PDA

View Full Version : Must have a Traeger


forgop
08-22-2011, 07:49 AM
I participate on a cigar board where there is a thread devoted to smoking (meats that is) and I saw some people jumping on the Traeger bandwagon because of the Costco shows. When I jumped into smoking, I bought the WSM 22.5 due to the fact that it's much cheaper to get into the hobby. While the WSM does a great job of smoking, IMO, it's quite frankly a pain in the rear to set up and clean from one smoke to the next. Even with the iQue 110, I'm still not sold on the ability to maintain temps, whereas the Traeger will hold temp within 3 degrees to whatever it's set at.

A Traeger rep was at the state fair and it was all I could do to keep from buying one. I told him I almost bought one, but didn't and he asked why not. I told him I didn't buy one because those who did, got one from Costco and I wasn't going to buy one unless I got the same pricing. He actually bettered it a bit with a smoker, cover, bags, etc. that came out slightly better than the smoker only pricing through Costco. ($999 for Texan shipped, no tax, w/ 5 bags and cover). He also would have thrown in a mat had I ordered one yesterday.

I've decided to set up searches on Craigslist/ebay to alert me of anything popping up anywhere nearby hoping to get a used one. I know a Traeger is likely something people don't part with, but maybe I'll find that person who sells one opting for a bigger unit.

Johnny_Crunch
08-22-2011, 07:51 AM
The new Traeger deluxe looks awesome! They cook great, good luck on your hunt!

Jason TQ
08-22-2011, 07:55 AM
During my daily searching on CL for whatever bbq stuff I'm looking for I have actually seen Traegers and a few other pellet brand smokers 10 times more often then I see WSMs on there. Granted since I rarely see WSMs that means I only see Traegers maybe once a month. But it happens. Good luck.

GreenDrake
08-22-2011, 08:00 AM
You will get wider temp swings that 3 degrees on your Traeger, nothing to worry about though. I have three of them and compete with a couple, an 07E and a 075. I use mine almost daily. Feel free to PM me if you have questions on them, I have been involved with repping for Traeger in my spare time for years. There's a lot you can do to tweak them to get what you want out of them. I am not a commissioned salesperson, I support the distribution channel and do part time work for a distributor, I do not work for Traeger. I teach folks how to use them properly, cook and enjoy them.

Hub
08-22-2011, 08:47 AM
While you're at it, do some research. Don't believe everything the salesman said. There are much better pellet cookers with newer technology in the price range you're looking for.

GreenDrake
08-22-2011, 08:53 AM
While you're at it, do some research. Don't believe everything the salesman said. There are much better pellet cookers with newer technology in the price range you're looking for.

Which ones Hub? With that Costco pricing, there is no grill on the market that can touch the 075 Traeger for price per inch of grill space and package deal. I think the closest competitor out there is the GMG grill, the rest are either WAY out of price range, such as the Memphis and MAKs or are pretty inferior with regard to build quality.

forgop
08-22-2011, 08:56 AM
What other brands would you consider if you were looking at a
Traeger for comparison? Traeger is the brand I've heard discussed the most. Frankly, the rep didn't sell me on the product more so than I was already sold on a pellet cooker compared to my WSM.

For a Traeger, I was looking at the Texan, which is would have been $999 shipped with everything else included.

Gore
08-22-2011, 09:12 AM
I was looking at pellet grills a while back and decided against, mainly due to the cost and the lower heat. I saw the display at Costco a month ago. While I did think the Traegers could've been made a little more solidly, I was very impressed with the price. Salesman also said it can be adjusted to get temps to 400*. If I wasn't flying out to Spain in 3 hours, I probably would've taken one home.

Jaskew82
08-22-2011, 09:22 AM
I have no problems holding temp in my WSM - Especially with the GURU.

I would consider a traegar though but i have heard the pellets don't give a strong smoke flavor... is that true?

Gore
08-22-2011, 09:23 AM
I would consider a traegar though but i have heard the pellets don't give a strong smoke flavor... is that true?

This is my biggest concern also.

DirtyDirty00
08-22-2011, 09:27 AM
i still dont completely understand the whole traeger thing. If these get 'set' to a temp... and run off pellets... How come they are allowed into competitions? seems like they are more closely related to the gas and electric smokers to me.

