Pellet Smokers vs Ceramic Grills

Pellet Smokers vs Ceramic Grills

There’s no doubt that pellet smokers and ceramic grills are often considered best when it comes to grilling. Whether you’re looking for a grill for your home or commercial needs, you’ll definitely agree that these two types of grills have generated quite a buzz in grilling enthusiast circles

The Flying Weasel in Tahlequah Oklahoma offers grilling demonstrations.

Inviting your friends, relatives or loved ones over to your place for camaraderie and catching up over some sumptuously grilled and delicious meat is a favorite pastime that has been practiced by human beings for many centuries now. Over these centuries, humans have developed varying preferences of grilling using charcoal, electricity or gas. Even though humans have heavily relied on the use of clay vessels or grills to cook food for thousands of years, that’s now changing thanks to the introduction of modern-day grills. This has immensely ensured that BBQ lovers have the flexibility of choosing from a range of well-suited grilling devices that meet both their needs and capabilities.

There’s no doubt that pellet smokers and ceramic grills are often considered best when it comes to grilling. Whether you’re looking for a grill for your home or commercial needs, you’ll definitely agree that these two types of grills have generated quite a buzz in grilling enthusiast circles, while creating a devout following. Predictably, it is this unwavering following and popularity that has generated numerous comparisons between these superb grilling devices. The question is, why does one prefer a pellet smoker grill to a ceramic/Kamado grill?

On paper, there’s not a big difference between pellet smokers and ceramic grills. Even though pellet grills are modern inventions with advanced technology such as sensors and circuits while the ceramic grills are traditional charcoal grills with more than a thousand-year history, you can’t actually differentiate them in terms of strength and versatility. But for the sake of a proper understanding, let’s take a brief look at each type of grill.

What Exactly is a Pellet Smoker?

Back in the 1970s when there was an oil crisis all over the world, wood pellets became a quite affordable heating alternative. It was around this time when Joe Traeger invented a pellet-burning furnace and used the same idea in 1985 to develop a grill, which he patented as the Traeger Grill, and that’s why pellet smokers are sometimes referred to as Traeger Grills. It was an electric grill that could grill, bake, smoke and roast at the touch of a button by automatically feeding pellets to the fire while maintaining its own heat. It was, in fact, Traeger’s invention that inspired brands such as Louisiana Grills that are known to produce uniquely authentic BBQ grills and some of the world’s best pellet grills.

Outside the Traeger grill is smoking in the sunshine with a mug of coffee on the built in shelf.

And the Ceramic Grills?

Commonly known as ceramic or clay grills, Kamado grills have been around for close to 3,000 years. Conversely, modern-day Kamado grills are derived from a Japanese ceramic cooker known as Mushikamado. These grills were brought to America after the WWII, but it was Big Green Egg that began creating the modern versions of the Kamado grills in 1974.

The Big Green Egg surrounded by palm trees in somebody's backyard

Pros and Cons of Pellet Smokers vs. Ceramic Grills

Although pellet grills and ceramic grills are versatile cookers that can do just about anything, they surely do have specific strengths and weaknesses.

Pros of Pellet Smokers
  • User-friendly features
  • Easy to Use. Just set it and forget it
  • Superb temperature control
  • Admirable wood fire flavor
  • Comes in different sizes for various needs

Cons of Pellet Smokers

  • Difficult to maintain
  • Uses electricity
  • Aren’t readily available everywhere
  • Comes with limited high-heat ability
  • High Fuel consumption

Pros of Ceramic Grills

  • Controls within a wide range of temperature, low to very high.
  • Authentic charcoal flavor
  • Keeps food moist at all times
  • Extremely low fuel consumption
  • Some brands offer lifetime warranties on the ceramics

Cons of Ceramic Grills

  • Has limited cooking area
  • Adding charcoal or wood must be planned
  • Heavy. Much care must be made when moving

Verdict

The decision should be solely based upon which format best fits your needs. In fact you may decide you need both as they each have their unique value propositions.

Therefore, when looking for the best grill that will serve you best now and in the future, it is highly recommended that you work with your local grill dealer to decide which type of grill best fits your grilling needs. Look for a dealer who has working knowledge of the different grills and can tell you all about the different brands and types. You will know who these dealers are by the fact that they will be the ones who perform grilling demonstrations frequently in front of their stores.