Aren’t getting enough smoke from wood pellets? Is the flavor missing from the flavored wood pellets? Or, If you are going to store a good amount of pellets for your home or business, it is very important to know how to store wood pellets properly.
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Whether you will use it in your fireplace to warm up the home or in the grill/smoker for barbequing, you must have to retain the quality of your wood pellets to get the best result.
How To Store Wood Pellets Indoors
Indoor storage will be safer for the well-being of your pellets only if the other conditions are okay. While you are planning to store the pellets indoors, choose a dry place free from high humidity, mold, mildew, and flooding.
A shed, garage, basement, or storeroom can be an excellent place for storage since it keeps your pellets out of the way but accessible. First, however, closely examine if these places are right for storing wood pellets.
Basements can have high humidity or get flooded in the rain. So, if there is such an issue, you should leave this idea.
But, if you are left with no other option, even then, you can store your pellets in the airtight container on shelves or any elevated space off the floor.
In that case, you have to use a dehumidifier. A garage can be another good place to store wood pellets.
You can set up cabinet storage and place your wood pellet storage containers there. If you have a pantry, it will be even easier to keep them.
Besides, you can also use a pallet to keep the pellet containers/bags off the floor. The main thing is to avoid contact with your pellets on the floor.
You can also keep them near your pellet grill or stove, but it would be better to keep them separate for safety issues.
Wherever you keep them, you should seal them to protect them from pests (in case there is very low humidity).
How To Store Wood Pellets Outdoors
When you are planning to keep your wood pellets outdoors, keep in mind that there are many more factors to battle with this time.
But in small apartments, we don’t have other options either. However, keeping wood pellets outdoors can be a more convenient option if you can ensure some extra care.
I’m saying more convenient because you don’t have to rush inside for extra pellets in the middle of a barbeque party in your backyard. They will be conveniently available near your outdoor pellet grill or smoker.
Also, you have to keep them in an airtight container in a shed or shelter off the ground in case of storing wood pellets outdoors.
And you have to make sure that the pellet storage is covered from rain or snow. Whether it is wood pellets or charcoal pellets, don’t keep the pellets in the open air, even in the summer, because it is natural to contact with water somehow.
When you don’t have enough room inside and plan to store a good amount of wood pellets altogether, you have to take the weather into first consideration.
You have to cover the pellet container well with tarps. Though your pellets are sealed off, you should not take the least risk of spoiling them in any way.
You will find both water-resistant and waterproof tarps. Waterproof tarps are great to protect your wood pellets completely from water or moisture, keeping the storage containers dry.
Thus, it is completely safe to store wood pellets outdoors if you can cover them with a sturdy tarp.
Many custom UV-treated tarp covers are designed for wood pellets with Velcro for the convenience of opening up or closing without taking the tarp off completely.
Storing Wood Pellets Throughout The Year
While storing wood pellets throughout the year, the care will not be the same as the season changes.
According to your area’s weather, you have to treat your wood pellets differently in different seasons to keep them fresh.
If you are using pellets just for heating your home, you will not need them before the next winter.
So, besides storing them in a sealed container, you can move it to the basement or garage so that it remains out of your way till then. If it rains in spring in your area, protect the pellets with a tarp.
While you are enjoying smoked barbeque often in summer, store your pellets somewhere so that it is readily available when you need them.
If you want to store them outdoors, keep them at a safe distance from the smoker or any kind of water sources-swimming pool, lawn sprinklers, hoses, and any area where water can reach. Direct contact with water may turn your pellets into sawdust.
Since the weather is getting colder, you will want to bring your heating pellets out. Keep them in an area where they will be easily accessible.
Though autumn is a good time for grilling on fire for its mild weather, many of you may want to store your BBQ pellets away. In that case, you can store them where you have kept your heating pellets indoors.
In case you have kept your pellet containers outdoors, keep them on a skid, and cover them with a tarp.
In the winter, choose a sheltered place for your wood pellets so that snow cannot gather moisture in your pellets.
It will be better if you keep them indoors for this time being. If you have to store the pellets outside, keep them fully covered and in an elevated place.
If you have to bring out pellets sometimes, scoop the snow with a shovel/spade from the lid of your containers.
And if you do not have a plan to use it this winter, you would better cover the containers completely with a tarp.
Some Storage Tips To Get The Best From Your Wood Pellets
Whether you are going to store your wood pellets indoors or keep them outdoor, the following tips will come in handy to keep your wood pellets fresh and crispy.
- Store Away From Heat and Flames
Whether you are storing wood pellets indoors or outdoors, make sure you keep them at a safe distance from any heat sources.
To avoid any fire hazard, do not keep them near your grill, smoker, or fireplace, even if you are storing them in a container.
And if you have stored your pellets in your garage, keep them away from your cars or the water heater.
- Store The New and Old Pellets Separately
While storing the new pellets in a container, do not pile them up on the remaining old pellets or mix them. Rather keep the old pellets separately to use them first to get the best result out of them.
As wood pellets have an expected period of best use, you can label the date of purchasing to use them before that period if you have more than one store.
Again if you have a few varieties of pellets for barbeque, smoking, or warming up, you can keep them separately in an organized way.
