Best BBQ Wood Pellets For Grills/Smokers 2021


Hi, I’m Chris I started PelHeat.com back in 2007.

The growth in the range of pellet grills/smokers now available is pretty amazing, as I discuss in my A to Z list of pellet grill brands, with now over 30 options to choose from. Well, many of those brands also offer their own brand of pellets too. As there is such a huge range of BBQ wood pellets available, working out which flavour/wood species you should use and which pellet brand is offering the best deal can be very confusing. Therefore, I’ve produced a comprehensive article on all the pellet brands/flavours you need to be aware of and their price/availability, including the new kid, charcoal pellets.

Best Grill/Smoker BBQ Pellets
Below you will find details on over twenty brands of BBQ pellets for grills/smokers

Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I’d encourage you to browse my full A to Z List of BBQ Pellet Brands, but if you’re in a rush, please use the Table of Contents below to jump to a particular make to learn more about a particular brand of pellets. Alternatively, check out my opinion on the current best BBQ wood pellets deals.

My Best BBQ Wood Pellet Recommendations

A to Z List of BBQ Pellet Brands

Below is a list of all the current biggest players in the BBQ pellet game. I provide details on whether they are 100% single wood species or blended hardwood pellets, along with bag sizes, typical prices and where they are available. Enjoy 🙂

A-MAZE-N Smoking Pellets

A supplier of pellet smoking tubes/baskets for gas grills A-MAZE-N also offer their own range of smoking pellets in 2lb boxes and 5lb bags. Hence, A-MAZE-N does not currently offer 20lb bags for dedicated pellet grills/smokers.

A-MAZE-N Pellets
A-MAZE-N smoking pellets are available in 2lb boxes or 5lb bags: Images – Amazon.com

A-MAZE-N pellets are stated to be made in the USA and they offer 100% single hardwood species products such as Oak, Mesquite, Maple and Cherry. They also provide mixtures such as Oak with Italian or Chilli Pepper spices.

  • Pellet Flavours: 100% Oak, Mesquite, Maple, Cherry and Oak/Spice blends
  • Bag Size: 2lb boxes or 5lb bags
  • Typical Price: $8 per box to $15 per bag
  • Availability: Amazon.com, Walmart.com & HomeDepot.com

ASMOKE Wood Pellets

You may not be aware of ASMOKE as they are a relatively new brand of budget pellet grills/smokers, I believe their AS300 to be one of the best tabletop pellet grills available. Well, ASMOKE is also offering their own brand of pellets. Currently, they are just providing 100% Appelwood pellets from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) orchard trees. Applewood makes good all-around hardwood grill/smoker pellets suitable for cooking a wide range of meat, fish and vegetables.

ASMOKE Pellets
ASMOKE 100% Applewood pellets: Images – Amazon.com

Bear Mountain BBQ Pellets

Based in Colorado, Bear Mountain BBQ have been producing a range of hardwood pellets for grills/smokers since 1990. Unlike some other brands, Bear Mountain BBQ confirm that the source of their hardwood raw materials is sustainably and locally sourced from within the United States. Bear Mountain BBQ produce a wide range of hardwood blends and flavours. However, it should be noted only their Oak and Alder pellets are 100% single-species products.

Bear Mountain BBQ Pellets
Bear Mountain BBQ produce a range of blended hardwood pellet flavours: Images – Amazon.com

Bear Mountain BBQ also produce a range of blended flavour options such as their Bourbon blend for a mellow smoke flavour and their Gourmet blend for smokey/sweet flavour. They also have three other blends branded as Bold, Sweet and Savoury containing different hardwood species blends.

BBQ’rs Delight Pellets

The first BBQ pellets I ever purchased was a selection of 1lb bags of BBQ’rs Delight pellets and their cast-iron smoker pot to use on my gas grill. Now, with their 1lb flavour bags for use in smoker pots/tubes on gas grills, the flavours are 100% single wood species. However, in their 20lb bags for pellet grills/smokers, their flavours are blends with Oak providing the base hardwood.

