Pellet Smokers item created by bmudd14474, Oct 6, 2012
Pros - There are no pros
Cons - Nothing but cons
Wish I had read this site before purchasing my Traeger grill from Home Depot. Luckily I was within the 90 days for returns. Like other posts - the pellets would not feed into the hopper - I would have to constantly push them down. The hopper is not beveled enough for them to continually feed. I could not leave it for more than one hour without manually feeding the hopper. The temp also did not remain constant.
The straw that broke the camel back was when trying to cook a pork butt and the fire kept going out. Then at one time, there was so much smoke I could not even seen the grill. Then the smoke was coming out of the hopper and not the grill. Once I started it again,the supposedly 250 degrees registered 400. I could not get the temp down. I called customer service and like other posts, they were of no help. He was telling me I would have to dismantle the grill, clean out the hopper and fire box and try again. He said "Sometimes the pellets get stuck in the feeder and not get into the fire box". SOMETIMES!!!! How am I to clean out the feeder when the grill is hot. I am also a single woman and trying to turn this grill upside down to dump out the hopper was not going to happen. It finally took two of us (and one being a man) to get it cleaned out. I was so frustrated by this time that I shut it all down and took it back to Home Depot. This grill is nothing that they advertise. The commercial stated you can go off and leave it cooking for hours - NOT....because once the pellets stop feeding, the temps drop. What a waste of $500. Way overpriced and way overstated. Don't make my mistake.
Pros - looks nice before I turn it on
Cons - Temps are all over the place, HORRIBLE customer service
I purchased this grill on 5-05-2017-----so I purchased this grill (Tailgater in Blue) from my local ACE hardware and the temps are all over the place, so far I have e-mailed back and forth (3 different techs now)with their tech support and have received ZERO help, I guess their legendary service is not for my grill, I even went as far as watching my grill for 2 hours and I took down all of the readings on the grill and basically I saw the temps (while on 225 setting) go from 180 to 377 and it kept doing this for the 2 hours I watched it, I sent the readings to my contact at Traeger and he told me that I closed the lid to soon and that is why it would not stabilize, really? that is not even a good excuse? I preformed the start up like the manual says and got horrible results, when I have started the grill on smoke like the manual says the temp goes to 370+ and sits there for about 15 mins then goes back down, now I have used this grill 4 times and had the same results each time, I contacted my ACE hardware and pretty much was told to contract Traeger so they don't stand behind this product either. I personally would recommend another grill as there are plenty out there, I honestly have to laugh each time I hear about their legendary customer service...The following is what I had sent to Traeger tech support.
-Started on smoke at 1710 and changed to P-1-----Tech support told me to change the P setting
-Waited 5 mins with lid open turned to 225 closed lid
-in 5 mins the grill rose to 377
-3 mins later the temp started to go down
-16 mins later the temp stabilized at 223
-a couple mins later then fell to 210 then up to 310 then fluxuated around 305 for a few
-then slowly started falling to 223 over 10 mins
-temps around 216-230 for 5 mins
-going back up to 272 for 3 mins then down to 244 for 3 mins then down to 210 for a few. Alot of smoke came out for 2 mins
-going back up 310 and sat for 3 mins then going down to 251 then down to 212 then up again to 310 to 314 to 317 all for 2 mins then down to 272 for 4 mins then down 244 for 6-8 mins then down to 230 for 5 mins then 233 then 230 then up 307 over about 8 mins and sat at 307 for like 7 mins then down to 266, still going down put in shut down mode
Pretty much exactly 2 hours total time from start up/changing the P setting to shut down mode
Pros - easily use , product warranty available
Cons - price is too much
are you looking for a better Traeger grills? hope you are so lucky because now I am going to be a share my experience, I bought from amazon which is the name is model BBQ Traeger BBQ 155.01 pellet grill is the best choice for you. this will give a medium sized cooking area of 292 square inches with the tremendous feature. It can easily hold 12 burgers, 18 hot dogs, and 2 chickens, so you can make easily simple party for your friend and family. The grill lid has an attractive bronze lid which has increased the beauties more.
Pros - Price, large grill area, two probes
Cons - Not as solid as a Yoder, dial temp control is old tech, low top end temp
I bought the Traeger Bronze Pro Series 34 Wood Pellet Grill last 4th of July. It was on sale at Abt for $750. I thought it was one heck of a deal at that price! (Still listed at $999 on their site - but if you call and ask, they will knock off $50-100). So I don't know where that $1,500 amazon price is coming from.
