Using aromatic wood smoke is definitely one of the best ways to infuse your dishes with extra flavor. Smoking meat (or fish, or seafood, or veggies) creates complex flavors that can hardly be achieved with anything else. If you have heard about wood pellets, but aren’t sure whether you should try them, this guide is here to solve this question. 

Before we start, we’ll give you the short answer: Yes, wood pellets are definitely worth looking into for use in a smoker. Even though they look kind of processed, quality wood pellets actually contain only 100% hardwood. At the same time, they burn much longer and much more consistently than wood chips, for example. 


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In today’s guide, you’ll find a list of 8 best wood pellets for smoking available on the market. If you are not sure what kind of pellets to choose, refer to our buying guide in the second part of the article. 

Our pick: Smokehouse Products BBQ Pellets

Runner up: BBQrs Delight Wood Smoking Pellets – Super Smoker Variety Value Pack

In a hurry? This is our winner!

Runner Up

Best Wood Pellets For Smoking – Comparison Table

Best Wood Pellets For Smoking – Reviews

Our Pick

 

Smokehouse Products 9775-020-0000 5-Pound Bag All Natural Mesquite Flavored Wood Pellets, Bulk
Our rating:

The Smokehouse Products company was created in 1968. Back then, they introduced their Little Chief smoker, and created a line of wood pellets to accompany this cute little smoker. Both the smoker and the pellets instantly became a hit in the sports fishing scene. There is really no better way to prepare some freshly caught fish than using one of the pellets made by Smokehouse Products. 

These pellets come in a variety of flavors, so you can choose which one you want or create a custom blend. The flavors they offer are alder, apple, cherry, hickory, and mesquite. Thanks to this variety, the Smokehouse Products pellets can be used for smoking any kind of food, not just fish. 

Another great thing about these pellets is that they are 100% natural. The pellets are made from real hardwood, and no suspicious substances are used. For example, some manufacturers add artificial binders of wax to their pellets to make them burn more consistently, but not at Smokehouse Products. 

One thing to keep in mind when buying Smokehouse pellets is that they come in 5-pound bags. These bags are quite affordable, but keep in mind that 5 pounds of pellets won’t last too long, especially if you are using a large smoker. 

Smokehouse Products 9775-020-0000 5-Pound Bag All Natural Mesquite Flavored Wood Pellets, Bulk
  • We have been making everything Smokehouse since 1968 when we introduced the first Electric Smoker with the Little Chief
  • Smokehouse Products is committed to supplying our customers with the very best smokers and accessories on the market today and will continue to look for ways to enhance your experience making your favorites recipes in the comfort of your own home.

Last update on 2020-08-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Made from natural hardwood
  • 5 flavors to choose from
  • No additives
  • Consistent smoke
Cons
  • The 5-pound bag is quite small
 

BBQrs Delight Wood Smoking Pellets - Super Smoker Variety Value Pack - 1 Lb. Bag - Apple, Hickory,...
Our rating:

The wood pellets from BBQrs Delight are made specifically for smoking meat. They are designed to produce maximum flavor, and they work with every type of smoker, including electric, propane, and charcoal smokers. 

BBQrs Delight offers many flavors of smoking pellets, and each one is good for specific dishes. Luckily, you don’t have to choose just one. If it’s your first time buying pellets from BBQrs Delight, we suggest you get this variety pack. It includes 6 bags of hardwood pellets in different flavors, so you can try out each one (and even make your custom blend, if you want to). 

This pack includes a 1-pound bag of each type of wood pellets the company offers. This includes Apple, Mesquite, Cherry, Hickory, Pecan, and a special Jack Daniel’s blend. The Jack Daniel’s pallets are made with charcoal that was used for mellowing whiskey in the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Definitely a unique flavor, and perfect for mixing with other types of wood pellets to give your own signature to the smoked dishes you make.

BBQrs Delight Wood Smoking Pellets - Super Smoker Variety Value Pack - 1 Lb. Bag - Apple, Hickory,...
  • Includes 1 pound bag of each flavor Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan and Jack Daniel's
  • 10 uses per bag (only 1/3 cup per use is needed) - No soaking necessary-- Easy to Use
  • Works with any type of outside grill: Gas, Charcoal, Electric or Smoker
  • Proudly Made in the USA
  • Important --these are not to be confused with pellet fuel. These are flavor pellets.

