How to Light a Wood Pellet Grill – Beginner’s Guide

No one can beat the delightful taste of grilled foods cooked in the backyard while listening to vintage music with loved ones.

Pellet grills are a great option to kick-start your grilling and barbecuing journey. They are easy to use and create less mess than charcoal grills, so they are suitable for routine use. 

If you are there, then it is telling that you have got your first-ever pellet grill but do not know how to start a pellet grill. Starting a pellet grill is not rocket science as it involves basic steps that do not require any prior knowledge. I will thoroughly explain to you the right way to use the wood pellet grill.

Supplies You Need To Start A Pellet Grill

You have got the grill. Now you need the right supplies. Pellets, by default, are fuel for pellet grills, but there are a few other things you will want to pick up.

Pellets

You will need to purchase a pellet grill for this project. Pellets are the fuel your grill runs on and can be found near the charcoal at most stores. There are different brands of pellets, but I recommend getting ones made from hardwood and not made from synthetic materials like they are in some cases. Hardwood pellets burn hotter and more evenly than most other pellets, so they do not leave as much ash behind when you are grilling.

An Outlet

A pellet grill needs an outlet for its pellets and fuel. You can use any outlet that fits your grill, but it must be able to handle the amount of heat generated by your pellet grill. The best way to check this is by checking with the manufacturer or retailer who sold you the grill, as they may have different requirements than you do. If they do not tell you, then ask them ahead of time so that you know what type of outlet will work best with your grill’s size and power requirements.

How to Start a Pellet a Grill

Grilling Gloves

You will want some gloves on hand when working with pellets because they are hot enough to burn your hands while handling them, especially if they are wet at the time. Make sure your pair has long cuffs, so they will not fall. Nothing is usually worse than getting burned while trying to turn your food over or adding more wood chips. 

Grease Bucket

You will need a grease bucket that is large enough to hold your meat and fat before you start cooking. Ensure it comes with a tight-fitting lid to keep an eye on it while you are cooking. It will prevent the product from sticking to the bottom of the grill and causing it to burn.

Grease Bucket

Thermometer

You definitely need a thermometer to monitor temperatures inside your grill so you do not overheat or undercook your food. The thermometer should be accurate enough for accurate readings every time. It should have an alarm that sounds when temperatures get too high or low.

Season Your Pellet Grill

Before you start and cook for the first time on your new pellet grill, I strictly recommend your season your pellet grill. By seasoning, I mean a process of curing the grill by applying oil and heating it at full temperature for a specific time. 

Why Should You Season Your Pellet Grill?

The benefits of seasoning your pellet grill are as follows:

Increase Its Life

Seasoning your pellet grill can increase its life by providing additional protection against rust, corrosion, and other harmful elements. When your pellet grill is seasoned properly, it can resist corrosion and other harmful elements like salt and wind. You will save money on maintenance costs because you are not going to repair your grill whenever there is an issue.

Clean Factory Residual

A seasoned pellet grill will also help clean the factory residual oil that builds up over time in the pores of the steel plate or at the bottom of a smoker box. Its residual oil can cause rust stains on your grates and dirty up your smoker box when used for smoking or slow-cooking food items. Seasoning a pellet grill will also clean out this residual oil so that you can get rid of the bad taste in the cooked food to its smell. 

Prevent From Rust And Corrosive

A seasoned pellet grill will prevent rusting and corrosion since its surface is protected by oil, preventing oxidation. Another benefit of seasoning is that it prevents rust and corrosion from forming on your pellet grill’s body. The reason is it creates an extra-tight seal with the surface of the metal parts where water cannot flow into them easily.

How To Season Your Pellet Grill?

These steps will help you season your pellet grill in no time:

  1. Clean the inside of the smoker using a soft cloth.
  2. Apply high-heat cooking oil to the inside of your pellet smoker. Do not apply too much. If oil is dripping them, clean them using a tissue or cloth.
  3. Please turn on the grill and allow it to run at high temperatures for 2 to 3 hours to season your pellet grill adequately. Open the grill lids during the whole session to prevent smoke from accumulating inside your grill.
  4. After that, turn it off so it cools down. 

