The Best Foods To Prepare In A Pellet Smoker

What foods are best for pellets smokers? More than you'd think. Cook meat, fish, veggies, seafood, and even desserts in a pellet smoker outside.

Best Foods to Cook In Pellet Smokers

Seasoned cooks know the value of having a pellet smoker at home. These grills, compared to older counterparts, cook meat in a more modern way by using wood pellets for fuel and relying on convection or heated air instead of direct fire for cooking. The wood pellets come in multiple flavors, which gives you lots of cooking options.

The pellet smoker features uncomplicated temperature control, which means newbies won't have a hard time cooking with it. Speaking of cooking, there are recipes you can make with a pellet smoker that range from smoking salmon and grilling pork to even baking a pie! Here's a guide to what food you can prepare in a pellet smoker.

Why Beef is best in a pellet smoker

Beef is one of the things that come to mind regarding smoked food. You can smoke beef parts such as the prime rib, the brisket, the tri-tip, and the steak. The thing about meat like beef is that you have to make the tough parts tender enough for chewing. The smoker helps with this process once you set it at a temperature sufficient for softening the beef. A common example would be cooking beef steak.

According to Memphis Grills, the necessary temperature for a smoker has to be 225 degrees Fahrenheit so that the internal temperature of the beef would be at 100F. Users can then sear the steaks using tongs, devoting a minute or so to each side depending on how thick the steak is. Keep in mind that beef might come in thick chunks compared to fish or poultry, which means a part of it might remain rare if not cooked enough.

How to cook Pork in a pellet smoker

Culinary enthusiasts at home or in business also cook smoked pork, such as baby back ribs, pork tenderloin, pulled pork, smoked ham, and pork belly, among others. Depending on the cuts you get, pork comes with more fat than other meats. Because fat comes with flavor, you could use this to your advantage once you're preparing the pork at the smoker.

If you have pork belly cuts from the butcher, you can prepare with a rub or marinade. Ingredients like brown sugar, garlic granules, and salt flakes can be used for the pork belly, but you can customize this further. Once you put this in the smoker, the flavors of these can combine well with the pork thanks to its fat.

How to enjoy pellet-smoked Vegetables

This might come as a surprise for some but vegetables are just as eligible for smoking as other food groups. Of course, the heat level of the smoker won't be as high as it would be for cooking meat, but enough to give vegetable that smoky flavor. Grilled vegetable salad, for instance, can get an added layer of flavor by getting lightly charred. Roasted root veggies are also popular among smoker enthusiasts. You can use onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, or parsnips for this dish.

why pellet smokers are for Seafood, too

According to Traeger Grills, wild salmon can be prepared for cooking in a pellet smoker. The salmon would have to be marinated and refrigerated for several hours. This infuses the fish with flavor from the marinade, such as brine made of vodka, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.

The temperature for cooking is usually set to 180 degrees to ensure the fish gets cooked tender. On the smoker, the skin-side of the salmon is normally cooked facing down. Besides salmon, seafood like trout can be smoked as well. All you need to do is butterfly the trout and brine it for an hour or until it absorbs the flavors. You can then leave it in the pellet smoker for two hours until it's ready to cook.

Can you even make Pastries in a pellet smoker?

Lastly, pastries can be baked in the smoker regardless of flavor. Savory baked goods like pizza or meatloaves and sweet desserts like cinnamon buns and banana bread can be set in the pellet smoker at a heat that can do slow and steady cooking. Once the bread rises, the crust forms and a sweet or savory aroma wafts from the smoker, you'll know the baking is done.

Served From The Smoker: Why pellet smokers are the best choice for outdoor cooking

Simply put, there are different kinds of food you can prepare with your pellet smoker. You might think of the classic beef brisket or spare ribs first, but you can actually cook pastries, veggies, seafood, and pork as well. With the array of dishes you can cook with the machine, it's no wonder people treat pellet smokers as a worthwhile investment for their homes.

Resources— Memphis Grills, Traeger Grills, Wide Open Eats