The grill that I use mainly is a Traeger Lil Tex Pellet Grill. It uses wood pellets as both a fuel and smoke source. The pellets are similar to those used for biofuel boilers, but need to be made from clean wood, with no bark or sweepings, and manufactured using food-grade (i.e. vegetable) lubricants, not mineral oil.
As a result, they are a bit more expensive than biofuel pellets. In fact, currently all of the available stocks of BBQ wood pellets are imported from the US!
So I have been comparing prices, and have come up with this:
|Company||Pellet||Bags per order||Order Price||Price per bag||Bag Weight (lb)||Price per lb|
|American BBQ Company||Cookshack/Fast Eddy’s HICKORY||3||£50.40||£16.80||20||£0.84|
|American BBQ Company||Cookshack/Fast Eddy’s OAK||3||£59.85||£19.95||20||£1.00|
|American BBQ Company||Cookshack/Fast Eddy’s FRUITWOOD||3||£56.70||£18.90||20||£0.95|
|American BBQ Company||Cookshack/Fast Eddy’s MESQUITE||3||£56.70||£18.90||20||£0.95|
|American BBQ Company||GMG Premium Gold – OAK/MAPLE/HICKORY||2||£33.60||£16.80||28||£0.60|
|American BBQ Company||GMG Premium Fruitwood Blend – CHERRY/ BEECH/PECAN||2||£33.60||£16.80||28||£0.60|
|American BBQ Company||GMG Premium Texas Blend – BLACK OAK/HICKORY/ELM/MESQUITE||2||£33.60||£16.80||28||£0.60|
|American BBQ Company||Lumberjack 100% Cherry||3||£50.40||£16.80||20||£0.84|
|American BBQ Company||Lumberjack 100% Hickory||3||£50.40||£16.80||20||£0.84|
|American BBQ Company||Lumberjack 100% Maple||3||£50.40||£16.80||20||£0.84|
|American BBQ Company||Lumberjack 100% Mesquite||3||£59.85||£19.95||20||£1.00|
|American BBQ Company||Lumberjack Maple/Hickory/Cherry||3||£50.40||£16.80||20||£0.84|
|American BBQ Company||Lumberjack 100% Oak||3||£50.40||£16.80||20||£0.84|
|American BBQ Company||Lumberjack 100% Pecan||3||£56.70||£18.90||20||£0.95|
|Liverpool Wood Pellets||Lil Devils Blended Pellets||3||£28.99||£9.66||20||£0.48|
|Liverpool Wood Pellets||Lil Devils Blended Pellets||6||£52.99||£8.83||20||£0.44|
|Liverpool Wood Pellets||Lil Devils Blended Pellets||9||£77.74||£8.64||20||£0.43|
|Liverpool Wood Pellets||Lil Devils Blended Pellets||12||£99.00||£8.25||20||£0.41|
|Liverpool Wood Pellets||Lil Devils Blended Pellets||15||£119.99||£8.00||20||£0.40|
Obviously, the Lil Devils are the cheapest, especially when buying in bulk. They are a blend of alder, apple, hickory, maple, mesquite; and as you might expect there is more alder (cheap wood) than there is mesquite! But they really aren’t a bad general use pellet. I use them when cooking at high temps, when the need is for fuel, rather than smoke flavour – i.e. when bread-making – but they are also pleasant enough when used for smoking – I quite frequently use them for doing slow-smoked burgers and bangers, and will even used them for pulled pork.
However, if you are doing something special, then you will want to go for some of the 100% flavour wood varieties, which cost a little more.
To put these costs in perspective, when cooking hot, on “high”, my grill uses 2lbs of pellets per hour; set to medium, that comes down to 1lb/hour and in “smoke” mode, it is about half a pound of pellets per hour. But you also need to consider that most “high” temperature cooks will only be for an hour or so, whereas the “smoke” cooks can be for as long as 12 hours. Anyway, even at British prices, fuel costs aren’t bad at all, and are easily comparable with charcoal; and unlike charcoal, there is little or no wastage – when you have finished cooking, you turn it off, and no more pellets are burnt!