Like many French people, you love grilling outdoors when the weather permits. However, would you like to take the cooking level up a notch with more elaborate equipment, offering more possibilities than a simple open charcoal fire? The pellet barbecue is undoubtedly one of the best candidates to serve you!
You will be surprised by its versatility and the quality of its cooking. With it (and a little experience), you will be able to prepare meals as precisely as if you were in the kitchen with a hob, an oven, and a lid… We went looking for the different models on the market thinking about quality, functionality, size, price… Here is a selection of the best models of pellet barbecues currently on sale.
What is a Pellet Grill?
The pellet barbecue is an outdoor cooking device that offers a wide range of possibilities: grilling, roasting, braising, smoking but also carrying out long and gentle cooking. The automation of the device makes it easy to use and precise cooking in all weathers!are Wood pellets, so this cooking method is particularly ecological and healthy. With him, you will become a real little outdoor chef, enough to impress family and friends during gourmet, warm and friendly evenings!
How To Choose The Right Pellet Barbecue?
The pellet barbecue is generally acclaimed by those who want to improve the quality of outdoor cooking, going much further than the simple grilled sausage on a summer Sunday… So to take full advantage of this new cooking tool, it is worth better choose it well at the risk of being disappointed! So let’s see what is useful to observe before investing.
Which type of pellet barbecue for which use?
You will face two formats of pellet :
- The barbecue on feet : with a large tank, a chimney, a lid… it is an imposing and rather fixed model, even if its wheels allow a minimum movement in the property . This model almost always smokes.
- The portable pellet barbecue, to be placed : this more compact can be moved more easily to be installed on any outdoor surface, including on the move. Please note, here thesmoker option is not systematic, some models are simple barbecues, with or without a lid.
As you will have understood, the choice depends on the use you want to make of your barbecue but also of your available space. It is still not an electric plancha, a real wood fire occurs there and a few precautions are therefore in order:
- Your barbecue must be kept at a good distance from any flammable element, on a flat surface.
- It should not be too close to the table so that the smoke does not bother anyone.
- avoid Also placing it against a wall, the latter could eventually have traces of soot.
- Do not forget that an electrical connection is essential, you must therefore have a socket nearby, otherwise you will have to use an extension cord, which is neither aesthetic nor practical.
All these factors will guide you in your selection of pellet barbecue, both for its type and its dimensions.
The size of the cooking surface
This is an important criterion since it depends on the quantity of food that you can cook simultaneously. It is necessary to count at least 250 cm² per person , i.e. a grid length of approximately 50 cm for 4 to 6 people, 55 cm for 6 to 8 guests and more than 60 cm for a table of more than 10 guests. In addition to the main grid, it is very useful to benefit from another higher rack that allows food to be kept warm or to finish cooking gently and slowly.
Capacity of the pellet container
Logically, the larger it is, the longer you can cook without refueling. This avoids you having to handle the bags, however be careful not to leave the pellets in the barbecue for a long time without using it because the pellets could take on moisture, deteriorate and ultimately lose their quality, in addition to not arranging the material.
For a strong, durable but also easy to maintain barbecue, the materials are of great importance.
The body of the barbecue
Regarding the structure,stainless steel is widely used, however this material is classified into 2 categories with different characteristics:
- 304stainless steel is reliable, durable and retains heat very well but it is also more expensive.
- stainlesssteel 403 contains more iron, therefore it resists corrosion for less time.
You can also findenamelled steel, this one is certainly very light but it does not support long-term temperature variations very badly. Cast iron has good thermal capacities but it remains fragile in addition to being heavy.
The cooking grids
Here too there are notable differences depending on the material of the cooking grid:
- grids Stainless steel : very resistant, they are fitted to top-of-the-range barbecues.
- grills Cast iron : they withstand high temperatures very well and have great inertia to retain heat for a long time.
- grilles Metal, often covered with porcelain, this is a mid-range compromise which has the advantage of being easy to maintain.
- grids Steel : they equip inexpensive barbecues. Steel retains heat poorly and rusts easily.
