Best Wood Pellets for Smoking: 2018’s Top-Rated List for Your Convenience!

Wooden Pellets

It’s grill time. Actually, every hour of the day is grill time. There is nothing more enticing and inviting than a succulent piece of medium rare beef dripping with flavor, accompanied by fresh grilled vegetables (fat-free too, after all, there is enough juicy fat on the meat). Or, if you prefer, seafood, fowl, and pork go for it. There is a pellet flavor for every ingredient.

Top-Rated Wood Pellets for Smoking List:

PhotoProduct nameFeatureProsMore info
1. Camp Chef Competition Blend Pellets1. Camp Chef Competition Blend PelletsMade of 100% natural hardwood

  • a great blend of maple, hickory, and cherry

  • ultra-low moisture content

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2. CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix Smoking Pellets2. CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix Smoking PelletsMix of the most popular hardwoods used today

  • low-fine dust content

  • great for steak, turkey, and brisket

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3. Camp Chef Bag of Premium for Smoker3. Camp Chef Bag of Premium for Smoker100% all-natural premium hardwood

  • very well-balanced applewood flavor

  • extremely low in moisture

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4. Pit Boss BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, BBQ Blend4. Pit Boss BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, BBQ BlendMaple, Hickory & Cherry

  • perfect for a clean and comfortable cook

  • for smoking and grilling beef

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5. Traeger PEL319 Grills Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets5. Traeger PEL319 Grills Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood PelletsPure hardwood flavor

  • leading brand

  • highest signs of quality

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6. Pit Boss 55436 BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, Hickory6. Pit Boss 55436 BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, HickoryGreat tasting and all natural

  • a brand name

  • 100% natural

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7. Mr Bar B Q 05012X Apple Wood Chips7. Mr Bar B Q 05012X Apple Wood Chips160 Cubic inches of wood chips

  • a budget brand

  • these are apple wood chips

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8. Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets8. Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood PelletsEnsure perfect blue smoke

  • comprehensive and perfect flavor

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9. Pellets Competition Wood for Grills Stove9. Pellets Competition Wood for Grills StoveUS Stove SFEP20 Competition Wood Pellets

  • thick, savory-sweet smoke

  • pellets are versatile

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10. SMOKE HOLLOW BBQ Blend Wood Pellets - 20 lb. Bag10. SMOKE HOLLOW BBQ Blend Wood Pellets - 20 lb. BagMost out of the trees natural flavorings

  • trees natural flavorings

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In this guide, I will review the best pellets for smoking brisket, or the best pellets for smoking turkey, and include only the best smoker pellet brand on the market. My review covers a few flavors, and there are many more from these brands. You don’t need to buy one bag; you can buy smoker pellets bulk orders and negotiate a discount.

What are the Best Smoking Pellet Flavors?

Flavor is subjective, but there seems to be a common or popular flavor profile that most users go for, and these are mesquite, hickory, apple, and cherry. There are less popular woods like peach, pecan, and sugar maple which provide a focused flavor profile. Mixing flavors are also considered a good way to produce the best results, and there are blends, such as competition blend, which differ between brands.

Here is what each flavor profile is best suited for:

Beef: Hickory, Oak, Mesquite, Alder

Pork: Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Pecan

Poultry: Apple, Alder, Hickory, Pecan, Apple, Cherry

Seafood: Alder, Oak

Vegetables: Apple, Pecan, Alder, Maple

Now let’s get down to reviewing the top pellet brands on the market today.

Best Wood Pellets for Smoking Reviews:

1. Camp Chef Competition Blend Pellets

Camp Chef uses 100% premium hardwood as their pellet. This means you get 100% wood with no additives or byproducts. The flavors are clean, and the burn is efficient and consistent.

The Competition Blend is a mix of maple, hickory, and cherry woods. This means you can use it for just about any meal including meat, bread, and vegetables.

What you get with this brand is 100% all-natural pellets, a great blend of maple, hickory, and cherry. They have an ultra-low moisture content, so they burn efficiently from all bags.
 

 

2. CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix Smoking Pellets

The CookinPellet perfect mix is a blend of Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple & Apple. This is a great flavor profile for a short cook, and provide a smooth smoke flavor for long smokes.

These pellets are made from 100% Hardwoods and are moisture free with low-fine dust content and a high BT.

The perfect mix is a blend suited for many meal types, and if you set the heat high, the meat will cook extra fast. If you set the grill on smoking heat, these pellets will fill your meat with a perfect smoky flavor.

This blend is great for steak, turkey, and brisket. For long smokes with pork, these pellets will work a treat.

These are low ash pellets, so you don’t get all that residual ash to clean up. They do not contain any filler materials and works well with all grillers and smokers. The only thing to look out for is their burn speed; it can be too fast for the inexperienced.
 

 

3. Camp Chef Bag of Premium for Smoker

Camp Chef Premium comes in a number of flavors, and are all made from 100% natural wood.  The apple blend has a very well-balanced applewood flavor and is extremely low in moisture, with no fillers or added flavor profiles.

Camp Chef is a leader in the griller and pellet market and is used by every level of experienced cook, from the home cook to the Michelin, star chef.

The 20Lbs Apple blend is made of solid pieces of fine wood powder, and each pellet is sealed individually without any chemicals, waxes or additives.

These pellets provide a consistent smoke-free burn, provide a perfect flavor profile and have little or no moisture when stored properly. A 20Lbs bag is ideal for a month’s supply, and they add an amazing smoky flavor when used as a smoker.