BBQ'rs Delight Pellets
BBQ’rs Delight pellets are available in 1lb flavour bags (for smoke tubes on gas grills), 10lb bags and large 20lb plastic bags: Images – Walmart.com

Along with the common flavours of Oak, Pecan, Apple, Cherry and Mesquite BBQ’rs Delight offer some more niche blends. These include Jack Daniels pellets made from the mellowing charcoal from Jack Daniel’s distillery. They also offer Orange, Peach, Sugar Mapel and Sassafras. Their blend is a mixture of 80% Oak to 20% of the specific hardwood species flavour.

  • Pellet Flavours: Hickory, Apple, Mesquite, Cherry, Maple, Pecan, Alder, Oak and various blends
  • Bag Size: 1, 10 and 20lbs
  • Typical Price: $9 to $30 per bag
  • Availability: Amazon.com & Walmart.com

Broil King Pellets

A manufacturer of gas grills which now also produces their range of Broil King pellet grills, one of the few to currently offer a pellet grill with a rotisserie. Broil King also offer their own range of grilling pellets, most of their pellets are a blend, however, they do also offer 100% Hickory pellets.

Broil King Pellets
Broil King smoking pellets are mainly hardwood blended pellets: Images – HomeDepot.com

The Broil King Apple Blend is a mixture of Applewood and Oak, the same is true for their Mesquite Blend. Their two other offerings are Griller’s Select Blend which is a mixture of Oak, Maple and Cherry and Smoke Master’s Blend which is a mixture of Maple, Hickory and Cherry.

  • Pellet Flavours: Apple Blend, Mesquite Blend, 100% Hickory and Griller’s Select and Smoke Master’s Blend
  • Bag Size: 20lbs
  • Typical Price: $18 to $20
  • Availability: Amazon.com, Walmart.com & HomeDepot.com

Camp Chef Premium Hardwood Pellets

Camp Chef are well known in the pellet grill world for their SmokePro and Woodwind products, therefore they naturally also sell their own line of pellets. Their premium hardwood pellets are produced in the USA from a selection of hardwood species includes Mesquite, Alder, Hickory, Appel, Cherry and Oak. Camp Chef pellets are a ‘proprietary blend‘, therefore all flavours will have a base of Oak or maybe Alder.

Camp Chef Premium Pellets
Camp Chef Premium Pellets are hardwood blends with the new addition of Charwood (charcoal/hardwood) blends: Images – CampChef.com

Camp Chef pellets are also available as a Competiton blend which will be a mixture of several hardwood species. Their latest offerings of Cherry Charwood and Hickory Charwood are a mixture of hardwood and charcoal. While not a 100% charcoal offering, they will offer a stronger smokey flavour over standard hardwood pellets with likely a slight bump up in temperature output too.

CookingPellets.com

Since 2006, CookingPellets.com has been producing 100% single hardwood species pellets from American raw materials. As they like to state on their packaging ‘No Fillers! No Oak or Alder’. As such, you should expect to pay a premium for these pellets over hardwood blended pellets.

CookingPellets.com Pellets
CookingPellets.com don’t use Oak or Alder for any of their pellets: Images – HomeDepot.com

Alongside their 100% Hickory or Black Cherry pellets, they offer two blends, Perfect Mix and Longhorn Blend. Perfect Mix contains Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple & Apple pellets whereas the Longhorn Blend is Mesquite, Cherry and Hard Maple. Note, neither of the CookingPellets blends contains any Oak or Alder. Their AppleMash pellets are rather unique, produced from a mix of apple fruit mash mixed with Hard Maple. Though they recommend the AppleMash pellets are only used for smoking (180 to 350 degrees) and not high-temperature grilling.

Cuisinart BBQ Smoking Pellets

Already a well-known provider of kitchen appliances, Cuisinart are also now a player in the pellet grill game with their Woodcreek and TwinOaks pellets grills. They also offer their own range of BBQ pellets focusing on flavours made from recycled liquor barrels. The Cuisinart pellet flavours currently include Mapel Bourbon, California Red Wine, Cherry Rum and a mixture of all three called Master Blend.

