Even though electric grills are trending nowadays, you can never get the nice smoky flavor from them that you can get from using wood pellets in your grill.
Also—remember that wood pellets come in different flavors themselves, giving you even more choices when it comes to getting your meat to taste just right. This makes them different from gas and charcoal grills, which do not give you the same freedom while cooking. Watch this video on Pellet Grill benefits to learn more about this topic.
The amount of acrid smoke generated while cooking is less, but the meat still tastes great. Food is also cooked more evenly when you use a wood fire pellet grill. For all these reasons, wood pellet grills are wildly popular among barbecuing enthusiasts.
In this article, we talk about the best wood pellets you can buy today.
In a hurry? Take a look at some of these online reviews to get a snapshot of what’s being said about the following products.
Best Overall: Pit Boss Classic Blend Wood Pellets
“Bought this for my dad for his new smoker grill we got him for fathers day and these are just as they are described a great value for your money and work so well. Better than the more expensive traeger bag I had before, less dust and better smoke.”
Best Alternative #1: Bear Mountain Gourmet Blend Hardwood Pellets
“The Bear Mountain product met my expectations for quality and consistency and the smoke was, well, smoky and makes the food sweetly smoky and delicious, as you expect and hope. Price was in line with expectations and Amazon delivery was on time and in tact, as usual. I see no reason to purchase anything else for my smoking needs.”
Best Splurge: Traeger Grills Natural Hardwood Pellets
“I have tried multiple brands of wood pellets for my smokers. I always go back to the Traeger brand as they are exactly as they advertise. Many other brands may advertise a specific wood but the fine print on the label shows it’s cut with 50% or more white oak. If you want Hickory, Maple, Cherry, Apple, Pecan, or another type, that’s exactly what you get with Traeger. No mix.”
Best Budget: Oklahoma Joe’s Apple Wood Pellets
“Great quality pellets with almost zero wood dust in the bag. Like the flavor too, did a pork shoulder and had a very good flavor profile using these.”
Best for Quantity: Louisiana Grills Mesquite Pellets
“Burned better and cleaner than any of the other 4 or 5 brands I have used before. It also doesn’t burn up as fast as the others so it lasts longer. I love the smoke that these pellets expelled, not like the last bag that I purchased. It was like I was burning twigs from the wood. I will definitely purchase it again.”
Wood Pellet FAQs
We get a lot of questions about wood pellets, pellet grills, and how they match up against different versions. For this reason, we have put together a set of FAQs that will help you make a better decision while choosing which wood pellets will fit your requirements best.
Question: Can all types of wood be used for smoking?
Answer: No. Not all wood is food grade. The best options you will find are mesquite, hickory, cherry, pecan, apple, oak, and alder—or a blend of two or more of these. These are the most popular food grade wood pellets that you will find on the market.
Question: Do different types of wood pellets give you a different flavor while cooking?
Answer: Yes. Different wood pellets lend their flavor to the food they are used to cook with.
- With a competition blend, you will get a sweet and smoky flavor with an aromatic tang.
- Mesquite will give you a strong aroma with a tangy and spicy flavor that works best with Tex-Mex cuisine.
- With hickory, you get a flavor similar to smoked bacon.
- Apple will give you a fruity flavor with mild sweetness.
- A classic blend, a mixture of pecan, hickory, and mesquite, gives a robust flavor.
- A charcoal blend is mostly made of oak and will give the classic taste of smoky charcoal.
Question: Which foods can you cook with wood pellets?
Answer: You can smoke all types of meats with wood pellets. This includes poultry, beef, pork, seafood, and even veggies. However, some wood pellets do not go well with certain meats. For example, hickory is not recommended for seafood. Another example is that foods like turkey do not go well with super heavy smoke blends like oak.
Question: Which blend of wood pellets should I use for veggies?
Answers: A lot of vegetarians still enjoy the smoked flavor that comes from wood pellet grills and we get many questions about which wood pellets go with veggies. If you’re one of these people, try to stay away from heavy-smoke blends like oak or alder. Fruity woods will be a much better option in this case. For example, a competition, apple, or hickory blend will make a great pairing while smoking veggies.
Coming in a large 20-pound bag, these wood pellets from Traeger come in a Hickory flavor that is excellent for naturally enhancing the taste of meats like chicken, beef, pork, and even veggies. If you want to give your food a bold, full-bodied flavor, this product is an excellent choice.
The pellets are made out of all natural woods and are produced in American mills. They do not produce a lot of ash when burned and give you a clean burn that results in even and uniform cooking of your meat.
