Traeger is the undisputed leader in the pellet grill industry.
In 1986, Joe Traeger pioneered a new kind of barbecue, and to this day, Traeger pellet grills are the most popular on the market.
This in-depth article compares and contrasts the top pellet grills from Traeger with those from other brands.
You should think long and hard before purchasing a new Traeger pellet grill because of the size of the expenditure.
Especially with the abundance of high-quality wood pellet barbecue options from various manufacturers.
short on time? If you’re looking for a pellet grill, the Traeger Pro 575 is your best bet.
Origins of the Traeger Brand
When I go to purchase a new grill, I prefer to learn as much as I can about the manufacturer. And the history of the Traeger brand is fascinating.
Joe Traeger and Jerry Whitfield developed Traeger grills after tinkering with wood pellet burning stoves.
As early as 1985, Joe Traeger started working on the first pellet grill, which he patented the following year.
For the next two decades, Traeger held a monopoly on the pellet grill industry because to their patent.
The first Traeger grills included a basic LMH controller that allowed for three heat settings: low, medium, and high.
The auger time in these rudimentary designs didn’t take into account variables like temperature or the volume of food being cooked.
Traeger, headquartered in Oregon, remained a small family business during this period.
When the patent on pellet smokers expired in 2006, a slew of new manufacturers flooded the market. There were 27 manufacturers of pellet grills as of 2014.
After acquiring Traeger in 2014 with private equity firm Trilantic Capital Partners, Jeremy Andrus began working with the company and eventually relocated its headquarters to Salt Lake City.
Over $300 million in annual sales confirms Traeger’s position as the industry leader in pellet grill production.
The customer service at this corporation, like that of any other large organization, has a mixed reputation. By reading through the gripes, it seems that the most common issue is the length of time it takes to get new parts for broken barbecues.
How to Choose a Traeger Grill
Confusion abounds while looking for a Traeger barbecue. After so many years in the industry, you’ve likely seen a wide variety of product iterations.
There are now four distinct pellet grill models that Traeger manufactures.
Tips for navigating Traeger’s pellet grill selection
Traeger Pro series
All 2019 versions of the most popular midrange choice now have Wi-Fi connection with the Traeger app.
Traeger Ironwood Series
Upgraded from the Pro series, this range has slightly bigger proportions as well as cutting-edge cooking technology in the form of DownDraft Exhaust and TRU convection. The smoke output may be dialed up with the press of a button, thanks to the Super Smoke mode.
Traeger Timberline series
The most extensive and priciest choice. The pellet detecting technology and 880 square inches of cooking area make this the best pellet grill money can buy. In 2023, Timberline XL will debut a new model with 1320 square inches of space, along with a redesigned cart, touchscreen, and induction cooktop.
This is a compact variant, as suggested by the name; at 300 square inches, it has somewhat less technology than larger versions, but still offers some useful capabilities.
In 2019, the number in the Traeger product name indicates the square inches of cooking space; for example, the Pro 780 has 780 square inches of cooking space.
We have analyzed some of the top models of Traeger grills so that you can make an informed decision. Using this comparing tool to evaluate Traeger models is also really beneficial.
Best Traeger Grill Reviews
1. Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill
When it comes to Treager barbecues, the Traeger Pro is by far the most sought-after and widely purchased model. It’s available in two different sizes. The 575-square-inch version is large enough to roast five racks of ribs or four chickens, which is more than enough food for most families.
Black and copper are your other color options.
The most notable change for 2019 is that all of the Pro models now have Wifi connectivity. Wi-Fi connectivity between your barbecue and the Traeger companion app means you can manage your grill from any location with an internet connection.
To help you choose a Traeger grill with WiFi, we’ve compiled a handy guide.
|Cooking capacity||575 Sq In|
|Pellet hopper capacity||18 Pounds|
|Main grilling area||418 Sq In|
|Secondary grilling area||154 Sq In|
|Exterior material||Painted steel|
The Pro D2 direct drive controller adjusts the oven’s heat from 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
The RTD probe takes readings once per second, allowing for precise temperature regulation to within 15 degrees.
The D2 direct drive technology’s turbo temp fast starter is an additional perk that facilitates rapid initiation of the cooking process.
The cleaning function and the 18-pound hopper make it easy to switch pellet flavors mid-cook.
On high heat, the grill will use roughly 2 pounds of wood pellets every hour, while the smoke setting uses just about half that amount.
Traeger offers a comparison chart between the Pro 575 and the Pro 780 to help you make your decision.
As far as Traeger models go, the Pro offers the most value for money. You will have to forego a few convenient extras, such as a pellet sensor, but they may be included in the future.
2. Traeger Ironwood 650 Wood Pellet Grill
Traeger’s pellet grill portfolio has expanded with the inclusion of the Ironwood series.
Sizes of 650 and 885 square inches make this grill bigger and more flexible than the pro series without the hefty price tag of the Timberline series.
