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Best Traeger Grills Reviews

A Good For / Not Good For

Traeger Grills are Good For:

The beginnings of Traeger can be traced back all the way back to the 19th century. This is when Joe Traeger decided to do some experimenting with pellet-burning furnaces. In the end, he came up with a clean-burning, energy-efficient grill, which is the ancestor of all modern Traeger products.

Nowadays, this brand is well-known to every grilling enthusiast. The company manufactures and sells many different models, coming in all shapes and sizes and at different prices. One characteristic is common – they’re all well-built and exceptionally easy to use.

The most significant advantage of Traeger grills is that most of them use wood pellets. This means that they’re very versatile. One can use a pellet grill to cook an array of lip-smacking meals, ranging from braised short ribs to chicken wings. Also, pellet grills pre-heat very quickly and save a lot of time.

Another advantage of Traeger grills is that they’re highly portable. The company equips most of its models with caster wheels. This means that they’re very easy to relocate.

Running on electricity and having digital controls, they’re also very easy to use, even if you’re someone who never used a modern pellet grill before.

Finally, most of these appliances have sturdy construction. Traeger builds their grills from materials such as cold-rolled steel and cast iron, ensuring durability and reliability. If they’re properly cleaned and maintained, Traeger grills can last for years. Fortunately, they’re easy to keep clean thanks to their non-stick cooking surfaces.

The Bad Things about Traeger Grills:

When it comes to disadvantages, the first thing to take into consideration is that Traeger grills are quite pricey. This is an established and well-known brand, and one whose products come at prices that are significantly higher than those of the competing products. If you’re looking for a cheap, budget-oriented pellet grill, Trager probably isn’t your best choice.

Until a couple of years ago, these types of grills weren’t widely manufactured or marketed. This means that they were unable to develop as quickly as some other types of grills. In other words, pellet grills, including those made by Traeger, come with some disadvantages.

The first of these flaws is that they rarely provide a user with a temperature higher than 450°F. This makes them unsuitable for serious searing, which requires a higher temperature. There’s also the lack of flexibility when it comes to the size of these products. Pretty much all of Traeger’s pellet grills are full-sized, although there are some exceptions (like Ranger Portable).

There is also a matter of temperature discrepancy. Some people expect these grills to maintain a consistent temperature. That is unrealistic – always expect at least a 15°F discrepancy between the actual temperature and the one you’ve selected on the dial.

Finally, there are also some minor design flaws, like the cooking grates moving around in their place. However, these defects are trivial once we compare them to the overall convenience and reliability of these easy-to-use pellet grills.

review of the products

logot
TFB30LZB Tailgater 20
Tailgater Pro
Pro Series 34
Lil Texas 22”
Ranger Portable
Renegade Pro
Product name:
TFB30LZB Tailgater 20
Tailgater Pro
Pro Series 34"
Lil Texas 22”
Ranger Portable
Renegade Pro
Cooking space:
300 square inches
300 square inches
646 square inches
418 square inches
173 square inches
380 square inches
Warranty:
3 years
3 years
3 years
3 years
3 years
3 years
Size:
18" x 37" x 36"
31" x 48" x 43"
22" x 54" x 49"
22” x 42” x 49”
19" x 20" x 13"
39" x 27" x 50"
Highlights:
20-gauge steel exterior, digitally controlled temperature, two pellet bags included
10lb pellet hopper, electronic auto-start, two caster wheels
Non-stick porcelain grates, digital elite controller, automatic shut-down cycle
Porcelain-coated grilling surface, 18lb pellet hopper, E-Z grease management system
Compact & mobile, 5lb pellet hopper, digital elite controller
Dual temperature probes, all-terrain wheels, 18lb pellet hopper
Price:
$$$$
$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

review of the products

Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20

Pitmaster Rating: 4.1

If you’re looking for an efficient, portable, and durable portable wood-fire grill, this model is one of your best options. Featuring a small footprint but still providing full-flavored meals with every cookout, the Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 works just as advertised.

This pellet grill is one of the smallest in the company’s catalog. It has a weight of 62 pounds and its dimensions stand at 18″ x 37″ x 36″. However, one should not be fooled by its size. This is still a heavy-duty, powerful pellet grill that you can use for a variety of cooking operations. These include grilling, smoking, roasting, baking, and braising.

For a model of this size, the TFB30LZB has a pretty spacious cooking area of 300 square inches. This allows one to cook 18 hotdogs, 12 burgers, 3 rib racks, or 2 chickens at once. The fact that it was designed to please tailgating fans is apparent right from the start. With it, you’ll be able to host a backyard party without any problems.

The unit is also very durable – its exterior was manufactured from heavy-duty 20-gauge steel. It is sold in a combo with two pellet bags (hickory & mesquite) and comes accompanied by a 3-year warranty.

