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Traeger grills are wood-fired smokers, meaning that they use wood pellets as a fuel source to cook your food. The pellets are fairly temperamental and need to be stored in the correct manner to extend their lifespan.
This article will take you through all you need to know about Traeger pellets and how to store them in your pellet grill. We also give you some advice on how to know when the pellets have gone bad and will need to be replaced.
How Long Will a 20-Pound Bag of Traeger Pellets Last?
A 20-pound bag of wood pellets will set you back around $19 at most hardware stores. It is important to know how long each bag will last you to ensure you are not caught short mid-grilling.
The length of time the pellets last will depend on the heat settings of your grill. At higher temperatures, the grill will burn through pellets faster and will require topping up more often.
On average, you should assume your grill will combust between 1 and 3 pounds of pellets each hour. This means that a 20-pound bag should be expected to last between 6 and 20 hours.
Traeger pellets tend to last for a slightly shorter time than other wood pellets. This is because they contain a lot of flavored oils that make them easier to burn. This makes the pellets fluffier in texture but means that they are more susceptible to absorbing atmospheric moisture and disintegrating as a result.
What Happens If My Traeger Grill Runs Out of Pellets While Grilling?
Nothing too awful will happen if your grill runs out of pellets while grilling. If the auger is completely empty then the grill may turn off and you will notice a clear and sudden drop in the internal temperature.
Can You Leave Excess Pellets in Your Traeger Grill?
You can, however, we strongly advise against doing this for extended periods of time. The auger is not completely waterproof and can allow moisture to seep in, entering the wood pellets, especially if you don’t cover your grill.
This exposes them to the elements and can cause them to rot. Wood pellets tend to have a moisture content of below 10%, which means that they are always on the lookout for moisture to absorb. As soon as the moisture content increases, the effectiveness of the pellets rapidly begins to decline.
If you are going to be leaving your Traeger grill unused for more than a week we strongly recommend emptying out the pellets before you switch it off. If you are planning on storing the grill in your shed during the summer months for short periods, you may be okay with leaving the pellets in the hopper.
Temperature and humidity fluctuations will impact the pellets, particularly if they are left inside the Traeger. These environmental changes can cause the pellets to become softer, and reduce the ease with which they burn.
How Do You Stop Wood Pellets from Going Bad?
Like we have already mentioned, reducing the moisture that comes into contact with the pellets is the best way to do this. If you do not have a bucket with a sealable lid or a bag of pellets with a resealable tab, you may wish to use cable ties to secure the bag closed.
If you notice any holes in the material of the bag, you should cover these up with duct or electrical tape.
Wood pellets are deceptively delicate and can be easily damaged through rough handling. You should take care to move your pellets around delicately and without excess force. This will prevent the pellets from crashing into one another and disintegrating due to the impact. This also reduces the chances of tears or splits appearing in the bag.
How Long Will Traeger Pellets Last Before Going Bad?
This all depends on how much effort you put into suitable storage solutions. In the correct conditions, the pellets can last for months, sometimes even years. The most important factor to consider when storing wood pellets is atmospheric moisture. The more you can reduce this, the longer your pellets will last.
The best way to store your pellets is indoors, in a dry environment with a stable temperature. An optimal storage solution is to decant the pellets into a 5-gallon bucket with a sealable lid. Decanting your pellets is especially important during the hotter and more humid months of the summer.
You should never leave the pellets in the original bag for storage, especially if the bag is not resealable. This is not a waterproof material and can allow moisture particles from the air to seep inside and dampen the pellets.
How Do You Tell If Traeger Pellets Have Gone Bad?
Wood pellets are essentially highly compressed pieces of sawdust, bound together with an adhesive compound. If moisture is allowed to enter the pellets then the sawdust particles will expand, pulling apart the adhesive and leaving a huge mess. The pellets are likely to have lost a lot of their shape and appear quite fluffy.
There are a few simple tests that you can carry out to check whether your pellets have gone bad. The first is to drop a pellet into a glass of water. If it sinks to the bottom then the pellet has been produced under a lot of compressions, meaning that they have a high density. This suggests that the pellet has not gone bad.
Do not use too many to perform this test, as the pellets will instantly begin to absorb the water and become unusable.
Another simple test is to try and snap the pellet across the center. If the pellet is still usable it should snap into 2 clean sections with an audible snapping sound. If the pellet crumbles then it is not good to use.
You can visually tell the quality of your pellets too. Look at the outer surface. Is it shiny and relatively smooth, with very few cracks? This is an indication of a high-quality pellet that is durable.