GreenDrake
08-22-2011, 09:31 AM
Truth is, the smoke flavor is different. What you get with all pellet cookers is a cleaner burn. No creosote flavor. I like it just fine but those who are not used to it, will notice a lighter smoke intensity. Ortech makes a digital controller with a smoke density adjustment knob for the Traegers, I have heard good things about them.

You can also stuff your stack with a foil ball and force the smoke out of the drip spout for more smoke, or try some of the premium pellets with 100% flavorwood. All pellets are pretty much made up of whatever wood is most prevalent to the region they are made in, for Traeger that means mostly Alder with flavorwood and oils mixed in to give it a slight difference. You can also tweak them a bit like I do and use a cookie cooling rack in the belly of it, light a small piece of lump and rest it in there...the circulating air will keep the lump lit and add flavor mods.

Indirect convection is extremely easy to use, they make great chicken cookers for competition as well. I usually start my comp ribs on my Traegers, then add lump/chunk smoke on another cooker when the collagen will accept it best.

Best thing for you to do, ask a Traeger owner, borrow a grill from a dealer to try out, or go eat at a friend's who has one, it will make a believer out of you. You get plenty of smoke with a pellet grill.

GreenDrake
08-22-2011, 09:32 AM
i still dont completely understand the whole traeger thing. If these get 'set' to a temp... and run off pellets... How come they are allowed into competitions? seems like they are more closely related to the gas and electric smokers to me.


Wood is wood, just like briquettes are charcoal. Why are stokers allowed?

Gore
08-22-2011, 09:39 AM
Thanks GreenDrake for the enlightening comments.

denniscloutier
08-22-2011, 10:26 AM
I have recently been dealing with Traeger on temperature swings on mine. I have never been able to get mine to run in automatic with anything less than +/- 25 degree temperature swings. Like many owners of these things I run mine in a sort of manual mode where the auger runs a certain percentage of the time, and you can adjust the percentage. This works well as long as you don't have variations in wind or outdoor temperature.

There are pellet grills which have much more sophisticated temperature controls like MAK and Fast Eddy, but they are quite a bit more expensive.

I like my pellet grill, and I'm happy with the results, but it isn't a set it and forget it thing, and the temperature swings are always going to be way more than the 3 degrees the salesman mentioned to you.

forgop
08-22-2011, 10:29 AM
I have recently been dealing with Traeger on temperature swings on mine. I have never been able to get mine to run in automatic with anything less than +/- 25 degree temperature swings. Like many owners of these things I run mine in a sort of manual mode where the auger runs a certain percentage of the time, and you can adjust the percentage. This works well as long as you don't have variations in wind or outdoor temperature.

There are pellet grills which have much more sophisticated temperature controls like MAK and Fast Eddy, but they are quite a bit more expensive.

I like my pellet grill, and I'm happy with the results, but it isn't a set it and forget it thing, and the temperature swings are always going to be way more than the 3 degrees the salesman mentioned to you.

Thanks for the info. The rep claimed that a single bag of pellets will run for around 35 hours on average smoking on low heat. Do you find that to be realistic? Just trying to compare cost of use because I know when I'm in for a cook for pork butts, I'm going through 20-25# of charcoal.

greenkm
08-22-2011, 10:42 AM
Those Costco roadshows are terrific; nice discount on grill and cover. But, what I really like is the price of a bag of 20 pounds of pellets. I do wish they had a thermometer for sale at these events, but with a digital controller it's probably overkill anyhow.

I always stock up on the 'Hickory' bags when there is a showcase by Tregar at a local Costco. Just yesterday, I bought more. Not much of a choice in pellets at the events though...only 'Hickory' or 'Mesquite'...I'd sure appreciate some other flavor, but what the heck.

There are plenty of Costco locations in my area within a 50 mile radius; so for the most part one of these stores in the region has a Tregar event every two months or so. Therefore, easy to stock up on $14 bags instead of the retail price.

CTG

GreenDrake
08-22-2011, 10:46 AM
That's a realistic number for low/smoke setting. Traegers burn about a half pound an hour on smoke. The smoke setting is cyclical, digital RTU settings run on temp so the ambient temp will affect pellet consumption on anything other than smoke.

powerpig
08-22-2011, 11:11 AM
I have a BGE, WSM, Traeger 070, 075 and a Traeger Pig among others. The Traeger's are great if you want to "set and forget". Do a search under my user name and you'll see a recent cook where I did a whole pig on my Traeger.

forgop
08-22-2011, 11:31 AM
One other thing the rep mentioned is that buying a smoker through him, I would forever be able to buy bags through them with no shipping cost whatsoever and for any flavor. Like mentioned above for the road shows, you only have about 3 varieties to choose from, but it was just another "perk" of buying.

If I were currently working, I would have done it no questions asked, but I don't graduate until May. I guess I can wait that long-unless there's one that pops up used for a great price.

I found a site with reviews for several brands-once called Sawtooth Grills that seemed quite reasonable. Green Mountain and IPT looked worthy of consideration. Looking at pricing for Mak, Memphis, and Yoder, the pricing is way too high.

DirtyDirty00
08-22-2011, 11:51 AM
Wood is wood, just like briquettes are charcoal. Why are stokers allowed?

maybe i dont undestand how they work. especially with these digital controllers ect. doesnt it just heat up the pellets to create smoke? Is there an actual fire? I thought it was just heated electrically like an electric smoker.

Al Czervik
08-22-2011, 12:36 PM
maybe i dont undestand how they work. especially with these digital controllers ect. doesnt it just heat up the pellets to create smoke? Is there an actual fire? I thought it was just heated electrically like an electric smoker.

There is an auger that feeds pellets into a firebox where the pellets burn... A lot like a pellet burning stove.

Big Mike's BBQ
08-22-2011, 01:49 PM
There is an auger that feeds pellets into a firebox where the pellets burn... A lot like a pellet burning stove.

The fire is started with electricity then as long as the fire is burning it just feeds pellets into the fire. KCBS rules state that you can't use elctric or gas for your heat source when the meat is on. Pellet cookers don't use electric heat for anything other than starting.

Big Mike

Roguejim
08-22-2011, 02:50 PM
I've had my 075 Texas Elite for almost 3 years now. There are mods you can do to maximize smoke intensity. One is to use better pellets than what Traeger offers. Another is to put wood chunks on top of the heat plate. Some guys install Smoke Daddys. There is also a P-Setting function which some folks miss.

There are better controllers for your Traeger that will minimize greatly the temp swings.

I've gone and added a second shelf which almost doubles the capacity. The Traeger is a tank, but, it is the first tank. Others have improved on the design, but their prices reflect the improvements.

For all things Traeger (mods), go here:http://pelletheads.com/

Roguejim
08-22-2011, 03:02 PM
Truth is, the smoke flavor is different. What you get with all pellet cookers is a cleaner burn. No creosote flavor. I like it just fine but those who are not used to it, will notice a lighter smoke intensity. Ortech makes a digital controller with a smoke density adjustment knob for the Traegers, I have heard good things about them.

You can also stuff your stack with a foil ball and force the smoke out of the drip spout for more smoke, or try some of the premium pellets with 100% flavorwood. All pellets are pretty much made up of whatever wood is most prevalent to the region they are made in, for Traeger that means mostly Alder with flavorwood and oils mixed in to give it a slight difference. You can also tweak them a bit like I do and use a cookie cooling rack in the belly of it, light a small piece of lump and rest it in there...the circulating air will keep the lump lit and add flavor mods.

Indirect convection is extremely easy to use, they make great chicken cookers for competition as well. I usually start my comp ribs on my Traegers, then add lump/chunk smoke on another cooker when the collagen will accept it best.

Best thing for you to do, ask a Traeger owner, borrow a grill from a dealer to try out, or go eat at a friend's who has one, it will make a believer out of you. You get plenty of smoke with a pellet grill.

You mean a wood chunk, right? Or, are you referring to lump charcoal?

