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View Full Version : Fuel cost charcoal vs pellets


qnbiker
11-02-2013, 03:46 PM
I have a WSM and a Performer with a Smoke EZ attachment. I get almost 1 hr/lb. on the Performer/Smoke EZ and a little better on the WSM when smoking at around 250-275. I get charcoal at the sales for $.20/lb.-$.25/lb., so a 10 hour smoke costs me about $2.50-$3.00. How does that compare to your pellet grill?

ajstrider
11-02-2013, 06:16 PM
I have owned three separate pellet smokers, and at 250F, they tend to burn about 1 pound an hour. The pellets generally cost about $1 a pound, you can get cheaper, but I don't like the flavor they give off. Charcoal is more efficient on the dollar, even not on sale generally KBB is $0.50 a pound.

Fwismoker
11-02-2013, 06:21 PM
[QUOTE=ajstrider; even not on sale generally KBB is $0.50 a pound.[/QUOTE]

Depends on the smoker some are so efficient KB burns at 15-20 cents a lb

luke duke
11-03-2013, 08:40 AM
Depends on the smoker some are so efficient KB burns at 15-20 cents a lb

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5044/5269558397_64406aeb94_z.jpg

Fwismoker
11-03-2013, 08:50 AM
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5044/5269558397_64406aeb94_z.jpg


Yea i forgot to put the (per hour) in there and phrased it wrong...lol

But you should get my meaning....my mini is way more efficient than say my UDS

nucornhusker
11-03-2013, 09:02 AM
I buy pellet is bulk, and it costs me roughly $.35/hour at smoking temps in my YS1500. Very reasonable I feel.

I don't grill much with my Yoder, I usually use the KJ for that, but obviously the cost per hour would go up to about $.75-$1.00/hour roughly.

Ron_L
11-03-2013, 09:28 AM
There are so many variables in this that it's really impossible to do the comparison. It depends on the type and brand of cooker and also the cook remperature.

On the Charcoal side, a WSM or UDS may run 20+ hours on a few lbs of charcoal, a good insulated smoker may run 15 - 20 hours on a load, but a low end offset may burn a couple of pounds an hour.

On the pellet side, 1 lb/hour is pretty typical, but some lower cost units will burn more, and the more expensive, insulated units burn less. It also depends on the quality of the pellets.

As an example, I've done 20+ hour cooks on my WSMs and my Eggs many times. I didn't weigh the charcoal that I put in, but let's say it was 10 lbs. That sounds reasonable. Let's use a 20 hour cook, so that's .50 lbs per hour. If I bought the charcoal on sale and paid $6 for a 9 lb bag of Stubbs, that's $.67/lb. That works out to $.33/hr or a total of $6.67 for the cook.

In my FEC, I use 8 lbs of pellets in a 16 hour cook. That's .5 lbs/hour. I pay $.35/lb for high quality pellets, so that $.175/hour, or $2.80 for the cook. Extrapolating that out to 20 hours for the comparison a 20 hour cook would cost me $3.50

So, for me, it would cost me $.33/hour for the charcoal cook and $.175/hour for the pellet cook.

grantw
11-03-2013, 10:02 AM
I had 2 different louisianna grills prellet pooper and found them to be too rich for my blood they would easily use twice as much as my wsm

grantw
11-03-2013, 10:04 AM
If your going pellet dont mess around with the department store crap

qnbiker
11-03-2013, 10:26 AM
Kind of what I expected. Ron, your FEC must really be efficient. I've seen some great Traeger deals on craigslist lately - one less than $100 - but I sold my cheap offset because of fuel cost. I still like the pellet grill concept, so maybe sometime someday.

Ron_L
11-03-2013, 10:36 AM
Kind of what I expected. Ron, your FEC must really be efficient. I've seen some great Traeger deals on craigslist lately - one less than $100 - but I sold my cheap offset because of fuel cost. I still like the pellet grill concept, so maybe sometime someday.

I haven't done a full comparison, but the FEC line are probably the most efficient pellet smokers available. The full insulation helps a lot!

I believe the FEC-120 is even more efficient than the FEC-100.

ajstrider
11-03-2013, 04:00 PM
One thing where I really like the pellet grill, and probably the reason I keep mine around, is for the quick cooks. If I just want to smoke some ABTs, bratwursts, moink balls, things that take an hour or less, I use the Traeger. It is up running and ready to cook in less than ten minutes. I hate spending 30 or 40 minutes starting up and warming up a charcoal smoker for a cook that will barely last that long. I really need to purchase a weed burner, it should speed up my charcoal startup time.

RNF
11-03-2013, 10:02 PM
By buying bulk it cost me .35 cents a pound. My GMG DB burns about a pound a hour.