Grilla Grills: The Sleeping Giant of Pellet Grills

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Grilla Grills is an American company that manufactures high-quality pellet grills and smokers. Founded in 2008 in Holland, Michigan by Dan Thiessen and Shane Johnson, Grilla Grills has quickly become one of the most popular and respected brands in the pellet grill industry.

Grilla Grills are known for their build quality, ease of use, versatility, and ability to impart delicious wood-fired flavor into meats, vegetables, and other foods.

Their grills leverage wood pellets and digital temperature controls to combine the convenience of gas grills with the flavor of real wood smoke.

Here, we’ll provide an overview of Grilla Grills as a company, the features and benefits of their pellet grills, some of their most popular models, and tips for getting the most out of a Grilla Grill.

Whether you’re new to pellet grilling or a seasoned pro, read on to learn all about this innovative grilling brand.

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Overview of Grilla Grills

Grilla Grills was founded by two friends, Dan Thiessen and Shane Johnson, who shared a passion for grilling and smoking meat.

As avid outdoorsmen, they were unsatisfied with the flavor provided by traditional gas grills and the effort required for charcoal and wood smoking.

After learning about wood pellet grills, they recognized the technology’s potential to provide an ideal combination of flavor and convenience.

However, most pellet grills at the time were cheaply made and prone to failure. Seeing an opportunity, Dan and Shane decided to design their own high-quality, affordable pellet grill to bring true wood-fired flavor to backyard cooks.

After extensive research and prototyping, Grilla Grills launched their first pellet grill in 2008 – the Grilla.

It was an instant hit, winning praise for its premium construction and components, precise digital controls, and exceptional grilling and smoking performance.

Buoyed by this success, Grilla Grills continued expanding their product line while maintaining a focus on build quality, ease of use, versatility, and value.

Today, Grilla Grills offers eight different pellet grill models ranging from small portable tailgater grills up to large-capacity competition-style smokers.

However, all Grilla Grills are made in Holland, Michigan using domestic steel and high-grade American-sourced components. They take great pride in manufacturing high-quality grills that are affordable for the average consumer.

Beyond their grills, Grilla Grills provides first-class customer service and some of the best warranties in the industry – including a 5 year comprehensive warranty, a 10 year paint warranty, and a lifetime controller warranty.

Their grills are loved by backyard grillers, competition pitmasters, and everyone in between.

Grilla Grills vs Traeger, Recteq, Z Grills and Camp Chef

Now, let’s compare and contrast Grilla Grills to 5 other top pellet grill brands: Traeger, Rec Tec, Weber, Z Grills, and Camp Chef.

We’ll look at key factors for each brand including construction quality, temperature precision, ease of use, cooking versatility, features, customer service reputation, and price point.

So, how do Grilla’s grills stack up against alternatives from Traeger, Rec Tec, Weber, Z Grills, and Camp Chef? Let’s find out.

Grilla Grills vs Traeger

No pellet grill comparison would be complete without looking at Traeger, who helped pioneer and popularize wood pellet grilling. Here’s how Grilla and Traeger stack up:

Construction Quality

Grilla Grills are hand-assembled in the USA using restaurant-grade American steel that’s heavier gauge than many competitors. Their firepot and ignition components are stainless steel. Traeger uses imported steel for many current models and has faced criticism for declining quality.

Temperature Precision

Grilla’s PID algorithm maintains temps within +/- 15 degrees. Many users report temperature swings with Traeger’s controllers, especially in windy conditions. Grilla wins for rock-steady precision.

Ease of Use

Both brands are quite easy to use overall thanks to digital controllers and large pellet hoppers. Grilla’s hopper cleanout design gets an edge over Traeger’s sloped hopper.

Cooking Versatility

Traeger’s max temp of 450°F limits searing ability, while Grilla reaches 500°+ for excellent direct grilling. Both excel at low and slow smoking. Grilla’s wider temp range gives it more flexibility.


Grilla and Traeger both offer features like a pellet hopper window and all-terrain wheels. Grilla’s side shelf, dedicated bottom shelf, and stainless steel components put it ahead.

Customer Service

Traeger customer service has faced criticism for long response times and difficult warranty claims. Grilla is praised for timely, hands-on service and some of the best warranties in the industry.

Price Point

Traeger models run from $600 up beyond $2000. Grilla competes at the lower end around $800-1200 while offering greater value per dollar spent.

Overall, while Traeger pioneered pellet grills, many consumers feel Grilla has surpassed them in terms of quality, construction, and capabilities while maintaining an affordable price point.

