10 Pellet Grill Tips for Beginners
You know your grill. You know your oven. But have you truly gotten to know your new pellet grill? We’ve done a whole lot of study on grillers from old school wood to the yoder ys480s review to find what works best on different kinds of grillers, and we’ve made a list of helpful tips for the new griller in town, so read on to learn:
- Season Your Meat and Your Grill
Seasoning isn’t just for your meat. Your grill should also be well-seasoned, following the instructions provided by your grill manufacturer.
Yes, this takes some time and can go up to an hour long, but this is important as it will burn off any residue that can greatly affect the smoke and the flavor of your well-seasoned meat.
- Memorize the Hot Spots
Every griller has hot spots–areas within the grill where most of the heat is felt–and as much as your manufacturer promised that heat is balanced within, there are still areas where heat is felt more than the others. Know these spots by heart so you’ll know how to properly place your meat.
The easiest way to do this on your first try is to use some white bread and pre-heat to medium-high. Then lay all the slices of bread on the grill and check back after a few minutes. Flip them over to find which bread had the most toast, and those will be your grill’s hot spots.
- Straight From the Fridge to the Grill
Though recipes say that you’ll need to defrost or thaw your meat to room temperature, working on a pellet grill recommends that you should bring your meat straight from the fridge and into the griller.
Your griller is pre-heated. The heat from within it will suffice to bring the internal heat of your meat cuts to the right temperature. This also saves your meat from any unwanted, accidental exposure to bacteria.
- The Thermometer Is Your Grill’s Best Friend
You’d probably think that the timer is your best friend, which might be true. However, your griller’s best friend is a heavy-duty (or even a laser) thermometer that can be left stuck on your meat while it is cooking in the griller.
This is because even if recipes have desired cooking times, they won’t be as accurate as seeing the internal temperature of what you’re cooking.
Constantly reopening the hatch will also create temperature changes affecting the cooking, which can be avoided with a thermometer.
- Sear the Way
Whether you’re doing it the traditional or the reverse way, searing your meat can be done with your griller, and you should definitely check it out.
Your pellet griller is tested to reach temperatures that can sear meat, and nothing makes meat taste better than having gone through the whole Maillard.
- Be Religious About Checking Pellets
Your pellets are the fuel to the smoky flavor of your meat. The last thing you want to encounter is to run out of pellets in the middle of cooking, so make sure that you check on the supply before, after pre-heating, and during cooking. Also, never reuse pellets. Properly store them in a dry container that’s away from direct sunlight.
- The Six-Feet Rule
Your pellet griller should be at least six feet away from your house or practically any intrusion such as trees, walls, and overhangs, among others.
Remember, your machine makes smoke…and will do so for hours while you’re cooking, so it should be in an open, unobstructed space for everyone’s safety and comfort.
- Cleanliness Is Next to Sumptuousness
You don’t want bad smoke on your meat, but you probably also won’t like anything nasty near it. That said, you should definitely clean your grill now and then.
Invest in a shop-type vacuum, a putty knife, or even a simple sharp-bladed spatula to eliminate ash or grease, especially in the chimney and exhaust.
You can also prevent hard-to-clean substances from your drip tray by covering the tray itself with some heavy-duty foil. Additionally, don’t forget to detach the grease bucket after every use and steer it clear from any pets or possible rodents in the area.
- The Upper Rack’s Power
The upper rack isn’t an embellishment. It’s an attachment essential to maximizing your grill’s ability to keep a controlled temperature while smoking. They’re best for use when you’re grilling up meat cuts (i.e., chicken) prone to overcooking or burning. They’re also the secret tools to a perfectly reversed seared meat.
Anything that requires smoking and cooking at a lower temperature can be done on the upper rack while the main functions as the higher heat area and is also perfect for getting the searing done.
If you’re looking to keep food moist, your upper rack is also where you can put a pan of water to trap the moisture. Use those racks. If your grill didn’t come with them, then either get one or DIY one using some wireframes.
- 10.Get Curious and Experiment
Your pellet grill can cook like your oven. Get curious about recipes that require an oven and try to cook them on your grill for that added smokiness. You can also play with different flavors of wood pellets to find your most complementary favorite to your well-loved meat.
There’s nothing to fear with a trust pellet griller. It is an investment that can easily be maximized with every use, so get on with it and start smoking it up!