Grilling secrets for your Labor Day weekend

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

PHOTO CREDIT: Statepoint Media

You’ve been grilling all summer long, which means you might be in need of some new ideas this Labor Day Weekend.

Experts say, no matter what equipment you’re using, the secret to making a big impact on the flavor of your food is BBQ pellets.

“With the amazing wood smoke flavors that cooking with wood pellets offer, it’s truly a game changer for any backyard barbecue,” says Ben Madden, product manager at Bear Mountain BBQ Woods, crafter of gourmet, hardwood pellets.

Pellet grills have soared in popularity in the past few years and show no signs of slowing down, mostly due to the flavor, versatility and convenience they provide over other types of grills.

Using a pellet grill along with hardwood pellets creates wood-fired flavor that truly elevates the overall grilling experience.

No pellet grill? No problem. Here are some alternate ways to use pellets on any type of grill or smoker:

• Fill a pellet smoking tube as directed by the manufacturer, and light the pellets using a torch. When the flame goes out, the pellets will smolder and smoke. This method is great for smoking food on gas and charcoal grills.

• Fold a large handful of pellets in foil and crimp the edges. Poke a few small holes in the pouch, and place it on top of the burner or coals. This works great to reverse-sear food — smoking first, then finishing over higher heat.

Just keep in mind, different pellet blends create different flavors. A rule of thumb is stronger hardwoods add richness to beef; medium to mild woods pair perfectly with chicken, pork and vegetables; and lighter fruit woods complement the delicious flavors of seafood. Having a variety of pellet types handy can help you become a more versatile grill master.

So, what should you serve this Labor Day Weekend?

For a dish that’s both down home and a cut above, try this Reverse Sear Tri-Tip recipe. Tri-tip is a perfect cut of meat to reverse sear and lock in that juicy, smoke flavor with a high-temperature finish. You can use a pellet grill or a gas or electric grill with the folded foil method.

Prep time: 5 minutes.

Cook time: 1-2 hours, depending on size.


• 2-3 pounds tri-tip trimmed

• 3 tablespoons Coffee Spice BBQ Rub (recipe on

• Olive oil


1. Lightly coat the meat with olive oil, then coffee spice rub to completely cover the meat.

2. Set grill to 225 degrees. When up to temperature, place meat on the center of the grill and close the lid.

3. Slow cook to approximately. 120 degrees, then increase the temperature to high to sear the outside.

4. Continue to cook until reaching an internal temperature of 130 degrees (for medium-rare).

5. Remove from the grill, tent with foil, and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove foil, slice and serve.

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