Things to Know About Pellet Grills

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

Great flavor

No flare-ups

 

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.

Cleaning:

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

 

Handling Pellets:

  • 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:

  • 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

 

Temperature Consistency:

  • 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.

 Pellets:

  • 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”

 

 

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