The moisture content of the wood pellets is quite balanced. This is designed in a way to ensure that the ratio between burning and the smoke produced is perfect, giving you the right taste and a convenient cooking experience.
However, these wood pellets from Traeger have had some complaints when it comes to their wood content. A verified customer has claimed that the pellets are not made from 100 percent of the flavor wood that is mentioned on the label. Some additions of different woods like alder/oak should be expected when it comes to this product.
Another problem that you might have with the hickory flavor is that it is not the best option when it comes to seafood and baked goods. For all other types of meat and veggies, the hickory pellets will work well.
- Brand: Traeger
- Flavor: Hickory
- Capacity: 20 pounds
- Package dimensions: 3 x 16 x 24 inches
- The right amount of moisture content for a good burn-to-smoke ratio
- Hickory-smoke flavor infused in grilled, smoked, baked, roasted, braised, or barbecued food
- Offers clean burning and uniform cooking of food
- Some reviewers have claimed that the wood pellets are not made out of 100-percent hickory and might have some portion of oak or alder
- Hickory is not the best option when it comes to seafood or baked foods—so you might want to try a different flavor if you’re looking to cook a lot of fish
Like the last product from Traeger, this product from Bear Mountain is also available in a 20-pound bag. The flavor that you get with this product is the Gourmet Blend, which is a good fit for meats like poultry, lamb, beef, and pork—as well as veggies. However, unlike the hickory flavor, you can easily cook seafood with these wood pellets.
This makes the Bear Mountain pellets very versatile, helping you cook all sorts of food items with the product. The gourmet blend gives you a sweet, smoky flavor. It is made from 100-percent natural hardwood, and you will not find any binders, fillers, or additives mixed in with the pellets.
This product can be used for all kinds of food and also with different kinds of grills. An outdoor pellet girl, gas grill, charcoal grill, and even an electric grill can use these pellets for cooking.
The moisture content on these wood pellets is low. As they’re wood, they will still cause some smoke, so make sure that you’re not grilling indoors with them.
One problem that reviewers have had with this product is the lack of information that comes from what goes into the Gourmet Blend flavor. While other flavors like hickory and oak come from the wood of these particular trees, customers have not been able to figure out which trees the Gourmet Blend flavor comes from.
Another issue that customers have highlighted is the distinct lack of flavor as compared to charcoal or wood. However, the amount of smoky flavor you want in your meat is a matter of personal taste, and no pellets will give you the same amount of smoke as charcoal would.
- Brand: Bear Mountain
- Flavor: Gourmet Blend
- Capacity: 20 pounds
- Package dimensions: 14 x 4 x 20 inches
- Low-moisture content for less smoke and ash buildup, which makes it easier to breathe around the grill while cooking and makes your equipment easier to clean
- Quite versatile and can be used for veggies, lamb, pork, beef, poultry, and seafood
- Works with different types of grills from different brands
- Customers have complained about not knowing which types of wood go in to making the Gourmet Blend flavor
- Might not be able to give a strong, smoky flavor like you would get from a charcoal grill
Similar to the last two products on this list, this product from Oklahoma Joe’s comes in a 20-pound bag as well. The flavor comes in apple wood, which is blended with oak to give you a perfect combination of flavor. The apple gives you a fruity flavor and the oak adds a light, smoky flavor to the meat.
Though the wood is a blend of apple and oak, the materials used in the product are 100-percent natural hardwood. This ensures that the burning is clean and there is not a lot of ash when you’re done cooking. This makes the cooking process healthier and safer and the cleaning process quicker and easier.
Moreover, with the apple blend, you also have the choice to mix it with other flavors to build your own custom blend of smoky flavor that you want in your meat. This will help enhance the flavors of poultry, seafood, veggies, and much more.
However, if you do not like a fruity taste of smoke in your meat, the apple flavored wood pellets might not be the best fit for your needs. Another potential issue noted by verified customers is that these pellets might take some extra heat to burn. A customer complained that they had to buy a torch to light up the pellets. However, once they were lit, they performed well in their grill.
- Brand: Oklahoma Joe’s
- Flavor: Apple
- Capacity: 20 pounds
- Package dimensions: 21 x 12.5 x 4 inches
- Blend of apple and oak hardwood gives your food a fruity and lightly-smoked flavor
- Can be combined with other flavors to form your own personalized blend for cooking your meat
- Low ash production and clean burning ensures that the cooking and cleaning process is easy
- Fruity flavor might not be the best fit for everyone
- Some customers have reported needing to buy a torch to light up the pellets, indicating that some extra heat might be needed
While the other options on this list so far have been 20-pound bags, this product from Louisiana Grills comes in a 40-pound bag, which means that it will last you twice as long. If you’re a regular at barbecuing and grilling in your backyard on weekends, this might be a good fit for you.
