More and more people realize how convenient pellet grills are, as they create less smoke and allow you to grill far more easily than a charcoal grill.
However, if you are used to using charcoal, which tends to last for a very long time, you may be wondering if wood pellets go bad.
Yes, wood pellets can go bad. Like charcoal, though, wood pellets will only go bad if they have not been stored correctly. Exposure to the elements ruins wood pellets, especially moisture. If you keep your wood pellets in a dry, cool place, they should last for years.
Keep reading to learn more about the durability of wood pellets, as well as how to store them and how to tell if they have gone bad.
How Long Should Wood Pellets Last?
In general, wood pellets should stay good for several years, basically to the point where they do not have a shelf-life. Low-grade wood pellets may not last very long even if you store them properly; however, they are not made with a lot of ash.
While it is more expensive upfront to buy high-grade wood pellets, they will save you money in the end by lasting for many years in the right kind of storage.
How Should Wood Pellets Be Stored?
There are a few things to keep in mind when you store wood pellets, and they are all important. To ensure that your wood pellets last a long time, keep them in the following conditions:
In a Dry Space
Although any kind of moisture is bad for wood pellets, most people forget to account for humidity. Wood pellets should be stored in a location with very low humidity. Otherwise, moisture will seep in and cause the pellets to deteriorate.
Due to this, never store your wood pellets in a shed or outdoors.
In a Closed Container
Some wood pellets can be bought in resealable bags, but even these may be prone to tearing. You could keep the wood pellets in these bags, or, if the bag they come in does not seal, you could close it up with a wire tie.
However, the best container to keep wood pellets in is a large bucket with a lid that seals. Unlike with the bags, you will not have to watch for and patch up any tears.
Away from Heat
Take care not to store wood pellets near extreme heat sources, such as in a garage with a water heater or in a kitchen. Wood pellets are incredibly flammable, and putting them anywhere near a heat source may trigger an explosion, even if they are in a bag that has yet to be unsealed.
Further Reading: Camp Chef Pellets Review
How Can You Tell if Wood Pellets Have Gone Bad?
If many wood pellets have gone bad or are not of high quality, there are a few ways to tell. To test your wood pellets, look out for the following things:
They Will Break in Many Places
If you try to snap a wood pellet in half, a good one will cleanly split into two pieces with a sharp snapping sound. In contrast, wood pellets that have gone bad will break into many little pieces and create a lot of dust, as bad wood pellets are essentially sawdust.
They Float in Water
Good wood pellets should be very dense, meaning they will sink in a glass of water. Bad wood pellets do not have much density, and they will float in the water. Please do not leave any wood pellets in a glass of water for an extended period of time, though, as it may become difficult to get them out once they start absorbing water.
Further Reading: Do You Soak Wood Pellets?
They Do Not Shine
The simplest way to test if wood pellets are still good is to look at them. Wood pellets that have been made properly have a shiny surface that is also smooth. Bad wood pellets are dull and may have cracks.
Video: Wood Pellet Care Tips
Although wood pellets can go bad, it only happens if they are not stored properly or are not made of high quality. So long as you buy high-quality wood pellets and store them in a sealed container, away from heat and humidity, your wood pellets should last for years.
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