Everyone loves a quickly grilled steak, but some of the best meats for grilling require a vastly different method of cooking than the more common “hot and fast” method. Cuts like brisket, pork shoulder, beef & pork ribs, and pork belly (the list goes on) need to be cooked for a long time at lower temperatures. This process breaks down connective tissue and renders out a lot of the marbled fat throughout the meat - resulting in a tender, juicy, DELICIOUS end product. To purists - ‘low and slow’ is true BBQ - anything else is just grilling. For many home cooks, a slow roast in the oven or a long braise are the methods of choice for the cuts that need the extra TLC. The real magic happens when you introduce smoke into the equation. Smokers allow you to keep your cooks “low and slow,” get the most out of your meat, and the added flavour from the smoke is on a whole other level.
What may come as no surprise to you, is that managing your fire can be quite a task. Whether you use a drum smoker (fire in the base, food above), offset smoker (firebox attached at the side of cooking chamber), or even a Kamado style (ceramic body, fire in the base) grill for smoking - you need to learn to manage your fire. Consistent temperatures and clean smoke are very important. We can’t stress clean smoke enough. Thick, billowy white/grey smoke coming out of your smoker as you cook is NOT a good thing. It generally means your fire is not getting enough oxygen and is smouldering. This smoke does not give you the same, delicious smokey flavour you’re looking for. When the predominant smoke in your cook is dirty, you’re left with acrid, overpowering smokey flavours that many find off-putting. Learning how to manage your fire is something many enjoy doing. It is, after all, part of the process. But there is something to be said for having a helping hand during a long cook.
Enter: the Pellet Grill.
GREEN MOUNTAIN GRILLS builds the best pellet grills on the market. Pressed hardwood pellets let you choose what type of wood smoke you want to impart on what you cook - and their electronic hopper, auger-fed system keeps the temperatures regulated for you. You can set your desired temperature and the grill will do the rest - consistent temperature management and clean smoke. Very large briskets can sometimes take upwards of 18 hours to smoke - which means at least some of that cook time will be happening overnight. Even seasoned pit masters who are great at getting consistent temps in their smoker will still have to be around to keep their fire going. Pellet grills save this extra work and give you so much freedom. And on the Prime grill models with added WiFi technology, you can track cook time, temperatures (grill and internal probe) from your phone - even when you’re not at home!
The PEAK is the largest in the series and has 658 sq. in. of cooking space. You will be hard-pressed to run out of space even when cooking for a very large crew. Massive pork shoulders, 12+ racks of ribs, you name it and you can fit it on the Jim Bowie. The LEDGE very similar to the Jim Bowie, but is a smaller sized grill. With that said, it still offers a very generous 458 sq. in. cooking surface - more than enough space for the majority of home cooks. For those looking at a more portable option, the TREK gives you the same cooking experience as the others in the series, but in a smaller package that is much easier to pack up and bring along for your next camping trip. It’s great for a few racks of ribs, 5-6 steaks, or a bunch of burgers and dogs! ALL GMG models are sturdy, extremely well-built and will take on anything you can throw at them. All the models we carry are what GMG calls 'Prime Plus' models - They have added features like WiFi connectivity, and grill & pellet view windows so you can keep an eye on all aspects of your cook.
No matter the grill you choose, you’re looking at a temperature range of 150 F to 550 F - Generally, your temp range for true ‘smoking’ would fall between 200-275. The higher you go, the less smokey flavour you’ll find in the finished product and the faster you’ll be cooking. As you approach 500-550, you’re in a great zone to get a nice sear on burgers, steaks, veggies, and more, for those faster cooks. The temperature range gives these grills a level of versatility that is hard to rival.
You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to the type of wood you use, too. While you can use any hardwood pressed cooking pellets, GMG has a number of amazing blends that we keep stocked at Atlantic Outdoor. Their Texas Blend has a mix of Black Oak, American Hickory, and a hint of Texas Mesquite and works great for any protein, but is especially well suited for briskets. Swapping out the Mesquite in the Texas Blend for the Mountain Maple in the Gold Blend, leaves you with a great option for lighter proteins, like poultry.
Did someone say ‘accessories’? GMG has a line of incredible accessories. Rotisserie attachments, Pizza Oven attachments, griddles and upper racks… there are some fantastic ways to customize your grill and expand your repertoire of delicious food.
If you only buy one accessory for your grill, though, we recommend it be the Grill Grate. They are a uniquely designed set of grates that prevent flare-ups, improve the performance of your grill with even heating and offer a revolutionary raised rail design for some of the best grill marks you’ve ever seen. They can also be reversed for a flat grilling surface if you’re more partial to getting full sear coverage. You’re already stepping up your grill game by going with GMG - might as well take it one more level up, while you’re at it!
Are you ready to be crowned Pit Master of your neighbourhood?