Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: February 14, 2021
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When summertime comes and the nights become warm, there’s nothing better than having a get-together with your loved ones, especially with the smell of barbeque lingering nearby. If that idea sounds like something you may want to try, you will need a good pellet grill. In fact, you don’t need just any pellet grill, you need the best Traeger grill. With Traeger being the pioneer developer of pellet grills, it’s easy to see why the brand has become synonymous with high-quality, reliable, and functional grills.
However, while some people believe that Traeger never makes a bad pellet grill, we think some models are still better than others. With that in mind, we’ve reviewed the five best Traeger grills on the market, in order to ensure that you find a model that works for you. Some of the key factors we considered include the primary cooking area, which determines the number of people you can cook for at a time. We also considered the hopper capacity to get the idea of how much fuel can be added at a time. Finally, weight and dimensions will tell you how portable the unit is.
Overall, this guide contains everything you need to know when shopping for the ideal Traeger grill for your needs. First of all, our research lasted for tens of hours, which indicates how much work we have put into this. To allow you to easily compare our picks before even reading the reviews, we also included a comparison table. Moreover, we have compiled comprehensive reviews for all our picks, complemented by a buying guide that enlightens you about these grills in general.
It is generally believed that about 80 to 85 percent of the pellet grills in the US are manufactured by Traeger, and on the evidence of the Traeger TFB57PZBO, we perfectly understand why. Featuring a set-it-and-forget-it function, it is a simple grill that is super easy to use. In addition, it is made with a non-stick material, which means you don’t need to put much effort into cleaning.
However, the versatility of this product is where it thrives most. It features six-in-one options, which makes it useful for other things like smoking, baking, barbequing, braising, and BBQing. There should even be no problem if you want to cook for a large group of people. With its 418-square inch cooking area, it will be enough for five rib racks, 16 burgers, or four chickens.
Despite coming with multiple functions, this smoker is incredibly user-friendly. It features an electronic automatic ignition, so you don’t need to go through the stress of using a fire starter. Construction-wise, this porcelain grill is manufactured using durable materials, which means it will last for a lot of years.
To regulate the temperature, you only need to turn the dial, which is easy to do, by the way. There is also a digital display for monitoring the precise temperature of the smoker. Apart from that, the convenient settings enable you to cook low and slow, which is ideal for smoking. However, the grill doesn’t come with the necessary accessories, which is the only flaw we found.
With its remarkable instant temperature rise and electronic ignition system, the Traeger TFB65LZBC Texas Elite 34 is a mean machine. You can easily start the grill without dealing with fire starters and charcoal chimneys – simply flip the switch, and it’s ready. Beyond that, this unit has a cooking area of 646 square inches, making it one of the largest grills on the market. Space is large enough to cater for the whole family and a few friends.
With the super-large space, it is capable of accommodating up to nine racks of ribs, 32 hot dogs, 24 burgers, and six whole chickens. This means there is no need to smoke your food multiple times to feed your family and guests, which can really be stressful. Apart from the large surface, it’s also equipped with a Digital Elite Controller, which is a super exciting feature. With this impressive add-on, you can easily grill your food with great temperature accuracy, choosing between slow and low cooking.
In addition, it comes with an LED display for effortless and easy reading of the temperature of your grill. Moreover, the unit is very easy to clean, due to the porcelain-enameled grates. Therefore, it allows you to spend more time with your family and guests and less time cleaning. However, it does struggle to get to any temperature above 325, which is really bad for this price.
Just like the previous models we have reviewed, the Traeger TFS60LZC is another versatile offering from Traeger, featuring a built-in Digital Elite Controller and porcelain-enameled grates. While it has a more complex assembling than the other models, we don’t think it should be a deal-breaker. This unit allows barbecuing, baking, grilling, roasting, braising, and smoking meat to absolute perfection. Since it can be set to cook slowly, you could prepare your food overnight and just wake up to it.
The built-in Digital Elite Controller helps maintain accurate temperatures within +/- 20 degrees Fahrenheit and enables you to cook slow and low. Moreover, there is an incorporated LED display that lets you clearly and easily read on the temperature of your grill. In addition, it has a grilling area that measures 586 square inches, which is the second largest on our list. With such a large space, you can easily cook for all the members of your family at a time. Perhaps, all these state-of-the-art features are the reasons the grill is priced so expensively.
