So, you want to know how to use an electric smoker, and you want to do it right the first time around? Good news! With a few easy steps, you'll be cooking up the greatest meals anybody in your family has ever had.
Is it possible to use an electric smoker the right way the first time around? Of course, it is! While you can wing it and hope for the best, a little education and some prep before you start cooking will go a long way towards a delicious smoked meal the first time out of the gate.
And because you're already researching this topic, you've got the education part covered. Let's get to it.
Before you turn on your electric smoker and slap some pork chops down on the grill, you need to understand a couple of key elements about electric smokers.
First off, electric smokers are simple to use. That's thanks to the digital control panel on the front of the smoker. Unlike gas and charcoal smokers, which require constant monitoring and fidgeting with temperatures, the electric smoker will self-regulate.
Next, you'll notice that there's a heating element, a water pan, a container for wood chips, a bunch of racks, and a drip pan. That's simple. The electric element heats up the wood chips which produce heat and smoke.
The water pan sits above the wood chips and blocks direct heat from scorching the food on the racks above. The water also adds moisture to the food and helps that delicious smoke absorb deep into it.
Here's where it gets interesting. Those who know how to use an electric smoker always source the best wood chips. That's because the wood determines the flavor of the food you're cooking, especially meats.
You'll never go wrong with an apple-flavored wood, but cherry, alder, and even oak add some awesome flavors to your food. We recommend FireStar Wood Chips for smokers, which offer a great assortment of wood chips that you can't go wrong with.
If you really want to know how to use an electric smoker and create great food right away, then look away from the smoker for a moment. Instead, look at the seasoning you're adding to your meat.
You want a beautiful, subtle yet flavorful seasoning that will complement the smoke flavors. You don't want to overpower the meat, nor do you want to waste money on flavorless garbage.
If you go with something like High Plains Spice Company Smokehouse Favorites, you'll hit all the right spots. These are made to compliment your smoker and create beautiful food.
Rub seasoning all over your meat and let it sit for a few hours in the fridge. Now you're ready to start cooking.
Are you ready? Because now you're going to learn how to use an electric smoker the right way. Once you do it, you'll never forget. T
hat makes you the maestro of family meals.
There are six very simple steps. Know these, and you'll know how to use an electric smoker. They are:
How simple is that? Well, let's take a look and see.
Want to really know how to use an electric smoker? The secret is in how, and where, you set up your smoker.
You see, the great thing about electric smokers is that you can put them almost anywhere. Unlike gas or pellet smokers, they don't use an open flame, so fire risk is diminished. That's great if you live in an apartment or condo.
But even if you live in a house, you can still benefit from an electric smoker. Either way, you want to make sure that you use your smoker outdoors. Never use it indoors.
That can cause some problems during the colder months in the winter. Electric smokers are not as good at retaining heat as gas and pellet smokers, which means that in cold weather, your smoker will lose more heat. So if you use it during cold weather, keep it under some type of cover and out of the wind and snow.
The next thing you'll want to do is to "season" the smoker before you cook anything it. Do this by turning on the heat to regular (or medium) and let it sit like that for two hours. This will get rid of any fresh-from-the-factory smells that might interfere with your food.
Now you're ready for the next part.
Those who know how to use an electric smoker usually add about four cups of wood chips to the wood chip pan. This will give you five to six hours of smoking.
One thing to remember is that whenever you add new woodchips to the smoker, it will bring down the internal temperature and prolong the cooking process, so make sure you fill it right the first time around.
Two gallons of water will be best if the pan is big enough to hold that much. If it's smaller than two gallons, try to fill it as much as possible, leaving an inch of space from the lip of the pan.
Don't use anything but warm water. Ignore all those blog posts about using apple juice or wine or beer. Only the water from those liquids evaporates anyway, so you're better off drinking that and using plain tap water in the water pan.
This step is important.
You want to preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. We don't recommend going much higher than that. Some smokers excel at 180 degrees, but those are limited to unique models like the Weber Kettle.
Don't put anything in the smoker until it has preheated. The great thing about knowing how to use an electric smoker is not having to wait long for it to preheat.
Now for the best part -- the food.
You're finally going to take all that meat you seasoned out of the fridge and place it on the racks in the smoker. Depending on what you're cooking, you'll need to place the food strategically.
A good rule of thumb is that the bigger, or the greasier, the food, the lower it should go in the smoker. Veggies and fish will generally do fine on the upper racks. However, you'll also have to remember that all these different foods have different cooking times. Plan your placement carefully.
For instance, if you're cooking ribs and veggie skewers, leave at least one rack empty at the top of the smoker so you can place the veggies later on.
Once you know how to use an electric smoker, you won't need to monitor your food so much. In fact, much like a slow cooker, you can practically start cooking in the morning, go to work, and come home to delicious supper waiting for you.
But the first time you use it, you'll want to monitor how it's going.
You can do this simply by looking at the control panel to see what the current internal temperature is, and by looking through the glass window to see the food inside. Remember that every time you open the door, you let heat and smoke escape and prolong the cooking process.
Many people buy a wireless cooking thermometer and stick it in the piece of meat. This way you can see what the internal temperature of the meat is. Just remember to stick it in the thickest, juiciest cut of meat you have.
Ah, finally! Your mouth is watering, and your neighborhood is filled with savory scents. Your food is ready!
Before you open the door, turn off the smoker. Then, open it up, and carefully remove the food. Let any meat sit in the open air for a good 10 to 15 minutes before eating. This will allow the internal temperature of the meat to stabilize. Now you're ready to eat!
Remember that you'll also want to clean your smoker once it has cooled down. It will take an hour or two to release all the heat. Once it's cool, remove the racks and the pans. Wash those in soapy water in the sink.
Take a damp cloth and wipe out any large chunks of food, then use a cloth and warm soapy water to wipe down the insides of the smoker. You can also use a bit of apple cider vinegar for cleaning, but we don't recommend using chemical cleaners.
Congrats! You now know how to use an electric smoker, and you nailed it the first time around!
We're proud of you, and your family can now enjoy the most delicious meats they've ever had.
There's nothing quite like smoking meats, and an electric smoker is one surefire way to get it right every time.
Do you have any original tips to share? Let us know in the comments!
To see if it is worth all the hype surrounding it, we will take a look at the features they offer with the Woodwind grill, the quality, design, pricing, customer reviews, and comparisons to other similar smokers. On top of that, we will look at the sizing and spacing that the grill offers, to see if it is the right fit for you and your family.
Woodwind grills are a specific design of a pellet grill made by Camp Chef.
This design lights instantly and easily, offers computerized temperature control, convection heating, Smart Smoke Technology, and a patented easy way to clean out the ash.
The Smart Smoke Technology allows you to easily set the temperature, put in the meat you want to cook, and walk away from the grill while trusting it to get the job done correctly. It’s incredibly easy to use and makes cooking much more convenient.
Camp Chef has a patented ash clean out that makes cleaning up after your cooking session infinitely easier. If you are someone who grills and smokes frequently, you most likely spend a lot of time cleaning up afterwards. With this product, you are given the ability to simply pull a lever and clean out any ash that has remained after your grilling without taking apart the entire unit. This is a fantastic feature that is definitely not seen very often on pellet grills.
On top of that, they also have a clean out feature for the hopper as well. When your hopper is full of a specific type of pellets and you want to swap them out for a different strength or flavor, there is a small trap door you can open to empty it completely.
Another unique feature to this grill is the attached sear box. This is a cast iron work horse powered by propane, and it has incredible fire power. When up to the highest temperature it can be, the box will actually reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a wonderful feature that is not seen on other pellet grills at all. It almost allows you to have two grills in one.
With this feature, you are given the variety of having the wood pellet grill for smoky flavors, as well as an extremely hot and quick sear station all at once.
Other great features include the thermometer probe, the stainless kit, and the upper shelf.
The secondary shelf is great for cooking things like vegetables and hot dogs, and you are able to remove it if you are cooking a larger piece of meat. Making it removable offers a lot more versatility in what you can cook all at once.
The built-in thermometer probe allows you to check the temperature of all the meat on the grill by simply pressing a button. This is great if you don’t have an external thermometer to use, as this one is always attached. It allows for complete accuracy for your food’s temperature.
The stainless kit is also a fantastic, sleek addition to the grill. It matches the sear box well so everything fits together perfectly.
There are a few different options for the Woodwind grills, so the prices vary as well.
This grill gives you 570 square inches of cooking space, as well as 1,584 square inches for the jerky racks. Being the cheaper option, it does not automatically come with the sear box, although it can be added on to your order if you desire.
Every other feature we mentioned previously is included with this first option: the easy ash cleanout, the electric auto-start ignition, Smart Smoke Technology, the 18-pound pellet hopper, and many more.
This can also be purchased from other retailers online, like Amazon, as well. However, it looks to be around the same price everywhere for the most part.
The second option is a little more expensive and offers additional features as well. The sear box is added to this package, and instead of costing you extra, it only adds $200 to your cost.
Overall, you get all the same features with each grill, but the sear box automatically comes with the second option. However, if you go with the first option and later decide that you want that feature as well, you can always purchase it separately.
There were a lot of positive reviews for this product, this is definitely a well-loved design. We will be separating the negative and positive reviews in order to see exactly how the broad spectrum of customers felt about the product.
One aspect of these grills that was talked about frequently in reviews was the simple fact that they were able to get up to the temperatures they needed to. A lot of reviews mentioned purchasing grills from other companies where they couldn’t get the temperature past a certain number, whereas they had no issues with Woodwind grills. This is definitely important – having a grill that is consistently the correct temperature allows you to cook a more diverse selection of different meats and foods, and it confirms that your food is safe to eat.
