Who doesn’t love a wood-fired grill? Cooking by fire makes some of the best meals. Nothing beats the flavor of smoked meat, wood-fired pizza, or veggies grilled over an open flame. The only problem is the inconvenience of having to buy, season, and split the wood. Fueling a wood-fired grill is time-consuming and takes effort that is sometimes a deal-breaker.
For those who love grilling with fire, but don’t want to bother with firewood, there’s another option: wood pellets. Although it’s not the same as firewood, it’s close and even has some advantages.
If you’ve never considered getting a pellet grill, here are some good reasons to reconsider.
1. Pellets produce dry, radiant heat
Just like a fire created by burning split firewood, wood pellets create the same dry, radiant heat. However, one main difference is that you can control the temperature with wood pellets since they’re uniform and burn evenly. This is the kind of heat you need to cook food evenly on your grill. You can cook food evenly with firewood, but you have to constantly rotate and check on your foot. It’s much easier with pellets.
When you cook with pellets, controlling the temperature makes it possible to cook quickly at high heat, or slowly at a lower temperature, depending on your needs. This gives you a wider range of possibilities for recipes and meals.
2. Wood pellets are easy to get
Firewood is easy to obtain, and so are wood pellets, which can be found just about anywhere. If you already have a wood stove that burns pellets, they can share the same fuel. Pellets are common and are usually sold in 40-pound bags, so be prepared for some heavy lifting if you need more than a few bags. Also, make sure you have ample space in your car because it won’t be easy to stack more than a few bags in one pile unless you really have some muscle.
3. Wood pellets are highly efficient
Compared to firewood, pellets are extremely energy efficient. They’re 2.5 times denser than firewood and very dry (the moisture content is about 7% compared to 20% with firewood). Since pellets are de-barked, they don’t produce much ash. Pellets also create 90% fewer carbon emissions than oil.
If you’re concerned about sustainability, a pellet grill is an excellent choice to support a sustainable lifestyle. You’ll pay a little more for pellets, but the convenience makes it worth every penny.
4. Pellets are an easier way to fuel your grill
Do you really want to take the time to load more firewood into your grill to keep the flames going the entire time you’re cooking? What if you’re making food for a large number of people, or hosting a gathering that will last all afternoon? You’ll have to refuel the wood a bunch of times, which will prevent you from socializing.
This is where pellet grills have a big advantage over firewood. All you need to do is keep the hopper loaded and the pellets will be automatically fed into the chamber to be burned. Pellets burn at a rate of about one pound per hour, at medium heat, and hoppers range from 5-15 pounds.
With a pellet grill, instead of tending the fire all afternoon, you can put more of your focus on cooking and mingling with the people you’ve invited to the party.
5. You don’t need a large grill
If you’ve seen big pellet grills and are thinking they’re too big for your space, rest assured that you can get a smaller unit to meet your needs. Pellet grills can be as small as 24” long. That’s just two feet. Granted, a small grill won’t be ideal for hosting large parties or cooking for a lot of people, but it’s great for cozy gatherings or if you just want to cook for yourself.
6. You can get a pellet stove in 304 stainless steel
If you’re worried about your grill rusting or corroding outside, you can get a 304 stainless steel grill and you’ll never have to worry about any of that. The high chromium and nickel content are responsible for its high resistance to corrosion.
Pellet grills are just as good, if not better, than wood-fired
Now that you know more about pellet grills, it’s easy to see why they make a good choice over grills powered by firewood. While both options will help you make amazing food, pellets are less work, which makes them slightly more ideal.