Choosing flavored pellets is one of the secrets of many chefs to enhance their smoked foods. But did you know that each flavor option would work best on a certain number of dishes?
In this article, we are going to share with you some hints about which pellet flavor to choose for your next BBQ dishes as well as the best pellets for smoke flavor. Read on!
Here are the best pellets for smoke flavor you can buy in 2021:
- Heavy & Dense: Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets
- Best For Clean Burn: PIT BOSS 55433
- Best For Ribs: BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets
- Best For Crispy Bark: Lumber Jack LJACK-Hick-Charcoal-20
- Best For Chicken: Jack Daniel's Smoking BBQ Pellets
- Best For Seafood: Green Mountain Grills GMG-2001-GOLD
|6 Best Pellets For Smoke Flavor|
Heavy & Dense
|Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets|
Best For Clean Burn
|PIT BOSS 55433|
Best For Ribs
|BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets|
Best For Crispy Bark
|Lumber Jack LJACK-Hick-Charcoal-20|
Best For Chicken
|Jack Daniel's Smoking BBQ Pellets|
Best For Seafood
|Green Mountain Grills GMG-2001-GOLD|
Heavy & Dense: Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets
- Burn cleaner, longer, and hotter in wood stoves – made of 100% natural premium hardwood
- Ideal for grilling vegetables, poultry, fish, and meat – infuse a robust, sweet smoky flavor
- Reliable & safe to use – made in the USA
- A bit pricey
If you are using a wood stove to smoke foods, then choosing heavier pellets in higher density is appropriate because compared to softwood, they burn cleaner, longer, and hotter.
In this case, we highly recommend the Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets, a USA-made product using 100% natural premium hardwood. No additives. No fillers or binders.
While burning, it gives off a robust, sweet smoky flavor, which is perfect for grilling vegetables, poultry, fish, and meat.
|Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets Specifications|
20 lb Bag
100% All-Natural premium hardwood
made of 100% natural premium hardwood
infuse a robust, sweet smoky flavor
made in the USA
Heavy and dense pellets are the best companion of wood stoves for the best smoke flavors. If you’re in this group of users, the Bear Mountain BBQ 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets are a shining candidate
Best For Clean Burn: PIT BOSS 55433
- Burn hotter & cleaner – bind pellets together by pressing the natural juice
- Deliver great-tasting – made of North American woods
- Pellets are very small
The PIT BOSS 55433 is made completely of premium woods sourced across North America, so no need for spray scents or artificial flavors, they are still able to infuse great tasting to your grilled foods.
Another notable thing is instead of using glue or other chemicals to bind the pellets together, PIT BOSS forces the wood themselves for natural juice.
That also means they are 100% safe, health-friendly, and burn cleaner.
|PIT BOSS 55433 Specifications|
North America sourced raw wood
bind pellets together by pressing the natural juice
made of North American woods
Choosing the right pellets gives a great impact on maintenance after using a smoker. If you want to minimize this step, then consider the PIT BOSS 55433. It offers a very clean burn!
Best For Ribs: BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets
- Deliver strong flavors
- Versatile – come in six 1-pound bags of various flavors
- Easy to use – work on most grill types & no soaking needed
- Slightly expensive
- Not enough in each bag for actual use
The BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets are probably the most widely used option in BBQ ribs. We really like Cherry and Mesquite as it goes strong with flavors when it comes to big, beautiful pork/beef ribs. It complements the meat pretty well!
Like most other counterparts here, this is a USA-made product and it is compatible with most grill types, from the smoker, electric to charcoal, and gas.
Per bag, it weighs one pound, equivalent to 10 uses. It is also very easy to use because no soaking is required.
|BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets Specifications|
come in six 1-pound bags of various flavors
work on most grill types
no soaking needed
After trying various options, we find the BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets have the greatest performance on ribs
Best For Crispy Bark: Lumber Jack LJACK-Hick-Charcoal-20
- Ideal for crispy bark – give off great color & fantastic flavors with no bitterness
- Perfect for camping and picnic – the 20-pound weight
- Burn hot and long
- A bit dusty
Traeger pellets were our top choice for crispy bark until the Lumber Jack LJACK-Hick-Charcoal-20 came. The difference between them in terms of performance is phenomenal.
Not only giving excellent flavors, but it also helps with great color. No overwhelming! No bitterness! The 20-pound weight seems to be perfect for carrying and traveling, especially for picnic packing.
Compared to other similar counterparts, it appears to burn hotter and longer as well.
|Lumber Jack LJACK-Hick-Charcoal-20 Specifications|
give off great color & fantastic flavors with no bitterness
the 20-pound weight
Finding the best pellets for crispy bark? Look no further than the Lumber Jack LJACK-Hick-Charcoal-20
Best For Chicken: Jack Daniel's Smoking BBQ Pellets
- Suitable for smoked chicken - a nice blend of flavor wood and premium oak
- Easy to maintain – burn clean & low ash
- Priced higher than other brands
- Put off a ton of creosote while burning with Amazon tube smoker
This is our most favorite go-to for smoking chicken. It gives off a nice blend of flavor wood and premium oak, which is mild and can be mixed with other flavors depending on personal preference.
