2024 Camping Pellet Grill Guide


Conner Lund

Favorite Trip

Backpacking Ozark Trail

Home Base

Bowling Green, KY

Favorite RV

Winnebago Revel

About Contributor

Conner Lund is a Technical Content Writer. He has both hands-on experience and real-world knowledge. He’s an avid outdoorsman: camping, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, hunting, and fishing are all things he enjoys that you could find him doing on any given weekend. He loves to travel and see new places. He does most of his exploring and camping out of his overlanding truck with a rooftop tent.

Sure, you could always cook in your RV kitchen, but where’s the fun in that? This may not even be an option if you have a smaller RV. Or you may want an outdoor cooking surface to keep your RV cooler and split the meal prep with your partner. That is where outdoor camping pellet grills come into play.

If you’re anything like me, you still appreciate a good campfire hot dog or roasted marshmallow. These are staple campsite foods that I hope never disappear. However, cooking every meal on the campfire is not an easy task. Let’s explore how pellet grills can help you expand your meal selection and excite your taste buds.

What is a Pellet Grill?

Wood pellets emptied into hopper

The term ”grill” often describes any simple outdoor cooking appliance, but there are many types. A traditional grill uses propane or charcoal for fuel. A griddle uses propane but has a smooth, cold steel rolled surface instead of grates. A smoker does not use propane or charcoal. Instead, it uses an electric heating element to burn wood pellets. 

A camping pellet grill is the best of both worlds: traditional grilling and smoking. It also uses an electric heating element to burn compressed wood pellets. Not only can it smoke your food at low temperatures, but it can also grill it at high temperatures. The temperature is set digitally, so you never have to guess.

In the mood for a smoked brisket or a juicy grilled burger? With a pellet grill, you don’t have to choose. Let’s review everything you need to know about pellet grills, from the different types to which is best for camping to tasty pellet grill recipes.

What Are the Best Pellet Grills for Camping?

A good camping pellet grill is lightweight and compact, offering a large enough cooking surface for the family. Here are our picks for the best camping pellet grills: 

Best Small Pellet Smoker for Camping: Pit Boss Mahogany Series 150PPS Tabletop Wood Pellet Grill

The Pit Boss Mahogany comes in a small package but packs a punch with 8-in-1 cooking versatility, allowing you to smoke, bake, roast, braise, sear, grill, char-grill, or barbecue. This lightweight grill is easy to store and transport on your next camping adventure.

It has a respectable cooking surface with a durable porcelain-coated steel cooking grate. The digital temperature gauge with LED display ensures you’re never in the dark and know exactly what temperature you’re cooking at. Thanks to the locking lid, you don’t have to worry about messes in transport, either.


Weight (lbs.)Cooking Surface (sq. in.)Hopper Capacity (lbs.)Temperature Range (℉)Dimensions (W X D x H)
432565180-50024.7″ x 19.1″ x 14.9″

Best Battery-Powered Pellet Grill: Pit Boss Portable Battery-Powered Wood Pellet Grill

The Pit Boss Portable is the ultimate grill for off-grid camping. This grill is battery-powered, so you never have to worry about running a noisy generator or using your trailer batteries. With a run time of up to 15 hours on a single charge, you can prepare delicious meals for the whole family. If you plan to stay on-grid, plug the grill into a standard wall outlet.

At under 50 pounds, this grill is still lightweight and portable, great for camping trips. It has an increased hopper capacity, ensuring you aren’t constantly refilling pellets for worry-free cooking. Speaking of cooking, you’ll have endless possibilities, from grilling to searing and smoking. 


Weight (lbs.)Cooking Surface (sq. in.)Hopper Capacity (lbs.)Temperature Range (℉)Dimensions (W X D x H)
472567180-50026.3″x 18.1″ x 15″

Best Large Pellet Grill: Broil King Crown Pellet 400 Smoker and Grill

The Broil King Crown Pellet 400 isn’t your typical camping pellet grill. It’s large and takes some effort to move. However, there are times when capacity trumps all, which is what the Crown Pellet is for. It offers a staggeringly large cooking surface for your family and the neighbors if needed. It’s also Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-compatible for added convenience.

The integrated wheels make rolling the grill into position easy. However, you’ll still need to be sure you have room to transport the grill to and from the campsite. Therefore, this grill is better suited for larger RVs such as toy haulers. Don’t forget a grill cover for when inclement weather strikes so you aren’t rushed to get the grill inside.


Weight (lbs.)Cooking Surface (sq. in.)Hopper Capacity (lbs.)Temperature Range (℉)Dimensions (W X D x H)
15964018200-60052.38″ x 25.5″ x 43.5″

What are the Pros and Cons of Pellet Grills?

Pit Boss camping grill on tailgate

There are many benefits of using pellets as opposed to gas or charcoal. The first and most important of which is flavor. Wood pellets, when burned, leave your food with a unique, delicious, smokey flavor. Pairing the right flavor with your specific meal is key.

Pellet grills are also much safer than gas grills, as you don’t have to worry about using and storing propane. We’ve all heard at least one gas grill horror story in our lifetime, but they are starting to become a thing of the past, thanks to electric grills. The fear of singeing your eyebrows off from leaving the propane valve open too long is no more. 

Lastly, pellet grills are easier to use, especially when compared to charcoal grills. I have a love-hate relationship with charcoal grills. They taste great but take forever to heat up, and it’s always a guessing game on whether you have enough hot coals to cook your food thoroughly. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Pellet Grills?

Although camping pellet grills have many benefits, they aren’t for everyone. Let’s consider why it might not be a good choice for you.


