A giant buffet of grilled meats and other foods on an outdoor wooden table made on a Big Green Egg Grill.

The BBQ Diaries: The Big Green Egg vs. Pellet Grills

A giant buffet of grilled meats and other foods on an outdoor wooden table made on a Big Green Egg Grill.

Which outdoor cooker is right for you? Here’s how to tell.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Big Green Egg is different from all other outdoor cookers.
  • Pellet grills offer a flavor that is unique to their setup.
  • Pros and cons depend on user preference.

You know we’re fans of The Big Green Egg if you’ve ever been in our store or even checked out our website. We’re suckers for that glorious green orb, and it’s not hard to tell why. That’s not to say we don’t love the flavors we get from other types of grills, such as pellet grills.

Much depends on what you’re cooking and how you want it to taste, not to mention how it will look in your outdoor kitchen. Let’s look at The Big Green Egg varieties, why they’re so special, and how they compare to pellet grills

Options for cooking outdoors

The Big Green Egg and pellet grills are outdoor cookers. Many people love to cook outdoors all year round. Others wait for special occasions and holidays to fire up the grill. They come in all shapes and sizes and use a variety of heat options, such as:

  • Charcoal
  • Wood
  • Gas
  • Smoke

The Big Green Egg and pellet grills are two efficient options for both all-year and occasional use. The best choice depends on how their specific benefits work for your situation. There are some fantastic advantages to both systems. 

The Big Green Egg universe

The Big Green Egg has a reputation built on its versatility and efficiency. Whip up anything from appetizers to desserts any time of year on various grill sizes with myriad capabilities.

How it works

All-natural lump charcoal burning in the firebox heats the airtight ceramic cooking chamber. The patented construction keeps the food moist with the proper airflow to keep the heat at optimal temperatures to grill, smoke, or bake.


The Big Green Egg family of cookers consists of an impressive 7 sizes:

  • 2XL
  • XL
  • Large
  • Medium
  • Small
  • MiniMax
  • Mini

The mini is the smallest, with a 79-inch cooking area. It’s perfect for tailgating, picnics, boats, and small apartment balconies. The largest is the 2XL at 672 square inches. It’s the ideal choice for family reunions and holidays. It even has what it takes to work in a restaurant. 

Easy Start

The Egg’s design keeps airflow at the most efficient levels, and the lump charcoal is made from high-quality cuts of lumber. These factors combine to allow it to reach optimal cooking temps within minutes. 

Safety Measures

The ceramic Big Green Egg doesn’t get hot on the outside as most metal grills do, and a ceramic firebox also surrounds the heat. 

Concise Temperature Control

Getting exact temperatures isn’t always possible with outdoor cookers. The Egg’s patented airflow system allows for temperatures accurate within a few degrees. 

Easy Cleaning

The ceramic exterior wipes clean easily without any agent, and residual heat burns up anything on the inside, just like a self-cleaning oven. You only have to clean up a little ash buildup once in a while.

The Big Green Egg is a fantastic choice no matter what you want to cook or where you want to cook it. It isn’t the only type of grill available, however. Pellet grills also have some excellent characteristics. 

The World of Pellet Grills

Pellet grills are known for maintaining a low, steady temperature for long periods. They are perfect for smoking and grilling, especially meats. 

How they work

Pellet grills work by combining elements of other outdoor cookers, such as:

  • Gas grills
  • Kitchen ovens
  • Charcoal smokers

Pellet grills use burning wood pellets and a fan system to maintain sufficient heat to cook. 


The average size of a pellet grill is roughly 400 square inches, and the largest is around 900 square inches. These grills make great choices for family gatherings and special parties. 


Priming the hopper is a critical step in igniting a pellet grill. Some ignite themselves when you push the start button. You have to light other types manually. 

Safety Measures

Pellet grills ignite with a push of a button, keeping fingers and clothes away from flames, making them a safe alternative to traditional grills. 

Automatic Temperature Control

Temperature is controlled automatically with pellet grills. The motor distributes enough pellets to keep the temperature at the required setting. 


Cleanup is a little more intense with a pellet grill. The inside of the barrel, grease chutes, lid, and thermometer can all get greasy and covered in debris. Pellet grills also benefit from regular vacuuming.

Pellet grills are a bit more technological than other outdoor cookers, but for some users, the flavors they impart make it all worth it. 

Pros and Cons

Both pellet grills and the Egg are great options for outdoor cooking, depending on what matters most to you. 

Lump vs. Pellets

The way these two cookers make heat is a big deal for many users. Pellets are made by putting wood chunks through a hammer mill first and then pressing them into pellet shapes afterward, without using any glues. The different types of wood pellets, such as cedar or oak, can change the flavor of the food you’re cooking.

The EGG uses charcoal, but not the traditional black briquettes that you drown in lighter fluid. Lump charcoal is different. It is chunks of wood that have been charred and snuffed out. They are free of wood gases and ready to catch fire immediately. 

Cooking Temps

Pellet grills adjust the temperature automatically. The thermostat tells the motor when enough pellets are burning to achieve optimal temperatures. The EGG requires more attention and some practice. It uses upper and lower fans to regulate the temperature.

Both types of grills will do the trick and provide delicious meals, time and again. The most important consideration is ultimately what the user prefers. What some people see as a pro is a con to someone else. 

Buying an outdoor cooker is a significant expense. Ensure you take enough time to peruse all your options before you make a decision. 

Design and Outfit Your Outdoor Kitchen with Us

BBQ Outfitters is here to provide you with all the information you need to understand how you can process and prepare meats and food of all kinds. Check out our website to see how we can help you design your new outdoor kitchen space. We also offer all the great grilling products you need to transform your yard into the ultimate luxury spot. Give us a call today, and you’ll be outside cooking this weekend.