Another quality that was praised when it came to the Woodwind grill was the smoky flavor it gave to food. Using pellets is, of course, a huge part of that – the pure hardwood pellets fueling the fire give the meat an authentic wood taste that you wouldn’t get from charcoal or gas.
The price was something that was mentioned positively as well. While it isn’t a cheap grill, it is much more affordable than purchasing a comparable product from a company like Traeger. If you are on a budget and looking to save a few dollars on your new grill, this is definitely a great product to consider. There were many reviews talking about how they couldn’t believe they got such a high-quality product for less than they would have paid for another company’s grill.
Having a grill that basically cleans itself, for the most part, was another upside to buying a Woodwind grill. Camp Chef’s patented technology cut the grill cleaning time into half for most people using the product. This allowed them to have more time to just focus on the food or other more important things than emptying the grill of ash.
Another aspect that came up in reviews frequently was the additional perk of having a separate sear box. While it does make the product a little more expensive, most reviewers who made the choice to include that in their purchase have been very happy with it. It allows them a wonderful mix of a hardwood, smoky taste and being able to sear their meat to the perfect degree every time. This is a very unique feature that you definitely don’t get with any pellet grills besides this one.
The reviews also praised the customer service a lot as well. If they were in need of assistance assembling a product, having something replaced, issuing a complaint, or any other problem needed to be handled, their customer service was able to do the job well. Having a good department to talk to their customers has an enormous say in how the business will be perceived, so this is a great look for the company.
Assembly was also said to be very simple and straightforward. It can be very frustrating to have a product come in the mail that is difficult or impossible to assemble – that is definitely not the case with the Woodwind grill. Reviews that mentioned the assembly had a lot of good things to say about how easy it was, and if they noticed anything missing or broken their customer service was able to fix it very quickly and efficiently.
The last positive aspect we noticed a lot of mentions of in the reviews was the warranty. Camp Chef offers a 3 year extended warranty on this product, which is a lot longer than its competitors. This will give you peace of mind if you are worried about something breaking or aren’t sure how long everything will last.
Now there were a few negative aspects to be mentioned by customers as well.
The one that came up the most frequently was a common error with the temperature probe. There were a decent amount of reviews that mentioned the thermometer came to them not working at all. When they called Camp Chef’s customer service department to have it resolved, they were told it was a common issue and that a new one would be sent out. It looks like the product shorts out fairly frequently. It is definitely not a deal breaker, but it is a good point to note if you are considering buying one.
While the customer service was generally praised overall for their politeness and efficiency, there were a few complaints about them as well. For some customers, they experienced a several day timeframe of waiting for a representative to get back to them about the issues they had with their product. They don’t have a customer service department that is open all the time, so sometimes it was a lengthier wait to be helped.
Another negative that was mentioned was that the grill rattled and was difficult to move around at times. Some reviews mentioned that they either had a really hard time moving the grill to different locations, or they did not want to because they knew it would be difficult or impossible. This is definitely something important to keep in mind if you are looking for something you can move around easily and take camping.
All in all, this is a pretty impressive set up. Compared to other models, you are getting a lot of high- quality, awesome features without paying that bigger price.
We also really like the extended three year warranty, the different pricing options, and the easy to clean ash technology. For what you pay for this product, it has so many wonderful features to take advantage of.
Our favorite aspect overall was definitely the sear box. It is definitely the perfect addition to an already fantastic grill, giving that extra high quality feature to make your meat taste even better.
This is definitely both a product and a company we can recommend. The features, customer service, and fantastic products are most certainly worth both your time and money.
What are you most excited about when it comes to the Woodwind grills?
Pellet grills are becoming a bigger deal every passing year – more and more companies are making them and creating new designs for units that don’t use gas or charcoal. The Camp Chef PG24 has its own design, and today we'll look at its layout.
We'll take a look at the price, unique features, customer reviews, comparisons to other grills, and more.
It is also important to keep in mind how many people this product can feed and the amount of food you can cook at once. Therefore, we'll discuss the cooking space as well.
The Camp Chef PG24 is a grill and smoker that provides consistent results every time you use it. The unit has a practical digital temperature readout, and a simple temperature setting system.
Because it uses wood pellets to fuel the heat rather than charcoal or gas, your food comes out with a hardwood, smoky flavor every time.
The product has a cooking area of 429 square inches, a second cooking rack with an extra 141 square inches, and a hopper capacity of 18 pounds. You can cook between 160 and 500 degrees, which is about one hundred degrees higher than a lot of competitor grills like Traeger.
Their system also includes ash cleanout for the pellet hopper, pellet purge system, grease management system, an electronic auto ignition, and a shutdown mode. We will get more into those individual features in the next section of the review.
Here are some of the key features that Camp Chef offers for this particular grill.
The first aspect of this model is the Ash Cleanout system. It allows you to pull a lever to empty all of the ash from the fire box instead of having to vacuum out the grill every time you cook on it.
This is a fantastic feature to have –it is a common complaint of grill owners that their grills are incredibly difficult to clean out after using them.
Grilling is a much more pleasant experience when you don’t have to continually light up the unit or refill the fuel throughout the process. The company added an automatic pellet auger that fuels the fire pot with pellets automatically when needed. They also included an autostart ignition, which sets fire to the pellets when necessary. The temperature control unit directs the entire process – when more heat is needed, the automatic auger pushes more pellets into the fire pot, and the auto-ignition continuously lights them.
Having a larger pellet hopper is a good idea, simply because it stops you from having to refill it multiple times while grilling or smoking.
The Camp Chef PG24 offers a massive pellet storage space in the big hopper. Once you have it loaded, you won't have to do it again for at least another session of cooking on the grill.
The design of this grill gives you effective control over the temperature. You can set the perfect temperature no matter what you are grilling, and walk away for it to cook on its own. There's also the dual LED readout for the temperature that will help you monitor the temperature accurately. This is great if you want to keep the lid closed for a long period of time.
This unit also comes with a convenient, nicely built-in meat probe for you to check the temperature inside the meat. When you stick the probe into the meat, the other end of it goes into an input socket. This allows you to check the digital LED output monitor to see the temperature inside to make sure it is cooked properly.
Camp Chef also made this design extremely durable, making it easier to transport than some of its competitors. The product has two sturdy castors for added firmness – which makes the smoker more stable and less prone to breaking if it is moved around.
This grill is fairly affordable, and one of the best options for a pellet grill.
Some retailers offer similar products that will cost you a lot more, even by hundreds of dollars. REC TEC has a comparable model, and it costs $1598.00 brand new on their site. A lot of Traeger’s models are also more than the Camp Chef PG24.
Let’s take a look at what other customers thought of this product. We will divide the positive reviews and the negative ones in order to see all the pros and cons of owning this pellet grill and smoker.
The first aspect we noticed in the customer reviews online was how pleased they were with the temperature control. A lot of the comments specifically mentioned how wonderful it was to be able to set the temperature, place the meat in the smoker, and have the ability to walk away for several hours without worrying about how the food will turn out.
Another quality that buyers really enjoyed was Camp Chef’s customer service. If there were any issues with shipping, products, or anything else, the company went out of their way to fix the problems and make them happy.
The price was also a huge upside for reviewers. Having such a high-quality product that provides the buyer with so many different features at such a low price is rare, and an exciting aspect for the customer. Those who mentioned trying bigger, more well-known brands said that they spent a lot more and got a lot less than when they tried the Camp Chef PG24.
Something else that customers raved about was how easy the product was to clean. As we talked about before, this grill offers Camp Chef’s Ash Cleanout System, which makes sure all the ash and other debris is blown out after every grilling or smoking session. Not having to bend over and scrub out the grill or use a vacuum is a huge plus.
Another positive mentioned is how efficiently it uses pellets. Buying wood con for your grill—while not as expensive as gas or charcoal— will add up and cost you a decent amount over time. However, using a grill that burns them carefully will save you money and time in the long run. Customers really liked how they bought pellets less frequently with this product.
Lastly, users really loved the fact that the design came with its own very easy to use meat probe. This allowed them to easily, quickly, and safely take the temperature of the meat to make sure it is being cooked correctly.
While the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, there were a few negative things that customers noticed that we will point out.
The first downside is the warranty. A lot of designs offer a 2 year, 3-year, or longer warranty for their products. However, for this particular grill, it only lasts one year. Many customers complained that this simply wasn’t long enough, especially by the industry standards. It also did not allow for any issues that occurred over a longer period.
Another negative mentioned was the way the grills were shipped if ordered online. Whether customers ordered them from the company website or other online merchants, a decent amount of them complained that the products were handled badly and arrived damaged. Not all of them had serious issues, but often there was enough damage to warrant a call to customer service or a complete return altogether.
While a lot of the buyers did love the fact that Camp Chef provides a meat probe to safely measure the temperature of the meat, there were a few reviews that mentioned a need to return it after just a few months of use. Luckily, as long as it was replaced within a year, it was covered under the warranty. However, it is still an inconvenience and should be kept in mind if you plan on purchasing a grill from them.
There were also a few complaints of the grill shutting off randomly in the middle of a cooking. While there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of complaints that mentioned this, it is an important aspect to remember while buying a grill.
This design definitely has a lot of fantastic qualities going for it.
When it comes to getting the grill clean after a cooking session, we did not see a model that could beat the Camp Chef PG 24. Having a whole system that cleans out the ash and debris for you is a huge advantage.
Pricing is definitely a big upside as well. Getting so many fantastic features within the grill for such a reasonable price cannot be overstated. If you are on a budget and looking for a high-quality smoker, this is definitely one worth considering.
One aspect that doesn’t hold up when compared to other models is definitely the warranty. Like we discussed before, having only a one-year warranty for a grill like this is below the standard for the grill industry and does not allow for any long-term issues that may occur with the smoker.
