We know Louisiana Grills are perfect for grilling and barbecuing, but did you know they’re more versatile than that? Everything you’d like to make on a grill, stovetop or in the oven can be done with your Louisiana Grill. Yes, you read that right.
Let’s talk specifics. What exactly can your pellet grill do?
With 8-in-1 versatile cooking options available to unleash flavors, pellet grills give you a seemingly endless number of choices. That covers any recipe that calls for smoking, baking, searing, BBQ, grilling, roasting, charring, or braising, since Louisiana Grills can cook with indirect or direct heat.
When the sear plate is closed, air circulates around the pellet grill much like a convection oven allowing for an indirect heat cooking method. Depending on the temperature of the grill, indirect heat allows the cook to smoke, bake, barbecue, roast, or braise.
When the sear plate is wide open, food on the grill is exposed to a direct flame. At high temperatures, this allows for true searing, charring, and grilling on a wood pellet grill.
Pellet grills are often referred to as pellet smokers because they’re an efficient grill for low and slow smoking. When pellet grills are set to temperatures below 225°F, the auger slowly feeds wood pellets into the burn pot which allow for mild temperature swings so the pellets smolder and produce smoke. While the low heat slowly cooks the food, the smoke infuses it with that wood flavor.
When it comes to cooking temperatures, barbecue is within the range of 225°F to 325°F. Like smoking, barbecue is cooking in indirect heat over a longer period of time. Cooking at this temperature is ideal for various types of meat. If you’re attempting to cook brisket or pork shoulder to 205°F internal temperature, the longer and slower the cooking process, the more tender and moister the meat will be. However, for leaner cuts like chicken, pork loin, and ribs, the temperature zone referred to as barbecue can be an excellent option.
Grilling and BBQ are often used interchangeably to describe outdoor cooking. However, the distinction is important to note. Grilling is a term that should be used to describe cooking quickly at high heat over an open flame, while BBQ is the exact opposite of that. Cooking temperatures for grilling on a pellet grill should be above 350°F with a direct heat source.
The set temperature will differ depending on what you’re planning to throw on the grill. When grilling a thick chicken breast, it is best to use a lower temperature to allow the inside of the meat to cook slowly without burning the outside. When grilling a thin piece of meat or vegetable, like a skirt steak for instance, it is best to use higher temperatures as the inside of the meat will cook much faster.
Searing is the process of browning food over a direct or indirect flame at extremely hot temperatures. Optimal set temperature for searing on pellet grills has often been debated since most pellet grills aren’t able to reach grill temperatures of over 500°F. But when the Flame Broiler Plate on Louisiana Grill is open, temperatures can reach well beyond that.
Reverse searing is when searing is performed after the meat has been cooked at low temperatures until just before the point of desired internal temperature. This is usually performed on thick cuts of steak, or other meats like pork chops, in order to not leave the inner part of the meat undercooked. With the reverse sear method, thicker cuts of meat can be cooked all the way through and still have that delicious external crust.
Somewhere in between searing and burning is charring. Think of charred food as food that has been kissed by the fire with a tiny bit of scars left behind. Meat, vegetables, and fruit can all be charred on the grill. Charring enhances the flavor depth of such foods and gives the food the visual appearance of grill marks. It tells the eater that this dish is fresh off the grill.
Baking, to put it technically, is a method of cooking with dry heat in an enclosed device, such as an oven. This allows heat to circulate below, around, and above the food being cook. Ingredients usually involve the elements of flour, water, and a leavening agent such as yeast or batter. Most people don’t think of baking when it comes to outdoor cooking, however there can be an amazing flavor advantage for using a Louisiana Wood Pellet Grill to bake a wide range of dishes. That includes desserts, casseroles, and pizza.
Roasting and baking are similar methods of cooking, but the main difference is that roasting is performed at temperatures above 400°F to give the food a nice brown crust. Roasting usually incorporates meats and/or vegetables in an open, uncovered pan.
Braising is a relatively easy technique that can turn tough meats into restaurant quality dishes that are packed with flavor and fall off the bone tender. Braising is similar to boiling except the food is not submerged when it is braised. The result is a very rich, savory, and elegant dish. The more the broth is deglazed and reduces, the stronger the flavors.
Cooking this way on a pellet grill can add yet another flavor element into the mix and give braised food wood fired flavor. Simply sear meat in a cast iron pan to collect the juices and the circulating smoky aromas will infuse with the meat throughout the process.