Best Portable Pellet Grill (8 Contenders)

Hi, I’m Chris. About Me

There is a huge range of wood pellet grills now on the market, and the number seems to keep growing year after year. However, what if you’re not looking for a full-sized pellet grill/smoker? What if you are looking for a small unit to go in the back of your car, truck or RV to take camping or a day out at the beach etc? Well, that’s where portable pellet grills come in, and there is now quite a range of options to choose from. So let’s look at the contenders shall we?

Best Portable Pellet Grills/Smokers
Read on to find out what I think is currently the best portable pellet grill/smoker of these eight contenders

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Introduction To The Best Portable Pellet Grills/Smokers

I’ve included our database below, pre-filtered to only show portable pellet grills. You can then use the database to carry out your own comparison of the features/price points etc.

For me, if I had to choose the best portable pellet grill currently on the market, considering the features/price point, it would be the RecTeq Road Warrior 340P.

When it comes to determining what appears to be the best overall portable pellet grill, it means considering multiple factors.

For instance, while one product may offer the largest cooking area, it may not be fitted with the best control panel technology etc.

Furthermore, when it comes to portability, the weight and how easy it is to set up the grill (how well do the folding legs work) are also important considerations.

First, I’m going to set out all of the portable pellet grill contenders with key details on each product.

Then I’ll discuss and compare the products against each other to come to a conclusion on which portable pellet grill is best for a specific feature and which I think is offering the best deal overall.

1st Contender – ASMOKE AS300 (Currently Best Tabletop)

So I thought we might as well start with the smallest contender on this list, the ASMOKE AS300, which is really under a separate category of portable pellet grills, tabletop/countertop units.

In my article on the best tabletop pellet grills, I compared to the ASMOKE AS300 against the Traeger Ranger, Country Smoker, Pit Boss, and Louisiana Grills tabletop units.

I determined that overall, the ASMOKE AS300 is currently offering the best deal when it comes to tabletop models.

ASMOKE AS300 Portable Tabletop Pellet Grill
I believe the ASMOKE AS300 is currently the best deal overall on tabletop pellet grills

ASMOKE AS300 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 256 (using additional suspended rack)
  • Weight = 48.5 lbs
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 4 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees (Direct Flame @ 650 degrees)
  • Typical Price = $229 to $249

Best ASMOKE AS300 Review

3-month review of the ASMOKE AS300 tabletop pellet grill/smoker by BBGrillShack

2nd Contender – Traeger Tailgater

When it comes to the most well know brand in pellet grills/smokers, outside of the Traeger Ranger, the Traeger Tailgater is their portable pellet grill offering.

While the tailgater is a reasonably capable small/portable pellet grill, as discussed below, its not currently the best offering when it comes to its control panel technology or the design of its folding legs.

Traeger Tailgater Portable Pellet Grill
The Traeger Tailgater was one of the original and most widely available portable pellet grills:

I discuss this more in my Traeger accessories post, but when out and about, you will need a 12V DC to 110V AC power inverter or another means of portable power.

It should also be noted, the Tailgater (currently anyway) does not feature WiFire compatibility. Therefore, unlike most Traeger grills today, you cannot control/monitor the Tailgater via your phone.

Traeger Tailgater Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 300
  • Weight = 62 lbs
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 8 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 450 degrees
  • Typical Price = $470 to $529

Best Traeger Tailgater Review

A good review of the Traeger Tailgater discussing its pros but also the con of the poorly designed folding legs

3rd Contender – GMG Trek Prime 2.0

Right, so for many years, GMG (Green Moutain Grills) has had one of the best-selling small pellet grills on the market, and it was branded as the Davy Crockett.

However, after a few modifications, the Davy Crockett was branded as the Trek, though the core features/functionality and price point remain the same.

We are now at the third revision of this small portable pellet grill from GMG, and its branded now branded as the GMG Trek Prime 2.0

GMG Trek Prime 2.0
The Trek Prime 2.0 is the latest version of the small portable pellet grill from GMG

The Trek Prime 2.0 carries over several features from the Davy Crocket and the original Trek.

Those features include a temperature controller using PID technology and WiFi functionality to control/monitor the pellet grill from the user’s phone.

Also the Trek Prime 2.0 can also run directly from a 12V DC power supply.

GMG Trek Prime 2.0 Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 226
  • Weight = 64 lbs
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 9 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 150 to 550 degrees
  • Typical Price = $499

Best GMG Davy Crockett/Trek Review

How does the GMG Davy Crockett/Trek stack up after one year of frequent use?

