Affordable Cooking Pellets

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers Group' started by seenred, May 6, 2013.

  1. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey Guys! Do you notice a significant difference in the quality and performance of different brands of cooking pellets? The premium brands can be pretty expensive, especially if you have to order and pay shipping costs. There apparently aren't a lot of retail dealers in my area who sell pellets of any kind. But I found some real affordable pellets at Academy (thanks, veryolddog). They're B&B Brand, and Academy carries 3 flavors - Hickory, Mesquite and Apple. 20 lb. bags for $9.99. Can anyone weigh in on the quality of these pellets compared to the more expensive brands? I haven't burned enough pellets through my new pellet pit yet to be a very good judge.

    What do y'all think?

    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Bump!  I'm really interested in hearing from some of the more experienced pellet smokers about their opinions of different brands/grades of pellets.

  3. striper

    striper Meat Mopper

    I tried the treager pellets when I had a treager.  At the time they were the only one's available locally.  they were $19.95 for 20 lbs.  Couldn't tell any difference in the flavors.  Later tried some other brand that had an Alder base and was cheaper, again no real difference in the flavors.  Then went to Lumber Jack 100% pellets and will stay with them.  Had to buy a pallet to get them, but was able to get a couple of friends to go in with me on the purchase.
    joe fenn likes this.
  4. bigblue

    bigblue Smoke Blower

    I buy Todd's for my smokin tube and short cooks and Lumber Jacks for long smokes. I buy the Lumber Jacks from Amazon $ 40-$45 for 40 pound bag .They have 20# also so you can try different flavors and the best part is FREE SHIPPING
    pork dork likes this.
  5. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks, guys...I've heard others say that Lumberjack is really good.  The 2 names I am hearing and reading most often as the best premium cooking pellets is Lumberjack and BBQr's Delight.  Anyone disagree with that?  I've shopped both online, and apparently can't buy them for less than a dollar or more per pound because of shipping costs.  Hard to pay that if there is not a noticeable difference between these and the B&B pellets I found at Academy for $.50 a pound.

    There is a local retailer (by "local" I mean within 40 miles) who carries BBQr's Delight for about $20 per 20 lb. bag...I'll probably end up buying a couple bags of those to compare for myself to the cheaper pellets.

    BTW, I will likely always continue to use Todd's pellets and tube smoker for added flavor on some smokes, particularly for cooks @ higher temps where the Rec Tec doesn't make much smoke by itself.

  6. iebbqman

    iebbqman Fire Starter

    I use what is called "The Perfect Blend" by  It is a blend of maple, hickory, apple, and cherry.  It works for just about anything you want to cook.  If you buy directly from them, you can get it really cheap.  I have a store that is a supplier of theirs, and I pay under $1 per lb which works out great for me.  I prefer not to have the oak base with flavored wood mixed in.  that tends to be what most manufacturer's of pellet do.  I do have some BBQ'rs delight 100% wood that i use for such things as cold smoking bacon or cheese.  also works great when making jerky.  Other then that, once you find a pellet you like, don't change it.  Cook times can vary from one pellet to another.
  7. I have only used Traeger, Lumberjack and BBQr's Delight, so far I find the best flavor with BBQr's Delight. I was able to get in on a bulk buy for them at $9/lb shipped, so if you can do a bulk buy, do yourself a favor and go for it. I liked the Lumberjack, they are good, but I have found the BBQr's Delight to work better for me, especially at the price I was able to get them at.
    I am wanting to try Cookin' Pellet's 100% Hickory, I've heard good things about them. I only use Traeger brand if I'm out of everything else. :biggrin:
    pork dork likes this.
  8. bigblue

    bigblue Smoke Blower

    Just to let you know Lumber Jack have a 100% pellet also 

    jleeman likes this.
  9. Thanks bigblue, I may give them a shot too. I have a dealer here in town that sells Lumberjack, I may just have him order me some 100% pellets the next time they order.

    Btw, I love the first line of the description: "Non explosive". LOL!
  10. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Good info, guys...I'll be checking out the to see what the cost would be to have them shipped to me. 

    iebbqman, you mentioned a local store that is a supplier.  Where do you live?  And do you know if cooking pellets has dealer suppliers everywhere?  I already know that, unless I can find a dealer locally, I can't get the Lumberjack or the BBQr's Delight for less than a dollar per pound or more.  That doesn't seem like a lot until you start to figure how many times a week you smoke, how many lbs. per hour your pit burns, etc.  It can get pretty expensive keeping these rigs going.

    Thanks for the feedback, I'm gonna like this new group forum alot!

  11. smokingrk

    smokingrk Smoke Blower

    I'm out on the east coast (CT) and had very little success finding pellets.  Finally came across a CookingPellets dealer about 30+ miles away, not bad and the price was not too bad, but still a bit expensive.

    In the meantime I was buying online at $1/lb so tried BBQ Delight, LumberJack and CookingPellets.  I did not really notice to much taste difference between all three other than some minor ash volumes and possibly some longevity per pound at a constant temp.

