Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like?

Post
EdSails
Filet Mignon
2013/03/19 15:36:51
Some friends recently got a Traeger smoker and I was going to get them a few bags of pellets as a gift. So far the one that looked most interesting is Q Pellets. What do you use and recommend? Also, which types of pellets are best overall. I am thinking at least a bag of red oak. Q Pellets has a lot of blends---has anyone tried them?
Thanks for your help.
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/23 12:59:26
EdSails

Some friends recently got a Traeger smoker and I was going to get them a few bags of pellets as a gift. So far the one that looked most interesting is Q Pellets. What do you use and recommend? Also, which types of pellets are best overall. I am thinking at least a bag of red oak. Q Pellets has a lot of blends---has anyone tried them?
Thanks for your help.

Red Oak would be a good choice!

euclid
Cheeseburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/23 14:41:12
Have never used Q but I do have a Traeger grill. I have had it for several years now and it is well seasoned. Perfect actually. Have tried many different pellets and buy them from Traeger. I now use only hickory. I find this smoke best for all around BBQ. It is not subtle or over powering. Just a nice pleasant smoke. Good luck.
3 Olives
Cheeseburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/23 17:53:09
Charcoal briquettes or lump.
myterry2
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/23 20:29:38
Do not think anybody has ever won a BBQ championship cookoff using pellets...if your going to truely smoke meat, etc., real wood is the only way to go.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/23 20:37:00
There have been many championships won with Traegers, I just can't cite any.
 
Hickory and Oak are the best choices.  Cherry is great for chicken and pork.
 
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/23 20:40:03
Speaking of Traegers...
 
Tub's Chili in Culver City, CA smokes all of their meats with a Traeger.  I also had truck vendors that used to buy pellets from me.
 
Hickory is what the vendors always bought but they were cooking with consistency and not experimenting.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/24 02:34:12
Thanks, everyone. I am getting some red oak and also some pecan and hickory. No, it's not for championship-----just smoking at home. Marlene-----is Tub's Chili a place I should try? I have never heard of them.
RodBangkok
Cheeseburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/24 05:45:10
Mesquite, Hickory, and alder are good for someone as a gift. 
There is a great variation in their smoking characteristics, and can be mixed to get a creative taste to different types of meat, poultry and game.
We use these primarily.
It should be noted that although I can't speak for the Traeger brand pellets, most good pellets are nothing more than 100% pure wood that are simply milled and then compressed under high pressure to form the pellet.  No additives need be added, but I'm sure cheaper pellets could be blends of cheaper substances as binders along with real wood.  Check when you buy.
Why do we use pellets, simple, you can get all the advantages of wood with a very accurate way of getting the smoke to the meat.  Pellets allow you to control very carefully when , how long and with how much smoke you apply.  They are also easily blended accurately to insure you make consistant product.
It really is annoying when you see wanna be's that think they know it all about something make generalized statements like some of the above.  Pellets in a lot of cases are nothing more than 100% wood period.  
So I think its a good idea to give your friend a variation to try, and encourage him to weigh and blend them, as he may find a nice combination that will go well with a certain type of meat.
Home and commercial BBQ couldn't be further from this competition crap that everyone seems to hold in high esteem.  It's designed to try and sell someone that may not even be qualified to say this one is better than that one with nothing but one bite and a couple overrated tests on how it should break apart.  I know some that won't eat or produce what they'd cook for a competition.  I've never been impressed by that facet of BBQ, nor do I see it anything other than it is, a profession or hobby onto itself.  
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/24 09:22:58
EdSails

Some friends recently got a Traeger smoker and I was going to get them a few bags of pellets as a gift. So far the one that looked most interesting is Q Pellets. What do you use and recommend? Also, which types of pellets are best overall. I am thinking at least a bag of red oak. Q Pellets has a lot of blends---has anyone tried them?
Thanks for your help.

As someone who has a lot of skin in the BBQ competition arena, while I don't have hardly any experience in the pellet, gas, electric area ( I use only lump charcoal and oak/hickory cord wood) I would say to make SURE the pellets contain nothing but the wood. No paraffin to hold them together, etc. I'd get them some hickory, it's not terribly strong in taste and good with almost anything. 
rneiner
Hamburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/24 10:22:53
l have a Bradley smoker and use mesquite for beef and apple for pork
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/24 15:19:18
Ed, I used to tout Tub's but I don't like the way they price things.
 
Their chili is good.  I don't like paying:
 
50¢ for onions
50¢ for cheese
50¢ for each other topping you might want
 
Those should be included in my book.
 
You can purchase chili there by the bowl or by weight.  (Not yours)
 
I also don't like the individual preparation which seems to take forever.  Chili should be scoop and serve.
 
The chili is good.  The owner is a great guy.
 
