An hour before daylight, I watched Denny Bruce put a full beef brisket on a Traeger Pellet Grill and asked him how he’d take care of it during our day afield. “A piece of meat this size will require about 12 hours to cook,” he said, “so it should be just about done when we return.”
Gas and barbeque grills are very common in hunting camps as well as on back decks around the country, yet this was my first experience with the Traeger Pellet Grill. At first appearance, it looks like a large gas or barbeque grill, yet the stove pipe tells you something is different. The grill uses cooking wood pellets in a similar fashion to a wood stove and produces consistent heat and most importantly smoke as quickly or slowly as you like. Much like an oven, the food grade pellets create heat which is captured and circulated. The grill has a digital thermometer on the front so you don’t have to guess how hot you are cooking. A slightly smoky flavor is what sets this type of grilling apart and creates a new standard in outdoor cooking. I can tell you that the brisket was amazing and was cooked to a juicy perfection.
The Traeger totally raised the bar on camp cooking and I’m not sure how we’ll ever live up to his measure. Camp dinner began by slightly smoking hearts of Romaine that formed the base of a grape salad drizzled with Ranch dressing that was delicious and miles from the normal camp fare. Next we had smoked potatoes and onions in butter sauce, the best macaroni and cheese ever, after three types of smoked cheese and smoked wild boar as an appetizer. For desert, two store-bought pies (peach and apple) were warmed and smoked for 20 minutes so that the pie melted vanilla ice-cream and rendered a slight smoky taste. YUM YUM YUM!
Traeger Pellet Grills have been around for 30 years, personally invented by Mr. Traeger, a very ingenious man who nearly burned his house down with a gas grilled and vowed to “There must be a better way.” They have been available in large chain stores, yet without advertising or marketing of any kind. Basically, the grills sold by word of mouth and Denny Bruce and Travis Stark are letting the genie out of the bottle by demonstrating culinary delights at trade shows, and thankfully, our hunting camp. For information about Traeger grills visit www.traegergrills.com.