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Best Pellets for Pellet Grill

Updated On May 27, 2020

Aside from cooking your favorite foods on your smoker, pellets give that distinct smoke flavor which every grill enthusiasts love. 

When you find yourself craving for that hickory ribs or applewood cheese flavor, you know which wood pellets to put in your smoker. And if you decide to change your mind, there are other flavored wood pellets that are equally worth cooking your favorite foods with.

Wood pellets can be used in all types of smokers, and they are most at home with all kinds of pellet grills. We've reviewed 11 Best Pellets For Pellet Grills. After trying different kinds of wood pellets, our # 1 Top Choice is the Traeger PEL319 Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Grill Pellets 

Short on time? Here's a quick roundup of our top 3 picks and why you need them!
Product
Photo
Cost
Pros
Link
*Best Overall

$$

100% all-natural hardwood and has an excellent burning properties - slow and steady
*Runner Up

$$

Made from a mix of 4 top hardwoods and is a 100% flavored hardwood
*Also Great

$$

A versatile signature blend hardwood pellets with a 100% all-natural flavored hardwood

Top 11: Best Pellets for Pellet Grill

Best Overall

A 100% all-natural hardwood wood pellets that enhances food flavors of all that you put on your pellet grill. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood
  • Ideal for: Poultry and veggies
  • Weight: 20 lbs.
Traeger is a brand that is world-renowned for quality grills especially pellet grills. Their name is synonymous with quality, and it's not a coincidence that our top pick for the best pellet is a Traeger. Made from 100% all-natural hardwood, you are guaranteed that no pellet is made will binding agents or fillers. Fillers are usually used by some manufacturers to lower the cost of their pellets. But it comes at a huge cost - flavor.

With Traeger's 100% all-natural hardwood pellets, you are guaranteed a stronger smoky flavor which is what you want to get when you're done grilling your food. The Traeger Hickory pellets will naturally enhance the flavor of your chicken, beef, pork, and even veggies. If you're looking for a strong smoky flavor, this hickory wood pellet is just the right one for you.

Use this pellet especially for making brisket to enhance the rich, mildly strong, aromatic flavor. But you can also use it for baking, roasting, braise, and barbecuing your favorite meat. It's hard to go wrong with a Traeger pellet and when your food tastes so much better with the enhanced flavor that lingers, then you will know why this is the best pellet for your pellet grill or smoker that you'll find. 
Pros
  • 100% all-natural hardwood
  • Consistent quality
  • Excellent burning properties - slow and steady
  • Ensures perfect blue smoke with low ash
  • Great in enhancing the flavor of food
Cons
  • Some find the flavor a bit sweet 
Runner Up

A perfect mix of the 4 top hardwoods for those who prefer the combined flavor of different types of wood.
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% hardwood 
  • Ideal for: Chicken, turkey, beef, pork
  • Weight: 40 lbs. 
CookinPellets was established over 5 years ago and have been making quality wood pellet products ever since. Their perfect mix blend is a combination of the four most popular hardwoods for smoking, and these are Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, and Apple wood. The company only uses what is called "heartwoods" or the center of the log, not using any bark. Bark has twice the Lignin which is a natural binder and fuel source. It produces more ash when used in pellets which is not at all ideal.

One great thing about CookinPellets is that they never use oils for flavoring or filler woods like oak or alder. The perfect mix is for those who like the combined flavor of different types of wood, or those who like to experiment with the flavor in their foods. It's ideal for short cooking or even long smokes. It's especially great for pulled pork or brisket which takes longer to smoke.

