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Old 03-16-2020, 04:30 PM   #1
jimh
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Question What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

What pellets to you like to use in your Traeger? I’m pretty new to using it since I just got it for a Christmas present last December.

We’ve tried Signature Blend with chicken, pork, beef, deer, and elk. It’s ok, but I find it a little mild.

I’d prefer to stay with one type. Sure, I could empty each time, but then I’d have to store them.

I’m thinking about going to Hickory. Do you think is a good idea or should I go with something else. I’ll be using this with chicken, pork, beef, deer, and elk.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 03-16-2020, 04:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Pit Boss is my favorite. $14 bucks for a 40lb bag at a Walmart near you.

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Old 03-16-2020, 04:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I don't like the traeger pellets. The bear mountain pellets are local and good. If you are cooking hot, I even bought some Lil devil pellets at winco. They are also local. They were 5 bucks for 20 pounds.

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Old 03-16-2020, 04:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

As far as flavor, I generally use what Traeger's recipe page recommends for a similar food I plan to cook.

As for brand, I use the Traeger pellets. I also believe there is a warranty issue if you use another brand.
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Old 03-16-2020, 04:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I used Bear Mountain with my traeger with positive results. They are cheaper and just as good as the brand Traeger makes you think you need to use. I’ve since moved on from traeger to a Big Green Egg and charcoal. I monitor the heat of the egg and the internal temperature of the meat with a Smoke Thermometer from Thermoworks. My BBQ has moved to a higher level.

I don’t use Big Green Egg Charcoal either. There are other good quality brands available for less than half the price.
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:07 PM   #6
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Ask Amahnee he should give some good info.I use Green mountain or Bear mountain in GMG .Have heard Target pellets are flavor infused ?.Where GM And Bear mountain are real wood .Fruit wood is a good basic blend .Hickory can be a little much .Fun to try them all.Alder is good also oh so many to try .Fire that bad boy up .Remember to Vaccum out fire box .

Last edited by Cathunter1; 03-16-2020 at 07:31 PM. Reason: Missed that day in school about proof reading 🤘Told my mom I was sick and went Huntin 😎
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Lil devil $5 @ bag at winco. Great all purpose pellets.

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Old 03-16-2020, 06:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathunter1 View Post
Ask Amahnee he should give some good info.I use Green mountain or Bear mountain in GMG .Have heard Target pellets are flavor infused ?.Where GM And Bear mountain are real wood .Fruit wood is a good basic blend .Hickory can be a little much .Fun to try them all.Slder is good also oh so many to try .Fire that bad boy up .Remember to Vaccum out fire box .


This is what I do and what I have heard
I use fruit blends for fish and pork and mesquite for beef


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Old 03-16-2020, 06:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

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This is what I do and what I have heard
I use fruit blends for fish and pork and mesquite for beef


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I do not use or like mesquite. It is a resiny taste. The only reason they used it in Texas and the southwest is because it is all they had.

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Old 03-16-2020, 06:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I use Bear Mountain. Primarily the Southern Pecan or Hickory for pork. Oak for Beef. Mesquite is bitter for long smokes like brisket or beef ribs. That's why they use post oak in Texas for beef.
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Any brand in apple is ok with me. Bear Mountain is reliable and a fair price. I try to avoid Lil' Devil. Not a fan ... seems to run cooler in my old Traeger. I have stopped storing any pellets in the hopper. I either plan ahead or just remove the leftovers. I keep the bucket of pellets in the house to prevent moisture build up which lowers the temp.
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:06 PM   #12
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:37 PM   #13
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Was just thing about what I said about hickory being a bit much .Mainly if you had it on low ,like 150 for some time it could be strong flavoring .But if your temps are up not much smoke taste may not transfer to food .I think the fruit woods like apple ,cherry are mild and just work fine for us .We may have tried pecan also ,but mainly get the bag of fruitwood ,seems like a good choice .
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:45 PM   #14
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Lil Devil burn about 50-75 degrees. Cooler in my grill than Traeger pellets. Set to 375 and I'm lucky to crack 300. Its annoying.

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Old 03-16-2020, 09:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Maple, alder, cherry, and apple are good for fish.
Apple makes more clunkers in the pot though.
At one time traeger pellets were made by bear my I've been told. They now make their own.
Most of the time I use Bear Mt. Hickory, mesquite, or oak.
If I'm slow smoking I like maple, alder, or cherry.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:02 AM   #16
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I use apple for just about everything in my GMG. As for brand, had lots of issues with the cheaper brands absorbing moisture quickly inside the auger tube and causing me problems. I stick with the GMG pellets and have had no issues to speak of yet.