Since buying the grill, I've smoked just about everything I could: Ribs, pork butt, ribs, brisket, fish, ribs, burgers and more ribs. I've even threatened to smoke the dog food, but she's getting enough scraps as it is.
A Friend of mine has the Yoder 640 - and that is a much nicer, better constructed smoker - for $2k it should be. But at the end of the day, when we sit down to eat, NO ONE can tell what was cooked on which.
Pros: With the Treager 34 I like the size of the grill area - holds a ton of meat. I've done 6 slabs of ribs without space issues. And while having two temperature probes is nice, I've only used two probes at the same-time once. I normally need only one probe. But still its a plus. I like the digital read out for the grill temp and the probe. The temps inside the grill have been pretty good - some fluctuation but for the most part it holds a good consistent temperature - seeing that I'm usually setting it at 225 and leaving it for hours (although I have made a couple of modification which I mention below).
Cons: The main issues are two: One, the control unit uses a dial with ten settings - which is fine, but a digital control setting would be better. After all, it has a digital readout for temp and probe. .
And two: Top temp setting is only 375 and it's hard to get a sear on burgers or steak.
So I wouldn't call this a competition model, but rather a good starter model.
+The extra front self for $60 is almost a must. I just need the room to set things down.
+Full length cover $40. Need for the weather and storage.
+Nomex Gasket, self stick gasket tape - $20 bucks on Amazon. I lined the door with it and it keeps the smoke and heat inside. Works great!
+An old horse blanket and a big old cloth drop cloth to cover and insulate the grill. This didn't cost a penny, just a couple of old blankets and a bungee cord or two. I wrap and cover the grill - holds the temp more consistently and uses way less pellets.
+Twelve foot long, 4"x 6" Extra Wide Commercial Downspout with a round to square adapter - (and a little tin foil wrapped around the Treager chimney to connect it to the downspout adapter) I can extend the smoke chimney up and out of the way. This is very important, otherwise my wife complains about the smoke when we are sitting outside! But with the twelve foot extension, leaning against the house, it gets the smoke up, up and out of the way. Happy wife, happy smoking hubby! Plus I had it just sitting around so it didn't cost me anything.
With all that - I am very happy with the Treager 34 pro. Now we will see how good it works as "winter is coming" and I live north of the wall!
Pros - I won't know until I can get it to work
Cons - Flimsy metal. Grill arrived dented and electronics don't work. First customer service rep was clueless. 2nd rep was slightly more helpful.
I was very excited about receiving my new Traeger grill. After assembling the grill I noticed dents in the grill and the control panel was askew. After attempting initial firing I received an error code indicating a loose connection. The first attempt at customer service was fruitless. The rep didn't have a clue. The second rep said Traeger would ship a new part for self-installation requiring some disassembly and reassembly. If the smoker/grill doesn't work from day one, I have doubts about its durability into the future. Also, the metal is flimsy and arrived dented. I don't know if it left the factory in that condition or a victim of transit. Based upon my experience thus far I cannot recommend a Traeger grill to anyone.
Pros - Worked great for first 2 uses
Cons - Warranty parts I have to replace on my own.
I took this back after 2 weeks. A part needed to be replaced and they sent it to me for ME to install and change out. That job is not mine for something I paid over a grande for. They finally got a rep out and that took over a week. Rep said lots of units breaking down. Was I surprised? He left and the unit stopped on a turkey a few days later. I was done and went back to stick burning. Also straight fruit pellets(means no filler wood added) was very expensive. I would say double the cost of chunks. One more because I am not done. The unit is made from really thin metal that you have to buy a thermal cover for it in cold areas. Places like Utah where I live you need it. I would like to see thicker metal. I do not care it it increases shipping costs. It's needed!! OK...one more last thing. I like a good clear blue smoke. This one did give me blue smoke when it would work right. But I came to the conclusion that technology sometime goes too far and I think pellet crosses a line to where something was already perfect and simple. Reminds me of a story about NASA spending close to several hundred thousand dollars on a solution to get ink pens to work in space. Their problem was gravity not being present. After months of designs and ideas, the janitor of all people found the solution for them with a simple suggestion. A pencil!!!
