By Christie Vanover | Revealed July 16, 2023 | Final Up to date July 16, 2023

Lengthy gone are the times when you need to slave over a fireplace to create wonderful barbecue. With the development of the pellet smoker, you possibly can cook dinner up a yard BBQ feast whereas lounging poolside.

wood pellets burning in a pellet grill fire pot.

Pellet people who smoke provide a mixture of comfort and taste with precision-engineered expertise. They principally do all of the laborious be just right for you whilst you get to bask within the glory and relish the compliments.

With just a few pellet smoker accessories, you possibly can improve your smoke sport much more. 

Elements of a pellet smoker

To unveil the magic of how a pellet smoker works, it’s vital to have a look at its completely different options.


The hopper is mostly situated on the facet of a pellet smoker, though some fashions have hoppers within the again. This field is the place you load your wood pellets.

Capability varies from mannequin to mannequin, however nearly all of them maintain sufficient pellets to final for a number of cooks.

REC TEC 680 Wood Pellet Grill Review

Management panel

What makes pellet people who smoke completely different from most different wood-burning grills is that they’re digitally managed through an electrical management panel.

control panel for the Woodcreek Pellet Grill

From the panel, you program the grill’s temperature. The panel will present a read-out of the set temperature and the precise grill temperature.

Some fashions are very correct whereas inexpensive pellet people who smoke could fluctuate by as a lot as 25 levels.

The management panel may embrace a port for digital thermometers. With this function, you possibly can see the precise temperature of your meat as it’s cooking, so you recognize when it’s achieved cooking with out opening the grill.

Auger system

As soon as the pellets are loaded into the hopper and the temperature is programmed, an auger will rotate and drive the pellets into the firepot. The auger seems to be like a really giant drill bit.

graphic showing pellets running through an auger to a fire pot

The upper you set the grill temperature, the quicker the auger will flip as a result of the extra gasoline your grill might want to keep the specified temperature.

Some fashions have a button on the management panel that may mean you can manually rotate the auger. That is useful once you need to clear out the grill and totally take away all pellets.


The firepot is the place the magic occurs. As soon as the auger delivers the pellets to the firepot, the combustion chamber ignites, and the wooden pellets begin to smoke and create warmth.

An electrical fan works along side the pace of the auger and a thermostat to find out how a lot oxygen is required within the firepot to handle constant warmth.

Pellet Smoker

Cooking chamber

Contained in the cooking chamber, the firepot could also be coated with a metallic field to deflect among the warmth. On prime of that, pellet people who smoke embrace a metallic deflector plate that rests beneath the grill grates.

The deflector plate supplies a continuing oblique warmth zone, which is what you want for making recipes like smoked brisket or a fantastic rack of St. Louis-style ribs.

four racks of BBQ ribs on the Woodcreek Pellet Grill

Grease management system

When cooking fattier items of meat like pork stomach burnt ends or smoked pulled pork, you should have numerous grease drippings.

Pellet grills are designed in order that the fats ought to drip away from the fireplace pot towards a pan or bucket the place it could actually later be discarded. It’s vital to ensure your pellet grill is on a stage floor, so the fats drains correctly.

grease channel inside Woodcreek Pellet Grill

Cooking app

Many pellet people who smoke include free downloadable cellphone apps that mean you can management the grill’s warmth from the palm of your hand. They often connect with your property Wi-Fi or through Bluetooth.

Some extra superior apps even provide recipes that mechanically regulate the grill’s temperature throughout completely different phases of the cook dinner.

Benefits of a pellet smoker

Pellet people who smoke used to catch numerous warmth within the barbecue world. Skilled pitmasters thought-about them a Crock-Pot of grills as a result of they’re really easy to make use of.

A major a part of barbecue is knowing warmth administration, and the pellet smoker takes away the necessity to grasp that talent set.

However the benefit that it does convey to the barbecue scene is that it makes barbecue approachable to nearly everybody. Now, cooks can season their meals, push a button and smoke meals with out having to fret if their grill is getting too scorching or too chilly.

As long as you may have wooden pellets loaded within the hopper and also you’re following a trusted recipe, it’s laborious to fail.

“I like my pellet grill! I hardly use my common grill anymore as a result of it’s simply that helpful! I like that it could actually go from a smoker to a grill to an oven and it cooks so many issues. I get real smoke rings on all my meats, and it’s a lot much less fuss to make use of than a wood-fired smoker.”

– Chef Jenn Allen, Grill What You Love

Cleansing a pellet smoker is simple, too, relying in your mannequin. Wooden pellets produce little or no ash, so there isn’t a lot residue left behind.

Newer fashions mean you can pull a lever from beneath the grill to empty the ash that collects within the firepot. Others provide ports the place you possibly can insert a store vac to suck out the ash.

Older and cheaper fashions require you to take away the grill grates and warmth deflector to entry the firepot and take away the ash.

Apart from eradicating the ash, you simply have to preserve your grill grates and deflector plate clear and empty the grease entice each few cooks. Cowl the deflector plate in heavy-duty foil to chop your cleanup time in half.

One ultimate benefit of a pellet smoker is that it may be used for all types of recipes, together with smoked macaroni and cheese, smoked baked beans and just about something that you’d bake within the oven.

It’s because the warmth is oblique and circulates all through the chamber through the fan. Essentially the most concentrated warmth tends to be over the firepot, so regulate for that in case you’re cooking extra delicate recipes like quiche or cookies.

Disadvantages of a pellet smoker

The quantity of smoke you get whereas cooking on a pellet smoker varies, relying on what temperature you’re cooking at. The decrease the temp, the extra smoke. The warmer the temperature, the much less smoke.

It’s because, at hotter temperatures, the wooden pellets burn extra shortly so that they don’t smolder and create smoke. To regulate for this, you possibly can add a pellet tube contained in the smoker that may create extra smoke taste within the chamber.

Though wooden pellets are made from compressed sawdust, the flavour is barely completely different from charcoal briquets, lump charcoal, and wooden chips or chunks. In the event you actually love the flavour of charcoal, think about using charcoal-infused pellets.

“With regards to ease and comfort, it’s laborious to prime a pellet smoker. We’ve used ours when prepping pork butts for over 450 folks solely for consistency. Our trick to getting nice taste is utilizing charcoal pellets and including wooden chunks to the again corners of the grill grates so as to add genuine barbecue taste.”

– Kita R, Girl Carnivore

As a result of pellet people who smoke cook dinner with oblique warmth, some are usually not as nice at grilling meals scorching and quick. A number of corporations have added options to the deflector plate that enables it to open partially. The opening lets direct warmth come via for high-heat grilling.

sear station open

Nonetheless, typically when it’s closed excessive warmth nonetheless can come via, which might influence your smoking temperatures. It’s vital to seek out the recent spots on any grill or smoker you purchase.

Try this information that will help you grill the perfect burger on a pellet grill.

Pellet people who smoke provide a novel mixture of comfort, versatility and taste that make them a fantastic choice for out of doors cooking lovers.

In the event you’re nonetheless procuring round, try the best grills to buy this summer and my assortment of grill reviews

Christie Vanover contributed to this text. She is a championship pitmaster and authorized barbecue decide from Las Vegas. She’s cooked on dozens of grills, together with the almost 30 in her yard. She shares her experience in grilling and barbecuing via her web site, Moreover, Christie has developed her personal line of award-winning rubs which might be bought internationally.

This text initially appeared on Food Drink Life.

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