GreenDrake
08-22-2011, 08:05 PM
Lit lump, not chunk. I guess you could try it out...heck a mini basket with both...ya never know. You can tweak Traegers all kinds of ways. I gasketed my lid, stuff the stack and brick it in the winter.

bearnakedbbq
08-22-2011, 08:19 PM
I have been a dealer for Traeger for the last 4 years and have swapped to the Green Mountain Grills.

Here are a few improvements over the Traeger.
· Controller is way better, hold temp within 2 degrees
· temp range is 150 to 500
· temperature increment 5 degrees
· Shape of cooking area is higher so it will allow you to stand a chicken up
· The hot rod is much thicker
· Better design on the fire box
· Had a built in meat probe
· Low pellet warning alarm
· Fan inside the hopper to provide positive pressure down your auger
· Once you are done cooking you can put it into “fan mode” which will burn up the remaining pellet that are in the fire box
· Has “Turbo Mode” when the temp outside is below 35, it kicks into turbo mode which means a quicker warm up time.
· Options include: remote control, thermal blanket and stainless lid.
· In my opinion, better customer service from corporate. Your not talking to some yahoo in North Dakota.

forgop
08-22-2011, 08:30 PM
I have been a dealer for Traeger for the last 4 years and have swapped to the Green Mountain Grills.

Here are a few improvements over the Traeger.
· Controller is way better, hold temp within 2 degrees
· temp range is 150 to 500
· temperature increment 5 degrees
· Shape of cooking area is higher so it will allow you to stand a chicken up
· The hot rod is much thicker
· Better design on the fire box
· Had a built in meat probe
· Low pellet warning alarm
· Fan inside the hopper to provide positive pressure down your auger
· Once you are done cooking you can put it into “fan mode” which will burn up the remaining pellet that are in the fire box
· Has “Turbo Mode” when the temp outside is below 35, it kicks into turbo mode which means a quicker warm up time.
· Options include: remote control, thermal blanket and stainless lid.
· In my opinion, better customer service from corporate. Your not talking to some yahoo in North Dakota.


Lots of good feedback here. Like I said, I started looking at some other brands from a review site earlier today and I'm not dead set on having a Traeger. Stuff like this may steer me in a new direction though. :thumb:

PimpSmoke
08-22-2011, 08:45 PM
I can get you a brand new analog 075 stainless (American made) for about $700. PM if interested.

GreenDrake
08-22-2011, 09:42 PM
I think GMG are about the closest thing to compete, although their price point is higher, I doubt that any grill on the market, no matter what it is, can hold temps within 2 degrees of target. Chickens can stand up in a Traeger no problem. The hot rod thickness doesn't mean anything, how is the firebox better?, meat probe? cool, low pellet warning, sweet, fan in auger - cool, fan and turbo mode, nice options, are those few positive traits worth $300 more? Not to me.

For the price point, Traeger still has the market advantage. Whatever cooks best for ya, get it. If you can demo both, do it, let the grill speak for itself.

Bigdog
08-22-2011, 10:49 PM
The Traeger is a good cooker, and yes, I have cooked on several of them, but for my money, I would reccomend one made by Yoder Smokers. I got to cook on one of those bad boys recently and they are amazing. You can seriously grill or smoke on them. They are extreamly well made, but best of all they are made of really thick steal so will keep temps better in cool or wet weather. I talked with a friend of mine recently about them and he said he wished he had one of them instead of his Traeger.

cholloway
08-23-2011, 03:00 AM
Other than the obvious of selling more bags of pellets, why would they say this?

"Warning: Using any brand of pellets other than Traeger pellets will void the warranty of your grill."

Is there that much difference in pellets?

GreenDrake
08-23-2011, 05:35 AM
Other than the obvious of selling more bags of pellets, why would they say this?

"Warning: Using any brand of pellets other than Traeger pellets will void the warranty of your grill."

Is there that much difference in pellets?

