What Is The Difference Between Pellet Grills And Charcoal Or Gas Grills
The main difference here is the type of fuel consumed. Wood pellets, charcoal briquettes, or propane. They all have have their own signature style and flavor to offer to your food and it is up to you to figure out which one you jive with. One important note pellet grills are dependent on electricity so are not a good option for mobile cooking adventures.
How Long Do Wood Pellets For A Charcoal Grill Last
Pellets have many variables and grill feed rates that affect the amount of time wood pellets last. To determine whether wood pellets last, It is vital to consider which pellet pit, what setting, which pellets, and whether it uses a thermostat or not.
Every pellet grill has a large hopper capacity that varies from 55150 lbs. So it can store a vast amount of pellets that can heat your steak to 4500F. You can also get a proper sear with a 7000F temperature for grills that offer a direct sear zone.
A bag of wood pellets will last for about 12 hours on a medium heat setting or about 3-4 pounds per hour. This works for less fuel in the lower heat settings or even more if you go higher.
% Charcoal Pellets Increased Heat Output
As I stated above, compared to hardwoods in general, charcoal contains about 40% more energy per lb. Hence, as each charcoal pellet contains more energy it has the potential to burn hotter. Grilling/searing is an area that many budget pellet grills and even some premium products do indeed struggle with, hence the appeal of pellet/gas combo grills. However, the use of charcoal pellets in any pellet grill can provide a boost to grilling/searing performance.
Just Grillin Outdoor Living demonstrating that charcoal pellets do indeed burn hotter
In the video above it was found that Royal Oak charcoal pellets could boost the maximum temperature output of a Weber SmokeFire from 600 degrees to 700 degrees at the cooking grate! Thats a very impressive boost in heat output, that puts the searing/grilling performance of that pellet grill on par with any typical gas grill. Also bear in mind that 700 temperature output was achieved after running the Weber for just 20 minutes!
Now, you shouldnt necessarily expect a 100-degree boost in temperature on every pellet grill, as the Weber SmokeFire pellet grills with standard hardwood pellets are already one of the best for high-temperature grilling. However, even on other pellet grills, I would expect a 50 to 100-degree boost in maximum temperature output.
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What Is A Charcoal Grill
The charcoal grill has more real fire flavor and also cheaper to purchase. Charcoal produces virtually moisture-free, intense radiant heat and super-heated air.
The combination of these begins the Maillard reactions and case-hardens the meats surface we all love so much. These coagulate the meats surface proteins and results in charcoal-smoke flavor.
A charcoal grill is better designed for high heat grilling. You can, however, use it for smoking steak if you offset the heat source with the meat being cooked. Sometimes you want to get the right color and grill marks on your food and that charcoal taste. But, it requires more cook time to become thoroughly done.
Once its nice and browned, you have your food ready for consumption. So the searing effect is much more pronounced on a charcoal grill just because you are dealing with so much more energy.
The thing responsible for that excellent charcoal taste is natural juices from the food dripping onto the hot coals and creating smoke that permeates the food.
How To Use Wood Chips On A Charcoal Grill
You can use wood chips on a charcoal grill even if your unit doesnt come with a smoker box. Wrap handfuls of wood chips in a double layer of aluminum foil and seal the packets tightly, then poke holes in the foil. Once the coals have ashed over, add the packets to the fire and proceed with your chosen recipe.
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How To Use A Pellet Grill
For wood pellet newcomers, pellet grills and smokers are an excellent way to get into barbecue. Learn how to get the best out of your wood cooker with our step-by-step guide to using a pellet smoker grill.
Since their introduction in the 1980s, the pellet grill has revolutionized backyard barbecue. Cooking with wood pellets through a motor-controlled auger means that you can smoke meat, grill over high heat, and even bake, all in one unit.
The big appeal of pellet smokers is how much easier than charcoal grills they are to use. Theyre simpler in every aspect, including startup, temperature control, and even maintenance.
If the prospect of getting to grips with your new pellet grill is daunting, youve come to the right place. My guide to pellet grill basics will show everything you need to know.
From getting a good bark, to developing iconic smoke rings, we have everything you need to know.
Can You Use Wood Chunks On A Gas Grill
You do not need a smoker to use wood to add flavor to your grilling. You can use wood chips and wood chunks on a gas grill or a charcoal grill it is actually a very simple and rewarding process. The smoke from the added wood is going to make your meal be just as tender, but taste completely different.
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A To Z List Of The Best Bbq Wood Pellets
A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.
In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.
