There is nothing more satisfying than coming home from a long day at work, firing up your Traeger Wood Pellet Grill, and cooking dinner for the family. Good food has always been important to me—not just because of the taste, but also because good food can make anyone feel like they’re home again.
I have recently purchased an inexpensive pellet grill that I absolutely love using! You too should consider buying one if you are looking to enjoy some delicious steak or pork chops this summer.
The Traeger Wood Pellet Grill is a great investment for family dinners and parties, or just when you want to make some food that tastes like it came straight from the grill!
How to fire up a Traeger pellet grill
- Open the lid.
- Remove the grills, grease pan, and heat baffle.
- Plug the power in while the dial is still off.
- Turn the temperature dial up to “smoke” and switch the Traeger on.
- Make sure the auger is actively turning inside the hopper.
- Check to see if the fan is on by placing your hand over the firepot (do not touch the hotrod).
- Turn the temperature back down to begin the shut-down cycle.
- Open the hopper lid and fill it up with hardwood pellets. Then close it.
- Turn the temperature dial to high.
- When the pellets begin to fall into the firepot, turn the temperature down to a shut-down cycle to reset the hotrod.
- With the pellets still in the firepot, turn the dial to smoke.
- When a flame starts in the firepot, turn the dial to the shut-down cycle and switch the Traeger off.
- Allow the grill to cool down.
- Reassemble the heat baffle, grease pan, and grills and put them back into the Traeger.
- Pull the lid open, turn the switch on, and set the dial to smoke.
- In a few minutes, the pellets should ignite, and smoke will start to rise from the grill.
- Close the lid and turn the dial to your desired temperature for cooking.
How do you use a Traeger pellet grill?
Traeger is the leader in applying little wood pellets used as both fuel and flavor for grilling. You can smoke, grill, bake, or roast on a Traeger thanks to its ability to range vastly between temperatures. Many people tend to compare Traeger’s to traditional ovens. Whatever you can do in an oven, you can do with a Traeger, with the added bonus of that wood-fired flavor.
Traegers have an auger that feeds the pellets you supply from the hopper into the cooking chamber at the rate you need to maintain the temperature you set it at. Electricity will help ignite the pellets while the fan will circulate the heat throughout the chamber. You simply need to place your food on the grill and let it cook until it’s ready.
Below, I’ve listed out a number of basic components you should be familiar with.
The Traeger controller
The controllers will vary depending on the model you own. Older models will have just the dial and a temperature indicator. New models are now equipped with LCD screens for more versatility and features, and only a few buttons for simplicity.
And just like a traditional oven, wood pellet grills are easy to control because all you need to do is set the temperature to the right degree and just let it take care of the rest.
The Traeger hopper
The hopper is this big container that you can pour wood pellets into. It also acts as a storage place for your wood pellets. These wood pellets are automatically grabbed and pulled down with the augur, moving them toward the fire pot.
The Traeger auger
The auger is the part that actually feeds the pellets into the firepot. It has the ability to regulate how many wood pellets can be pushed into the fire pot.
As you pour the wood pallets into the hopper, the auger that is located at the bottom of the hopper uses gravity to help the wood pellets fall downwards into the auger. The auger rotates and oscillates, helping to pull those pellets into the fire pit.
If you want a faster, hotter flame, you can set it, and the auger will move the pellets quickly from the hopper to the firepot. If you want a slow and steady flame, the auger can push the pellets in slowly.
The Traeger firepot
The firepot resides directly at the bottom of the cooking chamber underneath the grease tray. It’s mainly where the heat is produced and distributed. Here, you’ll find the fan encased inside a rectangular metal enclosure. It pushes and distributes the fire from the pellets into the cooking chamber. You’ll also find a couple of deflectors that distribute heat evenly via convection.
Overall, this creates an even side-to-side and top-to-bottom cook, making it unnecessary to flip your food.
