Pellet Grill And Pellet Smoker Buying Guide

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Do you also dream about having the perfect dinner party with your friends and family on Christmas and Thanksgiving parties where everything should be on point starting from the smoky grilled chicken to the drinks ? Well, having a good smoker would serve your purpose but how good the smoke is would depend on the quality of pellets you are using for smoking your food.

Anyone would agree that if the smoke in the smoky grilled chicken is not up to the mark, or fails to generate the aroma, the mood is just not set! But to those who are hearing the term pellets for the first time – what are pellets? 

To break it down to you, pellets, or more specifically, wood pellets are generally made from leftover wood shavings or sawdust. Wood manufacturing plants produce tons of sawdust every single day, so you can imagine how many more tons of pellets can be made out of those! 

Some of the most common flavors are – apple, cherry, whiskey, hickory and many more! 

Keep in mind that different flavors of wood pellets are suited for different types of food. So check which food you want to smoke and choose the flavor accordingly.

Pellets can be used in pellet grills to give the food a more aromatic and smoky flavor. Pellet grills or pellet smokers both are used with hardwood pellets but not many people are aware of what pellet grills are and who should buy them. In this article, we have tried to break down the basic knowledge you need to know before investing in a pellet grill.

What Is A Pellet grill?

A pellet grill is a kind of outdoor cooking device that is a mix of charcoal smoker and traditional gas grill. Since they are a hybrid version of the two, they can be used to serve a variety of purposes like smoking ,  baking, roasting , grilling and much more. Pellet grills offer the capabilities of both a smoker and griller. They use the fuel as hardwood sawdust which facilitates fast heating, they burn hot and a clean smoke is created. They are ones you need for a consistent and even cooking experience.

What Is A Pellet Smoker?

Pellet smokers are not different from pellet grills. They are very easy to use, they are thermostatically controlled like stoves. You can set a cooking temperature and the controller will just maintain it by feeding the food pellets to the fire pot as needed! Pellet smokers are pricey, that’s true! But they are a great investment for someone who loves cooking and loves to cook at night parties.

Why are they both called pellet grills or pellet smokers? Which is it?

Pellet smokers and pellet grills are the same. It is known by different names in different places. It is known as pellet grills in America and pellet smokers in Australia. Pellet smokers use all-natural wood pellets made of pure hardwood that are made of compressed sawdust. They are safe to use for smoking.

How does a wood pellet grill work?

An auger in the grill is the one that moves the wood pellets from the hopper to the fire pot. There is a digital controller that regulates the delivery of the pellets to the firebox so that an ideal temperature is maintained. A fan circulates air and smoke inside the grill which offers a convection cooking environment. No doubt that the wood pellets provide fuel for cooking but it needs to be complemented by the electricity to power the auger , controller, and fan.

Pellet Grill Buying Guide

Do pellet grills cook the same as other grills?

Though the functions of all the grills are almost the same, there are aspects where pellet grill and standard grill differ. Pellet grills use indirect heat to cook and don’t offer those deep and dark grill marks like you get in the standard grills. There are some models that can have you cook directly but not all.

Grilling and smoking are not the only options, they provide even and consistent cooking with the ideal designated temperature control that you would get in any other standard grills. It also lets you have a barbecue, roast, and bake. It lets you lower the temperature whenever you want to cook slowly thus giving you a better cooking experience. In addition, pellet grills provide a smoky flavor and can be used to enhance food flavors.

Pellet Grill Advantages And Disadvantages

Pellet grills do not heat up as fast as a standard gas grill but they do maintain a steady temperature once the temperature is set. So it helps to cook more evenly and consistently.

Since they cook with indirect heat and not direct, they offer more consistent cooking and allow one to slow cook infusing the smoky flavor but they don’t char the food quite like a gas grill. However, a cast iron pan can be used to help with searing. Some pellet grills also use a broiler that can be used for finishing meats at high temperatures.

They require electricity so they need a convenient power supply in order to operate and are not as portable as a standard grill for camping purposes. They are most suited for home cooking.

What Flavor Profile do They Produce?

When we talk about flavor profile, we mean the different types of pellet can be used to cook. Smoker pellets come in a wide array of wood flavors like hickory, apple, mesquite, maple, cherry and also peach, alder and pecan. Every flavor produces a unique flavor profile.

Can You Sear On A Pellet Grill?

Yes you can sear a pellet grill. Searing occurs in the area of the meat that touches the grate directly. It is used for faster cooking than the circulating convections heat cooks the rest of the meat. For searing you need a cast iron grill grate to get you even hotter grates. Searing time will generally vary with the size of the meat.

How Portable are They?

Pellet grills are not that much portable as the standard gas grills are because they are electricity based. You need a reliable power supply in order to operate it. So hence they are not the perfect ones to carry for those trekking and camping purposes.

They need an outlet to function so they’re not portable. It can also be damaged due to moving. They are not suitable for wet weather conditions so all and all it is not as versatile as other grills.

What Foods Can You Cook On A Pellet Smoker?

There is a range of items you can cook in a pellet smoker which are chicken, steak, burgers, turkeys, pie, brisket, vegetables, pork, grilled cheese, and many more other delicacies!

Final View

Pellet smoker and pellet grills are often used synonymously, and they are surely a great invention in the cooking world. It is perfect to slow cook your food, it maintains an ideal temperature which cooks food the best. They are used for a variety of purposes like baking, roaring, grilling, etc so they are indeed a versatile device on which you will be investing for a lifetime! We hope this article was helpful to you and gave you a basic idea about pellet grills!

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Sid Wilson

Being a father, a golf lover, and an engineer by profession are the things that define Sid Wilson. He spends most of his time in his garage building and experimenting with stuff. Unscrewing things and then screwing them up is his favorite hobby. Doing these things in his garage has made him what, he is today.

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