How to Store Wood Pellets?

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Last updatedLast updated: February 28, 2021
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There is no feeling greater than barbecuing with your friends and family, and when it comes to smoking food, wood pellets are an ideal choice. They are able to yield an intense smoke that can also quickly seal in natural moisture while adding a unique smoky flavor to your food. Wood pellets are natural and organic. Even when stored under ideal conditions, they can lose their properties, which is why you need to know how to store wood pellets properly. When stored in the right manner, these pellets are not only able to retain their flavor, but they are also able to last for a very long time. This storage guide will help you store your wood pellets in a correct manner so that you are able to make use of them for a longer period of time.

Can wood pellets degrade?

Wood pellets are small cylindrical pieces that are obtained from fine-ground wood bark. As is the case with wood, wood pellets are also damaged by the surrounding environment. This surrounding environment includes sunlight, air, and moisture. When it comes to moisture, it can ruin any type of wood, whether it’s large or small and cylindrical like that of a wood pellet. Any exposure to humidity or water can damage your wood pellet and results in them losing out on the flavor.

Wood pellets are also a great source of energy, as mentioned by the Washington Post. However, if left out for too long, wood pellets lose their energy efficiency. This means that you have to face challenges while trying to heat up your pellet and maintaining its temperature level.

Any moisture in your wood pellet can also ruin its quality and affect temperature control as well as the amount of smoke that you can get from the pellet. Wood pellets can rot if exposed to outdoor conditions for a long time. Degraded pellets turn soft and can result in mechanical failures in your grill. It is always wise to have the best pellet grills that ensure longer burning.

Since wood pellets can degrade quickly, proper wood pellet storage methods can help preserve them for long periods of time. You can easily distinguish a good pellet from a degraded one. A good pellet has a shine and can easily snap in half. However, if your pellets crumb easily or are dull, then you need to get new pellets like the BearMountain and store them properly using the methods described ahead.

Storing wood pellets inside

How to Store Wood Pellets?

Storing wood pellets may seem like a big task at first, but with proper wood pellet storing techniques, you will be able to prolong their usability and flavor.

After buying a bag of wood pellets, you are not supposed to simply leave them in the bag they come in. The first thing that you are supposed to do is to empty out the bag that the pellets come in and pour them into any dry container. For this purpose, use a multi-gallon plastic container such as the Kingsford Kaddy.

Before pouring the pellets inside, ensure that the container is dry on the inside so that it does not have any moisture that can damage the wood pellets. Such containers also have a rugged and waterproof design that helps them keep the wood pellets fresh and dry for long periods of time.

With a sealable lid, the containers are able to lock out moisture and make sure that they are stored in airtight conditions. You need to get a box large enough to hold a large number of wood pellets.

Wood pellets are made up of wood, which means that they are extremely flammable as well. They can be a fire hazard if stored near a hot source, which is why they need to be stored with caution. While storing your wood pellets, ensure that they are not placed near any heat source, such as your heater or fireplace. Keeping them away from such sources can help avoid any fire hazard.

Keeping wood pellets outside

If you are unable to find space for your wood pellets inside, you can easily store them outside as well. While storing wood pellets outside, make sure that they are not placed on the ground but are on an elevated surface. If placed on the ground, the moisture can easily seep inside the bag and cause damage to the wooden pellets.

If you are storing more than one bag of pellets, then you need to stack them up properly. Piling one bag on the other can put pressure on the pellets. It would not be ideal for piling up the bags.
However, if you have storage space issues, then you can pile up the bags in a criss-cross pattern. This pattern will help avoid undue stress on the pellets while also increasing the airflow between the bags. With good airflow, moisture-retaining is reduced, and there is less risk of degrading the wood pellet.

Along with this, you also need to make sure that the plastic shroud or the bag that these pellets come in, do not have any tears or holes in them. Tears and holes can expose the wood pellets to moisture and eventually damage them. Make sure that you seal such holes or tears before placing your bags outside.


Where to keep them in different seasons?

As the season changes, your storage conditions for wood pellets may also change. Each season has a different requirement, and you should consider the following for each:

Summer

No summer day goes by without having a barbeque in your background, especially if you have the best portable pellet grills. However, in summer, ensure that your wood pellets are away from any water source that can damage them. Keep the wood pellets away from pools, sprinklers, showers, and so on.

Fall

As fall arrives, the weather starts to get a little bit colder. On cold days, you rarely step outside to smoke up your food. During this time, make sure that your wood pellets are well-stored. Find a moisture-free spot for them or place them in containers to avoid any kind of damage.

Winter

With winter days come snow and moisture. During such cold weather conditions, it would be ideal for storing your wood pellets inside rather than placing them outside. Place them in a place with easy access so that you can get to them conveniently. If you are unable to find wood pellet storage space inside, then make sure that your wood pellets are covered and protected from snow or any kind of moisture. Any seepage can ultimately ruin the pellets.

Spring

As the flowers start to bloom and the sun starts to shine, you start going outdoors more and more. During this time, you may bring out your grill and prepare some smoked food. Make sure that your wooden pellets are well stored and away from spring rain that might ultimately damage them.

As the seasons change, you may change the way you use your wood pellets along with it. However, throughout the year, you need to ensure that the wood pellets are placed in an optimum condition, away from moisture. With ideal conditions and proper care, they would be able to survive prolonged periods of time.

How many seasons can they survive?

The survival time for your wood pellets largely depends on the way you store them. The exact shelf life of a wood pellet depends on the brand that you are using. If you want long-lasting wood pellets, then ensure that you get the best wood pellets. Usually, these pellets would last for 1-3 months if placed in high humidity conditions.

However, if you store your wood pellets properly, then you are able to prolong their shelf life. With proper wood pellet storage, you will be able to keep them for more than six months of use. During this time period, you need to ensure that the pellets are not exposed to any kind of moisture or humidity.

Extra tips

It will be ideal if you store your new pellets in separate containers from your old ones. You should avoid mixing them together or topping your old pellets with new ones. This can ensure that any damage to the old wood pellets does not transfer to the new ones.

Another useful tip is to label your wood pellet container. Labeling your boxes can help you stay organized and prevent you from unnecessarily opening the lid and exposing your pellets to the outside environment.

Frequently asked questions

Can I store wood pellets in a Ziploc bag?

No, you should not. Firstly, you would be unable to put large quantities of wood pellets in a Ziploc bag. Secondly, Ziploc bags are not as airtight as any container might be, which is why they are preferred over Ziploc.

Can I leave pellets in the hopper?

Leaving unused pellets in the smoker hopper will expose them to the moisture in the air. This moisture can damage the pellets and make them unusable for the next time. It is ideal for you to empty out the hopper and store the wood pellets properly before the next use.

How do I know when it is time to buy new wood pellets?

You can observe the texture of your wood pellets. If they snap easily, then your pellets are good to use. However, if they are hard to break, then this means that they have absorbed moisture, and you should replace them with new and dry wood pellets.

Final thoughts

Wood pellets are always a great choice while cooking your food. They add a unique flavor to any food that you’re smoking. However, these pellets do require some amount of care and proper storage conditions. As mentioned above, storing wood pellets is reasonably straightforward as long as you ensure that they remain moisture-free. It does not matter if you keep them inside or outside, or in any season. You simply need to make sure that proper storage needs are met. Whether it is placing them in a container or putting them at elevated heights, wooden pellets can have a prolonged shelf life if they are correctly stored.

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