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Pellet grills aren’t cheap, and many people think that charcoal grills produce a better flavor. They are still, however, very convenient to cook on. And when it comes to pellet grill brands, one name stands out – Traeger.
Models sold and manufactured by this company have many fans all across the country. In fact, it was this company that popularized pellet grills in the first place. It is one of the most reputable brands on the market, and many people swear that investing in a Traeger pellet grill is always a wise decision.
This time, we’ll be taking a closer look at their Lil Texas 22″ model. It comes with features such as auto-start ignition, digital controller, porcelain-coated grilling surface, and two caster wheels for portability. It also has a very small footprint, which turns it into an ideal choice for people who are looking for something more compact.
So, if you’re interested in a small but versatile pellet grill, keep reading. In the following paragraphs, we’ll be taking a quick look at features of Traeger Lil Texas 22″. We’ll analyze the model’s benefits, as well as possible flaws, and try to determine its value for the money.
This is a pellet grill manufactured by Traeger (Utah).
- 418 square inches of cooking space
- Porcelain-coated cooking surface
- Easy-to-use digital controls
- Pellet hopper capacity – 18lb
- Grease management system
- Two caster wheels
- 3-year limited warranty
This company has a vast experience in producing quality grilling appliances. Moreover, the user reviews suggest that Lil Texas 22″ successfully reflects the excellent quality Traeger is famous for. However, no product is perfect – let’s analyze its features in more detail:
Why Get It?
Unlike the traditional grills, Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 Pellet Grill is far more versatile. With it, you’ll be able to barbecue, braise, roast, bake, smoke, and grill all of your favorite foods. With 22″ x 19″ (418 square inches) of grilling space, the model has ideal size for a backyard cooking station. As a multi-functional appliance, it will allow you to cook sweet potatoes, a dozen burgers, and a pack of chicken wings at the same time. For those who often entertain their family and friends, this is an excellent option.
Measuring 22″ x 42″ x 49″, the model has the right size for most people. However, it isn’t particularly lightweight, at almost 100 pounds. Fortunately though, it comes equipped with two caster wheels. This is a standard for most Traeger pellet grills and something that allows smooth relocation. Without the caster wheels, moving this model around would be quite tricky.
In our opinion, this pellet grill is an ideal choice for a family of four. In case you need something larger, look into Traeger Pro Series 34″. It has 646 square inches of cooking space and is much more suitable for large outdoor gatherings. For those who need something smaller, on the other hand, the Ranger Portable (15″ PTG+) is one of the better options.
This model uses convection heating as a method of cooking. For that matter, you shouldn’t expect to see grill marks on your steak. For such results, a sear burner or a charcoal grill is always a better option. But if you’re a lover of smoked dishes, Lil Texas 22″ is quite hard to beat.
The unit comes equipped with an electric screw auger. Its job is to transport the pellets to the fire pot automatically. The integrated digital controller, on the other hand, is there to keep the temperature by means of adjusting the pellet consumption rate. In other words, one doesn’t have to check the cooking temperature every few minutes (“Set it and forget it”, as Traeger puts it). Firing up the model is exceptionally easy, thanks to the electronic auto-start ignition.
Lil Texas 22″ uses 100% pure hardwood pellets to cook the food. This provides energy of 8,500 BTUs, along with the ash content of just 2%.
It can theoretically achieve the temperature of 450° but struggles to get there in reality. Traeger claims that the model is capable of maintaining precise temperatures within +/- 20°F range.
The smoking temperature is 150-180°F, letting the user engage in low and slow cooking. The smoke infusion coming from the pellets is guaranteed to make your meals taste better. The unit’s convection fan has the job of circulating the air in the cooking chamber. Moreover, it keeps running for ten more minutes after you select the shutdown cycle position. This is to burn any excess pellets that have remained in the fire pot.
In terms of construction quality, Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 Pellet Grill is just as impressive. Although not in the same league as pricier models, it can still have a long lifespan with routine cleaning.
The model’s metal grates come coated with special porcelain material. This gives them the necessary resistance to rust. Another benefit of this coating is that it helps food slide off more easily.
Fortunately, this pellet grill also has a grease pan. Its job is to collect the grease dripping and carry them over to the external drip bucket. To make cleaning this bucket easier, line it up with some aluminum foil.
Accessories & Warranty
Trager offers a number of accessories for this unit. This allows its users to enhance some features if they wish to do so. If you, for example, need extra space for food preparation, you can simply purchase a shelf for your Lil Texas 22″. A cover is also available, and it fits perfectly. Its job is to provide extra protection against the elements, which is sometimes very important.
However, the most essential accessory for this pellet grill is probably the insulation blanket. Without it, you’ll find that using this model during the winter months is very difficult. In temperatures below 35°F, the insulation blanket will significantly reduce pellet consumption.
Just like most Traeger grills, this one is also covered by a limited 3-year warranty. Using any other pellets besides those sold by Traeger will void the warranty. If you’re someone who likes experimenting with different flavors, it might be worth taking this risk.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent construction quality
- Compact – small footprint
- Sizeable cooking area
- Easy-to-use digital controller
- Auto-start ignition
- Grease management system
- Caster wheels for mobility
- Lots of accessories available
- Overall 75% 75%
- Struggles to reach 450°F
- Winter-cooking requires an insulation blanket
“I really don’t know how I went so long without a pellet grill. The pulled pork and briskets I’ve done on this thing are amazing, and it does an excellent job with every kind of meat I try cooking on it. I bought an insulation blanket for it and turned it into my go-to year-round griller.”
Even though the user-manual is not exactly user-friendly, assembling Lil Texas 22″ is relatively easy.
What to Watch Out For
Struggles to get to 450°F
This pellet grill struggles to reach a temperature of 450 degrees. For that matter, the model is not the best choice for searing enthusiasts.
If you’re one of them, always have another dedicated searing setup ready or simply buy a more appropriate grill.
Colder months requires an insulation blanket
In case you live in a colder climate and want to use this grill during winter months, you’ll have to buy an insulation blanket for it.
If you don’t, you’ll be struggling to get to the temperatures needed for cooking.
A Piece of Advice
In case you encounter problems with checking your food, there’s a simple solution. This is especially essential when it comes to larger chunks of meat. The answer is in using a meat thermometer, or a meat probe. It’s an inexpensive, small device that allows one to control the temperature without having to lift the lid.
When it comes to maintenance, on the other hand, we advise purchasing an appropriate cover. It’s an excellent way to extend the lifespan of your unit. The cover will protect your Lil Texas 22″ from the harmful weather elements (snow, sun, rain, etc.) but also from humidity and dirt.
Mastering the techniques and skills required to make an amazing BBQ is undoubtedly a rewarding hobby. However, some meat lovers are simply short on time and patience. If you’re one of such people, the Traeger Lil Texas 22” might be the perfect pellet grill for your needs.
Although compact, this model has enough cooking space for a decent crowd. Embodying Traeger’s “set it and forget it” motto, it removes the need to babysit the meat while it’s getting cooked. Thanks to its digital controls, the unit can be easily used even by the biggest grilling amateurs.
Another significant advantage is the small footprint. Once combined with the set of two caster wheels, it’s a feature that makes this grill exceptionally mobile. There’s also a simple but effective grease management system, as well as the excellent construction quality of the whole appliance.
The 3-year warranty shows that Traeger is confident about the durability of this compact pellet grill. The price of Lil Texas 22″ reflects its quality and shows that it’s undoubtedly a great investment.