FireCraft Pellet-Q450 Pellet Grill Review

There is no doubt about it. Life keeps us pretty darn busy. I can’t even count the times that I have been DWG (Distracted While Grilling).

If I don’t pay attention to my vents, my grill gets too hot, and I get dried out BBQ. Or, the fire gets too low, and we end up eating brisket at midnight.

Fortunately, I think those days are now over.

FireCraft® asked me to review its Pellet-Q450™ Pellet Grill. I was stoked to give this a shot because I know pellet grills are way more than just grills. You can use them to grill, barbecue, bake and more.

If you have limited backyard space, and you love cooking outside, this is the one grill that will do it all – and do it all well.

The grill is 46 inches tall, 35 inches wide and 24 inches deep and has 450 square inches of cooking space – that’s enough space to grill around 30 hamburgers. But as you’ll soon see, I use it for WAY MORE than hamburgers.

Getting Started

My American-made FireCraft® Pellet-Q450™ Pellet Grill arrived in one box padded with Styrofoam. There is not a whole lot of assembly. You screw the legs together to form the base, you set the grill on top, and you add the hopper box and handle.

FireCraft Pellet-Q450 Pellet Grill Review

Quick timeout to talk about these bolts for a minute. I’m not a bolt nerd or anything, but I’ve assembled a few grills and furniture items in my life. Most of the time, you get skinny bolts with washers and nuts. These bolts were thick and strong with welded on washer-like caps, and they came with really sturdy locking nuts that also had welded on washers. When I saw the attention to detail made right here alone, I knew I was going to be impressed with the rest of the rig.

FireCraft Pellet-Q450 Pellet Grill Review

The other pre-assembly extra touch that impressed me was the protective film that covered every square inch of the stainless steel body. It was a little challenging to remove in a couple of spots around the lid and the pellet hopper, but once removed, my grill was nice and shiny like a new car.

How to Use a Pellet Grill

Fill the hopper with pellets. Plug it in. Turn it on. Set the temp. Grill your favorite meal.

Seriously, it’s that simple.

You don’t need matches or lighters or a torch. There is a stick burner deep inside the grill that lights the pellets for you, once you push the on button.

You don’t need to monitor the vents to control the temp. Once you set the digital temperature, the grill magically adjusts everything for you. Okay it’s not magic, it’s engineering, but it’s still really damn awesome.

I can set the grill to 325 and bake a loaf of bread, just like I would in an oven. I can set the grill to 250, throw on a pork butt and know that it will still be running at 250 six hours later. Or I can crank the heat to 500 and grill a thick cowboy ribeye. (I’ll share those recipe experiments with you in a bit)

The Pellet-Q450™ comes with two grill probes – a built-in probe that measures the internal temp of the grill, and a meat probe that plugs into the digital control panel.

Pellet Q-450 Display

The digital display is really easy to use. It has the following buttons:

  • Power – use to turn on and off
  • Pellet Prime – use to feed pellets through, if they don’t go on their own. (I haven’t had to use this yet. My pellets feed just fine.)
  • Temp Up and Down – you can adjust in 5-degree increments from 180-500.
  • Temp Display – toggle between the actual temp of your grill or meat and the temp you set.
  • Probe Display – Toggle between the grill probe and meat probe.

But Here’s the Coolest Part

I swear there is a unicorn inside of the Pellet-Q450™. I had the grill all set with a temp around 250. I had the meat probe inserted into my pork butt and set to 180.

What do you think happened? I got DWG (Distracted While Grilling), and my meat reached 180 while I was socializing on instagram. With all of my other grills, that would be a problem because the meat would keep on cooking to 190, 200+.

With this Pellet-Q450™, the grill was smart enough to know I didn’t want my meat to cook past 180 at that point, so it started automatically reducing the internal temp of the grill to keep my meat at 180.

Once I had the chance to get back to the grill, I wrapped my meat, adjusted the meat probe to 205 and walked away. The grill started increasing the internal temp back to 250 and kept on smoking the pork butt to 205. Once it reached 205, it adjusted the internal temp again to hold my meat at 205.

Thank you, pellet unicorn. I will never overcook barbecue again.

It Does Way More Than BBQ

If you follow Girls Can Grill, you know that I do way more than BBQ. My motto is, “If it can be cooked in the kitchen, it can be cooked outside.” So I put the Pellet-Q450™ through my 4-technique test. Here’s what happened:

Smoked Pork Butt

Smoked

You already read how my pulled pork test went. Ahhh-mazing! I used hickory pellets and smoked the pork butt at 250 for about 7 hours. The Pellet-Q450™ maintained the perfect internal temp, and my pork butt was tender, juicy and had a beautiful smoke ring and flavorful bark.