How Much Wood Will I Need
If youre using a low-and-slow cooking application, you should add a fresh handful of chips every half hour or so to maintain the best flavor. If youre just grilling a batch of chicken wings or sausages, a few handfuls should be all youll need. These should keep the smoke flavor going for about an hour.
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Flavor Profiles Of Wood Pellets
As mentioned above, wood pellets are available in a variety of mixtures of oak with other hardwoods or fruitwoods. Each of these will impart a very different flavor profile on meats. Also, using one type of wood pellet while smoking one type of meat will taste different than with another type of meat.
Wood pellets for outdoor cooking can be found in several different flavors. Each variation has a different flavor intensity it imparts. Also, each flavor pairs well with some meats more than others. To decide which type of wood pellet you should use for your smoking, it is best to use the type of meat you are cooking as your starting point. Then decide how intense of a flavor you want to pair with that meat.
Here is a breakdown of the most common variations of wood pellets:
Some brands of wood pellets, like the selection from B & B Charcoal, also have blends of several different types of wood flavors. For example, the Championship Blend from B & B Charcoal is a blend of Pecan, Cherry, and Oak.
This results in a deliciously smooth, savory flavor with a sweet undertone that pairs well with many types of meat.
There are also specialty variations, like Jack Daniels Pellets. These wood pellets are made from the mellowing charcoal from the Jack Daniels distillery. Producing a rich, smooth taste that works well with chicken and pork.
How To Smoke On A Charcoal Grill
Here are our go-to tips for smoking on your Weber Kettle.
First, here are some tools that will make smoking on a kettle easier:Smoking woodsNow that you have the right tools, let’s get your kettle set-up for smoking.The most useful way to set up your charcoal grill for smoking is to create a two-zone fire. That simply means you arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate and leave the other side empty, giving yourself two heat zones. One will have direct heat and the other will have indirect heat.
1. Before you light the charcoal, find out how much wood the recipe suggests and soak wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes so that they will smolderand smoke rather than flame up . Light the charcoal, follow these tips if needed.
More often than not, you will need only a small bed of charcoal for smoking, so start with the chimney filled about halfway. The swinging handle above the chimney starter is there to help you lift and aim the chimney where you want it. Be sure to wear insulated barbecue mitts when handling the chimney starter.
2. Pour the lit charcoal on one side of the charcoal grate, either right onto the grate or into a charcoal basket. Put the empty chimney starter on a heatproof surface away from children and pets.
If the coals are not in a charcoal basket, use long-handled tongs to arrange them so that they cover one-third to one-half of the charcoal grate. Its okay if the coals are piled one or two coals deep, but no more than that.
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Why Do Pellets Burn So Well And What Exactly Is A Filler
Back to the subject of fillers.
You are only likely to get wood thats 100% apple, cherry, or hickory if youre using chunks or chips.
With pellets, youre likely to have some filler included, but it will always consist of safe to use hardwood. Its usually oak that is used as a filler. There are more oak trees than cherry trees, you see. However, filler wood in food-grade pellets wont affect flavor or odor.
Using a hardwood filler like oak also helps to create burn consistency, which is particularly vital in blends.
Some woods burn faster than others. That affects your grilling because when you keep adding fuel that burns quickly, you end up with flare-ups and hot spots.
Remember that because well return to that point shortly.
Back to the current topic, the presence of oak in pellets allows for a similar burn rate across the board, even if you mix different flavors or purchase a pre-made blend.
Not to make it all about money, but in this case, filler material saves it by creating a more consistent and slower burn.
Oak trees arent expensive to harvest. Again, you also dont have to burn through as many pellets with the oak providing a consistent, dense base.
Are Pellet Grills Better Than Charcoal Grills
Pellet grills offer some features that simply aren’t possible with a charcoal grill. One of the most important features of pellet grills is the convenience of controlling temperatures. Charcoal grills require you to manually maintain the temperature of your grill, and you’ll need to invest some time and a good amount of charcoal before you know how much fuel you need to maintain temperatures. For long cooking processes where you need to go low and slow, a pellet grill is obviously superior. With a pellet grill, you don’t have to mess with adding fuel to the fire so long as you don’t run out of pellets. With a charcoal grill, you will need to remove the grate and add charcoal for long processes like smoking or roasting at low temperature.
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How To Use Smoke Pellets
Wondering how to use smoke pellets? BBQ wood pellets offer an excellent choice for anyone trying to bring out more of that delicious smokey flavor in your food. When used correctly, smoke pellets can take great BBQ and make it truly next level.
