Would you put fill the tank of your vehicle with substandard gas? No, I guessed not. You understand that low-quality fuel wouldn’t combust properly, could cause your vehicle to malfunction, and may even cause severe damage to your engine!
The same principle applies to the wood pellets you burn in your Traeger grill. Luckily, all you really need to worry about is keeping your Traeger pellets dry and clean. Indeed, when wood pellets get exposed to moisture in the air or soaked in the rain, they act as a sponge and absorb the humidity.
The pellets will develop issues such as crumbling, decomposing, swelling, or dullness. But, more importantly, they can cause big problems with the grill. Damp pellets can cause grill ignition failures; a poor burn; the dreaded “auger jam”; temperature fluctuations; and even grill and hopper fires. At this stage, it should be clear that keeping your pellets dry is imperative, not optional. This means understanding how to store your Traeger pellets properly.
In this guide, I will look at various Traeger pellet storage ideas. These range from the bag that they came in with a sturdy clip, to dry storage bags, from buckets to plastic containers, a pellet can, and even an ice melt dispenser. I’ll also share how long you can keep pellets in storage and how to test if they’re gone bad.
Table of Contents
- How To Store Traeger Pellets
- My Recommendation For Storing Traeger Pellets
- How Long Do Traeger Pellets Last In Storage?
- Do Traeger Pellets Expire?
- Is It Ok to Leave Pellets in Traeger?
- Tips for Making Traeger Pellets Last Longer in Storage
- How To Tell If Your Pellets Have Gone Bad?
How To Store Traeger Pellets
If you’re on a budget or want to keep things simple, get a bag clip you can trust. That should be sufficient to make do with the bag the pellets originally came in. This also saves the bother of having to pour the pellets into another container and risk spilling some on the ground in the process.
Make sure to cut the bag neatly when opening it (ideally in a corner to make pouring easy). Then roll it up and place your clip on it once you’ve filled your hopper.
You can leave the sealed bag in the garage, and the clip should keep the moisture out. However, you should still be careful with the conditions in your garage as it may be humid, and even a small cut or tear in the bag could let enough moisture in to ruin the pellets.
Get a few heavy-duty pellet dry storage bags for convenience and easy transport. These are ideal for those long summer months when most of your gear will be outdoors, and you can’t rely on the weather being sunny all the time.
Come hail, rain, or snow; you want your pellets to remain dry as a bone and ready to use. Even if the heavens open up and rain on your parade! These bags are similar to those used by kayakers, fishermen, and divers to keep their items dry when out on the water.
The bags are lightweight yet extremely sturdy and can hold up to one whole 20-pound bag of Traeger pellets inside.
A sturdy plastic bucket with a tight, moisture-proof lid is a tried-and-tested pellet storage method. A bucket will ensure that your pellets are kept dry and prevent crushing.
Buckets can come in various sizes, so make sure you choose one that can hold the quantity of pellets you want to store. For instance, a 5-gallon bucket should hold around 20 pounds of pellets, with some space to spare.
If you like to use various flavored pellets, get yourself a couple of buckets to keep your pellets separated. Buy one for each flavor, and you can easily label them to help rapidly identify what type of pellet is inside. The labels also bring a nice homemade touch that looks great when you have guests over for a barbecue.
Another advantage of buckets is that they are stackable. So, you can easily store your different types of pellets on top of each other without taking up too much floor space. Just make sure you stack those buckets safely – pellets are heavy. You don’t want them falling on children or animals. The buckets need not be that expensive either, and adding a pellet scoop to your setup will likely be cheap.
Some buckets, such as Oklahoma Joe’s Pellet Bucket Kit, are specifically designed to hold Traeger pellets. It comes with a clever built-in basket and a scoop. The basket acts as a filter and lets the sawdust and particles fall to the bottom of the bucket when you lift it out. The smart basket design features a handle, helping you to easily lift out the pellets when filling your grill.
Large plastic food containers are great for specialty pellets, typically sold in smaller quantities. So rather than use large buckets that will end up almost empty, pros like to use smaller food storage containers with air-tight lids.
These containers are designed to keep out moisture and protect food from nasty bacteria, so there’s no reason they couldn’t keep your Traeger pellets nice and dry. Pour in the pellets, secure the lid, and label it, so you know what’s inside. You can be confident the pellets will be in the same condition when you open the lid again.
Another advantage is that they’re easily stackable and can fit nicely on shelves or into tighter spaces, such as the built-in cabinets under specific Traeger grill models.
These excellent pellet storage containers have a built-in flip lid that allows for easy dispensing, sort of like a built-in nozzle to funnel your pellets into the hopper of your grill.
The container also has a handy bag-in feature which allows you to leave your pellets in their original bag during storage, so you can quickly identify the brand and flavor. This is made possible by a bag gripper that holds the bag in place to keep the wood pellets dryer and fresher.
