Very general pellet question
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Very general pellet question
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Thread: Very general pellet question

  1. #1

    Very general pellet question

    About 30 years ago I was working on a movie in Texas and purchased my first smoker. It was a hand built beautiful off set smoker. Not coming from a family or area where smoking was popular the learning curve was very steep. However, after many attempts and reading cook books I finally started putting out decent food.

    Anybody that has had one knows that an off set smoker takes a little bit of watching which can become exhausting and time consuming. So, when I found out about the ease of using a Stump gravity feed smoker I quickly switched over. Very satisfied with it for 15 years. The time came when I wanted something smaller that could also be a grill so switched to a Big Green Egg. Not quite as easy to use as the Stump and used more charcoal but, in general I was satisfied.

    Then I moved from the mountains to the coast and consolidated my belongings to make the move easier. Sold the BGE.

    My new home came with a great built in gas grill so now I was back to only wanting a smoker. Would love another Stump but, now living on a retirement income so that is out of the question.

    After some research I purchased a pellet grill. Liked the idea of ease of use. It works as advertised. Decent job of temp control, no need to baby sit. Seems rugged enough to stay outside with a cover on it. I see lots of smoke when I use it. However, to me, the meat that I have cooked on it tastes no different than if I had used an indoor kitchen oven. I really don't get the flavor that I had from my previous smokers. Is it just me or do pellets not produce much flavor?
    Last edited by agaffer; 01-06-2019 at 05:17 PM.

  2. #2
    What PG you have? What pellets you using? Some PGs do a better job producing smoke and some pellets are better than others.

  3. #3
    thank you for asking. I am using a Green Mountain pellet grill and I use their brand of pellets. I see lots of smoke but, little of the flavor that I am used to. Since it holds temp well and i see plenty of smoke, I am inclined to think that the grill is working fine. Maybe it is the pellets. Any suggestions are welcomed.

  4. #4
    I know others will chime in here but here's my opinion. I'm not familiar with a GMG. So I don't know how it circulates the air in that cooker. Some do this better than others. Are you using a blend pellet or a full wood/flavor pellet? That can make a difference too. I would also think about getting an A-MAZE-N tube smoker to add to your cooks. I would use a full flavor pellet in tube. Depending on the size you get. They usually burn 3-5 hours and do make a big difference. I hope this helps. Hopefully some others will offer their experiences for you too! Best of luck!

  5. #5
    The BGE's, in my opinion, put a very heavy smoke flavor on food that I think borders on being over-smoked. If you've gotten used to that over the years then a pellet cooker is going to seem to put a very light smoke on your food.

    The difference is a pellet cooker creates a very, very clean smoke flavor, and second, it has a fan that is pushing the smoke out of the chamber constantly.

    Like BigdaddyrockStar mentioned, some pellet burners do a better job than others, and the brand and flavor of the pellets can make a big difference.

    As far as brand, I like either BBQer's Delight, or LumberJack brands. They are both oak-based, unless you get the 100% flavorwood Lumberjack, which I do but mix 50/50 with oak so they burn more efficiently/cleanly.

    Certain flavors of pellets will also give you a better smoke flavor, or a lighter smoke flavor, whichever you prefer. I like Apple for when I want a smoke that is more penetrating, which is why I use it for bacon. A hickory/apple blend works really well for all types of pork. For smoking sausages and the like I like a maple/hickory/cherry blend. It gives a lighter smoke flavor and a great color (because of the cherry).


    Also, another change you need to make with a pellet cooker is to NOT preheat the grill when you want more smoke flavor. Put your meat on the grill first, then turn it on to smoke mode for a good hour or so. This will take advantage of the extra smoke during the ignition/warm-up cycle, and also allows the outside of your meat to warm up slower which allows it to absorb more smoke for a longer period (remember, meat stops absorbing smoke when the outside reaches 140).

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by TentHunter; 01-08-2019 at 05:16 PM.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Indianapolis
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    Another vote for BBQr's Delight. Been using them for 5 years in the MAK and very satisfied with the flavor & clean burn (very low ash). There are opportunities to increase the smoke by using the A-MAZE-N tube smoker like wolverines mentioned. I've used it occasionally but lately have found less need for it, as the MAK and these pellets have been producing great results. Definitely put the meat in first then turn on the smoker!

    Matt
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  7. #7
    Thank you guys, I will try switching to another brand of pellets. Have to see what is available in my area. I live in a pretty small city so, not a lot of choices.

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