What You Should Know About Cooking Pellets
We sell only pure, food grade, hardwood BBQ pellets containing no fillers, no sprays, no oils, no artificial ingredients.
There are many brands of cooking pellets out there. But there is a big difference in pellets. Many manufacturers produce inferior quality pellets, and the quality of the pellets makes a difference in how they burn and how the food tastes.
We only sell our premium house brand, "Q" Pellets. This is because this is one of the few brands that you can count on as being pure, 100% hardwood with no fillers, oils or artificial ingredients. And many brands are are Alder-based, but Alder is not a good base wood for pellet blends. Our "Q" Pellets are the closest thing you can get to burning logs in pellet form. They are made from 100% pure, genuine Hardwood, and they impart natural flavors into the food from the genuine hardwood used to make them. Both the 100% "single-wood" types and our great blends provide genuine flavor in your food the natural way. We do not sell so-called "flavored" pellets that try to imitate a flavor using a spray of artificial oils or scents, as those are inferior in quality, taste and burn (and are probably not healthy to cook with).
Pellets are made by compressing ground up wood, so the maker can add almost anything into it and it is hard to tell what is included. And pellets sell by weight, so the manufacturer has an incentive to add weight and bulk by using things other than pure hardwood.
Some manufacturers put in fillers like chaff, corn husks, straw, cardboard, and, yes, even dirt! Then they add binders (glue!) to hold the pellets together! Other pellets (just like "heating pellets") are made from leftover sawdust from manufacturing and can include glues, dyes, chemical preservatives, or insecticides. Don't cook with those!
Our "Q" pellets are made from actual logs harvested from tree farms by the logging industry so unlike pellets made from wood residue, "Q" Pellets include the heartwood, where the flavor is. The logs are then chipped and the chips are dried. Using extreme heat and pressure, the pellets are formed and held together with the wood's natural lignin. It takes two tons of logs to make one ton of "Q" pellets.
A word about pellet blends:
For pellet blends, manufacturers use a "base wood" and then add a "flavor," which is supposed to be a percentage of wood of the type named on the bag. For example, such "flavored" pellets are sold as "Hickory flavored," "Cherry flavored," or "Apple flavored" etc. There is nothing wrong with true pellet blends that contain a "flavor" wood. Blends are excellent for cooking, smoking, and grilling. There are two things to watch out for when choosing a so-called "flavored" pellet blend, however.
The first thing to beware of is that some manufacturers may use a mix of cheap or junk wood as the "base wood" instead of real hardwood. These cheaper base woods don't produce quality smoke and they don't burn as hot as they should in a pellet grill or smoker, so they burn up faster and leave a lot of ash.
So-called "flavored" pellets:
The second thing to beware of is that some blends are not blends at all, but instead a flavored oil or scent is sprayed on the base wood. The bag will say "Apple flavored," but it may have no Apple wood in it at all--instead only a base wood that is sprayed with an artificial Apple oil or scent. Most experts agree that the oil or scent dissipates as the pellets burn so the "flavor" is not imparted to the food. Plus you don't want artificial scents bathing your food in noxious smoke.
(Don't be fooled by other brands that say "100% Hardwood." Yes, they may be 100% hardwood, cheap, abundant woods like Alder, but still have no "flavor" wood (for example, Apple) at all. They still may be merely sprayed with an artificial scent to mimic the "flavor" rather than having any actual Apple wood--yet they can still say "100% Hardwood!")
Think for a moment about the notion of spraying a scent on the base wood instead of putting in the actual "flavor" wood: Take Apple as the example. Apples smell great. A manufacturer may spray Apple scent on the base wood and sell it as "Apple flavored." When you open the bag, you get a nice scent of apples. Good? Not really. You don't cook by burning apples! You cook by burning apple wood. Apple wood doesn't smell like apples! So although the aroma from the bag may be pleasant, it does nothing for your food, and could even be harmful! What you want is to burn apple wood in your smoker or grill, not apples or apple scent!
This is why our "Q" Pellets are so superior to other brands. "Q" Pellets are absolutely 100% pure hardwood. They contain no fillers, no cheapeners, no shortcuts, no oils, no binders, no artificial ingredients.
Our "Q" Pellets Mesquite Blend, Apple Blend and Pecan Blend use Red Oak as the base wood. Red Oak is dense and hard. "Q" Pellets use Red Oak as the base wood because not only does it produce a very pleasant, mild smoke, but also because Red Oak burns hotter than cheaper base woods. This has two advantages: First, if you are cooking something that needs high temperature, like steak, you will be able to get your smoker hotter burning Red Oak (customers have reported achieving at least 50 degrees hotter temps using "Q" Pellets Blends). Second, if the pellets burn hotter in your grill or smoker, you will use fewer pellets to maintain your set cooking temperature! So the food tastes better and you use fewer pellets per cook. This saves you money and you get better results!
As for the "flavor," our "Q" Pellets Mesquite Blend, Apple Blend and Pecan Blend are made with 40% genuine Mesquite, Apple or Pecan wood--not just 30% or less, like other brands! At "Q" Pellets, we don't skimp on quality! Again, no fillers, no shortcuts, no oils, no imitation "flavored" sprays. So you get the true flavor of the wood you chose to smoke with, so you can taste it in the food!
And because they have no fillers or artificial ingredients, "Q" Pellets burn so clean they produce less than 2% ash!
Try our "Q" Pellets All Natural Hardwood BBQ Pellets and you will notice the difference both in how the pellets perform in your smoker and how the food tastes!
The scientific stuff:
Specifications of our BBQ Pellets:
WOOD FIBER CONTENT: 100%
DENSITY : 40-44LBS/CU. FT.
PELLET DIAMETER: 1/4"
PELLET LENGTH: LESS THAN 1-1/2"
MOISTURE CONTENT: LESS THAN 8%