It’s a beautiful Saturday – ever have one of those weekend days where you fire up the grill or smoker early in the morning and go all day with it?
The beauty of using a pellet grill is that it’s so easy to do – just like your home oven – dial in the temp you need and off you go. And your results are even better with Griller’s Gold 100% natural hardwood pellets. So, how about an entire breakfast cooked on the pellet grill to get things started? Sound good? Let’s go!
For your grilled, wood-roasted breakfast, fire up your pellet grill with a mild sweet wood, like Griller’s Gold Fruitwood blend – that will serve us well for use all day. Set it on full high – you’re cooking hot and fast first this morning.
Start by cooking some bacon – because what day doesn’t start better with bacon?
Simple – use a rimmed sheet pan that fits your grill, and put on one layer of your favorite brand of bacon. It will be crisp and amazing with an additional kiss of smoke – takes about 15 minutes in total. While the grill is preheating, make some good old-fashioned buttermilk biscuits to bake on the pellet grill. They will come out tasting like they were baked in an old-fashioned wood-fired oven.
Our favorite is Alton Brown’s biscuit recipe, but even baking mix biscuits or “tube” biscuits will taste better baked on your pellet grill. Note – biscuits love high heat so if doing them, crank your pellet grill up to get as close to 450 as you can. You can cook the bacon alongside it.
Finally, how about eggs to go with all that? A delicious frittata cooked on the pellet grill will work great. Start by sauteing some onion and anything else you like in there – perhaps red peppers chopped, sliced mushrooms, etc. Just put your oven-proof skillet right on the grill (we like our well-seasoned cast iron for this) and use plenty of butter. If you’d like some spinach in your frittata, don’t sautee that, it will go in with the eggs.
Whisk up your eggs – for a frittata in a 10” skillet, figure about 8 eggs. You can season your eggs with some salt, pepper, perhaps some paprika, and a shake or two of Worcestershire. If you’re adding spinach, give it a rough chop, and then mix in with the eggs. No frittata is good without some cheese, so mix in a half cup or so of a good sharp cheddar, shredded.
When the vegetables have softened, stir in the eggs/cheese/spinach mixture into the pan, then sprinkle some more shredded cheddar over the top and put on the grill. At this point, drop the heat to about 350F and close up the pellet grill. Let the heat and smoke do it’s thing – the frittata is done when it is clearly cooked across the top, the cheese topping is melted and perhaps browned a bit. Serve with the biscuits and bacon and you’ve got a breakfast that will carry you well into the afternoon!
So the pellet grill is hot and that Griller’s Gold Fruitwood Blend aroma is filling the air – this is a great time to get the “all-day low and slow” going – and perfect for that, is pork shoulder, aka “Boston Butt”.
The pork shoulder is what all good pulled pork comes from – and whether you have it pulled, chopped, sauced, or otherwise, it benefits from a long, slow cook. Drop the temperature setting of your pellet grill to 225F, season your pork shoulder well with your favorite rub and put it on, close it up, and leave it alone!
Check every couple of hours to make sure you have enough Griller’s Gold pellets to keep the cook going. The Fruitwood Blend is perfect for pork – sweet, smokey heaven! Pork shoulders are done when they hit 203 degrees internal temperature – that’s the “butter zone” where the fats and collagens in the meat all melt like butter and make it all marvelously tender and juicy!
Expert’s hint #1: Use the “Texas Crutch”
Keep checking the temperature of your meat every hour and when it “stalls” – stops changing by more than a few degrees for more than an hour, wrap the meat in foil or butcher paper. This is called the “Texas Crutch” and is used by competition BBQers to be able to deliver a properly smoked roast of meat in only 6 or so hours. It also makes it supremely juicy!
Your meat will likely stall around 160 degrees for several hours unless you wrap it. The stall is caused by a neat bit of physics where the evaporation rate of the moisture in the meat (which cools things) equals the incoming heat from the grill. After wrapping, and staying on your pellet grill (or you can move it to the oven at the same temperature), your meat will finish cooking and hit 203F in about 2 hours or so.
Expert’s hint #2: Rest it!
