When fire entered the picture, it changed everything. Humans distinguished themselves from other animals and set on a path of innovation. Today even with all the futuristic kitchen technology, we still cook by smoking as our ancestors did. Pellet smoking only makes it a little faster, a little fancier.
The best of both worlds
Pellet smokers allow you to prepare your food with the conveniences of both modern electronic grills and wood smoke. Simply put, a pellet smoker is an electric grill that uses wood pellets to cook food. It functions much like an outdoor stove or charcoal smoker. In this case, however, you can smoke the food indoors. You are also saved from the painstaking tasks of handling charcoal or controlling heat. Everything is by the touch of a button.
How a pellet smoker works
When using a pellet smoker, you place the pellets in a pellet hopper. An electric-powered auger feeds these pellets into the burning chamber. You flip on the switch. In the ‘fire pot,’ the wood pellets are ignited by an electric coil. They start burning and produce smoke and heat.
A system of fan distributes this smoke and heat to the cooking area. By the end of a cooking session, your food will have that mouthwatering smoky flavor that is all rich and natural.
These smokers cook fast.
It takes 10-20 minutes to cook your food on a pellet smoker. It would take a similar amount of time just to light the charcoal in a charcoal smoker. A gas smoker may be a bit faster, but its usability is limited in many ways.
It’s just easier to deal with electric appliances, especially if you are urbane and time-bound. Pellet smokers heat up quickly. Further, once you select your cooking temperature, you don’t have to babysit it. You can go do other house chores and come back to perfectly smoked foods.
They have digital controls.
When using an electric pellet smoker, there are digital controls for setting a specific heating temperature. Many people love the fact there is no open flame or flare-ups during food preparation.
The learning curve for charcoal and gas smokers might be steep, but not for the pellet smoker. It is simplicity redefined. There are no vents or dampers to open or close. Instead, to adjust the temperature, one turns a digital knob or presses a button-this action controls heating by either restricting or increasing pellet circulation and combustion in the heating chamber. Most models include a thermometer that makes it easy to track the right cooking temperature.
You can expect even cooking.
One major issue with smoking, even though it leads to great-tasting meals, is uneven cooking. Users of charcoal and gas smokers know this well. One side of the food heats up faster (and can even burn) when the other parts are barely cooked.
A pellet smoker solves this menace with its well-rounded circulation system of fans. This appliance uses electricity, so even heating and amped circulation leads to even cooking. You get to cook your meals faster and perfectly, your culinary skills, notwithstanding.
You can cook even mushrooms and burgers on it.
You can set your taste buds on an exploratory path using pellet smokers. For example, if lunch was cooked with maple pellets, dinner can be made with hickory or apple-flavored pellets. It is a different enthralling smoky flavor every time you sit at the table for a meal.
You can smoke your veggies too. When you choose to go vegan, it doesn’t mean that you should give up smoked foods. Our ancestors smoked their mushrooms, corn, and carrots too. The comfortable temperature adjustment on a pellet smoker makes it easy to cook these food items.
The smoke does the seasoning for you, adding a deep and robust flavor to whatever is on your menu for dinner.
Low risk of burning food
Ashy, burnt, and charred foods are expected outcomes in other smokers, especially for new beginners. The pellet smoker helps you smoke your foods without burning them. Whatever heating temperature setting you to choose, it stays the same, leading to presentable and platable cooking outcomes.
There is no direct heating, and that is why you can trust the pellet smoker to do a better job.
Unlike charcoal, where food is placed on the heat, pellet smokers circulate the heat from the combustion chamber to the cooking area. It is much like convection heating in ultra-modern grills. But the foods cooked on the pellet smoker are far tastier.
Once the pellets are ignited in the heating chamber, the fans allow airflow and strike equilibrium between cold and heated air. The smoke produced gets to your food at the same time as the heat. The risk of burning food or over flooding your living room with smoke is statistically improbable.
You can cook outdoors on a windy day.
If you have tried using a charcoal smoker before, you know just how the wind can mess up everything. It fans the blazes and the flare-ups increase. Temperature spikes, and if you are not watchful, your food can burn.
Cookouts can be much better and faster with a pellet smoker. It leads to steady heating and less demanding management. Once you feed it with pellets and set the right temperature, you can focus on other things and come back to satisfactory cooking results.
Pellet smokers are available in all sizes.
You can buy a large scale pellet smoker for your commercial food preparation in restaurants. You can buy a medium smoker for your family. You can buy a small smoker for your individual use. Size is directly connected to price points. It is not a charcoal smoker, but you can still get your foods extra smoky.
One of the arguments that critics put against pellet smokers is that they lead to ‘inauthentic’ smoked flavors. If you are presented two plates of smoked lamb, you won’t differentiate the pellet-smoked from the charcoal smoked. And if you prefer concentrated smoky flavors, you can get that by placing the pellets close to the heat diffuser. It guarantees that more smoke reaches your food.
Another option is slow cooking. It leads to extra smoky and tasty foods. A pellet smoker makes things simpler such that you can cook in or out of your home as you like. You can cook as you do other chores or as you catch up with your TV shows. If you have vision and ambition but still appreciate history, this is the smoker to consider buying.
Interested in buying a pellet smoker? Learn more about the best electric pellet smokers.
Want to buy a pellet smoker that won’t break the bank? Read more about the best pellet smokers under $500.