When it comes to construction, the grill is highly durable and sturdy, thanks to its stainless-steel construction. It features an enclosed storage space where you can keep two bags of pellets at a time. There are also some built-in shelves that are super useful if you have to store the food you have already prepared or allow your meat to rest after grilling. The porcelain grate is extremely easy to clean, apart from helping the grill to be outstanding. For easy transportation, the unit comes with easy-glide wheels and locking casters to make sure that it stays put wherever it’s packed.
If you are looking for a grill with a larger cooking surface, we recommend the Traeger TFB38TCA. Its 380-square inch cooking area is large enough to cater for the entire family without leaving anyone out, delivering the ultimate wood-fire taste. To be honest, this unit is very versatile as it includes six-in-one options. This means that apart from its ability to grill, it can also roast, bake, smoke, braise, and more. In fact, this model has flexible settings that enable you to either cook slow or low.
Furthermore, it’s equipped with a user-friendly digital controller that ensures that the temperature stays within the safe range. The heat is even and consistent so that your chicken and steaks taste delicious and juicy. There is also an auto-start ignition that makes it easy to start the grill. All you need to do is flip the switch on – the grill is ready and set. It’s also important to note that this reasonably-priced grill is easy to assemble, despite having a very durable construction.
Other major highlights are wire front prep rack and tool rack. With both, you get ample space to hang your sauces, utensils, and also rest your prepared meal. On top of that, the grill is also easy to clean. Simply use a wet cloth to wipe it, and you will have your grill grates spotless again even after smoking or grilling a rack of ribs. However, this unit may be a bit bulky compared to other products in its range.
If the wood-fire taste is something you like, then it would make sense to go for the Traeger TFB29LZA. Coming at a super affordable price, this unit is a wood-pellet grill engineered to cook with wood rather than gas or charcoal. Furthermore, this product is popular because of its incredible versatility as it can cook hot and fast or low and slow. Added to that, it also comes with six different modes – roast, smoke, BBQ, bake, grill, and braise – which allows you to cook your food to perfection.
It doesn’t end there – the Traeger grill also comes with a built-in Digital Elite Controller that helps to maintain the temperature of the grill within +/- 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides, the advanced controller also makes setting the temperature to be easy. And with its manageable 300-square inch cooking area, you can cook up to two whole chickens, three racks of ribs, or 12 burgers at the same time. It’s also outfitted with an LED display, which enables users to read and accurately set the cooking temperature with maximum ease.
On top of that, the Traeger Junior Elite pellet grill is perfect for people who don’t have a large space and can’t afford the space that full-size smokers consume. In other words, this unit is very compact. And the deal is made even sweeter by the three-year warranty that it comes with, making you completely confident. For the shortcomings, we found a few. First of all, it lacks a window to monitor the temperature, and secondly, it seldom shuts off while cooking.
What we liked:
Comes with a Digital Elite Controller
Comes with an LED display
Backed by a three-year warranty
What could be better:
No window to monitor the temperature
Seldom shuts off while cooking
Things to Consider
Even though Traeger rarely produces a bad grill, some of their models are still better than others. With that in mind, we have created this super-enlightening section to help you identify the best Traeger grill to buy.
Why choose a Traeger grill?
Most Traeger grills come with a digital thermostat, which reduces your worry of overcooking your food since you know there’s a temperature fluctuation range and the temperature will never go above it. Therefore, Traeger grills allow you to cook your meals without needing to worry about burning your food.
Durability is an essential part of choosing a grill, and nobody knows this more than Traeger. The company uses almost the same highly durably metal to manufacture all of their units. This guarantees optimum durability and makes sure that you can use it for many years to come.
In order to ensure the durability of the product and to guarantee users of their products’ optimum durability, Traeger provides a three-year warranty with all of their products. In our experience, most companies in the grill manufacturing industry do not offer more than one year, so Traeger is really impressive in this regard.
Ease of use
Ease of use another way to identify high-quality grills, which is probably one more reason why Traeger is popular among grilling enthusiasts. Traeger makes sure that their products are not only easy to use for professionals but also user-friendly for beginners. Their grills often come with a simple ignition feature that gets rid of the typical stress of firing up a grill.
Features to consider while choosing a Traeger grill
Deciding which model to choose can really be difficult since there are so many options. However, making up your decision becomes easier when you realize the exact thing you need. These are the factors you must remember before heading to the market to buy a grill:
Traeger actually produces only one type of grills, and that is pellet grills. Even though these grills have been on the market for about three decades, it was just in the past few years that they became more mainstream. Instead of natural or propane gas, pellet grills use pea-sized wood pellets, which are actually safe to use for cooking.
