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Buyers Guide & Information

Traeger Smoker Reviews

Find out if this well-known brand is best suited to your meat smoking needs.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Traeger Smoker Reviews

Find out if this well-known brand is best suited to your meat smoking needs.

by JohnL

by JohnL

One of the best ways to cook your favorite BBQ meats is to smoke them using a Traeger range smoker. These smokers work by using a fuel source, such as charcoal or wood, to create heat and smoke. They produce evenly cooked meat with a unique smokey flavor that everyone will love. If you’re in the market for a new smoker, check out this Traeger smoker range buyer's guide.

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Product

Cooking Surface Area:

Material:

Check Price

Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood...

TFB42LZBC Grill Lil Tex Elite 22

418 Sq. in

Painted steel

Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet...

TFB88PZBO

884 Sq. in

Steel with powder coat finish

Traeger Grills TFB38TOD Renegade Pro Pellet Grill...

TFB38TOD Renegade Pro

380 Sq. in

Steel with a powder-coated finish

Traeger Grills TFB57CLB Century 22 Pellet Grill...

 TFB57CLB Century 22

572 Sq. in

Steel with powder coating

Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet...

Traeger Pellet Grill BBQ155.01

292 Sq. in

Steel with powder coating

Traeger Grills TFS60LZC Select Elite Pellet Grill...

TFS60LZC

589 Sq. in

Stainless steel and steel with powder coat finish

Why Choose Traeger?

  • Direct Drive Technology
    Traeger has come up with some of the most innovative technology in the business. Their Direct Drive, or D2, technology uses an enhanced drive train to push the wood pellets into the auger
  • Turbo Temp Fast Start Up - One
    issue with other smokers is that you have to let it sit for a time before it gets to the proper temperature. With Traeger grills turbo temp, you turn up the dial, set, and forget it. It also provides a digital temperature readout.
  • DownDraft Exhaust
    To customize your setup, you should be able to adjust the amount of smoke that enters the chamber. With Traeger grills, you will always have the ability to adjust the dampers and smoke stacks with DownDraft technology.
  • TRU Convection
    This feature channels smoke and heat through specific channels to allow the meat to be evenly cooked no matter where you place it on the grill. You will have perfectly cooked, tender smoked BBQ meat every time.
  • WiFi Connectivity
    Do you want to control your grill from your phone? It sounds futuristic, but Traeger has made it happen. You can easily watch the temperature of your smoker from your phone with WiFi connectivity.
  • Searing Ability
    Many people enjoy smoked meat, but what if you want to simply sear some steaks for your family? Traeger allows you to turn up the heat to nearly 500 degrees Fahrenheit so that you can grill burgers and steak for a quick and easy dinner.
  • Portability
    Every Traeger model comes with a set of wheels so that you can move your smoker from place to place. You can effortlessly move it after you're done grilling.
  • Smokey Flavor
    One reason that people love Traeger smokers is because they use wood pellets that add that perfect smokey flavor to anything that you cook. You can whip up some smokey mac and cheese or have a wood-fired pizza.

Traeger Smoker Types

Pellet Smoker

This is what Traeger does best! They make the best pellet grills on the market. These models produce smoke by using wooden or sawdust pellets to feed the fire. You fill up the hopper with pellets, and the auger draws the pellets into the smoker. It empties pellets onto the fire to create heat and smoke at any temperature.

how it works

image source: amazon.com

Electric Smoker

These models produce heat and smoke by using the electrical outlet in your home. You plug them in, and they use the electrical power to heat up the elements. Some Traeger smokers use electrical currents to heat up the fire pit where the pellets are placed.

Smoker/Grill Combo

These models are perfect for anyone that wants to have the best of both worlds. Traeger combo models allow you to turn up the heat to cook food quickly. They also allow you to turn down the heat to 250 degrees to smoke low and slow.


6 Best Traeger Smokers Reviewed

1. Traeger TFB42LZBC Grill Lil Tex Elite 22

Our Top Pick

Dimensions

42 x 22 x 49 inches

Weight

98 lbs

Temperature Range

200 - 450 Fahrenheit

Cooking Surface Area

418 Sq. in

Material

Painted steel

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

Sometimes great things come in small packages. This model packs a real punch with its versatility and medium size design. The Traeger Grill Lil Tex Elite 22 is the best Traeger smoker on the market. It features the ability to smoke, grill, roast, and bake all in one beautiful package.

