The pellet grill is the "star" of barbecue today and rightly so. Pellet grills have attracted a group of grillers that probably would never think or have a desire to try their hand at barbecue.
So, Why are Pellet Grills so Popular Today:
Ease of operation
No fire management—set & forget
The ability to smoke & grill
Less mess than charcoal or wood
Less clean up
Economical to operate
With Wi-Fi they can be controlled remotely
Accurately hold temp within 10 degrees
Heat up fast
Gas Grill vs. Pellet Grill:
Pellet grills usually cost more than gas grills and may not sear as well as gas.
Grill Grates solve that problem
For busy young couples with kids, it is a much easier alternative to charcoal & wood fired systems.
Pellet grills are no different than any other grill or smoker. They require the same care and maintenance. So, with that being said, here are some tips.
Pellet grills are fairly easy to clean-
- A shop vac works best
- We recommend vacuuming after two cooks (follow the manufacturer’s recommendation)
- Foil the drip pan for easier cleanup
- You can minimize cooking grate cleaning by cooking in foil pans
- Occasionally, wipe off the temperature probe in the cook chamber
- Pellets are like charcoal, they will absorb moisture
- Store open and unopen pellets in a dry place
- If the grill is inactive for a week or two remove the pellets from the hopper and store in a container with a tight lid
- If the grill is stored outside the pellets will be prone to moisture absorption faster than if stored in a garage or shed
- If the grill is stored outside, it is necessary to invest in a cover
- When filling the hopper, pour ¾ of the bag into the hopper then hand fill the remaining ¼. All pellet bags will have dust in the bottom and if moisture is absorbed there is the potential of clogging the auger and throwing temps off
- Over time you should be able to estimate how much it will take to fill the hopper for each cook. This will allow you to use the amount of pellets needed so you don’t have a lot of excess in the hopper
- Clogs will affect temperature consistency. Wild wings in temps are indicative of a possible clog
- If you end up with a clog, remove the pellets and vacuum the hopper
- Check the burn box for any pellets and remove
- Run the auger to remove the clog
- Discard the damp pellets and re-fill the hopper with dry pellets
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for start-up
- On initial start-up, it is not uncommon for the temperature to “spike up”. The computer is syncing to the temperature set and auger speed. Give it time to settle in.
- During the cook, you will see 5 degrees or more fluctuations. This is not uncommon. There is no grill, smoker or oven that keeps an exact temp during the cooking process. They will all cycle up and below your set temperature. When you average it all out it should be close to your selected temp.
- We recommend purchasing 20# bags of pellets since they will be used up faster than 40# bags. If you opt for larger bags you will have to make certain they are stored in a dry place when partially open.
- Purchase various flavors and blend them for a broader flavor profile. An easy formula is 60%-75% hardwood to 40%-25% fruitwood. Mix them thoroughly in a separate container
- We rate pellet smoke intensity from the most to the least as follows: 1) Mesquite 2) Hickory 3) Pecan 4) Oak 5) Cherry 6) Apple 7) Maple 8) Peach
These recommendations are suggested due to our experience with cooking on pellet grills. We cook on every piece of equipment we sell so we can better advise you.
Keep your grill clean and follow these recommendations and you should have trouble-free cooks. If you need us, just give us a call.
“May The LARD Be With You”
Meats are done only when they are cooked to the proper published temperatures. No excuses!
For certain meats such as pork butts and briskets once the meat hits its safe temperature then we use feel but only to judge tenderness.
We monitor cooking grate temperature for an indication when the meat may be done and to ascertain if we are cooking too hot or too low. For example, an 8 to 9 lbs. pork butt will take 7 to 8 hours to cook at 275 degrees. Knowing this helps with planning.
General Anatomy of Meat
Meat is made up of 75% water which is myowater.
The reddish liquid you see in pre-packaged meat is not blood. It is myo water (myoglobin). Blood is drained from the animal at the time of slaughter.
There is good fat and bad fat, bad meaning it does nothing to help produce good results.
The fat that is in between the muscle fibers also known as marbling is good fat and for certain meats, it is an indication of its quality. The fat that is on top of a brisket or pork butt, for example, does nothing to help our cook.
What bad fat does is:
It extends our cooking time since we have to cook it along with the muscle.
Seasoning the fat cap does nothing but waste seasoning (I don’t know anyone that will just decide to eat fat because it’s seasoned).
The theory that the fat will “meld” and make the meat tender and juicy is an old wives tale. Fat is grease and the meat is water. Grease and water NEVER mix.
The fat cap will prevent the process of developing a smoke ring.
If it is confusing to us avid grillers, it must be that much more confusing to the homeowner.
“Difference between a great one and an OK one”