The Best Traeger Pellets You Can Use for Grilling and Smoking

The Best Traeger Pellets You Can Use for Grilling and Smoking

Have you ever started the grill or smoker but ended up with a dish that’s pretty okay? It’s not bad, but it’s not perfectly great, either.

Maybe the problem isn’t in the meat or vegetables. Maybe your griller is very much alright, and your cooking skills are right on par. Have you considered using the right Traeger pellets? Believe me - this mistake happens more often than you’d think. Not all wood pellets are created equally, and you’ll find this out more and more as you read this article.

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In general, wood pellets should get enough heat and produce the right quality of smoke. This is key in making sure that your meat not only cooks right, but also achieves the right aroma. If you aren’t getting this result with your grilling and smoking efforts thus far, it’s probably the right time to look for the best Traeger pellets for you.

The Top 5 Best Traeger Pellets on the 2019 Market

Traeger PEL319 Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Grill Pellets

Let’s kick off our list with the brand itself. If you have a Traeger grill, then it makes this package of pellets even more so the right choice for you. However, they will still be great no matter what griller or smoker that you use.

This Traeger bag weighs 20 lbs of pellets. The main goal is to achieve the ideal hickory barbecue flavor - both in taste and smell. As soon as you sniff out the smoke that comes off from the wood (and meat), you’ll notice yourself salivating and getting hungrier. This effect means that you’re doing everything just right.

These pellets produce less ash compared to other brands, and that’s a good sign. Another benefit of this is that you’ll have less mess to clean up later. These Traeger pellets are made from pure hardwood. There are no additives and fillers. They give your dishes a nice smoky character.

Another great thing about these is that they aren’t harmful to the environment or to your food. You can use them for all sorts of meat - beef, pork, chicken, foul, fish, and vegetables.

Choose from a variety of pellets, but I personally vouch for the Hickory flavored ones. They are - in my opinion - the best Traeger pellets your money can buy.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Perfect Hickory flavor and smell
  • Low ash residue.

Cons

  • No drawbacks noticed.
CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix

These CookinPellets smokers are a great option if you are looking to add variety to your cooking. They are made from prime hardwood: a mix of four wood types. This mixture is blended just right: not too ashy, not too strong, not too smoky. If Goldilocks had to pick a wood pellet mix, she’ll brand this as “just right”.

They don’t contain any bark. The wood pellets are derived from the tree’s center parts. There are no fillers and no oil content added. The base flavor is a Hickory one, but you can get a sniff of cherry, apple, and hard maple wood. This combo is perfect for barbecues in particular, but they’ll work for other dishes, too!

Pros

  • Made of premium wood
  • A perfect mix of four wood types
  • No fillers and oil content.

Cons

  • A bit on the expensive side.
Camp Chef Smoker Grill Competition Blend Hardwood Pellets, 20 lbs (2 Pack)

Camp Chef pellets are very affordable and beginner-friendly. That means that you don’t need to be Top Chef level to maximize these pellets on the grill. Every homecook can use them for smoking or grilling. These pellets are a nice mix of various wood types, and create a nice meaty and aromatic after-effect.

This brand is one of the best you can get in the market right now. Camp Chef is a nice competitor in its industry. If you believe in brand credibility when choosing your items, then you can rest assured with this pick. Even if you don’t check its labels and read all the fine print, you’ll receive a nice package of solid pellets that will deliver what they promise.

Plus, these pellets are proudly American made. You also get a reasonably low amount of ash and residue after use.

Pros

  • Affordable choice
  • Credible brand choice
  • Low ash and dust residue.

Cons

  • If you are a fan of pure wooden pellets, you might not appreciate this blend (multiple wood mix).
BBQR's Delight Apple Flavor Wood Smoking Pellets 20 pounds

Do you fantasize of churning out dishes the way the pros do? Well, the first step in accomplishing that is by using the same ingredients that they do. In the case of barbecues, you’ll need pro-recommended wooden pellets, too.

Such product comes in the form of BBQR’s Delight pellets. This one in particular comes in a country-esque smoky apple flavor. Of course, you can choose from a very wide range of wooden pellet options from the brand. This one stood out for me because it’s very unapologetic as an apple variety. This wood choice is often the underdog of the grilling scene, since Hickory and Maple often take the centerstage. And that’s a shame. If you’re up for riskier choices, then go for this one.

Pro grillers love this brand and flavor. They have low moisture in the pellets, and they can get really hot without burning off into dust and ash right away.

This pellet variety is made of 1/3 apple and 2/3 oak -- just the right combo of fruitiness and smokiness.

Pros

  • A great brand chosen by pro grillers and chefs
  • Creates a hot and clean burn
  • Gives a nice smoky and flavorful cook.

Cons

  • If you are only a fan of pure wood pellets, this might not be for you as it is a mix of multiple wood types
  • This is not particularly ideal for cooking ribs, brisket, and steaks.
Pit Boss BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb., BBQ Blend

Pit Boss sounds like such an intimidating brand. And it’s not hard to see why. It’s one of the biggest names in the grilling and smoking world. Its wood pellets are hands-down amazing. The biggest reason is because they can work perfectly with ANY smoker or grill that you have. You can probably make a makeshift fire pit in your backyard, throw these in the fire, and you can still achieve amazing results.

They offer a huge selection of wood pellets, from pure wood options to competitive blends. What I did was purchase a lot of bags, one of each variety. And I loved all of them! Each one has a distinct aroma and flavor that it adds to your dish.

This particular bag is just ideal if you love having savory and sweet barbecues. It gives the right umami sensation with a slight hint of tartness. I can’t say I’ve seen many other brands that have achieved that quite perfectly. This blend uses maple, cherry hardwood, and hickory - all from North American wood.

If you are a fan of savoriness AND sweetness, you probably have had the hardest time finding the right wood pellets for you. Luckily, that search is about to end. Use these for your meats and veggies! You can even throw these in your oven to create luscious baked goods. They are so versatile!

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Uses only natural hardwood
  • Works with all types of smokers and grills.

Cons

  • Not designed for those who only like pure hardwood pellets (mixture of three wood types).

What Kinds of Wood or Traeger Pellets Should You Use?

We’ve rounded up a nice batch of the best Traeger pellets above, but it’s still nice to know how to differentiate the different types available. Which ones are the best for you, your food, and the environment?

There are different kinds of wood pellets, each is meant for a certain level of heat during grilling or smoking. Most of these are used for barbecues, smoking, and grilling. Here are the three main types of wood pellets.

  1. 1
    Standard Wood Pellets - these have more than 0.5% organic ash content. The wood used to make these pellets are often acquired from wastes of the forestry industry.
  2. 2
    Premium Wood Pellets - these wood pellets primarily do not contain bark. They have an organic ash content of less than 0.5%. They cost a little more, and are often made from maple or oak wood varieties.
  3. 3
    Food-Grade Wood Pellets - wood pellets can be considered food-grade as long as there are zero binding agents and additives used in the manufacturing process. Premium and standard wood pellets alike can fall under these category.

Depending on your budget, you can go for standard or premium wood pellets. Remember to always check that you are getting food-grade pellets. That’s the most important thing for your health and safety.

Choosing the Best Pellets for High-Quality Cooking

Now that we’ve established the safety of the pellets, let’s take a look at some factors you can check out to determine the quality of each option.

Bark and Other Additives

These refer to bark, glue, cardboard, and other recycled materials that companies have recycled to create a hotter burn. If you see these in the label, it’s best to stay away from them.

Ash Content

The general rule is to go for the lowest ash content possible. This refers to the amount of residue (ash) that is left after the pellets have cooked and burned. It’s not just about the cleaning up. The higher the amount of ash there is, the less efficient your grill or smoker becomes.

Moisture Content

It is recommended to look for pellets that have a 6.5% moisture content or less. This measure is directly related to the amount of time and heat that it will take to burn your pellets. The less moisture there is, the faster the pellets will burn and light up your grill or smoker.

Heat Level

The heat output of wood pellets can be measured in BTUs. It is recommended to go for pellets that have an 8000 to 8500 BTU rating. This is a good range for pellets. There are some premium pellets that are labeled “moisture-free”, and these will create a higher BTU, since all of the water has been removed from the wood pellets.

Will Traeger Pellets Only Work in Traeger Grills?

featured Traeger pellets right off the bat in this guide, and for good reason. I think Traeger grills are the best for creating smoky and flavorful barbecues. Obviously, the Traeger pellets will work 100% perfectly with this type of grill. It only makes sense for a great grill company to produce its own line of pellets.

If you read their labels, they will give customers a warning of not using these pellets on other brands of smokers or grills. It can void your warranty - or so they say. HOWEVER - you don’t have to necessarily follow this exclusivity. You may use other pellet brands for your Traeger grill. And vice versa: you may use your Traeger pellets with other brands of grills or smokers.

In the end, the important thing is to go for high-quality wood pellets, regardless of the brand. The ones we mentioned above are a nice starting point. You can check out some of my top picks for the [best offset smokers] - you can use these great wood pellets in them!

Conclusion

There is no contest. The clear winner of this roundup are the Traeger Grills Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets simply for affordability, purity of the wood, and quality of the smoke they produce. If you are looking for other variants or types of smokiness, feel free to give the other options a try! They are all great choices.

I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did. Don’t forget to leave your comments below!

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