New Traeger

Servehim

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Well my wife and kiddos just bought me a new 32" smoker/ grill. I am pumped!!!! Couple of general questions.
1. What are you guys favorite brand of wood pellets ( does it make any real difference) ? they got me a bag of Traeger brand ( Premium? ) ,think its a blend of different woods.
2. I see the heat dial just goes up to 400, not as hot as I want to sear the steaks , does it work for you guys ?
3. I've heard of the feeding mechanism getting clogged up causing a pile of pellets catching on fire and damaging unit, any truth to this ? If so words of wisdom to eliminate that hazard.
Unit was a surprise so haven't had time to research yet. Thanks
 
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Slightlysober

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1). Check Amazon for pellets. Lots of brands better than the traeger brand. Traeger brand has a lot of filler.

2). You’re right on the sear part. Look up reverse sear. That’s how some people do it. I’ve found I use my other grill for steaks. A man should have two grills anyhow.

3). That is correct. I shop vac the bottom of my traeger out every 3rd or 4th use. Only takes 15 secs and saves a bunch of potential problems.

I use my traeger 3 or 4 times a week. No complaints. Lots of great recipes and forums out there on the subject.
 

Shadow

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968
They’re a little intimidating at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll be cooking everything on it.
they’re simple to use and you won’t get flame ups or burn steaks like the gas grill.
Like SS, we probably use ours 3-4 times a week even in the winter, just suck the ash out of the pellet burner occasionally.
Another tip, line the under-grate tray with foil and change it out each time you vacuum the burner, otherwise your food will taste like smoked grease.
 

Slightlysober

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2,121
They’re a little intimidating at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll be cooking everything on it.
they’re simple to use and you won’t get flame ups or burn steaks like the gas grill.
Like SS, we probably use ours 3-4 times a week even in the winter, just suck the ash out of the pellet burner occasionally.
Another tip, line the under-grate tray with foil and change it out each time you vacuum the burner, otherwise your food will taste like smoked grease.
Good tip.

also get after market temp probes that are Bluetooth so you can watch on your phone. The traeger ones suck and are not accurate in my experience.
 

heywouldya

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790
Great advice all around. I use Apple or Oak pellets in my Traeger. I really can't tell the difference, but I don't use it as a smoker often.
They're great BBQ's and are really simple to use
 

desperatehills

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963
I use mine a lot. I make deer and elk jerky on mine all the time. I mostly use mesquite and hickory but can't really say that I can tell the difference.
 

tailchasers

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I use oak and get a bit more heat outta it. Don't do steak on it cuz it doesn't get hot enough, that's what the propane grill is for. Make bacon, hamburger, ham, fish, pork, turkey, brisket, pastrami, & chicken all wonderfully and truly it's hard to screw meat up. Keep the burner pot clean and the grease tray as mentioned. I've done several reverse seared and not a fan. Enjoy the new toy.
 

heywouldya

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790
I use mine a lot. I make deer and elk jerky on mine all the time. I mostly use mesquite and hickory but can't really say that I can tell the difference.
What is your jerky strategy with the Traeger. I haven't tried that one yet. We do lots of jerky, kids love it.
 

Slightlysober

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What is your jerky strategy with the Traeger. I haven't tried that one yet. We do lots of jerky, kids love it.
For jerky I put it on the traeger for a couple hours on smoke then I finish it in the dehydrator. That way I don’t burn through the pellets.
 

desperatehills

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My favorite jerky recipe is a teriyaki one using "Very Teriyaki" made by soy vay. I soak the strips overnight in the sauce. I smoke them entirely on the traeger for 3-3 1/2 hours. At the 2 hour mark I brush on another coat of very teriyaki and sprinkle with coarse pepper. Only trouble with this recipe is you can eat a entire elk in two months.
 

