traeger fails.

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by susieqz, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Actually the hot rod goes thru the side of the firepot and is held by one screw. Very easy to swap out. And you don't need to order from Traeger. There are only a few hot rod sizes that are used by all pellet cookers. Theres a few American made ones that seem to last longer and can be had for about 25 to 30 bucks.
     
  2. nedtorious

    nedtorious Smoke Blower

    The hot rod is very easy to replace, but technically you don't need it. You can light the pellets in the fire pot with a torch, then turn on the grill, it works just fine, I've done this a few times.
     
  3. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    gee, you are a doll. i don't wanna buy from traeger. period.

    ned, i don't understand. i get if you torch some pellets they burn, but over several hours, how do you keep them burning?
     
  4. nedtorious

    nedtorious Smoke Blower

    The auger will bring new pellets to the fire pot to keep the fire going. All the hot rod does is start the original fire. I love my pellet grills, but I think if I had to do it over, I would have bought a Weber Smokey Mountain or a Big Green Egg. The next smoker I get will defiantly be a stick burner!
     
  5. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks ned. i've memorized that. 

    i've never tried those others, but it does make sense that actual  hunks of real wood would give a better smoke taste.

    i'm into pellets only because i'm lazy.

    today i just walked outside n started it, waited 2 minutes n set the heat. went inside n had my coffee, then went back out to set ribs on the grate.

    other than that, i checked every couple of hours til i ate.

    peeling taters took more time than that.

    lazy.

    what i don't get about webers is the fire is right in the middle. i'd think an offset firebox would be better, but what do i know..
     
  6. It just seems wrong to have a smoker require an electrical plug to work. That's just me.
     
  7. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit


    this is my setup. drop a couple hot coals in each side. Smoke on.
     
    remmy700p likes this.
  8. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    how do you guys regulate heat?
     
  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    This is how we do. Love the Performer.

    This is how you regulate the heat. It is really as simple as moving one lever to open and close the damper to increase or decrease airflow. The same lever cleans the ashes out each time you move it. Can't get more easy than that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you get tired of the Traeger definitely check out the 22.5" WSM. In summertime I can run over 22 hrs. at 240-250° on one bag of charcoal (I use Kingsford Blue Bag), in winter I wrap it in a welding blanket and can run for about 18 hrs. on the same 20 lb. load.

    I start all my briskets and pork butts around midnight, then go to bed for 6 hrs., then check them and add wood in the AM.
     
    remmy700p likes this.
  11. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    timber, that was fun to watch, but it shows it's more art than  science.

    i don't think you can learn  that from books. i bet you gotta apprentice yourself to an experienced smoker.

    that's too hard for people like me.
     
  12. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    No absolutely not. If you can read a thermometer and light a bic lighter..... In time you may want to try new things. Especially when your pellet pooper poops out.
     
  13. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    oh, i won't get another pellet one. i'd like to use real wood. if i was rich, i'd get a brick smoker. i tasted food from one n i doubt anything else can compare.

    i'll settle for anything that burns real wood that i personally can get to keep a temp for a long time.

    dave told me he smokes everything under 210. that seems the way to go. i've been smoking everything  at 225 due to the limitations of this unit.
     
  14. buttburner

    buttburner Meat Mopper

    I don't know why anyone would cook at 210 unless its sausage or jerky etc

    If you were to do something big like a pork butt or a brisket you could  be there for days

    try cooking at 275-300

    the results are the same and you get it done a LOT faster!!!
     
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    You should try it.... Condemning a smoking method, on a forum where you are "possibly" trying to learn new techniques, is weird....

    I just cooked a standing rib roast at 180 deg. F.... Cooking at 275-300 is what a kitchen cook does.... Soooooo, step out of the kitchen into the smoking meat section....



    I smoke sausage at 140.... no fat out, no dry as sawdust sticks... works for me, but then I experimented until I found a method that makes great smoked products...
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
    bigtrain74 likes this.
  16. buttburner

    buttburner Meat Mopper



    I have tried it.

    I find it a waste of time. I am glad it works for you, this works for me

    Brisket at 275f

    its known as the Hot and Fast method, very accepted in BBQ circles.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  17. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, I've tried it too, but after 20 something years of smoking meats I tend to get over the 250 mark for almost everything.....and I'm pretty sure I'm doing it outside on my smoker and not in the kitchen. For some reason the suggested default smoking temp seems to be 225, until now where its below 210? No loss of taste or tenderness cooking above 250. All you have to gain is time. And BTW, above 250 is not hot and fast just because its hotter and faster than others cook. Lets put it this way..... is someone smoking hot and fast at 225 just because someone else is smoking at 190? No one I know smokes under 225 and most go at it around 250 to 275 and there are several competition teams in the area that never smoke under 275. Now Dave is a well respected and knowledgeable member here and he enjoys the real slow method. Works for him. But there are others that use a faster method and instead of 2 1/2 hours per pound can get done in an hour or hour and a half.... with excellent results too. I wasn't aware that smoking at a higher temp meant we were a kitchen cook. I thought the use of smoke and using wood was the basis of getting good bbq.
    Susieq.... there are lots of different ways to get great results. Find what works for you. But don't get stuck into absolute set in stone rules. Just find your own method and you'll be smoking like a pro in no time. All the best to everyone.
     
    remmy700p likes this.
  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I don't see how you can get thin blue quality smoke at 275-300. I can not achieve anything but billowing white smoke with my Weber or UDS at the higher temps. I use real wood and charcoal, which is real wood too. I go with Dave on this one for sure. Suze if you want to be lazy you probably don't want a stick burner. You are going to the total opposite end of the spectrum there. Brick, steel, whatever material the smoker is made from makes no difference in flavor. It is all in how you cook stuff. What temp you cook at, what temp you take the meat to, what type of smoke you have and the time it took to get there all have an impact on what you are trying to achieve. The person that had that brick pit just did it right. You can get great results on whatever you are using for a smoker. Just know that A well designed and efficient smoker is easier to use and that is what it is all about. To each his or her own. There is a guy here where I live that direct grills everything he does right over a searing hot open flame. I have had his meat and you want to talk about tough. I don't know how he has repeat customers. Every time i am in there they are apologizing for something. Low and slow baby.
     
  19. It's all about the volume of fuel relative to the size of the cook chamber. All things being equal, a small properly combusting fire (i.e. as evidenced by "TBS") will generate a certain amount of heat. A larger fire (more fuel) combusting with the same efficiency in the same smoker will generate more heat. The exhaust gas' visual characteristics (i.e. the "TBS") are the same, but the temps are higher. Billowing white smoke is simply a visual cue that the fire is smouldering, i.e. not combusting properly and releasing water vapor into the gas stream. This environment is perfect for the formation of creosote on the inside of the pit -- and on your proteins.
     
  20. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Word.... to tell you the truth I think the last time I tried a hot and fast cook I had some greenish wood. I still swear by low and slow unless it is chicken.
     

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