Why Choose Pellet Grills Over Electric or Charcoal Grills?
Allie D'Andrea 10.13.20
Pellet grills offer significant advantages compared to electric or charcoal grills, but are they the right fit for you? Here are some pros and cons to consider before buying your next grill.
- Set it and forget it
I’ve screwed up a few roasts and briskets in a traditional vertical smokers. Without constant attention to detail and temperature control, it tends to overcook and dry out. If you’re a pit master this won’t be an issue, but for most weekend warriors wanting to enjoy a smoky spin on their grilled foods, a pellet grill is dummy proof. You turn it on, set the temp just like the oven in the kitchen, and the grill goes to work providing a stable temperature environment. They’re truly a set-and-forget style of grilling, as pellets are dispersed into the smoke chamber automatically.
- Temperature probes for monitoring internal temperatures
Of course you can buy a thermometer and manually monitor your meats on any grill, but most pellet grills have temperature probes that connect to a digital screen that shows the internal temperature of whatever your cooking. Monitoring internal temperature is critical for a perfectly cooked piece of meat!
- Most have an app
I’m more of a “hands on” type when using the pellet grill, however it is nice to have the ability to directly control your grill settings from your smartphone. This is especially useful when monitoring internal temperature, as your phone will notify you when your steak reaches 125° F. I could see this being especially handy if you add kiddos to the equation.
- Very consistent outcomes
Consistency is something we strive in all aspects of life, so why not with your cooking too. It’s great to know that your going to be cooking quality meals, with minimal work, every single time. They’re built like tanks, easy to operate, and cook amazing food without fail.
- No more lighter fluid and charcoal
Pellet grills provide the authentic smoky flavor of a true barbecue. These grills give off less acrid smoke than charcoal grills and the pellets come in different flavors such as maple, hickory, apple, and pecan.
- No more refilling propane or exchanging tanks
I know this isn’t the end of the world, but it can be a pain. Pellet grills plug into an outlet, so the only think you have to remember is to unplug it when you’re done.
- Quickly heats up
They take less time to heat up than traditional grills. Depending on your model, it will take anywhere from 6 – 10 minutes to heat up.
- Something to consider
Choose the grill that fits your lifestyle and needs. Who are you cooking for? How much space do you have? Do you need an app and WiFi or do you want to keep it simple? What is your budget?
- High temperatures are hard to come by
Although some pellet grills will hit temperatures higher than 450°F, the more affordable options struggle to hit the 500° mark. A charcoal grill on the other hand can hit those high temperatures easily.
- Not all offer direct flame
Having the ability to sear your food and achieve a tasty char is a must for a grill. Make sure your pellet grill has the option for direct flame, because not all have this feature.
- Power source to operate
Some brands offer small portable pellet grills that can be easily powered by a generator. However, because charcoal grills do not require a power source, they have a distinct advantage over pellet grills from this aspect.
- Expensive to buy and run
Naturally, if a product makes cooking easier and taste better, that is going to come at a price. As convenient as pellet grills are, they are costly. Also, fueling a pellet grill is more expensive compared to other types of smokers.
Pellet grills have magnificently increased the quality and flavor of my food and it’s sure to do the same for you. They don’t come cheap, ranging anywhere from $350-$1500, however pellet grills do offer real value for the money. Beyond my own experience, my dad recently purchased his first pellet grill and he proudly sends me weekly photos of what he’s grilling. They’re easy to learn how to use, provide a fool proof smoking experience, and create delicious meals every time.