Our posts contain affiliate links. Sometimes, not always, we may make $$ when you make a purchase through these links. No Ads. Ever. Learn More
Table of Contents_
The first company to bring wood pellet grills to the home grilling market, Traeger makes well-known, mostly mid-range home and portable pellet grills, including the famous Joe Traeger grill and the Traeger Pro grills. While they now include extra features like multiple temperature settings and digital controller options, Traeger grills still follow the proven formula of Joe Traeger’s original best-selling pellet grill, delivering genuine wood-fired taste.
Traeger grills aren’t the cheapest, nor the most specialized wood-fired grills on the market, but they are a good value if you’re looking for an easy-to-use wood pellet grill with proven quality. Key specs to look out for on any top smoker grill include temperature control, temperature range, and cooking space. New Traeger grills use electronic temperature control and some models offer a “super smoke” mode for adding extra smokey flavor.
Keep reading to learn more about Traeger grills and how to choose the best grill or pellet smoker for your cooking needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: An automated temperature control system and gravity-fed pellet hopper enable effortless set-and-leave operation. This unit has an induction fan and advanced barrel to facilitate fast and even cooking.
Designed for cooking with wood pellets, the Traeger Pro Series 34 is the ultimate choice for enthusing food with sumptuous flavors. This grill is quite versatile, supporting baking, roasting, braising, and barbecuing. It can also be used as a smoker and it has a reliable temperature control system that simplifies operation. This system automatically logs and adjusts the temperature without the need for continued human input. However, this unit doesn’t have Wi-Fi and consequently lacks smart features.
This device features two meat probes to monitor the cooking of meat without opening the lid. A gravity-fed hopper with an auger pulls the pellets automatically into the fire pot for effortless operation, while a grease drip tray keeps excess oil away from the cooking meat. The grill has a barrel for circulating heat and smoke evenly for consistent results, and a built-in induction fan stokes the fires for fast heating. This device has an intuitive control panel for managing settings easily.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This grill has built-in WiFIRE, allowing users to remotely monitor and control settings via a mobile app. A hopper cleanout system opens the trap door to remove pellets fast.
Featuring WiFIRE technology, the Traeger Pro Series 575 575-square-inch grill allows users to monitor and change settings remotely via the Traeger app. This device has a large cooking surface that accommodates 24 hamburgers or four chickens in one go. It boasts a meat probe that enables checking on the meat without opening up the grill. A TurboTemp system precisely controls the temperature for consistent cooking. However, this grill doesn’t have rear wheels.
Porcelain-coated grill grates on this model retain heat for a long time, providing fast and even cooking. These grates are easy to clean and resist corrosion for lasting use. Equipped with all-terrain wheels, this grill is easy to move from place to place, and the casters are lockable for safety. This wood-fired system provides excellent flavors, and it has intuitive controls for adjusting and monitoring settings easily. This device has a hopper cleanout function that empties the hopper fast.
Award: BEST TEMPERATURE CONTROL SYSTEM
WHY WE LIKE IT: With an 18-lb hopper and digital temperature control system, this device operates independently, eliminating the need for frequent human intervention. It has all-terrain wheels that glide smoothly across the lawn.
Featuring a large cooking rack, this Traeger Pro Series 22 418-square-inch grill accommodates plenty of food. It has a large 418-square-inch main rack and an additional 154-square-inch rack for warming food. This device has an extra-large hopper that accommodates 18 lbs of wooden pellets. It is ideal for users who want the ultimate grilled food flavor. This model features large all-terrain wheels that enable moving it easily. However, this unit doesn’t get as hot as some other models.
It has a set-it-and-forget-it design that refills wood pellets. With porcelain-coated grill grates, this unit provides enduring heat for proper cooking. Heavy-gauge steel construction provides lasting durability and weather resistance. This grill has a powder-coated finish that resists rusting and corrosion, making it a good choice for storage in the outdoor kitchen. A digital PID control maintains temperatures in a set range, preventing overheating. A warming rack keeps the food at serving temperature for convenience.
Award: BEST SMART FEATURES
WHY WE LIKE IT: Equipped With front and rear casters, this device is easy to wheel across the lawn or pavement. It has built-in Wi-Fi, working with a mobile app for hassle-free remote operation.
Equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, this Traeger Pro Series 780 780-square-inch grill works with the Traeger app, allowing users to operate the grill remotely. It has a temperature management system that offers precise control, and it achieves a maximum temperature of 500°F. This device doubles as a smoker and it also bakes roasts, and braises for wide-ranging use. However, this grill is very large and it’s difficult to transport with a vehicle.
