Over recent years more and more pellet grill manufactures have started to introduce WiFi functionality into their pellet grill control panels. This is likely in response to the success Traeger has been experiencing with their WiFire functionality on their latest Pro Series, Ironwood and Timberline pellet grill ranges. Now, whether you really need WiFi functionality in a pellet grill is a subjective and personal preference. Some seem to dismiss WiFi functionality on pellet grills as a gimmick. However, I feel for some people, especially those who want to do a lot of ‘low and slow’ cooking/smoking WiFi/App functionality can provide a lot of benefits. So with that in mind, I wanted to discuss which pellet grill manufacturers I feel currently offer some of the best WiFi/App solutions for different budgets.
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I’ve previously written a couple of articles on what I think are the best pellet grills currently available for under $500, under $1,000 and under $2,000. Therefore, please refer to those articles for a more all-round perspective. Hence, its probably not the best idea to make the choice of your next pellet grill/smoker purely on its WiFi/App features. However, for this article, I do want to focus purely on WiFi/App features. To discuss what those features are for the different pellet grills below and their key benefits.
Introduction To The Best WiFi/App Functionality For Pellet Grills
So before I start to discuss what I think are currently some of the best examples of pellet grills with WiFi/App functionality for different budgets, we need to clear something up. Bluetooth is not WiFi. Bluetooth is purely for one on one communication between two devices, over a relatively short distance. Fitting WiFi into a pellet grill, on the other hand, can directly connect to a WiFi-enabled internet router. Hence, with a proper setup, a WiFi-enabled pellet grill/smoker can be controlled from anywhere in the world with a WiFi/Cellular connection.
Why is this important to point out? Well, some pellet grill manufacturers offer control panels with both Bluetooth and WiFi, Camp Chef being an example. However, there are several pellet grill brands (Cuisinart and Pit Boss) who are fitting control panels which purely feature Bluetooth connectivity. There is nothing wrong with this per se, these are generally budget grills, and the cost is kept down by including just Bluetooth connectivity. However, I think there are quite a lot of people who do not understand the difference between Bluetooth and WiFi. Hence, they see a promotional image of a phone with an app next to the grill and think they can monitor/control the grill from anywhere they like.
The reality is with purely a Bluetooth connection on the pellet grill you will be able to monitor/control the pellet grill/smoker from within your own yard/garden and maybe from within your home if you’re lucky. If your home is made from timber you will likely have fewer connection problems. However, the more insulation, and particularly foil based insulation in your home the harder it will be to maintain a stable Bluetooth connection. This is not to say that WiFi connections do not have their limitations, they definitely do. However, there are many more options to improve WiFi connections/signal strength with WiFi hot spots/repeaters etc.
Best WiFi/App Pellet Grills Under $500
Ok, so if you only have $500 to spend on a pellet grill and you are specifically looking for a grill to provide you with WiFi/App functionality the best device I can recommend is the Davy Crockett from Green Mountain Grills (GMG). Why, well its definitely an excellent grill for its price point. However, as of writing this post, it is literally the only pellet grill you can get for under $500 with WiFi/App functionality. I do want to point out the control panel of the Davy Crockett also features a PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) algorithm which constantly monitors and adjusts the pellet grill auger/fan to maintain an accurate temperature. Another feature which is not commonly found on a pellet grill under $500.
Now, the Davy Crockett as a small/portable pellet grill is not going to meet everybody’s needs as it only provides 219 square inches of grilling area. Hence, you’re not going to be cooking a large family BBQ on this thing. However, for a couple or a small family its up to the task. The Green Mountain Grills app is available for both Android and Apple devices, with a rating of 3.6 stars out of 266 reviews at the time of writing on the Apple Store. Via point to point WiFi mode (similar to Bluetooth) the GMG Davy Crockett can communicate up to 40m. However, you can also connect the Davy Crocket up a WiFi router for full functionality to control the pellet grill via the App from anywhere with a WiFi/Celluar connection via ‘The Cloud’.
The GMG App allows you to set your own custom cooking profiles and even custom calibration of the air and meat probes. You can also set timers and alarms along with monitoring and adjusting the temperature of the grill. You can turn off the Davy Crockett remotely via the App. However, for safety reasons you are not able to start the pellet grill from the App. The Davy Crockett is not just the best WiFi pellet grill under $500, its one of the best pellet grill options under $500 period.
Best WiFi Pellet Grills/Smokers Under $1,000
Its much more competitive for the best WiFi pellet grills under $1,000 as you will see below. However, first, what is your best option if you’re looking for WiFi functionality in a vertical pellet smoker? Its quite an easy recommendation, as its currently the only vertical pellet smoker with WiFi built-in, the Camp Chef WiFi XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker. So what if you have a budget up to $1,000 and you are looking for a horizontal pellet grill/smoker? Well, you have several options from Traeger, Camp Chef, REC TEC and Weber to choose from. Grilla Grills will be introducing a WiFi control panel retrofit before the end of 2020. However, as of writing this post, its not available. First off, let’s discuss Camp Chef, and their Woodwind pellet grills and alternatively their Gen 2 WiFi control panel.