The practical elements of the pellet barbecue In
addition to the cooking space, the layout of the barbecue and its accessories can greatly improve the user’s experience. If the portable model is most often devoid of it, it is obviously to limit its dimensions as much as possible. On the other hand, the freestanding barbecue can offer a side shelf to place your dish, hooks to hang cooking utensils or even a shelf and/or a storage cupboard under the cooking surface. These different elements can be very useful, you will have everything at hand for each cooking, without the need for additional space to put or store.
Another important point, we strongly advise you to provide a pellet barbecue cover to protect it when you are not using it. Given the consequent heat, it is better to bring barbecue gloves so as not to burn yourself. With a barbecue utensil case, you will have everything you need, tidy and easily transportable to go camping in “king of barbeuq” mode!
How Does A Pellet Barbecue Work?
The pellet barbecue works exactly the same way as a pellet stove. A tank stores the fuels and when it is started, an endless screw conveys them to the hearth in which they are burned. The arrival of the quantity of pellets is managed automatically by an electronic system, according to the temperature setting set for cooking. A ventilation system propels the heat towards the cooking tank while filling it with smoke which will not fail topermeate the food to increase the taste pleasure tenfold.
Advantages Of The Pellet Barbecue As
you will have understood, the pellet barbecue offers many advantages, the first being its versatility. With it you won’t have to ask yourself any questions, almost everything can be cooked, at low or high temperature !! Ease of use is another undeniable advantage, the cook will no longer have to stand in front of the grills to be sure that the fire does not suffocate or, on the contrary, that the flame does not burn everything
Pellet barbecues offer automatic operation with constant electronic temperature management, they can operate for several hours without requiring your intervention. Some models even go further by being connected by Wi-Fi, you can then manage remotely from your mobile phone ! With it, amateur cooks will succeed in cooking and smoking their dishes to offer a delicious meal to the whole family or friends.
A fuel always comes into play, here it is wood pellets, perfectly natural and ecological ! While they will be a bit more expensive to purchase than a bag of charcoal from the supermarket (this is already less the case if you select high-end ones), pellets offer a better calorific return. Thanks to the electronic system of the pellet barbecue, their combustion is long and clean with a useful smoke, bringing different flavors according to the wood species chosen.
No need to be numerous to enjoy good cuisine on a good barbecue! There are small portable pellet barbecues as well as large pellet barbecues, on feet or on the table, in short, all possible configurations for an average or substantial budget !
Finally, be aware that the maintenance of a pellet barbecue is much less tedious than a standard barbecue. The pellets produce little ash and deposits on the walls, so you wo n’t have to clean everything every time, except the grids of course.
What Is The Fuel Consumption Of A Pellet Stove?
The exact quantity of pellets used will depend on the cooking temperature but also on the quality of the pellets. We can nevertheless give you an average consumption which is around 500 g per hour.
What Is The Cooking Temperature In A Pellet Grill?
Most pellet barbecues offer precise adjustment of the cooking temperature between 80 and 350°C.
Which Pellets To Use In A Pellet Barbecue?
It is extremely important to specify that you should never, ever, use vulgar heating pellets for the barbecue ! And this even if they are organic and of the best quality. Why ? Because heating pellets are most often made from softwood and may contain chemical binders. If their calorific value is good for heating, they are absolutely not suitable for cooking and could prove to be downright toxic for food purposes!
So choose food-grade pellets, clearly marked as such on the packaging. These pellets are made from hardwoods, 98% dry and without any treatment. You will find many species such as oak, beech, cherry, maple, apple or much less known woods such as mezquite or hickory. You will also find mixtures of pellets specially designed to offer particular flavors to cooking.
Pellet Barbecue: Which Types Of Pellets For Which Ingredients?
You want to choose the best possible wood species to give the perfect taste to your dishes prepared in a pellet barbecue. Find out which type of wood to choose.
|Hickory, Mezquite, Walnut||X||X|
|Peach, pear tree||X||X|
Which species of wood to choose for which cooking in a pellet barbecue?
Does the Pellet Grill Dry Out Meat?
The pellet grill uses convection to cook food quickly. This heat is indeed drier than other cooking systems, however, if you adjust the right temperature, your meats will benefit from perfect cooking, tender and juicy! In this case, it is more your mastery of cooking that will be in question. A learning curve takes place when acquiring such a barbecue, especially if you do not have good prior experience in cooking over a wood/charcoal fire.