Are you disappointed that your pellet grill doesn’t smoke as much as your neighbors? Since the time you finally got yourself a pellet grill, this convenient grilling tool hasn’t yet delivered the kind of smoke flavor you have been craving for. And now you’re probably wondering what you are doing wrong.
Guess what? Your only fault is that you don’t know enough about pellet grills yet. Read on to find out why your pellet grill does not have enough smoke and what can be done to solve this problem.
How Does a Pellet Grill Work?
Combining characteristics of a traditional smoke grill with the technologically advanced mechanics, pellet grills make your grilling experience easier and fruitful. All you need to do is set up a temperature control and sit back to watch the pellet grill do the rest itself. This is why you are likely to get concerned when your grill is not producing the results you hoped for and may want to instantly fix it.
The only way to solve the issue is to know why the problem occurred in the first place! But before we get into the cause of less smoke in your pellet grill, let’s look at how the pellet grill operates.
- The storage container – called the hopper – is fueled with cylindrical food-grade wood pellets. These contain sawdust which reacts to high pressure and heat.
- When you set the temperature and cooking time, an auger pushes the wood pellets into the chamber accordingly.
- A hot rod automatically ignites the pellets in the cooking chamber
- The intake combustion fan stokes the flames to spread heat in the cooking chamber evenly and to heat the grill grates as per the desired temperature.
Why You’re Not Getting Enough Smoke?
The answer to this lies in the mechanical nature of pellet grills. They essentially provide indirect heat instead of direct heat. Usually, pellet grill users believe that high temperatures will give them a searing heat supply or enough smoke while they grill. If you have recently switched from a traditional grill to a pellet grill, it is likely that you have also been tempted to opt for higher temperatures.
Hear this out: The higher the temperature you set, the less smoke you’ll get! Weird, right?
The mechanism of a pellet smoking method enables more smoke to be produced when you set up a ‘lower’ temperature range. You have probably noticed that the smoke produced when you start up your pellet grill starts to reduce when over time. This simply happens because as the pellet grills and smoker heat up, they produce lesser smoke. So even though your food cooked at really high heat will be undoubtedly scrumptious, it will not have too much of the smoky smell.
3 Proven Ways of Getting More Smoke
Despite the mechanical limitation of pellet grills and smokers, you don’t have to lose hope. Like they say, where there’s will, there’s a way! You can get your pellet grill to produce your desired level of smoke by following these 3 proven ways.
1. Tweak your Technique
The grilling technique that your grandfather taught you probably still works for you and is close to your heart. But one of the solutions to your pellet not producing enough smoke is changing a little bit of your grilling style.
By now you know that lower temperatures produce the greatest smoke. So to get the most smoke flavor, start grilling at temperatures below 250 degrees. This works in two ways: there is more smoke because the grill isn’t heated too much and your meat stays longer on the smoke-filled grill.
If you’re scared that this will take all the moisture of the meat, you may place a water pan on the grill. In the start, you will have to experiment a bit to figure out how much more time it takes to grill when you drop the temperature. But you’ll soon learn how to get enough smoke on your pellet grill.
Another way in which you can tweak your grilling technique is by smartly using the thick and white ‘start-up smoke’. Pellet grills produce a lot of smoke when they are starting up. When the fire rod is heated, it keeps burning the wood pellets until there are good enough sparks to ignite a flame. You can use this to have smoke rings by placing pieces of cold meat on the grill.
2. Try Different Wood Pellets
If you thought that the wood pellets are only used to ignite the fire and give flavor, then you’ve been wrong all this time. Trying out different pellets can actually work when your pellet grill gives not enough smoke.
Food grade pellets used in pellet grills are not the same as industrial pellets used as stove fuel. These are 100% natural and healthy pellets that are free of any chemical additives. Food grade pellets are available in different flavors and varieties, but not all of them have the same quality.
Using high-quality pellets without fillers can ensure the amount of smoke you are looking for. This is because the density of the material, with which the pellet is made of, can directly affect the quantity of smoke. If one variety of wood pellets is not working for you, you might want to mix it with a different variety.
Ask around and read reviews to see what kind of wood pellets are famous for their greater smoking ability.
3. Add a Smoke Generator Tube
Another interesting way to get enough smoke on your pellet grill is to use smoke generating tubes, also known as smoker tubes. You can put it inside the grill in any position you want. And when inserted, smoker tube will produce only smoke. There is no additional heat which means that you can still grill on your desired high temperature and simultaneously have all the smoke you want.
Smoker tubes are open at one end with little holes all over. These are diffusion holes that allow air to come in and diffuse the smoke evenly and efficiently across the grill. The innovative design enables these tubes to hold a large number of wood pellets, enough to constantly smoke up for up to 5 hours. They are usually made up of stainless steel which makes them heat and rust-resistant.
The best part is that a smoker tube does not require any specific kind of wood pellets. So you can continue using your favorite pellet and still get enough smoke. It can be used in any size of a grill and is compatible with all kinds of pellet grills. Whether you want cold smoking or hot, smoker tube will continue to add a wonderful flavor to every kind of food you choose to grill.
You can easily find this portable, durable and light-weight tube and that too in multiple tube-like contraptions. If you don’t mind spending a little money, these foot-long inexpensive tubes are totally worth your investment.
Keep your firepot clean. A firepot that is full of ashes takes more time and energy to either ignite pellets or generate smoke.
Don’t Forget This!
When choosing one of the ways to add more smoke to your pellet grill, remember that what is enough smoke for you may not be enough for someone else. Pellet grills make our cooking experience way better, so even if takes you some time to figure your way around, it’s all worth it in the end.