Featuring a whopping 780 square inches of space, this grill is made for large families and it’s ideal for cooking for small gatherings and at commercial establishments. A built-in meat probe helps users to monitor the progress of food easily. This model uses wood pellets, producing food with tempting aromas, and it runs on a D2 Direct Drive system that provides consistent results. The grill has a built-in fan to facilitate airflow, and an automated auger ensures a constant supply of pellets.
Award: BEST FOR TRAVEL
WHY WE LIKE IT: This compact grill can be carried easily, making it a good choice for picnics, camping trips, and tailgating. It has a precise temperature management system and intuitive controls.
Consumers seeking a model for camping and tailgating should consider the Traeger Ranger 176-square-inch grill. The grill has a compact design that is easy to carry and transport with a vehicle. A cast-iron griddle enables searing steak or cooking tasty eggs easily. This unit has porcelain-coated grill grates for barbecuing meats and other foods. It has an advanced Grilling Logic system that precisely adjusts the temperature for optimum grilling. However, this device is too small for entertaining big groups.
This model features a timer that alerts users when it’s time to sauce or check on the food. Using wood pellets, this device infuses the food with excellent aromas and it has heavy-duty parts that hold up well in the face of frequent transportation. A keep warm mode keeps the food ready for serving, eliminating the need for reheating. This grill has a latched lid, which can be locked to secure the grates and cooking tools.
Award: BEST FOR ENTERTAINING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This grilling system has a large cooking area and warming rack, making it a good choice for entertaining. It has four wheels for mobility and a side table for preparing ingredients.
Powered by charcoal or gas, the Traeger Ironwood 885 885-square-inch grill is suitable for commercial use. With a D2 drivetrain, this device starts fast and heats fast for fast cooking. It accommodates up to ten chickens or seven rib racks in one go. A built-in meat probe enables users to monitor the cooking effortlessly. This unit precisely controls the temperature, attaining a maximum of 500°F. However, this model is too big to be transported in a regular car.
A side table provides ample space for preparing ingredients and keeping grilling tools. This model has built-in Wi-Fi and Alexa, supporting voice control and remote app management. It has four wheels that enable moving the grill easily across the lawn or camping site. With pellet sensor technology, this unit monitors the pellet levels and alerts users through the app. Featuring a well-insulated double sidewall, this grilling system prevents heat loss, ensuring fast cooking and efficient operation.
Founded in Mt. Angel, Oregon in 1985 using Joe Traeger’s patent for a wood-fired grill with an automatic pellet hopper, Traeger markets some of the world’s top-selling pellet grills. You’ll also find some great leading Pit Boss pellet grills, too. The original patent for the Traeger pellet grill expired in 2005, and several companies now sell pellet smoker grills and wood pellet grills. However, the Traeger pellet grill line remains competitive with the best home and portable grills for genuine wood-fired flavor and convenience.
Traeger home grills come in various sizes, ranging up to about 1300 square inches of cooking space. Most popular Traeger pellet grills have around 575 square inches of cooking capacity, while portable tailgate grills, like the Traeger Ranger and Traeger Tailgater, are significantly smaller while still offering grill grates large enough for several burgers or chicken breasts.
Their home and portable units include the innovative Traeger Pro and Ironwood lines, which offer Traeger’s “WiFire” wireless connectivity, letting you manage cooking functions remotely. Newer Traeger Pro models also include variable-speed fans and Traeger’s digital elite controller for precise temperature control. Some units also feature the Turbo Temp function, which helps maintain consistent temperatures and boosts start-up efficiency.
While they’re not the cheapest smokers on the market, Traeger Pro and Traeger Tailgater models generally offer good value for the money. They come with a proven reputation and widespread availability of smoke pellet refills. Traeger grills earn praise for their ease of use compared to other wood grills, vertical pellet smokers, and charcoal grills. They reach the target temperature quickly and provide rich, quality smoke flavor.
(Pro 1) Available Digital Pro Controller: The newer Trager digital controllers offer more advanced temperature control and easier monitoring than older pellet grills could manage. Newer Pro and Ironwood 885 grills also offer Wi-Fi connectivity, letting you monitor pellet levels and check temperature remotely.
(Con 1) Electricity Source Needed: Unlike simple charcoal and wood grills, Traeger pellet grills require an electrical power source to run convection fans and digital arc controller units.
(Pro 2) Various Flavored Pellets Available: Trager pellets come in various wood flavors, making it easy for cooks of any skill level to get a decent amount of quality smoke flavor. The widely-available pellets also burn more consistently than regular wood, resulting in fewer flare-ups and a more controllable cooking process.
