Perhaps no brand is as synonymous with pellet grills and smokers as Traeger. The company has been producing premium grills for more than 35 years. Although all of Traeger’s grills are highly regarded for the quality of their construction and digital controls, the company offers a broad range of grills, ranging from smaller tailgating models to behemoths that feature enough cooking capacity to feed the whole neighborhood. Traeger grills also come with advanced grilling features that include Wi-Fi connectivity, turbo heating options, and even features that allow you to infuse more smoke into the meat.
With a variety of options and price points to choose from, finding the right Traeger grill can be a bit of a challenge. This guide examines what features and options to consider when shopping for the best Traeger grill and reviews some of the brand’s top models.
- BEST OVERALL: Traeger Pro 575 WiFi Pellet Grill and Smoker
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill
- BEST UPGRADE: Traeger Timberline 1300 Wifi Pellet Grill and Smoker
- BEST LARGE CAPACITY: Traeger Ironwood 885 WiFi Pellet Grill and Smoker
- BEST FOR TAILGATING: Traeger Grills Tailgater Portable Wood Pellet Grill
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Traeger Grill
Ahead, learn about the different grills Traeger offers and find out why Traeger grills are valued for their quality construction and high-tech features.
As a premium grill brand, Traeger offers products that are highly regarded for the quality of their construction. All of the company’s grills are made from solid steel and have a weather-resistant powder-coated finish.
Since most Traeger grills weigh between 150 and 250 pounds, Traeger uses heavy-duty wheels on its grills, making it easier to maneuver them on a deck or patio.
Inside, the cooking surface consists of porcelain-coated steel, which retains heat better than the stainless steel racks found on other grill brands.
All Traeger grills feature a hopper, controller, and motorized ventilation fans. Traeger’s high-end grills use its D2 Direct Drive, a brushless motor that operates a powerful auger that resists jams, and a multispeed fan that helps produce more smoke in the firebox. The D2 is also able to heat up the firebox faster at start-up and after opening the grill lid.
It’s crucial to consider both the size of the cooking surface and the hopper capacity when shopping for a Traeger grill. On the small end, Traeger’s portable tailgating grill has about 300 square inches of cooking surface, which is enough to fit three racks of ribs, a couple of whole chickens, or 12 hamburgers. For those who need something seriously substantial, the massive Timberline boasts some 1,300 square inches of cooking area, which can accommodate 64 hamburgers, 15 racks of ribs, or 10 whole chickens.
Hopper capacity determines how long the grill can run before the operator needs to add more pellets. It ranges from 18 pounds for smaller Traeger grills up to 24 pounds for its largest models.
Most of Traeger’s pellet grills weigh between 150 and 250 pounds, making them much too heavy to take on the road. The company does offer a smaller grill for tailgating, which features foldable legs and weighs around 60 pounds.
Traeger grills differ from many standard backyard grills in that they can function as both a smoker and a standard grill. That’s because they can maintain constant temperatures as low as 150 degrees, which is crucial for smoking, while still reaching the high temperatures needed for searing steaks and burgers.
A pellet grill’s controller operates an auger that pushes pellets into the firebox. Digital controls, standard on all of Traeger’s grills, make it easy to dial in specific temperature settings or monitor doneness via the grill’s electronic meat thermometers.
Additional Features and Attachments
Because Traeger is a premium brand, its pellet grills come with a variety of additional features that expand their functionality. Many of Traeger’s grills have Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows the user to control the grill and monitor readings on meat thermometers via a smartphone app. Traeger grills with its new D2 motor have a Super Smoke mode that intensifies the smoky flavor in meats and a Turbo temp feature that heats up the grill faster.
Our Top Picks
The list below narrows the field of Traeger grills to some of its most popular models. This list includes the best pellet grills for tailgating, backyard barbecues, and weekend-long smoking efforts.
When considering its host of high-end features, ample cooking surface, and middle-of-the-road price tag, it’s no wonder the 575 has been Traeger’s best-selling grill for years. Its 575 square inches of cooking space is suitable for most grilling needs, while its max temp of 500 degrees is more than enough to achieve that sought-after char on a steak or burger.
