This pellet grill comparison is on two brands which have firmly positioned themselves at the premium/luxury end of the market. Both brands are currently only producing full stainless steel pellet grills which as you would expect come with premium price tags. Both Memphis and Coyote are producing free-standing pellet grills/smokers as well as built-in units for outdoor kitchens. Below we’ll look at the various models from each brand to see how they compare on features and price point. I should also point out that Memphis is no longer a Made in the USA brand, and neither is Coyote. Right, let’s get into this!
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This comparison is going to focus on the free-standing and built-in pellet grills from both brands above the $2K price bracket. Memphis does produce a cheaper/smaller grill called the Beale Street which I used for comparison in my Traeger vs Memphis article.
However, Coyote does not currently produce a free-standing pellet grill of that size/price point. Therefore, in this comparison, I’m purely going to focus on the larger Memphis grills.
Memphis vs Coyote Comparable Pellet Grills
So before I get into comparing the cooking areas, materials and control panels etc, I should do a quick reference of the particular models I’m referring to at their particular price points.
Now, Memphis previously produced two versions of each of their pellet grills in either 430 or 30-grade stainless steel. However, it now appears for their Pro and Elite models Memphis are now purely using 304-grade stainless steel.
- Memphis Pro 28″ Freestanding – Typically $4,199
- Memphis Pro 28″ Built-In – Typically $3,899
- Memphis Elite 39″ Freestanding – Typically $5,399
- Memphis Elite 39″ Built-In – Typically $4,999
- Coyote 28″ Freestanding – Typically $2,899
- Coyote 28″ Built-In – Typically $2,499
- Coyote 36″ Freestanding – Typically $3,799
- Coyote 36″ Built-In – Typically $2,999
I’ve referenced the prices above from BBQGuys.com who are one of the few retailers currently carrying both brands of products. I’ve stated ‘Typically’ because prices can obviously change, but they have been pretty constant on these particular pellet grills for a while now.
After reviewing the above, you will not have failed to notice the price difference between the offerings from these two brands, and I’ll be discussing that in the conclusion below.
Cooking Area and Functionality
The freestanding/built-in products from each brand of the same size are identical in their features. Therefore, to compare cooking areas we are looking at Memphis 28″ & 39″ models and Coyote 28″ & 36″ models. Those particular numbers refer to the diameter of the appliance, now let’s look at their total provided cooking area in square inches.
Memphis 28″ models provide 562 sq.in at the cooking grate with the 39″ version offering 844 sq.in. Coyote by comparison on the 28″ model provides 450 sq.in at the main cooking grate and includes an upper rack with 159 sq.in for a total of 609 sq.in.
The Coyote 36″ model provides 594 sq.in at the main cooking grate with an upper rack providing an additional 214 sq.in for a total of 808 sq.in. Hence, on the smaller 28″ models Memphis is offering the larger grilling area, and unsurprisingly on the larger models, the physically larger Memphis 39″ model is offering the largest cooking grate.
Now, additional cooking racks can be used on the Memphis grills above the cooking grate to provide an additional cooking area. However, they are not included as standard and have to be purchased separately. As the Memphis grills are already more expensive, having to pay etc for the upper cooking racks is not ideal.
In terms of cooking functionality, all of the Memphis and Coyote pellet grills referenced above can be fitted with a direct-flame insert for improved grilling/searing performance. In terms of temperature range, the offerings from each brand are identical.
The Memphis 28″ and Coyote 28″ models provide a temperature range of 180 to 650 degrees. The Memphis 39″ and Coyote 36″ models can reach slightly higher temperatures with a 180 to 700 degrees temperature range.
Materials and Construction
With full-stainless steel pellet grills such as these, there are a couple of advantages. First, they are easier to clean, you can really attack a build-up of grease without worrying about removing paint as well. As the durability of a painted metal finish is not a concern these grills are obviously ideally suited to being left outside in all weathers.
Now, as I previously referenced above, Memphis used to offer their pellet grills with either 430 or 304-grade stainless steel outer bodywork. The problem with 430 stainless steel is in coastal climates with salty air the stainless steel can show signs of corrosion (pitting) over time and the grill will not look its best.
Well, Memphis now is only offering their grills with 304-grade stainless steel construction which is more resistant to corrosion. All of the Coyote pellet grills above also use 304 stainless steel construction. Therefore, they are directly comparable. Furthermore, all of the pellet grills from both brands are twin-wall insulated.
While the higher price point of the largest Memphis 39″ could partly be attributed to its larger size, the price difference between the Memphis and Coyote 28″ models is harder to justify. Now, there are differences in their connectivity as I’ll discuss below. However, the price difference is considerable.
When Memphis were manufacturing their pellet grills in the US, they would have had higher manufacturing costs. But now that Memphis grills are also made overseas, the price difference between the products from these two brands does stand out.
Control Panels & Connectivity
Both Memphis and Coyote fit control panels using PID technology for accurate temperature control within 5 degrees of the set temperature. Memphis describes their control panel as an ITC (Intelligence Temperature Control), but basically its uses a PID algorithm like most new pellet grills released today including the Coyote range.
In terms of features like meat probes, all Memphis and Coyote pellet grills referenced above can monitor 3 separate cuts of meat. In terms of the control panel interface itself, Coyote provides a nice larger central control panel which I think is much easier to read than the Memphis control panels, though there is a notable difference between them.
I’ve been following the development of pellet grills since 2007 when I first got involved in the pellet business. Since then, I’ve seen WiFi integration go from a niche/novelty feature to mainstream adoption with Traeger WiFire. Memphis has been including WiFi/App functionality into their pellet grill range for many years now.
Coyote is a relatively recent player to the pellet grill game, first launching their models above in the summer of 2020. Therefore, surely Coyote has integrated WiFi/App functionality into their pellet grills?!
Nope, and I really do think the WiFi oversight was a bizarre choice for Coyote. I know many people who are spending much less on a pellet grill who have decided that WiFi functionality is a must-have feature.
I’d be surprised if anyone willing to spend over $2K on a pellet grill is not aware of WiFi/App functionality and what it can offer to make smoking meats easier.
As a result, I do predict that Coyote is going to upgrade their control panels with WiFi/App functionality pretty soon. Hopefully, they will also offer that upgrade option to existing customers, but we’ll have to see.
Conclusions On Memphis vs Coyote Pellet Grills
In terms of key features and functionality (besides WiFi) the pellet grill ranges from Memphis and Coyote closely match each other. Both brands are offering full-stainless steel/twin-wall insulated pellet grills with similar cooking areas and direct-flame access for better searing.
In terms of temperature range, the two brands offerings are directly comparable, offering 650 or 700-degree maximum temperature setting on respective models. As Memphis are no longer manufacturing their products in the US, they are the same as Coyote in that regard.
Therefore, besides WiFi/App functionality, the biggest difference between the offerings from these two brands is the price. Now, if we were talking about a few hundred dollars difference, the additional functionality of the Memphis grills with WiFi could be validated.
However, if we take a built-in 28″ Memphis pellet grill and a built-in 28″ Coyote pellet grill as an example we are talking about a 64% price increase to go for the Memphis Grill. As I’ve stated above, I do think the Coyote pellet grills should come with WiFi. However, personally, for that price difference, I’d live without it.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found this Memphis vs Coyote comparison article interesting/useful. If you would like to review other options such as the Twin Eagles range and more, 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.