Do pellet grills need electricity?

Pellet grills are gaining popularity by the day. It seems that people can’t get enough of these simple-to-use grills. They pretty much work by themselves and produce consistently great meat.

So it’s no wonder that they are popular, but do pellet grills need electricity? I am glad you asked! 

It is not that obvious at first glance. The name ‘pellet smoker’ gives no clue that any electricity is involved and I have never seen a marketing picture of a pellet grill with cables all over the place. So why would a pellet grill need electricity? Do pellet grills use electricity or not? Let’s take a look…

Do pellet grills need electricity?

Pellet grills do need electricity. Pellet grills are a set-and-forget way of cooking, but in order for the pellet grill to make all of the necessary adjustments, (without bothering you), electricity is required. Electricity is needed for ignition, to power the auger that feeds the pellets into the firebox, and to power the fans that maintain the temperature. 

Some pellet grills will also use electricity for Bluetooth and wifi connectivity along with other features like digital control panels. Unlike electric smokers, pellet grills do not need electricity to actually cook the food, but they will not work properly without electricity.

Do pellet grills have to be plugged in?

Pellet grills will normally have to be plugged into an electrical socket. If you do not have a suitable power outlet in your yard, you can use an extension cord. If this is not an option (maybe you are camping) then you will need to find an alternative source of electricity such as a generator or car battery to plug it into. 

Pellet grills do not have to be plugged in when they are not in use, so you can store them anywhere (out of the rain), and I would suggest that you always unplug them just in case.

How much electricity do pellet grills use?

Pellet grills need electricity for some of their basic operating functions, but they do not need very much of it and most of the power usage is right at the start. 

Pellet grills will typically use around 300-500 watts during the first few minutes when power in needed for the electric hot rod that lights the pellets. After that, they will use around 50 watts per hour (on average) to power the stoker fans, the auger, and the digital display. 

All in all, this is very little electricity and running a pellet grill costs less than 1 cent per hour. So don’t let the electricity cost put you off using your pellet smoker as often as you can!

How is a pellet smoker powered?

A pellet smoker is powered by wood pellets and electricity. The wood pellets provide the heat and smoke to cook delicious food whether that is brisket, turkey, or even salmon. The electricity is required to run the pellet grill and keep everything ticking over nicely while you put your feet up. 

Can I charge my pellet grill?

You cannot charge a pellet grill as they are not run on batteries. Pellet grills need to be plugged in and connected to a source of electricity. Maybe this is something that manufacturers will look into in the future but for now, you must have an external source of power in order to use a pellet grill 

Can I power a pellet grill from a car battery?

A pellet grill can be powered by a car battery but you will need to use a power inverter that converts the direct current (DC) of your car battery into alternating current (AC), which is what you need to power the electronics in a pellet grill

You might also like to consider using a portable power station to power your portable pellet grill. There is no need to get a noisy, smelly generator, you can use a silent, lithium-powered battery that will also come in handy for charging your phone or running any other camping equipment that you have. You can even get solar-powered batteries that can be topped up during your trip. 

Can you use an extension cord with a pellet grill?

You can use an extension cord with a pellet grill and many people will find using one essential. Unless you have a power socket in just the right place you are likely to need to use an extension cord to get your pellet grill where you want it. 

A pellet smoker will typically have a power cord of around 70 inches which doesn’t give that much flexibility. 

It is best to get a good quality extension cord that will be safer to use. A 14 gauge cord rated for 15 amps and 125 volts is recommended. Make sure that the one you choose is rated for use outdoors. This 50 foot cord does a great job.  

Do all pellet stoves need electricity?

All pellet smokers need electricity so there is no need to check the requirements of all the different brands. Pellet smokers are a brilliant invention but they need to have a supply of electricity in order to function properly. 

Without electricity, the auger would not be able to feed the fire and it would soon go out. There would also be no way of controlling the temperature as the control panel and fans could not operate.

Do pellet grills use gas or propane?

Pellet grills do not use gas or propane. Wood pellets are required to make the fire that will cook and smoke your food. Electricity is required to operate the pellet smoker, but no gas is required. 

Do I need to put charcoal in a pellet grill?

You do not need to put charcoal in a pellet grill. You just need to fill the hopper with wood pellets, set the temperature, and start the grill off. There is no need for any charcoal. 

Does a pellet smoker use electricity? The verdict

A pellet grill or pellet smoker does use electricity. It cannot work without electricity but it does not need very much. You will need to give a bit of thought to where you will be using your pellet grill and you may need to have an electrical socket installed in an appropriate location, or you could simply get an extension cord. 

Either way, I am sure that you will love using a pellet smoker, they are easy to use but the food you cook will taste is amazing!

If you are looking to buy one, check out our guide to the best pellet grill under $500

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