What Is a Pellet Grill? – Let’s See How It Works!

In this article we'll explain what a pellet grill is, how it works and compare it with the other types of grills
By
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Reviewed By
Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: January 07, 2023
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The use of pellet grills is a fascinating development in barbecuing. Often referred to as smokers, these grills function more like outdoor ovens than typical gas or charcoal grills since they use hardwood pellets as fuel. In the recent past, pellet grills have become common since they’re easy to use and require less maintenance. Most importantly, grill pellets can help you prepare tasty meals.

In this post, we’ll answer questions such as what a pellet grill is and how it works. We’ll also highlight the benefits of using a pellet grill.

What Is a Pellet Grill?

Although pellet grills have become common in the barbecuing world in the past few years, many people are still unaware of what a pellet grill is.

In simple terms, pellet grills are outdoor cooking devices that incorporate the best features of gas grills, charcoal smokers, and ovens. This device is powered by electricity, and uses fire supplied by hardwood pellets to smoke food at a steady temperature, with the number of pellets burned controlling the temperature.

The wood pellets are cylindrical and are created from compressed bark, sawdust and other hardwood byproducts.

When you change temperature, pellet grills can allow you to braise, grill and smoke food, even if you’re not an expert. In short, this equipment can perform all the functions of a standard oven.

How Does a Pellet Grill Work?

What Is a Pellet Grill? - Let's See How It Works!

After learning what a pellet grill is, it’s important to learn how it works. Let’s dive right in!

A pellet grill is divided into three sections, including the hopper, auger and firebox. When using the grill, first pour wood pellets Trusted Source Wood Pellets – An introduction to their production and use Wood pellets are compressed wood particles that are used as fuel. Pellets are already commonly used in some areas of the country, but they are growing in popularity as the cost of primary fuels increases and concerns about global climate change build. extension.tennessee.edu into a hopper. After that, turn on the equipment by pushing the power button. The auger will start rotating, moving the wood pellets into the fire pot, where they’ll be lighted by an electric resistive ignition rod, also known as a hot rod.

The smoke and heat produced by the burning wood pellets travel up to the cooking chamber, where the actual cooking takes place. The food gets cooked at a constant temperature with the flavor of wood smoke.

As the food cooks, the electric controller continuously monitors the temperature in the main cooking area and controls the auger’s operation by turning it on and off. Nowadays, pellet smokers come with a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) technology which functions as a feedback loop. It helps to determine the ideal number of pellets to supply to the firepot and maintain the desired temperature.

The pellet grill also has a fan which offers a steady supply of oxygen in the firepot. It also functions as a fan-forced oven, circulating the heat and smoke around the meal before expelling it through the chimney. When the temperature is lower, the fan draws in less air, allowing the wood to smolder and produce more smoke. At higher temperatures, the reverse occurs, and the pellets burn cleanly, with almost no visible smoke.

Benefits of Pellet Grills

Pellet grills offer several advantages. This equipment can allow you to cook in several ways, including smoking, baking, and grilling Trusted Source How to Grill Safely Food poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish. Follow these steps for a safe and enjoyable grilling season. www.cdc.gov . With all these cooking capabilities, the choices for what to cook on a pellet grill are practically endless. Unlike other smokers or grills, a pellet grill enables you to cook things hotter and quicker or low and slow. Another advantage is that a pellet grill allows you to choose a specific temperature, resulting in efficient, uniform cooking every time. Also, flare-ups are not even a concern while cooking without direct heat or an open flame. Finally, this equipment is easy to use. Even if it’s your first time using it, you’ll still cook delicious meals. If you’re looking for a pellet grill to offer you all these advantages, consider buying the best Traeger grills.

Here is a detailed comparison between pellet grills and other types of grills and smokers.

Pellet Grill vs Smoker

What Is a Pellet Grill? - Let's See How It Works!

Pellet grills allow you to smoke food, but they vary from conventional smokers in a few ways. One of the main differences between the two equipment is that pellet grills enable you to easily control temperature compared to a typical smoker since they employ an automatic fuel and air delivery system.

Previously, you may have resorted to avoiding preparing smoked meals due to how challenging it may be to control the fuel source over a lengthy cook that can last for many hours. However, with a pellet grill, you can do away with this issue since it makes smoking a set and forget it procedure. Now you can enjoy tasty smoked meals without being an accomplished BBQ pitmaster.