Try it and let us know what you think.  It's on Overland in Culver City.
iluvcfood
Cheeseburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/24 15:46:28
As far as I'm concerned the BEST chili is the kind you make yourself! 
euclid
Cheeseburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/25 10:08:39
A bit about pellets and stick wood. In my Traeger, as I have said, I use 100% hickory pellets, no binders. In my Lang Smoker I use maple and cherry stick wood when in the Adirondack mountains. I would suggest the end products from the different machines are both excellent and one would be hard pressed to tell whether the wood used was pellets or stick wood. Perhaps impossible. You can taste the difference between hickory and maple, maybe, but there is no hickory in upstate NY. I use what grows there. Pellets are an excellent materiel to use and certainly more user friendly for the pit master.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/25 12:47:22
Thanks everyone, 
I did buy the Q-Pellets----they said 100% wood, no fillers. Red Oak, hickory and pecan. It should be interesting to see how they work.
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/25 14:10:42
EdSails

Thanks everyone, 
I did buy the Q-Pellets----they said 100% wood, no fillers. Red Oak, hickory and pecan. It should be interesting to see how they work.

ALL good choices! Pecan is a fantastic tasting smoke, it's gentle so is nice with fish and veggies. 
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/26 12:20:06
I think I got them a good variety. I know mesquite is popular too, but for some reason I've never been a mesquite fan. Pecan over the years I have heard good things about. Well, the taste tests will tell!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/27 01:33:27
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/27 20:42:47
I am a little late (since you already got them)
 
Fruit Woods are good for fish and chicken
Oak, Hickory are good for beef and pork
the pecan is a good all around choice.
 
I am another that does not care for mesquite, it can get to acrid too quickly.  I debated a few years ago with the decision to get a pellet muncher or wood fired smoker.  I would love a Traeger.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/28 21:49:44
CajunKing, so would I love a Traeger too. Planning on spending more time at my friend's house who bought it, trying the different pellets I'm giving them!
I am excited about the pecan. It is something I've read about but never tried myself.
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/03/29 21:24:50
Ed
 
I didnt see it on Traegers site they used to offer a sampler of different pellet choices like 2lbs of each.  I have a cookshack smoker that can burn the pellets or chunks of wood.  I have found the pellets have been better for turkey, the chunks over smoke the bird.
 
Have fun enjoying the fruits of your gift!!
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 13:55:42
UPDATE!!!!!
We went to Oregon last weekend. My friends loved the pellets we got them. On the last day, we took them to Pal's Shanty Tavern for their anniversary. Awesome, as usual. Razor clam sandwiches and steamed manila clams rocked. We discussed the Traeger Jr. they had. Turned out they place the bought it from, the Grill Center in Tulatin,  is the official reconditioning place for Traegers. They had a $400 Jr. for $250 reconditioned. We followed our friends to the place. It was too hard to resist. Our Traeger will be here on Saturday. I will be able to give everybody in depth info on how it does. I was thinking of lamb for my first meal. Anyone have any other suggestions?
 
WooHoo!
post edited by EdSails - 2013/04/03 13:58:05
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 14:27:28
Excellent!  You'll love it.  It doesn't grill but boy does it smoke!
 
Going to see if the pictures still exist on a time lapsed Traeger post I did last May.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 14:30:42
It still has pictures:
 
http://www.roadfood.com/F...ook-today-m699301.aspx
 
Set it and forget it... but once in awhile check that the auger is moving the pellets.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 15:01:29
Thanks, Marlene. I will look at that in a bit. I am SSSSOOOO excited about it!
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 15:17:33
Awesome pictures. I think the jalapenos will be one of the first things I try.
Last spring I was invited to a industry-sponsored Lynx cook off at Bistango in Newport Beach. They had a dozen chefs, either from restaurants or amateurs that had passed the preliminary cookoffs. Open bar and samples of all the foods that were grilled. It was awesome. I had some really great food. I was really impressed with the Lynx grills.
 
CCinNJ
Sirloin
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 15:24:13
Congratulations & have fun...Ed!!


Just don't go forgetting the Cameron! We need ya!
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 16:24:02
CCinNJ,
The nice thing is they really are two different cookers. The Traeger will be great for low and slow, larger items such as Santa Maria tri-tip, racks of St. Louis cut pork ribs and brisket, but the Cameron is great for quick items like chicken breasts, fish and shrimp. I see them complementing each other quite well.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 16:26:08
Both Lynx grills and Twin Eagle  (Same designer) are awesome.  Cost the price of a small house but awesome just the same.
 
I do not own one.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 16:28:38
Ed, the biggest tip I can give you...
 
Cover the heating pan with foil for easy clean up.  If you don't, clean it often because that build up of grease can catch fire.
 
Don't ask me how I know.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/03 18:49:18
mar52

Both Lynx grills and Twin Eagle  (Same designer) are awesome.  Cost the price of a small house but awesome just the same.

