Barbeque sessions with my neighbors have always been a favorite summer pastime of mine. There’s something about a steak searing on the grill while spreading its mesmerizing aroma that really gets to me. But nothing can beat the magic of a smoky salmon on a hot summer morning.
Smoking salmon was always a challenging task for me, even though I loved it so much. Fortunately, last summer, I came across the best wood pellets for salmon which made the process a whole lot easier. It would be wrong to state that I just stumbled across the best brands right on my first try.
I wish it was that easy! In fact, I had to conduct extensive research where I took into account tons of reviews and recommendations.
I’m very picky with my ingredients when it comes to cooking. So, I decided to try most of them on my electric and gas grills, which led to this feature-packed short list.
I quickly started experimenting with the different blends and created some enjoyable recipes. And today I’m going to review the ones that offered the best results.
Benefits of Using Wood Pellets for Salmon
We have all enjoyed freshly grilled salmon at least once in our lives. But you know what’s better than a grilled salmon? It’s a salmon smoked on wood pellets. It might take longer than grilling it, but it’s surely worth it. You will achieve a distinct flavor that no ordinary grilling machine alone can grant you.
However, you will be saving a lot of time in preparation and cleaning up afterward. Grilling salmon usually ends up with a charred fish, and we all know how messy that can be. It leaves behind a stubborn residue on the grill that is hard to remove. You won’t have to worry about that when using wood pellets.
Similarly, learning how to smoke a salmon with wood pellets is much easier than grilling recipes. Although it might take a significant amount of time, the process is pretty simple. Any amateur cook can learn it without any prior experience. But what really makes wood pellets such a big deal?
It’s safe to say, there is no other barbeque product that can enhance the taste of a dish like wood pellets. They consist of different types of sweet and savory blends that allow you to create some unique recipes. Your guest will admire the fruity aftertaste and still wonder how you achieved such a feat.
Best Wood Pellets for Salmon Top 7 Picks
We all know how challenging it can be to find an ideal wood pellet for smoking salmon. Hence, I put together a list of wood pellets that are suitable for that purpose.
1. Traeger Grills Cherry 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets
If you want to add a fresh new cherry flavor to your roasted chicken or pork dish, these Traeger pellets are the perfect ingredients. It can enhance the taste of your dishes and baked goods and makes them more appealing. This is an exceptional way to add flavor to your dishes without harmful toxins to worry about.
That’s because the best wood for smoking salmon is made from 100% natural ingredients. Moreover, these grill pellets are made in American mills, so you can rely on them to be efficient. These wood pellets can enhance the quality of your grill. Thus, you should only choose a product that comes from a renowned brand.
These hardwood pellets offer a fruity aftertaste to your already delicious meals. It can build up enough smoke for a perfectly cooked steak. Besides that, the cherry-flavored pellets deliver the perfect burn to smoke ratio to give the meat a crisp layer on top. This is possible due to years of cell modification.
Their manufacturers have spent years researching their products and finally made the best wood pellets. These wood pellets allow you to burn the dishes to just the right amount. You will find different types of wood pellets made by this brand with various flavors to choose from.
- Wood pellets add a cherry flavor to the meat
- These are made from 100% natural ingredients
- They are manufactured by professionals in all American mills
- Has a good burn to smoke ratio
- Cell modification makes them one of the best
2. BEAR MOUNTAIN Premium BBQ WOODS
Many people who just bought a brand new barbeque grill often suffer from a crucial dilemma. Their efforts of adding a smoky flavor to their barbeque dishes might go in vain because not all pellets are suitable for them. However, you don’t have to worry about compatibility with these premium smoker pellets.
These pellets are compatible with all types of barbeque grills you might own. Hence, it’s easier to use than others. This brand of wood pellets is a great choice for adding a bit of sweetness to your dishes. Now you can make innovative barbeque cuisines that stand out from all the traditional recipes.
Its mildly sweet flavor is not too strong or too mild to notice. They allow you to burn the salmon to just the right amount. Moreover, there aren’t any artificial additives present in these wood pellets. They only consist of 100% natural hardwood of the most premium quality. There are no binders or fillers of any kind.
Each bag of this BBQ pellet contains 20 lbs of wood pellets that can heighten the taste of your backyard dishes. The product is entirely made in the United States, so you can definitely depend on its reliability.
Whether you are cooking poultry, fish, or plant-based dish, your meals will be tender and delicious with these wood pellets.
- Made of 100% natural and premium quality materials
- Adds a smoky sweetness to the salmon
- Helps you achieve just the right amount of burn
- Each bag consists of 20 lbs of wooden pellets
- You can cook delicious fish, poultry, and plant dishes
3. Western Premium BBQ Products Pecan BBQ Smoking Chips
This is one of the few smoking chips on the market that prevents molds from forming. Now you can store your BBQ pellets for as long as you want without worrying about rotting or molding. That is because they heat-treat these wood pellets to get rid of all the germs that cause this problem.
