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Pellets vs Wood Smoking: What to Buy for Your Next Cookout

September 07, 2022

When it comes to smoking meat, there are a lot of different ways to do it and nearly everyone is passionate about their go-to strategy. If you're curious about using wood pellets or smoking wood for your next cookout, you'll find that there are pros and cons to both methods.

The debate of pellets vs wood smoking really boils down to two things: flavor and convenience. Some people swear by the smoky flavor that wood can add to their meats, while others find that pellets offer plenty of flavor and are less of a hassle to use.

If you’re stuck on which side you should take in this debate to up your cookout game, here are a few things you should know.

Wood Pellets Overview

Wood BBQ pellets are made of 100% compressed sawdust or wood chips and are held together with a natural binding agent. They come in different shapes and sizes, but most pellets are about the size of a pencil eraser.

You can find a number of different wood pellets on the market to suit your smoking needs, including:

  • Apple
  • Cherry
  • Hickory
  • Mesquite
  • Oak
  • Pecan

Check out all our wood BBQ pellet options here!

The Benefits of Using Pellets for Smoking Meat

Smoking pellets are a great option if you're looking for an easy option for achieving consistent flavor.

Highly Efficient

One of the best traits of pellets is that they are highly efficient. They transform most of their contained energy into heat, meaning you'll be smoking your meat as efficiently as possible. 

Less Mess

Another great benefit pellets have over wood is that they create less of a mess. There's no need to worry about a huge amount of messy ashes and extra clean-up after your cookout.

Pellets are also extremely easy to store and pour into your smoker when you need to use them.

Safe to Use

You may be wondering, are wood pellets safe to use?

The answer is yes! Wood pellets are safe to use so long as you buy pellets meant for smoking and not those meant for heating houses.

Smoking Wood Overview

Wood is one of the most popular choices for smoking meat. It's been used for centuries and imparts a unique flavor that many people love. There are a few different types of wood you can use, each with its own distinct flavor profile. Some of the most popular varieties include:

  • Hickory
  • Cherry
  • Maple
  • Apple
  • Mesquite
  • Pecan

Browse our cooking wood selection here!

The Benefits of Using Wood for Smoking Meat

Smoking with wood is a great way to infuse your meat with flavor. Slow and low cooking with wood will give your meat a unique flavor that you just can't get anywhere else. 

Tastes Amazing

People love smoking with wood for a reason: it tastes incredible. The flavor that wood imparts on meat is unlike any other and is one of the main reasons people continue to use this method.

Slower Burn

Smoking wood offers a slower burn than pellets, which means your smoker remains at a more stable cooking temperature for a longer period of time. You won't have to monitor your smoker as much and continually check to make sure your meat is cooking consistently.

Pellets Vs Wood Smoking: Which Is Right for You?

An up-close image of a piece of smoking meat.


The best smoking method depends on what you're looking to get out of your cookout. If you want convenience and efficiency, pellets are the way to go. But if you're looking for that unique wood-smoked flavor, then smoking with wood is the better option.

No matter which method you choose, you'll be sure to enjoy delicious smoked meats at your next cookout.

Happy smoking!

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