If you like the mix of the top 4 hardwoods such as apple wood, hickory, cherry and hard maple, then the size of the CookingPellets is just right for you. At 40 lbs, it's gonna be a lot of pellets to smoke so you need to consider this especially if you are only using your pellet grill occasionally. 
Pros
  • Made from a mix of 4 top hardwoods
  • 100% flavored hardwood
  • No bark
  • All heartwood
Cons
  • 40 lbs maybe a lot of wood pellets for first-time users
Also Great

The wood pellet made from a signature blend with 100% all-natural hardwood that is great for smoking, baking, braising, and barbecue. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood 
  • Ideal for: Bbq meats, fish and veggies
  • Weight: 20 lbs. 
If you're the type of grill user that does a lot of high-temperature searing to seal in the smokey flavor, then the Traeger Grills PEL 331 may just be the right wood pellet for you. A special blend that is composed of hickory, maple, and cherry hardwood flavors that can enhance the flavor of about anything that you cook. From classic bbq meats to different types of fishes and veggies, these wood pellets give you the full-bodied flavor you want to taste each time.

The 20-lb wood pellets should last you around 3-4 weeks of which is comparable to how long a tank of propane lasts. Unless you are fond of slow cooking which entails long hours of grilling, this signature blend is going to be an economical fuel for your grilling needs.

The Traeger Pel 331 is an excellent food-grade pellet. Like most quality food-grade wood pellets, it is about 705 alder or oak, and 30% of the flavored smoke indicated on the package. This is to achieve a consistent burn rate as well as production availability and expense. Other lesser quality pellets run hot and cold instead of burning/smoking at a consistent rate. 
Pros
  • A versatile signature blend hardwood pellets
  • 100% all-natural flavored hardwood
  • Economical and lasts a long time
  • Excellent food grade 
Cons
  • As a mix blend of hardwood flavors, lesser flavor compared to non-blended wood pellets
Also Great

A true 100% premium wood pellets that don't have flavor oils giving you the natural hickory flavor on your food.
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood 
  • Ideal for: Beef and pork
  • Weight: 40 lbs. 
There are some brands that do not tell you if their wood pellets are made from 100% hickory. This is somewhat tricky and could easily mean that it's a mix of hickory and another filler wood or flavor oils. Without this clear declaration on their labels, it's hard to guess if you're only getting 40%, 30%, or even less hickory than you would be expecting.

Filler woods generally do not give any flavor and you would be surprised that even major brands do not list their ratios. That is why the CookinPellets 40H Smoking Pellets is a product that lets you know what you are actually getting. It is consistent, burns clean & hot, and gives that distinct smoky flavor whether you are slow-cooking or searing. With a 100% all-natural wood, you are sure of that flavorful food that your pellet grill will always produce every time.

At 40 lbs in every package, you can be sure that your supply of this flavorful hickory wood pellet will last a long time. Perfect for beef brisket, this wood pellet infuses a rich bacon-like flavor into your food. It's an obvious favorite for pork related cuts, and if you're into a little bit of sugary or sweet sauce, the hickory flavor of CookinPellets will pair up nicely with it. 
Pros
  • Made from 100% hickory wood
  • 100% flavor hardwood
  • No bark
  • All heartwood
Cons
  • 40 lbs maybe too much for a single flavor wood pellet 
Also Great

A wood pellet that infuses the desired hardwood taste in every type of grilling. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood 
  • Ideal for: Beef and fish
  • Weight: 20 lbs. 
If you're the type of a grill user who is fond of smoking a brisket in your pellet grill, then you may want to try the Traeger Grills PEL 310. This Oakwood 100% all-natural hardwood is suitable for beef and fish to infuse that wood-fired mild, nutty taste whether you are smoking, baking, roasting, or barbecuing your meat.

With the Oakwood pellets, the flavor of your beef and fish is enhanced with a subtly mild, nutty taste that Oakwood is known for. These premium wood pellets deliver an unmatched pure, hardwood taste. They are formulated with just the right amount of moisture content resulting in the consistent perfect blue smoke to flavor whatever you put on your pellet grill. 
Pros
  • Enhances the flavor of beef and fish
  • 100% all-natural flavor hardwood
  • Provides a consistent perfect blue smoke to flavor foods
  • Excellent food grade 
Cons
  • A bit expensive 
Also Good

A combination of top flavored wood pellets that are able to give your food that unique smoky flavor, fast and easy on any pellet grill. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood 
  • Ideal for: All types of meats, poultry, and vegetables
  • Weight: 6 lbs of 1 lb each per bag 
If you are new to pellet grilling, this BBQRs Delight Wood Smoking Pellets is going to help you familiarize yourself on which flavor wood you may prefer as you gain more skill and experience in your grilling. With 6 different flavor wood to choose from to put inside your hopper, these heating pellets should do a good job of enhancing the flavor of your food.

