Best Pellet Grills Under $1000

Best Pellet Grills Under $1000

It can be difficult to choose the best pellet grill with a budget of $1,000 since many pellet grills have similar capabilities and features. Even more confusing is that some brands offer multiple models with almost identical features for different price points.

In order to make finding the best pellet grill under $1,000 possible, I have evaluated the best pellet grills by their performance, capacity, durability, and innovative elements among other features.

I’ve spent time and resources testing and reviewing pellet grills under $1,000 so you don’t have to waste your time trying to figure out the best one. Here is my list of the best pellet grills under $1000.

The 5 best pellet grills under $1000 are:

  • Camp Chef SmokePro SG24 
  • Pit Boss Platinum Lockhart grill
  • Grilla Grills Silverbac
  • Cuisinart Clermont
  • Rec Teq Stampede RT-590

Top Picks

Best performanceRec Teq Stampede RT-590
Best innovative featuresGrilla Grills Silverbac Alpha Connect
Largest grilling surfacePit Boss Platinum Lockhart 

Table of Contents

Criteria for Selecting the Best Pellet Grills Under $1000

Just like the article on best pellet grills under $700, I compiled this list after evaluating 15 wood pellet grills. I tested and compared each grill against the following metrics: performance, innovation, grilling surface, hopper capacity, and durability.

  1. Performance

I found a couple of high-performance pellet grills at this price point. I was especially keen on features such as:

  • A PID controller for consistent temp readings
  • Double-insulated body
  • Ability for high temperature searing
  • Pellet consumption rate – ideal consumption is less than 1 pound per hour under low temp and 2 pounds per hour in high-temp cooking.
  1. Grilling capacity

Most pellet grills in this price point had between 600 and 2000 square inches of grilling surface. This is sufficient to cook different types of food at the same time such as racks of ribs, chicken, and burgers all within the same cooking area.

  1. Hopper capacity

Fortunately, most pellet grills that cost between $500 and $999 can hold more than 20 pounds of wood pellets. Generally, most wood pellet bags are 20 pounds so the entire bag can be poured into the hopper.

Pit Boss Platinum Lockart has the largest hopper (40 pounds) while Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha has the smallest hopper size (20 pounds). 

At the very least, all of the pellet grills named in this article would give you 20 hours of slow cooking (225°F) at a rate of 1 pound of pellets per hour.

  1. Innovation

I was looking for unique features such as:

  • Automated processes – pellet feeding and shut down
  • Versatile or multipurpose use (6-in-1 or 8-in-1 capabilities)
  • Safety shutdown when a certain temperature is exceeded
  • Anti-flare technology
  • Proprietary technology and apps
  1. Durability

Lastly, a durable pellet grill should withstand heavy use and be passed on to future generations. Important qualities include:

  • High-grade stainless steel
  • Rust or corrosion resistance
  • Sturdiness
  • High-temperature powder coating

Using these 5 criteria I evaluated the best pellet grills for under $1,000 which we’ll dive into below.

The 5 Best Pellet Grills For Less Than $1000

1) Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24

The SmokePro SG 24 is one of the best mid-range pellet grills in Camp Chef’s SG series. Available in black or bronze, it comes with a second-generation Wi-Fi PID controller and 2 meat probes. 

I scored the Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 model 4.5 out of 5 stars since it shines in performance, innovation, and grill capacity.

Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 wood pellet grill in black.
  1. Performance (4.9/5 stars)

The SG 24 produces lots of smoke with the 10-range smoke setting. The temp range can reach up to 500°F and higher for searing at 650°F with a Sear Box. 

With such high temperatures, the PID controller prevents deviation with only a 5-degree variance, giving you consistent temperature readings throughout.

The slide and grill technology allowed me to move the plates for open-flame cooking. Removing and cleaning the grease and ash pans was easy too. 

  1. Hopper capacity (4.2 /5 stars)

The 22-pound hopper gives you at least 10 hours of high temp cooking or 20+ hours of slow temp smoking.

