The ice is melting and the temperature is slowly but surely heating up. Backyard barbecues with family and friends are definitely up on the horizon with the warmer weather upon us. You are probably super stoked like us because you’ve made the big switch to a wood pellet grill and smoker.
However, at the same time, you’re feeling unsure about how to handle this latest innovation. You’re feeling utterly clueless about how to use this wood pellet contraption. Fret not because we have compiled some necessary steps to assist you with your pellet grill journey.
Getting started is not as difficult as it seems. So sit back, relax, prepare the marinade, throw the drinks in the cooler, and fire up the barbie because we are getting you grilling, smoking, and more in no time at all. Here, under are some nifty tips and tricks to help you handle your pellet barbecue.
Defining a Pellet Grill
Before you can actually master how to use a pellet grill, you must first know and understand what this contraption was developed for. Your pellet grill, as with all the rest, is fueled with cylindrical food-grade wood pellets, made up of hardwood sawdust. The latter is subjected to extremely high heat and pressure that agitates the wood enough to bind them all together to form super small, one-fourth inch wide pellets.
The wood pellet grill functions with basic electrical current, so it is really easy. Inside the grill is a continuous running fan with the primary goal of dispersing both head and smoke. This wood pellet grill has morphed to become a must-have because it gives the convenience of a gas grill, provides the smokey taste of a charcoal grill, and offers the accuracy of a kitchen oven.
In all these aspects, the pellet grill definitely wins, which is precisely why there are now more than twenty brands available in the market today. Now, all you have to do is master using it, so you will have your guest figuratively and literally eating out of that palms of your hands. Do check out the top 10 pellet smokers reviewed on Smokeysteakranch to give you some more ideas.
Prepare all the necessary materials from your meat, marinade, machine, and the actual wooden pellets. Make sure the machine is clean. A quick wipe down if you have recently used it may be necessary, but it if it has been a while, a more thorough disinfecting may be essential to ensure that your food remains safe.
Remember, those metal grates in your wood pellet are coated in porcelain ceramic, so you can easily toss them in your dishwasher. Hygiene is key when it comes to food preparation, so this part must never be compromised. Make sure the other paraphernalia are within easy access too, like the thongs and plates, so you won’t have to be making unnecessary steps to and from the kitchen.
Buy your wood pellets ahead of time. These uniquely engineered wood pellets actually come in endless flavor options. Make sure you have access to the variety of wood pellet styles that would match your marinade for the day. Your options, just to name a few, are apple, cherry, Mesquite, hickory, maple, or pecan. Again, you have to ensure that you have several available bags because you don’t want to run out in the middle of cooking.
Firing Things Up
You fuel up your wood pellet grill and smoker with tubular food-grade wood pellets. Each tubular piece is only about an inch long and one-fourth inched wide. These babies burn cleanly with very little ash, so you don’t have to worry so much about clean up.
The best part about using a wood pellet grill and smoker is that the pellets contain no added additives that can affect the security of the food. It will, of course, infuse some flavors into the meat, which is precisely why it is not just considered a grill but a smoker.
Since pellet grills run on standard electrical appliances carpeting, all you have to do is plug in the grill and turn on the digital controller. The rotating augers transfer the pellets from the hopper part of the pellet grille, into a cylinder-shaped fire pot that houses an igniter rod.
This rod will glow hot for several minutes, which will ignite the pellets. As a result, both heat and smoke from the combustive pellets’ heat up, with tiny smoke particle diffused by a continuously-running blower fan. It is important to note that on upscale models, permits both smoking and grilling over a wood pellet fire at the same time.
Actual Cooking Mode
Just like usual gas grills, pellet grills preheat pretty fast within ten to fifteen minutes. This was designed to discourage flare-ups. You can then choose to set the pellet temperature based on what you are cooking.
Certain pellet grill brands allow you to regulate the temperature in increments of 5 degrees. This gives you some measure of control, which a normal gas grill will not have. A thermostat in the cooking chamber of the pellet actually sends precise signals to the controller to regulate the pellet heat delivery.
Because one of the benefits of this wood pellet grill and smoker is that it ends up working like a convection oven, you can load up your food inside the cook chamber without fear of overcooking. As a result, you can do a lot of versatile things with your pellet grill from baking, barbecue, smoking, roasting, grilling, and even baking. You can use it to make chicken wings, braised beef, pulled pork, creme brulee, and even chili Verde.
Important Details to Remember
You don’t normally over-smoke food on a pellet grill. The smoke flavor can actually be quite subtle than the usual acrid smoke generating traditional machines. You can add wood chips, use soaked wood chips, or position those chips directly on the heat diffuser plate to make a more intense smokey flavor.
One twenty-pound bag is sufficient for several dishes. A pallet grill will use around one half of that bag per hour, while the smoke setting will consume more. Moreover, since the wood pellet grill permits you to choose your temperature and even monitors the temperature for you, so you are assured of quality results every time you break it out to use it.