Other Pellets for Traeger
Traeger is the original pioneer in wood pellets and wood pellet grills with 6 different blends of premium high-quality wood pellets.
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Though there are some interesting alternative wood pellet brands out there that might appeal to barbecue purists as well as price-conscious outdoor chefs.
This includes top alternative wood pellet brands like Kingsford, Pit Boss, Louisiana Grills, Cookin’Pellets, Lumber Jack Grilling, Bear Mountain, and Green Mountain.
Though each is formulated in its own special way which might make them more appealing to certain cooking styles.
If you are a barbecue purist, who believes that specific cuts of meat need to be smoked with a traditional type of wood, then you might want to look into wood pellets by Kingsford, Pit Boss, and Lumber Jack Grilling.
If you are looking for a great way to save money on the price per pound, but you still don’t want to sacrifice quality, then CookinPellets, Louisiana Grills, and Bear Mountain are probably good places to start shopping for Traeger alternative wood pellets.
Which Other Pellets Can You Use in a Traeger?
If you are going to use an alternative brand of wood pellets in your Traeger grill, you need to make sure that they are high-quality, made from 100% natural wood with all-natural binders.
Minding these essential criteria will go a long way toward preventing auger jams, and maintaining the performance of your Traeger grill.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Traeger’s warranty language voids coverage if other “Fuels” are used in their wood pellet grills.
This can include using an alternative wood pellet brand, which might degrade, cause an auger jam, bend an auger screw or lead to a dangerous burn back incident.
Some of the top contenders for alternative wood pellet brands include Kingsford, Pit Boss, Louisiana Grills, Cookin’Pellets, Bear Mountain, and Green Mountain.
You should never use wood pellets that are meant for a wood pellet stove/furnace, as they have different binders and fibers that are not compatible with wood-pellet grills.
Traeger specifically notes that using furnace wood pellets will void their warranty coverage.
Which Other Pellets Should You Use in a Traeger?
The top wood pellet brands to use in a Traeger are Kingsford, Pit Boss, Louisiana Grills, Cookin’Pellets, Bear Mountain, Green Mountain, and Jack Daniels.
Each uses 100% hardwood for its pellets. Some are 100% named wood pellets and some are blends.
This can affect the characteristics of the smoke, which appeals to barbecue purists who believe that certain cuts of meat should only be smoked with certain types of wood.
Other high-quality wood pellet brands use a blend of base hardwood like oak with other accent woods, to optimize the performance and preheating.
This can also help reduce the percentage of ash the wood pellets leave behind.
Alternative to Traeger Pellets
The best alternative wood pellet brands to use in a Traeger are made from 100% hardwood with all-natural binders like organic lignin.
This includes Kingsford, Pit Boss, Louisiana Grills, Cookin’Pellets, Bear Mountain, Green Mountain, and Jack Daniels.
Though each has its own specific characteristics, strengths, and potential weaknesses.
It helps to understand them better before choosing the best alternative wood pellets for your Traeger grill.
Kingsford Wood Pellets
Kingsford offers wood pellets that are made from 100% named wood, as well as pellets that are made from a blend of very popular smoking woods.
The named wood pellets like Mesquite are supposedly made from 100% mesquite, just like how the 100% Cherrywood is made from 100% cherrywood.
These named pellets appeal to barbecue purists who believe that a specific cut of meat, like a Texas-style brisket, should only be smoked in 100% mesquite.
Though the lignin content of these woods can sometimes be inconsistent.
So, it’s a good idea to always sift Kingsford wood pellets before putting them in your Traeger.
Then make sure to purge the pellet hopper and clear the auger shaft at the end of a very long grilling session.
Louisiana Grills Wood Pellets
Louisiana Grills offers their own wood pellet grills and high-end smokers with high-quality 100% natural hardwoods to match.
They are very similar to Traeger wood pellets and are greatly valued for being premium wood pellets that you can find for a very reasonable price.
Though these are all blended wood pellets that include a high percentage of the named wood.
Though they are still not 100% of the named wood.
Some of Louisiana Grills’ top wood pellet blends include the Cherry Blend, Hickory Blend, Competition Blend, Mesquite Blend, and even the very popular Applewood Blend.
One of the ways that Louisiana Grills is able to offer premium blended wood pellets at such a great price is that they typically sell them in large 40-pound bags.
One package is guaranteed to last you several smoking sessions.
However, you need to properly store the remaining bulk in an airtight container to ensure that they don’t break down over time due to humidity exposure.
It’s also a good idea to sift older pellets to minimize the volume of dust and wood fibers that make it into your Traeger’s hopper.
Lumber Jack Grilling Wood Pellets
Lumber Jack Grilling is a brand of high-quality wood pellets with premium popular blends such as the Mesquite Blend and Hickory Pellets.
They use a high percentage of the named wood, but don’t necessarily use 100% of one wood type.
Something else to note about Lumber Jack Grilling wood pellets is that they de-bark the oak trees that they use in their base material.
However, they leave the bark on the trees of the named accent wood.
