6 Best wood pellets of 2018 – Hardwood vs Softwood! [Bonus inside!]

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Adrian HoffmanMy name is Adrian Hoffman. I own a sawmill with pellet manufacturing workshop. My company is rather small and I cannot really compete with major brands. But I know the market very well and can give you valuable recommendations about choosing pellets.

I made a list of the best wooden pellets of 2018 and explained their differences and advantages.



Top 6 best wood pellets reviews:




№1 – RecTec Grills Blend Pellets

RecTec Grills Blend Pellets
Can be used with all types of pellet grills;
It produces very clean smoke;
Leaves almost zero amount of ash when compared to other pellets;
It is made of good and fresh wood, so the flavor is fantastic!

Why did this wood pellets win the first place?

Because it is a high quality product for a reasonable price, made of fresh oak and hickory. It will give your food a very nice smoky flavor!


№2 – Pit Boss BBQ Wood Pellets

Pit Boss BBQ Wood Pellets
Provides hot and steady burn;
Convenient packaging;
Interesting mix of sweet, savory and tart flavors;
All natural ingredients.

Why did this wood pellets come in second place?

Because these pellets are made from 100% natural maple, hickory and cherry wood, providing excellent smoke. But when I held them in my hands, they crumble more than normal. So, it is only the second.


№3 – Louisiana Grills Apple Pellets

Louisiana Grills Apple Pellets
This blend of apple and maple provides a light and neutral smoke, so it is great for any type of food;
It is really cheap;
You can use it in a smoker pan instead of chips;
Good and hard structure.

Why did this wood pellets take third place?

Because it provides your food with a great universal flavor, but it is a little bit dusty and comes in poorly made boxes.





Attention! Don’t buy any wood pellets until you read the FAQ!



Are wood pellets cheaper than logs?

Wood pellets are much cheaper, than logs. Pellets produce around 50% more heat for each spent kilogram, so using it will positively affect your wallet.

Are wood pellets environmentally friendly?

Of course! Wood pellets are a renewable source of energy. Producing heat with them does not contribute to climate change. Moreover, the amount of carbon dioxide, released from burned pellets, is equal to the amount the tree consumed when it was growing. Wooden pellets are only made with wood from sustainable forests.

Are wood pellets safe to cook?

Yes, it is absolutely safe for your health and in terms of fire safety. Just keep your pellet stove in a good shape and do not use moist pellets – and everything will be fine!

What are the best wood pellets for cooking?

wood pellets for cookingThere are special pellets for grills and barbeque, differing by the type of woods. All of them are made from natural material and good for cooking. If you are looking for the very best pellets, the simplest solution is to choose the ones with the highest price. They have hard structure and provide the clearest smoke.

What are the best wood pellets for grilling?

There are hundreds of brands and every one of them claim to be the best. I am going to be honest: there are no objective opinion about what wooden pellets would be the best for grilling. Yes, they got to have hard structure, but the flavor is matters too, and you are the one choosing it. It depends on the type of food that you are cooking. Try different manufacturers and various flavors – and you will find it yourself!

What are the best wood pellets for heating?

Wood heating pellets are made from food fibers, which include sawdust and lumber byproducts. Those ingredients may come from a hardwood tree or a softwood tree, and some manufacturers blend them. Hardwood burns longer or slower on an open fire because of their greater density. Softwood is less dense (lighter), so they turn to ash a little bit faster. According to my experience, softwood pellet from Douglas Fir burn better than hardwood or blended pellets.

What are the best wood pellets for smoking?

It depends on the type of food you are going to cook. You need to read these list of the pellet/food combinations below to make it easy for you to determine the ideal smoker pellet flavor for your barbecue day.

  • Oak. Smoke pellets made from oak usually are mellow and seem familiar. It is recommended for smoking fish or beef on the grill;
  • Alder. This type of pellet is suitable with almost any type of meat, such as chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, fish, beef, etc. Alder infuses your meat with a delicious, earthy taste that is not too overwhelming.
  • Maple. If you are planning to cook meat—such as pork, beef, or turkey—with a tang of sweetness to it, then the maple smoker pellets are the best choice.
  • Pecan. Your taste buds will be blown away with the flavor produced by pecan smoker pellets. Pecan pairs especially well with pork and beef.
  • Hickory is an excellent choice for those who are going to use it regularly. You can use hickory for any type of meat. However, it does not pair well with fish, so keep that in mind!
  • Mesquite. If you want to cook fish on your barbecue day, then mesquite is an amazing choice for your grill. It will sharpen the natural flavor of, and add a bit of spiciness to the fish. I also recommend you to try it with chicken or beef.

What are the best wood pellets for smoking brisket?

I personally like mesquite and hickory flavor when it comes to big beef. Try this one:

wood pellets for smoking brisket
Niche Leader
It is made of 100% hardwood;
Provides just enough heat to let you perfectly cook brisket;
Comes for a reasonable price;
Produces low amounts of ash.

Check Price!


What are the best wood pellets for smoking fish?

Most chefs I know prefer to cook smoked fish with pellets made from alder or oak wood. Both of these options are versatile and provide mild flavor and aroma.

What is the calorific value of wood pellets?

The calorific value of wood pellets is about 4300 kilocalories per kilogram, or 18 megajoules per kilogram.

Can wood pellets be burned in a fireplace/regular wood stove?

