5 Best Grill Pellets for Smoking & Grilling

If you want to dominate at your next BBQ party, you don’t only need the best pellet grill and the best ingredients money can buy but also the right type of pellets.

Pellets are just as important as the grill itself. If you choose the wrong pellets, you just might ruin the taste and, in turn, the whole barbecue.

Below, I have gathered the best of the best grill pellets for any occasion, be it smoking, grilling, chicken, burgers, and other types of food and cooking techniques, leaving no stone unturned.

Louisiana Grills Texas Mesquite 55408 Pellets, 40-Pound, 40 Lb
The Texas Mesquite Pellets are a 35/65 blend of Mesquite and Maple; Imparts a strong, tangy, spicy flavor that will bring out the Tex-Mex in your cuisine
CookinPellets Premium Hickory Grill Smoker Smoking Wood Pellets, 40 Pound Bag (2 Pack)
HICKORY: Smoking pellets made of genuine hickory hardwood; BIG BAG: 40-pound bag; NO BARK: No bark, filler woods, and no flavor oils

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Are the Best Pellets for a Pellet Grill?

  • Best for Smoking: Green Mountain Grills Premium Texas Blend
  • Best for Grilling: Genuine Jim Beam Bourbon Barrel
  • Best for Brisket: BEAR MOUNTAIN Oak
  • Best for Burgers: CookinPellets Premium Hickory
  • Best for Smoking Turkey: Z GRILLS Premium Fruitwood

Best Of the Best Smoker Grill Pellets

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Get the best bang for the buck and cover as many types of food and cooking styles as possible in a single bag with Lumber Jack.

Competition Blend

Being a competition blend, this one covers a lot of ground.

Consisting of maple, hickory, and cheery (all of which are 1/3 of the bag), it’s best suited for everything and anything, including:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Seafood
  • Veggies

100% Pure

It’s made from purely natural hardwood – no residual sawdust and no second-grade wood here.

What’s more, only the bark and cambium layer of trees is used. This is where the trees have the most flavor.

Cook With Peace of Mind

Because the pellets don’t have any oils, sprays, fillers, binders, and other artificial ingredients in them, you can rest assured that both the environment and your body won’t be contaminated in any way.


The pellets are smaller than usual.

This creates a hotter burn and more smoke with very little waste.


  • Versatile
  • Made from pure wood
  • No additives
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Not uniform in size

Louisiana Grills Texas Mesquite 55408 Pellets, 40-Pound, 40 Lb
  • The Texas Mesquite Pellets are a 35/65 blend of Mesquite and Maple
  • Imparts a strong, tangy, spicy flavor that will bring out the Tex-Mex...
  • For use in pellet grills
  • Our raw wood is sourced across North America to make a superior...

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Once you’ll spice up the grill with these pellets, you’ll never go back to charcoal again.

Ideal for Tex-Mex

These pellets give out a strong spicy flavor that will make your Tex-Mex cuisine even more Tex-Mex-y.

Premium Blend

The Texas Mesquite is a combination of maple and mesquite (ratio 2:1), making this ideal for:

  • Steaks
  • Burgers
  • Pork
  • Veggies
  • Turkey

100% Natural Hardwood

Only the best of the best trees from North America end up in this bag.

Completely Natural

You won’t find any artificial chemicals here.

The pellets are glued together by the wood’s natural lignin.

Don’t Worry About Running Out

Instead of coming in a regular 1 lb or 20 lb bag, this one comes in a massive 40 lb bag.


  • All-natural
  • Brings out the spiciness
  • Ideal for big BBQs
  • Great flavor


  • Inconsistent burning
  • Expect some dust in the bag

BEAR MOUNTAIN Premium BBQ WOODS Premium All Natural Earthy and Bold Oak Smoker Wood Chip Pellets for Outdoor Gas, Charcoal, and Electric Grills, 40 Pound Bag
  • EARTHY OAK FLAVOR: Oak BBQ pellets add a smooth, smoky flavor to your...
  • ALL-NATURAL HARDWOODS: Made from 100-percent, all-natural pressed...
  • LOW MOISTURE: Low moisture content provides the perfect smoke
  • USE WITH MULTIPLE GRILL TYPES: Use with all outdoor pellet, gas,...
  • 40-POUND BAG: Comes in a 40-pound bag large enough to feed a grad...

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Backed by pros and enthusiasts alike, these oak cooking pellets will infuse any food you place on the grill with majestic and tasty smoke.

Go Strong With Flavors

When it comes to smoking, especially brisket, Bear Mountain Premium BBQ Woods is your best bet.

If you combine it with the Texas Mesquite reviewed above, your next Texas-style brisket will taste orgasmic.

It doesn’t end with briskets. This blend of pellets goes particularly well with other parts of beef including steaks and:

  • Seafood
  • Pork
  • Vegetables
  • Pizza
  • Lamb

And other foods that you can smoke.

You can grill and even sear but the result won’t be the same.

It’s All in the Wood

The fantastic taste and smoke these pellets produce are because of the wood itself – Appalachian oak wood to be precise.

There are no taste or odor additives added.

It’s all-natural.

Durable Bag

I’ve read a lot of complaints from other grillers about how their bag of pellets arrived with at least one tear at their doorstep.

But never with mine.

The bag is tear-resistant and has a thick wall.


  • Amazing flavor
  • Produces very little ash
  • Almost no dust
  • 100% pure oak
  • Clean smoke


  • Long pellets
  • Bag may arrive damaged

CookinPellets Premium Hickory Grill Smoker Smoking Wood Pellets, 40 Pound Bag (2 Pack)
  • SMOKEY FLAVOR: Add good, smokey flavor to your BBQ with these...
  • HICKORY: Smoking pellets made of genuine hickory hardwood
  • BIG BAG: 40-pound bag
  • NO BARK: No bark, filler woods, and no flavor oils
  • VARIETY OF USES: Great for use in grills and smokers for smoking pork,...

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Infuse them burgers with a strong smokey flavor with these premium hickory pellets.

Premium Pellets for Premium Cooking

The issue with burgers is they have a short cooking time which makes smoking more or less impossible because you need to hit them with as smoke as much as possible in a very short amount of time.

For this, you need strong and aromatic pellets which is what the CookingPellets are.

This blend also goes extremely well with:

  • Pork (especially pulled)
  • Brisket
  • Steak
  • Vegetables
  • Fish

Wide Range of Use

Grilling, barbecuing, smoking, or low-and-slow cooking, these pellets have you covered in all cases.

Plenty of Fuel

You get two 40 lb bags which should last you for quite some time.

Enhanced Flavor

Made from the finest parts of only hickory wood (other types of wood aren’t mixed in) and without any artificial chemicals that pose a risk to your health and/or environment, these pellets will turn your BBQ into an orchestra of flavors.


  • Clean smoke
  • Amazing flavor
  • Dense pellets
  • Efficient burn
  • Durable bag


  • Long pellets
  • May arrive damaged

Z GRILLS Premium BBQ Wood Pellets for Grilling Smoking Cooking,20 LB Per Bag Made in USA (Fruitwood, 3packs)
  • 【100% All-Natural】 Hardwood No Blending-100% American Fruit hard...
  • 【Clean &Safe Burning 】 8500 BTU’s per lb with very little ash.
  • 【Natural flavor】 That elevates your grilling...
  • 【Wide application】Perfect for any brand pellet grill , bring you a...
  • 【Perfect After-sale】Buy with confidence as we offer 30-days...

Last update on 2023-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Make a thanksgiving turkey everyone will remember for the rest of their lives using these fruitwood pellets from Z grills.

You Just Can’t Go Wrong With a Reputable Brand

Z grills is a very liked brand in the pellet grilling world.

Known by their entry-level and high-end pellet grills, the Z grills never let me down (and neither should you) regardless of the budget.

Their range of pellets is no exception.

Not Just for Thanksgiving

The pellets don’t just go well with turkey.

Fruitwood pellets don’t give the food a fruity sweet taste but also a pinky color making it ideal for:

  • Pork
  • Vegetables
  • Seafood
  • Other birds

Combined with hickory, it makes a tasty combination for a brisket.


Having no preservatives and other harmful chemicals, the smoke and ash these pellets produce won’t hurt both you and the environment.

The combustion is safe as well (as far as burning wood pellets goes).

No Fillers

It’s all-natural American hardwood.


Since they produce very little ash and are as dry as a bone, cleaning your grill becomes child’s play.


  • Superb taste
  • Produces very little ash
  • Efficient burning
  • No additives or fillers
  • Lasts quite a while


  • The bag may arrive damaged

Wood Pellet Flavor Guide

This a short, yet informative buying guide will make your decision on which pellets to choose much easier.

Note: If you’re not interested in reading the whole deal, simply scroll down and see the video. It’s less than a minute long.

There are many reasons why there are so many different grill pellets on the market.

The main reason is taste. Different wood gives a different taste.

The amount of smoke a certain type of wood produces also varies.

Heat retention is also another factor. Some perform extremely well (meaning you cook at high temperatures without issues) while others don’t and are therefore used mainly for low and slow cooking.

Because of this, each type has its own intended use (some go well with beef while others go with pork, and so on).

There are pre-made mixes (called “blends”) where there are at least 2 pellets types mixed together for increased versatility and ease of use.

