The Best Pellet Smokers Made in the USA

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    Last Updated on November 17, 2020

    american made grillsWhile barbequed food has been around since the dawn of man, it’s fairly safe to say that the United States of America is the birthplace of barbeque as a cultural phenomenon, and the current form it takes is one of the few types of food that is distinctly American.

    There are many ways to make barbeque; styles and variants across the different regions of the US. However, they all share one thing in common: a grill or smoker. And of the grills and smokers out there, pellet grills are consistently the best for getting easily repeatable results.

    So, let’s marry those two concepts together. Let’s take a look at what makes pellet smokers so good, why to buy American, and some of my favorite options out there.

    Why Buy a USA Made Pellet Smoker?

    Assuming you live in the United States, there are a lot of fairly simple reasons to buy American made products; the same goes for buying domestic goods anywhere you live, honestly.

    The first and the biggest is that buying stuff made in the USA directly contributes to the US economy, rather than the global economy (which will indirectly benefit us regardless, but in a less immediate sense). This is good for everyone here.

    As well, on average, product quality is going to tend to be higher in terms of raw construction, which is one of the most important factors when buying a grill. Things mass manufactured for export in any country are going to be by their very nature less sturdy and more prone to breaking down. Companies that manufacture directly in the USA are usually going to be smaller companies that can afford to put a little more time and attention into the manufacturing process, since they typically are going to make less of their product and ship only domestically.

    This is not to say grills made elsewhere are inherently inferior; Traeger grills are some of the best around, and are manufactured in China, for instance, but you’re going to find a whole lot fewer flaws on average in a domestically made product.

    What to Look for in the Best USA Made Pellet Smokers

    As mentioned above, construction is key when it comes to pellet smokers. A sturdy stainless steel exterior is by far the most preferred construction material.

    Inside things can vary a bit, but stainless steel with a few options for coating tends to be the most common and preferred. While cast iron grates are excellent, they’re rare to find these days. Nickel coated steel in particular is a great option to look out for, with increased nonstick properties that make grill grates like that easier to clean, and less prone to tarnishing than even normal stainless steel.

    But by far the most important aspect of construction to look for is insulation. The better insulated your smoker is, the better the smoked meat it will produce.

    There are a bunch of other minor features that compliment a good smoker’s construction as well. How easy it is to move, for instance. Things like whether it doubles as a grill (usually this is the case), whether it has a good side table, the quality of the temperature control technology, and the hopper capacity, but all of these are negotiable.

    Looking at raw construction will rarely steer you wrong when choosing a good grill or smoker, and help you determine the price you’re willing to pay. For a pellet smoker, set your expectations at paying close to $2000 and prepare to swiftly scale up from there.

    Need more choices? We have the complete list our Best Pellet Smokers Reviewed here.


    Best Pellet Smokers Made in USA (2020)

    Fast Eddys By Cookshack

    Pros

    Unparalleled cooking capacity.
    Small footprint, easy to keep out of the way.
    Excellent results from the IQ5 temperature controller.
    Great insulation.
    Decent hopper capacity.
    Perfect for light commercial applications.

    Cons

    A commercial smoker is beyond the needs of most people.

    Specifications:

    • Materials: stainless steel (total)
    • Total cooking area: 1564 square inches.
    • Hopper capacity: 20 lbs.
    • Dimensions: 45” x 24.75” x 65”.
    • Total weight: 416 lbs.

    Compared to the others on this list, this is the ultimate smoking machine. It’s rare to find a dedicated pellet smoker, as you might have been able to suss out. Most are grills and smoker combos. This isn’t a bad thing, by any means, as it give you added versatility. But it does mean that the focus is going to be split, and by necessity certain features are going to be lesser.

    One of these features is raw capacity. An 800 square inch grill is huge, by most peoples’ estimation. I’ve seen some with upwards of 1000 square inches of grilling space, but those are rare and to a one exorbitantly expensive.

    This does not sidestep that last issue, but does dwarf even those lofty heights of capacity by a fair margin, providing 1564 square inches of smoking space inside the box. That’s on average 100 lbs. of food you’re able to smoke at once.

    As you might expect, that makes this a good light commercial option, smoking food for a small restaurant or the like. As a result, while I’d normally knock this one outright for its ridiculous price (close to three times the cost of our winner), that gets put down as a fairly minor footnote instead, as it makes for a fairly reasonable business expense.

