Charcoal grills are the most versatile types of grills because unlike their gas-fuelled counterparts, you can use alternative types of fuel to heat them up. In addition to charcoal, one of the things you can use is wood pellets. With wood pellets, there’s more to the efficient and eco-friendly fuelling, and the best thing I love about them is the different flavours they add to food.
So if you’re looking forward to doing something different with flavours, you can choose from the cherry, alder, maple, apple, hickory, oak and mesquite pellets depending on what excites your taste buds. One thing that you should know before heading to the store to grab a few pieces is that not all the wood pellets are suitable for charcoal grills.
Therefore, insist only on grilling wood pellets because other types like heating pellets are infused with chemicals that can easily contaminate your food. Many still don’t know how to use wood pellets in a charcoal grill, and if you’re one of them, we’ve got you covered. We will walk you through the basics that you have to observe once you have decided to use wood pellets for your next grill.
Step-step guide on how to use wood pellets in charcoal grill
- Fire up the grill
It’s always recommended to mix wood pellets with charcoal when grilling. This is to let the charcoal do the heating as the latter brings flavour as you desire. A combination of the two will have your food ready in relatively shorter duration unlike when you heat up the grill with pellets only, helping you conserve energy.
There’re many ways to start-up fire in a charcoal grill,but I prefer to use a chimney starter. It will have you incurring extra expenditures, but it’s relatively faster and effective. They’re also durable, so you won’t need to make any replacements any sooner.
- Transfer the coals to the grill
With lit coals at hand, your grill will heat up in no minute after you’ve transferred them from the chimney starter. After this, remember to put the grill lid on to retain the heat. To speed up the process further, leave the vents fully open. Leaving them closed will have your already lit charcoal dying-out and you may end repeating the first process, which is already time-consuming.
- Add the wood pallets
Before adding wood pellets, you have to see-to-it that the grill is heated to the desired temperatures, depending on what you’re planning to grill. There’s absolutely no limit to the amount of pellets that you should add. You should be guided by how much smoke and flavour you want in your food and for how long you’ll be cooking.
On average, half a cup of wood pellets will keep the flavour flowing for close to 30 minutes. Today we have different flavours of wood pellets as we have seen. This makes it easy to match the flavour with whatever you’re preparing for a tastier outcome.
- It’s time to cook
After adding wood pellets over the charcoal, you’re required to give them time to ignite before placing your food on the cooking grate or grilling mat. This takes time depending on the quantity that you used. This helps in actualizing the needed amount of smoke and also allows heat from the coal to fully reach the food.
- Close the grill lid
The final step is to close the lid and let your grill handle the rest. Having opened the grill vents the entire time, you should ensure that they are only half-open at this point. This is key, especially for foods that need slow cooking. Leaving the vents fully open will run out your fire, prompting for addition of fuel.
However, you may also require to have them closed, and the best way to know this is by using a grill thermometer that helps figure out if the cooking temperatures are running high or low. For foods that require cooking times that go up to an hour or more, always check on your grill to know if you need to add extra wood pellets or charcoal to keep the process going.
There you have it; all made simpler. Learning how to use wood pellets in a charcoal grill makes it easier to embrace this modern aspect of grilling that will leave your guest amazed at how flavourful the food is. You don’t even have to worry about the pellets getting the grill all messed up.
Unlike charcoal or regular wood, they leave minimal traces of ash after burning out, giving you easy times when cleaning afterwards. However, it’s important to note that they burn out way faster than charcoal. Therefore, if you choose to use them without adding charcoal, you might need to keep adding them to the fire in order to bring your grill to the desired heat levels.
Another thing that you should note is that for genuine flavour, always buy from trusted brands. This applies to all stores, whether you’re buying them online or at the local store. With them you’ll only need a few pieces of pellets to actualize the true flavour, saving you money. It also guarantees you safety, with no fear of any added harmful substances during preparation.
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