Pellets Alternative pellets?

Rooster

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What have you found to be the best brand of pellets to use instead of Traeger?
 

RustyJake

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"Best" would probably be subjective to a personal choice. Everyone probably has a favorite, their go to pellet.
Best, would be fresh pellets, stored properly and not exposed to the elements. You have pellets that are blended, some that are all hardwood, some are just the wood stated on the bag, there are some that contain bark as well as wood fiber. There are also some that use seasonings, wine, pepper, rosemary, etc. There are also pellets made from whiskey or bourbon barrels.
Which is best, is whatever you think tastes best. Seeing as pellet smokers/grills don't impart a ton of smoke flavor, your experience may be different than someone else.
Find a store that sells a lot of pellets, and has a good turn on inventory and buy from that store. You don't want to be buying pellets that have been sitting in storage for long periods of time.
Yes, I have a personal favorite. I have had good luck with the brand so far, but it is a Canadian made pellet, not available in the US yet (Furtado Farms). But I also like some commercial brands
Green Mountain Grills pellet, Pit Boss, Lumberjack, and Traeger Pellets. I haven't had any issues with burning any of these brands.
Find something you like, good to experiment a bit
 

RayClem

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I think local availability may be the most significant criteria in purchasing pellets. You can ship pellets directly to your home, but it tends to be expensive that way.

The ones I can get locally are Traeger, Pit Boss, Bear Mountain (Lowes), Lumberjack (Farm & Fleet), and Expert Grill (Walmart brand). Cabellas carries Knotty Wood pellets.

I have not yet tried Lumberjack or Knotty Wood as I do not go to Farm & Fleet or Cabellas very often. The only thing I do not like about Traeger pellets are that they are somewhat more easily broken than the others, so they tend to generate more dust. Because the Expert Grill pellets were cheap, I purchased them to do the initial seasoning burn for my grill. However, they worked quite well, so I continue to purchase them. The Sweet Blend produces a mild, sweet smoke that works well with pork, chicken and vegetables.

You might want to check out the January 2022 video produced by Mad Scientist BBQ. In a comparison of several brands, Traeger won the taste test, much to his surprise.
 

CMTiger

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I use Bear Mountain as the Tractor Supply down the road has them for half the price of the Traeger pellets. just bought some hickory today
 

Delta

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Where I live, Menards carries Pit Boss pellets. 2 weeks ago, they had 40 Lb bags of the competition brand on sale for $15 with an additional $3 rebate AND their usual 11% off. I bought 4 bags. That should last all summer. I believe their 20Lb bags of Hickory, Cherry and others were $7 per bag. At Menards, pellets go on sale quite often.
 

CMTiger

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Where I live, Menards carries Pit Boss pellets. 2 weeks ago, they had 40 Lb bags of the competition brand on sale for $15 with an additional $3 rebate AND their usual 11% off. I bought 4 bags. That should last all summer. I believe their 20Lb bags of Hickory, Cherry and others were $7 per bag. At Menards, pellets go on sale quite often.
My TS has the 40 pound bags of Pit Boss pellets for somewhere around $15-16. I need to give them a shot. I saw them yesterday but just went Bear Mountain out of familiarity
 

TheGrumpyGriller

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I use Pit Boss primarily - I like the Competition Blend and got 40lb bags at Lowe's for $12. I have other varieties as well and usually put them in a smoke tube for some additional and/or complimentary flavor/smoke.
 
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Thank you all! I suppose my original post could have been worded more wisely. It wasn't so much a question of "best" but more if it's okay to use pellets other than Traegers in the grill, and if so, which ones seem to work the best. So it sounds like based on everyone's input so far, any brand of pellet can be used. I have to go to Costco to get ours which isn't always convenient. Lowe's is much closer so I might switch over to their brand.
Thanks again for your input!
 

RayClem

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I have seen reports that the Traeger brand pellets sold at Costco are less flavorful than those bought elsewhere, but I cannot confirm that. Stuff sold at Costco is usually quite good, so I would be surprised if the Costco pellets were inferior to Traeger pellets sold elsewhere. Of course, the pellets sold at Costco are supposed to be a mix of maple, hickory, and cherry, so that blend is not designed to be as bold as some blends.
 
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Rooster

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I have seen reports that the Traeger brand pellets sold at Costco are less flavorful than those bought elsewhere, but I cannot confirm that. Stuff sold at Costco is usually quite good, so I would be surprised if the Costco pellets were inferior to Traeger pellets sold elsewhere. Of course, the pellets sold at Costco are supposed to be a mix of maple, hickory, and cherry, so that blend is not designed to be as bold as some blends.
Yeah, we've never had any problem with anything we bought at Costco. That's where we bought the grill to start with. ;-)
 

BobbyQ

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Bear Mountain pellets are my choice right now. I have some Pit Boss but haven't used any yet. Bear Mountain used to run on line specials like BOGO or free shipping but I haven't seen any lately.
 

Delta

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There is a YouTube video that compares 5 or 6 different pellet manufacturers, using the same type of smoker and cooking the same size Brisket. They do a blind taste test on participants. The Traeger pellets apparently did not come out as the best pellets. I can't remember which ones did. I prefer the Pit Boss competition brand. They're cheap and fine for most foods on my smoker. When I do a long slow cook, I'll change them out for something like Hickory or Mesquite. After the cook, the competition brand goes back in.
 

MidwestSmoker

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My preferred pellets are Bear Mountain which either come from my local Tractor Supply or when Bear Mountain runs its summer specials online. I have been planning to try Knotty Wood pellets. Home Depot ran a special on some of those pellets this weekend and I ordered 4 bags. I think I am all set for summer!
 

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Thank you all! I suppose my original post could have been worded more wisely. It wasn't so much a question of "best" but more if it's okay to use pellets other than Traegers in the grill, and if so, which ones seem to work the best. So it sounds like based on everyone's input so far, any brand of pellet can be used. I have to go to Costco to get ours which isn't always convenient. Lowe's is much closer so I might switch over to their brand.
Thanks again for your input!
Not only is it okay to use other pellets, but it is generally recommended. Traeger has a questionable patent that seems to show they add oils to their pellets - not something I want in my food.

As far as "best" goes, I agree with what others have said on here: Pit Boss, Bear Mountain, Knotty Wood. The trick is to use what is available to you that you like. I personally use Pit Boss apple, cherry, and whiskey oak, but I would suggest you try any of the ones mentioned in the thread to find your favorite.
 

FiremanDan

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I use Hamer’s Maple pellets. They come from here in WV, pure hardwood maple. These are good grade. I use their heating pellets for my home 😂
 
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