We’ve all heard of pellet grills. They are the new big thing in BBQs, but what exactly is a pellet grill? If you don’t know much about best pellet smokers or how they work, we have some tips and tricks to help you get started.
What Are Pellet Grills Made Of?
Pellets are basically compressed sawdust that has been coated with a binder (usually kerosene) and pressed into pellets. The pellets burn cleanly because there isn’t any oxygen present when they are burning. This means that the smoke produced from these pellets is completely free of carbon monoxide.
You can buy premade pellets at most hardware stores, but they aren’t cheap. You will need to make your own pellets if you want to save some money. There are plenty of sites on the web where you can purchase wood pellets. However, if you don’t want to spend too much time making your own pellets, you should check out our list of the best pellet smokers.
Pelleted wood is more expensive than traditional charcoal, and it does take some time to make pellets. It takes around 20 minutes to fire up a stovetop smoker and around half an hour to light a pellet grill. If you don’t like the idea of spending so much time cooking food, then you should consider using a pellet grill instead.
How Does a Pellet Grill Work?
If you haven’t used a pellet grill before, you should understand that pellet grills work by heating up the pellets inside them to high temperatures. These temperatures range between 700 – 900 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the model you choose.
The food you place inside a pellet grill is cooked by the heat generated by the pellets themselves. As soon as the pellets come into contact with the food, the smoke starts generating. Once this happens, the temperature inside the grill automatically increases until the food is cooked through.
This process usually takes less than 30 minutes, although this may vary according to your grill size and type. You will also find that you can cook multiple items at once once you get use to the pellet grill.
Types of Food Cooked With Pellet Grills
Pellet grills are great for cooking different types of meat. Because they are able to generate such high temperatures, you can easily fry or bake meat to your liking. In addition, you won’t have to worry about flareups and other problems with gas grills.
Pellet grills are great for smoking foods as well. Smoking meats over a low-heat flame is one of the best ways to get your favorite barbecue flavor without actually having to cook the meat. This is perfect for those who love their smoked meats, but hate the effort involved in actually smoking them.
If you are looking for something different, you can even cook your food over a bed of coals in a pit. Pellet grill pit cooks allow you to cook food outdoors while still enjoying the convenience of indoor gas grills.
There is no limit to what kind of food you can cook with a pellet grill. You can even cook raw fish, vegetables, breads, pizza, and cookies if you desire.
When choosing a pellet grill for yourself, be sure to select the right model based on what you plan to cook. For example, if you only plan on smoking meat outside, you might not need a very large pellet grill.
Which Pellet Grill Is Right for Me?
Choosing which pellet grill to buy depends largely on how often you plan to cook with it and how many people you have at the table. If you just want to try out your first pellet grill, go ahead and pick up one of the small models.
However, if you plan on cooking a lot of food throughout the year, you will probably want to invest in a larger unit.
In terms of power, you will need to look for a model that has enough power to handle cooking several large meals at once. You will also need to ensure the grill is capable of handling the weight of whatever you are cooking. Most of the larger pellet grills are heavy duty machines that can handle anything you throw at it.
Another important aspect to consider when picking a pellet grill is the quality of the parts. We would suggest purchasing a grill made by one of the major brands. Although you could get away with buying a cheaper grill, you will end up paying more in the long run for repairs and replacement parts. For instance, if you accidentally knock over a part of your grill, you will likely have to replace it rather than repair it.
5 Things to Consider When Buying a Pellet Grill
Do you plan on cooking large amounts of food at once?
Will you be cooking many items at once?
Are you planning to cook a lot of food during a single sitting?
How much space do you have for your new grill?
How much power can you generate?
After answering these questions, you should be able to narrow down your choice pretty quickly.
For example, if you plan on cooking a few burgers on your grill, you should definitely invest in a smaller model. If you plan on cooking a whole hog, a large unit is the way to go.