This model comes with an integrated digital elite thermometer that will maintain temperature once you set it. It features a digital readout so that it’s easy to read at a quick glance. It is as simple as turning the knob and walking away for a cold one while it heats up. The Lil Tex Elite model has 418 square inches of cooking space, which is perfect for cooking for a small party or family. This model is ideal for someone who wants a small to medium size grill that can keep up with your needs.

 I enjoyed cooking with this smoker so much that I used it for almost every meal for a whole week. My first meal was a rack of ribs, and they came out perfectly. Everyone was impressed, and they fell right off the bone. I liked the size of this model. I could move it around with ease, but could still cook up to 16 burgers.

Chef Tony Matassa claimed, “... affordably priced entry-level grill; generous cooking space; convenient grease management system; large-capacity hopper.”

Pros

  • Easy draining grease system
  • Digital temperature readout
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Temperature readout may not be as durable as other models

2. Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO

Best Rated Traeger Smoker

Dimensions

22 x 59 x 49 inches

Weight

163 lbs

Temperature Range

200 - 500 Fahrenheit

Cooking Surface Area

884 Sq. in

Material

Steel with powder coat finish

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

One thing that everyone checks for when they are shopping for a new product is the ratings. If a product has a high rating, then you can be confident that it has been put through the wringer by other users. The Traeger Pro Series 34 is the best rated Traeger smoker available in their range. This model is part of Traeger’s latest pro series, which is their best range yet.

The Traeger Pro Series 34 features a massive cooking rack with 884 square inches of space. That is enough to accommodate up to 8 chickens or 40 burgers. As you can see, it is about double the size of the Lil Tex Elite model. It features digital temperature control with Advanced Grilling Logic to ensure that you get the perfect temperature every time. This model comes with dual meat thermometer probes, which is a bonus for smokers in this category.

 One thing this grill does best is makes you feel like a champion pitmaster. I loved using it to cook for large parties. I cooked up to 7 racks of ribs for a Sunday cookout. The digital temperature readout was easy to use with a simple turn of the knob.

Ryan, from Traeger's website, stated, "Besides all the room this grill has, it is awesome to just to set a temp and walk away.”

Pros

  • Digital temperature knob allows for easy setting
  • 884 square inches of cooking space
  • Dual meat thermometer probes

Cons

  • Some users had issues with the igniters

3. Traeger Grills TFB38TOD Renegade Pro

Best Traeger Wood Pellet Smoker

Dimensions

39 x 27 x 50 inches

Weight

109 lbs

Temperature Range

200 - 500 Fahrenheit

Cooking Surface Area

380 Sq. in

Material

Steel with a powder-coated finish

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

Many people would argue that smoking meat with wood simply tastes better. I happen to agree that nothing beats the smokey flavor of wood chips. The Renegade Pro is the best Traeger wood pellet smoker on the market. It holds up to 18 lbs of pellets in its oversized hopper. The less time you spend filling up your fuel source, the more time you have to grill.

The Renegade Pro features less cooking space than the other two models that we reviewed. It is ideal for smaller backyard barbecues. It comes with a cooking capacity of 380 square inches, which is enough to cook 3 chickens. It comes with an easy hopper cleanout system that makes it effortless to empty the ashes. It has an electric start-up igniter that is as simple as pushing a button.

 I liked that this grill was the perfect size for a simple backyard BBQ. I was even able to carry it in the back of the truck when we went to the park. Everyone was so impressed that we had our own smoker to cook burgers.

One purchaser from Traeger noted, “I fired her up. And the flavors and how juicy the burgers and steaks I made are amazing. The ease of use with the pro controller makes temp control extremely easy.”

Pros

  • Small and compact design
  • Pro temperature controller
  • Easy clean up hopper system

Cons

  • The auger may get clogged in wet climates

4. Traeger Grills TFB57CLB Century 22

Best Value for Money

Dimensions

40 x 22 x 32 inches

Weight

178.6 lbs

Temperature Range

100 - 500 Fahrenheit

Cooking Surface Area

572 Sq. in

Material

Steel with powder coating

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

Everyone loves a great deal. Even if you have a big budget for your new smoker, you still want to be able to have the best value for your hard-earned money. We voted the Traeger Century 22 model as the best value for money smoker in their range. It comes with everything that you need to get started in a medium-size and affordable package.

