By Breanna Stark of @marriedtobbq
Whether you’re converting to the pellet life from your old stick burner, or you’re new to barbecue all together, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to getting comfortable with your new pellet grill. Here are five pellet grill tips to help get you started.
- Season your grill before cooking on it: You always want to season your grill before grilling on it for the first time. Seasoning is the process of burning off any of the residue or chemicals left behind from the manufacturing process. Preheat your grill to 400F and let it run for at least an hour, but longer doesn’t hurt either!
- Always empty your hopper after cooking: One of the worst things you can do to your pellet grill is to leave the pellets in the hopper between cooks. This is especially important if you live in a humid environment or have your grill in an uncovered area. As pellets sit out in the elements, they can absorb moisture and expand. This can lead to them clogging your auger and burning unevenly. There is nothing worse than going to preheat your smoker and realizing you have to take apart the auger assembly to fix a clog, so always store your pellets in a cool, dry place in between cooks.
- Never bypass the shutdown process: Grill manufacturers include a built-in shutdown process for a reason, so don’t bypass it! The shutdown process on a pellet grill allows the machine to be shut down slowly, clean excess pellets out of the auger and maintain the integrity of your pellet smoker. The process typically only takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Then the grill shuts off on its own, so there really is no excuse not to let it run its course.
- Stick to a regular cleaning routine: A clean grill is a happy grill, so stick to a cleaning routine! You don’t need to deep clean your grill after every cook, but it’s good to get into the habit of scraping off the grill grates while the grill is still hot and emptying the pellets out of your hopper after each cook. Every 30-40 cook hours, you want to pull out the drip tray and clean it, as well as vacuum out any pellet residue and dust from the chamber of your grill. These simple cleaning tips will extend the life of your grill and prevent grease fires and acrid tasting food! For more information on cleaning your grill, click here.
- Always use good, quality pellets: Quality pellets lead to quality smoke, which leads to tasty, delicious BBQ! Luckily, Bear Mountain BBQ has you covered when it comes to quality pellets. Ours are made from 100% real hardwood with no fillers, binders, or additives, giving you a clean and flavorful burn every single time without excess ash or debris. You’ll see and smell the difference between us and our competitors from the first second you open the bag until the grill is over and you’re going to clean your auger.