Newbie question

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by dirt farmer, May 7, 2014.

  1. dirt farmer

    dirt farmer Newbie

    I have been interested in the pellet grills for some time. I have never eaten anything made from a pellet grill and was wondering how are they for "grilling" burgers and steaks? Do they prepare food in the same amount of time a a gas grill?
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello Dirt Farmer, and welcome to the forums!  

    To answer your questions, opinions vary on the direct flame grilling ability of some pellet rigs.  Not all pellet grills are engineered for open flame capabilities, and require some small mods for direct grilling.  I am very happy with how my Rec Tec grills burgers and steaks, but I did have to purchase a Grill Grates searing kit as an accessory, and I always remove my grease shield when grilling to allow more direct heat to the grates.  There are some cooks who use their pellet rigs only for smoking or baking, and keep a gas or charcoal grill for open flame searing. There are some higher end grills that are engineered to do both, with some sort of insert that allows for direct, open flames to the grate.

    As far as time is concerned, the actual cooking time for grilling a steak on my pellet grill is the same as grilling it on a gas or charcoal grill.  The main difference is the heat-up time.  Some pellet grills can take as many as 20-25 minutes to get up to grilling temps...although it never takes my Rec Tec more than about 6-8 minutes to reach 500*.

    You mentioned you've never tried pellet-cooked food before...I'd suggest trying it before you spend hundreds, or even thousands, on a pellet cooker.  Do you know anyone who owns one who'd let you try something cooked on it?  The reason I ask is that there are some people who are disappointed in their pellet grill because they don't think it provides a strong enough smoke flavor.  These are usually people who have used stick burners or charcoal smokers.  It is true that pellet smokers make a more subtle smoke flavor than offset and charcoal smokers.  

    Hope any of this helps...good luck!  Let us know if you take the plunge, and if you have other question, just ask.

  3. Red has you covered. I will say my cookshack pg500 grills better than any of my old gassers but does have a smaller grill area (4 steaks, 10 chicken thighs) and I dont have to change anything to go from smoking to grilling but the temp.
  4. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yeah...what those guys said. Pellet grills are great for both grilling and long as you get the right pellet smoker. Be sure that it can reach a good 450 degrees minimum for nice grill and sear. Not all pellet munchers can get there. Red's RecTec is a great unit along with others. But the Traeger and a few others have trouble cracking 400 and may leave you wanting for more.

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