Whether you are a new member to Traeger Nation or you've been with us for a while, you've probably noticed we like to post our recipes with a little bonus information at the top. In that one little line, we like to recommend certain types of pellets to accompany whatever dish we have created. This small tidbit of information might have previously been overlooked, or skipped because it just didn't seem that important. Well, please let me be the first to tell you... THE PELLET MATTERS! Here at Traeger, we take a lot of pride in making pellets out of the purest wood available. Each bag of pellets you buy is special, and each type of wood creates a unique flavor profile that you are adding to your food. One of the best things you can do when smoking with your Traeger is learn to consider the flavor of your pellets as an additional ingredient in your recipe.
Below we have a handy little graphic that helps you see exactly what pellets work best with what types of food. Save this image, print it off, and most importantly, take your own notes as you cook. Just because maple typically works great with turkey doesn't necessarily mean it will be your favorite, you might prefer something lighter like apple.
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 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. Try some Marinated Beef Ribs with Cherry pellets. 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 to smoke some Peppered Beef Jerky to add a perfect level of smokiness to the meat.
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 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 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 Mom's Best Pumpkin Bread and enjoy the added nutty flavor from the Pecan smoke.