The history of poultry is one that has spanned many cultures and eras, from the turkey at Thanksgiving to chicken noodle soup for common colds.
But did you know it also played an important role in spreading pellet grills?
When you think about the very first meal that came from a pellet grill, what is it? For many people, this will be some sort of chicken. A company called Traeger started off by making their name known for barbecuing meat chickens and has since branched into other types such as beef or pork but we all know how much Americans love our grilled birds.
The Traeger pellet grill has been a godsend for those who love to cook and smoke their food. This company was started in Mount Angel, Oregon but quickly spread its gospel around the country with delicious barbecued chicken as an introduction.
I remember when I was a kid, my parents would always cook up some whole chicken with Traeger rub or barbecue sauce. The smell of spices in the air would drive me crazy as they cooked their delicious meal for us. Whole chickens are a great way to learn how pellet grills work. They can be smoked before roasting, giving them an extra layer of flavor that wouldn’t otherwise exist if you were just cooking the bird traditionally on its own without any sort of rub or sauce.
Tips & Techniques
- Gently rub your chicken with oil and seasonings. With this technique, you’ll get more golden skin because it works in the rub and produces an attractive complexion.
- When you inject a whole chicken with liquid, it changes from just another pedestrian to something that can only be described as amazing. What’s the best way to cook your chicken? Try injecting it with some flavor before you do! A simple spice or butter-based injection will not only keep that juicy meat moist but also give off all kinds of yummy smells as well. You may use a tea made from favorite seasonings.
- When you rub your chicken, be sure to get the spices between the skin and breast meat. If you want to add some extra depth of flavor, this is a great way. Just make sure not to rip through the skin too much or it will look messy when frying.
What could be better than wings? The answer is simple: nothing. I love getting my hands on some crispy, hot chicken meat and slathering it in a sauce from whichever team has won that week’s game.
Wings cooked on a pellet smoker or grill are perfect for one reason: smoke. Where every bar in town has Buffalo wings, you now have smoky sweet and spicy ones – and it’s just better than the others.
Tips & Techniques
- Develop a taste for the sauces you like, and if possible find some new ones. I love the taste of wings in my mouth, but I think they’re even better with sauce. For me, it has to be barbecue or Buffalo-style because those are two favorites that will never lack flavor.
- This is another instance where cast iron is good. Use a small, well-seasoned cast iron pot to keep your sauce warm. You can also mix things up by using premade sauces from the grill.
- Making sweet-and-sour wings is a great idea. To make the best wings, use an Asian or Thai-style rub. Once they reach a temperature of 165°F to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (precisely 70 Celsius), coat them in the sweet and sour sauce for 10 more minutes at 300°F before finishing off with another layer if desired.
- Experiment with dry rubs. Wings are a perfect vehicle for testing new spices. From the dryness of cayenne to the sweetness from sugar, wings have it all! If you mess up your batch just strip off that skin and use what’s left in sandwiches or as ground meat when cooking at home with friends over dinner – there will always be tons more rubs out there ready too so don’t stress if one doesn’t turn out right; even genius chefs sometimes fail experimentally.
That perfect Thanksgiving turkey is so important to make sure everyone has a great time. The days of oven-cooked turkeys or experimenting with dangerous fryers are over, and this year you’ll be the hero for getting your pellet grill or smoker out early to make that smoky yet moist golden bird.
I’m not the one to make our Thanksgiving turkey, that’s my dad. And I take any opportunity to make turkey throughout the year. The flavor of turkey is better than chicken and the pellet grill does such a great job at making it easy to prepare. I enjoy cooking our meals this way more often because not only are they quicker, but also healthier for you.
Tips & Techniques
- Butter your turkey and baste it with butter. While this might not be the healthiest way to cook your turkey, I promise you that it will taste great. Just leave the stick on your side table and rub its hot surface against yourself as it cooks so juices can run free.
- To ensure that your meat is cooked the right amount, use a thermometer! The built-in ones just don’t work in a grill or smoker; they’re not very durable and often break off after only one use.
- Don’t put a stuffed turkey on the grill. The best way to ensure your turkey and stuffing is done at the same time? Cook them separately.
A lot of people like cooking their poultry together, but I always found that it made for an uneven meal when one piece was undercooked while other parts were overcooked.
Turkey drumsticks are the perfect food for a Disney park trip. They make me think of mouse ears and waiting to ride Matterhorn, especially when my family visits Disneyland each year. Every time we go there is one thing on my daughter’s bucket list – eat as many turkey legs that she can get inside of them before they’re gone forever. And the last thing you want is a dry, undercooked turkey. But if I had one rule for selecting your drumsticks at the grill it would be “go big” because there’s nothing like biting into something that was once alive and kicking before being cooked to perfection on top of some hot coals.
Tips & Techniques
- Just like with whole chickens, rub some seasoning under the skin. It will make your dinner more flavorful and fun. It is important to use rubs and sauces that will allow your meat a better flavor.
- To get the best, most tender turkey legs you should go slightly higher than 400°F. The dark meat is juicier and more flavorful than white meat chicken. It also helps brown the skin a little, which makes for an awesome flavor experience.
- Generally, all types of poultry can be cooked similarly. Poultry is one of the most versatile meats you can cook. All types are cooked similarly and offer a wide range to choose from depending on your preferences, such as white meat for those who prefer it or darkly colored birds like ducklings that may be more popular in some countries than others.