10 Best Wood Pellets for BBQ Smoking in 2021

by Chris Johns | Updated: October 16, 2021

Best Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are a versatile fuel and flavor source for pellet grills and pellet smokers.

Not only do they infuse food with a rich, smoky flavor, they also provide a long, clean burn and typically produce far less ash than charcoal.

In addition, they produce less carbon dioxide, are cheaper and more energy-efficient than most other fuel sources, and maintain consistent temperatures.

All-natural hardwood pellets come in a variety of cuts and flavors. To help you find your preferred flavor profile, read on!

The Best Wood Pellets for 2021

Here is my list of the best wood pellet options for the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. I’ll start with the five best choices in terms of value, convenience, design, and cost.

Click on the name to read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to read the entire list by clicking here.

Best Wood Pellet Reviews

Here are the complete reviews of the ten best wood pellets in 2021. Keep reading after the reviews for a guide on what to look for when choosing wood pellets for smoking.

1. Traeger Hardwood Grills Pellets – Best Overall Choice #1

Traeger Grills PEL319 Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise and BBQ, 20 lb. Bag

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Traeger Hardwood Grills Pellets earn high marks for their all-natural ingredients, clean burn, and well-rounded taste.

Unlike other wood pellets, Trager fuel is made with just the right amount of moisture to ensure you achieve a rich, smokey experience with a clean, dependable burn.

To be upfront, these pellets are made from alder wood and treated with natural oils to give them their distinct flavor. That doesn’t bother me in the least, but hardwood purists may find this off-putting.

I like supporting American businesses whenever I can, so it’s a bonus that these are made in the USA.

Traeger fuel comes in various wood pellet flavors: hickory, mesquite, cherry, pecan, apple, and their signature traditional blend. Hickory is one of their most popular because it pairs nicely with just about any food, including beef, chicken, pork, and veggies.

Traeger Hardwood Grills Pellets come in 20-pound bags and, in my estimation, provide about as much burn time as a tank of propane. Not bad at all, especially for the price.

Traeger Grills PEL319 Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise and BBQ (20 lb. Bag)
32,572 Reviews
Traeger Grills PEL319 Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise and BBQ (20 lb. Bag)
  • HICKORY WOOD FIRED FLAVOR: Traeger Hickory Hardwood Pellets are great for naturally enhancing beef, chicken, pork, and...
  • NOT ALL PELLETS ARE CREATED EQUAL: The best wood-fired grill on the market demands the best wood pellets on the market. Real...
  • TRAEGER HAS SPENT YEARS DEVELOPING THE PERFECT PELLET: Our hardwood's unique compact cell structure results in a balanced,...

2. CookinPellets 40pm Perfect Mix Smoking Pellets – Best Overall Choice #2

CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix, 1 Pack

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If you’re a pellet smoking purist, read on. You’re going to love CookinPellets 40pm Perfect Mix Smoking Pellets.

These wood pellets for smoking are made from 100 percent American hardwood. And they don’t call this 40-pound bag “The Perfect Mix” for nothing. This pellet smoker mix is made with a hickory base and just the right amount of cherry, hard maple, and apple.

CookinPellets only use the heart of wood (the center of the log), so these smoker pellets are bark-, filler-, and additive-free. No flavor substitutions or oils are to be found here.

If you’re looking for rich smoke flavor and all-natural wood pellets manufactured in the States, check out 40pm Perfect Mix Smoking Pellets.

On Sale
CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix, 1 Pack, Brown
4,168 Reviews
CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix, 1 Pack, Brown
  • Top 4 hardwoods only
  • 100% of what we say it is NO oak or alder filler
  • 100% hardwoods

3. Bear Mountain 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets

BEAR MOUNTAIN Premium BBQ WOODS 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Mesquite (20 lb. Bag) Perfect for Pellet Smokers, or Any Outdoor Grill-Rich, Smoky Wood-Fired Flavor

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Lately, Bear Mountain 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets have become my secret weapon.

To start, Bear Mountain heating pellets are made from choice hardwoods like apple, hickory, mesquite, oak, pecan, and other hardwoods. And these wood pellets don’t include any additional oils, flavors, fillers, or additives.

