How Pellet Grills Work

If you’ve used a Pellet grill before, you know that it’s as simple as operating a standard oven – you just set your desired temperature on the electronic control panel, and the grill does the rest. Pretty impressive stuff.

How does that work, though? Why is it so easy?

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Most pellet grills made these days are operated by advanced technology that makes it easy for outdoor chefs and aspiring BBQ pitmasters. After you fill pellets into the hopper on your grill and set your desired temperature, an auger methodically carries wood pellets to a cooking chamber where they combust and turn into a fiery cooking fuel. A convection fan (or fans) circulates the hot air throughout the grill, and the auger will continue to provide fuel until the grill reaches your desired temperature.

This process is controlled by an algorithm that calculates how many pellets are needed to reach the desired temperature and how often those pellets need to be fed to the fire in order to maintain the temperature. An internal thermometer constantly checks the temperature to ensure it stays consistent.

The main difference between pellet grills on this front is the maximum temperature that can be achieved. You can check out our section on high-performance grills <link> to see reviews of grills that can get up to 700F, and you can check out our section on affordable grills that may not be able to get as hot, but are perfect for low and slow smoking.

Traeger Grills and Memphis Wood Fire Grills have both made great videos talking about how their specific grills work – it’s quite similar but both are informative and give solid overviews of pellet grills.