I have a lot of fun cooking on my pellet grill and end up burning through a LOT of pellets. There are several companies that manufacture wood pellets but the most famous is probably Traeger.
Costco is currently selling a 33 pound bag of Traeger Gourmet Blend wood pellets and it is the best value I have ever seen for Traeger pellets. That being said, there are better cooking pellet options at Costco.
Gourmet Blend Wood Pellets
The wood in the Gourmet Blend pellets is a mix of Cherry, Maple and Hickory. This is a really nice hardwood blend that works well with pork, chicken and beef.
I really like the smoke aroma these pellets produce and it has worked great these past few weeks as I have been cooking picanha and tri tips that I also picked up at Costco.
To top things off, I have also been using the Traeger Chili Garlic dry rub that I got at Costco just to keep everything in the family! If you are buying the Traeger Fremont at Costco and want to stick with Traeger pellets then these will treat you right.
The Gourmet Blend pellets are high quality.
There was minimal dust in the bag I bought which indicates that Costco is able to maintain a pretty good inventory turn with these pellets. If pellets sit around in the store too long then tend to slowly break up into smaller pieces, dust, etc.
Other Cooking Pellets to Consider
The main issue with the Traeger Gourmet pellets is the price.
In general I like Traeger products but, except for the items they sell at Costco, they are usually extremely overpriced. These pellets are a great example of Costco working with a brand to get some reasonable prices.
I bought the 33 pound bag of pellets for $19.99 which works out to a cost of about $0.61 per pound. While the price point is significantly lower than you would spend for Traeger pellets at Home Depot ($0.95 per pound) they are still extremely overpriced in comparison to the Kirkland BBQ Pellets which are just as good ($0.33 per pound).
I have used several bags of Kirkland pellets in the past year and have gotten great flavor from them and had no operational issues with my grills.
Some Costco warehouses also carry Bear Mountain wood pellets. The Bear Mountain pellets cost almost as much as Traeger’s but have a reputation in the bbq community of having better smoke flavor. I have never used Bear Mountain pellets so I can’t speak from direct first hand experience.
You Don’t Have to Use Traeger Pellets
If you buy a Traeger pellet grill and read the Owner’s Manual then it is very easy to come away with the belief that you MUST use Traeger pellets. They usually include language in the warranty that implies the warranty is dependent upon using Traeger pellets.
However, when you read the material closely they are simply saying that they think their grills work best when you use their pellets. Traeger directly answers this question on their website where they state:
“You are free to use any brand food-quality grill pellets with your Traeger without fear of voiding its warranty. Home heating pellets have adjuncts, binders/glues, biomass, and softwood that will create performance and reliability problems that are not covered by warranty.”
As long as you are using food grade wood pellets in your grill then everything will be fine.
I have measured the diameter of the Gourmet pellets and Kirkland pellets with a micrometer and they both have a diameter of 0.25 inches. Your grill is not going to be able to tell the difference.
Traeger sells another Maple/Cherry/Hardwood blend at Home Depot that they call their Signature pellets. I believe the Signature pellets and Gourmet pellets are the exact same product with different packaging.
The Traeger Signature pellets are sold at Home Depot in 20 pound bags for $18.95 which works out to a cost of $0.947 per pound.
This means that you will save $0.351 per pound (36%) when you buy your Traeger pellets at Costco instead of Home Depot.