A bonus is that they’re made with ultra-low moisture so that they can be used with all outdoor pellet grills, gas, charcoal, electric grills, and electric smokers.

I’ve used many different wood pellet brands over the years. Some put out a nice, rich blanket of smoke but aren’t hot enough. Others roar into flames but skimp on the smoke and flavor.

Bear Mountain smoking pellets put out a lot of heat and produce just the right amount of smoke.

If you’re looking for natural full-bodied taste, a hot burn, and an affordable price tag, check out Bear Mountain 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets.

BEAR MOUNTAIN Premium BBQ WOODS 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Mesquite (20 lb. Bag) Perfect for Pellet Smokers, or Any Outdoor Grill-Rich, Smoky Wood-Fired Flavor
10,387 Reviews
BEAR MOUNTAIN Premium BBQ WOODS 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Mesquite (20 lb. Bag) Perfect for Pellet Smokers, or Any Outdoor Grill-Rich, Smoky Wood-Fired Flavor
  • Bear Mountain BBQ Mesquite | Balanced sweet, smoky flavor | Perfect go-to mixture for any meat, fish, poultry or vegetable
  • Made from 100% All-Natural premium hardwood - no binders, fillers or additives
  • Infuse all-natural, robust flavor and tenderness into your next meal

4. Louisiana Grills Pellets

Louisiana Grills Pennsylvania Cherry 55404 Pellets, 40-Pound

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Louisiana Grills Pellets are another one of my favorite cooking pellets.

These hardwood pellets are an ideal blend of sweet, savory, and tart. That’s because Louisiana Grills use a combination of maple, hickory, and cherry.

What’s more, these quality wood pellets are free from artificial flavors, scents, glues, or chemicals. As a result, these smoking wood pellets burn hotter, cleaner, and longer. Unlike other wood pellet brands, these are naturally bound with the juices inside of the wood.

A 40-pound bag of these quality pellets goes a long way. I’m a casual wood pellet smoker, so I typically only fire up my rig on the weekends for a half-day smoking session. One bag lasted me the entire summer.

I’m also happy to report that all materials from Louisiana Grills Pellets are sourced and processed in the good old U.S of A.

Louisiana Grills Pennsylvania Cherry 55404 Pellets, 40-Pound
516 Reviews
Louisiana Grills Pennsylvania Cherry 55404 Pellets, 40-Pound
  • The Pennsylvania Cherry Pellet is a 40/60 blend of Cherry and Maple
  • Slightly sweet but also tart and gives a rosy tint to light meats
  • For use in pellet grills

5. BBQr’s Delight Wood Smoking Pellets

BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets - Super Smoker Variety Value Pack - 1 Lb. Bag - Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan and Jack Daniel's

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If you’re looking for a gift for your favorite BBQ lover, or maybe just want to try a variety of flavors before getting stuck with a 40-pound bag, check out BBQr’s Delight Wood Smoking Pellets.

There’s a lot to love about this value pack. To start, it comes with six one-pound bags of natural hardwood pellets. Flavors include apple, hickory, Tennessee whiskey, pecan, mesquite, and cherry.

A word to the wise. The manufacturer claims that you’ll only need ⅓ of a cup of pellets (one bag) for each cooking session. That’s certainly true if you’re only using a small smoker box and simply want to introduce a hint of wood flavor into the mix.

However, if you’re working with a pellet smoker with a large hopper, you’re not going to get very far.

That said, I love the wide variety of flavors and found that they did give my charcoal grill a new life and my food a burst of smokey flavor.

If you’re looking for a fun little gift package, snap up a smoker box and a variety pack of BBQr’s Delight Wood Smoking Pellets. Your favorite griller’s going to love it.

BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets - Super Smoker Variety Value Pack - 1 Lb. Bag - Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan and Jack Daniel's
3,218 Reviews
BBQr's Delight Wood Smoking Pellets - Super Smoker Variety Value Pack - 1 Lb. Bag - Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan and Jack Daniel's
  • Includes 1 pound bag of each flavor Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan and Jack Daniel's
  • 10 uses per bag (only 1/3 cup per use is needed) - No soaking necessary-- Easy to Use
  • Works with any type of outside grill: Gas, Charcoal, Electric or Smoker

6. Pit Boss Hardwood Pellets

PIT BOSS 55436 BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, Hickory

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Pit Boss Hardwood Pellets earn high marks for their all-natural, additive-free ingredients, low ash, and high heat output.

Pit Boss hardwood pellets come in three pellet flavors: apple, competition blend, and hickory blend.

Their apple-flavored wood pellets produce a mildly sweet taste, which pairs nicely with pork, poultry, vegetables, and, surprisingly, desserts. I also like the competition blend for its versatility and rich flavor. I use this blend to smoke any kind of dish.

I also like the hickory blend, which has a stronger smokey taste ideal for beef, pork, poultry, and vegetables.

The beauty of these wood pellets is that they are made from 100 percent natural oak and mesquite. No chemicals or additives are ever thrown into the mix.

I also like that these only produce less than 1 percent ash. An entire 40-pound bag of pellets will only create ½ cup of ash to put that into perspective. So cleanup is quick and easy when you’re using Pit Boss Hardwood Pellets.

PIT BOSS 55436 BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, Hickory
2,531 Reviews
PIT BOSS 55436 BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb, Hickory
  • No artificial flavors, spray scents, glues or chemicals
  • Burn hotter and cleaner
  • Pellets are easy to use, great tasting and all natural, forcing the natural juices in the wood to bind the pellets together

7. Camerons Wood Smoking Chips

Oak, Cherry, Hickory, and Alder Wood Smoking Chips- 4 Pints - Wood Smoker Shavings Value Pack- Resealable Pints of Extra Fine Cut Sawdust - Perfect for Smoking Guns, Smokers, Smoke Boxes (0.473176 L)

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Whether you use a smoker box or just want to experiment with a few wood pellet flavors before settling on a 40-pound bag, check out Camerons Wood Smoking Chips.

This package comes with four one-pint containers of food-grade wood pellets. If you’re using a smoker box, each container gives you enough wood pellets for 30 smokings.

This package comes in four flavors: hickory, cherry, alder, and oak.

I want to point out that while Camerons does market these as wood “chips,” that’s slightly misleading. Unlike most wood pellets, this fuel has the consistency of sawdust. It’s finely ground and ideal for smoke guns and smoker boxes.

If you’re using pellet grills with a large hopper, Camerons Wood Smoking Chips aren’t going to be of much help. That said, these wood chips are fantastic when paired with a smoke box or gun.

Oak, Cherry, Hickory, and Alder Wood Smoking Chips- 4 Pints - Wood Smoker Shavings Value Pack- Resealable Pints of Extra Fine Cut Sawdust - Perfect for Smoking Guns, Smokers, Smoke Boxes (0.473176 L)
2,284 Reviews
Oak, Cherry, Hickory, and Alder Wood Smoking Chips- 4 Pints - Wood Smoker Shavings Value Pack- Resealable Pints of Extra Fine Cut Sawdust - Perfect for Smoking Guns, Smokers, Smoke Boxes (0.473176 L)
  • Smoking Wood Chips - Easy to handle in a resealable 1-pint container.
  • Barbecue Smoking Chips - Each 1-pint container will yield approximately 30 smoking's.
  • Smoker Shavings - Sawdust wood chip shavings are raw timber, kiln dried, 100% natural, and made in the USA.

8. Green Mountain Grills Premium Wood Pellets

Green Mountain Grills Premium Apple 100% Pure Hardwood Grilling Cooking Pellets

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If you’re looking for rich flavor and long burns with little ash, check out Green Mountain Grills Premium Wood Pellets.

These premium wood pellets are made from solid hardwood with a blend of applewood, American hickory, and red oak. They also have lower moisture, so they burn hotter and produce less ash.

Green Mountain offers three flavors: apple, a fruitwood blend, and a Texas blend. The beauty of Green Mountain wood pellets is that they have a pleasant mellow taste that blends rather than overpowers.

