How Long Do Pellets Last in a Pellet Grill?
Pellet grills can do a whole lot of awesome things, but there’s one thing they definitely still can’t do: cook without pellets. So, before you plan your next BBQ, it’s important to make sure you’ve got some high quality pellet grill pellets on hand.
That brings up some important questions: How long do pellets last in a pellet grill, and how much cooking time can you expect to get from them? On top of that, how can you store your pellets so that they’ll last as long as possible? Grilla Grills is serving up some hot, fresh, perfectly-smoked answers below.
How Long Do Pellets Last in a Pellet Grill?
A good rule of thumb is that an efficient pellet grill, like the Grilla Silverbac, will burn approximately a pound of pellets an hour at 250º F. That’s a common temperature for smoking meats, or for the delicious low and slow cooking that many people love about pellet grills. However, as we’ll discuss later, cooking at higher temperatures can change this.
The Silverbac’s hopper holds 20 pounds of pellets. (Not by coincidence, we sell all natural wood grill pellets in 20-pound bags!) So, under average grilling conditions, you can expect your Silverbac to cook for at least 10 to 20 hours.
Obviously, that’s a lot of variation. The weather, your cooking temperatures and other factors can all affect how fast your grill uses pellets. We’ll talk about four of these factors next.
Four Factors That Affect How Long Pellets Last in a Pellet Grill
1. Cooking Temperatures
One great thing about pellet grills is that they can cook at a wide range of temperatures evenly and consistently. As you’ll see in our pellet grill time and temperature guide, many people mainly use pellet grills for low and slow cooking and smoking around 220-250º.
However, pellet grills do full-throttle grilling just as easily. For some pellet grill recipes, particularly things like searing steaks, you’ll want a much hotter grill, often at 450º or more. In such cases, plan to bring along some extra pellets because you’ll be burning them at a higher rate.
If you’re running your pellet grill on a high heat setting, it pays to always have some extra wood pellets on hand. With a 20-pound bag (or two) of Grilla Grills competition blend pellets, you’ll always have the delicious wood and smoke flavor you need, with quality you can trust and absolutely zero additives. Craving a specific smoke flavor? We offer premium quality hickory pellets and other flavors of wood, too.
Ambient temperatures can also affect how long your pellets last. In cold conditions, a single-walled metal grill will lose a lot of its heat to the surrounding air. That means that the grill will be working much harder, and consuming more pellets, just to generate the heat it needs to cook your food at the right temperature.
Unfortunately, a lot of pellet smokers and grills out there today are only single-walled. Want to save your pellets? Go for the double-walled, insulated construction that comes standard on every Grilla Grills model. You’ll be glad you did when you’re serving up delicious BBQ on a chilly fall or winter day.
3. Storage Conditions
Moisture is the number one thing to avoid when storing grill pellets. Pellets that absorb moisture can burn unevenly or not at all, and they might foul your grill’s auger mechanism.
That’s why you should never keep pellets in a damp place like a basement or shed, and always keep them off the floor. Our recommendation is to dump your Grilla Grills pellets into a large plastic storage container with a snap lid as soon as you get them.
In mild climates, it’s usually fine to leave pellets in your Grilla pellet grill’s hopper for up to a a month at a time. If you’re in a humid climate, or if you don’t use your grill often, it’s a good idea to use the pellet dump to remove unused pellets from your grill.
4. Pellet Quality
High quality grill pellets burn more evenly and efficiently than cheap ones. For starters, you should definitely avoid pellets that use additives, binders, oils or anything other than 100 percent hardwood. Make sure your wood pellets are food-grade, too. You don’t want the lower quality kind made for pellet heating stoves.
Here’s the best way to make it easy: Pick up a bag of Grilla Grills competition blend pellets, the all-around MVP for smoke lovers. Our blend of hickory, oak and cherry is deliciously balanced and deep. And our pellet composition? All hardwood, all the time. Nothing else!
An awesome pellet grilling experience starts with high quality wood pellets. Read more about how to choose grill pellets, or explore the many awesome varieties of pellet grill pellets we have to offer.