Best Wood Pellets for Smoking | Buying Guide

Do you love the taste of smoked meats? If so, you need to be using the best wood pellets for smoking.

In this blog post, we will discuss the best types of wood pellets for smoking and provide a list of our top picks.

We’ll also give you a few tips on how to choose the right pellets for your pellet grill or smoker.


Best Wood Pellets For Smoking

Natural hardwood pellets provide an intense smoky flavor that can’t be beaten. So, whether you’re a beginner or an expert pellet smoker, this blog post will be for you.

Our picks for best wood pellets for smoking

These are our best wood pellets for smoke flavor because of their intense smoky flavor, low ash content, and availability.

1. Lumber Jack BBQ Wood pellets (Mesquite Blend)

This mix contains 60% Oak and 40% Mesquite, which has a nice blend of both heat and Mesquite taste.

  • Great with beef, ribs, poultry, and game birds.
  • Smaller diameter to create a hotter burn and more smoke with more surface area.

The Lumber Jack company states: “We are a round log plant which means we harvest actual trees and chip them up as green chips, with full flavor to make our BBQ pellets.”

Lumber Jack Wood Pellets

What we like:

Why we chose Lumber Jack Mesquite Blend:

  • I like a very smoky and intense flavor for smoking beef and this pellet delivers.
  • I’ve also used it for smoking pork and chicken with great results.
  • The Mesquite blend is a great smoking wood pellet for briskets or other beef cuts.

If you want a more intense smoky flavor, we recommend the Lumber Jack pellets.

What we don’t like:

A couple of things might be issues for some people.

  • First, these pellets are a little more expensive than some of the others on our list.
  • Second, they are found on Amazon but I didn’t see any with Prime shipping available.

2. Pit Boss Grilling Wood Pellets (Maple)

Pit Boss makes great wood pellets for smoking and this is their best Maple blend. It has a 70% hardwood and 30% softwood mix. The bag says it’s great with pork, chicken, fish, and veggies.

Pit Boss says: “Mild with sweet undertones, Pit Boss All-Natural Maple Premium Barbecue Hardwood Pellets enriches your pork, poultry, seafood, and baking.”

If a mesquite smoke flavor is too intense for you, I think this Maple blend might be the right choice for you.

Pit Boss Maple Blend Wood Pellets

What we like:

Why we chose Pit Boss Maple:

  • The Pit Boss pellets have a great smoky flavor that isn’t too intense.
  • These are great for smoking pork, chicken, and fish.
  • They are also a good choice for smoking veggies if you want to infuse them with a smoky flavor.

They are also a good value for the price.

What we don’t like:

Pit Boss states that their pellets are “100% natural with no added chemicals or binders.”

However, we would like to see a more specific breakdown of the hardwood and softwood mix.

3. Camp Chef Competition Blend BBQ Pellets, 20 lb. Bag

Camp Chef pellets are award-winning and this competition blend contains Maple, Hickory, and Cherry hardwoods.

They are great for smoking anything, like beef, pork, poultry, and fish. They provide a nice clean burn and a good flavor profile.

Camp Chef says: “These pellets were designed to give you the best possible barbecue flavor whether you’re grilling, smoking, or baking.”

Camp Chef Competition Wood Pellets

What we like:

Why we chose Camp Chef Competition Blend:

  • You can use this blend to smoke everything, so you don’t need to buy other pellets.
  • Good price for a 20lb. bag on Amazon.
  • They burn great with a good flavor.

What we don’t like:

  • Some people might not like the cherry flavor in this pellet. I personally think it’s a great addition, but some might find it too strong.

4. Traeger Grills Signature Blend, 20 lb. Bag

Alright, so I finally get to the Traeger wood pellets. Many people love these and might rate them as number one on their list.

Traeger Grills Signature Blend

Their signature blend is made up of hickory, maple, and cherry hardwoods that combine “for a flavor that can take on just about anything you cook.”

This is another great choice for a full flavor blend pellet, and you can’t go wrong with Traeger pellets.

Traeger says: “… spent years mastering the development of hardwood pellets that have just the right amount of moisture content—the sweet spot—to maintain a perfect burn-to-smoke ratio.”

Traeger Blend Pellets

What we like:

Why we chose Traeger Signature Blend:

  • These pellets are great for smoking anything and everything.
  • They have a perfect all-around hardwood blend that produces delicious food every time.

What we don’t like:

  • Traeger pellets may be a little more expensive than others but they are quality pellets.

