How long do pellets last in a pellet grill?
Pellet grills are highly popular with BBQ aficionados these days and are favored for the strong, delicious flavor that they give to meat.
In fact, nowadays many people are starting to choose pellet grills over more traditional grills as they are so much easier to cook with, providing you with less time having to monitor the grill and more time to do what you prefer.
Perhaps you are new to the pellet grilling world, and are a bit unsure about what grill pellets to use and how long they actually last when cooking?
Not to worry as we have got you covered! In this article we take a look at grill pellets in more detail and give some information on their cooking specifications, so you will be much better informed next time you decide to BBQ on your pellet grill.
Grill Pellet Varieties
When you begin shopping for grill pellets you will start to notice just how many brands and varieties there are available on the market. It is possible to find various flavors, ranging from cherry to hickory, apple to maple, BBQ, pecan and many others. The next thing you will notice is the type of grill pellet.
The two main varieties you will find are food-grade pellets and heating pellets. BBQ experts claim that food-grade pellets are the ones you will want to be cooking with in your pellet grill as they provide a much more consistent flavor than heating pellets. Most of the time, heating pellets are created with woods that will ruin the flavor of your food altogether, such as plywood and particle board. These pellets also usually include binding agents which are not good to cook with.
Once you have found the grill pellet that you like, it is time to put them into action! But how long will they last?
Grill Pellets Differ
Depending on the grill pellets you have purchased, and where you are located, there may be a difference in how long your grill pellets will last. Some of the cheaper priced pellets will include flavored oils to enhance the flavor, meaning your grill will likely burn through them a lot quicker in order to maintain the same temperature.
Wood density in the pellets is also a factor which will determine how long they will last. Traeger pellets, for example, are designed to be quite soft and fluffy, and will, therefore, be shorter in size. This means they will not last as long as some of the more durable pellet varieties.
The more durable the pellets, the longer that are likely to last.
Insulated Grills Use Fewer pellets
Sometimes, how long pellets will last is also determined by the grill itself. If you have done your research on pellet grills, you will have noticed that you can buy thermal insulation covers to better keep the cooking heat in. An insulated grill will naturally use fewer grill pellets. This is because the smoker won’t have to burn too much energy because the heat is already provided through the extra insulation of the covers. Therefore, as a result, it will help your pellets to last a lot longer.
Weather is a Factor
Did you know that weather can also affect how many pellets are consumed? When the weather is colder and the temperature is naturally lower, this will have an effect on how many pellets are burned per hour. The colder the temperature, the more pellets your grill is likely to consume to generate heat.
The warmer the temperature, on the other hand, will mean less pellet consumption per hour, as not a lot of heat is required thanks to it naturally being warm.
If you want to grill in colder temperatures or you live in a cooler place, then as briefly mentioned above, a thermal blanket or welding blanket might be a good accessory to purchase for your grill. This will at least stop your grill from burning through so many pellets, and save you some money in the long run.
Buy in Bulk
One way to make sure you have enough pellets is by buying them in bulk. If you are hosting a BBQ, the last thing you want is to run out of pellets halfway through your BBQ session and have to resort to wood shavings or charcoal.
A good trick is to always check out your closest cash and carry shop, and look for bulk bags of good quality pellets. This will also help save you some money as you don’t need to continually buy small individual bags separately, and can always top up when required.
Different brands last different lengths
Finally, after shopping around and experimenting, you will most likely find that some brands of pellets will just last longer than others. Some grills will burn through their own branded pellets at around 1-3lbs per hour, such as Traeger for example, where others may burn through at least 1lb an hour. It really does depend on how the particular grill functions with the pellets that you choose.
The best thing to do is experiment with different branded pellets, read reviews before purchasing and ask other BBQ regulars what pellets last the longest for them.
Pellets are very easy to smoke with and no matter the variety you choose, you are guaranteed to have great tasting food every time. If you are looking to save money, we definitely recommend buying your pellets in bulk and doing some research in advance to make sure you are purchasing the best ones for your specific pellet grill.
So there you have it! A bit more information on cooking with pellet grills and how long the individual pellets last. We hope this article has made it a bit clearer for you, and that soon you’ll be able to find the right pellets for your grill after knowing what factors to look out for in order for them to last longer.