Pellet grills are becoming increasingly popular with home BBQ enthusiasts for their versatility and convenience. After all, what other cooking machine can smoke a brisket and then bake a pie?
Not to mention pellet grills just need electricity, wood pellets, and time to smoke or cook just about anything. The ease of use is a huge draw to pellet grills since they have made smoking easy since you can just “set it and forget it” and wait until the food is done.
Given the versatility and convenience of pellet grills, it’s no wonder that these grills can range from hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Since these grills are a larger investment compared to charcoal or gas grills, I often get asked about the life expectancy of pellet grills.
So how long do pellet grills typically last?
Generally, pellet grills will last anywhere from 5 to 10 years with regular use. Proper care and maintenance will extend the lifespan of the grill. However, cheaper pellet grills may only last 2 to 3 years due to the low-quality materials used to construct the grill. So investing in a higher quality pellet grill, proper maintenance, and storing the grill indoors or covered will extend the lifespan of a pellet grill.
Now let’s cover the important factors to consider when looking for a pellet grill to ensure it will last a long time.
Selecting High Quality Pellet Grill Brands
A pellet grill’s longevity is largely determined by the build quality and materials that are used to construct the pellet grill.
Most quality pellet grills range in the $400 to $1,000+ range so any pellet grill beneath this price range may have lower-quality materials meaning a shorter lifespan.
Generally, obscure or unknown brands will produce cheaper pellet grills that are made with cheaper materials to try and get folks to purchase their more affordable grills. However, these low-quality pellet grills may only last 2 to 3 years even with proper care and maintenance.
So purchasing a pellet grill from a reputable brand is important to ensure the pellet grill will last for years to come.
Some reputable pellet grill brands are:
- Pit Boss
- Camp Chef
- MAK Grills
- Smokin Brothers
- Twin Eagles
Make sure to research the pellet grill’s brand before purchasing a pellet grill.
Brands with Manufacturer Warranties
Reputable pellet grill brands will always offer a manufacturer warranty to ensure the pellet grill operates correctly. Generally, a pellet grill’s warranty will be anywhere from 2 to 4 years and cover any manufacturer defects.
If a pellet grill does not come with a warranty then that is a big red flag that the pellet grill will not last. Moreover, the pellet grill is likely manufactured with low-quality materials which is why the brand does not offer a warranty.
Pellet grills can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000+ so making sure that the pellet grill has a warranty to fix any defects is critical. Once the pellet grill is up and running, most pellet grills require little maintenance to continue operating for years to come.
So make sure to purchase a pellet grill from a brand that offers a manufacturer warranty.
Pellet Grills Made in the USA
Many pellet grills brands, much like most appliances, are shifting their factories overseas to save on manufacturing costs. That’s been the case for brands like Traeger, Big Green Egg, Camp Chef, Weber, and Grilla Grills.
Although some of these companies design their products in the USA, they either manufacture their components or the entire grill outside the USA.
Many of these grills that are made in China from reputable brands such as Traeger, Champ Chef, and Weber are still high-quality grills made with high-quality materials. These companies had to make the cost-saving decision to manufacture their pellet grills overseas.
However, there are still high-quality pellet grills that are made in the USA.
Pellet grills that are made in the USA are:
- MAK Grills
- Smokin Brothers
- The Cookshack
- Twin Eagles
- Blaz’n Grill Works
Pellet grills made in the USA will have a long lifespan since they are usually constructed with high-quality steel and will have longer warranties for broken parts. These companies will also have customer support centers in the USA which means receiving support and replacement parts are an easy and pleasant experience.
See this article for a full list of pellet grills made in the USA as well as pros and cons to each of the different companies.
Cleaning and Maintaining the Pellet Grill
One of the most important steps any pellet grill owner can take to prolong the lifespan of a pellet grill is to properly clean and maintain the grill.
Pellet grills work by feeding in wood pellets into the firepot which burns the pellets to create heat and smoke. The firepot can fill up with ash which means the firepot needs to periodically be cleaned out.
The one additional item needed to safely vacuum out the ash from a pellet grill is a shop vacuum. Otherwise, pellet grills are easy to clean and maintain.
Occasionally, the drip tray and grease bucket should be cleaned out so that the bucket does not overfill. Generally, I clean out the drip tray and grease bucket on my Traeger pellet grill after 5 cooking sessions.
So overall, maintaining a pellet grill is a light task.
Storing Pellet Grills Indoors or Covered
Another important step in prolonging the lifespan of a pellet grill is storing the grill indoors or covered.
Pellet grills have electrical components and the grill itself is made of metal. Although the grill has rust-resistant paint, the pellet grill can and will begin rusting once the water seeps through the paint and reaches the metal.
Storing the pellet grill in the garage or placing a cover on it will help protect the grill from the elements.
Similar to a gas or charcoal grill, you want to keep your pellet grill away from the elements in order to make sure the grill lasts longer.
Pellet grills are easy and convenient to use but do occasionally run into some issues.
There are electrical components on pellet grills that can break or become faulty before the pellet grill goes bad.
Thankfully, most of the electrical components on a pellet grill are relatively easy to replace such as the temperature sensor.
When troubleshooting a pellet grill, make sure to check with the manufacturer first. Oftentimes the pellet grill manufacturer will send replacement parts free of charge if the grill is still under warranty.
If the pellet grill has a digital display then make sure to search online to figure out what the error code means. Here is an error code guide for Traeger pellet grills that explains what the error code means and provides potential solutions.
If the manufacturer will not send a free replacement part then most parts can be purchased online at retailers such as Amazon. For example, a new RTD sensor can be purchased off Amazon and shipped directly to you so you can get back to grilling.
Pellet grills are great cooking machines that can do a variety of cooking styles such as grilling, searing, smoking, baking, and more.
Given the versatility of pellet grills, the price of pellet grills can range from hundreds to even thousands of dollars. Before investing in a pellet grill, it is best to research the brand to ensure the pellet grill is made with high-quality materials.
The lifespan of a pellet grill is mainly determined by how well the pellet grill is made and what materials were used.
With proper care and maintenance, a high-quality pellet grill can last for 5 to 10 years with regular use. There are anecdotal stories of people still using pellet grills that are 10+ years old.
So make sure to keep your pellet grill in tip-top shape to continue smoking food for many years to come.