Best Pellet Grill Under $1,000 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 $1,000. I’ve created a shortlist of 8 contenders with offerings from Traeger, Camp Chef, Weber, GMG, Broil King, Grilla Grills, Louisiana Grills and Lifesmart. So let’s work out which is the best value pellet grill.

Best Pellet Grill Under $1,000

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 $1,000 considering features such as temperature control technology, cooking area and hopper capacity.

Introduction To The Best Pellet Grill Under $1,000

So I’ve created a shortlist of 8 contenders for the best pellet grill under $1,000, including models from many of the leading brands such as Traeger, Camp Chef, Weber and Louisiana Grills along with other smaller brands. Now, to determine the best pellet grill under $1,000 I’ve been researching models that get as close to that price point as possible. Hence, all of the models below are between $900 and $1,000.

1st Contender – Broil King Crown 400

A well-known brand when it comes to gas grills, Broil King is still trying to get a significant share of the pellet grill market. However, their pellet grills do have some notable features such as thick 14 and 16 gauge steel construction, a high 600-degree maximum temperature setting and the option of a rotisserie kit.

Broil King Crown 400 Pellet Grill
The best feature of the Broil King Crown 400 is its thick steel construction: Image – BBQGuys.com

Current Broil King pellets grills such as the Crown 400 have some odd missing features though for pellet grills in this price bracket such as no direct-flame access or a PID control panel, though WiFi/App communication is provided. The other odd feature is the 18lb pellet hopper so you cannot load a full 20 lb bag of pellets.

Broil King Crown 400 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 570 sq.in (440 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 200 to 600 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = No
  • PID Temperature Control? = No
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $1,000
  • Availability = BBQGuys.com

2nd Contender – Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24

The Woodwind range from Camp Chef was one of the first to offer the key features of direct-flame access, PID temperature control and WiFi/App functionality. When considering additional features such as easy ash cleanout and the optional Sear Box/SideKick, Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grills have been a staple of premium pellet grills for several years.

Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24
The Woodwind WiFi 24 has been one of the leading pellet grills under $1,000 for several years: Image – CampChef.com

While the total cooking area of 800 sq.in is reasonably competitive, the size of the main cooking grate at 418 sq.in is not class-leading. However, as an overall package Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grills have been a very compelling option for many years now.

Woodwind WiFi Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 800 sq.in (418 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 22 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 160 to 500 degrees (650+ with direct flame)
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $1,000
  • Availability = CampChef.com, BBQGuys.com, HomeDepot.com & Lowes.com

3rd Contender – GMG Ledge SS

Green Mountain Grills (GMG) have been offering pellet grills since 2008 and have been offering PID temperature control across their range for many years. The Ledge SS was previously branded as the Daniel Boone, the SS denotes that this is a version of the Ledge with a stainless steel lid for easier cleaning etc.

GMG Ledge SS Pellet Grill
The Ledge SS sits in the middle of the current GMG pellet grill range: Image – GreenMountainGrills.com

The Ledge SS also features WiFi/App functionality and it can also be fitted with the GMG pizza attachment which is one of the best currently available. Direct flame access is available, however, it requires the purchase of a separate opening grease tray. Also, the total cooking area and pellet hopper capacity are below average.

GMG Ledge SS Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 458 sq.in
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 150 to 550 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = No (Optional extra though)
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $929
  • Availability = GreenMountainGrills.com

4th Contender – Grilla Grills Grilla

A niche brand that you may not currently be aware of is Grilla Grills and their rather unique pellet grill the Grilla. Instead of a horizontal pellet grill, the Grilla is a vertical design with a horizontally rotating lid. This means its possible to open the lid just a little to check the cook without letting out all the heat.

Grilla Grills Grilla
The Grilla from Grilla Grills is a very unique design of pellet grill: Image – GrillaGrills.com

The Grilla now comes with the Alpha Connect control panel, which I think is currently one of the best PID/WiFi control panels on the market for its feature set and flexibility. The Grilla is cheaper than several of the other contenders, however, it also has a reduced cooking area and no direct flame access.

Grilla Grills Grilla Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 488 sq.in (346 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 20 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = No
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $929
  • Availability = GrillaGrills.com

5th Contender – Lifesmart 2000

As I discuss in my article on Lifesmart pellet grills, their best feature is their PID control panels providing accurate temperature control to within 5 degrees of the set temperature. And while the Lifesmart 2000 offers the largest total cooking area of all the contenders, there are a few missing features.

Lifesmart 2000 Pellet Grill
The Lifesmart 2000 offers the largest total cooking area of all the contenders: Image – HomeDepot.com

For instance, the Lifesmart 2000 doesnt provide direct-flame access and there is also no WiFi/App connectivity. Furthermore, there is no use of heavy gauge steel or stainless steel in the fabrication of these pellet grills and the warranty is only 1 year from purchase which is below average.

Lifesmart 2000 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 2,000 sq.in (666 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 30 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = No
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $1,000
  • Availability = HomeDepot.com

6th Contender – Louisiana Grills 1000 Black Label

Louisiana Grills are the premium brand of Danson LLC (Pit Boss is their budget brand). Black Label is the latest range of pellet grills under the Louisiana Grills branding which provides PID temperature control, WiFi connectivity and direct-flame access.

Louisiana Grills 1000 Black Label
The Louisiana Grills Black Label range offers a category-leading maximum temperature setting of 600 degrees: Image – Louisiana-Grills.com

Besides the relatively small 18lb pellet hopper the 1000 Black Label actually provides one of the largest cooking areas of all the contenders. Furthermore, the 1000 Black Label offers a 600 degrees temperature setting, higher than the typical 500 degrees found on much of the competition. While its possible to purchase directly from Louisiana Grills I actually found the best price under $1,000 at Lowes.

