Searching for the best pellet grills for cold weather is an uphill task as there are several models of pellet grills, each having a specific control system, sizing, and configuration.
Pellet grills are easy to operate and maintain, and they offer a consistent cooking temperature that makes them ideal for cold weather. However, some pellet grill models show significant fluctuations in temperatures when it’s extremely cold outside.
When there is not a sufficient temperature inside the pellet smoker, it would produce a cloud of dense smoke due to insufficient combustion and the malfunctioning of the pellet grill controller.
If you’re looking for a single resource to research the best cold weather pellet grill to enjoy succulent and perfectly cooked smoked meat, this guide is for you. In this article, I have researched and reviewed the best pellet grills or electric smokers to use in cold weather or below freezing temperature. These pellet grills manage to stay hot, even when it is freezing outside, and can cook your favorite meal properly.
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Reviews of the Best Pellet Grills for Cold Weather
Here are the reviews of the best pellet grills for cold weather.
1. Grilla Grills Silverbac – Best Overall Pellet Grill for Cold Weather
After a lot of research, I found that Grilla Grills Silverbac is the best pellet grill for cold weather or sub-zero temperature. The feature I like about Grilla Grills Silverbac Pellet Grills is their double-wall insulated construction on everything below the lid. You won’t get a pellet grill with double-walled construction at such a reasonable price. The best part is you don’t have to buy a grill blanket for additional insulation for this Silverbaq pellet grill.
Grilla Silverbac Pellet Grills have an air gap all the way around the cooking chamber. Moreover, the Silverbaq pellet grill features a 6-gauge steel body, and a 12 gauge all-weather stainless-steel lid, while the body is 16 gauge steel. So, it’s a pretty solid means of insulating the cooking chamber from the outside environment.
If you compare Silverbac pellet grill to its competitors i.e., Traeger Timberland or Ironwood series, you’ll see they are a few hundred bucks expensive as they contain WiFi feature.
Silverback pellet grill does not use a WiFi feature, but customers are still satisfied with its heavy-duty body that perfectly retain the heat, and the ability of its PID controller to maintain a steady temperature. So, you don’t have to go outside in extreme cold again and again to adjust the pellet grill temperature.
Here’s what a user says about using the Grilla Silverbac pellet grill in snowy and windy weather.
I got my Grilla a few weeks ago and did my first cook during a snowstorm here in Chicago. It worked great. Double-wall insulation on everything below the lid.
As far as the grilling area is concerned, users are quite happy with the sizing of the Silverbac grill in this price range. The length of the Silverbac pellet grill from the left side of the hopper edge to the right side of the smokestack is around 49 inches. You can easily cook 3 to 4 eight pounds of meat pieces at a time. Their total cooking area is 692 square inches, with the main cooking area of 517 square inches and an upper removable cooking area of 185 square inches.
The maximum temperature in the Silverbac Alpha grill is 500 Fahrenheit, which means it is a great pellet grill for searing meat as well. Moreover, GG Silverbac Alpha reaches 550 Fahrenheit temperature pretty quickly. One person compared it with Weber 3 burner spirit gas grill. Silverbac got to 500 first.
In addition, the Grilla Grills Silverback’s 20-pound hopper comes with a clean-out feature also known as a pellet dump. This feature makes it easy to refuel, which increases the likelihood of your using the grill often effectively. The large size of the hopper helps drive down the cost of running the grill as the pellets are fed steadily into the grill.
Also, the Silverbac Alpha pellet grill has a lot of storage in a closed cupboard area where you can place utensils, extra grill grates, grill cover, and other cooking accessories.
In short, as far as built quality is concerned, Grilla Grills Silverbac Pellet Grill is a great value of money. They feature a dual-controller i.e. you can use a PID controller or a traditional pellet grill controller.
However, I would recommend you use PID controller mode. PID controller that can maintain the temperature inside the pellet grill when there is extreme cold outside. Although Silverbac grill does not have WiFi, you can use Bluetooth ThermoPro food probe to monitor the temperature of the food while sitting inside the house.
Lastly, Grilla Grills’ customer support is excellent. If you find any issue with the product, it will be readily resolved by the representative.
The downside of the Grilla Silverbac grill is that the lid is not doubled-walled. I couldn’t understand the logic that in addition to the lower body, why the lid of the Silverbac pellet grill is not double walled. However, users think that the steel of the Silverbac grill lid is quite thick. So, there is no need for insulation there.
Another downside of the Grilla Silverbac pellet grill is that it does not produce enough smoke in PID-controller mode. However, you can use a smoke tube to add rich smoke flavor.
On different forums, I found that although Grilla Grills support shows prompt response, if there is a need to replace a part of the grill, you may need to wait for weeks to get the part.
2. Traeger Timberline Series – Best WiFi Pellet Grill for Cold Weather
If you’re looking for the best pellet grills that have an embedded WiFi system, you can’t go wrong with this Traeger Timberline 1300 pellet grill to use in winter. The lid of the Timberline series seals very well with the grill body. So, the cold air won’t find a path to flow through the lid due to a proper seal.
With a WiFi system, you don’t have to go outside in cold weather repeatedly to check the temperature. You can control this through the Traeger app by sitting at home. Moreover, Traeger Pellet Sensor mounts in the hopper so you can monitor pellet levels and receive alerts when pellets are low.
Another feature that makes Timberline series suitable to use in cold weather is a double-walled hood and walls with a lot of airspace. Moreover, there is a gasket along all the sides of the hood of the Timberline series to eliminate the seam between the lid and grill body. In this way, the Timberline series of Traeger pellet grill perfectly maintains the temperature inside.
Here’s what a user of Timberline series of Traeger pellet grill says about it:
I live in a cold and windy area and went with a Timberline, I’ve not had to use a blanket yet to hold temps in the winter.
The maximum temperature on the Timberline series is also 500 Fahrenheit. So, the extreme cold temperature won’t stop you from searing the meat. You just have to give a bit more time to the Timberline pellet grill to reach that searing temperature. Also, 24 pounds of the hopper is enough for long hours of cooking. You don’t have to remain outside in cold weather to keep checking wood pellets quantity in the hopper.
Timberline series of Traeger pellet grill is available in two different cooking areas. 850 model has a cooking area of 569 square inches, and 1300 model has a cooking area of 1343 square inches. the 1300 model has secondary grill grates to increase the cooking area.
The major downside of Timberline series of Traeger pellet grill is that they are highly expensive. Their material has high quality, has a PID controller and WiFi system. But still, I don’t think so they should be sold at the price of 2000 USD.
However, one thing I would like to highlight is Traeger has excellent support. I would say it is better than Grilla Grills. Moreover, if there is any damage in part, you’ll receive the replacement within a few days. Also, the Traeger app is phenomenal and easy to use.
Another downside of the Timberline series of Traeger pellet grill is that they can take some time to reach a maximum temperature. However, once the temperature is reached, the Timberline pellet grill will maintain it consistently.
Lastly, only a 3-years warranty of the Timberline series does not justify the price.
3. Recteq 700 – Best High-Quality Pellet Grill to Use in Cold Weather
I’m a big fan of Recteq pellet grills. Their built quality is excellent. Recteq 700 pellet grill is made of a high-quality stainless steel that can withstand moisture and does not develop rust.
Here’s what a user says about Recteq 700:
I’ve had the 700 for over a year and it’s been caught in the rain/snow a couple of times but ultimately kept dry. No rust, no complaints, the thing is bigger and better built than you’d imagine.
Although Recteq 700 does not feature double-walled construction like the Timberline series, users feel that the build quality of Recteq 700 is phenomenal compared to the Traeger Timberline due to the better stainless steel quality.
Moreover, Recteq offers 6-years of warranty compared to Traeger Timberline models. Also, the hopper of the Recteq pellet grill has a 40 lb capacity. So, the Recteq pellet grill is great for overnight cooks in colder climates as the large hopper will remain filled with wood pellets.
Another thing I liked about Recteq 700 is that it features two meat probes, making it easy to keep an eye on both the internal temperature of the grill and the progress of the meat itself. Also, the calibration feature in the controller of the Recteq pellet grill allows you to customize the algorithm according to the favorite temperature probes you use in your grill.
You can check more in the video below:
Like Traeger Timberline, RT700 also has a WiFi connectivity feature to control the temperature from the phone app. Moreover, you can use Non-Recteq wood pellets as it won’t void the warranty of the RT700 pellet grill. In the case of Traeger, using Non-Traeger wood pellets voids the warranty.
The downside of RT700 is that the cooking area is only 700 square inches without a secondary grill grate. With a secondary grill grate, the cooking area can be around 1000 square inches. The main point is Recteq does not offer a secondary grill grate. You have to purchase it separately, which is not the case with Traeger.
Moreover, if I talk about Recteq application, users complain that it has some flaws. The Traeger app is more user-friendly and easy to set up compared to the Recteq app. There are times that we have to close the app and re-open it to get the temperature to update.
Another downside of RT700 is that in below-freezing temperatures, the wood pellets consumption may increase to maintain the pellet grill temperature. Due to this reason, I would advise you to use this fiberglass welding blanket if you’re looking for overnight cooks in RT700 in cold weather. Don’t forget to cut the holes in the welding blanket to allow horns and chimney of the RT700 pellet grill to poke through.
Lastly, the legs of Recteq 700 are a bit thin, due to which they start wobbling when you try to clean the pellet grill or when it is on softer ground.
Tips for Using Pellet Grills in Cold Weather
Here are the tips you should follow to sue pellet grills in cold weather, or a temperature below freezing point.
- A welding blanket on the body of the pellet grill helps a log to prevent heat loss. Use it on pellet grills that do not feature double-walled construction.
- Always use dry and fresh wood pellets, and they should be of high quality. I would recommend Lumberjack, Cookin, and Weber wood pellets.
- RTD temperature sensor of a pellet grill should be perfectly cleaned. Take an SOS pad or some steel wool and scrub it until it’s nice and silver.
- Firebricks help a lot in maintaining the temperature inside the grill and preventing temperature swings. They have great heat capacity. Once they heat up, they will maintain the temperature in the ambiance.
- Don’t open the lid of the pellet grill quite often.
- Use pellet grills with PID controllers.