Slightlysober

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My favorite jerky recipe is a teriyaki one using "Very Teriyaki" made by soy vay. I soak the strips overnight in the sauce. I smoke them entirely on the traeger for 3-3 1/2 hours. At the 2 hour mark I brush on another coat of very teriyaki and sprinkle with coarse pepper. Only trouble with this recipe is you can eat a entire elk in two months.
What’s the shelf life on this? Or do you eat it so fast it doesn’t matter?
 

heywouldya

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790
My favorite jerky recipe is a teriyaki one using "Very Teriyaki" made by soy vay. I soak the strips overnight in the sauce. I smoke them entirely on the traeger for 3-3 1/2 hours. At the 2 hour mark I brush on another coat of very teriyaki and sprinkle with coarse pepper. Only trouble with this recipe is you can eat a entire elk in two months.
What temp setting? I usually do salt and pepper, but the kids like the Teriyaki too. But Slightly Sober made a good point about shelf life.
 

desperatehills

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As for shelf life I haven't done much of a test. I put it in sandwich sized bags and vacuum seal them. I don't think one has ever made it past a month or two. I do not have the extra shelf on my traeger so I typically only do a couple roast worth at a time. I have a larger model but one rack does about 6 sandwich bags.
 

desperatehills

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963
I have experimented with other brands of teriyaki and none are as good as the "very teriyaki" IMO. It is a thicker sauce with lots of sesame seeds in it. The finished product is sticky, you don't want to eat it while driving and get that on the steering wheel. If you like it less sticky just skip the brush on half way and mix your pepper in the sauce when you marinade it over night
 

desperatehills

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963
I think that is the smoke setting on mine, it is the first click, the same for when you start it up. Now I am going to have to look when I get home.
 

Bluehair

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2,895
I’m a fairly recent Traeger guy. I questioned whether I could keep my guy cred’s when I hauled the charcoal smoker to the scrap pile, but now I’m a big fan. I didn’t do the wi-fi thing because of reliability concerns (read the update horror stories).

I buy my pellets locally, either at the hardware or walmart, who I hate much less than amazon. Signature blend means the mill is too lazy to separate the waste stream. Traeger has been making them for a long time and seems to have the auger figured out. It’s kickin webers azz right now. The “smoke” setting on mine is 165.

I still think some stuff is better over fire, like steaks and beer can chickens. But the Traeger sure makes ribs and briskets easy. Use the meat thermometers; the ones I got with it work fine.

Try your favorite elk meatloaf recipe. You will be shocked at how good it is.
 

Servehim

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1,416
I use oak and get a bit more heat outta it. Don't do steak on it cuz it doesn't get hot enough, that's what the propane grill is for. Make bacon, hamburger, ham, fish, pork, turkey, brisket, pastrami, & chicken all wonderfully and truly it's hard to screw meat up. Keep the burner pot clean and the grease tray as mentioned. I've done several reverse seared and not a fan. Enjoy the new toy.
Is it possible to grab a large frying pan , get it really hot with a little bacon grease and sear my steak there, then move to the Traeger to finish?
 

hawkbill

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I do what Snoopdog does and throw it in the freezer ,, lasts all year. The trick to good jerky is the marinade and cold smoking
 

heywouldya

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790
Is it possible to grab a large frying pan , get it really hot with a little bacon grease and sear my steak there, then move to the Traeger to finish?
I cook steaks on my Traeger all of the time. I just move them to the "side" of the grill where the fire is more exposed. I don't know if you have tri-tip's where you are, but I cook those on it as well.
 

Bluehair

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I don’t have anywhere on mine where you get near a direct flame? Mine functions like a wood fired oven.
 

tailchasers

Long Time Member
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Serve him, I've not tried searing in bacon grease but I will now. Great idea! My preference is steaks in flame or screaming hot!! I like the char and it holds the juices in better IMO. I've done a couple of Tri-tips as well on the traeger and they were ok but again my experience has been best on higher heat.

I make a lot of cold cuts on the traeger too. Take a critter roast, brine for 7-10 days, smoke until 150°F, let rest, freeze, then slice. I eat it like jerky. Makes a killer reuben too.

My brine starts for bacon, then hams, then critter roast, onto chops, then chicken. I get a lot of use out of the brine.
 

Slightlysober

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Searing first and then putting on the traeger will do nothing. If you start in cast you might as well finish in cast iron.
 

Snoopdogg

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Serve him, I've not tried searing in bacon grease but I will now. Great idea! My preference is steaks in flame or screaming hot!! I like the char and it holds the juices in better IMO. I've done a couple of Tri-tips as well on the traeger and they were ok but again my experience has been best on higher heat.

