Using Other Brand Pellets in a Traeger (Explained)

Using Other Brand Pellets in a Traeger (Explained)

Traeger pellet grills are versatile cooking machines that can smoke, cook, sear, and even bake a variety of food.

A common question I hear is if other brands of wood pellets will work in a Traeger?

Even though Traeger does produce a wide range of wood pellets, some other brands will offer different wood flavors or blends that can create a better flavor than Traeger wood pellets.

So can other brands of wood pellets be used in a Traeger?

Any brand of wood pellets can be used in a Traeger pellet grill. As long as the wood pellets are uniform in shape and are intended to be used in a pellet grill then the Traeger will be able to use the wood pellets.

Avoid using low-quality pellets that have a lot of loose sawdust in the bag as the excess sawdust can cause issues in the pellet grill.

Now let’s dive into some reasons why you may want to use other brand wood pellets in a Traeger.

Reasons to use Other Brand Pellets in Traeger

Here are a few common reasons for using other wood pellets in a Traeger pellet grill.

Wood Blend Flavor

While using my Traeger pellet grill the past few years, I ran into issues where my local store didn’t have the wood blend that I wanted.

For example, Home Depot only had the pecan Traeger wood blend when I wanted to use hickory or mesquite to smoke a brisket so I ended up purchasing and using Pit Boss wood pellets instead.

Although pecan would have been fine and the Traeger would have still smoked the brisket, I have learned that fruitwoods tend to have a more mild wood and smoke flavor. I smoke my briskets Texas-style so I prefer having a heavier smoke flavor that hickory and mesquite woods create.

My Traeger pellet grill smoked the brisket without any issues using the bag of Pit Boss hickory wood pellets so I know firsthand that other brands of wood pellets can be safely used in a Traeger.

Wood Pellet Price

Traeger is a great company that brought pellet grills into the mainstream. However, Traeger pellet grills and wood pellets tend to be on the pricier side compared to other brands.

The benefit of using Traeger branded grills and wood pellets are that all of their items are high quality.

However, wood pellets tend to be an area where I have found that other brands offer other flavor blends and wood pellets can be purchased for cheaper than Traeger.

For example, Pit Boss and Bear Mountain wood pellets are usually cheaper to purchase on Amazon than Traeger wood pellets.

Larger 40-Pound Wood Pellet Bags

Another benefit of purchasing wood pellets from other brands is that some brands now offer 40-pound bags of wood pellets. Having more wood pellets on hand is helpful so you do not have to worry about running out of wood pellets while cooking.

The worst feeling is seeing the dreaded LEr error code on a Traeger or noticing that the pellet grill shut off since it ran out of pellets.

After much trial and error and getting feedback from online BBQ forums, I finally tried out CookinPellets.

Cookin Pellets wood pellets

For 40-pound bags of wood pellets, I highly recommend trying CookinPellets wood pellet blends since they create some blends hard to find elsewhere such as Black Cherry and you get 40-pounds of pellets!

Wood Pellets Burn The Same

The best feeling of being able to use other brands’ wood pellets in a Traeger is knowing that most wood pellets burn the same.

Generally, wood pellets are manufactured in a similar method where wood chips or sawdust are compressed into tiny pellets. The natural lignin inside the wood acts as a glue that holds the compressed wood together in the pellet shape. The lignin is also what gives the wood pellets their shine.

So as long as wood pellets from a trusted brand are being used inside of a Traeger then the Traeger pellet grill should operate normally.

Make sure not to use heating pellets or any low-quality wood pellets that have plastics or a lot of sawdust in the bag. Other contaminants will cause issues for the pellet grill and shorten the lifespan of the grill.

See this article for more information on how long pellet grills generally last when properly cared for.

Do All Pellet Grills Use the Same Pellets?

A common question I hear is if all pellet grills use the same pellets.

Any pellet grill that operates by feeding in wood pellets into a firepot will use the exact same type of pellets that any other pellet grill uses. Wood pellets that are uniform in shape can be used in any pellet grill regardless of the brand. A Traeger pellet grill can use Traeger, Pit Boss, or other brands of wood pellets since the wood pellets will create smoke and heat regardless of the brand.

As long as the wood pellets are uniform in shape and are intended to be used in a pellet grill then the wood pellets will work in any pellet grill.

Avoid using heating pellets or any wood pellets that are intended for heating stoves since these may contain other contaminants or lower-quality woods that might produce unpleasant flavors on the food.

Final Thoughts

Traeger pellet grills are versatile cooking devices that can cook a variety of foods in a variety of styles.

Any brand of wood pellets can be used in a Traeger pellet grill. Pellet grills all use an auger to feed in wood pellets into the firepot where the wood pellets smolder to create heat and smoke. So as long as wood pellets are uniform in shape and are not wet then the pellet grill will operate normally.

So you are free to try wood pellets from any other brand in your Traeger pellet grill. Whether it’s price, wood flavor, or simply availability, there are a lot of good reasons to try other brands and wood blends in your pellet grill.

You may find that you prefer using charcoal wood pellets when searing meat to create a charcoal smoky flavor while you may prefer using apple wood pellets when cooking fish or vegetables.

So don’t limit yourself to the wood flavors and blends that Traeger sells when filling up your pellet grill with wood pellets.

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I'm learning how to catch, grow, and cook my own natural food and my goal is to help others eat more food from nature. Eating natural food can taste great, be affordable and accessible with a little planning. Don't get me wrong, I still eat taco bell and pizzas every so often, but I'm trying to eat more dank food from nature! So let's eat tasty natural food together.

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