With only 1/3 cup needed per grill use, each 1 pounder bag is good for 10 uses which should be enough to make you decide which works best with your discerning taste buds. These pellet flavors are easy to use and no soaking necessary to generate the heat that will cover your favorite foods in those flavorful smoke. While this is best used for a pellet grill, it can also work with other types of outside grills such as gas, charcoal, electric, or smoker.

These food-grade grilling pellets made from quality wood are the fastest and easiest way to give your food smoky flavor and choose which one suits your palate best. All 5 of the 6 flavor wood pellets are made from 100% wood while Jack Daniel's pellets are made from the used mellowing charcoal from oakwood from the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Tennessee. 
Pros
  • A great choice for beginners who are not yet familiar with flavor wood
  • 6 different flavor wood for a variety
  • Made from 100% wood 
  • Excellent food grade 
  • Good for mixing and experimenting with flavor
Cons
  • A bit more expensive 
Also Good

A perfect combination blend of strong, tangy, and spicy flavor that will bring out the Tex-Mex in your foods. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood 
  • Ideal for: All types of meat and veggies
  • Weight: 40 lbs. 
Louisiana Grills is one of the most reputable companies that make high-quality pellets. The Texas Mesquite Pellets are a 35/65 blend of Mesquite and Maple. These woods are sourced across North America which is known to produce quality woods.

These heating pellets are extremely dependable in terms of consistency in temperature. Using the settings found on a pellet grill, it will maintain temperature on the set point which is essential in cooking that perfect ribs or steak. It imparts an excellent blend of smoke and flavor on your grilled foods while sealing the juice inside. Best for meats and veggies, it's hard not to like the flavor it brings out in your favorite foods.

The 40-lb size is enough to last for a month as the food-grade heating pellets are dry and only have a small amount of dust. They burn well and keep an even steady temperature producing a good aromatic smoke that will envelop and pierce through your meat and veggies for that excellent taste. 
Pros
  • Combination blend of 2 top flavor woods
  • Maintains consistent temperature 
  • Pellets are dry and contain a small amount of dust 
  • Burns well and keep an even temperature throughout the cooking process 
  • A two-in-one flavor that brings out a unique tangy and spicy flavor in foods
Cons
  • A bit on the higher price range
Also Good

An all-natural 100% hardwood Hickory flavored wood pellets that BBQ cookers love. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood 
  • Ideal for: All types of meat
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 
Smokehouse, is a company known for making quality smokers and other products related to grilling. And their wood pellets are considered one of the best in the market today. The Hickory flavored wood is an all-time favorite of BBQ cookers with discriminating tastes. From Missouri to Texas, and all through the South, Hickory wood pellets are considered essential in creating that BBQ smoke flavored foods.

These heating pellets are by themselves great in bringing out that classic smoky flavor that's been associated with hickory wood ever since bbq smoking began. But they also work great in combination with neutral wood pellets like Alder, or fruitwood such as apple or cherry. When you're planning to smoke pulled pork, hams, bacon and baby back ribs, these pellets made from hickory wood is the best choice for the job. 
Pros
  • 100% all-natural hickory wood
  • Great for achieving classic smoky flavor for meats
  • Works great in combination with alder wood, apple, and cherry. 
  • Dry, easy to lit and produces low-ash
Cons
  • Only 5 lbs making it expensive compared to other 20-lb flavor wood
Also Good

An ultimate hickory and oak premium hardwood blend that combine the excellent smoky flavor of each wood's characteristics. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood 
  • Ideal for: All types of meat and veggies 
  • Weight: 40 lbs. 
When it comes to grills and pellets, RecTec Grills can hold its own against the more known brands. RecTec's hardwood pellets are made of 100% natural hardwood. The density of their premium pellets makes a larger quantity of energy to be compacted in every single one.

