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An Important Conversation about Flavored Grilling Pellets and Lump Charcoal


We realize that “pellets” and “charcoal” are not the sexiest topics. But seriously, every true grilling aficionado needs to know how to debate the merits of mesquite versus hickory-flavored pellets. 

So here’s a little cheat sheet to help you out. We’ve even structured it as a dialogue so you can practice in front of the mirror before your next grilling party!

The scene opens on Larry’s patio, where he and his friend, Sam, are grilling steaks.

Larry: I just bought this Traeger pellet grill from Rich’s. I’m loving the change from my old charcoal grill.

Sam: Pellets? Really?

Larry: Yeah. Pellet grills use small, food-grade pellets made from 100 percent hardwood sawdust. These aren’t the same kind of pellets used in pellet stoves that heat your home – Traeger pellets are both a clean-burning heat source and a delicious flavoring for pellet grills.

Sam: Do the pellets come in different flavors?

Larry: You bet they do! I buy them in 20-pound bags at Rich’s. They stock them in Hickory, Mesquite, Alder and Apple flavors.  They also sell Maple, Cherry, Oak and Pecan pellets.

Sam: That’s a great variety of flavors. But I own a charcoal grill. Did you notice whether Rich’s sells lump charcoal, too?

Larry: They do. In fact, Rich’s stocks the widest variety of grill fuels and accessories in the Northwest. Last time I was there, I noticed four brands of premium-grade charcoal:

  1. ONO charcoal, the original Luau charcoal (sold in 20-lb bags)
  2. Big Green Egg 100% natural lump (sold in 20-lb bags)
  3. Groveland Orange Tree lump charcoal (sold in 20-lb bags)
  4. Wicked Good Weekend Warrior Blend all-natural lump charcoal – (sold in 22-lb bags)

Sam: Impressive! Do they sell BBQ smoking chips, as well as charcoal?

Larry: Yep. They stock three brands all-natural wood pellets for charcoal or gas grills and they also carry BBQ smoking chips that enhance the flavor of different types of meat and fish.

  1. Western wood smoking chunks (Pecan, Hickory, Cherry, Apple)
  2. Jack Daniel’s wood smoking chips
  3. Weber Firespice hickory wood chips and chunks (hickory or mesquite)

Sam: Wow! I never knew Rich’s carried all that stuff. Where are they located?

Larry: Rich’s has five stores in Lynnwood, Bellevue, Tacoma, Tukwila, and Silverdale.

Sam: I’m gonna head over there tomorrow and stock up.

Larry: Good idea. But beware. Rich’s stocks an incredible lineup of grills and grilling accessories, in addition to pellet and charcoal. My guess is that you’re going to go home with more than a bag of charcoal!

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