Red Willow Pellets??

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by gsdressler, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. I have a Traeger wood pellet grill and am looking for some red willow pellets. Do they make such a thing? This wood is quite common here in central Canada, and imparts a great smoke flavor in most foods. I have not had any luck finding these, so if you have some information on the subject, I'd like to hear from you.

    Thank you

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If anybody can get them it's Todd! I'm sure when he see's this post he will chime in.
  3. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I suspect that you won't find them either, I am willing to bet that you are the only person in the world who has expressed an interest in such a product. Other woods are simply more desirable (and thus profitable) to cook with and cooking pellet makers are going to make what they can sell.
  4. If I could find such a product, that would be my main fuel for all of my smoking. I do go just a mile out of town here and cut green red willow and use it in my charcoal offset smoker in the summer months. With the Traeger being a pellet grill, I'm unable to use this wood in it. The majority of smoking done here in Saskatchewan, is done with red willow wood and the old smokehouses still have the womderful smell from the willow in them.
  5. tjohnson

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


    If you remove your grate and drip pan in your Traeger, why couldn't put a cast iron pan on top the heat deflector, and fill it with some Red Willow Chips or Chunks?

    Just an idea....

    I sell LOTS of pellets, and anything out of the ordinary, is tough to get the pellet mills to produce.  Smaller pellet mills won't even think about producing special pellets, unless it's 4+tons, and the larger pellet mills want a semi load or more.  It's just not worth their time to shut down the mill and clean everything out, just to make a small batch.  It's cost prohibitive.

    Try using a cast iron pan on top the heat deflector.  I'm not sure if it will even work, but what do you have to lose?

  6. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Todds got you in the right direction.
  7. hungry one

    hungry one Newbie

    Red willow is the desired wood for Goldeye,Whitefish and Tulibee smoking,thin wood lots of bark. Mountain ash can also be used if you remove the bark. Add tumeric for red colour to your brine,Careful not to boil the fish,(gross),very very low and slow smoke.I dont know temps just go by feel,Its more of a drying process as they are oily and delicious.Between the pith and the bark there isnt much wood.
  8. Thanks for the info. I'll be sure to try this when I get a chance to do some smoking again. Hopefully it will work for me. Willow is my all time favourite wood to smoke with. There are allot of helping hands, and minds here on SMF  and  knowledgeable people that are willing to lend their experise to others. What a great community to be a member of!!

    Thanks again everyone!!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

  9. tjohnson

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

    I'll bet you that Willow is similar to Alder in flavor

  10. I'll try and round up some Alder pellets from my Traeger Dealer and check them out. Hopefully they will be close to what I'm looking for.

    Thanks Todd, and Merry Christmas to you and your family

  11. leslie dahl

    leslie dahl Newbie

    Greetings from Alberta

    I see you have a Traeger Grill and want some help finding red willow or Alder pellets.

    Did you find any or make them yourself.

    I have found the willow to be as good as any of the woods generally used for smoking.

    The only reliable source is yourself as most words of advice come from those selling their products.

    I have used them all and like you have a taste for red willow or alder.

    I have a pellet mill and make my own. The price of pellets here drove me to supply my own.

    I tested a few bags of pellets for moisture content and then got to work.

    I chipped the willow using dead trees and also green trees.

    I then hammered them with a hammer mill to 3 mm size prior to pelleting.

    I use my equipment that is used for poultry and hog feed.

    Also got some apple trees from BC to try now.   I am very impressed with the results.

    It is important that the moisture content be the same as Traeger requires as this controls the burning speed and heat generated.

    In summary.    I LOVE my Traeger Grill and the heat it gives to my old legs as we sip beer and smell the wondrous flavor of dinner and out back smoke cooking.
  12. leslie dahl

    leslie dahl Newbie

    I read your blog about red willow for smoking your food.

    I use it with bark on or off.   Now we have our own pellet mill and harvest red willow dry and green, Then chip it and dry before hammering it in small particles for the pellet mill.

    We are located in Northern Alberta.  So the next month we will be smoking with our Traeger Grill, sampling the red willow as our best  local wood.

    I have used it for many years and find it as good as any other wood in North America. Possible better when we  screen and pellet it.

    We are going to do a video for You Tube when we are sure  we have a great product.
  13. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have to agree with most of these posts.

    When I still had my stick burner I smoked probably 75% with willow--bark on. Its a great, mellow smoke. I never found anything that wasn't great with willow. The best hot smoked jalapenos i ever did were done over willow

    If you find a source for willow pellets, which like Todd says is slim, be sure to post the source.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017

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