Buying a pellet grill is a significant investment. Once you get it home you are going to want to get the most out of it, and we want to make sure you are receiving the most bang for your buck. So, we compiled this list of tips, tricks, and hopefully a thing or two you didn’t think your pellet grill/smoker could be used for.
During the past 10 years or so pellet grills and smokers have broken through the market as well as the competition scene. It’s about time that we break down what you can really do with your pellet grill. A pellet grill can either cook food hot and fast or low and slow. The temperature range on the Smoke Daddy PID controller ranges from 160 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The grills use a mix of convection heat and radiant heat through the burning of hardwood pellets to generate smoke flavor and a heat source. A pellet grill is going to provide more of a “kiss of smoke”. If you are looking for a heavier smoke flavor there are multiple add-ons to generate more smoke in your cooker. These include the Heavy D Stick burning heat diffuser, our line of cold smokers, as well as the Smoke Ring Cold Smoker.
Whether you have recently added a pellet grill to your outdoor BBQ arsenal, are researching to get one, or just want to make sure you know everything you can about your grills, let’s settle in and learn some of the best tips and tricks for pellet grilling!
1) Don’t Be Afraid To Let Your Creativity Run Wild!
Anything that you can cook in an oven, you can cook in a pellet grill. Try different flavors to add different flairs to simple cooks to create a deeper more robust flavor profile.
2) Utilize All of the Space in Your Cooker!
One of the most underrated and under appreciated accessories on a pellet grill are the upper racks. These racks give you about 50% more cooking retail space. With the extra space from the burn pot to the shelf these top racks decrease the radiant heat coming from the heat diffuser and the grease drip tray. Utilizing the upper rack will allow for a more even cook. If you place a water pan underneath that rack, it will allow for increased moisture for those long brisket cooks to stay in an ideal environment.
3) Use Good Quality Pellets!
You wouldn’t want to put bad fuel or fuel that’s going to not effeciently burn in your car. So, now why would you put sub-par pellets in your smoker? Don’t be fooled by cheaper pellet brands as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Now while you don’t need to spend your whole paycheck for quality pellets we do recommend doing a little bit of research before buying any old bag of pellets. We have been using brands like Lumberjack, Smoke Ring, Cookin’ Pellets, and BBQ’ers Delights for years now. That’s not to say the other brands out there are sub-par. These brands are tested quality brands and most importantly readily available in our area.
4) Cook to Temperature or Tenderness, not to Time
Not all cuts of meat are created equal! If you have ever cooked a brisket you know exactly what I am talking about. One cut of meat can run through the “stall” and be done in 12 hours, when another cut at the same size can really “stall” and take 14 hours to cook. Make sure to either check the temperature with a meat probe or thermometer to ensure doneness. Cooking to time can, if the meat isn’t cooperative, either severely overcook your meal, or worse undercook it.
5) Investing in Meat Probes
The saying goes, “If you’re looking, you ain’t cookin'”. This is because as you open the door, you let out all of the heat escape the cooker. Preventing all that hot smokiness from doing its job and progressing the cook. So, if your pellet grill doesn’t come with external meat probes, or you prefer wireless meat probes. We recommend investing in a good quality 3rd party digital one. Personally, we use Tappecue for both ambient heat probes and external meat probes.
The PID algorithm in the Smoke Daddy controller always has to have a fire in the burn pot no matter what temperature it is set to. When trying to maintain temperatures at the very low end of the smoking spectrum you may need to crack the lid open to create more airflow in the cooker. This will help regulate temperature and help maintain lower temperatures.
7) Pellet Storage!
Proper wood pellet storage is important. If your pellet grill is fed with moist or degraded pellets, your temperature performance will suffer. This is especially important in hot, humid weather. And pellets that get wet from rain or mist are downright ruined and unusable.