A Beginners’ Guide to Pellet Grills
Grilling season doesn’t just mean a choice between hamburgers and hot dogs. It also begs the question of what kind of grill you want to use when cooking outdoors. But while there are a lot of popular grilling choices, one you may be less familiar with is the pellet grill.
But how can you use a wood pellet grill? In this article, we’ll explore the basics of a pellet grill. This will include how they work and what benefits they have over traditional grills.
After reading, you’re sure to learn how to use a pellet grill for the first time. Read on to learn more.
Pellet grills are similar to other types of grills in many ways. They have a similar size and body shape. They provide heat to an open flame cooking surface where you can grill your food. They offer precision temperature control.
But the key difference between a pellet grill and other grills is how the heat is generated. While traditional grills are typically fueled by either propane or natural gas, a pellet grill burns small wooden pellets. These hardwood pellets are made from compressed hardwood sawdust. In honesty, they look a lot like what you might line at the bottom of a rabbit or hamster cage.
More than anything, the pellets are the key elements to understanding how a pellet grill works.
The wood pellets are poured into a container on the back of the grill called a hopper. This is essentially a large storage bin for the pellets. But it’s functional, too. The hopper helps them move onto the next part of the appliance in their journey toward the flame: the auger.
Another key difference is how the fuel source is delivered to the flame. Traditional grills feed the flame via a steady stream of gas. A pellet grill, conversely, feeds its flame using an auger.
This corkscrew-shaped piece of metal moves a few pellets toward the flame during operation. It is typically electrically powered and sounds like a small running motor as it feeds.
The reasons why a pitmastermight consider a pellet grill over more traditional grills are many. Pellet grills are a great cooking tool with numerous unique advantages, including:
- They don’t require gas canisters
- Wood pellets are more fuel efficient
- They offer more precise temperature control (when compared with charcoal grills or gas-powered grills)
- The smoke produced by a pellet smoker adds a unique smoke flavor to cooked food
- They are great for low and slow cooking, such as brisket or pork shoulder
- They are easy to use (the hopper, auger, and combustion chamber all work automatically)
There are countless other reasons a pellet grill is a great choice for most outdoor cooking enthusiasts. But the biggest reason is they are simply an easy and flexible choice of appliance for most needs.