What is a Pellet Grill?
Pellet grills and smokers combine classic wood-fire cooking with set-it and forget-it technology. Do-it-all cookers that can smoke, sear, grill, roast, and bake, pellet grills make it easy to cook everything from authentic low-and-slow BBQ and slow-roasted prime rib to grilled burgers and even apple pie. Incredibly easy-to-use, they automatically maintain their own temperature for hours, freeing you up to spend time with family and friends.
How Do Pellet Grills Work?
Pellet grills and smokers are electric outdoor grills that plug into a standard outlet. Fueled by food-grade hardwood pellets that come in flavors like hickory, apple, cherry, pecan, and oak, they run almost entirely on their own. Just add hardwood pellets to the hopper and set the desired temperature in the control panel. The pellet grill calculates how many pellets are needed to reach the desired temperature then a rotating auger feeds them to the fire. The pellet grill will continuously measure its temperature and adjust the amount of pellets burned, automatically maintaining the temperature for hours.
Comparing Pellet Grills: The Difference in Temperature Control
There are many classes of pellet grills, ranging from inexpensive entry-level units to premium models. Aside from price, the major differences are the control boards and temperature range. Quality pellet grills feature digital control panels that can hold a temperature within 15-20℉ and can reach temperatures of 350-400℉, which is good for indirect cooking. The best pellet grills have PID controllers that use sophisticated algorithms to precisely achieve and maintain temperatures within a few degrees and feature programmable meat probes that monitor food and lower the heat when it’s done. Many of these grills can reach temperatures of 500-700℉ and include options that enable them to perform direct open-flame grilling.