4th Contender – Camp Chef Pursuit

A well-known pellet grill brand with its SmokePro and Woodwind models, Camp Chef also offers its own portable pellet grill, the Pursuit.

The latest version of the Pursuit is fitted with a Camp Chef Gen 2 controller, which benefits from PID technology providing 5-degree temperature control/accuracy.

However, it should be noted the Pursuit doesn’t currently benefit from WiFi connectivity, which is found on some versions of the Gen 2 controller.

The Camp Chef Pursuit has one of if not the largest cooking areas of any small/portable pellet grill on the market today

Other notable features of the Pursuit include the large (and lockable) 10lb pellet hopper.

The Camp Chef Pursuit does also have a novel and quick ash cleanout feature, and the folding legs with wheels perform reasonably well.

While the Pursuit is widely available, in terms of price, there are significant differences from outlet to outlet, so bear that in mind.

Camp Chef Pursuit Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 501 (total), main grate 253
  • Weight = 82 lbs
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 10 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 160 to 500 degrees (Slide & Grill @ 650 degrees)
  • Typical Price = $486 to $684

Best Camp Chef Pursuit Review

A review of the Camp Chef Pursuit after one year of ownership/use

5th Contender – The Pit Boss Tailgater/R-Series

The first of two portable pellet grills from Pit Boss, the Tailgater (also sometimes branded as the R-Series) was the brand’s first portable pellet grill.

In my article on the best Pit Boss reviews from real owners, I included an owner’s review that states for the money, the Pit Boss Tailgater provides a lot of value.

Pit Boss Tailgate/R-Series Portable Pellet Grill
One of the first portable pellet grills to come onto the market

Being one of the first portable pellet grills on the market, the time-based control panel fitted to the Pit Boss Tailgater is not the most advanced available.

Therefore, the control panel, as its not PID, is only able to manage the temperature to within 25 degrees of the set temperature.

However, the Tailgater does have strong features, such as direct-flame access for better searing/grilling results.

  • Total Cooking Area = 340
  • Weight = 79 lbs
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 5 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees (Direct Flame @ 650 degrees)
  • Typical Price = $297 to $499

Best Pit Boss Tailgater Review

For the price paid, this owner is particularly happy with his Pit Boss Tailgater

6th Contender – Pit Boss Sportsman/Mahagony Portable

The second portable pellet grill design from Pit Boss is the Sportsman/Mahagony Portable.

What’s the difference between the two? The difference is purely cosmetic. Therefore, as the Mahagony model is typically $100 less, that’s the version to get.

There are no feature/specification differences between the Sportsman (left) and Mahagony (right) portable models

While they feature the same control panel technology, there are a couple of differences between these portable models from Pit Boss and the Tailgater above.

These models have a significantly larger rear-mounted hopper of 19lbs. Furthermore, they also offer a larger cooking area of 387 As a result, they are also the heaviest Pit Boss portable models at 91 lbs.

Pit Boss Sportsman/Mahagony Portable Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 387 (includes upper rack)
  • Weight = 91 lbs
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 19 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees (Direct Flame @ 650 degrees)
  • Typical Price = $297 to $499

7th Contender – RecTeq Road Warrior 340P

RecTeq (previously RecTec) is a premium brand of pellet grills/smokers. Notably, RecTeq was one of the first brands to bring PID temperature control and WiFi functionality to their products.

All RecTeq products also feature a stainless steel cooking chamber with stainless steel internals. Features that give a clear indication that these are premium products with a price to match.

RecTeq Road Warrior 340P
The Road Warrior 340P is the latest portable pellet grill from RecTeq

As the RecTeq Road Warrior 340P does feature premium materials (stainless steel), it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that it comes in at a premium price point.

RecTeq Road Warrior 340P Key Features

  • Total Cooking Area = 340 (510 with optional second shelf)
  • Weight = 87 lbs
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 14 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 200 to 700 degrees
  • Typical Price = $599

8th Contender – Grilla Grills Chimp

Compared to the likes of Traeger, Pit Boss, and Camp Chef above, Grilla Grills is a relatively new brand.

I’ve written an article on the full range of pellet grills from Grilla Grills, where I discuss the Chimp along with its Grilla and Silverbac pellet grill siblings.

