How Long Do Wood Pellets Burn For?

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As pellet grills are becoming increasingly popular, more and more people are looking at the large variety of wood pellets available and wondering which ones they should buy.

An important thing to think about is how long the wood pellets will burn for, which ultimately affects how long they will last for you.

How long wood pellets will burn depends on many factors, including your pellet grill, the weather, the quantity of the wood pellets, and certain wood pellets’ qualities, such as how much wood is actually in them. Generally, a forty-pound bag will burn for about twenty-four hours.

Keep reading to learn more about how long wood pellets burn, as well as the different factors that affect how long wood pellets will last.

Which Factors Affect How Long Wood Pellets Burn?

Although most wood pellets will have a burn rate listed on the bag they come in, these can be generous, and the burn rate is affected by factors that these listed rates may not account for.

The following factors must be considered when trying to figure out how long wood pellets last:

1. Pellet Grill Type

Insulated pellet grills use up fewer wood pellets, as the covers do an excellent job of keeping the heat in to cook your food. Since this insulation method provides a lot of extra heat, your wood pellets will not have to burn as long as they usually would, making them last longer.

2. Weather Conditions

In colder weather, especially in locations where it tends to be cold for most of the year, your pellet grill will typically have to burn wood pellets for longer, as well as more of them, to create enough heat to cook your food properly.

However, in warmer areas, less heat will have to be generated by your pellet grill, so it will not burn so many wood pellets for so long.

Further Reading: Do Wood Pellets Go Bad?

3. Wood Density

Wood pellets that have a lot of wood in them will burn for longer, and these are more durable than the fluffier pellets with less wood in them. How much wood density that wood pellets have depends on what the brand prioritizes: durability or extra flavor.

While the pellets with more wood, again, are longer lasting, the fluffier ones are meant to provide extra flavors for your food. It would be best if you bought the former for a better burn rate.

4. Oils in Wood Pellets

Some of the cheaper wood pellets also have oils to account for the lack of wood and enhance flavor. These oils make the wood pellets burn faster so that your pellet grill can keep your food’s temperature consistent.

Further Reading: Camp Chef Pellets Review

5. Heat Needed for Cooking

Burn rates are calculated for the average temperature that most foods need to be cooked, usually somewhere in the middle. If you tend to cook at a higher temperature, your wood pellets will burn faster, but they will burn slower if you cook at lower temperatures.

6. Bulk Wood Pellets

A standard bag of wood pellets is about forty pounds. Many pellet grills require at least seventy-five pounds worth of wood pellets at one time to heat food as best as they can.

Forty pounds of wood pellets will typically last for twenty-four hours, and seventy-five pounds will usually last for closer to forty hours.

Again, these rates are affected by the other factors listed here. However, most pellet grill users recommend buying wood pellets in bulk for better burn rates.

Try These Long Lasting Pelletsicon

How Long Does A Bag Of Wood Pellets Last In Your Pellet Grill?

Depending on the type and brand of wood pellet you are using, along with the settings on your pellet grill, the burn rates can vary a great deal.

However, you can expect your pellet grill to use about one pound to three pounds of pellets per hour.

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That said, below, we have provided a few standard burn rates along with some more specific information for some of the top wood pellet brands like Traeger and Pit Boss.

How Long Will A 40 lb Bag Of Wood Pellets Burn?

A 40 lb bag of wood pellets can burn for about 24 hours on average and should provide good smoke.

As always, the temperature setting of the grill and weather can affect the burn rate, so always have more pellets on hand if the pellets are burning faster than typical.

How Long Does 20 lbs Of Wood Pellets Last?

20 lbs of wood pellets should last about 10-12 hours on average.

Things like smoke settings, weather, and temperature can affect the burn rate, so plan accordingly when preparing for long smoke sessions.

How Long Does A Bag Of Traeger Pellets Last?

Traeger notes that their pellet grills burn about 1 pound of pellets per hour when cooking low and slow.

When using a higher temperature for faster cooks, they can burn up to 3 pounds per hour.

Add to this, frigid temperatures can increase the burn rate. However, my experience has shown those numbers to be reasonable.

How Long Does A 20 lb Bag Of Traeger Pellets Last?

A 20 lb bag of Traeger pellets will last between 6-20 hours, depending on your smoke settings.

See below for burn rates at different settings.

How Long Does A 40 lb Bag Of Traeger Pellets Last?

Depending on your smoke settings, a 40 lb bag of Traeger pellets will last between 13-40 hours.

See below for burn rates at different settings.

Traeger Pellet Burn Rate: How Fast Do Traeger Pellets Burn

A good rule of thumb is:

  • Low/Slow = 1 pounds/hr
  • Hot/Fast = 3 pounds/hr

How Long Does A Bag Of Pit Boss Pellets Last?

Pit Boss, just like Traeger, notes that their pellet grills will burn about 1 pound of pellets per hour when cooking low and slow.

When using a higher temperature for faster cooks, they can burn up to 3 pounds per hour.

Add to this in frigid temperatures; the burn rate can increase. However, my experience has shown those numbers to be reasonable.

How Long Does A 20 lb Bag Of Pit Boss Pellets Last?

A 20 lb bag of Traeger pellets will last between 6-20 hours, depending on your smoke settings.

See below for burn rates at different settings.

How Long Does A 40 lb Bag Of Pit Boss Pellets Last?

Depending on your smoke settings, a 40 lb bag of Traeger pellets will last between 13-40 hours.

See below for burn rates at different settings.

Traeger Pellet Burn Rate: How Fast Do Traeger Pellets Burn?

A good rule of thumb is:

  • Low/Slow = 1 pounds/hr
  • Hot/Fast = 3 pounds/hr

Video: How Long Will A Bag Of Pellets Burn For [Test]

Final Thoughts

If you would rather have wood pellets that burn for longer than wood pellets that enhance flavor, you need to consider several factors.

The weather where you live, the number of wood pellets you want to buy, what kind of pellet grill you have, the wood density of the pellets, whether or not the pellets have oil in them, and how much heat you typically need to cook all affect how long wood pellets will burn.

In general, a standard, forty-pound bag of wood pellets will burn for twenty-four hours, and a seventy-five-pound bag will burn for forty hours. Wood pellets that claim to burn about one pound an hour are more durable than brands that burn closer to three pounds an hour.

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