The New Grills and Smokers of 2023
2023 has brought plenty of new releases and updates in the grilling and barbecue industry. It’s enough to make one’s head spin as you try to figure out what has happened in the first eight months of the year. So here at Angry BBQ, we wanted to help make your lives a little bit easier…
2023 has brought plenty of new releases and updates in the grilling and barbecue industry. It’s enough to make one’s head spin as you try to figure out what has happened in the first eight months of the year.
So here at Angry BBQ, we wanted to help make your lives a little bit easier by compiling a list of the notable new grills that have come out in 2023.
We’ve seen new griddles, new pellet grills, and even new pizza ovens from recognizable brands. We’ve even seen lesser-known brands launch noteworthy products and entire new brands entering the market.
Let’s dive into the new and notable launches of 2023!
There’s no question that pellet grills have grown in popularity over the last five years or so. They’re cropping up in backyards all over and for good reason. They make the process of smoking barbecue more accessible thanks to their ability to deliver consistent computer-controlled temperatures.
So of course we are constantly seeing new improvements to existing pellet grills or even brand-new pellet grills year in and year out. We saw Camp Chef aim to change the game with the Apex and the Woodwind Pro in 2022. So what has 2023 brought the pellet grill industry?
1. Weber SmokeFire Sear+ Pellet Grill
While Weber long has been one of the most well-known brands in terms of gas and charcoal grills, the company’s foray into the pellet grill world has been unsteady. The original SmokeFire was not well received, but Weber has steadily improved and refined the early bugs.
Early in 2023, the company announced the newest evolution of Weber’s pellet grills, the SmokeFire Sear+. It comes in two models, the ELX4 and the ELX6. The ELX4 has a total of 771 square inches of cooking space spread across two grates; the bottom grate has 432 sq in of cooking area while the top grate has 339. The ELX6 boasts an impressive 1,156 square inches of cooking space; the main grate has 648 sq inches of cooking area while the top grate has 508 sq in of space.
Regardless of the model, the SmokeFire Sear+ pellet grill comes with some quality features. The grill has a temperature range of 200°-600°F, has WiFi connectivity, and utilizes the WEBER CRAFTED system with the included Dual-Sided Sear Grate to help provide the best-quality sear marks possible on a pellet grill.
The SmokeFire Sear+ also takes one of the distinctive features of Weber’s gas grills, the Flavorizer bars. Normally, these bars protect the burners from grease dripping down. On the SmokeFire Sear+, these replace the pellet grill’s traditional grease tray that doubles as a heat deflector. The bars help distribute the heat across the entire cooking surface to prevent any hot or cold spots while smoking at a low and slow temperature. Then they fulfill their traditional role when the grill is cranked up to 600°F for searing on the included sear grates.
Some other notable features of the SmokeFire Sear+ pellet grill include a light on the inside of the cooking chamber to ensure you can see what’s going on when you’re doing a long overnight cook. The controller and control knob are backlit as well for improved visibility. The grill has two side tables for plenty of prep space, and each table has two tool hooks so you can keep your tongs and spatulas close at hand.
Speaking of hanging tools, there are hooks on the front and side to hang the extra cooking grates when you aren’t using them. If you’re concerned with cleanup, it has a combination grease and ash drawer underneath the cooking chamber for easy access. This grill also features WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity through the WEBER CONNECT app so you can monitor temperatures remotely with the included meat probe.
2. Traeger Ironwood Line Update
In 2022, Traeger overhauled their top-of-the-line Timberline pellet grills, turning them into a grill with the potential to be the centerpiece of outdoor kitchens everywhere. Early in 2023, Traeger took some of the improvements and brought them to the Ironwood series.
There are two models, the Ironwood with 616 square inches of cooking space and the Ironwood XL with 924 square inches of cooking area. The base Ironwood splits its cooking space across a bottom rack with 396 sq in and a top rack with 220 sq in. The Ironwood XL’s bottom rack is 594 sq in while the top rack is 330 sq in. Both models have a 22lb pellet hopper.
The 2023 Ironwoods have a number of the new features that the 2022 Timberlines have. Some of the notable improvements are apparent with just a quick glance. You’ll see the full-color touchscreen controller, the Pop-And-Lock rails, and the ash keg that are drastic departures from the preview incarnation of the Ironwoods.
