You may have heard a thing or two about pellet grills lately. Maybe your neighbor fired one up while you were over for a football game one Sunday. Or, a celebrity you follow on Instagram was espousing all the flavor and convenience benefits of smoking meat on a pellet grill.
At Louisiana Grills we welcome you aboard the Pellet Grill revolution. In order to understand all things pellet grilling and smoking, it's important to understand what fuels these innovative bbq products. So, we’re going to look at wood pellets for smoking and grilling specifically, and dive into how they’re made, how they stack up against other fuel sources, and which types of wood pellets are the best for smoking and grilling.
Wood pellets are the fuel source of pellet grills and smokers. Louisiana Grills® hardwood pellets are made from 100% all-natural hardwood that is dried and ground into saw dust. The dust is then pressurized at extreme heat to create the compact pellets that are coated and held together with the wood’s natural lignin. Wood pellets are also known as the easiest fuel to use. They produce less than 1% of ash, so an entire 40lb bag of pellets will only turn into ½ cup of ash, which makes clean up a breeze. They also provide immense flavor without needing to think about babysitting the air to fuel ratio like with wood chips or chunks.
It’s important to note that there are food grade pellets and non-food grade or heating pellets. Heating pellets (or pellets used in wood-burning stoves) can be made from wood that isn’t meant for smoking meat. Woods like pine or spruce can ruin the flavor of your food. Who wants their brisket tasting like a car air freshener anyway? Heating pellets may also contain glues or other chemicals as binders, which is not only bad for flavor, but obviously terrible for your health as well.
Food grade wood pellets, on the other hand, are made purely from hardwood and lack any chemical binders or glues. Since food consumption is the priority they are made with the same standards and practices as any other food grade product, meaning sanitation and health is at the forefront of production and packaging concerns.
Since food grade wood pellets are made specifically for cooking, certain hardwoods are chosen due to the flavor and aroma they produce when smoking. We’ll get into which flavors are produced and how they pair with certain foods a little later.
Food Grade Hardwood Pellets Include:
You might be thinking to yourself:
These are fantastic questions and we’re glad you asked. Wood pellets are sourced from tree farms (which replace the trees they process), storm damaged trees, and trees at the end of their lifecycle in hardwood forests across the United States:
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during their lifecycle. When that tree is burned, that same amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. So long as that tree is replaced, the cycle starts all over again.
Including manufacturing and transportation costs, it is estimated that burning wood pellets produces 34g carbon dioxide per KiloWatt Hour of heat produced (g/kWh). Compare that with 211 grams for gas and 64 for wood chips. “The Carbon Balance of Woodfuel”, Northern Woodheat, 2010”
If you’re going to smoke or grill a meal on a wood pellet grill, it’s best to know which type of hardwood to use to enhance the flavor on your food.
These are great questions to ask when choosing wood pellets. You also want to be sure to pick a quality brand of pellets as well. A cheaply made brand can not only ruin your food but can wreak havoc on your pellet grill as well. For this reason, we recommend using Louisiana Grills Wood Pellets on a Louisiana Grill or Smoker. Since we know where they came from, we know they will work fine on our products. If you don’t own a Louisiana Grill, feel free to use them on other pellet grills as we stand firmly behind our wood pellets.
There are three types of food grade wood pellets for smoking and grilling: flavored, blended, and non-flavored.
Flavored pellets are made from 100% flavored wood and contain no fillers. Flavors can vary but Louisiana Grills manufactures the following varieties:
|Tennesse Whiskey Barrel||Sweet and smoky with an aromatic tang. A premium blend of 100% oak, and perfect for all your red meats.|
|Georgia Pecan||A very mild and nutty wood that is similar to hickory. A great all-around wood that works well with poultry, beef, pork, seafood, vegetables, and cheese.|
|Texas Mesquite||Strong aroma with a tangy and spicy flavor. The perfect level of bold taste to compliment your Tex-Mex cuisine.|
|Wisconsin Hickory||Rich with a smoky bacon-like flavor. Highly recommended for roasts and smoking your favorite meats.|
|Pennsylvania Cherry||Slightly sweet with a hint of tart. Gives your light meats a rosy tint that is incomparable in appearance and taste.|
|New England Apple||Smokey with a mild sweetness flavor. Highly recommended for baking and pork.|
Blended pellets are just that, a blend of the flavored pellets or a blend of flavored and unflavored pellets. The Louisiana Grills Competition Blend includes maple, hickory, and cherry.
Non-flavored, or standard wood pellets are generally not preferred due to their lack of flavor, but you can find them on the market if that’s what you prefer.
We manufacture the perfect wood pellet flavors for any type of food you can cook on a pellet grill or smoker. The following are flavors we recommend for each type but feel free to experiment on your own:
Tennessee Whiskey Barrel, Georgia Pecan, Texas Mesquite, Competition Blend, Wisconsin Hickory
Competition Blend, Texas Mesquite, Georgia Pecan, Wisconsin Hickory, New England Apple, Pennsylvania Cherry
Competition Blend, Texas Mesquite, New England Apple, Wisconsin Hickory, Pennsylvania Cherry
Competition Blend, New England Apple, Pennsylvania Cherry
Competition Blend, New England Apple, Wisconsin Hickory, Pennsylvania Cherry
Louisiana Grills makes wood pellets that set the standard for flavor and quality in the pellet grill industry. We make our wood pellets with the highest quality food grade hardwood, free of artificial flavors, spray scents, glues or chemicals. Burn hotter and cleaner. Our pellets are easy to use, great tasting and all natural, forcing the natural juices in the wood to bind the pellets together.
View all of our wood pellet flavors and combinations today.