Facebook Pixel Code
 

Best Traeger Grills

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 20 Models Considered
  • 9 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 180 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best Traeger grills

    Last Updated August 2018

    Among manufacturers of wood pellet grills, Traeger is one of the best of the best. They’re known for both the quality of their products and the delicious flavor of the food their grills produce.

    Traeger makes grills small enough to sit on your tailgate and large enough to feed a crowd.  There are also models with luxury features like stainless steel grills and controllers with WiFi connectivity. These heavy-duty grilling machines can represent quite a financial investment.

    At BestReviews, we’re here to give you the facts you need to make informed purchasing decisions. We’ve provided a shopping guide to help you wade through the list of features you might find on a Traeger grill. Our top five picks are in the matrix at the top of the page.

    Traeger grills come with one to three racks to maximize your grilling space.

    Traeger grill features to consider

    Traeger grills enable you to grill, braise, smoke, bake, roast, or barbecue in your backyard with one cooking device without the use of charcoal or gas.

    • The process starts when you load the hopper with wood pellets. There are many types of wood pellets available, such as apple, cherry, and maple, and each imparts a unique flavor to the food.

    • An auger at the bottom of the hopper moves the pellets to the hot rod, which ignites the pellets.

    • A draft induction fan circulates air into the grill to cook the food.


    Traeger grills come in a number of sizes and with different features to think about before you buy.

    Grill size

    Grill sizes range from a tabletop model (173 square inches of grill space) to large models for the patio (1,300 square inches of grill space with three racks). To decide what size you need, consider the number of people you regularly cook for and what kind of food you want to cook. For convenience, Traeger tells you the size of their grills as well as how many whole chickens, racks of ribs, and hamburgers will fit on the grill.

    Design

    • Tabletop pellet grills: These models weigh around 40 pounds, measure about 20 inches x 19 inches, and have a small hopper, but they provide the same barbecuing and grilling capabilities as larger models. If you only cook for two or if you want to smoke and grill while camping or tailgating, a portable tabletop model might be right for you.

    • Traditional pellet grills: These models look more like a typical backyard charcoal or gas grill than the distinct hopper design. But on the inside they have all the features of a pellet grill, including a hopper and digital controller. These grills can do everything other pellet grills can with the addition of underneath storage with doors. Some have double racks for extra grilling space.

    • Pellet grills with or without smoke pipe: This easily recognizable design has a hopper on the side, a barrel-shaped grilling area, and a smoke pipe. Some have a sawhorse-like frame for extra stability. Others have straight or foldable legs. The grill size varies, but if you want to create competition-worthy barbecue, these are the grills for you.

    A pellet grill with brawn and brains

    This grill not only provides grilling space for nine racks of ribs on non-stick porcelain grates but also includes the Digital Elite temperature controller for deliciously consistent results. It’s a hefty 125 pounds, but stability isn’t a problem. And the locking casters hold the grill firmly in place while you cook.

    Hopper clean-out

    The hopper clean-out feature enables you to empty the hopper while you’re cooking, so you can switch the pellets for different flavors as you grill. Not all Traeger grills have this feature. You’ll probably only need it if you’re cooking different foods for a crowd or you like to use lots of different flavors in a meal.

    Hopper capacity

    The bigger the grilling area, the bigger the pellet hopper. Tabletop models hold 5 pounds of pellets, while the largest models hold 24. Keep in mind that larger hoppers won’t need to be filled as often.

    Legs

    Traditionally, Traeger grills have straight legs with two or four wheels. Some of the smaller models have legs that can be folded to make the grills more portable. A few models now feature legs that resemble sawhorse legs, providing a wider, more stable base.

    Controller

    • Digital Elite: This good, basic digital controller provides accurate temperature control but doesn’t include meat probe connectors.

    • Digital Pro: This controller includes either one or two meat probes that display the meat temperature on the controller display and let you easily adjust the temperature.

    • WiFIRE: This trademarked controller connects to a smartphone app for mobile control from anywhere within range. You can check the temperature and status of your food simply by checking your phone.
    EXPERT TIP

    Once you fire up that grill, you don’t want it to move. Some Traeger grills have locking casters on the wheels.


    Space-saving power grill

    Despite its small size, the Junior Elite’s 300-square-inch grill space can handle all the grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, braising, and barbecuing for a small family. This grill is just as durable and versatile as the big grills and takes up a fraction of the space.

    Traeger grill prices

    Expect to pay between $300 and $1,600 and more for a Traeger wood pellet grill.

    • Inexpensive: For $300 to $500, you’ll find a tabletop Traeger grill or a small grill with around 300 square inches of cooking space. You can smoke and grill enough food for two to four people. These models include the Digital Elite controller.

    • Mid-range: In the $500 to $1,000 range are larger grills with 520 to 880 square inches. That’s enough room for 40 hamburgers on the largest models in this price range. Many of these grills have the hopper clean-out feature along with a sturdy side handle and all-terrain wheels for moving the grill over rocks and gravel. These models have either the Digital Elite or Digital Pro controller.

    • Expensive: For $1,000 to $1,600, you’ll find large grills for the serious crowd pleaser. If you want a pellet grill that looks like a traditional barbecue grill, this is where you’ll find it. Most have anywhere from 425 to 800 square inches of space or room for 32 to 40 hamburgers.  

    • Premium: At over $1,600, you’ll find Traeger grills with up to 1,300 square inches of grill space, three grilling racks, and hopper clean-out. The WiFIRE digital controller with smartphone app enables you to check the temperature and control the grill from anywhere within WiFi range. All-terrain wheels let you move these grills over gravel or sand.
    DID YOU KNOW?

    Traeger meat probes check the temperature of steaks and ribs in 60 seconds, making it easy to grill rare to well done with perfection.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Most Traeger grills have non-stick porcelain-covered steel grates.

    Tips

    • Match the temperature range of the grill to your grilling needs. Most Traegers have a maximum temperature of 450°F, but a few top-of-the-line models reach 500°F for quick-cooking skirt steaks or kebabs.

    • Match the accessories to your needs. There are a number of extra accessories available for Traeger grills, such as a full-length grill cover, a bottom shelf that attaches to the legs, and a power inverter that connects the grill directly to your car battery for the ultimate in portable grilling. If you live in a cold climate, don’t forget the insulated cover that enables you to cook in winter temperatures.

    • Match the wood pellets to the food. Different foods taste better when cooked with certain types of wood pellets. Slightly sweet maple goes great with pork. Or try mesquite with fish. If you’re looking for an all purpose pellet, alder has a mild flavor that works well with almost anything.
    Traeger grills have either two or four wheels. If you want to take your grill to the beach or camping, consider a model with all-terrain wheels.

    FAQ

    Q. How do you manage grease and drippings with a Traeger grill?
    A. 
    An angled drip tray directs grease and drippings into a grease bucket. Every three to six months you’ll need to remove any built-up grease from the drip tray using a non-metal scraper. You can empty the drip bucket as needed.

    Q. Do Traeger grills rust?
    A. 
    With a powder-coated steel body, there’s plenty of protection, but you still want to be careful because exposed steel will rust. Any kind of scratch or dent could potentially be a problem. Traeger recommends covering your grill if it will be out in inclement weather.

    Q. How long does it take a Traeger grill to warm up and cool down?
    A. 
    These grills reach cooking temperature fairly quickly. Depending on what you’re cooking and the outside temperature, it can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. When you’re done, the grill needs an hour to cool completely.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Rich
      Rich
      Writer
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer