You may find that there is a common question in most pellet grill, and that is: “How much pellets for electric smoker should I use?”, and also “Is one pound of wood chips equal to another?”
First, you should understand that there are different types of wood chips. For some reason, the manufacturer mixes up hardwood with softwood to make their pellets. And each type of wood will give a different flavor to your food.
I will explain you what each wood kind brings to your food.
First, there is the hardwood: these are mostly fruit trees, such as apple or cherry. They bring a strong sweet flavor to whatever meat you smoke with them. As a result of that, they are really good for poultry and fish smoking.
Next you have the softwoods: they mostly come from conifer trees, such as pine or cedar. They will give a subtle flavor to your food, so they are really good for meats with a strong taste, like pork or beef.
And now comes the question:
“Is one pound of wood chips equal to another?“
The answer is “No”.
Each brand has its own weight for their bags, and that’s because they all have different density.
One type of wood can release more or less smoke than other types, depending on how dry they are when you put them inside your smoker.
Keep in mind that these bags aren’t always full. For instance, some pellet smoker brands use big bags which only contain around 10 pounds of pellets.
These brands sell their bags for around $30. It means that you can get about 100 pounds of pellets for around $300.
I hope this article will help you to understand the different wood chips and their properties.
There are many different types of wood chunks and pellets, some produce more smoke than others do while some produce a distinct flavor while adding moisture to your food making it tender and juicy.
Some brands out there have been known to use low quality wood in their manufacturing process which ends up producing an inferior product that smokes too much or not enough or even can impart a bad off taste into your food thus rendering the smoker useless.
Larger producers with greater resources have better quality control and produce a better product.
On the other hand, smaller producers with limited resources can produce an excellent product if they are committed to doing so.
There are a lot of really small mom and pop producers who produce an excellent product with limited resources.
The best thing to do is read reviews on the different brands and pick one that has a lot of positive feedback and you will be happy with your purchase.
There is not much difference in pricing between competing products so don’t get hung up on paying more for certain brands. The real determining factor when choosing pellets is if they produce good smoke, not the cost per bag.
So, how much wood chips for electric smoker is required to smoke meat ?
The best way to tell when it is time to refill your chips for your electric smoker is by paying attention to how often you happen to be adding wood in and checking your thermometer or meat probe: monitor what works best with your particular model and try adjusting accordingly. And remember: no more than one-quarter cup per hour!
Most models only take about 5 to 10 minutes to heat up and it typically takes between 6-8 hours of continuous use.
There is no exact time that you should keep the chips in; the general consensus is that if you are not getting smoke, then you need more.
If during your smoking process there is spillage, remove the food from smoker and clean out any spilled pellets before reusing.
Be careful with your electric smoker’s venting system or fan because some models may suck in wood pellets through their vents which can cause performance issues. Always refer to user manual for proper instructions.
Best Wood Pellets For Electric Smokers
One of the most popular types of smokers are electric smokers because they are relatively hassle-free.
The only disadvantage that people find with them is that wood chips have to be added every so often, adding more expense to the process. But there are other ways to get around this problem which we will explore in this article.
First it’s important to understand what wood pellets actually are and what makes them different from ‘wood chips’. Most people confuse them or think they are one and the same but in reality, they are very different.
Here’s a simple explanation for beginners: Wood pellets are made by taking sawdust from hardwoods such as maple trees then compressing it into small cylindrical shapes that are easy to store and use. These are then packaged under different brand names for sale.
The pellets sold go by many names such as: smoking chips, smoker fuel, barbecue briquettes or lump charcoal. In short, they are small bits of compressed sawdust that burn hotter and cleaner than regular wood.
Most people who have used the product will tell you about how good it is in terms of staying lit and giving a steady flow of smoke but at the same time making sure there’s no flavor transfer from one food item to another in your smoker if you’re using more than one type of meat or even when adding other flavors such as herbs and spices to season your dish during cooking.
Many people claim that they get their best results when they use two different types of wood to produce smoke.
This allows for a combination of flavors during cooking which enhances the whole experience. But if you are the sort who likes to keep it simple, choosing one type will do just fine.
White oak, hickory and mesquite are all good choices but avoid pine as this can leave your food tasting like it’s been pickled or preserved with chemicals (not good!).
I use Hickory wood pellets for my electric smoker – I’ve tried several different brands and they all work great. The pellet sizes are large, which is good because they don’t seem to burn as quickly as others.
1) Best Grapevine Wood Chips
J.C.’s Smoking Wood Chunks – Gallon Sized Bag – Grape
Smoking chunks for grilling, use in your smoker box or just add to your gas or charcoal grill. Made from Virgin Hardwood Trees from Central Iowa and Missouri.
J.C.’s Smoking Wood Chunks are made from 100% virgin hardwood trees grown in Central Iowa and Missouri.
The wood is cut into small pieces then seasoned to perfection for a great smokey flavor that will enhance the taste of any meat you’re cooking on the grill!
Use this product with any smoker box or just add it directly to your gas or charcoal grill.
2) Best Oak Wood Pellet
Bradley Smoker BTOK24 Oak BTOK24-Flavor Bisquettes 24Pk
A great way to add flavor and variety to your grilling. Our Oak flavored bisquettes make it easy to prepare a wide range of food items on your grill.
These oak flavored bisquettes are made from 100% natural oak wood and contain no artificial additives or fillers.
Oak is one of the most popular woods used in cooking because it adds a sweet, smoky taste that goes well with just about any meat or vegetable.
3) Best Cherry Wood Pellet
Traeger Grills PEL309 Cherry 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets Grill
PEL309 Cherry 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets Grill will give you the highest quality and best tasting food. You can cook anything from meat to vegetables, breads and desserts with this grill.
It is easy to use, clean and maintain which makes it a great choice for people who are new to pellet grills.
The product comes with a user manual that includes step by step instructions on how to assemble it and get started cooking right away!
4) Best Mesquite Wood Pellet
Mr. Bar-B-Q Mesquite Smoking Wood Chunks
Mr. Bar-B-Q Mesquite Smoking Wood Chunks are all natural, premium BBQ wood chunks made from the finest quality mesquite trees.
Each chunk is hand selected and cut to perfection for a long lasting smoking experience.
Our Mr. Bar-B-Q Mesquite Smoking Wood Chunks add a delicious smokey spicy flavor to your favorite meats while grilling or smoking them over indirect heat at 225°F – 250°F (107°C – 121°C).
5) Best Hickory Pellets
PEL319 Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets Grill, Smoke, BBQ,
Charcoal Alternative for Traeger Grills is made of all natural hardwood. The pellets are free of binders and fillers.
You can grill with these pellets or use them as an alternative to charcoal briquettes for smoking.
These pellets burn at a lower temperature than charcoal so you don’t have to worry about flare ups when cooking with them.
They also emit less ash than other types of wood so cleanup is quick and easy!
As you can see by the above suggestions, there are various types of wood pellets to choose from.
Some burn hotter than others so be careful what type you use when smoking different meats and other foods. You want to make sure they don’t burn too hot or your food will be over cooked!
I’ve tried the hickory, cherry and the mesquite wood pellets and have been pleased with all of them.
I use a BBQ rub on my meat before placing it in my smoker box or adding the wood pellet to my charcoal grill.
My favorite is the cherry pellets because they add a nice smoky flavor without being too overpowering.