5 BesT Portable Pellet Grills of 2023 on the Market Today

Pellet grills are fantastic on-the-go companions as they combine the smokey-flavored taste that charcoal grills offer and the convenience of a gas grill.

Although portable models are inferior to backyard ones in terms of cooking capacity, performance, and durability, this is not the case here.

Despite their compact size and (relative) lightweight, these 8 portable pellet grills are just as durable and well-performing as their backyard brethren.

With one of these bad boys on your next journey, you’ll be cooking steaks and burgers just like you would in the backyard.

Traeger Grills Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Black Small
Digital Arc Controller; Advanced Grilling Logic for precise temperature performance; Easy-to-clean porcelain-coated grill grates & Separate Cast Iron Griddle Included
Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Electric Wi-Fi Control Foldable Portable Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill with Meat Probe, Black
Features Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill temperature; Includes a meat probe, peaked lid for rib racks, convenience tray
Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Black
6-in-1 versatility to grill, smoke, braise, roast, bake, or BBQ
Camp Chef 20" Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill, PPG20, Black, Stainless, Total Rack Surface Area: 501 sq. in
Includes 2 meat probes; Ash Cleanout System; Compact design, stores, and transports easily

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Is the Best Pellet Grill for the Money?

  • Best Smoker: Pit Boss Tailgater
  • Best Tabletop: Traeger Grills Tailgater
  • Best for Camping: Grilla Grills – Chimp
  • Best Green Mountain: Green Mountain Davy Crockett
  • Best Traeger: Traeger Grills Ranger

Portable Pellet Grill Reviews

Traeger Grills Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Black Small
  • Digital Arc Controller
  • Advanced Grilling Logic for precise temperature performance
  • Easy-to-clean porcelain-coated grill grates & Separate Cast Iron...
  • Meat Probe
  • Keep Warm Mode helps your food to stay warm until you're ready to eat

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When it comes to smoking in the wild, nothing beats the Traeger Ranger.

A Perfect Reason to Go Out of the House

If you ever need a reason to just go out and spend some time in the fresh air, just look at the Ranger.

No matter where you go, you can always take it with you.

With a compact size of 13 in H x 21 in W x 20 in D with the lid closed and 60 lbs (it seems a lot but for a pellet grill, this is nothing), you’ll barely notice it in the trunk of your car.

Cooking Capacity

On its total cooking area of 184 square inches, you can easily cook:

  • 1 rack of ribs
  • 6 burgers
  • 10 hot dogs

The Ranger can reach a max temperature of 450°F.

Included with the package is a cast iron griddle, expanding your cooking arsenal of recipes. What I especially like about this is that I can make eggs & bacon for breakfast.

Advanced Grilling Logic

The digital arc controller and the built-in meat probe let you precisely control the temperature so you’ll never have to worry about overcooking or undercooking again.

It also has a cook timer and it will alert you when the meal is done or when it’s time to add sauce.

Once you’re done, you can leave your meal inside the grill without letting it get cold. It has a keep warm mode which ensures the food will be ready to eat when you are – just like a rice cooker.

Additional Noteworthy Features

Both the porcelain-coated grates and the included griddle are super easy to clean.

The hopper has a capacity of 8 lbs so you won’t have to worry about refueling during mid-BBQ. Your only job will be to relax and enjoy the view.

The lid has latches for safer and easier transport.

Expect a Dent or Two

The product may arrive damaged upon arrival. Mine came with 2 smaller dents on the lid.

A Well Built Workhorse Grill Smoker Combo

When it comes to portable pellet grills, it doesn’t get any better than this. The performance is amazing and ever since I tried it, it has never left my sight.


  • Compact
  • Reliable
  • Durable
  • Large cooking area
  • Keep warm function


  • May arrive with dents or scratches

Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Electric Wi-Fi Control Foldable Portable Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill with Meat Probe, Black
  • Features Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill...
  • Includes a meat probe, peaked lid for rib racks, convenience tray
  • Weighs 68 lbs. and folds to fits in nearly any trunk, making it the...
  • 110V or 12V with adapters for 3 power options

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Davy Crockett is the type of pellet grill that lets you do other things instead of standing in front of it to tend to the cooking process.

The Most Convenient Grill

The digital controller can be controlled and monitored remotely via WiFi through your phone (GMG app available for both Android and iOS).

