The Best Brand of Pellets for Smoking in 2020

best brand of pellets for smoking

Introduction 

Finding the best brand of pellets for smoking is not too hard. Especially when smoking pellets are used widely as an alternative for charcoal and gas nowadays.

In this article, we will give you the most 6 common types of smoking pellets and the top 6 brands that produce them. Besides, you can also learn some tips to buy good quality products.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Then let’s get started!

6 main types of pellets for smoking

pellets for smoking chicken

The best brand of pellets for smoking will provide various types of products. Each type will suit different kinds of meat that you grill. Therefore, it is important to know the exact kinds of smoking pellets needed.

Oak

Oak smoking pellets are often soft and mellow. When they are burned, they will create a good smoke that can improve the taste of some smelly food such as fish or beef.

Maple

Maple smoking pellets are used to make the meat sweeter. Thus, it is suitable for pork, beef, chicken, and turkey.

Alder

pellets for smoking meat

Alder pellets are commonly chosen because it works well with all meat types. No matter if your meat is chicken, lamb, turkey or fish, the alder smoker pellets can keep the fresh taste while infusing a good flavor to them. 

Pecan

If you want to reduce the burning smell of the grilled pork and beef, choosing the smoking pellets made of pecan is not a bad idea.

Hickory

If you often do the grilling, you should use hickory pellets. These pellets are suitable for any kind of cattle meat like pork, beef, chicken. 

Mesquite

Mesquite pellets are always used to improve the natural flavor and reduce the fish smelly smell. Thus, this smoker pellets type is the greatest option for grilling seafood.

Top 6 best brands of pellets for smoking

We have summed up and made a list of top 6 providers that sell good quality smoker items. Scroll down to read now and you may find your best brand of pellets for smoking.

#1 Rec Tec – “Smart Grill” Technology

The Best Brand of Pellets for Smoking 2020

Rec Tec 

Established since 2008, this brand has become famous quickly and is now one of the greatest providers of grilling and smoking products in the market. 

From the very beginning, Rec Tec always wants to help its customers to be able to conquer the heating process while grilling. Therefore, this company always produces high-quality items with its “Smart Grill” technology. 

You may wonder why you should buy smoking pellets from this brand, right? Rec Tec’s pellets are often made of blended hardwood. As a sequence, they can give the sweet smoke while grilling. Using these pellets, you can rest assured about your meat’s flavor.

#2 Traeger – “Wifire” Technology

The Best Brand of Pellets for Smoking in 2020

Traeger

Traeger grill started its business in 1986 and is now the top brand manufacturing grilling items. 

With the special “Wifire” technology, this company helps optimize the energy that its products create. More specifically, every Traeger’s smoker pellets will be fully burned to make sure the greatest taste and flavor for the food.

Why are this company’s products trustable? This firm has spent more than 30 years to devise a perfect structure of its hardwood which can support a reliable burn during grilling. Besides, its smoker pellets are designed to avoid moisture firmly, resulting in extra durability.

#3 Camp Chef – Great For Cooking Outdoor

The Best Brand of Pellets for Smoking

Camp Chef

Camp Chef is also known as a famous company that produces high-quality cooking equipment. Over 30 years on the market since the opening of 1990, this firm has brought to users many handy supports for outdoor cooking.

Unlike pellets from other normal brands, Camp Chef’s pellets for smoking are not mixed with oils or chemicals but 100% pure hardwood. Before packing, this firm dries these hardwood pieces to reduce the amount of moisture. So that the pellets can maintain the temperature during burning.

#4 CookinPellets – Bulk Premium Pellets

The Best Brand of Pellets for Smoking 2020

CookinPellets

In 2004, the CookinPellets built a small mill to produce different types of woods and combine them. After 10 years in business, this company has become a high-rated provider of cooking tools and still maintained its position on the market till now. 

The smoking pellets of this company always provide a good long burn. Due to this reason, the meat will have time to be well cooked, giving you a fresh and good taste. Moreover, Cookinpellets also sells bulk premium pellets if you often go grilling.

#5 Pit Boss Grills – Bigger, Hotter, Heavier

The Best Brand of Pellets for Smoking in 2020

Pit Boss Grills

Founded in 1999, this company approaches the top provider of grilling accessories on the market quickly due to its good quality products.

Over 21 years, this brand has done a lot of experiments to make the greatest smoking pellets. Due to the ability to keep a hot temperature while grilling, these items can support all types of big and heavy meat.

Especially, these pellets are made from 100% natural woods native to North America in order to make sure about the safety of your food.

#6 Lumber Jack – Good Quality For Good Taste

The Best Brand of Pellets for Smoking

Lumber Jack

Although Lumber Jack has just been established for over 4 years since 2016, it receives many good recommendations from the cooking lover community and soon becomes a famous brand for smoking pellets.

You may wonder why it gained popularity so quickly? In order to be trustable, Lumber Jack has to provide high-quality pellets. While other normal pellets are taken from leftover sawdust of furniture manufacturing plants, Lumber Jack’s ones are 100% natural. In spite of the high price, this company’s pellets will show you the specialty in the taste of the food.

Buying guide

pellets for smoking salmon

There are many criteria to evaluate the quality of the pellets. How can you know that they are safe to use? How can you get the right one? Don’t worry because we will help you with this buying guide.

The less ash the better

During burning, if you see a high amount of ash, that means these wood pellets don’t work well. Because the ashes can trap moisture, so the hot temperature can not last long. As a sequence, you are not able to make the meats well-done.

To keep the smoker always on fire, we recommend you to choose the smoking pellets that have low ash content.

The wood pellets should be 100% natural

pellets for smoking brisket

In spite of the fact that mixed pellets can keep the fire better, the smoke that they create is not safe for the food. Why is it not safe? To put it simply, you already know that the chemical mixed with wood will create bad smokes while being burned, right? These bad smokes may soak into the meat and make them unhealthy to eat.

Regardless of the price, you should buy any pellets that are 100% natural. Grilling may be fun, but taking care of your health is also necessary, isn’t it?

Conclusion

These companies above always sell the greatest quality of wood smoker pellets. Have you chosen your best brand of pellets for smoking?

Hopefully, after this topic, you will understand all types of pellets and be able to buy the right product for smoking.

And lastly, we want to say many thanks to you for reading this article! We wish you a nice day!

How To Use A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill: A Guide For Dummies

how to use a smoker box on a charcoal grill

Introduction 

“How to use a smoker box on a charcoal grill?’’ – Are you wondering about this? Well, you are not alone, we all are. 

Meanwhile, summer time is drawing in closer to us, bringing with it the blistering heat, sweaty breeze, party nights, road trips and every other amusing blast, only waiting for you to rock.

However, if you’re like us, already exhausted from all the incessant amount of workload and social exposure, then summer time is definitely time of your own life. It’s when you start to look out for yourself and appreciate every little memory with your family.

Hence, backyard barbecue is totally a must, hey you FOMO. That’s the part that makes summer count. There are apparently so many things fascinating about it, from family gatherings after ages, seeing how fast your cousins have grown, to preparing food together.  

It’s also when you prove yourself to be a resourceful brother/sister and not a kiddo as your father said. 

Then first, keep reading to learn everything about how to use a smoker box on a charcoal grill. 

How To Use A Smoker Box on A Charcoal Grill – Set Up The Grill

how to use a smoker box on a weber charcoal grill

A charcoal grill contains in it every complex structure that you might not be able to name exactly at the first glance. But once looking into it, you can see that it’s all very familiar.

People still use the method of charcoal grilling in many regions, due to its affordable materials and quick set-up time. Plus, the charcoal does add a really distinctive flavor and smell to the flesh part, which satisfies many people’s tastes. 

Here are all the materials you need to organize a charcoal grill.

Great grilling starts with setting up the equipment safely and perfectly for the perfect fire. Follow along these steps to build a charcoal grill:

1. Put the grill in a wide and open space.

This wide and open space should be in your backyard, or a place by the beach with lots of fresh air.

Prepare your charcoals.

how to use a side smoker box on a charcoal grill

Charcoal briquettes have medium heat and burn for a long time, while hardwood charcoals burn really hot and don’t last as long. 

You can choose either the charcoal briquettes or the hardwood charcoals. But we often opt for the combination of them both, for the perfect flavor of hardwood and long burning time of briquettes.

Once chosen, the charcoals should be put evenly inside a chimney to the top, lying above some dry papers. Use a blowtorch or lighter to ignite the paper underneath. Then the charcoals can catch fire. 

Wait for some time until the charcoals have some live flames on them and just start to ash over.

After that, put on your insulated barbecue mitts to grab the whole chimney starter and pour the charcoals down into the grill.

2. Put the upper grate into the grill and wait some time to preheat it. 

Make sure the vent underneath the grill is slightly open, so that the fire has air to keep burning. Then cover the grill with a lid for about five minutes.

Check the temperature:

Place your bare hand about 15 centimeters from the grate to make sure there are both hot and cool spots.

If you can only hold for three or four seconds, that’s the hot spot, but if you can hold for six seconds or more, that’s the cool spot. 

Take advantage of these spots to cook wisely. 

These are the basic steps to set up your homemade charcoal grill. Let’s move on to the next part.

How To Set Up A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill 

The charcoal grill is great, but it’s even greater to add some smoky flavors to your food with this amazing magical smoker box. Let’s take a closer look!

How To Use A Smoker Box

a smoker box can be quite handy 

A smoker box is a box made out of stainless steel and has holes on every face to release the smoke. Also, this barbecue accessory is used for containing wood chips inside for a flaky flavor that will promise to blow you off!

Inserting it into the grill is comparatively simple, especially when you have made it out of the charcoal set-up, we would say. Follow our lead:

  • Place your empty smoke box onto the upper grate and leave it for a couple of minutes to heat with the barbecue 
  • Carefully use the tongs to remove the lid out of the box
  • Add some wood chips into it. Make sure the chips are put evenly enough to cover the bottom of the box.

Note: Some wood chips need to be pre-soaked slightly before inserting. So don’t forget to read the instructions of the products carefully.

  • Close the lid of the barbecue for some time, so that the woods can ignite.
  • When the woods catch fire, use the tongs to cover the lid of the box again. And then the chips should begin to smoke.
  • Finally, put your food inside the barbecue grill, next to the smoke box. And you’re done! It’s simple as that, isn’t it?

Safety Guidance  

how to use a smoker box on a weber gas grill

Here is what you should note down in order to work with a charcoal grill in the safest way possible

First, keep the children at least two meters clear of the charcoal grill during the whole process in avoidance of any unexpected accidents. 

Second, always use your insulated barbecue mitts when working with the grill as well as putting the food in and out of it. 

And finally, never put a charcoal grill inside an air-conditioned room or a place with poor ventilation. The amount of carbon monoxide over time might suffocate you. Always put it in an open location outside. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How best to pour down the charcoals into the grill?

There are mainly three ways to put in the charcoals. 

– One, you can pour all the charcoals over half of the area of the grate. The food will be put on the other half. This close exposure to heat would give your food a nice searing and medium heat inside. 

This method is often used for cooking steak and chicken on the bones. 

How To Use A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill 2020

– Two, you can try spreading the charcoals all over the grill area. The food would then be put on another grate on top. This method is suitable for vegetables and thin cuts of meat. 

How To Use A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill on 2020

– For the third method called ‘ring of fire’, you are supposed to put an aluminum tray in the center of the lower grate, then spread the charcoals evenly around. 

What the aluminum tray does is that it absorbs the heat. The food then would sit on the upper grate, which is similar to an oven.

How To Use A Smoker Box On A Charcoal Grill - Tips

This method is often used to roast the whole chicken or big lumps of meat. 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuD1ey7LDgw

2. What am I supposed to do with the ash leftovers?

Throughout the process of grilling, a lot of ashes are exposed as residues underneath. You need to sweep them clear for the air circulation.

And when you finish grilling, cover the grill with a lid until it’s warm enough that you can touch. After that, spill all the ashes into a bucket filled with water. Leave them overnight and throw them away.

3. How can I tell if my food’s okay to eat? 

Use a meat thermometer. Take a dip into the meat and see. For instance, cook pork to 71°C, well done beef to 77°C and chicken slices to 74°C. 

There is actually no such things called ‘perfect temperature to eat’. It’s just a matter of personal preference there. Try it for some time and figure out yourself! 

Conclusion

That’s pretty much what you need to note so far for a dreamy homemade barbecue party. 

Now, if any of your cousins ask you to teach them how to use a smoker box on a charcoal grill, don’t hesitate to show off your know-how, buddy!

How To Use An Offset Smoker Grill – Best Way To Save Your Time Grilling

how to use an offset smoker grill

An offset smoker grill? Things get serious; barbeque is no joke to you now. There are more than enough complicated guides out there showing you how to use an offset smoker grill. But if you want something short and sweet, a straight-to-the-point instruction, this is it. 

How To Use A Offset Smoker Grill – A Step By Step Guide

How Does It Work?

How To Use A Smoker Grill

Offset Smoker Grill

All the steps will be much more intuitive and easy to understand when you know how an offset smoker grill works. 

Simply explain, you will cook food in a big chamber with the heat and smoke coming out from a smaller one called the firebox. 

There is an exhaust damper on the chimney (up above the big main chamber) and a vent on the side of the firebox. You can manipulate the damper and vent by closing or opening them to control the heat. 

How To Use It

Among all smoker types, the offset smoker is the most challenging as it requires most techniques to sway the fire and flavor. But don’t be put off just yet, this simple step-by-step guide will help you out. 

Step 1 – Fire up 

To start the fire, you can use a chimney starter or directly put fuel and coals to the firebox. While putting coals to the firebox, make sure they are on the far side. It will be easier for you to add more charcoal or wood later as you do not have to reach over them when they are burning.  

Put some wood logs into the firebox near the charcoal to heat and dry them up first. When they are completely dry and hot, let them sit on the coals to release smoke on the meat. 

At the same time, you can put some more logs to the side to prep them up when the first log batch runs out. 

Step 2 – Manage The Heat

how to use my offset smoker grill

A thermometer will help a lot in telling you if the temperature is right or not. And to make the best use out of it, you will need to put the probe on the grate level. 

As the temperature reaches your expectation level, place the vents near the side of the firebox, which should be ⅓ open. And the chimney now should also be half-open. 

Recheck the logs, put some more on the coals, and keep preparing for the new batch if necessary. 

Step 3 – Manage The Fire 

As a rule of thumb, you should put in new logs every 45 minutes. The heat range from 210 to 275 (degrees Fahrenheit) is ideal for cooking the food thoroughly from the inside. 

And if you see any white smoke coming out from the chimney, check the firebox again to make sure it still has enough charcoal and wood. 

When the heat drops, put some more wood in the firebox while keeping its door open for a few minutes. The temperature will go back up with enough air circulating inside the firebox to burn the wood. 

Step 4 – Boost The Flavor 

how to make an offset smoker grill

To make the flavor smokier, you should use one of two big chunks of wood. Let them smolder near the fire so that they can provide the strongest tastes. 

Another way to make the meat truly absorb the smoky flavor is by using a water pan. First, put a rack on the coals in the firebox, then you can place a water pan on the grate. 

When the cooking almost finishes, and the meat is now dry, flick just a little bit of water on to the meat surface. Water will humidify the smoke coming out to the chamber, making the meat stay juicy and smoky for a longer time. 

Step 5 – Be Patient And Enjoy The Result 

Using an offset smoker grill needs a lot of patience, and always remember that less is more. You don’t want to smoke your food away and leave it with none of its original flavors and spices. 

It is thus important to go easy on it. You can feed your firebox with chucks, pellets, and chips, but never overdo them. Add them every 10-15 minutes and at a moderate amount gradually. 

Smoke grilling does take time, it can be up to a whole day, and a watched pot never boils. So sit back and chill. Even if you want the meat to be just medium-rare, it shouldn’t be fast. Slow-cooking the meat will make it more tender outside, juicy inside, and your taste buds will blossom. 

What To Consider When Choosing A Smoker Grill

How To Use An Offset Smoker

Choosing A Offset Smoker Grill

Does it fit your budget? 

Offset smoker grill comes in a wide range of price – from $200 to $5,000. But be careful of the seemingly good bargain. The cheap ones leave you cold quickly and may end up being covered in dust after one season of frustration.  

Does it look and feel strong? 

When it comes to durability, you should look at the product specs. The most significant features include heavy metal, proper ventilation between the main chamber and firebox, tight seals and dampers, strong legs, and durable wheels. 

Is it big enough? 

Depending on your using frequency and the portion of meat for each batch, you can choose the size of your preference. Many smoker grills come with hooks for utensils, giving you a little bit more space while cooking. Still, the most worth-noticing feature is the size of the front and side shelves. 

How good is the warranty? 

A decent product should go well without too much maintenance. But a warranty will keep you worry-free from any possible manufacturing defect. So a one-year or even lifetime warranty is definitely a good deal you should look for.

Tips And Tricks To Take The Best Use Out Of Your Offset Smoker Grill 

how to use offset smoker on charcoal grill

Just learning how to use it is not enough. Here are some techniques to leverage your offset smoker grill’s performance. 

  • Combine both wood and charcoal so that the meat is both smoky and flavorful.
  • Heat the cooker up to the temperature first before adding the meat in to avoid bitter creosote. 
  • If you use the chimney to start the fire, make sure the coals are fully lit so that they can fade when you cook and will not burn the meat. 
  • Use digital thermometers on both ends of the smoker grill to control the heat. 
  • Keep the wood chips, chunks and pellets dry.
  • Close the lid while opening the cooking chamber of the firebox for better ventilation.
  • Switch the meat from left to right and vice versa to ensure even doneness. 
  • Notice the weather, especially the humidity. 
  • Sand out the dust, cover the offset smoker grill and park it in a dry area when not using, only use it when it’s completely dry. 
  • Dry run and calibrate a new smoker grill to remove the manufacturer’s smell and grease.

In a nutshell 

You will need some practice before you are really on the beat and know how to use an offset smoker grill. But that should not be something too complicated, especially now when you know all the steps. All the best to your cooking!