Pellet grills, which are fueled by small wood pellets, can be used as grills or as smokers, and may be portable or freestanding. Wood pellets come in various flavors and can enhance the taste of your food. Bruce Bjorkman, who works for pellet grill manufacturer Traeger, says that pellet grills are free from flare ups and pellets burn more efficiently than charcoal or gas. He adds, "Because our (Traeger) grills burn at an efficiency rate of 98.8 percent, our carbon footprint is very small."
Some high-end grills have hybrid fuel systems and can use gas, charcoal and even wood. Currently, you should expect to pay in the four-figure range for models that give you multiple fuel options. But this technology should eventually be available at a lower price range.
"We suspect that dual-fuel technology will trickle down to moderately priced, just like infrared technology did," says Deidra Darsa of the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA).