At SmokinJoesRiBranch, we’ve tested numerous pellet fuels, and wood variant stands out as a top contender. Derived mainly from compressed sawdust or remnants of wooden furniture production, these epitomize innovation in energy solutions.
They’re a testament to recycling, often sourced from lumber milling or discarded tree branches from logging. Our team observed that the production is a meticulous process. It starts with compression and culminates in the densification of waste, turning potential waste into a prized energy asset.
The end product, with its small cylindrical shape, isn’t just aesthetically pleasing but signifies top-notch quality. Storing and feeding these into a burner is a breeze. They ignite seamlessly, producing fire and smoke with ease.
Their rising popularity as a modern pellet fuel aligns with the global shift towards renewable energy. In our reviews, the ones not only offer an alternative to traditional fuels but also reflect a dedication to environmental conservation in today’s world.
1. Traeger Grills Signature
Check on Amazon Check on Traeger Check on PlanetsHoup
This is one of the best wood pellets for smoking in smoking grills or smoking stoves. You can quickly grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and barbeque using these wood pellets.
- These produce perfect blue smoke while burning.
- The are produced with a blend of hickory, cherry, and maple hardwood.
- This signature blend give a perfect hardwood smoky flavor to the meat.
- This packet weighs 20 pounds.
- The pellets are of perfect uniform size that are easy to carry and store.
- These provide more heat and less ash content.
- You can use these for all the purposes including grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, and barbecuing.
- The flavor provided by these pellets is a ‘signature blend’.
- Warranty is provided on these under specific conditions.
- They are a sustainable source of energy. They are favored over charcoal or any gas.
2. CookinPellets Hickory Smoking
Check on Amazon
Hickory smoking are one of the preferred wood by pellet grill users. This packet of wood pellets provides a soft smoking flavor to your food.
- These pellets are the best for stoves.
- The manufacturer provides a warranty on these pellets. They claim to not void any manufacturer’s warranty.
- These are made of 100% pure hardwood.
- No oak or alder is used in the manufacturing of these.
- These Cookinpellets hickory smoking pellets have a low moisture level.
- The amount of fine in these is also less.
- A packet weighs 39.6 pounds.
- These burn clean and give a high amount of heat.
3. Oklahoma Joe’s 2778407DP Apple
Check on Amazon Check on eBay
These wood pellets provide a light, fruity smoke flavor to the pellet grill food that you will cook. You can quickly cook your chicken, seafood, fruits, and vegetables with these wood.
- Oklahoma Joe’s applewood are made of 100% natural hardwood.
- These are blended with oak. It provides a soft smoke flavor with the blend of a fruity taste to your food.
- This bag is 20 pounds.
- These pellets give low ash content while burning. Ash content means the amount of ash remains in proportion to the number of burned.
- Applewood pellets are easy to burn, and they burn clean.
- The packaging of these keeps them dry and fresh. The packet makes the pellets ready to use.
- You can mix these with other flavored to get your customized taste.
4. Green Mountain Grills Premium
Check on Amazon Check on DvaSata Check on GMG
These wood pellets add a pleasant flavor in combination with the smoky taste to your meat. These pellets are great to use for grilling. They provide plenty of fuel to efficiently cook for so long.
- These Green Mountain grilling have lower moisture, and they work better.
- These wood pellets are produced from pure hardwood. They are mixed with oak, hickory, elm, and mesquite.
- They are for chickens. They are also preferred for beef, pork, and fish. If you are vegetarian, then you can also cook vegetables with these pellets.
- The weight of the packet is 28 pounds.
- These are of larger diameter than average pellets. The bigger size of these makes them burn for longer.
- These premium wood pellets give pure flavor to your food.
- You can easily use these to bake, smoke, braise, barbeque, and grill.
- The lesser ash residue is produced with these wood pellets.
- Green mountain grilling have a nice Texas blend scent.
5. Cameron’s Smoking Wood BBQ
Check on Amazon Check on Kiky Check on Walmart
These Cameron’s smoking wood pellets burn fast and provide smoke quickly. They are used in all types of pellet smokers and stoves. These pellets are uniform and are of equal size. It is a set of 4 pints of different flavored smoking pellets.
