Pellet dust as a new Seasoning?

Chris Z

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Yesterday I smoked some 1/2 racks of ribs that I had lurking in the freezer (cut and bagged for my 14" WSM rib racks) and I wanted to ask about the dust produced by the pellets.

It was a cold day (mid 20's) so the fan ran perhaps more often and at a higher rate to keep the drum temp where I had it set. Three of my half racks were on the left side over drip pans and the last was on the right side over a drip pan. That particular rack of back ribs has a considerable flavor of pellet dust. While there is an underlying and soft smoke flavor in all the racks, this rack in particular also tastes a bit like how the pellets (discount Weber Hickory bag) smell before they head in to be burned.

Is this something that is common to pellet grills, or perhaps due to the newness of the surfaces in mine, or perhaps due to the discount nature of the pellets.

It was really quite off-putting since I wasn't expecting to taste this. After years or charcoal and chunk woods I've never had anything come out of my grills tasting like the raw fuel.

Anyways, thought I'd ask about this. I'm going to clean all the hickory out of the grill today and will try a different flavored pellet when I do a few steaks next. Even my photos show a considerable amount of ash and dust on the exterior or the grill after 5 hours of cooking.
 

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Bruno

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By pellet dust are you referring to ash or actual pellet dust pre-burned?

The SmokeFire does kick up some ash, I don’t usually notice it on my food but but I do see it on my pans and trays. I don’t like it but so far it’s been fine.
If it’s the difference between the SmokeFire being a bad ass grill as well as a smoker I will accept it.
 

abmet

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I feel like it got better with use for me as I got some grease buildup on the inner walls. I still have some ash on outside and varies depending on temp and how high the fan runs. I’ve not noticed a pellet flavor on any cooks though.
 
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Chris Z

Chris Z

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I’m going to walk this back a bit. Heated some ribs up for lunch and I was happy with the flavors. I’m going to put a few more cooks on the grill with some of the Lumberjack pellets I was able to find right here in town and see if that changes things.

Otherwise, my cook yesterday went very well. Went through about 8 lbs of pellets for about 5 1/2 hours run time. I imagine consumption and fan speeds will be quite different when I’m cooking with ambient temps in the 70’s.
 

Goneincognito

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I think that ash on the food is to be expected to some degree given the fan blowing things around.
Some pellets produce more than others.
I did a 3hr cook last night at 390f using the Weber Grillmaster blend and the outside was probably a bit worse than yours.
 

JpsBBQ

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I was gonna say that I think this is all in your head. 🤣

I’ve specifically tried to notice this “phenomenon” and have been unable to discern any off putting flavor for about a year now. For the record, all pellet grills have ash blowing around in them a bit. It’s just easier to see in the SF. It’s a little more in the SF I’d say un scientifically.
 
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Chris Z

Chris Z

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I was gonna say that I think this is all in your head. 🤣

I’ve specifically tried to notice this “phenomenon” and have been unable to discern any off putting flavor for about a year now. For the record, all pellet grills have ash blowing around in them a bit. It’s just easier to see in the SF. It’s a little more in the SF I’d say un scientifically.
I think you're correct... I think that I'm looking too hard perhaps for differences. More cooking is definitely needed.

Also, the smoker is still really clean inside. Needs to have that patina of flavorings slowly built up.

More cooking, more eating, better weather... All is needed in the future.
 

JpsBBQ

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I think you're correct... I think that I'm looking too hard perhaps for differences. More cooking is definitely needed.

Also, the smoker is still really clean inside. Needs to have that patina of flavorings slowly built up.

More cooking, more eating, better weather... All is needed in the future.
I think there is some merit to the seasoning of the pit. However, there are dust and embers even when thoroughly seasoned.
 
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Chris Z

Chris Z

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I think there is some merit to the seasoning of the pit. However, there are dust and embers even when thoroughly seasoned.
Stop wrecking my rationalizations... 😉

That aside, I'm pretty sure that there are clean and dirty bags of pellets. Bags that carry a considerable amount of dust might find themselves on the sale rack more often than pellets that perhaps were manufactured more recently. The bag of Hickory that I am cooking with was one of the many that were 50% discounted at Lowes. I bought several of these bags when they were available. And then they were all gone.

I was at Lowes just the other day and now there is a fresh pallet of Weber Hickory right Next to the pallet of Weber Grillmasters Blend and they're both at the same $16 a bag price. Why ditch the Hickory they had a few weeks ago (and just the Hickory) only to replenish at full price a few weeks later?

Anyway, my next cook will be using a bag of Lumberjack that I bought the other day. I'll be interested to see what it's like and I might just pick up some more ribs to not change too many variables.

And, we need some Spring up here... more snow for tomorrow. :rolleyes:
 

JpsBBQ

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Stop wrecking my rationalizations... 😉

That aside, I'm pretty sure that there are clean and dirty bags of pellets. Bags that carry a considerable amount of dust might find themselves on the sale rack more often than pellets that perhaps were manufactured more recently. The bag of Hickory that I am cooking with was one of the many that were 50% discounted at Lowes. I bought several of these bags when they were available. And then they were all gone.

I was at Lowes just the other day and now there is a fresh pallet of Weber Hickory right Next to the pallet of Weber Grillmasters Blend and they're both at the same $16 a bag price. Why ditch the Hickory they had a few weeks ago (and just the Hickory) only to replenish at full price a few weeks later?

Anyway, my next cook will be using a bag of Lumberjack that I bought the other day. I'll be interested to see what it's like and I might just pick up some more ribs to not change too many variables.

And, we need some Spring up here... more snow for tomorrow. :rolleyes:
I’ve completed some ABTs and just put some thighs on with ribs to follow in the cleanup role. I need to invite some people over. 😳. It’s a bit dreary here but improving daily. We’ve seen 40’s and maybe a 50 for short periods. Lots of snow to melt.
 

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Chris Z

Chris Z

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I’ve completed some ABTs and just put some thighs on with ribs to follow in the cleanup role. I need to invite some people over. 😳. It’s a bit dreary here but improving daily. We’ve seen 40’s and maybe a 50 for short periods. Lots of snow to melt.
Poppers look great. That the same rub across all the meats? And, is that Weber's front table? Looks really handy.

And I see where all the pellets at Lowes went, Bruno bought them up. Only the Hickory was on sale here in Syracuse. The blend stayed at full price though Lowes would honor that 20% sale that Weber was having.
 

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The chicken has some suckle Busters tailgater and pecan. The ribs have Heath Riles garlic jalapeño (light coat) honey, and SB Pecan(heavier coat). Dusted the ABT’s with the Tailgater rub. Used pimento cheese in the ABT for change of pace. I’ll post more pics later. I use the grillmaster, hickory and cherry pellets most frequently. I’ve gone to using Weber’s pellets exclusively. I think the lumberjacks are similar diameter to the Weber pellets. The camp chef and Traeger are larger diameter. IDK if it matters, but I just went with 5he elimination of variables as my rationale. Sipping some Dalmore Cigar Malt with a cigar whist I wait on the chicken. Cheers!
 
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