We have put together a simple-to-use Wood Pellet Guide to help you select specific pellets for whatever you are Traeger'ing. For those of you looking to master that behind-the-scenes smoke flavor that really puts your recipes over the top, let's talk about why we pick certain pellets for certain foods.
Alder: These pellets are the most versatile because of their mild flavor and aroma. Alder wood gives off a great amount of smoke without overwhelming even the most delicate flavors like chicken, fish, or baked goods. Try the Bacon Wrapped Scallops next time you are looking to add that perfect wood fired taste with your Alder pellets.
Apple: Most often used with poultry and pork, apple wood pellets offer a lightly fruity smoke that helps enhance mild flavored meats. Apple pellets take this Smoke Roasted Apple Pie to a whole new level of awesome. Think about it, apple wood smoked apple pie? Unbelievable.
Cherry: One of the more flavorful pellets, cherry wood lends itself to application where you want to add a hearty smoke flavor. Check out these Marinated Beef Ribs. Between the marinade and the cherry smoke, these flavorful ribs don't require any sauce to be exceptionally flavorful.
Hickory: Probably the most widely used pellets in barbecue, hickory pellets release a strong flavor and complement most meats. Some people find hickory can be a little strong and like to mix it with a more mild pellet like oak or apple. Using hickory pellets with this Anytime Pork Roast will definitely impress.
Maple: Mild, with a hint of sweetness, maple pellets are great on pork and especially turkey. Using maple pellets to smoke your holiday Herb Roasted Turkey and your family will request that you cook every year.
Mesquite: A favorite of Texas BBQ, Mesquite pellets infuse your meat with hearty smoke flavor. That super smoky flavor is great for recipes that are begging for a little something extra like these Southwestern Stuffed Peppers.
Oak: Oak is a great middle ground as far as smoke intensity goes. A little stronger than cherry or apple, and a little lighter than hickory, Oak is great to use with fish and veggies or both at the same time like these Mahi-Mahi Shish Kabobs.
Pecan: Deliciously nutty and even a little spicy, Pecan pellets are great with beef, pork, or poultry. They add a great depth to baked goods as well. Be sure to try this recipe for Mom's Best Pumpkin Bread and enjoy the added nutty flavor from the Pecan smoke.