If you are looking for some the best quality/most durable pellet grills/smoker on the market today you should really be paying attention to how much stainless steel is used in their construction. Also, you need to know that different grades of stainless steel provide different corrosion resistance. With this article, I want to highlight which pellet grill/smoker brands are using stainless steel in the construction of their pellet grills/smokers, how much, and which grades of stainless steel. As you are probably aware, stainless steel is more expensive than standard carbon steel. Though, that doesn’t mean its only luxury pellet grill/smoker which include stainless steel components.
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On pellet grills/smokers below $500 you’re not going to find much stainless steel, if any. However, there are several pellet grill/smoker options in the below $1,000 category which feature stainless steel components/construction. At just under $2,000 you can actually get a full stainless steel pellet grill, and above this price bracket pretty much all pellet grills are made almost exclusively from stainless steel. However, as I’ve stated above, not all grades of stainless steel are created equally, so I’ll discuss that more below.
The Benefits Of Stainless Steel Components/Construction
Now, I know some people who choose a stainless steel grill ‘because its shiney!‘ Granted, many people find stainless steel grills more appealing to look at, and they look (and are) more expensive, so some people like to show off with them. However, there are several practical reasons why you should want to try and get a pellet grill/smoker with stainless steel components/construction if you can afford to do so.
As its very name implies, stainless steel does not stain easily and is more resistant to corrosion. Hence, if a pellet grill/smoker features stainless steel outer body panels they typically won’t be painted, as there is no need to paint them. Furthermore, not having to deal with flaking/peeling paint after several years of ownership is one of the most appealing features of pellet grills with stainless steel body panels. Hence, stainless steel pellet grills will typically look a lot better over the years.
The other important point with stainless steel internal components is they stand up a lot better to the combustion process. Hence, carbon steel burn pots, heat deflectors and grease trays etc will need to be replaced at some point. Whereas if those components are made from stainless steel, its likely you would never need to replace them. Stainless steel components are also much easier to keep clean. So when it comes to cleaning a pellet grill stainless steel components definitely have an advantage.
The Different Stainless Steel Grades
As I stated above, not all types (grades) of stainless steel are created equally. Some grades of stainless steel are more corrosion resistant than others, however, they are also typically more expensive to produce. Various different grades of stainless steel are found in/on pellet grills. For instance, a full stainless steel pellet grill will often use a higher grade of stainless on the outside compared to the internal components to keep the cost down. I’ve included the video below from the BBQGuys which does a good job of explaining the different grades of stainless steel found on grills.
Pellet Grills/Smokers Under $1,000 Featuring Stainless Steel
If you have a budget of under $1,000 to spend on a pellet grill/smoker and you are looking for stainless steel components two brands to consider are Grilla Grills and REC TEC. With the Grilla Grills range, specifically the Chimp, Silverbac and Grilla they all feature stainless steel internal components, namely the fire pot, heat deflector, grease tray and cooking racks. There are a few other stainless steel components as well. While the Grilla Grill range of pellet grills/smokers do not currently feature stainless steel cooking chambers, they are priced to be as affordable as possible. While the Grilla Grills Silverbac may look similar to the ZGrills 700 Series shown above, as I discuss in my Grilla Grills vs ZGrills article, they are actually very different.
REC TECs products, on the other hand, are a bit more expensive than Grilla Grills offerings when you compare them on cooking areas for instance. However, REC TEC pellet grills feature stainless steel cooking chambers as well as stainless steel internals. Now, I should note, the REC TEC does not currently produce full stainless steel pellet grills. For instance, the hopper /grill legs etc are not stainless. However, as with the Grilla Grills range, for the price point of the REC TEC grills its impressive that they feature as much stainless steel as they do.
Pellet Grills/Smokers Under $2,000 Featuring Stainless Steel
If your budget can stretch up to $2,000 there are a few more options you can consider. First are a wider selection of REC TEC pellet grills with much larger cooking areas. Another option you could consider is a Traeger Timberline. While the Timberline range does not feature a full stainless steel cooking chamber, the interior skin of the Traeger Timberline is stainless steel, with stainless steel internals (cooking racks, grease tray etc). The Timberline is what’s referred to as a twin-wall pellet grill, which is well suited to grilling in cold weather. The twin-wall construction helps to keep heat in which also reduces pellet consumption when smoking/grilling in the colder/windier months of the year.
For under $2,000 there are actually two full stainless steel wood pellet grill/smokers you could consider. The first is the Beale Street which I showed above from Memphis Grills. The second (slightly cheaper) option is the PG500 from Cookshack. What I want to note about both of these full-stainless steel pellet grills is neither uses the better grade (304) which you will find on higher-priced pellet grill/smokers. Beale Street uses 430 for its exterior panels, and the PG500 uses 201-grade. Now, 201-grade stainless steel is not referenced in the video above, as its relatively new, and that video I think was made in 2011. 201-grade stainless steel has similar corrosion resistance to 430, hence over time, you may find light surface rust. Therefore, these grills will need a bit of maintenance/care to keep them looking their best.
Luxury Full Stainless Steel Pellet Grills (Over $2,000)
If you want (and can afford) the absolute best when it comes to pellet grills as stainless steel is a premium material is should not be too surprising you will find most of your options in this price bracket. In this price bracket, there are larger Memphis pellet grills you can get which use 304-grade stainless steel on their exterior panels. Memphis actually recommend that if you live in a coastal area that its best to choose one of their grills with 304-grade stainless steel to cope with the salty sea air. The other thing to note is all of these stainless steel pellet grills (except one) are also made in the USA. That includes Memphis, but it also includes a MAK Grills which is a very patriotic pellet grill brand with their Generals range.
If you want a stand-alone or built-in pellet grill/smoker for your outside kitchen the other two options your could consider are a Coyote or Twin Eagles. I referenced the Twin Eagles pellet grills with the image as the start of this post. I believe they are currently the best pellet grills on the market today. Then again, they should be with a $6K and $8k price tag for the built-in and freestanding grills respectively. The Coyote pellet grills, on the other hand, are considerably cheaper at significantly less than $4K. As you will see be the image below, the Coyote pellet grill bears more than a striking resemblance to the Twin Eagles. However, the Coyote is not comparable on features/capabilities to the Twin Eagles as I discuss in my articles linked above. Then again, its at least a thousand dollars less, though it should be as its not made in the USA, therefore will have lower manufacturing costs.
Conclusions On The Best Stainless Steel Pellet Grills/Smokers
It should not be surprising to hear that the higher the budget the more stainless steel (and higher grade) you will find on a pellet grill/smoker. However, even at the budget end of the market, you can find products that feature at least some stainless steel for the grill/hopper lids, cooking racks, grease tray, fire pot and heat deflector. Just as I discuss in my best WiFi pellet grill article, I would hardly ever recommend choosing a pellet specifically on one feature, whether WiFi or stainless steel. I always recommend writing a list of your priorities for the grill and then arriving at a choice that meets your primary needs first and foremost. Though the more stainless steel a grill features the longer its likely to last and the easier it will be to clean, its that simple really.
That’s it! Thanks for the reading, I hope you found this article summarising the various pellet grills/smoker that feature at least some stainless steel components interesting/informative. As always, if you want to learn as much as you can before making a purchase please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