Cuisinart BBQ Smoking Pellets
Cuisinart BBQ Smoking Pellets are Oak and reclaimed liquor barrel mixtures: Images – Walmart.com

The Cuisinart literature states ‘These pellets are made from reclaimed liquor barrels and natural wood’. Therefore, the pellets are a mixture of reclaimed Oak liquor barrels with additional hardwood (likely Oak) added. Cuisinart does not currently provide details on the reclaimed liquor barrel to virgin oak blend mixture percentages.

  • Pellet Flavours: Mapel Bourbon, California Red Wine, Cherry Rum and Master Blend
  • Bag Size: 20lbs
  • Typical Price: $15 to $25 per bag
  • Availability: Amazon.com & Walmart.com

Green Mountain Grills (GMG) Pellets

For the most part, GMG pellet/grills smokers are only available through smaller local retailers. However, GMG pellets are available from most of the big box stores. None of the GMG pellet range offers a 100% single wood species, they are all blended hardwood pellets. For instance, the GMG Apple blend is a mixture of Applewood, Hickory and Oak.

GMG Pellets
GMG pellets are a variety of hardwood blends: Images – HomeDepot.com

However, the GMG Fruitwood blend does not contain any Oak, its purely a blend of Cherry, Beech and Pecan. The other two blends are Gold which is a mixture of Oak, Hickory and Maple along with their Texas blend which is a mixture of Black Oak, Hickory and a small amount of Texas Mesquite. While GMG pellets may seem expensive per bag for blended pellets, note the larger than average bag size of 28lbs.

Grilla Grills Wood Pellets

Based in Texas, Grilla Grills have a selection of mid-range pellet grills ranging from their portable Chimp up to their rather unique Grilla. To go along with their pellet grills Grilla Grills offer a range of hardwood blended pellet flavours including Hickory, Apple, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan and their Competition blend.

Grilla Grills Wood Pellets
Grilla Grills offer their own range of blended hardwood pellet flavours: Image – GrillaGrills.com
  • Pellet Flavours: Hickory, Apple, Mequite, Cherry, Pecan & Competition blend
  • Bag Size: 20lbs
  • Typical Price: $20 per bag
  • Availability: GrillaGrills.com

Kingsford Grill Pellets

A long time producer of charcoal BBQ fuel since 1920, Kingsford is now offering their own range of BBQ wood pellets. Kingsford is offering a range of 100% single wood species pellets and hardwood blended pellets.

Kingsford Grill Pellets
Kingsford is currently offering some of the best value BBQ pellets: Images – Walmart.com

Their 100% single wood species pellets include Hickory, Cherrywood and Maple. The Kingsford blends include Classic which is a mixture of Hickory, Oak and Cherrywood and Signature which is a mixture of Oak, Cherry and Mesquite. Due to the scale of Kingsford, the price per lb of their pellets is currently one of the lowest on the market.

  • Pellet Flavours: 100% Hickory, 100% Cherrywood, 100% Maple along with Classic/Signature Blends
  • Bag Size: 20lbs
  • Typical Price: $15 to $20 per bag
  • Availability: Walmart.com, HomeDepot.com & Lowes.com

Knotty Wood Barbeque Pellets

A relative newcomer to the market as they were founded in 2019, Knotty Wood is offering two unique pellet flavours in Almond and Plum that I’ve not previously seen from any other brand. Their pellets are 100% single wood species in each bag.

Knotty Wood Pellets
Knotty Wood currently just produce 100% Almond and 100% Plum pellets: Images – HomeDepot.com

Based in California, the founders behind Knotty Wood have Almond orchards right on their doorstep. Through developing their own pellet plant they worked on developing the first Almond pellets to hit the market. Both Almond and Plum pellets will produce a sweet smoke profile.

Louisiana Grills Premium Blend Pellets

A subsidiary brand of Danson LLC who also own Pit Boss, Lousiana Grills pellet grills/smokers are a mid-range option, and they also have their own line of BBQ pellets. All current Louisiana Grills pellet flavours are hardwood blends.

