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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-10-2005, 02:28 PM   #1
DWFII
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Default pellets?

I have a horizontal (Chargriller) and use charcoal for cooking. But I got to wondering if anyone has tried wood pellets (like Traeger pellets) in one of these small charcoal smokers for extra smoke flavour?

The more I read and research, the more I am convinced that you don't get much smoke flavour from charcoal alone. Even lump. And what's the point if you don't get smoke? Good smoke. You might as well be cooking with...ahem...gas! So, pellets seem a good way to go.

I also wonder if pellets are less likely to create creosote than raw wood?

It seems logical to me that even if a certain amount of creosote is generated by putting pellets in a foil bag or a iron pot (and I'm by no means convinced that pellets generate any significant amount of creosote), that the creosote will condense inside the aluminum pouch and never really escape to be deposited on the meat.

And there's one other point...adding a pellet pouch won't cause a temperature spike.

What do you guys think?
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Unread 09-10-2005, 02:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: pellets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII
I have a horizontal (Chargriller) and use charcoal for cooking. But I got to wondering if anyone has tried wood pellets (like Traeger pellets) in one of these small charcoal smokers for extra smoke flavour?

The more I read and research, the more I am convinced that you don't get much smoke flavour from charcoal alone. Even lump. And what's the point if you don't get smoke? Good smoke. You might as well be cooking with...ahem...gas! So, pellets seem a good way to go.

I also wonder if pellets are less likely to create creosote than raw wood?

It seems logical to me that even if a certain amount of creosote is generated by putting pellets in a foil bag or a iron pot (and I'm by no means convinced that pellets generate any significant amount of creosote), that the creosote will condense inside the aluminum pouch and never really escape to be deposited on the meat.

And there's one other point...adding a pellet pouch won't cause a temperature spike.

What do you guys think?
I am no pellet expert, and don't claim to be, but here is my take:
I use pellets in foil pouches in my [avert your eyes] lazy-Q gas smoker to generate smoke, and it works great for me. I also use pellets in a pouch to generate smoke on my charcoal grill. My brother in Georgia is using pellets in an iron pot to generate smoke in his cabinet style charcoal smoker. I think he has a Stubbs unit. Any he is happy with the results.
I have never seen any indication of creasote or any thing except sweet blue smoke doing this.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 05:51 PM   #3
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Default RE: Re: pellets?

Gman,

thanks. Knowing that there is little or no creosote in the smoke is the ticket for me. I did a turkey breast over Labour Day weekend and I really put the smoke to it. Although I never saw black or even dark grey smoke (or white smoke either), the light grey smoke that I did get was pretty dense. And the TB had just the slightest...it could even have been my imagination...taste of bitterness on a skin that was, in places a bit blackish. The meat itself was smokey and good--no bitterness, I could detect.

Anyway...I like the smoke flavour--in the last month I've eaten at two BBQ places (no one ever said they were "world class")--the only two places in my area--and neither could touch my pulled pork for flavour and tenderness. I think these places are afraid to "offend the neighbors."

I think I'll get a bag of pecan and/or oak Traeger pellets.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 05:52 PM   #4
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Default RE: Re: pellets?

Quote:
like Traeger pellets
I wouldn't recommend the traeger pellets. Their "hickory" pellets, for example are only a partial % (50% I think) hickory, the balance is alder. Alder may be good for smoking salmon, but smells like mold and tastes like....well not very good to me.
There a lots of pellet suppliers out there and most offer pure and blended pellets. Most other blended pellets use oak as a base which (IMO) is much more pallatable that alder.
Read the bag carefully, ask questions and be sure what you're getting.

DO NOT use heating stove pellets for cooking. The extrusion dies are lubricated with petroleum based products and you can taste the residue on the food (much like lighter fluid). Food grade pellets are manufactured with vegetable based lubricants.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 06:16 PM   #5
DWFII
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Default RE: Re: pellets?

KCquer,

good advice...any recommendations for companies that sell pellets reasonably. I went to the bbqrsdelight website and I liked what I saw but the prices are nothing to crow about.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 06:25 PM   #6
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Roger to what KC said.

I buy from EPPS FARMS:
http://www.bbqwoodpellets.com

With no shipping--I can't beat the price delivered to FL

There are several good suppliers out there.

As to "blended", I use the pure ones--just the flavor wood in the pellet.
Blended is necessary for the Pellet Muchers for the heat part of the process. Since I just add to charcoal, no need for a heat portion.

Seem to work wonderful as long as the heat source is reasonably high.
I have had trouble with "smoldering" and crappy smoke from the reletively low heat of a slow WSM burn.

Try a search for Pellets--couple of good threads with Pro's and Con's.

Good luck,
TIM
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Unread 09-10-2005, 09:37 PM   #7
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Roger what KC and Tim said. I should have pointed that out. Only use the pure wood pellets for generating smoke. EPPs Farm is a good source for me too.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 11:02 PM   #8
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The greatest thing about reading this site is new information. I have heard of the pellet smokers, but never thought of using the pellets with my coal burning unit. I may be dense, but from what I am picking up, all I ned to do is make a pouch of the pellets on throw it on my coals to generate "good " smoke?
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Unread 09-10-2005, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
I buy from EPPS FARMS:
These are what I'm using in my FE, I purchase mine from a local retailer so can't offer any input on doing business with them but Tim's word is good enough for me.
The pellets are dandy and I've had no trouble with them.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 11:22 PM   #10
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DWF11
You have a pellet producer in Cascade Locks OR that uses oak as a base and cost a 1/3rdless than Traegers pellets. The company is Bear Mountain Forest Products, great folks to work with, we just picked up a ton about 4 weeks ago.
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Unread 09-11-2005, 01:58 PM   #11
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Jim,

Thanks....but, er...just got an email from Bear Mountain and they told me straight out that they use 70% alder/30% flavour wood for their BBQ pellets. thought you might like to know.
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