After the assembly, your first burn off and cleaning processes are complete, you’re ready to fire up your Louisiana Grill. Before we get cooking, let’s talk about pellets.
If you don’t know what pellet flavors pair well with which cuts of meat, or if you didn’t know that pellets had “flavors” to begin with, you’re in the right place. Never fear, your pellet grilling and smoking gurus are here.
One of the main benefits of using a pellet grill or vertical smoker are the flavors you can achieve from smoking your food “low and slow.” This method preserves tenderness and maximizes retention of natural flavors during the cooking process.
Using our wood pellets can enhance the natural flavors of whatever meal you choose to cook on your grill. Let’s take a look at the best pellets to use in your Louisiana Grill, no matter what’s on the menu.
Best pellets for smoking meats
We’ll start with some popular meat cuts. We could write a book on smoking all the different types of meat, so we selected some of the most popular that are used for smoking. However, pellet pairings don’t usually change much from animal to animal so what you use on your beef brisket will probably work on your beef short rib.
We thought we would start with the Mt. Everest of smoking. Brisket usually takes many hours to smoke depending on the cut and how tender you are wanting the meat to be, but as most BBQ pros know, the results are well worth the effort.
There are several different pellet pairings to choose from when it comes to brisket. Here’s what we recommend:
Whiskey Barrel Blend
Fortune favors the bold and if you’re going to put in the time for a brisket, you might as well go big with the flavors. Our Whiskey Barrel delivers notes of sweet and smoky with a tang, a perfect infusion for juicy and tender beef.
This combination of maple, hickory and cherry hardwoods makes for an ideal blend of sweet, savory and tart. If you are using a wet mop vs a dry rub on the brisket, we recommend the Competition Blend.
For those who want a little less sweet and a little more spice, we recommend the Mesquite. Mesquite hardwoods deliver a strong spicy aroma, so if you’re using a Texas Style brisket recipe, then you'll want to use these pellets.
Pork shoulder is one of the best pork cuts you can get. With the amount of meat and flavor there is in a pork shoulder, you get more bang for your buck as they are relatively inexpensive.
Sweet and tart mix well with pork so the Cherry perfectly combines those two flavors.
If you want a little less sweet and tart flavors than the Cherry but are still looking a mild smoky aroma, the Apple Blend pairs extremely well with pork.
Smoked whole chicken is one of the most flavorful BBQ options out there. From the crispy skin to the tender and juicy white and dark meat, what’s not to love? There are also endless rub options to use on a smoked whole chicken as the meat really lends itself well to seasoning.
Mesquite smoke really adds a nice level of smoky boldness to white meat. If you’re making fajitas or tacos, use this one.
You’ll notice a theme with the white meats and that is Cherry Blend pairs well due to the sweet and tart flavors and aroma it gives off.
Smoking salmon has been around for thousands of years. In areas where salmon flourished, it was used as a method to preserve the meat over long periods of time. However, you prefer to eat it, here’s the best pellets to enhance the natural flavors of the fish.
Whiskey Barrel Blend
The bold and sweet flavors of the Whiskey Barrel pellets provide a flavor that almost has the effect of infusing a glaze into the salmon meat. Pairs nicely if you plan on smoking the fish on top of a cedar wood block as well.
Baby Back Ribs
Probably the most popular cut of ribs from any meat source, and for good reason. Baby back ribs pack the right size of flavor, meat, and fat to please the masses. A properly smoked rack of baby backs is sure to please any group, just as long as you use the right wood pellets that is.
Even if you’re not entering a rib contest, it makes perfect sense to go with the Competition Blend. Complex but balanced flavors of maple, hickory, and cherry will ignite a pleasing flavor profile on your baby back rack.
A little-known secret in the BBQ world is that smoked tri tip can match up to any smoked meat out there in terms of flavor. And you won’t have to smoke it for hours to break it down, like you would with a brisket.
The Mesquite blend will give a fajita like Tex-Mex flavor to the Tri Tip as these pellets pair perfectly with any steak cut.