5. Bear Mountain BBQ – Gourmet Blend (20 lb. Bag)

This Bear Mountain BBQ Gourmet Blend is another balanced pellet blend suitable for all meats and even vegetables.

The hardwood blend is made up of hickory, maple, cherry, and oak.

This is a good all-around pellet that will give you a nice smoky flavor without being too intense. I think it is best suited to ham and fish.

Bear Mountain says: “Perfect for all types of foods, our gourmet blend will produce a subtle smoky flavor that enhances the natural flavors

Bear Mountain Gourmet Blend Pellets

What we like:

Why we chose Bear Mountain Gourmet Blend:

  • This pellet has a great smoky flavor that is perfect for all types of meats and even vegetables.
  • Available in both 20lb. and 40lb. bags.
  • A very consistent pellet that burns efficiently.

What we don’t like:

  • Some people thought the pellets were too long.

6. Bonus: BBQr’s Delight Wood Smoking Pellets – Super Smoker Variety Value Pack

Check out this pellet sampler pack to try out different several flavors. Want to figure out what flavor you like best before buying a whole 20lb. bag, or want to experiment with different flavor combinations? This is a great option for you.

The set includes: Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan, and Jack Daniel’s flavors.

What we like:

Why we chose BBQr’s Delight Wood Smoking Pellets:

  • A great way to try out different flavors before committing to a whole bag.
  • The pellets are 100% natural with no added chemicals or binders.
  • You can add these to your other cooks to enhance or add to the flavor profile.

What we don’t like:

  • The bags are only 1lb. each, so use them wisely, but this is a sample pack.

How do I select and which pellet should you pick?

I wanted to choose wood pellets that were quality made first of all to ensure they would burn efficiently and produce good flavor. Also, I wanted to find a variety of pellets so you could choose the best one for your needs.

I prefer the mesquite flavor but someone else might like a blend the best. Included is a nice cross-section of choices so everyone can find one they like best.

Here are the wood pellets that made my top six list:

  1. Lumber Jack BBQ Wood pellets (Mesquite Blend)
  2. Pit Boss Grilling Wood Pellets (Maple)
  3. Camp Chef Competition Blend BBQ Pellets, 20 lb. Bag
  4. Traeger Grills Signature Blend, 20 lb. Bag
  5. Bear Mountain BBQ – Gourmet Blend (20 lb. Bag)
  6. BBQr’s Delight Wood Smoking Pellets – Super Smoker Variety Value Pack

That is my list of some of the best wood pellets for smoking that we’ve found. It is difficult to nit-pick between wood pellets, all the ones on my list are quality made with hardwoods, and have a good flavor profile that imparts a rich flavor to whatever you are smoking. I prefer the mesquite flavor the best for briskets and other beef, but the blends are also a great option.

Also Read: Best Outdoor Patio Heaters to keep you warm on your patio.

What are the different wood pellet flavors?

You may have seen the array of choices in pellet flavors. This are a list of what the pellet flavors are and how you may want to use them in your pellet smoker.

  • Mesquite: One of the strongest smoking woods, mesquite has a bold flavor that is best used with beef and lamb.
  • Cherry: One of the best fruit woods for smoking, cherry has a mild sweetness that is perfect for pork, poultry, and fish.
  • Maple: Another great fruit wood for smoking, maple has a slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with beef and lamb.
  • Hickory: A classic smoking wood, hickory has a strong, robust flavor that is perfect for pork and beef.
  • Oak: One of the most versatile smoking woods, oak has a milder flavor that pairs well with all types of meats.
  • Pecan: Pecan has a sweet, nutty flavor that is perfect for pork, poultry, and lamb.
Wood pellet pairings

To match the pellet flavor to your meat, simply look at the chart above and find the best wood for your needs.

Electric Smoker vs Pellet Smoker

If you’re in the market for a new smoker, you may be wondering which type is best for you – an electric smoker or a pellet smoker.

How To Choose The Right Wood Pellets For Smoking

Now that you know some of the best wood pellets for smoking, how do you choose the right ones for your pellet grill or smoker?

Here are a few tips to help you choose the best wood pellets for smoking:

  1. Consider what type of meat you’ll be smoking. Different meats pair well with different types of wood pellets. See the list above.
  2. Choose a wood pellet with low ash content. The lower the ash content, the cleaner the burn. This means easier cleanup.
  3. Consider the intensity of the smoke flavor. If you want a strong smoky flavor, choose a wood pellet with a high smoke point.
  4. Make sure the wood pellets are dry and free of dust. Wet or damp pellets can create problems in your pellet grill or smoker.
  5. Choose a wood pellet that is easy to find and purchase. Some types of wood pellets are difficult to locate, which is why my list included widely available wood pellets.