You can burn wooden pellets in a regular wood stove or a fireplace, but it will burn super fast. If you plan to use it constantly, I recommend you to buy a pellet basket, which is a lower-cost alternative to pellet stove.

Can wood pellets be stored outside?

Yes, you can, but I strictly advice you storing it inside in a dry area, where it would be safe from flooding, mold and humidity. If you are lacking room to store your wood pellets inside, be sure to carefully check it when it arrives to you before leaving it outside. The product should be very accurately wrapped and protected with a plastic shroud. Fix any rips or holes in the plastic shrouding with waterproof tape or extra layers of plastic. Place a securely fastened tarp over your pellets in order to protect it from water and squirrels, rats or other animals that may try to damage the plastic.

Can wood pellets be used as cat litter?

Sure you can! Moreover, you can even buy special cat litter, which made of it. As you may guessed, it would be expensive to use all-natural pellets from premium woods, so just order a special bag of wood litter.

Can wood pellets be used in a smoker?

Yep. I suggest you choosing this pellets for a smoker:

wood pellets for smoker
Niche Leader
You can burn it in any grill or smoker, which uses wooden pellets;
Made from totally safe hardwood;
Zero added oils or flavors;
There is no fillers, so the smoke is really clear.

Check Price!


Can wood pellets spontaneously combust?

Yes, there are such chances if you do not maintain them properly. Stored bulk piles of wood pellets sometimes self-heat in places with high moisture contents and very often this process can provoke the spontaneous combustion of the material after a long period of time.

What are the disadvantages of wood pellets?

The main drawback of using pellets to produce heat is the need of electricity. The amount of electricity pellet stoves use is not very huge, but It can cause troubles in places, where an electrical supply is not available, or during a power outage. Of course, there are backup systems available (for example, generators or battery systems) – use them just in case of any emergency.

What are the best pellets for pellet stove?

These pellets work great in pellet stove and made from all-natural wood:

Wood Fuel Pellets - 40-Lb. Bag
Niche Leader
Leaves low amount of ash;
Offers consistent quality;
Can be used for cooking;
Starts to burn easily;
Convenient packaging.

Check Price!


These pellets is a great option for pellet stoves. The type of wood that is used here is pine. It smells amazing! These wood pellets are made from all-natural first sourced wood (sawmill byproduct). It does not include waste wood (used pallets). Its manufacturer, Equustock LLC, is a practicing member of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) – it means that you are buying forest products from well-managed forests. Additionally, this product is food safe, so you can use it for cooking on a grill.

What are the environmental benefits of using wood pellets?

Wood pellets are deservedly recognized as one of the best sources of sustainable, eco-friendly fuel available. In comparison to the likes of oil and gas, wooden pellets are pure, sustainable, and emit much less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during their lifecycle. When the plant is burned, the same amount of carbon dioxide is then released back into the atmosphere. The cycle can be repeated infinite amount of times. Manufacturers use sustainable renewable woods to make pellets.

How are wood pellets delivered?

supplies of wood pelletsSmall retail supplies of wood pellets (particularly, pellets for barbeque and grill) are usually packed in convenient boxes. Big amounts (for home heating) are delivered by truck in huge packages.

How do wood pellets stick together?

Wood pellets are manufactured by pulverizing the sawdust into something like dough, which is then forced through tubes at very high pressure. It heats the wood mass, causing the natural lignin in the wood to form a plastic-like material, and this material is exactly what makes the sawdust sticks together.

For how long do wood pellets burn?

There are too many variable:

  • Which stove;
  • What settings;
  • Type of the pellets.

Usually one bag of wood pellets lasts for about 40 hours.

How many wooden pellets you need to heat a house?

Again, the answer depends on the number of rooms and overall square of the house. These are one of the best pellets for heating a home:

wooden pellets to heat a house
Niche Leader
Pellets are absolutely natural;
There is no added flavors or fillers;
Surprisingly low moisture content;
Clean and nice smoke.

Check Price!


Most people go through between three and four tons of wood pellets each winter.

What are the different types of wood pellets?

These are the main types of wood pellets:

  • Premium wood pellets. The product contains less than 0.5% organic ash content, and usually does not contain bark. Most often wood is oak or maple wood species, and the price is much more higher than the cost of lower grades pellets.
  • Standard wood pellets. The product is very often made from forestry industry waste and contains more than 0.5% of organic ash content.
  • Wood pellets for cooking. This type of pellets includes premium or standard product, that can be good enough to use in cooking, as long as no additives or binding agents are used during the process of manufacturing.

How much ash is produced from burning wood pellets?

The amount of ash produced as a proportion of weight is very low for wooden pellets, at less than 0.7%. It makes the maintenance of the boiler significantly easier.



How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the wooden pellets by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

Wood pellets is a great environmentally friendly way to produce heat for your house or cooking. It is cheaper than most of the other types of fuel, almost does not produce smoke and always smells good. There are literally tons of various types of pellets for all occasions (cooking, home heating or even using it as a biodegradable cat litter), available on the market. I sincerely hope, that this mini-manual was useful to you and you will consider buying some of the pellets, which I suggested on this page. Good luck!

So, TOP3 of wood pellets:

Best pellets for smoking brisket:

Pack fot house heating:

Wood pellets sale with discounts:

Click on the links to go to the store and read more there.



Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about wood pellets is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!

Meet the Author
My name is Billy Fletcher and I am a Reviewer. I graduated from Brandeis University.

Contact me if you have any questions:
+1 (199)-587-5173
[email protected]
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