PROS

  • Small footprint
  • 300 square inches of cooking space
  • 20-gauge steel exterior
  • Digitally controlled temperature
  • Auto-shutdown setting
  • Foldable legs
  • Two caster wheels
  • Two pellet bags included

CONS

  • Prone to temperature fluctuations
  • Short – only 3 feet off the ground
  • DESIGN 70% 70%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 85% 85%
  • PRICE 88% 88%

Traeger Tailgater Pro

Pitmaster Rating: 4.3

Next up is the Traeger Tailgater Pro model, which is quite similar to TFB30LZB but comes at a slightly lower price. It’s a popular and well-received pellet grill whose features easily prove why it is a favorite of many grilling enthusiasts all over the country.

First of all, the Tailgater Pro is exceptionally easy to use. This is due to its digital temperature controls, fully automatic auger, and the electronic auto-start. Combined, these features allow even the biggest grilling amateur to use this appliance with ease. Just like all other devices of this type, it’s a fantastic option for backyard cooking.

The unit’s build quality also deserves words of praise. Not only does the model heat up really well, but also easily withstands daily wear and tear. It’s a compact and lightweight pellet grill, allowing smooth relocation. Due to its robust caster wheels, you’ll be able to move it from one place to another whenever needed.

With 19,500 BTUs and the temperature range of 180-375°F, the Tailgater Pro is suitable for preparing most tailgate foods. It has an ample cooking surface of 300 square inches and a pellet hopper capacity of 10 pounds. Like most Traeger grills, it is covered by a limited 3-year warranty.

PROS

  • Portable and easy to store
  • 300 square inches of cooking space
  • 180-375°F temperature range
  • Digital thermostat controls
  • Automatic auger
  • 10lb pellet hopper
  • Electronic auto-start
  • Two caster wheels

CONS

  • Poor instructions
  • Taller chefs might find it too low
  • DESIGN 71% 71%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 80% 80%
  • PRICE 86% 86%

Traeger Pro Series 34″

Pitmaster Rating: 4.0

One of the company’s bestsellers, the Pro Series 34″ pellet grill is an outstanding appliance. Durable, easy to control, and exceptionally efficient, it’s a perfect model for anyone who is serious about wood pellet cooking.

The design of this unit is quite similar to that of the other Traeger grills. It is equipped with convenient non-stick porcelain grates that are easy to keep clean. The exterior itself is quite sturdy, so there’s no need to worry about possible dents. It’s a heavy-duty pellet grill and one that can easily last for years.

The model has a sizeable cooking area of 646 square inches. As you can guess, this is enough for both family cookouts and tailgate parties. With Pro Series 34″ one can cook hot and fast or slow and low. Its versatility allows for a variety of cooking options, such as barbeque, grilling, braising, baking, smoking, and roasting.

One thing that sets it apart from the competition is the elite digital controller. It’s an easy-to-use control panel with a simple dial and a LED screen. It keeps the temperature within the +/- 20°F range. Starting the unit up is just as easy thanks to the electronic auto-start ignition.

Besides the high price, our only complaint is the wheel design. They’re not of the best quality and have trouble moving over non-smooth surfaces.

PROS

  • 6-in-1 versatility
  • 646 square inches of cooking space
  • Non-stick porcelain grates
  • Digital elite controller
  • Auto-start system
  • Automatic shut-down cycle
  • 18-pound hopper capacity
  • E-Z grease management system

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Problematic wheel design
  • DESIGN 80% 80%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 70% 70%
  • PRICE 72% 72%

Traeger Lil Texas 22″

Pitmaster Rating: 3.9

As the name suggests, this pellet grill is one of Traeger’s more conveniently-sized models. Although compact and able to fit on a standard patio, it is still sizeable enough to cook enough food for a larger dinner party.

With 418 square inches of cooking space, you’ll be able to prepare food in six different ways. These are barbecuing, grilling, smoking, braising, baking, and roasting. The model comes with an 18-pound pellet hopper and makes it easy to achieve the delicious wood-fired taste.

Another advantage is the digital thermostatic control. Unlike older Traeger models, which featured 3-position controllers, this one is far more accurate. One can simply load up Lil Texas at midnight, set it to 225°F, and wake up to a smell of a delicious BBQ feast. The controller consists of just one button, a dial, and a LED screen.

The unit’s grease management system also deserves words of praise. It effortlessly draws out grease and similar liquids and safely deposits them into a bucket that’s attached to the side of the grill. For easier disposal, we advise lining up the bucket with tin foil.

Although not flawless, the Lil Texas 22″ is an excellent choice for those who need a compact but efficient pellet smoker.