This grill can run on either 12V or 110V. The guys at Green Mountain Grills are experienced campers – the Davy Crockett is proof of this. You won’t always find power outlets while in the open. That’s why they’ve added the 12V socket so you can power the grill right from your vehicle without adapters.

Ample Cooking Surface

This one features a slightly bigger cooking surface than the Ranger above – 219 square inches to be precise.

Can Be Placed in the Trunk of Any Car

The grill measures 31.75” H x 34” W x 23” D but when you fold the legs, it measures only 20.5” H x 27.75” W x 17.5” D.


With a temperature range of 150°F – 550°F, you can go low and slow, sear steaks, and anything in between.

Hopper Specs

The hopper can hold up to 9 lbs of pellets.

The auger moves slowly at the speed of about 5 RPMs and the fan for controlling airflow at 4,100 RPM max. Both are carefully regulated by the controller for maximum efficiency.

Complete Pellet Combustion With Minimal Waste

The firebox is designed in a way that creates a cyclone of air, pellets, and fire in an extremely efficient way.

The Downsides

There are hot and cold spots.

The bottom generates quite a lot of heat. When tailgating, plate something heat-resistant between the grill and the bedliner so it won’t melt it.

Set It and Forget It

When it comes to convenience, the Davy Crockett wins by a mile.


  • Large hopper size
  • Ample cooking surface
  • WiFi control
  • Easy cleanup
  • Good grease management


  • Uneven cooking

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Black
  • NEVER USE GAS OR CHARCOAL AGAIN: Traeger created the original...
  • PRECISION TEMPERATURE CONTROL: The Digital Arc Controller maintains a...
  • Take your grill and your wood-fired BBQ wherever you go. Whether...
  • EZ fold legs, a grill capacity of 300 sq inches, and capacity for 12...
  • 6-in-1 versatility to grill, smoke, braise, roast, bake, or BBQ

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Spice up your tailgating experience with the Traegers Tailgater.

Tailgaters Wet Dream

This behemoth of a grill is specially designed for grilling on the back of a pickup truck.

Although you can use it elsewhere, say in the backyard, you’ll need to place it on an elevated surface as the whole thing is only 3 feet (about 1 meter) tall with the legs extended.

Massive Cooking Area

Despite weighing the same as the Ranger, the Tailgaters cooking capacity is much greater: by more than 50%.

On its total cooking surface of 300 square inches, you can make:

  • 2 whole chickens
  • 3 racks of ribs
  • 12 burger patties

Additional Features

The Tailgater has, more or less, the same features the Ranger has, with one notable exception: it comes without a cast iron griddle.

  • Digital arc controller with Advanced grilling logic
  • Max temperature of 450°F
  • Built-in meat probe
  • Keep warm function
  • Porcelain-enameled grates
  • Foldable legs
  • 8 lb hopper capacity

This Grills’ Ugly Side

You’ll need help if you’re planning to fold up the legs. Otherwise, you’ll struggle – a lot.

Holy Smokes

Take it with you on your next tailgating or RV ride – you’ll be sorry that you didn’t have it before.


  • Massive cooking area
  • Excellent performance
  • Great temperature control
  • Simple to use and clean
  • Versatile


  • It’s difficult to fold the legs by yourself

Camp Chef 20" Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill, PPG20, Black, Stainless, Total Rack Surface Area: 501 sq. in
  • PID controller for consistent temperatures, Adjustable smoke settings...
  • Includes 2 meat probes
  • Easy to use menu dial, High-visibility, low-glare digital display,...
  • Ash Cleanout System
  • Compact design, stores, and transports easily

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

“Size matters” is the motto of this Camp Chef grill: the Pursuit PPG20.

Feed the Whole Camping Party in One Batch

On its massive cooking surface of 501 square inches, you can cook:

  • 16 – 24 burgers
  • 2 pizzas
  • 4 whole chickens
  • 4 racks of ribs
  • 4 tri-tips

The cooking chamber features 2 grates for increased cooking capacity and better heat control. Sear burgers at the bottom and smoke ribs at the top at the same time.

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ Rawhide

What I like about this particular model is that you don’t need to carry it around but roll it away once you’re done cooking.

Once folded, you can grab the handle at the other end of the grill and drive it around like rolling luggage.

Also, the legs are push-button and snap into place. Say goodbye to those time-consuming screws.

Advanced Gen 2 Controller

The Pursuit comes equipped with state-of-the-art cooking technology and temperature control that includes PID technology and Smoke control.

