Are the best wood pellets for smoking as essential as many people have believed?
Our answer is exactly YES.
It is a typical case that some food does not get your desired flavor after smoking. One of the apparent reasons affecting the cooking is that you are not using suitable wood pellets. To improve the situation, why don’t you try some of our recommendations?
Now, we will turn to the discussion and reviews of top-rated wood pellets right away.
The list of 5 best wood pellets for smoking
#1: Traeger PEL319 Hickory Pellets – Editor’s choice
The first, also the most trustable brand for wood pellets in the list, is Traeger. And their product that we choose to bring you is the Premium PEL319 Hickory pellets certified by FDA.
Made of 100% hardwood, this USA original PEL 319 product is much easier to get burnt. How can you understand that 100% hardwood? Undoubtedly, these premium wood pellets come without any additives.
They also give smoked or grilled meat a fantastic flavor.
The pellet can meet most requirements of the long cook. In comparison with other pellets, the Traeger PEL319 one can maintain the heat better with the lesser BTU. The low BTU means low volume. The Traeger PEL319 will be more economical, then.
Another bonus point for the product is because of its clean output. After smoking, there is nearly no ash left. As a result, you can minimize the negative impact on the environment.
In general, the Traeger PEL319 is suitable for beef, poultry, and pork. However, due to its strong smoky taste, we will not recommend the it for those who enjoy mild-flavored food.
- Trusted brand with the FDA certified product
- No additives included
- Long heat duration
- Clean output with fewer ashes
- Incompatibility with beginners due to the strong smoky taste
- Thin steel construction
- Hard to maintain a steady temperature
Traeger PEL319 must be the top-rated product for many reasons. It is useful for your food and harmless for the environment too.
#2: CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix – Best flavor
Besides Traeger, CookinPellets is another common big name in the pellet industry. Among great products of this retailer, we appreciate the 40PM Perfect Mix at best.
We call it a “4-in-1” pellet pack. It includes the best combination of four top-listed smoking tastes, namely Hickory, Cherry, Maple, and Apple. And because of a mix of four, this product is perfectly suitable for most types of meat.
For the composition, there is no bark. To manufacture these pellets, CookinPellets uses heartwood only. Hence, under the fire, these pellets do not release any oil as well as filler and produce the top quality along with great flavor for food.
For the minus point, we do not feel very comfortable with the small blue plastic pieces in these pellets. Don’t know what they are!
- Prestigious brand
- Pellets of 100% heartwood
- A perfect blend of top-rated smoking tastes
- Small blue plastic in the pack
There is nothing to complain about the CookinPellets except for ugly plastic pieces that are sometimes mixed with the pellets (must be mistakes during the manufacturing phase). So, you should not forget to check after opening the package. If you find some, send the product back to the providers right away!
#3: Camp Chef Bag of Premium – Best smoking duration
The next recommendation is not a mix of tastes; it is a 100% applewood pellets instead. Now, we recommend the USA-quality Camp Chef Bag of Premium.
Since it does not come in the form of a mixture, the apple smoking taste will surely stand out. So, you should make sure that kind of flavor is your favorite before picking. Also, you can mix these pellets with others for exceptional smoked food.
Like the two products mentioned above, the Camp Chef pellets are the product made of 100% hardwood. It means that there is no oil or any additives included.
As the ultra-low moisture pellets, starting the smoke will become easier for you. The natural composition will help to maintain the smoke much longer, especially for the long cook.
Some food that you should smoke with the applewood taste is pork, poultry, and veggies.
One note is that after smoking, the pellets leave ashes behind. So, they may affect the tasty look of the food.
- Pellets of 100% hardwood
- USA quality
- No oil or additives included
- Some ash left after smoking
Regardless of the high quality, the Camp Chef Bag of Premium should not work for picky users. Some people may not like its prominent applewood flavor.
#4: BBQrs Delight Jack Daniels Wood Pellets – Best packaging
Another suggested pack of pellets is the BBQrs Delight Jack Daniels. A package of one pound is a perfect option for almost all kinds of food, from beef, poultry, fish to veggies.
1/3 cup is a reasonable amount for each smoking session. So, each pack of the BBQrs Delight Jack Daniels wood pellets will enable you to smoke up to ten times.
Not only offering the Jack Daniel flavor, but BBQrs Delight also provides many other ones with the same volume and the same content of 100% hardwood. So, if you love to create a fantastic smoking taste for grilled meat, you can mix them all.
The Jack Daniels does not have the strong smoky taste as the Mesquite does. Hence, if you love the stronger taste, feel free to mix pellets with different flavors of the same brand together.
One minus point we mark on this product is the short heat duration. Smoking can be on for no longer than 25 minutes. In the case of the long cook, you must add more pellets continuously.
- Pellets of 100% hardwood
- Resealable package
- The amount for many times of smoking
- Short smoking duration
Since the whiskey smoking flavor seems to be a bit strange, mixing this product with others will be better. And don’t forget that it is only the best choice for a short cook!
#5: PIT BOSS 55436 BBQ Wood Pellets – Best burn-getting
At the end of this list, we would like to refer to the PIT BOSS 55436 BBQ wood pellets. It is a promising pack to work well with both grill and smoker.
The product has its origin in the USA, so you do not need to worry about its quality. In comparison with the lower-rank choices, this one gets hot so quickly with less ash produced.
In terms of composition, the PIT BOSS produces these pellets from 100% hardwood. There are entirely no chemicals included.
People often use these pellets to smoke beef, poultry, and pork. After smoking, you will see that they leave on the meat a perfect smoky taste combined with the rich sweet flavor.
The PIT BOSS 55436 BBQ wood pellets will surely be a perfect option except for a problem regarding the net weight. On the package, the net weight is 40 lbs. But it is only about 30 lbs in reality.
- Pellets of 100% hardwood
- USA origin
- Quick burn-getting
- Lesser net weight compared with what is written on the package
Honestly, the PIT BOSS 55436 is an acceptable option for the incredibly smoky taste. However, its real net weight may cause people to consider more.
How to select wood pellets for smoking?
To choose the best wood pallets for smoking, we base on two elements. One is types, and the other is flavors.
People divide the wood pellets into three types: Premium, Standard, and For-food grade. And their big difference lies in the composition.
In the premium pellet, organic ash does not make up more than 0.5%. Besides, there is no bark at all. This type is often more expensive than the others because of the oak/maple wood content.
Waste from industry wood is mainly in use to produce this type of pellet. Unlike the premium one, the standard pellet has at least 0.5% of the organic ash in its content.
When processing, some manufacturers add binding agents into their pellets. If the ones that you choose do not have this addition, you also can consider them as the for-food-grade pellets.
Regardless of types of pellets you choose, you had better take careful consideration of both ash content and moisture. Firstly, the ash content should not be higher than 1%. Secondly, the drier the pellets are, the easier you can smoke.
All wood pellets do not give the same flavors. Each of them owns the uniqueness to fill the missing part of different meat types.
Nowadays, you can easily find six common kinds of wood pellet flavors. They include mesquite, hickory, cherry, apple, pecan as well as some blends which are in use for different types of meat.
- Mesquite is the most prominent one with its strong smoky taste. People often use this wood pellet for beef and poultry.
- Hickory is less strong than the Mesquite. Besides beef and poultry, the second pellet is suitable for pork, too.
- Cherry and Apple are interchangeable with the mild flavor. However, the Cherry is a little bit outstanding since it can produce a smoke ring significantly and help meat have an attractive color. Beef, poultry, seafood, and veggies are food that should go with these pellets.
- Pecan is a perfect blend of the Hickory and some vanilla. Enjoying the smoked meat with Pecan wood pellets gives you a pretty palatable flavor. Like Hickory, Pecan, and meat types, including beef, poultry, pork, match well.
Among five best wood pellets for smoking above, we are truly falling in love with Traeger PEL319 Hickory. It not only comes from the USA but also receives a FDA approval. Plus, food smoked with these pellets captivates us by its charmingly strong smoky taste without any ash left.
How about you? What is your favorite? Let’s share your experience with the fantastic wood pellets that you have chosen.
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