As the spring is just around the corner, this is the peak time to get a pellet grill if you love the sound and smell of grilling. But, which one to buy? There are plenty of options with gas grill, charcoal grill, and electric grill. What if you have a better option than buying from just one category? A pellet grill usually consists of charcoal smokes, gas grills, and a kitchen oven.

So, you are getting a lot on a budget if you choose pellet grill. It’s better to start out pellet grilling with one that does not put a hole in the wallet. Let’s now take a short look at my top pick of the best pellet grill under 500.

Are Pellet Grills Under 500 A Good Choice?

To be honest, these grills are not something that can rival premium pellet grills that cost more than a thousand bucks. But if you are careful enough then these machines can do wonders.

Let me explain in detail. The cost of the pellet grills goes up or down depending mostly on the build materials. If it is made of high-quality material and has a better finish then certainly it will cost more.

Not to mention those premium ones last for a long time. But statistics suggest that Americans usually do not use the same grill for more than 3 years.

On the other hand, you can comfortably cross a 3-year thresh-hold if you look after the machine regularly. After that period, there will be grills with better design and features on the market. So, you can get another one if you fancy. That means, if you wish to use the best pellet grill under 500 for 3-4 years then get another, grills under 500 are a good choice. 

Type Of Pellet Grill You Can Get Under 500

There are pellet grills for everyone, if the budget does not matter. You will find from grill suitable for commercial party to portable enough to take on hiking. Some even feature lights, Bluetooth or WiFi, and such. The price is not only tied with build and materials but also added features. The price tag rises as fancy features get added.

But, as we are discussing on a budget, our best bet is to get ones with the better build quality. I chose the pellet grills based on performance, build quality, and materials first, everything else came second. So, this type of grills will last long if properly used. Most of the grill on the list are simple yet made with a quality build. But, don’t worry few comes with extra features too.

Best Pellet Grill Under 500: The Review

Let us now take a look at my honest pick and checkout what makes them better than the rest.

01. Z GRILLS ZPG-450A – Best in the business for well-rounded performance

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Specification

  • Power source: Wood pellet
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Temperature Control: PID
  • Cooking area: 452 sq. inch
  • Dimension: 45″ x 28″ x 49″

The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A comes with excellent build quality and performance. It is hard to rival the experience it offers. This is the reason it has got the top spot on my list.

This pellet grill not only covers the basic features very well but also introduces the user to the next level of ease of use. It is so meticulously designed that you will have everything you need within your hands reach.

Let’s start with the basics, with this grill you will have 450 sq. an inch of cooking area. So, if you throw a party or want to grill big steaks then you don’t have to worry. The working shelf is foldable and the hopper has a capacity of 15 pounds. You can easily manage space by folding the self and put a heavy leg piece on it with quite an ease.

It uses the advanced feature to maintain the temperature. This machine can sense the temperature and add pellets automatically to regulate the required heat. This feature along with convection heat distribution technology ensures your food is cooked to perfection.

The wide temperature range will allow you to cook any recipe you want, with ease. Be it grill, smoke, roast, BBQ, or anything else. It uses wood fire technology that makes it very efficient. You can cook for 20 hours with 20lbs of pellets. The versatility and cost-effectiveness make it the top grill by any standard.

Pros

  • Thanks to designing, it is easy to install
  • Temperature is consistent and accurate
  • Excellent for slow and low cooking
  • Comes at a reasonable price
  • Made of quality materials like stainless steel

Cons

  • It cannot sear the meat
  • You have to keep an eye on the temperature

Summary: This pellet grill is a good choice for both entry-level users and professionals alike. It offers excellent service although you need to keep an on the temperature. 

02. PIT BOSS PB440D2 – Best in the business for well-rounded performance

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Specification

  • Power source: Wood pellet
  • Material: Porcelain, Stainless steel
  • Temperature Control: Dial-in knob
  • Cooking area: 465 sq. inch
  • Dimension: 50.2” x 24.02” x 39.8”

PIT BOSS PB440D2 has premium temperature control that allows you to utilize the wood pellets to full extents. This pellet grill got a place on the list due to its convenient design.

This machine is mainly made of two elements. Those are Porcelain and Stainless steel. So you are guaranteed to have a long rust and corrosion free experience. The Porcelain cooking grate makes sure that metallic substances don’t latch onto the meat. It preserves the flavor and keeps food healthy.

Besides the wheel that makes it moving around very convenient, it also has a serving tray. You can keep it or remove it depending on your requirement. Both of the features help you to with extra versatility and flexibility.

An interesting thing is, you can put the food on direct heat or indirect heat. Now, when you add a dialing knob for temperature control that hands you complete control over the temperature. You can try out the vast array of a recipe without any hassle.

Not only this grill has a built-in thermometer but also you will get a digital control board with an LED readout. It makes a great improvement on ease of use. You will have 465 sq. an inch of a cooking surface at your disposal which is enough even if you throw a party. Overall, the grill taste will go off the charts if you can use it to its full potential.

