Everything You Need to Know About Pellet Grills
Pellet grills are incredible machines—grills of the future. They are so amazing that in the next ten years, everyone will have one in the yard.
To help you understand what great appliances they are, we’re covering all the basics here.
What is a pellet grill?
A pellet grill is a grill, a smoker and an oven all rolled into one. It’s an all-inclusive appliance. Whatever you want to eat, you can cook in there: chicken, steak, kebabs, pizza, lasagna, cake, cookies… It’s the ultimate way to cook.
We say “pellet grill”, but technically this type of appliance uses a hybrid of pellets (wood) and electricity. Mixing these two elements generates a very high heat source and, thanks to the BBQ’s smart regulator, you can easily control and reduce it as needed.
What’s interesting is that, as technology continues to improve, these types of BBQs are continually getting smarter. They can figure out why they’re burning too hot or not hot enough, then fire the right number of pellets to adjust accordingly. Basically, it really feels like you’re living in the future with one of these.
Why? Because you get the BBQ 3.0 experience: you can connect it to your cell phone, iPad, WiFi, etc., use it to smoke and crank up the smoke to get as much as you want. It still smokes and grills food perfectly. (There are even several accessories you can use to bring up the searing temp or smoke even more food!)
How does it work?
It’s quite simple. You plug the BBQ into the wall, set the temperature with your iPhone or the button on the BBQ and let it rise. Once it reaches the right temperature, you start cooking your food and you’re off! The pellets you put in the tank will be fed into the fire pot through an auger, and then, within the first few minutes of lighting the grill, a burner will come on—a hot rod that ignites the pellets.
Below this rod, there’s a blower that blows a blast of air, and when it comes into contact with the fuel, it catches fire. As the fire grows, great flavor is developed inside while the lid is closed.
What are the benefits of the PID controller?
To make sure there’s always the right amount of pellets in the grill, pellet grills have what’s called a PID regulator. But what does that mean? PID actually stands for proportional-integral-derivative (regulator).
Basically, it’s a system that operates in a closed loop. The PID controller always calculates the margin of error between a given point and an already defined process variable, and ultimately compensates for it in proportional, integral and derivative terms. It’s complex, but it can be boiled down to: “It’s a smart controller that doesn’t always fire the same amount of pellets to keep the grill temperature stable.
If you compare it to a regular regulator, you’ll see a clear difference.
What are the major benefits of a pellet grill?
A pellet grill is easy and fun to use, it’s easy to clean (many models even make emptying the ashes and grease a breeze), it’s versatile, it gives your food great flavor (it imparts true wood flavor [pellets are like pure, hard mini logs that always burn at the right temperature] without oversmoking or overgrilling). It uses connected technology, it lights and heats up quickly, it holds the right temperature (with an insulated cover, the temperature varies even less!), it’s smart (tech buffs love them!)… Even the smoke it produces is good smoke, flavor- and health-wise! It’s impossible to screw up food in there because it’s so easy to handle.
Among all these features, if we could name only ONE that’s particularly impressive, we would have to go with its versatility—because there is nothing you can’t do with a pellet grill. Well, we actually might have to throw in another one because the tech aspect of these BBQs is really cool, too. Being able to connect to your grill remotely on your Apple Watch, even while you’re grocery shopping, is pretty amazing. It allows you to monitor your cooking from afar with ease and peace of mind. A pellet grill is really like the Tesla of grilling.
What makes it so popular?
People love these types of grills because they are easy to use (literally, just press a button to turn them on) and because the end result is always good (it even smells amazing!). Once you touch a pellet grill or taste what comes out of it, there’s no going back; you’re part of the pellet crew forever. It’s a blast to use and makes great-tasting food.
Is a pellet grill the same thing as a smoker?
Not exactly. A pellet grill is a smoker, but it’s also much more than that. It’s also an oven, and many models are also grills. A smoker is generally designed for smoking, not grilling.
With a pellet grill, you can easily install cast-iron grates, raise the temperature to 400/500°F, and grill and cook your food. With a smoker, this is a much more complicated process.
Can you use anything other than pellets with a pellet grill?
No. It’s only meant to hold pellets: charcoal pellets, wood pellets… However, feel free to make little homemade pellet mixes (and there are plenty of options—there are even charcoal Jack Daniel’s pellets!)!
Can you use it year-round?
Yep, no problem! There’s no risk of your power cord freezing, even in the winter. 😉
In fact, you can cover your BBQ with an insulated cover, so you can use it in very cold temperatures and further reduce large temperature differences in your appliance.
Are there any portable models?
Yes! The PPG20, the Pursuit 20 from Camp Chef, is the ULTIMATE pellet grill. You can take it anywhere. It folds up, it cooks everything, it’s super fun to use, it has a built-in slide-and-grill function… You can take it on adventures, and there’s even enough room inside for you to cook a brisket!
How can a pellet grill change your life?
A pellet grill is all styles of grills, smokers and indoor ovens built into one machine that, in most cases, can be connected to your cell phone.
Plus, with a pellet grill, you can enjoy food with great BBQ flavor all year and work with an easy-to-use and easy-to-clean machine.
What more could you ask for?
What should I look for when choosing a pellet grill?
The most important thing to look for when shopping for pellet grills is the quality of the regulator. You want to make sure your BBQ has a PID regulator that won’t break after a few uses because if it doesn’t, it can cost you a lot of money in repairs.
Otherwise, the fact that you can connect and control your grill with your smart phone is another great feature to take into account.
Next, you need to figure out what size you need. There are 24″ and 36″ models. It all depends on how much food you want to cook at a time and how big each piece of meat is.
Portability is another consideration. Do you want to take your grill to the park, the beach, the cottage and/or the campground, or do you want it to live at home?
Lastly, it’s important to choose a BBQ that comes with a good warranty, from a company that offers good customer service. (That’s why we are proud to work with Camp Chef.)
Yoder or Camp Chef?
There are two brands of pellet grills we sell: Yoder and Camp Chef.
Yoders are the best pellet grills in the world. They are the best of the best. Compared to Camp Chef, they get hotter and retain heat better, but that’s because they are much heavier. (They are also much more expensive…) If you want to compete in a grilling competition, this is clearly what you want.
Camp Chef grills, however, offer a way better bang for your buck. They work well and allow you to feed a lot of people.
For any pellet grill-related questions or to shop for one, don’t hesitate to contact our representatives on our website or on our social media platforms. We’ll be happy to help you.