Before entering the world of pellet grilling for yourself, there are a few things to think about before purchasing your very own pellet grill. The pellets you use significantly impact most of your pellet grilling experience.
But how long pellets last in a pellet grill depends on the moisture in the air. Another important factor is temperature. Hence, you cannot ignore the grill make and model.
The typical burn time for wood pellets is between eight and twenty hours, depending on the type of grill and the cooking temperature. The bag of wood pellets will only last for a maximum of 20 hours at lower temperatures. The grill can work eight hours if you cook at a higher temperature because the pellets will burn more quickly.
How long a bag of wood pellets last depends on a variety of other things. According to our research, low-temperature and high-quality pellets can make a difference.
A Factual Pellet Usage Data
We researched hard to find an accurate estimation of pellets usage. The size of the device may affect the pellet’s usage. If you have a big-sized pellet grill, you may not need to refill it for an 8-hours cooking session.
In our opinion, we notice hourly consumption of pellets, and here is an estimation for the Traeger pellets.
- Average consumption rate @ 200°F: ~1.6 lb per hour for cheaper pellets
- Average consumption rate @ 500°F: ~4.5 lb per hour for a bag of Traeger pellets
What Elements Affect the Rate at Which Grill Pellets Burn?
When you buy a wood pellet bag, a burn rate is always there at the back of the bag. So, you can choose whatever suits you better. However, several factors are also essential to consider for long-lasting wood pellets.
A pellet grill at a higher temperature will logically burn through pellets more quickly. However, the type and brand of pellets may also play a significant role in determining how rapidly you may burn through many pounds of pellets. By keeping a constant eye on the pellet grill’s temperature, you can roughly estimate how long your pellets last in a pellet grill.
For instance, two pounds of pellets can easily burn in an hour on pellet grills, smoking at a high temperature. Similarly, you can test the estimated burn time of pellets by adjusting the temperature at medium and low heat. You will get positive results with low heat.
The pellet grills will burn the wood pellets for extended periods during the winter, especially in places with cold temperatures. Simply put, you require extra heat to keep warm and effectively prepare your food.
On the other side, you won’t need as much heat in warmer climates. Your pellet grills will produce less heat, and fewer wooden pellets are enough to use.
Because the sun’s heat prevents the pellets from burning more intensely during the day, they burn through more quickly at night than during the day.
The Type of Grill for Pellets
An insulated pellet grill can be something you want to get if you intend to burn your pellets for longer. These grills include lids excellent at retaining the heat needed to prepare your food. A lot more heat is provided through insulation techniques. As a result, the burn time of your wooden pellets will be less than usual.
The capacity of your pellet grill itself significantly impacts how quickly a bag of pellets may burn. When buying a pellet grill, manufacturers will mention a rate they refer to as the burn rate of your grill.
BTUs is to measure the energy and heat the pellets release after burning, allowing you to roughly estimate how long it would take to burn through a bag of pellets.
The Thickness of the Wood
Large wooden pellets can burn for extended periods since they contain a substantial volume of wood. These wooden pellets are more durable than puffy pellets, which include fewer pieces of wood. Depending on your chosen brand and whether your brand likes extra flavor or longevity, the quantity and quality of wood included in the wooden pellets will vary.
Some of the less expensive wood pellet variants may contain oil to increase flavor and make up for the low quality of the wood. However, these oils cause the pellets to burn more quickly, maintaining a steady cooking temperature.
As previously stated, it’s critical to search for reputable brands that guarantee high-quality pellets that won’t burn through too quickly, forcing you to buy more pellets more regularly.
The same is true for keeping pellets; we researched longer burn times for wood pellets, so you won’t have to worry as much about outside influences harming your unused pellets. With some brands, you can store your pellets for a longer period to prevent them from going bad too fast.
Ensuring that the pellet grill has adequate insulation is another thing to keep in mind when purchasing one. It helps to conserve energy and ensures that the next head forms effectively, preventing the pellets from burning through more quickly for the same amount of heat.
