What Is A Pellet Grill? Know All About Pellet Grills

pellet grill guide

Pellet Grills- a grill lover is bound to have heard this term. Many connoisseurs have a high interest in buying this appliance yet, some of them may not know much about this grilling equipment. Pellet grill is a convenient way to get a real wood fire flavor in a variety of foods. 

It is an outdoor cooker. To generate heat, it burns hardwood sawdust. A pellet grill generally costs a couple of hundred dollars. However, some of the more complex ones may cost you even more!

Undoubtedly, a pellet grill is a capable machine; still, it has both positive and negative sides. It has a particular operating cost and simple rules to use. Continue reading and learn all you need to know about pellet grills.

What Is A Pellet Grill?

What Is A Pellet Grill?

Pellet grills have become much popular among BBQ lovers in recent days. Nonetheless, many of us are not familiar with this tool.You may have noticed a pellet grill in different hardware stores. It is the grill with a box welded on the side. 

A pellet grill is outdoor cooking equipment. Generally, it is made of all-natural, certified, food-grade hardwood pellets. The wood pellets work as the fuel source that provides direct or indirect heat depending on the need.

Pros And Cons Of Pellet Grills

Now you may know what a pallet grill is. Yet, you may not have a single clue about the advantages and disadvantages.

Every product has much or less positive and negative sides; the same is the case for a pellet grill. In this part, I will discuss the pros and cons of a pellet grill in brief.

Pros of Pellet Grills

  • Pellet grills are designed to cover a different cooking purpose. It is a piece of easy and time-saving equipment.

  • Pellet grill does not allow flare-ups. It also preheats faster. (Nearly 10-15 minutes)
  • A pellet Grill can be used as an alternative of a convection oven. 
  • There is no fear of uneven cooking, even when there is a big load in the cooking chamber. Some pellet grills come with a pinpoint heat controller. It's effortless to increase or decrease the temperature using the controller. 
  • It doesn't consume tons of time to change the pellet out of the grill. You can do it within a minute.
  • Pellet grills use wood pellets as fuel. You can clean it easily.
  • Pellet grills provide an accurate temperature reading on display. So there is no chance to mess up while cooking.

Cons of Pellet Grill

  • Pellet grills depend on electricity. If there is an electrical problem or you are missing a generator, then pellet grills will not work.
  • Pellet grills are expensive. You have to spend at least a few hundred dollars, even for a cheap one.
  • It is named a grill, but you won't get any dark sear of grill marks in it. The cooking unit of the pellet grill works on fan-driven indirect heat.
  • Cold weather and wind can increase the consumption of pellets that will increase the cost.
  • If you can cook below 250-degree temperature, you won't get the best smoky flavor.
  • Unconscious movement can easily break different components of your pellet grill.
  • People living in a humid climate must keep the pellet grill indoors. Moisture can disintegrate the pellet fuel. So always keep it dry.

How to Use Pellet Grills?

How to Use Pellet Grills

Don't be afraid of using a pellet grill if you are a beginner. Using a pellet grill is relatively more comfortable than a gas grill or a charcoal grill. Smoking or barbecuing is way more straightforward with a pellet grill. You only need to follow the guidelines.

While searching for how to use pellet grills, many things can appear complicated to you at first. You are sure to understand all the features and usage quickly and easily. Here I will lead the way to learn pellet grill use quickly. I hope this will help you through your learning process.

Pellet grills need electricity to operate. First, plug in the pellet grill into a power source. After that, you have to regulate the temperature controller. There are many ranges of temperature. Set the temperature at your desired one and press the start button.

Once you've turned the machine on, you need to wait for at least 10-15 minutes so that the grill can reach your fixed temperature. Then, you can place the ingredients you want to cook on the grill. The most impressive part is that you do not need to worry about the process of cooking. 

That means the grill will estimate the number of pellets needed or when the furnace needs to be included. You have to confirm that a sufficient amount of fuel is added to the container, and that's all. To ensure the cooking is perfect, you can also connect a meat probe thermometer on the grill. Lastly, you have to clean the grill properly once you are done cooking.

Here are some tips you can follow. These will make your learning more accessible and fruitful. See below:

  • You have to fill the container with enough pellets.
  • Never use wet pellets.
  • Preheating is necessary before cooking.
  • If you have a meat thermometer, you can monitor the temperature.
  • To keep the grill clean and dust-free, you can use a grill cover.

Benefits of a Pellet Grill

Benefits of a Pellet Grill

Pellet grills have a good number of benefits. As the perks are becoming more known, people have started switching to pellet grills. Here I will discuss some essential privileges of a pellet grill.

Ease of Use

A pellet grill may seem complicated, but its use is pretty straightforward. You don't need any additional courses to use it. All you need to know are some rules to use a pellet grill.

Multi-purpose Usage

Although it is marketed as a grill, you can use it for many other cooking purposes. If you search on the web about it, you will find a massive number of videos. To let you get an idea of how many types of food it can cook, I'll mention some of them.

