breaking in the pellet grill/smoker out in the woods

I’ve been using our new pellet grill/smoker at home for a few months now and I’ve been really anxious to try it out on a trip with the RV. I’ve been reading how others have used these pellet grills on all kinds of meats and vegetables so I had a plan for meals on the three evenings. I picked burgers for the first night as it would be the shortest cook time in case we got to our campsite later than expected (and wow did we hit the road late). I have not tried pellet grilling yet, so I was a little worried about how it would come out. My worries were squashed as these were so easy and probably the best burgers I’ve ever had! They even had that red smoke ring and perfectly cooked through, not one was burnt outside and raw in the middle like my old camp grills!

I’ve never had burgers with a red smoke ring, these were awesome! Our outdoor kitchen includes deep fryer pans for the camp stove, so steak fries rule!

The second night I planned for steaks and took a chance on $4.77 a pound T-Bones which never come out as good as Rib Eyes for me on a conventional grill. I was even more surprised and pleased with how the steaks came out. I followed a recipe/profile I got from the Green Mountain Grills web site that looks a lot like Reverse-Searing. It took about 90 minutes to smoke and grill, what we ended up with was a perfect medium pink all the way through with the lightest red char on the outside. Alas, no grill marks but I’ve never had steaks come out done so perfect and tenderness was not far off from a filet. I am astounded and thrilled with this pellet grill!

No grill marks but the super thin red smoker char layer was great! The recipe was 1 hour at 165 degrees, then grill at 400 for 7-10 minutes on each side. The steaks were medium rare all the way through with no signs of mooing…

The last day I did baby back ribs, but I started them way too late and had to ad-lib the cooking profile. The ribs came out very tasty but far from fall off the bone tender as I get with my conventional grilling method. On a regular grill I smoke one hour, steam for three hours and grill/roast uncovered for the last hour. I think the ribs are going to require practice for me on the pellet smoker. Maybe reheated they will get tender and make up for my sins 🙂

They came out looking and tasting great, but a little tough for Baby Back Ribs. Next time I will start them early enough to follow the proper recipe!

Since we didn’t have a campsite with electric, I used the 12 volt leads that came with the pellet grill. I discovered the RV gets smoky when I connected to the chassis or house battery up front. I’m not sure if it was wind patterns with the RV pointing north or something else. I found the best place to hook up was where the battery cable connects to the starter relay on the generator, there was also a ground lead within inches on the generator case. I’ll be hard wiring one of those 12 volt power outlets there so I can run the generator without vibration knocking off the alligator clips. Sitting the grill about 15 feet behind the RV kept the smoke from going inside the coach. one day I had to favor the passenger side, the next I favored the drivers side and sent that smoky meat smell to many, many other campsites…

Hooking up to the generator at the back of the RV worked best, picking one corner or the other kept the smoke blowing away from the RV. I guess the long wall directed the breeze nicely.

I had measured but never tried storing the pellet grill until we packed to come home. To my amazement the grill almost fits perfectly with room to store the accessory tote and extra pellets once I get the right size tote for those. Now I’m anxious for the next trip!

It fits! The smoke stack has a screw/nut sticking up and it scratches the top of the basement if I try to push the grill to the back, I’ll change out that with a flat-head screw to prevent damage to the smoke stack and basement liner.

 

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