You just got a brand new awesome smoker and now the ultimate question is….what will make the smoke? There are tons of interesting and flavorful options out there when it comes to the best smoker pellets you may have trouble deciding on what to use when you fire up your new smoker. Experimenting with the various flavors and woods out there in pellet form is a lot of fun but you also want to make sure they are high quality for the best result.
Many grill and smoker manufacturers will try and get you to buy their exclusive smoker pellets but you would be missing out on infinite possibilities if you did what they hope you will do. This guide is not just for newbies but also for expert smokers who are just looking for some fresh options to try out. No matter your motivation you will want to check out our list below before you make up your mind.
1. CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix Smoking Pellets – Best Pellets For Pellet Smoker
This pack of pellets from CookinPellets is arguably one of the best smoker pellets on the market. It’s made from hardwood materials only as against some pellets that are made from a combination of hardwood and other materials. This pellet pack is devoid of oak or alder filler materials and will burn nicely as you cook. If you don’t like this perfect mix flavor, there are other flavors to choose from including Apple Mash and Black Cherry.
Buying Pellets For Pellet Smoking? Here Are Some Keys to Remember
Pellets made up of 100% of the specified wood are always more expensive than a blend or a mix. Never soak your wood pellets before you use them for smoking as they will fall apart. Always remember that heating pellets are for heating your home and not smoking your food so make sure to always use a food-grade pellet.
If your smoker pellets have been in storage for a while make sure to inspect them before use. Make sure they are free of mold, fungus, or any other strange sign of spoilage. There are a lot of people that mistakenly believe that they are required to only use wood pellets sold by the manufacturer of the grill or smoker they own. For instance, like the Traeger pellets above, they manufacture both grills and pellets.
Speaking of Traeger, they try to convince the buyer that if they use any other brand of pellets it may somehow harm your pellet smoker and void your warranty. Do not be fooled by this as there are laws that ban companies like Traeger from enforcing a warranty void due only to using 3rd party pellets.
The absurdity is that the same laws do not stop manufacturers from falsely claiming this on their packaging which is quite deceptive. So do not fear breaking free from your grill manufacturer’s pellets and expand your horizons!
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How to Safely Store Your Wood Pellets
Many people have the tendency to take for granted the importance of properly storing your wood smoker pellets. Improper storage can greatly decrease shelf life and cost you money. Storing pellets in the right way will ward off toxins, mold, and fungus.
Here are the basics of proper smoker pellet storage.
Buckets or Bins
When buying in bulk wood smoker pellets will come in bags usually. try not to store them long term in these bags unless it is specified that they have some kind of special properties that aid in protection.
Oxygen and moisture is the enemy of freshness for food and also for wood smoker pellets. Leaving them in a bag can risk a puncture and will expose them to the air causing contamination. Also, dampness and moisture can degrade plastic bags over time.
Wood pellet’s biggest arch-enemy is mold and fungus and it does not take long for it to start growing once it is exposed to the elements. Using smoker wood pellets contaminated with mold and fungus can infuse dangerous toxins and spor4es into your food and cause you to become ill. The best storage device has got to be a large hard plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid.
Keep Off the Ground
Again, moisture is bad for wood pellets so keep them off the ground on a shelf or elevated in some way. Moisture usually starts from the ground up when it comes from nature, keep your pellets elevated in a dry cool place.
Open when Needed
I cannot stress to you how similar to food wood pellets are. Once you open them they instantly start to spoil from being oxygenated. Try not to open them until you are ready to use them.
Wood pellets are made from a hard outer capsule much like a pill capsule. This outer layer will very quickly disintegrate once exposed to moisture or oxygen.
Do you feel a theme developing here? Moisture moisture moisture. The absolute angel of death for wood pellets is MOISTURE. Moisture will break your pellets down and cause them to mold. Leaks and rain are not the only things to consider when avoiding moisture, humidity is also dangerous to smoker wood pellets.
Let’s say you have chosen your basement to store your smoker pellets, it may be a great idea to run a humidifier down there or use some other method to keep the air very dry. Pellets can sometimes be expensive and you don’t want to flush your money down the drain f\due to simple negligence.
Mold and fungus are toxins. This can be very hazardous to your health and always inspect your pellets before use. Never smoke food with moldy pellets. You can become extremely ill from eating food smoked with moldy or fungus-covered pellets. Using good storage methods is the best way to avoid the risks to both your and your family’s health.
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Best Pellets For Pellet Smoker Reviewed
Here are some of the best smoker pellets in the market. You’ll find mixes and pure hardwood pellets below. We do hope you’ll find the one that suits your needs.
1. CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix Smoking Pellets – Best Pellets For Pellet Smoker
This is one of the best selling brands of smoker pellets, CookinPellets perfect mix is a 40-pound bag containing an irresistible blend of hardwood. These are some of the best wood pellets you can buy.
The blend inside is made up of the following hardwoods: hickory, cherry, hard maple, and apple.
This blend makes these pellets appropriate for virtually all smoking recipes out there because it hits that sweet spot. A nifty feature is that the bag it comes in is designed to be used to store the pellets for the long term if need be. This eliminates the need to transfer the contents to another container like a bucket or a bin. This product also comes with an iron-clad guarantee that the pellets will never void the warranty on your smoker.
You may recognize the brand name Traeger for being a manufacturer of some amazing pellet grills and smokers. If you were not aware they do indeed make their own pellets too. Being 100% all-natural hardwood with zero fillers makes these smoking wood pellets ideal for those looking for purity. They are sold in 20-pound bags, are affordable, and last a good long time.
Choose what flavors you are looking for too as they are available in alder, cherry, maple, oak, mesquite, Texas beef, Pecan, and turkey. The Texas beef blend is a tasty combo of hardwoods best paired with beef smoking recipes. The Turkey blend is made from oak, hickory, rosemary, and maple. Mixed in with the hardwood pellets the Turkey blend throws in some orange brine and includes a rub kit to rub your meat in the perfectly paired spices.
- Never Use Charcoal or Gas Again: Traeger premium wood pellets deliver unmatched pure, hardwood taste and ensure perfect blue smoke to flavor your food
- Real Wood Pellets: Made from 100% all-natural hardwood with no binding agents or fillers
Yes, we have included another Traeger product and not because they paid us but because it is just a good pellet. Unlike the last option where you can choose different signature flavors, this product is a unique blend. The weight is 20 pounds and is a blend of savory type flavors like maple, cherry, and hickory. Just like all Traeger pellets, you will not find any fillers in these amazingly flavorful smoker pellets.
Using a blend of flavors like this opens up a wider range of applications because it can be paired with a wider range of meats and foods and taste great whereas a cherry wood for example would only work with specific items. These are some of the best wood pellets for smoking.
- SIGNATURE BLEND WOOD FIRED FLAVOR: The flavors of hickory, maple, and cherry hardwoods combine for in our Traeger Signature Blend Hardwood Pellets for flavor that can take on just about anything you cook. From classic BBQ meats, to fish and veggies, this versatile blend gives you full-bodied flavor you'll go back to time and time again.
- NOT ALL PELLETS ARE CREATED EQUAL: The best wood-fired grill on the market demands the best wood pellets on the market. Real taste doesn't just happen, it’s tied to quality materials and achieving perfect smoke. It starts with all-natural hardwood pellets made in American mills.
The original owner of Traeger grills, Joe Traeger, decided to team up with Louisiana grills after he departed from his original post for this offering. A bag containing very high-quality smoker pellets made from a 40 to 60 ratio of cherry and maple weighs in at a whopping 40 pounds.
If that blend is not quite the flavor you are seeking they also offer many other blends featuring various mixes of hardwoods to cover all of your potential smoking needs.
- The Pennsylvania Cherry Pellet is a 40/60 blend of Cherry and Maple
- Slightly sweet but also tart and gives a rosy tint to light meats
If you are not quite sure what flavor of wood smoking pellet to choose then a variety pack is always a good choice to get a feel of the different aromas and flavors. This is great especially for those new to smoking who are not quite sure how specific woods will pair with their recipes.
Each bag in this variety pack is 1 pound and features these great flavors:
These flavors may all be individually bagged but don’t be shy about blending them to make your experimental concoctions for limitless possibilities! These 1 pound bags will not last long but fill at least provide you with a great opportunity to find your favorites.
- Includes 1 pound bag of each flavor Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan and Jack Daniel's
- 10 uses per bag (only 1/3 cup per use is needed) - No soaking necessary-- Easy to Use
What are the Best Wood Pellet Flavors?
When it comes to smoker pellets you ill find them being produced from a wide range of hardwoods. Each one has its own unique flavor and properties which allows for pairing differently with food items. Much like how wine is paired with food.
The most common hardwoods used for smoker pellets are:
In some cases, you can expect that a bag of smoking wood pellets will be made from 100 percent the type of wood advertised but in the case that it is a blended combo the item will specify this. The product will also tell you if there is a filler and how much of the pellet is made from the filler. Typically blended pellets are cheaper and in most cases, these pellets are made from 50 to 70 percent oak
Don’t think of oak as inferior, it is all about quality and if the manufacturer has used high-quality oak then a blended pellet will produce great results on a budget.
Pellet Smoker Pairings
Even though pairing smoking pellets with the food you are smoking can be fun and rewarding it certainly is not a requirement. However, for many smoking nerds out there this is a hobby and they have seemingly developed tried and true pairings that they stand by proudly.
This is a very subjective topic so take the suggestions below as just that. Suggestions that you can play around with.
Of course, when it comes to these kinds of things it is all subjective but you can take some advice from some well-known pairings below.
Apple – When it comes to apple wood pellets you will never fail when pairing with poultry and lamb and especially seafood. Applewood is also extremely mild which makes it ideal for mixing with other woods and flavors.
Cherry – Much like applewood, cherry wood pellets pair well with just about anything and are the universal wood.
Hickory – Nothing beats high-quality hickory when you plan to smoke a good piece of pork. beef and chicken go very well with hickory pellets as well.
Maple – Maple is similar to cherry but is usually paired well with chicken and veggies.
Mesquite – Mesquite is only good for one thing and one thing only, BEEF. This is the most commonly used wood for beautiful beef brisket.
Oak – Another universal wood and often used as a filler in pellet blends is oak. Very mild in flavor it can be used with just about anything.
Pecan – Many enthusiasts have found that smoking chicken with Pecan wood makes some tasty and flavorful meat but salmon is also great with these pellets.
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Wrapping it up
Did you think smoking was as simple as cooking some wood on low heat for a whole day? By now you have noticed that it is much more complicated than that but it can be a very rewarding and enjoyable hobby for some. If you enjoy an outdoor culinary challenge then wood smoking is ideal for you.
Wood pellets are a great way to quickly fire up your smoker without the worry. By purchasing a universal blend or flavor of wood pellets and keeping them on hand, you can have delicious tender smoked meat anytime you want.
using wood pellets puts you in total control of both the smoke, heat, and flavor of your food. You can fire up your grill at any moment’s notice without any worries. Try all kinds of interesting flavor pairings and enjoy the experiments with the whole family!
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