While I spend most of my time writing about and researching domestic pellet grills/smokers there is also a growing demand for commercial pellet grills/smokers. Therefore, I thought it was about time I provided a summary article on the currently available commercially rated products and their features/capabilities. With all of these commercial pellet grills/smokers, we are looking at the largest products from each brand that provide the largest cooking areas. However, functionality such as temperature range is also obviously important. I’ll also be discussing large portable/trailer-mounted units.
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Traeger Commercial Pellet Grills/Smokers?
As Traeger is currently the most well known/popular pellet grill/smoker brand it seems the most logical place to start. And for many years Traeger did indeed produce a range of commercial pellet grills/smokers. There was a large cart unit the Traeger XL and the Traeger XL was then doubled up to produce the Traeger Double Commercial Trailer seen in the image below. There was then a large boxy Traeger trailer mounted smoker box seen below on the right.
So as you can tell above, I’ve been discussing Traeger commercial pellet grills/smokers in the past tense. Browsing/searing the Traeger website I can find no reference to these commercial products anymore. You may be able to find a second-hand unit on eBay etc, but it appears you can no longer purchase a new commercial Traeger pellet grill/smoker.
When Traeger transitioned over to their D2 Direct Drive platform for their domestic Pro Series, Ironwood and Timberline models they appear to have just decided not to continue with their commercial range. The likely reason is Traeger is no longer a made in the USA brand, and these commercial pellet grills/smokers were made in the US to order.
RECTEQ Commercial Pellet Grills/Smokers
RECTEQ (formally REC TEC) is based in Georgia, USA and have been producing pellet grills/smokers since 2008. I have a detailed article on the foundations of the company and its entire product range in my RECTEQ article. Anyway, when it comes to larger pellet grills/smokers for commercial applications RECTEQ produce a couple of products that may be of interest, the RT-2500 BFG and the even larger RT-CMG Beast and RT-TMG Chuckwagon. The RT-CMG Beast comes in at just under $9K with the trailer-mounted version the RT-TMG Chuckwagon coming in at just under $11K.
While domestic RECTEQ pellet grills/smokers are manufactured abroad and imported the RT-CMG and RT-TMG above are made to order in the US with a lead time of 4 to 6 weeks. Made from 11-gauge steel these commercial pellet grills/smoker will provide a very long operating life. RECTEQ also provides these products with a 6-year ‘bumper to bumper’ warranty with a strong commitment to sort out any issues that may occur.
In terms of cooking performance, these commercial RECTEQ pellet grills are using the same PID/WiFi control panels found on their domestic range of grills. This means temperature accuracy will be 5 degrees on either side of the set temperature and a cooking temperature range of 200 to 500 degrees. However, there is also a ‘FULL’ setting where the temperature will exceed 500 degrees for good searing performance. A 2,400 sq.in cooking area is provided which should be sufficient for most large gatherings where a single cook will be monitoring the grill.
GMG Commercial Pellet Grill/Smoker
GMG (Green Mountain Grills) is a brand that also started in 2008 just like RECTEQ above. Also in a similar fashion, GMG primarily offers domestic pellet grills/smokers, however, they do also produce a commercial product, the Big Pig Trailer Rig. While GMG domestic pellet grills are imported units, I’m not sure about the Big Pig Trailer Rig and whether its manufactured in the US or not. A lead time is not stated on their website though they do state the price (currently just under $6,500) is FOB for Oregon or Texas.
Just like the RECTEQ products above, the GMG Big Pig Trailer Rig is using the same PID/WiFi control panel from their domestic pellet grills/smokers. In terms of cooking area 20.75 sq.ft (2,988 sq.in) means it actually provides more cooking area than the more expensive RECTEQ units above. On temperature range, the GMG can also go lower at 150 degrees and as high as 500 degrees. However, there is no equivalent ‘FULL’ mode, so 500 degrees is the maximum heat output the But Pig Trailer Rig can achieve.
