How to Store Wood Pellets for a Pellet Grill?

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If you have a pellet grill and you love smoking meat, you are probably going through some pellets, since it does take quite a few pellets to smoke meats like brisket and whole chicken. Sure, most of those pellets go into the hopper and get burned up, but there’s always leftover pellets in the bag, and you might not be sure what to do with those. So the question we will be covering in this post is how to store wood pellets properly.

You might think they’re okay just staying in the bag they came in, parked in the corner of your garage or shed, but that’s not the case. Optimal storage of those remaining wood pellets is required to maintain their quality and prevent deterioration.

How to store wood pellets

In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about wood pellet storage, such as whether or not they go bad, how to properly store them, the best storage containers, and more.

Do Wood Pellets Go Bad?

Wood pellets are manufactured from compressed sawdust and other wood waste, making them porous to moisture. They can expand and become difficult to burn if exposed to heavy dampness. As a result, appropriate storage is critical to avoid spoiling.

But do they deteriorate over time? The simple answer is no. Wood pellets do not degrade or expire, although their quality can decrease over time if not appropriately maintained.

Wood pellets can be stored in a cold, dry environment for years without losing quality. Exposure to moisture, sunshine, and heat, on the other hand, can cause them to degrade faster and lose their capacity to burn efficiently.

The easiest method to avoid this is to keep them in an appropriate container and under the proper conditions.

What Pellets to Use for the Smoker?

You’ll also need pellets for your smoker, if you’ve got a pellet grill like we do. Pellets come in many different types that you can choose from. I like to use hickory wood, or cherry wood pellets for mine. They also have a bourbon wood pellet that’s very good. My friend Todd swears by the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey pellets.

Can Pellets Be Left in the Hopper?

A hopper in many pellet stoves and boilers may contain many days’ worth of wood pellets. This allows homeowners to replenish the hopper as needed and avoid running out of fuel during the day or evening. However, leaving pellets in the hopper for a lengthy period of time can cause issues.

If the hopper is exposed to moisture or humidity, for example, the pellets may absorb the moisture and become stuck in the auger, which transports the pellets to the burn pot. This might cause the stove or boiler to shut down and necessitate cleaning, which can be both time-consuming and expensive.

It’s recommended to keep pellets in the hopper for no more than a few days. If you’re going to be gone for a lengthy amount of time, use up all the pellets in the hopper and turn off the stove or boiler until you return.

Smoker pellet hopper

6 Tips for Effective Wood Pellet Storage

Wood pellets must be stored properly to maintain their quality and avoid deterioration. These are six actions you may take to properly keep them:

Step 1: Choose an Appropriate Container

The first step in proper wood pellet storage is to select the appropriate container. Plastic bags, cardboard boxes, and bulk storage containers are just a few of the alternatives.

The ideal option, though, is an airtight plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. These containers are long-lasting and reusable, and they keep the pellets dry and free of moisture.

Step 2: Store in a Dry Location

Wood pellets are highly absorbent and can absorb moisture from the air quickly. It is critical to preserve them in a dry environment to avoid this. Avoid keeping them in damp basements, garages, or outside sheds where humidity and moisture might accumulate. Choose a cold, dry location, such as a utility room, closet, or storage area.

Step 3: Keep Them Out of Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can cause wood pellets to heat up and degrade more quickly, lowering their quality and efficacy. To avoid this, keep the pellets in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If storing them outside, consider a sheltered and weather-protected place.

Smoker pellets

Step 4: Maintain Their Elevation

Placing wood pellets on the floor may result in moisture absorption and deterioration. Instead, place them on a pallet or shelf to increase airflow and keep moisture out.

Step 5: Make Use of a Dehumidifier

If you live in a high-humidity area, consider installing a dehumidifier in the storage area to keep the air dry and moisture from accumulating. This can help to keep wood pellets in good condition and extend their shelf life.

Step 6: Look for Spoilage Indications

Wood pellets can decay over time, even when properly stored. Regularly inspect the pellets for symptoms of deterioration, such as clumping, discolouration, or a musty stench. If you experience any of these symptoms, throw away the pellets and replace them with new ones.

Pellets in a bucket

The Most Effective Storage Containers

As previously stated, an airtight plastic container with a tight-fitting lid is the finest form of container for storing wood pellets. These containers are long-lasting and reusable, and they keep the pellets dry and free of moisture.

They are available in a variety of sizes, allowing you to select one that best suits your needs and the number of pellets you need to store.

Aside from plastic containers, bulk storage containers such as hopper bottom bins, silos, or even a dedicated wood pellet storage shed can be used. These containers are intended to handle huge amounts of wood pellets and can be utilized in commercial or industrial settings.

Pellet Storage Containers

What are the Best Conditions For Storing Pellets?

Wood pellets should be stored in a cool, dry location with low humidity and away from direct sunlight. The storage area should ideally be between 40°F and 50°F, with humidity levels below 50%. This will assist to avoid moisture buildup and keep the wood pellets in good condition.

If you reside in a location with high humidity or extreme temperatures, such as hot summers or frigid winters, special precautions must be taken when storing wood pellets.

To keep the air dry and prevent moisture development in the storage room, consider utilizing a dehumidifier or air conditioning. In really cold conditions, keep the pellets above freezing to keep them from freezing and becoming difficult to burn.

Z grills pellet grill

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do wood pellets last?

Wood pellets can be kept properly for years. But, their quality might decline over time, so it’s critical to inspect them for symptoms of spoiling on a frequent basis.

Is it possible to store wood pellets outside?

Yes, wood pellets can be stored outside, but they must be kept in a shaded area away from the elements, direct sunshine, and dampness.

How can I tell if my wood pellets have gone bad?

Bad wood pellets may contain clumping, discolouration, or a musty odor. If you notice any of these indicators, throw them away and replace them with new ones.

Is it possible to store wood pellets in a cardboard box?

Because they are not airtight and can enable moisture to sneak through, cardboard boxes are not ideal for storing wood pellets. It is ideal to use an airtight plastic container with a secure lid.

Can I mix various types of wood pellets?

Mixing different types of wood pellets is typically not suggested because they may have varied burn characteristics and may impact the performance of your stove or boiler.

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