Stocking Pellet Grills in Your Store

Boost your bottom line with pellet grills that offer the most popular wave in grilling technology.

Stocking Pellet Grills in Your Store

Photo: Darren McDougal 

Plumes of smoke billowed from the stack of my pellet grill, fruity hints tickling my senses. On the menu were elk loins coated with my favorite steak seasoning. After the loins had cooked 30 minutes in the grill chamber on the “smoke” setting, I re-moved them and cranked the temperature up to 450 degrees. Once the grill temperature hiked above 400 degrees, I placed the loins back onto the grill rack, allowing grill marks to etch the surfaces of the meat, searing in the flavor and juices. When the sizzling loins reached an internal temperature that corresponded with medium-well, I removed them from the heat, placed a flake of butter on each of them, and let the meat rest for three minutes.

What followed was a remarkable steak dinner that rivaled any expensive restaurant steak dinner I’ve ever eaten.

The New Fad

Over the years, I’ve grilled extensively using gas grills, charcoal grills and smokers. While each style has merits, I just cannot deny that pellet grills combine the best qualities of each style to create what I believe is the ultimate cooking medium. Pellet grills give you the convenience of a gas grill, wood-grilled flavor that rivals the flavor of charcoal-grilled meat, plus the ability to smoke. Most pellet grills can grill, smoke, sear, bake, roast, braise and BBQ. Some can even flame-broil. In other words, pellet grills are unfathomably versatile.

This is probably the most effective sales pitch you can use to sell more pellet grills. Rather than have a gas or charcoal grill and a smoker, the customer can purchase one pellet grill that conveniently grills steaks, bakes cookies and smokes salmon under one lid.

Some folks might believe the pellet-grill wave is
 merely a fad. Contrarily, I believe they are here to stay 
and that more folks will make the switch to a pellet grill
 as I did — heaven forbid a better mousetrap comes along in the future.

The Difference 

If you don’t understand the fundamental differences between a pellet grill and gas and charcoal grills, we’ll distinguish those differences now. Gas grills are convenient — turn the propane
 on, hit the ignitor and you’re grilling. However, gas grills have no solid fuel (charcoal or wood) to flavor the meat. Note: In my experience, it seems that ignitors quit sparking eventually.

Of course, charcoal adds great flavor to grilled meat, but a lot of trial and error is involved since everything is done manually, including temperature regulation. It takes longer to begin grilling, and you’ll have to stick close by to monitor progress, or you could blacken a perfectly good steak.

With a pellet grill, you get the convenience of automatic temperature regulation — some are Wi-Fi-enabled for smartphone control and monitoring — plus the splendid flavors of woodsmoke, which, in my opinion, is the best there is. And, you’re not limited to grilling, as I mentioned earlier.

Basic Operations and Use

Pellet grills are outfitted with hoppers designed to hold roughly 20 pounds (give or take) of pellets. A rotating auger feeds pellets into the fire pot, where a hot rod ignites the pellets. A fan stokes the fire, which evenly distributes heat and smoke throughout the grill and keeps the flames from traveling into the pellet hopper.

To start the grill, simply fill the hopper with wood pellets, turn the temperature dial to the desired setting, and walk away. Within 15 minutes or less, the grill should reach that temperature, and it will hover near that temperature unless you change the temperature dial to a different setting. Of course, this means that when you make a phenomenal steak, you can consistently replicate that result.

As long as you understand temperatures at which to grill different types of meat, and you use a meat thermometer to check the meat’s doneness, there is little else to know, since pellet grills are incredibly user-friendly.

What's Available?

Pellet grills come in various shapes, sizes and prices. In the Traeger line, for example, you have the diminutive and portable Scout up to the Large Commercial Pellet Grill Trailer, and everything in between. As for prices, the Scout runs $300 MSRP and the XL runs $9,855 MSRP. This gives your customers a full spectrum of options designed to meet their needs and budgets.

In my travels, Traeger has been the most popular pellet grill folks are using, but there are certainly other great brands to choose from (see sidebar), too. In most cases, especially if your customers are mostly grilling for their families and entertaining guests on occasion, a moderately sized grill in the $400 to $700 range built by a reputable manufacturer will perform well.

Pellet Woods/Flavors

Lastly, let’s discuss pellets. Each wood variety yields a slightly different flavor. I tend to like apple and cherry pellets for most of my grilling and smoking operations. Naturally, these will accentuate the sweet flavor of pork, though I use them for venison, chicken and wild turkey as well.

