All About Pellets

All About Pellets

Posted by Jody Flanagan on 30th Jan 2019


Wood pellets burn consistently, making them a very eco-friendly fuel source. 

They are biodegradable and a renewable resource. I remember as a kid going to our local sawmill and getting truck loads of shavings for our horses for free. Nowadays, you're going to pay a pretty penny for a truckload of shavings. Pellets are made by breaking down wood shavings, wood chips, and scrap wood into a uniform size. This raw material is dried and then compressed through a die at high pressure. This process heats the material up to 200+ degrees, releasing the natural lignin in the wood and binding the material together (lignin is what makes a tree grow). After pressing the pellets, they must be cooled to harden. Once they harden they are sorted by density and size, and then bagged. They are then palletized and shipped out.

Storing Your Pellets

If you took advantage of one of our bundle deals or bulk pellet pricing, you’ve got a few extra bags of pellets lying around. 

So how do you store them? Inside? Outside? In a container? The most important thing to remember is to keep them dry. Moisture is your enemy! Moisture expands the wood, ultimately breaking it down. Pellet bags are not water resistant and contain small air holes that can allow moisture to penetrate. Inside and off the ground is the preferred method of storage. A pallet works great to keep your bags off the floor. It's built to hold weight so you can stack your pellet bags high. Humid locations may require a dehumidifier for optimum storage. If you go through a lot of pellets, remember the FIFO (First In, First Out) method to ensure proper rotation. A 5 gallon bucket works well for storing your open bags. Some customers have even used dog food containers!

Be Cautious When Storing Pellets

It's been reported that pellet bags naturally release carbon monoxide. 

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that often goes undetected. When the gas builds up in enclosed areas, people or animals can be poisoned by unknowlingly breathing it in. Ventilation does not guarantee safety. If you purchase pallets of pellets make sure you store your pellets in a well ventilated area and install a CO detector to prevent CO poisoning. For the folks buying small quantities at a time, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Good Pellets vs. Bad Pellets

Pellets do not have a "best by" or expiration date, but they can go bad. 

Pellets do not last forever. Good pellets don't contain any additives or preservatives and should naturally break down over time. It's important to know the difference between good and bad pellets. How can you tell a good pellet from a bad pellet? Well, good pellets should be shiny and snap when you try to break them in half. If they are dull or crumble when you try to break them, they aren't good. They will not produce the BTU’s needed to get to high temperatures or hold low temperatures. Good pellets should also be about 1-1.5" long in size. If your pellets are smaller in size, they will quickly burn up and may require more fuel to achieve your desired temperature. Longer pellets can also give you trouble... These can cause a “bridge” in your hopper and restrict pellets from falling, causing temperature fluctuations and even a loss of fire.

Cleaning

Your pellets require good airflow in order to burn evenly and efficiently. 

It's always a good idea to clean out your fire pot regularly, removing any obstructions. When dumping bags of pellets in your hopper, make sure to keep an eye out for excess pellet dust. This pellet dust can build up in your hopper and auger tube, causing temperature issues. Allow your grill to run empty of pellets, this will help to reduce the amount of dust in your hopper.

Only the Best for Your REC TEC

You only want to put the best gas in your car, why shouldn’t your grill be the same? 

With proper storage and care of your pellets you will ensure consistent, flavorful results every time out of your REC TEC grill. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook @JodyFlanagan and on Instagram @johndillionsr for a behind the scenes look at the #recteclifestyle! Happy grilling!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jody Flanagan is our resident REC TEC Grills Expert, where he can be seen on all social media platforms, including the weekly Funday Friday program. Jody has years of experience in the cooking industry and enjoys the art of grilling just as much as he loves the REC TEC Lifestyle. 

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