Finally, there’s a convenient built-in handle to lift the container, especially useful when refilling the hopper. The containers can also be stacked on top of each other to save space on the floor and keep your wood space neat & tidy.
My Recommendation For Storing Traeger Pellets
There are plenty of options to keep your Traeger pellets dry and clean during storage. All of the options above should be fit for purpose. As the saying goes: “There ‘s more than one way to skin a cat.”
Which option you choose to store your pellets will depend on many factors, such as your budget, how often you grill, how many different types of pellets you like to use and what quantities of each you need to store, as well as the nature of the storage you have (floor space, shelving, pantry, etc.).
At home, I like to keep things simple. I have half a dozen large, white, heavy-duty plastic storage buckets (such as the ones shown below). They each can hold a whole bag of pellets and then some. I can write the name of the pellets on the outside with a whiteboard marker. They’re easily stackable so don’t take up much space in my shed. They’re cheap and will last me forever. And most importantly: they get the job done. I’ve stored my pellets inside buckets like these since I first got my grill and never had an issue with wet or damp pellets.
How Long Do Traeger Pellets Last In Storage?
Traeger pellets should at least six months as long as they are stored properly, maybe even longer. Storage times shouldn’t be much of an issue if stored in any of the container options above. So, if you buy Traeger pellets at a discounted price at the end of fall and store them properly, they should be perfectly fine come summer.
The only time you should be concerned about your Traeger pellets going bad should be when they have been incorrectly stored. For example, if there is more than 10% moisture in the air, you can expect their shelf life to be cut to 1 to 3 months.
Do Traeger Pellets Expire?
Technically, Traeger pellets are said to expire after approximately 6 to 12 months if humidity levels are below 10%. That time is cut to 1 to 3 months in humid conditions. However, if you live in an arid climate (or stored them correctly), you might be able to use your pellets after the six-month mark.
Before doing this, always check your pellets, though. You should keep an eye out for signs of aging and discoloration. On top of that, ensure the pellets haven’t started to stick together. An easy way to identify if your pellets have expired is to do the snap test below.
If they have, then they aren’t fit for use anymore. By using pellets that are stuck together, you will only have to deal with more trouble than they’re worth.
Is It Ok to Leave Pellets in Traeger?
The answer depends on the climate and weather in your area, where your grill is stored, and how long you intend to leave the pellets in the Traeger. You really need to use common sense here!
Generally speaking, it’s recommended to empty the pellets from the hopper after every cook and store them as advised above. Especially if you live somewhere damp, your grill is exposed to the elements, and you don’t plan to use your grill again within a couple of days.
However, if it’s dry where you live, and you plan to use your grill daily or very frequently, it should be Ok to store your pellets in the hopper between cooks.
Tips for Making Traeger Pellets Last Longer in Storage
If you want to make your Traeger pellets last longer in storage, there are some key rules to follow. Let’s take a look at them below:
Use Airtight Storage
Keeping your Traeger pellets in airtight storage is crucial for their longevity. This is especially the case if you live somewhere humid or get a lot of rain.
Moisture is the number one reason pellets go bad, and you can easily avoid it. Get a container you can seal, and your pellets will last for a year, if not more.
It might seem obvious, but the best place to store your pellets is inside. Ideally, it should be a cool, dry place, such as under your stairs or in a shed or garage. On the other hand, avoid utility rooms – especially if your washing machine and dryer are in there. They release lots of humidity into the air, and as explained above, create a suboptimal storage environment for pellets.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
This one slightly confused me. I thought keeping the pellets in direct sunlight would help keep them dry. But after speaking with a few other Traeger owners, it turns out that it’s not the case. In direct sunlight, condensation is likely to occur.
How To Tell If Your Pellets Have Gone Bad?
If not properly stored, pellets can go bad. If your pellets go bad and you try to burn them, you may experience difficulty igniting your grill, a poor burn, augur jams, hopper and grill fires, and potentially unpleasant flavors. To avoid both of these things, learn to recognize the signs that your pellets may have gone bad.
Signs of A Bad Wood Pellet
- Crumbling – If pellets crumble when you pick them up, they’ve gone bad.
- Moisture – Moisture in your pellet storage container is a simple sign that the pellets won’t burn effectively.
- Mold – If there’s any sign of mold on your pellets, they’re toast! Throw them out.
- Sawdust – A small amount of sawdust is normal, but lots of it throughout the bag could be a tell-tale sign that the bag is decomposing.
- Dullness – Pellets that are light in color, look dull, and have no sheen are most probably off.
Wood Pellet “Snap Test”
If in doubt, there is a simple test you can do with a single Traeger pellet, and it should only take a few seconds. Pick one up; it should be shiny, then break it in half. If the pellet is good, it should make a snap sound. It has probably gone off if it crumbles or bends like wet cardboard.
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