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Old 03-17-2020, 05:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Bear Mountain seems to be the same cost as Traeger pellets, so why should I use Bear Mountain instead? Thanks for everyone's comments so far.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

My Traeger is at least ten years old and I have used all the different brands. I now use Traeger pellet exclusively because none of the other brands produce as much heat. The other brands work just not as well
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:32 AM   #19
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I tried an off brand several years ago, could have been Li'l Devil, don't remember for sure. Left a lot of ash on the meat. Mostly stick to Traeger brand but have trouble getting unit hot enough when I need it. I keep a blanket over it too.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

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My Traeger is at least ten years old and I have used all the different brands. I now use Traeger pellet exclusively because none of the other brands produce as much heat. The other brands work just not as well
Ya, that's kind of where I'm at as well. I've used a few other brands but the Treager pellets seem to burn better in my Treager.....

I never leave pellets in my hopper. My grill gets emptied and vacuumed out after each use (be sure everything is no longer hot). I also store my Treager in the garage. I store all my pellets in their bags, sealed shut with bag clips if they're opened, and in a large rubber storage bin with a lid with no moisture issues. My grill is an older US made grill probably 20 years old now and I've only had to replace the hot rod once, no other issues at all. I like to think my diligence in keeping it clean like I do has added to its longevity.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:31 AM   #21
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Artwo: Like you say, there is no substitute for a good cleaning every now and then. I've let it go too long in the past and paid the price.



One adjustment I've made to mine is the lid on the smokestack. You can close it down to a quarter inch or so and the unit will not use as many pellets. Keeping a blanket over it even when not needed helps too. A byproduct of doing this is having meat come out that is not over smoked. Burning a lot of pellets makes a lot of smoke and this can have a negative effect on the finished product. When I'm doing a low temp, all day batch of ribs, a heavy smoke the entire time will ruin them. Doing whatever a person can to reduce the number of pellets burned will improve the outcome every time. You won't need to refill the hopper either. Should be able to go 8 hours without running out. I think sometimes when folks aren't happy with a particular pellet flavor it's because they are simply burning too many pellets.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:34 AM   #22
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

When it comes to flavors for your pellet grill it will depend on how you are using it. If you are using it for low and slow you might tell the difference between different flavors, but if you are using it for everyday high heat grilling it's unlikely. It's more of a mental thing.

On the west coast the main ingredient of hardwood pellets is alder. On the east coast it's oak. Those hardwoods are common and plentiful. The flavors in the bag you buy are not 100% of that wood because it's just not that readily available. For instance, a bag of apple is about 30-35% apple and 60-65% alder. I've been using the Realtree Big Game blend of hickory, oak, and rosemary exclusively for the past few years because my brain says that's what I like for everything. It's a mental thing.

I've tried other brands before and they all work, some better than others. Buy what you like. Artwo mentioned that if you own a Traeger and you use any other pellet that it would void your warranty. Use to be a sticker that said it would, but I think they just wanted you to buy Traeger pellets only. It's not true and would violate the Magnuson-Moss Act. How the heck would they know anyway?

If you're not getting up to temp it could be a few different reasons. One is moisture. Keep your pellets inside in a dry place and preferably in a bucket with a lid. Keep your firepot clean, the fan needs to be able to stoke the fire. Vacuum that sucker out if you use it a lot. If your grill is older and heavily used check your firepot to see if it has rotted out on the inside bottom edge. If it has, you need to replace it because you won't get to temp because there's not enough air pressure to get to temp. A new firepot is cheap and takes 10 minutes to replace. If it's super cold and you're not getting to temp at lower cooking temps go buy a cheap welding blanket and cover it.

A couple other thoughts. If you don't use your grill from fall to spring and keep it outside, remove all pellets or you may find that your auger has become housed in a presto-log. Moisture is not your friend. It's also probably better if your pellet grill is under cover to not keep a grill cover on it. It may shorten the life of the grill. If it's in a place that is dry in the cold months and has a cover on it and the sun is able to get to it, it will sweat. Moisture and metal, you know.

If you're getting smoke out of your hopper. Make sure when you get to the bottom of a bag of pellets that you aren't dumping the dust from the bottom of the bag as it may cause fire to creep back up through the auger tube. Vacuum the bottom of your hopper if you see that every once in awhile.

Pellet grills are pretty simple and easy to work on. It makes me scratch my head when people throw away or give away a grill when it's probably something super simple, cheap, and easy to repair. Everything that's made by humans ain't perfect. The biggest expense would be a new controller and Amazon is your friend for all things parts related.

