Right after buying your first pellet grill, a new problem arises, which is what type of wood pellets to choose?
Today I will help you solve your problem by sharing tested wood pellets for smoking and grilling with you.
There are different types of pellets, and each of them gives food its characteristic flavor. That’s the reason why it’s a good idea to experiment and try different flavors depending on the type of meat and the recipe.
You don’t have to only use pellets manufactured by the manufacturer of your smoker. That’s an attempt by manufacturers to keep their customers around, because the truth is that you can use any pellets as long as they’re high quality.
The market offers a really huge selection, which is why you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one manufacturer.
In order to make the choice easier for you, I have prepared a list of the best wood pellets. These are high quality options that I have tested, I personally use them everyday when smoking or grilling.
The 4 Best Wood Pellets for Smoking
Certain grill manufacturers warn you that you should use only their wood pellets if you want to maintain warranty and safety. The truth is that there is nothing to worry about using wood pellets from a manufacturer different from your grill’s, as long as these are high quality wood pellets.
I have prepared a list of the best wood pellets for grilling & smoking that will work in any situation.
Best value wood pellets for every occasion, one of the best-selling brands. It is a mix of four most popular and in my view best hardwoods without any kind of filler.
CookinPellets Perfect Mix is a great option for every occasion no matter if you want to grill or smoke. It is sold in a very large bag (40 pounds) at a relatively low price considering the high-quality composition.
It gets a lot of positive reviews when it comes to smoking (especially brisket and pulled pork).
It is definitely the kind of pellets you can easily use with every grill without worrying about malfunctions and losing the warranty because of that.
The solid packaging is convenient and safe to store, it is not necessary to move the pellets to a different container.
The greatest advantage of the mix from CookinPellets is the composition, the best types of woods and lack of fillers. This manufacturer’s offer also includes 100% hickory pellet available at the same bag size.
When it comes to the amount of ash produced, it is satisfying. No matter which manufacturer’s pellet you’re going to use, you should always remove excess ash in a grill after very long smoking.
Of course we couldn’t go without the manufacturer responsible for creating the pellet grill, Traeger. This brand doesn’t need to be introduced, but I’ll just remind those who don’t know that it’s a very trusted and valued manufacturer in the world of BBQ.
I picked Traeger Hickory 100% hardwood pellet for you, which is perfect for grilling and smoking, sold in 20 pound bags at a pretty decent price.
A very huge advantage of Traeger is that its offer includes a very wide selection of wood pellet types. This is one of the reasons why I am a very frequent user of their pellets, there aren’t many manufacturers offering this kind of choice.
I very often encourage beginners to try the Traeger offer, as it makes it possible to experiment and discover many flavors (remember that you can combine them).
Personally, I really like their Hickory pellet, although I know that other types are also worth trying. I don’t want to leave a general review as it wouldn’t be fair, but I do know that Traeger is a solid brand and offers decent quality at this kind of price.
The next suggestion also comes from a famous and renowned brand in the world of BBQ.
Camp Chef is also among the few manufacturers who offer a huge selection of wood pellet types.
The price is similar to all the previous options and it is also available in 20 pound bags.
The manufacturer claims it has no fillers, oils, additives etc, only good quality hardwood. Such mix guarantees good burning properties, great flavor of food and small amount of ash compared to poor quality pellets.
Camp Chef also offers a very wide selection of wood pellet types. Quality is most important, but I always appreciate wide choice as well. I encourage you to experiment with wood pellets from camp chef to discover your favorite flavor.
It’s another noteworthy option on the list, high quality wood pellet without fillers available at a decent price.
Rec Tec is a manufacturer of phenomenal high-quality grills and equally high-quality wood pellets. In terms of price it looks similar to all the options in this guide, but it’s sold in 40 pound bags.
Rec Tec Grills Ultimate Blend pellets get a lot of positive reviews for the flavor, small amount of ash and a price adequate to all that.
It’s a mix of oak & hickory without adding any additives, oils and fillers.
Sadly, there isn’t a very big selection of flavors which is why I believe this pellet should be treated as one of those that are worth having depending on what you’re going to smoke. I encourage you to buy different types of pellets, which will give you a bigger freedom at experimenting with flavors.
It is simply one of the options that are worth checking out and having at home next to other, equally valuable wood pellets.
Grills from RecTec have the ability to achieve very high temperatures in a short time. It can be achieved not only thanks to the right technology but also an adequate mix of wood pellets.
Therefore it is an option that makes it possible to achieve much higher temperatures, which might come in handy when grilling.
100% Flavored Wood vs Blended Pellets
The difference mostly boils down to what wood pellets consist of and how it impacts cooking. Both options are good but they do have their upsides and downsides that one needs to know in order to make an informed choice.
Flavored Wood pellets are expensive because they are only made of wood without any fillers, binding agents or flavored oils. Such pellet is perfect in itself, giving food intense flavor and maintaining great burning properties.
Blended Pellets are a mix of flavored wood with filler ( the ratio is usually about 30% to 70% ). A mix of this type is actually a good solution, it is much cheaper and still maintains great properties.
The standard filler is oak, which has great burning properties, but sadly its impact on food is pretty poor. A bigger role in flavor is played by flavored wood, which when combined with oak gives great burning parameters and decent food flavor.
Smoking Pellets Don’t all Give the Same Taste
At the beginning of this guide I mentioned about experimenting by using different types of wood pellets. Experienced people are perfectly aware that the type of wood will impact the food’s flavor achieved.
That’s why it is recommended to use the right type of wood depending on what kind of meat you’re planning to smoke.
The advantage of wood pellets is a wide selection of types as well as availability, which allows you to often experiment with different types of wood and discover interesting new flavors on your own.
It is even possible to mix different types of wood pellets in order to achieve a non-standard flavor.
What are the Best Wood Pellet Flavors?
There is no clear answer to that question, it all depends on what you’re planning to smoke.
The topic is very broad, which is why I will only list my four favorite combos/types of wood pellets here.
My favorite types of pellets:
- Cherry / Apple
More detailed info can be found in a grillagrills guide where you will learn everything about the best wood Pellet Flavors.
Do You Have to Use the Same Brand Pellet as Your Grill?
My answer will be short and clear – of course not.
I’ll expand on this topic in order to take care of all the confusion here.
Manufacturers warn against using other wood pellets mostly for two reasons. The first is obviously keeping the customer around, whereas the other is most certainly justified.
It is about warning you against using POOR quality wood pellets that might cause damage (like of the spiral that is responsible for transporting pellets from the container to the furnace).
Either way, you can easily use wood pellets from other manufacturers but you have to keep one very important rule in mind, only use high quality pellets.
It impacts not only the food’s flavor but also proper functioning of all components of the wood pellet grill.
Certain manufacturers make you only use their pellets if you don’t want to lose the manufacturer’s warranty on their grill, for example. To me it seems very unfair, and I actually think it’s even illegal.