Reverse Seared Cowboy Ribeye

Grilled

This is where the Pellet-Q450™ stands apart from many pellet grills. Most pellet grills include a metal plate that rests below the grill grates and above the flame. This helps deflect the heat. The problem is, if you want to grill at high direct heat, the plate gets in the way.

Well, the Pellet-Q450™ has the diffuser, but it also has a removable Open Flame Port that allows direct smoky fire to pass through the diffuser to grill food at up to 500 degrees.

Simply add the Sear Station grates to diffuse the intense flame. The channeled grates prevent flare-ups, vaporize fat drippings (adding flavor) and create awesome grill marks.

I tested this setup on a 3-inch-thick cowboy ribeye steak. I first smoked it at 250 degrees with hickory and cherry pellets, until it reached 110. Then, I set up the sear station, and grilled it at 500 degrees, until it was medium to medium-rare.

Bacon Banana Bread

Baked

I like to do a lot of baking on my grills. This requires cooking with indirect heat. When I use a gas or charcoal grill, I have to rotate my food regularly to ensure an even cook.

With the Pellet-Q450™, I just set it and forget it. There is a built in fan that circulates the heat evenly, allowing my breads and cupcakes to rise just like they would in the oven.

For this test, I baked a loaf of bacon banana bread with pecan pellets. It turned out moist and flavorful with a hint of smokiness.

Smoked Osso Buco

Braised

My final test involved pulling out the cast iron. My favorite Crock-pot recipe is osso buco. It usually involves searing beef shanks and braising them in the slow cooker or oven for hours, until they’re nice and tender.

Instead of searing the shanks, I smoked them at 275 for four hours. Then, I let them bathe in a cast iron pot with tomatoes, olives and red wine, until they were infused with fresh Italian flavors and were fall-apart tender.

This grill succeeded at all of my Girls Can Grill tests. In fact, I’ve got it fired up right now, as I’m writing this. And I know, if I get distracted creating this post, dinner is going to be all right. In fact, it’s going to rock my world.

What are Pellets?

Pellets are simply your favorite BBQ hardwoods condensed down into – well – little pellets. They’re made with sawdust from woods like hickory, apple and cherry and mixed with moisture.

They burn just like wood because they are wood.

Just be sure to select good quality brands of pellets like Traeger or BBQr’s Delight. That way you can be sure that you’re getting pure clean wood. Some other companies have been known to mix in other byproducts or treated wood.

FireCraft® carries reliable pellets you can trust on its website.

BBQ Pellets

Disclosure: FireCraft® provided this product to Girls Can Grill at no cost, so I could test it and provide feedback to other grillers. All of my opinions are my own.

2017-01-14T12:14:40+00:00

About the Author:

I love to cook outdoors. Give me a smoker, a grill or even a campfire, and I'll serve you up a meal you won't forget.

6 Comments

  1. Carl September 10, 2016 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    At least try to make this sound like a genuine review and not an advertisement. What a shill

    • Christie September 11, 2016 at 9:15 am - Reply

      Carl, I can assure you that this is a genuine review. I put this grill through the ringer, testing the variety of recipes that I like to create, and I was impressed every time. Happy grilling, Christie

  2. Brent October 18, 2016 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Have you continued to use the Q-450? Does it have a lot of temperature fluctuation? I am looking for a replacement grill for my GMG DB which I am not happy with. It has major fluctuations in temperatures. Customer service can’t figure it out so after 2 years of issues I think I need to move on, but don’t want to move on to a new set of problems.
    Thanks and great review

    • Christie October 19, 2016 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Brent,
      I use the Q-450 every weekend. I love it. The temp only fluctuates when I have the lid open. Once it’s closed, it stays within a 10-degree zone. I can do a full smoke without refilling the hopper and without worrying about temps. I have been really happy with it. + customer service is awesome! The only problem I had was a tripping GFI, but I plugged it into a regular outlet, and it works great.

  3. Jim March 5, 2017 at 7:35 am - Reply

    I have a Q450. Bought it last May, 2016. It has been flawless in it’s operation. And no, I paid for mine and I am a real owner. The Firecraft Customer Service is great, I have even gotten a answer back on a week end to a question. Mine works as it should when plugged into my GFI on the deck. My favorite pellet is Lumberjack, they are 100% flavor wood. This means that a Hickory pellet is 100% Hickory wood, not 75%/25% as some are. Mine looks as good today as when I bought it. The Stainless Steel will not burn and peel like a painted grill grill will. The open flame with Grill Grates make a killer steak. I am loving my Q450.

    • Christie March 5, 2017 at 7:52 am - Reply

      Awesome Jim. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll have to give those pellets a try. –Christie

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