Grilla Grills vs Reqtec

Reqtec is another very popular newcomer known for high-end construction. Here is how they compare:

Construction Quality

Both Grilla Grills and Rec Tec use heavy-gauge stainless steel components in their grills for durability. Rec Tec offers more stainless like the bull horn handles and shelf. A slight edge to Rec Tec.

Temperature Precision

Rec Tec and Grilla both advertise temperature regulation and stability within about 15 degrees thanks to PID controllers. Their performances are comparable.

Ease of Use

Again, both brands excel in ease of use. Rec Tec’s hopper cleanout system is very convenient and their color touchscreen interface is slick. Grilla has the edge in cooking space and oversized drip pans.

Cooking Versatility

While Rec Tec tops out at around 500°F, Grilla can reach up to 700°F+ for brilliant searing. Both excel at maintaining low and slow smoking temps. Grilla gets the edge.


Rec Tec packs useful features like a light and shelf space. But most Grilla models offer more cooking area, bottom and side shelves, dual meat probes, and larger pellet hoppers.

Customer Service

Rec Tec and Grilla both have excellent reputations for customer service and standing behind their products. This is a draw.

Price Point

There’s no contest here – Rec Tec grills cost nearly twice as much as the comparable Grilla model. Grilla provides better value and quality per dollar spent.

Grilla Grills vs Weber Smokefire Pellet Grills

The iconic grill brand Weber also makes pellet grills with thier new Smokefire series. Here is how they fare against Grilla:

Construction Quality

Weber uses decent quality materials but cannot match Grilla’s restaurant-grade American steel construction. Owners report more wear and tear on Weber pellet grills over time.

Temperature Precision

Weber pellet grills have faced criticism for temperature swings and lack of PID precision. Grilla’s PID algorithm delivers rock-steady temperature management.

Ease of Use

Thanks to the simplified interface, Grilla pulls ahead in overall ease of use and convenience during cooking.

Cooking Versatility

Weber’s SmokeFire pellet grills claim searing temps up to 600°F but many report inability to actually reach such high temps. Grilla is the clear winner.


The Weber model lacks features found on the Grilla like a pellet hopper window, meat probe ports, ample bottom shelf space, and all-terrain wheels.

Customer Service

Weber service has declined over the years according to many consumers. Meanwhile, Grilla is praised for responsive customer service and comprehensive warranty coverage.

Price Point

Weber does compete at a similar price point to Grilla but delivers an overall lower-quality product with more issues reported.

While Weber is a big name in grilling, their pellet grills fail to match up with Grilla’s performance and quality especially for the prices charged. Grilla is clearly the superior value and performer.

Grilla Grills vs Z Grills

Z Grills is a budget-friendly pellet grill brand. Here is how they compare:

Construction Quality

Z Grills utilizes cheaper imported steel in their grills which leads to durability complaints over time. Grilla uses commercial-grade American steel for a clear edge.

Temperature Precision

Owners report significant temperature swings with Z Grills models, sometimes exceeding 50°F. Grilla’s PID technology maintains temps within 15°F.

Ease of Use

Again Grilla pulls ahead thanks to their well-designed pellet dump drawer, grease management, and intuitive interface.

Cooking Versatility

While Z Grills is advertised up to 450-500°F, owners report inability to actually reach such temps. Grilla reliably provides both high and low temperature cooking.


Z Grills lacks some nice Grilla features like dual meat probes, pellet hopper window, stainless steel components, and all-terrain wheels.

Customer Service

Multiple complaints exist about Z Grills lack of response for warranty issues and parts. Grilla is celebrated for their excellent customer service.

Price Point

Here Z Grills does have an advantage at almost half the cost of a comparable Grilla Grill. You get what you pay for in terms of quality though.

Z Grills follows the classic model of compromising construction and quality to lower costs. Grilla competes at a higher price point by delivering excellence in all categories.

Grilla Grills vs Camp Chef

Camp Chef is another affordable competitor. Here is the rundown:

Construction Quality

Camp Chef uses less expensive imported steel resulting in durability issues over time. Grilla’s restaurant-grade American steel is in another league.

Temperature Precision

Camp Chef offers decent temperature regulation but still faces fluctuations in cold weather. Grilla wins for rock-steady precision.

Ease of Use

Thanks to the well-designed hopper and grease management system, Grilla Grills pulls ahead in overall ease of use.

Cooking Versatility

Camp Chef maxes out around 500°F for limited searing capability. Grilla Grills can hit 700°+ for brilliant high-heat grilling.


Grilla Grills packs more features like dual meat probes, pellet hopper window, stainless steel components, bottom shelf, and all-terrain wheels.

Customer Service

Camp Chef service generally receives positive reviews but some warranty issues exist. Grilla is world-class.

Price Point

Camp Chef competes at the budget end with Grilla situated about 25% higher for a worthwhile jump in quality.

