Best Portable Pellet Grill Options: Tabletop Models and Foldable Carts

Best Portable Pellet Grill Options

If you are in the market for a portable pellet grill then you have quite a few options available.  Let’s take a look at a few grills from different manufacturers, check out the specifications and reviews to see if we can find the best grill for your needs.

One issue to be aware of with most of the other grills on this list is that they require a 110V power source and that is not always available in remote locations.  You can use your car/truck to power these by using an inverter to convert your vehicle’s 12V DC power into the 110V AC power needed for the grills.  You can buy an inverter for less than $40.  Alternatively, you can always invest in a small portable generator that will also allow you to power some lights, etc.

There is not a clear cut, one size fits all answer to which of these grills is the best but my two picks are:

  • The Traveler from Country Smokers is the best tabletop model.
  • The Grilla Chimp is the best model hat is mounted on a foldable cart.

Let’s take a look at the top options.

Best Portable Pellet Grill Options

I have these grills broken down as either “Tabletop” or “Folding Cart” based so you can make head to head comparisons based upon what you value most.  The Tabletop models are generally smaller, easier to transport and less expensive.

Tabletop Pellet Grill Reviews

If you are looking for a pellet grill to stow in your RV or boat, or simply just want a small guy to sit on your deck then you should be please at the number of options available.  There are four grills in this market:

  • Country Smokers Travellers
  • Traeger Ranger
  • Traeger Scout
  • Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett

I pulled all of the reviews I could find from the manufacturers’ websites as well as from Home Depot, Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart and BBQGuys.  This data set is current as of June 23, 2020 and here is what it looks like.

Tabletop Pellet Grill Reviews

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the least expensive of these grills, the Traveller, had the highest amount of 5 Star reviews!

Tabletop Pellet Grill Reviews Davy Crockett Traveller Ranger Scout
5 Star 67.00% 82.22% 68.64% 51.72%
4 Star 12.00% 8.89% 12.61% 8.26%
3 Star 7.00% 1.11% 5.04% 4.98%
2 Star 3.00% 1.11% 5.07% 11.68%
1 Star 12.00% 6.67% 8.63% 23.36%

When you combine the 5 and 4 Star reviews the Traveller has a 91% satisfaction rating followed at a distant second by the Ranger at 81%.

Let’s look at the specifications of each grill in a little more detail.

Traveler Frontier Series from Country Smokers

The Traveler is the going to be absolutely perfect for most people who want a small pellet grill that they can take camping or to a tailgate.  The Traveler is very budget friendly, comes with a three year warranty and is big enough to grill six hamburgers at once.  A nice feature of the Traveler is that the heat shield has a sliding mechanism that lets you grill directly over the open flames of the fire pot.  Direct access to the flames is a nice touch if you want to sear a steak.

Traveler Frontier Specifications

  • Hopper Capacity: 3.5 pounds
  • Weight: 42 pounds
  • Main Grilling Area: 191 sq in
  • Secondary Grilling Area: 64 sq in
  • Power: 120V
  • Temperature Control: Dial In Digital (25 degree increments)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Website Link

Ranger and Scout From Traeger

Traeger offers two portable tabletop grills (PTGs), the Scout and Ranger, which are extremely similar to each other.  Both grills have the same grilling area but the Ranger is upgraded and comes with a larger pellet hopper, meat probe, cast iron griddle and a more precise temperature controller.

Traeger Ranger and Scout Specifications

  • Hopper Capacity: 4 pounds Scout, 8 pounds Ranger
  • Weight: 45 pounds Scout, 60 pounds Ranger
  • Main Grilling Area: 184 sq in
  • Secondary Grilling Area: None
  • Power: 120V
  • Temperature Control: 5 or 25 degree increments (Ranger vs Scout)
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Here is a detailed comparison of the differences between Traeger’s Portable Tabletop Grills.

Please note that the Ranger weighs 15 pounds more than the Scout so if you plan on carrying these grills over any significant distance then this should be a consideration.

Davy Crockett From Green Mountain Grills

Without question, the Davy Crockett is the fanciest of these grills.  With the Davy Crockett you get stainless steel construction, a Wi-Fi enabled temperature controller, meat probe, large 9 pound pellet hopper and 219 sq in of grilling space. The Davy Crockett also has an impressive amount of clearance of 7.75 inches under the lid so cooking larger items is easy.

Most importantly, you can power this grill three different ways; using your vehicle’s 12V system, using a household 110V plug or even just using a battery!

Davy Crockett Specifications

  • Hopper Capacity: 9 pounds
  • Weight: 68 pounds
  • Main Grilling Area: 219 sq in
  • Secondary Grilling Area: None
  • Power: 12V DC, battery or 120V AC
  • Temperature Control: 5 degree increments
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Which Grill Should You Buy?

If you want a tabletop grill then I would suggest going with the Traveller but would understand if someone wanted the stainless steel Davy Crockett.

