In the last 5 years or so, pellet grills have become quite a BBQ phenomenon. Many outside of the BBQ world still may not understand what they are, or at least how they work. You yourself may have been in a hardware store looking at grills and wondered why some had a box welded on to the side of them. After learning that it was a pellet grill, the next natural question you might ask is, well, what is a pellet grill?
If you are new to pellet grilling or smoking and are thinking to yourself, exactly how does a pellet grill work, then you’ve come to the right place! We will answer this question as well as compare pellet grilling to other traditional forms of outdoor cooking so you can better understand the differences between them and decide which grill or smoker will best meet your BBQ and grilling tastes.
Pellet grills are outdoor cookers that combine elements of smokers, charcoal - gas grills, and ovens. They use 100% all-natural food grade hardwood pellets , the fuel source that allows Louisiana Grills Pellet Grills to provide direct or indirect heat.
Wood pellets are the fuel source of pellet grills and smokers. Louisiana Grills® hardwood pellets are made from 100% all-natural hardwood that is dried and ground into saw dust. The dust is then pressurized at extreme heat to create the compact pellets that are coated and held together with the wood’s natural lignin. Wood pellets are also known as the easiest fuel to use. They produce less than 1% of ash, so an entire 40lb bag of pellets will only turn into ½ cup of ash, which makes clean up a breeze. The wood pellets also provide immense flavor, and there is no need to worry about monitoring the air to fuel ratio, like you would with wood chips or chunks.
Wood pellets are poured into a hopper (storage container) which is usually mounted on the side of the grill. The pellets are then fed into a cooking chamber by an auger, a tool consisting of a corkscrew rod of metal, that is powered by electricity. Thru combustion, the wood pellets ignite, heating the cooking chamber. Intake fans then collect air into the grill. Heat and smoke are then dispersed throughout the cooking area. Much like an oven, pellet grills give you temperature control through digital or dial control boards. This allows you to cook “low and slow,” achieving temperatures between 180°F to 500°F.
Most pellet grills have a meat probe that can connect with the control board to monitor the internal temperature of the meat. Louisiana Grills Pellet Grills also have a patented Flame Broiler plate which allows for indirect or direct heat of up to 1,000°F and 8 different cooking options.
For every long smoke, you want to ensure that you have enough pellets in the hopper. A good rule of thumb is to have 2 lbs. of pellets for every hour of cooking low and slow (below 250°F) or 4 lbs. for every hour of grilling hot and fast (above 350°F).
In three words: Versatile, flavorful and convenient.
Smoking foods is not a new cooking method by any means. People have been doing it since man first discovered how to light a fire, but typically if you wanted to smoke and grill, you needed two separate devices. With a pellet grill, you can smoke and grill with the same unit.
With a Louisiana Grill you can:
Any grill offers its own unique flavor to the food you cook. Some good, some bad. Pellet Grills infuse food with real hardwood fired flavor, no matter which cooking method you perform. So, you can sear a steak while still giving it a nice smoky aroma and taste.
Pellet Grills can offer equal or better flavor than traditional smokers and charcoal grills without all of the hassle. Just like any grill, pellet grills can take a few sessions of experimentation to dial in and refine your process. Where pellet grills offer you a better cooking experience, is with the easability of setting your temperature and letting your food cook for the alloted time. Simply put, it’s as simple as a convection oven.
If you want to learn more about why Louisiana Grills offers excellence in pellet grilling, as well as weekly recipes, giveaways, and to connect with the best pellet grilling community on the internet, follow us on social media.