The Century 22 model comes with a beautiful LED temperature display. It is effortless to read and easy to control. You turn the knob, and the temperature is set. You can enjoy the swimming pool while your meat is smoked to perfection. This model comes with a food warmer to keep food hot while you finish smoking the rest of your meal. It is perfect for keeping hamburger or hotdog buns warm while you take the meat off the grill.

 I had a great time using this smoker for a family weekend. The food warmer was a game changer. I heated up the bread on the grill for a few seconds, then popped them into the warmer to stay hot. It also came in handy for keeping baked beans warm. I thought the bottom shelf storage was nice as well.

Matt from Anaheim, CA, stated, "I am so impressed with the quality of the products Traeger makes. Everything is well built and priced reasonably.”

Pros

  • Includes a food warmer
  • Bottom shelf storage
  • Digital LED temperature readout

Cons

  • Some users had issues with the paint bubbling inside

5. Traeger BBQ155.01

Best Traeger Smoker/Grill Combo

Dimensions

21 x 23 x 21 inches

Weight

71 lbs

Temperature Range

200 - 500 Fahrenheit

Cooking Surface Area

292 Sq. in

Material

Steel with powder coating

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

If you are looking for the best of both worlds, then this model is for you. It is compact with an easy to use design. We chose the Pellet Grill as the best Traeger smoker/grill combo. It is perfect for smoking a rack of ribs or grilling up the best burgers in town. While it is on the smaller side, it can still be a grilling machine.

This model comes with 292 square inches of cooking space. It is smaller than the other models that we have reviewed, but Traeger still uses the same innovative technology. It has a fully automatic auger that will push the pellets into the smoker. The digital temperature readout is easy to set and forget. It has an electronic auto-start igniter.

 I thought that this smoker/grill combo from Traeger was state of the art. I was able to grill burgers for a small family get together. I was also able to start smoking more meat, which was a great experience. I liked the digital temperature gauge, so I could easily identify the temperature inside the chamber.

One purchaser exclaimed, "This is by far the easiest way to grill/smoker. You just basically set it and forget it. No more constantly checking and adjusting vents or adding charcoal.”

Pros

  • Compact design so it will fit in any backyard
  • Easy start electronic igniter
  • 292 square inches of cooking space

Cons

  • Lacking customizable smoke stacks

6. Traeger Grills TFS60LZC

Top of the Range

Dimensions

57 x 25 x 46 inches

Weight

122 lbs

Temperature Range

200 - 450 Fahrenheit

Cooking Surface Area

589 Sq. in

Material

Stainless steel and steel with powder coat finish

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

If you’re sure that you want a new smoker, and you have the budget for it, then you may be looking for the best of the best product. The Traeger Select Elite is the top of the range smoker from their line. It is the ultimate in smoking and grilling power. This model is perfect for the user who wants to become a champion pitmaster.

This Select Elite model comes with a simple digital temperature controller. You can set the smoker to the ideal cooking temp for smoking or grilling. Once the temperature is set, this model will take care of the rest for you. It comes with extra shelves on the sides for preparing food or chopping veggies. It features an underneath cabinet to store BBQ tools and other accessories. There is also an easy drain grease pan that is discreetly placed under the cabinet so that no one can see the icky grime.

 One feature that I loved about this model was the extra storage space. It doesn’t seem like a necessary feature, but once you use it, you’ll see why it’s important. I could easily store my BBQ tools out of sight and neatly away.

Michael Hayes, a verified purchaser, stated, “I use this grill every chance I get. For the first 3 months or so, I do not think our oven was ever used. I cooked and smoked almost everything on it.”

Pros

  • Stainless steel shelves for prep work
  • Cabinet storage underneath for storing tools
  • Discreet grease management system underneath

Cons

  • Might be difficult to assemble for some users

Comparison to Other Brands

Now that you’ve read through the top Traeger brands, you might be wondering what makes them different from other top brands. Traeger has developed some innovative technology that sets them apart from the competition.

The DirectDrive, Turbo Temp, and DownDraft exhaust patented tech are just a few of them. Another feature that is exclusive to Traeger is the WiFire. It allows you to connect your phone to your grill through WiFi so that you can monitor the temperature.

