Pellet additives

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by pcut, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. pcut

    pcut Newbie

    Newbie (first post!) looking for info on pellet smokers.  I wonder if there are any additives to the pellets, either to make them stick or whatever.  My SO wants to know before we buy one.  I have read that there are additives to charcoal to make it into briquets and am wondering if the same it true of pellets.  I have access to a bunch of chunks of apple, oak, cherry and mesquite so I would like to find a gas smoker that doesn't use pellets if possible.  Any help is appreciated.
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Your post confuses me a little...Are you asking about pellet smokers or gas smokers, or both?

    To answer your first question, pellet makers do not use any type of binders or additives other than wood products in the manufacturing process.  Every bag of pellets I've purchased to burn in my pellet smoker says "100% hardwood" on the bag.  Now some pellets are blended woods (such as oak blended with hickory, apple, maple, etc.), but they don't have anything in them but wood.

  3. pcut

    pcut Newbie

    Red-  Sorry to mix up the topics.  Since I have a lot of chunks of wood, I would like to use that instead of pellets.  If I can't find a smoker that I like that will use chunks, I wanted to be sure that pellets didn't have any additives.  I also have a natural gas BBQ so my plan is to add another line to it's gas line to "power" the smoker.  I guess I just need to do more research so I can ask the right questions.  Thanks for your info.

  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not an additive but Traeger uses flavored oils in their pellets. All food grade, but not as good as all hardwood pellets. Some of the cheap brix use additives as binders. I prefer Kingsford Competition Brand available at the Costco by me with NO additives of any kind. Burn terrific, btw. I read every bag of pellets I buy and research the brand on line before spending money. Not a big expense but qualities vary between brands. And I don't want pellets made in China. I highly recommend a pellet smoker over propane, which I had. To me, more like a true pit using wood as the heat source, not gas, and I am quite fond of my latest addition of the Char Griller Pellet Smoker. Mine is working perfectly. HTH, Willie
  5. Many pellets, even the 100% hardwood pellets use starch as a binder.  According to labeling laws, if the percentage of the adulterants are small enough, they do not have to list/disclose it in the name/title/ingredient list.  Otherwise, all food would have to include: Dirt, Rat/Cockroach feces, etc).  Nothing you can purchase is a 100% anything.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014

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