In the world of Electric smokers, pellets are gaining popularity. Generally, electric smokers make use of wood chips but there are times when you have wood pellets instead of chips and you wonder to use these small cylindrical pieces.
Can You Use Pellets in an Electric Smoker? Using pellets in an electric smoker is a hot topic on the web but unfortunately, there is no solid answer as some say yes and some are not in favor. Well, when all you have are the pellets, you can use them as they won’t cause any problem to your electric smoker. Let’s get started to know more in detail.
What Is An Electric Smoker?
An electric smoker is a perfect mix of ancient and modern technology. With this, you can prepare delicious food hassle-free. Generally, electric smokers are made of a cooking chamber, grill racks, and a heating element.
Electric smokers have adequate heat inside without open flame and hot residues, which makes them perfect for people living in apartments. Using an electric smoker is no rocket science as you only need to plug it in, add wood chips/pellets, fill the water tray and allow it to reach an adequate internal temperature. Add food and wait to enjoy delicious cuisine.
Advantages of Electric Smoker
- A reliable cooking source like an oven that keeps the temperature consistent
- Plug into electricity and let the food prepare without any hassle
- No need for valve adjustment or managing charcoal while cooking
- An electric smoker is user-friendly and perfect for beginners
- It reaches the highest temperature in less time
- Hot air cooks food and wood fuel is used to smoke the food
- You can easily move an electric smoker from one place to another
What are Wood Pellets?
Both wood chips and wood pellets are made of hardwood but some additional steps are needed to make pellets. Firstly hardwood is perfectly ground into sawdust and then it is compressed into cylindrical shape pellets. Generally, apple, cherry, and hickory wood are used to prepare pellets.
Advantages of Wood Pellets
- The smoke from wood pellets has a sweet flavor and less acidity
- You can easily store them in a dry place
- No fire hazards and harmful odors
- Wood pellets are not very costly
Can you use Pellets in an Electric Smoker?
The answer to this debated question is yes. You can use pellets without any issue as they will not harm an electric smoker. However, wood pellets may not be the best at smoking food as compared to wood chips.
Folks are confused because pellets are designed for pellet grills and smokers. These are designed specifically to burn the pellets easily unlike electric smokers that do not have such a system. Still, it is possible to use wood pellets in an electric smoker.
Also Read: How to Season a Ribeye Steak for Grilling?
Why You Can Use Wood Pellets in an Electric Smoker?
There are several benefits of using wood pellets in an electric smoker and some of them are mentioned below:
- As compared to chips pellets burn at high temperature
- Lesser fuel wastage
- Pellets are adequate for cold and hot smoking
- The consistent, thick, and heavy smoky flavor
- Different smoke pellets have different flavors depending on the wood
- Increased life span with proper storage
Drawbacks of using Wood pellets in an electric smoker
- Wood pellets start burning once they reach a higher temperature. This is because of their dense nature.
- Low-quality wood pellets contain harmful binding agents that produce toxic gas on burning.
- You need to stay close to the when testing pellets.
Tips to Use Wood Pellets in an Electric Smoker
Using pellets is no different than chips as both are made of hardwood but when you use pellets in an electric smoker it is necessary to keep certain things in mind.
- Make sure to buy pellets that complement the flavor of the food
- During use, you should not leave the smoker unattended as pellets produce smoke very quickly
- Store pellets in a dry place so they can be long-lasting
- You can use tin foil and place pellets inside for better smoke and temperature control
Comparing Wood Chips and Pellets
For a better understanding of using either Wood chips or Pallets, there are important things that you must know.
- Both wood chips and pellets offer different smoke flavors to food depending on the wood type. Thus you can experience a difference in taste when using chips and pellets.
- Wood pellets are dense so they burn slower and give high-temperature control
- Both are almost the same price so you should choose the one depending on the flavor you want
- Choosing the best chips and pellets depend on the brand of electric smoker
Are Wood Pellets Good for Smoking and Grilling?
Undoubtedly, wood pellets are a go-to option for smoking and grilling because they tend to burn slowly as compared to wood chips. This allows temperature control and in terms of cost, wood pellets are a perfect choice.
Also Read: What Temp to Pull Pork Shoulder off Smoker?
Is It Necessary to Soak Wood Pellets Before Use?
There is no need for soaking when it comes to pellets. Sawdust expands on soaking and eventually fall apart which can damage electric smoker and even restrict smoke generation.
Using Wood Pellets in an Electric Smoker Is Always a Good Idea
In case of an emergency, you can use pellets in an electric smoker otherwise wood chips and chunks are perfect to use as an electric smoker is designed accordingly. Using wood chips and chunks gives the right texture and flavor to your food and the process is much quicker than pellets.
With all the discussion it can be easily concluded that wood pellets are safe to use in electric smokers. You can get the perfect smoke flavor in your food. Still, it is highly recommended to check the brand of electric smoker to know whether you can use pellets.
Check out our buying guide for Best Wood Pellets for Smoking.