Plan How Much Cooking Real Estate You Need
Before deciding how big your cooker needs to be, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. How many people will I be cooking for? Do I plan on cooking large cuts or even a whole pig?
Remember that bigger doesnt always mean better. Purchasing a huge pellet cooker can really just mean wasted pellets.
A standout feature of pellet smokers is that the temperature is relatively even across the cooking area. As a result, there should be no temperature difference between the top rack and the bottom rack while cooking.
Bearing this in mind, lets discuss the difference between the primary cooking area and total cooking area. Primary cooking area refers to the area on the main cooking plate. Total cooking area takes into consideration secondary racks.
Therefore, a large cooker with a primary cooking area of 500 square inches, might actually be of less use to you than a smaller cooker with a total cooking area that includes a 450 square inch primary rack and a 125 square inch secondary rack. If you couldnt be bothered doing the math, thats 575 square inches of total cooking space.
The bottom line is this take stock of what you need, and dont be fooled into thinking that bigger is better.
Lumber Jack Bbq Pellets
A producer of a wide range of BBQ pellets of both blends and 100% single wood species pellets. While Lumber Jack debarks the Oak that goes into their blends they leave the bark on their other wood species to provide a stronger smoke flavour profile.
Lumber Jack offer both 100% single wood species and blended hardwood pellets: Images Walmart.com
What Lumber Jack do provide which many other pellet blend brands dont offer is the breakdown of wood species in their blends. For instance, their Apple Blend is 60% Red Oak to 40% Applewood whereas their Fruitwood Blend is 80% Cherry to 20% Applewood. As well as large 20 and 40lb bags for dedicated pellet grills/smokers Lumber Jack also offer smaller 1 and 10lb bags for smoking on a gas grill.
- Pellet Flavours: 100% Oak, 100% Cherry, 100% Hickory, Char Hickory, Apple, Fruitwood, Mesquite and Pecan Blends
- Bag Size: 1, 10, 20 and 40lbs
- Typical Price: $20 to $48 per bag
- Availability:& Walmart.com
What Can You Cook On A Pellet Grill
When Traeger patented the first wood pellet smoker back in 1986, low-and-slow smoking was the name of the game. Todays pellet grills, however, are capable of just about any type of cooking you can imagine. With temperatures ranging from below 200°F to just over 700°F, pellet cookers can grill, smoke, BBQ, bake, and broil, and a select few can even sear. Not every pellet cooker is able to produce such high heat, but some models function as truly all-in-one cooking machines.
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Features To Look For In Best Pellet Grills
A Pellet Grill is likely to be an investment that you will want to last for some time to come so it’s essential that you consider the key features youd prefer it to have from the outset. You dont want to invest in something that doesnt have enough grilling space or regret your decision when you find out the hard way how challenging your grill is to get clean. Here are some of the key features and considerations we think are worth being mindful of.
Temperature Control – To achieve any semblance of successful cooking results, even if your oven at home, you are heavily dependent upon being able to regulate and control the heat. You may well be able to gauge how long to cook a chicken for but can you be sure that it will still be succulent and tender rather than a shriveled, dried up mess. One thing that people cant abide about traditional barbecue cooking is the inconsistency. One sausage is charred to within an inch of its life. The other raw in the middle. So if you want to be able to fully control the outcome of the food you cook, then look for a pellet grill have has an adjustable temperature control setting with a reliable +/- differential. Plenty of the grills we reviewed could be set digitally from 180 all the way up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with negligible heat difference meaning you can rely upon the results.
Set It & Forget It With Traeger The Original Wood Pellet Grill
Wood pellet grills have the power to provide amazing wood-fired flavor easier than ever. Traeger grills offer 6-in-1 versatility that allows you to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ food all with the same grill. Whether you want to smoke a rack of ribs low and slow, or grill a wood-fired pizza hot & fast, you can do it all in one place. They have precise temperature controls giving you ease and consistency every time.
Traeger wood pellet grills use hardwood fuel giving your food that real-hardwood taste. Cooking with wood also gives you the option to choose from a variety of hardwood flavors that complement the different foods you cook. Fruit woods like cherry or apple wood will give your food a sweeter flavor, while bolder woods like hickory and mesquite will have a stronger, savory smoke flavor. Become a master chef expirimenting and perfecting your own recipes.
When it comes to the internal workings of a wood pellet grill, there’s an auger that moves the hardwood pellets from the hopper to the fire pot underneath the grill. The higher the temperature, the more pellets are dispensed into the auger. Once in the fire pot, a hot rod ignites the pellets creating a fire, then a fan stokes the fire creating convection heat to evenly cook your food in the grill. A drip tray sits over the fire pot, keeping the direct flames off your food while catching food drippings to help prevent flare-ups.
