For many when we talk about barbecuing it means hotdogs and hamburgers on the backyard grill. There’s nothing wrong with this of course – I cook them often myself. But there is another type of barbecue. It is a type that many hardcore outdoor chefs prefer. For this group smoking meat is the only way to go. Now I have to say, I was a long time fan of the quick and easy. Go out turn on the gas and start cooking. But now I have come to realize that the slow cooking approach is by far what real barbecuing is all about.
Getting that real smoke taste is almost impossible with today’s gas or electric grills. Sure they serve a very specific need, but they’re not the choice if you want that rich outdoor smoke taste with your food. The very popular outdoor gas grills are fine for quickly preparing a variety of foods. And yes you can create some real gourmet dinners on an outdoor gas grill just like you can indoors. But if it is that real outdoor barbecue flavor that you’re looking for, than you are going to need something else to get it done.
The smoker has been around for ages and come in all shapes and sizes. Many people equate a smoker to large ovens that are used to cook large amounts of meat at one time. This has been and still is a very popular use of the large smoker. But for the rest of us who to cook something less than a whole side of beef for 200 guests we need something else.
One of the best solutions I’ve found is the pellet grill. What’s a pellet grill? It looks like your standard outdoor barbecue but in reality is quite different. First, it uses wood pellets for fuel – not gas or charcoal. I’ve even seen other pellet fuel available such as corn. You can use almost any kind of wood you want – hickory, mesquite, cherry etc. – to get that special smoked taste you’re looking for. The other big difference is that the fire is kept in a firebox away from the food. This allows for slow cooking and lets the food absorb the smoke flavor. It is like convection cooking.
In many models the pellet fuel is loaded into a storage bin and automatically fed into the grill as required to keep the fire going. The results are unbelievable. You can cook any kind of meat, fish you can even bake with these grills. I’ve seen biscuits cooked that you wouldn’t believe. This is truly a versatile outdoor barbecue.
Plus with these you never have to worry about running out of gas. If you’re like me you have gotten half way through preparing a meal only to run out of gas before you’re finished. These are also a lot cleaner burning than charcoal which means they’re much easier to clean up after use.
If you want a really unique barbecuing experience you should look into the pellet grill. If it’s time to replace an aging barbecue or grill, before you make your next purchase, take a look at a pellet grill. It will help turn you into a true outdoor chef.