Tailgate, Campsite, Block Party, and Backyard Approved

Whether you’re grilling in the backyard or on the open road, the Pursuit will never let you down.

With its compact size and sheer cooking surface, you can use it either as a full-standing backyard grill or at your next tailgating party.

This versatility comes at a price, though: it’s a bit larger and heavier (cca. 100 lbs) than the models above.


A common issue that plagues portable grills is their durability.

One reason is that they’re outside most of the time, including when you’re not using them (you can’t really put a grill in the shed when you’re in the wild). Another reason is the weight. Durable materials are heavier than cheaper ones.

The PPG20 is an exception as it boasts durable construction, including heavy-duty wheels which are usually made from cheap plastic.

Rest assured this baby won’t rust away within a year.

Fuel Your Next Adventure With the Pursuit

The massive cooking surface, portability, and durability are some of the reasons why I’ve chosen the Pursuit as one of the best portable pellet grills.


  • Massive cooking surface
  • Versatile
  • Easy to transport
  • Durable construction
  • Simple to clean


  • Bulky

Grilla Grills Chimp Tailgater Bundle | Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill | Foldable Legs | Dual Mode PID Controller | Non-Wifi | Stainless Steel Construction | Up to 580 Sq. in Cooking Space
  • This bundle includes the Chimp with Alpha Smoke Controller and a...
  • This high quality wood pellet grill provides Low & Slow Smoking as...
  • This combination smoker and grill provides unparalleled flavor over...
  • Equipped with our industry leading dual mode PID controller providing...
  • Double wall insulated barrel suited for the coldest temperatures....

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Can a chimp cook BBQ? This wood pellet grill and smoker from Grilla Grills says a definite YES!

Perfect for Tailgating and Your Backyard

Can’t decide between a portable and a backyard model? Then have both in just one unit.

Just like the Pursuit, the Chimp is big enough to be used as a standalone backyard grill or accompany you to the next tailgating party.

Large Interior

The main cooking surface (stainless steel rod grates) measures 22 x 15.5 inches or 340 square inches.

It also features a warming upper rack (something that’s uncommon with portable grills) and is roughly 1/3 the size. It’s 120 square inches large and measures 22 x 5.5 inches.

Add them both together, and you get 460 square inches of total cooking space.

Even for a backyard pellet grill, this is a lot.


The cooking chamber is insulated. This not only helps in better temperature retention but also less heat is wasted, meaning you’ll save on pellets.

Digital electric temperature controller precisely monitors and controls both the temperature and airflow efficiently and with spot-on precision.

Say Goodbye to Flare-ups

The fan provides convection-style cooking without the fear of flare-ups.

Use It All Year Around

The heavy-duty steel construction, welded, powder-coated, and caulked seams, and the Thermal Metal Jack allow you to grill and smoke even in the harshest wintertime without the fear of rusting.

Hopper Capacity

The hopper on the Chimp can hold up to 15 lbs of pellets.

Introducing Alpha Smoke Technology

This thing right here enhances your BBQ with increased finer smoke and temp control that will infuse your food with authentic smokey flavor.

It’s a dual mode controller and features both a PID and the traditional controller in one unit.

Double Check the Hopper Lid When Closing It

I don’t know if this is a design flaw or QA fail or something else but the latch of the lid of the hopper on my model doesn’t fully clamp down and sometimes it doesn’t completely.

Be sure once yours arrives at your doorstep to check for any dents, scratches, and other signs of damage.

A Chimp off the Old Block

Overall, it’s an amazing grill that performs even better as a smoker. With a large cooking area, durable insulated construction, and precise monitoring, the Chimp will surpass all of your expectations.


  • Sturdy and durable
  • Double-wall insulation
  • Precise and efficient temperature control
  • Fuel efficient
  • Large cooking area and hopper capacity


  • Defective hopper latch
  • Heavy

What Should I Look for in a Pellet Grill?

Getting yourself the right portable pellet grill in not an easy task. It’s not straightforward, either.

Just as choosing a charcoal grill or a gas one, you need to consider and take into account several factors. If you don’t research the topic enough, you might regret your decision.

Those extra few minutes reading about pellet grills are going to be worth it.

It should be noted that I won’t go into complete details as this deserves an article of its own but I will highlight the most important features and specs you need to consider if you want to get the best portable pellet grill possible.


