How Does A Pellet Grill Work? The Ultimate Guide

Some people are under the impression that all pellet grills are basically the same. However, there is a big difference between cheap and expensive pellet grills. In this article, we’ll take a look at how does a pellet grill work so you can make an informed decision when purchasing one. By understanding how they work, you can figure out which grill is right for you. So let’s get started!

What is a Pellet Grill and How Does It Work?

A pellet grill is an outdoor cooker that uses small round pieces of hardwood, or sawdust compressed into little cylindrical pellets to fuel the fire. When heated, these pellets burn from inside out which creates a consistent temperature. Grills that use pellets are easy to use and require minimal clean up compared to traditional grills which need constant attention for cooking outdoors.

Pellet grills have grown in popularity over recent years because they give you the same great smoky grill flavor as a traditional charcoal grill, but without all the hassle and cleanup. They come in a wide range of styles and sizes to suit your personal requirements.

How to Use and Care for Your Pellet Grill?

With a little bit of TLC and proper care your pellet grill should last you for years. Here are a few tips to help make sure your grill lasts as long as possible:

  • Always start with a clean grill – it makes it much easier to cook on and clean up after cooking since there won’t be any leftovers from previous meals.
  • Use the right pellets – not all pellets are meant for high heat grilling and searing so be sure to find out what type of grilling your pellet grill is designed for and use pellets accordingly.
  • Keep the hopper full – don’t let it get below half a hopper or you’ll have trouble feeding wood pellets into it.

The Benefits of Using A Pellet Grill:

  1. Burns hotter than regular grills
  2. Convenience of gas grill with the flavor of charcoal
  3. Reduces the amount of wood chips needed for smoking
  4. Easy setup, maintenance and cooking compared to traditional grills. There is no hassle factor when you are just hungry for some tasty smoked food!

How to Choose the Right Pellet Grill for your Needs?

When choosing a pellet grill you need to take into account:

Your cooking needs and preferred style of cooking (indirect or direct)

The amount of space available for the grill in your outdoor kitchen area.

Price point. Grills can run from $100-2000+. Make sure you choose one that fits your budget while still giving you the features you need.

Pellet grills with lower price points will typically run on smaller 20lb hopper capacity pellets. This limits your ability to cook for long periods of time without having to refill the hopper, but also gives you more portability since they are usually easy to move around. 

Higher priced pellet grills have larger hopper capacities, meaning you won’t have to refill the hopper quite as often. This makes it easier for you to set aside time for long smoking sessions without constantly having to check on your food.

What are Different Types of Pellet Grills on the Market:

Types of Pellet Grills:

  1. Offset pellet grill: A basic and popular design with a firebox off to one side. They are great for cooking large amounts of food, such as when you go camping or tailgating at events. There is no shortage in terms of flavor with this type of grill since it uses hardwood pellets and there is a wide range of different grills to choose from in this style.
  2. Modified cabinet pellet grill: This type of grill looks like an outdoor oven and is made up of a box with a lid on it. They are small and compact making them great for people who live in apartment complexes or smaller homes where space is limited. These types of pellet grills are a good choice for high heat cooking and smoking.
  3. Pellet grill with offset firebox: Basically a modified cabinet grill with an offset firebox on the side. They have some of the same benefits as regular cabinet grills, but more flexibility since they have two separate compartments to cook in. You can grill, smoke and roast with ease on this grill.
  4. Built-in pellet grill: This type of grill is built right into your outdoor kitchen cabinetry. They are good for smaller spaces because they save you both space and money since you won’t need to buy an additional piece of equipment to fit with your outdoor kitchen area. Built in grills are perfect for high heat grilling, searing and smoking.
  5. Portable pellet grill: These small grills are easy to move when tailgating or camping. They use 20-lb. pucks of compressed hardwood pellets so they are lightweight and compact making them great for taking on the go with you. Portable grills can be used for grilling, searing and smoking.

Pellet Grill Accessories:

Just like any other appliance you can buy pellet grills with all sorts of additional features. Here are some ideas to consider when looking for a pellet grill that will suit your needs best:

Reverse Flow Technology – allows heat to travel up the auger shaft and into the grill compartment from the firebox. This is a great feature when you need to add more wood pellets when cooking for long periods of time without having to open up the grill and add it manually. It also helps when using the grill in cold weather by preventing heat loss through the exterior of your grill.

Digital Control Board – allows you to set up your grill to cook at a certain temperature and time range with the touch of a finger.

Electronic Auto Pellet Feeder – feeds the hopper as needed so you don’t have to constantly refill it as you cook. This is a great feature for overnight cooks or when you plan on being out of the house all day.

Keep Warm Setting – if your grill comes with this feature it will allow you to keep your food warm for hours without overcooking.

Follow the instructions for best results. Follow the instructions that come with your grill to cook, clean, and prevent problems.


A pellet grill is a great addition to any outdoor cooking arsenal, and with the right information, it’s easy to choose the perfect one for your needs. We hope this guide has helped you understand the different types of pellet grills available and how to use and care for them. Be sure to try out some of our delicious recipes – we know you won’t be disappointed!

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