The bag weighs 20 pounds, which is just enough for normal use and compact enough for travel.
As all the ingredients are natural, it burns with really less ash, which is easy to maintain after use. Besides, it delivers high BTUs and holds at high temp well.
According to Jack Daniel’s, these pellets work great on all pellet-fired applications.
|Jack Daniel's Smoking BBQ Pellets Specifications|
Premium Oak Mixed with Flavorwood
a nice blend of flavor wood and premium oak
burn clean & low ash
We assure you that once trying the Jack Daniel's Smoking BBQ Pellets for smoking chicken, you’ll never go back to your old pellets
Best For Seafood: Green Mountain Grills GMG-2001-GOLD
- Enhance flavors of seafood – infuse strong flavors of mesquite, elm, hickory, and black oak
- Last long – oak-based design & larger size
- Low-maintenance – release little to no ash or dust
- No complaint
The last option in our list, which is also the most multi-use because it infuses strong flavors of mesquite, elm, hickory, and black oak, which is ideal for most meat and seafood.
It works great on most grill types and lasts very long thanks to the oak-based construction and larger size. While burning, it releases very little to no dust, which is great for maintenance.
|Green Mountain Grills GMG-2001-GOLD Specifications|
infuse strong flavors of mesquite, elm, hickory, and black oak
oak-based design & larger size
release little to no ash or dust
The Green Mountain Grills GMG-2001-GOLD is the best bet for big fans of smoked seafood.
How To Choose The Best Pellet For Smoke Flavor?
Wood Flavors & Strength
There is a gamut range of wood pellet flavors. Each of them comes with a specific flavor, flavor strength, and hence, will work best on certain foods.
Maximizing the enhancement of food flavors makes the secret of smoking lovers.
If you want to impress your guests, paying attention to wood flavors and strength is essential. Some common wood flavors are pecan, apple, cherry, hickory, and mesquite. They could be used separately or mixed together depending on the dishes you intend to smoke.
But keep in mind that each type has specific flavor strength. For example, mesquite, walnut, pecan, and hickory have strong flavors. They won’t work well with delicate food, like fish because the final flavors could be overwhelming. Instead, these wood flavors are perfect for poultry, beef shoulder, and ribs.
Peach, pear, and oak have medium flavors. They would pair excellently with pork and poultry.
Cherry, apple, beech, maple, and alder give mild flavors so they are suitable for fruit, veggies, and seafood. Some chefs also use them for pork and beef to accent their unique tastes as well.
Here are some hints for you:
Cherry and apple
Pecan, or cherry and apple
Mesquite, hickory, or pecan
Mesquite and hickory
Cherry and apple, or pecan
Hickory and mesquite
Or, mesquite, apple, hickory, or cherry
Mesquite or cherry
Pecan, mesquite, or hickory
Your Budget & Pellet Ingredients
A bag of pellets made of 100% wood is commonly more expensive than one including fillers (like alder or oak). In other words, the ingredients of a pellet bag are a decisive element of its price tag plus the flavor strength.
On the market, some manufacturers use up to 80% fillers in their pellets. Keep that in mind!
Using flavored hardwood ensures the highest smoke flavor strength of the wood you’re looking for.
Which Brands Make The Best Pellet For Smoke Flavor?
This is our most favorite brand when looking for some new bags of pellets because they’re affordable, do put out lots of smoke, and enhance our food flavors nicely.
About this brand, Bear Mountain was founded in 1990, in Pacific Northwest, and is owned by Lignetics Inc. – the US leading wood pellet manufacturer.
This is a subsidiary of Dansons, which is known for making Louisiana Grills and was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. This brand is known for incredibly fast growth through the years, and pellets are one of their main segments.
Lumber Jack is another good brand that comes to your choices because they’re high-quality yet budget-friendly while offering a gamut range of flavors to consider.
Do pellet smokers give good smoke flavor?
Not at all. In general, pellet smokers don’t deliver a strong smoke flavor but in the comparison between brands, we find that some can give superior performance to others.
Besides, pellets from hardwood offer a longer burn time (per pound) than the fruitwood ones.
How do you get the best flavor smoke out of a pellet smoker?
Here are some tips to help you get the best flavor smoke out of a pellet smoker:
- Minimize the times of opening your lid
- Smoke your foods over direct heat
- Say no to white, dense smoke
- Your pellet grill should be set at 225 degrees F or under
- Use the right pellet flavors (consult our Buying Guide in the previous section)
- The colder, the better
- Select the right cut of meat
How long does a bag of pellets last in a smoker?
It’s generally over 24 hours, depending on the pellet types, weather, and temperature.
Is it cheaper to burn wood or pellets?
While a wood-burning heater costs more for installation than a pellet stove, the price of a wood-burning heater is cheaper. Most pellet stoves cost around $1500 to $3500.
How many bags of pellets do you burn a day?
It depends on your lifestyle, home size, and climate that the required number of pellet bags ranges from 100 to 150 during the winter, on average.
That’s everything you need to know when looking for the best pellets for smoke flavor. Hopefully, our pieces of information were helpful for you and if you like any of our suggestions stated above, kindly let us know. We love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading.