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Beginners Guide To Pellet Grills

Camp-Chef-Cooking-Ribs

Pellet grills provide a great smoke flavor to anything you’re cooking and offer a versatility that not many other grills can match. 

Grilling is an art form to some. Hours are spent monitoring temperatures, smoke levels, airflow, and more to create their masterpiece (excellent food). There’s nothing wrong with that.

However, for many, the time and effort involved in being a pitmaster is understandably too much. 

If you’re looking to create great smoked meats and veggies with minimal effort, then pellet grills are the way to go. 

The Advantages of Pellet Grills

When it comes to outdoor cooking, having a pellet grill is a must for 4 simple reasons. 

  1. Easy ignition. Simply turn your grill on with a touch of a button!
  2. Consistency. The temperature is automatically monitored, pellets are used as needed, and the heat is generally even throughout the grill.
  3. Great smoke flavor. You can get pellets in a range of flavors to enhance your cooking or you can even mix pellet blends to customize your smoke flavor further.
  4. Temperature Range. Pellet grills allow you to cook several ways from slow cooking to searing (on some newer pellet grills).

How Do Pellet Grills Work

Camp Chef Pellet Grill Anatomy

Wood pellets go into the holding tank (the hopper), which is fed through to the igniter by the auger. Pretty straight forward, but there’s actually a little more to it. 

Pellet grills monitor heat consistently and use an algorithm that helps to maintain your temperature. The higher the temperature you’re trying to keep, the faster you will go through your pellets (fuel source).

Picking an Outdoor Cooking Grill 

If you’re looking for a new grillfriend, we highly recommend any pellet grill by Camp Chef®, which provides many impressive features and several models to fit most budgets.

Don’t forget; we offer layaway!

Our go-to grill is the Camp Chef® SmokePro DLX 24 pellet grill. 

By changing your “Smoke Number,” you can control just how much smoke your food gets, and there is a variety of accessory add-ons, such as the Sear Box. 

Choosing the Right Pellets for the Job

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Camp Chef Pellets for Pellet Grills

So you picked a pellet grill, now what about the pellets? There are a ton to choose from! To help guide you, we recommend looking at three key features to help you decide on the best one. 

  1. Hardwood types. This will determine the smoke flavor.
  2. Percentage of pure hardwood. The higher the rate of pure hardwood you have in your pellets, the fewer additives you will have. For example, if you’re able to handle the pellets you’re looking at, you will find some leave a grease-like feeling on your hand. Pellets with a high percentage of pure hardwood don’t. 
  3. Packaging. Look at how your pellets are packaged. Is there a lot of excess sawdust-like particles? You want to avoid products packaged with a lot of loose laying sawdust like this if possible. This extra dust can clog up your auger.  

Our pick of pellets? Camp Chef® wood pellets. They don’t have a greasy feel when handled, come in a variety of hardwood types, and are made from 100% hardwood. So, whether you’re using a Camp Chef® pellet grill or not, we recommend trying them out for yourself. 

Pellet Grill Clean up & Maintenance

Cleaning up your pellet grill is very easy, but how often are you supposed to clean it out? Camp Chef® recommends giving your pellet grill a deep, thorough cleaning after every 50 hours of cooking. 

  1. With the grill unplugged and completely cooled down from any cooking, empty out the pellet hopper.
  2. Scrub down the outer stainless steel surfaces with a cleaner. You may need to repeat this process a few times, depending on what you’ve been cooking and how long it’s been since you’ve cleaned your grill. 
  3. Empty the ashes from the ash cup. (Do this after every use)
  4. Remove your cooking grates and tray.
  5. Then you can use a wet/dry vacuum and clean out any debris that may be inside.
  6. Scrape out any grease buildup you find.
  7. Utilizing a cleaner or plain old hot soapy water, wash out the grill’s inside and all the grates you pulled out until you remove any grease buildup.

Voila, your pellet grill is clean!

For more in-depth pellet grill maintenance tips, check out these awesome videos!

Pellet Grilling Pro Tips

  1. Always have more pellets than you think you will need. You don’t want to be three-quarters of the way done with your food and find out you’re out of pellets!
  2. Store your pellets where there is no moisture. Moisture buildup will make your pellets swell and even disintegrate the pellets.
  3. If you find your grates are a little too “sticky” try cutting an onion in half and rubbing it on the grates as it’s warming up (before you start cooking). Onions have a non-sticking property making them a great natural option!
  4. Clean out your ash tray after every use. This will help your pellet grill maintain temperature while cooking. 

What To Cook On Your Pellet Grill

Having trouble deciding what amazing creation to cook up on your pellet grill? Check out these 5 great instructional guides for grilling!

  1. Brisket
  2. Prime Rib
  3. Ribs
  4. Burgers
  5. Turkey

Grillin’ The Day Away

You don’t have to be a grill master to enjoy a day of pellet grilling pure deliciousness. An appreciation for perfectly smoked foods is enough. 

Happy grilling friends!

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