Traeger closed lid start up -

How to Start a Traeger Grill for Close-Lid Models (Traeger’s Official Recommendation)

“The only thing better than a perfectly cooked steak is the satisfaction of knowing you grilled it yourself.” – Anonymous

Welcome to the world of Traeger grilling! If you’re new to using a close-lid Traeger grill, you’re in for a treat. These grills offer an unmatched combination of convenience, flavor, and versatility.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started, from the basics of starting your grill to tips and tricks for achieving grilling perfection. Let’s dive in!

What is a close-lid Traeger grill start up?

A close-lid startup refers to a method of starting up a Traeger grill with the lid closed.

Traeger grills are popular pellet grills known for their versatility and ease of use.

Typically, Traeger grills are started with the lid open to allow for proper air circulation during the ignition process.

However, some Traeger users prefer to start their grills with the lid closed for various reasons, such as maintaining heat or reducing flare-ups.

How to start a Traeger close-lid

Starting a Traeger grill with the lid closed is not recommended by the manufacturer. The proper and recommended method for starting a Traeger grill is with the lid open.

Starting the grill with the lid closed can lead to an accumulation of unburned pellets, poor airflow, and potential safety hazards.

However, if you still choose to proceed, here is a general outline of how you can attempt a close-lid startup:

  1. Ensure that your Traeger grill is set up in a safe and well-ventilated outdoor area.
  2. Fill the hopper with the desired wood pellets.
  3. Make sure the grill’s temperature control is set to the “off” position.
  4. Close the lid of the grill.
  5. Plug in the grill’s power cord into a power outlet.
  6. Turn the grill’s power switch to the “on” position.
  7. Locate the grill’s controller and set the desired temperature using the temperature dial or digital controls.
  8. Give the grill a few minutes to start up. You may hear a slight fan noise and see smoke coming out from the chimney or vents.
  9. Monitor the grill closely during the startup process to ensure that there are no excessive smoke, flare-ups, or unusual behaviors.
  10. Once the grill reaches the set temperature, you can open the lid and begin cooking.

What are the benefits of starting a Traeger grill close-lid?

There are a few hypothetical benefits that some users may associate with starting a Traeger grill with the lid closed:

  • Heat retention: Closing the lid during startup could potentially help retain heat within the grill, allowing it to reach the desired cooking temperature more quickly and efficiently. However, Traeger grills are designed to preheat with the lid open to allow proper airflow, so the benefit of heat retention may be minimal or negligible.
  • Reduced flare-ups: Closing the lid during startup might reduce the likelihood of flare-ups caused by sudden exposure to oxygen. However, Traeger grills are engineered to manage airflow and minimize flare-ups even with the lid open, so this benefit may not be significant.
  • Smoke retention: Starting the grill with the lid closed could potentially result in more smoke being trapped inside the cooking chamber. This might be desirable if you prefer a stronger smoky flavor in your food. However, Traeger grills are designed to produce consistent smoke and flavor regardless of the lid position during startup.

What temperature should I set my close-lid Traeger grill to?

Cooking MethodTemperature Range (°F)Temperature Range (°C)
Low and Slow (Smoking, Barbecue)225-275107-135
Grilling, Roasting350-450177-232
Baking, Braising325-375163-190
The table provides temperature ranges for different cooking methods on a Traeger grill, including low and slow smoking/barbecue, grilling/roasting, and baking/braising.

As a general guideline, you can start by setting the temperature on your Traeger grill according to the recommended temperature for your recipe. Common temperature ranges for various types of cooking on a Traeger grill include:

  • Low and slow: For slow cooking, such as smoking or barbecue, temperatures typically range from 225°F (107°C) to 275°F (135°C). This allows for a longer cooking time to achieve tender and flavorful results.
  • Grilling and roasting: For grilling and roasting at higher temperatures, you can set the temperature between 350°F (177°C) and 450°F (232°C). This range is suitable for cooking burgers, steaks, chicken, vegetables, and other similar items.
  • Baking and braising: If you plan to bake or braise, you can set the temperature in the range of 325°F (163°C) to 375°F (190°C), depending on the recipe.

How long does it take to preheat a closed-lid Traeger grill?

For a Traeger grill, the preheating time can vary depending on factors such as the model, outdoor temperature, and desired cooking temperature.

With the lid open, Traeger grills generally take around 10 to 15 minutes to reach their desired cooking temperatures.

If you decide to start your Traeger grill with the lid closed, it may take slightly longer to reach the desired temperature due to limited airflow.

However, I strongly advise following the manufacturer’s recommended startup procedure with the lid open to ensure proper airflow, safety, and optimal performance of your Traeger grill.

What are some tips to remember when starting up a closed-lid Traeger grill?

  • Safety first: Ensure that your Traeger grill is set up in a safe and well-ventilated outdoor area, away from any flammable materials. Never leave the grill unattended during the startup process.
  • Monitor closely: Since a close-lid startup can impede airflow, it’s important to closely monitor the grill for any signs of excessive smoke, flare-ups, or unusual behavior. If you notice any issues, it’s advisable to stop the startup process and address the situation.
  • Follow the temperature guidelines: Set the desired temperature on the grill’s controller based on your recipe or desired cooking outcome. Refer to the temperature ranges provided in the previous response for general guidance.
  • Be patient: Starting the grill with the lid closed may take longer to reach the desired temperature compared to the recommended lid-open startup. Allow sufficient time for the grill to preheat, and avoid opening the lid frequently, as this can affect temperature stability.
  • Refer to the manual: While starting a Traeger grill with the lid closed is not the recommended method, it’s essential to consult your specific grill’s manual for any specific instructions, safety guidelines, or precautions pertaining to your model.

What are the drawbacks of a closed-lid Traeger grill startup?

  • Limited airflow: Closing the lid during startup restricts the airflow within the grill. Traeger grills are designed with an open lid to allow for proper air circulation, which is essential for combustion and maintaining consistent heat. With a closed lid, airflow is significantly impeded, potentially leading to inefficient burning, incomplete combustion, and difficulties in maintaining the desired temperature.
  • Safety hazards: Starting a Traeger grill with the lid closed can result in the accumulation of potentially dangerous gases, such as carbon monoxide, within the cooking chamber. These gases need to be properly vented for safe operation. A closed lid can disrupt the ventilation process and increase the risk of carbon monoxide buildup, which can be harmful or even fatal if inhaled in high concentrations.
  • Inconsistent performance: The closed lid can impact the overall performance of the grill. Insufficient airflow may lead to uneven heat distribution, slower preheating times, and less efficient fuel consumption. This can affect the quality and consistency of the cooking results.
  • Manufacturer recommendations: Traeger, as the manufacturer, specifically advises against starting the grill with the lid closed. Deviating from their recommended startup procedure may void warranties, compromise safety certifications, and increase the risk of accidents.
  • Lack of control and monitoring: Starting the grill with the lid closed makes it challenging to visually monitor the fire, observe potential flare-ups, or make adjustments as needed. This can hinder your ability to effectively manage the cooking process and respond to any issues promptly.

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