The new controller is definitely a visual upgrade, but it’s not just that. It’s part of the upgrades to the whole temperature control system that includes double-wall construction that is fully insulated. The controller has two wired probe ports with two probes included, but the controller is also compatible with MEATER Bluetooth wireless probes for additional functionality.
The P.A.L. rail system is one of the coolest upgrades that Traeger has brought to the party with both the 2022 Timberlines and the new Ironwoods. This system is essentially a series of rails on the front and sides of the pellet grill that allows a host of accessories to be attached at will. Some of the notable accessories include a folding front shelf, hooks for tools, a storage bin, and a rack for holding rolls of butcher paper or aluminum foil.
For cleanup, the Ironwoods have a large detachable ash keg on the bottom of the cooking chamber. This allows for easy ash removal rather than needing to pull all the internals out of the grill after every smoking session to vacuum out the ash. You’ll still need to do this from time to time, but nowhere near as often as on most other grills (Camp Chef is another manufacturer who is notable for this type of system.)
For a more in-depth look at the Ironwood updates, check out our quick-take review.
3. Pit Boss 150 Battery-Powered Portable Pellet Grill
While you could technically call this pellet grill an upgrade to Pit Boss’ previous portable pellet grills, this isn’t simply a pellet grill that has some new or upgraded features. This is a truly portable pellet grill. You don’t have to worry about having a place to plug it in thanks to a battery that lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. You can also plug the grill in if you’re somewhere where that’s convenient, but having the ability to go cordless with all the conveniences of a pellet grill is a game-changer.
The pellet grill also checks in at under 50 lbs so it’s easy to pick up and take it on the go, whether you’re camping or tailgating. Two metal side handles give you convenient handholds as well.
If you’re worried about not having enough space for food, Pit Boss still packed this portable pellet grill with 256 square inches of cooking space. It has the main cooking rack as well as a smaller removable top rack. Pit Boss says that you can fit 13 burgers on it at once which is plenty of space for a small party. You may not be able to fit a full packer brisket, but you can throw a pork butt on there without too much trouble.
This pellet grill can handle smoking low and slow with a seven-pound pellet hopper or hit temperatures up to 1000°F thanks to the Flame Broiler system that a number of Pit Boss’ pellet grills use. A simple slide-out lever uncovers the firepot so you can directly sear food over an open flame.
It’s easy to see why this portable pellet grill hit the market. It’s the first truly portable pellet grill thanks to a battery and it’s versatile, able to smoke and sear in one package. If you like to camp, tailgate, or simply enjoy a day at the park, this pellet grill ensures you can smoke on the go without worrying about finding a place to plug in.
Just remember, if you want to monitor the internal temperature of that pork butt or whatever you’re smoking, you’ll need to bring a meat thermometer along with you. Since you’re unlikely to have WiFi where you take this pellet grill, bringing a Bluetooth-enabled wireless meat thermometer like the ThermoPro Twin TempSpikes is a great option.
For a more in-depth breakdown of this battery-powered pellet grill, we’ve got a quick-take review where we take a deeper look at its features.
4. recteq Road Warrior Pellet Grill
Sticking with the portable pellet grill theme, recteq dropped a new pellet grill earlier in 2023, the Road Warrior. The company went in a different direction, going for a bigger pellet grill that can still be taken on the go. The Road Warrior’s main cooking surface provides 340 sq in of cooking space expandable up to 510 square inches with a second shelf rack. That cooking space can be heated anywhere between 200°-700°F thanks to the PID controller and recteq’s RIOT mode. The pellet grill is fueled by a 14lb pellet hopper, giving you plenty of fuel for longer smoking sessions.
If that sounds like it would be too much weight to be picked up and carried around, you don’t need to worry about that. Despite weighing in at 87 pounds, it’s still fully portable. The Road Warrior is built onto a collapsible cart with two large wheels and a bar to keep it steady when standing. It collapses down when it’s time to stash it, and there are a total of three handles on the grill to make maneuvering it in and out of your vehicle as easy as possible. The design is very similar to Camp Chefs Pursuit 20 grill.
The Road Warrior is built mainly from stainless steel for longevity, and the lid is powder-coated to withstand the high temperatures of cooking. If you want to keep an eye on the internal temperature of whatever you’re smoking, recteq includes one meat probe that plugs right into the controller for easy monitoring.
Recteq is focused on making sure you can get cooking quickly without sacrificing quality. The company boasts you can have the Road Warrior assembled in about 20 minutes and backs it with a two-year warranty.
