Best Pellet Grill Under $600 in 2021 (8 Contenders)


Hi, I’m Chris I started PelHeat.com back in 2007.

As shown by my A to Z list of pellet grill brands there are now over 30 brands to choose from, and many of those brands offer a huge range of models. Therefore, working out which will be the best pellet grill for you can be a significant challenge. Well, with this article we are going to look at what is the best option under $600. Previously a budget pellet grill meant missing out on features such as a PID temperature control and WiFi connectivity. However, that’s no longer the case as you will see below.

Best Pellet Grill Under $600
Here are the 8 contenders to be considered for the best pellet grill/smoker under $600

Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

In a rush? Jump to my conclusion on what I think is currently the best pellet grill for under $600 considering features such as temperature control technology, cooking area and hopper capacity.

Introduction To The Best Pellet Grill Under $600

So I’ve created a shortlist of 8 contenders for the best pellet grill under $600, including models from many of the leading brands such as Traeger, Camp Chef and Z Grills along with other smaller brands. Now, to determine the best pellet grill under $600 I’ve been researching models that get as close to that price point as possible. Hence, all of the models below are between $500 and $600.

Camp Chef SmokePro SG WiFi 24

There are several Camp Chef SmokePro models you will find under $600, such as the SmokePro XT. However, the best model I’ve found for this price point is the SG WiFi 24 for two reasons. First, it obviously features WiFi to link up to Camp Chef Connect which isn’t available on the lower spec SmokePro models, but the SG models also feature direct-flame access.

Camp Chef SmokePro SG WiFi 24 Pellet Grill/Smoker
The Camp Chef SmokePro features the most advanced PID/WiFi control panel of all the contenders: Image – HomeDepot.com

Like all SmokePro models, the SG WiFi 24 features the excellent Gen 2 PID control panel which provides temperature adjustment and accuracy within 5 degrees of the set temperature. However, be aware, I only found the SG WiFi 24 for under $600 at HomeDepot, its priced quite a bit higher when purchased directly from CampChef.com.

Camp Chef SmokePro SG WiFi 24 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 811 sq.in (429 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 22lbs
  • Temperature Range = 160 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes (around 650 degrees)
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $599
  • Availability = HomeDepot.com

Cuisinart Clermont

When the Cuisinart Clermont first launched I was not convinced that it deserved a price point of just under $800. Well, that price point has been steadily falling and its now frequently priced under $600. As you can see below when it comes to the total cooking area due to the three racks the Clermont is offering the most of all the contenders.

Cuisinart Clermont Pellet Grill/Smoker
The Cuisinart Clermont is sort of a horizontal pellet grill/vertical pellet smoker hybrid: Image – Walmart.com

However, when you compare the total cooking area to the main cooking grate its much less impressive, and significantly less than the main cooking grate on the Cuisinart Woodcreek which I covered in the best pellet grills under $500.

Cuisinart Clermont Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,400 sq.in (466 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 40lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes (around 650 degrees)
  • PID Temperature Control? = No
  • WiFi/App Control? = No (Bluetooth)
  • Typical Price = $597
  • Availability = Walmart.com

Expert Grill Concord 3-In-1

A relatively new brand of pellet grills, Expert Grill is offering some of the largest cooking areas and features for their respective price points. For instance, the smaller Expert Grill Altas is one of the best pellet grills under $400.

Expert Grill Concord 3-In-1 Pellet Grill, Smoker and Propane Griddle
The Expert Grill Concord features a propane griddle on the left and pellet grill/smoker on the right: Image – Walmart.com

To go along with the PID temperature control, direct-flame access and Bluetooth/App connectivity of the pellet grill portion of the Concord there is also a propane griddle that can be used for cooking smaller pieces of meat/vegetables as well as a high heat searing station.

Expert Grill Concord 3-In-1 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,001 sq.in (647.3 sq.in pellet grill, 353.9 sq.in gas griddle)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 24lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 450 degrees on pellets (650 degrees on the gas griddle)
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes (around 650 degrees)
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = No (Bluetooth)
  • Typical Price = $588
  • Availability = Walmart.com

Lifesmart 600 Dual Cook

The 600 Dual Cook from Lifesmart is the second pellet grill of the contenders to feature a propane griddle. The advantage being not only the additional cooking space but two cooking surfaces at different temperatures. For instance, smoke inside the pellet grill and sear on the gas griddle.

