The pellets you decide to use will affect your barbecue experience. While every pellet will work, Ι would like to highlight things you need to consider while researching for your next purchase. Let’s have a look at the best grilling pellets available today, and don’t forget to read our buyers guide for more information.
Our recommended grilling pellets:
The premium bags from Traeger are quite a popular option and thanks to their attractive pricing they are also budget friendly options. These can be found in a variety of flavors to choose from, including Alder, Apple, Cherry, Hickory and Maple to name a few. The most popular and all around safe option it that of Hickory, so if you can’t make up your mind this is one you can start with. If you are just starting out this is a safe option to enter the world of grilling without breaking the bank. Such premium product will produce less ash than cheaper options on the market. Hickory is a great option for pork, poultry and beef so you can start right away with a reasonably priced 20 lbs bag. I would consider this to be among the best grilling pellets on the market.
CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix
This is another great option for anyone that needs an all around blend. This “perfect mix” from CookinPellets features Hickory, hard maple, apple and cherry in a blend. With this bag you get 100% flavored hardwood with no fillers like alder and oak. The price is right for this 40 lbs bag that will last you for a long time without spending a fortune. Overall a great product, highly recommended to have a closer look if you are after a blend option.
CookinPellets 40H Hickory Smoking Pellets
If you have made up your mind to go with Hickory, this is by far the best option consider its price. This product is a 100% Hickory bag weighting 40 lbs with no fillers. Hickory is a great option especially if you want a safe all around option and the price from CookinPellets is a steal. If you are looking for a product from a reputable manufacturer without breaking the bank, this is a great, high quality option that would last for a long time. Look for options to buy them online as they can often be found cheaper.
RecTec Grills Ultimate Blend
This unique blend from RecTec deserves a mention in this list. You can find it in 40 lbs bags it is a safe all around solution for your BBQ. They are very compact and leave less ashes than competitive products. Since this is a blend it can be found quite cheaper that the premium 100% flavored options in our list, but it worth closer look especially if you are a beginner. It is versatile enough to be used for a variety of foods without a very strong taste so I would consider this a safe option for anyone that doesn’t want to commit to premium pellets.
BBQrs Delight Variety Value Pack
I wanted to option to our recommendation since this is a great deal for anyone starting out digging a little deeper into grilling. This package from BBQ delight comes with 6 bags so you can test yourself six different flavors. It includes Apple,Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan, Hickory and Jack Daniel’s. Each pack of them can get you up to 10 uses so you can easily make up your mind and commit to larger bags if you find one you like. Overall a great option for anyone that needs a few sample bags and thanks to its attractive price this is a great option to consider before investing any further.
Pit Boss Competition Blend
Pit Boss offer a wide variety of products and can be found in many sizes. I would like to include this competition blend in this list as this is a great option to consider if you are looking for blends. It can be found as a 40 lbs bag and the blend contains a mix of maple, hickory, and cherry. This makes it an all around solution that can be used for a variety of foods. This is a great option for both grills and smokers, and it can easily be sourced online at a very reasonable price. I think you should give this a chance while researching.
Traeger Signature Blend
Another great product from Traeger, this time is a signature blend that can compliment a variety of foods. The blend consists of cheery, maple and hickory for a perfect all around solution for your BBQ, adding flavor without breaking the bank. In fact, this is among the cheapest options in our list, so if you are on a limited budget, this is a great place to start. The best budget friendly option is that of the 20 lbs bag so you can set up a great BBQ with a minimal investment.
Camp Chef Premium
I decided to include this option on the list since Apple is quite a common option for BBQ enthusiasts. If you like the smoky apple taste, this is the best option on the market consider its price. This is a premium bag, 100% all natural, no fillers, and comes in 20 lbs bags. Apple goes well with a variety of foods, so if you like its flavor you can get a high quality product, no compromises, at a very reasonable price. Overall a great option to consider if you prefer Apple.
Louisiana Grills Pennsylvania Cherry
Louisiana Grills might not be the most popular option on the market today, yet their products are very competitive when it comes to quality and pricing. The company offers a variety of flavors to choose from, but I wanted to highlight the cherry/maple blend that can work quite well with a lot of foods. For the price of this 40 lbs bag I think you can’t go wrong, I consider this a great all around option for anyone with limited budget. If you feel like cherry/maple blend can be limited, you can also check their competition blend which is also a great option I would recommend.
Lumber Jack Pecan
Last but not least, the 100% Pecan option from Lumber Jack. As you may know, Lumber Jack is quite a popular brand offering a variety of flavors to choose from, but I decide to include their 100% Pecan option in this list. This is great for use with both grills and smokers and comes in a 20 lbs bag. The pellets are quite compact which will result in a lot more smoke per surface area and hotter burn. Overall a quality product from Lumber Jack, can be found at reasonable price so if you like Pecan or want to give it a try, this is highly recommend.
What to consider when buying grilling pellets?
Grilling pellets can be divided into three major categories, flavored, blended and standard wood pellets. These three main types are distinguished by the amount of flavor wood versus filler wood.
Standard wood pellets are made from industry waste, mainly 100% filler wood. On the other hand flavored wood pellets are made from 100% flavor wood. As you may have guessed blended wood pallets are a mixture of flavor and filling wood, which in most cases means 70% filler (Oak or Alder) and 30% flavor wood. Flavored wood pellets, also referred to as premium wood pellets, are an excellent choice since they have zero filler wood, produce minimal amounts of ash and are extremely flavorful. Keep in mind they are typically a higher priced alternative, yet you can find them online at an affordable price point.
In most cases you would go for flavored or blend wood pellets for your grill or smoker, so keep in mind that not all pellets taste the same. The type of wood selected for the pellets would greatly change the flavor profile. The most common choices include Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan, Maple, Cherry and Oak. Choosing the right flavor is critical, so if you are still unsure, your best bet is to pick sample bags of Apple or Hickory for your first tests.
It is wise to pick grilling pellets from reputable brands, like BBQ delight, Lumberjack, CookinPellets, Bear Mountain and Smoking Brothers among others. Picking from these brands will allow you to choose from a wide variety of flavored woods and blends.
Pellets from reputable brands tend to build up less ash, and include minimal bark. You should avoid heating pellets at all costs. Heating pellets made for stoves used for heating, and they are not meant to be used for grilling.
Since there are many different flavors to choose from, it might be hard to pick at first. Generally speaking Apple is usually suggested for poultry, pork and seafood. Alder is great for salmon, Hickory is ideal for ribs, while mesquite is a popular choice for red meat. Oak and cherry are the safest option to choose until you want a stronger flavor and make up your mind. Luckily many brands offer sample bags so you can easily pick some pellets to try before committing to larger bags.