5. recteq Patio Legend 410
Recteq dropped two new pellet grills at the same time. If you’re looking for a smaller pellet grill but don’t want to take it on the road, the Patio Legend is a smaller backyard pellet grill still rich with features, including WiFi connectivity.
The main cooking area has 410 square inches of cooking space, and a second shelf boosts it to 580 sq in of cooking space. The WiFi-enabled PID controller gives it a temperature range of 180°-700°F fueled by a 14lb pellet hopper. If you like to host small parties, you can still do this on the Patio Legend. As a Western NY native, my eye is immediately drawn to recteq’s claim that it can hold 60 wings. Not a bad start to game day.
The Patio Legend is still unmistakably a recteq pellet grill with stainless steel features (including those horn handles on the lid!) along with a powder-coated lid. It has a shelf underneath the cooking chamber for storage while riding on two large wheels and two locking casters.
This grill still packs plenty of cooking space in a smaller package, perfect for a family that doesn’t have the space for a giant outdoor cooking area but still wants to enjoy quality barbecue.
6. Camp Chef XXL Pro Vertical Pellet Smoker
When Camp Chef launched the Woodwind Pro in 2022, it was the latest in Camp Chef’s attempts to address some of the shortcomings that pellet grills have. In this case, the designers tackled the issue of wood smoke flavor. Wood pellets in a pellet grill simply do not deliver the same level of flavor as log splits of wood in an offset smoker. So Camp Chef put a Smoke Box to hold wood chunks and charcoal for additional flavor.
In 2023, Camp Chef took that Smoke Box and put it into a vertical smoker akin to the company’s Smoke Vaults and created the XXL Pro vertical smoker. The Smoke Box allows you to add wood chunks of your favorite flavor to amp up the flavor of whatever you’re smoking. That’s on top of the incredible 30lb pellet hopper capacity that ensures you can smoke for hours on end without worry.
The XXL Pro vertical smoker has a total of 1,806 sq in of cooking space. It comes with three standard stainless steel racks, three jerky racks, and a hanging rack with 12 hooks included for hanging sausage or other meats.
Camp Chef also added a WiFi-enabled controller so you can monitor the temperature and adjust the Smoke Number to add even more smoke flavor. The controller also includes Fan Mode to partner with the Smoke Box so you can cold smoke on the XXL Pro. In normal operation, it has a temperature range of 150°-350°F. You can smoke and you can even bake on the XXL Pro.
You’ll also find the same style of ash cleanout that you’ll find on most Camp Chef pellet grills for easy cleanout. It also has the same down-and-out ventilation that the company first put on the Camp Chef Apex hybrid pellet/gas grill.
Despite the prevalence of pellet grills, there are still companies producing great products that utilize charcoal and wood for heat and smoke. That’s because the food that comes off these grills tastes fantastic and there are plenty of people who still love to cook this way. 2023 saw technological advancements in this area as well as a new company taking flight.
7. Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill And Smoker
Kamado Joe is a well-recognized name in the world of ceramic Kamado-style grills like the Big Green Egg. These grills are renowned for their ability to maintain steady temperatures whether low-and-slow smoking, high-heat grilling, or even baking temperatures. So Kamado Joe decided to take that one step further by adding a control board and fan like a pellet grill.
That’s right, the Connected Joe combines the quality of a ceramic Kamado-style grill with the precision control of a pellet grill. It even has WiFi connectivity so you can use your phone to control it. It has a controller-dictated temperature range of 225°-700°F, or you can use the grill without the controller for a standard manual Kamado-style grilling session.
The Connected Joe uses a firestarter to ignite your load of charcoal, then the controller maintains temperature using the ‘Kontrol Fan’ to adjust the oxygen flow to the fire for precision control. It also comes with one meat probe to help monitor the internal temperature of whatever you’re smoking.
The grill clocks in at 216 pounds and sits on a stainless steel cart with four casters for easy movement. The 18-inch grill has 250 sq in of cooking space so you can smoke pork butts, grill chicken, bake pizza, or even bake bread on it. It also has two folding side shelves for prep space when you need them but are out of the way for storage.
8. Badger Barrel Cooker
If you’re familiar with Pit Barrel Cooker Company, then you’re familiar with the founders of Badger Barrel. In fact, the same owners own both companies. So why Badger Barrel Cooker? It’s designed to be a no-nonsense, simpler, and cheaper way to smoke.
