Are Pellet Grills Healthier Than Charcoal?

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Many people consider grilling to be one of the best ways to cook meat and other food. However, you may have heard that grilling meat is not healthy, and may be wondering if using a pellet grill is healthier than using a charcoal one. In this article, we will address this issue based on the research of many health experts.

What is a Pellet Grill?

Pellet grills look like an average grills. However, they have an additional chamber that holds wood pellets and feeds them into the fire. They use a system of fans to heat food to the desired temperature. The fuel source is small wood pellets made of sawdust, available in different varieties, including mesquite, hickory, cherry, and many more.

These pellets are poured into the pellet hopper and an auger feeds them into the fire pot. The fire pot uses an igniter and fans to make fire, which a digital controller manages. With a firm handle on temperature, you can slowly grill at lower temperatures or choose the traditional way and grill at higher temperatures.

Pellet grills are not only used to grill but can also be used to bake and smoke food. Some models come with a thermometer probe, making it easy to monitor the temperature of what you’re cooking. With this and the fact that there are no sudden temperature spikes, you can rest assured that your food won’t be over-smoked.

What is a Charcoal Grill?

A charcoal grill is an outdoor cooker that uses charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal as a heat source. The heat source is typically located under the grill gates, and it takes a lot of effort to start the cooking process, control the heat, and clean up after you’re done cooking. The entire effort is worth it, as the charcoal grill gives your meat a superb smoky flavor.

Are Pellet Grills Healthier than Charcoal Grills?

A pellet grill features a diverter, one of its best features, and one of the healthiest ways to grill. All grills have a diverter that channels the grease down to the grease drain. Many worry about grilling being healthy because they fear it creates potentially carcinogenic substances known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These compounds are formed from the incineration of the drippings produced when grilling meat.

However, worrying about PAHs is unnecessary, with a diverter ensuring the drippings (grease) are not incinerated. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons form when the meat grease drips onto the grill’s surface or into the fire, but this does not happen when grilling with a pellet grill. Besides the juices going into a drip tray, the pellet grill does not use an actual flame but a heat rod, which indirectly heats the food.

Most people also worry about grilling meat at high temperatures leading to cancer. While using pellet grills, you do not have to worry about grilling at high temperatures. You can cook your meat at consistent temperatures without worrying about the temperature increasing. 

The diverter ensures the heat is not directly under your meat and the temperature is constantly controlled. This makes pellet grills so much safer.

Grilling shashlik on barbecue grill

Benefits of using Pellet Grills

Apart from providing a way to grill meat at controlled temperatures and in a way that protects you from carcinogenic substances, there are other benefits attached to using pellet grills. 

Extremely easy to use

Using a pellet grill is incredibly easy. You only have to plug in the grill, turn it on with a button, put on smoke, and let the flame ignite in the burn pot. Once you have your flame, close the burn pot and set it to the desired temperature. 

The grill fires up quickly and you don’t have to wait for a long period before getting the grill to reach the temperature you need. Another great thing about a pellet grill is that you do not have to constantly check on the smoke or add more wood.

Elevates your cooking

Using a pellet grill turns a great cook into a phenomenal one. The smoke gives the meat an incredible smoky flavor and you never have to be scared you will over smoke the meat. 

There are different types of wood pellets and they come in different smoking flavors. With so many flavors at your disposal, you can mix and match until you find the combination that appeals more to your taste buds.


If you want to slow smoke a rib roaster grill some hot dogs, your pellet grill can do it all with ease.

Gives you a great grilling experience

These grills have many features that will help enhance your grilling experience. One such features is the sear plate which some pellet grills have. This feature will give your meat a beautiful char and a delicious flavor.  


A pellet grill is better than a regular grill in so many ways. And it is healthier, too. So, if you’re looking for a healthy way to grill your meat and retain a delicious smoky flavor, a pellet grill is what you need.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Special offer for our visitors

Get your Wood Pellet Grill Free Guide

We will never send you spam. By signing up for this you agree with our privacy policy and to receive regular updates via email in regards to industry news and promotions