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Pellet Smokers item created by bmudd14474, Aug 1, 2013
Pros - Price, Temperature Control, Reliability
Cons - Not Weatherproof in Portland Oregon
I purchased one of the very early Traeger Lil' Tex models about 20 years ago. It was the first pellet grill I had ever seen and I fell in love instantly. Over time I added a digital thermometer to replace the "Smoke - Low - Medium - High" controllers. Then I added an expansion hopper for more pellets.
I still use it today. Temperature controls works within 10 degrees of set temperature even in pouring down rain (like today) or in November for my smoked turkey for Thanksgiving.
Over the past 20 years I have gone through 3 or 4 BMWs, 2 refrigerators in the kitchen, two RVs, and a lot of power tools. But my Traeger just keeps on going.
Pros - Pellet Stove
Cons - Inferior Components | Difficult to Heat Over 400 Degrees
Owned a Traeger Lil' Tex for about a year and a half, and finally gave it away. Had to replace differenr modules about once a month. Regularly blew electrical circut. The long pellet auger bent and needed replacing.
Replaced it with a RecTec, and have had no problems. The differences in dedign and material are amazing.
Pros - Heats quickly, hold temp well, uses little electricity, easy to clean
Cons - none
I got the Jr as a Christmas present but I felt it was too small. I contacted a local dealer and he was willing to let me trade it in for the Little Tex Elite. I also bought the grill cover and the thermal blanket.
This is an awesome grill, I use it at least 4 times a month. I have used it more since I bought it then I did my old grill in the last 2 years. I have cooked butts, ribs, chicken, burgers, brats I even used it to make meatloaf and meatballs for spaghetti. You have to remember to vacuum out the fire pot regularly or it will not heat properly.
Pros - Keeps a steady temp range, awesome flavor of hardwoods smoked into meat, easy cleanup and no charcoal mess, uses very little power
Cons - Takes some work to get higher temps than 450, doesn't sear naturally
I bought the Traeger a couple of weeks ago and got around to smoking with it today. Smoked a 4 pound brisket, some Baby Backs and some St. Louis spare ribs, as well as lobster tail and sweet potatoes. Holy cow, the flavor of the meats (I used Hickory) was UNBELIEVABLE. So moist and tasty. Works just like they advertise (set it and forget it.) Really low maintenance, and I don't have to babysit it. I'm loving this thing already. I've read about some of the quality issues they've had earlier with their transition to foreign manufacturing, and mine is pretty solid all the way through.