This Kingsford Pellets Review will cover a side by side comparison of pellet flavors, and give you a look at the all-new line of Kingsford Premium Wood Pellets. This post is sponsord by Kingsford and they sent me a few bags of Cherry, Hickory, and Competition Blend pellets to try out, review, and to GIVE AWAY! Woo! Be sure to read all the way to the end of the post to enter the giveaway!
Kingsford Pellets Review
One of my most commonly asked questions on all of my posts and social media channels is, “What type of pellets should I use for this recipe?” We all know that different types of hard wood smoke differently and create a unique result, so it just makes sense to use the best wood type for each recipe. When it comes to picking pellets, however, the game changes a little bit.
A lot of pellet manufacturers are using a blend of woods in each bag. Even though the bag may say “Apple” or “Hickory” the t
ruth is that up to 50% of wood in that bag is alder or oak. Pellet makers often mix in these two woods because they are more affordable and available. This makes it difficult to recommend a certain flavor of pellets to my readers, knowing they may not have exactly the same result if they are using blended wood pellets instead of 100% pure American hardwood with no fillers, additives, or flavored oils.
The Kingsford line of pellets set out to change the game with their new product. They promise that each bag is filled with ONLY the type of wood that is on the label. Since you’re getting 100% American hardwood, you’re going to experience a stronger flavor of that particular wood. You can actually see and taste the difference. Kingsford currently offers Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Oak, and a Competition blend.
Kingsford Pellets put to the test
To put these pellets to the test, I devised a little Meat-xperiment. Here’s how it went down:
1- 3 pork butts of similar size, purchased from the same store.
2- Identical seasoning on all 3 pork butts (I used my Sweet Rub)
3- 3 pellet grills (same brand) each hopper loaded with a different variety of pellets. I used Cherry, Hickory, and Competition Blend pellets from Kingsford.
4- Exact same cooking process. 275 degrees F until the Internal Temperature of the pork butts reached 201 degrees F. The butts were then wrapped in butcher paper to rest for a couple of hours.
Once the pork butts were rested and ready, we did a blind side by side comparison. We were looking at two main categories for each pork butt; appearance and flavor profile. First, we wanted to know what was the exterior color like? What kind of bark did each pork butt have? Second, we tasted pieces of each pork butt, specifically making sure we took pieces from the outside that had been in contact with the smoke. What flavors did we notice? How strong was the smoke flavor?
Appearance- This was the most mahogany colored of the butts. You could see the red undertones throughout the bark of the meat. The bark wasn’t super dark all over, it almost looked like flowing lava with rivers of dark bark and red peeking through. This was actually voted the best looking roast of the three.
Flavor- Smoke flavor was mild. You could see a nice pronounced smoke ring around the exterior of the meat. We knew it was smoked when we ate a few pieces, but there wasn’t a heavy smoke taste.
Appearance- This was the darkest pork shoulder. Not much red color, mostly just dark brown/almost black. By far the most pronounced bark of all of them.
Flavor- The most pronounced smoke flavor. Definitely gave us that “smokehouse” flavor with a strong and smoky taste. Not ashy or bitter, just robust and smoky.
Appearance- This pork butt settled right in between the cherry and the hickory in terms of appearance, which makes a TON of sense considering the blend contains both hickory and cherry. There was a great bark on the outside, but you could just barely catch glimpses of the reddish tint to the meat.
Flavor- Our favorite of the three. We love oak with our BBQ and that clean burning oak in the blend just seemed to balance out the hickory and highlight the cherry. The amount of smoke flavor was perfect not too strong or too subtle.
We were pretty excited about the results, honestly. We’ve tried so many pellets over the years and a lot of times we wondered if there really was any difference because they all ended up tasting and looking the same (likely due to that high percentage of oak or alder blended in as a base wood). It was really great to see how effective these pellets could be in delivering a unique flavor profile. We also noticed very consistent temperatures during the entire cook and very little ash once the grills cooled down and we cleaned them out.
If you’d like to get your hands on some Kingsford Pellets, you can purchase them in 10 pound bags at most Lowe’s and Cabela’s stores or in 20 pound bags from Amazon. You can also try your luck at our giveaway! We want you to be able to recreate this pork butt experiment at home and taste the 100% hardwood difference, so we are giving away a set of 3 10 pound bags in Cherry, Hickory, and Competition blend. Click below to enter!