Lifesmart 600 Dual Cook Pellet Grill With Side Griddle
The Lifesmart 600 Dual Cook is a pellet grill/smoker with a small side attached propane griddle: Image – HomeDepot.com

In my article on Lifesmart pellet grills, I discuss that their best feature is their PID control panel which is taking full advantage of the technology to offer temperature accuracy and control in 5-degree increments. Obviously, on the 600 Dual Cook, the side gas griddle adds some additional cooking functionality/flexibility.

Lifesmart 600 Dual Cook Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 650 sq.in (510 sq.in pellet grill, 140 sq.in gas griddle)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 15lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees (650 degrees on the gas griddle)
  • Direct-Flame Access? = No
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $598
  • Availability = HomeDepot.com

Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900

The Oklahoma Joe’s brand was started in the 1980’s, in you guessed it, Oklahoma and was later purchased by Char-Broil in 1998. The Rider is Oklahoma Joe’s first range of pellet grills aimed at the budget market, and there are some nice features to be found.

Oklahoma Joe's Rider 900 Pellet Grill
The Rider 900 sits in the middle of the Oklahoma Joe’s pellet grill range: Image – HomeDepot.com

As I discuss in my article on the Oklahoma Joe’s Rider pellet grills, they have the best hopper emptying system I’ve seen on any pellet grill to date. That may seem to be an odd thing to get excited about, but I always feel proper pellet care and protection from moisture is not acknowledged enough by other pellet grill brands.

Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 900 sq.in (578 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 20lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes (around 650 degrees)
  • PID Temperature Control? = No
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $549
  • Availability = HomeDepot.com & Walmart.com

Traeger Pro 22

Yes, it is still possible to get a full-sized Traeger for under $600. However, you need to be aware that the Pro 22 is a Gen 1 Pro Series model and not a Gen 2 model with all their associated benefits (read here). Hence, this Pro 22 does not feature a PID temperature controller or WiFi/App connectivity.

Traeger Pro 22 Pellet Grill
Several years back this Pro 22 was one of the most popular pellet grills on sale: Image – HomeDepot.com

The Pro 22 is an older generation Traeger and a product that helped to build the Traeger brand up to what it is today. However, on features, it does struggle to compete against its more modern competition. Also, be aware, most of the time to get a Pro 22 for under $600 it will be from Walmart and HomeDepot, not ordering directly from Traeger.com.

Traeger Pro 22 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 572 sq.in (418 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 450 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = No
  • PID Temperature Control? = No
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $599
  • Availability = Walmart.com & HomeDepot.com

USSC USG350 The Hooch

As I discuss in my USSC pellet grills article, I think their current product range which includes the USG350 is a missed opportunity. I’ve been aware of USSC or to give them their full name the United States Stove Company for many years, they were actually started in 1869. Unfortunately, their current range of pellets grill struggles to compete against the competition.

USSC USG350 Pellet Grill
‘The Hooch’ also branded as the USG350 is the smallest of the USSC pellet grills/smokers: Image – HomeDepot.com

At this price point, consumers now expect at least one or more of the following features of PID temperature control, direct-flame access or WiFi connectivity. Unfortunately, the USG350 doesn’t have any of these features and also has the smallest cooking area and hopper capacity of all the contenders.

USSC USG350 The Hooch Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 350 sq.in
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 10lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = No
  • PID Temperature Control? = No
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $508 to $563
  • Availability = HomeDepot.com & Walmart.com

Z Grills 10002B

Z Grills is a very popular and widely available brand of budget pellet grills/smokers. For under $600 the largest Z Grill the 10002B is available. Unfortunately, its not the most advanced pellet grill they offer, as the 10002B is not currently part of the Z Grills PID range.

Z Grills 10002B Pellet Grill
The 10002B currently offers the largest total cooking area of the Z Grills range: Image – HomeDepot.com

The 10002B is also not one of the Z Grill models fitted with direct-flame access, though it does feature an easy ash cleanout draw. Also be aware, ordering directly from ZGrills.com the 10002B may be priced above $600, I found the lowest prices from Home Depot and Lowes.

