I have a 3 year old traeger lil' tex that's had about 400lbs of mini sticks run through it.
It just has the 3 position "Smoke, Med & High" switch for controls. For those unfamiliar with this control, there is simply a timer that kicks the auger on and off at preset intervals, effectively putting the same amount of pellets each time, theoretically anyways.
The combustion fan runs at the same RPM on all 3 settings, all the time.
On smoke setting, it "used"
to run right at about 180 - 195'ish in moderate temps, Medium resulted in 300'ish temps and High usually hit about 400
Lately here it's only been hitting 150 - 160'ish on smoke, 200'ish on med and 300 - 350 on high... Alright, so whats the deal?
The only change that I've made is that the first 300+ lbs of pellets were traeger silver baggers... once I learned that those pellets were 90%+ Alder and wood oils, I started looking to Bear Mountain and BBQ'rs delight.
BBQ'rs delight is 66% Oak and 33% flavor wood indicated - tried pecan & mesq so far.
Bear Mountain is 70-75% Alder and 25-30% flavor wood, depending on type of wood. tried hick, sugar maple and apple
My original thought is that higher percentage of hardwoods would yield higher temps on each of the 3 settings, since hard woods have higher BTU's per lb of wood, which I am fine with.
I have also vac'd out all the ash & crud and run a long brush through the fan blades and down the air tube to make sure that there were no cobwebs slowing down airflow.... what the heck??
The only thing that I have not tried is getting another bag of Traeger to see if it jumps back up... don't really want to have to do that... they smell like burning newspaper.