As a trusted name in the world of grilling and smoking, Traeger grills turn grilling into an art form. They've earned their reputation by building grills that last. But even more importantly, they produce results that rival any barbeque restaurant. They come in all sizes, from tailgate-sized portable models to backyard behemoths for entertaining a crowd. Our favorite is the Traeger Pro Series 34 for its combination of grill size and ease of use. But Traeger has other great grills in store. Keep reading our buying guide, and you're sure to find the perfect one for you.
Considerations when choosing Traeger grills
Traeger makes grills meant to cook for two or three people, and large models meant to feed your whole family. Thankfully, Traeger provides each grill's measurement in square inches as well as how many hamburgers, rib racks, and whole chickens will fit at once. All you have to do is decide how many friends you'd like to invite to the party and pick a grill that handles that much -- plus a little extra.
Tabletop: These small models cook enough for two or three with the same capabilities and results of larger grills.
Traditional: These grills have a hopper and cook just like a regular pellet grill except they look like a traditional barbeque. They have extra space on each side for holding food and offer storage space underneath.
Pellet grill: This is the barrel-shaped grill you probably associate with Traeger. They have a hopper. Most models also have a smokestack but a few don't.
If you dream of using a Traeger grill at tailgate parties or while camping, you'll want a tabletop model or a full-size model with foldable legs and wheels.
Hopper capacity and clean-out
The hopper holds the pellets, and they range in capacity from five to 24 pounds. While you'll have to buy more pellets for a high-capacity hopper, you don't have to fill them as often while cooking.
Some Traeger grills have a hopper clean-out feature that allows you to empty the hopper while the grill is running. This feature lets you change pellet types for different flavors as you go.
Digital Elite: This basic controller has an easy-to-read digital display, but it doesn't include meat probes to monitor internal temperatures.
Digital Pro: The Digital Pro controller has the same easy-to-read display as the Digital Elite except it includes one or two probes (depending on grill size). The meat's internal temperature is then shown on the digital display, which allows you to proactively adjust grilling temperatures.
WiFIRE: Traeger's trademarked wireless digital controller connects to your phone via an application from which you can see and control temperatures anywhere within WiFi range.
Traeger grill prices
Trager grills range in price from $300 to more than $1,600. The price generally reflects the capacity, number of grilling racks, and controller type of the grill.
Q. Do Traeger grills have storage trays or shelves?
A. The traditional BBQ-style models have underneath storage shelves and doors. The barrel-shaped models don't have any storage trays or shelves, but Traeger makes an underneath shelf that's sold and attached separately.
Q. How often do I need to clean a Traeger grill?
A. That, in part, depends on how often you use the grill. Generally speaking, the drip tray will need to be scraped clean (with a nonmetal scraper) every three to six months. Traegers also have a grease bucket that should be emptied whenever it becomes full, which will vary depending on how much you use it.
Traeger grills we recommend
Best of the best: Traeger Pro Series 34
Our take: This grill is perfect for families with its combination of ample grill space and ease of use.
What we like: There's plenty of room for smoking, braising, roasting, barbequing, and grilling. It has excellent temperature consistency across the entire grill.
What we dislike: The set-up is simple, but you're going to need some muscle power to erect it.
Best bang for your buck: Traeger Junior Elite 20
Our take: It may not have the grilling space or fancy features of other models, but it cooks well and comes at a relatively affordable price.
What we like: We love the auto-ignite feature and the easy assembly. There's a slight learning curve, but once you have the hang of it, grilling is a cinch.
What we dislike: It's shorter than other models, and it does take some time to grill with the consistency most people want.
Choice 3: Traeger Tailgater 20
Our take: If you have limited backyard space, or you want to take your grill with you on the road, this model might be right for you.
What we like: The wheels and foldable legs give this model great portability. It includes a choice of hood colors.
What we dislike: There have been some problems with the auger and hopper.
Stacey L. Nash is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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