- This is a set of 4 pints of variants.
- The four different flavors are applewood, hickory, cherry, and mesquite wood pellets.
- All-natural and pure.
- They are known to be the best for smoking and grilling.
- They are good for cooking meat, seafood, chicken, and vegetables.
- These produce smoke quickly. They leave less ash content after burning.
- The product weighs around 3.12 pounds each.
- These different pints provide different flavors with a tender smoky flavor.
- You get these 4 different flavors on a limited budget.
6. Traeger Grills Hickory 100% All-Natural
Check on Amazon Check on Traeger Check on DvaSata
Traeger grill hardwood pellets are in the flavor of oak. These are 100% all-natural. They provide a tender, smoky flavor to the meat. They are one of the best options for pizza.
- These are made of 100% natural hardwood. No binding agent or filler is used while manufacturing.
- The wood pellets provide an enhanced flavor of oak and smoke.
- They are easily used to grill, roast, smoke, bake, braise, and barbeque anything of your choice.
- The packet is 20 pounds.
- These pellets burn clean and produce very little ash.
- The size is uniform and also easy to use and store.
- They are a sustainable source of energy. Wood are preferred over charcoal or any other gas.
- The product is manufactured with the highest quality of hardwood.
7. Cameron’s Smoking Wood
Check on Amazon Check on Walmart
These are the kiln-dried barbeque pellets. They are completely uniform in terms of shape and size. They can be used to grill, smoke, or bake anything.
- Cameron’s wood pellets can easily be used on charcoal grills, gas grills, smoker boxes, and indoor smokers.
- These are made of pecan. They are 100% kiln-dried and natural.
- They get ignited easily. There is no chaos in burning these pellets.
- These provide plenty of smoke. A sufficient amount of smoke gives a tender smoky flavor to the cooked food.
- The pellets work best with meat, chicken, fish, pork, etc.
- The composition of these assures 100% clean burning of the pellets.
- The pint of the pellets weighs 11.1 ounces.
- You can add any other flavor of wood pellets with this. You can easily make your own desired flavor by adding any other flavor.
- There are a lot of other flavors of the same manufacturer available online.
8. CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix
Check on Amazon Check on PlanetsHoup Check on Target
Cooking pellets’ pellets are made of the top 4 hardwoods only. These top 4 hardwoods are hickory, cherry, hard maple, and apple. They are also amongst the top preferred wood pellets for cooking.
- The Cookinpellets wood pellets are composed of 100% natural hardwood.
- No oak or alder is used while manufacturing. No other softwood is used.
- The company claims to not void any manufacturer’s warranty.
- The packet of these wood pellets is 40 pounds. This quantity is enough to cook for longer.
- Provide a good amount of heat. The provided heat is also very consistent.
- Compatible with Traeger grills as well. They are one of the options for Traeger.
- Simple to use. They burn easily and clean with lower ash residue.
9. RecTec Grills Ultimate Blend
Check on Amazon Check on HomeDepot
This packet of wood pellets is a perfect blend of oak and hickory. You can use these pellets in all types of smokers. There is no exception for these pellets.
- The company provides a consistent quality. The pellets are also uniform.
- They are made of 100% natural hardwood. They are composed of hickory and oak.
- The density of these hardwood pellets enables them to store a large amount of energy within them.
- Because of their uniform size, these pellets are easy to store.
- The packet is 41 pounds.
- These heat up faster. They produce enough smoke to provide a soft smoky flavor to the cooked food.
- These wood pellets work great with briskets, ribs, and chicken.
- This product is a great value for the money.
10. Traeger Mesquite BBQ Wood
This packet of Traeger Grills alder hardwood pellets is another best wood pellets from this brand. They are made of 100% natural hardwood.
- These pellets also serve multiple purposes. They are used to bake, grill, roast, braise, smoke, and barbeque.
- The packet measures 20 pounds.
- These provide the delicate smoky flavor of Alder.
- They are made of 100% natural hardwood.
- No binding agents or fillers are used to manufacture.
- They are commonly used to smoke briskets. These are the best wood pellets for smoking briskets.
- These facilitate easy burning and provide higher heat. With higher heat, more smoke is produced.
- Lesser ash content is released while burning these Traeger wood pellets.
The manufacturing industry of wood pellets is growing rapidly. Some manufacturers remain the best in the business. Some of them are:
- Green Mountain
What are the Alternatives for This Fuel
Wood pellets are the best in the business. However, for those wanting something different, there are some alternatives including:
- Sugar beet pulp
What About Cooking?
Wood pellets available in the market can be categorized into two types. The first type is designed specifically for generating heat (wood pellets for heating), while the second, known as food-grade wood pellets, is crafted for cooking.
These food-grade wood pellets consist entirely of natural wood remnants, which helps in safeguarding the quality of the food cooked using them. When cooking on a high flame, such as with a grill or smoker, unhealthy substances can be produced in the food. Cooking on high flames generally leads to less healthy outcomes.
They can reduce some of this risk, albeit not entirely. They are not fully healthy but are comparatively better than using charcoal or other substances. Cooking meat on these smokers often involves high flames, which can trap harmful chemicals in the food. These chemicals may pose health risks.
Using charcoal in smokers or grills exacerbates this problem, making the food even less healthy. While not entirely healthy, they are a less harmful alternative to charcoal. One of the appealing factors is their affordability. Being cost-effective and widely available due to high demand, almost anyone can afford them.
They are generally cheaper than charcoal or other types of fuel. Cost is a major consideration for many consumers, and in the case this isn’t a concern. They are available inexpensively and in large quantities, allowing for high-quality ones at a lower cost.
The price may fluctuate with changes in the supply of raw materials like sawdust. Although they are relatively cheap, utilizing them requires an investment in specialized grills or stoves designed to burn. Though these appliances may be somewhat expensive, they are seen as a valuable investment.
They are durable and long-lasting, meaning the initial expenditure can lead to savings over the long term. They are also recognized for their high energy output. A 40-pound bag can last up to 24 hours in a grill, and they are known for their efficiency.
With technological advancements, modern stoves have become even more efficient, sometimes achieving a 12% increase in performance. Thus, they offer a compelling option for those seeking both flavor and functionality in their cooking experience.
You need to keep some factors in mind while buying wood pellets for cooking. You cannot buy just any. A lot of companies manufacture because of their increased demand, but not all products are equal. We cover what you should research before buying a brand or type below:
When purchasing these for your stove, their size is a critical consideration. They must be of a precise size for efficient burning, typically 6 mm or 8 mm in diameter.
The length is generally around four times the diameter, making this the ideal size. Almost all manufacturers adhere to this size, ensuring uniformity. Smaller ones are also easier to store.
Always check the ash content when buying these. Lower ash content represents the amount of ash left in proportion to the number. The ideal choice should have an ash content below 0.7%, as more ash makes the stove less efficient.
The presence of fines (tiny fragments) should be minimal in a bag, as they burn faster and cause wastage. The acceptable limit for fines amongst those is less than 1%.
The moisture content is another vital factor. Higher moisture levels make ignition more difficult, while low moisture content, ideally between 8% to 10%, eases ignition. Always check this value before purchasing. Cooking with a pellet grill has never been made easier than today. Use that to your advantage.
Wood pellets must be highly durable to prevent crumbling during storage, as breakage turns them into fines, wasting your investment.
Look for wood pellets that provide a fresh, smoky flavor to your food. The quality and freshness can make or break the cooking experience.
Always consult online reviews of wood pellets to understand their features, including flavor, heat, and ash content. Though not all reviews may be favorable, they are often genuine and can be very informative.
Wood pellets should be made of 100% hardwood, as it provides clean burning and is healthier than softwood. Hardwood also cause less pollution and offer higher heat.
A higher heat output, measured in BTU and ideally ranging between 8000-8500, is desired for wood pellets to create more smoke and cook effectively.
No Bark or Additives
Ensure that the pellets are free of bark, glue, cardboard, or other recycled materials. Such additives slow down heating and produce more ash.
Suitability for Cooking
Identify the intended purpose of the pellets. If you’re buying them for cooking, choose those specifically made for that purpose to avoid potential health risks.
Some wood pellets may be tailored for specific foods like chicken or pizza, enhancing the flavor of those dishes. Choose according to your cooking needs.
Availability of Stove or Grill
Ensure that you have a specialized pellet stove or grill to use the wood pellets, as most are designed explicitly for these devices.
Briquettes vs Wood
|Heat Efficiency||More heat||Less heat|
|Size & Use||Smaller, for small to large stoves||Bigger, for medium to large stoves|
Wood pellets are smaller, cylindrical, and created through pelleting, making them suitable for various stove sizes. Briquettes are brick-like, made through briquetting, and their larger size limits them to medium or large stoves.
Wood Chips vs Wood Pellets
|Feature||Wood Chips||Wood Pellets|
|Shape||Uneven pieces||Even, small pieces|
|Usage||Any smoker or grill||Specialized stoves or grills|
|Flavor||Sharp, bitter||Gentle, preferred|
Wood chips are uneven and burn quickly in any smoker, giving a sharper taste. Wood pellets are evenly shaped, burn slower in specialized equipment, and provide a gentle flavor.
Charcoal vs Wood
|Environmental Impact||Harmful emissions||Environmentally friendly|
Charcoal is a conventional, more expensive fossil fuel that causes environmental harm. Wood pellets are a renewable, cheaper alternative that's environmentally friendly.
Charcoal Grills vs Pellet Grills
|Feature||Charcoal Grills||Pellet Grills|
|Features||Fewer||Many (e.g., LED systems)|
|Price||More affordable||More expensive|
Charcoal grills require more attention, have manual controls, have fewer features, and are more affordable. Grills are advanced with digital controls, and additional features like LEDs, and are more expensive.
Are some wood pellets better than others?
Yes, some wood variant is better than others in numerous ways. The composition of some pellets is distinct from others. This makes a huge difference in their quality. There are two types: hardwood and softwood. Hardwood are considered better than softwood.
Can you leave pellets in the hopper?
No, you should not leave the pellets in the hopper. Clearing the hopper and storing in airtight boxes after every use is essential. Leaving these inside the hopper can cause damage to the pellets. Once the these are in the hopper, there are chances that they will get in contact with moisture.
Are hardwood pellets better than softwood?
Hardwood and softwood both are better in their ways. Softwood of good quality have a higher output and produce less ash residue while burning. But hardwood are often preferred over softwood. It is because hardwood cause less air pollution.
How long does a 15kg bag of wood pellet last?
The time for which it lasts depends upon their usage. It also depends on the weather. Assume that you are using a bag of 15 kg to heat an average home. Then the bag can last for around 4-5 days. When not using these, you should keep them in a place away from any kind of moisture. Moisture can ruin your wood, and then they will not burn.
Are wood pellets toxic?
Yes, wood pellets are unhealthy for us. But they are relatively less unhealthy. Any kind of fuel is unhealthy for us. Be it charcoal or wood pellets. But wood pellets are less toxic when in comparison with charcoal. Wood pellets emit carbon monoxide.
Can you burn sawdust in a pellet stove?
No, you cannot burn sawdust in a pellet stove. Pellet stoves are strictly designed for wood. You can only use wood in stoves. You cannot even use wood chips instead of these in stoves. If you would do so, all you will get is a mess. Stoves can only work with wood.
Can you burn wood pellets in a corn stove?
Yes, you can burn wood pellets in a corn stove. Corn stoves allow you to burn wood, corn, or a mixture of both of them. Several corn stoves in the market let you burn wood pellets in them. This is the biggest difference between stoves and corn stoves. You can easily burn these in a corn stove. But you cannot use corn in a pellet stove. Stoves are specifically designed to use only.
At SmokinJoesRiBranch, we've extensively tested wood pellets and found them to be a crucial and adaptable pellet fuel. Their production, from compressing wood waste, is not only a smart way to use industrial byproducts but also an eco-conscious art.
Their compactness makes storage a breeze, and their ability to generate consistent heat and smoke is commendable. Wood pellets, with their distinct small cylindrical shape, are a testament to innovative, renewable energy solutions. In our reviews, they consistently emerge as a top eco-friendly energy alternative.
Their popularity in the energy sector is undeniable, and we at SmokinJoesRiBranch can vouch for their efficiency and sustainability.