How to Choose Pellet Grills

Cooking with a pellet grill or smoker elevates the flavour of your meat by infusing it with the smoke from wood imbued with mesquite, apple, hickory and other essences. We’ll help you select the type of grill or smoker that’s right for you, give you tips and tricks on which pellets to use for which meats and debate the differences between traditional grilling and pellet grilling in this handy guide.

How Wood Pellet Grills Work

Wood pellet grills use a conveyor system that automatically feeds wood pellets into the firepot to provide you with that great, smoky flavour you love. Wood pellets are loaded into the hopper and then fed by an auger into the firepot where they’re ignited to provide continuous heat and smoke. The system also has safeguards in place to keep the grease from the grill away from the fire. For more information, refer to the following infographic:

How Wood Pellet Grills Work inforgraphic

1. 100% Hardwood Pellets
Loaded into Tray

2. Controller
Regulates Temperature

3. Induction Fan
Stokes Fire

4. Auger
Carries Pellets to Firepot

5. Hot Rod
Ignites Pellets

6. Heat & Smoke
Circulate through Barrel

7. Drip Tray
Keeps Grease Away from Fire    

Features to Look for in a Wood Pellet Grill

Pellet Smoker

How hot does my wood pellet grill get?

A wood pellet grill can usually grill at temperatures between 180°F and 500°F. This allows you to either cook low and slow to get juicy, fall-off-the-bone results, or at a high, searing temperature to help seal in the moisture.

How long does a bag of wood pellets last?

A 20-pound bag of wood pellets will typically last for about 20-hours of cooking time. The cost of the pellets ranges depending on the type of wood used.

What are the advantages of a pellet grill?

Pellet grills allow you to infuse your food with smoky flavour and can maintain their temperature more easily and consistently than a standard gas grill. They’re also insulated very well, which is better for longer cooking sessions.

Can I get Wifi on my grill?

Certain models come equipped with WiFi and/or Bluetooth. It allows you to remotely control and monitor your grill temperature while you’re away from it. The ultimate in convenience for any griller.    

Types of Wood Pellet Grills

While all pellet grills are essentially smokers, vertical smokers and horizontal pellet grills offer different cooking options.

Horizontal Pellet Grills

Horizontal Pellet Grills can function in many of the same ways that a traditional gas grill does. If you’re looking to grill and smoke your meat, this is the best choice for you. It’s the best of both worlds. You can even bake, roast and braise your food using a pellet grill.

Vertical Pellet Smokers

Vertical Pellet Smokers won’t allow you to grill your meat, only smoke it. If you’re looking to smoke meat exclusively this is the one to go with.

How to Choose the Best Wood Pellets for Grilling

To help you choose the best pellets for your next barbeque, we’ve got a handy chart to show you the best types of wood flavour for the cut of meat you’d like to cook.

 

Good with anything. Great with:

Traeger Hardwood Beef Poultry Pork Lamb Seafood Baked Vegetable Wild Game
Alder

 


 
Apple  

   

 
Cherry



 
   
Hickory


     
 
Maple
 

 


Mesquite

   
   
Oak
     

   
Pecan



 

 
Big Game Blend


 
   
Turkey Blend  
           
Texas Beef Blend
             

Wood Pellet Grills vs. Gas Grills

Horizontal Pellet Grills

Gas Grills allow for faster cooking as the heat is applied directly to the surface of the meat. They cook food quickly, are easy to use and allow the fat to drip off and vapourize, which will add additional flavour to your meat. Gas grilling is great for quick weeknight barbecuing since it requires little maintenance.

Horizontal Pellet Grills

Pellet Grills are great for cooking tender, flavourful meat. Smokers give the food a smoky flavour that is based on the type of pellets you use. They allow for long cooking sessions with minimal intervention, so you can set it and forget it, with perfect results. It’s a versatile grill, so you can do long cooks, or crank up the heat and cook on it like a gas grill.

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