Are you wondering how to increase smoke in your pellet smoker? Have you recently invested in a pellet smoker but you’ve found that it doesn’t smoke as much as you had anticipated? Or perhaps, despite being extremely convenient, the smoke flavor isn’t what you had expected. Does that mean you’re doing something wrong?
Increasing smoke in your pellet smoker isn’t as complex as you might think. Getting to know a little more about your pellet grill and the right pellets to use will go a long way toward solving the problem.
Table of Contents
- 1 All You Need to Know About Smoke In Your Pellet Smoker
- 2 Which Pellet Grill Smoker Produces the Most Smoke?
- 3 How to Increase the Intensity of Smoke in a Pellet Smoker
- 4 Do Pellet Smokers Give a Smoke Ring?
- 5 Reasons Why My Pellet Smoker Isn’t Smoking
- 6 What Can You Smoke in Pellet Smoker?
- 7 Final Thought About Increasing Smoke in a Pellet Smoker
All You Need to Know About Smoke In Your Pellet Smoker
One of the main reasons avid bbq aficionados recommend pellet smokers is the fact that heat and airflow are very well-regulated in these units. You can literally load them with meat, set the desired temperature, and walk away. Pellet smokers assure you of steady temperatures and definitive predictable outcomes.
Once you know exactly how to use your pellet smoke griller, and the types of pellets to use, you’ll easily become the next bbq master among your friends. A few extra pellet smoker tricks will guide you in the right direction.
Some of these tips include knowing how to increase the smoke in your smoker, what pellets produce the most smoke, and tips for the best meats to smoke in a pellet smoker. Let’s look at these in more detail.
Do Pellet Smokers Make Enough Smoke?
In general, pellet smokers are not commonly known for producing the strongest smoke flavor. However, there is something you can do to solve this problem.
It comes down to the types of pellets you use. The best pellets for smoking are hardwood pellets which provide a much longer overall burn time than the more common fruit wood pellets. Hickory wood pellets are most widely used to bbq. This is because hickory releases a strong flavor that enhances most meat cuts.
Which Pellet Grill Smoker Produces the Most Smoke?
If you’re still in the planning stages of purchasing a pellet smoker, you might be wondering which brand will be the best and if you want a vertical or horizontal pellet smoker. If you’re going to be smoking a lot of meat, you might want the best smoker to give you the results you’re hoping for.
Experts agree that pellet grill smoking requires a clean-burning smoke session to turn out the best meat. The two brands that top expert lists are Traeger and Pit Boss.
Traeger allows you to smoke your chosen meat to absolute perfection every time. Users can all vouch for the consistent, flavorful results you’ll get every time. You might already have a Traeger and might just be wondering, “How do I get more smoke from my Traeger?” Ever heard of the super smoker mode?
An added feature of the Traeger smoker is the super smoke mode. This handy feature puts the Traeger grill into a cycle. This cycle involves feeding pellets into the smoker for 15 seconds. Pause for 65 seconds. By doing this a proper amount of smoke is generated. By subjecting your chosen cut of meat to the super smoke treatment for about 10 minutes before grilling you’ll get the tastiest meat.
Watch this video to show you how to use the smoke mode feature.
Pit Boss is the other pellet smoker brand that promises to give you top-notch results. With its accurate temperature control and its ability to smoke and grill to perfection, it’s a popular choice.
The Pit Boss boasts a smoke setting that makes all the difference. Using the smoke setting on a pit boss means you’ll be smoking your chosen cut of meat at 225°F. A tip to remember when you’re using pellets is to remember that the higher the temperature, the more smoke you’ll get. More smoke results in more flavorful meat.
How to Increase the Intensity of Smoke in a Pellet Smoker
While there might be some limitations to using pellet grill smokers, the good news is there’s always a way to increase the smoke levels to your desired levels. Research might give many different tips to follow, but truthfully, there are actually three simple tricks to follow to improve the intensity of your pellet smoker.
Let’s look at a breakdown of these tips to ensure your smoker produces enough smoke:
Improve Your Technique
Perfecting your smoking technique will take a lot of grilling and smoking practice. The more you use your pellet smoker, the better you’ll get at it.
The first tip to getting the most smoke flavor is to keep the temperature below 250 degrees. This means the grill doesn’t get too hot and it also means the meat stays on the grate longer.
But, not to worry, this won’t dry out the meat. If you’re concerned about the meat drying out, you can add a water pan to the grill to keep the right amount of moisture in the smoker.
Experiment With Different Wood Pellets to Get More Smoke
Wood pellets are not only used to ignite the fire and produce the flavor but also to increase the amount of smoke.
Switching to a higher quality pellet that’s filler-free can easily provide the amount of smoke you’re looking for. This happens because higher quality pellets are made of denser material. A tip here is to combine different varieties of wood pellets. Research the different options suited to the type of meat you’re planning to smoke. We recommend trying the Traeger pellets. Traeger provides a vast variety of high-quality wood pellets
More often than not, a combination of two types enhances the flavor you’re looking for. Adding wood chips to a pellet smoker is not uncommon. For additional wood flavor, you can easily position chunks or pouches of soaked wood chips on the heat diffuser plate.
Consider Adding a Smoke Generator Tube
Smoke generating tubes are another simple but very effective way to increase the amount of smoke needed on your grill. Smoker tubes, as they’re commonly called, can be put inside the grill and produce only smoke. Fortunately, with smoker tubes, there is no additional heat so you’ll still easily be able to grill at the desired temperature. You’ll also have all the smoke you’ll need.
Since smoker tubes have such an innovative design, they’re able to hold a sizeable quantity of wood pellets. In fact, it’s enough to provide a continuous amount of smoke for up to five hours, like the Z Grills 12 In Hexagon Tube Smoker. A big plus is that they’re made of stainless steel. Using stainless steel as opposed to regular metal makes the tubes both heat and rust-resistant.
Smoker tubes don’t require any particular kind of wood pellets. They can be used in any size grill, can be used for hot and cold smoking, and are compatible with all types of pellet grills. All these points make a smoke tube a definite addition to your smoker accessories list.
Do Pellet Smokers Give a Smoke Ring?
The simple answer is yes, pellet smokers give a smoke ring. In fact, the smoke ring you can get from a wood-burning pellet grill is pretty great. If you’re new to wood pellet smoking, you might benefit from some extra information about smoke rings.
What is a Smoke Ring?
Myoglobin is a molecule that stores oxygen inside the muscle tissue. In short, myoglobin is what gives meat its color. This means, the color of meat changes according to the amount of oxygen it’s exposed to. The myoglobin bonds to carbon monoxide and nitric oxide during the cooking and smoking process. This means the meat retains its pink color as opposed to turning grey.
Both carbon monoxide and nitric oxide both come from burning real wood. A smoke ring is formed when carbon monoxide and nitric oxide penetrate the meat and form a ring around the outer layers of the meat.
Tips for a Better Smoke Ring
To get the best smoke ring possible here are a few tips for you to follow:
- Use pure hardwood pellets. Hardwood pellets have a higher concentration of nitrogen which means there will a better smoke ring.
- Keep the wood pellets dry. Wet pellets will cause your pellets to smolder rather than burn. It’s also important to take unused pellets out of the hopper. Leaving pellets in the hopper can cause them to rot, which will be no good for your next smoke.
- Keep your grill at a low temperature for the first hour for the meat to absorb the most nitrogen to ensure the best smoke ring.
- Ensure your smokestack is open to ensure enough oxygen flow.
- Trim as much fat off the meat as possible. A layer of fat that’s too thick will prevent the nitrogen and carbon dioxide from reaching the myoglobin.
- Avoid using a rub that’s highly acidic or one that’s too salty. Both will cause the smoke ring to form properly. Invest some quality rub recipes that are made of herbs rather than strong spices and wines.
- Spritz the meat at least twice during the first hour of cooking. A good tip for this is apple juice. The point here is to not soak the meat but just keep the surface moist.
Reasons Why My Pellet Smoker Isn’t Smoking
You might find that despite all the tips and tricks you try, there’s always the possibility that your smoker won’t be getting enough smoke. The most basic answer revolves around the mechanical nature of pellet grills.
The trick here is to remember that pellet grills generally provide indirect heat as opposed to direct heat. Pellet grill users often make the mistake of believing that searing heat will generate more smoke. In fact, the more the smoker heats, the less smoke you’ll get. To keep your smoker producing the right amount of smoke, you’ll have to keep the temperature low.
The ideal is nothing more than 275°F. While this does mean your meat will take longer to cook, it’ll be well worth the wait!
What Can You Smoke in Pellet Smoker?
Are you planning to have a bbq soon and not sure what would the best meat to smoke? Knowing the right types of meat and temperatures to use will ensure you end up with the best results.
The most excellent choices for smoking include the following:
- Chicken Drumsticks: Place on the grill grate and grill at 275°F for roughly one hour. Slow-smoke the chicken in a pan in the pellet griller. Do this for another hour. The suggested wood pellet is mesquite or pecan because of its spicy flavor. This is what’s known as a good bark.
- Pork ribs: Since ribs are very easy to smoke, it’s almost impossible to over smoke. A tip for smoking pork ribs is the 3-2-1 rule. This means three hours of smoking, 2 hours of low and slow cooking, and 1 hour of saucing. To create the best wood pellet flavor, use maple.
- Beef brisket: One of the, most popular bbq choices is beef brisket. With brisket, the trick is to get the smoke flavor to penetrate the meat without overcooking. The ideal grill temperature is 275°F and an internal temp of 160°. The choice of pellet wood is a Texas blend.
- Salmon: Smoking salmon the correct way will give you mouth-watering results every time. Smoking time averages between 75 and 90 minutes. The smoking process is made up of skin-side down at 180°F for roughly 30 minutes. Increase the smoking temperature to 225°F and smoke for an extra 45 to 60 minutes. The best wood pellet to smoke salmon is oak.
Final Thought About Increasing Smoke in a Pellet Smoker
Becoming the master of your own bbq is as easy as having a love for smoked meat and learning to use your pellet smoke griller. Getting the right wood pellets for the different types of meat is only part of the process. Investing in the right accessories such as a smoker tube will help you regulate the temperature and get you closer to the perfect smoking experience.
Just like other pitmasters, you’ll develop your own skills and secrets that will have you perfecting your pellet grill smoking techniques in no time!