It’s nearly the summer season, which means outdoor cookouts are on the horizon. To host the ultimate BBQ, there are a variety of things you’ll need to consider, especially the cleaning and maintenance of your Traeger grill.
It’s vital you regularly clean and maintain your outdoor cooking equipment because it enables you to preserve the lifespan of your grill, maintain proper hygiene, but most importantly, deliver delicious barbecue flavors to your guests.
Read on to discover the best tips and tricks that allow your Traeger grill to enjoy a long and healthy cooking life so you can enjoy delicious outdoor meals all season long.
What is a Traeger Grill and How Does it Work?
A Traeger grill is a wood pellet grill. It uses pellets, which are drawn from its side-mounted hopper into the central burn chamber by an auger device before being ignited by a hot metal rod.
These components run on electricity, which means it needs to be plugged in. The mechanisms and electricity make Traeger grills precise, as the digital temperature controls are combined with the meat thermometer.
It’s very simple to operate a Traeger grill, which is why they’re so popular. Simply fill the hopper with pellets, turn it on, and set it to your required temperature. Traeger grills are very versatile, with settings ranging from smoke to 450°F.
From brisket, cobblers, steaks, pizzas, and pies, Traeger grills can do it all when it comes to alfresco eating, but ensuring they’re regularly maintained can be the difference between an average barbecue and an exceptional one.
The Cleaning and Maintenance of Your Traeger Grill
For the best barbecue results, clean your Traeger grill every 3-5 uses. If Traeger grill cooking is a daily summer occurrence, you should give the unit a thorough clean at least once per week.
Clean the Grease Drain Pan
Every time you use your Traeger grill, use a layer of aluminum foil as a base for your grease pan, as this can reduce the amount of grease that gets stuck to the grill. To clean the grease drain pan, follow these steps:
- Change the aluminum foil after each cooking session. This provides you with a fresh base to cook, as well as being free from the grease and fats from previous dishes.
- Before applying new foil to the grease drain pan, you should clean the base of the Traeger. This ensures even the hidden parts of your grill stay clean, ensuring better functionality. Use a soapy solution, scrub with a wire grill brush, and wipe clean with a cloth. Be sure to dry the base thoroughly before applying the foil.
- Scrape any extra grease and residue from the pan and grease drain tube with a spatula. Ensure the grease is still slightly warm when you scrub, as this is when it is easiest to clean.
- This prevents the tube from becoming blocked or clogged up, which can result in a grease fire.
- To prevent the build-up of grease in the pan and tube, it’s advised you clean these parts regularly.
Empty the Grease Bucket
The grease bucket on your Traeger grill is located on the undercarriage of the grill. It’s a great component that makes grease, oil and residue clean up nice and easy. The more you use your grill, the more the bucket will fill up, so regular cleaning is vital.
- Empty the cooled grease into a disposable plastic cup. It’s important to never pour grease down the drain or into the gutter. This is because grease solidifies once it cools completely. The grease may be in a liquid form when you pour it; however, soon after, it will turn hard and stick to the internal pipes. This is what causes pipe blockages and poor drain functioning.
- Rinse the bucket with warm, soapy water and wipe clean with a cloth to remove any stubborn leftover grease.
- Like the pan, line with aluminum foil for an easy clean-up; however, do not neglect the bucket itself by doing so.
Remove the Ash From the Firepot
Regularly removing ash from the firepot maintains the functioning of your grill. Placing new pellets over spent coal and ash will make it harder to light new coals and may reduce the amount of time your grill stays lit for.
- Quick and easy to do, use a vacuum to clean out any remaining ash from the firepot.
- To access the firepot, remove the grill grate, heat baffle, and grease drain pan.
- Make sure the components of your Traeger grill have fully cooled before you vacuum.
Clean the Traeger Grill Exterior
It’s important not to neglect the exterior of your Traeger grill. Cleaning the outside is just as important as maintaining the interior. The exterior surface of these grills can become grease-stained and full of grime and rust if they are not regularly cleaned.
- Use warm, soapy water and wipe the surface clean. This solution will cut through any grease.
- Avoid using harsh chemical mixtures such as oven and abrasive cleaners – this can damage your grill’s exterior materials.
- Avoid using scouring pads, as they can scratch and mark your grill’s finish.
Purchase a Grill Cover
If your Traeger grill is stored outside during adverse weather conditions, water can seep into the pellet hopper. Pellets expand when they get wet, which can clog the auger. It’s also impossible to cook on a Traeger with damp wood as it won’t ignite.
Whether your Traeger is being stored away for winter or it’s staying outside all summer, investing in a grill cover is essential. Not only will the exterior have some coverage, but it will also ensure the inner functionings of the grill don’t deteriorate.
Preserve the Life of Your Traeger With These Techniques
By attending to your Traeger regularly, you’ll be able to preserve its lifespan and functionality, as well as reducing the need for repairs and even replacement.
A well-looked-after Traeger grill that is in perfect condition can cook delicious barbecues for years.
What are you waiting for? Follow these cleaning and maintenance hacks and give your Traeger grill the cooking life it deserves.