Whenever you’re smoking something, you should use smoker pellets to enhance the smoking experience as well as the flavor of what you’re cooking. The only thing is that you need to find smoker pellets which are high quality. Remember that smoker pellets are really just small wood pellets that are stuffed with flavorings in them. So, as you’re smoking your meat or other foods, the flavoring gets smoked into the food. The best part is that you don’t even have to watch the food as it’s smoking. Just set the timer on your smoker and then walk away until it’s done smoking.
If you’re used to barbecuing then you’re probably familiar with wood pellets and their ability to flavor foods like potatoes, meat, vegetables, baked foods, and whatever else you’d want to grill. But what most people don’t realize is that there are pellets made especially for grilling and those made especially for smoking. If you were to ask most grillers, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two.
It is important to choose the right pellet for the specific type of food your preparing because this will make the difference in how the food tastes after you’ve cooked it. Before we get further into the best smoker pellets, let’s talk about the history of where smoker pellets came from.
Smoker Pellets History
Eight years after the oil crisis of 1973, Americans were looking for a cheaper way to produce heat. A man named Joe Traeger had a family owned heating business in the state of Oregon and he was trying to figure out how to make a cheaper heating source for people. That was when he came upon wood pellets, which were created as byproducts at various lumber mills.
In 1985, Traeger was cooking chicken on the grill for the 4th of July celebration and he accidentally burnt the meat badly. That was when he came to the conclusion to use wood pellets in the grill for burning rather than charcoal. Soon later, he invented the new grill brand called Traeger Grills. His grills incorporated wood pellets into them and users could feed pellets into the fiery grill through a special auger that was built into it. There was also a blower in the grill which helped the pellets stay burned.
By the time the computer age hit, electronic controllers were built into grills which allowed the cooking chamber to have a thermostat in it. This thermostat connects to the auger and fan of the grill and will know when to activate based on the temperature reading. After a while, these “grills” were starting to be called another name, “smokers.” The difference between smokers and grills is that smokers does not cook food with an open flame like grills do. Smokers use indirect heat which helps prevent burning the food or overcooking it. It also makes the food taste better too.
Smoker Pellets Benefits
If you like to eat smoked foods such as salmon, pork chops, brisket, prime rib, and poultry, then you need a smoker which uses pellets. These pellets basically look like rabbit food. They are tiny capsules that are the size of an eraser that you’d find on the end of a pencil. Inside these capsules is sawdust that has been compressed. If you were to get these wood pellets wet, it would decompress and become sawdust once again.
There are no fillers and additives in smoker pellets like there are in charcoal briquettes. The benefit of this is having no ash form after the pellets burn. The highest quality smoker pellets will give your food the proper flavor and heat that it needs to become a delicious meal. You won’t even need to use wood chips either.
Smoker pellets will not cause you to smoke your food too much which is why you are able to walk away from your smoker while it’s on. Since traditional grills use direct flames, they are more capable of burning foods which is why those require constant supervision. However, you should still watch your food as it smokes because if the pellets get too hot, then it won’t produce enough smoke to properly cook and flavor the food.
Now you’re probably wondering about the flavoring of the pellets. There are different types of pellets out there which have its own flavoring so let’s get familiar with them now. The best smoker pellets have a lot of benefits as you can see.
Smoker Pellets Made of Hardwood
The greatest smoker pellet manufacturers in the world use the best wood types imaginable for their pellets in order to add natural flavors to smoked foods. When cooking meat with these pellets, it will add a smoky and woodsy flavor to it. Below is a list of pellet wood types and the best foods you can smoke with them for optimal flavor quality.
1) Oak Smoke Pellets – Great for smoking beef or fish.
2) Alder Smoke Pellets – Great to use with virtually all meats such as beef, fish, turkey, pork, or chicken. Regardless of the meat you choose, these pellets will add an earthy flavor to them.
3) Maple Smoke Pellets – If you want to smoke turkey, beef, or pork, these maple pellets can help add a light sweet flavor to it.
4) Pecan Smoke Pellets – Use these pellets to greatly enhance the flavor of your beef or pork.
5) Hickory Smoke Pellets – You can use these pellets with all meats except for fish.
6) Mesquite Smoke Pellets – These pellets are the best to use with fish as it will add spice and natural flavor to it. You can also use beef or chicken with them too.
Smoker Pellets Made of Fruitwood
Definitely the best smoker pellets around. Another great type of smoker pellets to look for at the store are the fruit-flavored ones. This will enhance your smoking experience to all new heights that you’ve never dreamt about before. Below are two of the most popular fruit-flavored smoker pellets that you ought to try and what you should try them with.
1) Apple – This smoker pellet flavor will put tartness in your pork or poultry meat.
2) Cherry – If you want your chicken, beef, or pork to taste rich and sweet, the cherry smoker pellets will do the trick.
Control and taste are the two qualities you’ll want to have in your smoker pellets. But don’t just stick with one type of pellet. Mix up the pellets and add a variety of flavors to your meats in order to enhance their flavor for your family and friends.