If you use the Texas Crutch, your meat will be done well before dinner time. You can of course eat it right away (who can resist?), but for extra juicy results, just take your wrapped meat, put an additional layer of wrapping on it, then line a small cooler with a folded bath towel, gently nestle it in there and cover it with another towel, then close up the cooler. Rest it until you’re ready to shred or chop it. This nap will help it be really super moist and tender!
Now it’s mid-afternoon – the pulled pork is done and resting and you still have a hot pellet grill emitting marvelous fruitwood smoke. Chances are some additional friends have appeared, so let’s get some ribs and wings on the grill!
Baby Back Ribs will be an amazing addition to your meal and they take about 2 ½ hours on your pellet grill using a “hot and fast” method. If you’re serving them as the primary item of a meal, figure a half-slab per person and if you’re having them as part of a BBQ platter like this, 1 slab per 4 people will be fine. Increase the pellet grill heat to 350 degrees, and rub your ribs with your favorite rub. We like Meathead Goldwyn’s Memphis Dust – sweet, spicy, peppery. Be sure to salt your ribs well as there is no salt in the rub. Get the ribs on and go.
Now, how about some wings for an afternoon snack?
You’ve got a hot grill – take some fully thawed wings or wing sections, toss them in some olive oil and then rub – since you have the Memphis Dust mixed up, just use that. Throw them on – they take about an hour to cook fully through, turning once or twice. You can eat them right off the grill, or sauce them with Buffalo Sauce, BBQ sauce or, one of our favorites – Japanese BBQ sauce, which is a sweet/salty/umami bomb of a sauce. The best we’ve found is Bachan’s Japanese BBQ sauce. If you sauce them with BBQ sauce or the Japanese sauce, give them a good coating of sauce 10 minutes before taking them off the grill just to caramelize the sauce a bit, then give them another hit of sauce 2 minutes before taking them off.
So you’ve got this amazing meal – don’t forget the sides! Sides are great to make in your pellet grill. Here are some ideas for you:
- Baked Beans: Baked beans on the pellet grill are really easy to get some great results – and while making Baked Beans from scratch gives amazing results, just “doctoring” your favorite brand of canned beans works great too! “Ramp up” your favorite brand of canned baked beans with some extra ketchup, onions, mustard, barbecue sauce, molasses, etc., and then bake them in an open pan on the pellet grill for about an hour. Smokey, tasty, fantastic!
- Roasted Vegetables: Chop up some broccoli, cauliflower, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, and mushrooms, then toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them for about a half-hour in a 350-degree pellet grill with whatever pellets you have in there (as long as they are Griller’s Gold of course!). For an extra treat, finish with some smoked salt.
- Mac and Cheese: Make your favorite baked Mac & Cheese recipe and just bake it in your pellet grill! The extra smoke will give it that wood-oven roasted flavor and beautiful coloring to the top.
- Roasted Potatoes: Buy “B” size creamer potatoes, cut them in half, and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Then spread in one layer on a sheet pan or foil roasting pan and bake in the pellet grill at 350 for about 45 minutes.
- Smoked/Roasted Potato Salad: Yeah, you heard that right! Take the above-roasted potato recipe and once they are done, smash about half of them, then toss all of them with your favorite potato salad recipe.
- Smoked Salsa: This one is amazing! Take Roma tomatoes halved, red and yellow bell pepper, anaheim and jalapeno chilies, whole peeled garlic cloves, halved onions and spread them out on a sheet pan. Roast in the pellet grill at 350 until the tomatoes are shriveled and lightly browned, the peppers are browned and blistered and the onions are tender. Take it all and run it in the blender until smooth seasoning with salt and fresh lime juice. To make it less hot, slice the jalapenos lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. There are lots of recipes online for this – just Google!
But we’re not done! Yup, you can make dessert on your pellet grill! Cobblers and Brown Betty’s – anything with a crumb or biscuit top, will get a wonderful wood-oven baked flavor when made on your pellet grill with Griller’s Gold pellets. For a dessert, use something sweet like Cherry or Fruitwood blend. Here’s a great recipe for Apple Cobbler.
Whew! That was quite a day of grilling. Be sure to use your grill’s shut down mode at the end of the day so that it is ready to go for the next day’s grilling fun!