Pellets - best economical combo

Info on pellet bbq-ing (such as on Traegers)
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ozwaz
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Location: Perth, WA

Pellets - best economical combo

Post by ozwaz » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:03 am

Hi All,

I have the fairly big Treager, love it to bits, but it's a bit of a pig. My only comparison is a GMG DC, but that is a fraction of the size, so obviously uses a fraction of the pellets. I'm not knocking the Treagar, it's a big unit, so physics says more area to be heated = more pellets need to be sacrificed to the smoking gods. So my question:

Is there a combo which will burn a bit hotter so use less pellets? Take an aussie hardwood for example, I've seen these in a certain bbq gurus premises in the southern suburbs of Perth, I am assuming aussie hardwoods would burn a bit hotter for a bit longer? Having had to cut the fire wood as a child, I know that harder to cut, hotter and longer the burn, I am assuming pellets are the same (have any of you Eastern Staters tried cutting white gum, even the termites won't touch it). Has anyone experimented? Am I on the wrong track here and does it not really make much of a difference, the bigger difference is in taste?

Cheers
Wazza

p.s. the spice rubbed chicken wings on the Traeger tonight were fantastic. Happy to have sacrificed some pellets for those.
Traeger Pellet Grill - Weber Family Q - Ziggy Twin Burner


Nath
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Location: Perth WA

Pellets - best economical combo

Post by Nath » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:15 am

I guess it would come down mostly how they are compressed, the wood variety maybe not so much as it all mulched up pretty fine and then extruded. Interesting topic Waz.
Let's just hope it doesn't turn into a brand war. The GMG pellets are decent, and at a reasonable price. Cook shack pellets are pretty good also. I did get some Marri and Rosemary pellets from UG awhile ago, haven't really done the math on consumption though


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Nath

wedwards
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Pellets - best economical combo

Post by wedwards » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:36 am

Maybe look into any mods you can do to improve pellet utilization? For my GMG there are some mods like the downdraft which help fairly dramatically and have really reduced pellet consumption.


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ozwaz
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:35 am
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Pellets - best economical combo

Post by ozwaz » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:16 am

Nath wrote: Interesting topic Waz.
Let's just hope it doesn't turn into a brand war. The GMG pellets are decent, and at a reasonable price. Cook shack pellets are pretty good also. I did get some Marri and Rosemary pellets from UG awhile ago, haven't really done the math on consumption though


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Hi Nath,

I know you are on the same page as me here, please no brand war. I have a Traeger, my brother a GMG DC, and I put the challenge out, if I were to use the same pellets, the same cut of meat and the same temp, I blindfolded you, I would wager a substantial sum you could not tell the difference. For the record, I am very happy to eat food of the GMG, he is very happy to eat food off the traeger. Now we've got that out of the way, I suspect the difference I am looking for does not exist in ALL of the brand name pellets, they are their own combinations of mostly fruit wood, each and every person will have their preference to taste. I have no issue with personal preference.

I have only tried the GMG pellets so far and am happy with them, but the question stands, could an aussie hardwood mixed in with these (or whatever your favorite brand is) prolong the burn and thus reduce the use of pellets? It could possibly reduce the smoke, but on a long cook, I wonder again if it would be noticeable?

Wazza
Traeger Pellet Grill - Weber Family Q - Ziggy Twin Burner

ozwaz
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:35 am
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Pellets - best economical combo

Post by ozwaz » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:18 am

wedwards wrote:Maybe look into any mods you can do to improve pellet utilization? For my GMG there are some mods like the downdraft which help fairly dramatically and have really reduced pellet consumption.


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Not looked into that yet, thanks.
Traeger Pellet Grill - Weber Family Q - Ziggy Twin Burner

Bentley
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Re: Pellets - best economical combo

Post by Bentley » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:48 am

To the best of my knowledge, hardwood pellets produce about 8500 BTU/lb. The wood really does not matter, yes different hardwoods have different properties, but when pelletized, I believe that is not a factor. The unit controller, and to a lesser extent ambient conditions, have more to do with pellet consumption. A unit that "manages" air, meaning that the fan velocity is not constant will usually have a better consumption rate.

I personal am of the mind set that variety of hardwood has little effect on taste, it does make a difference in color of finished product...burning hardwood produces a compound and I can remember the spelling. it is something like guicanol...it is the same for any hardwood.
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Mixin
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Re: Pellets - best economical combo

Post by Mixin » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:15 am

I bought a couple of fire blankets a few months ago a Aldi, and I have cut them up and use them as insulation mats to drape over the GMG DC. It has 2 benefits - it keeps the heat in it longer, and also stops smoke leakage around the lid hinges. I found a dramatic drop in pellet consumption after doing this.
Edit: for others considering doing the same, I ran a smear of silicone along the cut edges to prevent fraying.

My GMG DC is located on a verandah, enclosed on 3 sides by brick walls, so it is well protected from wind.
I have made a loose-fitting chimney extension to get the smoke out above the roof line, so it creates a bit more draw, but not too much, as it's 6" diameter pipe, so it can draw more fresh air up it around the DC's small chimney fitting, rather than drawing all the air through the cooking chamber.
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damianpyro
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Re: Pellets - best economical combo

Post by damianpyro » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:31 am

My DC uses heaps more pellets in the wind, it also has bigger temp variations in the wind.

urbangriller
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Re: Pellets - best economical combo

Post by urbangriller » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:50 am

A Blanket will reduce pellet usage. Combining pellets won't reduce usage, but you could dilute your pellets with cheaper heating pellets, no guarantee of flavour though.

Cheers
Chris
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