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Pellet Costs

November 2, 2014
By

pelletsThe 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!

Suppliers: American BBQ Company, Liverpool Wood Pellets.

2 Responses to Pellet Costs

  1. Christian Grinling on November 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks Chris

    Very informative.

    Xtian

  2. Chris Malme on December 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    The two companies in this analysis were American BBQ and Liverpool Wood Pellets.

    In the past, LWP have been my supplier of the cheaper pellets, which are perfectly good for what they are. However, they have let themselves down lately. On October 24, I placed an order for a pallet-load of pellets, on an advised 7 day delivery. Towards the end of the week, when enquiring about the delivery day, I was told the pellets were in customs, and it would be the following week. Fair enough. However, I didn’t hear anything further, despite several emails chasing and asking for an advice of expected delivery. A month later, I phoned them and cancelled the order, and asked for a full refund (they had debited my card on the day of the order). The credit was made within a day.

    Now two weeks further on, a courier van turned up with 4 unpalletised boxes of pellets, with the boxes completly split open. I didn’t even inspect the bags within, as the order was cancelled; but had it not been, I would have still refused delivery in that condition.

    I guess I now only have one pellet supplier.

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