The Traveler is the least expensive and gets the best reviews which is a hard combination to argue against.  The Davy Crockett is the largest and most advanced of these grills and the only one available in stainless steel.

The only case I can make for buying the Scout or Ranger is that Traeger has been great at marketing and branding.  Buying one of these grills is the least expensive way to become a member of the #TraegerNation.

Reviews Of Pellet Grills With Folding Carts

If you want a portable grill with a little more gilling area than you get with a tabletop version, or if you simply want a cart so you have a place to pt the grill, then there are four options to choose from.

  • Grilla Grills Chimp
  • Camp Chef Pursuit 20
  • Traeger Tailgater
  • Pit Boss Tailgater

I pulled all of the reviews I could find from the manufacturers’ websites as well as from Home Depot, Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart and BBQGuys.  This data set is current as of June 23, 2020 and here is what it looks like.

Small Cart Based Grill Reviews

Important: The number of reviews available for the Pit Boss Tailgater (28) and Camp Chef Pursuit (76) are small enough that a few odd ball reviews in either direction could significant change the percentages.  Please use this data as guidance but realize that the data set is very limited.

Cart Based Pellet Grills Grilla Camp Chef Traeger Pit Boss
5 Star 81.88% 61.84% 63.85% 50.07%
4 Star 15.22% 15.26% 12.31% 14.64%
3 Star 2.90% 8.95% 6.15% 8.57%
2 Star 0.00% 3.16% 6.15% 8.57%
1 Star 0.00% 11.32% 11.54% 18.14%

A quick glance at the data shows that the Grilla Chimp has the highest percentage of 5 Star reviews.  When the 5 and 4 Star reviews are combined the grill has an outstanding 96% satisfaction rating followed in a distant second with a 76% rating from Camp Chef.

Chimp Grill from GrillaGrills

The Chimp, from Grilla Grills, is a cart based, tricked out, nearly full sized, pellet grill that has been been designed for easy transport.  You can use it as a massive tabletop grill but you will probably want to unfold the legs and use it in the “stand up” position.

The Chimp comes with stainless steel grates, a meat probe and the most advanced temperature controller on the market.

My only concern is about the Chimp is that it the most expensive of any of the grills in this list but comes with the shortest warranty.  That is a combination that always puts me on edge.

Like all Grilla Grills the only way to buy one is directly through the manufacturer.

Grilla Chimp Specifications

  • Hopper Capacity: 15 pounds
  • Weight: 90 pounds
  • Main Grilling Area: 360 sq in
  • Secondary Grilling Area: 120 sq in
  • Power: 120V
  • Temperature Control: 5 degree increments
  • Warranty: 2 Years

Pursuit 20 From Camp Chef

The Pursuit is another cart based grill that has been designed with collapsible legs for easy transportation.  The Pursuit comes with dual meat probes, an easy ash clean out system and the overall quality you can expect from Camp Chef.

Pursuit 20 Specifications

  • Hopper Capacity: 10 pounds
  • Weight: 82 pounds
  • Main Grilling Area: 253 sq in
  • Secondary Grilling Area: 248 sq in
  • Power: 120V
  • Temperature Control: 25 degree increments
  • Warranty: 3 years

Tailgater From Traeger

The best thing I can say about the Tailgater is that, at 62 pounds, it is the lightest of all of the cart based portable grills.

Traeger Tailgater Specifications

  • Hopper Capacity: 8 pounds
  • Weight: 62 pounds
  • Main Grilling Area: 300 sq in
  • Secondary Grilling Area: None
  • Power: 120V
  • Temperature Control: 25 degree increments
  • Warranty: Three Years

If you do end up getting this grill then you can always set it up in the back of your truck and smoke ribs at 80 miles per hour like this guy does.  And remember, only use Traeger pellets and Traeger Rubs.


Pit Boss

Pit Boss has three different models of cart based grills that are all pretty similar.

  • NASCAR: Red grill with NASACR badging and 464 square inches of grilling area.  Weight of 100 pounds.
  • 440 Tailgater: Black grill with 440 square inches of grilling area.  Weight of 88 pounds.
  • 340 Tailgater: Bronze grill developed for sale at Walmart with 340 square inches of grilling space.  Weight of 88 pounds.

The Pit Boss Tailgater grills come with an industry leading 5 year warranty.

If the red NASCAR Tailgater grabs your attention keep in mind that it is the heaviest of all of the grills on this list and you will need a second person to help you lift it into your vehicle.

Pit Boss Grill Specifications

  • Hopper Capacity: 5 pounds
  • Weight: 88-100 pounds
  • Main Grilling Area: 340-464 sq in
  • Secondary Grilling Area: none
  • Power: 120V
  • Temperature Control: 25 degree increments
  • Warranty: Five Years

Which Grill Should You Buy?

I think you only have two real choices here.  Either buy the best, the Grilla Chimp, or buy the least expensive, the Pit Boss tailgater.  I think with any other choice you are overpaying for a mediocre product.


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