While there’re not many options for adjusting the grill once it has started, a pellet grill doubles as both a grill and smoker. So, it is like a hybrid system. The truth is that no BBQ tastes quite as great as a wood fire BBQ, which is why many BBQ enthusiasts love pellet grills. Pellet grills give a unique taste to whatever that is cooked on them.
The cooking area is another important factor you must consider when doing your shopping. This generally depends on how big you want to go. Just bear in mind that the larger you go, the costlier the grill will probably get, so you must keep the number of mouths you want to be cooking for in mind.
If you choose a model that is too small, you will not be able to prepare sufficient food for all your guests. However, a grill that is too big will cost more money to maintain, and you will waste some pellets. We recommend you to select a grill that is a bit larger than what you actually need. With an area measuring 646 square inches, the unit with the largest cooking area on this list is the Traeger TFB65LZBC.
The hopper is where everything begins. It is where you load your wood pellets up, so you know it is a very important part. This is why it is important to consider the capacity of the hopper as it will determine how long you can cook for without refilling the hopper. When it comes to the hopper, it’s always the bigger, the better. However, if portability is what you’re looking for, a small 8-pound hopper on the Traeger TFB30KLF will not add to the unit’s weight still getting the job done perfectly.
Digital Elite Controller
It is also important to consider the built-in digital controller before choosing a Traeger grill. Most models come with a Digital Elite Controller, which is a basic controller that provides precise temperature control but does not come with meat probe connectors. Nonetheless, it is important to check if it comes with the grill you’re looking at. You will find it on models like the Traeger TFB38TCA and the Traeger TFS60LZC.
It is also important to consider the dimensions, especially if you have limited space available. By considering the dimensions, you will make sure that the unit you are looking at is actually not too large for the space you have available for the grill in your kitchen or your garden.
A grill’s weight is a vital consideration as well. It determines the unit’s overall portability, which is important to pay attention to even if you are not planning to take it with you on camping trips.
The odds are you’ll have to move it from place to place within your backyard or patio, so pay attention not only to the model’s weight, but also if it features wheels which enhance portability.
While the warranty will probably not be the sole factor for making your decision, it always feels good to know that the manufacturer is confident in their product. As for Traeger, they usually offer a three-year warranty for all their products, which is quite impressive since most other manufacturers don’t offer up to that.
Different models are usually equipped with different features. However, it is always convenient if a unit has side shelves, wheels, storage compartments, and foldable legs. If you could find a model with all these features, it would be really great.
How to prolong your Traeger grill’s life
Clean before you cook
Before cooking, always make sure you clean your unit for performance optimization and to prevent off-flavors. Endeavor to check the collectors or pans before grilling as the pans could be full, which could start a fire. If your unit has a grease chute, make sure you clean that one as well.
Inspect your burners
Burners are important components, and you have to inspect them as often as possible. Make sure that there is no corrosion or blockages. Adopt the proper methods to clean your burn pot, and you will see outstanding results.
Don’t clean with water
Generally, don’t clean your Traeger grill with water, so make sure your hose pipe is kept far away. These grills often come with digital controllers, a fan, an igniter rod for the fire pot, and a motorized auger. All these parts we mentioned are likely to get damaged if they come in contact with water. So, clean them by gently dry scrubbing the dirt off them, while ensuring you don’t disassemble any component.
While it is hard to be specific with our answer here, we think a cooking surface of about 350 square inches to 400 square inches should be enough for a family of four. An example of a unit within this range is the Traeger TFB38TCA, which has a cooking area of 380 square inches.
Since every Traeger grill comes with a powder-coated steel body, there is a lot of protection. However, you still have to be careful with it as steel is certain to rust at some point if it constantly gets exposed. Traeger recommends you to cover your unit if you will be putting it in extreme weather.
Traeger is probably the most reliable pellet grills manufacturer there is, and it is easy to see why the brand is so popular with the Traeger TFB57PZBO. Not only does it have a fairly large cooking area, it is also super versatile and durable, not to talk of its built-in state-of-the-art features. It is the best Traeger grill on this list, but just by a slight margin.
The products on the second and third spots are the Traeger TFB65LZBC and the Traeger TFS60LZC respectively, with the former possessing the largest cooking area on this list and the latter having the second largest cooking area. On top of that, both models come with the famed digital elite controller, which allows for excellent temperature accuracy.