If you’re a smoker, I hope by now you have found out how to smoke meat on a pellet grill. If not, then let me introduce you to the wonders of smoking meat with pellets.
Pellets are made from hardwood that has been dried and ground into little pieces. They burn cleanly without any ash or soot. Once they are burning, the smoke is very aromatic, and it adds flavor to your food.
Here are five tips to get more smoke out of your pellet grill and pellet smokers with great reviews.
1. Use a pellet cooker that can hold up to 20 pounds
The size of your cooker will determine how much smoke you want. The average pellet cooker holds about 14 pounds of meat, but some models that are built for commercial use may hold as much as 30 pounds.
So if you are using two large racks on your smoker, you’ll need to use a larger cooker. If you are only smoking one rack of chicken wings, you should be fine with a smaller cooker.
Make sure that you don’t exceed that capacity when smoking. If you do, you won’t be able to add smoke when cooking, which could result in undercooked foods.
You also need to make sure that your cooker is airtight when smoking. Make sure there is no gap around the lid, otherwise you will have a vent where oxygen and heat are exchanged. This exchange reduces the amount of smoke that comes off the meat.
2. Add wood chips or sawdust
Wood chips and sawdust both add extra smoke while cooking. You can either buy them at your local hardware store or you can make your own using an old paint scraper.
Just put the wood in a bowl, cover it with water, and let it soak overnight. Drain the water and dry the wood chips before adding them to the cooker. You can even use a mixture of different woods to give it more complexity.
3. Let the pellets burn down
When you first start cooking, you usually want to cook your food right after lighting the fire. However, once your food is done, you don’t want to light the fire again because this will reduce the amount of smoke you get. So the best thing to do is leave the fire alone until the pellets burn down to about 10 percent.
This means that about 90 percent of the pellets have burned. At this point, you can light the fire again and continue cooking. Remember to keep the temperature low to avoid over-burning the pellets.
4. Clean the grates
Now that the pellets are all burnt down, you can safely remove the grate from the cooker. When you first set up the cooker, make sure the grate is placed properly on the burner and the air vents are open. Now that you know what the correct placement is, you don’t have to worry about it during subsequent uses.
It’s also important to clean the grates periodically. It doesn’t matter whether you use charcoal briquettes or pellets. Cleaning the grates removes leftover ashes, soot, and grease. Also, removing the grates makes it easier to check the progress of your cooking. You can see the color of the meat through the grate, and you won’t have any trouble determining if it needs to stay longer or needs to come off the heat.
5. Adjust the temp
One important factor in getting good smoke is the temperature of the cooker. If you want to get maximum smoke, then you should cook at 220 degrees F. If you want to get more smoke, you can adjust that temp to 240 degrees F.
Of course, you can always lower the temp and increase the time. But remember that the higher the temp, the slower the smoke gets. So it is better to have it at a high temperature and finish quickly than to have it at a low temperature and take twice as long.
Another important factor in getting smoke is the type of wood you are using. Some woods produce a lot more smoke than others. For example, hickory produces lots of smoke, while oak doesn’t. That is why it is important to learn how to choose the right type of wood for your pellet grill.
To find out more about pellet smokers and pellet grills, just click here.
And if you want to learn more about smoking meats, read our article about how to smoke meats like this guide.