If you want to add a smoky pecan flavor to a beef tenderloin or salmon, this is an ideal choice for you. Many chefs recommend this bag of wood for salmon to enhance the taste of your barbeque dishes. That’s why it’s one of the most renowned brands of smoking chips available on the market.
You can also cook a braised brisket or pork loin effortlessly with the help of these pellets. With these smoking chips at your disposal, you won’t have to worry about burning the meat unnecessarily. Another feature that sets this product apart is that you can use it with all types of grills – gas, electric, or charcoal.
Using these pellets is also much simpler than most. It can be quickly prepared within a few steps. Even an amateur chef can make the most delightful meals with these wood pellets. The added smokiness of the meals will make your guests beg for more. Their wood pellets are also larger in size than the average brands.
- They are easy to prepare within just a few steps
- Wood pellets are larger than regular products of its kind
- Compatible with gas, electric, or charcoal grills
- Heat treated to remove all toxins and germs
- Doesn’t rot or mold over time
4. BBQr’s Delight Wood Smoking Pellets
This is an excellent choice for you if you think your current wood pellet brand lacks variety. Unlike most wood pellet brands that only offer a single flavor, there is a wide variety of blends available in this package. It also comes with some unique flavors that allow you to spice up your boring dishes.
The package includes a one-pound bag of 6 different flavors of wood pellets – Pecan, Cherry, Apple, Jack Daniels, Mesquite, and Hickory wood pellets. These six delightful flavors will add a surprising twist to your salmon dish. They all provide the smokiness and perfect burn that you have longed for.
Furthermore, you don’t need to waste much of these pellets to achieve that smoky taste. Only one-third of a cup is enough to infuse the salmon with those flavors. This way you can use a single bag of pellets up to 10 times. It can save a lot of money in the long run.
On top of that, these wood pellets for the grill are also pretty easy to use. You don’t need to go through all that hassle of cleaning and soaking to prepare it. And you can surely rely on the quality of these pellets as it was made by professionals in the United States. The smoking pellets also go well with electric and gas grills.
- Wood pellets are available in 6 different flavors
- Each bag of pellets can last for 10 grilling sessions
- Allows you to save money and time
- Wood pellets are made entirely in the US
- They are compatible with electric and gas grills
5. Kona Smoker Grilling Pellet Sets
When you are looking for variety along with premium quality, there is no better option than this particular pellet set. It comes with eight different flavors of pellets that can liven up any dish and make it stick to your tongue. This is also a great choice if you are shopping for an entire grill season.
With all the 8 sets combined, you can hold up to 80 grilling sessions without spending an extra buck. You won’t need more than half a cup to notice the effects and flavors of the wood pellets. Apple, pecan, sweetwood, and hickory are only some of the blends you will find in this food-grade wood pellet set.
The manufacturers have also included some of their special blends of smoking pellets in the mix, which is a mixture of different flavors. This will give your dishes a certain uniqueness and can make your salmon dish the talk of the town! They made these pellets out of premium hardwood to ensure the utmost quality.
Thankfully, you will find no artificial flavoring, fillers, or additives in these wood pellets. They are all made from the most natural ingredients suitable for cooking meat. Using these smoking pellets is also an absolute breeze. You can just place the wood pellets for smoking on the grill and get to cooking instantly.
- Wood pellets are available in multiple blends
- Made from premium quality ingredients
- Doesn’t contain any artificial additives
- Can bring a variety to your recipes
- You only need half a cup for each session
6. Smoking Chips Oak 2lb Barbeque Chips
At number 6 I have decided to review a smoking chip brand that is a bit more different than the others on this list. That’s because it’s mainly made out of oak, which is a suitable alternative to knotty wood pellets. The smoking chips consist of 100% raw timber that is completely natural.
Needless to say, these wood pellets will add a different level of smokiness to your barbeque dishes, and set them apart from your neighbor’s bland recipes. The manufacturers of these barbeque chips paid special attention to quality more than anything else.
Each oak shaving is cut precisely and kiln-dried to enhance the efficiency of the wood pellets. Unlike most hardwood pellets, these smoking chips can be ignited almost instantly. They quickly catch fire and deliver smoke to the homemade dishes.
This offers you a delicate flavor that lingers on your tongue. The quick combustion removes all the hassle of soaking the pellets and makes cooking much easier. You can use it to cook a pellet grill smoked salmon, and a wide number of other dishes on an electric or gas grill.
They also go well with seafood and lamb dishes when it’s cooked on electric, gas, or charcoal grills. The wood pellets are made entirely in the US and are 260 cubic inches in size.
- Oak pellets made from 100% natural raw timber
- Wood pellets are precisely cut and kiln-dried
- Can be ignited quickly
- Makes it easier to cook on any grill
- Each pellet is about 260 cubic inches
7. Pit Boss Competition Blend BBQ Grilling Pellets
The last product on this list is made from all-natural ingredients that come from the woodlands of Northern America. Their organic blend and smoky flavor are like no other. The pellets are made from natural hardwood, which can be ignited without any preparation. They also made sure all the pellets are of optimum quality.