Wood Pellet Grills vs Gas & Charcoal Grills
Read Also: How Long Do Traeger Grills Last
Pellet Grilling Isnt A Fad Its The Future Heres Why
Invented in the 1980s, the wood pellet grill was once dubbed the grill of the future. Its finally earned that title.
It used to be that pellet grilling was for nerds. Invented in the 80s by a guy who owned a heating company in Oregon, wood pellet grills are powered by electricity and fueled by wood pellets. An auger pushes compressed wood from a holding chamber on the side of the grill to a fire pot under the grates, where a temperature gauge and a fan work together to maintain a stable heat.
The first wood pellet grills, all made by Traeger Grills, did not seriously threaten the dominance of their gas and charcoal counterparts. Those days are gone. Here are four reasons why pellet grills are here for good.
What Fuel Do You Use For A Wood Pellet Grill
All of our pellets are formed from the highest quality hard woods and use no fillers, oils or flavor additives. Using only high quality pellets have several benefits. First and foremost they create the best flavor. Second they create less ash, which means less clean up. Lastly high quality pellets burn better, longer and more efficiently.
The truthand the tasteis that the best barbecuing is done naturally over a wood fire, not propane or natural gas. Smoked food from a propane grill just doesnt taste the same. Plus, propane cooks too hot to provide authentic barbeque flavor and dries out your food.
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Buying Guide For Best Pellet Grills
Who doesnt love a delicious rack of ribs or juicy burgers hot off the grill? Being able to barbecue every day is one of the best parts of summer, but cooking the food to perfection depends on having the right equipment. Even if youre not a pitmaster, you can cook and smoke consistently great meats and vegetables with a pellet grill.
But shopping for a pellet grill can be a challenge because there are so many different models to choose from. You have to figure out what size, temperature controls, and other factors will work best for your grilling routine.
If youre ready to buy a pellet grill, please consider our highlighted picks. But if you want some general advice on what to look for in a pellet grill, our shopping guide has all the details.
Why We’re Fired Up About Wood Pellet Grills
Wood pellet grills may be the most sizzling development barbecue aficionados have seen since the invention of the gas-powered grill!
Thinking about purchasing a new grill? If youre a barbecue fiend, take a few minutes to read below and see if wood pellet grills are right for you. Pellet grills are unique because theyre fueled by pellets made from compressed sawdust of different types of wood that give the barbecue chef many options in terms of flavor profiles and cooking styles. Converts will tell you that they offer you the best features of both smokers and grills with a few other perks thanks to the digital age. Here are a few of the best features:
- Easy to use and requires less attention
- Fires up quickly
- Digital controllers allow better control over the cooking temperature
- Flexibility to grill, smoke, sear, braise, bake and roast
- Convection heating process creates even heat distribution
- Mix and match wood pellets to come up with endless flavor combinations
- Gives food the smoky aroma that barbecue lovers crave
- Less mess with no charcoal ash
|Hear from HPM Owners who rave about their own pellet grills.|
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What Gives Your Food Its Flavor
This is where you have to start this discussion. Yes, there are other benefits you can read about below, but the real benefit of owning a pellet grill is the quality and flavor of the food you can make on them. The reason professional barbecue chefs use wood is because it provides the best flavor. And unlike gas or charcoal, you can vary the flavor with the type of wood pellets you choose, and you can even mix and match to create the perfect flavor for whatever you put on your grill. Our handy find your flavor guide below is great for a quick reference, or you can check out our more detailed guide on selecting the right flavor of pellets.
Early History And Development
Pellet grills have their beginnings in pellet stoves. During the 1973 oil crisis, an increased demand for affordable home heating spearheaded a push toward alternative heat sources, which would later include wood pellets. Wood pellets were invented in the United States in the late 1970s, they are small eraser-sized capsules made of compressed sawdust. By the early 1980s Jerry Whitfield, a Boeing aviation engineer from Washington, and Joe Traeger, who ran a family-owned heating company in Oregon, were each experimenting with pellet-burning stoves. Although the stoves looked like traditional wood stoves, they worked much differently. Run by electricity, the pellet stoves utilized a motor-driven auger to deliver a specific amount of pellets from the storage hopper to a fire pot, where a fan aided combustion and blew the warm air from the stove.
Read Also: Does A Traeger Grill Need Electricity
Why Would I Buy A Pellet Grill
Wood pellet smoker grills take the ease of grilling with gas but give your food that awesome flavor of real wood. Think Crockpot of the grilling world. Slow cooking, set it and forget it controls means you can visit with guests and family and not have to worry about standing over a hot grill turning your food every few minutes. The temperature controls will keep you within degrees of your set temperature, so just dial up your desired temperature and go grab a cold beverage!
