Vertical Smoker vs Pellet Grill – A Complete Guide

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Vertical smokers are popular cooking smokers in the US because they are versatile. They can be used to cook almost anything including seafood, vegetables, and even fresh game.

Pellet grills are gaining popularity in the US as well. They offer some unique benefits like temperature control, ease of use, and a large cooking surface.

However, vertical smokers are more popular than pellet grills. One of their benefits is that they offer versatility as well as rapid heat-up time. Some benefits of pellet grills include temperature control and ease of use for many new users.

Read this complete Guide to know which is the best between a Vertical Smoker vs Pellet Grill.

What Is a Vertical Smoker & What Are the Advantages of a Pellet Grill?

Vertical smokers are the perfect compromise between the smaller and more portable grill models and the larger and more elaborate smokers. As a result, they offer better grilling options than both models.

It is a compact smokehouse that allows you to cook meat, vegetables, fish, and fruits at a much faster rate than traditional smokers. What makes it different from other types of smokers is its size which can be as small as half of a regular-sized grill or up to two times larger than many standard smokers.


  • Requires less space
  • Provide more controlled temperatures than traditional designs
  • Clean up easier and have more versatility
  • Replacement grills can be changed from horizontal to vertical, depending on customer needs.
  • Don’t require any ventilation
  • Are easy to transport
  • Great for cooking in the field or camping

What Are Pellet Grills?

Pellet grills are a type of smoker. They use wood as fuel and fire to produce smoke that flavors food. They are faster than other types of smokers because they require less time and effort to maintain.

Pellet grills are popular for the fresh flavors that they provide, their efficiency, and their ability to cook meat quickly. It is a type of indoor grill fueled by pellets made from compressed sawdust or wood chips, which creates an even heat for cooking steaks, ribs, poultry, or fish.

Advantages of Pellet Grills

  • Due to their small size, they can be stored easily and take up less space in the kitchen
  • They are also very easy to use and lightweight
  • Does not require a lot of time for preparation before you start cooking
  • Also, easier to maintain and clean
  • Cooks faster and more evenly, which means you get better-tasting food
  • The pellets that they burn don’t produce any smoke or exhaust fumes unlike traditional charcoal grills

How to Choose the Right Vertical Smoker for Your Needs?

How to Choose the Right Vertical Smoker for Your Needs

There are a lot of different smoking devices you can use to find your perfect device. Choosing the right vertical smoker for your needs is essential to create a great experience.

1. Type

Some people like all-rounders that can use it for ribs, beef, pork, chicken, fish, and vegetables. Others enjoy having a dedicated vertical smoker just for their favorite meat type.

There are different types of vertical smokers available in the market. Some are meant for specific types of meats while others have a universal design so that they can smoke just about anything.

Closed-loop vertical smokers that tell you what temperature they are set at may be the most popular with people who want convenience and more accurate smoke flavor instead of having to guess and check temperatures constantly.

2. True Flavor

The true flavor is achieved when wood chips or pellets are used to produce smoke, rather than artificial substances. The wood chips burn at a steady temperature and give off their natural flavors, which vary depending on what type of wood is used.

There are also other components that contribute to the true flavor of smoking including heat retention, ease of use, and even how well your meat’s juices absorb into the meat.

How to Choose a Pellet Grill?

How to Choose a Pellet Grill

There are a few characteristics that you should consider before picking out the best pellet grill for you.

1. Size

First of all, the size of the grill is important. You’ll want to choose a model that’s large enough to fit at least 5 burgers and 5 hot dogs, but smaller grills are also available if you don’t need a lot of cooking space.

2. Material

Another thing to consider is the material: most models are made from stainless steel and porcelain-enameled cast iron, although ceramic and cast aluminum grills can be found as well.

3. Pricing

In terms of pricing, pellet grill models range from $100 up to nearly $13000 depending on size and material quality. The cheapest models offer sear grilling made possible by their small cooking area and limited features.

More expensive models offer better burns, more robust construction materials, larger cooking areas for bigger events like parties or weddings, remote control operation for greater versatility when using additional devices like smokers or rotisseries,

4. Type

The different types of pellet grills are mainly differentiated by their heating system, which can be either direct-fired (using a standard propane tank) or indirect-fired (using electricity).

Other factors influencing the choice include food preparation surfaces like porcelain coated cast iron grates on which to prepare food; cooking temperature range: up to 2,000° F with no smoking smoke

Comparing Vertical Smoker vs Pellet Grill – Which Is for You?

Vertical smokers, a type of fancy smoking machine, are becoming more popular with special features including temperature control and digital handles. Pellet grills are becoming more popular as they have a wide variety of features such as PID (heat control), Bluetooth connectivity, wifi-enabled cooking, and automatic grilling.

1. Which Type of User Are You?

Vertical smokers and pellet grills offer two different types of experience for the users. They produce an all-encompassing smoky flavor whereas pellet grills produce vibrant sear marks from their food.

2. Resources You Use As Fuel

Vertical smokers are the most dominant type of smoker in the world. The main difference between vertical and pellet grills is that the latter uses pellets to fuel its fire, while vertical smokers use wood or briquettes. Pellet grills also release more smoke compared to vertical smokers.

3. Ease of Use

The best pellet grill has a detachable side burner that you can use to cook your food. With a removable side burner option, it is easier for you to control how much heat your grill releases, making it more convenient for you when cooking different types of foods.

4. Cost

A vertical smoker is typically more expensive than a pellet one because of its intense heating power. However, both come with great features integrated into some models.

Some offer very precise temperature control and some models even have WiFi integrated into their designs.

You should also read out our guide for Electric Smokers vs Charcoal Smokers.


Some prefer the convenience of using a device while others want the freedom of being able to adjust their settings. It all boils down to what features you want in your smoker and how much you’re willing to pay for it.

Smokers help with maintaining heat and that’s one area where they typically come up short compared with grills. When comparing Vertical smokers and pellet grills, there is no difference other than how they work, but there are features that make each method better for certain activities or foods than others.

For example, if you want to cook at high heat quickly or cook over low heat longer, then you should buy a vertical smoker. If you want an easy-to-use product with minimal moving parts that require little to no maintenance then purchase a pellet grill. 


Q: Why Vertical Smokers?

Vertical smokers are becoming more popular because they provide an easier way for people to smoke meat. They use wood-burning fireboxes, a small amount of charcoal, and natural gas as fuel, whereas these grills use pellets that burn at low oxygen levels.

They also have significantly lower temperatures than their counterparts since they don’t have the large firebox that most vertical smokers do. Vertical smokers use pellets that are placed on top of a heating element to cook meat or vegetables more evenly and efficiently while maintaining simplicity.

Q: Why Pellet Grills?

Pellet Grills typically cost less than vertical smokers, but their performance can be subpar if you don’t maintain them properly. If you want high-performance pellet grills, it’s essential to ensure that the heat doesn’t go too high in your grill.

Also, your pellets will get evenly burnt through constant monitoring of flame height and coal bed levels with a gauge. A pellet grill is like other grills with an open-flame burner at the bottom. It uses pellets or wood chips as fuel which need to be lit up before cooking.

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