Let’s get right to the point: Bear Mountain BBQ pellets are awesome. Period. There is no sense dragging it out, because any review of pellets is going to be short anyway. Once you get past the burn quality and the flavour – both of which are top-notch – there isn’t really much else to say. If you want you can stop reading right now, add “Bear Mountain” to your shopping list for the next time you head to the barbeque store, and be done with it.
The problem, of course, is that your local barbeque store might not have them. See, pellet smoking is still kind of new – or, I suspect, completely unknown – to most canucks. This isn’t terrible in itself, but it does mean that supplies are sometimes limited. The vast majority of stores in the Great White North that do sell BBQ pellets carry Traeger, maybe Louisiana, and a whole lot of nothing else. This is a shame, because the Bear Mountain stuff knocks them flat.
The big difference is that they are made from 100% hardwood, period. Most pellet manufacturers (including the two above) use flavoured oils to get the necessary aroma and taste from their pellets. Many also use wax or resin as a binder to form the pellets. The upshot is that the Bear Mountain pellets burn hotter and cleaner than either of the “typical” brands you can get around here. You use less for every cook, and you have virtually no ash to clean up afterwards. And the flavour that transfers to the food is real traditional hardwood flavour, with big bright aromas. In fact, as soon as you turn on your smoker and the first wisps of smoke hit your nose you can tell that this is something different – and better – than the brands you have been using.
If you live in Calgary or Hamilton-Burlington-Oakville, you can now get these pellets at Barbeques Galore. Otherwise, you are going to have to ask around. But if local BBQ store isn’t carrying Bear Mountain, then you owe it to yourself – and your food – to ask them why. Bug them incessantly if you have to. This is a product that is worth the effort.