The only other thing we would advise you look out for if you are considering purchasing one of these grills is having it shipped to your house. Because there were some complaints of parts coming in completely broken or bent, it is important to note if you are shopping online for this grill.
Sometimes you have to give dinner a little more flair. If your meals have become mundane, check out these food ideas:
There are so many ways you can turn pulled pork into a delicious meal. Place it in between two buns with a dollop of coleslaw, or put it over some chips for bbq nachos—both are crowd pleasers!
You can never go wrong with putting salmon in the grill. You can top it with mango salsa or slather it with bbq sauce. No matter which version you choose, it’ll be delicious.
This is a fun recipe that’s perfect for cookouts and tailgating. It goes great with loaded baked potatoes and grilled veggies. It’s yummy.
You don’t generally think of pizza when you think of grilling, but smokers make awesome pizza. This option is perfect for people who aren’t big meat eaters and want to try something different. Throw on your favorite toppings and enjoy!
This product and company is definitely worth your time and money. It’s affordable, a fantastic design, and has wonderful customer service to back it up if any problems arise.
If you have bought this particular grill before, what are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the review?
There is something instinctually about humans and the smell of smoking meat.
That’s right, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’m drooling, just thinking about it.
Maybe it harkens back to our human ancestors, as the smell let them know that cooked food that would sustain them was near.
Or, maybe it’s just the fact that smoked meat just tastes really, really good.
Personally, I think it’s both.
Whether you just want to make something delicious at home or want to try tapping into your primal instincts, smoking meat is a great way to go about it.
Since time immemorial, humanity has been smoking meat for two reasons:
Though refrigeration made smoking less necessary as a food preservation technique, smoked foods are ingrained in the culinary DNA of many cultures.
North American Indians: Jerky and pemmicanEastern Europe: Smoked fishChina: Sichuan style smoked meatsSoutheastern United States: Whole smoked hogTexas: Smoked beef brisket
Source: Mountain America Jerky
No one can be entirely sure how or when humanity began smoking meats.
But it’s a good bet that our cave-dwelling, cooked-meat eating caveman ancestors laid the groundwork to do so!
Here are some examples:
Bacon is undoubtedly one of the kings of smoked meat.
It is salty, smokey, and the perfect accompaniment to fried eggs.
In the United States, bacon starts as a nice, fatty side of pork belly, cured and smoked to perfection.
Image: CC by 2.0 by https://www.pexels.com/@postiglioni, via Pexels
Image: CC by 2.0 by Abdallah Maqboul , via Pexels
A smoked country ham is a dinner centerpiece for many families around the holidays.
The ham refers both to the cut and the meat product.
The ham cut comes from the rear leg of the pig.
Smoked fish has a long, proud history in the United States from both native and immigrant settlers.
The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest have a long-standing tradition with smoking salmon to preserve it for later consumption.
Watch the video below for more information:
Diaspora Ashkenazi Jews brought their knowlege of smoking fish from Eastern Europe. Today, smoked fish is still a staple in any good Jewish appetizing shop.
CC by 2.0 by Abdallah Maqboul , via Pexels
Logic dictates that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Well, where’s there’s fire, there’s heat.
Of course, when you’re smoking meats, it’s not always that simple.
Cold smoking flavors and preserves meat for later consumption. Cold smoked meats can be kept for months at room temperature.
So how does it work?
For cold smoking, the meat is always cured with salt and sodium nitrate.
This process smokes meat for a few hours, and up to a few days, at a relatively low temperature.
The smoke is produced in a separate firebox. The smoke is then pumped into an unheated antechamber where the meat is.
Hot smoking is a cooking technique. It uses heat and smoke to make food that is ready to eat.
Most hot smoked foods are treated with brine, marinade, or dry rub. These treatments flavor and keep the meat moist during the cooking process.
Here’s what you should know:
While cold smoking can produce some seriously delicious meat, if you’re a newbie, listen up.
I have some bad news for you.
Cold smoking is pretty dangerous to do at home.
Modern food production techniques mean that there are lots of pathogens present in meat and other products.
To counteract this, the FDA has a lot of guidelines to help keep food safe.
One of these guidelines is cooking temperatures.
Cold smoking holds the meat at around 90-degrees Fahrenheit. This is far lower than the recommended 145-degree Fahrenheit recommendations.
So, what should you do?
While can make safe cold-smoked meat at home, it requires precise temperature control and a thorough understanding of the curing process.
In contrast, hot smoking produces temperatures between 145-degrees and 300-degrees Fahrenheit.
That is well above the FDA danger zone.
Stick with hot smoking when smoking meats at home.
Let me tell you a little bit about Clostridium botulinum.
It makes you sick with a disease known as botulism.
That’s not all:
A common source of botulism is improperly prepared and stored processed food.
Still not convinced?
This bacteria produces some of the most lethal substances known to humanity. These toxins block nerve function.
A botulism infection can lead to death.
Furthermore, you can’t always tell when food is tainted.
In fact: some botulinum tainted food will not taste or smell off at all!
Leave cold smoking meat to the experts.
So you might be wondering to yourself: what can I smoke?
Well, I’ve got some answers for you!
If you can cook it, you can smoke it.
Choosing your protein to smoke is less about rules and more about guidelines.
Follow these guidelines, and you will be well on your way to some delicious smoked meals.
This is important to remember:
Smoking is a method well suited mostly for the cheaper, tougher cuts of meat.
Smoking meat is typically a long, slow cooking process. To take advantage of this, you need cuts of meat that have a lot of connective tissue and fat.
When cooked for a short amount of time, connective tissue gets tough and chewy.
But when cooked long and slow, the collagen in the tissue breaks down. This makes for a tender, juicy piece of smoked meat when done.
Here are some examples of great cuts to try:
Super-lean cuts, like pork tenderloin, are typically ill-suited for smoking. The long, slow cooking process will yield a tough, dry, rubbery piece of meat.
While smoking meats is the most popular item to smoke, you don’t have to limit yourself to just animal protein.
Yes, you can smoke more than just meat!
Feeling more adventurous? Smoke is a great flavoring, but not everything will smoke well.
To get around this, try smoking some condiments!
Smoked salt to bring just a touch of smokey goodness to your dishes.
Love hot sauce?
Try smoking Sriracha for the ultimate in smokey, spicy goodness.
But wait, there’s more!
If you want to get super adventurous, here’s something to try:Smoked. Ice. Cream.
(Oh yes, it’s a thing.)
You know what else is a thing?
Here’s something that’s sure to blow your mind.
Share the joy of delicious smoked ham with your vegan friends and family with a smoked watermelon ham!
In 2018, Ducks Eatery in New York City turned took a watermelon, brined it, and smoked it.
A smokey, fully vegetarian “ham” like dish that tastes unlike anything you have ever tried before.
Check out the video below:
Let’s face it:
When it comes to a truly unique smoked “meat,” this is as unique as they come!
Smoking brings plenty of flavor to the party, but it’s by no means the only flavor to think about when you are smoking meats.
Brining is a process that uses salt to enhance the flavor, texture, and moisture content in food.
Wet brines dissolve the salt in water before the meat is placed in it to soak for some time.
Dry brines are mixtures of salt, and other flavorings, which is then rubbed directly onto the meat. The meat is then allowed to sit for a period of time before cooking.
So what kind of ingredients can you find in a brine?
The main ingredient you will find in every brine recipe is salt.
In fact, in some recipes, salt may be the ONLY ingredient.
But really, you can add anything to a brine.
Smoked salmon and pork recipes may include a sweetener like brown sugar or honey to help balance the flavors.
Peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, and onion are great additions to any brine.
Like a wet brine, a marinade is a flavorful liquid that you soak the meat in to impart flavor and moisture. Some marinades may also help to tenderize the meat.
Is there anything you shouldn’t put in a marinade?
Pretty much any flavor combination you can imagine, you can put in a marinade for smoking meat.
For a fantastic Korean-inspired beef rib, try a soy-based marinade with some sesame oil, garlic, green onion, ginger, and sugar.
Want to go to the Mediterranean? Experiment with a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs. You just can’t go wrong with this one!
Like other flavoring methods, a dry rub imparts flavor. Like a dry brine, a dry rub often includes salt but can also contain other ingredients.
The main difference with a dry rub is that most, if not all, the ingredients are dry.
The most basic of dry rub recipes can be just salt and pepper. Another basic dry rub is salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
But don’t be afraid to expand on this!
For a Mexican-inspired dry rub for your ribs, try salt, powdered ancho chili, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano.
Want to take a trip around the world with your smoker? This recipe from Bobby Flay that uses salt, turmeric, cardamom, fennel, and other common curry spices to create an out of this world smoked chicken thigh!
The wood you use to smoke over is going to have a fundamental effect on the flavor of your food.
Not all wood is suitable for smoking.
And more importantly:
Not all smoking wood is suitable for all foods.
Knowing what look for as well as what kinds of woods to use is essential for creating the flavor you want.
Wood for smoking meats generally comes in a few forms:
Logs are generally large; think about the size you would use in a fireplace. These are good for large smokers that need to burn for a long time.
Chunks are smaller pieces of wood, around the size of a fist. These can last for hours in a smoker.
Chips are smaller scraps of wood. They ignite easily but may burn out quickly.
They are easy to find at your average big box store as well as specialty barbeque stores. These are good for smaller smokers or quick smoking jobs.
Woods for smoking can be broken down into three main categories:
Fruit woods are very popular to smoke with. These woods are on the mild side with sweet smoke and tend to pair well with more delicate, white meat proteins.
Medium flavored woods like hickory, maple, pecan, and oak produce a good smoke that pairs well with just about any meat.
Strong woodslike mesquite impart a lot of flavors but need to be used carefully.
Not all woods are created equal when it comes to smoking meats.
There are some woods that you should ALWAYS stay away from when smoking meats!
Manufacturers often chemically treat woods to make them last longer in construction or furniture.
These chemicals are toxic! You don’t want them ANYWHERE near your food!
Likewise, don’t use lumber scraps, either.
While these may be dirt cheap, you have no way of knowing what kind of wood they are from. Never use these for smoking meats!
Softwoods like cedar and pine contain a lot of sap. When ignited, this creates a harsh, sooty smoke that tastes bad. What’s worse? It can also be harmful!
While you can cook on cedar planks, smoking with cedar is a no go.
The great thing about smoking meats at home is that you have a lot of different options when it comes to equipment.
There’s a good chance that you have meat smoking equipment right now, even if you do not have a back yard.
Whatever you choose to use, you do need some equipment on hand for safety: for you and your food!
By far the most challenging thing to do when smoking food is to control the temperature.
No matter what meat smoking method you decide to go with, you need to accurately control your temperature.
Here’s the most important takeaway:
Buy a good thermometer.
Digital, instant-read probe thermometers like the ThermoPop are what you are looking for. You want something easy to read that takes temperature fast and continuously.
To produce smoke, you need fire.
And whenever working with fire, you need to stay safe.
Always use fire-resistant gloves when dealing with your smoke set up.
Have a fire extinguisher near by just in case anything catches fire that shouldn’t.
The smoke that will eventually make your food taste incredible is still an irritant to your lungs.
Always be sure to smoke your foods in a well-ventilated area. Smoking meat outside is always recommended.
If you must smoke indoors on the stove, be sure to use your cooking vents and to open windows, as necessary.
A mainstay of suburban backyards all across America, the charcoal kettle grill makes a great home smoker.
To use a charcoal kettle grill for smoking, all you need to do is change how you build and maintain your heat.
When grilling with a charcoal kettle grill, you usually want to build your fire to be nice and hot.
But when you’re smoking with it, you want to build a slow burning, low fire and use wood chips or chunks for smoke.
There are many ways to do this.
If you don’t want to buy anything fancy, use a disposable pan for water in your kettle to help keep the heat low, and then lay wood chips on top of your coals.
Watch the video below:
But if you want to try some fancy smoking equipment, you can do that, too!
This video from White Thunder BBQ shows seven different methods to help you cook super low and slow on your kettle grill.
For would-be backyard cooks that do not want to (or cannot) use charcoal, gas grills are a popular alternative.
When it comes to smoking on a gas grill, it can be a little bit trickier than on a charcoal grill, but it is possible.
You can smoke meats on a gas grill without special equipment.
As Alaskagranny on YouTube points out, it’s all a matter of temperature control and knowing your grill.
If you love smoking meats, you can also invest in gas grills that have dedicated burners and equipment specifically for smoking.
If you love smoking meats at home, you may want to invest in an electric smoker!
Unlike charcoal and gas grills, which are more versatile, an electric smoker is purpose-built to be a great smoker.
Most electric smokers include lots of surface area for your meat to cook and sturdy construction to keep the smoke close to your meat.
But wait, that’s not all!
Temperature control is also a lot easier with electric smokers as most have a thermostat built right in.
Overall, electric smokers take less work to set up and monitor than charcoal or gas grills.
If you love your smoked meats, an electric smoker is a worthwhile investment.
If you want to smoke meat but don’t want to invest in huge smoking equipment, you still have options!
Just DIY your smokers with these simple hacks.
Let’s get to it!
You know that wok you have laying around in the cupboard?
Put it to use by turning it into a DIY indoor smoker!
Check out the following video:
Be advised: you won’t be smoking large pieces of meat.
However, fish fillets, smaller poultry, and smaller racks of ribs will do great smoking on a wok!
(Just be sure to turn on your indoor vents!)
How’s that saying go?
“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
When you want to smoke meat, and all you have is a cardboard box, you can believe you can find a way!
Yes, you can make a meat smoker out of a simple cardboard box!
This is the ultimate, low-cost way to try out smoking without a substantial financial commitment.
Now that you’re armed and ready to get smoking, here are some recipes that are sure to whet your appetite!
Source: Barbecue Bible
Source: Leite’s Culinaria
Once smoked, you can cook the bacon as desired. Wrapped tightly, this bacon will last up to one week in the refrigerator or two months in the freezer.
But let’s be honest: you’ll probably eat it WAY before then. (I know I would!)
Curing salt, also known as pink salt, is an essential ingredient for this dish. Be sure to use curing salt #1 as this is meant for cured meats that will be cooked.
Do not substitute another type of curing salt or other salts like Himalayan pink salt, as these are not the same.
We couldn’t say good-bye without sharing the recipe for the mind-bending smoked watermelon ham!
If you don’t have the time to fly over to New York City to try it, don’t worry!
Intrepid Internet chefs have broken down the intricacies of this vegan “meat” for all to try.
This recipe is adapted from YouTube food channel 2 Guys & A Cooler who painstakingly recreated Ducks Eatery’s smoked watermelon ham.
Like the bacon, this recipe takes some time. Allow at least four days for bringing and drying time before smoking.
1 large watermelon
Source: Leite’s Culinaria
Like humanity, smoked meat has transcended its primal origins to become something far more than cave dwellers could have ever imagined.
Smoked meat can be as simple as salted meat, cooked low and slow over a dying fire. The result is a delicious, tasty piece of meat that becomes so much more than the tough muscle it once was.
But it can also be as innovative as a watermelon “ham”, brined and smoked. It becomes something completely unrecognizable and yet somehow familiar.
What are your favorite types of smoked meat?
What kind of meat do you think you want to try smoking at home?
Are you brave enough to try the smoked watermelon ham?
Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image CC0 Marcus Hendrich via Pixabay
We are going to be going into all of the nitty gritty details on Green Mountain Grills. Let’s answer all the questions and reservations you have about purchasing a grill from the company. We will be taking a look at whether these are worth your money for how quality of a product they are, as well as the specifics of having a pellet grill as well.
In addition to those qualities, we will also be reviewing their price range and how it compares to other grills similar in quality, the aesthetics of the products, and their customer service. To assist in this, we will also be researching a lot of customer reviews to see what the general thoughts on these grills are.
Green Mountain Grills is a company that began about ten years ago. The founder of the business had a competitor’s grill at his house and decided that he could make some improvements for an even better product. Thus, Green Mountain Grills was born.
They, of course, specialize in pellet grills. This simply means that instead of using charcoal or gas, they use pellets to fuel the grill and cook your meat.
This company offers high quality grills, pellets, dry rubs, and sauces both online and at thousands of brick-and-mortar stores across the United States. Their website also offers a plethora of delicious recipes, and a very helpful blog with information and tips for barbecuing.
If you have never used a pellet grill before, here is some insight into how the ones from Green Mountain Grills actually work.
There is a motor that turns the auger, which is feeding pellets directly into the grill’s firebox. In that firebox, there is a hot rod that is igniting the pellets automatically, and right below it, there is a combustion fan to keep it burning. There are vertical vents lining the firebox to create a circular air flow. The fan inside the Pellet Hopper maintains positive pressure, preventing any burn-back in the auger. When these two air flows collide, it creates a fantastic wood burning fire, which allows for a pure hardwood smoke flavor.
There is a heat shield that covers up the firebox, which distributes all the heat to both sides of the grill as well as pushing it up into the grill chamber. The sensor that is mounted inside of the grill will then send data to the internal computer ten times a second, then allowing the controller to adjust the air and pellet flow for the perfect temperature.
The most unique aspect of these grills is obviously the fact that they use wood pellets instead of charcoal or gasoline. Their pellets are made up of 1005 kiln dried sawdust that they state “never touches the floor.” They are held together with the natural lignins in the wood, and they do have several different kinds of pellets for sale as well. The Premium Gold Blend ones are oak based and much larger than the standard sized pellets.
The benefits to using these instead of charcoal or gas include very little ash after you’re done grilling, high BTU content for long burns, and a nice, natural hardwood smoky taste in your food.
Another aspect that is pretty special (although not completely unique to this company) is their Smart Control. Now that technology is a huge part of everything we do, having a grill connected to your phone is now a possibility. Green Mountain Grills has a mobile app, allowing you to adjust the temperature and stay connected to your cooking food even if you walk away for a few minutes. With the app you are able to set timers, control both the grill and food temperatures, create different cooking profiles, and even receive alerts about your grill. You are also given the option to connect to your wifi at home to do this or use server mode to access your grill while on the go.
The products have an excellent digital controller connected to them as well. These controls offer features like a low pellet alarm, which alerts you when you need to add additional fuel. It also has a hot start mode if the power fails, a food probe for safe temperatures, temperature control that ranges from 150 degrees up to 500, and an end-of-cook fan mode to cool your grill down and exhaust most of the ash from the firebox for cleaning purposes.
As far as pricing is concerned, this company’s different grill options are pretty comparable to other companies of similar quality. Let’s take a look at the prices for each individual grill that Green Mountain Grills offers.
This first model is said to be the company’s bestselling grill. The Whether your choice is a Davy Crockett for traveling, a Daniel Boone for everyday usage, a Jim Bowie for a bigger gathering or the Big Pig Trailer Rig, we are sure that you won’t be disappointed. After all, Green Mountain Grills was set up by someone whose passion in life was grilling. They won’t disappoint. grill comes with a meat probe, a peaked lid for stand-up chicken/rib racks/large birds, a digital control, a convenience tray, hard rubber tires, and a venturi-style firebox. It also offers Sense-Mate (their thermal sensor) and a positive pressure hopper fan. The standard option of the grill weighs 152 pounds.
