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Does pellet type/flavor really matter?


Smoke Blower
Joined Mar 16, 2019
The lumberjack char hickory I tried on my first Tri Tip was great! Guests commented on smoke flavor and I thought it was just enough to be there and not overwhelming the taste of the meat. I will keep using these or the pure hickory if I could find local. Up to this point I had no discerning flavors or smoke taste...so perhaps it was Tri Tip related but man did it come out perfect! Best cook I have ever done and super easy....I can see why people do this instead of brisket and I preferred it over brisket. Cattleman’s Tri Tip rub was awesome as well.


Smoke Blower
Joined Jan 31, 2018
Anyone try the Lumberjack competition blend?
I have, it's a nice smoke profile. I go back and forth between it and their 100% hickory.
I have been using a bag of their char hickory lately. It's a little bit spicier version of hickory. Not sure it's going to be a regular smoke though.


Smoke Blower
Joined Mar 16, 2019
So I did the same trip tip, same seasoning, same temp.....and went from Lumberjack Char Hickory to Traeger gourmet blend from Costco. Lumberjack had a significantly better “smoke” flavor, to me it was very noticeable.

I’m done pellet testing, and as many others have done I will be going only LJ Hickory or char hickory.


Fire Starter
Joined May 19, 2017
I have, it's a nice smoke profile. I go back and forth between it and their 100% hickory.
Do you find a noticeable flavor difference?

I'm getting a pellet smoker and coming from a stick burner where I have been using 100% cherry for most smokes, but have also started using oak for beef (tri tip and brisket). Picking up a pellet smoker for the convenience and now I'm trying to figure out what pellets to get. Hickory seems to be the most popular flavor pellet, but I'm worried because I see a lot of people saying they give everything a bacon-y flavor.

Pecan has been highly reccomended to me for my stick burner but it looks like it will be similar to, if not slightly milder than, hickory. Anyways, I know I like oak, so I might just start with that and then see if I want to work up to pecan or hickory for some more smoke.

As a second bag I'm on the fence with some of the fruit woods. I'm used to using cherry wood, but many fruit wood blends add some apple. I think this gives a bit more intensity than 100% cherry?

Anyways, sorry for the long post. I just dont want to end up with 100 bags of pellets taking up all my garage space!


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Sep 12, 2009
Personally I don't notice a big flavor difference, other than how strong one is compared to another. I think they all taste like smoke.
However I use about 95% Hickory, because for me everything else is a bit too weak, except Mequite, which is too strong.



Smoke Blower
Joined May 24, 2019
I believe you get a little more from the 100% ones as others have said. Last night I bought pellets(I buy LJ), I got 100% hickory and char-hickory. I did get some 100% cherry also. I "think" it makes a difference. But if you really want smoke like from a stick burner, you needs to add something like a heavy D from smokedaddy or a cold smoker added. I'm going to add the cold smoker from smokedaddy to my rec tec.


Joined Apr 22, 2019
I've been using the LJ 100% Hickory for awhile now and it's a great pellet. I may try Cooking Pellets Perfect Blend in the future, it gets great reviews as well.
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