If you love your meat or grilled chicken blazing hot and enjoy the thrill of preparing it yourself out in the open, you have many options. Traditionalists have their minds already set on charcoal grills. Conservatives with a sense of sereneness will go for non-smoke gas cookers or electric grills. However, if flexibility and total control are dear to you, then a pellet grill will do it for you just fine, and it’s good for smoking.
Pellet smokers cook anything that needs grilling and does it efficiently by burning slowly. The options offered by pellet smokers make them miles ahead of traditional smokers, but the flexibility comes with a price; they’re not as mobile.
However, you get proper temperature control switches that help speed up cooking. Further, they come in many configurations to fit in different cooking areas, whether small or big. You’ll never go wrong with a recipe using this tool. Read more to discover why pellet grills are good for smoking.
What Are Pellet Grills?
Pellet grills are outside cookers that can smoke, bake and grill your meat. They come in many configurations that consider your cooking area, the type of meat you want to cook, and the overall design to fit your taste.
Modern pellet grills have a stainless steel body, which fits them with other cooking ware in the kitchen. However, you can still find others enclosed in an iron cast, which work for traditionalists, but overall they work the same.
A pellet grill can prepare your fish, ribs, turkey and briskets grilled or smoked. If the conditions allow, you can also bake. You do this by using the configurations visible on top, which can braise a marinade or enable you to flip the roasting meat until ready.
The grilling area gives the pellet smoker a traditional fill, where you can rotate your racks of ribs or whatever you are preparing. They fall in between modern and traditional cooking.
How Do They Work?
Pellet grills are an engineering marvel, from their impressive pellet choppers that feed the burning chamber with more pallets, to the auger that does the pushing to make sure there is sufficient heat to reach the grates at the top.
The autonomous nature of the cooker requires electricity to ignite the cooking chamber and to monitor the temperature for automatic regulation, so you don’t have to lift a finger.
Your meat burns on the top grill, on top of the cooker, which also has a temperature reader and a meat probe visible to you as you stare down while rotating the meat.
Not all pellet grills have an accurate probe though, but for the ones that do, you can use them to read the internal temperatures of the meat accurately. The probe will guarantee that your meat cooks fully and is safe for eating.
Pellet grills use 100% natural wood fuel, which reaches the burning chamber via the auger. Some use electricity to dispense the pellets to guarantee a continued energy source. For efficiency, you can read the temperature measurement tool that gives the precise temperature of the burning chamber to adjust it accordingly using a knob.
The fans help pick up air from the outside; they pass it through the air hole, into the burning chamber. Too much air and you have a searing hot burn, while little air gives a gradual burn.
The grill works like an oven and will provide you with controlled cooking temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for a searing hot cooking and lows of 180 for a gradual burn.
Are Pellet Grills Any Good For Smoking?
Now that we know how pellet grills work, it is good to know how they perform compared to other smokers. This is how they fair:
On a side-to-side comparison, both pellet and charcoal grills cook a variety of food. What one does, the other can do. However, some tiny details separate the cooking style when using both. A pellet grill gives a cleaner cooking, especially when making a serenade when braising.
Pellet grills also cook a small serving of burgers, sausages, and large cut of beef better due to uniform heat distribution. They are wonderful for meat because of the temperature probe that uses electricity to display the internal temperatures of the meal. If you are not an expert cook, they are the best to own, alongside your cookbook or online grilling recipe.
Charcoal is dirtier and smokes when lighting it before the pure carbon starts to burn steadily. This is where the pellet smoker beats it easily. However, when smoking chunks of beef, charcoal smokers do a better job and give the best results overall.
Charcoal smokers are traditional tools and do not have a sense of temperature, time, or heat efficiency. They rely on you to manage all those things.
If using a charcoal cooker, you have to alternate cooking with heat management by going down the heating chamber to add fuel. Further, when it comes to temperature, you manually adjust airflow so that your meat does not burn up too quickly or undercook on a low burn.
On the other hand, a pellet cooker manages everything for you. They are more like ovens out in the open, providing a traditional sense of barbecues.
The air inlet directs air to the cooking chamber with the help of fans, which regulate the heat that can reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can choose surging hot cooking to have your serving faster without touching a pellet or going down to investigate the cooking chamber.
In terms of portability, charcoal grills beat the pellet ones without trouble. Charcoal grills pioneered meat grilling on camping and road trips. They come in many shapes and forms to fit even the tiniest cars with small trunks.
Pellet grills are good for smoking, though they cannot fit typical car trunks. You could carry them in your truck and take them on a road trip or camping, but you’ll need electricity to run them. Electricity configures the cookers to burn autonomously, meaning you have to set them up near a power source.
Setting them anywhere beyond the back of your house requires a heavy generator. They are not practical to carry.