Last update on 2020-08-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Made from hardwood only
  • Suitable for all kinds of smokers
  • The variety pack lets you try out all the flavors with a single purchase
Cons
  • BBQrs Delight uses ⅓ flavored wood and ⅔ oak for their flavor blends
 

Louisiana Grills Wood Pellets, 40 lb, Georgia Pecan
Our rating:

The wood pellets from Louisiana Grills are some of the most underrated on the market. These pellets are not as popular as some other options, but, the truth is, these are some of the best quality pellets we have found and they come at a reasonable price too. 

Louisiana Grills makes pellets from a variety of hardwoods, all of which are sourced from North America. While you can choose pellets from a single type of wood, like Pecan from Georgia or Apple from New England, the Louisiana Grills Competition Blend definitely shows off the quality and flavor of these pellets the best. 

The Competition Blend contains wood pellets made of 50% Maple, 25% Hickory and 25% Cherry natural hardwood. The result is a mild, but flavorful mix that goes well with almost anything you want to smoke. If you want a bag of wood pellets you can turn to no matter what you are making in your smoker and get amazing results every time, this is definitely it. 

Louisiana Grills Wood Pellets, 40 lb, Georgia Pecan
  • No artificial flavors, spray scents, glues or chemicals
  • Burn hotter and cleaner
  • Pellets are easy to use, great tasting and all natural, forcing the natural juices in the wood to bind the pellets together
  • Our raw wood is sourced across North America to make a superior product

Last update on 2020-08-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • Made of hardwood sourced from North America
  • Versatile flavor
Cons
  • Comes only in 40-pound bags
 

CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix, 1 Pack
Our rating:

CookinPellets started out 16 years ago as a small family-owned company. The company was started with a mission to provide high-quality pellets made only from healthy chunks of wood. And it seems they have succeeded. Today, CookinPellets have many fans and their pellets are available all across the world. 

The Perfect Mix blend from CookinPellets definitely showcases the best of what they have to offer. This blend features a base of hickory mixed with cherry, apple, and hard maple. The result is a tasty and versatile blend with a hint of sweetness, but not as sweet as using only fruit wood like cherry or apple. If you prefer not to mix different types of wood, though, CookinPellets also offers 100% hickory hardwood pellets.

CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix, 1 Pack
  • Top 4 hardwoods only
  • 100% of what we say it is NO oak or alder filler
  • 100% hardwoods
  • Will not void any manufacturers warranty!

Last update on 2020-08-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Contains 100% hardwood
  • No additives
  • No foller wood like oak or alder
  • No bark
  • Burns consistently
Cons
  • Leaves a lot of ash compared to some other pellets
  • Only comes in large bags
 

Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Apple Wood (20 lb. Bag) Perfect for Pellet...
Our rating:

Bear Mountain is a company that has been around for almost 30 years. All this time, they have been producing high quality wood pellets made with hardwood only, without bark or any additives. The quality of the wood and of the pellets themselves show when you burn them and see how consistently every pellet burns. 

Bear Mountain is also a company that cares about sustainability and all of the wood they use is locally sourced. While Bear Mountain actually offers a variety of wood pellets (Including Mesquite, Maple, and Pecan, for example), we chose the Gourmet Blend because it’s the most versatile flavor possible. This blend is made with a hickory base combined with maple, cherry, and oak wood. The result is a flavor that goes well with literally any dish. 

Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Apple Wood (20 lb. Bag) Perfect for Pellet...
  • Bear Mountain BBQ Apple Wood | Subtle sweet, smoky flavor | Perfect go-to mixture for ham, fish, poultry or vegetable
  • Made from 100% All-Natural premium hardwood - no binders, fillers or additives
  • Infuse all-natural, robust flavor and tenderness into your next meal
  • Use with all outdoor pellet, gas, charcoal or electric grills and smokers
  • 20 lb Bag, Made in the United States

Last update on 2020-08-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Consistent size of pellets
  • This Gourmet Blend goes with anything
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • The packaging sometimes gets ripped during shipping
 

Lumber Jack BBQ 7 varieties BBQ Pellet Pack - 1 Pound Bags - 100 Percent (Apple, Cherry, Pecan,...
Our rating:

The Lumber Jack wood pellets are also a popular choice among smoking enthusiasts all over the world, but especially in the US. Lumber Jack makes a variety of wood pellet flavors and blends, and this variety pack is a great way to test them all out and find out what you like best. 

This variety pack contains 7 1-pound bags. Six of those are single-wood pellets: apple, cherry, pecan, hickory, mesquite, and maple. The seventh bag is a custom blend of maple hickory and cherry which we really loved. This blend really gives off an amazing smoke. This is because the guys at Lumber Jack actually blend the sawdust of different woods before they compress it into pellets. This way, each pellet burns consistently and evenly. 

