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Pellets Matter: 6 Pellets Compared Head-to-Head | Mad Scientist BBQ

Sven Svensson

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Wow. It was really interesting. Those who smoked on stick burners chose Knotty Wood Plum. I just smoked my bacon on my own 50/50 mix of that and Lumberjack cherry. Flavor and color were fantastic. Very surprised Traeger won with the group.
 

mr_whipple

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Huh.... never heard of Knotty Wood or Jealous Devil. That, and I've never done a brisket.
 

dubob

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Huh.... never heard of Knotty Wood or Jealous Devil.
+1. I get a very good price on LJ Blend and like the flavor, so I'll stick with it. I've never used a stick burner of any sort and for years did all my smoked meats on a Bradley. I find the pellet grill easier to use and control than the Bradley so haven't used the Bradley for a couple years now. I've done brisket twice and both were good, but not excellent. My ribs are great as is my pulled pork. All IMHO, of course. 😁
 

Fueling Around

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Let's cram 10 minutes of content into an hour long video?

I think they admitted their preference was highly influenced by the nose blind.
After tending a smoker all day, I can barely taste any smoke, but my wife says the opposite.

Did you catch that Weber Grillmaster is Lumberjack competition blend?
 

Sven Svensson

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Did you catch that Weber Grillmaster is Lumberjack competition blend?

That was a very quick comment I’m going to have to research. I drive for over an hour one way to get Lumberjack. If this turns out to be true then I bet someone carries Weber locally.
 

Fueling Around

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That was a very quick comment I’m going to have to research. I drive for over an hour one way to get Lumberjack. If this turns out to be true then I bet someone carries Weber locally.
Based on their test you can use Traeger or Pitboss with equal or better results to other pellets including Lumberjack.
Friend of mine loved the Traeger Gourmet Blend from Costco. I used them and wasn't impressed with the flavor.
Is Yoder better than the Green Mountain used in the test? Not a clue by me.
 

Sven Svensson

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”Back in the day” I started using Traeger pellets just because they were available and cheap. Then I found out they used flavor oils and a base wood like alder to fake being other woods. I think there was even a lawsuit over it. I started researching pellets and found a general consensus that a good pellet was Lumberjack so I started using them. I liked it a lot better than the Traeger. I stumbled on Knotty Wood reading an article from some pellet expert guy who loved them along with Cookin’ Pellets. Knotty Wood just happens to be local to me in Northern CA. They use old fruit trees that are being replaced. I guess they make almond as well but I’ve not found those yet. I found the plum in a local hardware store randomly. I mixed them 50/50 with Lumberjack cherry to smoke my last batch of bacon and it had the best color and flavor I’ve had yet. The plum pellets are really dark which I think is why I got that color on my bacon. I can‘t speak to Yoder vs. Green Mountain but by what I saw in that video they must have had a lot of GM in stock to be able to cook on 6 grills. Maybe GM sponsored them?
 

SmokinGame

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Got my curiosity going so I order a couple bags of the Knotty Wood Plum and Almond pellets. $20/bag from HomeDepot with free shipping. Not bad price.
 

dubob

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The pellets used were Knottywood Plum (KW), Jealous Devil JAX Pellets (JD), Traeger Gourmet Blend (TR), Pit Boss Competition Blend (PB), Lumberjack Competition Blend (LJ) and Cookin Pellets Perfect Mix (CP). The overall results from the 13-member test panel (not the chefs), based on taste & bark, are as follows:
KWJDTRPBLJCP
206140
541012
Traeger Gourmet Blend (#1) & Lumber Jack Competition Blend (#2) were the clear winners of the 13-member panel of experts. The clear losers were Knottywood Plum (#1) and Jealous Devil JAX pellets (#2). I have nothing against Traeger pellets other than they cost about 30% more than what I pay for Lumber Jack pellets in my local area. I only smoke meat for my own consumption and that is mostly pulled pork & pork ribs. So, for me, the LJ Comp Blend is the best choice; good price & good taste. Life is good y'all. :emoji_grin:
 

Fueling Around

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...
I can‘t speak to Yoder vs. Green Mountain but by what I saw in that video they must have had a lot of GM in stock to be able to cook on 6 grills. Maybe GM sponsored them?
GM sponsored. They mentioned it in the video
I met a Pitts & Spitts dealer last summer. He said that plum pellets produced great results. I think my son has a bag to deliver
 

tallbm

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Man hearing about 100% plum and 100% almond make me want to try them!!!! Never tried with either wood before.

I just have sooooo many pellets it's hard to justify. I need to do some nonstop smoking I guess hahaha :D
 

Brokenhandle

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Well first off maybe I should get a pellet smoker. Secondly, could someone get my birds to stop planting mulberry trees and start planting some plum trees!

Ryan
 

DougE

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Man hearing about 100% plum and 100% almond make me want to try them!!!! Never tried with either wood before.
I'd like to get my hands on the plum for sure. I had a plum tree at one time, and used to save what I could when I pruned it to use for smoking. I smoked a lot of salmon with plum, and it goes really well with it.
 

thirdeye

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I watched the video over lunch, but my pellet preference and flavor rating is skewed since I don't own a pellet grill. :emoji_astonished:

I burn pellets three ways:
1. In my A-Maze-N tubes for old smoking.
2. In my Big and Little Chiefs for hot smoking.
3. In my charcoal cookers, mixed within the lump for hours and hours of gentle smoke.
PAasSxD.jpg
I prefer to use A-Maze-N pellets for the obvious flavor, Pitmaster Blend and Pecan are my favorites. But the best deal I've found was Tractor Supply however, the price was $5 for 2 pounds. I still have some from my last 20 pound order from Todd, maybe a years supply so I'm ready to research other brands. Any suggestions on 100% flavor-wood pellets?

I did try some of the Cookin' Pellets which were okay burned along with the charcoal. My Home Depot sells the Knottywood Plum for $20 for 20 pounds, so I guess that will be my next experiment.
 
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mr_whipple

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Let's cram 10 minutes of content into an hour long video?

I think they admitted their preference was highly influenced by the nose blind.
After tending a smoker all day, I can barely taste any smoke, but my wife says the opposite.

Did you catch that Weber Grillmaster is Lumberjack competition blend?
Ditto on content vs time. I did catch that quote about Weber and LJ. I wonder if there's a price differential?

What causes me a question is the use of the water pan to mitigate (I hate that word) uneven heat in the pellet smoker. Mine most certainly runs hot on the left end, and I've often wondered about fire bricks or a pan full of sand etc, but water never crossed my mind. Is there a thread I missed in my not so deep search on this topic?
 

Humo18

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This very long side by side testing, I guess shows you can't go wrong with Traeger or LumberJack pellets. BUT..., smoking meat for your own consumtion should not be sceintifically complicated. I'm super happy with the great results I get from LJ and its price point just can't be beat!!! I have no need to hire a market research firm to tell me what brand of pellets most people in the USA prefer.
 

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