Affordable Cooking Pellets

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers Group' started by seenred, May 6, 2013.

  1. I recommend lumberjack pellets. They mix bark in their pellets which gives a stronger flavor.
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Red, sorry that happened to ya for sure ! I like Amazon for most things, but I agree the packaging on some items could for sure be much better !! I have not ordered pellets from Amazon to date, and since your comment may not order from them.... Thanks for the info ...,

    Take care,

  3. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good to know, thank you !!

  4. tjohnson

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

    I've been watching this thread for over a year, and finally decided to jump in.....

    Most BBQ Pellets are made with scrap or waste wood from cabinet mfgs., millwork companies, and even a hammer handle factory.  Very few pellet producers make pellets from whole trees or round logs

    One pellet producer uses various oils to flavor their base wood, so you're really getting alder or oak pellets, that have been "Flavored" with oils.  These "Flavored Oils" may smell like apple, maple, hickory or mesquite, but burn the oil, and the properties completely change.  What do you get when you burn oil?

    All pellet producers make a 100% Pure Wood Pellet.....True!

    BUT.....Is the wood 100% of the wood on the label?

    The answer is "Sometimes"

    Look for the words "Flavored" or "Blended" as in "Mesquite Flavored Pellets"

    What most pellet producers won't tell you is the "% of Mesquite", and the "% of Filler Wood" used in their pellets

    So, if you think you're buying "100% Mesquite", "100% Hickory" or "100% Apple", you're probably not

    An annoying statement by some pellet producers is 'We Only Use Food Grade Oil"

    Hmmmm......Let's see, are BBQ Pellets regulated by the FDA, USDA or any U.S. Government Agency????

    Is there a Government regulation for BBQ pellets to use "Food Grade Oil"?

    The answer is...."NO!"

    Another misconception in the pellet industry!

    The leftover fry oil from McDonalds is still "Food Grade Oil"

    Some pellet producers use oil to lubricate the dies, and allow for the wood to process easier.

    Some pellet producers do not use oil to lubricate their dies

    Another annoying statement from some pellet producers is "You need an Oak Blended Pellet to produce enough heat for cooking on a pellet grill." 


    Oak, hickory, cherry and hard maple all produce about the same BTU's.

    So, do 100% hickory pellets produce less heat than a pellet that contains 75% - 80% oak and 20% - 25% hickory?


    Worst case, your pellet grill will use an extra cup or 2 of pellets in a 4-6 hour smoke.

    Woods like peach, apple, mesquite and a few others, do not make a good pellet on their own, and must be "Blended" with oak or alder to burn well in a pellet grill.

    I'm not going to post my personal opinions on specific brands of pellets here. 

    It would look like I'm bashing certain brands of pellets

    IMHO: Pellets made from whole trees produce more smoke, but also produce more ash.  I prefer these pellets over pellets made from waste wood products.

    You, as a consumer need to do the research, and decide for yourself what pellets best suit your needs

    Educate yourself before you buy pellets

    Ask questions

    Don't rely 100% on the opinions found on the forums.  Some of these guys get free pellets and post accordingly

    Determine if you want or need "Blended" or "Flavored" Pellets, or 100% Flavor Wood Pellets

    Do you want to use pellets with "Flavored Oils"?

    Try a few different brands and land on one you like

    Stick with them, and focus on your cook, and not the pellets!

    You're welcome to PM me if you have a question
  5. tjohnson

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

    I received this article from a friend in the industry.  It's a summary of a Patent that was awarded by the USPTO for adding flavored oils to a wood base to make flavored wood pellets

    I removed the name of the mfg.

    Nowhere on the bag does it mention "Flavored Oils"

