I’ve previously written an article on the benefits of using insulated blankets on pellet grills/smokers not only to reduce pellet consumption but also to produce better BBQ when trying to cook during the colder winter weather. However, insulated blankets are by no means ideal. A decent insulated blanket will often cost in the region of $100 (maybe more) and putting them on/taking them off and keeping them clean may end up getting boring. The alternative is to choose a pellet grill in the first place that is insulated, hence it features twin-wall construction. So which pellet grills feature twin-wall insulated construction?
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Below I’m going to reference several pellet grills I’m aware of which feature twin-wall insulated construction starting from the most affordable models up to premium models. In reality though, once you get up to premium models most of them feature twin-wall construction as you would probably expect. As the pellet grill/smoker market is changing so rapidly of late with new models and model updates there maybe some twin-wall insulated pellet grills I’ve missed. However, I’ll try and keep this post updated.
Introduction To Insulated/Twin-Wall Pellet Grills/Smokers
Most pellet grills today are made from a single wall of steel. This is particularly true at the budget end of the market. Making a pellet grill cooking chamber from a single wall of steel is cheaper to manufacture, hence why many pellet grills are made this way. The problem is heat will easily escape through thin single-wall steel and cold can easily get in too. Now, you have pellet grills from Yoder and Boil King which are single wall, however, they use a thicker grade of steel. Hence, they can hold heat in better and do a better job of keeping the cold outside temperatures at bay.
Now, there are a couple of problems with thick single-wall steel as a means to keep heat in and cold out. First off, thick single wall does not actually provide any better insulation over a thin single wall. It just takes longer for the heat to escape or for the cold to penetrate into the cooking chamber from outside. This delay of heat escaping or cold entering means that while cooking performance is increased, pellet usage may still be higher when compared to a pellet grill with twin-wall construction.
Basically, using thicker steel apposed to thinner steel provides more thermal mass. While providing more thermal mass provides the benefits of heat retention it also takes more time to heat up that mass to temperature. Hence, it will take longer to get a pellet grill up to temperature which is made from thicker steel. Advocates of pellet grills or any grill made from a single wall of heavy gauge steel will state they will also last longer as it will take longer for corrosion/rust to penetrate the cooking chamber. This is true, but then again it all depends on the materials used. A thin wall of stainless steel will likely last longer than a thick wall of carbon steel if not properly maintained (paint failure).
Therefore, I personally prefer designs of pellet grills which use two thin layers of steel with insulation (or an air gap) opposed to a single layer of heavy gauge steel. It also means only a small increase in weight over a thin single wall pellet grill. A pellet grill made from heavy gauge steel increases the haulage costs which the customer ultimately pays for. Also, if you don’t want to store your pellet grill outside, its a lot easier to move a lighter pellet grill around between your backyard and a garage/shed.
Most Vertical Pellet Smokers Are Twin/Double Wall Insulated
So when I started to write this post my main intention was to discuss which pellet grills feature twin/double-wall construction. However, I should also draw your attention to the fact that pretty much every vertical pellet smoker I can think of also features twin/double-wall construction. I’ve previously written a post on horizontal vs vertical pellet smokers where I discuss that in quite a few cases, I think a vertical pellet smoker may be many peoples best option. The fact that pretty much all vertical pellet smokers are twin/double wall insulated strengthens that argument. Really a vertical pellet smoker is probably going to be the cheapest option you have to benefit from twin-wall insulated construction.
Cuisinart Pellet Grill Insulated Lids
Outside of vertical pellet smokers, the cheapest example of a horizontal pellet grill/smoker I can think of with any insulated features is the Woodcreek and Twin Oaks from Cuisinart. Now only the lids on these Cuisinart pellet grills are insulated, but at this price point ($500-600) that’s still better than the competition. The stainless steel outer covering, the viewing window and analogue temperature gauge along with the fact they are insulated (with a perimeter gasket) make the lids the best feature of these Cuisinart pellet grills. I discuss this more in my Pit Boss vs Cuisinart article.
Grilla Grills Feature Twin-Wall Combustion Zone
Also at the budget/affordable end of the market are Grilla Grills. Now, where the Cuisinart above has an insulated lid, but no twin-wall around the combustion zone, Grilla Grills have gone the opposite route. While their lid/upper sides of the cooking chamber are not made from twin-wall, the lower half (the combustion zone) is twin/double-wall construction. I’ve included a quick 3-minute video from Grilla Grills explaining its benefits and demonstrating how its quite effective at keeping the heat in.
Traeger Semi/Full Twin Wall Construction
Its only with their current generation of pellet grills that Traeger have started to introduce twin-wall construction. However, not all of Traeger’s pellet grills feature twin-wall, some feature a bit of twin-wall and some models feature full-twin wall construction. None of their portable pellet grills such as the Tailgater or the Scout/Ranger feature twin-wall construction. Neither do either the Gen 1 or Gen 2 Pro Series. The Ironwood features twin-wall construction on its sidewalls, but nowhere else. However, the Traeger Timberline has full interior twin-wall construction with a stainless steel interior wall.
Weber SmokeFire Double Side Walls
Both the Weber SmokeFire EX4 and larger EX6 feature double sidewall construction. However, the lid is not insulated, neither is it insulated underneath the combustion zone. While its good to see Weber incorporating double-wall insulated construction into their design as I discuss in my Weber vs Traeger and Weber vs Camp Chef articles there are unfortunately several issues with the design of the current Weber SmokeFire pellet grills overall.
Conclusions On Insulated (Twin-Wall) Pellet Grills/Smokers
I’m not suggesting you only choose a pellet grill if it features twin-wall insulated construction. What I’m implying is if you want to continue to use your pellet grill/smoker during the colder months of the year and you don’t want to play around with an insulated blanket you should definitely consider a pellet grill/smoker with at least some twin-wall construction. As I’ve stated above, one of the cheapest/most effective means to cook with wood pellets over the colder winter months is actually a vertical pellet smoker. As pretty much all vertical pellet smokers feature double-wall construction to hold in the heat and keep the cold out.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found this article on pellet grills/smokers which feature twin/double-wall construction interesting/useful. There are links above to my articles which discuss each of the specific brands/models in more detail. Alternatively, please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂
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.