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View Full Version : A Real Pellet Flavor Test?


darita
09-06-2018, 09:30 AM
Baby Back Maniac...With all the discussions of pellets concerning flavor, base wood vs flavor wood, oils, etc., I'm wondering if anyone ever did a real controlled test?
I'm also wondering if there really is a flavor difference between pellet wood "flavors"? Can you truly taste the difference between 100% Hickory vs a Hickory/Oak or Alder blend?

Mike in Roseville
09-06-2018, 12:13 PM
Good question!


As I am interested in pellet grills I'd like to hear some folks chime in on this.


Oh...and looks like we're neighbors :icon_cool

darita
09-06-2018, 12:19 PM
Good question!


As I am interested in pellet grills I'd like to hear some folks chime in on this.


Oh...and looks like we're neighbors :icon_cool

Ya...hey Mike! I'm waving right now.:-D. Hopefully, some one with more resources can make this happen.

highergr0und
09-06-2018, 01:56 PM
Can you suggest how to go about testing this objectively? I've got some Traeger hickory and gourmet blends, some cookinpellets hickory (just ran out of the perfect mix), and am about to go buy some B&B stuff for my next round of pellets, which is 70/30 mix of oak + the flavor wood. If Lowes still has Pit Boss comp mix for $10 I'd be willing to pick that up to compare as well, and I think they carry the new kingsford 100% stuff, but it's over $1/lb so I don't see that ever being my primary. I could try a bag if folks want.

Subjectively, just by taste, the cookingpellets hickory imparts a stronger flavor than the traeger hickory. The cookingpellets perfect mix is really good on everything, better than the traeger gourmet blend.

So let me know how to best measure, my guess would be chicken thighs since they're cheap and take on smoke well, and I can try to set something up in the next week or two.

mattmountz94
09-06-2018, 02:02 PM
A real test no. But i can tell the difference between cookinpellets perfect mix and 100% hickory. I use the perfect mix on everything besides brisket. I think brisket needs the stronger flavor. I have tried both flavors on various items and could always tell the difference. I have a yoder

darita
09-06-2018, 02:06 PM
I think a test like this is out of most of our capabilities, that's why I'm putting this out in hopes that someone will read this that is in a better position to handle this kind of thing. It would likely take 2 or 3 of the same cooker, smoking the same meat, at the same time, using 2 or 3 different pellet types, at the very least. They would then have to do a blind taste test, first to see if they could truly taste a difference and if so, could they identify them in any way.
All that said, maybe there is a better way to do this.

KevinJ
09-06-2018, 02:29 PM
As far as pellet to pellet, I've been using mostly Lumber Jack 100% Hickory or the MHC blend, I did use the LJ Mesquite/Oak blend on a Brisket and it turned out great but I can't say it was any better than 100% Hickory that I used for cooking Beef Short Ribs. I personally like the MHC blend on Ribs better than 100% Hickory but it's just a slight difference imo.

Know this isn't what you were asking about but I love doing side by sides, apples to apples to see what is what, like wrapping vs not, Spares vs BB's, Rubs or different cookers. Here is my MAK vs Hunsaker Drum cook. http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=262020

Smoking Cajun
09-06-2018, 04:39 PM
I like the chicken thigh idea, it is something that is cheap, and cooks rather fast. Perhaps even with no skin. It would have to be done on the exact same brand of smoker if you do it on several smokers at once.

this would be an interesting test. If I were to do it, I would start and stop the smoker for every different pellet, and refrigerate the meat. I would then heat them all up at the same time the next day for the taste test.

I vote that mesquite be used for one of the tests.

smoke ninja
09-06-2018, 04:49 PM
I think a test like this is out of most of our capabilities, that's why I'm putting this out in hopes that someone will read this that is in a better position to handle this kind of thing. It would likely take 2 or 3 of the same cooker, smoking the same meat, at the same time, using 2 or 3 different pellet types, at the very least. They would then have to do a blind taste test, first to see if they could truly taste a difference and if so, could they identify them in any way.
All that said, maybe there is a better way to do this.

what's with all the science types here as of late?

the scientific method does not need to be implemented for me to say one brand of pellets is better or has more smoke flavor than another.

Joshw
09-06-2018, 05:13 PM
It's going to be impossible for someone else to tell you, what you will like the most. Taste is way to subjective for that. I would guess even the same pellet, in a different brand of cooker, is going to give you subtle differences. I have tried a lot of pellets, and can say unequivocally that Lumberjack 100% Hickory gives me the strongest smoke profile, of any pellet I have tried. My recommendation, is try different pellets, and stay with the one you like the most, and don't worry about what other people think or use.

CopyNPaste
09-06-2018, 05:13 PM
Just FYI


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwLApaq86IA

darita
09-06-2018, 05:20 PM
It's going to be impossible for someone else to tell you, what you will like the most. Taste is way to subjective for that. I would guess even the same pellet, in a different brand of cooker, is going to give you subtle differences. I have tried a lot of pellets, and can say unequivocally that Lumberjack 100% Hickory gives me the strongest smoke profile, of any pellet I have tried. My recommendation, is try different pellets, and stay with the one you like the most, and don't worry about what other people think or use.

Not really asking someone else to tell me what I will like. Really, I'm asking them to tell me what you experienced with the LJ pellets, but in a more controlled and objective manner. Yes, it would take 2 or 3 very experienced pit masters, for a qualified panel. What they "like", would not be something they'd be tasting for, as that would be too subjective.

Pedro7
09-07-2018, 09:30 AM
From what my pallet has learned over the last year is to just go with the strongest wood you can find. As you know, pellet grills offer much lighter smoke than a typical cabinet, offset, etc. Fruit woods are almost nonexistent in a pellet and I kept finding myself mixing in hickory into everything. Now I just burn hickory or a stronger comp blend and use the A-Maz-n smoke tube quite a bit. I wouldn't say all the pellets I've tried gave me any differences in flavor (nor did I test them side by side), but just a difference in smokiness. Find one that gives you the smokiness you want and don't overthink it.

darita
09-07-2018, 09:35 AM
From what my pallet has learned over the last year is to just go with the strongest wood you can find. As you know, pellet grills offer much lighter smoke than a typical cabinet, offset, etc. Fruit woods are almost nonexistent in a pellet and I kept finding myself mixing in hickory into everything. Now I just burn hickory or a stronger comp blend and use the A-Maz-n smoke tube quite a bit. I wouldn't say all the pellets I've tried gave me any differences in flavor (nor did I test them side by side), but just a difference in smokiness. Find one that gives you the smokiness you want and don't overthink it.

Used to use the Amazin and other smoke generators in my GMG, then found out that the GMG is programmed for light smoke flavor. My MAK and others, are programmed for a much heavier smoke flavor, much like lump/chunks in a WSM or offset. But that's why I'd like to see these tests done...to help answer these questions.