What Pellets Work in Traeger?
Traeger brand wood pellets are designed to perform best in a Traeger grill, though other branded pellets like Kingsford, Pit Boss, CookinPellets, Weber, and Louisiana Grills will all work in a Traeger.
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Each of these brands has a strong reputation for being made from 100% natural hardwood, with organic binders, and no fillers.
This lets them burn hot, produce rich, flavorful smoke, and leave little ash behind.
Weber wood pellets tend to work just as well as Traeger’s in-house brand.
Though they do cost a little more per unit, which makes them a fallback plan if Traeger pellets aren’t readily available.
Pit Boss wood pellets offer a wide variety of named accent woods.
They can be very appealing to barbecue purists who want to pair traditional woods like mesquite, hickory, or cherry with specific cuts of meat.
Though they don’t always burn as hot and fast as Traeger pellets and tend to have more wood fibers in the bag.
So, if you do want to use Pit Boss wood pellets in a Traeger, make sure to sift them first, and empty the hopper afterward.
When looking for alternative wood pellets, it’s a good idea to stay away from wood pellets that are meant for wood pellet furnaces.
They have too many artificial binders and low-grade wood fibers for use in a Traeger.
Not only can it damage the internal components of your grill, but it can introduce chemical binders and ash to your food.
Charcoal pellets will technically work in a wood pellet grill, though they do have a lot of artificial binders and fillers which make a lot of ash.
They can also affect performance.
To this point, Traeger recommends only using their brand of wood pellets in their grills.
If you do want to add some charcoal aroma to food being grilled in your Traeger, it’s best to only add a modest amount of charcoal pellets to accent the flavor of the existing wood pellet flame.
Which Pellets Work the Best in Traegers?
Traeger wood pellets always work the best in a Traeger grill, with Kingsford, Pit Boss, CookinPellets, Weber, and Louisiana Grills also being top contenders.
Just bear in mind that Traeger’s marketing messages and their warranty policy insist that you should only use their brand of wood pellets in their grills.
Can You Use Any Pellets in a Traeger?
You can technically use any wood pellet that is made from 100% all-natural hardwood and meant for grilling purposes.
You should never use wood pellets made for heating a wood pellet stove or furnace.
These are made from low-quality woods and tend to have artificial binders and fillers that can jam a Traeger’s auger and potentially damage the internal components.
Not to mention giving off an unpleasant smoke that was never meant to be used for cooking food.
You might want to also think twice about using charcoal pellets in a Traeger grill.
They are made with a lot of binders and fillers to help the charcoal dust maintain a pellet-like shape.
This can lead to inconsistent burn rates and excess ash in the Traeger’s firepot.
It can also leave flammable charcoal particulate in the auger shaft, which could result in a burn back incident during a longer smoking session.
Can You Put Pit Boss Pellets in a Traeger?
Pit Boss wood pellets will work perfectly fine in a Traeger.
Pit Boss has accent wood blends that appeal to barbecue purists who strongly believe that traditional smoking woods should be used for making specific cuts of meat.
Just bear in mind that Pit Boss wood pellets tend to leave more dust and wood fibers in the bottom of the bag.
So, make sure to sift them before you add Pit Boss pellets to your Traeger’s hopper.
Then purge the hopper after every smoking session.
This will help prevent auger jams and burn back problems that sometimes occur when a lot of wood fibers end up in a Traeger’s auger shaft.
Can You Use Weber Pellets in a Traeger?
Weber wood pellets will work in a Traeger grill just like Traeger’s own brand of pellets.
They tend to burn hot and fast with a cloud of rich smoke.
They also tend to leave very little ash behind, which helps with cleanup.
However, Weber wood pellets tend to be sold in smaller bags, and usually carry a higher price tag per pound than Traeger.
When you also consider the language in Traeger’s warranty policy that can void coverage for using alternative fuel sources, Weber pellets are better served as a last resort when you can’t find the Traeger pellets you want.
Traeger did their absolute best to make some of the best premium wood pellets for its grills.
So, it’s no wonder why they stand by their product and strongly encourage you to only use their brand of wood pellets in your Traeger grill.
However, a lot of other brands like Pit Boss and Weber will also work well in a Traeger grill.
Weber might cost a little more per unit, but they burn on par with Traeger’s wood pellets and arguably leave behind less ash.
Pit Boss has more diversity in their lineup of wood pellets with 14 different blends including a lot of named woods like hickory and mesquite to appeal to barbecue purists.
However, they do have a reputation for not burning quite as hot as Traeger’s pellets and Pit Boss tends to leave behind more wood fibers in the bag.
So, be sure to sift Pit Boss pellets before adding them to a Traeger hopper, and then purge the hopper as well as clear the auger shaft after every grilling session.
You should never use furnace or wood pellet stove pellets in a Traeger grill.
The type of wood used and the potential for chemical binders aren’t good for the Traeger’s internal components and can make some terrible tasting food.
Not to mention the risk of toxins in the meat.
Traeger advises against using charcoal pellets for many of the same reasons.
While they are food safe, the artificial binders and fillers in charcoal pellets can leave behind a lot of ash.
They can also leave excess particulate matter in the auger shaft, which can increase the risk of a back burn incident.
If you do want to add some charcoal aroma to the smoke, you should only use charcoal pellets as an accent to the primary wood pellet flame inside the Traeger.
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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