How Long Do Wood Pellets Last in a Smoker


Credit: Traeger,

If you're new to pellet or wood smoking or grilling, you might be wondering, "How Long Do Wood Pellets Last?" It's an important question, as the answer will determine how often you need to refill your hopper, and how much you'll need to budget for pellets.

The answer depends on several factors, including the cooking temperature, cook time, and the size of your hopper. A Traeger griller, for example, can burn through anywhere from 1 to 3 pounds of pellets per hour, meaning a standard 20-pound bag of pellets can last anywhere from 6 to 20 hours.

Read on to learn more about how to make your pellets last and get the most out of your pellet smoker or gas grill.

How Long Do Wood Pellets Last in a Smoker?

As mentioned, wood pellets are the fuel source for wood-fired smokers, including Traeger grills. But how long do wood pellets last in a smoker? It's a question that many pellet grill owners have, and the answer depends on a few factors.

First, it's important to consider how many pellets burn per hour. Traeger grills typically burn between 1 to 3 pounds of pellets per hour, depending on the desired temperature and cooking time. That means the answer to how long does a 20 pound bag of pellets is between 6 to 20 hours of cook time.

However, the actual length of time your pellets last in a pellet grill also depends on the size of the hopper and how often you open the lid. A larger hopper will allow you to load more pellets, while opening the lid frequently will cause the pellets to burn faster.

Overall, it's safe to say that a 20-pound bag of pellets will last for several cookouts, with an average of 15-20 hours of cook time. Of course, this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above. So, if you're planning a long smoking session, it's always a good idea to stock up on extra pellets to ensure you don't run out mid-cook.

How Long Can You Store Wood Pellets?


The lifespan of wood pellets depends on several factors, including the storage conditions and the quality of the pellets. If stored correctly, wood pellets can last indefinitely. However, there are several factors that can impact how long your pellets will last:

  • Moisture: Exposure to moisture can cause the pellets to deteriorate and become unusable. Pellets should be stored in a dry location.

  • Temperature: High temperatures can cause the pellets to expand and crack. Keep your pellets in a cool location to prevent this from happening.

  • Number of pellets: The more pellets you have in storage, the longer they will last. Buying in bulk can help ensure you always have enough on hand.

  • Quality of the pellets: High-quality pellets will generally last longer than lower quality pellets.

  • Grill temperature: If you're using pellets in a grill, the temperature can affect how long the pellets last. Higher temperatures will burn through the pellets more quickly.

When storing pellets, it's important to keep them in a sealed bag or container to prevent moisture from getting in. If you find that you're running low on pellets, it's always a good idea to have more on hand to ensure that you don't run out mid-grilling session. With proper storage and care, your bag of wood pellets can last for years, providing you with plenty of fuel for all your grilling needs.

Reasons Why Your Wood Pellets Last Long

Wood pellets have become increasingly popular as a fuel source for heating and cooking. One of the most common questions is, how long do pellets last? While there is no definitive answer, there are several factors that can impact the lifespan of your pellets.

Old Grill

One reason why your pellets may not be lasting as long as they should is that you are using an old grill. Over time, grills can become less efficient and may not burn the pellets as completely. This can result in higher pellet consumption, which can reduce the lifespan of your pellets.

Dirty Grill

Another reason why your pellets may not be lasting as long as they should is that you have a dirty grill. If your grill is covered in ash and debris, it can prevent air from circulating properly, which can affect how efficiently your grill burns pellets. Regular cleaning of your grill can help keep it running efficiently and help your pellets last longer.

Cheap Pellets

The quality of your pellets can also impact how long they last. Cheaper pellets may contain more sawdust or other fillers that can reduce their lifespan. It is worth investing in high-quality pellets, such as Traeger pellets, to ensure they last longer.


The weather can also impact how long your pellets last. In cold weather, it can take longer for your grill to reach the desired temperature, which can result in higher pellet consumption. Similarly, high winds can affect how your grill burns pellets, and can reduce their lifespan.

Storing Pellets in the Grill

If you are storing your pellets in the hopper of your grill, they may not last as long. Pellets can absorb moisture from the air, which can affect their combustion. It is best to store your pellets in a dry location, such as a sealed bag or container, until you need to use them.

Grill Size

If your grill is too large for your needs, you may be using more pellets than necessary. This can result in higher pellet consumption and reduce the lifespan of your pellets. Consider using a smaller grill or using a pellet tube to reduce pellet usage.

High Temperature Cooking

Finally, cooking at high temperatures can also affect how long your pellets last. The hotter your grill, the more pellets it will consume. Consider cooking at lower temperatures or using indirect heat to reduce pellet consumption.

In summary, there are several factors that can impact how long your pellets last. By taking steps to keep your grill clean and efficient, investing in high-quality pellets, and storing your pellets in a dry location, you can help ensure they last as long as possible.

Tips on How To Make You Wood Pellets Last Longer

Tips on How To Make You Wood Pellets Last Longer

Buy High-Quality Pellets

You can also make sure to buy high-quality pellets. Look for those made from hardwoods such as oak, maple and beech. Avoid any that have bark or sawdust in them; these types of wood are more apt to burn quickly and unevenly, which can cause your pellet stove to malfunction. Also check the bag for moisture content before buying it: if there's too much water in the bag (more than 10%), then it might not burn efficiently or even catch fire at all!

Clean Your Pellet Grill

  • Remove ash and debris.

  • Clean the burn grate.

  • Check the hopper for any clogs.

Keep Your Pellet Grill Closed

The first thing you can do is to keep your pellet grill closed as much as possible. This will help to keep the heat inside, which will allow it to reach its maximum temperature faster.

When using a wood pellet smoker, make sure that the lid is closed at all times. This will prevent any cool air from entering into or escaping out of the smoker and affecting its temperature levels. You should also check on the temperature gauge regularly so that you know when it's time for another round of wood pellets!

If there are any gaps between where food touches metal surfaces (such as racks), then fill them with aluminum foil before placing meat on those racks so that no juices leak onto those surfaces while cooking

Place Your Pellet Grill Out of the Wind

If you are going to be grilling in an area that is exposed to the wind, make sure there is plenty of ventilation. This will help keep your grill from getting too hot and causing a fire. If possible, choose an area that is protected from wind or use a wind guard for added protection.

Store Your Pellets in the Garage or Indoors When Not in Use

Choose a cool, dry place. The best way to store your pellets is in an airtight container that's kept in the garage or indoors when not in use. This will keep them from absorbing moisture, which can cause them to become moldy and unusable.

Consider buying a dehumidifier if you live in a humid climate and don't have access to an enclosed space like your garage or basement where you can store your pellets without worrying about them getting wet or damaged by insects, rodents and other pests (and their droppings).

Make sure there is good air flow around all sides of whatever storage container you choose so that moisture doesn't build up inside it over time--this will help prevent mold from forming on any wood pellets within said container(s).


In conclusion, the longevity of your wood pellets depends on several factors, including the type and quality of the pellets, the weather, the size of your grill, and the temperature at which you cook.

If you want your heating pellets or wood pellet grill pellets to last as long as possible, be sure to invest in high-quality pellets, store them properly, and avoid cooking at excessively high temperatures. And if you do need more pellets, make sure to add them gradually to ensure they burn efficiently and don't overload your grill. 

With the right care and attention, your pellets will burn beautifully and keep your grill hot for many hours of delicious cooking.