Over recent years more and more pellet grill manufacturers 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/personal preference. Some seem to dismiss WiFi functionality on pellet grills as a gimmick. However, for those who want to do a lot of ‘low and slow’ cooking/smoking, WiFi/App functionality can provide a lot of benefits.
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Introduction To The Best WiFi/App Functionality For Pellet Grills
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.
Bluetooth VS WiFi Connectivity
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, means it 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 via 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.
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 Trek from Green Mountain Grills (GMG). Why? Well, first off, its an excellent grill all-round for its price point (around $350).
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 that the control panel of the Trek (formally the Davy Crockett) also features a PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) algorithm.
A PID control panel constantly monitors and adjusts the pellet grill auger/fan to maintain an accurate temperature. Another feature not commonly found on a pellet grill under $500.
Now, the Davy Crockett is a small/portable pellet grill, its not going to meet everybody’s needs as it only provides 219 square inches of grilling area. Hence, you will not be cooking a large family BBQ on this thing. However, for a couple or a small family, its up to the task.
Via the point-to-point WiFi mode (similar to Bluetooth) the GMG Trek/Davy Crockett can communicate up to 40m.
However, you can also connect the Davy Crocket to 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 even 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.
Green Mountain Grills Trek Prime WiFi Pellet Grill
- Total Cooking Area = 219 sq.in
- Weight = 63 lbs
- Pellet Hopper Capacity = 9 lbs
- Temperature Range = 150 to 550 degrees
- Typical Price = $344 to $399
- Availability = BBQGuys.com, Amazon.com & Walmart.com
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 of 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 have now introduced their own Alpha Connect WiFi control panel as well. First off, let’s discuss Camp Chef, and their Woodwind pellet grills.
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 four meat probe ports.
The Weber SmokerFire pellet grills, the EX4 and EX6, also both feature four meat probe ports and WiFi/App functionality. So what about Traeger and their WiFire app, and importantly 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 no 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, including video recipes and downloadable grill settings.
Second, with the Traeger pellet sensor linked 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 TEQ. REC TEQ (formally REC TEC) produces 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 TEQ 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 though. 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 was using the latest PID technology, it didn’t feature WiFi functionality. Well, Grilla Grills have now introduced their Alpha Connect which has excellent WiFi functionality/features.
Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha Connect (WiFi)
- Total Cooking Area = 692 sq.in
- Weight = 170 lbs
- Pellet Hopper Capacity = 20 lbs
- Temperature Range = 150 to 500 degrees
- Typical Price = $899
- Availability = GrillaGrills.com
Best WiFi Pellet Grills/Smokers Under $2,000
With a budget of up to $2,000, you are able to choose some higher-spec Traeger/RECTEQ pellet grills which feature the same WiFi/app functionality discussed above on their grills for under $1,000.
However, with a budget up to $2,000 personally, I would suggest that you seriously consider one of two new options from Camp Chef in the form of the Woodwind Pro or Apex grills.
Both the Woodwind Pro and Apex feature the same control panel and WiFi/Camp Chef Connect App of the original Woodwind models. However, the Woodwind Pro and Apex are very different beasts.
The Apex is a pellet/gas combo grill, in other words, it combines the advantages of a pellet smoker and gas grill into one unit, as is shown in the video below.
On the other hand, let’s say you want the convenience of a pellet grill/smoker, but you are looking from the depth of smoke flavour that you would get from say an offset smoker/stick burner what then?
Well, that’s where Camp Chef’s second new pellet grill comes in the Woodwind Pro. As well as using some of the leading PID/WiFi technology found in other Camp Chef products, it also features an additional smoke box for wood chips, chunks or charcoal.
Importantly with regards to the topic of this article, both the Apex and Woodwind Pro models have a four-probe port control panel with WiFi/App functionality that you can monitor from your phone.
With a budget of up to $2,000, I think most people will get the most functionality/value for money from a 36″ wide Woodwind Pro with a propane SideKick attachment. This is arguable the most capable pellet grill/smoker setup to date, and it comes with WiFi/app functionality of course.
Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 36″ SideKick WiFi
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.
Currently, with a budget under $500, I think the GMG Trek is one of the best options with regard to WiFi pellet grills/smokers. Stepping up the budget to $1,000 I think the best option is probably a Grilla Grills Silverbac.
Stepping up the budget even further $2,000 opens up a lot of other options. However, I feel that the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro with SideKick is going to meet the needs of most people.
Would I ever advise someone to purchase a pellet grill simply on its WiFi functionality? Definitely not. I discuss this more in my article on is WiFi worth it? 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. 🙂
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.