I do not own one.

 
Yes, at the cookoff I did talk with one of the Lynx reps. Nice guy, loved to talk. I did ask how much the model they were using at the "Grill Off" was. I really liked it. I think I might have been able to trade straight across , my 2006 Scion tc for the Lynx he was showing me. Well, I might have still had to kick in some cash!
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/07 01:23:34
Ok, my bad. I got the Traeger this afternoon and had friends over for dinner. Fired it up with apple pellets. By the time I got my camera out the smoked shrimp wrapped in proscuitto and topped with a chimichurri sauce were gone.  Here's the cornish game hens smoked for an hour. Extremely moist and juicy. Rubbed them in olive oil, rubbed with Penzey's French four spice and Penzy's Albanian sage. Served with fresh asparagus. Side dish was basmati rice, steamed. I sauteed chantrelles, crimini and white button mushrooms in olive oil and black truffle oil. The mushroom chunks had marinated for two hours in the black truffle oil. After cooking them I added to the finished rice and gently folded together. Everyone loved it!
The Traeger is great!
 
post edited by EdSails - 2013/04/07 09:42:10
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/07 01:46:58
So...  Ya loving it?
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Updated!!!!! Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/07 09:37:09
Absolutely, Mar! I plated the shrimp with the chimichurri sauce and everyone ate them standing in the kitchen, so I missed my photo op. It seems really easy to use. I can't wait to try a brisket on it. Duck is also on the agenda. what I am wondering is how it would do with a cut like either mutton or goat. I would love to put a piece of goat on that is slathered with jerk sauce. Some red beans and rice and callaloo and I'd be set. Ya mon!
Cleanup seems really easy to. So far I am loving it.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:Pellets for Traeger smoker----what do you like? 2013/04/07 10:03:06
RodBangkok

Mesquite, Hickory, and alder are good for someone as a gift. 
There is a great variation in their smoking characteristics, and can be mixed to get a creative taste to different types of meat, poultry and game.
We use these primarily.
It should be noted that although I can't speak for the Traeger brand pellets, most good pellets are nothing more than 100% pure wood that are simply milled and then compressed under high pressure to form the pellet.  No additives need be added, but I'm sure cheaper pellets could be blends of cheaper substances as binders along with real wood.  Check when you buy.
Why do we use pellets, simple, you can get all the advantages of wood with a very accurate way of getting the smoke to the meat.  Pellets allow you to control very carefully when , how long and with how much smoke you apply.  They are also easily blended accurately to insure you make consistant product.
It really is annoying when you see wanna be's that think they know it all about something make generalized statements like some of the above.  Pellets in a lot of cases are nothing more than 100% wood period.  
So I think its a good idea to give your friend a variation to try, and encourage him to weigh and blend them, as he may find a nice combination that will go well with a certain type of meat.
Home and commercial BBQ couldn't be further from this competition crap that everyone seems to hold in high esteem.  It's designed to try and sell someone that may not even be qualified to say this one is better than that one with nothing but one bite and a couple overrated tests on how it should break apart.  I know some that won't eat or produce what they'd cook for a competition.  I've never been impressed by that facet of BBQ, nor do I see it anything other than it is, a profession or hobby onto itself.  

 
Rod,
Your comments seem right on point. I did check out the Q-Pellets before I bought them for my friends and they are 100% wood with no fillers. When I bought the Traeger I bought a bag of apple and a bag of cherry Traeger pellets. This week I am going to buy a bag of red oak and a bag of hickory from Q-Pellets. It will be interesting to try them.
As far as some of the other comments I think you alluded to, I agree. I've smoked with wood before and like it. It is a mess though and hard to do without a real smoker. This is a nice smoker for wood I wish I had, at Joel's BBQ in Flatonia, TX.
 
Not very practical for the home. But boy, did it make some wonderful Texas brisket! Lump charcoal----well, I won't even touch that comment.
Years ago I was asked to take a class with someone to be a KCBS judge. On that too, you are right. I am not looking to make competition ribs, brisket and chicken. What I am looking for now is the not only make good quality ribs, pulled pork and brisket (not necessarily with "sanctioned" spices) but challenge my creativity by coming up with some unusual smoked dishes. I can't wait to do lamb, duck, pork loin, mutton, goat, halibut, short ribs and an apple cobbler. I respect the competition chefs immensely and have been to many contests. I'm not trying to compete with them. My purpose in getting the Traeger, is simple----I want to make the best 'que possible in a home environment for my friends.
 
Can you suggest any good combinations of pellets you have found towork well together? Or any types of food I haven't yet thought of to smoke? maybe also interesting spices that go well with smoke?
thanks,
Ed
post edited by EdSails - 2013/04/07 10:13:21