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How to Use a Pellet Grill | The Ultimate Beginners Guide

As the demand for pellet grills is increasing day by, it is really important to know how to use a pellet grill? Pellet grills are bringing a positive change, joy, happiness, and peace of mind in people’s life because of hot trends, comfort, and the economy.

How to Use a Pellet Grill

Moreover, the use of pellet grills make the user tension free, they don’t have to babysit the grill, so how pellet grill works is quite important to understand.

As a newbie, you must be thinking of how a pellet grill works. So let me assure you that you have come to the right place to learn the phenomena of their working.

As we have made a comprehensive research to write about the working of pellet grills and their comparison with other traditional Barbeque methods, stick around to learn more.

What is a Pellet Grill?

As the name shows, a pellet grill is a grill system that acts as a smoker, cooker, charcoal barbeque, and oven. As it uses pellets, made of natural 100% wood, it is named as a pellet grill.

Pellet grills are the best combination of superior grilling and cheaper or economical fuel consumption.

What are wood pellets?

Wood pellets are the fuel, which is used in pellet grills and smokers. These pellets are made of natural wood, 100 % organic.Wood pellets are famous for their efficiency and low ash production. A 40 lb bag of pellets will produce only 100 grams of ash, making the clean out system extremely easy.

How are the pellets made?

Wood pellets are made up of 100 % natural hardwood. The hardwood is first dried. Then a grinding process makes a powder, saw dust of this hardwood. The powder or the dust is then pressurised on high heat and pressure followed by lignin coating. Resulting pellets are strong, highly combustible and have high fuel efficiency. Wood pellets have an immense flavoure of smoked wood, easy workability and high air to fuel ratio.

How does a wood pellet grill work?

A wood pellet grill has a storage container for pellets called hopper. It contains the pellets, which we feed to the grill as a fuel.the hopper transfers the pellets to the combustion chamber, which is known as auger. The auger is electrically charged, and ignite the wood pellets through combustion.

The intake fans bring the hot air to the coaoking chamber, dispersing it all over the cooking area.

Most of the times, pellet grills are similar to ovens as they give precise temperature through digital or dial thermometer, the temperature ranges from 180F to 300F.

This temperature range facilitates you to either cook “low and slow” or enjoy searing hot food.

Pellet grills also have one or multiple meat probes, that attach directly to the meat to measure the temperature of the meat. This feature helps to gauge and choose exact temperature to enjoy great food, proper cooked and grilled at right temperature. Majority of the pellet grills offer 8 in 1 cooking set that can grill, smoke, roast, braise, sear, bake, chargill and barbeque.

How long pellets last in a grill?

This is always a good practice to keep a check on fuel first. Like every  other fuel system, make sure you have enough fuel to start with pellet grills. If you go outside, grill for travelling or tailgating , you must have an extra bag of pellets as you may not find a store to get your required pellets, in case you run out the pellets. As a thumb rule, one pound of pellets go for one hour of non stop grilling on low and slow cooking. For fast cooking, you require 2 lbs. of pellets.

Why should we choose pellet grills?

Pellet grills are the best source of providing smoked food at the convenience of cooking. You can get a real smokey flavoured food or any other flavour depending upon the type of pellets you choose. Pellet grills have a convection heating system in them.

It means the hot air circulated in all the grills, giving an equally cooked food. You can use the grills indoor or outdoor, for bigger families or only for two, depending upon the type of grill you choose.

The maintenance, storage and clean out systems are so handy that you save your time and energy, without a hassle of babysitting your pellet grill.

Moreover , pellet grills offer versatile cooking and easy to achieve flavours. You can smoke your food by choosing “low and slow” mode of cooking or enjoy “searing hot” food, whatever you want.

How do pellet smokers work?

Smokers that use pellets are known as pellet smokers. Pellet smokers also work on the same principle as the pellet grills except few exceptions. The combustion chamber in smokers is far from grilling grates and an indirect heating is used to cook the food. This hot air helps in cooking, evenly distributed in overall smoker. The few dissimilarities a pellet smoker has are:

  • Pellet smokers are designed for low and slow cooking. You can’t achieve searing hot temperature in them as they don’t have high temperature option in them. For any food requiring low and slow cooking, the smokers work great.
  • Pellet smokers use indirect heating to cook the food. As no direct flame is available, so you can’t grill on the pellet smokers.

Is the pellet grill a smoker?

Yes, pellet grills offer smoking option too. Choose a low flame to enjoy wood smoked flavoured food , or go for searing hot temperature to get sear grill marks on your favourite steak.

Smoking on a pellet grill is also an easy option to prepare meals for your friends or family, while enjoying with them instead of babysitting the cooker.

Read More: Best Pillet Grill Smoker Reviews

How to cook on a pellet grill?

Cooking on a pellet grill does not require years of experience and technical expertise. Ofcourse there are certain aspects you must know, as discussed in our top rated pellet grills review article, cooking on pellet grills is quite easy.

  • Follow the recipe you want to cook the food of. You can bake, smoke, grill, broast, chargill, barbeque , bake your food by choosing required mode and temperature.
  • Make sure your grill is ready to work, thermometer is working, meat probes are perfect.
  • Hopper has enough pellets to go along the grilling hours.

Above mentioned points are a benchmark to start cooking with your pellet grill.

Pellet grills vs smoker:

Pellet grills are different to smokers in many ways.  They have an advantage of smooth and steady temperature rise, easy of working and high fuel efficiency over traditional smokers. Traditional smoking usually takes long hours to achieve required results.

Moreover the pellet grills offer more versatility and cooking options including smoking on pellet grills.

Pellet grills vs gas grills:

Both gas grills and pellet grills are designed to provide grilled food on economical fuel consumption and easy to achieve flavours. However the gas grill differs in following ways from a pellet grill.

  • Gas grills have no circulation of hot air, resulting uneven grilled food.
  • Gas grills don’t have a proper air ventilation so temperature control is hard.
  • They offer a mid level to high temperature cooking, so can’t work as smokers.
  • Gas grills don’t have a wood smoked flavour, as compared to wood pellet grills.
  • Due to lack of proper insulation, gas grills are poor cookers at low temperature flames.

Pellet grill vs charcoal:

Charcoal grills are a traditional way of cooking and grilling food. You must have used them once in your life as they are in use since long time. As people around the world, use them because of low budget and not adopting new technologies, they experience different hurdles in getting properly grilled food without any burnts.

Charcoal grills have following differences from the pellet grills.

  • The fuel type is different in charcoal grills, e.g, lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes.
  • As there is no proper insulation in charcoal grills, requiring the desired temperature becomes hard
  • Because of no digital or dial thermometers, meat probes, ash clean out systems, working on charcoal grills require alot of patience and mastery.
  • Charcoal grills are not newbie’s friendly because of complex process.
  • Temperature measurement is difficult as compared to grill pellets.
  • Fuel consumption is high in charcoal grills.
  • Ash clean out system is extremely easy in pellet grills.

Pellet grill Vs electric Smoker

As compared to other grills, electric smokers are an easy and quick way to get wood smoked flavoured food. They are easy to handle, require minimal handling and maintenance and lightweight smokers. They work on the principle of “set it and forget it” and are best for “low and slow cooking”.

Unlike pellet grills, electric smokers are electrically powered while using wood chips as fuels to impart smokey flavour in the foods. They don’t have high temperature ranges, so not best for searing hot and grilling requirements. But for outdoor smoking, they prove themselves to be the best smokers. The temperature ranges they can acaieve is 400 F maximum while being 5 in 1 cooking sets.

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