A special type of blend is called a “competition” blend which has a wide variety of pellets and is considered universal (i.e. you can use it on any type of food and cooking style).

Without further ado, let’s see the most common wood pellets, how strong/mild is their flavor and their intended use.


These pellets give out a nutty and somewhat spicy flavor and are ideal for beef, poultry, pork, and pizzas.


Exceptionally versatile, oak wood pellets produce a strong smokey taste while producing little to mild smoke.

It pairs well with most food, especially game, venison, fish, pork, veggies, and beef.


A go-to choice when it comes to smoking. If the strong super smoky flavor you want, go with mesquite.

It gives a distinct piney flavor full of aroma with a hint of sweetness.

Because of this, it’s an obvious choice for beef (try a brisket or reverse sear a tomahawk steak, you won’t be sorry).

It goes well with foods with a short cooking time like burgers, sausages, hot dogs, and vegetables, to name a few. This is because of its intense smokey flavor.


Ever tried maple syrup? The taste is quite similar.

A mixture of smoke and sweetness.

Use it in conjunction with chicken, turkey, vegetables, and even some types of cheese.


Burning this bad boy produces a bold smoky flavor that reminds me of bacon.

It doesn’t go well with vegetables but it’s a great choice for most meat except fish and seafood.


A mild type of pellets, it produces a fair bit of smoke and covers your meat with the darkest smoke rings out of all pellets.

It’s most commonly used with pork, chicken, and fish. You won’t go wrong if you use it with other foods.


Apple pellets enhance the food with light sweet fruity smoke that compliments pork (ribs especially), chicken, turkey, and to some extent, fish.


A mild wood best known for its mild flavor with a hint of sweetness.

These pellets produce quite a lot of smoke, making them a great option for pork (bacon especially) and even delicate foods like chicken and fish.

What Type of Pellets Should I Buy?

This is a quick summary of the above.

I recommend sticking with these types depending on the type of food you’re planning on cooking:

  • Pizza: Pecan
  • Poultry (Chicken, Turkey): Cherry, apple, mesquite, pecan, alder
  • Fish: Hickory, oak, alder, cherry, apple
  • Steak: Mesquite, hickory, pecan
  • Brisket: Mesquite and hickory
  • Pork Ribs: Cherry and Mesquite
  • Burgers and Sausages: Pecan, hickory, mesquite, oak
  • Game: Oak
  • Vegetables: Hickory, mesquite, oak, apple, cherry

Let’s look at this from a different angle:

  • Pecan: Pizza, poultry, steak, burgers, sausages
  • Oak: Fish, burgers, sausages, game, beef, vegetables
  • Mesquite: Beef, burgers, sausages, hot dogs, vegetables, pork, turkey
  • Maple: Poultry, vegetables, cheese
  • Hickory: All “land” meat
  • Cherry: Pork, chicken, fish, vegetables
  • Apple: Pork, chicken, fish, vegetables
  • Alder: Pork, chicken, fish
  • Competition Blend: all of the above

How to Grill With Wood Pellets

Here you’ll learn how to properly use pellets on all types of grills, not just pellet ones.

How to Use Wood Pellets on a Pellet Grill

Your only job here is to fill the hopper and close the lid.

Then set the controller and off you go cookin’.

How to Use Wood Pellets on a Gas Grill

There are several ways you can do this:

  • Smoker box method
  • Pellet tube method
  • Pan method
  • Smoke bomb method

Smoker Box Method

A smoker box is exactly what it sounds like: a box in which you place pellets so you can safely smoke.

  1. Preheat the grill
  2. Fill the box with pellets and spread them evenly
  3. Set up the grill for indirect cooking by turning off at least one burner
  4. Place the box on the lit burner
    • The flames will quickly ignite the pellets
  5. Wait a while until the pellets inside get hot
    • If you have a probe, the internal temperature should be around 250°F (121°C)
  6. Place the food above the burners you’ve turned off previously

Smoker Tube Method

This is a variation of the above method instead of a box it’s a (hexagonal or round) tube.

The process is pretty much the same with some minor differences:

  1. Fill up the tube almost to the top
    • Leave about an inch
  2. Place the tube on the warming rack
  3. Ignite it
    • You can use a torch, heat gun, match, burner, lighter,…
  4. Let it burn for about a minute
  5. Preheat the grill
  6. Set up the grill for indirect cooking by turning off at least one burner
  7. Place the food above the burners you’ve turned off previously

Pan Method

  1. Fill a pan with pellets up to about 1/3 or 1/2 max
    • Cast-iron works best
  2. Place a sheet of aluminum foil and make a few holes
  3. Preheat the grill
  4. Turn off all the burners except one
  5. Place the pan over the lit burner
  6. Place the food above the burners you’ve turned off previously

Smoke Bomb Method

Also known as the foil pouch method, it’s the simplest and cheapest method.

