Pellet grills are the most convenient way to smoke or bbq food. Simply plug in the grill, fill the hopper with pellets, set the cooking temperature, and wait.
The pellet grill can transform a tough hunk of meat into smoky, fall-off-the-bone goodness when given enough time.
Although pellet grills are incredibly convenient, a common question I get asked is how much electricity does a pellet grill use? Unlike charcoal or stick smokers, pellet grills need electricity in order to work.
So how much electricity does a pellet grill use?
Pellet grills use around 250 watts during ignition, which is the most electricity a pellet grill requires. After the fire has been lit, pellet grills consume around 45 watts of electricity when the auger and convection fan are on. Once the auger shuts off and the fan is running, the pellet grill only consumes 25 watts of electricity. For perspective, most electric ovens draw between 2,000 and 5,000 watts so a pellet grill draws a lot less electricity.
In order to figure out how much electricity a pellet grill draws, I used a power meter to measure how much electricity my Traeger pellet grill was using while I smoked corn at 225°F.
I took photos of my power meter below while my Traeger was smoking corn to show the different wattage requirements a pellet grill has.
The Setup To Measure Pellet Grill Electricity Demand
In order to measure the amount of electricity my Traeger pellet grill would draw, I connected the pellet grill to a Power Meter I purchased off Amazon.
The benefit of using this power meter is I am able to input the cost of electricity so that the meter will tell me how expensive the pellet grill is to power.
Once plugged in, I turned on the pellet grill and measured how much electricity it required while:
- Igniting the fire
- Feeding pellets into the fire
- Only have the convection fan running
Below you will see how much electricity a pellet grill draws during these 3 different stages of cooking.
Pellet Grill Electricity Demand During Ignition of 250 Watts
Below is a picture of the power meter during the ignition sequence of my Traeger pellet grill. The ignition sequence is where the hot rod is turned on, the auger is feeding in pellets, and the convection fan is blowing.
So the pellet grill draws the most amount of electricity during the ignition sequence.
During the ignition sequence, my Traeger pellet grill required around 250 watts of electricity.
Many portable generators provide more than 250 watts of electricity and will be able to power a pellet grill when tailgating or using a pellet grill away from the home.
However, electrical outlets found in most vehicles only provide roughly 180 watts of electricity which is not enough for a pellet grill to ignite.
Electricity Demand of 45 Watts With Auger and Fan Running
Once the pellet grill has finished the ignition sequence and the hot rod is turned off, the pellet grill will still have the auger and convection fan running.
Throughout the smoking process, the pellet grill will turn the auger on and off to periodically feed in pellets. So the 45 watts seen in the picture below is the most amount of electricity that a pellet grill needs after the fire has been ignited.
For perspective, 45 watts is a small amount of electrical demand. The most common light bulbs used in homes are 25, 40, 60, 75, and even 100 watts which means that a pellet grill already ignited needs around the same amount of electricity as a light bulb requires.
Pellet Grill Requires 25 Watts When Fan Is Running
Once the pellet grill reaches the desired cooking temperature, the auger will turn off which means only the convection fan will be blowing.
When only the convection fan is turned on, the pellet grill requires the least amount of electricity which is around 25 watts as seen in the picture below. My Traeger also has a digital display so that will add to the electricity needed to power my pellet grill.
Do Pellet Grills Use A Lot Of Electricity?
A common question I hear is if pellet grills use a lot of electricity when smoking food.
Overall, pellet grills draw less electricity than other electrical cooking options such as an electric oven which draws 2,000 to 5,000 watts. Assuming an electricity rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), the cost to run an electric oven that draws 2,000 to 5,000 watts will range from 14 cents to 36 cents per hour.
Pellet grills only consume around 250 watts of electricity when igniting the fire, which drops to around 45 watts when the auger and fan are running. Over a 2 hour cook, a pellet grill set to 225°F will consume around 1,000 watts.
So pellet grills are energy-efficient cooking devices that require a small amount of electricity in order to cook.
Are Pellet Smokers Expensive to Run?
Another common question I hear is if pellet grills and smokers are expensive to run.
With a charcoal and stick smoker, you can determine how expensive it costs to cook food based on the wood and charcoal price. However, pellet smokers require wood pellets and electricity.
So are pellet smokers expensive to run?
Pellet grills only consume around 250 watts of electricity when igniting the fire, which drops to around 45 watts when the auger and fan are running. Over a 2 hour cook, a pellet grill set to 225°F will consume around 500 watts. Assuming an electricity rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), the cost to run a pellet grill at 225°F will only cost 3 cents per hour.
A 20-pound bag of wood pellets costs roughly $20 so wood pellets cost roughly $1 per pound.
Assuming a pellet grill consumes 1 pound of pellets per hour at 225°F and draws 250 watts per hour with an electricity rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), then the cost to run a pellet grill will cost roughly $1.03 per hour to run. A rack of ribs that takes 6 hours to smoke will then cost 6 x $1.03 or $6.18 to smoke on a pellet smoker.
So overall, pellet smokers are an inexpensive and energy-efficient way to cook and smoke food.
Pellet grills are versatile cooking machines that make it very easy to cook and smoke food.
Another benefit of pellet grills besides convenience is that the pellet grill consumes a small amount of electricity. In fact, pellet grills only consume around 250 watts per hour when set to 225°F including the ignition phase.
After the pellet grill’s fire has ignited, the pellet grill will only draw 25 to 45 watts to power the fan, auger, and digital display.
So don’t let the cooking cost prevent you from purchasing a pellet grill since these are convenient and efficient machines.