Are Pellet Smokers Worth It?
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Thinking about whether or not you should purchase a Pellet Smoker? Read on to learn some of the pros and cons of owning one.
Pellet Grills can be a great option, depending on what your cooking intentions happen to be. If you desire to cook something at your home quickly and efficiently, it can be an ideal option. If you desire something portable or the ability do cook at a high temperature, this is not a great option.
How Pellet Smokers Work
Before we identify the positives and negatives associated with each, lets first observe what differentiates pellet grills from the alternative options.
What exactly is a pellet smoker? A pellet smoker can be regarded as being similar to an outdoor oven, but also having the ability to grill. Relative to other types of grills, pellet grills have taken off more recently, experiencing a rapid surge in popularity for outdoor cooks. There are many reasons behind this, but perhaps the biggest is the delicious flavor that is known to result from pellet smokers, which give it a tasty flavor that other types of grills simply cannot match.
Pellet grills work by using indirect heat produced from the wood pellets to cook the food. These pellets that fuel the smoker are placed into a small chamber known as the hopper, which has the role of feeding the pellets into the auger. The auger unit of the smoker is responsible for feeding these pellets directly into the firepot, which ignites these wooden pellets, creating the heat necessary to cook the food.
The extent and rapidity with which these wooden pellets enter the firepot determine just how hot the smoker will get. The heat is then channeled by a convection fan within the smoker, hence the earlier comparison of a pellet smoker being similar to an outdoor oven. This is done to ensure that there is an even distribution of heat throughout the smoker, and sometimes a baffle is used in conjunction to further ensure that the heat is evenly shared inside the smoker.
In order for this convection fan to be powered, however, the pellet smoker must be plugged into an electrical outlet, meaning it can never really be used outside of a residential area unless you happen to have a generator on hand. Simply defined, a pellet smoker works by utilizing the heat provided by the small wooden pellets fed into it, and uses convection fans to effectively spread the heat that is produced. It can be differentiated from other grills because of its dependence on an electrical outlet.
Benefits of owning a Pellet Grill
Pellet grills are well known for the delicious flavor that they produce, which has been a significant reason behind their recent success in the industry. In addition to their delicious taste, they are very well insulated, meaning you do not need to stress about the weather affecting your pellet grills’ ability to cook your food, which can not always be said about other types of grills.
They are also well known for their efficiency, which is largely a result of their use of convection fans and electricity, allowing them to produce a lot more heat from a lot less. Additionally, wooden pellets are known to burn more slowly, allowing you to conserve more of them and save a lot more money on fuel. This bang for your buck is a huge plus, especially in the long run, as this can save you hundreds of dollars. They are also much cleaner compared to other grills, especially charcoal ones, which quickly and easily stain.
Pellet grills will get dirty from time to time, but long as you clean the surfaces once in a while, you shouldn’t have to worry about much else. They are beneficial because of their ease to use, they do not require the same babysitting that other grills do; once you have it filled up with pellets and the temperature selected, you can simply wait for it to cook itself.
Another thing that makes pellets grills a fantastic thing to own is their versatility: they can roast, bake, barbecue, smoke, and grill. This ability makes it an appealing choice as it truly has an all-in-one build to it. The last benefit is the efficiency of using a pellet grill: they can often heat themselves up and be ready to cook in twenty minutes or less. Pellet Grills are also great at cooking at low temperatures for a long duration of time. This makes them an attractive option for grilling meats that happen to fall into this category, such as ribs.
Downsides of owning a Pellet Grill
Although there are many benefits associated with owning a pellet grill, there are also some inevitable downsides to consider. The biggest of which is the fact that they require electricity, meaning unless you go through the hassle of bringing a generator along with you, you can really only use your pellet grill in a residential area. Another reality to consider is the difficulty of purchasing pellets, as they are not a common of a commodity as coal is.
With this in mind, you will likely have to resort to either specialty stories devoted to grilling or simply using online shopping services in order to buy these pellets. Additionally, pellet grills are among the most expensive options of grills, so saving money will not be an easy task. To give an example, Traeger, a popular Pellet Grill brand, has upper-level grills that retail for around two thousand dollars.
If you are trying to be conservative and desire to save money, pellet grills are not the ideal option for you. The last negative associated with owning a pellet grill is their inability to get as hot as other grills. While other types of grills can reach as high as 700 degrees celsius, most pellet grills can only reach temperatures of 500 degrees. With this in mind, if the type of grilling you desire involves slightly overcooking your food, such as a well-done steak, then this may not be the best option for you.