Wood pellet grills are effective units that are particularly easy to use. All you have to do is pour some food-grade pellets into the top of the hopper at the side of the unit, set your ideal internal temperature for the grill. The integrated auger will push this fuel into the firebox at a reasonable rate.
These models run on a convection system, distributing heat and smoke evenly across your meat and vegetables. The method ensures that your food cooks perfectly and doesn’t burn. But is wood pellet grilling healthier than other cooking methods like charcoal-burning or wood-fired smoking?
What Are the Benefits of Wood Pellet Grills?
Premium-grade wood pellet grills have several strengths. They’re more versatile than other grill options, and you’ll often find that they’re easier to use as well.
- Efficient and even cooking
One of the biggest strengths of wood pellet grills is that they cook food quickly and evenly. These units go through the preheating process much faster than their wood-fired or charcoal-burning counterparts, so you won’t have to wait 20 to 30 minutes until the grill’s internal temperature is at a suitable level for cooking food.
Also, the convection method of heating meat and vegetables is highly effective for cooking food evenly, meaning you won’t have to worry about serving up pork chops undercooked on one side and burned or charred on the other.
- Easy to use
Wood pellet grills are also easy to use. All you have to do is pour a bag of pellets into the hopper at the side of the unit, set the temperature that you want to cook the food at, and the automated function inside the machine does the rest of the work for you. This means you don’t have to stand around the grill and constantly lift the lid to check on your sizzling patties or chicken wings while they’re cooking.
- Versatile and ergonomic units
These units are also incredibly versatile and functional. They can cook many different food types, from gorgeous barbecue-style chicken and juicy pulled pork to slow-cooked brisket and delicious apple pie. You can also choose from a wide variety of other wood pellets, depending on the flavor you want to produce. For example, if you’re baking a traditional apple pie, buy a bag of applewood pellets so that the fruity, sweet smoke complements the flavors of the pie.
Are Wood Fire Pellet Grills Healthier Than Other Grilling Options?
There are several reasons why wood fire pellet grills don’t pose any real risk to your health. Some of these reasons also explain why this type of grilling method is healthier for you than other options, like charcoal models or smokers.
- Food-grade wood pellets
The pellets you use for wood fire pellet grills and barbecues are made entirely from natural food-grade materials. This means that they contain 100% hardwood, whether from an oak, hickory, or maple tree. If your wood pellets include filler of any kind, you’ll know that this filler material comes from the wood of another tree.
Pellet grill owners love that they can modify the flavor of their meat and veg’ simply by using different types of hardwood pellets. They also appreciate the fact that they’re burning natural, safe fuel which doesn’t contain any destructive microbes or carcinogens. Mostveg’s flavor food-grade pellets are constructed with the spare, leftover parts of trees that no one else wants, which means pellet grilling is an environmentally friendly activity.
- More moderate temperature levels
One of the leading health concerns with grilling is overcooking your meat’s surface so that it becomes charred or burned. When the food’s fat reacts with the fuel source’s heat, chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HACs) form in the meat. Research shows that these chemicals are potentially cancerous.
You’re more likely to encourage the formation of these destructive chemicals in your meat if you grill the food over an open flame or choose a cooking method that results in lots of flare-ups. For these reasons, wood pellet grilling is a safer choice than charcoal or wood-fired options. These grills have a built-in convection system that helps to distribute smoke evenly across your food, so you’re unlikely to suffer from any flare-ups or uneven charring.
Also, you can monitor the unit’s internal temperature pretty closely by checking the digital screen that’s on the front of the grill’s hopper. If you’re worried that you might burn or overcook the meat, just use the knob or dial to turn down the temperature, and the grill’s automated pellet dispenser and auger system will adjust its rate of speed accordingly.
- Produces less smoke than other models
Generally speaking, wood pellet grills generate less smoke during the cooking process than their wood-fired and charcoal-burning counterparts. Not only do they produce less smoke, but these modern grills also tend to have integrated convection fans that disperse the small amount of smoke evenly across the cooking rack. This means that you’re less likely to serve up charred, burned pieces of food to your friends and family.
Many wood pellet grills also double as smoker units, but the smoking process involves slow cooking your food at low temperatures over a few hours. You’re unlikely to overcook your beef brisket or pork loins when you follow this method.
Ways to Reduce Health Risks of Grilling
Even though using a wood pellet unit is a healthier option in many ways than cooking on a charcoal or wood-fired model, it’s important to note that any form of grilling carries with it a health risk, however slim. This type of slight health risk also applies to other cooking methods like frying meat and vegetables in fat and popping food in the microwave.
Luckily, there are some simple ways you can reduce the health risks of grilling, whether you’re using a wood pellet model, a propane-fueled unit, or a traditional charcoal grill. One of the most effective tips is to clean out your grill regularly. Ensure you clear out any congealed fat or dried food from the base of the unit, as this debris can lead to flare-ups and grease fires. You can also try to choose lean meat options when planning for a barbecue. This choice limits the amount of HACs forming in the food when the flame reacts with the meat’s fat.
Grill Safely and Effectively With a Wood Pellet Model
When you invest in a high-quality wood pellet model, you can feel confident in the knowledge that you’re grilling food in a way that’s safe, healthy, and effective. You’ll also enjoy combining different wood pellet flavors to complement the aroma and taste of your chicken wings, corn, and beef steaks.