Nope but Traeger is making a killing on the Costco roadshows and specifically the pellet sales. What they hope is that you will only buy theirs. There are a plethora of cooking pellets on the market today, Lil Devil, Bear Mountain, Nature's Way, Cookin Pellets, etc. And virtually every one is more affordable. Paying $18.99 for a bag of pellets is crazy with the options out there today.

forgop
08-23-2011, 07:51 AM
Ok, so I found one on CL that popped up a couple of hours away. It says it was purchased in 2007, so we're not talking about a made in China version. In appearance, the pellet box is rounded, rather than square. Pics aren't the best, but haven't had a chance to call yet. Is putting in the digital an option with this model?

http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/for/2560945781.html

GreenDrake
08-23-2011, 08:16 AM
THAT THERE, is a steal...buy it NOW. Doesn't matter if it is made here or China, the China made ones are powdercoated, no rust issues. The American made ones are painted, rust issues on contact points. I would take that one and run with it. Yes you can put a digital on it.

forgop
08-23-2011, 09:31 AM
Thanks-left a message to look at it today. Do you know what model it is?

Thought I'd take a look later today if they're free.

jdoughboy
08-23-2011, 09:56 AM
I love my junior. i used 2 bags of traeger pellets before I found bbq'r delight. I really like thier pellets better. I get 20 pounds for $16. I also did the digital upgrade. well worth the extra $100.

RedPig
08-23-2011, 10:09 AM
I have the lil tex and I only use it for chicken in comps because it's very easy to apply to much smoke on pultry. They are not with their problems. My last comp the auger jammed because a pellet was lodged. Once I get use to my new Peoria Custom Cooker, I will probabvly unload my traeger, just like the fec. I'm going back to stick burners. Not saying they aren't good little smokers, but in competition you have to worry about power going out and things breaking, like I mentioned. Mine will hold fairly close temp, but it will swing depending on the outside temp, etc.

forgop
08-23-2011, 03:30 PM
THAT THERE, is a steal...buy it NOW. Doesn't matter if it is made here or China, the China made ones are powdercoated, no rust issues. The American made ones are painted, rust issues on contact points. I would take that one and run with it. Yes you can put a digital on it.

On my way to go look at it now. Will offer $350 and see what they say. Will use the need to spend $100 on a new digital thermostat to split the difference from their asking price.

Contracted Cookers
08-23-2011, 05:19 PM
our bbq season is winding down. we have a gmg jim bowie. our sponsor said we could sell. used 12 times very clean. asking 700.00 we are getting stainless model next.

Smokinrubcom
08-23-2011, 05:25 PM
If you get a traeger dont use their pellets they are chit! Goto BBQrsdelight.com and get the 10# bags of hickory. No fillers and burn cleaner.

Mike

darita
08-23-2011, 06:51 PM
Had a Traeger and got terrible swings. I got rid of it and got a GMG and haven't looked back. 3 degree swings with no mods and great CS. Best money I ever spent. Check out Pelletheads for info on both.

forgop
08-23-2011, 06:58 PM
I got the 4 year old Traeger Texan with 2 bags for $350. Needs cleaned and I'll put in the digital thermostat for another $80 or so. It's gonna be a really nice setup once I get it all finished.

That said, who uses onion pellets?

GreenDrake
08-23-2011, 08:02 PM
I got the 4 year old Traeger Texan with 2 bags for $350. Needs cleaned and I'll put in the digital thermostat for another $80 or so. It's gonna be a really nice setup once I get it all finished.

That said, who uses onion pellets?

Traeger quit making the onion and garlic. Congrats on the purchase. My advice would be to buy the Ortech controller. They have a smoke density knob. Great reviews on them too.

http://ortechcontrols.com/

forgop
08-24-2011, 11:43 PM
Traeger quit making the onion and garlic. Congrats on the purchase. My advice would be to buy the Ortech controller. They have a smoke density knob. Great reviews on them too.

http://ortechcontrols.com/

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into this for sure.

forgop
08-26-2011, 02:00 PM
I just looked a little more into the equivalent temps for the smoke/med/high settings for the old school thermostat on these. This sucks...gotta get a new controller soon.

troy76
03-27-2018, 04:17 PM
Love my Traeger for everything except thin steaks, works great for those 3" tomahawk ribeyes though:-D

KevinJ
03-27-2018, 04:56 PM
Must be troy76 lets bump old Traeger threads day, probably hundreds on here I'm sure, bump on brother, bump on.

electron_si
03-27-2018, 08:21 PM
I was reading through this thread and finally looked at the year. Wow, blast from the past