If you have bought a brand-new pellet grill or looking forward to buying one to take your outdoor cooking activities to the next level, you have made the right choice.
There are several exciting advantages of having a pellet smoker or grill in your backyard, but there are also some popular pro tips for using it to enhance your BBQ game.
So, in this article, I am going to share some of the most valuable pellet grill tips and tricks to help you achieve extraordinary cooking results every time.
Pellet Grill Tips And Tricks
There are numerous tips and tricks for using a pellet grill that can elevate your outdoor cooking experience, and I have discovered some of the best ones for you.
So, if you’re new to grilling, these tips will help you in achieving the desired results effortlessly every time you fire up your pellet grill for your BBQ tasks.
Let’s dive in and discover how you can take your pellet grilling to the next level.
Choose The Right Pellets
When you’re using a pellet grill, the kind of wood pellets you choose to cook your food plays a vital role and can make your food taste different. In simple words, it’s like adding special flavors to the food you are grilling.
You should always look after ones that suit the type of flavor you want. For example, if you like a strong smoky taste, I recommend you go with hickory or mesquite, and if you prefer a sweeter or fruity flavor, try pellets like apple, cherry, or oak.
Also, keep the burn rate of wood pellets in mind per your cooking requirements, as some tend to burn out faster than others. In short, choose a pellet flavor that matches your cooking duration on a pellet grill.
Keep Your Wood Pellets Somewhere Dry
Ensure to keep your wood pellets somewhere dry and in an air-tight condition to achieve perfect grilling and smoking results from your pellet grill.
When you use dry pellets inside the grill, they ensure efficient combustion, consistent temperature, and ideal flavor infusion into the meat you are cooking.
On the other hand, wet pellets can cause several issues, such as poor burning, temperature fluctuations, and incomplete combustion. These problems can lead to uneven cooking and a lack of that signature smoky flavor.
Additionally, you may face technical grill issues like auger jams which require immediate attention and solution. In short, dry pellets are the key to success when it comes to a perfect grilling session.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to store your wood pellets nicely.
Use Different Pellet Flavors
A pellet grill uses wood pellets to cook your food, right? What if I tell you that there are plenty of pellet flavors out there that you can use to make your food taste different and delicious? Yes, it is right.
Therefore, I suggest you try out different kinds of pellets or mix two of their flavors and serve your guests or family members with different yet delicious tastes and smoke flavors.
Seasoning & Burn-Off Is Quite Necessary
I don’t recommend instantly starting cooking on your brand-new pellet grill because there’s an important step to do first. It’s like getting your grill ready for action. What step is it? Let me tell you.
You must season your grill properly before the first cooking session.
The reason is that there is often oil on the inner parts of a new grill that is used to protect it during the delivery process, and you wouldn’t want to cook in that oily environment, right?
Seasoning refers to putting oil inside and heating it at a higher temperature to remove all the oils and chemicals. This is how you prepare your grill for a safe and tasty cooking experience.
Most importantly, it is a good practice to season your grill before each cook to ensure that there are no food residues from the previous cook, which could mix up with your new food and affect its natural flavor.
Make Sure There Are Enough Pellets In The Hopper
Imagine you’re all set to start grilling on your pellet grill, and you’ve got the perfect recipe in mind. But wait, there’s a crucial step before you fire up that grill which is to check the pellet hopper.
The hopper is where you place your flavorful wood pellets. So, before you start cooking, make sure there are enough pellets in the hopper that would allow you to cook your meal without any interruptions.
Running out of pellets midway through grilling can be irritating because it prolongs the cooking session unnecessarily. To avoid this, refill the hopper with pellets if it’s running low or initiate grilling where there are enough pellets.
Use A Meat Probe And Don’t Rely On Time
A meat probe is a kind of compulsory cooking tool that you must have if you own a grill or smoker and often cook outside.
I believe you have an idea that it is helpful in checking how hot your food is from different parts. Ultimately, you get to know if your food items have been fully cooked and are safe to eat.
It is important to mention here that many people grill their food with a specific duration in mind which isn’t the right technique because the cooking period can vary. So, rather than relying on time, use a meat probe.
Also, keep in mind that different meats and food items have different temperatures to be safe and taste their best, which means you should be aware of the perfect internal temperature for the meat you’re cooking.
