How Do Pellet Grills Work?

If you are interested in grilling food, then you probably will have heard of a pellet grill. In the years since the BBQ and grilling scene first began, not much has changed, so the pellet grill really is a breath of fresh air to this industry. 

Unlike some other grills, pellet grills are packed with excellent features that make them so popular. They are a lot more convenient than other types of grills, and this is all because of the way that they operate.

So, to understand how great a pellet grill is, you really need to get an understanding of how they work. 

That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide, that’s packed with information about how pellet grills work. So, when you’re considering what type of grill to buy, you’ll definitely understand that a pellet grill is the best choice! So let’s get started. 

How Do Pellet Grills Work

What is a Pellet Grill?

Before we get into how a pellet grill works, let’s first establish exactly what a pellet grill is.

If you are only new to the universe of grilling, then you might still be learning the differences between the different grills that exist. So let’s take a look at what makes the pellet grill different from some other types on the market. 

As you will probably expect, a pellet grill is a type of outdoor grill, just like a BBQ or a smoker. This type of grill can only be used outdoors due to the fuel source which it operates on.

This fuel source is also what gives the pellet grill its name, as this type of grill is powered by pellets. 

These pellets are generally one of the things that make pellet grills very popular. This is mainly because they are 100% natural, making them a much more ethical option, than some other fuel sources used for grills and smokers. 

So, pellet grills are essentially outdoor grills that are operated using 100% natural wood pellets, ensuring they only burn clean energy.

This, combined with the fact that their design takes all the best bits of different types of grills, makes them one of the most popular options on the market. But how do they work? Let’s have a look. 

How do Pellet Grills Work?

So, now that you know what pellet grills are, let’s take a look at how they operate. As we have mentioned, the way in which pellet grills operate are one of the reasons that they are so popular. But what makes them so different?

Obviously, the main thing that makes pellet grills different from other types of grills is the fact that they run on wood pellets.

These wood pellets are added to a special fuel source section that is attached to the left-hand side of a pellet grill. This storage container is often called a hopper, and it is at the top of the fuel source section. 

Below the hopper, you will find the auger motor, and a combustion fan. The section that houses these two components is often referred to as the cooking chamber, as it plays an essential part in allowing the grill to cook food. 

When you add the pellets to the hopper, these will then be slowly fed into the cooking chamber by the auger (which is powered by electricity). Through the combustion of this movement, the wood pellets will ignite and cause the cooking chamber to heat up. 

Then the combustion/intake fan will begin to spin, bringing air into the cooking chamber, creating even more heat and smoke.

This heat and smoke is then moved along into the cooking area where your food will be waiting, ready to be cooked. So now that you know how pellet grills work, you might still be wondering, ‘what makes them so great?’. Let’s find out. 

Why Choose a Pellet Grill?

We’ve mentioned that it is the way that pellet grills operate which makes them so great, but now that you know how they work, you might still be wondering why they are so good.

So, let’s take a look at how the way that pellet grills operate improves the user experience. 

The main thing that makes pellet grills better than other types of grills is the fact that they operate fairly similarly to an oven. By this, we mean that it is possible to adjust the heat to precise temperatures on a pellet grill, just like you would on an oven. 

Some pellet grills will have a digital display, others will have a dial, which you can use to adjust the heat. Most grills will allow you to alter the temperature between 180-500 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is one of the key reasons why people prefer pellet grills to other types of grills, as they allow you to adjust the heat very specifically, ensuring a more precise finish for anything cooked on the grill. 

But this isn’t the only reason why pellet grills are so popular. Another reason why people choose pellet grills over other types of grills is because they are excellent for cooking meat.

The majority of pellet grills come with meat probes, which are great if you are wary of cooking meat on a grill because you struggle to tell if it is cooked through. 

These meat probes can be connected to the control board of the pellet grill. From there, the meat probe will be able to continually monitor the temperature of the inside of the meat while it is cooking.

This means that you will be able to tell if the meat is cooked or not by checking the internal temperature of the meat, as well as by monitoring the outside of the meat. Ensuring that anything you eat is completely cooked through. 

With all of these great features in mind, it is clear to see why the way that pellet grills work make them such a popular choice. 


So, in short, pellet grills work by burning wood pellets in a cooking chamber. The heat and smoke created in this process is then moved along to the cooking area of the pellet grill, where it will cook your food at the temperature you decide. 

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