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Unread 11-05-2006, 11:03 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcpellethead
Wow . . .glad to see there is so much talk about pellets and pellet cookers. I have not read the entire thread, but I will tomorrow. To answer the questions about pellet blends and types of wood. I started out using a Pennington pellet that Fast Eddy sells. They are 60% hickory, 40% oak. Since, I've tried just about everything under the sun. Blends, straight fruit woods, Osage Orange (hedge), you name it. I always go back to that original blend for two reasons. One, you need a wood with high btu output. Oak is excellent for that. Hickory is pretty good too. When I cook with 100% fruit wood, my cooker burned significantly more fuel without noticeable different in taste. Which is my second reason. Pellet cookers burn fuel more efficiently than most other pits. So, the different woods just don't change my flavors enough to warrant cooking with them. In fact, they pretty much smell the same. So, dance with the one that brung you, and for me, it's that original 60% hickory, 40% oak blend. Plus, they're cheap!

Good question Todd. Hope this helps answer it.

Rod
That pretty well represents what we've heard from long time pellet cooks: fruit turds just don't change the flavor much.

Rod, do you notice a flavor difference between straight hickory and straight oak? I'm just getting into different pellets, but I can't tell a difference... or it is really subtle at best.

Thanks, Todd.
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Unread 11-06-2006, 08:39 AM   #32
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Todd,

I can't recall if I've cooked with straight hickory or not. If I did, the pellets came from Branch Creek. I've cooked with 100% apple, 100% cherry, and 100% pecan for sure. Oh, and Osage Orange. My meat was darker with the cherry, but the flavor change was so minor. Plus, it took a lot more pellets to achieve the same results.

You folks are mostly cooking with 075's, while I'm using FE-100's. I'd think there might even be a little difference in our cookers, but wouldn't know exactly what.

One thing about pellets, be careful about heating fuel pellets. They are very inexpensive but use a petroleum lubricant when extruded. Supposedly food safe pellets are extruded with vegetable based lubricants. It might all be bunk, but I can purchase my pellets cheap enough that it's not worth the risk of burning any petroleum products in my pit no matter how minor.

Some folks swear by different wood pellets. It's not that I don't believe they make a difference. However, for me, I just don't see enough of a difference to warranty the expense or effort of using those products.

I've now read this whole thread. Great discussion.

Rod
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Unread 11-06-2006, 08:47 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcpellethead
Wow . . .glad to see there is so much talk about pellets and pellet cookers. I have not read the entire thread, but I will tomorrow. To answer the questions about pellet blends and types of wood. I started out using a Pennington pellet that Fast Eddy sells. They are 60% hickory, 40% oak. Since, I've tried just about everything under the sun. Blends, straight fruit woods, Osage Orange (hedge), you name it. I always go back to that original blend for two reasons. One, you need a wood with high btu output. Oak is excellent for that. Hickory is pretty good too. When I cook with 100% fruit wood, my cooker burned significantly more fuel without noticeable different in taste. Which is my second reason. Pellet cookers burn fuel more efficiently than most other pits. So, the different woods just don't change my flavors enough to warrant cooking with them. In fact, they pretty much smell the same. So, dance with the one that brung you, and for me, it's that original 60% hickory, 40% oak blend. Plus, they're cheap!

Good question Todd. Hope this helps answer it.

Rod
------------------------------------------------------

This is exactly the type of Reply I was hoping for !! Man .... it saves so much time, money, and wasted effort repeating mixes that have already been tried. Some other Replies also gave another comment on this and will help me a bunch! Many thanks Brethren ........

Regards,
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Unread 11-07-2006, 06:37 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcpellethead
Todd,

I can't recall if I've cooked with straight hickory or not. If I did, the pellets came from Branch Creek. I've cooked with 100% apple, 100% cherry, and 100% pecan for sure. Oh, and Osage Orange. My meat was darker with the cherry, but the flavor change was so minor. Plus, it took a lot more pellets to achieve the same results.

You folks are mostly cooking with 075's, while I'm using FE-100's. I'd think there might even be a little difference in our cookers, but wouldn't know exactly what.

One thing about pellets, be careful about heating fuel pellets. They are very inexpensive but use a petroleum lubricant when extruded. Supposedly food safe pellets are extruded with vegetable based lubricants. It might all be bunk, but I can purchase my pellets cheap enough that it's not worth the risk of burning any petroleum products in my pit no matter how minor.

Some folks swear by different wood pellets. It's not that I don't believe they make a difference. However, for me, I just don't see enough of a difference to warranty the expense or effort of using those products.

I've now read this whole thread. Great discussion.

Rod
Cool. We are hoping to sell our stick burner and invest in a FE-100 as well.
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Unread 11-07-2006, 06:40 PM   #35
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After Rod's post, I think I'll try a Cherry/Oak mix and see how I like that. I like the idea of the darker color, but 100% cherry sounds excessive.
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Unread 11-07-2006, 08:09 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy
After Rod's post, I think I'll try a Cherry/Oak mix and see how I like that. I like the idea of the darker color, but 100% cherry sounds excessive.
That sounds like a pretty good idea. I'd say 2:1 oak to cherry or 1:1 maybe. Pellet cookers just burn their fuel so efficiently, it's hard to get distinct flavor differences from the different pellets in my opinion.

Rod
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Unread 11-08-2006, 12:36 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcpellethead
That sounds like a pretty good idea. I'd say 2:1 oak to cherry or 1:1 maybe. Pellet cookers just burn their fuel so efficiently, it's hard to get distinct flavor differences from the different pellets in my opinion.

Rod
So let me ask this....if the difference in the make up of the pellets (hickory, oak etc...) isn't giving you distinct flavor differences, then are you saying that your winning ways are coming strictly from your rub and sauce combinations? I would think you'd have to have some flavor from the pellets, maybe not the fruit woods per sec, but the hickory, maple, etc....
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Unread 11-08-2006, 01:44 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidkick
So let me ask this....if the difference in the make up of the pellets (hickory, oak etc...) isn't giving you distinct flavor differences, then are you saying that your winning ways are coming strictly from your rub and sauce combinations? I would think you'd have to have some flavor from the pellets, maybe not the fruit woods per sec, but the hickory, maple, etc....
Well, ummmmmmmm, I guess the short answer is "no." However there is way more to it. I think a combination of things, including luck, have contributed to our success this year. After all, no matter how well you cook, you still have to find four tables of six judge (five really) that like your product on that day.

Honestly, having your product perfectly cooked and not giving the judges something to ding you for, is probably what works best for us. Hopefully, nothing we do is offensive to a judge, whether that be smoke, spice, sauce, etc. When it comes to doneness, overs usually beat unders, but when it comes to seasoning, sauce and smoke, unders usually beat overs. If anything, no matter how hard you try, you won't over smoke your product with pellets. That eliminates one variable in the equation, allowing the cook to concentrate on other things.

I'm rambling here, but not on purpose. It's hard to get it all out in print this way. Hopefully I'm sort of clear. If not, ask questions.

Rod

P.S. - As I read this, I sort of confuse myself because I'm always trying to put myself in someone else's shoes. Someone might respond that we had some success with a stick burner this year as well. EVERY contest we cooked, somebody walked up to my pit on Saturday morning to comment that I wasn't cooking. Every one of them. It was a huge compliment to me each and every time. They couldn't see the smoke coming out of my stack. That's exactly how I want my pit to burn.
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Unread 11-08-2006, 03:08 PM   #39
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Default This statement is one I can read over and over and smile each time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcpellethead
Well, ummmmmmmm, I guess the short answer is "no." However there is way more to it. I think a combination of things, including luck, have contributed to our success this year. After all, no matter how well you cook, you still have to find four tables of six judge (five really) that like your product on that day.

Honestly, having your product perfectly cooked and not giving the judges something to ding you for, is probably what works best for us. Hopefully, nothing we do is offensive to a judge, whether that be smoke, spice, sauce, etc. When it comes to doneness, overs usually beat unders, but when it comes to seasoning, sauce and smoke, unders usually beat overs. If anything, no matter how hard you try, you won't over smoke your product with pellets. That eliminates one variable in the equation, allowing the cook to concentrate on other things.

I'm rambling here, but not on purpose. It's hard to get it all out in print this way. Hopefully I'm sort of clear. If not, ask questions.

Rod

P.S. - As I read this, I sort of confuse myself because I'm always trying to put myself in someone else's shoes. Someone might respond that we had some success with a stick burner this year as well. EVERY contest we cooked, somebody walked up to my pit on Saturday morning to comment that I wasn't cooking. Every one of them. It was a huge compliment to me each and every time. They couldn't see the smoke coming out of my stack. That's exactly how I want my pit to burn.
-------------------------------------------------------

I acknowledge my relative newness to this enjoyable pursuit, but I work hard at it and take it very seriously. This post says far more than its words and it makes a strong impact. Maybe it's just me and my particular point in the learning curve, but I feel like printing it and putting it on the wall.
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Unread 11-08-2006, 03:21 PM   #40
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Do these things use the same pellets as the pellet stoves? If so, there is a pellet stove dealer near my home....I could get you guys some prices.
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Unread 11-08-2006, 04:58 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw23
Do these things use the same pellets as the pellet stoves? If so, there is a pellet stove dealer near my home....I could get you guys some prices.
Rod states in one of his earlier posts that the pellets for stoves may be different from those specific for smoking. Those for stoves may have a petrolium byproduct.
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Unread 11-08-2006, 09:41 PM   #42
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My new FEC 100 will be here Friday.
I am ready to cook and sleep.
When we go to a contest I am a Zombie.
Being able to cook for friends and still enjoy
my weekends is going to be the best part.
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Unread 11-09-2006, 08:35 AM   #43
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Chicken and small butt pics from this last weekend.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bbq 053 (Medium).jpg (70.0 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg bbq 062 (Medium).jpg (95.3 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg bbq 068 (Medium).jpg (98.2 KB, 30 views)
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Unread 11-09-2006, 08:36 AM   #44
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http://ronzsmokinwood.com/catalog/in...e8a31c70550cc8

I clicked into this site from BBQ-Brethren.com. Does this seem like a good price for Traeger pellets or am I missing something?
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Unread 11-09-2006, 08:40 AM   #45
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Q_Egg,

I took some pics of my pellets to show that you can't tell a difference in them, except for the oak. The top left is Traeger apple. Top right is Traeger hickory. Bottom center is OHP oak. As you can see, the OHP oak pellets are larger, but I suspect that is a vendor difference. There is no difference in site or smell. You mix these together and you can't tell what's in the mix.
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