Pellet smokers and grills offer one of the best ways to get authentic smokey barbecue at the same convenience as propane grills.
Their electronic control panel and auger system help to feed the fire continuously so that your grill is never in danger of burning out or showing flare-ups.
So as long as that hopper is full and you have power, then you’re in business.
Despite this problems do happen, and you might find that the amount of smoke your pellet smoker grill is generating isn’t enough.
This isn’t totally uncommon, and experienced pelletheads often find that it doesn’t compare to the amounts of smoke they can rustle up with their traditional grill, especially if they use hardwood logs or soaked wood chips.
Here are a few adjustments and steps you can take to get the smoke roaring in your pellet grill.
Tip 1: Lower and slower
If you’re BBQ smoking then try taking a step back and slowing things down. Wind back that temperature and see how things go. The drop in temperature and extending the cooking time can help build up smoke.
It isn’t a quick solution, but if infusing your meat with a smokier flavor is what you’re after then this could be a great smoker hack to use.
This can take a bit of experimentation and trial and error, but with some persistence you’ll get there.
Start by trying to lower your cooking temperature by about 50 degrees fahrenheit and see how you go. This will help prolong your cooking by about 30-45 minutes, and will help build up a greater amount of smoke.
If you do this, bear in mind that this might leave your meat vulnerable to drying out due to the longer smoking time. To get around this, I recommend placing a water pan in your smoker chamber. This will help keep your meat moist.
Tip 2: Change your wood pellets
A common line among most pellet grill manufacturers is that you have to use their own-brand pellets with the grill.
In my experience, this doesn’t need to be religiously adhered to, and I’ve never had any trouble interchanging between different brands’ pellets. Although it is worth mentioning that using a different brand’s pellets can void the warranty should your pellet smoker grill run into any problems.
What can make this claim from brands frustrating is that some types of pellets just aren’t always up the job of creating a healthy amount of smoker.
Traeger are a brand that famously claim that only their own-brand pellets can be used with any of their pellet range, but their pellets can be a little on the weak side when it comes to smoke and potence of flavor.
Don’t let this claim scare you. Sometimes a little shake-up is all that’s needed to get your grill back on track.
I recommend trying hickory or oak. You might find the swap provides a more intense, smokier flavor.
Trip 3: Get a smoker tube
If you’re reluctant to try different pellets or to experiment with lower temperatures, then you can always invest in a smoker tube.
These gadgets are essentially what they sound like, and are a fairly cheap add-on. Despite this, they’re extremely well built, with 304 stainless steel, so are built to last.
These tubes act by holding your pellets compactly. By having them in a compact space, they generate more smoke.
They’re not too dissimilar to gas grill smoker boxes, which are regularly used on propane grills to help create a richer and smokier flavor for propane grills.
The tube has holes along its sides to allow good airflow while also distributing smoke evenly. The compact design allows the pellets to burn at a great rate and generate a healthy amount of smoke for several hours.
As a side note, smoker tubes can be used with other types of grills and smokers, like gas grills, or charcoal smokers.
Once you fill the tube, simply light it and place it in the middle of your grill, below the grates.