I've always kept my Traeger in my garage and kept it clean and well taken care of and never had a problem or need to repair anything. Just keep it dry, vacuum it out every couple weeks as we use ours 4-6 days year around. Keep your drip tray covered in foil and don't cook over the edges of the drip tray front and rear so you don't get grease into the barrel. It's just like anything else, take care of it and it will you.
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:10 AM   #23
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

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Keeping a blanket over it even when not needed helps too.
Ya, I have an old really heavy beach towel that I use to help keep the heat in, especially in the colder months. Just drape it over the top, it really make a huge difference in temp......

Another thing I've discovered.......Like I said, I have an older model Treager and it has one of the removable front shelves that hangs from tabs inside the grill opening when the door is open. I've notices if I leave the shelf on with the door closed it creates about an 1/8" gap when the door is closed. This creates a chimney effect and sucks in air and keeps my temps down. I now remove the shelf when I'm cooking something so the door gets a better seal.
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:19 AM   #24
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I've only used the Traeger pellets and they work for me.

Did a turkey with Apple and it turned out great...Cherry is nice too.

I usually do hickory on anything pork/beef.
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:23 AM   #25
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

My traeger is in the garage. We use it a lot, so far I've replaced the hot rod 4 times, the burner pot twice, the control panel 4 times, and everything else at least once.
I've replaced the augers and drive motor and the uhmw sleeve.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:07 AM   #26
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My traeger is in the garage. We use it a lot, so far I've replaced the hot rod 4 times, the burner pot twice, the control panel 4 times, and everything else at least once.
I've replaced the augers and drive motor and the uhmw sleeve.
Wow, how old is it? Two fire pots, really? Seems strange to me because the one I'm using now is 6yrs. old and shows zero signs of rot being used 4-6 days per week.

What controller did you replace and how many were under warranty? Where do you think the problem could be? Seems strange to get four bad controllers in a row and all of the other problems that you describe on one grill that is kept indoors. 🤔

Would you agree?
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:15 AM   #27
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Wow!!! That's a lot of maintenance.


I've got two units. The one in Beaverton sits outside with the factory cover over it, is at least 20 years old, is just as it came from the factory, haven't replaced a thing. The newer unit is in Astoria. Stored it on the covered deck out of the rain. Replaced controller once, now I keep it in the garage.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:47 AM   #28
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I like a 50/50 mix of Hickory/Pecan. Seems to be a good smoke for just about everything I cook.

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Old 03-17-2020, 11:02 AM   #29
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I can honestly not tell a difference on anything that is cooked for less than 8-10 hours. Even then hickory is the only one I notice a little more, everything kinda has a bacon flavor to it. And I bet 90% of people would have the same results in a blind taste test.

I have a friend who moved to Nebraska for a few years where the base wood is oak, not alder like it is here. He just continued to buy good old apple for everything like he always had. A very avid BBQ’er, he couldn’t tell the difference. It was actually his wife who mentioned that the ribs seemed a little different lol. From then on he just bought oak, his reasoning being that it was 100% oak. Now that he’s back in the NW he only buys alder for the same reason.

I notice no difference in performance from bear mountain or traeger brand pellets. Your atmospheric conditions and age of pellets have a much bigger impact on temperature and ash level.

Aaaaand now I see that the OG Amanhee has already covered all this... LOL


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Old 03-17-2020, 07:11 PM   #30
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Lately been using bear mountain mes. Big fan of hickory. For fish it’s alder or apple sometimes mixed 50/50. Nothing is set in stone. I’ll run one flavor For a while. Then switch it up to something else. Pecan is a nice subtle change on ribs. Lots of flavors with pellets. Stick or chunk burning your limited to only a few flavors.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:29 PM   #31
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

When I first got mine about 3-4 years ago I used only Traeger pellets. Then I found some brand X Pellets and used those but they would leave a kind of grey colored soot on the meat. It didn’t taste much different but it didn’t look very appealing so I switched back to Traeger and now all is good
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Old 03-18-2020, 03:26 AM   #32
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Finally somebody pointed out that all pellets are mainly alder. And the ratio is more like 80-90% alder with the difference being whatever you choose.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:59 AM   #33
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I could get by just fine if Alder were the only wood available. Makes it so easy to control smoke intensity on the finished product. Pretty much impossible to over do it once the unit is set up and managed properly. Used to turn out some pretty bad stuff that was more like licking the inside of the smokestack. The learning curve for me was quite long.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:57 AM   #34
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Traeger pellets are all alder. There are some flavored oils added to the bags marketed as other woods but all alder. This comes from a guy in Silverton who has connection with the company. I have used most of the different Traeger brands with not much difference noted.

My father in law has a big stick wood smoker and there is absolutely a different when burning different woods. I haven't noticed anything with the Traeger.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:16 AM   #35
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

There are a lot of rumors about the Traeger pellets. This is from their site which admits to having blends. https://www.traegergrills.com/pellet-production

Traeger wood pellets are made from 100% natural hardwood – that means no fillers, binding agents, bark material or artificial additives – sourced from five Traeger-owned U.S. mill facilities. The different types of wood we use burn and release flavor differently, so each pellet flavor requires its own unique blend of natural hardwoods to provide consistent flavor and performance.

