How Long Does a 20-Pound Bag of Wood Pellets Last?


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Most newbie grillers often ask, how long a 20-pound bag of wood pellets will last? Well, you may ask these questions for mainly these reasons:

  • You want to calculate how much money you would be spending on buying the pellets
  • If you are trying to figure out how many pellets you will need to cook your melas properly.

In most cases, a 20-pound sack of wood pellets can burn for approximately six to twenty hours, depending on the grill type and the cooking temperature. If you have a lower temperature, the bag of wood pellets will last for a maximum of 20 hours. On the other hand, if you are cooking at a higher temperature, the pellets will burn faster, and the grill can be operated for a maximum of six hours.

Many other factors determine how long these 20lb bag wood pellets last. To get a better idea of what affects how fast a bag of pellets burns, continue reading through the article.

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How long will a bag of 20 lb wood pellets last?

Most of your regular pellet burners burn about 1 to 3 lb of pellets per hour, depending on the size of the grill, the temperature, and the grill model. The number of pellets that your grill burns in an hour will also depend on the humidity and wind speed.

But the main factor is the temperature you are cooking at. So if you are cooking at 225° F, your pellet burner will be using about 0.5 to 1 lb per hour. However, at temperatures more than 225° F, your pellet burner might burn as much as 3 lb per hour. Also, the efficiency and the size of your grill play a major role. All the pellet burners with more cooking areas or surfaces will be using more pellets as compared to the smaller ones.

Pellet usage testing data

The average hourly pellet consumption is:

  1. Average consumption rate @225° F: approximately 1.6 lb per hour
  2. Average consumption rate @450° F: approximately 4.5 lb per hour.

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What are the factors that influence the burn rate of grill pellets?

Whenever you buy a bag of wooden pellets, you will notice a burn rate list printed on the side. However, the burn rate is affected by many factors. Some of the most important ones are:

Weather conditions

During winter, especially in cold weather locations, the pellet grill will need to burn the wooden pellets for longer durations. So in simple words, you need more heat to stay warm and cook your meals properly. 

On the other hand, you won’t require that much heat in warmer regions. Thus, less heat will be generated by your pellet grill, and it will not require many wooden pellets.

The type of pellet grill

If you plan to burn your pellets for a longer time, you may consider buying an insulated pellet grill. These grills come with covers that do a wonderful job of storing the heat to cook your meals. Insulation methods offer a lot of extra heat. So your wooden pellets won’t be burning as long as they usually do. Therefore your 20-pound bag of wood pellets will last longer.

Presence of oils in wooden pellets

Some of the cheaper varieties of wooden pellets might have oil to account for the lack of good quality wood and enhance flavour. These oils, however, make the pellets burn faster so that the cooking temperature remains constant while cooking.

The density of the wood

Big-sized wooden pellets have a significant amount of wood in them, and therefore they can burn for longer durations. These wooden pellets are also tougher than the fluffy pellets, which have lesser amounts of wood material in them. The amount and quality of wood present in the wooden pellets will depend on your brand choice and what your brand prefers, extra flavour or durability.

The heat required for cooking

The burn rate printed on the pellet bags is calculated according to the average temperature at which most foods have to be cooked. Usually, it is somewhere in the middle.

When cooking at higher temperatures, your wooden pellets will burn faster, and therefore they won’t last long. However, if you cook at lower temperatures, these pellets will burn slower.

Bulk Wood Pellets

A standard-sized bag of wooden pellets is about 20 lb. Most of the small and medium-sized pellet grills require 20 lb of wood pellets at a time to cook food. A bag of 20 pounds of wood pellets are known to last for about 6 to 20 hours.

But these burn rates are also affected by the factors mentioned earlier, and therefore, it is recommended that you buy wood pellets in bulk for better burn rates.

How long do the wooden pellets last when you store them in the pellet grill?

You are always advised not to leave or store your pellets in the pellet burners for longer durations of time. This is because the wooden pellets might get damp and clogged, and the burning capacity might be affected.

But if you live in a hot area with low humidity, you can easily leave your pellets on your burner for at least two to three weeks. However, the best way to store your 20 lb bag of wood pellets would be to keep it in a cool and dry place. You can store it in a garage or a shed that does not have direct sunlight and isn’t too humid.


If you want your 20 lb bag of wood pellets to last longer and enhance the flavour of your food, you have to consider various factors. You need to consider the weather of your place, the number of pellets you are planning to buy, the type of grill you are using to cook, the density of the wooden pellets, whether you want to have oils in them, and finally, the amount of heat you require to cook your meals. 

Generally, a standard bag of 20 lb wood pellets will last for a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 24 hours. The type of wood pellets that burn 1 lb per hour is comparatively more durable than those that burn 3 pounds an hour.

How Long Does a 20-Pound Bag of Wood Pellets Last? was last modified: by