Fewer flare-ups
  10. Enjoyable to use

There’s no reason you shouldn’t have a pellet smoker, when you think about it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is a pellet smoker worth it?

Absolutely. There’s nothing better than being able to enjoy the taste of smoke in your food without having to labor over a traditional smoker or grill. They also open up an entirely different world of culinary creativity, since they cook using indirect heat. Pellet smokers are very fun to use, even at the price tag they’re at.

Q: Are pellet smokers better than traditional smokers?

It really comes down to the kind of smoking that you want to do. A pellet smoker is great because it doesn’t need babysitting, and it’s very safe. However, the meats you smoke may be less smokey than if a traditional smoker was used. We think that’s a fine tradeoff, considering how easy they are to use.

Q: Are there any disadvantages to pellet smokers?

We’re glad you asked, and for the sake of transparency, there are a few. First, the biggest disadvantage is the price tag. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a “cheap” pellet smoker. They’re a bit more expensive than traditional smokers, but we think that’s understandable. Pellet smokers remove a lot of the labor of a traditional smoker, meaning you get your time back.

The other big disadvantage has to do with temperature. Most pellet smokers won’t reach a temperature higher than 450 degrees. This means that fast searing isn’t always possible. However, if you’re using it as a smoker, or an outdoor oven, this won’t be a problem.


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