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Cooking methods and food habits largely depend upon tradition and geographical location. With the passage of time, the process of preparing food has evolved a great deal. Many experiments with different ingredients led to the creation of numerous delicious recipes.

Roasting and grilling are two well-known methods that impart a delicious taste to the meat. Moreover, grilling is a very healthy method of cooking, as it assists the food in retaining flavor and nutrients. There’s an overwhelming choice of grilling appliances on today’s market, and choosing one for yourself can be very difficult. Is a wood pellet grill the right choice for your needs?

As the name suggests, these appliances use wooden pellets. These are tiny tablets made up of compressed sawdust. Nowadays, this type of grill is more popular than ever before, thanks to the company called Traeger. More than 80% of pellet grills in the U.S. are manufactured by Traeger, and for good reasons – they’re efficient, durable, and exceptionally easy to use.

Can the same be said for their TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 model? With features such as multi-position thermostat control, spacious grilling area, and durable housing, it’s undoubtedly a model that deserves a more in-depth look. Let’s check it out:

Info

This is a pellet grill manufactured by Traeger (Utah).

Features:

  • Small footprint
  • 300 square inches of cooking space
  • Powder-coated 20-gauge steel exterior
  • Two caster wheels for portability
  • Multi-position thermostat control
  • Auto-shutdown setting
  • Comes with two 20lb pellet bags

Traeger manufactures and sells many different pellet grills, so it’s pretty easy to become confused by the sheer number of similarly named models. This unit’s name is Tailgater 20 and its model number is TFB30LZB. It is sold in bundles with bags of Traeger wood pellets.

Why Get It?

Traeger-TFB30LZB-TailgaterEven though it’s one of the smallest models in Traeger’s catalog, this unit still features quality construction. It’s a heavy-duty pellet grill, made from powder-coated 20-gauge steel that easily withstands daily wear and tear. It weighs 62 pounds and has the dimensions of 18″ x 37″ x 36″.

A footprint that’s so small brings both advantages and disadvantages. It makes the Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 extremely portable, especially when we take its caster wheels into account. Unfortunately, it also turns the unit into an unsuitable choice for taller chefs. The TFB30LZB is quite short – it’s only three feet tall and requires some bending during cooking.

For a pellet grill of this size, the Tailgater 20 has a pretty spacious grilling area. It measures 300 square inches and allows one to host a backyard party without any problems. You’ll be able to prepare 18 hot dogs, 12 burgers, 3 rib racks, or 2 chickens at once. This is more than enough for a small outdoor gathering.

Another outstanding feature is the multi-position thermostat control. The model comes with a knob with simple temperature settings, ranging from 180°F to 450°F. There’s a small but easy-to-read LED screen just above the knob selector. Although fluctuations are unavoidable, the users can still effectively control the temperature. Nevertheless, Traeger’s “set it and forget it” motto tells us that precise temperature control is not something to worry about here.

Other features worth mentioning are the auto shutdown setting and the overall energy efficiency. The job of the auto-shutdown function is to keep the induction fan running for ten more minutes after the unit is turned off.

This is to remove residual ash. Like most grills made by this company, the TFB30LZB also uses regular 120-voltage outlets. It uses 300 watts only during the first couple of minutes, and then slowly goes down to 50 watts for the remaining part of the cooking session.

Ease of Use

One of the best things about Tailgater 20 is that it allows hands-free cooking. Its hopper accommodates an abundance of pellets, which allows hours of cooking without the need for refilling. People who like checking out their meal might see this as a disadvantage, but it’s something that allows the chef to spend time with family and friends while it food is getting cooked.

Two Pellet Bags Included

Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 comes accompanied by two pellet bags. These are 20lb hickory pellets and 20lb mesquite pellets, both manufactured and sold by Traeger. An important thing to mention here is that using pellets that aren’t sold by Traeger voids the 3-year limited warranty.

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Compact size
  • Durable steel housing
  • Spacious grilling area
  • Easy to use digital controls
  • Auto-shutdown setting
  • Two caster wheels for easy relocation
  • Legs are foldable
  • Comes in a bundle with two pellet bags
  • Overall 95% 95%

CONS

  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Unsuitable for taller chefs

Testimonials

“I never thought I’d become so obsessed with a pellet grill. I’ve been using Tailgater 20 every weekend since I’ve bought it, and I’m thoroughly impressed by its efficiency. It’s my go-to appliance when it comes to preparing burgers and hot dogs for Sunday dinners.” 

- Mike

For a model with such a small footprint, TFB30LZB has a pretty spacious cooking area. As we said, it allows one to cook 18 hot dogs at once, which is pretty impressive.

What to Watch Out For

Temperature fluctuations

Just like with all pellet grills, temperature fluctuations are something to expect with Tailgater 20. Don’t worry too much – the digital temperature controls still work very well, and you’ll be able to cook simple tailgating foods without any issues.

Unsuitable for taller chefs

As it is only three feet tall, this model requires a lot of bending during the cooking sessions.

Taller grilling enthusiasts should probably look for a larger model.

A Piece of Advice

As we said, using pellets that aren’t sold by Traeger voids the warranty. However, using pellets sold by other companies might be worth the risk – you’ll have more freedom and a chance to try new flavors. Remember, pellets are not just fuel. They’re also the primary source behind the taste of the food you cook on your pellet grill.

Verdict

Overall, it’s pretty safe to say that the Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 is a high-quality pellet grill. It gives its buyer a real value for the money, especially if he needs something that’s portable and exceptionally easy to use. While you might be able to find a similar model for less money, Traeger’s reputation for quality is quite hard to beat.