By Christie Vanover | Printed July 5, 2022 | Final Up to date July 5, 2022

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Observe this Grill Smoke U lesson to study all about wooden pellets, together with what they’re, the differing types and learn how to prepare dinner with them.

Due to the invention of the pellet grill, creating mouthwatering barbecue in your yard is less complicated than ever. Pellet grills mean you can get the flavour of actual, all pure wooden smoke with out the trouble of getting to handle a hearth.  

Disclosure: I’m a paid ambassador for Cowboy Charcoal.

Wood pellets burning in a pellet grill fire pot.

What are wooden pellets

Wooden pellets which are used for barbecue are compressed mini cylinders of wooden which are used to create smoke and typically warmth for smoking and grilling meals.

The pellets are made by milling wooden right into a softer, pliable substance that may be extruded into the acquainted pellet form.

A small pile of wood pellets on a counter.

Are wooden pellets protected to prepare dinner with

When selecting pellets for cooking, it’s essential to pick out a bag that’s recognized as being for barbecue, as a result of wooden pellets are additionally made for pellet stoves.

The distinction is that barbecue wooden pellets are product of hardwoods; whereas pellet range wooden pellets could also be product of softwoods and sure embrace fillers.

Softwood pellets will produce warmth like hardwood pellets, however their smoke is bitter and never splendid for cooking. Relying on the fillers used to provide heating pellets, they might even be poisonous.

I at all times prepare dinner with Cowboy Charcoal wood pellets, as a result of all the varieties are made with 100% all pure hardwoods. They by no means embrace chemical binders or oil components, which some corporations use to provide totally different taste profiles. They usually’re made in the united statesA.

A bag of Cowboy wood pellets spilling onto a counter.

Which wooden taste to decide on

In relation to taste matching your woods to your meals, cooking with wooden pellets is similar as cooking with wooden.

As a rule of thumb, hickory wooden goes nice with nearly every little thing. It’s slightly extra daring, so large proteins like beef and pork maintain up effectively to the smoke.

For extra delicate proteins like fish and poultry, I like to make use of apple wooden. As a result of apple wooden is a extra delicate choice, I additionally use it when smoking vegetables or meals like cheeses or simple syrups.

Mesquite wooden, in my view, can come off bitter, so if I take advantage of it, I choose to combine it with the apple wooden to create my very own customized mix.

Cowboy All Pure Hardwood Barbeque Pellets are available a wide range of wooden and taste combos

bag of Cowboy Charcoal and Hickory wood pellets.

Get the flavour of charcoal with wooden pellets

One grievance I used to listen to from individuals who transitioned to pellet grills from charcoal grills is that they miss the flavour of charcoal. There’s simply one thing authentically American about that aroma and taste ingredient.

Thankfully, Cowboy Charcoal has you lined. They carry each a hickory and apple wooden mix of pellets that features their all pure hardwood charcoal blended proper in.

The pellets look totally different than most pellets, as a result of the charcoal makes them black. I prepare dinner with this line of their pellets most frequently, as a result of I like the style of charcoal grilled meals. However I additionally just like the comfort of cooking on a pellet grill.

In full disclosure, I’ve run into points with a few grills when utilizing charcoal pellets, as a result of the sensors weren’t engineered for the dark-colored gasoline or wooden + charcoal compound. In each instances, I made the producer’s conscious of the problems, they usually promised to do extra testing to make their grills extra common.

Methods to use wooden pellets

Wooden pellets are in all probability the simplest kind of barbecue gasoline to make use of. Most frequently, you’re going to make use of it in a pellet grill.

To make use of them, merely open the bag and pour it straight into the pellet grill hopper.

Wood pellets in a pellet grill hopper

Observe your grill producer’s directions to start out your grill and set it to your required temperature. Some grills would require you to start out the grill at a decrease setting, which is able to permit the pellets to slowly feed into the fireplace pot.

Wood pellets loading into a fire pot.

As soon as inside the fireplace pot, a small electrical warmth supply will ignite the pellets. As they burn, they’ll warmth your entire space of the grill.

As soon as the grill is cooking at a temperature above 250F levels, the quantity of smoke you’ll get will probably be lowered, as a result of the grill will probably be burning by way of the pellets quicker. Some pellet grills provide enhanced smoke options to provide extra smoke at larger temps.

As your meals cooks, an inside thermometer will inform the grill when extra pellets have to be fed by way of the auger.

If the grill begins to chill down as a result of wind, chilly climate or frequent lid opening, extra pellets will probably be launched. If the grill reaches a better temp, the auger will pause till the temperature stabilizes.

Don’t be fooled into considering that wooden pellets solely present smoke. They’re product of wooden, in order that they do catch fireplace, which is nice for burgers and steaks.

When cooking on a pellet grill, it’s essential to comply with the producer’s directions.

GCG Professional Pitmaster Suggestions

  • Hold the pellet grill deflector in place whereas the grill is operating
  • Empty the fireplace pot after each prepare dinner
  • Vacuum out ash residue after each few cooks
  • Each time you open the pellet grill, the grill will feed extra pellets to regulate for the cooler air

Methods to use wooden pellets in a charcoal or gasoline grill

Wooden pellets can be utilized in all types of various grills, as a result of they’re not only for creating warmth. They’re additionally splendid for creating smoke.

On a gasoline or charcoal grill, you should utilize a pellet tube. You merely fill the tube along with your favourite pellets and ignite the pellets utilizing a propane torch. When you don’t have a torch, you may also use a long-handled lighter, however it is going to take a bit longer for the pellets to ignite.

A foil pouch full of wood pellets smoking on a gas grill.

Another choice is to position pellets in a foil pouch. Then, pierce a couple of holes within the foil to permit the smoke to launch.

As soon as lit, the pellets will roll regular smoke so as to add taste to any meal you prepare dinner in your gasoline or charcoal grill.

You can too use the pellet tube or foil pouch for chilly smoking. That is the place you add smoke to meals like cheeses or salts with out cooking them.

How lengthy does a bag of wooden pellets final

Most baggage weigh about 20 kilos and can final one to 3 cooks, however a number of components decide how lengthy a bag of pellets will final.

When you have a bigger pellet grill, it’s going to take extra pellets to warmth your entire floor space of the grill. Subsequently, extra pellets will feed by way of the auger all through the prepare dinner.

When you’re cooking at a better temperature, the grill can even require extra gasoline to take care of that hotter temp.

When you’re cooking in a smaller grill or smoking meats at decrease temperatures, your grill would require much less gasoline. Nonetheless, when grilling gradual and low, your prepare dinner time will probably be rather a lot longer than scorching and quick cooks.

To be on the protected facet, at all times have an additional bag of pellets on standby.

Methods to retailer wooden pellets

Wooden pellets can whip out some fierce barbecue, however they’re really fairly fragile. They’re shipped in plastic baggage to lock out moisture. It’s essential that you just maintain them dry after they’re opened.

If any water is launched to the pellets, they’ll dissolve, and moist pellets can jam an auger.

You may retailer a 20-pound bag of pellets in a 5-gallon bucket with a lid. Remember to mark the lid, so which taste is during which bucket. And in the event you’re feeling inventive, combine a couple of various kinds of wooden pellets in a bucket to create your individual signature mix.

Methods to get much more smoke from a pellet grill

One of many greatest complaints I hear from pellet grill customers is that pellet grill smoke is delicate in comparison with cooking with charcoal or lump charcoal. Even in the event you use the Cowboy pellets which have charcoal blended in, it nonetheless received’t be fairly the identical.

A method so as to add extra smoke taste is to fill a smoke tube or foil pouch with extra pellets or wood chips and place it on the grate. If the warmth of the grill is excessive sufficient, the chips or pellets will ignite.

When you’re cooking at a decrease temperature, I like to recommend utilizing a pellet tube and igniting it with a torch.

Don’t add wooden chips to the hopper, as a result of they might get caught.

The place to purchase wooden pellets

Cowboy Barbeque Wooden Pellets can be found in choose shops throughout the U.S. like ACE {Hardware} and Tractor Provide Firm. 

You can too organize them on-line at Wal-Mart.

Click here to find a store near you.

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