Traeger hopper with wood pellets in it -
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How to Start a Traeger Pellet Grill that Already Has Pellets in It

The Traeger Pellet Grill is a great way to cook food, but it can be confusing when you’re first starting out.

You realized that you never actually used up all the pellets from your last barbecue a few weeks ago. The hopper still has a good amount of pellets in it.

So you’re probably wondering to yourself, how do I get this thing started.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to start your Traeger Pellet Grill even if it already has pellets in it.

Let’s go!

How to start a Traeger pellet grill that already has pellets in it

Step 1: Clean the Traeger grill

You first want to clean the grill surface.

This is going to help you avoid the food sticking to old food and it is also going to help you ensure that the flavor of your food is true and that it is not muddled by anything that you might have cooked before.

Step 2: Prepare the Traeger grill

Next you want to do any moving or fine tuning that you need to do. Get your grill where you want it and where you are going to be cooking.

Once you start your grill it is not advised to move it as it can damage the grill and it can also be dangerous to you. Get your grill where you want it to be and then you can move to the next steps.

Step 2: Turn on the Traeger pellet grill

This is going to help you get your grill started and ready to cook.

You do not want to set it to the heat you are going to cook at to start off, you want to just get it started so that it can start to preheat.

Step 3: Preheat the Traeger grill

Before you cook you do need to let the grill preheat. The pellets are what burns to create the heat for you to cook with a pellet grill instead of charcoal or wood as with other types of grill.

You want to give the pellets time to catch and to start burning so that it can really cook your food evenly.

Step 4: Start cooking with the Traeger grill

After you have preheated, you can adjust the heat to the temperature that you need and you can start cooking.

You need to keep track of how many pellets you have and that you are making sure you have enough to cook what you are cooking.

Advantages and disadvantages of leaving pellets in the your Traeger pellet grill

There are some advantages to leaving pellets in your Traeger, but there are also some disadvantages.

One benefit is that if the pellets are already in the grill, you can cut out that step in getting ready to start cooking.

The pellets are already there and you do not have to load the grill to get it started.

There are more disadvantages to keeping the pellets in than there are benefits.

First, if you leave pellets in they can get wet.

Unless you are leaving your grill in a garage or you are protecting it from water, the pellets can get wet and they can then get soggy and moldy and will not light.

Another drawback is that leaving pellets in the grill may make it more appealing over the winter for animals like mice to get into your grill.

Another problem is that leaving pellets in the grill might not be enough pellets for your next session so you may have to end up adding them anyway.

Unused wood pellets still left in your Traeger pellet grill

The biggest thing that you need to remember with a pellet grill is that the pellets are the fuel.

If you are done grilling and there are just a few pellets left in the barrel, they are fine to stay where they are.

Odds are they are not going to get wet or get ruined before you grill again. Even if they do, it is going to be a small amount that can be easily cleaned out.

If you have a full drum and you are done cooking and you are not going to be grilling again in the near future, it is going to be better to take the pellets out and to get them put away until you need them again.

It is really up to you and is fully dependent on what you want to do. Leaving them in the grill is not going to damage the grill but might end up damaging the pellets.

Restarting a pellet grill after running out of pellets

If you do run out of pellets you can restart your grill without having to go through the entire process that you did to start the grill.

First, you need to put more pellets in the auger so that they can cycle through and so that they can get back into the grill.

You want to put the grill on high so that the auger will work to bring the pellets in quicker.

You then need to turn the grill off once the pellets make it to the fire pot and then start your grill up again.

Can pellets go bad if left in a Traeger pellet grill?

Pellets can go bad if they are not stored properly. If pellets are left in the fire pot or hopper of a pellet grill, they will eventually start to break down and rot.

This can create problems with your grill, including clogged burners and decreased performance.

It is important to clean out the fire pot and hopper of your grill each time you use it, to avoid leaving old pellets around.

Pellets should also be stored in an airtight sealable container when not in use, in order to keep them fresh for longer periods of time.

If you have a pellet grill, you may be wondering if the pellets can go bad if they are left in the grill. The answer is yes, they can go bad.

Pellet grills use wood pellets as fuel. These pellets are made from compressed sawdust.

Over time, the pellets can start to break down and this will cause them to produce less heat and less smoke.

To prevent your pellets from going bad, it’s important to store them in an airtight sealable container.

This will keep them fresh and dry so that they will last longer. It’s also a good idea to keep your pellet grill clean so that the pellets don’t get contaminated with debris or grease.

How long do pellets last if left in a Traeger pellet grill?

If you’re going to leave your pellets inside the hopper, the chances of them lasting any longer then one to two months is slim.

But a lot of that depends on the humidity of the environment. The more wet your pellets are, the more chances that they won’t burn well in your Traeger grill.

Generally speaking, if you leave your wood pellets in your Traeger grill and store your Traeger grill away, the wood pellets will probably only last no more than one month.

If you live in a high humidity area, then they might only last less than 2 weeks inside your hopper.

Now, if you properly store them away, sealed inside their own packaging, in a cool, dry place, they can last as much as one year or more.

Can you still use pellets that were exposed to humidity and environmental fluctuation?

Pellets are made of compressed wood, so they are hygroscopic, meaning they will absorb moisture from the air. This can cause them to swell and even disintegrate. Moisture is the enemy of pellets, so it’s important to store them in a dry place.

If you live in a humid climate, it’s especially important to empty the pellet hopper at the end of each cook. This will help prevent the pellets from absorbing too much moisture and swelling.

In a cold climate, it’s also important to empty the hopper at the end of each cook to prevent freezing.

It’s also important to cover your drip tray with aluminum foil so that it’s easy to clean up later on.

Additionally, extreme fluctuations in temperature can cause the pellets to crack and break apart.

Store them in a dry place, and empty the hopper at the end of each cookout.

If temperatures fall below freezing, empty the pellet box to prevent them from freezing and becoming a mess. Covering your drip tray in aluminum foil will also make clean-up easier.

How to preserve your pellets in the Traeger grill

Always clean out your Traeger grill after use and make sure there are no obstructions in the fire pot.

Do not leave Traeger pellets in the hopper where they will be exposed to humidity and temperature fluctuations.

Pellets should be stored in an airtight container to keep them fresh and dry.”

It is always best to clean out the grill and auger after each use. This will help prevent the pellets from going bad.

Traeger pellets will not last long if left in the hopper. Be sure to use them within a few days or they will start to deteriorate.

Traeger pellets will not last long if left in a dry climate. Store them in an airtight sealable container to keep them fresh longer.

Get better quality smoke out of your pellets by using higher quality pellets. They will last a lot longer and provide better flavor too!

Tips for leaving pellets in your Traeger pellet grill

If you are going to be leaving your pellets in your Traeger there are a few things that you can do to help make sure that they stay usable and that they do not disintegrate.

  • Make sure the drum is secured and closed up tight. You may want to even secure the door shut so that nothing, like mice, can get it open and can then get into your pellets.
  • Make sure your grill is put away and kept away from water or moisture. Moisture is what is going to ruin your pellets and potentially damage your grill as well. Make sure your grill is covered and in a garage or other shelter.
  • Make sure your pellets are dry when you leave them and that they are fully out before you put your grill away. If they are still smoldering and you leave them unattended, it can lead to a fire.
  • When in doubt, take them out. If you are at all unsure, remove the pellets from the grill.

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