PROS

  • Small footprint
  • 418 square inches of cooking space
  • Porcelain-coated grilling surface
  • 18lb pellet hopper
  • E-Z grease management system
  • Digital controller
  • Auto-start ignition
  • Two caster wheels

CONS

  • Struggles to get to 450°F
  • Cooking in colder climates requires an insulation blanket
  • DESIGN 80% 80%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 85% 85%
  • PRICE 78% 78%

Traeger Ranger Portable

Pitmaster Rating: 4.0

Few grill brands are as popular as Traeger. However, most of their models are large, heavy and expensive. Fortunately for those who need something more compact, the company finally went mini with their new Portable models.

The Ranger Portable is one of those units. Having the dimensions of 19″ x 20″ x 13″ and weighing 41 pounds, it is exceptionally mobile and easy to relocate. This turns it into a perfect choice for the chefs on the go.

Due to its small size, the model has only 173 square inches of cooking space. However, this is still more than enough for a typical outdoor cookout. You’ll be able to prepare a pork butt, a chicken, sixteen hot dogs, or around eight burgers at once. Don’t let the size fool you – 16,000 BTUs will turn any piece of meat into a delicious meal.

Just like most Traeger grills, this one also features a digital elite controller. It’s an easy-to-use control panel with just one dial button and a LED screen. The unit works off regular 110V electricity and its hopper’s capacity stands at 5 pounds.

Finally, the Ranger Portable features a pretty robust construction. It was manufactured from powder-coated steel and, although portable, looks like a real heavy-duty grill. It is accompanied by Traeger’s standard 3-year limited warranty.

PROS

  • Compact & mobile
  • Made from powder-coated steel
  • Energy efficient
  • Multiple cooking options
  • 5lb pellet hopper
  • Digital elite controller
  • Grease panel
  • 3-year warranty

CONS

  • Small capacity
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • DESIGN 80% 80%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 85% 85%
  • PRICE 78% 78%

Traeger Renegade Pro

Pitmaster Rating: 4.2

Next up is Traeger Renegade Pro, a stylish, efficient pellet grill with many convenient features. If you’re someone who never uses charcoal or gas, this model might be your best choice – check out its characteristics:

The dimensions of this grill stand at 39″ x 27″ x 50″, and it weighs approximately 137 pounds. Just like all other appliances made by this company, this one is also exceptionally sturdy. Traeger Renegade Pro features impressive steel construction with a durable powder coat finish. In other words, it easily withstands daily wear and tear.

It has a cooking surface of 380 square inches, spread over its easy-to-clean porcelain grates. Once we combine this with its dual temperature probes and the digital controller, we get a model whose efficiency and ease of use is hard to beat. There’s also the electronic auto-start ignition, as well as a pellet hopper with a capacity of 18 pounds.

With Renegade Pro, you’ll be able to BBQ, grill, braise, bake, roast, and smoke. It’s a very versatile and multi-functional cooking station. It is also very easy to move around, thanks to its dual caster wheels.

For the price it comes at, the Renegade Pro is a pretty good investment. It is not flawless, but it’s very versatile and efficient, which is precisely what we expected from a Traeger grill.

PROS

  • Efficient & versatile
  • 380 square inches of cooking space
  • Dual temperature probes
  • Digital controller
  • All-terrain wheels
  • 18lb pellet hopper
  • Easy-to-clean porcelain grates
  • Two caster wheels

CONS

  • Flimsy control dial
  • Relatively expensive
  • DESIGN 65% 65%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 85% 85%
  • PRICE 78% 78%

Traeger Grills – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

Compared to charcoal and gas grills, the Traeger pellet grills are not only cleaner but also simpler and easier to use. They use wood pellets, which are relatively affordable, dense, and burn hot and smooth.

These are fed into the fire via an automatic auger, requiring minimum effort from the user. Moreover, most Traeger models come with digital controllers – you just have to “set it and forget it”. If you’re looking to buy one of these grills, you’d probably like to know more about what features to look for. Don’t worry – we’re here to help you out:

Portability

Although made from steel and other heavy-duty materials, most Traeger grills are portable. This is because most of them come with robust caster wheels.

If you, however, need a model that’s genuinely mobile and easy to relocate, there’s no better choice than Ranger Portable. This is the smallest of the models we’ve reviewed and an ideal pellet grill for the chefs on the go.

Fortunately, its compact size is not the only good thing about it. It allows multiple cooking options, has a digital elite controller, and is made from sturdy powder-coated steel. So, portability, durability, and efficiency are guaranteed.

Cost

As it is one of only a few manufacturers of pellet grills out there, Traeger sells their models at premium prices. If you’re looking for a budget option, this brand probably isn’t for you.

If you do have the money, however, you should opt for a model that suits your needs the best. The company’s pellet grills we’ve reviewed come at prices that range from $400 to $900. Even the most affordable unit, the Tailgater Pro, comes with advantages that effortlessly place it above the competition.

