How Many Pellets Do Pellet Grills Use?

Pellet grills are a more cost-effective option when compared to other types of grilling. With that being said, how many pellets do pellet grills use?

A typical pellet grill uses between a ½ pound and 1 pound of pellets per hour on the smoke setting and between 2 ½ pounds to 3 pounds per hour on the high setting. 

How Much Does It Cost To Cook With A Pellet Grill?

The number of pellets you use is dependent upon the weather outside. If it is colder or windy, you may need more pellets to sustain the same amount of heat on a calm, warm day.

Let’s say that the weather is optimal for cooking on a warm, calm day. If you are burning about one pound per hour, it costs you around $0.76 per hour to cook using wooden pellets.

This means that a twenty-pound bag of pellets will last you about 20 hours using the smoke function and about 6 hours if you are cooking on high.

How Does The Cost of A Pellet Grill Compare To Other Types of Grilling?

Grill Type

Cost per Hour of Cooking

Pellet Grill $0.76
Charcoal Grill $2.85
Gas Grill $1.20
Electric Grill $0.26

Cooking for one hour with charcoal costs around $2.85. An hour of cooking with a gas grill is about $1.20. Both of these are considerably higher than using a pound of pellets for cooking.

Electric grills are cheaper than pellet grills; however, at about $0.26 per hour. With this being said, electric grills lack the flavor that pellet grills provide.

Do Wood Pellets Expire?

If you’re considering buying in bulk and are not an avid griller, you may be wondering how long the pellets will last?

If properly stored, wood pellets can last forever. However, if exposed to environmental elements such as moisture, they can go bad.

It is recommended you store your wood pellets in a dry, cool place that is safe from the possibility of getting wet in any way. By doing this, you can save yourself time and buy a big bag that will last you a long time rather than taking multiple trips to the store each time you want to buy pellets.

What Different Types of Pellets Can I Get For My Grill?

There are an array of options when it comes to choosing which food-grade pellet to use in your grill. It is important to consider what you will be grilling and the type of flavor you are going for.

Here is a list of a few different pellets and what they work best with.

Type of Pellet


What to Grill

Mesquite Strong Earthy Poultry, Beef
Oak Heavy Smoke Beef, Seafood, Baking
Apple Slightly Sweet, Fruity Poultry, Pork, Baking, Veggies
Cherry Slightly Sweet, Fruity Poultry, Pork, Seafood, Baking, Veggies
Hickory Bacon-like Flavor Beef, Poultry, Pork
Alder Hint of Sweetness Poultry, Pork, Seafood

You can also purchase blends of different wood pellets to achieve a mix of flavors. Try out different pellets until you find what works best for your taste pallet.

Do All Types Of Pellets Cost The Same?

Not all pellets cost the same. Cost is determined by:

  • Brand
  • Type of Wood
  • Purchase location

There is a multitude of brands to choose from when it comes to food-grade wood pellets. Names like Bear Mountain and Pit Boss are trendy.

Dependent on the brand, costs may vary slightly but not usually by much. Often, buying in bulk can save you some money.

Prices also vary slightly depending upon the type of wood you are buying, but it is not by much. Try purchasing from bigger name-brand stores like Lowes to get cheaper options. Amazon Prime is also a great place to find lower-priced wood pellets.

Be sure that when you find a good price that it is food-grade wooden pellets and not just wood pellets. It is best to be safe and know that the pellets you are using haven’t been mixed with toxic wood finishings or other cheap woods that may ruin your flavor or poison you.

Are Pellets Good For Grilling?

Not only are pellets cost-effective, have a long shelf life, and come in various flavors, they also produce a great smokey flavor in your food. Choose between a variety of types to get the exact flavor you desire through an easy grilling experience.

Further Reading: Do You Soak Wood Pellets Before Using Them In Pellet Grills?

Video: Thinking of Buying a Pellet Grill? Watch This Comparison First

Jack Dempsey