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A Wood Pellet Grill Craze Is Sweeping the Country
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By Associated Press
Published 2 months ago on
April 6, 2024

A wood pellet grill craze is sweeping the country. The grill burns compressed sawdust pellets instead of gas or charcoal. It is one of the most environmentally friendly options on the market and has the lowest carbon footprint among other grill types. (homank76/Depositphotos)

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Are long, messy prep and clean-up times keeping you from firing up a grill? In that case, a wood pellet grill is a modern solution to your problems, with almost every feature a grill lover can dream of. Get ready to uncover the pellet grill craze sweeping the country and learn what makes it so special from the typical charcoal or gas grill option.

Understanding Pellet Grills

A wood pellet grill burns compressed sawdust pellets instead of gas or charcoal. It has everything you can ask for, with features of conventional ovens, traditional grills, and a smoker. You can roast, bake, smoke, grill, or sear with this handy equipment.

To become an expert wood pellet pitmaster, you should first become familiar with its components. The hopper is the container mounted on the grill that stores the pellets. An auger, a rotating metal shaft, then moves the pellets to the combustion chamber, where the pellets are lit up to cook your food. Fans bring in air to keep the fire going while circulating heat and smoke inside the cooking area. The digital controller is what gives this griller an edge, as it maintains the precise temperature you set it at.

Unmatched Convenience and Control

Do not be mistaken; a wood pellet grill is not the same as a gas or charcoal grill – it’s arguably better. You get a controlled environment that allows you to cook foods slower at a lower heat or quicker at high heat. You don’t get this level of precision with other grill types. This means that you can slow-smoke meats without burning or drying them out, so you can finally master dishes like smoked pulled pork.

Setting up a pellet grill is a breeze compared to using charcoal. You just have to fill the hopper with pellets, set your desired temperature and with a press of a button, you’re all set. There’s no hassle of arranging and lighting up charcoal briquettes and waiting for the coals to ash before cooking, a process that takes around 20 minutes. Some newer pellet grill models even allow you to pair it with an app that lets you monitor it remotely, so you don’t have to hover over your grill all day.

The Magic of Wood Pellets

The magic also lies within the wood pellets itself, as different pellets give unique flavor profiles. You can use hickory pellets to add smokiness to your dishes or apple and cherry pellets for a sweet flavor infusion. The versatility of this grill will rekindle your love for grilling as you experiment with various flavors and cooking techniques. “Igniting a pellet grill is as simple as flipping a switch, which is so much easier than a traditional charcoal grill,” Kita Roberts from Girl Carnivore commented. “Pellet grills also deliver deeper flavor than propane grills. My top tip is to opt for charcoal pellets for an even more classic barbecue flavor to whatever you’re cooking. It’s an effortless way to level up your grilling game.”

Culinary Creations Beyond Traditional Barbecue

The possibilities are endless with this jack of all trades of grills, including being able to cook a pasta dish. Make a smoked mac and cheese dish by preparing your ingredients and placing them in a pan on the rack to cook. What you get is a lightly smoked and creamy dish that’ll get you wishing you’d discovered this way to make mac and cheese earlier. Try exploring different cooking techniques and experimenting with unconventional ingredients and flavor combinations – the grill is your oyster.

Environmental Considerations

If that’s not enough to convince you, you might be sold after hearing how it is one of the most environmentally friendly options on the market. Wood pellets repurpose wood byproducts like sawdust and wood shavings and release less emissions and harmful smoke than gas and charcoal. According to the internationally peer-reviewed journal Fuels, it has the lowest carbon footprint among other grill types.

Tips for Getting Started

To avoid any hiccups with your grill, make sure to watch out for common problems that users encounter. Regularly remove grease buildup, as it can mess with the sensors. Pellets can jam in the auger if the auger is misaligned, so it’s a good idea to check and clean the shaft routinely. Don’t start to panic if your food is cooking unevenly; chances are that you haven’t evenly distributed the pellets or your grill isn’t on a level surface.

It’s Time to Impress Your Guests

With a wood pellet grill on your back deck or patio, it’s the perfect opportunity to host a backyard BBQ and impress your guests with show-stopping dishes like an impressive smoked Thor’s hammer, which is an entire beef shank cooked low and slow until melt-in-your-mouth delicious Not only can you control the precise temperature and monitor it remotely while doing other tasks, but you also get to experiment with different cooking techniques and flavor combinations. As a convenient and versatile piece of equipment that will elevate your grilling game beyond the traditional charcoal or gas grill, what’s not to love?

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