The traditional way of smoking uses charcoal and fuel. The problem with the latter, however, is that it can generate a lot of smoke. If you prefer a method with equally great flavor but would generate less smoke, enter the world of wood pellets.
Made of compacted and dried saw dust, woodchips, and other materials, wood pellets are great alternatives to traditional heating fuel. It can impart a robust flavor on your food, which will depend on the type of the wood pellets that you will choose.
Are you looking for the best wood pellet for smoking? Read on and we’ll let you know some of the top choices to consider.
Reviews of Top 7 Best Wood Pellet for Smoking by Consumer Reports
Clueless about the wood pellet to purchase? If you have no idea, here are some of the top products to consider.
1. CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix
This is a 40-pound pack of a wood pellet, which some people might find to be too much. If you smoke a lot, however, this is a good way to save money.
One of the important things to remember is that it is not made of a single wood. Rather, it is a combination of different types of wood, resulting into a mix of flavor. Some people might not like this because of the lack of consistency. From the label, it says that this product is a mix of hickory, cherry, hard maple, and apple.
Despite having a combination of four hardwoods, this is 100% pure. There are no unnecessary additives, so you can be confident about its best quality. It does not contain fillers, including oak and alder.
- Made of 100% hardwood
- Does not leave a lot of ash
- No bark
- Pre-mixed flavors
- Too much pellets for most people
2. Traeger Grills PEL329 Turkey Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets
While this pack of wood pellet is made to complement almost anything, the manufacturer states that it would be best when you pair it with poultry.
Like the product mentioned above, this isn’t made using a single hardwood. Rather, it is made of a combination of oak, hickory, and maple. It also comes with a natural rosemary flavor to make any food taste better.
The manufacturer proudly states that it is made in a facility in the U.S., so you can be confident that the quality will be second to none. Plus, they take pride in the fact that they source all their materials sustainably.
As a bonus, you will also love how it comes with orange brine and turkey rub kit.
- Made using sustainably-sourced materials
- Comes with a rub and brine kit
- Creates a wood-fired taste
- Uneven pellet sizes
- Can have a lot of dust
3. BBQrs Delight Wood Smoking Pellets
Variety is one thing that we like the most in this product. When you purchase this product, you won’t get one but six packs of wood pellets. It has one pound each of Jack Daniel’s, pecan, cherry, mesquite, hickory, and apple. Unlike the two products that are mentioned above, it uses only one hardwood in one bag, so you can be more assured of the consistency of its flavor.
More than variety, we also love how it provides the best value for the money. Based on the recommendations from the manufacturer, each bag can last up to ten uses.
Because of the variety, you can be experimental with the flavors that you want depending on what tickles your taste buds. This means that you can mix different pellets if you are feeling a little adventurous.
- Produces low ash
- Great variety
- Good value for money
- Some might find the flavor to be mild
- Bags may not be properly sealed
4. Louisiana Grills 55405 Competition Blend Pellets
This is another option for the best wood pellet for smoking that guarantees exceptional flavor. This can be attributed to the use of different kinds of woods. It is from a combination of cherry, hickory, and maple. The result is sweet, tart, and savory.
It is also worth highlighting that the pellets are made using all-natural materials, so you can expect more genuine flavors. Plus, there are no fillers or additives. It also comes in a 40-pound bag, so you can expect the best bang for the buck with every purchase of this product.
The raw wood that is used in the production of the pellets are sourced across North America. The manufacturer makes sure that they use only high-quality raw materials to ensure that they have the best pellets.
- Offers a robust flavor
- Pellets can burn quickly
- Can have a bad smell after long-term storage
5. Lumber Jack 100% Maple Wood BBQ Grilling Pellets
If you are looking for an affordable option for the best wood pellet for smoking, this is another product that should be on your list. It is made of 100% maple, so you can be confident about its quality. It does not contain binders, fillers, additives, and other artificial ingredients.
To ensure the best flavor, the manufacturer uses only the bark and cambium layer of maple trees. These are the portions where most of the flavor resides.
Compared to most wood pellets you can find in the market, this has a smaller diameter. Some people may have an issue with the size, especially for those who prefer larger pellets. The small size, however, can be a good thing. The pellets are denser. They create a hotter burn, and hence, you can also expect more smoke in a surface area.
With the construction of the wood pellets, you can also be confident about your safety. The manufacturer emphasizes that it is non-explosive and non-hazardous.
- Delivers a great smoky flavor
- Does not contain fillers
- Some people find the pellets to be quite small
- Can be a bit dusty
6. Rec Tec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets
This 40-pound bag of pellets is made from a combination of oak and hickory. However, some people are unhappy over how the manufacturer does not specify how much of each wood is exactly in one bag.
The versatility of this product is also a plus. While it is made by Rec Tec, you can use it with all grill brands and expect the same superior outcome.
- Minimal ash production
- Does not contain additives
- Has a strong smoky flavor
- Pellets take a while to burn
- May not work well in low temperatures
7. Lumber Jack 120 Pounds BBQ Smoker Pellets Variety Pack
Variety is the biggest selling point for this product. It also offers good value for money. You will get six bags in one purchase. You have the freedom to mix and match the bags depending on the flavors that you want. It includes 100% hickory, cherry, apple and oak. You can also go for blended varieties.
Like the other options that are included in our list, purity is also an asset of this product. The manufacturer notes that they do not use additives, fillers, or binders in any of the bags.
- Comes in a pack of six
- Good value for money
- Has an intense flavor
- May not work in some grills
- Can go stale
Tips for Choosing Wood Pellets for Smoking
Confused with too many options available? Here are some important considerations to help you narrow down your choices.
Type of Wood
The first thing that you need to think about would be the type of the wood that is used in the pellet. Two main categories are available – hardwood and softwood pellets. Hardwood has a higher density, which also means that it will have a longer burn time. On the other hand, softwood pellets have higher BTU. The most important deciding factor, however, will be the specific kind of wood used in the pellets.
The choice of wood will depend on the flavor and aroma that you would like to impart on your food. If you want a strong smoky flavor, you will never go wrong with mesquite. Hickory is a great alternative if you want wood pellets that are not as strong as mesquite. For a light but fruity flavor, apple will be great. For a hint of sweetness, maple is a great choice. Pecan, on the other hand, is nutty and spicy.
When it comes to size, larger isn’t always better, especially if the pellets lack density. Based on industry standards, the diameter should be 6mm. The length, on the other hand, should be from 3 to 40mm. The most important is to consider the size of the feed system of the pellet smoker that you have.
This is one of the things that manufacturers will include in the specifications. It is expressed as BTU. The higher the number, the higher the heating output is. On average, the BTU of the wood pellets should be 8,000 to 8,500.
Moisture is an important factor because it affects the burning results of the pellets. The best options should have a moisture content of less than 6.5%. This will make it a breeze to light the pellets in the smoker or stove.
What Are The Best Wood Pellets for Smoking and Grilling to Buy?
The best wood pellets for smoking are known for adding robust flavor to whatever you are smoking. This flavor, however, will depend on the pellets that you will use. For the uninitiated, it is easy to pick just any wood pellet, with many opting for the cheapest. This should never be the case. Take note of our recommendations above and it will be hard for you to go wrong!