Another advantage of a pellet grill over a smoker is that you can conveniently combine various cooking methods into one grill. If you use a smoker, you may have to buy different equipment for baking, roasting or roasting.

To enjoy the best of both world an equipment that functions like a smoker and wood pellet. According to most reviews, the best equipment is Cuisinart CPG-700 Grill and Smoker.

Pellet Grill vs Propane (Gas) Grills

What Is a Pellet Grill? - Let's See How It Works!

Pellet grills and propane grills share similar features. Both grilling equipment offer convenience, and they’re quite affordable. Sometimes, you may find the best pellet grills under $1000.

Nevertheless, these grills have major differences. For starters, gas grills are ideal for cooking at medium to high temperatures. Gas grills, however, don’t function effectively at low temperatures because they lack adequate insulation. Also, gas grills are not effective when it comes to smoking foods due to poor ventilation.

Additionally, pellet grills help you prepare tasty meals compared to gas grills. This is due to the fact that wood pellets contain natural flavors, but gas is flavorless. The pellets come in a wide range of flavors, allowing you to choose one according to your preference.

Finally, a pellet grill makes temperature management simpler than a gas grill. Gas grill requires the user to “dial in,” while a pellet grill allows you to pick the temperature you want within a 15°F range.

Pellet Grill vs Charcoal

A charcoal grill is undoubtedly the traditional equipment for grilling meals, and you may have used or owned one in the past years. There are various types of charcoal grills that a person can use, including kettle, barrel, and kamado, and they use either lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes Trusted Source Development and characterisation of charcoal briquettes from water hyacinth Charcoal briquettes are inexpensive solid fuels made from carbonized biomass. The potential of converting water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) charcoal into briquettes with molasses as binder was investigated in this study. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov  as fuel.

Using a charcoal grill to cook meals can be a tiresome and time-consuming task. This is because managing the temperature on a charcoal grill may be challenging. As a result, most people prefer using pellet grills since they allow you to control the temperature easily.

Another reason why people prefer using pellet grills is that they’re simple to clean because they use fewer wood pellets.  For these and more advantages, buy the best Z Grills Wood Pellet Grills.

Pellet Grill vs Electric Smoker

If you’re looking for a modern smoker, the electric smoker will suit your needs. Just like pellet grills, they’re easy to use. Also, both grills allow you to easily control the temperature when cooking, but electric grills offer more control.

Despite the similarities, these grills have major differences. One of the major differences is that electric smokers heat wood chips to provide a smokey taste rather than using charcoal or wood blocks. Also, the equipment can’t get the temperature up to 450°F to 550°F, which is ideal for grilling and searing food.

For the best grilling experience, buy an electric smoker with smart functionalities. If you’re looking for a smoker with smart functionalities such as WIFI connection abilities, consider Traeger Grills Pro Series 780.

Pellet Grill FAQ

How Much Electricity Does a Pellet Grill Use?

The normal pellet smoker uses around 30 watts of electricity when operating. In the first five to ten minutes, it uses between 300 and 500 watts to enable the fan to run and create fire in the fire pot, or the ignitor to light the pellets.

Can You Use a Pellet Grill in the Rain?

No, using a pellet grill in the rain is not advisable. This is because the equipment contains electrical components which can get damaged when they come into contact with water, shortening its lifespan.

Final Thoughts

In case you’ve been wondering what a pellet grill is, there you have it! The grill is a perfect option for anyone looking for the convenience of an automated barbecue which still imparts the flavor and texture of food cooked over wood. The equipment is easy to use, making it perfect for first-time users and offers great temperature control. Also, cleaning the pellet grill equipment is easy since it doesn’t use a lot of wood pellets.

References

1.
Wood Pellets – An introduction to their production and use
Wood pellets are compressed wood particles that are used as fuel. Pellets are already commonly used in some areas of the country, but they are growing in popularity as the cost of primary fuels increases and concerns about global climate change build.
2.
How to Grill Safely
Food poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish. Follow these steps for a safe and enjoyable grilling season.
3.
Development and characterisation of charcoal briquettes from water hyacinth
Charcoal briquettes are inexpensive solid fuels made from carbonized biomass. The potential of converting water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) charcoal into briquettes with molasses as binder was investigated in this study.
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