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  • Winter Grilling 101

    Whoever said grilling season is in the summer never owned a pellet grill. When you have a SmokePro pellet grill from Camp Chef on your back patio, grilling season never ends. You can continue smoking ribs, searing steaks, and grilling burgers no matter what the temperature is outside. Keep reading to see how you can use your grill to the fullest all year round.

    1. Stock Up on Fuel

    If you live in an area with snowy, rainy, or otherwise chilly winter weather, your grill is going to burn more wood pellets than it would in the summer. This is because the temperature outside is so much lower than the ambient temperature your grill is trying to reach. It will burn more fuel (plan on about 50% more) to hit the right heat, so you should make sure you have plenty of extra pellets.

    But don’t just buy any old wood pellets. To get the most efficient and hottest burn, you need pure hardwood pellets—no chemical fillers or wood biproducts. When you’re already using extra fuel, these pellets will give you the most bang for your buck.

    2. Check Food Without Opening the Lid

    While in the summer, cracking the lid of your pellet grill isn’t detrimental to the food you’re cooking, it can make a big impact during winter. Because the outside temperature is so much colder than the inside of the grill, the heat will escape much quicker if you open the chamber. You risk swaying the cooking temperature if you consistently crack the lid.

    Instead, check the food from the outside. Using the meat probe thermometer or a wireless thermometer, you can track your food’s internal temperature from the digital readout on the front of the grill. That means no peeking, no temperature swings, and food cooked to perfection.

    3. Keep Your Grill Insulated

    Just like you put a coat on when it’s cold outside, you can do the same for your pellet grill and smoker. The more insulation you can provide for your cooker, the quicker it will heat up, the steadier the temperature will be, and the less fuel you will burn.

    First of all, remove any snow from the grill’s body (if you live in a snowy place), and place it in an area where it will be somewhat shielded from weather like wind, rain, or snow. Then install a pellet grill blanket around the surface. The heavy duty, heat-resistant material will lock heat in and keep cold out. You’ll see a big difference in heating speeds and temperature maintenance with a blanket around your grill in cold weather.

    Keep a pellet grill blanket on your grill to maintain the right temperature

    4. Plan Accordingly

    When you’re grilling in cold weather, you should plan on your meal taking a little longer to cook than it does warm weather. Your grill will take longer to preheat—15-20 minutes instead of 10—and your food will probably take longer to cook because the chamber temperature may fall about 10° lower than normal. To work around the timing, we recommend cooking recipes that are low-and-slow or quick-and-easy. With low-and-slow, you won’t be worried about a tight time budget because of the nature of such a recipe, and your grill won’t have to work so hard to maintain a low temperature. On the other hand, quick-and-easy recipes never take that long in the first place. All you need is your grill to reach the right temperature, and you’ll be done cooking in a few minutes.

    5. Use Cast Iron

    Once you finish cooking your food, it’s difficult to keep it warm outside in the winter time. When you’re wrapping up the cooking process, you can set a cast iron skillet with a lid or a Dutch oven with a lid inside your grill. This will warm up the cast iron—a metal that holds heat famously. Place finished food inside the dish, and move it from the grill. The iron will act as a warming dish for anything inside, and you’ll get to sit down to a nice warm meal.

    6. Follow Safety Precautions

    Despite the sour weather, never grill indoors. A garage or shed might look like the perfect place for you and your pellet grill to take shelter from the snow, wind, rain, or cold, but it’s not a good idea. Carbon monoxide can accumulate from cooking in an enclosed area, which is dangerous for you and your family.

    You also want to make sure you’ve placed your grill far enough away from any vinyl siding or eaves. If you have your pellet grill set to a high temperature and it’s too close to such areas, you could have a melted mess on your hands.

    Lastly, of course, be sure to bundle up with enough layers to brave winter grilling. Stay warm, enjoy the outdoors, and eat the delicious food you love all year long. You’ll show everyone that grilling season is right now.

  • How to Put Together a Camp Chef Smoke Vault

    Here's a great 'how to' from Gary House over at Curious as to how the Camp Chef Smoke Vault goes together? Check this out.

  • Why Should You Get a Pellet Grill?

    Outdoor cooking doesn’t have to be a seasonal activity—it can happen 365 days a year if you have the right gear. You need a cooker that can handle rain, snow, sun, and wind without flinching. Something that doesn’t require an entire afternoon for you to figure out all the bells and whistles. Something that cranks out incredible food as fast as you can eat it, whether you’re a professional chef or a total novice. Say hello to your new best friend: the SmokePro pellet grill.

    Carefree Cooking

    Maybe you’re a barbecue pit master—or maybe you’re not even sure how to sear a burger. The good news is that a Camp Chef pellet grill works like a dream no matter how experienced you are. Delicious, wood-fired food is available to anyone who turns it on.

    How is this possible?

    When you switch on a pellet grill, it begins feeding small hardwood pellets into a burn cup at its base. Smoke and heat rise from the burn cup, hitting a heat diffusor plate that radiates heat throughout the entire grill. Instead of a direct flame like you’ll find on other barbecue grills, a pellet grill cooks food with convection-style heat like your kitchen oven.

    All you need to do is set your desired temperature then leave the rest to the grill. A digital thermometer monitors the ambient temperature inside the grill and adjusts the speed and amount of pellets that are fed into the burn cup. A Camp Chef pellet grill will maintain a steady temperature with the optimum amount of smoke, all while you sit back and relax.


    Pellet grills typically include temperature settings from 160° F to over 400° F, giving you the option to cook a huge variety of foods. This isn’t just a grill for burgers, brats, and steak. It’s an oven for breads a pies, a smoker for ribs and jerky, a slow cooker for chuck roast and veggies, and more. With the right flavor of wood pellets and the right temperature setting, you can cook virtually anything on this bad boy.

    That’s what makes a pellet grill such a worthwhile investment. It’s truly an all-in-one product for your outdoor cooking on the back patio. Your only limitation is how much food you can eat at one time.

    Our Favorite Features

    The Camp Chef pellet grills we offer have an 18 lb. pellet hopper capacity, meaning you can get hours and hours of cook time without having to refill with more pellets. With 560 square inches of cooking surface you can easily fit plenty of pork butts, ribs, steaks, or whatever you’re cooking for a crowd. A meat probe thermometer makes it easy to check on your food throughout the cooking process without lifting the lid.

    But what we love most about the Camp Chef pellet grills is the Ash Cleanout system. If you’ve never tried to clean out a pellet grill, you should know it’s quite the project. First, you have to remove the racks, then the grease tray, then the heat diffuser plate. Next, you’ll need to roll a huge wet/dry vacuum out to the patio and suck up all the ash left in the grill. If you don’t clean out the ash, you run the risk of it interfering with your grill’s performance or finding it on your food.

    Unless you’ve got the Ash Cleanout system on your pellet grill. Pull a lever, dump the ash from the burn cup into a removable ash cup, and you’re done. The hot rod in the burn cup will be able to keep the heat, and none of the ash will be blowing around the grill chamber. You can limit the deep cleaning to once a month or less, and keep the cookouts going.

    SmokePro is For You

    All in all, Camp Chef pellet grills are perfect for the novice chef as well as the seasoned meat smoker. It’s a foolproof way to cook up a meal you’re going to love, with no babysitting or stressing required. Get your pellet grill today, and keep the outdoor cooking alive all year long.

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