Have you recently bought a pellet grill and wondered why it is not smoking enough? Well, there can be various reasons for this – high temperatures, the wrong pellets or faulty grills. However, the good news is that you can do something about it.
Picking the right pellet grill is also crucial to getting the perfect smoking experience. However, if you aren’t getting the smoke even with the best grill, read this article for everything you can do to get a smoky BBQ experience.
Check out the following link to learn more and to shop for quality pellet grills and accessories for your cookouts this summer.
How much smoke can a pellet grill produce?
Pellet grills are not designed to produce as much smoke as their charcoal counterparts. These grills are designed to achieve more efficiency. Thus, they shut down when a particular temperature is reached. Since it is not running continuously, it does not produce much smoke. These grills produce light white smoke that clears out quickly.
There are various types of smoke produced at various stages of grilling. Large white clouds of smoke are generally produced at high temperatures. Cooking meat at such temperatures can lead to burnt flavours, which might not be ideal. However, a blue and clear smoke is ideal for a supreme grilling experience.
How to get more smoke?
Here are some methods you can deploy to get more smoke from your pellet grill.
Cook at a lower temperature
One of the biggest reasons for a smokeless cooking experience is a high temperature. When you cook at temperatures as high as 350 degrees F, you will not get the desired amount of smoke.
Most BBQ enthusiasts are under the impression that more heat produces more smoke. However, it is just the opposite. Cooking slowly at low temperatures is the key to getting more smoke out of your pellet grill. Thus, try cooking at lower temperatures – not more than 275 F.
This allows your meat to sit longer on the grill, allowing the smoky flavour to seep into the layers of meat.
Use a smoker tube
If you own a grill that doesn’t inherently produce much smoke, you can also use a smoker tube. It is basically a metal pipe filled with pellets which is ignited and left inside the grill. It can be useful for people who want to impart an extra smoky flavour to their grill.
These tubes are available in all shapes – cylindrical, square or hexagon. However, choose a hexagon-shaped tube to avoid the flavours getting trapped in the tube.
These tubes are compatible with various pellets such as hickory, cherry, apple or mesquite. They have even holes which allow the smoke to evenly reach the food being grilled. This imparts an even smoky flavour.
Use hardwood pellets
Different pellets produce different levels of smoke. The trend of using fruit pellets does impart a subtle flavour to the meat. However, they do not produce much smoke. On the other hand, hardwood pellets burn longer, enabling them to produce more smoke. Similarly, pellets made of superior quality are made of dense material. This also results in more smoke.
Moreover, pellet grills from different brands work ideally on different pellets. You would have to change around your pellets until you find the perfect one. However, you can always rely on hardwood pellets. You can even use a mix of hardwood pellets and fruit ones to get a perfect balance of smoke and flavour to your BBQ.
Pick the right meat
It is not always your grill that is at fault for less smoke. The meat you pick to cook also determines the amount of smoke you get. If you pick a slice of meat with a thick layer of fat, you will not get much smoke. This is because the fat would act as an insulating layer, preventing the smoky flavour from seeping into your meat.
On the other hand, a thin slice of meat would end up getting burned. Thus, you need an optimum slice of meat without much fat.
Moreover, if you are cooking a slice of meat that has been sitting out, it would not stay long on the grill and thus, the chances of it absorbing the smoky flavour are less. Thus, ensure that you put a cold cut of meat on the grill. This would allow the meat to stay on the grill longer as it warms up. This would ensure that the meat is still on the grill by the time there is enough smoke.
Keep the lid closed
Ametuer BBQ enthusiasts make the mistake of opening the grill lid every now and then to check how well the meat is cooked. However, this allows the smoke that has built up inside to escape. After the lid is closed again, it can take a while for the smoke to build again. By the time enough smoke is generated again, the meat would be overcooked. Smoking it further would lead to a burnt texture.
Thus, it is best not to remove the lid while grilling the meat. Allow the smoke inside to seep into the meat. Remember, grilling the perfect meat is a game of patience.
Pick the right grill
If you are not getting the smoke you desire even after doing everything right, your grill might be at fault. Make sure you have a grill that produces enough smoke in the first place. Ensure that there is no blockage in the ventilation systems of the grill. Cleaning your grill regularly is a good practice to ensure that they last longer and produce just the perfectly cooked meat.
If you are struggling to achieve perfectly smoked meat, your pellet grill might not be producing enough smoke. However, the tips mentioned above will help you solve most of your problems. Remember, grilling is something you get better at with experience. Thus, do not get frustrated at failed grilling attempts. As you do it more regularly, you will be able to cook the perfect BBQ recipe for your upcoming backyard party.