Whether youre just trying them out for the very first time or youve used them before and need a quick refresh, weve put together this short guide to proper smoke pellet useincluding what to know before you get started so that you can achieve the exact results that youre looking for.
How To Use Smoke Pellets:
Fill your hopper with smoke pellets and start heating them. Keep in mind that you dont need to soak your smoke pellets prior to use like you do with wood chips.
Once your pellets are good and hot you can add your meat to the cook chamber. Depending on how long your cooking time is, you may need to add more pellets as you go, however our pellet grills hold up to 20 pounds of pellets at a time for hours of hands-free cooking.
Grill pellet flavors
Youve got a wide variety of options when it comes to the pellets and the flavors that you choose. These include:
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What You Can Do About Bbq Wood Pellets Charcoal Beginning In The Next 15 Minutes
Pellets make a few really amazing smoke. Wood pellets, however, have their very own distinctive flavor, but they still supply some very good heat for your grill. Both smoking pellets and wood chips can be created from any sort of hardwood, one important difference has to do with the sum of processing they undergo.
Pellets do not create ash, and the food isnt smoky. Therefore, its so important to pick the proper kind of pellets for smoking. Smoker pellets are not going to permit you to smoke your food too much that is why youre in a position to walk away from your smoker whenever its on. The only issue is that you should find smoker pellets that are high quality. The very best smoker pellets have a great deal of benefits as you are able to see.
What Are The Best Wood Pellets For Smoking
The answer to this question is mostly up to personal preference and what youre smoking. Heartier meats, like beef and game, can hold up to strong-flavored pellets like mesquite, hickory, and oak. More mild-flavored meats, like pork and chicken, benefit from flavorful pellets, like apple, cherry, maple. And for seafood, alder is the most popular choice!
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No Pellet Grill No Problem Use Bbq Wood Pellets On Any Grill
If you dont have a wood pellet grill, that doesnt mean you have to miss out on the smoky flavor infusion of cooking with wood pellets.
Lynn from Happier Than A Pig In Mud, a seasoned crafting/cooking/baking blogger, recently shared a healthy recipe using her propane grill and Bear Mountain BBQ wood pellets in a foil pan.
I started by heating up my grill on high with the pellets in a pan right on top of the burner plates. Then I turned off the burners with the pellets, using more indirect heat for the pellets once the grill got hot. I cooked a grill pan meal with the lid down trapping the smoke. Since I was mostly curious to taste the smoky flavor, I only used olive oil and a little Montreal Steak seasoning. With pork tenderloin, peppers, onions, and asparagus this made one mighty fine meal.
Want to add some smoky flavor to your grill game? Here are a few ways you can use BBQ pellets without a wood pellet grill:
For Charcoal Grilling, try the Sprinkle Method
Ideal for a charcoal grill setup, simply sprinkle a large handful of pellets on hot coals to get going. Close the lid to allow the pellets to smoke, not flame. Enjoy when your meat has reached the desired temperature.
For Charcoal, Gas and Electric Grilling, try the Pan Method
Pellet Grill Vs Electric Grill
Electric grills are somewhat different than other types of grills because they need to be plugged in to work. However, this can make them a viable choice for people who live in apartments and cant have gas or charcoal grills on their back decks or patios. In fact, some electric grills are so small that they can be used in an enclosed kitchen.
With that being said, electric grills are not necessarily right for all occasions or buyers who want to grill food. Check out the pros and cons of electric grills vs. pellet grills below.
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Cleaned The Grill Beforehand
The leading cause of grill fires is when they are not cleaned. Regardless of what BBQ grill you use, grease fires are possible when they havent been cleaned appropriately. The best way to avoid getting grease fires or flare-ups when cooking with an outdoor grill is to keep it clean.
Grease buildup and a back-burn up the auger can cause a fire. If you plan on using a pellet grill for overnight smoking meat, then make sure to thoroughly clean it first. Specifically, any of the drip pan areas where grease would accumulate.
Grease is easily deposited especially if youve done several greasy cooks consecutively. So using a drip pan can solve this problem.
Its very rare for pellet grills to catch fire, but for your safety, it is important to clean your grill after every 2-3 meals and light the fire correctly. By doing this you can make sure accidents like uncontrolled pellet grill fires wont happen.
There will be occasional hopper fires in the pellet grill too. A hopper fire can only happen when the pellets in the feed tube are ignited, but the auger isnt turning. it does take a while for the process to burn all the way back to the hopper.