The Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill is a part of our testing for the Best Pellet Grill of 2022 that we recently published on YouTube. We took 5 wood pellet grills under $599 and put them head to head in over 20 categories to determine which wood pellet grill is the best buy at that price point.
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But today, we’re taking a closer look at the Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill. Let’s start by walking through the specifications of this unit.
Cuisinart Oakmont Pellet Grill Specifications
Assembled Dimensions: 67.13 x 32.20 x 53.82 Inches
Weight: 177.47 lbs
Cooking Space: main grate 735 square inches, secondary shelf 223 square inches, a total of 960 square inches of cooking surface
Cooking Height: 11 inches
Temperature Range of 200°F to 500°F
Hopper Capacity: 31 LB, pellet hopper viewing window, pellet cleanout feature
The Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill measures 32 inches deep by 54 inches high and 67 inches wide. It weighs in at 177 pounds which is pretty hefty for a pellet grill. If you’re used to a gas grill, they weigh less than half this much, so there’s a lot more metal here if you’re going to make the move to a pellet cooker.
There are 11 inches of height available in the cooking chamber, so there’s plenty of room for that Thanksgiving turkey or a beer can chicken. There are 4 and a half inches below the warming rack and 6 and a half inches above the warming rack for the vertical height.
The main grate measures 37 inches wide by 20 inches deep and the top rack measures 37 inches wide by 6 and a half inches deep.
The temperature range on the low end goes as low as 200 degrees, and the high limit is 500 degrees. The temperature can be set in 5-degree increments on the digital controller.
Assembling the Cuisinart Pellet Grill
We build quite a few grills here at The Barbecue Lab, and we have friends of the channel who drop by from time to time to help us out.
The Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill was assembled by our friend Stan with a helping hand from my son Ethan, and when they opened the box, they found damage to the bottom cart shelf in the form of a dent, and damage to the bottom of the cooking chamber that it looks came from a forklift somewhere down the line.
It was disappointing to see this much damage inside the box, and that’s why I always recommend inspecting the box and the grill before you sign off on shipments if you can.
All-in-all this was a pretty complicated build and took Stan about 3 and a half hours to build it completely.
Often times the least expensive pellet grills are the ones that take the longest to assemble. So keep that in mind if and when you make the decision to save a couple hundred dollars on your purchase, that your decision might mean a longer more labor-intensive build to get it up and running.
Cuisinart Oakmont Pellet Grill Build Quality
When I’m considering a new pellet grill, I want to know the thickness of the metal that I’m buying, so we break out the digital caliper and measure the thickness of the lid and the body.
The lid measured at 1.88 millimeters, which is around 15 gauge in Stainless Steel, and the body measured at 2.11 millimeters, which is around 13 gauge in steel.
Both the lid and the pellet hopper door are stainless steel on the Cuisinart Oakmont while the rest of the pellet grill is made of cold-rolled steel.
The Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill has both a folding front shelf and side shelves providing ample storage options to choose from. There aren’t many grills on the market with this many places to set things down, and it’s one of the things that I love about this pellet grill.
To find out if the pellet grill is designed to hold in smoke, we run something that we call the paper test. We take a single sheet of paper and slide it between the side of the door and the front of the door to see if the grill resists. On the Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill, the side resisted and the bottom of the door did as well, largely in part because of the double-walled functionality of the door, which kept the paper out. We haven’t seen smoke billowing out the door during cooks, so I’m happy with the grill’s performance here.
The Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill comes with 4 lockable casters that can swivel 360 degrees. This pellet grill is a breeze to move around the patio and other concrete surfaces, but when you get it into the grass, it struggles by not having two oversized wheels to get through grass and mud.
The main grill grates are made of cast iron, and they’re lightly porcelain coated. Many pellet grills at this price range will have a heavy porcelain coating, but I like this lighter coat which makes it easier to clean, but I can still get great sear potential from the cast iron.
The pellet hopper can hold up to 31 pounds of pellets, and even has a pellet dump feature to allow you to change out the pellet type in-between cooks.
Cuisinart Oakmont PID Controller
Of all the units in our Best pellet grill under $599 test, the Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill was the only unit to offer WIFI connectivity.
The Cuisinart Easy Connect app allows you to control the temperature of your pellet grill when you’re on the move using your WIFI connection. We were able to set up the grill using the app in just about 5 minutes, and we were connected and ready to go.
The pellet grill controller display is large and easy to read. Everything is controlled by a single dial knob on the Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill, and a simple hold of the dial is what turns the unit on and off.
There’s 1 temperature probe that comes standard with the unit, and the probe is designed to run through the front door on the Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill since there’s no probe port to slide the cable through while you’re cooking. There are two meat probe readouts and probe ports so if you
I recommend to anyone that buys a new pellet grill to put it to the test right off the bat with the biscuit test.
Here’s the idea. Pick up a couple of cans of premade biscuit dough next time you’re at the grocery store, set the grill to 350°, and evenly distribute the biscuit dough directly on the grill grate. Close the lid, set a timer for 12-18 minutes (or whatever the package directs you to do) and when your timer goes off, you should have a good idea of how evenly your grill cooks across the grate from left to right.
On the Cuisinart, the pellet grill cooked quite evenly across the grate, but the hottest part of the cooking surface looks to be the front right-hand side of the grill where the biscuit was the darkest. As far as pellet grills go, this is pretty even from our extensive testing in the industry, but it’s worth noting that the front right is a tiny bit hotter on this one.
Cooking Low and Slow
Before we started running cooking tests on this unit, I wanted to find out how long it took to go from a cold grill to 250°. We used the Thermoworks Big and Loud timer, and the Cuisinart Oakmont pellet grill got to 250° in 13 minutes and 36 seconds.
I also wanted to know how long the wood pellet grill would run at 250° on 4 pounds of pellets, so we ran the grill empty and loaded 4 pounds of pellets into the pellet hopper, primed the grill, and then set it to 250°. The grill ran for 1 hour and 56 minutes before it started to fall under 250°, and when we opened the pellet hopper, we found over a pound of pellets that hadn’t fed into the auger. As this unit gets close to empty, it seems like it might have a challenge feeding the last pound or more of pellets, so something worth noting if you’re in the market.
Pellet grills are known for their ability to cook low and slow without needing to tend to the fire every 45 minutes like you would on an offset smoker. So we tested the low and slow ability of this unit with a good old-fashioned pork butt for pulled pork. We seasoned it with salt and pepper and loaded it on the smoker for 5 hours, and here’s what the pork butt looked like when it reached 155 degrees internal. It took on a nice deep red color from the smoke, seasoned with just salt and pepper.
Cooking Hot and Fast
Hot and fast cooking is also the name of the game on pellet grills, and our favorite test is spatchcocking a chicken, laying it flat on the main grate with a little bbq rub at 375° and letting the cooker do its thing. The chicken turned out nice and juicy and had a nice color on the outside when the breast temped at 160° internal.
Now, hot and fast cooking isn’t grilling, so we marinated some boneless skinless chicken thighs and tested whether we could get grill marks on the factory grates and on a GrillGrate aluminum raised rail cooking system. We set the pellet grill to high at 500°, let it get hot, and then sprayed the grates down with Duck Fat before placing the chicken.
I pressed each piece into the grate to ensure good contact, set a timer for 5 minutes, and closed the lid. When the timer went off, here’s what they looked like. Both the factory grates and the GrillGrates put nice grill marks on the chicken, so this is definitively a wood pellet grill that you can get a sear with.
After all of our cooks, it was time to clean out the pellet grill. This is one of the few grills that have an ash cleanout ability at this price point. Simply pull the lever to release the ash from the bottom of the burn cup, and the ash falls into the ash drawer for easy disposal.
There’s also a grease tray under the pellet grill that catches the grease during a cook, and we found it difficult to get in and out without getting on our knees to navigate the slide rails.
Cleaning the grates is made easier with the porcelain coating, but the thinner coating of porcelain compared to many competitors means they’re harder to clean but give better grill marks as a tradeoff.
A 3-year warranty comes standard on this model, and you can learn more on the Cuisinart website.
What We Loved About the Cuisinart Oakmont Pellet Grill and Smoker
- I love the easy connect technology that comes with this pellet grill. The bbq app worked great and was an unexpected feature for a wood pellet grill at this price point.
- This pellet grill includes a lot of high-end features that aren’t usually present at this price. It makes me feel like I’m using a much more expensive grill. From the large LCD screen, to the appliance-grade viewing window, to the cooking chamber light, there are a lot of bonus features that were missing in the other grills available for this price.
- I really liked the cooking grates on this grill. They are hefty, put a decent sear mark on your protein (at high temperatures), and stay put when being cleaned.
- There’s plenty of prep space on this grill, with a folding front shelf and side shelves.
- The pellet hopper is enormous, holding up to 31 pounds of wood pellets at a time.
What We Didn’t Love About the Cuisinart Oakmont Pellet Grill
- This pellet grill required a very challenging and time-consuming assembly.
- I don’t love the grease cleanout system on this grill. Instead of a hanging bucket, there’s a small grease tray under the grill that slides in and out. Out of sight, out of mind, I typically forget it’s under there and often end up sloshing grease out and onto my patio when I move the grill. I find the it awkward to get to and would honestly prefer a hanging bucket like most of the competition.
That pretty much sums it up for the Oakmont pellet grill, but just exactly who is this wood pellet grill designed for?
If you’re someone who wants all the bells and whistles of the grills that you would get at a price higher than $1,000, like Wifi, a pellet cleanout, a window in the cooking chamber, folding shelves that are included, and more, then this is the wood pellet grill for you.
I say that as long as you like cooking for a crowd because this is a large cooker if you’re just cooking for a small family all the time. With over 700 square inches of cooking space on the main cooking grates alone, it’s made for entertaining and is well up to the task.