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Best Wood Pellets to Try in 2019 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Wood pellets are a very important element during every smoking or grilling. You may have already noticed that there are many different types of pellets and each of them has a different impact on the food’s flavor.

Which means that the food’s flavor you achieve will largely depend on the type and quality of your fuel ( pellets ).

Remember to only use the highest quality wood pellets from tested manufacturers ( the same goes for charcoal ). Sadly, plenty of manufacturers offer poor quality pellets made of wrong kind of wood or with unnecessary additions ( fillers ).

I have prepared a list of the best wood pellets for you that I use myself. Pellets have a definite impact on the food's flavor, which is why it is important to know which manufacturer offers high quality pellets.

 Best Wood Pellet 2019 - Comparison Table

MODEL

Size

PRICE

CookinPellets Perfect Mix

Best Overall

CookinPellets Perfect Mix

40 lbs

Traeger Hickory - 100% Natural Hardwood

Runner Up

Traeger Hickory - 100% Natural Hardwood

20 lbs

Camp Chef Bag of Premium Pellet for Smoker

Camp Chef Bag of Premium Pellet for Smoker

20 lbs

RecTec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets

RecTec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets

40 lbs

4 Best Wood Pellets - Reviews

1. Best Overall CookinPellets Perfect Mix

Number one on my list in terms of quality, price and efficiency.

Available in two versions, the first is a mix while the other is 100% hickory. Personally I prefer the mix because I believe that it gives food a better flavor.

The mix is made of Cherry, Hard Maple and Apple without adding any oils or fillers in form of oak for example.

It is high quality 100% hardwood pellet made of four best types of trees.

It is definitely the type of fuel everyone should use. Perfect for long smoking as well as fast grilling.

In both cases it works great whereas during smoking it gives the food a very good flavor.

It leaves quite a lot of ash which is why I suggest frequently controlling the hearth if you smoke a lot.

It’s a shame that there isn’t a slightly bigger selection than the mix ( 4 types of wood ) and hickory pellet.

PROS

  • Quality & Price
  • 100% flavored hardwood

CONS

  • It leaves quite a lot of ash
  • Available only in two versions

Therefore it’s my favorite pick when it comes to high quality wood pellets without fillers etc available at a convenient price.

2. Runner Up Traeger Hickory 100% All -Natural Hardwood

Manufactured in USA by the Traeger manufacturer, which is responsible for creating the first pellet grill.

It’s a brand that today is known by everyone who’s into BBQ which makes me happy to be able to recommend their product, which is really good.

First and foremost, I like wood pellets from Traeger due to their wide choice.

You can choose out of about 10 different types of pellets which makes it possible to experiment and mix flavors when cooking.

So if you want to perfectly match the type of fuel to the type of meat then such option is possibly only offered on the market by Traeger. Depending on the type of wood the pellet was made of, you can give your food a very interesting flavor.

It is hard for me to recommend a particular type of pellets from Trager because a lot depends on personal taste. I encourage you to simply try and experiment in order to see which pellet will be the best for you.

PROS

  • Trusted brand
  • Wide choice

CONS

  • Not actually made of hickory wood

Personally I can only confirm that I often use their pellet as well and can add to many other positive reviews for them.

3. Camp Chef Bag of Premium Pellet for Smoker

Another pellet made in USA, this time also by a very well known manufacturer – Camp Chef.

For those who have their grills I think it’s great news, and I know very well that their popularity keeps growing at a very large pace.

It is a pellet only made of 100% hardwood, without any additional fillers or other substances.

Also available in many versions just like Traeger.

The main thing speaking in favor of this pellet is lack of additives ( high quality ), efficiency, lower amount of ash and most of all a price adequate to all that.

When it comes to the flavor I’d like to remind the same thing as always, a lot depends on personal preference and the type of pellet. Without a doubt, however, I can confirm that Camp Chef Pellet is made of high quality wood which has an intense impact on flavor, making food taste much better.

PROS

  • 100% Hardwood
  • Wide choice
  • Lower amount of ash

CONS

4. RecTec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets

Rec Tec Ultimate Blend pellets is another noteworthy suggestion.

One has to always pay attention to what type of wood the pellets were made of. 

In that case it is the right blend of oak and hickory which resulted in good quality pellet.

I think that it is a great pellet for quick and hot cooking.

It burns pretty fast which allows it to reach high temperatures much faster than many other competitive pellets. 

One certain upside is small amount of ash left from burning.

Which makes it perfect for Rec Tec grills that are famous for speed and high temperature.

When it comes to flavor, I am satisfied and I liked most of types of pellet from Rec Tec.

PROS

  • Great pellet for quick and hot cooking
  • Doesn’t produce a lot of ash
  • Small amount of ash

CONS

  • Price

I especially recommend it to those who expect to achieve a much higher temperature in a much shorter time. A good choice if you have a pellet grill that can reach very high temperatures fast.

Buyer's Guide

You bought a pellet grill just recently and have a few new problems because of that? Don’t worry, I’m here to share my knowledge and help others. The fuel is crucial in the final results of grilling, and especially smoking. You need to know that Not All Wood Pellets are Created Equal which makes it better to know how to buy the best pellets. If you still have any doubts then check out my basic tips for beginners below.

How did I pick the best ones ?

The wood pellets market is wide and at the first glance it’s hard to choose a few particular manufacturers. Personally, I have a huge experience when it comes to pellet grills, back from when they weren’t as popular as now.

When choosing the fuel, which are pellets, for my grill, I follow several criteria. First and foremost, it is very important to me what is the type of pellets and how they were made ( such information is usually on the label ).

I pay attention to what type of wood the pellets were made of and if they are free from fillers. I care about quality because what you use as the fuel has a deciding impact on the flavor of your food.

How I test ?

That’s simple, I have just cooked and smoked a lot. That way I could analyze the food's flavor and the efficiency of pellets. Some manufacturers add a lot of fillers and mix poor quality wood which results is excess ash production.

Ever owner of a pellet grill knows that inadequate pellets can cause the spiral to get clogged which results in lack of fuel and lack of heat. You never know at what moment of smoking it might happen to you which is why you should only use high quality pellets.

I consulted all of my observations with my friends who, just like me, also grill a lot.

Blended Pellets vs 100% Flavored Wood

In the world of BBQ there are two types of pellets, which differ in composition and quality. Both types are good depending on what purpose they are used for.

Flavored Wood – This type of pellets is free from any fillers, it is manufactured 100% only from flavored wood. If you care about intense flavor when smoking then this type will be the best but you have to take into account that it is the most expensive choice.

Blended Pellets – It’s a mix that the greatest advantage of is simply the price. For example, plenty of manufacturers manufacture this type of pellets with about 30% flavored wood and the rest ( about 70% ) being fillers.  In my view it is a good solution during very fast grilling where the meat isn’t under lid long enough for its flavor to change significantly.

The filler is usually oak, which burns very well. Its downside is poor impact on the flavor so if you care about intense flavor when smoking I suggest picking 100% flavored wood pellets.

Pellets are created differently

What I wrote about above turns out to be true in most cases but in practice you need to know that many manufacturers have their own mix. It means that when manufacturing pellets, the fillers to flavored wood ratio is completely different ( for example 50% to 50% ).

I’m writing about it because I want you to learn to read pellet labels. That way you will know exactly what quality of pellet your manufacturer offers and whether it is worth its price compared to competitors.

Different flavor depending on the type of pellets

It may not be something obvious to many beginners, but you have to know that there are different types of pellets and each of them has a different impact on the food's flavor. It depends on the type of flavored wood the pellet was made of.

I can’t clearly say which type is the best, it all depends on what type of meat you’re interested in. For that purpose I encourage you to check tables on the Internet that allow to easily pick the right type of pellets for your meat.

I will also add that it is possible to mix flavors by combining different types of pellets.

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