You only need a sheet of aluminum foil.

Keep in mind that this thing lasts between half an hour to one hour.

Prepare at least another one ahead of time.

  1. Tear a sheet or two of aluminum foil
  2. Place a handful or two of pellets in the middle
  3. Crimp or fold the edges
  4. Make some holes in the top
  5. Place the bomb/pouch above the burner under the grates
  6. Turn only the burner above the bomb on
  7. Preheat the grill
  8. Place the food above the burners you’ve turned off previously

How to Use Wood Pellets in a Charcoal Grill

  1. Fill half a cup or a whole cup with pellets
  2. Arrange the charcoal for low and slow cooking
    • I’m going with the snake method in this case because it’s my favorite
  3. Add the pellets on top of the charcoal
  4. Ignite the charcoal snake at one end
  5. Wait for the grill to heat up

Tip: Add a smoke bomb or two for increased flavor

Note that a cup of pellets should last you about an hour and a half.

You can also smoke the same way you would on a gas grill.

How to Use Wood Pellets in a Smoker

The process of using pellets in a vertical pellet smoker is the same as with a pellet grill.

Just fill up the hopper with pellets, set the controller, and off you go.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Grill Pellets

What Pellets Give off the Most Smoke?

Hickory and Mesquite produce the most smoke.

How Long Does a 20 Pound Bag of Pellets Last?

Depending on the cooking temperature, outside temperature, and the quality of the pellets themselves, most 20 lb pound bags will last between 6 to 20 hours.

This translates to about 1 – 3 lbs of pellets per hour.

The higher the temperature, the faster they burn.

When smoking or cooking low and slow at 250°F (121°C), expect the bag to last for about 20 hours. If you’re planning on searing at high heat (at least 450°F or 232°C), it won’t last you more than 6 hours.

Can You Leave Pellets in the Hopper?

You won’t know until you try it.

Some sources say no while some grillers reported always leaving their hopper full and never emptying it without issues.

Go figure, right?

The main concern here is moisture.

Pellets are naturally dry but if they get somehow wet (during a storm or if it’s very humid outside), they either swell up and fall apart or rot.

If they fall apart, they can easily jam the auger and start a fire.

Rotting speaks mostly for itself. What most people overlook in this case is that the metal surrounding the rotting pellets can begin to rot itself.

I personally leave the pellets and I never had any issues. I always store the grill in a cool dry place with the cover on. I also use it regularly (at least once or twice a week).

While it’s a good practice to empty the hopper after every cookout it’s a very time-consuming task.

And time is something most of us can’t waste.

Do Wood Pellets Go Bad?

If stored and handled properly, no.

Moisture and rough handling are the main reasons why pellets go bad.

So if you store them in a cool and dry place (preferably in a sealed bag), and you don’t throw them around like a football, the pellets won’t go bad.

This, of course, applies to pellets of proper quality. By proper, I mean high-quality.

Can You Use Regular Pellets in a Pellet Grill?

Yes, you can but there’s a chance you can ruin the taste, your health, or both.

Regular pellets aren’t made with consumption in mind (hence the name “heating” pellets) and are typically sourced from woods that aren’t taste-friendly like spruce or pine.

Also, a lot of leftover wood and wood byproducts are often recycled into heating pellets. This wood also isn’t particularly great for cooking.

God only knows what else apart from wood they contain (I’m talking about binders, glues, fillers, and other impurities).

That being said, some grillers have tried this and reported no issues.

I considered doing the same but when I saw how they were made, I woved never to place the bag in the same room as the food let alone near it.

Do You Soak Wood Pellets Before Smoking?

No. Soaking does more damage than good.

Pellets aren’t the same as wood chips.

Do Pellets Smoke Better Than Wood Chips?

Because pellets are compressed, packed tightly, and have a lower moisture content than wood chips, they give a more smokey flavor than chips.


To reiterate, grill pellets are just as important as the grill itself.

If you truly want a fantastic barbecue, you not only must have the best grill for the job but also the best grill pellets.

Don’t forget that grilling is more of an art form than a science. To get the perfect masterpiece (the magnum opus of grilling), you need to experiment with different types of pellets in order to achieve the perfect taste.

The grill is a canvas and the pellets are the paint.

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Best Grill Pellets for Smoking & Grilling
Nancy Food Vlogger
About the author

Hi, I'm Nancy, a professional blogger, and writer with over 4 years of experience in creating engaging content for readers. I am the owner of CartsVella.com, where I share my insights on topics such as marketing, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle.