What Size Pellet Smoker Do I Need?

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What size pellet smoker do I need? Choosing a smaller or larger pellet size all depends on what you need it for. The average size for a family with a pellet grill is a 450-500 square inches primary cooking area. Luckily Traeger grills and Pit Boss give sizes and recommendations on each grill to make things easier.

There is a ton of pellets grills in the market today from a variety of brands. All of these pellet smokers come with their unique features, and it gets confusing to pick. So, today I’ll be listing out some of the important key pointers in picking out the right size pellet smoker for you.

What Is a Pellet Smoker?

A Pellet smoker is a machine that is capable of maintaining temperatures at both low and slow levels. This outdoor cooker tends to combine elements of kitchen ovens, charcoal smokers, and gas grills. It garners its fuel from wood pellets. A pellet smoker uses an electronic control panel for feeding fuel plants automatically, maintaining consistent cooking temperatures, and regulating the grill’s airflow. You can use it to carry out various works such as grilling, smoking, baking, etc.

What Size Pellet Smoker Do I Need

When it comes to choosing a size pellet smoker, here are some of the factors that need your attention:

  • How much food do you plan to cook for every meal?
  • Are you using your grill for entertaining guests?
  • Do you plan on traveling with your grill?

Pellet or grillers are available in different sizes and requirements. Everything from the portable models meant tailgating to super large commercial units and built-in pellet grillers for outdoor kitchens. For considering the grilling size, you need to pay attention to the cooking area, along with the physical dimensions for picking one that best fits your kitchen space and lifestyle.

Like other smokers, pellet grillers also list the cooking area in two different ways, i.e., the primary cooking area and total cooking area. The immediate cooking area consists of the main cooking grate. The total cooking area refers to the direct cooking grate, along with any of the secondary racks. But since pellet grillers are mainly indirect cookers, there aren’t many differences between cooking on the primary rack or the top rack.

The temperature level should be the same on both racks. So, you should go for a smaller pellet griller that features a primary grid of about 450 square inches. Also, choose an upper rack that measures over 125 square inches. This dimension is a smarter choice than the larger grill with a primary grid of 500 square inches. Bigger isn’t a better choice, especially if you’re paying for a space that you’ll never use.

The best pellet griller is the one that meets your needs. A Pellet grill that comes with a primary cooking area around 450-500 square inches should be perfect for an average size family. On the other hand, couples or singles can opt for a smaller size without wasting money and space. However, if you come from a large family or entertain guests a lot, then go for the larger ones. Any griller with a primary cooking grate of 500 square inches and more should do the job for you.

In this way, you’ll be able to meet all your cooking needs. You can cook the desired batches of the meal for you and your loved ones. Another aspect that you need to look out for includes the portability of your pellet smoker. Sometimes the need arises to take your griller down to the campsite or your favorite lake. You don’t want a super heavy griller, especially if you’re someone who barbecues a lot outdoors. So, while you’re scrolling through different pellet grillers, look for the compact and portable ones.

Importance of a Pellet Smoker


The one significant benefit of owning a pellet smoker is the delicious flavor and quality you receive in your food. Many professional BBQ chefs use wood pellets is because of the flavor intensity it projects. Unlike charcoal and gas, you also get to combining wood types for mix-matching your flavors. In this way, you’ll be able to create and extract the perfect flavor for your dish.


Yes, a pellet smoker is way different than the standard charcoal and gas grills. But don’t be intimidated because pellet smokers are just as easy to use. You can expect exciting features like the 1-button start-up, non-flare ups, no over-smoking, etc. Pellet smokers are also reliable when it comes to cooking delicate, sensitive foods like a slow-smoked brisket.

With a pellet smoker, there isn’t a need for a learning curve to execute great food. It’s as simple as using your favorite pellets to fill up the hopper or push a button for tossing the meat on your grill. Your pellet smoker will control the temperature, so your only job is to add/remove the meat.


When it comes to versatility, the standard gas griller can’t compete with the pellet smoker. You can cook just about anything in a variety of methods. You have precise control over the cooking temperatures from 180⁰-500⁰. Also, you can start roasting, searing, smoking, and baking with a pellet smoker. It’s like getting a smoker and a grill in one package.


Yes, a pellet smoker does cost a little more than the average standard smoker and grill. But like I have mentioned in my previous comment, owning one is like having both a grill and smoker in one device. The stainless-steel components of pellet smokers also have solid construction. Plus, they’re extremely good at sustaining their temperatures, allowing themselves to be more fuel-efficient at all times.

So, by now, I’m sure you have more than just an inkling idea in picking the right size pellet smoker for yourself. But I also advise you to look into other important factors of a pellet smoker. It includes the temperature range, construction material, controller type, price additional features. You have to realize that all of these key factors play a part in locating your ideal pellet smoker and not just the size.

About The Author

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James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.