Recently, Kingsford reached out to me and asked if I would like to do a review of their brand new Wood Smoker Pellets. Having been introduced to them by Brad Orrison of the Shed at Memphis in May, 2018, before the pellets ever hit the store shelves, I was giddy to not only get my hands on them but also to get a chance to review this new entrant in the pellet fuel market. I realize a lot of pellet grills rigorously recommend you only use their pellets, but I’m willing to bet these do just fine in any pellet cooker and considering you can find them at Lowe’s, Cabellas and on Amazon, these may be easier to find than the manufacturer’s pellets. I’d also bet that soon enough these pellets will be available in far more retailers, but that’s just a guess.

Kingsford Wood Smoker Pellets Review

I know that pellet smokers get a bad wrap from the stick burner crowd. I was one of them, swearing by my offset for years. But then I had kids and my priorities changed. I used to think lump charcoal and wood was the only way to cook meat. Once I had kids, I realized the method in which I made BBQ was irrelevant as long as the BBQ was great. Besides, of the hundreds and thousands I’ve cooked for, not a single one, after taking a bite of my food has said, “This is fantastic. How much sleep did you lose adding fuel and adjusting vents last night?” And I noticed something when I went to Memphis in May and the American Royal (the two biggest BBQ competitions in the world). Stick burners didn’t dominate the top spots on either of the finalist lists. But wait. They said nothing is better than a stick burner? There were some here and there among the finalists, but there were also pellet smokers, drum smokers, kettles, trailered rigs and on and on. It seems to me the type of grill, and the fuel burned, is less likely to predict grilling success than the ability of the pitmaster him/herself. So pick what fits your lifestyle. For me, I’m not sure I’ll ever not have a pellet cooker on my deck. If nothing else for Thanksgiving alone. I put my bird on my pellet cooker and forget about it until it’s done. That way I can enjoy the party too. But that’s just me. I like parties. Oh, and I like sleep too.

One other knock on pellet smokers is they don’t produce enough smoke. Or so people perceive. I’ve had some that the smoke is barely visible, but the taste of the finished product is outstanding. The people that complain about not enough smoke generally think the smoke ring is the only thing that proves the meat got enough smoke. That’s a complete fallacy. The smoke ring is much more about cosmetics than it is about flavor. That being said, the amount of smoke I got from these pellets and this cooker were nothing short of perfect:

Check the smoke billowing out of that that stack

I decided to run the pellets through their paces with some cherry to begin with, just because it’s dad’s favorite:

Mmmmmm cherry

On subsequent cooks I tried the hickory and the competition:

Hickory can be too potent for some, so feel free to cut it with apple or cherry to soften the smoke which produces a more balanced flavor profile
Did I mention mixing smoke woods with hickory? That’s exactly what Kingsford did here with their competition blend with is 45% oak, 45% hickory and 10% cherry.

I started off with a pork butt/pork shoulder (same cut) as it has a ton of surface area to soak up that smoke:

Time to smoke a butt! Not that kind of butt.

It occurred to me that I had a lot more space on my grill and that pork shoulder would be lonely in there so I added a couple slabs of spare ribs that I trimmed down to St. Louis style ribs:

Still some room left. Hmmmm

It didn’t take long for all that gorgeous blue smoke to start turning that shoulder golden:


It only took a few hours at 275 for the bark to start to form on the shoulder:

Added some of the trimmings from the spares when I made these ribs into St. Louis style ribs. The little strips of pork only take a little while to be tender and delicious

Looks like everything is just about done. Ribs are sauced and ready and my pork shoulder has a BEE-YUTE-IFULL bark on it all thanks to those Kingsford Wood Smoker Pellets:

Check those bones! The bones know…

Sometimes I absolutely crave a saucy, messy slab of ribs:

When grilling ribs, always watch the bones. They will tell you when the ribs are done

But what about that bark on the shoulder?

The BEST part of BBQ is the bark! BARK!

And the smoke ring?

I know it’s cosmetic but I like it

What did I make with this pulled pork? Besides sammiches? How about some pulled pork nachos?

Get creative with pulled pork. Nachos, chili, pizza (with BBQ sauce instead of pizza sauce), topping for a burger, in an omelette, whatevs.

So what’s the verdict? I love the new Kingsford Wood Smoker Pellets. The smoke level was fantastic and more important, the BBQ I smoked with these pellets tasted great! I’m hoping they go on sale like the Kingsford Briquettes do every year on Labor Day weekend as I just might pick up a pallet or two.

Full disclosure, Kingsford compensated me for this review, but you know me, I won’t recommend anything I don’t honestly believe in, and by the time this article was published, I went to Lowe’s and bought more bags of Kingsford Wood Smoker Pellets because I enjoyed cooking with them that much.

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Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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Beautiful bbq, Scott! I have used the Kingsford pellets and agree that they are top notch!


With the Kingsford smoke pellets did you notice a more bolder taste than other pellets. I just bought a Camp Chef smoker along with their pellets and am dissappointed in the lack of boldness in flavor compared to my old electric wood chip Mastercraft. The food cooks good just does not have a very smokey taste. Is it the pellets themselves? I also just purchased a smoke wedgie in an attempt to harness more smoke, hoping this will help.



I have not done a side by side on it yet. I will say this though, having owned a Camp Chef for a bit, it didn’t put out a ton of smoke, but it didn’t need to. People think billowing smoke is needed to get great smoke flavor but they don’t. When I cook chicken, I use one small chunk of smoke wood the size of a golf ball. That’s all I need. I might use two of those for pork with a standard charcoal fire. Pellet grills get a bad rap for the subtle smoke wafting out, but they are actually optimized for great smoke flavor. Don’t believe me? Cook two identical pieces of meat, one on a regular grill with no smoke wood and one in the Camp Chef. I think you will find that the smoke is better than you realize. You just need that control group…


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