I make a lot of cold cuts on the traeger too. Take a critter roast, brine for 7-10 days, smoke until 150°F, let rest, freeze, then slice. I eat it like jerky. Makes a killer reuben too.

My brine starts for bacon, then hams, then critter roast, onto chops, then chicken. I get a lot of use out of the brine.
Ooh, sounds good.
 

Servehim

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1,416
Searing first and then putting on the traeger will do nothing. If you start in cast you might as well finish in cast iron.
Sometimes I'm not to bright, thought the purpose of searing your steak was to seal the outside layer . That then promotes keeping natural juices inside to simmer and flavor the meat. Please explain your statement above SS. My thinking is that the Traeger doesn't get hot enough to sear so why not help the desired process along by doing that inside on a stove? Im trainable.
 

Slightlysober

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Sometimes I'm not to bright, thought the purpose of searing your steak was to seal the outside layer . That then promotes keeping natural juices inside to simmer and flavor the meat. Please explain your statement above SS. My thinking is that the Traeger doesn't get hot enough to sear so why not help the desired process along by doing that inside on a stove? Im trainable.
Searing a streak is to get the milliard reaction on the steak. You will get the same crust cooking on traeger because you’re cooking at a way lower and longer process. If you sear first the smoke can’t penetrate. Do both and taste them. They will both be juicy but the one seared first will not have a proper smoke ring and less flavor.

You want the best steak you’ve ever had in your life. Sous vide method and a reverse sear for texture only. Best damn steak you will ever have.
 

Slightlysober

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Here’s some moose steaks I did on the traeger today. Pulled it at 130, wrapped it and let it rest for half an hour. Fricking amazing.
4BD73199-85F0-4C6C-BF5C-474AB77E47C4.jpeg
 

Servehim

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1,416
Oh so looking forward to Jerky experiments, some of mine here in NM will be flavored with Green Chile and some in teriyaki ...heavy on the black pepper .
 

LIK2HNT

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950
Monitor each piece to get them cooked right. Hard to get large cuts all the same size/ weight. Smaller pieces cook faster and I hate over cooked meat. People who don’t like their prime rib rare get the outside cuts.
 

DeerHunter53

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1,812
Well my wife and kiddos just bought me a new 32" smoker/ grill. I am pumped!!!! Couple of general questions.
1. What are you guys favorite brand of wood pellets ( does it make any real difference) ? they got me a bag of Traeger brand ( Premium? ) ,think its a blend of different woods.
2. I see the heat dial just goes up to 400, not as hot as I want to sear the steaks , does it work for you guys ?
3. I've heard of the feeding mechanism getting clogged up causing a pile of pellets catching on fire and damaging unit, any truth to this ? If so words of wisdom to eliminate that hazard.
Unit was a surprise so haven't had time to research yet. Thanks
Ok here is the scoop I have a Traeger and when you start it just keep it on Smoke until the pellets start to go through the system.

Once your pellets are burning and smoking then turn the dial to your desired temperature. I find in Winter you have to dial up the temp over what you want to hold the heat. In Kali in December I bought the blanket to help with the holding temp.
My cousin in Utah built a small enclosure around his and insulated it so he could smoke in cold temps.

Hope this helps you can PM me if you want any other help with this.
 

DeerHunter53

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1,812
Here’s some moose steaks I did on the traeger today. Pulled it at 130, wrapped it and let it rest for half an hour. Fricking amazing.View attachment 34209
You definitely don't want to go over 130 on a roast as SS is saying. Then wrap it and let it rest to hold the juices.
I do 30 pounds of Prime Rib at Christmas every year take it off at 130 and let it rest for 15-30 minutes and then serve it.
 

notdonhunting

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1,081
If you already got a Traeger enjoy.
If you do not own a Traeger you might want to look into a Camp Chef pellet smoker they advertise there grill can go to 500 degree. The ZG Smoke Pro model that I have offer a direct flame option. I have not had it at 500 but I have had it up too 480 degrees. Camp Chef offers a add on they call the Side Kick, it is a small propane grill approximately 13"×14" 184 Square inches of cooking space, it connects to the one end they advertise it can reach 900 degrees, perfect for searing steaks. They make a griddle that fits on the Side Kick, you can cook bacon & sausage on the pellet stove while you cook eggs and/or pancakes on the griddle.
Just an option nothing wrong with the Traeger great pellet smoker but the Camp Chef offers some other options that I am not aware of with the Traeger.
 

