How Much Electricity Does a Pellet Smoker Use?

How Much Electricity Does a Pellet Smoker Use?

Your typical pellet smoker would require about 300 to 500 watts for the first 10 minutes when you start it. This is to light the pellets and get the fan running to build a good fire in the fire pot. Thereafter, it would need about 30W to keep it running. 

We recently answered questions about grill mats, but let’s look at pellet grills.

You’re probably wondering how much electricity do pellet smokers and grills use and if there’s a difference.

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Read on to find out!

How much electricity do we need for smoked and grilled food?

What Is the Power Source for a Pellet Grill?

The power source for a pellet grill is an electric outlet. Wood pellets are the source of the heat, smoke, and flavor that you bring into the food, however, pellet grills still need electricity to work. The digital panels rotate the auger to move the wood pellets. And the hot rod and thermostat control the flame with the fans.

Unlike griddles, the pellets are fed into the pit with the auger and then fired up with the hot rod. You can set your temperature with the thermostat.

All of this requires some electricity. If you’re hoping to do some grilling away from home, a pellet grill without electricity isn’t going to take you far!

How Many Watts Does It Take to Run a Pellet Grill or Smoker?

When it’s switched on, pellet grills need 300 watts and 50 watts to keep running. Pellet smokers need 300 to 500 watts to power up and need about 30 watts to run and smoke the food. The exact measure of watts for both pellet grills and pellet smokers will vary, depending on the brand and model of the appliance.

Electric Smokers vs Pellet Smokers: What Uses More Electricity? 

The difference in usage of electricity between the pellet smoker and electric smoker comes from their source of heat.
Electric smokers rely completely on electricity to power up the heating element that gives off the heat. They work like convectional ovens, but with smoking wood chips to give your food a smoked flavor. Therefore, they use more electricity compared to a pellet smoker, with the electric smoker using about 800W at a time.
Since the source of heat in a pellet smoker comes from the wood pellets, they only use around 50W to keep the components running.

Can You Use a Pellet Smoker or Grill Without Electricity?

Both pellet grills and smokers use indirect heat to cook and smoke food with the help of a fan, sort of an oven. The features of the grill or smoker need electricity to work, so they can’t really work without an electrical outlet.
But you may have luck with a power inverter, battery, solar panel, or generator.

Power Your Pellet Grill or Smoker with a Power Inverter

Now that we’ve answered how much electricity does a pellet smoker use, let’s look at some portable power solutions.

An inverter converts the DC power of the batter to the AC power that your pellet grill or smoker needs. This is where you will plug in your appliance. The inverter will use clamps to hook onto the positive and negative terminals of the battery. Some inverters even come with a port to charge your phone or for other uses.

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An inverter can be used on your car’s DC port instead of a big battery, however, you would have an issue. There will not be enough cord, and you wouldn’t want to leave your car running as the pellet grill or smoker drains the battery.

And if you have Traeger grill, then you’re in luck. They have their power inverters readily available on Amazon.

A downside to inverters is that they will not last a very long time.

Power Your Pellet Grill or Smoker with a Battery

A 12V deep cycle marine battery is an inexpensive power solution for your pellet grill or smoker. This battery should be able to power a 30W pellet grill or smoker for about 30 hours at once before being recharged.

This is best for long camping trips or road trips.

Many would say that they feel safer with a simple battery compared to a full propane tank.

If you want another smaller option, then you can get a trolling motor battery. This would give you less time to work your grill, but it’s way easier to carry.

And don’t forget to get a battery charger to recharge and maintain your battery.

Power Your Pellet Grill or Smoker with a Generator

A generator is definitely an option, but it’s probably the last option you should consider. Generators provide a good amount of power, however, the time that they can power your grill or smoker is limited by the amount of gas you have.

If you already have a generator, then it makes sense to use it. However, buying one for your grill seems unnecessary, but it’s totally up to you and what you can handle.

Remember, if you’re using a generator, the startup wattage should be noted for your grill so you can ensure the generator has enough power.

Generators have models that give you about 10 to 12 hours running on just one gas tank. That’s great for slow cooking!

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Power Your Pellet Grill or Smoker Using a Solar Panel

You can’t use a solar panel on its own to power up your grill or smoker, but you’re asking for more expense and more bulk in your backyard, although you’d look cool doing it. However, your grill might power down while you slow-cook ribs.

You can pair up your battery with a solar panel. The solar panel can charge your battery in about 8 to 12 hours. The solar panel can fold up, saving you space, and certain panels have configurations that you can set to your liking.

KECOP Portable BBQ Grill Solar BBQ Cooker, Solar Grill Stainless Steel Stove Oven Smoke Free Food Grade,Foldable, Delicious for Outdoor Camp Travel

KECOP Portable BBQ Grill Solar BBQ Cooker, Solar Grill Stainless Steel Stove Oven Smoke Free Food Grade,Foldable, Delicious for Outdoor Camp Travel Product Review

How Much Electricity Does a Pellet Smoker Use: Some Extra Information

If you’re looking for an inexpensive grill-only power source, you should stay away from small portable power stations that are less than 200Wh. They can power up your lights, electronics, and laptops, however, they are not enough for your smoker or grill to run for more than 10 hours.

So overnight cooking is definitely not an option there! However, with these alternative power sources, you wouldn’t bother about how much electricity a pellet smoker uses.


Do Traeger grills need electricity?

Yes, they do. Although they use wood pellets as their source of heat to cook your food, electricity is still needed for the hot metal rod and the rotation of the auger.

Can a Traeger be used without electricity?

No, you cannot use a Traeger without electricity. The features such as the pellet grill auger, hot rod, and digital control all need electricity to work, and without this, the wood pellets are not fed into the firepot and ignited.

How long will a Traeger run on a battery?

If you have a 120V battery, you can easily run your Traeger for 8 to 10 hours.

Paul Goral

Paul Goral

I am the founder of Brooklyn Grill and I have a master’s degree in Engineering Acoustics. I love cooking, grilling, and trying new recipes. I also love camping and high-quality knives. I wanted to start this blog and share my passion with others.