People who are looking to smoke various foods with their pellet grill only need to find the best smoker pellets available. A pellet that will impart their food with just the right smoky flavor they’re looking for and doesn’t contain any glues or chemical binders in its formulation. Fortunately, there has been no other time where that prospect has been easier than it is now. There are several different companies making a ton of great smoker pellets, all the consumer has to do is to know what to look for. Since we’re versed in these wood pellets, we thought that we’d make the process even easier for our readers and help them select the smoker pellets that will transform their smoked food from “just okay” to “incredible.”
Best Smoker Pellets
10RecTec Grills Premium Hardwood Pellets
RecTec is a company that’s been making quality smoker pellets for quite some time now and they have several different pellet formulations in their product line. We feel all of them are high-quality products, but this one is our favorite. It’s a blend of oak and hickory that can be used to add a smoky layer of goodness to just about any meat, vegetable, or item of seafood. It works especially well for pork products including ribs, Boston pork butts, chops, or pork loin. These are pellets made out of quality hardwoods and they don’t have any fillers or additives.
9Traeger 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets
Another hardwood smoker pellet we liked is this one from Traeger. This is a product that can put that beautiful hardwood taste into the foods that the consumer barbecues, smokes, or roasts. For inclusion on this list, we’ve selected the hickory smoker pellets and we found them to impart the perfect amount of smoky sweetness to our BBQ. However, we’d like to note that this company doesn’t just make hickory pellets, but they make other types of wood pellets including alder, apple, cherry, maple, mesquite, oak, and pecan. We haven’t tried all of those pellets, but we have reviewed several of them and find them to be worthy products for anyone smoking their food.
8Green Mountain Grill Premium Texas Blend Grilling Pellets
The next smoker pellets we’d like to take a few moments to review are these pellets from Green Mountain Grills. This company makes a variety of exciting wood pellets including apple, fruitwood blends, and this product, Texas Blend. Texas Blend is made from some of the best hardwoods available and includes an exciting blend of hickory, mesquite, elm, and black oak. In our opinion, this is a great blend to infuse beef, poultry, and pork with a dark smoky flavor that can’t be replicated by any other wood pellet formulation. And because these pellets are made mainly with oak and are made larger than traditional pellets, they produce fewer ashes than some other smoker pellets that we’ve reviewed.
7Pit Boss BBQ Hickory Wood Pellets
Even though Pit Boss is a company that produces a wide variety of hardwood pellets including their Apple Blend and Competition Blend, we found their Hickory Blend to be the most intriguing. These pellets produce a strong, smoky taste that will add a layer of depth to chicken, pork, turkey, or beef. It’s also good for smoking veggies as well. This is a product that’s 100% natural and doesn’t contain any glues, additives, spray scents, or artificial flavoring. They’re only made from hardwood that’s sourced from all over North America and is manufactured to create a high-quality product. And because it comes in 40-pound bags, this product is also easy to handle and use.
6Premium Cookin Pellets Perfect Mix
We have to admit that we were a little bit skeptical about these smoker pellets from Premium Cookin Pellets. We thought it was a little egotistical of them to name this wood pellet blend the Perfect Mix, but we quickly changed our minds once we tried this product. Although we’re still not sure if it’s the “perfect” mix, we do have to say that it is a very high-quality mix that some of our readers are going to enjoy using. It’s a mix that’s made from the heartwoods of apple, cherry, hard maple, and hickory all blended together to make some sensational wood pellets.
5Camp Chef Competition Blend Hardwood Pellets
This product from Camp Chef is called Competition Blend, but in our opinion, it’s a product that’s not just useful for competitive smoking but is also useful for home use. These are 100% all-natural pellets that are ideal for smoking a variety of foods including fish or chicken, beef or pork, and even baked goods or veggies. What woods are used in this mix? They use a mix of cherry, hickory, and maple woods to create a very unique product that efficiently burns and does so while producing less ash. Whether or not the consumer intends to enter a BBQ competition, we feel this product will serve them well.
4Bear Mountain BBQ Gourmet Blend Hardwood Pellets
Bear Mountain is a company that’s been on our radar for quite some time because we’ve heard that they’ve been creating some exceptional smoker pellets. However, it wasn’t until this review that we actually got to try out one of their products and we do have to say that we’re very impressed. These pellets are made from 100% all-natural hardwoods and don’t contain any glues, fillers, or other additives. They’ve made this product using oak, hickory, maple, and cherry. This combination of woods creates the perfect blend that isn’t suitable for just one type of meat but is suitable for a wide variety of different meats, veggies, and seafood items.
3Louisiana Grills Competition Blend Pellets
Another product that lists itself as a Competition Blend smoker pellet is this one from Louisiana Grills. This is a product that’s made from a blend of 50% maple, 25% cherry, and 25% hickory that creates a perfect balance between sweet and savory, or to be more precise, the perfect balance between sweet and tart. That makes these pellets perfect for smoking beef, pork, shrimp, chicken, and turkey. Since this product is sourced from woods sourced from all across the United States, the consumer can also rest assured that they’re getting a quality product that isn’t full of fillers or additives.
2Ol’ Hick Outdoor Grill Cooking Pellets
These smoker pellets almost fell under our radar as something that we weren’t going to review, and then we decided to take a chance and review it anyway. And we have to admit that we’re glad that we did. This is a quality product that produces a hickory-smoke that has to be experienced to be believed. It’s a product made from 100% all-natural hickory that’s been sourced from the Appalachian portion of the United States. These are pellets that are perfect for BBQ, grilling, smoking, baking, braising, or roasting meats, veggies, or seafood items. These pellets also come in a durable, tear-resistant bag that’s easy to handle and easy-to-pour. In short, it’s an excellent product.
1BBQr’s Delight Wood Super Smoker Variety Pack
We don’t think that we could review smoker pellets without including this great sampler pack on our list. Even though this is a product that we wouldn’t expect expert smokers to buy, we do think that it’s a useful product for people who don’t know what type of smoker pellets would work best for them. This variety pack contains a pound each of the following wood pellets: apple, cherry, mesquite, hickory, and Jack Daniel’s pellets. And all of these pellets are sourced from woods grown in North America. All of this makes this a great product for people interesting in smoking or grilling, but aren’t quite sure where to begin their journey.
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Buying The Best Smoker Pellets
One day, some of us were watching people buy smoker pellets from a display and decided to ask one of them why they were purchasing the wood pellets that they were purchasing. We were shocked by their response. They told us that they were just grabbing the wood pellets they were grabbing because they were the cheapest ones available. We just couldn’t believe what we were hearing because the price is one of the worst indicators of how well the pellets are going to work in a smoker, grill, or BBQ pit.
We have seen high-quality products with low price tags and products that were absolute garbage being sold for top-dollar, so we believe that the consumer can never determine the quality of the product by what it’s being sold for. Unfortunately, this is not something a lot of our readers want to hear. They want us to tell them a definitive method that will allow them to choose the best smoker pellets available. That’s something we just can’t do, unfortunately.
What we can do, however, is to help our readers discover for themselves what products might be right for them. We’re going to do this using this handy guide—a guide that will talk about the different types of smoker pellets and what consumers should consider before they purchase smoker pellets for the first time. We can’t pretend to give our readers every bit of information they need about these pellets, but we can give them a road map that will help them discover the pellets that are right for their needs.
Deciding On The Perfect Wood For Smoking
One of the first tasks that the consumer has to complete is figuring out what type of wood is right for their smoking needs. For the purposes of this guide, we’ve divided smoker pellets into different categories according to the hardwood used to make them. Therefore, our readers will find Hickory, Cherry, Alder, Apple, Oak, Maple, and Mesquite wood pellets listed below with an explanation of their main characteristics and what foods they’re often used for smoking.
These pellets can be used equally well by both professionals and amateur smoking enthusiasts alike. They impart a heavy smoke flavor to foods and are perfect for smoking pork, beef, veggies, or chicken.
Cherry pellets impart food with a sweet flavor that has a slight tart aftertaste to it. It’s a great wood for smoking pork and we use it heavily for smoking baby back ribs, pork shoulder, and even pork chops. It’s also a good option for smoking desserts or bread as well.
Apple pellets also impart foods with a fruity flavor, but it isn’t as tart or as sweet as cherry. This wood produces a light smoke that’s perfect for chicken, veggies, and baked goods, but can also be used for pork products as well.
Like hickory, alder is a great wood for smoking a variety of different food items. It can be used equally well on beef, pork, chicken, vegetables, baked goods, desserts, and even seafood.
In our opinion, oak is a product that’s best suited for smoking beef and seafood. That’s because it produces a strong smoke that might overwhelm the mild taste of pork or chicken. Another thing worth mentioning about oak is that it doesn’t produce as much ash as other wood pellets. And that’s always a plus in our book.
Mesquite is a traditional BBQ wood that’s been used to great effect for barbecuing and smoking foods since before the Civil War. It’s a great product for beef, pork, chicken, turkey, or even fish.
The last type of smoker pellets we’d like to talk about is maple pellets. These pellets impart a sweet flavor to meats, seafood, and veggies. Its sweet profile is why it’s used to smoke bacon or other pork products. However, it’s not just a product good for smoking pork. We’ve found it can be used equally well for desserts, baked goods, and even seafood.
Additional Smoker Pellets Considerations
Of course, finding the best smoker pellets involves more than just sorting out what types of woods the pellets contain. It’s also a good idea for the consumer to keep a few other things in mind. Below are a few other things for the consumer to think about before they purchase their favorite smoker pellet or wood pellet blend.
- Is the product 100% all-natural or does it contains glues or additives?
- Is the product kiln-dried.
- Where are the hardwoods sourced from?