Do you get the perfect smoke ring, crust and color but find the smoke flavor lacking? This can be directly attributed to the type of pellets you are using. Not all pellets are made the same. Each manufacturer uses their own unique blends.
There are a number of factors that dictate how effective your pellets are in flavoring smoked meat. Some of the important factors that make Lumber Jack pellets so popular, and easy to recommend are discussed below in this Lumberjack pellets review.
Table Of Contents
- LumberJack Pellets Review: What Makes Them So Good?
- Lumberjack Pellets Use The Entire Log
- Lumberjack Pellets Contain No Additives
- Lumberjack Pellets Use A Small Diameter Pellet
- Lumberjack Pellets Come In A Wide Variety Of Flavors
- Lumberjack Use 100% Specified Wood Species
- Lumber Jack's Blended Wood Pellet Flavors
- Lumber Jack’s Spicy Flavors
- Lumber Jack Pellets: Conclusion
LumberJack Pellets Review: What Makes Them So Good?
Lumberjack Pellets Use The Entire Log
Lumber Jack describe themselves as a round log’ company. This means unlike plants that make pellets from sawdust or core kiln dried wood, Lumber Jack harvest real trees. They then chip the trees up as green chips for further processing. Moisture levels are then adjusted (to less than 8%) to ensure the pellets still light up.
The best flavor in any wood emanates from the cambium layer. To keep it protected, Lumber Jack does not remove bark when chipping. The end result is a tried and tested smoke flavor superior to that of sawdust-made pellets. Pre-used wood or sawdust pellets can be devoid of any flavor as they loose most of the metabolites layer with the removal of bark.
Keep in mind however, that by keeping the bark, the pellets form more ash. As such, for long cooks, you might be required to check your smoker every so often to ensure your firepot does not get clogged by ash. Once clogged, fire will eventually die off.
Their blended pellet variety contains de-barked base wood which is infused with a primary wood with the bark on. In effect, this allows the primary wood variety to stand out. Additionally, blended pellets do not form as much ash as the 100% wood pellets owing to smaller amounts of bark.
Lumberjack Pellets Contain No Additives
It has been claimed that a good number of smoking pellets from reputable companies contain vegetable oils, fillers, binders and other additives. These not only alter the flavor, but also the physical properties of the pellets. Though no manufacturer openly confesses to the practice, they do not refute the claims either.
Lumber Jack pellets however do not include these artificial additives. In turn, their pellets produce a well balanced smokey flavor that leaves no after taste.
All round hardwood pellets, like Lumber Jack produces, burn hot. An experienced hand might be required when using some of their strong woods, such as 100% Hickory pellets [https://goo.gl/fMTy7T]. I found it quite easy to over-power your meat, leaving it bitter when over-smoked.
Lumberjack Pellets Use A Small Diameter Pellet
Traeger, Camp Chef, Cooking Pellets and other manufacturers go for a moderately larger diameter on their pellets. Lumber Jack, like its competitor Smoke Ring opt for pellets of a smaller diameter.
A smaller diameter allows the pellets to break easier. This in turn prevents auger jams, creating less stress on your smoker’s auger. Moreover, a smaller pellet diameter leaves a larger surface area for the auger veins. Thus more pellets can fit on each vein allowing higher temperatures of about 40 degrees F. This is because with each turn of the auger, more pellets can be pushed through the veins.
By having a smaller diameter, pellets will also burn much cleaner. As many pitmasters have stated, Lumber Jack pellets leave lower volumes of ash in your smoker’s pot than most pellets that contain bark. This can be attributed to the higher temperatures achieved when burning.
Lumberjack Pellets Come In A Wide Variety Of Flavors
With a wide pellet variety, Lumber Jack has a smoke flavor for every palate. This can be categorized into two main groups:
Lumberjack Use 100% Specified Wood Species
For some time now, manufacturers have incorporated fillers such as alder to lower pellet costs. Lumber Jack utilizes 100% specified wood species. As earlier stated, these varieties burn hot and produce larger volumes of ash.
Competitor, Smoke Ring, produces similar products to LumberJack but reduces ash volume by keeping the cambium layer intact but shedding off the bark. Smaller amounts of bark give a cleaner burn. They are recommended for shorter cooks. They include:
1. 100% Oak which works best for short duration, high temperature cooks. This makes it ideal for baking, pizzas or burgers. Oak pellets produce less smoke but strong in flavor.
2. 100% Pecan leaves an authentic Southern, strong flavor which works well with any smoked meal.
3. 100% Mesquite can be down right aggressive. Its spicy flavor is recommended for thick cuts, whole birds, pork ribs and beef.
4. 100% Cherry pellets are highly acclaimed not only for their mild, fruity flavor, but for giving meat a beautiful rosy color.
5. 100% Alder works well when smoking fish, birds or lamb. Its mild flavor is well known for flavoring Northwestern meats.
6. 100% Apple’s fruity flavor is the best companion for pork cuts.
Lumber Jack's Blended Wood Pellet Flavors
For more exotic smoked meat, Lumber Jack has developed numerous blended pellet flavors. They include:
1. Pecan Blend is a blend of 60% oak and 40% pecan which gives both poultry and ribs a Southern smoke flavor.
2. Char Hickory has 80% hickory and 20% charcoal for those who like charcoal flavor and a less intense hickory flavor.
3. Hickory Blend comprises of 60% red oak and 40% hickory that is amazing for types of meat.
4. Apple Blend has 60% red oak and 40% apple has a mild, fruity and sweet flavor. Other than turning pork a light rose color, it can be used with smoked cheese.
5. Mesquite Blend is a composite of 60% red oak and 40% mesquite is a favorite for Southwest recipes.
6. OHC Supreme achieves high temperatures making it suitable for cooking and produces enough smoke, making it suitable for smoking.
7. Timberline has parts of maple, oak and cherry, giving off a sweet and fruity flavor.
8. MBC Sweetwood is a composite of maple, beech and cherry for a mildly sweet flavor.
9. MHC Competition is a maple, hickory and cherry blend that is the company’s undisputed crowd favorite.
Lumber Jack’s Spicy Flavors
Finally, some of their pellets are infused with herbs and spices. They include:
1. Mexican Heat blends oak with red cayenne pepper for a fiery smoke ring for your cuts.
2. Paris Bourdeaux is a herb infused blend with part rosemary, thyme and basil, that makes it the hero of a poultry cook.
3. Italian Garlic is best used when smoking vegetables or breads. The oak and garlic smoke creates interesting notes to your meal.
You need not feel intimidated by the bark levels either. Ash from these pellets is estimated to be only 2%. If you still feel that ash might become an extra role you could do without while smoking, you can always invest in a LumberJacks Smokin Wedgie. This versatile smoke box allows you turn even a regular gas or charcoal grill into a smoker.
Lumber Jack Pellets: Conclusion
All in all, Lumber Jack’s products are reliable, flavorful, economical and readily available, making them a must for every home or competition pitmaster. They work great in a Green Mountain or Treager pellet grill, but are awesome with all other types of pellet grills too.
Happy Smokin' & Grillin'!