Wood Pellet Storage Ideas: 5 Effective Options

April 24, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

You can store your wood pellets in their original packaging with the help of clips, storage bags, airtight containers, and dispensing containers. These storage options ensure your pellets stay fresh and effective for a long time.

Wood pellets are a great addition to any smoking process, and they impart a unique smoky flavor to barbecues. However, bad wood pellets don’t offer the same results as fresh wood pellets. For this reason, it’s vital to store these pellets in a secure, low-moisture location.

For years, I’ve stocked up on wood pellets because I love using them to smoke my favorite meat and fish cuts. Today, I’ll show you how I store wood pellets to guarantee they stay fresh and last a long time. Let’s get started!

wood pellet storage ideas

Five Wood Pellet Storage Ideas

Here are five effective storage ideas for your prized wood pellets.

1. Pellet Bags with Clip

Choose a reliable bag clip if you’re on a tight budget. The clip ensures you can store your wood pellets in their original package. Also, a bag clip prevents the hassle of having to transfer the pellets into another container and spilling some of them on the ground.

When opening the pellet bag, ensure to cut neatly from the corner of the bag. Once you’ve filled your hopper, roll it up and secure it with the clip.

The clip should prevent moisture from entering the bag, so you can leave the sealed bag there in the garage. However, you should exercise caution because even a tiny rip in the pellet bags could allow enough moisture to enter and damage the pellets.

2. Pellet Storage Buckets

A tried-and-true method for storing pellets is using a sturdy plastic bucket with a tight cover. Your pellets will remain dry and intact in the bucket.

Make sure the bucket you buy can handle the number of pellets you wish to keep. For example, a 5-gallon bucket should contain about 20 pounds of wood pellets.  Another reason I like using buckets is because you can stack them.

Therefore, you can stack several pellet types on top of one another without taking up too much floor space. But be careful when stacking those buckets; pellets are heavy.

3. Storage Bags

Storage bags are a good option for storing pellets, and I like that they’re easy to use and transport. These lightweight and durable bags are perfect for the summer months and can contain up to a full 20-pound bag of pellets.

4. Pellet Storage Dispenser

Pellet storage dispensers include a built-in flip cover that makes it easy to dispense wood chips. It functions much like a built-in nozzle to pour your pellets into your grill’s hopper.

The container also has a handy built-in handle that makes it easy to lift, which is particularly helpful while filling the hopper. I like that you can also stack these containers on top of one another.

5. Plastic Containers

Large plastic containers are excellent for specialty pellets. So rather than using large buckets that will end up almost empty, you can use these smaller pellet storage containers. These containers can keep your wood pellets dry. 

Another benefit of pellet storage containers is that they stack up well and can easily fit on shelves or in small spaces. Simply fill the container with the pellets, shut the lid, and write the contents on the label.

Tips for Storing Wood Pellets

Here are a few wood pellet storage tips to ensure your pellets last as long as possible.

  • Store wood pellets in airtight containers for the best results. Keeping your wood pellets in an airtight container ensures they aren’t exposed to moisture, making them last longer.
  • Keep your wood pellets indoors to protect them from moisture and rain. If you can’t store your wood pellets inside, at least protect them from the weather by placing them in a carport or a shed. Even moisture-proof containers should be kept out of the rain because rain that collects on the airtight lid could leak into your pellets when you open it the next time.
  • Make sure you keep your wood pellets away from heat sources. Wood pellets are very combustible. So, keep your wood pellets away from furnaces, heaters, fire pits, and other sources of heat or flame to prevent accidental ignition.
  • Raise your wood pellets a few inches off the ground to protect them from dampness and temperature fluctuations.
  • Remember not to mix old and new pellets. Mixing your old pellets with new ones can spread any fungal rot or moisture that has developed in your pellets. Also, using new and old pellets in your smoker can lead to temperature changes that can ruin your smoking experience.
  • Although wood pellets are strong, handling them roughly can cause them to crack or flake. This makes some of the wood useless and produces extra dust at the bottom of the storage container. So, handle the pellets with care when transferring them into storage containers. You can use a bowl to scoop them into the new container or pour them directly from the bag with care.
  • It is smart to label your storage packages and containers with the date you stored them, especially if you’re storing different batches of wood pellets. By doing this, you can make sure that you use up all your old pellets before they start spoiling.
Bulk Blown Wood Pellet Fuel

How to Check Your Wood Pellets Are Good?

Always check the condition of your pellets before adding them to the hopper. Here are several methods for determining whether your pellets are usable:

  • Do a feel test by removing a few pellets from your container. They are no longer usable if they appear especially crumbly or if there is a lot of sawdust in the container.
  • Look at the pellets’ surface. A good wood pellet will have a smooth, shiny surface, while a bad pellet may appear dull and broken.
  • Place a few pellets in a bowl of water to see if they float. They will sink to the bottom if they are still good. However, bad pellets will float to the surface. After this test, ensure you don’t toss the good pellets back in the bag to prevent moisture from entering it. 
  • Check if your pellets are good by snapping them in half. A bad pellet will crumble and release dust when snapped, while a good pellet will snap neatly and easily.
  • A good pellet will smell like fresh wood with flavorful undertones. On the other hand, bad pellets will smell rotten.
  • Put one or two pellets on a ceramic surface, light them with a match, and watch them burn. You’re safe if the flame is pale yellow or brown. However, if the flame appears dark or has an unusual color, it is bad.

You shouldn’t use your pellets for heating or grilling if they don’t pass these tests, but you don’t have to throw them away. Bad wood pellets can be recycled into mulch, fire starters, and so on.

Do Wood Pellets Spoil?

Yes, wood pellets go bad over time. These pieces of wood typically show signs of deterioration before totally going bad. Avoid using the bad pellets and throw them away if they begin to smell bad, look rotten, and feel damp.

Always check the condition of your pellets before using them in your barbecue to ensure they are okay. Certain molds and fungi grow on bad pellets and release dangerous spores, emit unpleasant smoke, or even infect your food with dangerous toxins.

How Long Do Wood Pellets Last?

If properly stored, wood pellets can last up to a year. Pellets that are six months old or longer, especially those that have been incorrectly stored, will start to lose their ability to impart that smoky flavor to your food.

Ultimately, the shelf life of wood pellets depends on the type of wood they come from and how well you store them. The best way to keep your pellets in peak condition for a long time is to store them in a sealed, low-moisture area.

Solid Wood Pellet Fuel for Smokers

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Leave Wood Pellets in the Hopper?

You shouldn’t leave wood pellets in your grill’s hopper. If pellets are left unused in the smoker hopper, they may be exposed to moisture from the air or humidity. Any one of these elements can cause the pellets to absorb moisture and spoil.

A door or clean-out feature is a common feature in pellet smoker grills, making it simple to remove any leftover pellets. After each usage, use this feature to empty the hopper and move the pellets to an airtight container for later use.

2. Do Traeger Pellets Expire?

Traeger pellets can expire if exposed to the wrong storage conditions. Generally, wood pellets can last 6 months in areas of low humidity. However, that period is shortened to 1–3 months under humid conditions. However, if you store your pellets properly, you might be able to continue using them even after six months. 


We all love pellet barbecues, but storing all the pellets can be a hassle, especially if you buy several bags of various wood pellet flavors. Pellets become completely damaged the moment they become wet.

Using moist or degraded pellets can clog your auger, which can be bad for your grill. For this reason, it’s essential to store these pellets effectively. Use my five storage ideas to ensure your wood pellets stay in top condition for a long time.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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