How To Store Smoker Pellets: The Ultimate Guide

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If you’re thinking about investing in a smoker to complement your indoor kitchen, then you’ve probably noticed the little pouches of metal pellets on store shelves everywhere. Smoker pellets are used in almost all commercial smokers for an efficient and consistent heat source. They’re available in a variety of varieties depending on what type of meat you plan to smoke, how much time you have, and your budget. Once you understand the ins and outs of keeping your pellet supply happy and healthy, you’ll be able to buy with confidence. Pellets smell bad when they’re new so they need to be stored somewhere with good air circulation. The best place is usually an outdoor location with little moisture or direct sunlight exposure. Wherever you choose, though, make sure that it is dry and away from any rodent activity. Most manufacturers recommend storing pellets in an opaque container to prevent them from absorbing other odors from other foods or spices stored near them.

 

What Are Smoker Pellets?

Pellets are often used as a base ingredient in smokers because they hold heat and flavor very well. They also don’t produce ash, which is a major concern for many people who own outdoor smokers. Pellet smokers typically use a blend of hardwood and softwood sawdust as a bedding agent. The blend is often 50% hardwood sawdust and 50% softwood sawdust. The blend of hardwood and softwood sawdust gives the pellets their distinctive, natural woodsy flavor. Wood pellet smokers have a long history dating back to the early 20th century. Pellets were actually introduced to the general public as an improved method of cooking over open fire. Wood pellet smokers were an improvement over the open fire method because they produced less smoke and were less time consuming. In the early 1900s, wood pellet smokers were used as a source of fuel for stoves or in stoves to produce heat and hot water.

 

Types of Smoker Pellets

- Hardwood - These pellet woods provide a bold, rich flavor and are naturally high in sugar content. They are typically used for smoking ribs, brisket and whole turkeys. - Softwood - These pellet woods provide a milder flavor and are low in sugar content. They are typically used for smoking pork butts, chicken wings and other poultry, as well as for flavoring whole cuts of meat. - Mesquite - This type of pellet is made from a type of wood from the mesquite tree from the Southwest US. It’s slightly sweet, with a smoky, slightly nutty flavor. It’s often used for making barbecue sauces, rubs and other dishes. - Hickory - This is a strong-tasting, heavy-bodied wood that produces lots of smoke and a rich, smoky flavor. It’s often used for making barbeque sauce, as well as for smoking hams, shoulders, and whole turkeys. - Oak - This is a mild-tasting, light-bodied wood with a subtle, nutty flavor. Its color can range from a light brown to a darker, reddish brown. It’s often used for smoking salmon and other fish. - Alder - This is a light-tasting wood with a slight fruitiness to it. It’s often used for smoking salmon, as well as for making lox.

 

How to store smoker pellets

When storing your pellets, keep them in an opaque container in a dark, dry place out of direct sunlight. This will help to maintain the quality of your pellets and prevent them from absorbing too much odors from other foods or spices stored nearby. It’s also a good idea to store your pellets in a temperature-controlled environment. Ideally, the temperature should be around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If you’re storing your pellets in a garage or shed, you should keep them in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight. It’s also a good idea to keep your pellets away from any rodents. Mice and rats love to chew through food containers and can ruin your food in no time.

 

Pros of Smoker Pellet Storage

- Low Cost - You can usually find a single 50lb bag of pellets for less than $40. That’s a great price for an appliance that will last you for years and years. - Long-Term Use - Smoker pellets are designed to create heat with very little fuel consumption. They don’t produce ash, so there’s no need to clean out the ashes from your pit or firebox after you’re done. There are no cleanup chores, no lugging buckets of water from the water source, and no fuss whatsoever. - No Prep Needed - There is no need to preheat your smoker before starting to cook with pellets. Smoker pellets provide a consistent smoke and heat source that can be easily adjusted for your cooking needs. - Flavorful Taste - Pellet smokers provide a rich, flavorful taste that can’t be replicated by other types of smokers. - Less Smoke - Pellets produce a minimal amount of smoke unlike wood-burning smokers that produce a lot of smoke and ash.

 

Cons of Smoker Pellet Storage

- High Cost - When you buy pellets, they’re usually sold by the 50-lb bag, so if you don’t use them all up, they could end up costing you quite a bit of money. - Potential For Contamination - Smoker pellets can easily contaminate other foods and spices if they’re kept in an unsanitary environment. Make sure that you store them in a dry, dark location out of the reach of rodents to prevent this from happening. - Limited Heat Capacity - Smoker pellets don’t provide a very large heat source. They can only generate between 800 and 1,200 watts of heat, which is quite a bit less than larger-diameter wood pellets or even charcoal briquets. - Limited Flavor - Smoker pellets don’t provide as much flavor as other types of wood pellets, especially if you like stronger-tasting foods like brisket and ribs.

 

Conclusion

Pellet smokers offer many advantages over traditional barbecues and charcoal grills, but beware that these benefits come with a few potential caveats. First and foremost, pellet smokers are expensive. The cost of pellets can easily add up to several hundred dollars over the course of a year. On top of that, users must consider the initial cost of buying pellets as well as the ongoing costs of storing, maintaining, and operating the smoker. If you’re willing to deal with the upfront costs, though, smoking with pellets can be a great way to save on your food costs. It’s also a great way to enjoy a delicious, authentic barbecue experience without creating a mess or spending a lot of time on cleanup. When it’s all said and done, though, your choice will come down to flavor and cost, so make sure to choose wisely.

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