Using a Pellet Grill and Pellet Smoker

Using a pellet grill or pellet smoker is much like using a domestic oven, and often the cooking temperature is better regulated.

Do remember that these units are designed to be used outside. Set it up in an area with plenty of ventilation, and lots of headroom.

The first thing you need to do once you've got your new grill unpacked and assembled is to 'season' it. All this means is running the grill through a burn cycle without any food in it.

The reason for this is that you need to neutralise odours from the manufacturing process such as grease and un-cured paint.

Make sure that there's no paper or plastic wrapping left in the grill, wash everything, internal and external, wipe the cooking area with vegetable oil and follow the instructions for the start-up process.

Hold the heat at about 450 degrees F. for half an hour, then let the grill cool down. The vegetable oil you wiped on will carbonize, making surfaces easier to clean after cooking and helping to stop condensation.

That's it: you're ready to start cooking.

Using a Pellet Grill - Smoking

Pellet grills produce the most smoke in the temperature region of 160 to 250 degrees. As the cooking temperature rises above 250 degrees, a wood pellet grill will produce progressively less smoke.

At temperatures over 450 degrees, virtually no smoke at all will be produced.

Things to consider when using your grill to smoke and cook are that large items don't smoke well because the smoke can't penetrate deeply.

Remember that at smoking temperatures, meat will take a long time to cook - plan on several hours.

Using a Pellet Grill - Cooking Temperatures

250 to 300 Degrees F.
Small items will take three-quarters of an hour, larger items can take three hours or so.

300 to 400 Degrees F.
Larger cuts of meat, lighter flavour and light browning.

400 Degrees F. and up
Baking and searing range. Smoke flavour will be light. Thirty minutes for potatoes, ten minutes for fish. Sear steaks at this temperature, then drop the temperature down for more smoking.

Opening the lid will help the temperature down more quickly.

Generally, the lower the temperature you're cooking at, the fewer times you should open the lid to check how things are going because you will lose heat which will take a while to recover.

Using a Pellet Grill - Maintenance and Storage

At least once a year, give the cooking area a good cleaning
Empty the ash dump.
Remove the pellets from the hopper at the end of the season before storing the grill.

Store your grill in a dry area. Moisture can hurt the electronics.

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