Louisiana Grills 1000 Black Label Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,028 sq.in (638 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 600 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $1,000
  • Availability = Louisiana-Grills.com & Lowes.com

7th Contender – Traeger Pro 780

The Pro 780 is a Gen 2 Pro Series model which has significant improvements over the first generation models with notable features such as the D2 Direct Drive platform and WiFire integration. Traeger’s app is currently one of the most comprehensive in terms of features including video recipes and downloadable cooking settings to the grill.

Traeger Pro 780
The Pro 780 is the larger of the two second-generation Traeger Pro Series models: Image – Traeger.com

While the Pro 780 may have one of the best WiFi/App offerings of all the contenders, it struggles to compete in other areas. While the cooking area at 780 sq.in is reasonable the hopper size, maximum temperature setting and lack of direct flame access are its weaknesses.

Traeger Pro 780 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 780 sq.in (570 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = No
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $1,000
  • Availability = Traeger.com, BBQGuys.com & HomeDepot.com

8th Contender – Weber SmokeFire EX6 Gen 2

The Weber SmokeFire had a bumpy start, however as I discuss in my SmokeFire Gen 1 vs Gen 2 article, several of the initial issues have been corrected. Due to the less than ideal launch of the SmokeFire, the result is Weber reducing the prices of their pellet grills with the largest unit the EX6 excellent value at under $1,000.

Weber SmokeFire EX6 Gen2
The EX6 is the largest of the current Weber SmokeFire pellet grills: Image – BBQGuys.com

However, its important to note as I discuss in my linked article above, the SmokeFire EX6 is a better pellet grill than it is a pellet smoker. When it comes to doing long smoking sessions of fatty meats on SmokeFire pellet grills you need to use an additional grease tray or water pan to collect the grease. Otherwise, you are running a higher risk than on other pellet grills of a grease fire.

Weber SmokeFire EX6 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,008 sq.in (648 sq.in at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 20 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 200 to 600 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $1,000
  • Availability = BBQGuys.com & HomeDepot.com

Round 1 – Temperature Control & Cooking Performance

Pretty much all of the contenders feature the most modern PID temperature control technology (except the Broil King), which is good to see but really it should be expected at this price point. Therefore to separate the contenders we need to look at the temperature range on offer. At the low end, you have GMG Ledge SS and the Camp Chef which can go as low as 150 and 160 degrees respectively, providing more flexibility when going ‘low and slow’.

However, at the top end its the Louisiana Grills 1000 Black Label and the Weber SmokeFire EX6 which provide the highest 600 degree temperature settings. Both of those models also provide direct-flame access, therefore the temperature at the grate should exceed 600 degrees providing the best grilling/searing results.

When it comes to WiFi/App connectivity all of the contenders (except the Lifesmart 2000) support the feature. Though I believe the Traeger Pro 780 has the most developed and feature-rich App. However, that’s closely followed by the Grilla Grills Grilla with the flexibility of Alpha Connect.

Round 2 – Cooking Area and Hopper Capacity

In terms of total cooking area, the Lifesmart 2000 offering a massive 2,000 sq.in is easily offering the most. However, note that the main cooking grate is only 666 sq.in as the Lifesmart is fitted with 3 racks. The Louisiana Grills 1000 Black Label and the Weber SmokeFire EX6 offering main cooking grate sizes of 638 sq.in and 648 sq.in are not far behind.

While the Grilla Grills Grilla is only offering a total cooking area of 488 sq.in, its unique design is really brining something very different to the table than the other contenders. When it comes to cooking area, I rarely think its a feature which should be prioritised over temperature range and control panel technology (PID), however, you obviously need a grill large enough to meet your own needs.

I find it quite surprising how many of the contenders are fitted with 18lb pellet hoppers which cannot take a full 20lb bag of grill pellets. However, the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24, Grilla Grills Grilla, Lifesmart 2000 and Weber SmokeFire EX6 all have a hopper capacity of at least 20 lbs.

Round 3 – Pricing & Value

The lowest-priced of the contenders are the GMG Ledge SS and the Grilla Grills Grilla both typically priced at $929. However, both of these models are providing the smallest cooking areas of the contenders. Therefore, their lower price points are to be expected.

All of the other contenders have a typical price that holds close to $1,000. Therefore, determining which contender offers the best value comes to understanding which features you wish to prioritise. For instance, if you are more interested in smoking large volumes of food and WiFi/App functionality is not of interest, then the Lifesmart 2000 maybe your best option.

However, when it comes to the best all-around value, I think it currently comes down to either the Louisiana Grills 1000 Black Label or the Weber SmokeFire EX6. Both offer some of the largest cooking areas as well the all the key features of direct flame access, PID and WiFi functionality, along with their 600-degree maximum temperature settings.

Conclusions On The Best Pellet Grill For Under $1,000

If I had to choose one of the contenders above, I think the best value is coming from the Weber SmokeFire EX6. For the price point, the Weber is providing one of the largest cooking areas and equals the hottest temperature available at 600 degrees. As well as providing the key features of direct-flame access and a PID/WiFi control panel the Weber EX6 also features insulated sidewalls and the porcelain-coated lid not only looks great its a very durable finish.

As I’ve stated above though, when smoking on the Weber SmokeFire pellet grill you do have to take additional steps to collect the grease instead of just letting it build up in the base of the grill. However, despite this, as an overall package for the price point, the Weber SmokeFire EX6 is still excellent value for the money.

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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