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Smoking with wood heating pellets

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ethm1, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. I'm in the middle of making some small cold smoke generators and was wondering if I can use the commercially produced hard wood pellets used in pellet stoves, in my smoke generator.  I realize there are only a couple types, and probably oak would be my only recourse.

    What say you folks?
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Never used them . But the 1st thing i'd check is what binder do they use to form the pellets. Lots of things ok in a heater that i wouldn't want around my food
  3. I agree. The binder and type of wood they start with is the difference. I'm told non food type may start with plywood, press board, etc..The good food type pellets are not that much higher priced. Shipping is always the key. Stay safe. Steve.
  4. TulsaJeff

    TulsaJeff Smoke Whisperer Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member

    I am fairly positive that at least some of those wood stove pellets are made of pine, spruce and other soft woods. Binder aside, that alone would disqualify them for cooking. The binder and source of the sawdust would be a concern even if the wood was ok.

    I recommend contacting the manufacturer to get more specifics on the composition of the pellets.
    luvnmt likes this.
  5. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    How 'bout Rabbit Pellets (The before--not the after!).

    Just kidding---I agree with the 3 scholars who replied before me.

  6. Thanks for the info, about what I figured. Was just trying to find a cheaper and more local source.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  7. jeanne

    jeanne Newbie

    We also have a wood pellet stove, and you don't want to use those to smoke meat, because they contain paraffin or some other oil derivative to bind them together and help them burn.  They would make you meat nasty.  If you don't believe me, just leave the door open on your pellet stove for a while.
  8. I have a Green Mountain Grill and it is a pellet smoking grill.  I use the food grade pellets for smoking that are made out of hardwood (apple, hickory, mesquite, oak, pecan).  Most of the wood pellets that are used in heating applications consist of softwood (spruce, pine, etc)  However there is one pellet manufactured by Marth that is made from maple wood that can be used for both applications.
  9. todg

    todg Fire Starter

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Only use wood pellets that say for grills or smokers only.
  10. tropics

    tropics Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have checked before on that, most bags say not recommended for cooking.

  11.   Read the package or call the company if you have doubts. I bought a bag of "Ozark Premium Hardwood Heating Pellets" that say "all natural hardwoods, no fillers or binders" right on the bag. I bought them for the same reason as I was experimenting with smoke generators and I wanted pellets for testing how the device worked and these were $3.89 for a 40# bag.

      I have cooked with these because the smoke smelled like a mixture of oak and hickory to me and the results were fine. I know some pellet grills are shipped with a bag of these same pellets from the factory. Pressing the wood through a die under high pressure activates the lignans in the wood to bind the pellet.

      There is a thread about this subject in the Pellet Smokers group. Do a search.


    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  12. tropics

    tropics Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Had to go to Lowes so I took a pic.

  13. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

  14. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    We have a large pellet plant north west of us and they use mostly pine. They are building 2 or 3 more plants just south of us and they will be using mostly pine as well. I forget what country but one has outlawed anything except pellet burners for heat so lots of pellets are being exported which is one of the reasons for the prices going up and there being more demand
  15. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    Plus Pellet Heating Stoves are getting more popular.

    I paid $209 per ton year before last, $229 last year, and now they are $249 per ton. And that's if you get them before the end of August. During the heating season they go up quite a bit more!!

  16. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So this is a topic which is very near and dear to me. I was dropping almost $18 for a 20lb bag of pellets which lasted me 1 - 2 weeks MAX when the wife said to me it may be time to reconsider your $1200 purchase of the Rec Tec.

    I have done my research up and down and have contacted a few of the companies that produce pellets for heating purposes. The first company I reached out to is Greene Team which is usually stocked by Lowes in my area. I actually called on two separate occasions and spoke with two different representatives and received the same answer. They explained to me that their pellets are 100% hardwood pellets with no glues or other toxins used as binding agents or fillers. The only difference between this and and the pellets that you pay $15 - $20 for a 20lb bag is the saw dust from the mills are not specific to a certain type of wood. So you may get a mix of oak and maple and poplar in your pellets. He confirmed that he personally uses these pellets in his cooker at home and feeds all the food to his children without any hesitation. The reps knew I was not a big pellet consumer and really had nothing to gain from me besides my $50 every 6 - 8 months. Because they knew I didn't heat my home with pellet fuel and I wasn't their average customer buying a ton of pellets at a time.

    So I picked up 5 40lb bags at my local Lowes this past spring and burned through them all summer and I have concluded that I am 100% satisfied in the wood flavor in all of my cooking. Which includes high heat and low heat for smoking. Even in my baking we are 100% pleased. My only gripe (and it's not even a gripe because of the massive savings benefits) is that it burns through these pellets a little bit faster. My friends and family are more than pleased with the cooker and what it produces.

    So all in all I say do your research and if you can confirm that you are getting quality 100% hardwood pellets with a reputable company I say paying $6 for a 40lb bag of pellets is a no-brainier!

    Please shoot me a PM if you care to discuss more, I love pellet talk. [​IMG]

  17. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

  18. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    The pellets we use in our stove are all pine...
  19. cman55

    cman55 Smoke Blower

    I've become a recent convert to using pellets in a GF smoker. Hickory, Cherry, Oak, Mesquite all work quite well. The only difference that I can see between a GF smoker and a Pellet smoker is that with the GF, gravity feeds the pellets into the smoking chamber whereas with the Pellet smoker, a auger does the exact same thing. Just finished a Turkey Leg smoke with pellets and the product was absolutely my best effort yet. Just the right amount of smoke imparted to the meat. I will continue experimenting with Pellets in the chute. My next Brisket will be done with a Cherry/Oak mix. Cherry in the chute and Oak chunks in the ash tray. The Possibilities are endless!
  20. smittik

    smittik Newbie

    cman55I see that you use pellets in you GF smoker and I was wondering how that's been workout for you? I'm in the market for a new smoker and have it down to the Yoder Ys 1500 and the Assassin 28. I'm leaning towards the GF smoker b/c I like option of being able to use both lump or pellets for fuel. I just haven't been able to find any info on using pellets in a GF smoker. You are the 1st person I've come across that uses pellets in one.
    Do you have a problem with the pellets falling through the holes in charcoal chute?