Yoder Smokers Commercial Products
Yoder is a made in the USA brand producing heavy-duty pellet grills/smokers from very thick steel. Yoder does produce an extensive range of domestic and competition-grade pellet grills/smokers, but its their commercial products which are some of the most comprehensive currently on the market when it comes to portable/trailer mounted products.
Just like the other brands above, Yoder is using the latest PID/WiFi-enabled control panels which are produced for them by the well regarded FireBoard Labs. On top of that Yoder offers a full custom design service for their commercial pellet grill/smoker products which you can see a few examples of through the link below.
For instance, while pellet grills/smokers require a source of power to operate for portable commercial operations this may not always be available as the destination where the cook will take place. While portable power back solutions are available Yoder is offering their own custom solutions with onboard power capable of a full days cooking, the Cimarron being an example.
There are no prices stated on the Yoder website for these commercial products which is not surprising due to their custom designs. I’m going to drop an email to Yoder for examples on pricing, and I’ll update this article with more details. Though due to their custom nature I would expect a higher price point than the offerings above from RECTEQ and GMG.
Cookshack/Fast Eddy Commercial Products
Like Yoder above, Cookshack is exclusively a made in the USA brand. However, unlike Yoder, Cookshack focuses on stainless steel construction and stationary commercial products. Like Yoder though, Cookshack along with the assistance of BBQ competition winner Fast Eddy designed a range of domestic pellet grills and a vertical pellet smoker. While these products are not commercially rated by Cookshack, due to their stainless steel construction they could be regarded for light commercial use. You can read more about these models in my Cookshack range article.
If you have more serious commercial requirements not only in terms of extended use but also the need to cook significant volumes Cookshack has an impressive range of products. Cookshack produce two large vertical pellet smokers the FEC120 and FEC240. However, its their large rotisserie pellet smokers which are really impressive the FEC300, FEC500 and FEC750. The FEC750 is an impressive beast with 10,800 sq.in of cooking area. Due to their stainless steel construction expect to pay a decent amount, their largest unit for example the FEC750 is just over $24,000.
While the large commercial Cookshack pellet smokers are impressive, its actually one of their smaller commercial products which interests me the most, the PZ400. The PZ400 is an ultra-compact wood pellet-fired pizza oven. Setting up a means to provide real wood-fired pizza usually takes up a lot of space and making the operation transportable can be a real challenge due to the large size and weight of a traditional wood-fired pizza oven. I really do think the PZ400 could open up a lot of new opportunities for small/portable real wood-fired pizza businesses, I mean, who doesn’t love pizza!?
Conclusions On Commercial Pellet Grills/Smokers
With regards to portable commercial pellet grills which can also be used as smokers, you have quite a few options from RECTEQ, GMG and Yoder Smokers. As stated above, while Traeger did use to produce commercial pellet grills/smokers they seem to be purely focused now on their domestic products. When it comes to internal pellet smokers, rotisseries and pizza ovens really Cookshack is your only option, but its a good option too. Obviously, with any internally located pellet smoker dedicated ventilation is vital, and that ventilation will have to be factored into the cost of installation.
That’s it! I hope you found this article on the best currently available commercial pellet grills/smokers interesting/useful. I’ll update this post over time when more commercial products come onto the market. Now, for a very small commercial operation, some of the domestic products may be sufficient for your needs. Therefore please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide for ideas. 🙂
Back in 2007 when I first become aware of pellet grills and smokers the only brand I was really aware of was Traeger. Traeger is really where this whole concept of cooking with pellets started in the 1980s. It was a ‘slow burner’ (pardon the pun) but since the 2010s is really when pellet grills and smokers started to get mainstream awareness, discussed alongside gas and charcoal grills. There are now over 30 pellet grill/smoker brands that I’m aware of, and the link above goes to my A to Z list of brands article.
Now, you may already be aware of a few of the other brands such as Pit Boss, Camp Chef, Z Grills and I’m sure you are aware of Weber, though you may not have known they have entered the pellet grill game. However, they are now many, many more brands to look into. Some may be what are commonly referred to as ‘Traeger clones’, but many others are offering their own unique designs and features.
A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.
In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.