This is done because the strongest smoke flavor in any tree is typically found in the bark.
This means by removing the bark from oak they still get the oak’s consistency and high lignin content, yet it lets more of the accent wood’s natural flavor come through in the smoke the pellets produced.
This makes Lumber Jack Grilling’s wood pellets a nice compromise for barbecue purists, who want the strong aroma of traditional smoking wood.
Yet still want the superior lignin integrity, hot burn, and base that oak provides.
CookinPellets Wood Pellets
CookinPellets offers a 40-pound bag of “Perfect Mix” wood pellets.
They are considered by many to be a good alternative to Traeger pellets.
It features a premium mixture of popular hardwoods: hickory, cherry, hard maple, and applewood.
This makes them very versatile to be paired with just about any type of meat or seafood.
The 40-pound bag also helps reduce the price per pound, while giving you a bag that will last for many smoking sessions in a Traeger grill.
CookinPellets are always dried before packaging and have a low moisture content that makes them easy to light, as well as burning hot.
The blend they use was developed to be low on ash and dust.
One of the knocks on CookinPellets comes from barbecue purists who strictly adhere to smoking specific cuts of meat in certain types of smoking woods.
They can sometimes have an above-average amount of dust and wood fibers in the bottom of the large 40-pound bags, so make sure to sift the pellets before every smoking session and purge the hooper afterward.
Pit Boss Wood Pellets
Pit Boss is actually owned by Louisiana Grills, though they maintain their own brand identity in a lot of their wood pellet smokers and their branded wood pellets.
They use 100% natural hardwood without any artificial binders or fillers.
While they are technically “Blended” wood pellets, Pit Boss does offer an impressive lineup of 14 different wood pellet blends with classic accent woods.
This includes hickory, cherry, apple, oak, and mesquite, just to name a few.
All of the named accent woods also have a high percentage of the named wood, which is typically high enough to appeal to barbecue purists.
Pit Boss wood pellets are available in both 20-pound and 40-pound bags.
This lets you buy a bag of named accent wood in a small quantity for times when you want to pair a specific cut of meat with a traditional type of smoking wood.
Yet you can also keep blended wood pellets on hand for times when you need basic versatility.
Pit Boss wood pellets tend to be a high-quality, inexpensive alternative to Traeger wood pellets.
Though they don’t heat up as rapidly as Traeger, don’t get to as high of a heat level, and tend to leave behind a little more loose wood fiber at the bottom of each bag.
Bear Mountain Wood Pellets
Bear Mountain positions its wood pellets as being “Gourmet.”
As such they are made from 100% natural premium hardwood and are free of additives, binders, or unwanted fillers.
These are carefully curated custom blends that boast a rich, natural flavor that comes from hickory, maple, cherry, and oak wood pellets.
Bear Mountain Gourmet wood pellets are versatile enough to enhance beef, pork, seafood, poultry, lamb, and vegetables.
Bear Mountain wood pellets don’t tend to get as hot or preheat as rapidly as Traeger wood pellets, and can sometimes leave excess dust in the bottom of the bag.
They tend to be good all-around wood pellets but might not appeal to barbecue purists.
Green Mountain Grills Wood Pellets
Green Mountain Grills uses a proprietary process to create their wood pellets from 100% kiln-dried sawdust.
They tend to offer a fresh flavor with the versatility to smoke just about anything including beef, poultry, pork, fish, and even vegetables.
Like a lot of other Traeger alternatives, Green Mountain Grills pellets contain no additives or fillers and are always made from 100% hardwood material.
Green Mountain Grills wood pellets are available in different blends.
This includes their popular Fruitwood Blend with a touch of sweetness to their stronger Premium Texas Blend, which appeals to barbecue purists.
Though their cost per pound is a little on the high side compared to other alternative Traeger wood pellet brands.
Weber Wood Pellets
Weber is a relative newcomer in the world of wood pellet grills.
They make their pellets from 100% natural hardwood with organic binders.
They are specially formulated to burn cleanly and efficiently, which leaves behind very little ash.
This is handy for Weber’s specially engineered wood pellet grills, and also makes them compatible with Traeger grills.
You can even get Weber wood pellets in accent blends like apple, cherry, mesquite, hickory, and grill master.
Though the exact percentage of named wood in these blends is not 100% clear.
Weber wood pellets also tend to be priced a little on the high side and come in somewhat smaller bags.
Traeger’s marketing language and the fine print of their warranty coverage insist that you only use their brand of wood pellets.
However, there are still some great alternative pellet brands out there that are fully compatible with Traeger grills.
Some like the 100% named wood versions of Kingsford and the blended accent varieties offered by Pit Boss are very appealing to barbecue purists.
Especially if you are the type of person who believes that you need to smoke certain cuts of meat in a specific type of traditional smoking wood.
If you are price-conscious, and not a purist, then brands like Louisiana Grills and CookinPellets might be a great option.
They are typically sold in large 40-pound bags which saves on the price per pound.
They also tend to be blended with popular types of smoking woods that are versatile enough to do a good job of smoking just about any meat or vegetables.
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
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