The production of all of our wood pellets involves using a small amount of food-grade soybean oil, which functions as a lubricant for our machines. In some specialty wood pellet flavors, the food-grade soybean oil is infused with natural woods, herbs or citrus. During our patented production process, the food-grade soybean oil helps combine these natural flavors into our 100% hardwood pellets. This delivers the perfect amount of flavor while maintaining the optimal burn-to-smoke ratio.

As the only company that owns and operates its entire pellet production – from mill to grill – Traeger is able to offer the highest standard U.S.-made, food-grade quality pellets.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:58 AM   #36
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

20 years experience with my Traeger.

Bear Mountain...............Bar None...........
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:05 AM   #37
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

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There are a lot of rumors about the Traeger pellets. This is from their site which admits to having blends. https://www.traegergrills.com/pellet-production

Traeger wood pellets are made from 100% natural hardwood – that means no fillers, binding agents, bark material or artificial additives – sourced from five Traeger-owned U.S. mill facilities. The different types of wood we use burn and release flavor differently, so each pellet flavor requires its own unique blend of natural hardwoods to provide consistent flavor and performance.

The production of all of our wood pellets involves using a small amount of food-grade soybean oil, which functions as a lubricant for our machines. In some specialty wood pellet flavors, the food-grade soybean oil is infused with natural woods, herbs or citrus. During our patented production process, the food-grade soybean oil helps combine these natural flavors into our 100% hardwood pellets. This delivers the perfect amount of flavor while maintaining the optimal burn-to-smoke ratio.

As the only company that owns and operates its entire pellet production – from mill to grill – Traeger is able to offer the highest standard U.S.-made, food-grade quality pellets.
"No ... bark material"

But the bark is where most of the flavor is. That's why you want pellets made from whole trees and not mill sawdust or ground pallets.



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Old 03-18-2020, 08:18 AM   #38
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

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Originally Posted by jlg View Post
"No ... bark material"

But the bark is where most of the flavor is. That's why you want pellets made from whole trees and not mill sawdust or ground pallets.



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Bark left on makes a bitter tangent taste in a chunk smoker like my Cookshack...
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:00 PM   #39
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I like the Traeger signature blend. (hickory, maple, cherry)
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:31 AM   #40
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I switched over to Lumber Jack Grilling Pellets this past year. I had to order them because I could not find them local. I saw a sale and was able to get them for the same price as the Bear Mountain I had been using and didn't have to pay shipping. Their blends are red oak based, but they also have 100% hickory, apple, cherry, and fruit blends among others. They burn well, with little ash and I have not had any temperature issues. Now I just have to find another sale to get more, only two bags left of the 120#s I ordered.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:10 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddy_c View Post
I switched over to Lumber Jack Grilling Pellets this past year. I had to order them because I could not find them local. I saw a sale and was able to get them for the same price as the Bear Mountain I had been using and didn't have to pay shipping. Their blends are red oak based, but they also have 100% hickory, apple, cherry, and fruit blends among others. They burn well, with little ash and I have not had any temperature issues. Now I just have to find another sale to get more, only two bags left of the 120#s I ordered.
Thats a bunch ,how did you cook the T Rex?
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:03 PM   #42
jlg
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddy_c View Post
I switched over to Lumber Jack Grilling Pellets this past year. I had to order them because I could not find them local. I saw a sale and was able to get them for the same price as the Bear Mountain I had been using and didn't have to pay shipping. Their blends are red oak based, but they also have 100% hickory, apple, cherry, and fruit blends among others. They burn well, with little ash and I have not had any temperature issues. Now I just have to find another sale to get more, only two bags left of the 120#s I ordered.
They have a great reputation. I've never used them myself. That's just because they are hard to find around here.

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Old 03-19-2020, 12:36 PM   #43
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I ordered Pit Boss competition blend from amazon. Will try them next. Supposed to deliver Saturday. Lot cheaper than the Treager.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:03 PM   #44
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

I have used camp chef and pitt boss pellets in my Camp Chef smoker. I will probably use pitt boss going forward as you can get the 40lb bags for under $15. It costs me $13-14 for the 20lb bag of Camp Chef.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:56 PM   #45
eddy_c
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Default Re: What pellets to you like n your Traeger Smoker/Grill?

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Originally Posted by Cathunter1 View Post
Thats a bunch ,how did you cook the T Rex?
Sorry, that was 120 lbs, not 120 bags. That would be some serious smokin there!
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