Imagine planning a BBQ party with friends and family. The best pellet smoker has been purchased and set up, the meat and its condiments are right there, the mood is set and the guests can’t wait but the wood doesn’t just seem to be the right product. Oh, what a disaster!
This can be avoided by simply purchasing the best wood pellet for smoking, this way you will have the perfect meal that will have everyone praising your cooking skills. In this article, we review the best six products, but not just that, we will also take you through some buying guide that will facilitate a good choice while also answering any question you may have. We have a lot to learn so let’s get started already.
- 1 Top Products on the Market
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 FAQs On Wood Pellets
- 4 Conclusion
Top Products on the Market
After a thorough market survey and extensive research, we bring you the best six products we could find on the market. They include:
1. CookingPellets 40PM Perfect Mix
We start our list with the CookingPellets 40PM Perfect Mix, it’s not just suitable for short cooking and long smokes, the product also has apple, cherry, hard maple and hickory based mixed flavor to give it an amazing aroma and flavor.
The pellets are taken right from the center of logs, with no bark included as these barks are mostly made of lignin, an unnecessary item. Hence, what you get is pure, quality woods. Besides, there are no addictive such as alder or oak, these are merely oil and at best filler woods, and since you deserve the best, the best is what we offer you.
Some people consider the flavor produced by the wood as too mild, hence it is important to consider your preferences when making a purchase. The only downside we could detect is that it’s not suitable for use in most grills, hence we suggest you consider the compatibility of the wood pellets with your grill before making a purchase.
- Has a mild flavor
- Features no addictive
- It is suitable for short grilling and long smokes
- It’s a hickory base mix
- Not suitable for all grills
- May be considered too mild by some people
2. Traeger PEL319 Hickory
Want juicy, smoky, well-flavored BBQs and steaks, then a good pellet smoker such as the Traeger PEL319 Hickory is the ideal product to invest your money in. This 20lbs bag of the wood pellet is made of 100% hardwood, it contains no fillers or artificial addictive. This wood pellet adds a variety of flavors to your meat including pork, poultry, beef, and even vegetables.
The hickory uses sawdust to manufacture its pellets right from preexisting hardwood, this is done without harvesting any trees, hence it helps to reduce the rate of deforestation. The pellets are much larger than regular pellets, thus you may need to break them into smaller bits to ensure faster cooking and uniform heating of food, especially when using smaller grills.
In using these wood pellets (as with all others), there is a need to protect it from moisture to avoid it from turning to dust. The product is ideal for those on a budget as it offers you great quality at an affordable price.
- It has a low price-tag
- Suitable for a wide range of food
- It has a strong and rich hickory flavor
- Sustainable timber
- The pellets are large
- Requires protection from moisture
3. Lumberjack 100-Percent Maple Wood BBQ Grilling Pellets
This product is made from real tree bark and cambium layer and is mostly made of hickory wood. Owing to its production from actual tree bark, you would expect it to bring out more flavor in food as compared to many others made of residual wood.
Lumberjack 100-Percent Maple Wood BBQ Grilling Pellets has no additive or oil, it is natural and 100% real wood. Because they have a small diameter, they can provide more surface area for smoking and burning, this in turn ensures that just a little quantity of ash is produced when used.
The composition of ash and chemicals in them has been tested separately for the food-grade pellets which are made by blending the fiber before compressing the wood pellets into shape. Thus, unlike other regular pellets that mix all types of pellets and bag, this grilling pellets is a mix of pre-blended pellets with different flavors.
However, there is a downside and that’s that it is prone to over smoking due to its heavy hickory composition. Other than that, it’s one of the best pellets you can ever get.
- Has no oil or addictive
- It’s easy to carry and safe to drop
- None hazardous ignition
- Made of high-quality wood
- Pellet is prone to over smoking
- It has a high price-tag
4. RectTec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets
RectTec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets is a mixture of hickory and oak and is made from 100% natural hardwood. This product gives your BBQ that delicious, rich, and strong flavor that you will love, it is ideal for all types of grills while also providing consistent quality. While it’s in production, the pellets are compressed to form a dense wood, thereby making them a denser type of wood.
Also, the pellets can store a large quantity of energy while its uniform size ensures a more consistent and reliable form of grilling. On the downside though, the pellets are a bit pricey with an unpleasant smell being perceived when the bag is opened. Owing to its small size, it is easy to store, it also makes it easy for grills to automate the rate at which pellets are fed into the auger of a pellet smoker.
- It offers a consistent quality
- It has a uniform size
- Product is a mix of hickory and oak
- Ability to store a large amount of energy
- It has a high price tag
- Produces an unpleasant smell when bagged
5. BBQrs Delight Wood Smoking Pellets
If you cook with wood, then you need good pellets to ensure your meats come out smoky and delicious. BBQrs Delight Wood Smoking Pellets is not just good, its one of the best wood pellets for smoking. It is ideal for big barbecue parties or large stock up in the house. The value pack contains one-pound bags featuring different flavors such as pecan, jack Daniels, cherry, mesquite, apple, and hickory.
It’s so big that each bag can last for as long as 10 days, but beyond that, they are easy to use, and you need not soak them. Also, wood pellets are suitable for almost all types of grills. With this pellet woods, you can use various flavors to achieve your unique blend of pellets.
Processing of the wood pellets eliminates any chance of contamination, thereby making the pellets safe for use. On the downside though, the product has a high price tag but since you are making a bulk purchase, it’s more cost-effective in the long run.
- It is suitable for all types of grills
- Product is safe for use
- Available in a variety of flavors
- Ease of use
- The wood pellets are not durable
- It has a high price tag
6. Camp Chef Bag of Premium for Smoker
It’s only right that we end our review on a high note and it’s to that effect we bring you another spectacular product, this time it’s the Camp Chef Bag of Premium for Smoker. This product is a delight to customers and they can’t seem to get enough. Unlike regular wood pellets, these are made of 100% natural hardwood with no addictive included and no byproducts too.
Additionally, it contains no oil or chemicals and is ideal for almost all types of grills and smokers. It gives a more efficient and consistent burn, has low moisture content with no added flavors or fillers. Each bag weighs 20lbs, this means just a bag will last you for a long time. Furthermore, it is affordable and efficient and will burn well, and even while burning it stays solid, producing a little amount of ash and so ensuring that clean-up is easy.
- Produces little quantity of ash
- Stays solid while it burns
- It has a low price-tag
- It produces a pleasant apple aroma
- Its not 100% apple flavor as its blended with alder
- Reports of acrid taste on the meals
Now that we are done reviewing the best products, let’s look more closely at the wood pellets themselves.
Wood Pellets: What are They?
Have you been to a lumber mill before? Notice any small pieces of wood and sawdust all on the ground? Now that’s what is called wood pellets. They are usually made of waste from lumber. This means that they are re-processed and compressed to produce wood pellets.
During this compression process, natural products from the sawdust are produced, although soft at first, they harden with time. This process enables the sawdust to retain its shape which is ideally cylindrical.
Are They Any Difference Between Smoking Pellets and Heating Pellets?
Yes, they are not the same and this should be noted right from the start. While heating pellets are made from hardwood with insecticides and other chemicals added in them, smoking pellets are made from natural wood and hence safe for smoking and grilling food.
Heating pellets are made to be used with stove and are dangerous as they ignite easily and produce harmful chemicals while smoking pellets are made especially for pellet grills and are usually available in a wide variety of flavors.
Types of Wood Pellet Flavors
There are various types of wood pellets and this directly affects the flavor of food gotten at the end of your cooking. There are mild flavors, medium and heavy flavors. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Maple-This mild and sweet flavor is ideal for vegetables, cheese, and poultry. They darken the meat and combine well with other pellets such as alder, apple, or oak.
- Alder-This is ideal for smoking poultry and fish, it adds a mix of smokey flavor along with a pinch of sweetness.
- Apple-This can be applied to a range of food such as ham and pork. It is also suitable for lamb and poultry. While some people use it for beef and seafood, it may be considered too mild for red meat.
- Beech-Beech wood pellets are ideal for red meats and seafood as they give just the right touch of mild flavor.
- Oak-This type of wood pellet produces a lot of heat, but add a medium flavor to your meats. They are well suited for blending wood.
- Peach or Pear-This add a bit of sweet and mild fruit flavor and also a bit of medium flavor to the meat. It is ideal for poultry.
Hickory-If you want a strong yet sweet flavor for your BBQs then this product will do just fine. It is ideal for all types of meat ranging from bacon, ribs to other types of meat as it helps to bring out the right flavor. However, care should be taken when using this flavor as too much of it may produce a bitter after taste.
Pecan-Pecan is not as strong as hickory but rather cooler, adding a delicate flavor to your meat. It is ideal for poultry as well as pork. On the downside though, care should be taken to avoid over smoking as may cause bitterness and give your meal a pungent smell.
Walnut-This is just right for red meats and games as they add a strong yet bitter flavor to meats. This is why its best to always mix walnut with other flavors to achieve the right result.
Mesquite-Mesquite is more suitable for darker meats. They are oily and burns faster, hence producing a lot of heat. If you are a newbie to pellet smoking, we suggest you take it easy while using this wood pellets, you can begin by mixing the wood pellet with other types of flavors and also cooking at a reduced time.
Factors to Consider When Buying Wood Pellets
It’s not enough to purchase any wood pellets that catches your fancy as there are many factors to consider before making a choice. Here, we have outlined some of these factors. They include:
Package of Product
While this may seem irrelevant, it’s a vital factor that can make or mar your experience. A thin and cheaply made bag easily tears, scattering and destroying the wood pellets in the process and leaving it exposed to moisture. On the other hand, if the bag is too thick, opening the product may take some effort and time. Hence, the best bet would be to settle for wood pellets with the right thickness. Wood pellets with handle are easier to open and move around.
It’s also important to consider the level of ash produced during processing as this may affect clean up after use. While it’s true that some quantity of ash will be produced eventually during use, some brands however produce more ash than other brands. Therefore, its best to consider wood pellets that produce the least amount of ash as this makes it easy to clean up after use.
Type of Smoker
Another key factor to consider when shopping for wood pellets is the type of smoker being used. Not all wood pellets are suitable for all types of smokers and grills. Hence, when making a purchase, consider if the wood pellets you intend to buy are compatible with your smoker and if it’s not, then go for the one best suited for it, else you would have wasted your money.
FAQs On Wood Pellets
Q: How long does it take a 40lb bag of wood pellets to burn?
A: A 40lb bag of the wood pellet is enough to burn for the whole day nonstop.
Q: Which is better between hardwood and softwood pellets?
A: While hardwood has a higher density, which translates to longer burning time, softwood on the other hand has higher BTUs, this is owing to the higher concentration of lignin which usually ignites at a higher temperature, this has no correlation with the density of the wood.
Q: Does wood pellet produce a clean burn?
A: Due to the compact nature of the sawdust produced by the wood pellets, they contain little or no water hence ensuring they burn clean and efficient.
Q: Can wood pellets be self-made?
A: Wood pellets can certainly be self-made; all you need do is break down a log of wood into smaller pieces and then compress it into dense pellets.
For that rich, tasty, unique, and smoky flavor of the meat you crave, the best wood pellets for smoking are all you need to make it happen. Before now, purchasing the best product was probably an impossible task, but we have not only brought you the top six products, we have also taken you through some buying guides that will facilitate a good choice. Now, all you need do is make a purchase; the world is about to experience this brand new and confident chef that is you.