Louisiana Grills Pellets
Louisiana Grills offer a variety of hardwood blended pellets, including a charcoal blend: Images – Louisiana-Grills.com

Louisiana Grills pellets are some of the most widely available, though they are oddly not sold at Walmart. Their New England Applewood pellets are a 40% Applewood to 60% Maple blend and its a similar mixture for their Pennsylvania Cherry pellets. While their pellets may seem a high price for blended pellets, note they are large 40lb bags.

Lumber Jack BBQ Pellets

A producer of a wide range of BBQ pellets of both blends and 100% single wood species pellets. While Lumber Jack debarks the Oak that goes into their blends they leave the bark on their other wood species to provide a stronger smoke flavour profile.

Lumber Jack BBQ Wood Pellets
Lumber Jack offer both 100% single wood species and blended hardwood pellets: Images – Walmart.com

What Lumber Jack do provide which many other pellet blend brands don’t offer is the breakdown of wood species in their blends. For instance, their Apple Blend is 60% Red Oak to 40% Applewood whereas their Fruitwood Blend is 80% Cherry to 20% Applewood. As well as large 20 and 40lb bags for dedicated pellet grills/smokers Lumber Jack also offer smaller 1 and 10lb bags for smoking on a gas grill.

  • Pellet Flavours: 100% Oak, 100% Cherry, 100% Hickory, Char Hickory, Apple, Fruitwood, Mesquite and Pecan Blends
  • Bag Size: 1, 10, 20 and 40lbs
  • Typical Price: $20 to $48 per bag
  • Availability: Amazon.com & Walmart.com

Memphis Grill Wood Pellets

A brand of luxury stainless steel pellet grills, Memphis Grills have been one of the leading brands when it comes to outdoor kitchen pellet grills for many years. Their flavours include Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Pecan, Mesquite and Oak.

Memphis Grills Barbecue Pellets
It would appear Memphis Grills pellets are a hardwood blend: Images – BBQGuys.com
  • Pellet Flavours: Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Pecan, Mesquite & Oak
  • Bag Size: 20 lbs
  • Typical Price: $20 to $48 per bag
  • Availability: Amazon.com & BBQGuys.com

Pit Boss Hardwood Pellets

A subsidiary brand of Danson LLC who also own Louisiana Grills, the Pit Boss Pro Series and Platinum Series are very popular ranges of budget to mid-range pellet grills/smokers. Pit Boss also sell their own range of pellets. All Pit Boss pellets are currently hardwood blended pellets.

Pit Boss Pellets
Pit Boss pellets are some of the cheapest/best value on the market currently: Images – Walmart.com

One of the best value blended hardwood pellets, as you can often find Walmart selling a 20lb bag for under $10. Pit Boss does not currently state their wood species blend percentages, for the price I would predict a 20% fruitwood to 80% Oak mix. They will not produce the most intense smoke flavour, but they are a good budget option.

RECTEQ Pellets

RECTEQ (formally REC TEC) produce a range of premium pellet grills/smokers (see here), they also offer their own hardwood blend of pellets called Ultimate Blend which is a mixture of Red Oak, White Oak and Hickory.

RECTEQ Pellets
Ultimate Blend are currently the only RECTEQ pellets available: Image – Amazon.com
  • Pellet Flavours: Ultimate Blend (Red Oak, White Oak and Hickory)
  • Bag Size: 40lbs
  • Typical Price: $33 to $35 bag
  • Availability: Amazon.com & HomeDepot.com

Royal Oak Charcoal Pellets

Founded in 1953 Royal Oak is the largest producer in the US of natural lump charcoal. Therefore, it makes sense that Royal Oak has been the first to produce 100% charcoal pellets. These 100% charcoal pellets have special attributes that set them apart from standard hardwood BBQ pellets.

Royal Oak 100% Charcoal Pellets
These 100% Royal Oak Charcoal Pellets are special, and currently quite hard to get hold of: Image – HomeDepot.com

Not only will these 100% charcoal pellets produce more smoke flavour, they will produce more heat for grilling/searing and they are also water-resistant! The higher heat output of these 100% charcoal pellets may also be well suited to cooking pizza with pellets where you want the pizza stone to be getting up to very high temperatures for a nice crust. 100% charcoal pellets in any pellet grill will provide more functionality and eliminate the chance of an auger block due to swelling pellets. Check out my article on charcoal pellets to learn more.