When it comes to the price per pound, this is also the most inexpensive item on the list so far—which means that stocking up on wood pellets is easier and cheaper. While the product bag says Mesquite, the wood pellets are actually a blended ratio of 35/65 Mesquite and Maple.
This blend will bring out a strong, tangy, and spicy flavor in your food. If you’re someone who enjoys Tex-Mex cuisine, this will be an excellent fit for your grill. The raw material is all locally sourced and produced in North America.
The wood pellets are made out of 100-percent natural products. This means that no artificial flavors, spray scents, glues, or chemicals are used in their production. As a result, these wood pellets make cooking and cleaning easier.
However, based on the reviews of verified customers, some sawdust and ash production should be expected out of this product. One customer has also complained that they sometimes noticed some inconsistency in the burning of these pellets.
- Brand: Louisiana Grills
- Flavor: Mesquite and Maple
- Capacity: 40 pounds
- Package dimensions: 20 x 6 x 24 inches
- Blend of Mesquite and Maple for a richer flavor and bolder taste
- Spicy and tangy flavor profile that is excellent for Tex-Mex cuisine
- Large capacity of 40 pounds that will ensure that you do not have to stock up again as soon
- Some ash production and sawdust is to be expected
- Some inconsistency reported by verified customers while using these pellets, making them a better fit for cooking than smoking
A lot of people do not want the taste of different woods like apple or mesquite in their food, but rather expect to go back to the roots and get a classic wood blend that gives their food a more traditional smoky flavor. For such people, this product from Pit Boss comes in a classic wood flavor.
The classic wood flavor is made with a blend of pecan, hickory, and mesquite, giving you a balanced smoky taste.
The raw materials and the production of these pellets are sourced in North America and are 100-percent natural. No sprays, scents, glues, chemicals, or flavors have been added to the pellets, making the smoke clean and the food tastier. It also ensures that no toxins are produced while smoking your meat.
Because of the natural wood used in the pellets, there are wood fibers present in the pellets that hold them together. This ensures that the amount of ash produced is low, making cooking safer and cleaning easier.
The classic wood blend also makes this product quite versatile, making it perfect for grilling and smoking meats like beef, chicken, and pork—as well as vegetables. The production of these pellets involves drying hardwood into sawdust and then pressurizing it into compact pellets.
These pellets are then coated with the wood’s natural lignin, which are the organic polymers that form key structural materials in the support tissues of most plants. As a result, the pellets deliver better burning consistency and burning pattern. You also do not have to worry about maintaining the air to fuel ratio as you have to do with wood chips.
Some verified customers have claimed that they did not appreciate the low smoke flavor that they get from these pellets. However, these customers also claimed that they were more familiar with real wood chips that caused more smoke.
Another problem that customers have had with this particular product is that the pellets were larger than other brands, which might cause a problem while loading them into your grill.
- Brand: Louisiana Grills
- Flavor: Classic wood blend (Pecan, mesquite, and hickory)
- Capacity: 20 pounds
- Package dimensions: 16.8 x 2.75 x 18 inches
- Classic-wood flavor for people who prefer a conventional touch without any added flavors
- Blend of pecan, mesquite, and hickory makes for a robust, full flavor
- Wood fibers present in the pellets hold them together and ensure that burning is even and cooking is uniform
- Some customers claim that the smoky flavor is not as pronounced as compared to using wood chips
- The size and length of the pellets might be larger than other brands, which might pose a problem if your grill input is smaller
The Bottom Line
Wood pellets are an excellent way to ensure that your food gets a proper smoky taste without having to resort to the inconvenience of wood chips or other forms of grilling. The ash produced is very low and these wood pellets do not cause acrid fumes. Cleaning will be easier.
Even though pellet grills are not as clean as electric or gas grills that do not release any smoke, the taste you can obtain from these wood pellets is unparalleled. For this reason, a lot of people prefer to use wood pellets even when there are more convenient options available.
In this review, we have outlined the best wood pellets you can buy for your grills this year. If you want to learn more about gas grills, you can check out this article about the Seven Best Rated Gas Grills as well. Are there any wood pellets that you have used and would recommend? Please leave a comment. For similar informational articles, buying guides, and reviews, please visit our website.