They are no larger than the eraser on the end of a pencil,
people who see them for the first time think they look like
rabbit food, but there is nothing small about the heat energy
in a barbecue pellet—over 8500 BTUs per pound! Wood
pellets have been around for a long time, used in industrial,
commercial, and residential heating appliances. Important:
do not confuse 100% hardwood cooking pellets with
pellets used for heating. These contain binding agents
and other chemicals not suitable for food preparation.
There are over 100 fully operational pellet mills in the United States, each one capable of supplying
the entire U.S. Traeger was the first to use pellets for cooking.
First, only the finest hardwood raw materials are sourced from all over the country. The pure raw
material (sawdust) is then pulverized with hammer mills and dried. The dried material is then processed
under heat and pressure. Lignin, which is the natural glue which holds plant fiber together, softens
above 100 degrees Celsius, permitting the material to change shape. The hot lignin then acts like a
glue to bond the pellet together. Pelleting employs a hard steel die which rotates against rollers forcing
the material through the die with pressures of over 10,000 PSI. As the pellet is forced through the die it
is sheared off at the specified length, cooled, screened, and bagged into 10 or 40 lb. bags.
General specifications for barbecue pellets are: 100% hardwood, 1" long or less in length, 1/4"
diameter, less than 2% ash content, less than 2% fines, 10% moisture content, 8500 BTU's per lb, and
about 40 lbs per cubic ft. density.
Consumption: When the switch is on High, the grill burns approximately 2 lbs. of pellets per hour. On
Medium, 1 lb. Per hour, and on Smoke, 1/2 lb. per hour.