Can I Use Pellets in My Electric Smoker?


Whether you just got your hands on a new electric smoker, or have been using one for a while, we’re sure that by now you have already wondered whether you can use smoke pellets in it or not.

The answer is yes!

Everyone that uses a smoker wants only one result – juicy and tender meat with a rich smoky flavor and texture.

Wood Pellets for Smoking

While for most part, your electric smoker will ensure that result. And for that we all know that smokers need the help of wood of some sort to give your food the thick smoke you want.

Smoke pellets are not only safe, but also a great wood choice to use in your smoke pellet electric smoker.

To further explain why we recommend the use of smoke pellets in electric smokers, we compiled this article for you!

Why Use Pellets in an Electric Smoker?

Electric smokers paired with wood smoke pellets will give you the most convenient way to smoke your food easily.

Wood pellets are known to burn at much higher temperatures, as compared to their rival wood chips.

Our Pick

PEL319 Hickory All-Natural Hardwood Pellets by Traeger Grills

Available in Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan, and Signature Blend Flavor.

This slow burning ensures a temperature control on wood pellets that gives you a thick and heavy smoke flavor. Although they ignite rather fast and need to be monitored, using pellets ensures minimal to no fuel wastage.

This also makes the smoke pellets suitable for both cold and hot smoking.

Wood pellets can not only help give you a deep and thick smoke flavor, but also be the fuel that your smoker needs.

However, if your question sounds like ‘can you use wood pellets in wood chip smokers’, the answer would be no. Brands such as Masterbuilt have separate smokers for wood pellets and do not recommend that you use smoke pellets in their electric smokers

Also Read:

Benefits of Using Pellets in an Electric Smoker

Wood pellets are similar to wood chips in the way that they are both made of hardwood.

However, smoke pellets require additional steps to be changed into pellets.

The hardwood is first finely ground into sawdust, and then the sawdust is pressed into pellets of a cylindrical shape.

There are many benefits that smoke pellets offer, which makes them well-suited for electric smokers, the most important are mentioned below.

  • Pellets burn at high temperatures as compared to wood chips.
  • This ensures higher temperature control and lesser hassle involving fuel wastage.
  • Although cold smoking is preferred, they are suitable for both hot and cold smoking.
  • They ensure a thick, heavy, and consistent smoke flavor.
  • Different wood flavors, as well as smoke intensities, are available, as smoke pellets come in different wood types.
  • Their lifespan can be increased by storing them in a dry area.

It’s also important to know that your pellet choice itself can bring you the best benefits of using smoke pellets. For instance, we highly recommend PEL319 Hickory All-Natural Hardwood Pellets by Traeger Grills.

How to Use Pellets in an Electric Smoker

The best tip to remember when using smoke pellets is that using them is no different than using wood chips, they are both made of hardwood and there are only a few things that should be significantly considered when using pellets in electric smokers.

To further make sure that you are making the correct and intended use of smoke pellets electric smoker, we recommend that you keep the following factors in mind when using them!

  • Always buy smoke pellets made of a wood type that best compliments the flavor of your food.
  • Do not leave them unattended during usage, as they ignite rather quickly. They can produce smoke very fast.
  • Always store them in a dry space to ensure that they last long enough.
  • If you want better temperature and smoke control, place your pellets inside a tinfoil.

Wood Chips Vs. Pellets

To help you understand the pros and cons of using either product to smoke your food, we have listed all the few important things you need to know.

  • Difference in Tastes – While it’s true that both wood chips and wood pellets have different smoke flavors that come from different wood types, the end result depends on your preference.

There are different flavors and intensities of wood chips and pellets available in the market today, and your purchase depends on what you like.

  • Usage Convenience – Wood pellets burn slower than chips, which ensures higher temperature control.

This means that wood chips can be a struggle to look after since they need to be closely observed and regulated to make sure that they do not burn out too quickly.

  • Choice of Electric Smoker Brand – It is no surprise to consider that it’s best to choose wood chips over pellets, or vice versa, depending upon the brand of electric smoker that you are using.

Some electric smoker brands prefer that you use wood chips, such as Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, while others either prefer wood pellets, or simply have no preferences at all.

  • Price Difference – As long as a difference of price is concerned, both wood pellets and wood chips fall in the same price range, and hence your purchase completely depends on the flavor you seek, and the brand of electric smoker you use.

There definitely are other factors that can further help you differentiate and decide between the two products, which is why we made sure you have that information readily available as well!

Read detailed guide: Wood Chips vs Wood Pellets Comparison


In the end, we only have one additional tip for you to remember: if you are using an electric smoker brand that does not recommend using smoke pellets, you should never use them.

It’s only safe to use them in smoke pellets electric smokers.

Also remember that most electric smokers tend to specify the sizes of smoke pellets that can be used, and using any other size would ruin the smoker itself.

Wrapping it Up

It can be easily concluded that it is in fact safe to use wood pellets in your electric smokers to ensure a consistent smoke flavor.

But it is still highly recommended that you check with the electric smoker brand you are using, to see if they prefer the use of pellets in their smoker or not.

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Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled.

Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.