The importance of knowing what’s in the food we eat is obvious to all. But, knowing what our food is cooked with is also very important. One of the most common concerns people share when cooking on a BBQ or grill is the safety of the fuel they’re using.
For obvious reasons, we all want to avoid using fuels that would be considered toxic. We want to grill with peace of mind, confident that our food won’t be contaminated with substances that could cause serious illness when ingested, or if inhaled while cooking.
So, what that in mind I took a closer look at Traeger’s wood pellets. In particular, do Traeger pellets have chemicals? Here’s what I discovered:
Traeger wood pellets do not contain chemicals. In fact, Traeger pellets are made from 100% hardwood such as oak, alder, mesquite, or hickory and are free from binding agents, fillers, bark materials, and artificial additives. As a result, it could be said that Traeger not only produces state-of-the-art pellet grills but also makes high-quality, food-grade wood pellets that impart wonderful flavors to food. This means that you can use Traeger pellets to grill your food without having to worry about harmful chemicals being released.
However, if you’ve never used Traeger’s pellets before or are curious to know what’s in them, you might be a little lost. In this post, I’ll clear things up.
Table of Contents
- What Ingredients Do Traeger Pellets Contain?
- Does Traeger Flavor Their Pellets?
- How Are Traeger Pellets Made?
- Where Are Traeger Pellets Made?
- Do Traeger’s Pellets Contain Oil?
- Are Traeger Pellets Toxic?
- My Thoughts
What Ingredients Do Traeger Pellets Contain?
So, if Traeger’s pellets don’t contain any chemicals, what ingredients do they contain?
Traeger’s pellets are made from 100% natural hardwood. The hardwood is sourced directly in America. Traeger doesn’t add anything else. So you won’t find binding agents, filler, bark material, or any sort of additive in Traeger wood pellets. Here are the main types of hardwood used to make Traeger wood pellets:
However, the production process requires lubrication of the machine tools involved. Instead of using synthetic oils which would contaminate the food, Traeger uses a small amount of food-grade soybean oil. This oil is infused with natural ingredients such as different types of wood, herbs, spices, or even citrus in some of their specialty wood pellet flavors.
Does Traeger Flavor Their Pellets?
In most cases, Traeger doesn’t flavor their pellets. Their standard pellets don’t contain anything other than hardwood itself. The hardwoods Traeger uses are flavorful enough on their own and tend to release enough flavor, without the need for flavorings or additives.
However, some Traeger pellets are blended with each other, or contain a blend of different hardwoods, to create more unique flavors. Some pellets are even made with old whiskey casks or rum barrels, which gives the pellets that extra kick and excitement.
When it comes to their specialty wood pellet flavors, Traeger infuses the soybean oil that lubricates their machines with certain types of wood, herbs, species, or citrus – for added flavors that would not be naturally present in the hardwood itself. However, these flavorings are all-natural and safe for consumption.
How Are Traeger Pellets Made?
Wood pellets come in many different shapes and sizes and are used for many different things. However, when it comes to the type used in wood pellet grills, they are usually all made the same way. Most of the time, this involves first turning the different types of wood into sawdust, before pressing it into pellet molds.
As far as Traeger pellets are concerned, it’s a similar story. The wood Traeger uses, which can be both fresh and recycled, is first processed in a hammer mill. The hammer mill crushes the wood and beats it down until a dough-like substance is left over.
This dough-like state makes it much easier to control and manipulate the wood when pressing it into the pellet molds. The wood is then processed through a large press that has holes that are approximately 6 mm in diameter. During this part of the process, the wood is also heated, which helps the pellets solidify.
This enables natural binding agents to reactivate, holding the pellets together. When the pellets are set and have cooled down, dust is removed and the pellets are packaged up and distributed.
Where Are Traeger Pellets Made?
The pellets are made in five U.S. mill facilities where the different types of wood are turned into wood pellets, specially designed for use in Traeger grills.
Do Traeger’s Pellets Contain Oil?
One common question people have regarding Traeger’s pellets is whether they contain oil or not. While the main ingredient in Traeger’s wood pellets is, of course, wood, in some cases they do add a small amount of food-grade soybean oil. This doesn’t cause any problems with the pellets and is simply used to speed up the manufacturing process.
Are Traeger Pellets Toxic?
Despite not containing any chemicals, Traeger’s wood pellets may still contain toxins. Having said that, it is important to realize that they only contain the same toxins as any other fuel. While the chances of falling ill are very slim, pellets emit carbon monoxide gas when burned. Long exposure to this gas can potentially be harmful.
As a result, it is recommended that you stand away from the smoke’s direct line when cooking. This will prevent any emissions from coming your way. The good news is, even if you did inhale the smoke in small quantities (as it often happens when grilling), you most likely wouldn’t fall ill.
It would take significant exposure to carbon monoxide over hours and hours to fall ill. However, always make sure to grill in a very well-ventilated area and take all the necessary health & safety precautions when doing so.
There you have it, Traeger pellets don’t contain chemicals and are perfectly safe to use. In fact, they are a much safer option than most grill fuels.
Traeger uses no additives, binders, bark material, or fillers when making its pellets. This leaves us with a clean product that we can rely on to cook safely and produce a clean, flavorful taste.
The only thing you may have to think about slightly is your exposure to carbon monoxide, heat, and smoke. However, the chances of falling ill from the gas are very slim if you’re grilling outdoors and taking all the necessary precautions.
Now you know Traeger’s pellets are safe to use, it’s time to get your bag of pellets out and cook some tasty food for the family.