Although, even the smaller 650 square inch Ironwood costs more than $1,000, so it’s not exactly a cheap grill option.
|Cooking capacity||650 Sq In|
|Pellet hopper capacity||20 Pounds|
|Main grilling area||418 Sq In|
|Secondary grilling area||231 Sq In|
|Exterior material||Painted steel|
The Ironwood’s style is comparable to that of the more costly Timberline. Formerly exclusive to the Timberline, you now have access to DownDraft Exhaust and TRU Convection.
While it may seem like marketing speak, these additions really will assist keep the smoke in the chamber and at a constant temperature.
These are all positive statements, which we appreciate.
In addition to its straightforward operation, this grill benefits from a number of convenient features. Such as the ability to keep food warm and make one’s own cooking preferences available through a touchscreen interface or mobile app.
What we like:
- Choice of scorching: Searing may be done with the bottom cooking grate lowered, but grilling and smoking need it to be lifted.
- A more soundproof home: In order to maintain a consistent temperature and prevent condensation, Ironwood employs double-sided 304 stainless steel.
To bridge the gap between the more expensive Timberline series and the more compact and simple Pro series, Ironwood was created.
3. Tailgater Portable Pellet Grill
Traeger aimed to bring the portability and taste of pellet cooking to the masses with the Tailgater.
You can still fit three racks of ribs or two full chickens on the Tailgater, thanks to its 300 square inches of cooking area.
The barbecue is 36 inches by 37 inches by 18 inches and weighs 62 pounds. 8 pounds of pellets may be stored in the hopper, enough to last between 4 and 6 hours of cooking time before needing to be refilled.
The grill’s EZ-Fold legs make it simple to roll it onto the bed of your vehicle.
The convenience of mobility comes at the expense of functionality. WiFi and other upgrades seen on the Pro, Ironwood, and Timberline grills are not included with the Tailgater.
Nevertheless, it works well at temperatures between 180 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Within 20 degrees of the desired temperature, the digital elite controller maintains a consistent environment.
|Cooking capacity||300 Sq In|
|Pellet hopper capacity||8 Pounds|
|Main grilling area||300 Sq In|
|Exterior material||Painted steel|
Additionally, Traeger offers the Ranger, a smaller pellet grill that we discuss in greater depth in our best portable pellet grills recommendations.
While charcoal grilling has its charms, a pellet grill offers many more cooking options while camping. When you can use your grill for several purposes, such as baking, grilling, and smoking, it’s easy to see why it would be a great addition to your camping gear.
Where do Traeger grills get produced?
Since 2008, all domestic barbecues have been made in China, according to Traeger.
The company’s largest commercial grills are still made in the US.
Although the majority of consumer grills are now made in China, some have protested that Traeger has moved production there.
Yoder pellet grills are worth considering if you place a premium on supporting American manufacturing, but be prepared to spend at least twice as much as you would for a comparable import.
Things to think about besides the grill’s pellet capacity
It may be overwhelming to shop for a new car when there are so many models and brands to choose from.
Still, determining which grill is ideal requires giving some thought to your specific requirements. When looking for a new grill, I find it important to keep a few things in mind.
The Pellet grills discussed here have cooking surfaces between 300 and 1300 square feet. Defining your search’s scope is a quick and straightforward approach to focus your efforts.
The price of a grill tends to increase in proportion to its size. Z Grills, a more affordable brand, makes a huge grill that is still less expensive than Traeger, a more premium brand.
If you don’t have a large enough stove, you won’t be able to feed your visitors. However, if you get a grill that is too large, you will incur higher operating costs and squander wood pellets.
The pellet hopper’s capacity is also an important consideration. The longer you can cook without adding extra food to the hopper, the bigger it should be.
You should choose a grill that’s a little bigger than you anticipate needing.
There are some who want a grill with the most cutting-edge features, while others would rather spend their money on a model with uncompromising craftsmanship.
Consider which options are just desirable and which are essential.
Pellet grills often include the following features:
- Capability to connect to WiFi: Do you want to be able to operate your wood pellet barbecue remotely?
- Having a blazing capacity: When it comes to searing, pellet grills may not be as effective as they are at smoking and baking. Many manufacturers now include a searing attachment or ingeniously raise the maximum temperature that may be reached.
- Portability: Do you want a portable barbecue that folds up its legs? Contemplate whether or not you will ever need to transport this grill.
The sum total of the variables we’ve discussed so far is what ultimately determines the final pricing. A pellet grill’s higher price tag is a reflection of the advanced technology it contains.
A beginning budget of $400 is what I would suggest. The most advanced and expensive Traeger, which retails for about $2,000, is available for purchase after that.
If you were looking for a pellet grill, for a long time Traeger was your only choice.
Because of the influx of new competitors, Traeger has had to significantly improve its offerings.
The 2019 array of Traeger wood pellet grills includes some of the most technologically sophisticated pellet barbecues on the market.