These include 300 square inches of cooking space, a 10-pound hopper, digital thermostat controls, two caster wheels, and other goodies.

Material

A well-built pellet grill is worth more than a hundred budget-oriented models – it will serve you for years. In general, the more stainless steel used in manufacture, the less chance for corrosion. This, however, also brings a higher cost.

When in the market for a pellet grill, look for models that were constructed from long-lasting materials.

As we said, steel is always the best choice – it easily resists rust and similar external damages. Another advantage of high-quality construction is improved heat retention and overall performance.

Although some of their models are prone to dents, Traeger pellet grills are generally heavy-duty and very durable.

Capacity

Capacity is yet another factor to consider. It includes both the size of the cooking surface and the capacity of the pellet hopper.

When it comes to the size of the cooking surface, choose a model whose cooking space suits your needs. With 646 square inches of it, the Pro Series 34″ model will let you cook large amounts of food all at once. This turns it into an ideal choice if you often prepare food for large outdoor gatherings. The Ranger Portable, on the other hand, is perfect for smaller backyard cookouts, letting you make hot dogs and burgers for your family and close friends.

Hopper-wise, we advise opting for one with a large capacity. This will let you load enough fuel to last through the entire grilling session. Hoppers of smaller size require frequent refilling.

Expert Tips and Tricks

If you’re a proud owner of a new pellet grill made by Traeger, you probably have a couple of questions. Which pellets should I use? How do I deal with the temperature fluctuations? What about storage and maintenance?

Don’t worry – we have you covered. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what a new user can expect from his brand new Traeger pellet grill

#1 – Which Pellets to Use

Pellets are a crucial factor when it comes to the outcome of your cooking sessions. They’re not just the fuel, but also the source of the flavor. An important thing to mention here is that Traeger states that using any other pellets besides those sold by them voids the warranty. Despite the risk of voiding the warranty, many grilling enthusiasts still use other brands. For example, Q Pellets and Cookin’ Pellets are brands that are trusted by many BBQ lovers all over the country.

Ultimately, it’s up to the user if he’s willing to take the risk. Remember that stepping away from pellets made by Traeger provides more freedom and allows one to try many new flavors.

#2 – Dealing with the Temperature Swings

Unfortunately, a consistently stable temperature is not something you can expect with a pellet grill. And when the temperature fluctuates, it’s good to know how to deal with this problem.

The first thing to take a look at is your pellets. As you probably already know, pellets of poor quality produce more ash. The RTD probe will struggle to get a correct reading, which leads to the auger feeding more pellets into the firebox than needed. Another possible issue could be the RTD probe itself. The best way to determine if this is the problem is to conduct a test against a reliable thermometer.

Traeger-renegade-Pro-Pellet-Grill-Black new

It might also be worth checking out how smoothly are the pellets moving into your auger. This is a well-known issue that often leads to temperature drops. To solve this problem, simply redistribute the pellets in the box.

The position of your grill, the outside temperature, and the wind can also lead to temperature fluctuations. Also, make sure to check your drip pan, heat diffuser, and the fire pot. These can corrode over time and cause oxygen flow changes and hot spots, which leads to temperature fluctuations.

#3 – Maintenance & Storage

Make sure to store your pellets in a dry spot. In case they get damp, they won’t burn hot. As you can guess, this won’t allow your Traeger grill to reach the desired temperature.

Also, avoid leaving the pellets in the pellet box for too long. Generally, it’s a very good practice always to empty the hopper after each cooking session. This is even more crucial in case you live in a colder climate. Pellets can easily freeze in the box, slowly break down into sawdust, and then clog up the auger. This can make quite a mess that takes a lot of time to clean up.

When it comes to general maintenance, make sure to cover the drip tray with a simple tin foil for easier cleaning. You can use warm soapy water and an abrasive sponge to clean the grill plate.

 

Conclusion

If pellet grills are new to you and you’re looking to buy one, it’s vital to be familiar with your choice of brands on the market. As it turns out, models manufactured and sold by Traeger are among the best. In fact, it was this company that popularized pellet grills in the first place.

To help you out, we took the most popular models and analyzed their features in detail. Traeger has many different models on offer, varying in size and price. However, a few of the characteristics are common to all of their models – durability, efficiency, and ease of use.

Although a tough decision, our favorite Traeger grill has to be the Pro Series 34″. It comes with an ample cooking space of 646 square inches, spread over non-stick porcelain grates. It has an 18-pound pellet hopper and easy to use digital controller, and can be used for roasting, barbecuing, grilling, baking, braising, and smoking.

However, every other model we’ve reviewed comes with its own set in advantages. This means that you won’t really make a mistake by deciding to buy any one of them – it’s hard to go wrong with Traeger.