Learn how long Traeger pellets last when used regularly, whether you can leave them in the hopper, and the right way to store them long term.
If you’ve recently purchased a Traeger pellet grill or are new to pellet grilling you may be wondering how long those pellets you got along with it will last you.
We are going to try and answer this question in 3 ways:
- How long does a bag of Traeger Pellets last when you are grilling regularly?
- Can you store Traeger pellets in the hopper?
- What is the best way to store Traeger pellets?
How Long Does a Bag of Traeger Pellets Last?
How Much do Traeger Pellets Cost?
If you are wondering how long a bag of pellets will last, its probably because you are trying to figure out how much you will need to spend on pellets and how often, depending on how much grilling you do.
So it’s important to look at pricing for different pellets as well.
Traeger brand pellets generally come in 20 lb bags, and will run you about $19 at a local big box hardware store as of the time of this writing.
You can also find other off brand pellets, mainly online, that will work in your Traeger that are generally priced less per pound.
For instance, we are big fans of the Bear Mountain Brand, and you will generally find brands liek these to be significantly less expensive than the Traeger brand pellets.
Just always make sure to check whatever brand you are buying is compatible with ALL pellet grills.
How Many Traeger Pellets are Burned per Hour?
Now that you know how much per pound the pellets will likely cost you, let’s take a look at how long those Traeger pellets will last when you are using them regularly.
A Traeger grill burns roughly 1-3 lbs of pellets per hour, depending on your temperature setting.
So estimate about 1 lb per hour for low and slow smoking, and 3 lbs per hour for hot and fast direct grilling.
So if you average that out to about 2 lbs per hour, a 20 lb bag will last roughly 10 hours, or cost about $2/hour if you are buying official Traeger brand pellets.
Compare that to the cost of a liquid propane tank or a bag of large bag of charcoal, and you quickly realize how expensive using pellets can be relatively speaking.
They ARE however, much more convenient with their “set it and forget it” temperature and smoke control technology.
Can I Leave Traeger Pellets in the Hopper?
Another common question people have is whether or not, and for how long, they can leave Traeger pellets in the hopper before they go bad.
While it would be very convenient to leave a large batch of pellets right in the hopper of your Traeger for whenever you feel like firing it up, its unfortunately not the best practice.
With your Traeger exposed to rain, snow, humidity, and fluctuating temperatures, the pellets you leave in the hopper will quickly soften and not burn as well.
If left in there long enough, they can even rot and mold, clog up the auger, and make a mess the next time you start the grill.
Pellets are best stored in a very dry, room temperature environment, ideally in a pellet storage container like this great one from Oklahoma Joe’s.
- Store up to 20 pounds of hardwood pellets in the heavy-duty plastic pellet bucket.
- Weatherproof, airtight lid protects pellets from the elements, keeping them fresh and dry
- Wire-mesh filter separates wood dust from the pellets for a clean burn
- Heavy-duty plastic scoop to easily transfer pellets
We love this Oklahoma Joe pellet storage kit because its not only air tight but comes with a filter basket to shake out all the dust before you load the pellets in the hopper of your Traeger.
Anyone who has used pellet grills for some length of time knows this dust does not burn cleanly and eventually has to be vacuumed out of the grill so best to avoid dumping it in the hopper in the first place.
If you want a more budget friendly option without the strainer, you can also check out this pourable pellet container from Buddeez.
- HEAVY DUTY STORAGE CONTAINER: Food-grade plastic container holds up to 20 lb of wood pellets. Sturdy top handle and molded hand grips make lifting easy
- FLIP TOP POURING SPOUT: Hopper refills are neat and easy! No spills, no mess with the built-in pouring spout
- NARROW STACKABLE DESIGN: These narrow 8 inch wide dispensers stack neatly to save space
These containers also work great for storing charcoal.
These will maximize the life of your pellets by not exposing them to moisture like they can in the hopper of your Traeger outdoors day in and day out.
It is best practice to always empty your hopper after using ANY type of pellet grill, Traegers included.
Otherwise the pellets left in the hopper can mold and rot and eventually clog up your auger and make a mess.
You should also “burn off” the remaining pellets left in the auger after emptying the jhopper.
Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found here.
How Long Does a Bag of Traeger Pellets Last when Stored?
If stored properly in a dry, sealed bucket indoors at room temperature, your Traeger pellets should last many months, if not years.
But if you smoke food as often as we do around here, they should never have to make it that long!
However, this brings up a good final point about storage:
Never store Traeger pellets in the bag they came in.
Even if stored indoors, there is more moisture in the air than you realize, and over time it can seep into the bag of pellets and ruin them.
This is especially true in the hot and wetter summer months when you may be opening and closing the bag frequently to add more pellets to your hopper or a pellet tube.
Wood pellets are basically compressed sawdust held together with a glue liek compound, so moisture is not their friend, even in small amounts.
Don’t expect an opened bag of Traeger pellets to last more than a few months without starting to soften if kept in a tight dry sealable bucket.
Looking for More Articles about Pellet Grilling?
Check these out:
The Best Pellet Grills under $500
How Do Pellet Grills Work?: Everything You Need to Know
Can You Use Pellets In An Electric Smoker?
The Best Pellet Tube Smokers: A Complete Review
Looking for New Recipes for your Traeger Pellet Grill?
Check these out:
How to Smoke a Turkey on a Pellet Grill
What Temperature Do You Cook Steak On A Pellet Grill?
How to Make Smoked Gouda Indoors or Outdoors
How to Make Smoked Ribeye Steaks: The Ultimate Guide