How To Start The Pellet Grill?

The following steps will let you kick-start your pellet grill for an exciting grilling session:

Plug In The Pellet Grill

Most pellet grills have a dedicated power cord that you can use to plug into an outlet or a surge protector. It will ensure that the unit does not overload and shut off as soon as it reaches its maximum capacity. If your grill does not have a dedicated power cord, connect one end to an outlet and connect the other to an extension cord or surge protector.

plugin pellet grill

Load Pellets In The Hopper

Once you have plugged in your pellet grill and made sure it is ready to go, you can load up the hopper with pellets. Ensure you only load pellets into the hopper until it is full. If you do not do this, there won’t be enough fuel for your grilling session, resulting in uneven heating, which will ruin your hard work.

Load Pellets In The Hopper

Prime The Hopper

After you have loaded up on pellets, it is time to prime the hopper by adding oil and other ingredients such as spices or seasonings. You can use either vegetable oil or pork fat but not both at once. It will create smoke and possibly cause problems with your grill.

priming pellet grill

Turn Your Grill On (With Open Lids)

Turn on your pellet grill, but leave the lid open. By doing so, you can check whether the airflow from the grills is blocked or not. It will allow the pellets to heat up faster and burn at a more even temperature.

turn on the grill

Close The Grill For Pre-heating

Remember that this step is optional but recommended if you want your food to cook evenly and quickly. If you use a single lid, close it while leaving the other open so that steam can escape from inside and prevent overheating. If you use lids with multiple openings, close them all before putting them on the countertop or other surfaces where they will stay still during cooking.

Close The Grill For Pre-heating

How to Light a Pellet Grill?

Pellet grills are sumptuous for backyard cooking, but they can be hard to light. The key is to use a chimney starter. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Place the pellet grill on one side of the chimney starter and fill it with charcoal briquettes (or lighter fluid).
  2. Light the briquettes with a match or lighter until they begin to smoke. Do not allow them to burn.
  3. Place wood pellets on top of the lit pile of briquettes, cover with foil and place into your grill’s firebox. A minimum of two inches of space should be allowed between each wood pellet and no gaps should exist between wood pellets.
  4. Put some newspaper on top of the wood pellets, along with some foil, kindling, or other fire starters if you wish (not required). 
  5. Before lighting your pellet grill, cover it with a lid and let it sit for 20 minutes.
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How Long Do Pellets Last In A Pellet Grill?

It depends on a few things, like the type, shape, and size of the wood pellet you are using, along with the temperature at which your grill/smoker is running. Precisely, it is pretty tough to answer this, but according to my experience and knowledge, a 2 pounds wood pellet bag is sufficient for low and slow cooking for an hour. 

But if you want to cook high and fast, you should source 4 pounds of wood pellets for 1-hour grill functioning. To make your wood pellets last longer during the cooking session, make sure that you are storing them properly. I store them in a plastic container next to my smoker/grill.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Pellet Grills?

Like anything in life, pellet grills are not perfect as they have some edge over other grills, but at the same time, they have some drawbacks as well:

Pros

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Fast cooking time
  • Less required fuel consumption
  • You can grill almost anything with them
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not much durable
  • Temperature control is not precise as other grills

Final Words

If you have a pellet grill and are unaware about how to start a pellet grill, these tips will help. All you need is to have some diligence and the right information, and your brand-new pellet grill will be ready to fire up without any hassle. You can perform all your grilling chores by these steps for efficient and effortless grilling.

Apart from being a great way to get started with your pellet grill, you will also enjoy using the best grilling equipment on the market. What makes it convenient and enjoyable to use are its advanced grilling controls, automatic feeding options, and advanced digital display for temperature. Let’s give it a try.


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