Lumber Jack pellets are smaller than some other, but uniform in size. These pellets work best in electric smokers and tube smokers, but they can really be used in any type of smoker. 

Lumber Jack BBQ 7 varieties BBQ Pellet Pack - 1 Pound Bags - 100 Percent (Apple, Cherry, Pecan,...
  • This Lumber Jack BBQ Pellet variety pack is great when using a Smokin Wedgie, Electric Smoker, Tube Smoker or Tray Smoker
  • Includes 1 pound bag of each flavor Apple, Cherry, Pecan, Hickory, Maple-Hickory-Cherry, Mesquite and Maple
  • No soaking necessary-- Easy to Use
  • Made in USA

Last update on 2020-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


 

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • The variety pack is perfect for sampling different flavors
  • No filler wood or additives
  • Consistent shape and bruning
Cons
  • Contains wood bark
 

Best Wood Pellets For Smoking – Buyers Guide

What Are Wood Pellets? 

You’ve probably heard pellet grills, and those grills use pellets as fuel – the heat is generated from pellets, that is. While flavorful wood pellets can also be used in pellet grills, wood pellets made from aromatic woods have a much wider application in smoking meats. 

Smoking wood pellets can be used in all kinds of smokers. This includes electric smokers, propane smokers, and old-school smoking over charcoal. Pellets can be used both for cold smoking and hot smoking too. 

But what exactly are wood pellets? Pellets are small chunks of fuel made from wood that has been ground up and then compressed. The compression actually causes natural polymers in plant tissue to act like a glue, there is no need to use anything else but wood. High-quality wood pellets will be made from 100% natural hardwood, although some manufacturers add oils to enhance flavor. 

Wood Pellets vs Wood Chips 

When it comes to smoking meat in all kinds of smokers, the two main choices you have in terms of smoking fuel are wood chips and wood pellets. Both are made from processed hardwood. Of course, you could also use whole chunks of aromatic wood, but this is something that requires lots of skill and won’t really work with electric or propane smokers. 

The difference between wood chips and wood pellets is basically in the amount of processing. Wood chips are simply small chips of hardwood. Wood pellets are essentially sawdust that has been compressed. 

One of the main advantages of smoking wood pellets over wood chips is that they burn much more consistently. Before it is formed into pellets, the sawdust is dried out to ensure an even level of humidity. This, in addition to the highly compressed form of pellets, ensures an end product that burns low and slow. 

Even though wood chips are less processed than wood pellets, they can be extremely difficult to use, especially when smoking meat for a long time. They do provide flavorful smoke, but only for a short time as they burn out quickly. This means you’ll have to refill the wood chip box very often if you want a consistent smoke. With wood pellets, you will need to refill much less often. 

Wood Pellets Flavor Guide

When smoking meat or anything else, the level of smokiness and the flavor of your food will depend on the type of wood pellets you choose, so this is obviously a very important decision.

Different types of smoke go with different types of meat. For this reason, choosing the right type of smoke wood is a very important decision. You’ll want to achieve the distinct smoky flavor without going overboard and getting a taste that is too overpowering. 

If you are unsure which type of wood pellets you want, this guide should help you find the right flavor: 

Mesquite

Mesquite is one of the most popular woods for smoking, especially in the US. Mesquite wood pellets have a unique flavor unlike anything else. The flavor is also quite strong, so you should use it sparingly if it is your first attempt. Because it’s so strong, mesquite can easily overpower the taste of your food, but if used right it results in an amazing flavor enhancer. 

The only case where you can safely use mesquite alone is with robust chunks of red meat, like pork butts or briskets. However, small quantities of mesquite in combination with other wood pellets with a milder flavor can be used to complement almost any dish. If you are new to mesquite, we suggest you try it first combined with hickory or oak, as many people can the flavor to be too strong when they first try it. 

Hickory 

Hickory is probably the most versatile wood used in smoking. The flavor of hickory smoke compliments all kinds of meat. Not only this, but it is also used for smoking certain types of fish, like salmon. Hickory wood pellets create a flavorful smoke that is still quite heavy, so it’s strong enough to be used with larger cuts of meat. 

Hickory has quite a strong taste compared to apple or oak, but it’s definitely milder than mesquite. It gives a sweet, fruity, fragrant smoke. Most people like the taste, but some it can still be too strong. In this case, mix it with oak or some other milder wood. 

For an introduction to hickory wood pellets, we suggest you try smoking some chicken first. Season it with some olive oil, black pepper, paprika, and thyme and smoke to perfection using the CookinPellets 40H Hickory Smoking Pellets, for example. 

