The Dos and Don’ts of Pellet Storage
DO: Store your pellets in a dry place
Moisture is wood’s worst enemy and wood pellets are no different. Dampness can affect the burn quality of wood, which affects the amount of smoke the pellets can produce. And if you’re smoking, this can be a disaster. Damp pellets can also throw off temperature or just not ignite at all, so it’s best to store your pellets indoors or in a dry area where they can’t be affected by moist air.
DON’T: Leave your pellets in the original bag it came in
Even if you are storing your pellets indoors, there can still be moisture in the air, so it’s best to buy a 5-gallon bucket with a sealable lid and store your pellets in there. This will ensure the pellets are being kept in a cool, dry area and prolong their freshness.
DO: Examine and test a few pellets before loading them into the hopper
Examination and testing are super easy. Are the pellets nice and shiny? Do the pellets “snap” when you break them in half? If you’re answer is yes to both then your pellets are still nice and fresh and should be good to go. If not, it may be time to consider replacing them for some new pellets.
DON’T: Store them near heat or flames
Wood pellets are extremely flammable and should be used and stored with caution. If you are storing your pellets in a garage, be sure it is away from areas that can be exposed to high heat such as your cars or the water heater. Even if you bought new pellets and still have them sealed in a bag, they can still ignite if exposed to extreme heat or a flame.
DO: Empty your hopper after using your grill (if you live in a humid climate)
Leaving unused pellets in your hopper in a humid climate can expose them to moisture. If this happens, they will expand and could cause an auger jam. Most Pit Boss Grills have a hopper clean-out feature which allows for easy cleaning and swapping pellet flavors. Emptying your hopper after each cook and storing the leftover pellets in a secure device like sealed bucket can ensure your pellets last longer.
It is also extremely important to perform a “burn off” after each cook to clear your Pit Boss auger as well. Performing a burn off is simple.
- Turn the temperature dial to 177°C / 350°F and close the lid. Let your grill run for 5 to 10 minutes to go through its normal cleaning method. If you have been preparing foods that are extra greasy, allow the grill to burn off for an extra 10 to 20 minutes. This will reduce the chance of causing a grease fire for the next start-up
- Once the grill burn-off is complete, keep the lid closed and turn the temperature dial down to 93°C / 200°F for 5 minutes to allow any pellets to burn out.
- After 5 minutes, with the lid remaining closed, turn the temperature dial to OFF. The grill will begin its automatic cooldown cycle. The auger system will stop feeding fuel, the flame will burn out, and the fan will continue to run until the cool-down cycle is complete.
- Once cool down is complete, be sure to use a shop vac to clean your burn plate of ash.
Time for new pellets?
If you read this article and think it may be time to order new pellets and start storing them the right way, visit our fuel shop where you can choose from a variety of our high-quality hardwood pellets.