Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

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Zijan08
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Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Zijan08 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:12 am

Hey guys,

I am new BBQ'ing and these forums. I am looking to buy a smoker primarily for briskets but I would also like other meat (turkey, chicken, sausage, ribs). I am open to suggestions but I am looking for a good smoker. Currently I am deciding between a Traeger and a Weber. Not sure which would be best for smoking. I already have a Weber Q I use for grilling at home/camping. So whatever I get I am looking for using just for smoking. If anyone in the community has any advice or comments I would appreciate it. I figure this item will last me like 10 years (I think) so I want to pick one that can get the job done right.

Weber - https://www.amazon.com/Weber-721001-Mountain-18-Inch-Charcoal/dp/B001I8ZTJ0/ref=sr_1_2?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1466618867&sr=1-2&keywords=weber+smoker

Traeger - http://www.truevalue.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=61997

I appreciate everyone's help & input,

Thanks
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Okie Sawbones
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Okie Sawbones » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:49 am

I'd go with the WSM, but 22". You can cook a lot of good food on them.
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Gator » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:54 am

What you are looking at is apple and oranges.

The Weber is a charcoal grill/cooker, AKa build a fire and cook it.

The Traeger is a Pellet Grill/Cooker AKA set the dial to a temp and forget it, it maintains the temp for you.

Each have their own uses, advantages...ect. I think you need to ask yourself - what type of cooking do you want to do? Build and maintain fire vs set and forget. Also the Tragers are better for smoking and lower temps - they stall out at around 400 degrees, so no high heat cooking - like burgers, steaks and such.

I cook on a traeger and love it (lots of briskets and ribs) - i've heard the newer China made ones are not as dependable as the older USA made cookers. I have an older one and never had any troubles.
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Finatic » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:07 am

Welcome to the forum! If you have the ability to build a UDS go that route. There is a lot of information on this site as well as others about them. If not you can find them for sale online. Otherwise I second Okie's recommendation- go with the 22" WSM. You'll use every bit of the larger cooking area and it's still almost half the cost of a Trager.
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby BluDawg » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:52 am

Not knocking those that like their pellet poopers but I really hate the fact that they require TWO proprietary fuel sources to operate Pellets & Electricity. I like to cook the old way, I can get wood & charcoal anywhere. A few scraps of paper and a match are the only special tools required to make it work & I can use it anytime any place.
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby CaptJack » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:13 pm

Zijan08
i have a 2-burner gasser for quick grillin'
a 22" OldSmokey for all my charcoal cooks - I am the Master of the OldSmokey
I also have a vertical NewBraunfels water smoker that came as charcoal
but i have modified it to work on electric or gas
and then about 6 months ago Woot.com ran a special on the basic CampChef pellet cooker
to my door for $320
i just couldn't pass it up
i only use it for long slow cooks where i don't want to tend it to add fuel
i basically cook anything i put in it at the High smoke setting - 225ish
that's what i bought it for and that's all i'm interested in using it for
i've learned that it's good maintenance to vacuum out the firepot and the bottom area after each cook
i am also very disciplined with my OldSmokey and the CampChef to clean the grill grate with a pot scrubber and Dawn soap after each cook.
in the end i will tell you this
if i had only one cooker!
it would be a 22" OldSmokey
i can do 8" direct over charcoal cooks = chicken that never flare up because of the 8", SantaMaria style tri-tip
1-sided indirect cooks in the mid 200s = ribs, many etcs....
2-sided indirect cooks in the mid 300s = bbd turkey to die for
and by raising the charcoal pan to 4" - serious searing
Last edited by CaptJack on Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
22"OldSmokey • 2-burner gasser with GrillGrates • CampChef pellet cooker
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Papa Tom » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:24 pm

With all due respect to those that have never tried pellet cooking thus they will spew negativity people who have tried pellet cooking seem to love them and go about their well rested lives.

I have had pretty much all types of outdoor cookers and will side with Gator.
If you already have a grill for grilling then the pellet cooker may be a good choice. Most pellet cookers are NOT good grills but are good smokers.
If you do not have a grill then the WSM might be a better choice since it will do both however since you want to do briskets prepare to lose sleep because you do have to mind the fire.

I currently have Traeger 075 (since 1997), Cookshack Fast Eddy PG 500 (It does grill as well as smoke but $$$), Weber Kettle, Brinkmann gasser (never gets used) and a Cabelas Pit Boss.
Previous stick cookers from 0$ to $22K.

If you decide to go with a pellet cooker I recommend that you take a look at the Pit Boss for about the same $ as the Traeger you get more than twice the cook area and they are a good cooker. They are are made by Danson's a long time Canadian pellet stove, furnace and cooker manufacturer.
http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product. ... pe=product
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Finatic » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:39 pm

Papa Tom wrote:With all due respect to those that have never tried pellet cooking thus they will spew negativity people who have tried pellet cooking seem to love them and go about their well rested lives.

I have had pretty much all types of outdoor cookers and will side with Gator.
If you already have a grill for grilling then the pellet cooker may be a good choice. Most pellet cookers are NOT good grills but are good smokers.
If you do not have a grill then the WSM might be a better choice since it will do both however since you want to do briskets prepare to lose sleep because you do have to mind the fire.

I currently have Traeger 075 (since 1997), Cookshack Fast Eddy PG 500 (It does grill as well as smoke but $$$), Weber Kettle, Brinkmann gasser (never gets used) and a Cabelas Pit Boss.
Previous stick cookers from 0$ to $22K.

