How To Use Pit Boss Electric Smoker or Pellet Grill?
How Smokers and Pellet Grills Work?
A pellet grill or smoker can seem complicated if you have never used one before. They are very different from gas or charcoal grills. Wood pellets stored in a container are slowly fed into a firebox the same size as a coffee mug.
The fan moves air around the firebox and smokes inside the smoker or grill. You can have a fire going for grilling or smoking as long as the hopper is full. It can be thought of like a convection oven.
Electricity is essential for both smokers and pellet grills to work
Electricity is required to power four key elements of a pellet smoker or grill:
- To ignite the pellets in your firebox, use the Metal Igniter
- Use a fan to blow air around the firebox, where the fire is lit.
- Auger for transferring wood pellets from the hopper to the firebox
- Digital Control Panel for monitoring and controlling temperatures
You might find additional bells and whistles in your pellet smoker or grill, but these are the essential electronic elements—there will be no grilling without electricity.
After the pellets have been ignited, the electricity required is very minimal. A car battery or even a solar-powered generator can be used to power a pellet smoker or grill.
These are the steps to starting and using your Pellet Grill/Smoker:
- Prepare your meat and understand your time-temperature plans.
- You should ensure that you have enough wood pellets for your hopper.
- It would be best if you check your firebox for any excess ash, pellets, or debris. Although I don’t do this myself, it’s a good idea. It gets cleaned about every five cookouts.
- Clean the grates so that your meat is not contaminated.
- Use a nonstick cooking spray to spray the grates.
- Turn on the smoker or grill to get your energy.
- Turn the temperature knob to the lowest setting for smoke.
- You can open the lid and then turn it on by pressing a button. The fan will first turn on; then the auger will slowly feed pellets into your firebox. The igniter rod will turn red, igniting the pellets. You’ll see smoke after about a minute. Let the pellets burn for approximately 4-5 minutes by leaving the door or lid open. After about a minute, the smoke should stop.
- Add water to your container or water pan now if you are adding water. The water must be hot. This is often used to smoke the meat slowly and lowly to preserve its moisture.
- Turn the temperature knob until you are ready to grill or smoke. Depending on how hot you like it, this process can take between 2-10 minutes. To kill any bacteria that may have been present from previous barbecues, you should allow it to reach at least 225°F.
- Next, please open the door or lid and place your meat in it. Then close the door and allow your smoker or grill to cook according to your instructions.
This process applies to any model or makes of pellet smoker/grill. After you have done it a few times, you will be able to master the process.
Grilling steaks fast and hot will require you to be present at the grill all the time. You can leave the grill to finish other tasks if you smoke it slow and low temperature.
Keep in mind that it is a fire, and artificial appliances can have problems from time to time. The unit could turn off, or the fire might go out. The auger could also overfeed the firebox, causing it to blaze up and burn everything.
Both of these situations have happened to me with two different models. I have also left my smoker unattended for 6+ hours and returned to perfectly smoked meat. Be careful not to leave your smoker unattended.
See Also: Best Pit Boss Pellet Grill
How to Shut Down a Pellet Grill – How to Turn It Off Properly
Another area where pellet grills differ from other grills is in the way they are used. It is important not to let the grill burn out. You must turn it off or unplug it.
First, you need to stop feeding pellets into the flame. To do this, turn the control knob to the lowest smoke setting and leave the lid or door open. Give it about five minutes to finish lighting what is in the firebox.
You can then turn it off by either turning the knob to the off position or pressing the button until the lights on the control panel go out. To remove any leftover meat, I run a grill brush a few times over the grates.
You may hear the smoker or grill making fan noises for a while longer before it stops. You can then unplug the grill or smoker. You can cover it with a cover, but it may take a little longer to cool off. Once it is, you can close the lid or door and enjoy your food.
You will need to empty your grease trap every now and again. You should also keep your grease catch clean and dry to ensure many years of smoking or grilling. [source]
How Long Do Wood Pellets Last In A Smoker?
There are many variables to consider, such as the quality and type of pellets used and the heat of your grill or smoker.
Although I haven’t checked the exact amounts and times, my research shows that I see about 2 lbs of pellets per hour for low- and slow smoking and 4 lbs for high temperatures (275 degrees F).
My pellets are kept in a waterproof plastic container outdoors near my smokers. I then use a quart-sized container to fill my hoppers from there. Keep your pellets dry! They will be ruined if they become wet.
It can make a big difference to be prepared for smoking meat. You need to ensure that you have enough wood pellets and the right meat. Then, let the fire and smoke do their magic until the meat is done. You can then enjoy the incredible flavors of properly smoked meats.
Just thinking about it brings a tear to my eyes.