When it comes to wood pellet grills, Traeger grills have long been the name to beat. Everyone from industry experts to casual grillers and meat smokers routinely sing the praises of Traeger grills, but are they the best?
Although Traeger grills are undeniably some of the top quality grills on the market, they come at a high price point that isn’t an option for the average joe. There are a handful of great Traeger alternatives that are comparable when it comes to the features the other grills offer.
After lots of testing and price checking of other grill brands we have narrowed down the best Traeger alternatives.
9 Traeger Grill Alternatives
The Green Mountain Davy Crockett Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill, also known as the Trek, is full of features and benefits wrapped into a very portable package at a price we can all agree on.
This grill is light weight, small in size, and easy to bring with you on camping trips, tailgating outings, or just for use in your backyard without taking up to much space. This smoker offers a maximum smoking temperature of 550 degrees, which is higher than some of the other grills on this list.
Constructed with a stainless steel body, this grill/smoker is WiFi equipped, allowing you to use the GMG app on your phone to check the temperature of the grill without ever needing to stand up!
Given that this grill was designed to be used at tailgates, it comes with a few key things that help make grilling on the go possible: a 12v auto battery terminal clamps and cables, a 120v power source, and a 12v automotive power socket. It also comes with a meat probe, side mount rack, and grill cover!
You can use any wood pellet with your Davy Crockett Wood Pellet Grill, but if you want to lean into the Green Mountain brand you can purchase their line of wood pellets.
Davy Crocket Wood Pellet Grill Pros:
- Capable of making a lot of smoke at a low temperature.
- Easy to take apart and clean thoroughly.
- The app is easy to use and works well.
- Firebox and pellet feeder assembly work well without pellet bridging.
Davy Crocket Wood Pellet Grill Cons:
- Grilling surface is prone to a wide temp variance.
- It’s difficult to set up and break down the legs with just one person (it’s much easier with two).
- LED temperature display and actual temperature were sometimes very different.
Camp Chef is great at producing camp friendly cookware and the Woodwind Grill is no exception. This grill comes in two size options: the smaller 24” (listed here), and the slightly larger 36” model.
In terms of cooking surface, this 24” model offers grillers and smokers a total of 811 square inches to work with, while the 36” model boasts 1236 square inches. For the average joe griller, the smaller version is a rather nice size grill for your starter pick.
This grill was released a few years ago, and since then has received a few upgrades from Camp Chef. Most notably, the digital PID controller has been greatly improved upon, and we were certainly impressed.
This grill also comes equipped with Wi-Fi and offers an app that you can use to adjust and control the temperature.
Camp Chef Woodwind Grill Pros:
- Easy to adjust the smoke level— ideal for cooking different sorts of foods and meats.
- Great controlled searing with the direct flame slider rod.
- Four temperature probes.
- Very easy to use ash clean out system.
Camp Chef Woodwind Grill Cons:
- Connectivity with the app is inconsistent and frustrating to troubleshoot.
- No cabinet door to protect from rain and weather.
- Temperature tended to stray from the set temperature.
The second generation of the Weber SmokeFire EX6 was designed to address some big issues with the first gen, and we’re pleased to say that they did a good job fixing those problems. Most of the changes occurred in the functional elements rather than the design elements. Truth be told, the second generation grill looks almost identical to the first generation.
We love that this grill has its own design. It looks sleek and well-built, and it doesn’t look like it’s trying to emulate the design of a Traeger.
While this grill offers a lot of good, one of the things that it notably lacks is any kind of storage space or prep surface. You can fix this by purchasing shelves to attach to the grill, but they don’t come standard with the grill.
Weber SmokeFire EX6 Pros:
- A lot of space to cook plenty of different types of foods at once.
- Capable of producing a continuous stream of light smoke.
- Pellet drop chute makes it easy to change flavor pellets.
- Has a sensor that alerts you when the pellet level in the hopper gets too low.
Weber SmokeFire EX6 Cons:
- Lack of storage and prep space is frustrating.
- The grease/dust trap system does not work as it should/as it is described to work. Correct this issue yourself by putting catch pans made of aluminum under the grates.
Broil King is one of the most established grill makers in the whole world, even though they’re pretty new on the scene.
This grill has a wifi and bluetooth capacity that allows you to control the temperature in the Broil King smart app with precision and efficiency. While this grill can’t do as many fancy things as some of the others on this list, sometimes simplicity is king (see what we did there?).
It’s hard to beat the results from smoking or searing a brisket on this grill. It’s a well-designed piece of machinery and is easily cleaned without disassembling the grill.
Broil King Crown 500 Grill Pros:
- Wifi/bluetooth equipped, letting you use your smart phone to monitor and control the temperature.
- The app itself is well designed, easy to use, and reliable.
- The grill is well designed and built.
Broil King Crown 500 Grill Cons:
- This grill works best with a specific brand of pellets, so you’re limited in where you can get them.
Z Grills is relatively new to the scene, appearing suddenly in 2017. That being said, they quickly gained a lot of attention and praise for their well made and high performing grills and smokers. As it turns out, this manufacturer even used to produce some of Traeger’s grills before they decided to make their own.
Although they have a lot more grills on the market now, the 550 series listed here was one of the original grills they started selling. This grill offers 538 square inches of cooking space, a 10 pound hopper, and a foldable shelf for convenience.
This grill can truly do it all. As the name suggests, it’s an 8-in-1 master tool that allows you to grill, smoke, sear, barbecue, char-grill, and much more.
