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Are You A New Pellet Grill Owner? 18 Tips for Best Performance

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From the posts on social media, it appears many people received pellet grills/smokers this holiday season. Or are intending to buy one for themselves to take advantage of current sales. Collectively, we here at Steven Raichlen, Inc., have experience with many brands of pellet grills, from Green Mountain Grills, to Traeger, to Memphis, to Z Grills. Here, we’re pleased to share some of our best tips so you can get maximum enjoyment out of your new acquisition.

18 Pellet Grill Tips for Beginners
1. Season your new pellet grill.
Season your new pellet grill according to the manufacturer’s directions (a process that usually takes 45 minutes to one hour). This burns off any residual oils from the manufacturing process.

2. Allow yourself some time to get acquainted with your new grill/smoker.
Allow yourself some time to get acquainted with your new grill/smoker. We know you’ll be anxious to try it out, but don’t be overly ambitious. Instead of a whole brisket, which could take 15 hours or more, or a budget-busting prime rib roast, start with chicken (parts, such as breasts or wings, or a whole bird), pork loin tenderloin, or blade (shoulder) steaks, Cornish hens, salmon steaks or fillets, or other relatively inexpensive cuts that can be completed in 2 hours or less.

3. Identify any hot spots—most grills have them.
Identify any hot spots—most grills have them. Preheat your grill to medium-high as directed by the owner’s manual, then lay slices of cheap white bread shoulder to shoulder across the grate. Watch carefully, then flip after a few minutes. Take a photo of the results. The darkest bread will indicate where the temperature might be hotter. (Print the photo out and add it to your owner’s manual for reference.)

4. Don’t let your meat come to room temperature before cooking.
Whatever meat you select, put it on the preheated grill/smoker straight from the refrigerator. Do not, as many recipes suggest, allow it to come to room temperature before cooking.

5. Invest in a good meat thermometer.
A laser-type thermometer such as this one will give you a more accurate temperature reading at grill level than a built-in dome thermometer. Determine the temperature range of your grill model from lowest to highest (180 degrees to 500+, for example).

6. Take advantage of your pellet grill’s searing capabilities.
Many pellet grills feature searing capabilities, meaning they can reach temperatures over 500 degrees. Again, check your owner’s manual for information on your specific model.

7. Use lower temperatures to generate more smoke.
You’ll generate more smoke at lower temperatures, particularly in the “low and slow” range between 225 and 275.

8. Use the reverse sear method. 
Don’t be afraid to smoke your meat at a lower temperature, then finish it at a higher temperature. This two-step approach is especially useful for smoking chicken with crisp (not rubbery) skin, or the “reverse sear method” often employed for thicker steaks or prime rib (for more information, click here).

9. Never allow the pellets in the pellet hopper to run out.
Never allow the pellets in the pellet hopper to run out. If this happens, consult your owner’s manual before relighting the grill. If you must, set a timer to remind yourself to top off the pellets.

10. Use your pellet grill just like an oven. 
Your pellet grill/smoker can be used just like an oven, capable of baking, braising, roasting, etc. But the addition of wood smoke gives food much more intriguing flavors.

11. Experiment with pellet flavors.
Experiment with pellet flavors. Some brands of pellets are fairly subtle.

12. Invest in a smoking tube to supplement the smoke generated by your grill. 
If you want to supplement the smoke being generated by your pellet grill, or even cold smoke, invest in a smoking tube or maze such as the one by A-MAZ-N.

13. Position your grill at least 6 feet away from your home. 
Position your grill at least 6 feet from any walls, trees, overhangs, etc. (This is true for ALL grills and smokers.)

14. Clean your grill frequently. 
Clean your grill frequently to avoid the build-up of ash or grease. A shop-type vacuum is a necessity, as is a putty knife or sharp-bladed spatula. Don’t forget to clean the chimney or exhaust.

15. Use heavy-duty foil for easier clean up.
Use heavy-duty foil to cover the grease tray and/or to line the grease bucket. (Empty cans, such as tomato or coffee cans, can also be used as bucket liners.)

15. Always store pellets in a dry place.
Always store pellets in a dry place. Otherwise, then will turn to sawdust, and if in the augur, to something akin to cement!

16. Remove the grease bucket after each cook.
After each cook, remove the grease bucket from the side of the grill and store it in a safe place to keep it out of the reach of dogs, raccoons, or other hungry critters.

17. Use the upper rack of your grill to cook something that’s prone to drying out. 
Your pellet grill provides both convection and radiant heat. If you are cooking something that’s prone to drying out, such as chicken breasts or thin fish fillets, position them on the upper rack to protect them from the heat radiating from the bottom. If your unit didn’t come with an upper rack, you can balance a wire rack on fire bricks or purchase after-market racks. You can also put a pan of water or other liquid on the grill grate to generate moisture.

