How to use wood pellets for smoking great tasting BBQ？
Wood has always been a classic, tried and true fuel source for outdoor cooking and to produce smoke that will flavor your meat perfectly. For a long time, hardwood logs were the only option when it came to using wood when smoking or grilling. But, in today’s BBQ world, using wood can mean a variety of different methods, shapes, and sizes.
Now, one of the great options available for wood-based fuel sources is wood pellets. A newer fuel source to the barbecue game, wood pellets are a versatile way to achieve a great smoky flavor in your outdoor cooking. In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into exactly what wood pellets are and how to use them to cook great tasting BBQ with that delicious, smoky flavor you are looking for.
What exactly are wood pellets?
Wood pellets are made from a combination of hardwood shavings and sawdust. This is pressurized, compressed down, and held together through the use of the wood’s lignin, an all-natural binding agent. It’s made into long, pencil-thick rods that are broken into smaller pieces. Most wood pellet pieces will be about a half-inch long.
During the compression of the wood shaving and sawdust mixture, most of the air and moisture is removed. Also, this mixture means you won’t be burning any bark, dirt, etc that you would find on raw wood logs. This results in an extremely efficient and clean-burning fuel source. Pellets used for smoking are also food-grade. Therefore, they do not contain any adhesives or chemicals.
EcoPellets are made from 100% FSC Certified plantation timber, sup
porting the responsible management of our natural forests and bushland. Pellets are created from waste products produced as a by-product of the harvest and sawmill process of plantation timber.
Using high-quality BBQ and smoking pellets
Pellets are a very versatile fuel and flavor source that has been growing in po
Pularity in the outdoor cooking world. The use of wood pellets, whether by themselves or in combination with another fuel source, does have some great advantages.
Some of these include:
1、Very clean burning since it contains no bark or scrap wood
2、They produce less than 1% of ash, making for easier cleanup
5、Much lower carbon dioxide production
6、More energy efficient compared to other fuel sources
7、Costs less per energy unit than most other types of fuel
8、Easier to maintain consistent temperatures
Wood pellets can also be used in a variety of different ways. One way is in a pellet smoker or grill. These smokers have been quickly growing in popularity in the outdoor cooking world, specifically in barbecue competitions. You may be familiar with them or have seen one being used.
Pellet smokers use the pellets as the main fuel source for both heat and flavor. With these smokers, wood pellets are poured into a box on the side known as a “hopper”. From this hopper, the pellets are automatically fed at a controlled rate by an auger into a small burn pot or hot box. This is where the pellets are ignited and produce heat and flavorful smoke.
One of the best things about pellet smokers is that they can be regulated with a thermostat, so it is very easy to maintain a constant temperature without having to constantly monitor your heat source.
You don’t necessarily need a pellet smoker to take advantage of wood pellets. What you might not know is that wood pellets can also be used in a charcoal smoker or grill to add a more enhanced smoke flavor. And it’s very easy to do.
Once your coals are totally covered in white ash and to a hot, even temperature, add your wood pellets to the coals. You want to use enough of the pellets to create a thin layer over your charcoal. As soon as the pellets ignite and start smoking, you are ready to start cooking your meat.
Flavor profiles of wood pellets
As mentioned above, wood pellets are available in a variety of mixtures of oak with other hardwoods or fruitwoods. Each of these will impart a very different flavor profile on meats. Also, using one type of wood pellet while smoking one type of meat will taste different than with another type of meat.
Wood pellets for outdoor cooking can be found in several different flavors. Each variation has a different flavor intensity it imparts. Also, each flavor pairs well with some meats more than others. To decide which type of wood pellet you should use for your smoking, it is best to use the type of meat you are cooking as your starting point. Then decide how intense of a flavor you want to pair with that meat.
Here is a breakdown of the most common variations of wood pellets:
The BBQ pellets come in 4 flavors: Apple, Cherry, Charcoal, and Whiskey.
EcoPellets now have a range of BBQ and smoking pellets. Our products have been field-tested by experts in the BBQ’ing and food smoking arena’s and the results have been an overwhelming yes.