The hopper of a pellet grill can easily automate the rate in which these pellets are fed into the fire due to its uniform size. This is crucial in achieving a reliable and consistent temperature in cooking your food. The dense pellets burn slower while putting out more flavorful smoke which only means that they are made from high-quality materials.

The good amount of moisture content and the quality of wood that goes into the RecTec Grills pellets mean that it's easy to heat and maintain temperature. This will result in cooking your favorite food more consistently and with more flavor.
Pros
  • 100% all-natural hardwood
  • Dense material means more energy stored in each pellet
  • Good moisture content for easier lighting and maintaining temperature
Cons
  • 40 lbs is a lot of pellets in a single package
Also Good

An intense and strong smoke flavor that adds a hickory-ish smoke taste to your steak and burgers. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood
  • Ideal for: Beef, pork and game meat
  • Weight: 1 lb. 
The BBQ'rs Delight Black Walnut Wood Pellets add a very intense and strong smoke flavor in your meat. Great on beef, pork and game meat, this 100% all-natural wood is well-made and has a low moisture content. It burns hot and clean with low ash produced giving you a longer cooking time compared to most pellet woods.

This is the brand of pellets that is a favorite of many grillers on the competition circuit because of their consistency and reliability in maintaining the set temperature. The intense strong flavor, and slightly bitter like walnut-taste it produces on foods make it a favorite for grillers who are tired of the usual smoke flavor other pellets provide. 
Pros
  • 100% all-natural hardwood
  • Burns hot and clean with low ash
  • Produces strong intense flavor with bitter like walnut-taste
Cons
  • A bit expensive for its package size
Also Good

A go-to gourmet blend wood pellets that produce a balanced sweet, smoky flavor ideal for any type of meat, poultry, fish and veggies. 
Quick Summary
  • Made from: 100% all-natural hardwood
  • Ideal for: Meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables
  • Weight: 20 lbs. 
The Bear Mountain BBQ All-Natural Hardwood Smoky Gourmet Blend grilling pellets are made from 100% all-natural premium hardwood. It contains no binders or additives resulting in a balanced sweet and smoky flavor for your favorite foods.

The quality and consistency of these pellets to produce the sweet and smoky flavor in food is simply commendable. If you're looking for wood pellets that add a rich, smoky flavor to your food without added fillers and binders, then this may be the right one for you. 
Pros
  • 100% all-natural hardwood
  • Doesn't contain binders or additives
  • High-quality and consistency in producing smoky flavor in foods
Cons
  • Some users complain of pellets that are 3-inch long

Things To Look For When Buying Wood Pellets

Best Pellets for Pellet Grill
Does this happen to you? You've picked out the most feature-packed pellet grill and didn't mind spending big dollars only to be disappointed in the end result of cooking your favorite foods.

People don't realize that choosing the type of pellets is just as important as the type of grill that they choose! It is only after a bit of trial and error that grill users find out the best wood pellets that work best with their pellet grills. Here are a few tips on how to choose the best pellets to achieve the best results.

Type of Wood 

There are two types of wood often used in pellets - hardwood and softwood. There is an argument that can be made for both sides, and there is an on-going debate as to which one is better. But if we will base it on performance and result, hardwood definitely wins! (1)

While softwood can provide more heat, it is not as stable in providing a consistent burning rate as hardwood can. This means that softwood is poor in maintaining temperature, affecting the quality of the food. Hardwood is able to provide a purer smoke flavor which is what one wants to achieve in smoking food. That is why most pellet making companies use hardwood for their products. 

100% Flavored Wood or Added Fillers

There are many pellet companies that include fillers in making their products to lower the cost. It is one way for the company to save money and still have a working product that people can use. But for discerning grill users, fillers don't give any value in contributing to the smoke flavor that everyone wants to have in their food.

