Most people think of BBQ grills as burning either charcoal or propane. While those two fuel sources work well and likely will remain in use into the foreseeable future, a more recent development slowly is overtaking them.
The pellet grill offers greater control over your outdoor cooking. It uses hardwood or softwood pellets to fuel the fire. The pellets are made from compressed sawdust and other byproducts from lumber production. Hardwood burns longer, and softwood burns hotter.
The pellets produce a significant amount of heat and can provide a smoky flavor that you cannot get from gas. More than a million homeowners use pellet-fueled furnaces to heat their homes in winter. The pellets work equally well cooking meats and vegetables with smokers and pellet grills.
A pellet grill generally is constructed like most gas or charcoal grills. But they have a hopper that holds a large supply of wood pellets. An electrically powered auger continually feeds the pellets into a combustion chamber. Once in the chamber, an electric igniter causes the pellets to burn.
The pellets burn at about 500 degrees, which is significantly lower than a charcoal or gas grill. Heat convection is aided by a combustion fan that circulates the heat while the auger continually supplies fresh pellets as they burn off in the combustion chamber and make the pellet grill work.
The grill often has more than one deck and can hold a relatively large supply of meat and other foods that you want to cook. The heat convection ensures the meat and vegetables that you might grill are cooked evenly and thoroughly.
There are no hot or cold spots inside a pellet grill. The temperature is uniform in the cooking area. And a sturdy cover helps to contain the heat and enables a more stable burn of the wood pellets.
The pellets are very affordable and come in a variety of wood types. You could order supplies of pellets online and pick them up at a local store or have it shipped directly to your home. That could help you to ensure you always have a good supply of the types of wood pellets that you prefer for your grilling.
Many people love a well-done BBQ that tenderizes meat while infusing it with BBQ sauce and a wonderful smoky flavor. A pellet grill is an ideal tool for cooking very tender ribs, chicken, steaks, and other foods that might get overcooked in a charcoal grill or when using gas.
As long as you have a supply of pellets and top off the hopper, the pellet grill theoretically could cook indefinitely. The heat stays very controlled and does a great job of slow-cooking meat. In many ways, it is the grilling equivalent of a crockpot. And that definitely is in its favor.
You can get pellets that are made with mesquite wood if you want a strong BBQ flavor. Maple or an apple wood also could help to infuse some smoky flavor into your foods. The potential for smoky flavoring is limited only by the types of pellets that you buy.
A pellet grill generally takes longer to grill your food than with charcoal or gas. But the smoky flavor is well worth it. Some planning in advance could help you to slow-cook your favorite meats overnight and have them ready for an all-day feast.
You also could start grilling early in the day for an evening party. The food will be ready and delicious by the time your guests start to arrive. The pellet burner is less troublesome than a gas grill that requires you to change tanks or uncouple gas lines to move it. The pellet burner also is more portable than a gas grill.
The best pellet grills are easier to clean than a charcoal grill. The pellets burn more thoroughly than charcoal and leave almost no ash. The pellets burn almost as cleanly as gas. Pellets are very affordable and compare well with the cost of charcoal or cooking with gas.
Pellet grills have become more widely used during the past decade or so. So market support is growing as more people recognize the great benefits of pellet grilling. The grills are improving and gaining in popularity.
Using pellets in your grill also enables you to use them in a smoker. In many cases, the grill can be converted into a smoker. It just needs a small chimney with a cover to make it work. You can smoke meat, fish, and vegetables and keep them at steady heat for many hours.
If you are considering an upgrade to your outdoor grill, a pellet grill is a great option. And it likely could double as a smoker.