Use Upper Racks For Smoking & Lower Racks For Grilling
When using your pellet grill, always remember that its racks can be your secret weapon for achieving perfect cooking results.
There’s a simple rule that you need to follow: use upper racks for smoking thick and large meat cuts while lower racks for grilling leaner meat cuts. But why is this rule more than a suggestion? Let’s find out.
Firstly, smoking is a cooking technique requiring a lower temperature for a longer period, approximately 200 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
In this case, the upper racks are away from the heat source, making them more suitable for smoking thick meats like brisket.
On the other hand, grilling requires a higher temperature of around 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and the lower racks are right above the heat source.
Ultimately, the temperature on these racks is higher, and you can confidently use them for grilling steak, burgers, chicken wings, etc.
Look After The Hotspots On Your Grill
In case you don’t know, almost all grills have areas that get hotter than the rest. These hot parts are known as hotspots, and finding them is very important because they can affect how your food gets cooked.
But the real question is how to find these hot areas. It is simple. Firstly, put your grill to medium heat setting, slice white plain bread all over the grill, and keep flipping it.
When you notice that some parts of the bread are getting darker than others, it shows that you’ve found the hot areas. But how’s all this beneficial? Pointing out the hotspots will help you cook your food items evenly from all parts.
Prefer Intense Smoky Flovr? Use A Smoke Tube
If you like grilling or smoking your food with an intense smoky flavor, I suggest using a smoke tube on your pellet grill.
It is a simple cylindrical-shaped metal tool that is designed to hold wood pellets. To use it properly, you simply need to fill it with your desired flavor pellets from both sides and then light one end using a torch or lighter.
You can either place it over the grill grates or below the grates and above the heat deflector. If you need my suggestion, I would place it over the heat deflector so that it could get nice and consistent heat throughout the cook.
Anyhow, after placing and lighting the smoke tube, the pellets inside it will start smoldering and producing smoke within a few minutes to infuse your meat with a unique smoky aroma.
Keep The Lid Close And Don’t Open It Uneccesarily
During your BBQ sessions, there are some occasions when cooking with a closed lid offers more authentic and beneficial results.
For example, when you are smoking your brisket at 225 or 250 degrees Fahrenheit, it can take several hours to cook to perfection. In this case, ensure not to open the grill lid and monitor the meat’s temperature through a probe.
Opening the grill lid unnecessarily would cause heat to lose, which can prolong the smoking session as well as cook the brisket unevenly.
Invest In Compatible Attachments
Do you know that pellet grills like Camp Chef Woodwind come up with a sidekick that is compatible with a variety of attachments?
Yes, it is true because you can attach a flat-top griddle, a pizza oven, or a grill box with its sidekick to make it a versatile cooking device. A lot of satisfaction, isn’t it?
Keep Your Pellet Grill Clean
Lastly, don’t forget to clean your pellet grill regularly.
After each cooking session, run a quick cleaning session in which you’ll remove any leftover food residues and ashes.
Regular cleaning helps you in different ways. For example, it extends the grill’s lifespan, keeps your food tasting better, and ensures your grill performs at its best for a longer period.
In the world of pellet grilling, mastering the art of cooking flavorful and delectable outcomes requires skills as well as some pro tips that I have highlighted in this guide.
From choosing suitable cooking pellets to using attachments and maintaining cleanliness, I believe these tips and tricks are your pathway to grill mastery.
Happy Grilling And Smoking!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can pellets be left in a pellet grill?
As long as the pellets are dry, you can leave them in the hopper of your pellet grill. A covered and air-tight area is another suitable option to consider when placing your pellets.
Do you leave the lid open when starting the pellet grill?
Yes, it is important yet beneficial to keep the lid open when you are about to start your pellet grill because it ensures proper air circulation that helps ignite the pellets well.
Does a pellet grill need to be cleaned after every use?
For optimal cooking performance and less maintenance, it’s recommended to perform basic cleaning after each use. It involves removing ashes, wiping down grates, and checking for any food residues.
Caspian James, the Founder and Chief Editor at FaveGrills, is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest Smokers and Grilling Products along with mouth-watering barbecue recipes. He constantly researches new gear with a sharp eye for detail, providing the FaveGrills community with in-depth reviews.