Choose The Best Flavor
Next, you want to pair the best pellets with the meal youre cooking on the grill. The flavor of the pellets has less to do with the actual flavor of the wood and more to do with the strength of the smoke flavor you get from burning it. You can think of pellet flavor on a scale from mild to strong mild flavors work best with delicate foods, while strong flavors work best with heartier foods.
Check out our flavor guide below.
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Best Bbq Wood Pellets For Grills/smokers 2021
The growth in the range of pellet grills/smokers now available is pretty amazing, as I discuss in my A to Z list of pellet grill brands, with now over 30 options to choose from. Well, many of those brands also offer their own brand of pellets too. As there is such a huge range of BBQ wood pellets available, working out which flavour/wood species you should use and which pellet brand is offering the best deal can be very confusing. Therefore, Ive produced a comprehensive article on all the pellet brands/flavours you need to be aware of and their price/availability, including the new kid, charcoal pellets.
Below you will find details on over twenty brands of BBQ pellets for grills/smokers
Disclaimer: Hey! By the way any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.
Id encourage you to browse my full A to Z List of BBQ Pellet Brands, but if youre in a rush, please use the Table of Contents below to jump to a particular make to learn more about a particular brand of pellets. Alternatively, check out my opinion on the current best BBQ wood pellets deals.
- Best Pellets for Grilling/Searing: Royal Oak Charcoal Pellets
Best Pellet Grills In 2021 According To Experts
Select is editorially independent. Our editors selected these deals and items because we think you will enjoy them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time.
When it comes to at-home grilling, youll typically come across three main options: pellet grills, charcoal grills and gas grills. All grills and smokers work with the same basic principles of thermodynamics, or heat and energy transfer, explained David Marks, head of business development for Operation BBQ Relief and the reigning national and world best wings on the planet champion. They all need fuel and oxygen to create a heat source, he said. A pellet grill uses wood pellets made of sawdust that are compressed into the form of a pellet as their fuel. Pellets are small and efficient. The pellets are made of various woods that allow you to add the smoke flavor of the specific wood that you like, he added.
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The Wood Pellet Grill
Wood Pellet Grilling, invented in the 80s, has come a long way and has some increased popularity today.
Most Wood pellet grills are fueled by Wood pellets and powered by electricity, although with more improved technology, there are some other options today.
Pellet grills today are here for good with their many excellent Benefits.
A Pellet grill uses all Natural wood pellets that are moved from the hopper to the fire pot by an auger and then ignited with a HotRod that feeds the flames and the delicious wood-fired flavor to your food.
The higher your Grill temperatures, the more Pellets are dispensed, and the more smoke you will get to infuse delicious flavors into your food.
All in all, you get the advantages of a Smoker and Grill in one system with the Wood Pellet grill.
Advantages Of Pellet Grills
In addition to providing a unique, wood-fire infused flavor, pellet grills are very versatile and simple to use. Here are a few reasons youll love using a pellet grill:
- Ease of use: Unlike some cooking systems, pellet grills are easy to use, and there is no learning curve involved. Thanks to special control systems and a controlled heating environment, all you have to worry about is what food you want to cook first. Many grills are also easy to transport, making them ideal for at-home and on-the-go cooking.
- Set it and forget it: With a pellet smoker, you no longer have to worry about standing guard over your grill to make sure your food doesnt burn or gets cooked through. Instead, pellet grills let you set it and forget it with automatic temperature regulation.
- Fuel-efficiency: Compared to other types of cooking fuel, wood pellets are a very affordable and environmentally sound investment. A high-quality bag of pellets can also last you a long time if you store them properly.
- No flare-ups: Because wood pellets use indirect heat, there wont be any hazardous fire flare-ups that can scorch your food.
- Versatility: Whether youre looking for those iconic grill sear marks or trying your hand at tender, low-and-slow smoking, a pellet grill can help you achieve both.
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Pellet Smoker Reviews Pro
I talk with a lot of teams out there, and I know for certain that some of them have turned to my buddy Fred Grosses MojoBricks to boost their smoke profile when using pellet smokers. In fact, of the teams who win with Pellet Smokers Id wager at least a quarter of them to maybe half have used MojoBricks to round out their final product.
In 2013 Southern Krunk BBQ Society won 1st Place in Pork Ribs at the Jack Daniels International Invitational using MojoBricks. You can find their website here.
Additionally, David Bouska of Butcher BBQ won the 2012 Las Vegass World Food Championships. His first place overall victory propelled him into 2013. David cooks on a pellet smoker and he adds Mojobricks to his pellet smoker for that added touch of good smoke lovin flavor. Read about more teams using MojoBricks here.
Take a look at this video to see what you think of MojoBricks.
If you like the concept of MojoBricks consider placing one on top of your pellet smokers heat plate or right next to the fire pot.