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O C

Some questions about pellets

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New to pellet grills, have a few questions for other PG owners

Have you settled on one favorite pellet or do you routinely swap and change pellet types? Seems like some say they can tell no difference from one to another, but I'm looking at all the different possibilities of wood types and its like trying to pick out my favorite candy :-)

I've bought a few 5 gal buckets with the screw seal lids, do you think these will be good enough to store them outside ( in a covered area, but outside)?

For higher temp cooks, do you use something like a pellet smoker tube to add some smoke? I noticed last night that my chicken (grilled at 375 to 400) while very tasty and juicy didn't have that smoky grilled flavor. I made no attempt to start at a lower temp for more smoke, so maybe that would be a better idea than a smoker tube?

Thanks for your insight!

 

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Q.  "Have you settled on one favorite pellet or do you routinely swap and change pellet types? Seems like some say they can tell no difference from one to another..."

A.  I can tell the difference in the aroma of various wood smokes but not in the tastes.  Mesquite aside, to me, smoke tastes like smoke.  But I notice a difference in the intensity of the flavor various woods lay down.  By that I mean that an equal amount of two varieties of burned wood will deliver two different amounts of the same flavor.

 

Here's my opinion on a wood flavor intensity scale (built on my experience and John Setzler's comments elsewhere)–

5.  Intense.......... Mesquite (very intense flavor and aroma)

4.  Intense.......... Hickory (more intense flavor than oak, aroma may be categorized as “sharp”)

3.  Midrange...... Oak (more intense flavor than apple, aroma is more savory than sweet)

2.  Light............. Apple (slightly more intense flavor than cherry, aroma is different from cherry)

1.  Light............. Cherry (very light intensity, doesn’t produce as much flavor for an equal amount of wood as others, has a light sweet aroma)

 

So...that's my experience with wood smoke taste.  There are other people who have a highly developed sense of taste.  Do an Internet search on Synesthesia.  It's a neurological condition where stimulating one sense (e.g., taste) produces a discrete reaction in a different sense (e.g., sight).  About 4% of the population have some form of it.  Maybe 1% of syntesthetes have sensory crossovers that affect their relationships with food.

 

So, about 0.04% of people can "see" flavor.  To them, different beers look different after tasting them.  They're at the high point on the tasting curve.  The rest of us are somewhere down it.  I'm probably near the bottom.

 

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Q.  "For higher temp cooks, do you use something like a pellet smoker tube to add some smoke?"

A.  It varies somewhat by pellet pit controller type, but generally, the higher your cooking temperature the less smoke produced.  But pellet pits, almost universally, produce a mild smoke flavor.  To many users it's desirable.  To others, who often have a background in other smoker types, or who simply prefer a strong smoke taste, it's not enough flavor.  They sometimes resort to ancillary smoke generators, like the tubes.

 

Personally, I generally prefer a stronger smoke taste than that produced by my Cookshack Fast Eddy PG500 pellet pit.  But I don't use the smoke tubes.  They and other add-on devices make a creosote laden white smoke that I don't care for.  As a result I do all of my smoking on my Kamado Joe where I can add smoke wood chunks to make light blue smoke that suits my taste.

 

The preceding is all opinion.  I don't have any concrete data to support it.

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5 hours ago, O C said:

 

 

 

 

Thanks for your insight!

 

 

  • Have you settled on one favorite pellet or do you routinely swap and change pellet types?

ive tried several species and have settled on Traeger Gourmet Blend from Costco as a favorite.  its is blend of: Maple, Hickory and Cherry and sold in (heavy duty) 33# bag $24..99 free shipping in the USA from Costco's website.  The aroma and flavor have been fantastic with everything ive cooked from brisket to pork to cookies & apple pie.

  • Seems like some say they can tell no difference from one to another, but I'm looking at all the different possibilities of wood types and its like trying to pick out my favorite candy :-)

I'm one of those who cant tell much of a difference in smoke flavor; however, i do use the "super smoke" feature of the Timberline to increase the amount of smoke flavor on cooks.  My Ranger yields a much-better smoke profile though.

 

  • I've bought a few 5 gal buckets with the screw seal lids, do you think these will be good enough to store them outside ( in a covered area, but outside)?

Yes!

 

  • For higher temp cooks, do you use something like a pellet smoker tube to add some smoke? 

i dont use a smoker tube and my grills are a little bit different from yours, but i am a fan of starting out the cook at a lower temp to increase smoke exposure time to the cook.

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Thanks all for the advice. I think for now I'll avoid adding any kind of smoke tube. I'm interested in simplifying my life, not adding another gizmo. I've only tried a deliberately lower start to add smoke once, but then didn't finish at a high enough temp to make the chicken crispy enough. Will try that again. The one brisket I did low and slow did have good flavor. I'll try a lower start again.

I was looking at the Lumberjack 'Charblend Hickory' and thought that might be worth a try. So far I've been using either traeger or lumberjack maple-hickory-cherry blends.

Good to know the buckets are a good idea!

And I don't know if I have Synesthesia or not, but I know when I see pictures of the cooks on here they look downright tasty!

Thanks again!

 

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I've seen a lot of posts recommending Traeger Gourmet Blend from Costco. I was on the Costco site the other week looking at them. Today, they don't show up...hope its just a temporary thing and they will be back in stock.

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I'm new to the pellet game so I probably don't know what I am talking about. In my limited research I read that Traeger uses oils in place of the actual wood for their pellets. For all I know that could actually be better, but I didn't like the way it sounded. I prefer Lumberjack because they are forthcoming with what they sell. They have 100% Hickory and others, but they also offer blends and they specify how much of each wood is in the blend. 

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I don't care if they use skunk pelts, the way the smoke smells as the pellets burn and the taste they impart into the meat are better than any other brand I've tried including the one's mentioned above.

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