Camp Chef offers a reasonably solid budget grill but Grilla outperforms them in almost every regard while still maintaining an affordable price point given the quality.

While they cannot match the absolute lowest budget prices, Grilla more than makes up for it by avoiding compromises in quality that lead to long-term headaches.

Compared to market leader Traeger, Grilla competes directly on quality and capabilities while delivering better construction, precision, and value.

Benefits of Grilla Pellet Grills

There are many reasons why Grilla Grills have become so popular with barbecue enthusiasts. Here are some of the key benefits and features of Grilla pellet grills:

Precise Temperature Control

At the heart of every Grilla Grill is an intelligent digital controller that keeps temperatures steady within +/- 15 degrees F.

You simply set your desired temp on the digital interface and the pellet feed and fan will automatically maintain it for the entire cook.

This precision control is critical for low and slow smoking as well as high-temp searing.

Real Wood Fired Flavor

Grilla Grills use 100% all-natural hardwood BBQ pellets, with options like hickory, maple, apple, cherry, mesquite and more.

As the pellets burn, they create authentic smoke that imparts deep, savory wood-fired flavor into your food. This wood smoke flavor simply can’t be matched by gas or charcoal grills.

Easy to Use

Grilla Grills are designed for simplicity. The digital controller handles temp regulation automatically, pellet hoppers hold enough fuel for 20+ hours, and large capacity drip pans mean less time managing the grill and more time enjoying. Grilla Grills give you true set-it-and-forget-it convenience.

Versatile Grilling & Smoking

With precision temp control from 160-500+ degrees F, Grilla Grills excel at slow smoking, hot grilling, sear ing, baking, roasting, and more.

The flexibility opens up countless recipes and cooking techniques. Grilla owners praise these grills for producing competition-quality smoked meats at home.

Built Like a Tank

All Grilla Grills are made from thick, restaurant-grade American steel that holds and distributes heat efficiently. Critical components like the firepot and igniter are stainless steel.

The materials and construction outmatch most competitors and allow Grilla Grills to back each one with a 5 year comprehensive warranty. These grills are built to last.

Large Cooking Capacity

The average Grilla Grill offers over 700 square inches of cooking area, which is ample space for smoking large quantities of meat or grilling for a crowd.

The Grilla Grills Silverback model has a staggering 1575 square inches of cooking space, rivaling many commercial smokers. You’ll never run out of room.

Affordable Pricing

Despite their premium quality and craftsmanship, most Grilla grills are very competitively priced.

For example, the original Grilla model retails for under $900 yet outperforms many other pellet grills costing $1200 or more. Grilla Grills are an exceptional value for wood pellet grilling.

Grilla takes great pride in offering high-end features and performance at accessible prices.

They’ve remained committed to quality construction and American-made components without inflating costs.

For many consumers, Grilla Grills represent the perfect intersection of quality, capabilities, and value.

Best Grilla Grills

Within Grilla Grills’ lineup of eight wood pellet grill models, a few have emerged as best-sellers and standout options. Here is an overview of some of Grilla Grills’ most popular models:

Grilla Grill Original (Alpha)

The Original Grilla Grill introduced the brand in 2008 and remains one of their most popular models. Priced under $900, it provides 702 square inches of cooking space, a peak temp of 500°F, and an easy-access pellet hopper.

Stainless steel components and precise digital controls deliver excellent performance for both low and slow smoking and hot grilling. It packs great value into a compact, durable pellet grill.

Grilla Grills Primate Pellet Grill

The Grilla Grills Primate is one of the newest and most feature-packed models in Grilla’s lineup of premium pellet grills.

Released in 2021, the Primate builds upon Grilla’s decade-plus legacy of crafting high-quality, American-made grills that deliver authentic wood-fired flavor and competition-caliber performance.

With 861 square inches of cooking space, innovative dual-zone temperature control, and Grilla Grills smartest digital controller to date, the Primate takes flexibility and precision to new levels. This grill allows backyard pitmasters to truly master techniques from smoking to searing with ease.

In this overview, we’ll cover the key features of the Grilla Grills Primate and what sets it apart from other pellet grills on the market.

Whether you’re new to pellet grilling or a seasoned barbecue pro, the Primate deserves strong consideration as your next grill purchase.

