100% Flavored Wood vs Blends
Typically, BBQ pellets are 100% natural hardwood, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the pellets are 100% of the type of wood listed on the bag. When you buy cherry wood chips or chunks, that wood is 100% cherry wood. However, when you buy cherry wood pellets, they’re usually a blend of cherry and a base wood, such as oak or alder. While that may sound deceptive, there are good reasons for this practice.
Using an oak or alder base creates consistency in pellet performance in your grill. Different types of wood have different densities, burn at different rates, and produce different amounts of heat, smoke and ash. For instance, cherry burns faster than hickory, so using 100% cherry you’d go through more pellets than if using 100% hickory. The addition of oak allows every flavor to burn at a similar rate and with a similar heat output, providing consistency from cook to cook.
The key to a great blended product is using 100% hardwoods. Products that use cheap fillers such as poplar and oils to create flavor are the types of products you'll want to avoid. These will lead to inconsistent and poor flavored food.