The Traeger fan
The fan does a combination of things, like bellowing the flame and circulating the smoke. The fans can self adjust depending on the settings you placed in the controller.
What makes pellet grills so much better than other types of grills?
With a Traeger pellet grill, you don’t have to worry about feeding more charcoal into a charcoal grill. You don’t have to worry about feeding wooden logs into a fire pit grill. You don’t even have to worry if there’s enough gas in the tank when it comes to propane grills.
All you have to do is pour your pellets into the hopper and you’re good to go. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short cook or a long cook.
People are getting busier and busier in their daily lives, and most days, they don’t have time to spend all day cooking a meal. Some people will come home during lunch, season their meats, turn on their Traeger, put the meats in, close the lid, and go back to work. When they get home in the evening, they take the meat out and enjoy a delicious dinner.
You don’t have to worry about the temperature or whether or not you should add fuel. As long as you have pellets in the hopper, and you have the Traeger set at a temperature, it will do the rest.
Is a Traeger a grill or just a smoker?
The beauty of a Traeger pellet grill is that, depending on your settings, you can easily make it grill for fast cooking or smoke for slow cooking.
This is all controlled by how quickly or slowly the auger pushes the wood pellets into the firepot. The Traeger can get to temperatures as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit for grilling or as low as 225 degrees Fahrenheit for smoking.
Keep in mind that in either case of grilling or smoking, the flame doesn’t directly contact the food. It works by convection, and heat is transferred to the deflectors. From the deflectors, the heat is distributed evenly across the entire grill. Your food will be so evenly cooked that it may not be necessary to flip it.
The fan also contributes to the smoking of your Traeger. It circulates to bring the smoke from the firepot that burns the wood pellets into the cooking chamber.
Do you have to season a pellet grill?
Seasoning your grill helps remove pores and prevents contaminants and rust from sticking to your grill. You only need to season your grill on the initial startup. Seasoning your grill can help make cleaning easier and can even make your food taste better.
It helps create a protective barrier that helps prevent it from rusting. It works by creating a nonstick surface inside your Traeger so that you don’t end up with a mess stuck food and particles inside and outside your grill.
When you initially open up the box for the first time on your Traeger grill, the company recommends that you season it before using it. This will help remove any residual, non-toxic oils or lubricants that were formed during the manufacturing process of the grill.
The seasoning process of your Traeger may emit some odd smells due to the burning of the residue and oils. No need to worry; this is normal.
It is highly recommended that you season your Traeger grill the first time you use it. However, not seasoning your Traeger grill shouldn’t cause any harm. If you forgot to season your grill or chose not to, you might end up with food that tastes slightly odd due to the oil and lubricants used to manufacture the Traeger.
Fortunately, these oil residues and lubricants are non-toxic.
It’s also important to note that during the lifetime of your grill, if you ever replace any internal parts, which includes the grill, the heat baffle, the drip tray, or even the fire pot, you may need to re-season your grill in order to remove any oils or residues that were formed on that new part thanks to the manufacturing process.
How do you season a Traeger pellet grill?
- Plug in your grill.
- Add your hardwood pellets to the hopper.
- Switch on the grill.
- Select “Auger” from the controller display.
- Choose “Prime Auger”
- Once the pellets begin to fall into the firepot, select “Done” and turn off the auger.
- Turn the selection dial to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and press “DIAL.”
- Press the Ignite button.
- Close the grill.
- Wait for the grill to reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then let it run for an additional 20 minutes.
- Increase the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wait for the grill to reach 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then let it run for an additional 30 minutes.
- Shut down the grill by pressing and holding the selection dial for 3 seconds.
- The shutdown cycle may take some time.
- You’re now done seasoning your Traeger grill.
Maintenance tips for your Traeger
- Clean your grill after each use.
- Use a grill cover to protect your Traeger when not in use.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease and debris after each use.
- Store your Traeger in a cool and dry place during the winter.
- Periodically get rid of the old foil lining the drip trays and other components.
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