    Anyway I did a LumberJack bulk purchase and absolutely love the the results and even better the price and variety. 

    So much so that I'm exploring becoming a dealer for LumberJack in this area of Southern CT. 

    With bulk purchase, I can potentially sell 40LB bags at $20-$22, that's 55cents / per pound, not shipped of course. 

    I'm still surprised that BBQ grade pellets were so difficult to source out this way, but we are going to change that, by promoting pellet grills. 

    Nice Forum, thanks, Red and all that made this happen. 
  12. I have been using Bear Mountain from Cash & Carry while I work to get my system dialed in, a 20lbs bag was on sale for about $10 when I picked them up.  I have a couple of bags of the GMG premium blend, but holding off for now.  I have a few dealers in my area that carry GMG, Lumberjack, Traeger and an unlabeled brand, but not sure of their prices.  

    The dealer I bought my grill from is a distributor of cookingpellets and lumberjack.  He has been letting me know when a pallet or two come through my area, so I can grab a few bags and pay a small drop fee, but I haven't needed any as of yet.
  13. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I used the inexpensive perfect mix pellets and just didn't get the flavor. And they produced a lot of ash and had sparks flying all over the place as they burned. Traeger pellets weren't much better. When I used bbq delite I noticed a difference in flavor right away. Very little ash and great aroma. Just about a dollar a lb is the best I can find them. Smokingrk lives 15 minutes from me so I'll have to try lumberjack when my supply gets low. Now a lot of folks knock bbq delite because its not 100% of a single wood. But the base wood is oak and I love using oak with a fruitwood or nut wood for all my smokes so this is perfect for me. I do wish I could find a less expensive product that works but have had no luck. I"ve got a perfect mix dealer that sells at $24 for 40 lbs about 10 miles from here but they just don't make it for me. Theres my two cents.
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  14. I use Fast Eddy's hickory/oak pellets for a base wood and I mix assorted wood pellets with it.  

    In addition to FE's Pellets I use the following

    BBQ's Delight Cherry, Apple, Pecan, Sugar Maple and Charcoal. Perfect Mix

    Lumber Jack when I can obtain them.

    I tried the B&B and did not see anything wrong with them and will use them again but the closet store is in Jacksonville, Fl.

    I recently tried Char-Griller Pellets from Lowes and my wife said they had an order like burning trash.  

    I was sent three bags of Prairie Blend Pellets for my testing the results were terrible because of an excessive amount of ash.

    This is after a three hour cook at 205 degrees.

    pork dork likes this.
  15. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'm glad to hear someone has tried the B&B pellets and didn't have a problem with them, since I can get them for $9.99 per 20 lb. bag. I already picked 80 lbs. of them, 40 hickory and 40 apple, but I haven't had the chance to try them yet.

    Those of you who are buying bulk to save big shipping costs are doing it problem is I don't have room to store large quantities, so bulk orders don't really work for me.

  16. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    I recently purchased 5 20 lb bags of Ozark Mtn pellets from K-Mart of all places.  I paid $13 per bag and received free shipping.  I've yet to use them so can't say how I like them, stayed tuned.
  17. iebbqman

    iebbqman Fire Starter

    In regards to the oak base on pellets that is very common on pellets.  Most wood pellets for cooking are 70/30 blend with it being majority oak.  If you want just a single wood flavor you need to get 100% wood pellets which BBQ'rs delight seems to be the major player in that market.

    In regards to and the sparks and flavor.  Not sure what to say there.  the ash content is very small, and I can easily put 200lbs of pellets through the smokers before having to break them down.  I have had nothing but compliments from people on the flavor and the smoke ring that I get from them. In regards to pellet dealers throughout the country.  I live in Southern California and we only have the one dealer that has a storefront in the area.  the other dealers are more geared at selling from their garage.

    In regards to Florida, there is only one dealer i found for the pellets in Clermont, FL.  

    Even with a dealer close to me it is still a far drive.  Where I live It is 25 miles round trip, but that equals into an almost two hour drive.  (Gotta love southern California traffic)  So I am actually looking at becoming a dealer in my county and maybe even open up an office and sell this stuff.

    And mind you It costs me about $3 per hour in pellets, plus gas for the generator to run my rig setup when I cater.  So I understand the cost.  I just find this pellet gives me the most bang for my buck, and my customers like what I make with it.  We do not have access locally to anything but Treagar, GMG, BBQ'rs delight and the Perfect Blend.  So i would have to say my choices are limited.  but I am always willing to try something new.
  18. well that does not look good...
  19. Hey red I think if you go to bbq delights web page they have a list of bbq team that sell that may be possible if they cook near you or do a contest to get some pellets from them.  Just a thought.
  20. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    It was a good thought, Smoke, but I checked already. Nearest teams are 4 1/2 hour drive each way. But I have found a lawn and garden dealer about 30 miles away that carries BBQ Delight for $17.49 per 20 lb. bag. With tax, its still gonna be right at a dollar per lb.


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