Smoking meats like beef, pork, lamb, and fish has existed since the discovery of fire. Making barbecue and adding smokey freshness to food is one of the few ways that food can be made tasty. Over the years, smoking meat on charcoal or pieces of wood has evolved and transformed into a process that can be a lot less cumbersome. Thanks to rapid advancements in technology, wood pellets are used in grills or smokers to achieve the smoky flavor that your heart so desires.
Wood pellets are easy to use and make smoking meat a lot easier. They yield intense smoke that effectively seals in natural moisture. If your food has been lacking some smoky or flavored goodness, wood pellets are what you need. Here’s our list of the 11 best wood pellets for smoking.
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11 Best Wood Pellets For Smoking
This bag of hardwood pellets by Bear Mountain offers pellets of wood that are compatible with most brands of grills like Traeger, Louisiana Grills, and Green Mountain Grills. It is versatile and suitable for outdoor use with gas, charcoal, electric grills, and smokers. The wood pellets are infused with natural smoky flavors to tenderize and smoke your meat, fish, and vegetables with minimal effort. These hardwood pellets are available in bags of 20 and 40 pounds. They are also sold in many flavors like apple, oak, maple, hickory, mesquite, cherry, and pecan.
- Smoky flavor
- 100% natural premium hardwood
- Mild sweetness
- No fillers or binders
- Pellets might be too long for some grill systems
This bag of pellets gets its name from its composition. It is made from the top 4 smoking kinds of wood for the best smoking experience. The pellets are a mix of hickory, cherry, hard maple, and apple, and the company only uses the center of the log to ensure the best quality pellets. These pellets are not made from tree bark and thus, produce less ash and smoke when burnt. Providing a smoky aroma to your food and a long burning duration of over 6 hours, this one is a must-have.
- No alder filler
- 100% hardwood
- Can be used on traditional gas and charcoal grill
- Good size
- Their effectiveness may decrease when too many are used together.
These wood pellets are non-toxic and are food-grade wood pellets. They are widely compatible and serve as an easy way to add some smoky richness to your meats and vegetables. They are suitable for outdoor use and can be used on any gas or outdoor cooker. Since the pellets are made from applewood, they have a fruity smoke and are suitable for grilling pork, beef, fish, and chicken. These wood pellets are available for sale in 6 packs with each having a different flavor. The grilling pellets are available in apple, hickory, cherry, pecan, mesquite, and jack daniel flavors.
- Easy to use
- No soaking needed
- Works with any grill
- Made of 100% applewood
- It may require many pellets for a strong flavor
These wood pellets are specifically designed by Louisiana Grills for use in pellet grills. The grill pellets are a mixture of sweet, tart, and savory flavors thanks to the use of maple, hickory, and cherry. This mix flavors meats like lamb and pork and can be used for grilling fish as well. This blend of premium pellets fits selected models of grills, so check if your grill is on the list of compatible models.
• Blend of flavors
• Made from raw wood
• 100% natural composition
• Well-sized pellets
• May turn into sawdust quickly if not kept well
These kiln-dried BBQ grill pellets are easy to use and come in sizes suitable for most grills. If you don’t own a smoke grill, you won’t need to worry since they also work with smoker boxes, gas grills, and charcoal grills. The pellets have an apple aroma and are available as a pack of 4. This pack is portable, and the wood pellets are ideal for camping trips or picnics. The compressed wood offers a clean-burning experience while it flavors and smokes your poultry and meats.
- Quickly produce smoke
- Quick ignition
- Indoor and outdoor use
- 100% natural composition
- May have a short burn time.
What you get when you purchase this pack of hardwood pellets by Cam Chef is unrivaled performance. The cherry wood flavor has a hint of sweetness and gives the meat a smoky wood taste. The wood pellets are made from the center of the log to ensure durability. The pellets are fast igniting and burn for a considerably long time. The fact that this pack of wood pellets contains no additives testifies to its quality. Try these grill pellets on your next camping trip or outdoor party.
- Made from solid hardwood
- 100% natural food grade pellets
- Low moisture content
- No added fillers
- It may become a little too smoky if overused.
To ensure the best and most premium quality, ASMOKE sources its wood pellets from real fruit orchids. This eliminates all artificial flavoring and aroma that is usually emitted from other wood pellets. The grill pellets have a lightly sweet and smoky flavor that goes well with lamb, chicken, and vegetables. It can enhance the flavor and taste of your dish to a different level. The fresh pellets are placed into tear-resistant bags to ensure that they are kept safe while on the move.
- All-natural flavors
- 100% natural wood pellets
- Unique wood flavor
- No fillers
• It may not burn very efficiently
These eco-friendly BBQ pellets smoke your food while causing minimum damage to the environment and your health. The toxic-free pellets burn efficiently and produce very little ash. This 20 pound bag of pellets is popular owing to its wide use of operation. It can be used in any brand or model of BBQ grill. These are oak-made pellets that come from trees and not residual wood. They offer a rich flavor to your beef and seafood. The clean and natural flavor offered by these pellets makes the barbeque experience worthwhile.
- All-natural hardwood
- No fillers
- Safe burning
- Easy to use
- The light flavor may not be the best for certain foods.
This is one of the simple yet effective kinds of wood pellets on our list of the 11 best wood pellets for smoking. Apple pellets are known for having a strong yet pleasant smoky flavor to your meats. The sweet taste of the apple blends well with the smoky flavor of the meat, resulting in a barbecue that’s worth remembering. The pellets are ingeniously designed with a blend of applewood and oak wood to provide the best results.
- Versatile use
- Made from 100% applewood
- No artificial flavoring
- Easy to use
- May leave ashes behind
These grill and barbeque pellets by Camerons have been designed for indoor and outdoor use. Made from compressed wood and no residue material. These pellets burn cleanly and leave behind little residue. The company avoids adding fillers or additives because they are toxic and dangerous to health. The ample flavored pellets smoke chicken, beef, and pork almost perfectly. It can also be used for grilling vegetables. The hardwood pellets are safely sealed in a 20 pound bag and can be used in most smoke boxes or grills.
- Fine grade wood pellets
- Quick ignition
- Delicate smoky flavor
- 100% natural
- It may not burn for a very long time.
This 20 pound bag of wood pellets by PIT BOSS is best suited for grilling beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and vegetables. To ensure the quality of the grill pellets, the company uses only premium-grade pure hardwood. The wood pellets have a wood flavor that infuses the meat with a smoky richness. The use of high pressure when compressing the sawdust helps bind the pellets tightly together. The absence of glues ensures that no harmful residue is left behind. This pack of food-grade pellets is also available in 40 pound packs.
- Natural wood from lush woodlands
- No additives
- Clean smoke
- Might not fit in all grills and smokers
Taking a look at our list of the 11 best wood pellets for smoking is just half the work. When looking to purchase wood pellets, one needs to know a lot more. Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing hardwood and flavored pellets.
How To Choose The Right Wood Pellets For Smoking?
There are 3 types of wood pellets used for smoking food. These are standard wood pellets, food-grade wood pellets, and premium-grade wood pellets. Standard wood pellets contain the most amount of chemicals and additives. This can affect the flavor of your barbecue. Food grade pellets are wood pellets that are safe to use as they have been approved by various food associations. However, premium wood pellets are the best to go with as they contain very little ash and are often made from oak or maple wood.
- Ash content
The amount of ash left behind after the wood pellets are burnt refers to ash content. This can be a lot or a little depending upon the type of wood pellets. Having more ash as residue leaves you with more to clean and with a smoker that runs ineffectively. It’s best to choose wood pellets that have low ash content.
- Bark and additives
High-quality wood pellets are made from the center of a log rather than from the bark of a tree. Additives like glue, cardboard, and bark act as fillers and lead to low-performing pellets. Pellets without fillers or additives are better because they are natural and even burn hotter than those with additives.
- Moisture content
The moisture content in the wood pellets has a significant impact on the amount of effort it will take to light the pellets in a grill. Simply put, grill pellets with a lot of moisture will take longer to light, while those with a moisture content around 6.5% and below will light quickly. Some hardwood pellets might even be marketed as moisture-free pellets. It is crucial to check the label for this rating before purchasing wood pellets.
- Heat output
The heat output of wood pellets is measured in BTU, which stands for British Thermal Units. For reference, BBQ pellets with a high BTU rating are better than ones with low BTU ratings. It is advisable to purchase grill pellets that have a rating between 8000-85000 BTU.
Most wood pellets are made up of 4-6 of the best kinds of wood. This is because they are flavored wood pellets and are made from applewood, cherry, and hickory. Flavored wood pellets help give more than just a smoky flavor to your meat. They can help sweeten it and add a lingering flavor that will be savored by many. However, your choice of flavored or unflavored pellets will depend upon the food you intend to cook.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use wood pellets in other types of smokers?
This depends upon factors like the material of the wood pellets and the brand and model of the smoker. Some grill pellets might be too big for certain smokers or grills. So while not all smoker pellets can fit all smokers, some cooking wood pellets can be used in different types of smokers.
How long do wood pellets last in a smoker?
As a general rule of thumb, a smoker burns around 3 pounds of pellets every hour. This means it takes 6-7 hours to burn a 20 pound pack of wood pellets. However, this timeframe might be subject to changes arising from the burning efficiency of the wood pellets.
How do I know if my wood pellets are bad?
There’s a simple and easy way of telling if your wood pellets are bad. Just like most things in life, wood pellets also have a shelf life. One of the easiest ways of checking if they are bad is by opening the packet and looking for an abundance of sawdust. Another way of being sure that they are bad is by taking a few pellets and soaking them in water. If the pellets float and don’t sink, you know that they are bad.
Camping trips and parties in your backyard can be perfect situations to bond with family and friends. What makes it even more special is sharing a smoky flavored barbecue or seafood grill. However, to infuse some smoky goodness into the meat, wooden pellets are required. These are used in grills or smokers to smoke meats and vegetables. They are available in packets of varying weights and can be carried around without much effort. If you’ve been thinking of adding some smoky richness to your meat, it’s time to start purchasing wood pellets. To do so, revisit our extensive and well-researched list of the 11 best wood pellets for smoking.