I've read the same, so bought some to try. I've only used some of their competition blend, not enough to say anything about it yet. I just received some of their 'char hickory' blend, looking forward to seeing if it adds some of that charcoal flavor. Also have their 100% pecan but haven't tried it. I've only done a few cooks on the Traeger so far but it seems to be going through pellets pretty quick (granted I've made no effort to really measure, just a feeling) so I also bought a bag of pitboss pellets that were much less than Traeger or Lumberjack. Looking forward to trying all of them out!
I have seen them online up here but they are pricey at $28 for 20#. I haven't tried them. I'm actually going to try pitboss pellets soon as they are about $8 a 20# bag cheaper than Traeger pellets. I have a buddy that swears by them.
Pitboss Competition pellets are good, the classic are great. Lumberjack are good I have tried competition blend and its good, but it produces way more ash than any other brand I had tried. But at the end of the day there is not much difference in taste.
My buddy is a moderator on Pellet Grill Enthusiasts on Facebook. Their 22,000+ members seem to agree they love the Lumberjack pellets the most. Everyone has an opinion, but it seemed to be an overall majority loved them.
It was crazy a week ago, as the local Runnings stores in the midwest had a sale on Lumberjack pellets at 40lb bags for $12.99. You could have sworn it was a contest to see who could buy the most pounds of pellets before their local store was cleaned out, or the sale ended! And that was $4 off the normal $16.99/40lb price. That even seems fairly priced.
I purchased a 20lb bag of competition blend for $8.99 and just recently used a 20lb bag of Apple which was a bit more at $13.99 for my pork shoulder. I'm due for a cleaning, so we will see how messy it is after that. So far, so good. I can't wait for the next sale, as I'm sold on them.
I went in on a group buy and got 30 bags/1,200 lbs of Lumberjack pellets. I've tried several other brands and only use LJ and one other brand for my cooks. As noted by others, with LJ there is a greater amount of ash than other brands but I vac before every cook so no biggie.
I tried the Lumberjack Competition Blend (Maple, Hickory, and Cherry ) this past weekend. There was no sawdust and the pellets seemed to generate more smoke than those from Traeger.. The temp tracked closer to setpoint with Lumberjack pellets than it does with Traeger pellets.
Sunday,I smoked a pork butt @225 for 7 1/2 hours, then wrapped it with foil and put it in my oven for 2 more hours. The flavour was excellent. I only bought one 40lb bag to try them out, I will be buying more. In Barrie Traeger pellets are $22.95 most places, the Lumberjack are $39 for 40lb, 2 or more are $35. The temp @ 225 on supersmoke didn't deviate much from setpoint (+/- less than 10
The local Lumberjack dealer is a shoe repair shop so his stock is limited. Pretty much all of the BBQ outlets including the big box all sell Traeger so Lumberjack has an interesting bunch of dealers up here (Canada).
So Since my first test back in May, i have had great luck with LJ pellets.
I have used Apple for Pork, Competition blend for almost everything else. I went through 20lbs of Mesquite and my new favorite has been Hickory. Pellet use on Hickory has been solid and even with our colder temps. Fluctuation in temp is minimal, and so is the ash.
You know it's good when you spend more time cleaning grease, than vacuuming ash. I have yet to see that crazy spring sale come back, but daily prices are a fraction of what people are paying around the country.
I had not used pellets by anyone other than Traeger, until I saw the reports of their pellets including oils for flavor. I just bought some CookinPellets, haven't used them yet. I will try the Lumber Jack based on what I have read here.
I do have one question. I have read that it is not necessary to add a pan of water while smoking as Traeger brand pellets have a moisture content of 10%. If that is true, do other varieties of pellets have equivalent moisture levels ?
I don't recall from what pellet suppliers I read that detail but I, too, recall from more than one where they advise water is not required. I'm a traditional no-water smoker, so during the course of my 1 month adventure with a pellet smoker I have not used water thus far. Others do, though, and I don't feel there is a right or wrong approach.
I used 1 bag of Traeger pellets and then landed on Lumber Jack and have used several bags thus far - primarily because Rural King sells them for $8.88 USD per 20 lb bags. I don't have experience where I can speak well or ill of any particular brand.
I'm from the "no water" camp as well. However, I am planning on doing some experimenting with that.
The concern I have with a water pan in the Traeger is the possibility of the moisture making the pellets swell in the auger. Having had this happen for different reasons and having had to pull the auger on a Century 34 more than once, I'm a little gun shy.
No doubt, there is a little bit of over thinking on my part - but still nervous about water in the Traeger.
Long and short, I've been thrilled with the results I've had to date without water. This is totally a personal preference thing, so looking forward to hearing how it works for you.
One last thing, I have been told that "smoking" water in the Traeger and then freezing it to use as ice in cocktails (specifically in a straight bourbon) is something worth the effort.
I found a place near me that sells Lumberjack brand $10.40 for 20lb and $18.70 for 40lb. I just checked the website https://bbqlumberjack.com/our-pellets/ to see what info I could find. This is what they say.
" Why is Lumber Jack so popular?
Simple! The flavor of any tree is in the Metabolites or cambium layer of the growing tree. This means that all BBQ pellets made from residual sawdust as a by-product are generally comprised of the core kiln dried wood. For example, the sawdust from a hickory furniture or hammer handle factory is void of flavor or has only a very weak carryover from the growth in the cambium layer. When the old timers smoked meat and fish they did not take the bark off the wood they gathered for this very same reason. We are a round log plant which means we harvest actual trees and chip them up as green chips, with full flavor to make our BBQ pellets.
Don’t get confused
When we say we de-bark the red oak base material in our blends, we do this for a very specific reason. Since the smoke flavor you’re looking for and expecting is in the bark, we leave the bark on the primary wood but remove the bark from the oak wood when we produce our blends. We do this so the full rich flavor of the primary wood comes through, such as Hickory in the Hickory blend or Apple in the Apple blend. This allows us to have the strongest flavor in our blends! Blends also have lower ash content when burned since they have less bark than our 100% varieties, which are not de-barked and therefore produce a more powerful and intense flavor.
So that is what the manufacturer says. Since I haven't been really pleased with the smoke flavor I have been getting from the pellets that I have used so far I will try some of the 100% Hickory and Mesquite. They will have more ash but hopefully will give me the strong smoke flavor I have been searching for.