You are able to buy 3 different versions of the Daniel Boone as well, depending on your preferences. The cheapest option is the standard, black version without WiFi capabilities – this one will cost you about $$ brand new. If you want one with WiFi, the cost goes up to $$$, and it’ll cost $$$ if you want WiFi and to have it in stainless steel.
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The Jim Bowie grill, which is considerably larger than the Daniel Boone, will cost you a little bit more.
This model includes everything that comes with the Daniel Boone design, with just a little more room. The grill has 640 square inches of cooking surface, and an inside clearance of 13.5 inches. It weighs 183 pounds.
The standard black version is the black version with WiFi and the stainless steel one with WiFi can be purchased on Amazon.
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This grill is much smaller than the other two we just talked about. The Davy Crockett model is perfect for camping, tailgating, and small families to cook on. You can cook two racks of ribs or between 4-6 steaks or burgers all at once.
The Davy Crockett grill only comes in stainless steel and with Wifi.
Last but certainly not least we have the Big Pig Trailer Rig. From the name you can probably guess that this is the largest grill offered by Green Mountain Grills.
This product is for those of you that need to feed a lot of people. The grill would be perfect for huge cookout parties, catering jobs, or competitions. It can cook an entire hog, 150 steaks, 25 briskets, 65 chickens, 25 pork butts, or 200 hamburgers.
Of course, being the largest product offered, it is also the most expensive. This grill will cost you $7,999.00 brand new.
Let’s take a look at what actual customers thought of Green Mountain Grills products. To make sure we have a good idea of all the good and bad aspects, we will separate the opinions into a positive and a negative section.
The first aspect that was mentioned positively in a large number of reviews was the customer service that people experienced when dealing with Green Mountain Grills. Reviews stated that if there was any sort of issue or misunderstanding, the company immediately reached out and handled whatever had happened in a quick, polite manner. Overall, those who had to talk directly to an employee of the company were very, very pleased with the outcome.
Another quality of the products that was mentioned frequently was the pricing – this refers both to the actual grills and the cost to actually use them. A lot of reviews online mentioned that it was infinitely cheaper to buy pellets for a grill than to use charcoal or gas every time they wanted to cook something. The price of the grills was also praised – a lot of customers mentioned that for the quality, the prices were much, much lower than expected.
Something else brought up quite a few times in reviews was the versatility of the grills the company offered. Customers raved about the ease of using this for a smoker, grill, oven, etc. Having the option to cook so many different kinds of meat with the space and design offered was also a huge upside as well.
Lastly, customers loved the options for using their phones to control the different features of the grill. Having the choice to set everything up and walk away, while still maintaining the perfect temperatures and features is a great quality to have in your grill.
Now let’s take a look at the critical thoughts that customers had about the company and their products.
One downside that customers mentioned was that if they bought the grill from the website or Amazon, they didn’t always show up in perfect condition. There were a few reviews complaining of dented hoods, augers not working, and other small mishaps that either had to be fixed by the customer or sent back to the company to repair.
The most common complaint found on the reviews was about connecting to the WiFi. A decent amount of customers struggled with it at first, but were able to connect after several tries. They mentioned the app simply not being able to find their grill at all. A few reviews reported that they weren’t ever able to connect the app to the grill, making that feature useless for them. Part of this could just be user error, but it is something to consider when purchasing one with WiFi capabilities.
The last negative aspect that was mentioned in several reviews was having inaccuracies with the temperature gauges. There were some reviews mentioning that there meat was extremely overdone or undercooked because the temperature they set the grill to wasn’t accurate. Now this could have just been a few faulty sensors, but it is important to keep in mind.
We took a look at Green Mountain Grills products against another very high quality, well-known company – Traeger.
Both companies are well respected in the world of pellet grills, and have been around for a long, long time. Looking at their products, a lot of the decision can be based on personal preference. Green Mountain Grills do offer a lot of different features, including WiFi, with most of their grills that makes them hard to pass up. If you want WiFi on a Traeger grill, you have to go with a more expensive model. The Traeger models do have more durability and mobility on their side however. Their legs provide a much better foundation for the grill than the ones that GMG has.
Overall, they both have great qualities and would both be a great choice for those that are wanting to try out pellet grills.
If you are interested in getting involved in the world of pellet grills, this is definitely a company to keep an eye on. Their high quality products and five star customer service looks like it is definitely worth a try.
For people that grill outside regularly, camp, or just love the smoky taste of grilled meat – these products are for you. With the enhanced technology and hardwood smoky flavor, you can’t go wrong.
If you have a grill from Green Mountain Grills, what are your thoughts on them? Would you recommend them to others?
If you are interested in, or are an avid enthusiast of pellet grills, you have definitely heard of the companies REC TEC and Traeger.
Both companies make high quality, well-known and loved products and pellet grills. So, which one should you buy from? If you have narrowed it down to the two of these companies, how on earth do you choose?
We will be taking a detailed look at both REC TEC and Traeger to see which one is truly the superior company with the best products. Between quality of products, customer service, pricing, customer reviews, and sizing, there is a lot to consider.
REC TEC and Traeger are both high quality, established companies that specialize in grills that use pellets to cook meat. Let’s look at both companies separately.
REC TEC is a much newer company – it was established in 2011 by two friends hoping to create a better product than what they had been using to grill over the years
They started out in their garages selling their products after making many prototypes to find the perfect combination. After that they opened up their first physical store in Augusta, Georgia. Now, 7 years later they sell their products all over the United States.
Their focus is having the highest quality, especially when it comes to temperature control. They use Smart Grill Technology to ensure that the flavors and temperatures are perfect every time you use their grills.
This company has been around longer than any other company selling pellet grills, so they have had more time to perfect their products and design. They offer over a dozen different designs with different features, colors, shapes, and sizes.
Now let’s compare the unique qualities and designs of the two companies and their grills.
Because this company is still fairly new, they came into the pellet grill world with smart technology already in place on the first grills they began selling. Their patented technology for temperature control allows you to maintain temperatures over much longer periods of time, and you are able to adjust the temperature in 5-degree increments, Their range also goes up to 500 degrees, which is 100 degrees higher than Traeger’s highest temperature.
REC TEC offers 4 different kinds of pellet grills, the first one being their REC TEC Grills Bull (RT-700) which offers 1054 square inches of cooking space. They also have the REC TEC Grills Stampede (RT-590), the Grills Trailblazer (RT-340), and the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill (RT-680). This is definitely an area where Traeger has the lead, considering that they have so many more options for grills than REC TEC does.
This company also offers so many customization options – which is definitely a win for them. With their grills you are able to add extra shelves, wood pellets, sauces, etc. This is one option that you don’t get when buying a Traeger grill.
As far as customer service, there have been overwhelming, multiple positive stories about REC TEC and their service. A lot of reviews have mentioned that managers in their customer service department will call them back even if it’s a weekend or holiday. The only downside we could really see when it comes to their customer service is that they do not have a dealer network yet, which could do a lot for customer convenience and satisfaction.
When it comes to Traeger, they have the many, many years of experience to explain the quality of their technology in grills. They were even one of the first companies to include a digital temperature control in their products. Over 30 years they have been able to perfect the smart grill to come up with a design that maintains temperature perfectly. Like we mentioned before however, the only downside would be that their grills only go up to 400 degrees, while REC TEC products go up to 500.
Traeger also has an absolutely incredible range in different choices for pellet grills. They offer over 20 different products of different shapes, sizes, and materials. One of their most popular grills is their Renegade Pro Grill, which has been advertised on TV and comes with two bags of pellets, chicken rub, a chicken throne, a pizza grilling kit, and a three-year warranty. That is pretty hard to beat.
Their customer service is also considered to be one of the highest rated when it comes to grill companies. No matter what the issue is, the company is willing to fix or replace whatever happened. Having that nice three-year warranty is definitely a big help too. On top of that, Traeger products are also sold by third party vendors like Amazon, so if you need replacement parts you can look other places too.
As far as pricing is concerned, it is really difficult to compare the two companies – since Traeger has such a large selection of products, the range will not mean as much in the comparison.
REC TEC’s products range from their cheapest pellet grill at $599.00 to $1199.00 as their most expensive option. As for Traeger, their products go from $499.00 to $1999.00, but it’s over a much wider range of different products.
Looking at the features that the two companies offer for grills around the same price, they look to be pretty comparable overall. Traeger’s Texas Elite Pellet Grill and the REC TEC Grill Stampede are both $899.00 apiece. When we compare the two, the Texas Elite does have a larger cooking space at 646 square inches (compared to the Grill Stampede’s 592), and most of the other features are pretty similar as well. However, Traeger is still the definite winner when it comes to product choices.
Now let’s take a look at what other customers thought of the companies.
The subject that comes up in most of the reviews online about REC TEC is how wonderful their customer service is. A lot of people who bought their products have mentioned having wonderful service whether they have to email, call or go see them in person. A few reviews even mentioned talking to the co-founders when big issues arose, and that they were able to fix everything without a problem. Overall this is the number one aspect that got people excited about REC TEC products.
Something else that came up frequently was the temperature control. A lot of reviewers mentioned that previous grills had inconvenient hot spots or just bad control all together. However, when they tried the REC TEC brand, they were pleasantly surprised by just how perfectly controlled it was. If they set it to a temperature it would stay there until they changed it. The only downside mentioned as far as the temperature was concerned was that the grill did, of course, heat up more if placed in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
Reviews also frequently mentioned the pricing when talking about the products. While searching for the perfect pellet grill, they found that the prices were extremely reasonable for the same features and high quality that other companies offered at a much higher price. The money and quality balance is definitely in the customer’s favor when it comes to REC TEC grills.