    32# Flavored Oil per 2,000# Base Wood

    This works out to .256 oz. of "Flavored Oil" per pound of Base Wood

    Here is how ??????? says their pellets are mfg

    “…Shipping flavor wood in solid form over substantial distances can result in significant expense. ...”
    This embodiment utilizes soy oil as a lubricant, but other lubricants, especially other edible lubricants, may be used.
    Depending on the intended flavor of the pellet, different wood oils are used. For example, hickory wood oil will provide a hickory wood flavor when cooking as compared to a mesquite wood oil which will provide a mesquite wood flavor when cooking. Any wood oil containing a desired flavor is within the scope of this invention, and particularly: apple, alder, cherry, hazelnut, hickory, maple, mesquite, oak, and pecan wood oils. The mixture of lubricant and wood oil is mixed with wood particles in a ratio range of 1 - 3 gal (gallon) of lubricant and
    wood oil mixture to approximately 2000 lbs base wood. The preferred ratio is 2 gal of the lubricant and wood oil mixture to approximately 2000 lbs of base wood. Thus, the overall ratio of components in the preferred pellet embodiment on a weight/weight basis is: 35 parts lubricant, 1 part wood oil, and 130 part wood particles. Another way to determine the proper ratio is to state that 32 lbs of oil can be used to make 2000 lbs of pellets. In further processing, the lubricant, wood oil, and wood particles mixture is formed into pellets.
    Additionally advantageous is that the inventive method may be used to produce a flavored wood pellet without using solid flavor wood. Using solid flavor wood to manufacture pellets results in expensive shipping costs, extensive initial quality control, and difficult mixing. In contrast, using wood oil to manufacture pellets reduces shipping costs and streamlines pellet manufacturing. It is possible through the present invention to use solid flavor wood in combination with wood oil, but unlike many prior attempts at producing flavored pellets, it is not necessary to use solid flavor wood to achieve a high quality product that can greatly enhance the barbeque-cooking experience.
    The wood pellet of claim 1, wherein the pellet is comprised of approximately 35 parts lubricant, 1 part wood oil, and
    130 parts wood particles.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    So if it's not mentioned on the bag, how can we avoid buying it, especially for the AMNPS?

    I'd rather smoke with all natural wood than oils & lubricants.

  7. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    I how do I tell which brands are made from whole trees and which ones are just misleading us by saying they are 100% flavor wood?  I know you probably don't want to "name names" in open I'll probably ask in a PM.

    Thanks again Todd.

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  8. Best way I have found is to talk to the real manufacturer (not just  a distributor).

    I talked to the folks at Lumberjack and that is how I found out they include the wood and bark in their pellets - they will tell you that gives more ash than just using core wood, or hard wood with oils, but it gives more flavor.

    I have to clean ash out more often (but I clean my pellet smoker after every usage anyway...), but I feel it is worth it to get good flavor and to know that I'm getting the real thing.

    The one downside to these guys, is that, if you buy directly from them, you have to get a minimum of a quarter pallet load.  I don't have any stores near me that sell their pellets.  However, I have been able to find 20 and 40 lb bags on Amazon.
  9. tjohnson

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

    BBQ Island has pellets that will suit your needs, and they're not too far away

    Great Guys to deal with!

    Tell Adam I say "Hi!"

    I clean my fire pot out every other time I fire it up, or after a long smoke.

    Not a big deal.......

    Even if a mfg. had a trap door to dump the ashes, I would still take the drip pan and heat shield off to vac out the ashes that made it to the bottom of the smoker.  It only takes a few minutes

  10. smokngun

    smokngun Smoke Blower

    My order of Lumber Jack pellets just showed up.

  11. tjohnson

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


    That is what I call "Curbside Delivery"
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wow!!! [​IMG]

    3 Tons ought to last awhile!!!

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  13. WoW!  How much smoking do you do?
  14. pork dork

    pork dork Smoke Blower

    Month long smoke fest at Smokin Gun's. :yahoo:

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  16. smokngun

    smokngun Smoke Blower

    6 of us went in on an order, some got 1/2 ton some got less. I personally got just under 1,500. I use this thing several times a week from steaks and burgers to briskets and ribs, I've even done chicken cordon bleu. So I figure it MIGHT get me through the end of the year. The next time I place an order I would like to do an even larger order, it pays to buy in bulk.
    bigblue likes this.
  17. tjohnson

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

    That's the way to do it!!
  18. pork dork

    pork dork Smoke Blower

    Has anyone tried to smoke with a citrus like lemon, orange or tangerine? I've heard that corn cobs produce a sweet smoke? :grilling_smilie:
    I have to admit I haven't read this whole thread but had to ask anyway.
  19. tjohnson

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

    Citrus wood does not make good pellets. The wood has to be blended with another wood. Anyone who claims to make a 100% citrus pellet is not being honest
  20. pork dork

    pork dork Smoke Blower


    I've got a lemon tree and wanted to know if I could use the trimmings for smoke in my cold smoke generator. Obviously mixed with other wood. I want to put it on in during a smoke but I was wondering if it would be like orange oil for termites but with people?  [​IMG]

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