The 575 comes equipped with an ample 18-pound hopper that supplies enough fuel to keep the grill going for up to nine hours on a single load at high heat. There’s also a handy clean-out feature that makes it easy to change out pellet flavors without having to finish a load. The 575 also includes the best additional features Traeger offers, including a D2 brushless motor and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Cooking capacity: 575 square inches
- Hopper capacity: 18 pounds
- Additional features: D2 drive, WiFIRE Wi-Fi technology
- Ample 575 square inches of cooking surface
- Can reach high temps for searing
- Includes full slate of Traeger Pro line features
- Large-capacity hopper
- Cooking area not be big enough for extra-large smoking jobs
Get the Traeger Pro 575 at The Home Depot, at Ace Hardware, or on Amazon.
Traeger’s best pellet grill for the money may lack some of the premium features found on its higher-end Pro series model, but it matches them in the areas that count. That includes its 572 square inches of cooking surface and an 18-pound hopper, which puts it on par with Traeger’s 575.
The 22 also has the same build quality as its more expensive brethren, with powder-coated stainless steel external parts and a durable set of wheels. While it lacks technologies such as Wi-Fi connectivity and a D2 drive, it does come with Traeger’s Digital Pro controller, which ensures the internal temperature never varies from the set temperature by more than 15 degrees. Other useful features include dual meat probes that make it easy to monitor the internal temperature of whatever’s on the grill.
- Cooking capacity: 572 square inches
- Hopper capacity: 18 pounds
- Additional features: Digital Pro Controller, two meat probes
- Traeger’s most affordable grill/smoker
- Similar cooking area and hopper capacity as higher-end grills
- Same Traeger build quality
- Includes Traeger’s Digital Pro controller
- Lacks high-end Traeger features, including Wi-Fi connectivity
Get the Traeger Pro Series 22 at The Home Depot, at Ace Hardware, or on Amazon.
With sheer size and a bevy of features, Timberline represents the gold standard of Traeger’s line of pellet grills. Designed for those who are serious about smoking and grilling meat, the Timberline boasts 1,300 square inches of cooking space—more than double the capacity of smaller 575 and 22 models in the Pro Line series. The hopper capacity is also notably larger, at 24 pounds, to handle that large cooking area.
Its size isn’t the only thing that sets the Timberline apart from more affordably priced options. This model comes equipped with a powerful D2 motor and has Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as a pellet sensor that sends alerts when the pellet level gets low, a built-in cutting board, and a stainless steel front shelf for prepping food.
- Cooking capacity: 1,300 square inches
- Hopper capacity: 24 pounds
- Additional features: Wi-Fi connectivity, D2 motor, pellet sensor
- Massive cooking space
- Includes all of Traeger’s advanced features and then some
- Thicker insulation for smoking
- Built-in cutting board and stainless steel shelf
- Traeger’s most expensive grill/smoker
Get the Traeger Timberline 1300 at The Home Depot or at Ace Hardware.
Though it’s not Traeger’s largest pellet grill, the Ironwood is a significant step up from the company’s other models with 885 square inches of cooking space and a 20-pound hopper. That’s ample space to fit larger hunks of meat, such as a couple of full racks of ribs or a large brisket. As with Traeger’s other high-end grills, the Timberline comes equipped with a D2 motor and Wi-Fi connectivity.
There are also some useful additional features, including a super smoke mode, which uses a fan to add even more smoky flavor to meat, and a pellet sensor that sends alerts to the app when the hopper is low on pellets. A chute on the hopper makes it easy to swap out pellets when it’s time for a flavor change.
- Cooking capacity: 885 square inches
- Hopper capacity: 20 pounds
- Additional features: WiFIRE, D2 motor, pellet sensor, super smoke mode
- Larger cooking surface can handle more meat
- Includes most of Traeger’s premium additional features
- High-capacity hopper
- One of Traeger’s pricier grills
Get the Traeger Ironwood 885 at The Home Depot and at Ace Hardware.
A portable design coupled with an ample cooking capacity makes this Traeger an ideal choice for grilling and smoking sessions in a stadium parking lot. Though this grill is by no means small, its legs fold up to make it compact enough to fit inside a truck bed or the trunk of an SUV. At 62 pounds, it’s also lightweight enough for two people to carry it. Adding to its portability is an inverter that makes it possible to power the hopper via a car’s accessory outlet.
