What Size Pellet Grill Do I Need?

Before buying one you should consider to answer the question what size pellet grill do I need. Here you can read my short and longer answer to this queation.
what size pellet grill do I need

You finally decided that you are going to get a pellet grill and in your mind, you are already seeing all the delicious meals you are going to cook on it and picture yourself as the BBQ king of the neighborhood.

You go to the store after reading some reviews of pellet grills and now reality sinks in. What size pellet grill do I need? you are asking yourself.

large pellet grill
small pellet grill

Do I need that big monster on the left or the tiny one on the right?

My short answer

The number of people you cook for X 72 square inches = Your Pellet Grill Size.

There is however more to think about to determine the size pellet grill you need. But this formula is a good starting point

How To Consider What Size Pellet Grill You Need?

Let’s be honest we all have a little bit of the “Shiny Object Syndrome” and believe that “bigger is better”.

However, this is not always the case and I will explain why.

Too Big?

Too big means that you have to realize that the bigger the pellet grills will use more pellets. You also waste a lot of energy on keeping that big grill on temperature while you only needed to smoke a small chicken breast.

You also spend more time cleaning.

Too Small?

Too small means that you are not able to cook that big brisket or those two Boston Butts that you just bought on sale.

This will limit the options to have to cook larger cuts of meat.

What Is The Right Size Pellet Grill

The best pellet grill is the one that fits your needs. An average size of 450-500 square inches is a great choice for an average size family.

If I am really honest I have to tell you that the perfect-size pellet grill does not exist. It all depends on the following in my opinion.

  • What is your size family?
  • What food are you going to cook
  • Are you gone cook for large crowds?

These are a few of the first questions you should ask yourself before even looking at one of the top-brand pellet grills.

Your Size Family

If you look at the formula above you can see that an average family of 4 people can easily get away with 4 times 72 square inches and that would be a pellet grill of about 300 square inches.

However, you have to make sure your grill is not jam-packed. There must be room for the air to flow through the grill.

The Food You Will Cook

Is the main use of your pellet smoker just for smoking on low and slow or will you also use it for grilling?

If the answer is yes you will have to look at some of the pellet grills that come with the open flame option to sear your meat.

Large Crowds?

It makes sense that when you are planning on entertaining larger crowds or having family gatherings you need more space.

Some More Things To Think About

I found a video with some nice tips that I would like to add to give you more ideas on how to find the right-size pellet grill.

YouTube video player

You also have to realize that the size you choose will affect the cost of operating a pellet grill.

How Big Of A Pellet Hopper Do I Need?

You might also want to take into consideration and ask yourself how big of a pellet hopper you need. If you are planning on doing long cooking sessions for briskets or pork shoulder this is one of the things to look at.

This means that you maybe have to purchase a larger pellet grill than you figure out with the formula at the top of this article.

What Size Pellet Grill Do I need? – My Opinion

In general, you can use the formula of 72 square inches per person you are cooking for. This formula includes also some side dishes like vegetables.

So, if you are just using your pellet grill for smoking that is a good way to calculate the size you need.

A nice size to start is in my opinion a pellet grill in the range of 350 to 400 square inches and an open flame option or a side burner to sear your steak on.

I can make this article a lot longer and write about the size you need to smoke a Turkey or brisket and complicate the whole thing but I believe I have given you enough information to make a well-informed decision to answer the question of what size pellet grill do I need.

If you first like to read more about pellet grills in general you can read my article on what is a pellet grill first.

If you have more advice or tips on the question of how big of a pellet grill do I need feel free to add it here and help the readers of the Pellet Country website.

Robert Chill

Robert Chill loves to cook on pellet grills and uses all types of recipes and techniques to cook some awesome food. With his experience, he is able to share many reviews, tips, and ideas on how to buy a pellet grill. You can read more about him here

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