(Con 2) More Complicated to Use Than Charcoal Grills: Still, despite the added convenience of pellet smokers compared to older, traditional pit or barrel smokers, they require a little more setup than gas grills.
(Pro 3) Spacious Grilling Area: Most models in Traeger’s range of grills benefit from a space-efficient cylindrical design, which allows for relatively large batches of food, including rib racks, fish filets, and chickens.
(Con 3) Heavier than Gas Grills: While they don’t weigh as much as a cast-iron smoker, Traeger models such as the Ironwood 650 are heavier than the typical gas grill or charcoal bbq. The Traeger Pro 575, with a relatively light double-wall stainless steel body, comes in at 128 pounds unloaded, for example.
(Pro 4) Precise Temperature Control: Traeger grills using a D2 controller and variable-speed fans, plus double-walled insulation and the “Turbo Temp” feature, can maintain a very consistent temperature range throughout the cooking chamber, even in cold weather.
(Con 4) Not as Hot as Some Grills for Searing: As smoker grills, most of these units such as the Traeger Pro and Traeger Timberline series grills max out at 500-degrees F. This is not quite as hot as you can get with an open flame, however, it’s enough for most searing needs, and it allows for cooking on the Traeger Ranger’s cast-iron griddle.
A new Traeger grill can expand the possibilities for outdoor cooking at home or tailgate parties and other events. Even if you already use a barbeque, a Traeger grill can help make it easier to grill with amazing wood-fired flavor. Traeger Ironwood and Timberline grills deliver highly consistent smoky flavor and gourmet cooking results, even if you aren’t a seasoned pitmaster, thanks to their excellent build quality and all-natural hardwood pellets.
You might also consider a Traeger portable pellet grill for cooking at camp-outs or tailgate parties. While the Traeger Tailgater and the smaller Traeger Ranger grills are more complex than some cheap grill options, they offer a wide range of advanced features that help them deliver excellent smoke quality and versatile cooking performance.
Unlike some wood pellet grills, these models have griddle grill grates that allow searing. Traeger Tailgater and Ranger models also come with a handy keep warm mode, useful for ensuring food stays hot at the campsite or even on your fishing boat.
First-time grillers may appreciate the easy setup and high-tech features that come with a Traeger Pro or Ironwood 885 grill. These models take some of the guesswork out of outdoor cooking. WiFi connectivity via Traeger’s WiFIRE controller lets you remotely monitor cooking time and temperature, and the digital arc controller helps ensure accurate temperature control. A built-in meat probe helps ensure even, thorough cooking for different cuts of meat.
Experienced home chefs may also appreciate the quality and consistency possible with Traeger’s proven original wood-pellet grill. With consistent flavor thanks to the standardized hardwood pellets, and a wide range of temperature options, Traeger grills are some of the most versatile barbecue cooking devices.
Like other heavy-duty cooking appliances, Traeger grills can last ten or fifteen years. Various factors contribute to the lifespan of this type of grill, including where you store it, how often you use it, and how complex the particular model’s electronics are.
Grills with digital control panels and WiFi may require updates since WiFi standards change over time, and apps can become obsolete when you update or switch to a new mobile phone operating system. However, with regular cleaning and maintenance, the stainless-steel-bodied, double-wall insulated models withstand the elements well and should maintain basic grill functionality for a decade or more.
The oldest Traeger grills have been around for over thirty years, and many are still in use. Over time, the hinges and moving parts in the pellet hopper can require oiling or may become noisy or get stuck. Snow, humidity, and charcoal build-up can accelerate wear on the grill’s moving parts. Grills with wheels often experience surface rust that makes the wheels hard to turn. In addition, electronic igniters, relays, and controllers can wear out over time, requiring replacement parts.
The wood pellets themselves can last for months to over a year, depending on storage conditions. If stored in a sealed container in very dry, cool conditions, they can last a long time. However, humidity can cause wood pellets to go bad relatively quickly.
Experts recommend using a grill brush to clean the grill grates, griddle, and any cooking surface that comes in contact with food each time you cook on the grill. Most Traeger grills recommend deep cleaning every three months, depending on how frequently you use the grill.
Most Traeger grills come with a 3-year limited warranty covering parts and manufacturing defects under normal use and maintenance conditions. The warranty includes access to over-the-phone tech support and customer service. Online tech support is also available.
The Traeger warranty excludes accidental damage from mishandling, incorrect assembly, or incorrect use like most appliance warranties. It also may not cover the replacement of accessory items, such as the grill tool hooks, meat probes, and griddle plates. It excludes diagnostic labor costs but includes prepaid return shipping for defective parts.