As far as downsides are concerned, the only big one that we saw in reviews online were the fact that the igniter is said to go bad occasionally. When customers discovered this and had to call customer service to fix it, their fantastic team was usually able to resolve the issue quickly. They also have a very helpful video online if it needs to be fixed as well – however it is an important aspect to keep in mind if it is something you would like to avoid altogether.
One of the most frequently mentioned features that reviewers really liked about this grill was that it would start up even in completely freezing weather. No matter what the temperature was, users were able to start up the grill, get it up to the perfect temperature, and then cook food on it without a problem.
Another quality that customers loved was how easy the grill was to assemble after having it delivered to their home. While other grills had given them issues in the past, their Traeger grills were said to be fairly simple and straightforward, making them a convenient choice for the future as well.
Reviewers also loved how it was perfect for grilling or smoking any type of meat or food that they wanted. No matter the temperature, type of food, or weather outside, they could make what they wanted to with ease.
For negatives, there were a few mentioned in the reviews as well.
The first one that came up a few times from customers was temperature irregularity. This wasn’t a widespread issue, but there were a few users that complained that the temperature could not be regulated easily and that it was frequently off by 20 degrees or so. Again, this wasn’t an issue for everyone, but it is a good thing to keep in mind,
One other negative that was mentioned in a few reviews that if the product was shipped to their homes, sometimes they would come with broken wheels, legs, or other vital part of the grill. Their customer service department was, of course, able to ship out new parts right away, but they still had the inconvenient experience of having to contact them for new parts for a brand-new grill.
After looking at all the information we could find on these two companies, there definitely is a clear winner.
Traeger, being around for 30 years, having all that to perfect their products and to expand their business much further than REC TEC, is definitely the winner. They have a far bigger selection of products for their customers, and their expertise level cannot be beat.
However, when it comes to customer service, after looking at the customer reviews, we definitely think that REC TEC has a lot going for it. There were virtually no negative reviews about any representatives from the company – every customer that had to talk to them was pleased afterwards. While Traeger is also said to have an excellent customer service department, REC TEC did win this round.
With time, we may see REC TEC rise to the same level as Traeger, once they have had years and years of experience. However, for a company that just started in 2011, they are doing a fantastic job for themselves.
Each company has a lot to offer, and you can’t go wrong choosing one or the other. If you have bought from one of the companies before, what was your experience like? Would you buy from them again?
Wood pellet grills have been around for more than 30 years and the manufacturers are still coming up with innovative ways to improve these products. 2018 was an impressive year for the pellet grill industry as customers were introduced to grills that could prepare food at more precise temperatures than ever before.
Whether you like to grill, smoke, braise, or barbecue, you are sure to find the perfect cooker in our list of the Best Pellet Grill Products for 2018.
|Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill with Sear Box - Smart Smoke Technology...||Check Price|
|Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy's Pellet Grill||Check Price|
|Traeger Grills TFB42LZBO Lil Tex Elite Smoker-Grill, Smok, Bronze||Check Price|
|PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill, 700 sq. in.||Check Price|
|Memphis Wood Fire Grills Pro Cart w/WiFi - 304 SS Alloy||Check Price|
|Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill Smoker with 2019 Newest Digital Controls...||Check Price|
|Traeger TEXAS ELITE 34, Black and Bronze||Check Price|
|Louisiana Grills Country Super Hog Smokers, Wood Pellet Grill||Check Price|
There are several factors that can turn a standard wood pellet grill into one of the best. Pellet grills use small pellets of wood to add a smoky flavor to the meat you are preparing. The larger the capacity for wood pellets, the less work you have to do refueling the hopper. Therefore, one great aspect of a good pellet grill is a large pellet capacity.
Traeger grills are known for holding large amounts of pellets so that you can cook an entire meal without ever having to refuel. Some of their latest grills like the Traeger XL Pellet Competition Grill are capable of holding as much as 40 lbs. of pellets at a time.
Other aspects that make a good pellet grill even better include temperature control, easy to use control panel, portability, and cooking space.
Most pellet grills on the market allow you to precisely control the internal heat so that you end up with amazing results every time you use it. There is no more guess work where you have to blindly set the grill at either Low, Medium, or High and hope for the best. The temperature controls work very similar to those on an indoor conventional oven.
When a grill is easy to use, yet it still provides you with competition-quality results, you know you have a great product. Many grillers are new to the technique of using wood pellets as a heat resource, so finding a good grill that is simple to use is a great option for backyard barbecue experts.
The portability of a grill may not be an important feature for everyone. But if you love to tailgate or take your grill along with you on fishing or camping trips, you will want a lightweight grill that is easy to haul and transport from one location to another.
And finally, a large cooking space allows you to prepare more food at once so that no one at your backyard barbecue or tailgate party has to wait around for their food.
Listed below are our top 10 best pellet grill choices for 2018 based on customer reviews, features, and the overall longevity of the product.
The Camp Chef WoodWind Pellet Grill take your barbecue game to a whole new level.
This pellet smoker features a large cooking area that is 560 cubic meters. It has a removable rack, so you can add on larger cuts of meat if needed. The temperature range for this grill is up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it the perfect choice for grilling, smoking, braising, or roasting.
The grill is reasonably priced at around $549. It is made of high-quality professional-grade materials and features advanced digital controls as well as an automatic pellet feeder. Cleanup is easy thanks to the convenient trapdoor that you can empty out after each use.
The Camp Chef WoodWind Pellet Grill will make a great addition to your backyard or patio, and it is a worthwhile investment that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
If you are looking for a high-quality pellet griller that is also a great smoker and grill, Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack is the best choice for you.
This high-end cooker is a combination grill with a very large space to prepare food. It also features a small yet efficient direct grilling area that allows you to sear steaks with ease. Although this grill is on the more expensive side, priced at around $1,899, many users consider it to be a great investment for the serious griller.
It features some of the highest quality construction in the industry and is definitely one to consider if you are on the fence on whether to buy a pellet grill, traditional grill, or a smoker.
The CoolShack PG500 Fast Eddy’s Pellet Grill features 784 square inches of cooking space on Nickel Plated grill grates.
The Traeger TFB42LZBC Grill Lil’ Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker offers plenty of premium features that you would expect from the industry-leading brand.
This grill has a digital LED temperature control system so that you can accurately control the internal heat. While it has a smaller grilling area than some of the other choices on the list, there is a much larger version that offers 700 square inches of space.
The Lil’ Tex Grill is a 6-in-1 unit that allows you to cook your food exactly how you want it. This grill allows you to experience professional level grilling all at an affordable price. It has a very impressive positive review rate and quality-wise it is difficult for any other grill in its class to come close to the design and excellent manufacturing.
The Traeger Lil Tex Elite Grill is just the right size for those who want a backyard grill that is not too big or too small.
Whether you want to prepare a dozen flame-broiled burgers for your friends or enjoy smoked brisket for dinner, the Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill is an excellent choice.
This pellet grill can serve up any type of meal you have in mind. It has a large 700-square inch primary grilling area which is large enough to cook food for a big family reunion. It also includes a flame broiler that uses side plates, allowing you to grill at a direct flame.
You can even use cast iron cookware with this option. There is also an additional upper cooking rack that will provide you with even more space if 700 square inches isn’t quite enough. The racks are made of quality porcelain coated cast iron material to provide you with the very best grilling experience.
The Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler offers hassle-free cleanup and is also low-maintenance.
The Memphis Pro Wood Fire Pellet Grill is one of the very best of its kind, and also one of the most expensive retailing at $3,899.
This grill features high-quality construction that is designed to last throughout many years of use. It is engineered with some of the most innovative cooking capabilities that allow you to grill practically anything. This cooker is capable of reaching temperatures as high as 650 degrees Fahrenheit.
It can sear a steak while also holding the internal temperature down at a slow cooker level of 180 degrees. This product can do it all, smoke, low and slow cooking, and any type of barbecuing you can think of. Additional features include convection fans and precise temperature control.
The Memphis Pro may be one of the more expensive grills on the list, but it can take on all types of intense grilling or smoking tasks.
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Traeger makes the list again for the best grill products of 2018 with their top-rated portable grill.
This tailgater grill is one of the smaller products that Traeger has available, but it can still prepare excellent burgers, steaks, and ribs with ease. While most portable grills often have fewer features than their larger counterparts, this wood pellet grill includes some features that you would only find on higher end pellet grills that are designed to stay in one place.
It features digital controls, versatile cooking features, and a large cooking area. This product is also very sturdy for its size.
The Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable is a great grill to take along on camping trips or to the big tailgate party.
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The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill is one of the most affordable grills on the list that is also highly functional.
This grill is available from most retailers at around $339. Yet it still provides you with everything you need to enjoy a great outdoor barbecue. This pellet grill has plenty of standard and modern features that make it a unique buy.
It features WIFI compatibility, so you can control the settings using your smartphone device. This portable, lightweight grill will take convenience to an entire new level as you control the heat for your round of burgers while using your phone. It is a great grill to take along on fishing trips, camping, or to family get-togethers. It is also an excellent choice for tailgating.
Make the most of your next backyard barbecue with the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill.
The Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker is a versatile and sophisticated grill that will look great on your deck or patio.
This grill may have amazing aesthetics, but it provides you with much more than a good -ooking exterior. The Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker features Smart Smoke Technology that adds more convenience to your smoked barbecue.
With just a press of a button, you are on your way to a delicious mouthwatering meal with very little effort. This digitally controlled smoker will ignite the unit and use the technology to heat the internal temperature from 160 up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This smoker has 513 square inches of cooking space and a second cooking rack if more space is needed.
