Can You Use Pellets In An Electric Smoker? A Detailed Explanation

A perfectly grilled dish needs to be accompanied by a distinctive smoky flavor for BBQ enthusiasts. The smoker is the most suitable support tool in this case. However, instead of wood chips, many people want to use pellets.

Can you use pellets in a wood chip smoker? Absolutely! Many electric fume hoods are compatible with wood pellets. This fuel gives a rich, smoky flavor that permeates your dishes.

If you want to learn more about this popular smoking fuel, you should read on with Sunset Bar and Grill!

Wood Chips Vs. Pellets

Both wood chips and pellets are extremely popular and affordable smoky baking fuels. Even so, they still have differences that you need to be aware of. Let’s explore their characteristics, along with the pros and cons.

Wooden chips

Wooden chips


The primary raw material of both these fuels is hardwood. However, their appearance is different.

Wood chips are small pieces of wood that are evenly chopped, one to two inches in size. In contrast, pellets are softwood smoothed into sawdust to be pressed into small cylindrical pills.


The flavor of these fuels comes mainly from the type of wood you use. A few common kinds of wood include oak, pecan, or hickory. Choose the suitable timber based on your preferences or the type of food you are grilling.

Today, there are many different strengths, styles, and materials of such woods. You can search and refer to make the final decision.

Usage Convenience

Tablets burn more slowly than chips and give the user more effective temperature control. This factor means that wood chips are harder to use as you have to manage them, so they don’t burn too quickly.

Many people talk about soaking wood in water before putting it in the oven to cause it to burn. The truth is that the lack of oxygen is the leading cause of this problem. It would help if you used oxygen-limited fume hoods to ensure a smooth process.


Both of these fuels are priced quite similarly to each other. Depending on your needs, you can make the right choice.

Can You Use Pellets In An Electric Smoker?

Can you use pellets in an electric smoker

Electric smokehouse

Branded electric smokers often recommend using wood chips to smoke. However, sometimes there are unexpected situations when you can use large sacks of tablets.

This question received a lot of fierce debate and many different kinds of opinions. Some people advise against doing so, while others fully support it.

Basically, you can still use wood pills in smoke generators without fear of damaging them. The only caveats that you should be aware of are the differences between the two types of products.

The dense texture of the tablets allows them to withstand higher temperatures. Pellet toasters with a heating element are suitable for pills like these.

Electric fumigation trays usually have a lower temperature. Insufficient heat can burn the product and not achieve the desired effect. Even so, you can do a few tricks to increase the heat as needed.

Some hybrid smoker brands like Bradley have their own heating element. They also added compressed sawdust tanks for refueling.

>>> Read also: Best Electric Smoker Grill Combo For Every Budget Of 2022

Tips For Using Pellets In An Electric Smoker

Wood stove heating

Wood stove heating

Before you start using sawdust tablets for electric smokers, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. It will make it much more straightforward, faster, and easier to use.

  • Instead of filling the tray, you should put a few tablets in at once. Since they will burn at a higher temperature, a pre-test is required.
  • Spread the surface evenly to reduce density and allow them to ignite better. Each time you add fuel, only add a small amount and observe the situation.
  • You should use the pellets as wood chips, but don’t soak them in water.
  • Cold smoking will be more appropriate than hot smoking. Watch the smoking process carefully.
  • Place several pills in a tin foil package and poke a few holes to control the smoke.
  • Store the tablets in a dry place. If they become moldy, the fuel will quickly turn into a paste.
  • It would be best if you choose suitable tablets according to the brand of the smoker. Popular brands include BBQrs Delight, Traeger, Louisiana Grills, and CookinPellets.
  • Different types of wood give off other flavors. Please read carefully before making a decision.

Smoker Brands That Are Not Pellet-Compatible

Although most smoker brands can use wood pills, there are some exceptions. You need to pay attention to this issue because it affects the manufacturer’s warranty policy.

Masterbuilt smokers

Masterbuilt smokers


Masterbuilt is one of the most famous and quality smokers on the market. However, most of its products are recommended for use with wood chips. These include electric fume hoods, propane, and refrigeration accessories.

Masterbuilt only recommends tablets with specialized pellet smokers. However, many consumers’ opinions claim that the use of tablets with an electric smoker brings a positive effect.

If you want to experiment, use a quarter cup of smoking pills every four hours. However, it may void your product warranty.


Pit-Boss also does not recommend that customers use the tablets with electrical devices. However, many reviews and customer experiences say they have been successful. If you are curious, try it and make your comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions regarding electric smokers and pills, please find the answers below.

Wood chip pellet

Wood chip pellet

Can You Use Pellets Instead Of Wood Chips? 

Yes, you can.

Compared with wood chips, pills create a higher temperature environment. This fuel also burns more slowly, resulting in more significant cost savings. Thanks to their unique structure, these types of tablets also rarely accumulate ash.

Those who want to control the stove’s temperature can benefit from this slow and long-burning process.

Can You Use Pellets In A Non-Pellet Smoker?

You can completely use it without any worries. Several types of wood pellets are suitable for many different ovens. You don’t have to own a wood pellet grill to enjoy the delicious smoky flavor.

What Pellets Are For An Electric Smoker?

The primary material of the wood pills is hardwood. However, instead of chopping them, manufacturers grind them into fine sawdust and press them into small cylindrical pellets.

Commonly used woods are oak, cherry, pecan, mesquite, and hickory.

Not all pills are the same. If you choose materials from a trusted brand, their quality will be better. You need to choose carefully as it will affect the smoking process of your baked goods.

Some brands of ovens have burners for their products. You can buy and experience. Each type of wood will have a different flavor and suit various dishes.

Can You Use Wood Pellets In A Smoker?

A little trick that not every BBQ enthusiast knows is to use pellets for both the charcoal grill and smoked for flavor.

Using this fuel is also extremely easy. Wait until the white ash has wholly covered your coals and the heat is hot, even to add fuel to the coals.

What Can You Use Instead Of Wood Pellets?

Pellet fuel provides heat without requiring you to chop wood. Using them is very easy and convenient. You can usually buy them at grill fuel dealers.

However, if you are in a hurry and your local store is out of stock, look for alternatives. These include:

  • Wheat pills.
  • Cherry pits.
  • Corn.
  • Sugar beet pulp pellets.
  • Soybeans.

Final Thoughts

The use of wood pills will not damage your smokers. Although you need to be careful about fuel usage since it’s not the same as wood chips, the results are usually pretty good.

You need to note that products from the two brands, Masterbuilt and Pit Boss, do not recommend the use of tablets for burning. The choice of the product also depends a lot on the brand.

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