There are lots of different types of grills that you can choose from if you’re itching to do some outdoor cooking. While each has their own benefits, the pellet grill can be a particularly good choice for some. It gets its name from the fact that it uses ignited wooden pellets, as well as a system of fans, for it to heat the food.

However, if you’re new to a pellet grill, then you may not be sure how to use it properly. It’s always important that you know how to handle such machinery carefully, so how do you?

We’ve got all the answers! In the handy guide below, you’ll find the steps you should follow in order to use a pellet grill properly, filled with tips and tricks to help you get you grilling properly this summer. Read on!

How To Use A Pellet Grill

To use the pellet grill properly, you’ll need to prepare it first, then cook in the right way.

Preparing The Pellet Grill

Step One: Season The Smoker

When you first get a new pellet grill, you will need to season the smoker.

Since a pellet grill offers the services of both a grill and a smoker, you will need to make sure the smoker is ready to use. This requires seasoning, which is the process of applying oil to the inside of the smoker/grill and then heating it to a high temperature.

A thin layer of cooking oil will do the trick, because this will make the pellet grill much easier to clean in the future, since it’ll make rust less likely.

However, this isn’t the only point of seasoning a new smoker. When you do this “dry run”, using the grill without any food in it, you’ll find that it also burns off any residual machine oils from when the factory was making your machine.

Of course you’ll need to check the instructions for your particular make and model of pellet grill, then follow whatever they advise.

Step Two: Clean The Pellet Grill

Before any grilling session with your pellet grill, you need to make sure that it’s cleaned properly. If you think about it, grilling on an unclean pellet grill will mean that your new food is getting coated in germs from the last batch you grilled, which will not only ruin the flavors but pose a health risk.

An easy way to clean your grill is by removing the grates and placing them in a dishwasher, or simply brushing them. After that, you can spray the inside of the grill with a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water, then wipe it down with a damp cloth after fifteen minutes have passed.

Finally, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the grill’s inside and the firebox. If this is your first time using the grill, though, you won’t have to clean it!

Step Three: Put Wood Pellets In The Hopper

A pellet grill is fuelled by wooden pellets that are placed in its hopper, so you need to make sure it’s filled with enough to last your entire grilling session. Typically, it will burn around 1-3 pounds of pellets every hour, though this depends on temperature.

You can buy a wide variety of different wood pellets, which can vary in the flavor they bring to your food or how well your pellet grill works.

Step Four: Preheating

Just as with an oven, you need to preheat the pellet grill to get the most effective grilling you can. To do this, fill your hopper with pellets, then set the smoker your needed temperature. Most will have a range between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit, but you will also need to account for what you’re cooking.

Some pellet grills need their lid to be open, so that the starter blast of smoke can get out.


Adding Meat

How To Use A Pellet Grill (1)

When the pellet grill is preheated to the correct temperature, and the initial smoke has cleared, you can add the meat.

If you want the meat to cook properly, then each piece will need space around it. Don’t pack the grill with meat, allow space for each piece to get its ample heat and smoke.

Reverse Searing For A Thorough Cook

A pellet grill has a key issue in its available temperature. Meat needs a certain amount of heat to sear it, and pellet grills simply can’t reach those high temperatures. As a result, you’ll want to use the reverse searing method to make sure you get a thorough cooking. The process will be especially useful for any thick pieces of meat you’ve got.

Put simply, the reverse searing method involves slowly cooking the meat on a low indirect heat, before letting a direct high heat sear the outside. Always ensure that, by the end, your meat is properly cooked – not still pink.

Controlling Temperature

Speaking of cooking properly, you’re going to need a temperature probe to make sure you cook the meat thoroughly. You might get one with your pellet grill, or you might have to buy one.

While you might rely on an oven having cooked your meat by a certain time, you can’t with a pellet grill. As a result, the best way to know your meat is thoroughly cooked is by inserting the temperature probe into its thickest part. If it’s at the correct temperature, you’ll know that it’s on the right track.


If you want an extra smoky flavor to your meat, which is probably why you’re using a grill to start with, then you’ll want more smoke. The best way to achieve this is by cooking at lower temperatures, such as 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finishing Safely

Finally, when your meat is cooked, turn the grill off and let the grill cool. Clean it. After that, disconnect the power, then store it safely.

Final Thoughts

Pellet grills can be complicated – use our steps to help! Always closely follow the instruction manual, though.