Grilla Grills Primate Key Features and Benefits

Here are some of the standout features and benefits of the Grilla Grills Primate pellet grill:

  • 861 total square inches of cooking space including a 672 square inch main cooking chamber and 189 square inch upper warming rack. Provides ample room for smoking large batches of meat or grilling for a crowd.
  • Innovative dual-zone temperature control with two independently controlled heat zones. This allows you to simultaneously smoke foods at low temps on one side while searing at high temps on the other. Uniquely flexible and versatile.
  • Enhanced PID temperature control algorithm maintains set temps within +/- 15 degrees F even in windy or cold conditions. Provides unmatched precision and cooking control compared to most competitors.
  • New intuitive touchpad interface with easy food presets, dual meat probe readouts, timer, pellet alarm, and more. Easy to monitor and control every aspect of your cook.
  • Heavy-duty 24 gauge steel construction, made in the USA. Weighing in at 200 lbs, the Primate is a tank built to last thanks to quality craftsmanship and materials.
  • Large 20 lb pellet hopper capable of 20+ hour cook times. Makes for less babysitting and monitoring, freeing you up to focus on flavor.
  • Upgraded auger system with turbo heat enhancement mode can hit 700°+ F for brilliant searing capability. Also excels at low and slow smoking.
  • Integrated interior lighting illuminates the cooking chamber for late night grilling. No need to grill in the dark ever again.
  • Large locking caster wheels and side shelves for storage and prep space. Easily maneuver your grill into place and access grilling tools and platters.

With innovative dual-zone temperature control, enhanced PID precision, turbo searing capabilities, and 861 total square inches of cooking space, the Grilla Grills Primate delivers unmatched versatility and performance.

Yet it retains Grilla’s focus on quality construction and components, all backed by their best-in-class customer service and warranty coverage.

Grilla Grills Silverbac Alpha

The Silverbac offers Grilla’s largest cooking capacity at 1575 square inches. Ideal for large families or cookouts, its stainless steel interior can accommodate up to 8 full racks of ribs or 6-8 briskets.

An integrated shelf system provides ample prep space. Advanced PID technology maintains rock-steady temperatures while dual meat probes monitor internal food temps. It’s an incredible value for under $1200.

Grilla Grills Chimp

The ultra-portable Chimp provides 300 square inches of cooking space in a tailgater-sized package.

Its folding legs, latches, and handle make it supremely easy to load in a vehicle for RV trips, tailgating, camping, or trips to the beach or park.

You get the same quality construction and precise temperature control as larger Grilla models. Priced at just $429, the Chimp delivers true wood-fired flavor anywhere.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Grilla Grill

Here are some tips and best practices for Grilla Grill owners looking to get the most out of their wood pellet grill:

  • Always start with a clean grill. Empty the ash tray, scrape the grill grates clean, and remove grease buildup.
  • Use premium food-grade BBQ wood pellets, purchased fresh each season. Avoid cheap pellets that contain filler woods or binders. Hickory, maple, and apple pellets are versatile flavors.
  • Let the grill preheat fully to your set temp before cooking. This allows the grill and grates to evenly heat up.
  • Clean the temp sensor probe regularly to prevent temperature swings. Gently scrape with a grill brush.
  • Use the direct grilling method for the hottest searing heat, placing food directly over the ignited fire pot.
  • For large cooks like brisket or pork shoulder, don’t peek for at least 2-3 hours into the smoke to prevent heat loss.
  • Grill on a sheltered patio or garage if possible. Wind can disrupt the controller performance.
  • Line the drip tray with heavy duty aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Empty the tray regularly during longer cooks.
  • Download the Grilla Grills app for mobile monitoring and control, tasty recipes, and helpful tips.
  • Check for firmware updates for your grill’s controller occasionally. New updates provide added features and fixes.
  • Sign up for Grilla’s email newsletter for grill giveaways, cooking content, and brand announcements.

With proper care and technique, a Grilla Grill can produce incredibly tender, smoky barbecue even novice cooks will be proud of. Their unmatched construction quality and PID precision empower home chefs to become true pitmasters.


Since releasing their first model in 2008, Grilla Grills has earned a sterling reputation for crafting high-quality, high-performing wood pellet grills that are affordable for the average consumer.

Their grills uniquely combine digital convenience, versatile cooking capabilities, and authentic wood-fired flavor like few others on the market.

Key hallmarks of Grilla Grills include restaurant-grade American steel construction, easy-to-use digital controllers, precise temperature regulation, ample cooking capacity, and competitive pricing.

Popular models like the Original, Silverbac, and ultra-portable Chimp exemplify Grilla’s commitment to quality, innovation, and value.

With proper use and care, Grilla Grill owners can expect many years of exceptional grilling and smoking.

These grills allow home chefs to quickly master techniques like low-and-slow barbecue, high-heat searing, pizza making, roasting, baking, and more.

If you’re looking to bring true, pitmaster-quality wood-fired flavor into your backyard without breaking the bank, Grilla Grills deserve your consideration. They offer an ideal blend of craftsmanship and capabilities.