The Badger Barrel is a 16-inch drum smoker that weighs under 35 pounds so you can take it wherever you want for smoking on the go. It utilizes a hanging rack and comes with six stainless steel hooks so you can hang up to six racks of ribs at the same time.
It’s intended to fill a need for a quality, affordable, and simple drum smoker so just about anyone can give this method a try.
There’s no question that an outdoor griddle adds an incredible amount of versatility to a cooking arsenal. You can cook pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast, then some simple toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch, and then finish up with some smash burgers for dinner. We’re big fans of outdoor griddles here at Angry BBQ with the Camp Chef Flat Top 600 an absolute blast to use.
Other companies continue to innovate and enter the market, so let’s take a look at some of the notable 2023 releases. Learn the difference of gas grills vs griddles here.
9. Traeger Flatrock Griddle
Again, Traeger shows up on this list. Not only did the Ironwood series of pellet grills get a major overhaul, but Traeger got into the griddle market with the Flatrock. It wouldn’t be a Traeger released in the last two years without some distinctive looks, some special technology, and that Pop-And-Lock rail system, would it?
The Flatrock has two side shelves with the P.A.L. rail system on the front and sides. That means you can add that storage caddy to hold your bottle of oil and water, a paper towel roll holder, or any of the other accessories offered by Traeger.
The griddle is run by three knobs, each controlling a U-shaped burner. What’s especially interesting is that the three burners are each separated by an insulated wall to help create three distinct cooking zones on the griddle. Then the cooking surface is protected during storage with a hinged hard lid.
One of the interesting technological developments is that it has a fuel gauge on the front control panel so you know just how much propane is left in that tank. No mid-cooking surprises from the Flatrock, thankfully!
The Flatrock also utilizes the Traeger EZ-Clean Grease and Ash Keg that is on the newest Timberlines and Ironwoods for easy cleanup. For a rundown on the different features, check out our quick-take review.
10. Weber Griddles
There’s no question that Weber has had a busy 2023 with product updates and new product launches. The new griddles come under the second category, and they come in a 28” and a 36” model. Both sizes have side shelves for plenty of prep space and a total of four tool hooks to keep everything you need at hand. Regardless of the model, it comes with a hard cover to ensure the cooking surface remains protected during storage. The cooking surface itself is hot-rolled steel. The griddles also can reach temperatures exceeding 500°F so you can sear just about anything.
The 28” model has 504 sq in of cooking space and sits atop a cart with a single shelf and two large wheels for easy movement. It has three control knobs and a total output of 36,000 BTUs. It weighs in at just over 110lbs. The hard cover slides off and hooks onto the back of the griddle.
The 36” model has 756 square inches of cooking space, plenty for the largest cookout. That additional cooking area is controlled by four knobs with a total output of 60,000 BTUs. The griddle sits on a cart with a single shelf and four swivel casters, two of which lock. It weighs just under 120lbs. The hard cover on the 36” model is hinged so it simply moves out of the way with minimal effort.
11. LoCo Cookers Series II SmartTemp Griddle
LoCo Cookers may have one of the most technologically advanced outdoor griddles on the market. While most operate with grill knobs focusing on low, medium, or high output, the SmartTemp griddles actually offer precision temperature controls, telling you just how hot each burner section is. Each knob has a digital readout so you can easily see what temperature each burner is set to.
The Series II SmartTemp 36” griddle boasts 740 cubic inches of cooking space. It’s powered by three U-shaped burners to help with precise temperature control. It operates between 250°-450°F with precision and then has a sear setting for getting that perfect crust.
It sits on a cabinet-style cart that holds the propane tank while having room for additional storage. The cart has two folding side shelves for plenty of prep space while making storage a breeze. Speaking of storage, the Series II SmartTemp griddle has a hard cover to protect the cooking surface. The cart sits on four large all-terrain wheels, and two of them lock into place to keep the griddle steady during your cooking session. It also has a leveling system to ensure your griddle is properly leveled so your eggs or pancakes don’t run like crazy, but the grease goes where it’s supposed to. That grease goes to a large grease cup located in the cart that swivels out for easy cleanup.
While we talk a lot about pellet grills, gas grills, and charcoal grills and smokers, we realize that some people have limitations due to their living circumstances. You might live in an apartment that doesn’t allow you to use a gas or charcoal grill. That’s where electric grills come in. There was a notable new release this year, and at this point in the article, it shouldn’t surprise you that it comes from Weber.
