Wood pellets are an alternative to different fuels such as charcoal, wood, oil, or gas mainly used for cooking. They’re made of natural and organic materials such as wood chips, compacted sawdust lumber, or recycled wood materials. They’re an environmentally friendly choice of fuel, completely natural, and easy to use.
They’re as efficient and reliable as any other method of smoking or cooking you can use. For such an efficient material, you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting the highest quality wood pellets that live up to what they claim to be.
When looking for the best pellets for your grilling, there are a lot of things to look for such as providing a great smoky taste, the quality of the wood, efficiency, eco-friendliness, and low moisture content. You might find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the variety of wood pellets there are to choose from and their different reasons for being high-quality pellets, but there’s no need to worry.
We’ve done the work for you by looking into what the best wood pellets for smoking are based on people’s needs, and what makes them such a high recommendation. All that’s left to decide is which brand suits your needs best based on the top products that make our list, and what other people have to say about them.
Top 9 Pellets for Smoking Comparison Table
|1. Traeger Grills Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets for Smoking||Wood||20 pounds||4.8|
|2. http://amazon.com/dp/B07G8QPLLB/?tag=electricsmokerhq07-20||Wood||9 kilograms||4.7|
|3. BEAR MOUNTAIN Premium BBQ WOODS BBQ Smoker Pellets for Outdoor Grilling||Hardwood||40 pounds||4.6|
|4. BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets||Variety pack wood||6.85 pounds||4.5|
|5. Kona Smoker Grilling Pellets||Variety pack wood||8 pounds||4.4|
|6. Z GRILLS 100% All-Natural Flavor Wood Pellet||Hardwood||20 pounds||4.6|
|7. Camerons Pellets for Grilling||Wood||20 pounds||4.5|
|8. Lumber Jack BBQ 7 Varieties BBQ Pellet Pack||Variety pack wood||7 pounds||4.5|
|9. Camerons Smoking Wood Pellets||Variety pack wood||3 pounds||3.9|
Things to Consider When Choosing Pellets for Smoking
When selecting pellets for smoking, there are several things to consider. These include the ease of lighting, burn rate, pellet quality, and size.
Ease of Lighting
The first thing to consider when choosing a pellet is how easy it will be to light it. Because this smoke source is going to be used outside in the cold season, it has a high chance of being cold.
This means that you will be less likely to use your hands, which are usually used to light charcoal or wood chips with a lighter or barbecue igniter. Because of this, it’s recommended that you buy pellets that will light automatically when put into the machine.
The burn rate is also an important thing to determine. Different pellet smokers cook at different speeds. Some are very fast, while others are slow.
If the smoker is using pellets for smoking meat, it’s important that they use a product that allows the meat to be cooked quickly. This will maximize flavor and minimize any defects caused by overcooking or undercooking.
The quality of the pellet is also something to consider. Cheap pellets will impact the taste, whether they are used for smoking or in an appliance like a pellet stove. It’s important that one purchases quality pellets so they can enjoy their food rather than worrying about if their machine is working correctly.
Finally, when choosing pellets for smoking meat, it’s important to decide what size the pellets are. The size of the pellet can impact flavor, burn time, and ease of use. All of these things need to be considered when choosing pellets for smoking meat.
Top 3 Best Wood Pellets For Smoking
Traeger Grills Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets for Smoking are the perfect way to get that delicious wood-fired flavor in your food. These pellets are made of a blend of hickory, maple, and cherry hardwoods, which gives you a versatile flavor that can take on just about anything you cook.
These premium pellets are made in the USA from hardwoods with a unique compact cell structure, which results in a balanced, dependable burn. Pairs well with everything from beef and poultry to pork and lamb, these all-natural pellets produce clean smoke with no binders or low ash content.
The hardwood pellets are sourced from only the finest trees, and each batch is carefully tested to ensure a clean, consistent burn. With no binders or fillers, our pellets are an all-natural choice for healthy grilling.
Lumberjack brand wood pellets are long-lasting pellets made 100% from trees rather than residual wood. They’re very aromatic and give off a smoky and slightly fruity type of flavor to your grilling. With no additives, no added oils for flavor, these pellets promise an all-natural taste and experience that you can trust. These pellets are set to last you for a very long time.
These grilling pellets are made with real trees, not just residual wood. The bark and cambium layer of trees is where most of the flavor in a tree resides, so you know these pellets will give your food a delicious smoky flavor.
They’re made with a smaller diameter than other pellets, which creates a hotter burn and more smoke with more surface area.
Bear Mountain is an all-natural hardwood brand of pellets with naturally infused flavors, promising no additives or oils to their smoky tastes. They provide a well-balanced flavor that is neither too strong nor too underwhelming.
These pellets are set to work for any kind of grill that you use and have a wide variety of flavors that range from sweet and fruitier, to robust and smokier. They are most definitely one of the most adaptable brands of wood pellets out there.
Bear Mountain pellets are the perfect way to add a sweet, smoky flavor to your favorite red meat, poultry, fish, pork, lamb, or vegetable dish. Made from 100-percent all-natural hardwoods with no flavorings, fillers, or additives, these pellets are low in moisture and deliver a well-balanced flavor that enhances the taste of any grilled dish.
How to Safely Store Your Wood Pellets?
To get the most value out of your wood pellets and keep them for as long as possible, you’ll want to store them someplace where they’ll be safe from both moisture and high temperatures. Keeping the pellets in a place where they’re exposed to high temperatures can lead to emissions of carbon dioxide, so it’s very important that they stay fresh.
The best place would be somewhere inside where they won’t be exposed to humidity or any sort of water damage. If you have a garage, basement, or shed where they can be safely sealed. It’s also best to keep them off of the floor and stored in a shelf or other type of compartment.
You’ll also want to check the bags in case of any holes or tears. This will not only stop any accidental spilling but will also keep the pellets clean and away from any exposure to dust or moisture. Covering the bags of pellets with a tarp and keeping them neatly stacked together will also work well for this.
Are Wood Pellets Safe to Cook With?
So long as you stick with trusted brands that make their pellets from natural wood and provide all-natural tastes with no additives or chemicals, wood pellets are 100% safe to cook with. They are rated food-grade making them a verified safe way to cook.
Despite people’s concerns, the wood pellets and the smoke will not affect your health. What matters more is the preparation of your cooking, your temperatures, and how you are cooking your food. Using wood pellets for your cooking method is as safe as any alternative, and in terms of health is no different either.
Make sure that you take good care of your pellets so that they stay fresh. These wood pellets should not be toxic as long as they are sealed correctly and are placed in a safe space.
What’s the Difference Between Wood Pellets and Wood Chips?
Wood pellets are noted to be much more reliable for cooking than wood chips. They burn longer and hot enough to be able to cook and provide an even amount of flavor.
Wood chips are usually used for stronger flavoring, and while they do burn much faster than wood pellets, can still provide juicy, tender, and tasty meat when used correctly. Wood chips tend to produce a lot of ash and are far messier than wood pellets.
Do Wood Pellets Need to be Soaked?
Unlike wood chips, it is highly recommended that you do not soak your wood pellets. One of the high perks to wood pellets is that soaking is not a necessity and can be used dry.
Soaking wood pellets can cause them to fall apart and can even cause damage to your smoker. Your wood pellets should always stay dry and should avoid exposure to any sort of moisture.
Can You Use Wood Pellets in a Smoker Tube?
Wood pellets can be used in a smoker tube. The smaller these pellets are, the better. It’s recommended that you use anywhere from half a cup to a third cup of pellets. Light one end of the tube when it starts smoking, put out the flame, and let it set inside of the smoker.
After about 5 hours, you should be left with a good smoky aroma and a great taste for the food you’re preparing. Smoker tubes are most commonly used for cold smoking, where minimal heat is used to infuse flavors into cooking meat and get the most taste out of the smoked wood pellets.
What are the Best Wood Pellet Flavors?
While the answer can vary depending on what you’re preparing, the overall most popular flavors for wood pellets tend to be hickory and apple. Other popular flavors include mesquite, cherry, or competition blends. Most people tend to go for the smokier and bolder tastes for their barbecue.
Sweet and smokier flavors are the more popular flavor of wood pellets that people search for. You’ll want flavors that do provide a bold and noticeable difference but won’t completely overpower the food which you’re preparing.
These kinds of flavors can pair well with most types of meats or vegetables you would be preparing. Most brands of wood pellets will also usually have their own blend that’s personal to their brand.
How Do I Know If My Wood Pellets are Bad?
There are a few ways to tell if you have good or bad wood pellets. Hold the pellets and test to see if they hold together. If they fall apart, these are not good pellets. Wood pellets are made of compressed sawdust and should stay firm and intact when you’re holding them.
You can also test them by putting a few in a bowl of water. If the pellets float, then that means they contain too much moisture and aren’t suitable for smoking. If the pellets sink, then that means they are on the lower side of moisture and are exactly what you need.
Even just testing the pellets out by burning them will give you your answer, as higher quality pellets should last longer than lower quality pellets.
You may also want to always check the bags of any tears or holes just in case, as exposure to moisture or other contaminants can affect their quality. Unlike what most people might believe, wood pellets also do have a shelf life and should be maintained so that they stay as fresh as possible.
As long as these wood pellets are handled with care, they should remain good for as long as years.
How Long Do You Let Wood Pellets Burn?
The length of which your pellets can burn can vary depending on the temperature of the smoker, the number of pellets that you’re burning, and the weather conditions while you’re outside smoking them. Most wood pellets advertise to burn at about a pound per hour.
Typically, the higher the quality of the wood pellets, the longer that these pellets will burn. A full 20-pound bag of wood pellets can burn up to 20 hours, while a 40-pound bag can burn up to twice as long. Usually, the lower you keep your smoker’s temperature, the longer these pellets will last.
If you’re looking to burn them for a shorter amount of time, you’ll want to burn these pellets at a higher temperature.
A 20-pound bag of pellets can be expected to burn for as little as 6 hours. A 40-pound bag of pellets can burn for as little as 12 hours. Again though, these numbers are solely based on the temperatures, and other factors such as your methods, smoker, and weather conditions while smoking can affect how long they will burn.
There are a lot of questions when thinking about what are the best wood pellets. Hopefully, this list of top wood pellets and tips for using wood pellets have given you a better idea of what you need.
High-quality pellets that provide long-lasting use, good flavor, and good burning are the most desirable, and sometimes it may be trial and error before you find the brand of wood pellets that work best for your needs. Overall though, there are definitely perks to each kind of wood pellets you will find, and there will be much variety to try.