Looking for pellet grills in the sub $1000 price category provides you with a lot of options today. All the big names like Traeger, Camp Chef, Weber, Louisiana Grills and Pit Boss have a lot of different models to offer in this range. It’s extremely competitive so we are seeing the manufacturers offer more and more features while trying to keep prices in check or even lower. A couple of the grill companies are taking different approaches to this game and are coming up with innovative features that fix the shortcomings of the typical pellet grill / smoker.
Since we have already covered pellet grills under $500 in a previous article, in this one we will be focusing primarily on grills in the $500-$1,000 range. Read on to find out all that you need to know about wood pellet grills under $1,000 and our reviews of a few of the best options in this price range. Hint: Our top pick is not Traeger.
Best Pellet Grills Under $1000
At A Glance
|Camp Chef Woodwind Wifi 24"||CHECK PRICE|
|Louisianna Grills Black Label 800||CHECK PRICE|
|Traeger Pro 780||CHECK PRICE|
|Weber SmokeFire EX4, Gen. 2||CHECK PRICE|
|Pit Boss Sportsman 820||CHECK PRICE|
Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24
Camp Chef has been consistently manufacturing top-of-the-line grills for quite some time and the Woodwind 24 is undoubtedly one of their very best under $1,000 pellet grill options. This wood pellet smoker grill comes with highly impressive specs and a bevy of attachments (Sear Station and Side Kick) for optimum convenience. The total rack surface area on offer in this grill is 800 sq. inches divided between an upper and a lower rack. The hopper can accommodate up to 22 lbs of wood pellets making the grill ideal for long cooking sessions, low-and-slow style.
The Woodwind 24 has a heat range of 160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit which can be adjusted in five-degree increments facilitating accurate temperature control. Additionally, you can also choose a smoke setting ranging from 1 to 8 to optimize the intensity of the smoke. The unit also comes with Camp Chef’s brilliant Slide ‘n’ Grill system as well as the Ash Kickin’ Cleanout system that takes convenience to the next level. There is, of course, support for WiFi connectivity and a WiFi controller with a full-color display that allows you to control and monitor your cooking without having to hover around the grill. You can do this through the Camp Chef Connect app that can be downloaded on your phone.
Optional Sidekick Propane Accessory
Optional Sear Box Propane Accessory
This pellet grill comes with four meat probes, optional sidekick, and best of all, an optional set of propane attachments. This includes a removable flat-top griddle and a propane gas grill burner, perfect for whipping up some bacon and eggs. The Woodwind 24 also includes Camp Chef’s signature cord management and grease management system. Overall, this grill boasts expert design and terrific build quality.
What We Like…
- Sturdy stainless steel build quality
- Effective ash-removal system
- Optional propane attachments
- Full-color WiFi controller
- Versatile smoke and heat settings
What Makes Us Angry…
- Only 3-Year Warranty
Louisiana Grills Black Label 800
Louisiana Grills is one of the chief contenders in this shootout as they have long been challenging Traeger with their premium quality pellet grills. Louisiana Grills is owned by Dansons which recently brought on the original Traeger Family to assist the company. We put the Black Label 800 from their pellet smoker grill line to the test and were met with some very impressive results. Right off the bat, the LG Black Label 800 has the appearance and feel of a premium quality pellet grill. Built with heavy-duty powder-coated 14-gauge steel, the grill comes in a classy matte black color with solid metal black handles. The legs are sturdy and have locking caster wheels.
The clean design line of the Black Label 800 is a testament to Louisiana Grills incredible attention to detail. It offers a total cooking area of 809 sq. inches which is phenomenal for this price range and a significant jack-up from the cooking area on offer in the >$500 range. The primary cooking space is 500 sq. inches. The total area on offer can easily accommodate a couple of pork shoulders in one go.
This pellet smoker grill is one of the few at this price point that offers a temperature range of 180 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. We are talking real searing temperatures here. The hopper capacity is 18 pounds, which is lower than its competitors. There is a pellet window through which you can see inside the hopper along with a pellet sensor to notify you when a refill is required. The Black Label 800 comes with robust porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates that can stand up to high temperatures. It permits both direct and indirect cooking facilitated by a sliding sear plate in the cooking area for maximum versatility.
The temperature control system is entirely electronic leading to precise temperature control that can be adjusted in 5-degree increments. The large and easy-to-read display screen makes it possible to monitor the temperature from a distance. With support for WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and a dedicated app, you can monitor your cooking remotely. The push-button ignition makes the start-up process quick, safe, and simple. Excess grease whilst cooking automatically drains into a bucket mounted at the bottom which is a nice touch. This grill comes with two meat probes and is, in our opinion, one of the best wood pellet grills for under $1,000.
What We Like…
- Inexpensive for its feature set
- Bluetooth and WiFi compatibility
- Pellet window and pellet dump are useful touches
- Support for direct and indirect cooking
- 5-year warranty
What Makes Us Angry…
- Hopper capacity is lowest in class
Traeger Pro 780
Traeger is the brand people usually associate with pellet grills and their products still present wonderful value to BBQ enthusiasts. The Traeger Pro 780 is no exception, providing 780 sq. inches of versatile cooking area with a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit and an 18 lbs. pellet hopper which is tied for the smallest with Louisiana Grills. In truth, this grill contains a host of modern and innovative technology that makes it an excellent choice in this price bracket.
The brain of the operation is the D2 controller, a PID-based controller that can precisely control the temperature using granular control of a variable speed fan. This makes it easy to set the desired temperature and smoke level and to leave the grill to work its magic. This also makes use of a brushless DC motor, a unique feature in this price range. Brushless motors typically have fewer moving parts and are therefore able to operate with high efficiency and accuracy while keeping the chance of failure low.
With this combination, the grill can achieve set temperatures very quickly and maintain them very precisely. Arguably the best feature of this grill is the WiFire Wi-Fi control, which allows you to set and monitor the grill using the companion app on your phone. While competitors also include similar functionality in their products, Traeger’s version of this is full of extra features and nuances.
Traeger includes GrillGuide, a guided cooking program that assists you with a recipe from start to finish. There is also a community section that allows you to communicate with other Traeger users.
The icing on the cake is the fact that you can control the grill with popular voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
What We Like…
- Stable, reliable temperature control
- Comes up to temp fast
- Excellent remote control and monitoring
- Feature-rich app
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
What Makes Us Angry…
- On the expensive side
- The app can sometimes be slow to connect
- Some usual add-ons in the price bracket come as paid extras
Weber SmokeFire EX4 Gen 2
The first generation of the Weber SmokeFire EX4 was plagued with problems and almost unanimously panned by the BBQ community. It was expensive and yet had numerous hardware and software issues. The grill lacked even heating, with a prominent hot spot in the central region and a temperature differential of up to 100 degrees from side to other, there were also major construction and alignment issues. The pellet feed was not consistent, and the grill often caused grease fires. Fortunately, Weber has dealt with these problems in the EX4 Gen 2 and created a genuinely satisfying product.
The EX4 Gen 2 looks and feels great, with a standout design that catches the eye. The large cooking space affords 672 sq. inches of cooking area which can be heated to a range of 200 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, making for many versatile cooking options. We like the 600F for searing heat but 200F is quite high for a low setting which doesn’t work well for jerky or salmon. The porcelain-enameled grates and finish ensure even cooking and the quality steel construction is sturdy and durable.
The grill is easy to clean and features a large 20 lbs. Hopper, not the largest in class but not the smallest either. This time, Weber has made the grill variable-speed capabilities and added DC electric motors to prevent pellet jams and blocks.
The design features Weber’s patented Flavorizer Bars that ensure optimum transmission of heat across the cooking area. The attached controller is easy to read and operate and the unit comes with two probes, which can be a breeze to use when coupled with the companion app. This is where Weber has scored a major point, with a detailed, feature-rich app that shows notifications and provides step-by-step recipe instructions. This is complemented by a large side shelf with a tool rack and four sturdy legs with four swivel casters, two of which are locking.
What We Like…
- Simple, set-and-forget operation
- Detailed, feature-rich app and Wi-Fi control
- Vastly improved over the first generation
What Makes Us Angry…
- Expensive for its features
- Fit and finish not on par with peers
Pit Boss Sportsman 820 + Pit Boss Legacy WiFi-Connected Controller
With the Sportsman range, popular grill manufacturer Pit Boss has tried to strike a balance between affordability and performance, and the Sportsman 820 is a shining example of their success. This large, feature-rich pellet grill stands out among the tough competition in the sub-$1000 pellet grill market and brings quite a few unique and exemplary features to the table.