If you want to monitor the internal temperature of multiple cuts of meat through WiFi via an App, currently one of the best options is the Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grills as the control panel features 4 meat probe ports. Camp Chef do now fit a WiFi-enabled control panel onto their budget SmokePro range. However that Gen 2 WiFi control panel only has 2 meat ports. Now, the Weber SmokerFire pellet grills the EX4 and EX6 both feature 4 meat probe ports and WiFi/App functionality. However, I currently don’t feel the Weber SmokerFire pellet grills are one of the best options available. They have been experiencing persistent software issues and the grills themselves have other issues. So what about Traeger and their WiFire app, and which Traeger grills come with WiFire?
Well, first off, let’s discuss the weakest aspect of the Traeger D2 control panels fitted to all WiFire enabled Traeger pellet grills, they have only one meat probe monitoring port. Why? I have not idea, the previous generation Traeger Pro Controller featured two meat ports. Hence, if you want to monitor multiple cuts of meat via a WiFi/App, Traeger grills are not currently your best option. However, there are several features where Traeger does excel with their WiFire app. For instance, it offers the most comprehensive collection of recipes and downloadable grill settings. Second, with the Traeger pellet sensor linked up to the WiFire app, it offers the best remote pellet consumption monitoring solution currently on the market. I have a post comparing Traeger WiFire vs Camp Chef Connect if you are interested in a more detailed comparison.
Another WiFi/App pellet grill option under $1,000 you could consider is a REC TEC. REC TEC produce some really nice pellet grills with stainless steel cooking chambers and a very distinctive look with its polished stainless steel bull horns. While the REC TEC app may be relatively simple/basic compared to the video recipes etc included within the Traeger WiFire app it provides the core fundamentals to monitor and adjust the temperature of the grill during operation. The REC TEC control panel does feature two meat probe ports through. So that is actually one up on Traeger in that regard. I have a REC TEC vs Traeger article you may want to check out.
You will not find Grilla Grills pellet grills in any of the big box stores (Walmart/Lowes etc), they are a direct-to-customer business, but as a result, you may not have heard of them before. But trust me, when spending between $500 and $1,000 on a pellet grill you should at least be considering a Grilla Grill. While their previous Alpha control panel used the latest PID technology it didn’t feature WiFi functionality. Well, Grilla Grills have now introduced the Alpha Connect which has excellent WiFi functionality/features which I’m going to write a dedicated post on soon.
Best WiFi Pellet Grills/Smokers Under $2,000
With a budget up to $2,000, you are able to pick up some higher-spec Traeger/REC TEC pellet grills which feature the same WiFi/app functionality discussed above on their grills for under $1,000. So are there any WiFi enabled pellet grills that only come in the under $2,000 price bracket and are not available for under $1,00?. Well, currently the only pellet grill that I can think of is the Beale Street from Memphis Grills. This is a relatively compact grill, however its full stainless steel construction, hence the higher price point.
Now, while I think at its core the Beale Street is an excellent pellet grill with great features and build quality for under $2,000, on the WiFi side of things Memphis Grills apparently have some work to do. If you check out the App Store reviews for the Memphis App, they not exactly what you would hope them to be. The Google Play Store reviews aren’t any better, hence it appears Memphis Grills have got their work cut out for them. Hence, this is an example of a great pellet grill/smoker with its fundamental cooking capabilities, however, its WiFi/App performance, not so much. Therefore, I think the best WiFi pellet grill options under $2,000 is either an Ironwood/Timberline grill from Traeger or a REC TEC pellet grill such as the RT-700.
Conclusions On The Best WiFi Pellet Grills
So what have we learnt from the above? Well, pellet grills which provide only a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone are just not as capable as a pellet grill with a true WiFi connection. Also, if you want to monitor lots of cuts of meat through your phone pay attention to how many meat probe ports the WiFi-enabled control panel on the pellet grill offers. Now, there are separate third-party WiFi meat monitoring devices. However, in this post, I wanted to specifically discuss the WiFi/App features built-in to different pellet grills at different budgets.
Furthermore, as discussed above in reference to Weber and Memphis Grills check the reviews on the Google Play and Apple Store for the specific manufacturers’ App. What are the latest reviews like, are users experiencing connection drops/features not working etc? Would I ever advise someone to purchase a pellet grill simply on its WiFi functionality? Definitely not. However, WiFi/App functionality can be a very useful feature to have when going ‘low and slow’.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found this look at WiFi-enabled pellet grills for different budgets interesting/useful. Please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more about all the different pellet grills on the market today. 🙂