1. Barbeque

2. Grill

3. Smoke

4. Roast

5. Baking 

6. Braising

These are the general types. However, it's only a small number of things that a pellet grill can do. Discover more as you use it!

Energy Efficient

Pellet grills do not consume a high number of pellets. Generally, it costs 0.5 pounds of pellet per hour in top condition. But the amount can rise to 2.5 pounds per hour in several circumstances.

Another good thing is that you can mix up several types of pellets and use them. There are different kinds of pellets available such as maple, cherry, apple, mesquite, pecan, hickory, bourbon, etc.

Therefore, it is a cost-effective way to cook your food.

Temperature Control and Better Monitoring

Another significant benefit of a pellet grill is better monitoring means. It is challenging to manage the fluctuating temperature of a traditional grill. In a pellet grill, it becomes easy.

You can monitor the interior temperature. You can keep the temperature under control that provides optimum flavor in food.

Additional Cold Smoker

Some companies provide an additional Cold smoker with the pellet grill. You can cook and flavor cheese and salmon dishes using the cold smoker.

Pellet Grill Vs. Smoker

Now time to discuss some facts about pellet grill and smoker. Read this bit to learn details about them.

Pellet Grill Vs Smoker

As you know, the pellet grill runs directly on electricity and delivers a distinct woodsy flavor. Thus, you need to pay attention while cooking. It uses small pellets to provide the heat. You will receive a controller to maintain your food temperature.

People use a smoker for cooking food in a controlled, smoky environment. Smokers are comparatively slower than pellet grills. When you are cooking on a smoker, you have to stay in front of the smoker and create smoke. There are different types of smokers. You will get both electric and non-electric smokers.

Fuel Type

As I have mentioned before, pellet grills use wood pellets as fuel. It is a super cheap way to run a grill. You can use cherry, apple, bourbon, maple, and other wood pellets. Moreover, you can also mix them up and use a blend of woods for a unique flavor. Your food will get a rich smoky flavor from burning wood. Smokers usually use both pallets and charcoals.

Experience Level

Smokers are not appropriate for beginners. It is more complex to cook in a smoker. If you are a beginner and try cooking on a smoker, the guests need the warning to prepare themselves for an overcooked or underdone steak. On the other hand, pellet grills are very easy to use. After some simple instructions, anyone can cook on a pellet grill.

Which One Is Better For Your Health?

A Pellet Grill. You may ask why pellet grills are healthier than smokers. Let me tell you why. According to some studies of the National Cancer Inst, different cooking methods for meat, such as charcoal or grilling, increase cancer risk. A smoker uses such methods. However, the pellet grill uses pellets for heating that is entirely safe. Besides, pellet grills are made of all-natural food-grade elements.

Pellet Grill Operating Cost

Pellet Grill is on the expensive side. So, in my opinion, the operating cost is higher.

First, coming to the initial cost. There are mainly two initial costs, pellets, and electricity. Fortunately, it works with 120 VAC. Thus, it doesn't consume too much electricity. You can also use an inverter or portable power station to run it.

Burning Time

The best option to heat a pellet grill is wood pellets. Wood pellets generally come with two bags, 20 pounds, and 40 pounds.

You can get the 40 pounds pellet bag in a range of 30-40 dollars. (Price varies according to the area). Sometimes, you might find sales and get a 40 pounds bag for just $15. Stock them up!

Price is not enough to calculate the operating cost. You also need to know how fast the pellets burn.

There are three ways to run the grill- high, medium, and low. When you are running in high, it will cost 2 pounds pellets per hour.

When it is medium, it will cost 1 pound. And, in low, it will cost 0.5-pound pellets.

Additional Tools

A pellet grill requires some tools such as grill cover, scrapers, spatulas and tongs, digital thermometer, etc. These tools are permanent and inexpensive. You don't have to repurchase them unless any critical issue arises.

Are Pellet Grills Healthy?
Are Pellet Grills Healthy

Most of the people are well known about the fact that cancer is associated with grilling. So it is a common question whether the pellet grills are healthy or not? The answer is that food-grade pellet grills are not risky for your health.

These elements are entirely natural. So the fumes or smoke of it will not damage your health or food. The most striking thing is you do not need to cut down a tree to make the fuel, unwanted woods are enough for that.

Many grills can cause cancer, most commonly pancreatic cancer. Wood pellet grills are free of that risk. But remember, eating grilled or fried foods excessively can cause many health hazards. Besides, the way of grilling also matters.

Try to eat grilled or fried foods on a moderate amount. Eating foods appropriately grilled by wood pellet grills on a fair amount will not cause significant harm to your health. Moreover, you need to be careful about heat maintenance and overcooking.

Read our Guide on- How To Use A Grill

Wrapping Up! 

I hope you got all your answers while reading the above analysis about pellet grills. I have discussed various factors, including usage, pros, cons, cost, etc. If you think it fits your requirements, then you should get one for your home!