The world of pellet grills has grown exponentially in the past few years. With so many options, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. We’ve done all the hard work and compiled the ultimate guide to using a Traeger smoker grill.
Traeger is one of the most popular brands on the market today. It offers an affordable option for those who are new to pellet grilling, while also catering to more seasoned enthusiasts with its advanced features.
Whether you’re trying out your first pellet grill or you already own a model from this brand, we’ve got everything you need to know about how best pellet smokers I have used.
What is a Traeger Pellet Grill?
Before we get into the nitty gritty details of using your Traeger smoke pit, let’s take a moment to understand what Traeger is, and why there are multiple models available to choose from.
A pellet grill is essentially a device that uses wood pellets as fuel for cooking food over an open fire. While most traditional grills feature a flame burning underneath them, these types of cookers have been around for decades, but they don’t give off any heat at all; instead, they rely on the burning embers beneath them to create the necessary heat.
While this setup works just fine for some people, it doesn’t always produce the best results for others. As such, Traeger introduced the modern-day version of the pellet grill, which utilizes a much different technology.
How to Choose Between Traeger Pitmaster Series Grilles
Traeger offers two different types of pellet grill: the Pitmaster series, and the Pit Boss series. Both models utilize the same cooking system, but they differ in terms of their size and performance.
The Pitmaster series is designed for smaller kitchens and families looking to make use of limited space. These units feature a countertop footprint and can hold up to 30 pounds of food at once. They come with a built-in thermometer, digital display, and four burners, allowing users to prepare almost any recipe imaginable.
On the other hand, the Pit Boss series is larger than the Pitmaster, featuring a larger cooking area and eight burners. You can now grill up to 60 pounds of food at once, making it perfect for large parties and outdoor events.
Both models feature the same cooking system, but the differences between the models will help you determine which one is right for you.
For example, the Pit Boss comes packed with more features including a side burner, a rotisserie mode, and several accessories like a pizza stone. However, the Pit Master is slightly cheaper, and includes a thermometer and a charcoal chimney filter.
These are important factors to consider when choosing between the Pit Boss or Pit Master series. If you value convenience, then the Pit Boss might be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer something with a little extra flair, then the Pit Master is the ideal choice for you. Read on to find out which one is right for you!
Traeger Pit Master Series
Larger capacity (up to 60 lbs).
Side burner included.
Four main burners.
Traeger Pit Boss Series
Up to 60 lbs.
Three main burners.
Side burner included.
To see all of the specs for each model, head over to the official website of Traeger here.
How to Set Up Your Traeger Smoke Pit
Now that you’ve decided which model suits your needs, it’s time to set it up properly. Setting up a Traeger pellet grill takes only minutes, but it does require a bit of experience.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to setting up a Traeger pellet grill:
Unpack your unit.
Fill the hopper with pellets.
Place the lid on top of the unit.
Open the top door.
Attach the drip tray to the bottom of the grill.
Add water to the water pan inside the drip tray.
Attach the ash removal system to the side handle.
Connect the grill to an electrical outlet.
Select the cooking method you want to use from the menu.
Once you’ve finished setting up your smoke pit, read through the manual before firing up your Traeger pellet grill. It will contain detailed instructions on how to use your new unit.
How to Cook Food on a Traeger Pellet Grill
In order to get the most flavor from your food, you need to follow certain procedures when cooking on your Traeger smoke pit. Here’s everything you need to know:
1. Fill your hopper with pellets.
You should do this by placing a handful of pellets into the hopper, then closing the lid. The amount of pellets you add depends entirely on what type of meal you’ll be preparing. For instance, if you plan to roast a whole chicken, you’ll want to start with about 20 to 25 pieces of wood pellets.
2. Attach the drip tray to your Traeger smoke pit.
As soon as you put the lid back on your cooker, place the drip tray directly below it. Doing so prevents juices from dripping down onto the pellet fuel and causing it to clog up.
3. Open the lid.
This step is important when using any type of pellet grill because it allows you to monitor the temperature of the cooking chamber. Once the lid is opened, wait until the grill reaches the desired temperature. Then close the lid again.
4. Add liquid to the drip tray.
Next, pour water into the drip tray until it covers the entire surface. This helps prevent grease and fat from igniting during cooking.
5. Place meat on the grill rack.
After adding water to the drip tray, place the meat on the rack above the drip tray. Make sure not to allow any excess moisture to escape by keeping a tight seal around the edges of the meat.
6. Close the lid.
When you’re ready to start grilling, simply close the lid. Once the meat begins to sizzle, you’re good to go.
7. Adjust the rack every 15 minutes.
Whenever you notice that the meat seems too dry, remove it from the grill and lower the rack so that the cooking chamber is closer to the drip tray.
8. Keep an eye on the temp.
Once you’ve reached the target temp, keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat throughout the grilling process. When you reach the target temp, you’re ready to serve it.
9. Clean up.
Once you’re done cooking, clean up the rest of the mess by removing the drip tray. You can replace it whenever you feel that the cooking chamber is no longer in need of cleaning.