There is some wide controversy when it comes to cooking meat on a pellet smoker. A pellet smoker has high functionality with a lot of different cooking styles, but many wonder if it can grill like a BBQ.
A pellet smoker is capable of grilling and smoking. Grilling on a pellet smoker doesn’t require too much skill aside from watching over the meat itself while it cooks. Done properly, the finished product will look and taste as if it were grilled.
Using a pellet smoker to grill the perfect entrée is easy! When it comes to grilling, some of the most important steps involve preparation, so on keep reading to learn a few tips and tricks!
Easy To Use
To start this article, it is important to note just how easy it is to use a pellet smoker. If you have not used one before then this section will acquaint you briefly with some of the functionality of the pellet smoker.
Obviously, a pellet smoker uses pellets, which are made of wood. This wood can range from different species including mesquite, hickory, or fruit tree wood. This gives flavor to whatever is being cooked on the smoker. These pellets are burned on the side of the smoker in a box. It pushes the smoke into the cooking chamber. Depending on the smoker, it will also regulate the pellets that get burned at one time as well.
With the pellets burning and the meat on there isn’t much else for you to do other than regulate the heat of the smoker. This is as simple as pushing a button. The functionality of the smoker is a very wide range, with lots of different options.
Now on to the preparation to grill your meat. For the instructions which follow it will be easiest to assume that a simple steak is being grilled in the pellet smoker as it is the most likely meat to be grilled.
When it comes to preparing the steak itself, it needs to be completely thawed and ready to be seasoned. The seasoning is up to you as per the desired flavor. Rubbing the steak down with your favorite herbs, or soaking it in a marinade is the best way to get a savory flavor.
When you have finished seasoning the steak you should go out and turn the pellet smoker on so it can start to heat up. But not only will it heat the smoker, but the time spent doing this will also give the seasoning on the steak time to set in and will help the meat taste better when finished.
Now that the steak is seasoned and waiting, it’s time to grill! It is important to take into account the heat at which you are grilling your steak. The pellet smoker has a normal temperature of about 250 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the meat that is being cooked. But that is for smoking specifically, which takes time and is a different style of cooking meat.
For grilling, the temperature should be a little bit higher than that. Raising it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit will give a more grilled feel to the meat. If you want the classic sear marks on the meat, which is traditional for a grilled steak then the temperature can be raised to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the main difference between smoking and grilling. It will cook your steak much more quickly, and give it a nice texture.
Grilling specifics may change depending on the meat you’ve decided to cook. For instance, chicken will grill differently than steak. It is not too difficult to look into the different grilling temperatures and the best way to prepare each selected meat. If you are grilling multiple types of meat at once, be careful to check the internal temperatures using different thermometers to ensure the heat is high enough, and to prevent cross-contamination.
Smokers Vs. Grills
The differences between smokers are grills are few, but in practice, it’s best to know the difference. Simply put, grills use an open flame to cook the meat, giving a more cooked outside. This keeps the inside cooked and juicy, providing rarer cuts.
With a smoker, there is no open flame cooking the meat. In a pellet smoker, pellets are burned in a box on the side and the smoke enters the cooking chamber to cook the meat. This takes slightly longer and cooks the meat all the way through, which gives the meat a smokey flavor.
Smokers and grills are different, but some pellet smokers have the option to have an open flame underneath the meat, making grilling is much easier to accomplish. Regardless, smokers do have grilling capacity, you just have to turn up the heat. Pellet smokers can be referred to as pellet grills, seeing as they function similarly, and can accomplish either goal. However, they are built with the capacity to smoke, so it wouldn’t hurt to purchase a grill if you see yourself grilling more often, as opposed to smoking.
Wireless Connectivity Option
Despite the ease at which pellet smokers, there are some smokers out there that are even easier to use, allowing you as the smoker and cook to leave the smoker running without physically being there. This is made possible by the wireless capabilities that some smokers have. It is connected to an app on a smartphone that controls heat, pellet amount, smoke output, and internal temperature of the meat that is being smoked.
This can allow you to leave the smoker for hours, with occasional checks to the phone for the progress of the meat. It gives more freedom while smoking for hours. But if you are looking to grill, don’t leave the meat up to the smoker and the technology. Grilling is quicker, and the higher temperatures need to be watched more closely.