Looking for an all-in-one grill and smoker that can handle both searing a steak and smoking a brisket? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the top five models on the market to help you choose the best grill smoker combo for your needs – and we’ll also give you an overview of everything you could want to know before making a purchase. Let’s get started!
Quick Summary - Best Grill Smoker Combo Overview
- Our top overall choice for the best grill smoker combo is the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX. It provides accurate temperature control and comes with helpful features like the exclusive ash cleanout system and a meat probe.
- The Traeger Lil Tex Elite is another great wood pellet grill and smoker that weighs almost 30 pounds less than the Camp Chef model.
- If you’re looking for a portable option, the Traeger Tailgater 20 – complete with EZ-fold legs – is for you.
- The Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker is the largest on our list. It has convenient storage space under the grilling area and comes with a cover.
- The most unique model in our list is the Char-Griller 16620 – check it out if you want to separate yourself from the crowd with a Kamado-style grill.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing
It might seem like any of these grill smokers will do what you’re looking for, especially if you’re just a dabbler in the barbecuing arts. That’s largely true. However, since their features and functions vary slightly, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions first:
How many are you cooking for?
You can easily prepare a meal for your household with any of these grill smoker combos – every one on this list can handle at least one brisket or large pork butt. However, if you’re planning on having cookouts or tailgating, then you’ll want to start paying attention to ‘grilling area dimensions’ or ‘grilling space’ when comparing models.
Do you like your meat and veggies seared, roasted, or smoked?
While these grill smoker combos are all capable of a little bit of everything, some of them are better at certain types of cooking. For example, if you’ll mainly be grilling at higher temps, you might want to go with the charcoal-powered Char-Griller Akorn Kamado. On the flip side, if you’re planning on primarily smoking, one of the pellet grills might be better for you.
How much space do you have?
If your grilling/smoking space is limited, you’ll want something with a small footprint. Also pay attention to weights if you will need to move your grill frequently – the models in this list range from 70 pounds to just under 130 pounds.
What type of pellets are best?
First off, you might be wondering if the brand of your pellets needs to match the brand of your grill/smoker, and the answer is no. Feel free to purchase whichever pellets you want. If you’re looking for some quality brands, you can check out our best wood pellets guide, which includes a nice blend that works for any type of food.
Here are our detailed write-ups for our top five best grill smoker combos:
1. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Review
Camp Chef’s SmokePro DLX is a fairly large pellet grill and smoker. If you’re not familiar with pellet grills, their main draw is automated temperature control. You just set the temperature, and the grill takes care of the rest by burning hardwood pellets as needed. You can cook anywhere from sub-200° F to 500°.
You’ll probably notice this grill is pretty similar to the Traeger Lil Tex Elite below. However, the Camp Chef does have a few features that set it apart from the competition. First, Camp Chef has a patented Ash Cleanout system unique to their grills. And it’s literally as simple as pulling a lever. Anybody who has ever struggled with a vacuum cleaner in their grill will understand the value of this.
This Camp Chef model also comes with a meat probe included. With the tap of a button, the display will change from showing the grill chamber temperature to the probe/meat temperature.
Lastly, you’ll notice the Camp Chef SmokePro has a square back rather than being completely circular. This space is used for a second warming rack. The total cooking area on this Camp Chef grill is 570 square inches, compared to 418 on the Traeger Lil Tex Elite.
If you’re looking for more info on the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX, check out our in-depth review.
2. Traeger Lil Tex Elite Review
Like the Camp Chef grill above, wood pellets provide the heat for Traeger’s Lil Tex Elite. While this Traeger grill doesn’t offer as much grilling space as others on our list, it weighs in at less than 100 pounds, proving that there are two sides to the size coin. And it’s really no slouch at 418 square inches of cooking area, which is enough for 5 racks of ribs.
Heat control is paramount for Traeger, and this model promises to keep temps within +/- 20 degrees of your selected temperature with its digital controller. It comes equipped with porcelain grates, which create an awesome non-stick cooking surface. There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles when it comes to the design, but its powder coat finish gives its exterior a really beautiful look – and adds to the durability!
Traeger’s Lil Tex Elite is a rock solid product if you’re looking for a mid-sized pellet grill. And in our estimation Traeger is one of the most – if not the most – widely known and established brands when it comes to pellet smokers.
3. Traeger Tailgater 20 Review
As the name implies, this is Traeger’s portable offering. It actually shares most of the features of the Lil Tex Elite directly above. It runs on the same wood pellets, and only wood pellets, with the same digital meter and auto-feeding pellet mechanism.
The big difference is that the Tailgater is smaller, and thus ideal for tailgating or bringing to the park for a family barbecue. At 70 pounds, it’s almost 30 pounds lighter than its bigger brother. Additionally, the legs fold up for easy transport. It’s still a solid, impressive looking piece of equipment that can handle whatever you throw at it – it definitely doesn’t give off a cheap, poorly made vibe associated with some other ‘portable’ versions of things.
You do get less cooking space in the Tailgater. This model only offers 300 square inches, which is only enough for a mere two juicy, mouthwatering, whole chickens. I know – sad, right? You can only feed a couple families at a time with the Tailgater.
There’s not much else that needs to be said about this one – if you’re looking for a portable grill and smoker than runs on pellets, this is it!
4. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker Review
This grill is big time! By volume the Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill is the largest on our list, but at 112 pounds it’s still 15 pounds lighter than our top choice. Together the main rack and warming rack provide a whopping 700 square inches of cooking space. And the hopper’s capacity is 20 pounds!
A nice advantage that comes with the extra size is the storage cabinet area underneath the grill itself. This area is great for storing extra pellets, along with any other accessories you use with your grill.
Like the Camp Chef and Traeger models above, this pellet grill uses an automated electric system to monitor and maintain your desired temperature. You can smoke or grill anywhere in the 180° F to 450° range. Just set the temperature with the knob control and you’re good to go.
Unlike other options in this list, Z Grills includes a cover so you can leave your grill out in any weather. But if you do need to move it for any reason, the locking caster wheels are there for your convenience.
5. Char-Griller 16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Review
Char-Griller switches up the standard grill smoker design with their Akorn Kamado Kooker. It’s shaped like, you guessed it, an acorn. It’s a very modern variation of the kamado, a traditional type of Japanese charcoal cookstove that has been used for literally thousands of years. Sometimes you don’t have to mess with the classics too much.
The Akorn uses charcoal as its heat source, so it’s a good option for cooking at higher temperatures. Its nut-shaped shell is triple insulated and can maintain temperatures between 200 and 700 degrees F. The ludicrously hot temp means it’s the easiest to get a sear with of any device on this list.
Maintaining temperature is, however, manual. You’ll have to do a little work yourself managing the dampers and paying attention to the thermometer. It’s easier than you may expect, but definitely more work than the automated pellet grill offerings, with more room for error.
The clever shape of the Akorn Kamado Kooker allows for 314 square inches of cooking space, with a relatively small footprint. It also makes cleanup easy, since ash naturally falls into the detachable pan at the bottom.
That’s it for this product roundup! I really hope that we provided you with some valuable information and helped you choose the best grill smoker combo for your needs.
As always, if you have any comments, suggestions, or questions – we ALWAYS love to hear from our readers. So don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!