5 Best Wood Pellets for Grilling – Reviews & Buying Guide
Once you begin wood pellet grilling, it will be very difficult to go back to charcoal of gas. This is because wood pellets are built to fuse in unique smoky flavors that create a nice aroma and a perfect barbecue.
Basically, these tiny pieces of wood are made up of compressed sawdust that is held together by lignin, which is a natural part of trees.
However, there is a wide array of wood pellets to choose from in the market, and they contain different types of tree woods that produce different aromas. Therefore, to help you in picking a good pack, below are the best wood pellets for grilling that you can buy.
- 5 Best Wood Pellets for Grilling – Reviews
- 1. Traeger PEL Series Wood Pellets – Affordable Wood Pellets for Grilling
- 2. CookinPellets 40PM – Best Wood Pellets for Smoking
- 3. Lumber Jack Grilling Wood Pellets – Wood Pellets with a High Heat Output
- 4. Kingsford Wood Pellets – Good Wood Pellets for Grilling
- 5. BBQ'rs Delight Cherry Flavor Wood Pellets – Low-Ash Wood Pellets for Grilling
- How to Buy the Best Wood Pellet for Grilling
5 Best Wood Pellets for Grilling – Reviews
1. Traeger PEL Series Wood Pellets (Affordable Wood Pellets for Grilling)
2. CookinPellets 40PM (Best Wood Pellets for Smoking)
3. Lumber Jack Grilling Wood Pellets (Wood Pellets with a High Heat Output)
4. Kingsford Wood Pellets (Good Wood Pellets for Grilling)
5. BBQ'rs Delight Cherry Flavor Wood Pellets (Low-Ash Wood Pellets for Grilling)
1. Traeger PEL Series Wood Pellets
(Affordable Wood Pellets for Grilling)
2. CookinPellets 40PM
(Best Wood Pellets for Smoking)
3. Lumber Jack Grilling Wood Pellets
(Wood Pellets with a High Heat Output)
4. Kingsford Wood Pellets
(Good Wood Pellets for Grilling)
5. BBQ'rs Delight Cherry Flavor Wood Pellets
(Low-Ash Wood Pellets for Grilling)
1. Traeger PEL Series Wood Pellets – Affordable Wood Pellets for Grilling
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
Starting off the list is this affordable product from Traeger, which is packed in a 20-pound bag, and is available in many different flavors such as Hickory, Alder, Apple, Mesquite, Oak, Pecan, Turkey and Texas Beef Blend for different types of meat.
All the wood pellet flavors are designed to produce a perfect blue smoke that delivers an unmatched hardwood taste that is pure, thereby resulting in a deep aroma in your steaks and barbecues.
This is made possible by the 100% all-natural hardwood pellet composition, which contains no binding agents or fillers to alter the smoke color or taste.
Additionally, the pellets are formulated with just the right amount of moisture so as to achieve the perfect blue smoke while also producing a clean, dependable burn.
The pellets are also made from sustainably sourced trees but their 20-pound packaging is relatively small, which means you may need multiple bags to prepare a barbecue for many guests.
2. CookinPellets 40PM – Best Wood Pellets for Smoking
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
CookinPellets 40PM is quite expensive but it is packaged in a large 40-pound bag and also contains a perfect mix of 4 of the top smoking woods, which are Cherry, Apple, Hard Maple, and a Hickory base. This ensures an awesome flavor with a smooth finish.
On top of this, the pellets are made of only the heartwoods, which are the middle part of the log, and this ensures no bark forms a part of the smoking pieces. Tree barks usually contain twice the natural binder (lignin), which results in more heat and more ash.
That said, these pellets are ideal for short cooks or long smokes, in which the smoking can be up to 6 hours plus. However, the pieces are not recommended for indoor use because the smoke produced might be too much.
3. Lumber Jack Grilling Wood Pellets – Wood Pellets with a High Heat Output
Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)
Lumber Jack’s grilling wood pellets are characterized by a high heat output and this is because they are made to have a smaller diameter, which creates a hotter burn and more smoke due to the increased burning surface area. However, this also means that they burn much faster.
On the bright side, this high heat output is boosted by a bark and cambium composition in the pellets, which contains more lignin and therefore, more heat, and this also helps to impact a lot of flavor to your food.
Other features include availability in multiple flavors such as 100% Maple, Cherry, Mesquite, and also blended mixtures, and all are made from actual trees, not residual wood. On the downside, the bark composition might result in more ash inside your grill.
4. Kingsford Wood Pellets – Good Wood Pellets for Grilling
Editor's Rating: (5 / 5)
This product is also quite affordable, and it is available in 100% Cherry, Oak and Hickory wood or as a blend of the three.
Regardless of the type that you buy, no fillers, oils or additives are included in the formulation, which means you get the hardwood flavor in its purest form.
The pure hardwood composition also results in less ash being produced, which then means easier and fewer grill cleanups from time to time, while also creating a long burn that makes the pellets last longer.
Combined, these features make this the top-rated wood pellets for grilling in this review. However, the product is only available in a 20-pound pack, which means you may need multiple bags for grilling large chunks of meat and veggies.
5. BBQ'rs Delight Cherry Flavor Wood Pellets – Low-Ash Wood Pellets for Grilling
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
Coming as a premium oak mixed with flavor wood, BBQ’rs mixes the two in the ratio of 1:2 (Cherry: Oak) and this blend guarantees low ash output for easier and fewer grill cleanups.
The blend also results in a high BTU output with a clean burn and low moisture in your pellet-fired grill. Other features include and a 20-pound packaging, which is relatively small but is enough for a small barbecue.
How to Buy the Best Wood Pellet for Grilling
Before buying grilling wood pellets, there are some very crucial factors that you need to consider. These include.
1. Softwood or Hardwood
Trees are either softwood or hardwood. Many people have differing opinions as to which one is better for grilling and none can be ruled out as wrong.
Generally, it is recommended that you try out the different wood pellets made from different types of trees and this way; you will be able to determine which one goes well with your taste buds.
That said, softwoods pellets are known to burn hotter with low ash output. Therefore, they are ideal to use in the cold winter months, especially for heating purposes. On the other hand, hardwoods are well-known and recommended for grilling due to their unique smoky flavors.
An important note to check though is that whichever pack you buy, it must be food-grade rated. This is because some trees, and especially softwoods, contain a lot of sap that makes them produce a pungent smell when burning, which might not be good for grilling.
2. 100% Flavored Wood
100% flavored wood makes up one of the 3 types of pellets that are used for smoking and grilling. This type of pellet contains no filler (which is usually oak) and therefore, produces a pure unique flavor for the type of wood used. However, it is usually very expensive.
The second type is the blended wood pellet, which mixes the flavored wood with a filler so as to keep costs down. This is usually done in the ratio of 1:2 (flavored wood: filler) or 30% flavored wood to 70% filler.
Lastly, standard pellets are made entirely of wood with little or no flavor properties at all. This type is generally considered for heating purposes in the cold winter months.
One of the main advantages of using wood pellets for grilling is the wide variety of flavor options to choose from. Even though everyone has different taste buds, each flavor usually goes well with particular foods and these are some of the combinations that you should try out.
Poultry, game birds, fish
All types of meat
Pork, seafood, lamb, poultry
Game meat, red meat
All types of meat
Vegetables, cheese, poultry
Pork and ribs
You can also mix up the flavors so as to see which one works best for you.
4. Heat Output
Another important factor to check is the heat output, and this shows a lot about the quality of the pellet. Heat output is usually measured in BTUs and the higher this value is, the better. However, most of these products are given this BTU rating based on moisture-free conditions.
Since you won’t store the pellets in a vacuum, this BTU value can be unrealistic because the pellets will eventually absorb some moisture in storage. All in all, though, the higher the BTU rating, the better.
5. Low Moisture
Just like with normal wood, if the pellets have a high moisture content, then they won’t light up easily. Also, a high moisture content results in a lot of smoke because the water will be vaporized to steam, then combine with the actual wood smoke, resulting in a thicker output.
For the best grilling results, ensure that the pellets have a moisture content that is below 6.5%
6. Low Ash
Ideally, the best wood pellets for grilling should produce a low amount of ash after burning up because grills do not burn, cook or smoke food as efficiently if there is a lot of ash inside.
Aside from this, with lots of ash, you will have the task of cleaning out your grill more frequently, which can be annoying at times. Therefore, ensure that your preferred pellets are rated for low ash content.
Even though these cut the cost of the pellets and cause them to burn hotter, they might alter the flavor of the hardwood by lowering the quality of the smoke being produced.
That said, if you are on a tight budget, then you can go for pellets with additives, but if you can afford it, pick the ones with no additives at all.
Read More: 10 Best Lump Charcoals
In conclusion, grilling using wood pellets might be considered unsafe for the environment or even unhealthy by some, but the unique flavors that are fused into your meat and vegetables make this process worth it.
What you should be really keen about are the different flavors and as you try them out, mark the ones that go well with your taste buds and also the ones that do not.
In the end, whether you are new or a pro in this flavored cooking, this review should be of great help in assisting you to pick the best wood pellets for grilling that are ideal for the food you want to prepare.