There are options for pellet grills that don’t require a plug-in, but if you genuinely plan to camp off-grid for an extended period, a pellet grill might not work for you, and you’d be better off with a gas or charcoal grill.

Space and Weight

This is big for many campers, especially those with a family. There are undoubtedly compact pellet grills, but most will be bigger and bulkier than your average gas or charcoal grill. In other words, if you’re extremely tight on space and weight, you might want to consider other options for grilling. 


As pellet grills are much more complex than your standard gas or charcoal grill, you’ll pay a higher premium. They may not be for you if you’re on a tight budget. Charcoal grills are the most affordable choice for campsite cooking. 

Are Pellet Grills Worth It?

There are many opinions for a campsite grill, but you can’t beat a pellet smoker regarding versatility and convenience. They are easier to use than most other grills and allow for fast cooking when you just want a quick hotdog or slow cooking when you have all day to sit around the campsite for that delicious smoked brisket.

Types of Pellet Grills

Broil King pellet smoker in backyard

The two main styles of pellet grills are freestanding and tabletop. They each have pros and cons; let’s see which suits you. 

Freestanding Pellet Grills

Freestanding grills have built-in frames with legs and, usually, wheels for easy transport. They are heavy and best for at-home use, although they can be transported to the campsite if you have room. Freestanding grills usually have extra space underneath and to the side for storage and food prep. Most are over 100 pounds. 

Tabletop Pellet Grills

Tabletop grills are very compact and designed to be portable so that you can take them with you. These are the ideal type of grill for camping. However, you will need a flat surface to place the grill on, such as an outdoor table or a tailgate. They are typically under 50 pounds.

Using a Pellet Grill

It doesn’t get much easier than using a pellet grill. Unlike charcoal, you don’t have to pile up coals and hope they all light. You don’t have to worry about running to the store for more propane. Use a pellet grill like a pro with these five easy steps:

Step 1: Fill the hopper to the appropriate level. You’ll need more pellets for grilling and less for smoking. Keep an eye on your hopper capacity and add more as needed. The more you use your grill, the better idea you’ll get on pellet consumption.

Step 2: Turn the grill on and set the temperature to your desired setting. This is all done digitally, so there’s no guesswork. 

Step 3: Wait for your grill to reach the set temperature. The amount of time varies by the size of your grill and the temperature setting. Most take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. 

Step 4: Place your food directly on the rack and allow it to cook for the required time. If you’re using temperature probes, insert them now so you don’t have to open the grill until finished, sealing in the flavor. 

Step 5: Remove your food from the grill, let it cool, then enjoy!

Selecting and Pairing the Right Grilling Pellets

Pellet flavor selection

There are many types of grilling pellets, each giving a distinct flavor. You’re welcome to experiment, but here are a few pairing tips to use on your next grill day.

Apple PelletsCherry PelletsHickory PelletsMesquite PelletsPecan Pellets
Poultry, Pork Beef, Poultry, PorkBeef, Poultry, PorkBeef, Poultry, FishBeef, Poultry, Pork

Easy Pellet Grill Recipes

It’s now time to let all the hard work pay off. Let’s start with a few quick, simple favorites that will wow your friends at the next campsite gathering.

Applewood Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes


  • 1 Pack Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Pack Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 Bag Jalapeno Peppers, Cut in Half Lengthwise
  • 8 Strips Smoked Applewood Bacon, Cut in Half
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning of Choice


  • Combine cream cheese, seasoning, and cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Using a spoon, fill the peppers with the cream cheese mixture. Wrap each pepper with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Repeat until all jalapeno poppers are finished.
  • Preheat your grill to 400°F. Place your jalapeno poppers on the grill basket and grill for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked and crispy.

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wings

Buffalo chicken wings with celery

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes


  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Chives, Minced
  • 2/3 Cup Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 1/4 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 3 Lbs Chicken Wings
  • 1/8 Tsp Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Ranch Seasoning


  • Start the grill and set it to smoke mode. Let run with lid open for 10 minutes, then preheat to 425°F.
  • Place chicken wings in a large mixing bowl.
  • Set a small cast iron skillet or saucepan on the grill. Add the hot pepper sauce, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, and garlic to the skillet and whisk to combine. Remove the skillet from the grill and whisk in butter when the sauce bubbles. Transfer the sauce to a mason jar.
  • Combine 1 cup of the buffalo sauce with ranch seasoning. Set aside.
  • Place wings on the grill and cook for 20 minutes, flipping and rotating every 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove wings from the grill when the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Transfer to a mixing bowl, then pour sauce over. Toss to evenly coat. Garnish with fresh chives and serve warm.

Tips for Cleaning a Pellet Grill and Care

Pellet grills are often neglected when it comes to cleaning and care. If you’re paying for a fancy grill, you might as well take care of it. We’re after a smokey taste, not ashy, after all. At the very least, you should: 

  • Empty the ash cleanout after each use. Emptying the cleanout prevents ash from recirculating through the grill and into your food.
  • Clean your tongs and wipe down the exterior.

After each season, you should also do a deep clean of the entire grill, inside and out. This prevents excess grease buildup and rust from occurring. Cover any spots on the exterior where the paint has worn off with a protective coating. 

It’s best to store your grill inside a garage or shed in the offseason, but we realize this is not possible for everyone. In this case, you should invest in a quality grill cover.

It doesn’t get much better than firing up the grill on a beautiful afternoon at the campsite. Pellet grills have made this tradition more convenient than ever. We hope this guide was helpful, and hopefully, you’ll be trying one for yourself on your next camping trip.

In the comments below, let us know what you like about pellet grills and your favorite meals to whip up!

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