What sets it apart from other wood pellets is the fact that it’s suitable for both competitive and home chefs. Their efficiency and distinct flavor is widely regarded by professionals across the globe. They are capable of delivering a mixture of maple, apple, and hickory flavors, which makes your dishes more desirable.
Apart from that, the manufacturers don’t include any sort of artificial additives or flavor in these grilling pellets. Everything you smell or taste is completely natural. Hence, they don’t induce any harmful side effects. Moreover, the manufacturers have modified the grilling pellets to burn much faster than most grilling products.
They also burn for a longer period, which allows you to cook more meals without using more pellets. Due to their versatile nature, the smoking pellets can also be used for baking and cooking plant-based meals. The smoke won’t irritate your vision or make you cough either.
- A wood pellet brand suitable for professionals and amateurs alike
- Doesn’t need any extra preparation
- Widely recommended for its heat output
- They don’t contain any harmful additives
- Also suitable for baked goods and vegetarian recipes
Things to Consider Before Buying Wood Pellets for Salmon
When you are thinking of buying wood pellets for salmon, just knowing about the different features of the leading brands isn’t enough to make the right choice. There are still some major factors you need to keep in mind. These factors will determine whether or not a certain brand is suitable for your purpose.
1. BTU Rating
A lot of people who buy wood pellets usually prioritize the quality of wood over anything. However, they often tend to miss a more crucial factor that can largely determine your cooking speed. I’m sure most of you don’t even know that wood pellets come with a BTU rating.
The abbreviation stands for British Thermal Unit, which is a defining measurement of the energy output. This also tells you how hot and how fast your wood pellets can burn. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat it will produce. You can choose a brand that comes with a higher rating if you want to flame to burn hotter.
The average BTU of a wood pellet lies between 8000 and 8900 per pound, which is enough to cook regular meals on the grill. Most people tend to miss it because you won’t usually find the thermal rating mentioned on the package. For that, you might have to visit their website or contact the manufacturer.
You might be wondering how much heat output rating your wood pellets will need for the types of meals you want to cook. For that, you need to consider the insulation of your grill, amount of space, and a few other features.
If you are confused, then you can try some British Thermal Unit calculators on the internet to choose the ideal rating for your home.
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2. Type of Wood
The type of wood is also something to keep in mind when you are out buying wood pellets. There are mainly two types of wood these pellets are made from. They are both suitable for different types of recipes and cooking styles. So, make sure you consider the types of meals you will be cooking.
(A) Hardwood Pellets
If you want a long-lasting flame, then you should choose hardwood pellets as they have a higher density. This will let you cook multiple meals for a long grilling session.
(B) Softwood Pellets
On the other hand, softwood pellets tend to have higher BTUs because of their increased heat output. This is because of the lignin concentration in the softwood pellets that helps it burn more furiously. However, softwood pellets don’t last for a very long time.
(C) Hybrid Pellets
Modern wood pellet brands usually compress sawdust and small pieces of wood together to create hybrid pellets. This is a perfect blend of the two types of wood.
Hence, you can now buy smoking pellets that not only burn hotter but also last for a very long time. If you own a high-quality grilling machine or pellet stove, then you shouldn’t break a sweat choosing between the two.
3. Amount of Ash
You must also pay attention to the ash content of the wood pellet, which determines how much ash is produced while burning. The ideal ash content is no more than 1% of the original weight of the wood pellets. Picking a low ash content will save you a lot of time and effort in the future.
This means you will have to clean the grill less often. Higher ash content means that you are bound to create a mess. Alternatively, there are certain pellets that produce ash which can be beneficial for cooking. The ash settles at the bottom of the stove and gives you a higher heat output.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you soak wood pellets before smoking?
It is not recommended to soak your wood pellets before smoking salmon as a general rule. Because pellets are formed of compressed sawdust, wetting them causes the sawdust to swell and fall apart. Soaking pellets can not only impair your smoke, but it may also damage your grill or pellet stove.
How do you use pellets in a smoker?
Sprinkle the wood pellets on the coals once they are completely covered in white ash and have reached a hot, even temperature. You’ll want to use enough pellets to cover your charcoal in a thin coating.
You can begin cooking your meat as soon as the pellets ignite and begin to smoke.
How do you keep wood pellets dry?
You should keep the pellets dry and away from water, humidity, or any type of moisture. The best option is to use a garage or a shed.Try not to store the pellets in their original pouches.
You can grasp one of those dependable metal pellet storage buckets. The pellet lid is completely sealed and prevents moisture from entering. A Rubbermaid tote can also come in handy.
Do you add water to wooden pellets?
You should only add water to wooden pellets if you want to expand them in size. If you want to cook salmon with wood pellets, then you don’t always need to do that.
Can you deep litter wood pellets?
Wood pellets are highly absorbent materials that can soak up water pretty quickly. So, yes. You can definitely use these wood pellets for deep litter.
If you have reached the end of this article, then it’s safe to say that you have set your eyes on a certain brand and are aching to buy it. I hope the buying guide I provided will be enough to make you realize which are the best wood pellets for salmon for you to buy.