  1. Grilling capacity (4.5/5 stars)

The SG 24 gives you 811 square inches of cooking space with 429 square inches on the lower rack and 382 square inches on the upper rack. 

The height (5.5” inches) between the racks is large enough so you can cook bulky food in the upright position. You can also remove one rack to have space for a 24-pound turkey.

  1. Innovation (4.8/5 stars)

If you love lots of smoke, you’ll enjoy setting your smoke levels. Then activate shut-down mode when the smoking is done by tapping on the grill’s controller.

You can make pizza with this grill by replacing the PG 14 Sidekick with a 14” PZ30 pizza oven. 

  1. Durability (4/5 stars)

The SG 24 received points for using heavy-duty 18-gauge steel on the lid, legs, body, and hopper. The removable cooking grates are nickel-coated for longevity. 

The thin legs and no bottom shelf make it unstable, unlike the Woodwind SG series.

FeaturesCamp Chef SmokePro SG 24
Grilling area811  sq. inch
Hopper size22 lb
Weight150 lb
Temperature500F; 650F on Sear
Where to buyManufacturer’s website

Pros and Cons of the SmokePro SG 24 Pellet Grill

Pros

  • User friendly – Easily connect to the PID controller through Wi-FI. The drip tray is easy to remove and clean
  • Grill grates are dishwasher safe. But it’s best to soak them in a basin of warm, soapy water and clean them by hand
  • You can replace the legs with casters (code PGLC)
  • Free shipping if you buy from the manufacturer
  • Courteous and responsive customer service team

Cons

  • Frequently out of stock. You have to sign up on Camp Chef’s website to receive an alert when in stock
  • It has 2 meat probes instead of the 4 in the Woodwind SG series
  • The drip tray is not rust-proof
  • Not sturdy. Potentially welding a shelf at the bottom would make it more rigid and stable

Overall, expect a fuss-free experience cooking and smoking with the Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24. Set the cooking temp and monitor your food on the app. Overall the Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 is a great pellet grill for both beginners and BBQ pitmasters.

2) Pit Boss Platinum Lockhart

The Platinum Lockhart is a superb mid-range wood pellet grill and smoker. It has one of the largest cooking spaces for any pellet grill under $1,000. It comes with 4 probe inputs, a double-door smoking box, a large hopper, ash cleaning system, touch screen display controller, and Bluetooth connectivity.

I gave this model 4.1 out of 5 stars because it shines most in grilling space, hopper size, and innovation.

Image of a Pit Boss Platinum Lockhart pellet grill with stainless steel double door.

  1. Performance (3/5 stars)

I was lucky enough to grill brisket and butterflied chicken with some hot dogs at the same time. The 8-in-1 feature makes this grill robust for cooking just about anything. 

I had to connect my phone to the PID temperature controller via Bluetooth to monitor the cooking. Although Bluetooth monitoring works well, the range of Bluetooth makes the app limited in how far you can physically be from the grill.

There are side knobs that allow the smoke and heat to be adjusted in the top cabinet. However, there is a 100°F temperature difference between the bottom grill and the top cabinet which can make controlling the temperature tricky when trying to smoke food at a specific temperature.

The reason why there is such a large variance in temperature between the bottom grill and top cabinet is that the bottom grill is where the smoke and heat are produced. So the top cabinet can only reach 110°F max, which works for cold smoking but is not ideal for other forms of cooking.

Given that the top cabinet can only reach 110°F, I recommend the top cabinet be used for lightly or cold-smoking fish, cheese, or vegetables. 

  1. Hopper capacity (4.9/ 5 stars)

The 40-pound hopper means this pellet grill can operate for about 40 hours at a low smoke temperature and around 20 hours at a high cooking temperature. The large hopper capacity means this pellet grill can provide a “set it and forget it” type of cooking experience.

  1. Grilling capacity (5/5 stars)

The grilling capacity is the largest out of all the grills under $1,000. There are 2,136 square inches of cooking surface for grilling, searing, smoking, braising, baking, barbecuing, char-grilling, and baking. The bottom area can fit a whole Texas brisket while fishes and cheeses can be cold smoked in the top cabinet.

