Traeger is a company with a long history. They have established themselves as innovators. Most grilling enthusiasts love them for their reliable, efficient and affordable outdoor cooking equipment. However, the invention of pellet grills is what really put them on the map. It’s an invention that’s changing the world of grilling, slowly but surely.
Pellet smokers infuse the wood with a unique smoky flavor, employ sophisticated technology, and are easy to operate. However, they are yet to reach their full potential.
Traeger has manufactured the first pellet grill over forty years ago. Since then, they have come a long way, but not long enough. There are only about half a dozen reputable pellet smoker manufacturers, and Traeger surely is one of them.
The lack of competition and the sophisticated technology make the average smoker very expensive. However, because of the luxuries they offer, they sell like hotcakes.
Although Traeger has invented smokers, their competitors have proven themselves to be worthy opponents when it comes to pellet grills. REC TEC and Camp Chef have made their own additions and improvements to the technology.
But Traeger hasn’t been idle; they’ve been doing their part to stay ahead of the curve. The traeger texas elite 34 wood pellet grill is a testament to that. But what exactly makes a good smoker?
A large pellet smoker manufactured by Traeger.
- 646 sq. in. Total Cooking Area
- Digital Elite Controller
- Caster Wheels
- Porcelain Grates
- Steel Construction with Powder Coat Finish
- Electric Auto-Start Ignition
- Fueled by 100% Hardwood Pellets
- Grease Management System
- 36,000 BTU
- 18 lbs Hopper
- Shut Down Cycle
- 150° to 450° Temperature Range
Many die-hard grilling aficionados have more than one grill, each serving a different purpose. For example, they use a charcoal grill for hot dogs and burgers, while the smoker is for ribs and briskets. The Traeger Texas Elite takes out two birds with one stone!
More like six birds, actually. It’s great for smoking, baking, grilling, raising, braising, and BBQing. It’s the only backyard setup you’ll ever need.
You can use it to smoke ribs or bake a wood-fired pizza. Perhaps even a tasty apple pie. No matter what dish you go for, you can expect the same, tasty results every tame.
Traeger has proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of grilling. The bronze-powdered coated lid screams quality. The powder-coated steel doesn’t only make the grill impervious to rust, but it also ensures durability.
The thought of scrubbing the grill for hours after a single cookout is enough to turn off many potential buyers. Thanks to the excellent grease management system and porcelain grates, grilling with the Texas Elite 34 won’t feel like a chore.
All the excess grease drains into the grease buckets that are located on each side of the model. Your only job is to empty them out afterward. The porcelain grates are inherently nonstick, making it easy to scrape off any gunk that’s left after smoking juicy burgers or saucy racks of ribs.
The Texas Elite delivers all the conveniences of a high-quality smoker. It’s fueled by 100% hardwood pellets. The pellet smoke infuses the food with a distinctively delicious flavor. It cannot be emulated on a charcoal grill or a gasser. Sure, you can get a smoker tube, but it has its limitations. An eight-inch accessory cannot be compared to a full-sized smoker.
Every kind of pellet produces a different type of smoke. Using different types of pellets allows you to try out different smoky flavors. Your possibilities are numerous.
The hopper can hold eighteen pounds of pellets. That’s enough for a twelve-hour cookout. Fill the hopper to the brim and you won’t be worrying about running out of fuel mid-cookout. Pellet grills are expensive, without a doubt. The bigger the cooking surface, the bigger the price. Considering that the Texas Elite offers 646 square inches of total cooking space, one could say the model is quite budget-friendly.
But never mind the type of grill, this is a large cooking surface by all standards. The 642 square inches cooking area translates to either 32 hot dogs, 24 burgers, 5 large chickens, or 9 racks of smoked ribs in a single cooking session. That ought to be enough for a big family gathering.
Like with any smoker, the heart of the Texas Elite is its temperature controller. The Digital Elite Controller makes grilling with a smoker easy and simple. The “set-it-and-forget-it” function could be the biggest selling point of the model.
The feature allows you to set the desired temperature, according to the kind of food you want to prepare, walk away, and come back when the food is done. There’s no babysitting, no-flare ups, nor nothing of the sort. Sit back, drink a beer, chat with friends, and relax while you wait for the steak to be ready.
The temperatures the grill delivers can’t go very hight, the maximum being 450°, but they are consistent and evenly spread. Thanks to the temperature controller and the automated auger, the temperature never varies more than 20 degrees. The feature also allows you to cook in windy or cold conditions without any interruptions.
The auger feeds the pellets into the firebox. It automatically adjusts the feeding rate to the external weather conditions.
The LED display makes the controller even easier to navigate. Starting up the grill takes a push of a button, thanks to the electric auto-ignition feature. You won’t have to wait for a long time for the temperature to rise, as it takes ten to fifteen minutes to reach maximum heat.
Typically, to move a grill of this size requires a bit of elbow grease. To make things easier on the user, the model stands on four castor wheels. You can move it around the backyard or roll it back to the garage without much effort.
Pros & Cons
- Porcelain Grates
- Sizeable Cooking Area
- Grease Management System
- Easy Assembly
- Easy to Navigate
- Auto-Start Ignition
- Shut Down Cycle
- Easy Maintenance
- Unique Smoky Flavor
- Overall 92% 92%
- No Sears
- No Wifi App
“This is exactly what I hoped it would be. I didn’t expect any less from Traeger. They invented smokers, after all. When I was searching for a smoker, I wanted to make sure the size matches the price. I got a bigger grill than I expected, to my surprise.
The grates are big enough to feed the whole family in a single take, and I do have a big family. But what I am most impressed with is the temperature controls. The temperature is exactly as I set it, I don’t have to worry about it or nothing. I just press a few buttons and I’m done.
The grease buckets and the non-stick grates come really appreciated. The reason I bought myself a new grill was because of how annoying the cleanup was with my old one.
That and the fact that I wanted to taste the fabled wood flavor the smokers offer. The taste is certainly worth the while. I couldn’t imagine going back to a gas grill. The grill came with a cover. It was nice of the seller to include it, cause I forgot to order one with the grill.”
The insulation cover is important, more than it seems. Unlike standard grills, smokers employ advanced technology. The weather and humidity are no friends to the electric components.
In case you get the Texas Elite, never forget to cover it with a blanket when it’s not in use, and especially during the winter. It seems small, but it will help ensure the grill lasts a long time.
What to Watch Out For
No Sear Marks
Pellet grills cannot reach high temperatures. That means you won’t be seeing any sear marks. Some smokers do come with extra features and accessories that enable searing, but Traeger is yet to include such an add-on.
A Piece of Advice
The digital temperature control is an excellent feature that makes grilling easier. However, it can be made even easier with the use of a meat probe.
Meat probes are inexpensive accessories that can be purchased separately. They measure the temperature of the inside of the meat. That way you can easily tell when the meat is ready.
Get a Proper Extension Cord
Pellet grills can’t work without electricity. Make sure you use a quality extension cord and not a generic household extension cord.
Generic cords heat up fast and are typically not even long enough. The best move would be to get an electrician to tailor a custom made cord for you.
Traeger is known for making high-end grills that come just as advertised. The Texas Elite 32 doesn’t break away from that tradition.
The model doesn’t come with as many extra add-ons as it could, but it has all that you want to see in a top-notch smoker. Moreover, it’s cooking surface is quite sizeable and the pellet hopper capacity is impressive.
You can expect the smoker to serve you for the years to come. The Traeger logo has always been a guaranty of reliability and durability.