We’ve created a easy to use wood pellet guide to assist you in selecting specific pellets for whatever you’re training. Welcome to the era of modern cooking. Grilling to perfection while infusing distinct flavor is easier and more effective than ever before thanks to wood pellets.
The art of smoking foods is all about maintaining consistent and even temperatures, which begins with the fire’s fuel. It’s best to use some type of hardwood for smoking, whether it’s chunks, chips, or pellets.
Wood chips or chunks have traditionally been used in grills and outdoor ovens large enough to accommodate them. Wood chips or wood pellets can be used in gas or charcoal grills with a smokebox for grillers with smaller setups, and wood pellet grills have recently been making BBQ magic at homes as well as restaurants. Hardwood pellets are popular among grillers because of their ease of use and effectiveness when compared to other fuels.
How Are Wood Pellets Made?
Wood pellets, like wood chips, are made from sawmill byproducts that would otherwise be discarded. The waste is ground, dried, and then fed through a forming die. A knife inside the machine cuts the wood into uniform-sized pellets as the forming die rotates while pressurizing it. The pellets must then cool so that they do not stick to one another.
Industrial wood pellets and flavored wood pellets for smoking food are made in the same way. The best pellet makers, on the other hand, are more picky about the wood they use. Flavored wood pellets, for example, will frequently use trees from local apple orchards and blend them with oak or hickory.
Many people admire to have the best wood for smoking brisket because they are all-natural. There’s no need for chemicals or glues because the lignin (an organic polymer found in wood) helps the pellets bind together naturally once they’ve been compressed. The only additional ingredient in wood pellets may be a smidgeon of food-grade soybean oil sprayed on the dry wood fibers before they are fed into the forming die.
Wood pellets are usually sold in 20-pound bags, but the pellets themselves aren’t particularly large or heavy. Scoop your wood pellets into the hopper of your pellet grill, close the lid, and turn the switch on. You may need to add more pellets to the hopper depending on the cooking time, but you’ll never have to worry about soaking, stirring, poking, or prodding.
Working with wood chips is difficult because you must soak them in order for them to burn slowly and evenly. Wood pellets, on the other hand, are designed to burn hot and long. You don’t want to get them wet because they’ll rot quickly.
Experimenting with flavors is as easy as mixing and matching the flavors of wood pellets. You can buy popular blends, or invent your own!
How To Use Wood Pellets on a Gas Grill
Clean the grill thoroughly before using pellets on a gas grill. Place the pellets in a high-heat-resistant smoke box or pan. Before putting the smokebox inside, turn down the central burners and turn up the outer burners.
Keep the lid closed and adjust the knobs that correspond to the burner under your smoke box to control the temperature on a gas grill. The disadvantage is that unless you use two smoke boxes of equal size, evenly circulating the smoke will be difficult. Because most wood pellets only smoke for about 30 minutes, you’ll need to open the grill to add more pellets if you’re grilling for several hours (this lets heat escape).
How To Use Wood Pellets on Charcoal Grill
Divide the grill in half: one half will be the “hot zone,” with the coals and smokebox, and the other will be the “cool zone,” with a foil dish full of water. Place the smoke box and wood pellets on top of the heated coals on their designated side. Then pour water into the tray and place your meat on top.
The difficulty with this method is keeping the coals at a low temperature. Most smoking recipes call for temperatures below 250 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas coals burn much hotter.