Use wood pellets to flavor and cook the food in your smoker.
If you’re looking for a modern way to smoke and barbeque, then pellet smokers are the way to go. These technologically advanced cookers do a majority of the work for you, in comparison to traditional smokers. Best of all, they require minimal maintenance because of their use of pellets. These pellets not only heat the smoker, but also provide different flavors depending on your taste.
While these pellet grills offer plenty of conveniences, they also come with a larger price tag, which may be a deciding factor when purchasing. If you’ve always wanted to know how these smokers work, read on and see if they’re right for you.
How do Pellet Smokers Actually Work?
A pellet smoker is a somewhat complex grill that automates the entire smoking process. First, you start by loading up the hopper with your choice of pellets. Next, you program the smoker with the temperature that you want your meat to cook at, and the length of time needed to cook. The grill then automatically calculates how many pellets are needed, and how often they need to be replenished, in order to keep those temperatures consistent.
Once the pellet smoker is programed, it will automatically ignite and begin the cooking process. These smokers come with a gear that then moves pellets from the hopper to the grill in order to keep temperatures consistent. This allows for a hands-off approach to grilling that guarantees perfection every time.
These pellet smokers are also designed with safety in mind and keep a fan going at all times to stoke the flame, while also keeping temperatures consistent and even. Also, these grills are electric, and use the current to power the computer, which eliminates the need for propane and natural gas.
Choosing the Right Pellet Smoker
Pellet grills and smokers require a larger investment versus traditional models, which is why it’s important to know what to look for when shopping. Some key tips to choosing the right smoker include:
- Price: As mentioned above, pellet smokers are expensive, so keeping within your budget is key to getting a good deal. Search around and be sure to read reviews. You want to make sure that the smoker you choose is right for your needs and budget.
- Size: Pellet smokers can be on the larger size, especially because they need to accommodate the computer programming elements. Be sure to measure out the space you have for the grill, and also the actual cooking area. A good grill will be able to accommodate whatever amount of meat and vegetables you put on it, without sacrificing heat or functionality.
- Temperature Controls: A pellet grill can easily hit temperatures up to 500F. However, if you need something higher than that, to sear meat for example, you want to buy a smoker that can accommodate your temperature needs. Luckily, most people looking for a pellet smoker will do well with a standard model.
- Features: If you’re splurging on a pellet smoker, then you may as well get all the features. Each grill is different, but some cool features you should be on the lookout for include meat probes, which will help you monitor the internal meat temperature, additional grilling racks, and even Bluetooth compatibility. This allows you to control the computer on your pellet grill remotely for the ultimate convenience.
- Brand: Finally, and for some people most importantly, is the brand. There are plenty of pellet smokers on the market, so choosing a brand you can trust is important. One of the most popular pellet smoker brands today is Traeger. These grills offer complete computer control, with a sturdy design built to last.
A wood pellet grill is a great way to automate your cooking, while still enjoying the flavors of a smoker.
What Are the Benefits of Wood Pellets?
Pellet smokers are a great choice for home use because they offer a multitude of benefits. For one, pellet grills are safer to use because they eliminate the need for manual operation. By using an automated hopper, you do not have to change the pellets yourself, which mitigates the risk for burning.
Another great perk of using a pellet grill is that you get more control over the cook and temperature of your grill. Most models operate with a computer that sets and maintains the temperature at all times, which takes the guesswork out of grilling.
Finally, and most importantly, pellet grills offer the same taste quality as traditional smokers. By using flavor pellets with your heating pellets, you can enjoy some of your favorite tastes including hickory, cherry wood, and oak. Best of all, many pellet smoker manufacturers produce their own pellets that work perfectly with their grills.