  • Pellet Flavours: 100% Oak Charcoal
  • Bag Size: 20lbs
  • Typical Price: $19
  • Availability: HomeDepot.com (more options coming soon)

Traeger Hardwood Pellets

While a small amount of Soybean oil is used in their process, Traeger pellets are not flavoured with oil as a 2020 dismissed lawsuit alleged (see here). However, as I discuss in my linked article on how Traeger wood pellets are made, Traeger does state in their promotional video that their fruitwood is mixed with Alder or Oak, therefore Traeger pellets are blended hardwood pellets.

Traeger Hardwood Blended Pellets
Traegers hardwood blended pellets are widely available, but they’re not the best value: Images – Traeger.com

The Traeger range of blended hardwood pellets currently includes Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan and their Signature blend which is a mixture of Hickory, Cherry and Maple. Traeger pellets are widely available but can be a pricey option since they are 20lb hardwood blended pellets.

Weber SmokeFire Pellets

While being the biggest name in BBQ, Weber had a bit of a bumpy start with the introduction of their SmokeFire pellet grills. However, as I discuss in my SmokeFire Gen 1 vs Gen 2 article I think they now have an excellent pellet grill, its just the pellet smoking side of things they need to work on. Well, Weber also sells their own range of hardwood blended pellets.

Weber SmokeFire Pellets
Weber offers a few different blends of hardwood pellets: Images – BBQGuys.com

Weber does provide the mix details on their pellets. For instance, their Hickory pellets are 40% Hickory and 60% Oak and their Apple pellets are 40% Apple and 60% Maple. Weber pellets are not currently as widely available as other major brands such as Traeger & Pit Boss, and they are priced between those brands.

  • Pellet Flavours: Hickory, Mequite, Apple, Cherry & Grill Master blend
  • Bag Size: 20lbs
  • Typical Price: $17 to $25 per bag
  • Availability: HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com & BBQGuys.com

Z Grills BBQ Pellets

A brand of budget pellet grills/smokers, Z Grills also offer their own range of BBQ pellets. Are Z Grills blended hardwood pellets? Well, their Oak pellets state ‘100% Oak’, however, their other pellet flavours do not state that they are made from a 100% single wood species.

Z Grills BBQ Pellets
For a budget brand, Z Grills pellets are actually pretty expensive: Images – ZGrills.com

Therefore outside of the Z Grills Oak pellets, it would indeed appear their other pellet flavours are comprised of a hardwood blend. If that is the case at $24 to $30 for 20lb bags Z Grills pellets work out at a pretty expensive option, which is rather odd for a budget pellet grill/smoker brand.

  • Pellet Flavours: Oak, Hickory, Apple, Cherry, Fruitwood & Competition blend
  • Bag Size: 20lbs
  • Typical Price: $21 to $30 per bag
  • Availability: ZGrills.com, Amazon.com & HomeDepot.com

Which Pellet Flavour Is Best For Which Food?

Now, below is just a general guide on pellet flavours for which food suggestions. Everyone has different tastes, and only with trial and error are you going to find out what is really going to work best for you. However, the information below will give you a good starting point on pellet flavour/food combination ideas.

  • Alder – Great for cooking poultry and salmon
  • Apple – Works well with pork, seafood and lamb
  • Cherry – A good allrounder
  • Charcoal – For a stronger smokey flavour
  • Hickory – Works well with pork and BBQ ribs
  • Maple – Nice for cooking vegetables and cheese
  • Mesquite – Particularly suited to red meats
  • Oak – The ‘foundation’ of BBQ wood pellets
  • Pecan – Best suited for cooking poultry
  • Walnut – Especially nice for game and red meats
  • Whiskey/Liquor Blends – Red meat and fish

My Tips For Getting The Best Deal On BBQ Pellets

So I thought I would provide some final tips/tricks to getting the best deal on BBQ pellets and how to understand what you are actually purchasing.