If you decide to go with a pellet cooker I recommend that you take a look at the Pit Boss for about the same $ as the Traeger you get more than twice the cook area and they are a good cooker. They are are made by Danson's a long time Canadian pellet stove, furnace and cooker manufacturer.
http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product. ... pe=product

No negativity here Papa Tom. I have nothing against pellet cookers. I've just never cooked on one. In comps it's hard to always have electricity so I have avoided even looking at getting one for that reason. I will say most of the feedback I've heard/read from pellet cookers is positive.
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Papa Tom » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:15 pm

Finatic wrote:
Papa Tom wrote:With all due respect to those that have never tried pellet cooking thus they will spew negativity people who have tried pellet cooking seem to love them and go about their well rested lives.

I have had pretty much all types of outdoor cookers and will side with Gator.
If you already have a grill for grilling then the pellet cooker may be a good choice. Most pellet cookers are NOT good grills but are good smokers.
If you do not have a grill then the WSM might be a better choice since it will do both however since you want to do briskets prepare to lose sleep because you do have to mind the fire.

I currently have Traeger 075 (since 1997), Cookshack Fast Eddy PG 500 (It does grill as well as smoke but $$$), Weber Kettle, Brinkmann gasser (never gets used) and a Cabelas Pit Boss.
Previous stick cookers from 0$ to $22K.

If you decide to go with a pellet cooker I recommend that you take a look at the Pit Boss for about the same $ as the Traeger you get more than twice the cook area and they are a good cooker. They are are made by Danson's a long time Canadian pellet stove, furnace and cooker manufacturer.
http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product. ... pe=product

No negativity here Papa Tom. I have nothing against pellet cookers. I've just never cooked on one. In comps it's hard to always have electricity so I have avoided even looking at getting one for that reason. I will say most of the feedback I've heard/read from pellet cookers is positive.


Although I don't do comps often when i do or do a cook sans electricity I use battery power with an inverter. Pellet cookers actually use very little electricity about 400 watts for startup then much less for run time. You can even unplug the startup igniter and start the pellet fire with alcohol gel extending battery time. Actually in truth I use the battery setup even when the comp offers electricity because comp utilities can be unpredictable ( not really accusing my friends of unplugging things but they know who they are.....)
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Zijan08 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:19 pm

Super good comments from everybody! I am currently renting a house and not settled yet as I dont have a family. So I was hoping to find something easy to move. The Traeger is a compelling option since the legs closed up and its not overly big but large enough for a brisket (and maybe other meats?). Based off the comments so far I m leaning toward the Traeger since I am wanting to only smoke with it. My other concern was durability. Can a Traeger be stored outside and deal with the elements? I am in Texas and we have at worst strong wind and some hard rain. If something breaks on the Traeger would I just be better off buying another smoker or are the parts easily replaceable? 5 years of no issues too much to ask?

Thanks again for everyone's help :)
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Papa Tom » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:35 pm

Zijan08 wrote:Super good comments from everybody! I am currently renting a house and not settled yet as I dont have a family. So I was hoping to find something easy to move. The Traeger is a compelling option since the legs closed up and its not overly big but large enough for a brisket (and maybe other meats?). Based off the comments so far I m leaning toward the Traeger since I am wanting to only smoke with it. My other concern was durability. Can a Traeger be stored outside and deal with the elements? I am in Texas and we have at worst strong wind and some hard rain. If something breaks on the Traeger would I just be better off buying another smoker or are the parts easily replaceable? 5 years of no issues too much to ask?

Thanks again for everyone's help :)


Do buy a cover for the pellet cooker then keep it outdoors. My 1997 has spent most of it's life outdoors but covered.
Parts are readily available for most of the pellet cookers (many are interchangeable). The most failure prone part is the "hot rod" igniter and they are available on Amazon (get a US made one).
Since you mentioned "easy to move" one of the things I prefer on the Pit Boss is that the handle is on the proper chimney (lighter) end and it has nice big wheels. I know you are also looking at the possibility of changing residences and yeah that is a consideration.

Do heed the comments about keeping it clean and enjoy you will love it.
tarde venientibus ossa....
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Finatic » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:57 pm

Although I don't do comps often when i do or do a cook sans electricity I use battery power with an inverter. Pellet cookers actually use very little electricity about 400 watts for startup then much less for run time. You can even unplug the startup igniter and start the pellet fire with alcohol gel extending battery time. Actually in truth I use the battery setup even when the comp offers electricity because comp utilities can be unpredictable ( not really accusing my friends of unplugging things but they know who they are.....)[/quote]
Interesting! Never new that. Thanks for the info. :salut:
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby OldUsedParts » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:05 pm

Great Comments for sure :salut: - - - - I just recently bought a Pit Boss 340 Pellet Cooker mainly because I wanted something that I could set and forget. I've learned to add the smoke with accessories and it's my go to smoker for anything that takes a few hours because I'm lazy and old. :laughing7: NOW having said all of that, my Oldest Son has a side box stick burner that puts my cooks to shame when it comes to old skool smoky flavored BBQ. :whiteflag:
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Gator » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:41 pm

My Traeger sits outside in the open for 5-ish years, make sure you get a cover and it will be fine.
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Re: Traeger Pellet Smoker Pro/Cons

Postby Gator » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:45 pm

Also, I traded in a wood burning smoker for the Traeger and have slept better ever since!

Nothing like putting a brisket on the morning, working all day (with no fire/temp worries) and fresh smoked briskie for dinner. 8) :cheers:
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