ButlerWood: Quality, Consistent Cook Wood

Family-owned ButlerWood supplies quality cookwood to the growing BBQ pellet market.
By Pellet Mill Magazine | February 22, 2021

When Roy Butler and his two sons founded ButlerWood 18 years ago in Seguin, Texas, their vision was to deliver a quality and consistent wood product while providing exceptional customer service, an imperative component of the growth and success of the small, family-owned business.

Having helped expand the business while attending college, brothers Austin and Jake Butler have since taken over. While the company’s mission and values have remained steadfast over the years, its capabilities and offerings have evolved. “We started out supplying barbeque restaurants with quality cook wood,” Austin Butler says. “About four years ago, we began selling wholesale cook wood to pellet manufacturers and others making retail wood products. We’ve really found success in this by doing our own distribution to these facilities with a trucking company.”

And, Butler says, the company has moved toward land clearing to get closer to the woods, enabling it to secure large tracks of cook wood product. “We clear it ourselves, and then distribute it ourselves directly to the people who are making retail product or cooking high-end meat with it,” he says. “We knew we needed more product than what we could get from our local loggers and cutters, and it was apparent that in order to do that, we needed more control, and we needed to come up with better processes that work for this wood type.”

That wood type is mesquite, which is difficult to cut down and ship due to its twisted, crooked nature. And, Butler adds, pecan is often unreachable in most weather conditions throughout the year—that is, except for in Texas. “You can’t get to pecan when it’s raining—it grows in wet country—but here, it’s fairly dry and we can get to most of it,” he says.

Demand for mesquite and pecan has been rocketing, Butler says. “On the pellet side of things, we have seen about a 40% growth each year, for the past three years. More people are using cook wood in their pellet grills at home, and that’s really where the growth is. We’ve been supplying a lot of the bigger names in the cook wood pellet market.”

Paralleling ButlerWoods’s efficient distribution model is price consistency, Butler emphasizes, a quality of particular importance to pellet producers with typically tight margins. “By shipping it on our own trucks, we pretty much ensure the price of this wood is flatlined—oftentimes, it’s inconsistent with trucking, especially long distances.”

Butler says in addition to new customers producing solely BBQ pellets and those making heating pellets looking to diversify their offering, even appliance manufacturers are looking to get into the game. “We get calls from companies saying they developed a BBQ pellet smoker, and now they want to develop a line of pellets to go with it. There are a lot of new players in this game.”

ButlerWood has the raw product, distribution and price stability, he reiterates. “We know cook wood, and if the pellet mills are making a cook wood product, they can be assured they will get the best product from us.” 

 

Author: Pellet Mill Magazine