  1. Blended vs 100% Single Species Pellets – You should have noticed above I discuss which brands are hardwood blended flavours and which are offering 100% single wood species pellets. Now, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with hardwood blended flavours. Its just for example if you are looking for the strongest flavour possible from a particular wood specieis, you will get that from 100% single species pellets. However, blended pellets are generally the cheaper option if you’re on a budget.
  2. Check the Bag Size vs Price – While many brands sell BBQ pellets in 20lb bags, some are sold as 28lbs, some as 30lbs and some even as large as 40lbs. Hence, when comparing prices make sure you divide the price of the bag by its weight so you can compare price per lb of pellets. Also, buying several bags at a time when delivered can often get you a much better deal on price per lb of pellets.
  3. Protect Your Pellets – There is no point searching for the best BBQ pellet deal only to let your pellets get damaged and wasted, this means a couple of things. First, handle bags with care to avoid creating dust within the bag, and I personally sieve my pellets before placing them in the hopper. You also need to protect your pellets from moisture. That means not only properly resealing an opened bag of pellets if pellets remain in the bag but not leaving pellets in the hopper for an extended period of time, as eventually humidty will get to those pellets.
How To Test Wood Pellet Quality
The ‘Snap Test’ is a good quick means to determine the quality of BBQ wood pellets

BBQ Wood Pellets General FAQ

Can any brand/type of BBQ pellets be used in any pellet grill?

Yes, you don’t have to use Traeger pellets in a Traeger pellet grill for example. However, its always important to check whatever pellets you use have minimal dust/fines (I sieve my pellets) and that the pellets are hard and snap cleanly (this means they haven’t absorbed water).

Can you reuse/finish off a previously opened bag of BBQ pellets?

If the bag was properly sealed and protected from moisture/humidity after been opened the pellets are probably fine. To test though, break some pellets, a clean snap means the pellets still have a good density and have not taken on moisture/humidity. If the pellets still have a good surface shine with minimal cracking, that also indicates the pellets are still of good quality.

Are grill/smoking pellets the same as heating pellets for stoves/boilers?

No, heating pellets for stoves/boilers are predominantly made from softwood residues which produce poor quality smoke. BBQ pellets produced for grilling and smoking are only made from specially selected hardwood residues. Hence, don’t be tempted to burn stove pellets in your grill/smoker, you’ll regret it.

What is the pellet usage/consumption rate of a pellet grill/smoker?

Typically when smoking (say around 250 degrees) pellet usage will be around 1-2lbs per hour. When grilling pellet usage will typically go up to about 3lbs per hour maybe more. Lots of factors impact pellet usage, weather conditions (colder weather you’ll use more), is the pellet grill/smoker insulated? How large is the cooking chamber? etc

Are BBQ wood pellets made in the USA?

Yes, pretty much all of the BBQ pellets you find at Walmart, HomeDepot and Lowes etc are produced in the USA. This includes major brands such as Traeger, Pit Boss etc.

Click above for our suggestion tool to help you find a pellet grill/smoker within your budget

A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

Back in 2007 when I first become aware of pellet grills and smokers the only brand I was really aware of was Traeger. Traeger is really where this whole concept of cooking with pellets started in the 1980s. It was a ‘slow burner’ (pardon the pun) but since the 2010s is really when pellet grills and smokers started to get mainstream awareness, discussed alongside gas and charcoal grills. There are now over 30 pellet grill/smoker brands that I’m aware of, and the link above goes to my A to Z list of brands article.

Now, you may already be aware of a few of the other brands such as Pit Boss, Camp Chef, Z Grills and I’m sure you are aware of Weber, though you may not have known they have entered the pellet grill game. However, they are now many, many more brands to look into. Some may be what are commonly referred to as ‘Traeger clones’, but many others are offering their own unique designs and features.

A to Z List of The Best BBQ Wood Pellets

A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.

In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.

Chris - PelHeat

Hi, I’m Chris. I started PelHeat.com back in 2007. This website is intended to be an educational resource on how pellets are made and their various uses. I hope you find the information useful.

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