Cahunter805

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2,931
You can purchase a welding blanket from Harbor Freight and use it to insulate on cold days. Also the Bluetooth thermometer is a must.
 

Servehim

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1,416
Plenty of good advice given above. These pellets are great. They are 100% wood without any filler. They have a few different blends and also all one type of wood. I also vacuum out mine before every use.
Also get the Traeger app and definitely try the 3-2-1 baby back ribs.
Ordered pellets and they are now enroute, as always MM faithful you are da Best. Thanks guys . Broke it in ( after the high temperature seasoning yesterday) this evening with chicken and shiskab. Empty plates around. I only invited folks I knew loved me in case it was a bomb lol.
 

Servehim

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1,416
Plenty of good advice given above. These pellets are great. They are 100% wood without any filler. They have a few different blends and also all one type of wood. I also vacuum out mine before every use.
Also get the Traeger app and definitely try the 3-2-1 baby back ribs.
Arrived today Ca hunter805, elk/ salmon and chicken thawing now. Celebrate my amazing sons Birthday tomorrow. I'm one Blessed Man. Thanks for the recommendation, let you know the outcome, still in rookie mode .
 

Servehim

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1,416
Well round 2 was a bigger hit than the first. I pounded out elk sirloin into @ 3/8 inch pieces ( @ 4x8) then a couple slices of cream cheese/ green chile were inserted, i then rolled them like a burrito into @ 3inch tube. Added a marinate of Worcestershir sauce/ soy/ garlic powder/ lemon pepper/ black pepper inside and outside of meat burrito. OMG was that amazing!!!!!.

KING Salmon my bride and I caught this summer on the Rogue in Oregon was coated with a lemon / dill power seasoning we purchased from the local grocery store, smoked for about 4 hours...once again...Amazing

From the trim cuts on the elk around those sirloin, decided to pound out for Jerky, used the same marinate and lots of black pepper. WOW.

The chicken was an also ran though it to was great . The Traeger will be seldom cool this year.
 

LIK2HNT

Active Member
Messages
950
Like we said. The only problem with the Traeger is the weather. Cooked chicken today. Raining, 50 degrees could not get over 270 temp. had to cover to get to about 325, therefore taking a lot longer to cook. Still came out great. Might also be the old pellets had a slight effect also.

55F6011D-BA40-41B4-BCA7-EA0C9EFF08C6.jpeg


B78182AA-3389-4C18-B1BA-CB97BE866FAB.jpeg
 

Shadow

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Messages
968
Sounds like maybe old or damp pellets. I use mine all winter without a blanket and the only time I have trouble is if the temps are down to freezing and even at that, I can still hit 350-375 max
 

Cahunter805

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Messages
2,931
During the winter I normally empty the pellets from the hopper after each use. I use a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.
Also be sure to clean the temperature probe inside the grill periodically. It gets covered with grease/grime and can give false readings.
 

Servehim

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1,416
Great advice all around gents, muchas gracias!!! As SS stated i cooked recently in wind / temp @40 , no problem getting to 4oo+. Man I love this rig. I really don't care how this is answered as I am cooking on it regardless, but anyone hear about harmful effects of 3-4 hours of smoke on you meat? You'd think the tree huggers would be throwing out fear mongering about carcinogens .
 

RELH

Long Time Member
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16,767
6 months ago I bought the Camp Chef pellet grill. It has several better features over the Traeger. Camp chef will go up to 500 degrees, has a bottom cup that you twist for removal to clean out the burnt pellet ash. Has two meat temperature probes so you can cook-smoke two different meats.
Has a slide out handle that allows direct heat on grilling steaks. Very happy with it so far. I hated the flare ups I used to get on my old charcoal grill that I used for years.
RELH
 

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