  1. Innovative features (4/5 stars)

The in-built lighting will provide much-needed light when cooking or smoking food at night. The sausage hooks are handy for smoking, and the side plate slides away for flame broiling.

  1. Durability (3.6/5 stars)

Qualities that make this pellet grill sturdy and stable are:

  • Bottom shelves
  • Strong side shelf
  • Stainless steel body and meat probes
FeaturesPit Boss Platinum Lockhart Pellet Grill and Smoker
Grilling area2136 sq. inch
Hopper size40 lb
Weight276 lb
Temperature500F 
Where to buyWalmart Bricksleek

Pros and Cons of the Pit Boss Platinum Lockhart Pellet Grill

Pros

  • Value for money – the smoking cabinet gives you lots of space to cook multiple foods at once such as 3 rib racks or chicken with potatoes and small cuts of meat
  • Huge grill surface 
  • Simple design and quick assembly, though you will need help to assemble the grill
  • User-friendly touch-screen controller
  • Top cabinet lighting for night visibility

Cons

  • Difficult to remove grease from the side flame broiler
  • Pellet feeding mechanics can fail and return the “No pellet” error code before shutting off
  • Cannot control the temperature and smoke settings of the upper cabinet without affecting the lower grill. You have to keep changing the temp settings through trial and error
  • Does not produce heavy smoke
  • Slow customer service
  • Ash may clog your grill grates because they do not fall into the burner

The Platinum Lockhart works better as a grill than a smoker. If you’re using the cabinet, then it’s efficient to use the bottom grill too. Otherwise, you will waste heat as it flows into the top cabinet.

Ensure that your patio or backyard has enough room to accommodate the size and height of this pellet smoker.

Most importantly, make sure to place this pellet grill near an electrical outlet because it is very heavy and difficult to move.

3) Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha Connect

The Alpha Connect is a powder-coated stainless steel pellet grill of the Silverbac series. It comes with a meat probe, a removable top grate, a grease drip pan, and a Wi-Fi digital controller.

I scored this model 4.6 out of 5 stars because it shines most in durability, performance, and innovation.

  1. Performance (5/5 stars)

You can cook anything from pizza to pies, burgers, brisket, and ribs. The 6-in-1 capability means it will roast, grill, bake, BBQ, smoke, and braise your food.

It maintains the set temp for long periods without losing heat. This heat retention reduces your pellet consumption by 33%. You can also control cooking using the Wi-Fi control board.

  1. Hopper capacity (4.5/5 stars)

The 20-pound hopper holds one full bag and gives you up to 20 hours of slow, continuous cooking. The manufacturer confirms that the grill burns 1 pound of pellets per hour at 250°F. 

  1. Grilling capacity (4/5 stars)

The main grilling surface covers 507 square inches out of the total grilling area of 692 square inches. That is enough to cook a medium-sized brisket with chicken or burgers.

  1. Innovation (4.6/5 stars)
  • Unique features include automatic start and stop grilling from your phone (via Wi-Fi)
  • TempTamer technology protects the grill from rapid temp loss when you open the lid
  • Double-wall insulation retains heat even in cold weather and reduces pellet consumption by 33%
  • Automatic shutdown when the temp goes below 150°F or above 615°F
  1. Durability (4.8/5 stars)

This heavy-duty smoker uses high-quality stainless steel.  The double-walled body retains heat while the welded and caulked seams prevent outdoor weather from affecting your grill’s performance.

FeaturesSilverbac Alpha Connect
Grilling area692 sq. inch
Hopper size20 lb
Weight170 lb
Temperature500F
Where to buyWalmart BricksleekManufacturer’s website

Pros and Cons of the Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha

Pros

  • Heavy, sturdy construction for this mid-range pellet grill
  • Ease of assembly and use makes it suitable for novices and expert grillers
  • Produces “restaurant quality wood flavor” with the Alpha smoke mode
  • The removable top grate allows you to cook food upright, such as beer can chicken
  • Works with all types of food-grate wood pellets
  • Double insulation ensures heat retention when the outside temperature drops
  • Very responsive customer service
  • 4-year warranty

Cons

  • Front shelf sold separately
  • The curved lid may warp a bit after cooking, but this is fixable by pushing the hinges back in place
  • The top rack has little vertical room for cooking large food items such as brisket. You can cook smaller food items like chicken wings, fish, or vegetables on the top rack.

