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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 07-13-2011, 08:34 AM   #1
BasicPatrick
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Default Thoughts on adding a Traeger to comp line up

We are a rookie team and are currently cooking on two WSM 22's and a 26/75 OTG Kettle. We like to cook all the extra categories such as People's Choice etc and thus are pretty tight on capacity.

I know someone selling a Traeger Texas Grill brandy new at a well under retail value. I'm thinking this would become my Brisket cooker immediately.

Does anyone have experience cooking comp on a Traeger? Pluses and minuses. I have heard the amount of smoke is lacking...is this true?

Any thoughts are appreciated
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Unread 07-13-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
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We have no experience with a Traegar but we do cook all categories on Green Mountain Grill pellet cookers and we turn out a consistent bark and smoke ring every single time. Best of luck!
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Unread 07-13-2011, 09:28 AM   #3
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We compete primarily on Traegers, we were mainly using a Jr. and a Lil' Tex. Actually just added a Texas last night (great deal on CL). As far as smoke goes, I don't think that you have to be concerned with over smoking something. We do get a real nice smoke ring and flavor though. Differnt pellets tend to produce different results. Try them out and see what works best for you. We've had pretty showings with the Traegers. Rookie TOY for NEBS last year. A couple weekends ago, in Lake Placid, we placed 2nd overall in Grilling and had a 5th in chicken and 5th in pork in KCBS. As far as brisket goes we had a 4th out of 80+ teams in Rochester. We've had other calls as well, so really can't complain about them.
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Unread 07-13-2011, 09:41 AM   #4
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I use two in comps. Love em. In fact, one of the judges at last weekend's comp gave me the pdf on the Ortech controller that has a smoke density option on it. Going to give it a try. Nothing wrong with em at all, in fact my chicken will be exclusively Traeger since my Kamado wrecked it with the method I perfected on the Traeger, smoke drew the skin up. You will get less dense, creosote smoke because you burn cleaner but absolutely nothing wrong with using them as part of the arsenal.
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Unread 07-13-2011, 09:53 AM   #5
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We compete with a FEC 100 and a Traeger Lil Tex.

The Traeger is a killer little chicken cooker.
Temp changes are rapid, so you can make adjustments on the fly.

TIM
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Unread 07-13-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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We cook all of our comp meats on two Traeger 075's. No issue with them at all - BUT - we have spare parts (controller, auger motor) just in case. The judges don't like our turn ins but we do ok at PC .

The 075 has pretty good capacity and you can add a second rack inside to almost double it. Easy to control, start, maintain, and recover. I try not to cook in the rain though.....
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Unread 07-13-2011, 11:07 AM   #7
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2 suggestions is you are thinking of adding a Traeger.

1. Use the strongest wood you can. Pure Hickory works well. The Traeger pellets don't create a lot of smoke flavor.. Try BBQrs Delight or Smokin Pellets.

2. Carry a container of starter gel with you. Never know when a hot rod will die and you don't want to take the time to replace one if you are needing to get it fired up.
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Unread 07-13-2011, 11:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roksmith View Post
2. Carry a container of starter gel with you.
What is this?
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Unread 07-13-2011, 12:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan - 3eyzbbq View Post
What is this?
http://www.diamondbrands.com/pages/f...landing/64.php

or

http://www.forestenergy.com/our-prod...tarter_gel.htm
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Unread 07-13-2011, 01:30 PM   #10
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Replacing a hot rod takes about ten minutes, tops. I always carry a spare. They go out when the grill is not maintained and the ash covers the ignitor. For those that keep their grills clean and ready to perform, this rarely happens anymore. There was a run of bad hot rods a while back, I have had no issues for a long time now.
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Unread 07-13-2011, 02:19 PM   #11
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We exclusively use Traegers and have had our fair share of calls(1 RGC last weekend) with them. If I had the options that you do I would probably use the Traeger for my pork. I like the heavier smoke flavor you can get with the non-pellet smokers for a brisket.

I disagree with the above post about the Traeger pellets. I did a test run awhile back with 3 briskies on 3 different cookers using 3 different brands of Hickory pellets: BBQ'rs Delight, Cooking Pellets, and Traeger. No one could tell a difference in the smoke flavors.

-Yard
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Unread 07-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #12
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I own 3 Traegers and use 3 in competition. They are a good cooker to use but like every other piece of equipment on the market you have to get to know them and what their strengths and weaknesses are. I am really impressed by the color they give meats and the moisture content. I am also a big fan of the smoke ring I consistently get with them. Good advice above to always carry a spare hot rod or gel for manual light up.
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Unread 07-13-2011, 06:06 PM   #13
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There was a Traeger dealer at our local Costco last week. I have to say I was not impressed with the quality of the build. I am not trying to start anything, I'm just curious if long time Trager folks have noticed a decline in the newer models since production was moved to China?
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Unread 07-13-2011, 07:14 PM   #14
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Quality control is managed by the company, not the location. That is typical FUD factoring. Traeger stands behind their product, ask any owner. Danielle can attest to the performance, as each tool has it's place. I prefer mine for chicken as well as the primary portion of my rib cooks, butts, no problem...brisket, easy. When using mine, I run a modified method on ribs for the first hour and a half, then move to my Kamado with fresh chunk wood for 30 minutes, the rest I can complete on my Traeger. Are they they best comp grill? Probably not,learn how to use them for their advantages...you can certainly pick up some good knowledge and skill in using them properly. That being said, a cooker is a cooker....it's the cook, not the cooker that gets the calls.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 12:43 AM   #15
Bentley
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I know this is harsh and I owned a 2002 & 2003 Traeger 075 for 7 years...Ask your self why there are so many great deals on "used" Traegers, why are folks getting rid of them?

They are a great backyard unit, if yours will be like mine was and tight temperature control is not an issue, buy it!
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