Best brand of wood pellets

What is the best brand of wood pellets?

There are many brands of wood pellets on the market and they all have their own unique flavor.

My personal favorite is Lumber Jack Wood Pellets for their mesquite blend. I find them to be of high quality and they produce a great flavor.

Pit Boss, Camp Chef, and Traeger are also very highly ranked and any one of these would be a good choice in wood pellets.

The best brand of wood pellets for you will depend on your personal preferences.

Do you want a strong smoky flavor? A sweet flavor? A mild flavor? The best way to find out is to try different brands and see which one you like best.

What are wood pellets?

Wood pellets for smoking are made from compressed hardwood sawdust. The sawdust is then formed into pellets and placed in a pellet smoker or grill.

Wood pellets are small compacted nuggets made from hardwood such as hickory, mesquite, oak, or pecan. They’re about the size of a pencil eraser and have low moisture content. They are a renewable energy source and are food-grade safe. Also, since they are so compact, they burn very efficiently.

When the pellets are heated, they release smoke which flavors the meat.

Wood pellets are a great way to add flavor to your meats without adding any chemicals.

Wood pellets are great because they:

  1. Give food a smoky flavor without adding any chemicals.
  2. They are food-grade pellets and safe.
  3. They burn very efficiently.

Note that wood pellets made for smokers are not the same as wood pellets made for heating or other uses. See below for the differences.

The difference between smoking pellets and other heating pellets.

Smoking pellets are made from 100% hardwood with no fillers or binders. They are completely safe for food use and contain no chemicals.

Other heating pellets may be made from a blend of hardwood and softwood and may contain fillers or binders. These types of pellets are used for heating homes and are not food-safe for example.

When choosing wood pellets for smoking, it’s important to choose pellets made from 100% hardwood with no additional binders as they can create problems in your pellet grill or smoker, so it’s best to avoid them.

Best way to store wood pellets

You do not want your wood pellets to get wet or absorb any moisture, so proper storage is important.

So, what are the best practices for storing wood pellets?

  1. The best way to store wood pellets is in a cool, dry place. The goal is to avoid moisture.
  2. An airtight container is also a good idea to keep the pellets from absorbing any moisture from the air. A large bucket or another container that you can tightly seal will be ideal and is better than keeping the pellets in their original bag if it has been opened.
  3. You can store wood pellets for up to two years if they are properly stored. After that, they may start to deteriorate and will not burn as well.

Note: Do not leave any wood pellets in the hopper of your smoker. This will impact the performance of the smoker as the pellets absorb moisture and break apart.

Related: If you’re looking for the best kind of firewood to use in your fireplace or wood stove, you should consider kiln-dried firewood. I wrote a whole article covering how kiln-dried firewood is made and how to use it.

Which pellets produce the most smoke?

For the most smoke, a hardwood such as Mesquite or Hickory is better than a fruit wood like Apple. In addition, smoking at a lower temperature will also help produce more smoke for your cook.

Here are some tips for producing more smoke:

  1. Choose a hardwood like Mesquite or Hickory.
  2. Smoke at a lower temperature.
  3. Use a smoke tube or box.

Wood pellet FAQs

Are all wood pellets food-grade safe?

Wood pellets made specifically for smoking are food-grade safe and contain no chemicals. However, other pellets made for heating may not be food-grade and can contain chemicals.

How long do wood pellets last?

Wood pellets can last about 2 years with proper storage and will start to deteriorate after that point.

Do I need a special smoker for smoking wood pellets?

No, you can use any smoker or grill that you have. However, there are some smokers that are designed specifically for smoking pellets which may make your cook easier.

Do I need to soak wood pellets?

No, do not soak your wood pellets, this will cause them to break down and not burn as well.

Best wood pellets for smoking – Summary

We hope this article has helped you learn more about the best wood pellets for smoking. Be sure to check out our website for more great tips and tricks on how to use your pellet grill or smoker.

If you are looking for my top pick for wood pellets, it is Lumber Jack BBQ Wood pellets (Mesquite Blend).

J.S. Diyhouseskills

I’m J.S., I created and am the content manager at I do the research and write the articles that appear on this website. I’ve learned many household skills during my life and think it’s important to at least know the basics so that you can save yourself time and money… READ FULL BIO >