Oak, pecan, maple, hickory and mesquite are other viable pellet options. For a breakdown on what to expect from each wood variety, check out this Chad's BBQ blog post.

Since purchasing my Z Grill 700E, I’ve used several different wood pellets. My favorite so far is the Fruit by Pit Boss, a blend of cherry, apple and maple woods. Once I burn through those, I’ll be trying Competition Blend hardwood pellets by Louisiana Grills. As a retailer, you’ll find that dedicated pellet grillers prefer certain types of wood pellets, thus making it wise to stock a variety from several manufacturers.

Approximately 1 to 3 pounds of pellets burn per hour depending on the grill and temperature, which makes pellet grilling quite reasonable. Of course, customers will need to purchase pellets the entire time they own the grill, just like charcoal for a charcoal grill. You’ll not only capitalize on immediate profits when you sell them a grill and a few initial bags of pellets, but you’ll make reciprocating profits as customers return again and again for pellet stock-ups.

Satisfy Customers, Increase Your Bottom Line

The convenience and flavor aspects that set pellet grills apart from conventional gas and charcoal grills are great reasons to sell them in your store. Beyond that, pellet grills perfectly complement hunting and fishing merchandise. Why? Because they’re the answer to making some of the greatest wild-game meals possible, and they complete the outdoor experience.

For your customers who grocery shop in the woods or water, a pellet grill perfectly rounds out their outdoor arsenal. If you take the time to understand the ins and outs of pellet grills, and how to translate that knowledge into a trustworthy sales pitch, you’ll sell more grills and pellets, substantially increasing your bottom line. And to that end, everyone wins. 

BONUS: Popular Pellet Grills

Traeger | Renegade Pro

Traeger’s sensational grill lineup enters a new era with the Renegade Pro. This ruggedly designed pellet grill offers the versatility to cook in various ways under one lid: smoke, bake, grill, roast, braise and BBQ. The pellet hopper has an 18-pound capacity, and the Sawhorse Chassis and all-terrain wheels provide stability and long-lasting durability. Additionally, steel construction and a durable powder-coat finish, provide years of use. The Digital Pro Controller with AGL provides 60 readings per minute and allows you to monitor internal temperature without opening the grill lid. Dual Meat Temperature Probes and an electronic auto-start ignition complete the package.


MSRP: $750  

Camp Chef | Woodwind SG 24

With 40 percent more rack space and an extended barrel height, the Woodwind SG 24 brings a new dimension to pellet grilling. A clear hopper window allows you to monitor pellets remaining, and the hopper itself has a 22-pound capacity. The dual LED temperature display shows the inside grill temperature and internal food temperature, all made possible with two included meat probes. The Ash Cleanout System simplifies maintenance, and the racks are adjustable and provide a generous 4,850 cubic inches of cooking space. A Cord Management System and Grease Management System further improve the grilling experience. The Woodwind SG 24 features a high-temperature paint with a long-lasting matte finish, not to mention an integrated bottle opener. If that’s not enough, it also features a unique sear box perfect for steaks. Slide and Grill Technology moves the heat shield to expose the fire for flame broiling. 


MSRP: $999

Pit Boss | 700FB

For serious grillers on a budget, the 700FB by Pit Boss provides substantial value to the equation. The hopper holds 21 pounds of pellets, and the grill features a user-friendly digital control board. A generous 700-square-inch grilling surface is perfect for preparing food for four to six people. The 8-in-1 700FB provides eight cooking methods under its hood — grill, smoke, sear, bake, roast, braise, BBQ or char-grill. That sort of versatility is a welcome attribute. The heavy-duty pellet system and steel wheels are designed to withstand years of use. Whatever cooking method your outdoor-enthusiast customers prefer, they’ll agree that the wood-fired flavor achieved by the Pit Boss 700 FB is unparalleled.


MSRP: $499

Green Mountain Grills | Davy Crockett

Want the convenience of controlling and monitoring your grill temperature on your smart device? The Davy Crockett from Green Mountain Grills provides it via a Wi-Fi mode, mobile app and a GMG digital controller. Server mode lets you connect to the grill remotely so you can control and monitor it on the go. This enables you to knock out errands and prepare food simultaneously. Perfect for on-the-move applications, you can wow your family or a few friends while camping or tailgating — among countless other applications — using this portable pellet grill, which weighs just 68 pounds. In fact, its folding legs make it so compact that it can fit in a car trunk! Also standard are a meat probe, peaked lid, Sense-Mate thermal sensor and convenience tray complete with utensil hooks. With other features too many to mention, your search for a portable do-all pellet grill ends here. 


MSRP: $399


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