Pros

  • Easy to clean, removable grates
  • Very is to put together
  • The manually controllable temperature dial
  • The grate is made of porcelain
  • Offer direct and indirect heat

Cons

  • Burn pot is not in the middle
  • Heat is not even everywhere on the surface

Summary: You can cook almost any recipe with this pellet grill as they offer you full control. I would suggest this one if you are serious about the craft.

03. Traeger Grills Ranger Grill TBT18KLD – Offers Great Portability For Hikers/Travelers

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Specification

  • Power source: Wood pellet
  • Material: Stainless Steel, porcelain
  • Temperature Control: Digital Arc controller
  • Cooking area: 184 sq. inch
  • Dimension: 20” x 21” x 13”

This Traeger grill can accompany you everywhere. Be it sightseeing or hiking, you can comfortably carry it around. There aren’t better options if you like to taste your grill and enjoy nature at the same time.

The best benefit this grill offers is that it offers great portability. The small size lets you pick it up and pack it for a journey without any major problem. Also, the porcelain grate contributes to keeping the taste original.

This one may look small but it can go up to 450 degrees from 170 degrees real quick. The advanced grilling logic set the precise temperature for grilling. In short, the grill itself will also help you to cook.

The porcelain grate helps to keep the taste intact. It also reduces the hassle of cleaning afterward as porcelain is easy to clean. There is also a cooking timer that will let you know when it is time to check on the food or sauce.

You are getting a 184 sq. inch of cooking space, while the hopper capacity is 4 lbs. The machine weighs 60 lbs. so that you can easily carry it in the trunk of your car.

Pros

  • Small in size, portable design
  • Advance grilling logic for temperature control
  • Easy to clean porcelain grates
  • Especially suitable for RVs
  • Comes with the excellent build quality

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Can be considered a little pricey

Summary: If you are an avid traveler, then I’m confident you will love this portable pellet grill. The only drawbacks are the price and weight, if you are okay with those then it is a solid deal.

71jrZc7znLL. AC SL1500

Specification

  • Power source: Wood pellet
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Temperature Control: Smart digital controller
  • Cooking area: 601 sq. inch
  • Dimension: 47″ x 21″ x 49″

This pellet grill comes with a lot of features besides the large cooking space. The ease of use you take your grilling experience to next level.

The 601 sq. inch cooking space will give you the biggest benefit. You can easily make 25+ burger patties without sacrificing any space. No matter how big the crowd is, you can ensure everyone gets served on time.

Not only it has a large space, but also you will get a warming rack. So that even if you serve it late the food won’t get cold. The hopper has the capacity of 10 lbs, so you won’t have to get more pellets on a single cooking session.

The cover and racks are rustproof. It also has supporting wheels and a foldable working shelf. They give you the freedom to choose between several places when you want to mount the setup.

The digital temperature control adds pellets automatically. That makes it one less thing to worry about. The use of convection technology ensures that heat is evenly distributed so that every bit is cooked to perfection.

Pros

  • Amazing ease of use and accessibility
  • Heat is consistent in all area
  • Very easy to assemble
  • Reasonable price tag
  • Offer a large cooking space

Cons

  • Temperature accuracy is a little wobbly
  • Manual is hard to understand

Summary: This is the grill for the people who frequently throw a party. You can easily serve a large crowd and it minimizes the hassles with the advanced features. It is an excellent pick if you can keep your eyes on the temperature.   

05. Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – Excellent Choice For Minimal Space

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Specification

  • Dimensions: 20×21.69×40.15 inches
  • Weight:9 lbs
  • Heating element: 1500W
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Smoking racks: 3
  • Built-in gauge: Yes

This Davy Crockett Pellet Grill is lightweight and small in size. It is also packed with a lot of cool features like thermal sensors, WiFi, and more. These features make it the best tailgate pellet grill.

The best benefit it offers is the lightweight and small size. You can conveniently store it at the back of your car or anywhere at home when it is folded. It is amazing how much this little pellet grill offers in terms of features. 

The most interesting thing about this machine is the WiFi. You can connect your phone to it, and your phone will turn into a remote. It will allow you to change temperature, turn the grill off, and more.

This one was designed with portability in mind. The folded legs can act as a handle that can be used for carrying. It includes a Sense-Mate sensor that constantly monitors the grill temperature.

As per standard, the hood is made of stainless steel so you won’t have to worry about rust and corrosion. The 219 sq. inch of cooking space will let you cook as you wish be it for a small crowd or an intimate few.

Pros

  • WiFi-enabled
  • Come with Sense-Mate sensor
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Has 9 lbs. fuel hopper
  • Has auto-start function

Cons

  • Heats up slowly
  • Needs to handle with care

Summary: Imagine cooking a grill using your phone, it allows that once you connect your phone to the grill. I would recommend every technophile to take a deep look at this one.

What to Consider before buying the best electric smoker under 300?

Best Pellet Grill Under 500

If you want to get the best pellet grill for the money, there are a few features you should take a deep look into.

Build materials:

Structures of pellet grills are mainly made with steel. Now there are different grades of steel. The high grade 304 stainless steel is the best candidate for this type of stainless pellet grill.

In case, the grill is made with other types of steel or materials then double-check if they are rust and corrosion-resistant. Picking the right build and material is half of the job when getting a pellet grill. 