Alder

Alder is the most versatile wood, thanks to its mild flavor with a subtle touch of sweetness. This is the “vanilla” of wood pellets, it’s rather neutral and it doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the food.

This is the West Coast’s choice of wood pellet. If you’re eating salmon or scallops on the Pacific shore, good chances are they’re smoked on this type of wood. 

Alder wood is a perfect choice for delicate meat. It’s great for poultry and seafood, as it creates a nice amount of smoke, while giving the food a subtle aroma. On the other hand, this won’t be many people’s first choice for other types of meat, like beef, for example. It just doesn’t give enough flavor. 

Apple

Apple is one of the most popular choices of wood pellets. This is a classic BBQ type of wood and it goes with just about anything. It’s best suited for pork and poultry, but try it with vegetables and seafood – you won’t regret it. 

Apple provides the food with a mild fruity smoke. It’s strong enough to intensify the flavor of red meat, yet it’s gentle enough to not overwhelm the taste of tender meat like a chicken.

Fruitwood like apple can work great with cookie dough. Furthermore, if you want your mind to be blown, try out cooking an apple pie with applewood. It only gives the pie a hint of smoke, and it tastes like heaven!

Cherry

Fruitwoods are mild and sweet, but cherry also gives a bit of a bitter taste. This wood is a great choice for most types of meat. If you want to achieve that sweet smoke flavor, this is your go-to type of wood pellets. If you’re planning on making pork or beef ribs, do not miss out on the amazing flavor cherry can provide your meat with. 

Cherry wood pellets will give your meat that beautiful smoke ring and a dark color, which is something that every BBQ enthusiast will cherish. And we’re not talking just about red meat – your chicken will have that beautiful dark brown color that will make your mouth water just by looking at it.

Pecan

Pecan is the most popular choice of nutwood, and for a good reason. It gives a mild and nutty flavor that goes well with all kinds of meat, and it’s also a bit spicy. Pecan wood works great with meat that already has a strong flavor, like a steak, as it won’t get overpowered by the amount of smoke. Furthermore, it also works well with food with short cooking time, such as hamburgers, as they quickly take on a taste.

Nutty flavors also work great with baked food, so pecan is a good choice when making pizza or bread. Furthermore, you can smoke different types of nuts with pecan pellets, as it will further enhance them with a smoky flavor.

Maple

Maple is yet another type of wood that gives a mild sweet flavor. It’s great for a variety of food, from poultry and pork to vegetables. It’s a bit stronger than apple or cherry, but it’s mellow enough not to worry about the possibility of maple overpowering the food flavor. 

Avid maple fans will claim this is the best choice of wood pellets for poultry. It’s decently mild for tender meat, and you can rest assured it won’t overwhelm the taste of the meat. Maple gives a nice golden brown color and a bit of sweetness. It’s especially great for turkey. With this type of wood pellets, you will surely make an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner. 

Oak

This is one of the go-to wood pellets for smoking. It’s stronger than apple and cherry, and it can work with different types of meat. It creates a medium smoke, and its flavor can range from neutral to moderate intensity. Oak gives a beautiful mahogany color to your meat. It’s one of those woods that work well by themselves, but can also be combined with apple, pear or hickory to spice up the food flavor.

While it does work well with all kinds of meat, you do need to be a bit careful with poultry. Such delicate meat takes in smoke rather quickly, and oak taste might overwhelm the taste of the meat. Avoid that by combining it with other mild wood pellets.

Blends

Yes, there is a lot to choose from when it comes to smoking wood pellets, and there is no way to know what you like until you try it. On top of that, many manufacturers also offer their own unique blends of different woods. These blends are actually a really good choice for beginners, as they are usually created to be versatile and go well with all types of meat and even cheese or veggies. 

Final Thoughts 

If you are wondering whether to get wood chips or wood pellets, we think pellets are definitely worth trying out. They are really the fuel of the future. However, when it comes to choosing the type of wood to use for smoking, the decision becomes really personal. Some people love mesquite, but others can’t stand it. Fruit woods go well with poultry, but not so well with a rack of ribs, for example. It all depends on your preferences. 

However, it’s also important to choose quality pellets where you are sure you’re getting 100% hardwood. In this regard, we found that the Smokehouse Products BBQ Pellets rank best. Their pellets are just what it says on the package, and they have been providing consistent quality for years. 

If you are excited to try out all kinds of wood and can’t make up your mind on which flavor to get, we suggest you go with Super Smoker Variety Value Pack from BBQrs Delight. This way, you can try out different flavors and find out what you like, or even make a custom blend.