Overall, the Silverbac Alpha has the most innovative features for under $1,000.

Its heavy-duty construction and double insulation improves heat retention and reduces pellet consumption by 33%. Top this up with its superior performance, and you have got the pellet grill with the best value for money.

4) Cuisinart Clermont

The Cuisinart Clermont pellet grill gives you the performance of a heavy-duty pellet grill with the design and functionality of a professional kitchen appliance. It comes with 2 temperature probes, a front shelf, a side shelf, hooks for hanging tools, and an LED control system.

I scored this model 4.7 out of 5 stars because it shines most in performance, grill capacity, and hopper size.

An image of Cuisinart Clermont pellet grill on an outdoor patio with different foods in the grill chamber.
  1. Performance (4.9/5 stars)

Clermont’s 8-in-1 versatility gives you options for grilling, barbecuing, braising, smoking, char-grilling, searing, baking, and roasting. It can cook anything from pizza to pies, burgers, brisket, and ribs. 

  1. Hopper capacity (5/5 stars)

The 40-pound hopper gives you more than 35 hours of slow, continuous cooking over low heat.

  1. Grilling capacity (4.9/5 stars)

The 1,400 square inches can fit 12 rib racks or an 18-pound brisket. You can cook different food on the two stainless steel racks and shift them across 5 slots to create more space for large meats like turkey or beer can chicken.

External shelving (side and front) also adds more space for food prep.

  1. Innovative features (4/5 stars)

I liked the sensor system that alerts you to refill the hopper and the external hooks for hanging my grilling tools. The windows on the double doors also help you view the food without opening the smoking cabinet. 

I also appreciate that the lining on the double doors prevents smoke from leaking out. 

The sear section chars your food nicely. The sear feature is easy to activate by just sliding the lever so that the food can cook directly over the flame.

  1. Durability (4.5/5 stars)

Heavy-duty components and high-end design make this pellet grill long-lasting. 

FeaturesCuisinart Clermont pellet grill
Grilling area1400 sq. inch
Hopper size40 lb
Weight233 lb
Temperature500F
Where to buyWalmart

Pros and Cons of Cuisinart Clermont pellet grill

Pros

  • Well-designed LCD controller that is easy to operate and use via Cuisinart’s mobile app
  • Luxurious look and style that fits in commercial and high-end kitchens
  • Windows on the double doors and interior lighting for easy viewing
  • Best for intermediate and expert grillers
  • Holds temperature well and does not leak smoke
  • Easy to follow assembly instructions

Cons

  • Removing the pellet hopper (to empty the remaining pellets) can be difficult because the screen is irremovable. You might have to lower the cooking temperature and keep the grill on to expel the remaining pellets. This makes shutting down quite a lengthy and time-consuming process
  • Slow customer service
  • Pellet sensor can malfunction and send an error code even when the hopper is full of pellets
  • Some people have found that the doors do not close well after the grill reaches 500°F

The Clermont is a heavy mid-range pellet grill with a luxurious design that fits a professional kitchen. The large pellet hopper and grilling surface makes it ideal for people who cook for large parties or families. 

This grill is suitable for experienced grillers. If you’re a beginner, watch the manufacturer’s videos first to familiarize yourself with this grill before purchasing it.

5) Rec Teq Stampede RT-590

The Stampede RT-590 is a budget-friendly mid-range grill. It has versatile uses ranging from grilling, baking, searing, and smoking. It comes with 2 meat probes, automatic features, and extreme smoke features.

I gave this model 4.7 out of 5 stars because it shines most in innovation, quality, performance.