Pros - Customer Service
This is actually a review for Traegers customer service. I don't own a Traeger, but I borrowed and damaged one. I have a Yoder 640. I had loaded 70lbs of pork into it, and went to bed. In the morning, all seemed well, but...The fire had gone out. After a bit of troubleshooting, the customer service for Yoder sent me a new thermocouple. ("Yoders customer service was also great)I still had 70 lbs of pork butt to deal with. I ran to my Father in laws house, and swiped his Lil texas. I managed to fit four of the Butts on it, and three on my Weber gasser with a couple of amaze smoke tubes. In my haste to get the pork smoking, I failed to properly secure the Traeger in my trailer. It is rather top heavy, and fell over in transit. While the pit functioned fine, the sheet metal that surrounds the controller and hopper took a nasty hit, and was ugly looking. I contacted Traegers customer service line, and they helped me out. Once I got them the serial number, and a couple pics of the damage, they shipped out replacement body work. This was done free of charge, and shipped quickly. I see lots of poor customer service reviews on here, and I have no reason to doubt them. It appears that the folks at Traeger have taken notice and improved their customer service for the better. I couldn't be happier with the way I was treated. Enough so, that I joined this site just to put this review in here! (I do lurk quite a bit on here)
Pros - When working, it's great
Cons - Horrible customer service
I have been a Traeger customer for 6 years now and I am so incredibly disappointed in their customer service. This product is made in China now and their customer service may as well be there too! These are good grills when they are working, but any little thing that goes wrong will take you months to get resolved! I have made several calls to their customer service and have been on hold for 45 minutes each time and my issue is still not resolved. The last customer service representative hung up on me because I wanted to speak to a supervisor. I will never purchase another one! Sorry Traeger!
Pros - NONE
Cons - Cannot hold temperature at all - not even close.
It is evident that the company is relying heavily on marketing and ignorance to push product. Traegers are incapable of maintaining anything close to a desired temperature. As a business owner, private equity investor and BBQ'er, I did ample diligence to learn as much as I could about the Traeger system before complaining about it. After wasting dozens of pounds of high quality meat, literally, I have given up on trying to figure out new ways to "make it work". Given the Traegers inability to maintain temps, I had zero trust in the system, which resulted in my checking on the BBQ every 10-15 minutes to make sure my meal wasn't getting scorched. Only ONE TIME, did the Traeger cook something as expected. The other times, I watched the temperature run way above my desired target. Here is one example: 1) I vacuumed the traeger before beginning, ensuring all debris and ash was clear of the firepot and belly of the smoker, 2) I started the smoker with lid open to ensure a good lighting process, 3) once fire was established, I closed the lid and let the temperature settle at ~190F (P-setting was at 4), which took ~15 minutes, 4) I set desired temp to 225F, 5) I watched temps climb to 265, 285, 295, 315, 6) knowing my meal was already over since I am not going to babysit the bbq, I decided to let the Traeger just run as it is for an hour and a half, 6) temps fluctuated between 250-315F, despite a setting of 225F, 7) last point, i did see temps fall to 215F, but only briefly, most fluctuations between new wood burning and smoking were between 250-315F.
I realize that smokers have a volatile temperature range. I would be ok with +/- 25-35F in temp volatility on either side of the selected temperature, which I think is generous. I also understand the P-settings o the Traeger and how direct sunlight and ambient temperature impacts the Traeger's ability to hit a target temperature. After spending countless hours trying to create the ideal environment and system configuration, I can say unequivocally that the Traeger system lacks the inherent quality and ability to hit anything near a desired temperature.
This is not a request for help or guidance. I've read almost every troubleshooting blog for Traegers, of which there are many. This is a warning for anyone considering wasting a few hundred bucks. I haven't tried a GMG yet, but that's my next buy.
If anyone from Traeger reads this, you should be ashamed by your poor business practices. Your attempt to manufacturer a quality smoker capable of "set it and forget it" reliability has been an abject failure.
Pros - Versatile. Maintains temp. Great smoker.
Cons - legs are flimsy. needs thicker metal and should come standard with a front shelf.
I had a Texas grill for three years before it was stolen in September. I replaced it with a Texas Elite. I added the lower shelf. It helped sturdy up the legs quite a bit. A folding shelf is a great addition as well.
The Traeger's I have owned have been great. In my experience they hold and maintain temps good. There is a bit of a learning curve going from gas/charcoal to a pellet grill. I have not had any issues with customer service because I have not had to call them. Mechanically sound. I think thicker metal would make this grill even better though.