Can You Use Wood Pellets in a Charcoal Grill

Different perks of summer include outdoor activities such as quality time gathering with family and friends, and the barbeque goes hand in hand with many of these summer activities. For smokey flavour you can use wood pellets in a charcoal grill.

Although the trend of smoking food has been popular for years, it is one of the most primitive ways of grilling barbeque dishes. Different fuel sources are available on the market for smoking food, and the fuels you use in your grill impact the taste and smell of the food you cook.

Today, advanced smoking grills are manufactured for the best barbeque experience. Thanks to rapidly advancing technology, these grills allow you to utilize wood pellets for cooking smoky flavored, tender meats.

However, can you use wood pellets in a charcoal grill? In short, the answer is yes. Using wood pellets in a charcoal grill can make your meat way tastier. Furthermore, wood pellets have a range of benefits, making them an excellent addition.

What Are Wood Pellets?

Before diving into the details, let us walk you through wood pellets. Some of you might be familiar with them, but wood pellets are the most common type of pellet fuel.

They are fine wood particles obtained by pressurizing or compressing energy crops, wood chips, sawdust, and hardwood shavings.

Manufacturing the pellets utilizes lignin, a natural wood component, to generate fine wood rods. They are usually used as fuel in cooking and for industrial applications.

Using Wood Pellets in a Charcoal Grill

If you have been wondering if you can use wood pellets in a charcoal grill, then the answer is yes. Not only are they compatible with charcoal grills, but wood pellets also have many benefits in terms of practicality and accessibility.

Mixing sufficient wood pellets in your charcoal grill is generally a good choice. This will allow you to get an enriched flavor and aroma in the food you want to grill.

Some wood pellets, known as barbeque pellets, are specifically designed for grilling food. Moreover, the popularity of barbeque pellets is increasing day by day.

Why Are Wood Pellets a Good Option?

Adding wood pellets to charcoal the right way can yield amazing results compared to other fuels. Apart from flavor, some advantages come in handy, which are mentioned below.

1.   Efficiency

Wood pellets added to charcoal can facilitate heat production, using up to 90% of the energy and quickly generating enough heat. This energy, in turn, makes the cooking process way faster than with other fuels like charcoal, gas, or petroleum.

2.   Cleanliness

One of the good reasons you want to add pellets is that they are less messy and easy to deal with. While burning these pellets, only one percent of ash is generated in total. Hence, the grill is easy to clean without getting your hands too dirty.

3.   Environmentally Friendly

Using pellets is eco-friendly as they are free of all the toxic chemicals that can harm the environment. Pellets are nothing but remnants of wood components. In addition, pellets generate less carbon monoxide as compared to other common fuels. Carbon monoxide is a toxic chemical that can cause suffocation.

4.   Temperature

While cooking the food, you must maintain an ideal temperature to ensure that you have cooked it thoroughly and that the flavor is good. The wood pellets can easily achieve the required consistency. Alternatively, temperature control can be challenging while using other fuels or coal.

5.   Flavor

Wood pellets bring out a unique aroma and taste to the meat, which is the main reason why adding wood pellets to charcoal grills is popular. Consequently, the amount of flavor and aroma the wood pellets create is unparalleled.

How to Use Wood Pellets in a Charcoal Grill

Now, how can you use wood pellets in a charcoal grill? You have to remember that wood pellets are not the primary fuel source here; they are just added in minute amounts to get a rich smoky flavor and taste in your food. This is a short, stepwise process of using wood pellets with charcoal.

  1. Light up the charcoal fire like you do it usually.
  2. Wait until it catches heat, and the fire is ready to cook.
  3. Move the charcoal to the cooking chamber and spread a thin, even layer of barbeque pellets over it.
  4. Wait for the pellets to heat up. Once you are satisfied with the temperature, replace the grill grate and start cooking. If you need to add more pellets, keep mixing gradually into the mixing chamber. Adding too many all at once could result in clumps.

Tips and Tricks

  • Temperature control is vital while adding pellets. Do not add pellets if you notice your charcoal is burning out.
  • If you add more pellets before the old ones have burned completely, you will not achieve the desired results.
  • Adding pellets in a large quantity at once will never generate more smoke. Instead, it will lead to flare-ups.

How to Get the Best Wood Pellets for Your Grill

Next, you should be concerned about what wood pellet you should get. There are plenty of wood pellets available on the market. How would you know which one is the right choice for you?

That depends upon what kind of stuff you want to grill, to be honest. So, what we can do is provide you with a general guideline. Make sure you take care of the below-mentioned tips while you go to the market to get the wood pellets.

  1. If you want to get pellets for barbeque, make sure you are getting barbeque pellets instead of regular heating wood pellets.
  2. Keep in mind that the pellets you are getting are environmentally friendly.
  3. Check the reliability of storing wood pellets.
  4. Get mild pellets with the pellets in case they produce a more robust flavor.
  5. Along with all that, you also need to ensure that you have the best grill for the best cooking experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.   Which wood pellets produce the most smoke?

The hardwood pellets produce the most smoke, and the smoke they generate is pretty intense. Therefore, you should be careful not to add too much initially.

2.   Should you soak wood pellets before burning them?

Soaking the pellets is not a good idea as you can use them easily when they are dry and produce sterile smoke.

3.   What are the different types of wood pellets?

Wood pellets are of two types based on density and concentration. The first of which is hardwood pellets, which have a higher density and, thus, a longer burning time.

Softwood pellets, on the other hand, contain lignin in abundance. Based on usage, wood pellets may also be classified as barbeque and heating pellets.


Mixing a pinch of wood pellets into a charcoal grill is an excellent choice for obvious benefits. Many barbeque lovers use this technique for a rich smoky flavor and evenly cooked food.

Once you are into this, you can try varying the amounts of pellets by hit and trial to create your desired flavor and aroma. You can also try different types of pellets to find the one that is best suited to your taste and needs.

Written By


Hi there, I'm Greg (also known as Herbie) and like most Aussies enjoy a good BBQ. I want to share with you some tips and recipes, along with gear that I like, to help you with your backyard barbecue and grilling hobbie.Anyway, have a look around and let me know what you think and happy BBQing. Cheers Herbie.

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