- Check The New Bags Closely
When you bring your pellet bags home, closely examine if there is any rip/hole in the shrouding. If you find any, fix that with waterproof tape or cover the bag with another plastic bag.
- Only Open When You Will Use It
Open the pellet bags only when you are going to use them. Do not pour the bags into the container if you do not have a plan to use them now.
One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of the pellets is to only open the pack when you’re ready to use them. Don’t put them into containers for the sake of it.
- Check Before Use
If you have kept the wood pellets for a long time and hesitate to use them, do a little test first. Break a wood pellet in half and notice whether it breaks clean or crumbles. If it crumbles, do not use it for cooking; otherwise, you will spoil your dish too.
If you handle the pellets roughly while storing or using them, they can break into pieces or flakes that will become nothing but useless dust.
- Choose The Driest Place For Storing
Whatever the season is, store the pellet containers in the driest place of your home or outdoors. The room should be well-ventilated too.
If your area has a high humidity percentage, you have to use dehumidifying equipment in the garage, basement, or storeroom.
- Always Keep The Pellet Bags Off The Floor
Always store the pellet bags off the ground/floor. Though you may assure that some places of your home are always dry, water will not take time to reach under your pellet bags and soak them, especially if you have children or pets.
You can keep the wood pellet bags on panels/cardboards until you move them to an airtight container.
As the wood pellets are prone to get damaged by moisture and other factors, you would not better store more wood pellets than you need. Rather buy pellets which you can finish within 1 month.
- Pile The Pellet Bags Carefully
When you stack several bags of pellets together, arrange them carefully to reduce pressure on the bags on the bottom.
Instead of piling the bags on top of each other, place them in a criss-cross pattern to avoid the risk of warping. Moreover, it will provide enough airflow among the bags to release moisture.
- Check The Remaining Pellets In Your Grill
Do not forget to check the pellets that are already in your grill/smoker. If the pellets are no more crispy, they will not give you the smoke you need.
- Clean The Hopper After Cooking
Clean the remaining pellets in the hopper once you are done. Since these leftover pellets are exposed to outer conditions like- air, moisture, or rain, they may rot, and the auger may get jammed up.
Also, if you store these unused pellets in a sealed container, you will be able to use them the next time. You should perform a burn-off after every time to clean the spice, grease off the auger, and use a vacuum to clean the burn plate of ash.
How Long Do Wood Pellets Last
Wood pellets do not have an exact expiry period. The initial quality of your pellets and your storing system will determine how long they will last. Therefore, you should buy the pellets from a reliable brand or source.
If you can store them properly in the right storage, they will be crispy and ready to fuel your grill for a long time.
However, why you are using pellets will also determine how long you can use them in the future.
For example, if you are using heating pellets, they will warm up your space efficiently for a very long time if you can store them in proper storage.
But when you are using flavored BBQ pellets for your grill or smoker, they will give you smoke, but the flavor will be somewhat less strong over time, even if you keep them in the right containers.
The plastic, paper, or woven bags that carry wood cannot resist the access of air completely. The moisture present in the air will dampen the pellets eventually. Therefore, the humidity of the environment will influence how long the pellets will last.
If the humidity of your area is higher than 10%, you should not store your pellets for more than 3 months. You can store your pellets for up to 6 months or more if your area’s humidity is lower than 10%.
Why Storing Wood Pellets Is So Necessary
Properly storing wood pellets is necessary to get the best out of them. In improper storage and method, wood pellets can dampen and crack.
They will greatly affect your barbeque or smoking process from temperature control to the amount of smoke created from the pellets.
However, moisture will not spoil only the batch of pellets in a barbeque session; it will also spoil your food’s taste and flavor.
And you might want to compromise with the taste of your desired wood-fired food. Therefore, if you want to keep your palate satisfied, you have to keep your pellet in good condition!
Moreover, when wood pellets get dampened and soft, they can even jam the auger. So, properly storing wood pellets will prolong your pellets’ life and save your grill or smoker.
While buying wood pellets, what should I notice?
While choosing wood pellets for your smoker, you should check the origin, size, and water content of the pellets. You should also notice how much ash it produces.
Why do wood pellets go bad easily?
Wood pellets can go bad easily as they are from natural hardwood and thus absorb moisture easily. Therefore, even when they are stored properly, the flavor tends to reduce over time.
Storing wood pellets is not a big deal. All you have to know is which conditions are responsible for spoiling the pellets and what you will need to save your pellets from those factors.
The biggest enemy that you have to deal with to keep your pellets fresh is moisture. Moisture will spoil any type or size of pellets.
So you have to avoid any kind of exposure of your pellets to humidity or water to retain the quality till the expected time.
The plastic pellet storage container is the best option for sealing out and protects your pellets from outer factors like pests and water effectively.
You can opt for an FDA-approved multi-gallon bucket that has an airtight lid. Once you open the packaging, pour them into the bucket, and seal the lid.
The pellet bag is great when it comes to transporting the woods but do not use it as storage.
Even the zipper bags cannot protect the pellets as they are not airtight. And in case you open it for use, never keep the remaining pellets in it for even a single day.