Can you use pellets in a regular smoker? This question has crossed the minds of nearly every regular grill user thinking of switching things up.
Our seasoned grill professionals will go over whether you can use pellets in a normal smoker and the best ways of making sure that the pellets give you the ideal flavors.
What Are Wood Pellets?
Wood pellets are tablet-shaped pieces made of groundwood bark. They are primarily used for grilling in electronic pellet grills and serve as an alternative to wood chips.
What Are Its Uses?
Biomass wood pellets are great sources of heating and serve as an alternative to charcoal, firewood, gas, and oil. Surprisingly, they also work great as animal beddings.
They are also a low-carbon alternative to coal, allowing them to be used in generating electricity.
Pros and Cons of Wood Pellets
Let’s go over some pros and cons of using wood pellets when grilling.
Variety of Flavors and Kinds
Plenty of different kinds of wood can be used for making pellets. You can mix and match wood types when smoking, allowing you to get the right flavor profile, temperature and weight.
Easy to Control the Amount of Smoke
Wooden pellets are great for residential areas and even inside homes because of their small, consistent size. You can easily determine the right amount of pellets for your smoking needs.
No Need to Soak
Pellets are made by squeezing sawdust into shape. This process affords its rigidity and helps remove any contaminants. Unlike wood blocks, you should not wet your pellets.
Wood Pellet Flavor Guide
Here’s a handy guide for which wood pellet type works for which kinds of food.
Mesquite Wood Pellets
The most common wood for Texas barbeque, Mesquite, is a surprising favorite for grilling chicken, turkey, and other poultry, as well as the usual pulled pork or beef.
Apple Wood Pellets
Applewood gives off a fruitiness that makes it excellent for smoking ham, poultry, pork, or even an apple pie. It's one of the most used fruitwoods.
Cherry Wood Pellets
Cherry wood gives off a rich, smoky flavor that lends itself well to ribs, pork, and beef. It allows the meat to fall off the bone when left to smoke slowly on low heat.
Hickory Wood Pellets
The most used barbeque wood, Hickory, has a strong smoky flavor characteristic of BBQ meats. It excels with ribs and other slow-roasted, juicy meats.
Pecan Wood Pellets
This nutty, flavorful wood type works great for smoking beef or pork brisket. It’s also unexpectedly good for adding a char to baked goods.
Can I Use Pellets in a Charcoal Smoker?
It is possible to use pellets in a grill made for charcoal. Apply a layer on top of your charcoal to give food a woody, smoky flavor.
Can You Use Pellets in a Propane Smoker
The answer is also yes, provided you’re using wood pellets specifically made for food use. It is best to use them inside a metal box or wrapped in aluminum foil.
Can You Use Pellets in an Electric Smoker
Plenty of pellet grills is electric. It may be the safest type of grill to use wood pellets, as it regulates the number of pellets you will need.
Using Pellets in a Regular Smoker
Here are some things to remember when using pellets for smoking meat.
Lighting Smoker Pellets
When using an electric pellet grill, simply load the pellets into the hopper. While cooking, the hopper will feed the necessary amount of pellets automatically.
Do You Soak Pellets Before Smoking?
Avoid soaking pellets before smoking to allow them to retain their integrity and shape.
Using Wood Pellets in an Offset Smoker
Pellets work on any cooking device you place them on, including offset smokers. However, you will need to frequently replace pellets in an offset smoker and keep a close eye on them to avoid bad smoke.
It’s also recommended to use a blend of charcoal and wood to achieve a balance between heat and flavor.
As our grilling pros elaborate, you can use pellets in a regular smoker. It offers different flavor profiles and easier clean-up.