Can You Use Pellets In A Charcoal Grill? Yes, But How!

Do you want to use wood pellets in your charcoal grill? Wood pellets always add a beautiful smoky aroma and flavor to your grilled dishes. The technique of using wood pellets in charcoal grills is different, but not difficult!

So, the question comes, can you use pellets in a charcoal grill?

The answer is, Yes, you can. Wood pellets are a very popular alternative fuel source for grill enthusiasts. However, adding pellets with charcoal gives another exclusive taste and a good grilling experience! Now, in this article, you’ll see the ways you can use pellets in charcoal grills and some tips! Let’s dig in!

What are Wood Pellets?

Wood Pellets
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Wood pellets are cylindrical bullet-shaped small pieces of compressed wood. Most of the wood pellets are made of processing and compacting wood shavings, sawdust, and other wood residues. Also, by using binding agents and removing any moisture, they are prepared before exposing to heat.

Wood pellets are completely safe and have no harmful elements that can get infused into the food. When going to purchase wood pellets, make sure you get one specifically designed for grilling. While charcoal can add a satisfying smoky aroma, wood pellets with different flavors can add any flavor. Here are some flavors of wood pellets-

  1. Apple– Very mild aroma, great for whole turkey or chicken.
  2. Maple– Natural sweet flavor, great for poultry.
  3. Cherry– A mild flavored pellet that can bring a sweet kick to beef.
  4. Pecan– Very rich and nutty flavor. It has a little bit of spice, great for cornbread!
  5. Oak– Quite rich, best for those who want rich kicks in their dishes. Suits in white-fleshed fishes.
  6. Hickory– Most popular used pellets by grilling enthusiasts. Best for beef or lamb.
  7. Alder– It doesn’t have any particular flavor, but goes fantastic with vegetables!

How Can You Use Pellets In A Charcoal Grill?

How Can You Use Pellets In A Charcoal Grill

Already you can understand that you can certainly and safely use wood pellets in your charcoal grill. Let’s see the step-by-step process-

Step 1: Mix Your Wood Pellets With The Charcoal

Many people like to use only charcoal, some prefer only wood pellets in their charcoal grills. For me, I like to use both! I think it gives depth to the flavor and makes your dish savory. Also, if you add only pellets to a charcoal grill, they tend to burn out quickly.

Step 2: Fire Your Grill

Now, first, remove your grilling grate. Then, take a few old newspapers and throw those in the bottom of the chimney starter. Fill the chimney starter from top to bottom with the charcoal-pellet mix. At this point, set the chimney starter in the grill base and ignite the newspaper with a match stick.

Make sure, the newspapers burn and also ignite the coal. Wait for 10-15 minutes. When you notice, the coals are turning ash colored, then replace them with the grill. Don’t forget to wear heatproof gloves in this process.

Step 3: Time For Wood Pellets

When you understand the grill has the desired temperature, add wood pellets then. Don’t pile them up, rather scatter them away with an even layer along with the coal. By this trick, both coal and wood pellets will burn at the same time and the same rate.

Use about 1/2 cup of pellets for this process and it’ll take a maximum of 40 minutes to produce the smoky flavor. When you get comfortable with this step, then you can adjust the pellet quantity as you want.

Step 4: Make Way For Ventilation

Time to close the lid back on top. However, keep the grill’s vent half open. About 30 minutes later, open the grill lid and add some wood pellets if necessary.

Step 5: Start Cooking!

When the pellets are ignited, then oil the grilling grates and start grilling your dish! Don’t forget to add pellets every 30 minutes to keep the fire and smoke! 

Final Thoughts

See, using wood pellets in a charcoal grill is quite simple. Also, using pellets in a gas grill is easier, if you’re interested, check How to use wood pellets In gas grill? . A handy reminder is, you can add a smoking tube filled with pellets to this charcoal grill to have more powerful depth in taste! Happy grilling!

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Helen Knight
Helen Knight

I'm passionate about cooking and making simple, delicious recipes that you can always feel confident feeding to friends and family. My goals for you are to have fun in the kitchen, learn new things, and create beautiful dishes. I have a lot of experience using kitchen appliances, so making great food is my passion and my favorite thing to share with others. I prioritize food safety in all of my meals. Check out my blog SKI, for helpful tips and tricks to improve your own cooking skills. Let's explore the world of food together!

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