    In terms of performance, this option is also second to none. It has top of the line insulation, really locking that heat and smoke in there for maximum flavor. Meanwhile the IQ5 automatic temperature controller provides the perfect balance of temperature, ensuring everything comes out juicy and delicious.

    Of course, not everybody needs a commercial grade smoker. That’s a pretty big drawback, and is why this one brings up the rear of the list. If you need this kind of size and performance, the price is justifiable. If not, just stay far away.


    Cookshak

    Pros

    Huge cooking area.
    Convenient warming drawer saves space and is easier to use than a warming rack.
    Sturdy stainless steel construction.
    Huge hopper capacity dwarfs anything else on this list.

    Cons

    Quite large and ugly, so if you like to make a decorative statement with your grill, give this a pass.
    Pretty expensive, though not too outrageous for the quality.

    Specifications:

    • Materials: stainless steel (total)
    • Total cooking area: 180 square inches direct cooking space, 324 square inches indirect cooking area, 247 square inches warming drawer (with a 4 inch overhead).
    • Hopper capacity: 40 lbs.
    • Total weight: 330 lbs.

    This absolutely enormous grill and smoker is one of Cookshack’s best, and narrowly beats out other options as my favorite on this list.

    Let’s get the main drawback out of the way first: this is a hideous grill. It does not look like something that should be gracing your back porch as a nice statement of your intent to make good food. This is a business first, appearance last grill. While I think the performance more than offsets this issue, it’s a genuine one you should think about before picking it up if you care about ho your appliances fit in with the rest of your decorative style.

    From there, though, everything is a treat. The grilling area is massive, clocking in at 784 square inches spread across three different types of cooking surface. The direct cooking surface is fairly small, with only 180 square inches of space to use; this is a smoker first and a grill second. The indirect cooking surface makes up the next 324 square inches of space.

    Instead of a warming rack, the Fast Eddy provides a warming DRAWER, which is a nice little addition. It helps keep your sauces and already cooked food well out of the way of everything else without them getting cold, and sidesteps all the issues of minimizing overhead space that a warming rack entails.

    Rounding things out is a massive 40 lbs. hopper, providing hours upon hours of smoking time to enjoy.

    Besides that nitpick about its appearance, this pellet grill and smoker is pretty much perfect, being as durable as any other option and significantly larger. So long as you’re willing to pay the quite high asking price, you can’t go wrong with this option.


    Cookshack PG1000

    Pros

    Great sturdy stainless steel construction.
    Good cooking space.
    Convenient warming rack.
    Decent sized hopper.
    Double insulated construction for better smoking.

    Cons

    Demands too high of a price compared to the nearly as good PG500 model.

    Specifications:

    • Materials: stainless steel (total)
    • Total cooking area: 180 square inches direct cooking space, 324 square inches indirect cooking area, 247 square inches warming drawer (with a 4 inch overhead).
    • Hopper capacity: 40 lbs.
    • Dimensions: 67.5” x 24” x 51.5”.
    • Total weight: 405 lbs.

    This is a weird one. Based on the name, you’d think it was a strictly better model than our winner. However, that’s not quite the case.

    The main problem here is cost. This option costs almost twice as much as our winner. And while this model does have some advantages over it, it’s not exactly twice as good.

    The cooking area is the same as our winner, including the nice little warming drawer. The cart is interesting, being significantly lower slung than the PG500 model, but longer. It looks a lot nicer too. Still a basic stainless steel, but less garish and unrefined looking, for whatever that’s worth.

    It moves around easily enough, and has the benefit of being double insulated, so it’s much better for smoking than our winner. That alone would be enough for some price hike, it’s just difficult to justify such an insane increase in cost for such a benefit; I might pay 20% or even 50% more, but not nearly double.

    Particularly since not only does it only have one feature that’s better, it actually has a feature that’s worse: the hopper capacity is only 25 lbs.

    If you have enough money to blow, this one might be a worthwhile look. Otherwise, give it a pass.


    Conclusion

    Cookshack pretty much rules the show here, with a large number of very fine grills on offer. All of these American made grills are top of their class, and wile they may be fairly expensive on average, provide performance to match. Ultimately, I think the Fats Eddy PG500 gives you the best bang for your buck, but I could picture different people gelling with any of these depending on their needs.