The Z GRILLS pellet grill also has an automatic shut off feature that isn’t found on many other high-end grill models.
The Traeger TEXAS ELITE 34 Grill is one of the best out there for preparing enough to feed an army all at once.
This impressive grill features 836-square feet of grilling space so that you can grill up 10 whole chickens, 8 rib racks, and 8 pork butts, all at the same time. Along with a large food capacity, this Traeger TEXAS ELITE 34 can provide you with hours of consistent wood-fired cooking with the 42.5 lb. hopper.
It also features Dual Meat Probes for easy monitoring without ever needing to open the lid. There is also a Digital Pro Controller to assist with getting the temperature precise. This pellet grill has a wood pellet hopper capacity of 40 lbs. to ensure continuous smoking without refueling.
The Traeger TEXAS ELITE 34 is another high-quality Traeger grill that you can depend on for its reliability for many years to come.
The Louisiana Grills Country Smokers Whole Hog grill is a large cooker that can be divided into two separate grills for your convenience.
If you need an extra-large grill, his Whole Hog cooker from Louisiana Grills Country Smokers is an excellent choice. You can use one of the two independent grills to slow cook an entire hog or use the 1,200-square inch grilling space to grill up enough burgers and hot dogs for the entire neighborhood.
This grill is designed for the serious grill master who needs provide food for all types of events such as little league games or county fairs.
This grill features two pellet controllers that are mounted on opposing ends for easy access.
We have discussed the benefits of several different types of quality grills for you to choose from. Now it is your turn to decide which is the best pellet grill for you.
Do you need a lightweight and portable grill for tailgating? Or are you looking for a large stationary grill to add to your sophisticated backyard patio? Are you grilling out for your immediate family or the entire community?
Whatever your grilling needs may be, you are sure to find the right cooker in this group of the best pellet grills.
You have decided to invest in a high-quality, professional-grade grill before the summer barbecue season gets underway. A top-rated grill is a great investment for any size family because it allows you to cook food in a more energy efficient way while you get to spend more time with each other outdoors.
Now that you have decided to buy a grill, it is time to look at the different types and figure out which is best for you.
Barbecue grills are available in many different sizes and can include a host of features that make the buying process very overwhelming. There are gas, charcoal, electric, and wood-fired grills which all have their advantages and disadvantages to consider.
One of the most versatile types of grills would have to be the wood pellet grill. These professional-grade cookers are capable of slow-cooking your favorite poultry, fish, steaks, burgers and more at a consistent temperature. Most pellet grills are not capable of going above 500 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore you can be assured that your meat will not overcook or be dried out.
The wood pellets that are used to fuel the grill and give the food its smoky flavor are made from various hardwood species. These small capsule-shaped pellets may be derived from Mesquite, Hickory, or Cherry wood varieties and will give any meat you prepare an intense flavor.
Traeger is a popular grill manufacturing company headquartered in Oregon that specializes in creating wood pellet grills. The owner of the company invented the first pellet grill in the early 1980s and began selling them to the public by 1988. Traeger has set the bar for making high-quality professional-grade grills at a price that anyone can afford.
The Traeger Century 22 Wood Pellet Grill is a 6-in-1 cooker that can grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, or barbecue all types of meat. It features a large cooking space that allows you to prepare plenty of food for a family get-together. It includes many modernized features like the Digital Elite Controller LED Display for accurately setting the internal temperature.
The Century 22 Wood Pellet Grill is capable of cooking meat either low and slow or hot and fast. And you get to enjoy delicious, consistent results every time you use it.
The Century 22 Grill is made by the original wood pellet grill company. You get a great value for the price and only need one unit to grill, smoke, braise, bake, or roast your favorite meats. This spacious backyard grill provides you with plenty of cooking space so that you can entertain as many guests as you please.
Top features for this grill include the dual meat thermometers that let you check the internal temperature without even lifting the lid, and the convenient grease management system that helps you keep the unit clean and prolong its use.
There are many things to love about this convenient and versatile grill. It features a traditional design that is reminiscent of old wood smokers, and it will make a great addition to your patio or deck regardless of your current décor. Everything from the smoke stack to the classic barrel design gives this grill an old-fashioned, antique look that grilling experts are sure to appreciate.
The barrel on this 22-inch grill does more than add aesthetic value to the product. The design which has been used for many years helps to maximize the cooking space inside giving you the option to prepare large amounts of food at once.
There are several features that are universal all throughout the Traeger brand, while others are only offered through a specific line. The Century 22 Wood Pellet Grill includes a brand-new feature which is the removable warming rack. This rack will help keep hamburger and hot dog buns, fresh rolls, and side dishes warm while you wait for the main course to finish cooking. Now you can serve the entire meal at once without worrying about some dishes being too cold.
The best feature that is available on most of Traeger’s higher-end grill is the dual probe meat thermometers. These built-in thermometers allow you to check the internal temperature of the grill at any time, all without lifting the lid of the grill. This helps you keep track of the heat and monitor it closely without letting any of it escape. And since there are two meat thermometers, you can check the temperature of two types of meat at once.
Inside the grill, the heat temperature is constantly controlled using Traeger’s most advanced controller to date. It keeps the cooking temperature at the desired level and it remains within +/- 15 degrees of the set temperature at all times.
While it may not be a deciding factor for some customers, it’s nice to have a grill that actually looks good on your patio, deck, or in your backyard. The Century 22 Wood Pellet Grill is available in either Blue or Bronze colors, and they both feature the company’s logo stamped on the lid.
There are several great accessories offered by Traeger that will work well with this and other grills from the brand. These accessories help you customize your grill and make it even more versatile than before. Some of the most popular include folding front shelves and bottom cart shelves to store your frequently used necessities.
Other favorites include a cold smoker, digital thermometers, chicken thrones, pizza kits, and extra grill racks. The brand also sells their own line of wooden pellets, rubs and other types of seasoning that you can use with your favorite recipes. Each of these accessories mentioned is all sold separately unless they are a part of Traeger’s official grill package deals.
The Traeger Century 22 Grill features an easy-to-use thermostat that is similar to your conventional oven. It has an auto start switch to ensure that your grill heats up every time you want to use it. There is also a bold LED display that is easy to read and allows you to monitor the cooking process.
The grill sits firmly on a sawhorse style frame that is strong and durable enough to hold it up. There is also a set of all-terrain wheels on the frame that allows you to transport the grill to tailgate parties, campsites, lakeside fishing holes, and more.
There are many exceptional features available on the Century 22 Grill by Traeger, including:
Traeger is an industry-leading brand for a reason. Their products receive countless 5-star reviews from satisfied customers. There are plenty of things that people love about the Century 22 grill. Here are a few excerpts from positive reviews.
Owners love that they can use the smoker all year round thanks to how well it is insulated. Even colder temperatures outdoors don’t seem to have a bad effect on the internal temperature of the grill. The pellet grill is very easy to use, even for a beginner. And it provides you with a nice, slow cook when needed, or a faster cook for those times when you’re in a hurry.
There are some who compare the Century 22 to an outdoor oven because of how precise the internal temperature can be. One reviewer mentioned that they even used the grill to prepare their turkey for Christmas dinner.
Another reviewer gave the Century 22 grill excellent reviews because you don’t have to babysit the smoker to enjoy amazing, tender and juicy meat afterward. You can set it and forget it like many of today’s modern kitchen appliances.
And if you must check the temperature just to see if it's working correctly, you can do so without disturbing the internal temperature thanks to the dual meat thermometer probes that are built in.
One review stated that the Century 22 wood pellet grill is the best Traeger product yet. They said that this product was the top of the line because it was built in a traditional manner yet is still meets today’s standards for quality and performance.
They liked that it was the only unit to come with a warmer rack and appreciated that there was a storage area at the bottom perfect for spices and tools.
Overall, there are very few complaints about this versatile wood pellet grill. Owners seem to be very pleased with the results of grilling, smoking, and roasting their favorite meats and side dishes.
Some have even mentioned that they stopped using their indoor oven for several months after they purchased their Traeger grill. Owners also appreciate the modernized extras that are included and like the old-fashioned design as well
There are very few things that consumers dislike about the Traeger Century 22 Grill. Aside from being one of the more expensive backyard grills on the market, most feel that it is a great investment.
The Century 22 grill is capable of taking on practically any grilling job that you have in mind. However, the grill’s maximum temperature is 450 degrees. While that heat level is sufficient for most grillers, some experts may prefer a grill that can provide them with more heat if needed.
There are several other Traeger pellet grills that are capable of reaching temperatures as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the grill is portable thanks to the all-terrain wheels, it is not lightweight. It weighs 103 lbs. and measures 49” x 41” x 27”. Some users may need assistance moving the grill around or transporting to another location.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage if you are hoping to buy a new Century 22 grill is that they are no longer available on the official website and can also be difficult to find from major online or offline retailers like Amazon, Target or Walmart.
While you can still find plenty of other Traeger wood pellet grills on the market, this particular model appears to have either been a limited edition or has been discontinued. Therefore, your best option for buying a Century 22 Grill is to check out local listings or auction sites such as eBay for a used grill.
Since they are a Traeger product, you can be assured that a used grill will work as expected as long as it has been cleaned and maintained well over the years.
There are many reasons why you should consider buying the Traeger Century 22 Wood Pellet Grill. It is designed and manufactured by the same company that invented pellet grills more than 30 years ago. It is strong, durable, built to last, and provides you with enough space to grill up a multitude of burgers or steaks for your family and friends.
If you are looking for a dependable grill to invest in that is versatile enough to handle a variety of cooking styles, the Traeger Century 22 Wood Pellet Grill is the perfect choice for you.