Consequently, purchasing a pellet grill with good insulation is essential to extending the lifespan of your pellets because a grill with poor insulation may need more pellets merely to maintain operation. Therefore, hunting for a thermal cover is crucial to keep your pellet grill’s heat as efficient as possible. To get a better idea about the pellet grills working capabilities, you can read our guide on pellet grill tips and tricks.
You Should Avoid “Heating Pellets”
Heating pellets and cooking pellets are different and you should be careful to choose them. To buy pellets for a backyard barbeque, search for “heat pellets.” Compared to cooking pellets, heat pellets usually contain undesirable ingredients like wood and cellulose.
This is simply for heating, not for cooking. The majority of the time, using heating pellets may have an unpleasant flavor and intensify ingestion.
Factors that affect how long Pellets Last
The lifespan of pellets for grilling is impacted by a variety of circumstances. However, the pellet grill is still widely used because of its efficiency and level of control. What aspects affect the lifespan of your pellets? Here is the answer.
You cook at High Temperatures
Unfortunately, your meal uses more or fewer pellets when you grill a steak or cook it at a high temperature. When the time comes to the grill, you can still be ready by buying the larger bag of pellet wood, which will help you save money. This grilling method is the most useful!
Moreover, at high-temperature grill burns more pellets and these may end soon. So, on a pellet smoker, you should prefer low and slow smoking methods where pellets burn slowly and give you ample time to cook a perfectly smoked meal.
You Are Using An Old Grill
It’s simple because older grills use less energy. If your grill is older than five years, it might not continue to burn fuel in the same manner. The advanced technologies may suggest that an update is necessary for just five years.
You’re Storing Your Pellets in the Grill
It’s totally wrong to store pellets in a grill because they may absorb moisture and will not perform well. So, you should store pellets properly and remove them after each smoking session. It’s better to keep them in the fridge if pellets absorb moisture and get wet on the grill.
The Best Way to Store Wood Pellets
You should store pellets properly because a little amount of moisture can ruin the pellet flavor and burn efficiency. So, read below to store wood pellets in a proper way.
Because moisture and humidity levels can readily influence your pellets, storing them in an area with less moisture permeability is critical.
It is better to keep your pellets outside because of how readily dampness can harm them.
Pellets must be in bags or containers to prevent moisture from getting into them. For durability, keeping your pellets in a bucket with a lid rather than resealable bags would be a good idea.
Away from Heat
Finally, even if your pellets come in bags, it’s still advisable to keep them out of the reach of any heat sources, especially flammable ones because wood pellets have the tendency to burn quickly. Moreover, you can use a smoker tube to get the accurate flavor and fill this tube with dry wood pellets.
Comparison of Different Pellet Flavors
Pellets are available in many flavors, and each significantly impacts food. If you want a smokey flavor, you should use hickory and mesquite. On the other hand, apple and maple pellets impart a sweet flavor to your food. Let’s discover which flavor is suitable for your food.
You should keep several things in mind if you want your wood pellets to last longer and improve the flavor of your food. The type of grill you use to cook, and the thickness of the wood pellets, are the main factors determining the running time of a pellet smoker. Hence, you must also check the temperature because wood pellets burn faster at high temperatures.
So, you must buy high-quality, dry pellets that could match your grill’s temperature. Also, test the small amount before buying the whole bag of pellets.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can pellets be left in a grill?
It’s essential to dump your pellets after every use. But many people leave the pellets in the hopper, but it’s not a good practice because the old pellet may stink and produce a bad smell in your meal. If you store your grill in a dry place, you can use pellets for one week.
How to estimate the pellet quality?
You can estimate by filling a glass or bowl with water. Soak the pellets and observe the position. If pellets float on the surface, it is not of good quality. The high-quality pellets will be at the bottom.
Do old pellets burn well?
If your pellets are dry, store them in a dry place. They can burn well, and you can use them many times.
Caspian James, the Founder and Chief Editor at FaveGrills, is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest Smokers and Grilling Products along with mouth-watering barbecue recipes. He constantly researches new gear with a sharp eye for detail, providing the FaveGrills community with in-depth reviews.