Can I use pellets in my electric smoker?

Last Updated on: 23rd April 2023, 01:57 am

The simple answer to this question will always be yes on all three counts.

You can definitely use pellets in an electric smoker to produce smoke, which is used to impart specific flavors on the meat being smoked.

You can choose pellets over other wood types depending on the time required for smoking.

If you are going to be cold smoking for a longer time, then it’s better to use wood chunks or logs, but if the time is short, then you can use wood pellets without any issues.

We personally use wood pellets when we want to get good quality smoke without much effort.

These are made up of sawdust, which makes them easier to ignite but they can burn quickly.

For most of the time, we prefer using wood chips for shorter-duration smoking.

These are either made up of sawdust or the wood chunks are ground finely to produce sawdust and it is pressed to give these particles a round shape known as pellets.

These are dried efficiently and don’t require much effort for ignition.

Furthermore, as a safety measure, you should consider checking your manufacturer’s manual first before burning wood pellets inside an electric smoker.

The building of electric smokers varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it’s better to follow their specific guidelines .

There are different pros and cons to using wood pellets inside an electric smoker.

You should compare these pros and cons and make a decision on your own whether you want to use them or not.

But checking the manufacturer’s manual is a must.

The pros of using wood pellets inside an electric smoker

Electric smokers are user-friendly smokers that provide the effectiveness of traditional smokers without requiring much effort.

But if these smokers are combined with wood pellets, then they can do wonders.

Here are the most common advantages of using wood pellets in electric smoker

  • Wood pellets can burn slowly if they are not exposed to direct heat.
    However, these can start burning if they are exposed to fire .
    Meanwhile, electric smokers use a heated rod as a heat source so they can keep wood pellets burning for a longer time.
  • Furthermore, because wood pellets are made up of sawdust, they don’t require much effort for ignition and are dried to perfection.
    That’s why they start producing smoke as soon as they are placed inside the smoker.
  • Despite being made up of sawdust, they can still produce enough heat to heat up the smoker to higher temperatures.
    But it can result in the quick burning of the wood pellets.
  • Finally, they provide high-quality smoke that effectively imparts flavors onto the food being smoked.
    If you want to impart the flavor of a specific wood on your meat , then using wood pellets of that wood would be an excellent choice.

The cons of using wood pellets in an electric smoker

Wood pellets are really efficient for smoking meat in an electric smoker.

But like anything, they also come with some drawbacks.

So it is better to look at both sides of the coin before making a final decision.

  • One of the major drawbacks of using wood pellets in electric smokers is that if the wood pan slides or pellets come in direct contact with the rod, they might start burning, which can lead to the start of a fire within the smoker.
  • They are a little bit more expensive than wood chips and other types of wood due to special preparation.
    While wood chips can perform a similar function at a lower cost.

How to use wood pellets in an electric smoker

Choosing the right type of wood pellets is extremely important because if you smoke meat with bad quality and pellets made from inappropriate wood, then you might end up affecting the taste of the meat.

These are the most important points that should be kept in mind while using wood pellets in an electric smoker.

  1. First of all, you should keep in mind that each wood type has a different flavor from the other and it affects the flavor that pellets impart.
    So it’s really important to first decide which wood flavor you want to get and choose pellets accordingly.
  2. After that , you should make sure that the selected wood pellets are of good quality.
    Although you may have old and decayed pellets left unused from previous smoking, you should consider buying new ones to make sure that the pellets are of high quality.
  3. When placing your pellets inside the smoker , you should be extremely careful that the higher temperature may cause the rapid burning of wood pellets rather than smoking.
    So it is better to keep the temperature low and maintain humidity to avoid such scenarios.
  4. Another trick to avoid the burning of wood pellets is to wrap the wood pellets in aluminum foil and poke some holes into it.
    It will prevent the rapid burning of pellets while allowing the pellets to keep producing smoke.
  5. After wrapping the wood pellets in foil, they will be ready to be placed inside the smoker .
    The placement inside the smoker doesn’t require much effort, and you can just place them inside the wood chips and start the process.
  6. It’s better to add a few pellets at the start to avoid over-smoking, and after that you keep adding pellets every 10-15 minutes to keep producing smoke.

What is better for smoking: pellets or chips?

It’s a hot debate topic, but in our opinion, wood pellets are better than wood chips because they usually are of good quality and provide a more consistent stream of smoke for a longer time .

While wood chips can have moisture and other drawbacks,

In addition to quality, pellets often provide better results and impart better flavor than wood chips.

As you may know, flavor comes from the smoke produced by wood.

Wood pellets produce more smoke than wood chips, which results in better flavor.

Wood chips are better in terms of controlling the temperature because wood pellets can ignite quickly, which can result in a sudden increase in temperature. so they can be used to make the smoker hotter.

A handful of wood chips can produce smoke without affecting the temperature.

Although pellets are a little bit better than wood chips, this quality comes at a cost.

As a result, pellets are slightly more expensive than wood chips, which is one of their disadvantages.

It is difficult to prepare at home, while you can create wood chips yourself without much effort.

How long do pellets last in an electric smoker?

It depends on a variety of factors, but wood pellets can typically last anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours if smoked at a lower temperature.

There are multiple factors that affect the burning of wood pellets in an electric smoker.

Some of the major ones are discussed below.

  • The most important factor that affects the burning time of wood pellets is the temperature at which the food is being smoked.
    If the temperature is higher, then wood pellets burn quickly, while at a low temperature, they can keep smoking for a longer time.
  • The quality of pellets you are using can also affect the burning time of wood pellets.
    If you are using good quality pellets, then they will last a longer time and provide better flavor.
    Old and decayed pellets will burn quicker.
  • Lastly, the humidity within the smoker is also a determinant of the burning time of pellets.
    If humidity is present within the electric smoker, then it will avoid the quick burning of pellets and make sure they last a longer time.


Yes, you can definitely use wood pellets in an electric smoker.

In fact, wood pellets burn more effectively in electric smokers because they don’t come into direct contact with fire.

You can choose between wood pellets and other wood types depending on smoking time.

Jakob miller