While this is an important factor, it’s not the only one. Money plays a huge role in choosing a pellet grill but if you take the cheapest one, you’ll end up with a lemon. Instead of saving money, you will throw it down the drain.

Also, even if this grill works fine, it’s going to cost you in the long run as sooner or later something is going to break: either the electronics or the whole thing is going to rust.

This is why I always emphasize on planning out your budget before each and every major purchase.

As a rule of thumb, the sweet spot is between $250 – $500 for a quality pellet grill. There are, of course, more expensive high-end models, but for a portable model, this is more than enough.

Size and Portability

Being a portable grill, bigger isn’t always better.

Usually, the bigger the grill, the heavier it is.

Pellet grills are heavy and bulky by design, that’s why even the lightest portable models usually weigh around 60 lbs.

If the unit you’re interested in is particularly heavy, see it if can be rolled around instead of being carried. The Camp Chef Pursuit, for example, can be rolled around like luggage at the airport or bus station.

Cooking Surface

How big should the cooking area be, solely depends on how much people you are planning to feed.

More people equals a larger cooking area but beware: as the cooking area grows larger, so do the price, weight, and overall size of the grill.

If you take a pellet grill with a cooking surface of 500 square inches and you intend to cook just for yourself or your significant other, you’re making a mistake. For a couple, this is way too much. Also, grills this big tend to weigh 100 pounds or even more.

Wasted space, wasted money, and unnecessary back-breaking while carrying it around.

Like other types of grills, pellet grills have more than one cooking area. While smaller camping models tend to have just one, i.e. the grates, some come with a secondary warming rack.

Having a warming rack is a great thing to have since it greatly increases the total cooking area without significantly increasing the overall size of the grill (like putting an extra shelf in the closet).

Controller Type and Voltage

The key to a tender brisket, juicy ribs, and quality searmarks is in the temperature, smoke, and airflow control.

This is what the pellet grill controller does.

A decent controller should keep and hold a constant temperature no matter what. Even if you’re in a blizzard or if it’s windy like hell it should maintain that ideal BBQ temperature of 225 to 250 degrees.

Be sure to check what kind of controller it is and how reliable is it. Check what other people have to say about that particular model to see whether it actually works and does as advertised.

Some grills have notoriously faulty controllers that give out false errors, show wrong temperature readings, or shut down for no apparent reason. Be on the lookout for these and similar faults.

One of the worst things that can happen at a BBQ is that you spend all your time diagnosing and troubleshooting the controller instead of tending to the food and having a good time.

How and where to plug in the controller is also important.

Portable pellet grills either have a 12V or a 110V plug.

For a portable model, it’s best to have both. You don’t know where are going to end up next.

12V is super convenient as in a lot of cases, people go with their cars or other vehicles on their trip. Tailgating and RVing are some examples.

While you can get a 12V to 110V converter if your grill doesn’t have a 12V socket, keep in mind that this is another expense and these things don’t come cheap.

Hopper Capacity

The hopper serves the same function as the gas tank of your car: it holds the fuel.

As a rule of thumb, a pound of pellets should be enough for 1 hour of cooking time.

Bigger hoppers mean longer uninterrupted cookouts but this adds more weight to the grill itself.

Consider the recipes you’re going to make with the grill – especially the cooking times.

It would be a really bad idea to get a grill with a 10 lb hopper if you’re planning to make burgers and hot dogs most of the time. In this case, a tiny hopper of 5 lbs is more than enough.

Max Temperature

Pellet grills are more smokers than grills and often struggle searing steaks.

In general, they are better suited for indirect cooking rather than direct.

There are exceptions to this case and some models can reach temperatures of 500°F and up.

Also, when looking at the temperature range of a grill, check whether the maximum temperature of that particular model is actual or theoretical. If theoretical, it won’t reach it.


Some models include advanced features like built-in meat probes and phone connectivity.

While these features are highly convenient and cool, they add a lot to the price tag.

It’s the Wood That Makes It Good

Portable pellet grills make for exciting on-the-go companions and are a sight to behold when tailgating and RV-ing.

To get the best bang for your buck, choose one of these 8 best portable pellet grill models and you’ll be dominating at your next BBQ session.

Don’t forget to read the detailed buying guide if you aren’t sure what to look for.

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Nancy Food Vlogger
About the author

Hi, I'm Nancy, a professional blogger, and writer with over 4 years of experience in creating engaging content for readers. I am the owner of CartsVella.com, where I share my insights on topics such as marketing, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle.