Pellets for a Treager Smoker

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by mav33r, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. mav33r

    mav33r Newbie

    I love my Traeger smoker and it has worked amazing for me! I have not been able to find a good selection of pellets in my area in Phoenix, AZ. 

    I have been running mainly Traeger pellets since I got the grill last summer. I did one bag of apple pellets from Sweet Home Pellets, but was having some temperature stability issues. Not sure if it was moisture issues or the temp gauge reading wrong.

    Does anyone here run a Traeger with other brand pellets? I know they say to only run their pellets but I don't see how it's an issue as long as they are food grade. What manufactures provide the best pellets? I mainly do chicken, pork and beef on my smoker. Does anyone have a good brand they prefer? How do they compare to the Traeger pellets?
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check with Todd Johnson and his pellets if he recommends them for a Treager.  You won't find a better supplier!
  3. mav33r

    mav33r Newbie

    Who is Todd Johnson and what is his website? I am new to SMF. Thanks!
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    He will give a discount to SMF members & I think he will also give a quantity discount. 

    His pellets are all the wood you order. In other words if you buy cherry pellets it's 100% cherry wood.

    Traeger pellets are not. They use other woods & there pellets are a blend of different woods, so there cherry pellets may only contain 40 to 50% cherry wood. 

    You can really tell the difference by just smelling the smoke from Todd's pellets.
  5. team c

    team c Newbie

  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Go see my buddies at BBQ Island

    Can't go wrong there!

  7. duanes

    duanes Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I use the Perfect mix too in my Traeger and they are a good all around pellet.  They have lower amount of dust than others I have used, especially Traeger brand.  They do create more ash than the Oak/Alder based pellets and I do notice a modest increase in consumption too.  If I am looking for a deep smoke flavor, I use 100% flavorwood pellets in an AMNPS set on the right side of grill to add additonal smoke.

    You can use any brand pellets in a Traeger grill as long as you are sure they are cooking grade pellets.  Try to keep them as dry as possible.

    I'll have to try out the BBQ Island pellets!
  8. mav33r

    mav33r Newbie

    I will definately check out BBQ Island. I hope they have really good pellets.

    Why would you use an AMNPS inside a Traeger smoker? Isn't that a waste of pellets since you are already running a pellet grill?
  9. duanes

    duanes Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    The AMNPS uses just a very small amount of pellets (maybe 3 handfuls) for a full smoke of ribs - comparatively, my Traeger burns about 2-3 pounds of pellets for cooking heat.  remember, the AMNPS doesn't really add heat, it just smolders and adds smoke flavor.  Of course, the 100% flavor-wood pellets are more expensive but since you use so little, really not much in cost (and worth the flavor improvement).

  10. mav33r

    mav33r Newbie

    How does the AMNPS smolder the pellets? Start it with some sort of blow torch? Wouldn't the pellets flavor compete with the wood you use on the Traeger? Say alder for the heat but then Apple or something for the flavoring?
  11. duanes

    duanes Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    The AMNPS is a perforated stainless steel device that you fill with pellets and light one end with a torch/etc.,. and it slooowly burns the pellets but without a flame - meaning it generates a lot of the good kind of smoke (thin blue).  It doesn't create much heat which is why it is really ideal for cold smoking.

    As to blending of woods - the sky is the limit.  There may be some combinations that might not be ideal but there is nothing wrong with using apple and cherry, hickory and maple, etc.,. - it all depends on what you are trying to achieve as a smoke flavor profile.  (Red) Oak and Alder are very mild and can be used with just about any other flavor-wood.  Besides plentiful, that is why they are the base for most "flavored" pellet blends.  I often use apple pellets to heat and 100% Hickory pellets in the AMNPS - the apple gives it a sweeter flavor and the hickory a deeper smoke flavor.  Of course you can just use one type of wood too!
  12. mav33r

    mav33r Newbie

    Thanks for the information. I found a review on YouTube and it looks like a really good unit. At what outside temperature is the limit for "cold" smoking?
  13. duanes

    duanes Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    It really depends on what you are cold smoking.  For cheese, you want to keep the temp as low as reasonable or the cheese hardens and it starts to sweat oils.  I try to keep the temp under 60 degrees for cheese.  For tomatoes, onions, other vegetables, that you are going to sauce/stew, any temp is fine. Foods like uncured meat, you want to follow food safety temps.  If you have a specific food you want to know about, this is the place to ask - trust me, if it can be smoked, someone on this forum has done it! 

    If your temps are a bit high, you can use a pan if ice in the smoker to bring the temp down.

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012

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