As a meat lover and experienced grill master, I am no stranger to the popularity of pellet grills. Though my peers have all started switching to pellet grills, I have always been skeptical and wanted to do my research first. Below is the result of my research put to paper for novices and experts alike on how long pellets last.
A forty-pound bag of pellets should provide you with a burn time of around twenty-four hours under the right conditions. If stored properly, pellets can also last up to six months. These times vary depending on your grill type, quality of your pellets, and heat needed to cook.
Various factors can change the length of time that your pellets will last. While researching this topic, it was hard to find detailed research as pellets last different amounts of times under different circumstances.
Naturally, what you are cooking and the heat you need to do so will drastically affect how long your pellets last as well.
- The heat needed to cook or smoke your meat has a significant impact on the length of time your pellets will last.
- The weather at the time of cooking also influences how long your pellets last.
- The brand and quality of the pellets you use will impact burn time.
- The grill you use and the insulation used in the grill has a significant effect on the burn time of your pellets.
Factors That Affect How Long Pellets Last
According to experts and my research, many aspects could influence how long pellets will last in a pellet grill. This being said, pellet grills are still gaining popularity due to how effective they are and the amount of control you have.
The following things will all influence how long your pellets last while grilling or smoking meat:
1. The Temperature of Your Grill
Since the heat you need to smoke or cook meat can differ significantly. It is only natural that the amount of time your pellets last and the required number of pellets will also vary.
If you want to cook your meat at higher temperatures, you will need more pellets, as cooking at high temperatures can make your pellets burn a lot faster.
“The smoker burns 1 to 3 pounds of pellets per hour. Traeger says that means each 20-pound bag provides between 6 to 20 hours of cook time (at high or low heat)," claims Brian from CNET .
2. The Weather
The weather at the grilling time is also a variable that must be considered when estimating how long your grilling pellets will last.
When using your pellet grill in the winter, for example, you will be using quite a bit more fuel to get your temperature right.
However, not only will preheating take longer, but you will probably also need to cook your meat for longer than you usually would, meaning that your pellets will not last as long.
"In cold weather, your grill is going to use more fuel to reach the right temperature; plan on using about 50% more than you would in the summer,” says Camp Chef .
Naturally, the weather outside will affect your grill's temperature and the number of pellets needed to keep the temperature steady, so always make sure you have extra.
3. The Brand and Quality of Your Pellets
As with all other things in life, most people would prefer to buy a cheaper alternative to expensive brands when no one is watching—the same counts for what pellets you use in your grill. After researching the quality differences and speaking to experts, you might want to reconsider that.
Brands that produce grilling pellets usually also sell grills themselves. This means that more prominent brands have a lot to lose if they sell you lower quality pellets than what is advertised.
Not only is the reputation of a brand on the line when they sell pellets of a lower quality standard, but they also do not need to.
More prominent brands have sometimes been around for years and have had enough time to perfect their pellets to ensure that the best experience you can expect would be by using their grill and pellets in combination.
4. The Grill and Insulation
By doing some research on the subject, it is easy to see why the grill you use will significantly impact the number of pellets you use and how long those pellets last. Not only does the size of the grill make a difference, but the quality of the grill and insulation used in its making also affects your pellets.
The brand of grill you choose to buy will usually have packet deals and combos that include a grill, pellets, and even some kind of insulation.
By using all three of these things together, you ensure high-quality cooking and longer-lasting pellets.
Traeger, a well-known pellet grill manufacturer, says the following about the use of a grill insulation blanket "It provides protection from the cold to maintain consistent temperatures and reduce pellet consumption.” 
Though an insulation blanket is a must-have for winter, some pellet grills use double walls to insulate themselves naturally. Using a double wall means that your temperature will be more stable, your pellets will last longer, and the number of pellets you use will lower as well.
How To Store Your Pellets To Last Longer?
After doing some more in-depth research, I found that the way you store your grill pellets can significantly impact how long they last. The pellet specialists at Traeger have also helped us with some guidelines for storing our wood pellets to ensure that they are suitable to be used when we need them .
The following are the best guidelines for storing your pellets:
- Keep your pellets stored in a dry place to avoid any moisture from ruining the pellets and preventing them from burning.
- Do not use zip-lock bags, and do not keep the pellets in the bag you buy it in.
- Use an airtight sealed container to keep any unwanted elements from affecting your pellets and making them unusable.
These tips might seem straightforward but can significantly extend the amount of time you can store your pellets before they cannot be used.
Related: Are Pellet Grills Healthy?
Buying or using a pellet grill, depending on the grill, can save you time, effort, and money if you use it right.
However, pellets can be pretty expensive if you're not careful, and using cheap and lower quality pellets can significantly affect how long they last the taste they produce and can end up costing you more in the long run.