They have combined durability with affordability to outshine other brands, such as MasterBuilt, Pit Boss, and Char-Broil. We recommend Traeger if you’re looking for a serious BBQ machine.


How to Set Up & Use a Traeger Smoker

Like many first time buyers, you will need some tips on getting your new smoker up and running. The first thing you should do is season your smoker. This will give it the perfect flavor for your first cooking adventure.

  • Step 1:
    Prime the auger tube with pellets by filling the hopper.
  • Step 2:
    Turn the main power switch on and “Select Auger.” Then, choose “Prime Auger.”
  • Step 3:
    Once the pellets begin to fall into the fire pit, select “Done.” This will turn off the auger.
  • Step 4:
    Turn the temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Step 5:
    Press ignite and close the lid. Let the grill sit for 20 minutes.
  • Step 6:
    Adjust temperature to 450 degrees. Run the grill for 30 minutes.
  • Step 7:
    Shut down the grill by pressing the Selection dial for 3 seconds.

Now that your smoker is primed, let’s get started on making some amazing Traeger approved prime rib roast.

  • Step 1:
    Baste your roast. Wrap it in plastic wrap in the fridge for 24 hours.
  • Step 2:
    When ready to cook the roast, set the temperature to High and preheat for 15 minutes.
  • Step 3:
    Cook for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.
  • Step 4:
    Close the lid and cook for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Step 5:
    Take your delicious roast off the grill and let it sit for 15 minutes. Now, you're ready to carve and serve.

Cleaning and Maintenance

After you’ve made your first fantastic set of ribs or burgers, you’ll need to give your Traeger some cleaning attention. Most grilling racks can be easily cleaned using the process below. Turn up your Traeger to the High setting using the selection dial. Let it sit for around 30 to 45 minutes. This will cook off all of the grease and grime from the cooking racks. Then, use a Traeger grill brush to scrub off any excess grease.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Traeger smokers last?
These models are made to be durable and long-lasting. All Traeger grills come with a 3 year warranty, which means that you shouldn't need to replace any parts until after that point. Traeger customer service can assist you with any replacements during this period. With proper care, we would expect your Traeger smoker to last 5 years or more.
Where is the best place to buy Traeger smokers?
We recommend shopping on Amazon for all of your Traeger smoking and grilling needs. You can also find accessories and grill covers as well.
Who owns Traeger? What is a brief history of the company?
Joe Traeger patented the original pellet smoker in 1985. They began producing it in 1988 in Mt. Angel, Oregon. They have been developing these grills ever since. Joe Traeger and his two sons are still actively developing new smokers. They have expanded but still use their original factory in Oregon.
What are the best meats to smoke or grill on a Traeger smoker?
The beauty of Traeger grills is that you can cook almost anything. You can smoke meat on a low and slow setting or use high heat for fast cooking. Traeger has proven that you can cook wood-fired pizzas, briskets, and even roasted potatoes. 
What is cold smoking?
This process is used in combination with preservatives and cures. The process involves keeping the temperature lower than 90 degrees for extended periods of time. Once the process is complete, this meat can be stored for months.
What are the essential accessories for Traeger smokers?
One essential item for your new smoker is a grill cover. It will protect your investment from the elements, including moisture and rain. You should also invest in grilling tools from Traeger, such as meat hooks, cleaning tools, and tongs.
Where can I buy Traeger smoker replacement parts?

If your smoker is still covered under Traeger’s 3 year warranty, then you should contact customer service so that they can send you the new part. If your smoker is not covered, then you can find replacement parts on Amazon or Traeger’s website.


Conclusion

In this article, we have provided reviews of the best Traeger smokers out of their range. We have also included tips and tricks for firing up your BBQ grill, seasoning, and cooking. After careful research, I can confidently say that Traeger smokers are some of the best on the market for beginners and pros alike. 

To sum up this buyer’s guide, we are going to give you the bottom line when it comes to Traeger smokers. In my opinion, the Traeger TFB42LZBC Grill Lil Tex Elite 22 is the best option for anyone, old or new to smoking. This smoker provides you with a medium amount of space for backyard barbecues or large parties. It features easy to use controls that are sure to last you a long time.

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