I’ve used these with salmon, burgers, pulled pork, chicken, and veggies.

If this doesn’t sell you, consider that Green Mountain wood pellets are made from 100 percent kiln-dried sawdust and bound using natural lignin, which is already present in the wood. So there are no artificial flavors, glues, or additives added to the mix – ever!

If you’re looking for a mellow flavor, long burn, and easy cleanup, check out Green Mountain Grills Premium Wood Pellets.

On Sale
Green Mountain Grills Premium Apple 100% Pure Hardwood Grilling Cooking Pellets
703 Reviews
Green Mountain Grills Premium Apple 100% Pure Hardwood Grilling Cooking Pellets
  • Wood pellets designed for grilling and adding flavor to the smoke during the grilling process
  • Perfect for grilling and outdoor cooking
  • Oak-based and a larger diameter pellet that allows them to last longer than standard size pellets

9. RecTec Wood Pellets

RecTec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets, 40lb, 40 lb

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RecTec Wood Pellets are another one of my favorite wood pellets.

To start, they’re made of 100 percent natural hardwood. No additives, oils, or artificial flavors are to be found here. I also like that these wood pellets are machined with a high-compression technique to give them increased hardness. This means longer, hotter burns, and less ash.

If you have a wood pellet smoker with an automatic feeder, you’re going to love RecTec Wood Pellets because they are uniform in size. This makes it easier for the smoker auger to self-feed fuel without jamming.

I’ve used a lot of wood pellets over the years, and RecTec Wood Pellets are one of my favorite brands. These are light on ash, heavy on flavor, and provide a long, clean burn.

They are also responsive to heat fluctuations. When I have to dial up or turn down my wood pellet grill, these pellets react quickly. And in my estimation, my smoker heats up in about half the time when I use these.

RecTec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets, 40lb, 40 lb
1,930 Reviews
RecTec Grills Ultimate Blend Pellets, 40lb, 40 lb
  • An oak & Hickory blend
  • Works in all pellet grills
  • Consistent quality

10. Lumber Jack BBQ Pellet Pack

Lumber Jack BBQ 7 Varieties BBQ Pellet Pack - 1 Pound Bags - 100 Percent (Apple, Cherry, Pecan, Hickory, Maple-Hickory-Cherry, Mesquite and Maple) - 2Day Shipping

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The Lumber Jack BBQ Pellet Pack is one of my favorite BBQ grilling gifts to give.

This variety pack comes with seven one-pound bags. Blends include pecan, maple, cherry, apple, hickory, a maple-hickory-cherry mix, and mesquite wood pellets.

This may go without saying, but because you’re working with seven one-pound bags of flavored wood pellets, these are best suited for small jobs that require a smoker gun or smoking box.

These wood pellets for smoking are also fantastic for casual smokers who just want to add a hint of smoke flavor to their food, like to experiment with different blends, and don’t want to be stuck with a 40-pound bag of wood pellets.

If you’re looking for a fun little gift package, or just want to experiment at smoking with hardwood pellets, check out the Lumber Jack BBQ Pellet Pack.

Lumber Jack BBQ 7 Varieties BBQ Pellet Pack - 1 Pound Bags - 100 Percent (Apple, Cherry, Pecan, Hickory, Maple-Hickory-Cherry, Mesquite and Maple) - 2Day Shipping
638 Reviews
Lumber Jack BBQ 7 Varieties BBQ Pellet Pack - 1 Pound Bags - 100 Percent (Apple, Cherry, Pecan, Hickory, Maple-Hickory-Cherry, Mesquite and Maple) - 2Day Shipping
  • This Lumber Jack BBQ Pellet variety pack is great when using a Smokin Wedgie, Electric Smoker, Tube Smoker or Tray Smoker
  • Includes 1 pound bag of each flavor Apple, Cherry, Pecan, Hickory, Maple-Hickory-Cherry, Mesquite and Maple
  • No soaking necessary-- Easy to Use

What are wood smoking pellets?

Wood pellets are a versatile fuel and flavor source commonly used in pellet grills and pellet smokers. However, if you own a smoking box, you can also use them on traditional propane or charcoal grills.