The first thing that you would notice about the Pit Boss Sportsman 820 is the large 849 sq. inches of cooking area, which is fitted with their patented Flame Broiler Lever technology that allows users to set a temperature between 180 to 500 degree Fahrenheit, with either direct or indirect heat. However, the flame broiler feature also allows for searing with an open flame, where the grill can reach temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This opens up a world of possibilities for different cooking methods like smoking, grilling, searing, roasting, and broiling.
The construction is sturdy and robust, with high-quality steel used liberally in the body and heat diverter plates. Along with the porcelain-enameled cast iron grill grates that do a great job of transferring heat, this grill looks set to last for years. Convenience features include a folding front shelf and removable side shelves, a solid bottom shelf, solid legs with two wheels, and a bottle opener. The removable side shelf also includes a handy spice rack for easy storage.
An excellent convenience feature in the Sportsman 820 is the dial-in digital control board that makes operation simple and painless. You can set a temperature and leave the grill alone to do its magic. This set-and-forget method of cooking gets even better if you use the included meat probe. The large hopper capacity of 21 lbs. Further ensures that you do not have to tend to the grill while your favorite cuts of meat cook slowly and for long durations.
A great addition to this grill is the Pit Boss Legacy Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connected Control Board, an add-on you can purchase separately to add remote operation support to this unit. With this control board, you can use the companion mobile phone app to set and monitor the temperature without needing to be physically near the grill. With excellent results across the board, superior build quality, and standout features, the Sportsman 820 is definitely a pellet grill to consider in this price range.
What We Like…
- Great quality of construction and materials
- Open flame searing support
- Built with convenience in mind with storage, spice rack, and bottle opener
What Makes Us Angry…
- The searing zone is relatively small
- Difficult to move around
- Rounded diverter plate makes it difficult to place a drip pan
How to Choose the Best Pellet Grill Under $1000?
When shopping with a specific price point in mind, it is always best to compare and contrast what different brands have to offer at that price point. For this, it is advisable to take into account each aspect of the pellet grill and compare it between brands.
Here are a few things that you should take into account when shopping for a wood pellet grill for under $1000.
- Build quality – The build quality of the pellet smoker grill that you purchase will determine how long it lasts. Pellet grills in the $500-$1000 range generally have standard build quality, with some fluctuations depending on the manufacturer. Ensure that you choose a pellet grill with a sturdy build and solid components.
- Cooking area – Although most brands in this range have similar cooking areas on offer, there are often minor differences. Depending on your use case scenario and how many people you wish to cook for, get a pellet grill that can accommodate sufficient food.
- Feature set – Once again, wood pellet grills at this price point offer more or less similar features. However, you must look for a fairly high-tech product that has support for WiFi connectivity. This is an extremely useful feature that will enable you to monitor your cooking remotely without having to be constantly lurking around the grill.
- Temperature ranges – An extensive temperature range is of great significance in a pellet grill if you want to experience the versatility that pellet grills are inherently known to bring to the table. A short temperature range would restrict the grill from reaching its full potential, thereby limiting the number of cooking styles you can use it for. 600F is a high temp in the world of pellet grills. You can actually sear a steak well at that temp.
- Warranty – Since $500-$1000 is still a significant amount of money, you would want to look into a pellet grill with a good warranty period. A minimum of 3 years of warranty would give you the most value out of your purchase. 5-year warranty is becoming standard in this class.
- Attachments – Keeping an eye out for extra attachments can be immensely useful when buying a pellet grill under $1000. Look for brands that offer sturdy attachments such as an extra rack, one or two meat probes, hooks, detachable side shelves, and so on. These accessories may not seem like much, but they surely can make your BBQ session that much simpler.
- Customer Service – Look at reviews from customers to make sure that the manufacturer provides quality customer service. Ideally, the manufacturer should have a reputation for prompt responses and quick resolution of issues. This will ensure that any issue that you may face after purchasing your pellet grill will be addressed and resolved immediately. We believe these companies have a great customer service track record.
Can You Get a Quality Pellet Grill Under $1000?
Many BBQ enthusiasts may be hesitant to buy a pellet grill that costs less than $1000 as it is common knowledge that top-of-the-line grills often cost much more. As a result, it is normal to be apprehensive about the quality of a wood pellet grill that does not carry the usual hefty price tag.
We can, however, say with conviction that you can find a smoker grill within $1000 without having to compromise on quality.
Some of the biggest names in the pellet grill industry, including Traeger, Pit Boss, and Camp Chef, offer fantastic products in the $500-$1,000 range. Along with the features that you would get from a >$500 grill, as mentioned in our article on pellet grills under $500, you receive significantly more value from a grill that costs between $500 and $1,000. Wood pellet grills in this range will have a larger cooking space and greater BTUs on offer. Most of them will also support direct as well as indirect grilling, giving you more versatility in terms of cooking styles.
Many grills at this price point will also feature Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity through which you can remotely monitor the cooking process. Typically, you will also get a few more attachments in this range that would make cooking with your pellet grill a lot more convenient. Build quality of pellet grills under $1,000 is also fairly good, with many manufacturers offering a robust stainless steel build for maximum durability.
These grills are meant to be stationary. There are many portable pellet grill options today, that we recently reviewed.
Disadvantages to a <$1,000 Pellet Grill
Specifications and features are, quite naturally, much lesser at the <$1,000 price point in comparison to wood pellet smoker grills that cost more. One primary disadvantage to a pellet grill in this price range is the fact that its maximum temperature would most likely cap at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, most pellet grills over the $1,000 price point can reach up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit during searing which makes them more desirable.
A common complaint with units at this price is also that they take much longer to come up to temperature compared to their more expensive counterparts. This can be frustrating for those looking to get a quick sear on their food.
Some of the Best Brands in this Price Range
Built from the ground up to make the outdoor cooking experience more convenient and enjoyable, Camp Chef was established in 1990. Located in Cache Valley, Utah, amid the Bear River Mountain Range, the company has been one of the most renowned names in the BBQ industry for over 20 years.
After the expiry of Traeger’s patented pellet grill in 2006, Louisiana Grills was one of the earliest competitors to sweep in and make major modifications to the design. Boasting more than 20 years of premium quality service, one of the company’s major changes was placing the firepot in closer proximity to the hopper. They also improved heat retention, which had been a persistent issue in pellet grills until that point.
Weber is easily amongst the top BBQ brands currently in the market and has been so for quite some time. Established in 1952, the company was the very first to fashion the kettle grill out of a plain marine buoy. Their innovations have since taken over the grilling industry, as they continue to manufacture premium quality grills and grilling accessories that numerous pitmasters and BBQ enthusiasts across the country swear by. Weber’s line of wood pellet smoker grills, by the name of the SmokeFire series, boasts their characteristic robust build quality, durability, and versatility.
When we think of wood pellet grills, the name Traeger almost immediately comes to mind. Traeger’s founder, Joe Traeger, founded the company in 1987 and was the first to design a fully functional wood pellet grill. It is this very design that gradually took the industry by storm, with a host of manufacturers waiting on the edge of their seats for the expiry of the patent. Traeger has since made myriad modifications to the original design to enhance functionality as well as appearance. Their pellet smoker grills promise delectable results every time you fire them up and they come with the sterling quality that Trager grills are known for.
A subsidiary of Dansons Inc. which is a widely popular family-owned pellet fuel appliances and pellet fuel manufacturer, Pit Boss Grills is best known for its Tailgater line of grills. Their wood pellet grills are some of the most popular in the market, offering fantastic value per square inch and taking the outdoor cooking experience to the next level with unique features and accessories.
Is Traeger Still King?
It is no news that Traeger had a monopoly on the wood pellet grill industry for quite some time. However, once their patent expired in 2006, several leading manufacturers seized the long-awaited opportunity to start producing their very own pellet grills. Significantly improving on Traeger’s design and offering exciting feature sets and great value for money, these companies soon began to compete against Traeger to secure their position as the country’s number one pellet grill manufacturer.
While Traeger, with its one-of-a-kind product, used to be the leader in the market of pellet grills, it has since taken the backseat as its rivals have come up with a far greater number of innovative features and superior build quality. Chief competitors of the company currently include brands such as Green Mountain Grills, Camp Chef, and Pit Boss.
Best Pellet Grill Under $1000 Review
You could choose any of the products listed in this shootout and wind up with excellent results. However, after reviewing each product, we feel the Camp Chef Woodwind series is a leader in this price range. It has every option/feature that you would want in a pellet grill but also the innovative Sidekick system. This is the game changer and it makes your pellet grill a real versatile grill/smoke station. They also have the slide n grill gate to allow for direct flame in the main cook box, which is another option most do not have. Price points are also fare with Camp Chef. The Louisiana Grills Black Label was a very close second but the Camp Chef Sidekick sets it apart.