Though smaller than other Traeger grills, its 400 square inches of grill space is much larger than that of most portable grills and smokers. There are some trade-offs with the Tailgater, however. It lacks the high-end features of Traeger’s other grills, and its 8-pound hopper must be refilled more often.
- Cooking capacity: 400 square inches
- Hopper capacity: 8 pounds
- Additional features: Foldable legs, inverter for car accessory outlet
- Foldable legs and light weight make it portable
- One of Traeger’s more affordable grills
- Hopper can operate via a car battery
- Larger cooking capacity than most portable grills
- Does not have advanced features of other Traeger grills
Get the Traeger Tailgater 20 at The Home Depot, at Ace Hardware, or on Amazon.
With enough grilling surface for either smoking or grilling duties and a full slate of Traeger features that make it easier to use, the Traeger Pro 575 WiFi Pellet Grill and Smoker is a worthy option. Those looking for more space for smoking should consider the Traeger Ironwood 885 WiFi Pellet Grill and Smoker with its 885 square inches of cooking capacity and 20-pound hopper.
How We Chose the Best Traeger Grills
Traeger grills come in a broad range of price options, so we used a variety of criteria to help you choose the best Traeger grill to suit your needs. With all of our selections, we leaned toward Traeger grills that include features that make it easier to grill or smoke meat, including D2 motors and Wi-Fi connectivity. We also included smaller models that offer around 600 square inches of cooking surface for all-around grilling and smoking needs at an affordable price.
For those who are serious about smoking meat, we included higher-end models that feature at least 800 square inches of cooking space, large-capacity hoppers, and features that make it easier to control temperature and monitor food doneness. Build quality, though an important characteristic of grills, was not a differentiator on our list, as all of Traeger’s grills feature the same durable construction.
Tips on Using a Traeger Grill
Traeger grills are some of the highest regarded grills and smokers on the market. However, using their sophisticated controls can be a challenge, especially for those new to grilling and smoking. First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand that different types of meat require different types of cooking. Familiarize yourself with what you’re cooking, and decide whether it makes sense to use the Traeger to grill, smoke, or roast. Traeger grills are an investment, so it only makes sense to load it with the best fuel. Use quality pellets when cooking with your Traeger to achieve the best results.
Use a meat thermometer to gauge when food is done. It’s a much more reliable method than using a timer to determine when it’s time to take the meat off the grill. When using a Traeger, don’t forget about the upper racks, which are a way to cook food with convection heat. When using the Traeger to smoke meat, keep in mind that smoke adheres better to cold meats, so keep your meat refrigerated until it’s time to go on the grill.
- Use the best cooking type for the type of meat.
- Use a meat thermometer to determine doneness.
- Use the upper racks for convection cooking.
- When smoking meat, keep meat refrigerated until it’s time to go on the grill.
If you’re wondering where Traeger grills are manufactured or whether you can use the grill in foul weather, then read on for answers to these and other commonly asked questions about Traeger grills.
Q. Where are Traeger grills made?
Traeger grills are manufactured in China and imported to the U.S.
Q. Do Traeger grills come with Wi-Fi/app support?
Many Traeger grills are equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity that works with the Traeger app, WiFIRE. This app allows you to control the grill and even monitor meat temperature from virtually anywhere via smartphone.
Q. Do Traeger grills come with a hopper pellet dump?
Most Traeger grill hoppers are equipped with a pellet dump that allows you to empty the hopper quickly when changing pellet flavors.
Q. Are Traeger grills weatherproof?
A Traeger grill has a weather-resistant powder coating, making it suitable for use in the rain or even snow. That said, it’s a good idea to keep your Traeger grill covered when it’s not in use.
Q. Where is the hottest spot on a Traeger grill?
Hot spots are usually located around areas with the best airflow, which would be near the grill’s chimney or its back vents.
Q. How often should I clean out my Traeger grill?
You should clean your grill after every two to three cooking sessions or at least after every 20 hours of cooking.