12. Weber Lumin Electric Grills
While electric grills are nothing new, Weber aimed to reinvent what’s possible on one with the Lumin series. The Lumin comes in two sizes: a compact model with 180 square inches of cooking space and weighing 26 pounds, while the standard model has 242 square inches of cooking space and weighs 36.5 pounds.
What sets the Lumin series apart from other electric grills are the included accessories: a steam pan and a reservoir designed to hold water for steaming or wood chips for smoking. Yes, the Lumin series is able to add smoke flavor. It can also sear with the ability to exceed temperatures of 600°F.
Weber also has multiple accessories for the Lumin grills including a stand with a side table, cover, griddle, and what the company calls a “Versatility Expansion Kit.” While the grill comes with a reservoir for water and wood chips, it only covers half the grill’s cooking space. The expansion kit gives you the same functionality but for the entire cooking surface.
Outdoor pizza ovens have exploded in popularity recently. You can find them using propane, wood pellets, or other fuels. You can use these ovens to turn out pizza that puts any delivery place to shame, and you can even use them for other foods, like searing steaks. There were a couple of notable releases from big names in 2023, so let’s check them out.
13. Solo Stove Pi Prime Pizza Oven
Here at Angry BBQ, we’ve gotten experience with their Bonfire 2.0 stove with Cook Top. Solo Stove is much more well-known for their fire pits, but they’ve entered the pizza oven market recently. In 2023, Solo Stove launched the Pi Prime pizza oven as more of a value and portable offering than their Pi pizza oven.
The Pi Prime is a propane-fueled pizza oven capable of reaching temperatures up to 950°F, plenty hot for cooking pizzas in 90 seconds or searing steak. It has a control now on the front of the grill so you can adjust your heat to achieve perfect results each time. The cooking surface is a cordierite stone to help ensure you get a crispy crust. The opening is 13 inches, so you may not be able to cook a 16in large pizza, but you’ll be able to turn out individual pizzas quickly. The oven is portable thanks to weighing just over 30 lbs.
As of the writing of this article, Solo Stove even includes a stainless steel pizza peel with every purchase so you can easily insert, turn, and remove your pizza without worrying about burning your hands. Solo Stove also backs the Pi Prime with a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects.
14. Blackstone Pizza Oven
When you think of Blackstone, chances are pizza ovens aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. At least for me, I think griddles. However, Blackstone debuted a pizza oven back in 2015. It was discontinued, but at the beginning of 2023, Blackstone announced it was back in the pizza game with the updated Blackstone Pizza Oven with stand.
While most pizza ovens consist of one stone that the pizza sits on, Blackstone utilizes a two-stone system. In this oven, the stone on which the pizza sits automatically rotates so you don’t have to use a pizza peel to turn your pizza during the cooking process. Then a second stone is above the pizza to provide even heating. Most pizza ovens simply rely on the dome, but this offers excellent heat retention with the second stone.
The pizza oven is capable of temperatures over 900°F and runs on propane. The stand, or more accurately cart, has a propane tank enclosure, two handles for easy movement, and even a storage slot for the included pizza peel. The cart sits on four locking swivel casters, making it easy to put it where you want it and keep it there. If you prefer sitting it on a table, you can actually remove the oven itself from the stand.
Checkout our quick take on the new pellet grill they launched with Lowes Hardware.
Boilers and Fryers
15. Camp Chef Outdoor Boilers
If you know anything about the history of Camp Chef, the company got its start making quality outdoor cooking equipment, largely based around propane burners. While we here at Angry BBQ largely focus on the pellet grills and for good reason, Camp Chef has never forgotten about where the company got its start. In September, it launched a new line of outdoor boilers for people who like to make low country boils (seafood, corn, and potatoes that are well-seasoned if you aren’t familiar,) corn on the cob, or other dishes.
There are four sizes in the new line of boilers ranging from 30 to 100 quart capacities. Each comes with an electric-start propane burner, a lid and pot with a built-in lid rest, and a strainer basket so you can easily drain your food. The 30 qt boiler has a 50,000 BTU burner while the 60, 80, and 100 qt boilers each boast a 100,000 BTU burner.
Camp Chef does note that these pots and burners are not designed for turkey frying, so you’ll want to check the company’s website for better options if that is what you’re looking for.
Wrapping It Up
There’s no question that 2023 has been a busy year so far in the outdoor cooking world. Do you have a new favorite grill or cooking appliance? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned to this space for any updates as they come!
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