A picture of the RT-590 Stampede, one of the five best pellet grills under $1000
  1. Performance (4.7/5 stars)

The RT-590 Stampede is super convenient and versatile in using different cooking techniques. You can cook anything from pizza to pies, burgers, brisket, and ribs.

The pellet grill can reach up to 500°F. Its stainless steel heat deflector makes this grill energy efficient because it releases heat evenly in the cooking chamber.

  1. Hopper capacity (5/5 stars)

The 30-pound hopper gives you more than 30 hours of cooking. That’s about one and a half bags of wood pellets.

  1. Grilling capacity (4/5 stars)

The 772 square inches give you sufficient space to cook a large chicken upright or 5 racks of ribs. The main cooking area is 592 square inches and the bottom shelf gives you more storage space.

  1. Innovative features (4.8/5 stars)
  • Automatic lighting and shutdown
  • The PID algorithm keeps the set temperature accurate and allows you to monitor cooking via Wi-Fi
  1. Durability (5/5 stars)

The RT-590 is made from rust-proof and corrosion-proof  304-grade stainless steel. The high-grade steel firepot is fail-proof. Plus, the bottom shelf makes the pellet grill more stable. 

The manufacturer claims that their rust-proof ceramic ignitor rod can last more than 100,000 lighting cycles. 

FeaturesRec Teq Stampede
Grilling area772 sq. inches
Hopper size30 lb
Weight150 lb
Temperature500F
Where to buyManufacturer’s website

Pros and Cons of the Rec Teq Stampede

Pros

  • Heavy, sturdy construction makes this pellet grill rust-proof and corrosion-proof
  • Ease of use and assembly
  • The wheels enhance the grill’s mobility
  • 4-year warranty
  • Great for beginners 
  • External conditions such as outdoor temperatures do not affect the grill’s internal temperatures

Cons

  • The narrow, top-heavy design makes moving the pellet grill difficult
  • Getting the drip pan out can be difficult

Overall, the RT-590 Stampede is a heavy-duty pellet grill with superb performance. The build quality means this pellet grill can last for years with little to no problems. Not to mention the Rec Teq’s customer support is some of the best in the pellet grill market.

What Others Say About These 5 Best Grills 

I collected and analyzed customer reviews for each grill from the brands’ websites, Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Then I compared the data against each brand to see which pellet grill had the most positive reviews.

The findings are in the chart below.

All five pellet grills had more 5-star and 4-star reviews than 1-3 star reviews. Five-star reviews for Silverbac Alpha and the RT-590 Stampede outnumbered the other brands, with the Silverbac taking the lead for the most positive reviews across the board.

Pit Boss Platinum Lockhart had the most 1-star reviews because getting the correct temperatures in the top cabinet and the bottom grill for consistent heat and uniform cooking is very tricky. Compared to the other brands discussed here, I would use the bottom section for grilling and the top cabinet for cold smoking on the Pit Boss Platinum Lockhart.

Recap

The 5 best pellet grills under $1000 are

  • Camp Chef SmokePro SG24 
  • Pit Boss Platinum Lockhart grill
  • Grilla Grills Silverbac
  • Cuisinart Clermont
  • Rec Teq Stampede RT-590

They scored above average in every criterion (performance, grill capacity, hopper capacity, durability, and innovation). The Clermont and RT-590 Stampede got the highest score (4.7 stars). The Platinum Lockhart grill scored the lowest at 4.1 stars. 

An analysis of user reviews of the individual brands also confirms that these pellet grills perform above average on all fronts. The Silverbac Alpha seems the most popular because it had the highest number of positive reviews.

I recommend the Rec Teq Stampede RT-590 for the best performing pellet grill under $1000. If you want lots of innovation, go for the Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha Connect.

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Steven

I'm learning how to catch, grow, and cook my own natural food and my goal is to help others eat more food from nature. Eating natural food can taste great, be affordable and accessible with a little planning. Don't get me wrong, I still eat taco bell and pizzas every so often, but I'm trying to eat more dank food from nature! So let's eat tasty natural food together.

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