By using 100% flavored hardwood, it's guaranteed that a stronger smoke flavor is going to come out from those pellets which grill enthusiasts and even beginners want to get. It's better to pay extra dollars for hardwood pellets that contain less or no filler at all than pay cheap for pellets that are 70-80% fillers which you can hardly get any hint of flavor at all. 

Flavor

This may be one of the most important considerations when choosing your wood pellets. Certain types of woods provide a distinct and strong flavor, which is why it's always a good idea to have multiple types of pellets for your grilling needs. People have different tastes so what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.

Let's enumerate some of the widely used and most popular flavors that the majority of grillers favor and for good reasons.

Hickory pellets are the most favored and the most used flavor in pellet grilling. It's synonymous with BBQ and it's hard to imagine a classic BBQ flavor without hickory flavored-wood in the equation. This is a strong flavor that complements meats like beef and pork but is most certainly applicable to any type of meat that you spread out on top of your pellet grill. If you're after that classic smoke flavor that goes into your food, then Hickory pellets should be on top of your pellet list.

Apple pellets are another favorite wood type that adds that lighter, sweeter, and fruity flavor which a hickory wood cannot. Some grillers find hickory on the strong side of flavors and find it overwhelming. So if you find yourself wanting a more subtle hint of flavor that doesn't overwhelm your tastebuds, this is a welcome alternative pellet for you. Apple pellets are suitable to pair with poultry, pork, and vegetables. (2)

Cherry and Maple are equally popular and provide a great flavor to foods. Maple is similar to some degree with Applewood which is favored by those who look for that lighter and slightly sweeter taste. Cherry is a stronger flavor compared to apple and cherry which is great for meat. Some grillers use it when they want a lighter version of the hickory flavor on their food. 

Mix Blend

While there will be grill purists that would think it sacrilege to use a blend of wood to grill foods, there are those who love the combined aroma and flavor that each of the flavored wood brings. This is a welcome option for those who want to experience a hint of what each flavor can provide to their grilled foods. For those who want to experiment by combining different wood pellets in their pellet grills, mixed blends are heaven-sent. 

Price

Some brands are more expensive than others because of the type of wood that they use in their pellets. While there are affordable pellets that do their job in producing the flavor in your food, be aware that it's sometimes better to pay a little bit more than end up with cheaper wood pellets that don't work. In general, a higher price means better quality but use our guidelines and you will find it easier to decide on your pellet choice. 

Final Words

Pellet grills have such loyal followers that convincing them that there are other ways to grill flavorful foods is simply futile. While there will always be endless debates as to which type of grill is the best to smoke foods, we can all agree that pellet grills are definitely one of the top choices for good reasons. What is not up for debate is the fact that pellet grills are only as good as the wood pellets that you feed them to smoke your foods. (3)

That is why choosing the best wood pellets is important to save you from the disappointment of having to discard pellet grills that don't deliver on the flavor that you expect them to. That is why choosing 100% flavored hardwood as against pellets with a large ratio of fillers to save on cost is important. In order to enhance your grilling experience, always consider the best wood pellets made to match your preference, to achieve your desired result. 
Best Overall

A 100% all-natural hardwood wood pellets that enhances food flavors of all that you put on your pellet grill. 

References

(1) hardwood and softwood - https://extension.psu.edu/what-is-the-difference-between-
hardwood-and-softwood
(2) hickory - https://www.britannica.com/plant/hickory-plant
(3) wood pellets - https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/wood-pellet

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About the author 

Albert Thompson

Albert hails from Kentucky where grilling is a lifestyle. He brings with him his years of experience in the cooking sector and the product sector, but dont let that fool you, he practices what he preaches and enjoys a big rack of ribs every weekend.


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  1. Thank you for this list! Very helpful. I personally liked that you’ve included in your feature what these pellets are ideal for! Loved it! Keep them coming Albert! Great guides in here!

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