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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 06-04-2011, 02:52 PM   #1
BBQ Bill
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Default Traeger Jr review before use.

Just got in my Traeger Jr yesterday. I followed the instructions to the "T" for the initial break in. I was suprized to see that even with it being so small, it does get up to 500 degrees on high. After letting it season for 45 minutes as instructed, I turned it off for about an hour to let it cool down. I then set it on the smoke setting. It started to put out some nice smoke for a little while. after that though, it went up to 260 degrees. I thought it might be the thermometer so I checked it against my other meter and it was suprizingly right on. I haven't cooked anything yet but I'll be doing so this weekend. I contacted Traeger and they told me to clear out the pellet pot and begin again. I'll try that tonight and see if that cures it. In any case I'll be putting on a Pork Butt early Sunday morning, we'll see how it goes and if having the meat in it has any effect on the temp. I'll be using Chris Lilly's rub recipe on the butt. I'll take some pics and report back after the weekend. I've used my built in smoker for years. It has worked perfectly and being concrete, it really does a great job of staying right on temp. I just needed something I could smoke with and not have to watch as much. This lil Jr has a big job if it wants to keep up with this smoker.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 03:11 PM   #2
greenkm
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After the burn in, my Traeger did pretty much the same exact thing...except that it got so HOT that it was shutting down the grill...motor/auger. I was very nervous!

But, I came to the conclusion that there was too much pellet residue in the pot. I let the grill cool down then removed all the residue...cranked up again and have been using ever since.

KG
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Unread 06-04-2011, 03:40 PM   #3
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Nice patio set up!
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Unread 06-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #4
BBQ Bill
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Thanks. My wife says the BBQ/smoker blocks the view of the yard. I say it's the best view in the yard LMAO.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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What a great patio, the concrete smoker looks awesome.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 09:20 PM   #6
jdoughboy
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i love my junior...
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Unread 06-04-2011, 09:24 PM   #7
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I've got a Junior at my cabin - Great little smoker. I take the legs off and tailgate with it as well. A Deep cycle battery, solar panel & an inverter gives me over 12 hours. Have a blast with it. Nice patio BTW.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 11:45 PM   #8
Midnight Smoke
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So did you get it working? BTW you do have a nice back yard!
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Unread 06-04-2011, 11:57 PM   #9
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My wife loves the JR. Had a few problems, like you had. Cleaned the pellet hopper, ran the auger dry. Cleaned the fire pot. All is good. Steaks and hamburgers are super. I have not tried butts. waiting on your Sunday report.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 09:23 AM   #10
GreenDrake
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The Junior has a smaller chamber, obviously. It can cruise to hotter temps and there are nice tweaks to get it hotter too. I have a 07E and 075 that I love. Going to have them both going today, summer finally got here. Woooooo rib fest.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 06:35 PM   #11
BBQ Bill
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Well, after my first use of my traeger jr a few things I'd like to note.

1st, with it set on smoke, it averaged a temp of around 225. Set on the medium setting it cooked at about 350 degrees. These temps worked fine but I like to smoke at about 180. The ambient temp was about 80 degrees. I'm guessing it would smoke at a lower temp if the air temp was lower. The thermometer was surprisingly accurate. I build humidors and thermometers can have a wide swing when it comes to accuracy.

2nd, The cooking. I started it at about 10:00pm and set it to smoke. It smoked all night but when I got up and checked on it at 6:00am, the temp had dropped to 120. The meat was at 170. This was due to the pellets making a funnel towards the auger. There were still pellets left but just a few were dropping into it. I immediately loaded more pellets and turned it up to medium. I cooked it for another hour+. Brought the meat up to 195 and it came out perfect.
So the down side is that the pellet box is a little smaller than I'd like and I couldn't get the temp quite as low as I'd like.
The up side is that for the price, I don't think you could do better with any grill and a 10lb butt came out perfect even with the before mentioned issues. Bottom line is, I'd buy it again in a minute. It won't be long before I upgrade the temp knob with the variable one and in the future I'll probably go bigger. Anyone out there got a bigger one they want to get rid of?
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Unread 06-07-2011, 07:00 PM   #12
Greendriver
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Nice job on the patio smoker! I just took my 070 w/digital controller out of my trailer and replaced it with a Jr and love it.
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Unread 06-07-2011, 07:27 PM   #13
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My apologies, Thank you all for the wonderful compliments. I do like the lil smoker. I'll be upgrading to go bigger in the future as i find new recipes to try on side dishes. Next will be ribs, I can't wait.
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