31 Dec. 2000|
Built in wood pellet grills,pallet bench instructions,router table plans incra,indoor window shutter plans - Review
Pellet burners are amazing tools and they are blazing a path to better and easier outdoor cooking. In 1982 Traeger Heating in Oregon began experimenting with a furnace that would burn wood pellets made from compressed sawdust, a byproduct of the area lumber mills, and before long introduced a home heating system that they sold mostly locally. They are often called grills, but, at the time of this writing, I consider them to be primarily smokers.
Manufacturers advertise that these are both smokers and grills, but it is best to think of these devices as superb indirect heat convection smokers, not grills.
To solve the problem, several pellet burners have come up with ways for you to expose food to the flameand can actually get a nice sear. One option is to put a griddle or a frying pan on the grill, high heat, get it blistering hot, add just a little oil to prevent stickling, and sear by conduction on the metal. Central to all pellet cookers is a digital controller similar to the controllers on modern indoor ovens. Pellet cookers usually have an auger or another feed mechanism that pushes the pellets into a burn pot typically about the size of a beer can ripped in half. The small burn pot is covered with a large deflector plate that absorbs the heat and spreads it out below the cooking surface making them essentially wood-fired convection ovens. On the better models, a temperature probe in the oven area tells the controller what the temperature is and if it is below the target it tells the controller to feed more pellets and air.
The MAK Pellet Boss will increase or decrease with the press of a button in 5°F increments and has a probe in the oven that keeps the temp pretty solid.
Many of the rest of the manufacturers have come to the grill industry having first built home heating devices that burn pellets.
In smoke mode the controller is no longer controlled by the thermometer, it merely switches the pellet feeding auger on and off.
There are no food probes with this controller as there are on the MAK Pellet Boss, and the controller is mounted to the surface with two screws and no gasket so I fear rain could get into the electronics, but after more than a year of sitting out without the cover in rain and snow, the controller on the IPT I tested is still working fine. Pellets are available from a number of sources because they are popular for use in home heaters, so if you are worried that you will be buying a gizmo that might be worthless someday if the pellet supply runs out, it is unlikely. Pellets are made from different woods, each of which imparts a distinctive flavor to the meat.
The built-in cords on outdoor cooking devices are often not long enough, and although regular household extension cords will work for rotisserie kits, they will not carry enough juice to keep you pellet smoker or electric smoker going.
Most owners are crazy about their pellet cookers, but some say the flavor is different than they are used to from charcoal and gas grills, and more than one has told me they do not like the flavor because it is too mild. Because they burn wood, pellet smokers are popular in BBQ competitions and they have been winning top prizes at many of them. Before buying, please note that most pellet smokers need access to electricity to run the digital controller, the auger that transports the pellets to the firebox, and the convection fan that circulates the air in the cooking chamber.
Since furnaces sold mostly in cold months, before long they began experimenting with a grill that would burn pellets, too. Almost all of them cook with indirect heat and those that try to grill over direct flame don't do it well. Most just don't do as good a job of searing a steak as a charcoal grill or even a gas grill with a sear burner. An igniter rod sits in the bottom of the pot and when you turn on the grill it glows like the element on an electric stove.
This is a technology particularly popular in the Northeast and Northwest, but selling furnaces is seasonal, so they all seem to be making grills on the side now. As more and more pellet grills appear, and word of their excellence spreads, sources for pellets will become numerous. Eventually they created a device with an auger to feed the pellets and a blower to help them burn. When the temp drops below a set threshold, the auger motor kicks in and delivers pellets until the desired temperature has returned. Heater pellets often contain softwoods such as pine, they can have treated lumber and other chemical contaminants in them.
Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, and how to cook great food outdoors. But if you love smoked turkey, ribs, salmon, pork chops, brisket, and smoked foods, a pellet smoker may be the best solution available. As with most other grills and smokers, the differences between lower and upper racks is not huge, so think of it as one heckuva indirect heat convection smoker with precision temperature control.
The whole reason to buy a pellet grill is because it is set-it-forget-it and it hits a temp and holds it regardless of the ambient air temp outside, winter or summer. The burn rate will vary somewhat depending on the outside air temp, and how much cold meat is loaded in the grill, but cooking load should not have a major impact.
There are also buying guides to barbeque smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, chili, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best all edited by Meathead Goldwyn.
The auger motor continuously delivers pellets to the red hot igniter rod in the firebox for two minutes under normal conditions. However, as one gains experience, the P settings can be used to improve the grills performance. Cooking pellets run about $1 per pound depending on the wood flavor, brand, if you get them on sale, and if you have to pay shipping. They seem to have the least sawdust, so they are less likely to clog the auger, and they have a higher percentage of the flavor wood on the label. When he wants more smoke flavor he uses a strong smoke wood like hickory or mesquite, he starts with cold meat, and then he keeps the meat moist by painting or misting it with apple juice or a mop like Lexington Dip or East Carolina Mop or Texas Mop Sauce. Then the igniter rod shuts off and the pellet fire burns with only the assistance of the auger and the fan. Read his detailed research on the subject in my article on the Science of Wood and my article on Basting. But if you want killer ribs, bacon, smoked salmon, etc., pellet burners are hard to beat for convenience and quality.
At high temps there is very little smoke, at low temps the pellets smolder and produce superb but understated smoke flavors.