Z Grills 550 Grill Pros:
- The temperature control is automatic and dependable, which is an important factor.
- A considerable amount of cooking space.
- The smoky flavor achieved by this grill is very special and hard to beat.
Z Grills 500 Grill Cons:
- It works best with Z Grills brand of pellets, which limits the places where you can get your pellets from, especially on short notice.
- This grill needs to be plugged into an electrical source in order to operate.
- The portability is limited and the wheels do not function well on some terrains.
Pit Boss has a great reputation among grillers and smokers, and the PB440D2 model is one of the original grills they released. Structurally, this grill is incredibly well made without sacrificing portability.
This pellet grill utilizes a unique convection method of cooking, which helps to differentiate it from the competition. This lets you roast, braise, bake, grill, and, of course, smoke to your heart’s content.
Aesthetically, this grill is very beautiful and well designed. The exterior features a two-tone finish of black and copper that is quite attractive. It offers a medium amount of cooking space at 465 square inches.
In terms of performance, we feel that the PB440D2 is one of the best performing portable pellet grills on the market. It doesn’t hurt that the porcelain coated steel helps it last for a very long time!
Pit Boss PB440D2 Grill Pros:
- The digital temperature control system is easy to use and control and is fairly accurate, all things considered.
- Lots of prep space, storage hooks, and removable shelves make this a very convenient grill to use and prep on.
- Lots of cooking space.
- Portable and easy to use.
Pit Boss PB440D2 Grill Cons:
- The hopper on this grill is fairly small compared to some of the others of this size.
The Country Smokers Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is small and portable, making it perfect for camping trips and on the go grilling and smoking adventures. Much smaller than some others we looked at, this grill only has 256 square inches of grilling space.
The small size gives it an advantage for smoking and searing, allowing it to deliver an even and well-controlled cook. The smaller size also made it very easy to assemble. In fact, we might say this was the easiest of all of them to put together.
We found this portable grill very easy to clean and transport, which was made all the easier by the well made pieces and components.
Country Smokers Wood Pellet Grill Pros:
- This grill sears meat really well— we were very impressed by the searing capability of this small but mighty grill.
- Easy to clean the grill grates, and you can even remove the upper grate if you want to smoke or grill something taller.
- This small grill is so easy to transport, making it perfect for camping and tailgating.
Country Smokers Wood Pellet Grill Cons:
- This grill has no carrying handle. While it is easy to transport, there are no structural elements designed to help you carry it.
- If you’re not careful, food can slide off the grill grates.
Victory Grills is a brand owned by BBQGuys.com, and we were pretty excited to see how this grill measured up to the competition.
This grill was pretty big once we got it set up— it boasts an impressive 936 square inches of cooking space when it’s totally assembled and ready to go.
That being said, a large area of cooking translates into the need for a lot of pellets, so keep that in mind when making your decisions.
This grill has a large smoke output capability which we found especially impressive.
Victory Wood Pellet Grill Pros:
- Temperature control is easy and reliable with this grill. There weren’t very many temp swings while using it, unlike some others on this list.
- Insanely large cooking area allows you to cook an enormous amount of food.
- Significantly higher smoke output than some of the other grills we tested.
Victory Wood Pellet Grill Cons:
- The construction of the lid is designed in such a way that it doesn’t actually seal totally.
- This grill is very large. It’s not super portable and it also requires a significant amount of space for you to set it up and operate it safely.
While Cuisinart is known for making high-quality cooking appliances for the kitchen, they aren’t as well established in the grilling space. That being said, they did a good job with this portable wood pellet grill!
This grill and smoker is easy to use and has a cool built-in electric ignition system that allows you immediately turn it on and use the digital display pad to set your desired temperature.
One thing that we didn’t love about this grill is that it was a bit complicated to assemble and set up. This isn’t a huge problem, but it’s important to get the assembly just right with things that operate at high temperatures.
That being said, this grill is pretty easy to clean, which we always look out for. With only 450 square inches of total grill space, this grill is smaller than some others on this list but you can still cook a fair amount of food on it.
Cuisinart Portable Wood Pellet Grill Pros:
- Easy to move and transport with the wheels.
- Electric ignition is a great feature that works well.
- The digital display makes monitoring your temperature easy.
Cuisinart Portable Wood Pellet Grill Cons:
- Drippings cup is not reusable, which is annoying to replace if you grill frequently.
- Assembly is a bit more complicated than some of the other grills on this list.
- The warranty for this grill is very short.
What are the Cons of Traeger Grills?
- Expensive initial cost compared to traditional charcoal or gas grills
- Reliance on electricity for operation, limiting portability and outdoor cooking options
- Some models may have temperature fluctuations, requiring periodic adjustments
- Pellet availability and variety may vary depending on location
- Regular cleaning and maintenance required, including ash removal and grill interior cleaning
- Limited searing capabilities compared to traditional high-heat grills
- Some users have reported issues with customer service and warranty claims
- Large size and weight can make it challenging to move or transport for some users
- Learning curve for beginners to understand pellet grilling techniques and temperature control
Why Choose a Traeger Competitor?
A lot of these Traeger competitors are just as capable and a lot less expensive than the Traeger models. Traeger is definitely a great company and they make excellent grills, but they aren’t the final word on pellet grills in my opinion.
There are a ton of great reasons to consider a competitor, but the most compelling is probably that all of these options are less expensive than Traegers. Despite the lower price point, they perform nearly as well as the Traeger models, and some arguably exceed the Traeger standard in some areas.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.