Z Grills 10002B Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,056 sq.in (428 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 20lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 450 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = No
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $529 to $579
  • Availability = HomeDepot.com & Lowes.com

Round 1 – Temperature Control & Cooking Performance

When it comes to spending up to $600 on a pellet grill/smoker I think consumers should expect PID control panel technology for the most accurate temperature control. Of the contenders, those fitted with a PID control include the Camp Chef SmokePro SG WiFi 24, Expert Grill Concord and Lifesmart 600 Dual Cook.

However, only the Camp Chef and Lifesmart take full advantage of their PID technology to enable +/- 5 degrees on the temperature control, the Expert Grill is less accurate with a 10-degree swing. The Camp Chef is also the only one of the contenders to feature WiFi integration via their Camp Chef Connect App. The Expert Grill and Cuisinart Clermont do feature an App and Bluetooth connectivity, however, Bluetooth is only suitable for short range communication within your own yard/home.

When it comes to the temperature range the Camp Chef can go the lowest at 160 degrees and maxes out at 500 degrees like most of the contenders. However, the Traeger Pro 22 and Z Grills 10002B only have a maximum temperature setting of 450 degrees.

When it comes to getting the highest temps you’ll get that from direct-flame access found on the Camp Chef, Cuisinart, and Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900. Though the Expert Grill and Lifesmart also provide the functionality/flexibility of their propane gas griddles which should provide searing temperatures around 650 degrees.

Round 2 – Cooking Area & Hopper Capacity

The largest cooking areas when it comes to pellet smoking are provided by the Cuisinart Clermont and Z Grills 10002B at 1,400 sq.in and 1,056 sq.in respectively. The contender which offers the largest main cooking grate when it comes to purely using pellets for heat is the Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900 at 578 sq.in. However, when it comes to high temperature cooking the Expert Grill Concord and Lifesmart 600 Dual Cook have the edge with their attached propane griddles.

When it comes to choosing the best pellet grill/smoker for you its about really thinking about how you will use it most. Will you mainly be going ‘low and slow’ or would most of your time be spent high heat searing/grilling? Obviously, if you already own a propane grill, the griddle features on some of the contenders will be less appealing. Whereas to those who don’t already own a gas grill that extra functionality may meet their needs.

In regards to the hopper capacity of the contenders above the Cuisinart Clermont is clearly offering the largest capacity at 40 lbs. Personally, I would never leave a 40lb hopper full of pellets just in case of moisture/humidity damage, I think a hopper capacity of at least 20lbs is sufficient. Therefore that includes the Chef SmokePro SG WiFi 24, Expert Grill Concord, Oklahoma Joes Rider 900 and Z Grill 10002B.

Round 3 – Pricing & Value

The USSC USG350 can potentially be found at the lowest price, however, its features/specifications do not compare well to the other contenders. Likewise, while it is possible to get a full-sized Traeger for under $600 in the form of the Traeger Pro 22 its specifications also do not compare well to the other contenders.

I think for under $600 the Cuisinart Clermont providing 1,400 sq.in for pellet smoking is not bad value. Likewise, the large total cooking area of 1,001 sq.in on the Expert Grill Concord with its mixture of pellet grill/smoker and gas griddle provides a lot of functionality/flexibility and hence value. As the Expert Grill does feature a PID control panel as well as Bluetooth/App connectivity that is an advantage over the Cuisinart.

Though when it comes to the best control panel technology, that’s found on the Chef SmokePro SG WiFi 24 providing the most accurate PID control panel and true WiFi connectivity/App support. The Camp Chef does also feature direct-flame access for good searing/grilling performance and a very reasonable total cooking area of 811 sq.in.

Conclusions On The Best Pellet Grill For Under $600

So what are my final thoughts on the contenders above? Well, I think the Chef SmokePro SG WiFi 24 is the best pellet grill/smoker option due to its superior control panel, direct-flame access and reasonable cooking area.

However, if you primarily wanted to focus on pellet smoking and can accept the 25-degree temperature swings of the control panel the Cuisinart Clermont might be a better option. Alternatively, if a pellet grill/smoker with a propane griddle sounds appealing then I think the best option is the Expert Grill Concord.

That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found the information/analysis above useful. If you would like to learn more about your options at different price points please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂

Click above for our suggestion tool to help you find a pellet grill/smoker within your budget

A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

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 to Z List of The Best BBQ Wood Pellets

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.

Chris - PelHeat

Hi, I’m Chris. I started PelHeat.com back in 2007. This website is intended to be an educational resource on how pellets are made and their various uses. I hope you find the information useful.

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