Surface area:

Pick the surface area depending on your max requirement. Get a large one if you are going to throw parties from time to time. So that you will be able to serve a large crowd at a time.

If you choose a small one for a party setting then be ready to serve to a never-ending queue. On the other hand, if you like to grill casually then I would suggest getting one with a small to medium surface area.

Controller:

The temperature controllers are one of the most important aspects of a pellet grill. They come in three different types. They are a 3-position controller, a Non-PID controller, and a PID controller.

3-position controllers have three different fixed temperatures you have to cycle between as per your requirement. They usually offer low at 225F, medium at 325F, and 425F as high. On Non-PID controllers, you can change the temperature with a fixed value increment. The PID controllers let you go full autopilot; the algorithms will keep the heat to the required ranges.

Fuel consumption:

These pellet grills work like a home oven with an efficient convection fan. They are already better than charcoal grills at handling fuel. Still, there are different levels of fuel consumption on these machines because of different designs.

If the pellet cooker is too thin is will give away most of the heat. In case the cooker is too thick the metal will act as a heat sink. In short, you will need more pellets than usual. So, check how thick the cooker is and how much pellet it needs per hour.

Sear box:

Pellet grills generate lower heat than charcoal and gas grills. To be frank, that is the reason pellet grills are not as good as searing when compared to the conventional ones.

To solve this problem, some pellets come with a sear box attached. Once you are done, you can put the meat in it to get the full seared flavor. This an important factor to consider in case you like searing.

Portability:

Buyers often forget to consider the portability of their grill. You need to make up your mind first how and where you intend to use it. If you are thinking to use it in the backyard, go for grills that have supporting wheels. They are easier to move around.

In case you like to savor the grill on a hiking event or mountain top then smaller and lighter pellet grills are the best choices. So, think in advance about the environment you will be grilling most.

Extra feature:

Many pellet grills come with extra features like additional lights, WiFi or Bluetooth connection, and more. These features tend to drive up the prices. Do not give in to the gimmick and carefully consider if you really need the feature. Otherwise, the extra bucks are not worth it.

Maintenance

The essence of a long-lasting grill is to keep it clean and take proper care. And, you will need the right tools to do the job. So, first, let us go through the tool we will need. These are,

  • Gloves: Try to use Nitrile gloves if possible. The gloves will keep your hands clean and safe from rust and sharp edges.
  • Brush or scraper: You will need both small and large brushes to remove scales for the grill.
  • Rags: Rags is a great tool to wipe out light dust.
  • Paper towel: You will need paper towel are best for cleaning grease drips.
  • Cleaning solution: Use a biodegradable or non-toxic cleaner to clean the inside of the grill. While a BBQ grease cleaner would be good enough to clean the outside.
  • Vacuum cleaner: You will need a vacuum cleaner to pick up little dust particles.

Regular cleaning session does not have to feel like a chore. That is why you need the right tools. Once we are sorted with the tools let’s take a look at how to clean them.

Make sure the machine is absolutely cold when you start cleaning. It’s better if it is kept unused at least for 24 hours. The only part that can be cleaned when it’s cold is the grate.

Start with wiping the machine with a rag and towel, to clean up light dust. Once you are done with that, use brushes to remove the scales made by drip and grease. Make sure to clean all the little corners. When using brush there will be little particles flying or dropping inside where brushes can reach.

That is where the vacuum comes into play. Use a vacuum to collect fine particles. Now the grease cleaners to clean the inside. Make sure there is no scale, grease, or dust. Once you are done, clean again with fresh water. Before use make sure to dry for at least 12 hours.

Safety Rules

Grilling is fun and all, but that is no reason to overlook the safety measures. Let’s take a look at procedures that will make sure you have a safe and fun time while grilling.

  • Dressing appropriately is the best way to avoid accidents. Also, wear gloves if possible. Make sure your cloth does not dangle over the pellet grill.
  • Keep baking soda or fire extinguisher near in case you need to put out the fire as prevention is better than cure.
  • Make sure the grill is stable enough. Get rid of any chances that might cause the grill to tip over.
  • Never leave the grill unattended. If it is that important then have some else at the helm before you leave.
  • Once you are done grilling make sure you are fully put out the fire. Also, unplug the power cable.

FAQs

Is a pellet grill worth the money?

Yes, pellet grills smoke the meat much better than conventional grills.

Why are pellet grills so expensive?

Pellet grills do not use components that are used in gas or charcoal grills. The different costs of components drive up the price of the pellet grill.

Are pellet grills bad for your health?

No, pellet grills are no different than regular grills when it comes to health.

How long will a Traeger grill last?

If you take care of it, it should last 3-5 years or maybe more.

Are pit boss pellet grills any good?

As far as taste goes, pit boss pellet grills are decent performers.

Conclusion

Pellet grills offer a much more neat experience than using charcoal. Also, they beat electric grills with superior taste and flavor. But, the most important part is to choose the right grill. Because subpar pellet grills would ruin the experience.

That is the reason I compiled the list of the best pellet grill under 500 available in the market. You won’t have to spend time looking for one on the internet, you can just pick one from the list and start grilling.