What Are Barbecue Pellets?

Wood barbecue pellets are a way of adding smoke flavor to BBQ food. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about wood pellets.

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What are the pellets made from?

BBQ pellets are made from wood sawdust. The sawdust is compressed into pellet form, sometimes along with binding agents. Ideally you want pellets made from 100% wood with no other materials or fillers. That way you won't get other 'stuff' flavoring your food.

How do I use them?

With charcoal grills, just start up the barbecue as you normally would - ignite the charcoal and wait until they're hot and covered with a layer of white ash. Then add a handful or two of pellets (or more, if you like) and wait for them to ignite. Then start grilling as usual. Keep the lid of the barbecue down, as this will let the smoke from the pellets circulate and give your food that delicious smoky flavor.

How do I store pellets?

Keep them somewhere dry and protected from moisture. Pellets can absorb moisture (even from the air), which will cause them be harder to light and not perform as expected.

I have heating pellets for my woodstove. Can I use them for my BBQ?

No. Heating pellets are made of different stuff that can include construction materials like glues and paints. You definitely don't want this stuff anywhere near your food!

What flavors of pellets go well with what types of food?

See our article on BBQ wood chips and chunks for flavoring food cooked on a charcoal grill.

Barbecue pellets are a convenient and easy way to add that extra flavor to grilled foods. Read more BBQ tips about cooking with a charcoal grill.



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This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!