It’s grilling season. And you’re tired of making the same old thing every time you crank up the flames. Something new is needed. Something delicious is demanded. And trying duck is definitely an option. With this how-to, you’ll find that smoking a duck is easy, fast, and results in one of the most delicious meals you’ve had in a while.
Before you get started with smoking that delicious fowl, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.
To best prepare your duck for smoking, you’ll want to get the duck into the refrigerator about 24 hours before you start the smoking process. Leave the duck uncovered, though, as this will help to dry the skin properly, while not allowing the meat to spoil.
If you don’t have an extra 24 hours, you can use a blow dryer on the duck to completely dry it before getting started.
You’ll need to get together the following items before you get started.
Once you’ve gathered and prepared the fresh ingredients, you’ll roll the lime around on the cutting board to help release the juices. You’ll also cut a couple of holes into the sides of the lime.
Now, you’ll need to prepare the duck by removing it from the fridge. If the skin isn’t totally dry, engage a blow dryer and get the skin dry.
To help release the fat in the duck, you’re going to poke some holes into the skin.
Put half of the shallots, garlic, and lemongrass into the cavity of the duck.
Next, put the lime in as a mid-point within the duck.
Now, put the rest of the fresh ingredients into the duck cavity.
Now that the duck is stuffed, you’re ready to get the pan and grill or smoker set.
Fill the bottom of the pan with water, close to, but not over the wire rack. This water will help to keep the duck from drying out while you smoke the meat. It will also prevent the duck fat from burning.
Once the pan is full of water, you’ll place the duck on the wire rack.
Once the duck is placed into the pan, you can add salt and pepper to lightly flavor the skin.
Light your chimney of charcoal or other fuel source. Prepare the grill or smoker for indirect cooking.
Add in your cherry wood for that delicious sweet smoke.
Get the temperature up to about 325 degree Fahrenheit. This is higher than usual smoking temperatures. Duck needs this higher temperature to render the fat properly.
Then, you’ll put the duck opposite the charcoal. Position the duck in the pan as far away from the direct heat as possible. You may need to rearrange the pan altogether.
Leave the duck on the smoker or grill for about one hour and 20 minutes. This will enable the duck to cook thoroughly.
Once the internal temperature of the duck hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the duck is done and ready to eat.
As your duck smokes on the grill, we’d highly recommend making one of these amazing barbecue sauce recipes to try out. They’re delicious, fairly simple, and perfect for your new favorite dinner fowl.
Let the duck sit for about 20 minutes before you carve and serve.
For the best smoked fowl this summer, try making duck, then slathering it with one of these amazing barbecue sauces. You won’t regret trying something new, and neither will your family.
As grilling season gears into full swing, you might be wondering what kind of grill you’ll need for your cooking endeavors this year. If so, don't worry. These Pit Boss 820 reviews will help you out.
We’ve collected together information to help you understand which kind of grill or smoker you might need, and the types of wood to use for the food you’re cooking. We’ve also pulled together a review based on real-life users of the Pit Boss 820.
Knowing the types of grills available can help you determine the type of grill that will most effectively meet your needs.
One of the easiest types of grills to use and clean is a propane or natural gas grill—which is great for when you're in a hurry.
Gas grills often have smoker boxes, but smoky flavor isn’t a strong feature.
The classic grilled flavor that most of us grew up with comes from a charcoal grill and its flame broiler. Many hard-core cooks and meat smokers won’t use anything but a charcoal unit. They love the smoky flavors and deep sear marks given from it versus any other grill.
Smaller, portable charcoal models usually don’t cost as much; however, they are perfect for camping, picnics, and other outings.
On the other hand, electric grills are one of the easiest to use because they don’t involve flames and has a digital control. They’re great for people who have strict housing rules. Patios or porches and decks attached to buildings often do not permit charcoal, gas, or pellet grills, but electric grills are acceptable.
Electric grills may also come in both indoor and outdoor options. Plus, they are usually stainless steel or porcelain coated, which gives them a pristine look.
The main disadvantage of an electric grill is that they really don’t offer a smoky flavor— unless you purchase one that’s specifically uses wood chunks.
Pellet grills or pellet smokers are great and offer lots of versatility. They combine the elements of a charcoal smoker, kitchen oven, and gas grill.
Pellet smokers or grills are only appropriate for open air, outdoor spaces. However, each brand will vary, but pellet grills function in a variety of ways:
Like charcoal grills, pellet units offer some of the best flavors to your food. But, you’ll have to choose the right wood chips for the right taste, though.
Pellet grills quickly smoke food and automatically feed the pellets for you. Therefore, meaning you don’t have to pay as close attention while grilling.
Also, pellet models feature electronic controls which help you regulate the unit’s airflow, and maintain and regulate cooking temperatures.
The fuel for pellet grills comes from a variety of wood sources, all of which give distinctive flavors to your meat and veggies. For specific suggestions on what kind of to use, see the list below.
Pellets give a cleaner burn than charcoal, which makes some people feel safer using them for cooking. On the other hand, you must use food-grade pellets, or you could risk health problems from ingesting toxic smoke.
Smoking meat is a process of flavoring and preserving meat by allowing it to be exposed to smoke. This technique dates back to prehistoric times and has been used throughout history for preserving food.
There are four basic meat smoking methods used.
Hot smoking is the most common process. When most people think of smoking meat, this is the process that comes to mind.
The hot smoking procedure includes an enclosed environment, such as a smokehouse or oven. When the food is placed in the smokers, the temperatures range from 126 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
Warm smoking is a process similar to that of hot smoking, except it takes place at a lower temperature. The temperatures are set between 77 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and it takes longer than hot smoking.
Cold smoking is the technique of preserving meat in which the meat remains raw throughout the process. Because the process does not cook the meat, it is cured beforehand.
By utilizing temperatures between 68 degrees to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the food is smoked to help give it a rich taste. Some of the different types of meat that are used in this process include salmon, scallops, steak, and beef.
After the cold smoking process, you can grill, steam, bake, or roast your food before consumption.
Liquid smoking is dipping or spraying liquid to meat to replicate the taste of smoked meat flavor.
The liquid smoke product is often added to things like barbecue sauce to add that rich, smoky taste.
Pellet grills were created a few decades after the advent of pellet heaters in the early 1930s. Pellet heaters became useful in the 1970s, during the shortage of oil during the crisis.
A decade after the crisis, Joe Traeger—the owner of a family-based heating business— started exploring the possibilities of using pellets for grills. In 1985, he produced his first unit and received his patent for the grill one year later.
One of the most important aspects of successfully cooking and smoking delicious food is selecting the right wood pellets.
It can get confusing, so we’ve pulled together the best types of wood to choose.
After you’ve gotten your pellet grill set up and seasoned, you’re ready to go.
You’ll need to open the pellet hopper, which are on the back or the side of the grill.
Don’t forget to close the hopper lid.
Just like with other types of grills, you have a little bit of preparation work. Thankfully, pellet grills are easy to understand because they have electronic control panels.
Find the cooking mode and turn it to “Cook.”
Next, you’ll need to set the control to “Ignite,” and the press the “Start” button.
Once you see smoke coming out, close the lid.
Wait for the smoke to clear and look for the flame in the burn pot. Once you see that, your grill is ready for use.
Now that your grill is ready, you’ll need to pre-heat it according to the food you’re planning to cook. Turn the control to the “Pre-heat” mode, and let it run for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Your recipes or plans will give specific instructions for the temperatures you’re going to need to set your unit for preparing your food. A basic guideline is:
You’ll need to flip veggies and meats throughout the process of cooking, so make you sure you keep an eye on the clock to help avoid burning one side or the other.
After you’ve removed all of your food, it’s important to clean the grill to both maintain its quality, prolong its life, and make your unit easier to use in future.
Turn the heat to high to burn off the food residue. If you were smoking with the grill, remember to re-set the control back to “Cook.” This should take about ten minutes.
After the grill is clean, turn off the heat and let the grill cool before using brushes or cleansers to clean up the fallen residue or ash.
The Pit Boss 820 is a pellet smoker marketed by Dansons. The Pit Boss line offers different models which include the Small 340, Medium 440 Deluxe, Large 820, and 820 Deluxe. The number in the name indicates the number of square inches of space used for cooking/smoking surface. So, the Pit Boss 820 has 820 square inches of cooking and warming space.
The Pit Boss has a 16-gauge black coated steel cast iron grate and has a secondary removable cooking rack and wire lower shelf. It also includes a handle on the left side of the grill to aid in moving the smoker across cement aprons, grassy yards, or even gravel.
While the Pit Boss 820 is similar to a variety of models from Traeger, the Pit Boss models are significantly less expensive than Traegers. If you’re on a tighter budget, that’s definitely a positive worth noting. Professional reviewers have stated that it is similar to the more expensive models—so it's worth purchasing.
Some positive reviews advised that the grill is easy to use. They’re simple that rookie grill masters feel great about their new found interest, and the Pit Boss helps to perpetuate their hobby.
It also has a built-in safety feature that’s handy for newbies. The screen cover on the hopper helps to prevent you from burning your fingers. If you’re clumsy, that’s definitely a feature you’ll want to keep in mind as you look at pellet grills.
One thing that reviewers noted is that the warranties for the Pit Boss are for one year, while other brands, like Traeger, are three years.
Another downside is the electronics in the control panel make the Pit Boss require a steady electrical connection, unlike non-electric models.
One of the specific negatives about the unit is that it apparently requires a lot of pellets to keep the temperatures high enough.
Overall, the Pit Boss 820 is a great model that compares with higher end models for less money. You won’t get the top of the line, but the machine is sturdy.
This model offers a one-year warranty, safety features, and other positives that earn it our recommendation for one of the best lower-budget pellet grills.