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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 01-18-2007, 08:40 AM   #1
boatnut
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Default Any Traeger users out there?

I was at a boat show in Cleveland yesterday and someone had a Traeger on display. I was pretty intrigued by it. I'm not in the market but a buddy has been looking at higher end gas grills to replace his weber charcoal. He also wants a better smoker then his current el cheapo. Wondering if this might be an option to combine the two needs?

1) how does this grill do on smoking things like Butt or Brisket??
2) on the other end, how hot will it get? how does it do on steaks etc.
3) are the pellets expensive or does it use a lot of them? (cost to operate)

any other info appreciated!
thanks
Mike
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Unread 01-18-2007, 08:53 AM   #2
Plowboy
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I have an 075. There are a few others here as well.

1) Works just fine for those bigger cuts. I just did a butt this last weekend. You won't have better chicken or chops than what comes off of these cookers.
2) The digital controller goes up to 450 I think. In the freezing rain at 14 degrees this last weekend, I got it up to 360. Its not an insulated cooker, so outside temps can affect you. I ran 250 all night Sunday night and it was in the teens here. Just can't get to 450 on nights like that.
3) I'd say pellets are about the same as propane for a gass grill. The good pellets run $15-18 a bag. You could do 2-4 long cooks on a bag depending on how hot you are cooking and what outside temps you are fighting.

I've heard that it isn't a great grill for steaks and burgers, but I've not done those yet. Makes the best chops you'll ever have, though. The best thing about it is the convenience factor. I walk out to my WOOD deck (unlike charcoal/wood smokers, I put this on my deck) and turn the smoker on to 450. I go back in the house to get everything ready. 5-10 minutes later I walk back out and I'm up to 250 and ready to go. Turn the dial back down and go back in the house. Smoking my pork butt this weekend, I went to bed at midnight and got up at 8am to go check it. I don't have to mess with fuel or regulating my temperature. Set it and forget it.
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Unread 01-18-2007, 08:54 AM   #3
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Here's my write up on my 075.

http://plowboysbbq.com/archives/69
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Unread 01-18-2007, 09:48 AM   #4
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I agree with the comments posted by Plowboy. As a Traeger owner, I've been very pleased with the results and would recommend it to others interested in a good pellet smoker.

Where the Traeger falls short, I have my Big Green Egg (BGE). The BGE is good for high temperature grilling and searing, and direct fire cooking. I often use the two in tandem: the Traeger for smoking, and the BGE for firming up chicken or glazing ribs.
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Unread 01-18-2007, 10:13 AM   #5
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..... what they both said!
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GMG_Daniel Boone _ pellets only
Big Green Egg _ Large _ need high heat
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Unread 01-18-2007, 10:22 AM   #6
Plowboy
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Tom,

I was talking to my friend that I bought the Traeger from regarding some modifications for the 075. We talked building a rack to create a second level cooking surface. This would eliminate more of the direct heat and rely more on the convection affects. I was thinking as a cheap test, I'd foil a couple bricks, place on top of the grill grate and add another rack on top of the bricks. Does that make sense? I'll snap a picture.

Todd
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Unread 01-18-2007, 11:26 AM   #7
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.... my only concern is 1) getting some air space under the 2nd rack .... and .. 2) this uses up a lot of the available vertical space from rack to top of 075. I have two 'grid extenders' for the BGE, one from BGE and another I found at the International Market in Las Vegas (SS and really cheap). They are round, but I might even be able to get both in the 075 at the same time. I will try and take a pic. I miss having a shelf at the 075 front and may have to spring for the $60. Traeger rack-shelf.
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Unread 01-18-2007, 08:51 PM   #8
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I fully agree what the others say. It almost feels like cheating at times.

Todd - FYI, Traeger now recommends starting the unit up by turning it to the lowest setting on the dial for 10min then turning it up to the temp you want. Not sure why the change but George told me about it the other day when I called on a separate issue with my controller (was reading 15 degrees low).
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Unread 01-18-2007, 10:05 PM   #9
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Have you pellet users noticed any increase in the price of fuel? The other day I was picking up a grill at the Stove shop and overheard a clerk telling another customer they were having a hard time getting pellets, then today I see a bunch of ads on CL looking for woodstove pellets or people selling them for top bid. I know they are different, but just curious.
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Unread 01-18-2007, 10:31 PM   #10
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I did hear about a heating pellet fuel shortage but the price on the Traeger pellets has stayed the same for me, but I live about 15min from the factory.
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Unread 01-19-2007, 07:46 AM   #11
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It could be that the fuel pellets will go up and the smoking pellets won't. Different products, different uses, different markets. The pellet stoves are getting really popular and more readily available. Probably has something to do with it.
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Unread 01-19-2007, 07:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeper
I fully agree what the others say. It almost feels like cheating at times.

Todd - FYI, Traeger now recommends starting the unit up by turning it to the lowest setting on the dial for 10min then turning it up to the temp you want. Not sure why the change but George told me about it the other day when I called on a separate issue with my controller (was reading 15 degrees low).
Thanks.

You are only cheating if you get caught. With bbq that is.
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Andy Groneman (Hodedo); KC, KS (Cameo Appearances)

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Unread 01-19-2007, 10:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeper
I did hear about a heating pellet fuel shortage but the price on the Traeger pellets has stayed the same for me, but I live about 15min from the factory.
New "heating" pellet factory is going in 9 miles from home here. Multi-million $ investment. Market must look good to someone.
We have tons of junk trees to supply them
Not many pellet pooper heating stoves in the region, but that may change.
My Daugter has had 2 of those heaters, one in Portland and one in Santa Fe. Seem to be cost effective and efficient once you get over the sticker shock of buying them.

I read somewhere (CS forum I beleive) that any single "food grade" pellet factory could meet the entire market need if pushed hard. Don't know if that is true or not

I am watching this market--fixing to order my FEC 100 as soon as the damn govt releases some of my retirement savings to me

TIM
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Unread 01-19-2007, 12:23 PM   #14
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I've been using heating pellets made by Ozark Hardwood Products since I bought my BBQ trailer with the Traeger in it since April with very good results. I didn't know any thing else because the guy I bought it from had 6 bags he gave me with it. When I call the pellet co., they assured me there was no reason to be concerned about using their product for smoking food. I have tried different flavors, but on a very limited basis. Hard to tell much difference. May use some fruit flavors for competition, but mostly for color. The local farm and home supply store has had the heating pellets for $3.59/40# bag. For that kind of economy and compliments from customers, I'll not change for commercial cooking.
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