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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    I've never used wood stove pellets as smoker fuel, but I'm thinking of trying it out this year. I have some questions for you pellet users out there. I don't want to start yet another discussion on the best smoker fuel to use, but would like your thoughts specifically on Pellets.
    Is there a certain type or brand of pellet that works best, and why? Oak, Pine? Do any contain residual chemicals from the manufacturing process?
    To everything there is a season....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    cumberland me
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    223

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    I am glad you asked this question because I am also wondering about Part B of this question. Is it alright to dump the wood stove pellet ashes on the compost bin or on the lawn? Well, I am talking about the ashes from the pellet stove.
    Last edited by linn; 01-10-2014 at 05:23 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Mike is going to love this little diversion of his thread, but hardwood ash is a relatively good source of potash, which is a form of the potassium (K) referred to in fertilizer N-P-K ratings.

    In moderate amounts, ash can be applied to a lawn. I distribute mine over the vegetable garden where it gets dug/rototilled in before planting.

    Some wood pellets advertise that they have no added binders. There could always be the exceptions.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2010
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    cumberland me
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    223

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    The wood pellet ashes are almost impossible to get off your hands and I wear gloves. The ashes almost have a greasy feel to them. It seems like you will get this greasy residue inside your smoker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Yes. Very easy to use and store. I combine them with magnolia stamens. If you're concerned about nasty binders you may want to check the bag or buy organic smoking pellets for smoked meat ($$$$) or those marked all natural. For me i wasn't concerned just bought whatever was at the store.

    Natures pellet, magnolia grandiflora . I love the smell, sort of a pine, rosemary, nice herbal incense fragrance.
    magn026.jpg

    Hardwood will obviously last longer than something like pine or poplar. Would love to find hickory pellets local, love the smell.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    3,380

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    If Universal Forest Products is making a point to advertise that their pellets are "100% Natural, 100% Additive Free", that tells me there are pellets out there which are "not". I wonder what the "unnatural" and "additives" might be?
    To everything there is a season....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
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    223

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    The pellets I use are 100% hardwood, fines less than .25%, moisture content less than 6%, ash .75%, premium grade. Still the ash is hard to get off your hands-even with gloves.
    Last edited by linn; 01-10-2014 at 06:18 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    1,243

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Eric< Lem Products sells hickory chips, they call them chips but they are pellets. and they have a great hickory smell. they are compressed all natural wood.. I had some left over from smoking bear bologna, and was out of my usual smoker fuel so I used them they worked fine.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    A paper that discusses binders that could be used in pellets:
    http://www.ncsu.edu/bioresources/Bio...ellet_1782.pdf

    As I see it, whether a binder is needed depends on the kind of your wood your source material is, and possibly also on how high a pressure (and heat) your pellet manufacturing process generates.

    I would guess that smaller producers are more likely to use binders than large producers.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,800

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    You need a starter like pine needles under them, they fall out the nozzle of the smoker so you have to screen it. They smell a bit less than pine needles. I tried them and went back to pine needles.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    1,379

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Wood pellets are pretty good. I put a couple handfuls in the smoker, use a portable torch to light them till they start to glow and then add either pine needles or fresh cut grass.
    The good part about them, they are really cheap and you can put a coffee can full in the tool box.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    You need a starter like pine needles under them, they fall out the nozzle of the smoker so you have to screen it. They smell a bit less than pine needles. I tried them and went back to pine needles.
    I use a wad of cardboard or newspaper. No screen here. Do you normally turn your smoker upside? ;-)

    Wood or woody plants are great for keeping the smoker going for long periods of time. Pine, grass, leaves, shavings are good starters or toppers.

    Quote Originally Posted by linn View Post
    The wood pellet ashes are almost impossible to get off your hands and I wear gloves. The ashes almost have a greasy feel to them. It seems like you will get this greasy residue inside your smoker.
    Never had grease issues, normally I don't touch the ash to test, maybe the manufacturer used oil as the binder.

    Creosote will build-up inside the can with just about all fuels, sometimes is a bit tarry before hardening. Overtime the layer acts as insulation keeping the outside of the can a bit cooler, so far no chimney fires. ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    The good part about them, they are really cheap and you can put a coffee can full in the tool box.
    Exactly what i do. A can lasts a while,

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    I would "assume" that any of the pellets ranked for cooking food, would be "relatively" safe....

    I usually burn twigs/grass that I pick up near the hives... I enjoy pine needles, which once lit correctly doesn't every want to go out...

    I've considered using the pellets, since I was thinking about buying a pellet stove for the shop.. Might work out as a good optional use.
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    we rip up an old piece of cloth and put on top of the pellets to keep them from falling out. also I think it helps cool the smoke.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
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    129

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    I don't know if you get Straw pellets, used when keeping rabbits, as a litter on the bottom of their cage. Quite popular here in Germany as smoker fuel. Very easy to light and last a long time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXQ1ZmeRLNo
    Stephen 12 hives. 3rd year. Treat. Germany.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Wood pellets are about all we have used for the past 10 years. We've used lots of different kinds, seems like the darker hardwood ones might last a bit longer but be a bit more difficult to start but they all work well as long as you keep them dry. I keep strips of cardboard in the bucket with the pellets for starting them though dry grass or pine needles also work well. Paper alone is pretty difficult to get enough heat generated for lighting pellets. After your fire is going (and that is the secret, lighting a hot fire) we usually just top them with green grass to keep the pellets from blowing out and your good for most of the day.
    Kona Queen, where lots of people are lighting lots of smokers, has the slickest setup I have seen to light their pellets. A central air compressor with a cluster of little hoses that can be inserted in the bottom of the smoker. No puffing required, just stand there and build your fire.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Normal wood has over 200 toxic gases emitted while burning. I cant imagine how many additional gases are formed from the "binders" associated with the pellet making process.

    I've never used them so I can't really say how well they work. I really don't like the idea of the creosote that is formed when burning most tree products. Therefore I have used (and stuck to) old blue jeans which are 100% cotton. They burn a real long time, much lighter than pellets, can be used as rags, sweat band, extra pair of dry pants/shorts if needed and will not creosote the smoker.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    Normal wood has over 200 toxic gases emitted while burning. I cant imagine how many additional gases are formed from the "binders" associated with the pellet making process.
    There are no added binders in wood pellets. High pressure used in the extrusion process of the pellets causes the cellulose to bind the pellets. Nothing added.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    Certainly some wood fuel pellets have binders. Here is a manufacturer offering binders for use in manufacturing pellets:

    http://www.lignotechfeed.com/
    While the site linked above is primarily selling binders to the animal feed industry, some of their binders get used in fuel pellets. Here is a site discussing production of fuel pellets that includes a reference to using Lignotech binders:

    http://www.pelheat.com/Pellet_Binders_Lubricants.html

    In my view, it is more likely that large pellet manufacturers are binder free than smaller pellet manufacturers.

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 01-11-2014 at 07:01 AM.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
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    1,188

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets - Smoker Fuel

    there is a difference between wood pellets and pellets made for cow feed. the wooden ones dont taste as good. lol

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