Wood pellets are growing in popularity for several reasons. They infuse food with a rich, smokey flavor, provide a long, clean burn with high heat output, and produce far less ash than charcoal.

In addition, they produce less carbon dioxide, are cheaper and more energy-efficient than most other fuel sources, and maintain consistent temperatures. Plus, they give food a distinct smokey flavor that you just can’t achieve with any other fuel source.

Wood Pellet Flavor: How Do I Choose?

There’s a wide variety of wood pellets out there. And some pair better with one dish than others. Before you settle on one flavor, consider your typical cooking regimen and review the list below.

Alder

Alder gives off a sweet, earthy taste and pair nicely with seafood and poultry. However, with its mild flavor and aroma, alder is versatile and pairs well with most foods.

Apple

As you’d imagine, applewood pellets add a light, fruity flavor to food. Applewood pellets especially pair well with baked goods, veggies, and chicken.

Cherry

Cherry wood pellets provide an extremely mild fruity flavor that pairs nicely with salty pork and turkey.

Competition

Competition wood pellets, most commonly made up of cherry, hickory, and maple, give off a bold taste and work with just about anything.

Hickory

Hickory gives off a bold, smoky bacon flavor that enhances flavor with beef, pork, and poultry.

Maple

Maple wood pellets for smoking give off a sweet and mild food flavor with a hint of smoke. Maple wood pellet types pair well with pork and poultry.

Mesquite

Mesquite wood pellets are bold, sweet, and somewhat piney. So these are best paired with beef and poultry.

Oak

Oak hardwood pellets are well-balanced and have a more pronounced flavor than cherry and apple but milder than mesquite and hickory. Oak smoking wood pellets are best when paired with seafood and veggies.

Pecan

As you may have guessed, pecan smoking wood pellets give off a pleasant nutty flavor, so they pair nicely with baked goods. Surprisingly, pecan smoking wood pellets also work well with beef, pork, and poultry.

Before you settle on a 40-pound bag of wood pellets, you may want to experiment with a wood pellet sample pack to determine your favorite flavor profile.

What to look for in wood pellets

There are several additional features to consider when shopping for wood pellets. These include heat output, flavor strength, and additives.

Heat output

The best wood pellets provide a consistent burn. When you smoke, you typically want to do it in the “low and slow” range. That is, between 225 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit. So you want natural hardwood pellets that provide a slow, stable, mid-temperature burn.

Flavor strength

Flavor strength is also necessary when shopping for natural hardwood pellets. The best wood pellets have a rich, smoky flavor that compliments your dish and draws out extra flavor in it without overpowering your palate.

No additives

I suggest steering clear of cheap wood pellets that use glues, dyes, oils, and additives. High-quality wood pellets are readily available, affordable, and free from binders, chemicals, and additives. This means better, healthier flavor and a good clean burn.

What are the best wood pellets for you?

So what are the best smoking wood pellets on the market? That ultimately depends on your budget, needs, and preferences. However, if I had to choose one standout brand of wood chips, it’d be Traeger Hardwood Grills Pellets.

Unlike other wood pellets, Trager fuel is made with just the right amount of moisture to ensure you achieve a rich, smokey experience with a clean, dependable burn.

I like supporting American businesses whenever I can, so it’s a bonus that these are made in the USA.

Traeger fuel comes in various wood pellet flavors: hickory, mesquite, cherry, pecan, apple, and their signature traditional blend. Hickory is one of their most popular because it pairs nicely with just about any food, including beef, chicken, pork, and veggies.

Traeger Hardwood Grills Pellets come in 20-pound bags and, in my estimation, provide about as much burn time as a tank of propane. Not bad at all, especially for the price.

I hope you enjoy your next smoking session! Be sure to experiment with your wood chips and get creative: try blending different wood pellet flavors.

Happy smoking!

4.7/5 - (19 votes)

Chris Johns is the founder of The BBQ Report® and has been an avid barbecue fan for over 20 years. His mission is to make grilling and smoking the best food possible easy for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with grilling, smoking, and barbecue recipe recommendations.