Wood is literally the fuel of your smoke. The results you get at the end are a direct result of what you put in. We got a bag of Bear Mountain BBQ Pellets and put it to the test on our Traeger, looking at burn time, flavor, smoke consistency, and ash content.
Although you can get almost every popular flavor of wood pellets, we wanted to stick with the classic hickory wood for consistency sake, and compared it directly with BBQrs Delight & Traeger wood pellets, both top performers in the industry.
How does Bear Mountain BBQ Wood Pellets stack up to the competition. Lets see.
A Genuine Bear Mountain BBQ Pellets Review
It isn’t a coincidence that barbecue is the most delicious food. If you’ve smoked with many different wood pellets, you’ll know the difference real wood flavor can make. Bear Mountain’s Hickory wood flavor is pure and prominent. Although I haven’t tried the other flavors, I would make a fair bet the other wood flavors Bear Mountain offers, such as apple. maple, cherry etc. would all be equally as bold.
I often find that the unique “blends” that wood pellets producers like to make do provide a versatile smokiness, but, they are less distinct in their wood flavor. If you love a strong wood flavor it’s always recommended to go with hickory or mesquite.
The second most important thing to compare is the burn quality. This refers to how consistent the smoke is, how long the wood burns at different temperatures, and how it actually burns.
I give props to Bear Mountain for their burn quality, which is often a reflection of how the wood pellets have been sourced, compressed, manufactured, and if there were any additional binding agents or fillers added.
The burn quality shouldn’t differ too much amongst each pellet smoker, whether its a Green Mountain Grill, Smoke Hollow Pellet Grill, or a Traeger Grill.
Pellets Aren't Crumbly
The pellets passed the “snap test” — showing they are properly compressed and of low moisture content. This is extremely important when it comes to keeping an even temperature and smoke. Also, I know we’ve all heard the horror stories of pellets causing issues in the auger, so it’s something that I always test before use.
Not a single one. Bear Mountains whole story is founded on using 100% pure, natural, good ol’ hardwood. No fillers, binders, or bark. Fillers are used to buff out the wood pellet composition, with a cheaper, easier to source wood, most commonly oak. Although not all bad, it is frustrating when you’re wanting to smoke with hickory only to find out it’s only 50% hickory!
Binders are used to hold the sawdust in the pellet, and are usually natural, food-grade oil’s so there is no safety concern. However, high quality wood pellets are compressed correctly, with an even and low moisture content to produce a better & more natural wood pellet.
Bark is said to add additional flavor, but also to produce more inconsistencies in the smoke, and often leaves more ash. In contrast, the heartwood, or the middle of the log, is said to produce the purest and cleanest smoke.
No additives or anything nasty here, and the burn quality and flavor is the proof.
When I initially researched Bear Mountain BBQ Pellets, I noted comments from other consumers complaining that these wood pellets left a lot more ash when they burned. This can sometimes be an indication that there is bark used in the wood pellets (though they say they don’t use any bark or binders). Either way, I didn’t notice a huge change, and as long as you vacuum your pellet grill frequently then this will never be a problem.
Burns More Quickly
Although Bear Mountain Wood Pellets are more affordable than other top brands, you do burn through them more quickly than Traeger Pellets for example. Particularly at higher temperatures. It’s really not incredibly noticeable, but if you do have a small hopper size (15lb or less) you may need to top up a few times over a lengthy smoking session, like a brisket or a pork butt.
Other Recommendations For Smoking Pellets
If Bear Mountain BBQ Pellets aren’t for you, and you want try out other top performers in the market, I would recommend:
Traeger Wood Pellets (if you haven’t tried them already)
Traeger is my go to for consistency and burn quality. It’s also one of the favourites amongst avid barbecue lovers for the same reason. Although the flavor is damn-good and the smoke is clean it can be a touch more expensive, and when you barbecue multiple times a week it does add up!
BBQr’s Delight Wood Pellets
Absolute flavor. Specifically, BBQr’s Delight hickory pellets, you can smell the difference just from taking a whiff of the bag. When it comes to barbecue you really want to taste the smoke, and the flavor from BBQr’s Delight Wood Pellets alone makes it a worthwhile pick.
They do burn a bit faster, and don’t produce smoke as evenly even as Traeger wood pellets, but they’ve got flavor on flavor.
For more details check out my guide on the best wood pellets for smoking.
Where Are Bear Mountain BBQ Pellets Made
100% U.S.A born and bred. Bear Mountain BBQ Wood Pellets are manufactured in two separate locations in Oregon. One in Columbia River Gorge, and the other in Brownside. Since its establishment in Oregon in 1988, Bear Mountain has been priding themselves in their work, creating wood fuel products that hit the mark.
Honestly impressed with Bear Mountain BBQ Wood Pellets, and they lived up the hype and the buzz that circulates the barbecue community. No wood is made perfect, but it’s always good to know both the positives and the negatives. If you get a chance to try Bear Mountains other flavors of wood pellets, please let me know how they go, I would love to know if the flavor is as prominent as the hickory was.