All About Wood Pellets

All About Wood Pellets

When it comes to smoker pellets are you clueless? We have put together some of the top questions and answered them for you in this article All About Wood Pellets.

Note: most links in this article are Affiliate links, see Affiliate Disclosure, thank you.

Are pellet smokers any good?

Pellet smokers are excellent machines that work very efficiently. They are all usually computerized, so all you have to do is set up the smoker, start it and leave it alone.

Other smokers will need much more attention; they take all the time and hassle out of smoking foods. They are the cheapest way to smoke food since electricity is the primary source of power.

You can also use many different types of wood that come in pellet form, which adds smoke and flavor to the food. These bags are very cheap to purchase and are just about everywhere.

Pellet smokers are going to be the most expensive smokers on the market, but in the long run, they will save you money, time and do all the work for you.

How does a pellet smoker work?

Pellets are added to the hopper to start. An auger gently pushes the pellets into a combustion chamber, which creates heat and smoke that is pushed into the smoking chamber.

Some pans and airholes ventilate the chamber to make sure the smoker stays at the perfect temperature and smoke level almost kind of like a convection oven works. The auger is controlled by electricity and is preset to the consumer’s liking.

So, the smoker knows what temperature to keep the smoker at and for how long. This way, it will feed the pellets at a different rate than other times.

The smoking chamber will continue to smoke and cook until the food has reached the desired temperature.

Click here for our article How Does a Pellet Smoker Work and How Is It Different From Others

How do I get more smoke from my pellet smoker?

One of the easiest ways to create more smoke in any type of smoker is to close the top air ventilators and open the bottom ones. More air will pass over the pellets and generate more smoke and heat while trapping it at the top inside the smoking chamber.

There are other ways to gain a denser smoke and a smoky flavor as well. If you want to add more smoke flavor to the food, then try using hickory or mesquite wood, which will penetrate the food faster than other woods.

smoke generators
smoke generators

There are also small little contraptions that are metal tubes. The tubes are filled with small wood chips or wood pellets and placed in the smoking chamber then lit at one end of the tube. You may use as many or as little as you want, but they will start smoking immediately and will fill the smoking chamber with thick and dense smoke.

These tubes can be used in any smoker and work very well, but the Amazin’ smoke tray is my favorite. Also, a Smokehouse Products smoke generator is an excellent addition to any smoker for cold smoking and additional smoke, fueled with pellets.

How long does a bag of pellets last in a smoker?

How long pellets last is going to be determined mainly on the type of pellet smoker and the food you are smoking. Many different companies make wood pellets, and they always try to get you to use their pellets.

They say their pellets will last longer in their machines, but it depends on how often those pellets will be pushed into the combustion chamber. On average, most pellet smokers will go through a 40-pound bag of pellets in 20 to 24 hours.

This will also depend on the type of food you are smoking. If the chamber is full of meat to be smoked, you, of course, will need more pellets than if you had a single roast in there.

Also, how ho the smoking chamber needs to be maintained will determine how many pellets will be used to achieve that over time and could end up using more than you had initially planned.

Can I use wood pellets in my Masterbuilt smoker?

Masterbuilt is not a large producer of pellet smokers, so the short answer is No. Most Masterbuilt are intended only to use wood chips to create smoke in the smoking chambers. Pellets are only to be used in the pellet smokers they create.

However, there are other ways to use wooden pellets in any type of smoker. You can purchase a pellet-burning tray or tube to place in the smoker’s main chamber. These devices can create thick and dense smoke.

Pellets can be placed inside of the smoking tube or tray and then used within any Masterbuilt smoker. Other than that, there is no other way to use wooden pellets in a Masterbuilt smoker.

Additionally, you can add a Smokehouse Products smoke generator that burns standard wood pellets.

Note: Masterbuilt owns the Smoke Hollow brand and has a few pellet grills in this product line.

Click here to read our Review of Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Are pellet smokers easy to clean?

Cleaning a pellet smoker is just like cleaning any other smoker who is not too difficult. It may be easier to clean a pellet smoker. There is a catch-all ashtray from the burnt pellets under the combustion chamber that needs to be removed after every use and disposed of.

Pellets also are very limited in the amount of ash they produce. As little as 1% of ash will be leftover from your original pellets. So, in turn, you would have to burn 100 pounds of wood pellets to create as little as 1 pound of ash in the end.

You can cover this tray will aluminum foil if you prefer to make the cleaning process that much easier. The pellet hopper needs to be emptied of any excess pellets as well as aster every use as well. If you left any pellets in the hopper, you run the risk of them getting wet or damp.

Wet pellets can create mold or bacteria in the hopper, which in time will not be good for your smoker or the food you want to smoke.

What are the pellets made out of?

All wooden pellets are made of a type of wood that is specific to each bag. The wood has been harvested from trees and then is dried out up to 6 months naturally. The wood then is ground down to fine sawdust.

The sawdust is then placed under high temperatures to be compressed and shaped into the pellet shape. The pellets are held together by a natural sap created by the tree and then dried again before use.

Can you use any type of pellet in any pellet smoker?

Yes. For the most part, all wooden pellets are designed to be placed into any type of smoker. They are generally all the same size, so they will easily be fed into the auger of any kind of pellet smoker or brand.

That does not mean that each pellet will be the most efficient for every smoker. Some pellets are designed to work better in their counterpart smoker they were created for. While they can work with other smokers, they will work best with their brand name smokers first.

How many pellets will fit in a hopper?

Hoppers will vary from smoker to smoker as each pellet hopper will be bigger or smaller than others. For the most part, any hopper should be able to hold at least 10 pounds of pellets up to 50 pounds of pellets at one time.

It doesn’t matter all that much because you will still have to fill the hopper every so often.

Can I use wood pellets in a charcoal grill?

Typically if you add wood pellets to a charcoal grill, they will not work. The wood pellets will catch fire and be burnt up almost instantly.

If you add 1/4 cup to your charcoal at the beginning of your cooking process, you might add a bit of wood smoke flavor. However, it is better to use a pellet tray or tube to generate smoke and direct it to your cooking surface. For more information, check out our full article on this topic.

Final Thoughts

We hope these answers help you, and if you want to look over some of our top picks for pellet smokers, click the link below.

Click here for our article What Is the Best Pellet Smoker?

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