18. Smoke vegetables and side dishes on your new grill. 
Do smoke or grill vegetables or side dishes on your new grill. (You can preorder Steven’s latest book, How to Grill Vegetables, here.)

 

Did you learn something new? For the seasoned pros, what are your tips for first time pellet grill owners? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or Instagram!

The post Are You A New Pellet Grill Owner? 18 Tips for Best Performance appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

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By: Cialina TH
Title: Are You A New Pellet Grill Owner? 18 Tips for Best Performance
Sourced From: barbecuebible.com/2020/12/25/18-pellet-grill-tips-for-beginners/
Published Date: 12/28/20

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BACON BUTTERMILK MEATLOAF | Recipe | BBQ Pit Boys

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This Bacon Buttermilk Meatloaf is probably the best meatloaf you're ever going to taste, it’s packed with flavor and real easy to make as shown here by the BBQ Pit Boys

By: BBQ Pit Boys
Title: BACON BUTTERMILK MEATLOAF | Recipe | BBQ Pit Boys
Sourced From: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpHecqfEB_o
Published Date: 01/23/21

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Southern Grilled Bologna Sandwich

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Are you full of baloney!!?? Well you might be after trying this recipe. I teamed up with Grillin’ Fool Tom at his grilling paradise to recreate a sandwich he was fond of while working in Mississippi (Southern for sure!) at a fabrication plant during his younger days (circa 1983). You see, everyday at lunchtime a traveling food vehicle came around, affectionately referred to as the roach coach, and a poor precursor to the modern food truck phenomenon, peddling inexpensive lunch items to the workers. The most popular item was a simple grilled bologna sandwich with cheese and mayo served on a burger style bun. It was cheap and it was good! Here are the items needed for our effort to take Tom back to this culinary delight from his younger years

Southern Grilled Bologna Sandwich Ingredients:
For the Sando:

3 1/2 inch thick old fashioned bologna slices. (Sub beef bolo if you wish but based on a previous cook in which we tasted both the good ole pork stuff was best in both flavor and texture in our opinion)

3 thick slices of colby cheese. (Why colby? It fit the bun!)

Vine ripened tomato, sliced

Butter lettuce

Fresh restaurant sized buns (we went with cornmeal dusted ‘cuz it’s sorta Southern)

Spray oil

Your favorite condiment(s). We used mustard however mayo was the original from the coach. We thought comeback sauce would work and be truly Southern.

For the Chips:

3 Idaho russet potatoes-they crisp up the best.

Frying oil

Your favorite BBQ rub OR salt (suggest you don’t do both together as most rubs already contain significant sodium)

Carve the baloney into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Don’t go thin here
One sliced slab down. You can almost hear it thud!
Wunderbar translates from German to Wonderful
Slice up the vine ripened tomatoes:

We highly recommend the vine ripened tomatoes
We decided to cook these bologna beasts on the newest addition to the Grillin’ Fools stable of grills, the Broilmaster Premium Grill:

BROILMASTER!!!
Check out those cross-hatch grill marks! Tom replaced one of the burners with an optional infrared sear unit. One can also be added on the side table if desired:

Grill Marks!!
Pay attention when using the sear station. This can happen quickly.

This one became a sampler for the chefs. While it tasted great, it wasn’t pretty enough for a plated shot.
Once the baloney slices are seared and moved off the heat it was time to give the buns a quick, really quick, toast. Make sure to give the buns a quick spritz with some spray oil before toasting to keep them from burning and give a little better toast action:

That grill is huge!
Now for the “fixins”. That’s Southern ain’t it? Lettuce and cheese on the bottom so the juicy tomato doesn’t soak the bun:

This is the perfect basis for a wicked sando
How about those grill marks?! As an SCA certified judge I was prepared to give him high marks for appearance but I see he still has some practicing to do. I wonder what Marty Mayrose would think of that.

That’s pretty as a picture
The sando is great and needs an equally amazing side to accompany it. These fried potato slices are sooo much better than that tiny bag of chips from the roach coach. The mandoline was set to approximately 1/8 inch for the taters.

Time for the mandoline
And they’re sliced!

Only a mandoline can slice potatoes this perfect
After slicing, the taters were soaked in cold water for 20-30 minutes then drained and patted dry with paper towels prior to hitting the fryer.

Sliced potatoes rinsed and ready
Tom scored a used commercial fryer and installed it on his covered patio/deck cooking area. Gas is piped directly so there are no cans to kick around plus the thermostat regulates a steady temperature which makes for fabulous frying. Tom’s fish fries are wonderful with hush puppies, french fries, fish, and fried pepper rings (Oh yeah!)

Short order fry cook. Coming right up!
Fryer in action! Temp set to 350 and the taters are cooked until golden and crispy. Having two baskets is simply super because the chips disappear quickly!