On the downside, the bags are sometimes too big for the average griller that does not smoke regularly, and the bag does have dust residue from the pellets. However, the good side is that these are extremely budget-friendly in comparison to their competition.
 

 

4. Pit Boss BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, BBQ Blend

Pitt Boss is another leading brand name and produces some of the finest pellets you will find on the market.

These are 100% hardwood, dustless pellets that produce little or no ash, which is perfect for a clean and comfortable cook.

The BBQ blend is a mixture of flavors that work together in harmony and are perfect for smoking and grilling beef, chicken or fish meat infusing it with a delicious aroma.

These pellets do not contain any artificial flavors or additives and are free of glues and chemicals too.
 

 

5. Traeger PEL319 Grills Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets

Traeger is a leading brand, and perhaps one of the highest signs of quality on the market. Their pellets are all 100% hardwood made with no additives, glues, artificial flavors and waxes.

The wood is all American grown, and the Hickory flavor of these pellets is immediately felt in both aroma and flavor.

Perhaps one of the best Hickory pellets on the market and well worth trying out once, after which you will not want to use another brand but Traeger.
 

 

6. Pit Boss 55436 BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, Hickory

This is the Pitt Boss Hickory blend, and as usual, they are a brand name that produces some of the finest pellets around.

The hickory blend is 100% hardwood, dustless pellets that produce little or no ash. They produce a strong smoky flavor and are 100% natural with no additives or artificial flavors.

The hickory wood used in their fabrication process is processed under high pressure, using the woods natural juices as the binding mechanism and natural flavor and aroma source.

This blend is perfect for beef, pork, poultry, and vegetables.
 

 

7. Mr Bar B Q 05012X Apple Wood Chips

Mr Bar B Q is a budget brand aimed at delivering a flavor-filled wood chip for the everyday griller. These come in an 8Lb bag, making them more versatile in size for the average user, these are apple wood chips and not pellets. Remember that you need to soak them in a flammable solution, or provide a hot smoke box for these chips to smolder and smoke.
 

 

8. Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets

The Traeger Signature blend contains hickory, maple, and cherry hardwood all mixed together to provide a comprehensive and perfect flavor profile that works amazingly well with classic BBQ meats, fish, and vegetables.

As with all Traeger pellets, these are made from all-natural hardwood, that is additive free with no artificial flavoring.
 

 

9. Pellets Competition Wood for Grills Stove

Competition Cooking Pellets are a specific blend of all-natural hardwoods including Northwest Alder compliments, Washington Apple, and Cherry. Combined, these woods produce a thick, savory-sweet smoke that will infuse any meat with pounds of scrumptious flavors.

These pellets are versatile, and you set their burn time per grill setting, this will produce a controlled and perfect amount of smoke for maximum results. You can also mix this blend with other flavors, or enhance a flavor such as Cherry with more cherry wood pellets.
 

 

10. SMOKE HOLLOW BBQ Blend Wood Pellets – 20 lb. Bag

Smoke Hollow makes a near to perfect blend of Maple, Hickory, and Cherry virgin hardwoods to produce their signature BBQ profile.

Smoke Hollow infuses both hardwood and bark to maximize the flavor profile and get the most out of the trees natural flavorings.

These pellets are perfect for delivering a clear, smooth scent and flavor infusing it into all meats, fishes and seafood options.
 

 

What is the difference between a Pellets, Chips, and Sawdust?

When it comes to smoking food, there is an age-old argument about what is the best source of the smoke to infuse the ingredients with aroma and flavor. Well, there is no “best” alternative, the success of the smoke-infused aroma and flavor is based on the quality of the smoke source together with the process by which you smoke.

Here is a guide to the different smoke sources, and what is the best way to get the most out of each source product.

Pellets

Wood pellets are fabricated from finely ground hardwood. The hardwood has been ground into particles and then goes through a high-pressure forming process that compresses the particles together, using the woods natural juices to act as a natural binding element.

100% wood pellets will provide a better result than infused pellets, and these all hardwood (high grade) pellets burn slower than sawdust and wood chips. This makes pellets a perfect source for “cold” smoking. You can control the temperature with pellets, and you get less or no ash with some higher-grade brands.

Always check to see your pellets are not infused with foreign elements such as artificial flavors, waxes, and other chemicals. These will taint the flavor and destroy the food and can be carcinogenic.

Pellets are used in smoke generators, smoke boxes, and all smoker grill types.

Woodchips

These are chunks of natural wood that have been chipped by shredding the wood and in some instances the bark as well. Since each wood burns at a different temperature and smokes different, wood chips are suitable for single flavor cooks, rather than a combined flavor profile cook as found with pellets.

Having stated this, there are combination profiles with chops as well. The main difference with chips is that they need to be soaked in water for about 30 minutes before their use. This “wet” chip will then produce the smoke required to infuse the products with aroma and flavor.

Make sure that the chips do not get in contact with direct flame or heat, let them smolder, otherwise, the burnt wood smoke will infuse the product with a bitter flavor.

Chips can be used with smoke generators, all grill types, and smoke boxes.

Sawdust

Sawdust is a low budget item for smoking purposes. This material burns faster than wood pellets but surprisingly burns slower than wood chips. Sawdust is a great fuel source for hot and cold smoking processes, but need to be replenished frequently.

Sawdust is usually used when smoking sausages, fish, and some meat cuts.

Sawdust has to be dry, it will not smoke when wet, and can be used in portable smokers, smoke boxes and only electric or gas smokers.

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