Grilla Grills Chimp Portable Pellet Grill
The Chimp from Grilla Grills features several premium features at a very competitive price point

The Chimp features the Grilla Grills Alpha Connect control panel, which as I’ve discussed in the linked article, I believe to be one of the most feature-rich PID/WiFi panels on the market today.

The Chimp also features many stainless steel components along with twin-wall insulated construction, which is not found on any of the other portable pellet grills above.

  • Total Cooking Area = 460 (340 at the main cooking grate)
  • Weight = 90 lbs
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 15lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Typical Price = $599
A comparison of the Traeger Tailgater to the Grilla Grills Chimp

Round 1 – Temperature Control & Cooking Performance

The most modern pellet grills today feature control panels using PID algorithms to precisely control the temperature to within 5 degrees of the set temperature.

Of the portable pellet grills above, the Camp Chef Pursuit, GMG Trek, ReTeq Road Warrior 340P and Grilla Grills Chimp are using PID control panels.

Furthermore, all of those grills except the Camp Chef Pursuit and the RecTeq also offer WiFi/App functionality.

However, of the PID temperature-controlled portable pellet grills above, the Camp Chef Pursuit is the only model to provide direct-flame access, offering searing up to around 650 degrees.

Then again, the RecTeq Road Warrior 340P is able to reach 700 degrees without direct-flame access, which is really the same option when it comes to potential grease fires.

However, put in a set of GrillGrates and load up with some charcoal pellets, and you can now get good searing performance out of pretty much any pellet grill.

While the likes of the ASMOKE AS300 and the Pit Boss Tailgater do offer direct flame access, the lack of PID temperature control really hurts their claim as the best portable pellet grill.

The Traeger Tailgater lacks direct-flame access and a PID temperature controller.

Round 2 – Cooking Area, Weight & Hopper Capacity

Of the portable pellet grills above, those that offer the largest cooking area include the Camp Chef Pursuit (501 and the Pit Boss Portable (387

However, in both those cases, the cooking areas are calculated by including an upper rack.

In terms of the largest main cooking grate, the best offerings are actually from the RecTeq Road Warrior 340P and the Grilla Grills Chimp. Both offer 340 at the main cooking grate.

Though when it comes to weight, the RECTEQ/Grilla Grills models are also the heaviest at 80lbs and 90lbs, respectively. Therefore, with both of those models, it would be recommended for two people to lift/carry them out of the car, truck or RV.

If you are looking for the lightest weight portable pellet grill, that’s obviously where the likes of the ASMOKE AS300 might be worth considering.

Due to the smaller cooking chamber of portable pellet grills, pellet consumption is below that typically found on full-sized pellet grills/smokers. Hence, you don’t need a large hopper.

Round 3 – Pricing and Value

Now, the price you pay for any of the models above can obviously vary based on the time of purchase and any running sales etc.

Therefore, I’m purely basing my thoughts here on the typical prices I’ve come across from various retailers.

While the ASMOKE AS300 is the most affordable at around $230, it cannot be determined to be the best overall portable pellet grill when comparing its features to the other models above.

If purchased at the right time (Walmart sale, for instance), the Pit Boss Tailgater or Portable can be a good deal for their size/features around the $250 to $300 price point.

Likewise for the GMG Trek, while it has a small cooking area compared to some of the other portable pellet grills above, it provides value with its PID/WiFi features.

The Camp Chef Pursuit is a reasonably good option to take. However, north of $500, it doesn’t compare well to the highest specification pellet grills above, the RecTeq Road Warrior 340P and the Grilla Grills Chimp.

While the RecTeq is missing WiFi/App functionality, I think it makes up for as the only portable pellet grill of the contenders to offer a full stainless steel cooking chamber.

My Conclusion On The Best Portable Pellet Grill

Considering all the factors above on temperature control technology, cooking area etc, for the price point, I believe the RecTeq Road Warrior 340P to currently be the best portable pellet grill on offer today.

While obviously not the cheapest but also not the most expensive option, for the features you’re getting, I believe it to be the best choice.

With any of the portable pellet grills above, you have to make sure you have sufficient power available.

Therefore, I would also encourage you to check out my article on portable power for pellet grills. I discuss the pros and cons of inverters, generators, and battery banks.

What I will also say, is if you are looking for a pellet grill for a tailgating party in particular, then you may want to choose one of the other portable pellet grills above with direct-flame access.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this post informative/useful on the smallest, most portable pellet grills on the market today.

Please also check out well my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more. Cheers 🙂

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