Deep fried heaven
Season or salt the chips while hot. We used our favorite pork bbq rub.

Season while it’s hot!
Here’s the cook’s treat. Notice the divots in the bowl of seasoning? We dipped warm sample chips into the rub for an awesome kick of flavor. Testing one, two. Testing. More testing!

Skip seasoning the chips all at once with a sprinkle and dunk each chip one at a time for maximum rub application
Can you handle this bolo beast of a sammich??

This isn’t a wimpy sando
Bologna Basket to go!! Now we’ve come this far and I have to ask “Do you say baloney or bologna??” I’m guessing that if you say bologna you probably lift your pinky when you sip your beverage. Put me in the baloney crowd. Many of us grew up with fried baloney sandwiches but now the grill makes them even better.

That’s one sexy sammich
So how was this cook we always ask? First the chips, oh the chips, were extremely habit-forming. The sandwich? It was, of course, Wunderbar, as well as a blast from the past (and the South)

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.

Save Print Southern Grilled Bologna Sandwich Author: Greg Thomas Recipe type: Sandwich Cuisine: Barbecue Prep time:  20 mins Cook time:  30 mins Total time:  50 mins   Southern grilled bologna sandwich with a side of deep fried potato chips Ingredients For the Sando: 3½ inch thick old fashioned bologna slices. (Sub beef bolo if you wish but based on a previous cook in which we tasted both the good ole pork stuff was best in both flavor and texture in our opinion) 3 thick slices of colby cheese. (Why colby? It fit the bun!) Garden tomato sliced Butter lettuce Fresh restaurant sized buns (we went with cornmeal dusted ‘cuz it’s sorta Southern) Spray oil Your favorite condiment(s). We used mustard however mayo was the original from the coach. We thought comeback sauce would work and be truly Southern. For the Chips: 3 Idaho russet potatoes-they crisp up the best. Frying oil Your favorite BBQ rub OR salt (suggest you don't do both together as most rubs already contain significant sodium) Instructions Sando Instructions Slice the bologna into three half inch thick slices Grill the slices to put cross hatch grill marks on each side Give the buns a quick spritz of the spray oil and toast quickly on the grill (don't walk away as these will brown quickly) Apply your favorite condiments and stack that sando Chips Instructions: Slice the potatoes ⅛ of an inch thick Soak the potato slices in water for 30 minutes then drain in a colander and pat dry Deep fry until the chips float and remove from the oil and season with salt OR your favorite BBQ rub (not both) Serve
 
Author informationGreg Thomas | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest |

Broilmaster,Grilling,Pork,Baloney,Baloney Sandwich,Bologna,Bologna Sandwich,Fried Potato Chips,Grilled,Grilled Baloney,Grilled Baloney Sandwich,Grilled Bologna,Grilled Bologna Sandwich,Potato Chips,Sammich,Sando,Sandwich,Southern,Southern Grilled

By: Greg Thomas
Title: Southern Grilled Bologna Sandwich
Sourced From: grillinfools.com/blog/2021/01/21/southern-grilled-bologna-sandwich/
Published Date: 01/21/21

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Bacon-Bourbon Chicken Kabobs

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I was going to try Birria Tacos next, but this recipe was on my pile (I can't remember where it's from), it sounded good, and I had some new wood-handled skewers to try out.
 
2 lbs boneless skinless cheekun thighs, cut into 1" squares
Thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1" squares (one slice per thigh worked perfectly)
 
For the Baste:
1.5 cups commercial BBQ sauce 
1/3 cup Blanton's* bourbon
3 Tbl dark brown sugar
2 Tbl sriracha
1.5 Tbl yellow moostard
1 Tbl neutral oil
1/2 Tbl garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pecker
 
* in honor of YukonRon  
 
Alternate the cheekun and bacon on the skewers, grill over a hot fire, basting top each time you turn (~every 3 minutes).  
 

 
Next time I'll leave out the oil, all it did was pool up on top of the baste and coat my basting brush.  I really like the new skewers; I had been using Weber's but while flat they were only about 1/8" wide, and some foods would spin on them, plus I would always forget and grab the metal handle and burn the &$^%! out of my hand.  These have nice bamboo handles, are wide, and a set of 8 came in a zippered folder covered with Capitol-Camo™, $9!  I will be sharpening the tips on my diamond stones, though.  
 

 
I didn't get quite the crispy edges I wanted, but I have an idea I'm going to try tomorrow.  Tasty, this was a keeper.  
 

EggHead Forum

By: Botch
Title: Bacon-Bourbon Chicken Kabobs
Sourced From: eggheadforum.com/discussion/1227008/bacon-bourbon-chicken-kabobs
Published Date: 01/19/21

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