Nothing says summer more than smoky cookouts with friends and family, the smell of searing steaks, and the sound of constant laughter making for a perfect warm-weather combination.
If you’re ready to take your grilling sessions to the next level, you’ll want to invest in a Traeger grill. These versatile outdoor cooking units are more than just a regular BBQ – you can create pizzas, pies, brisket, and even brownies on them.
So, gather your friends, a case of beers, and start setting up your brand new Traeger. You’ll be serving out of this world BBQs in no time.
What is a Traeger Grill?
A Traeger is a wood pellet grill. Pellets are stored inside a side-mounted hopper and are drawn into its central burn chamber by an auger before being ignited by a hot metal rod.
Traegers run on electricity, so before you invest, be sure you have access to an outdoor outlet or extension cord. Because the grill requires electricity, it makes for precise grilling: the digital temperature control is combined with the meat thermometers for the most accurate heat readings possible, guaranteeing tender, juicy results.
Once you’ve assembled the grill, operating a Traeger is very simple, which is why they’re so popular. Simply fill the side-mounted hopper with pellets, turn it on, and set the temperature to your desired heat. Traeger grills can range from a smoke setting to 450°F for quick sears.
How to Assemble Your Traeger Grill
As Traeger grills are very heavy, it’s advised two people assemble and lift the components together.
Install the Legs
- Flip the grill upside down.
- Fasten the legs to the grill, starting with the caster wheels.
- Assemble the legs in this specific order: One bolt: 5⁄16”-18 socket head, the first washer, one leg, another washer, a spring washer, then secure with a hex nut: ¼”-20.
- Repeat for the remaining holes.
- Repeat the fastening process for the other wheel-less grill leg.
Install Leg Braces
- Using four ¼”-20 x 6 bolts, attach the leg brace to the grill legs.
- Do the same for the remaining legs using the same amount of bolts.
- Once you’ve attached the braces, flip the grill the right way round.
Attach the Chimney Cap and Smoke Stack
- Insert the smoke stack with two washers and two ¼”-20 x 75 bolts.
- Secure with two ¼”-20 hex nuts.
- Put the chimney cap in place.
Install the Side Lift Handle
- Remove the components and packaging from the interior of the grill.
- Attach the handle to the side of your Traeger with two ¼”-20 x 6 bolts, two mica washers, and two regular washers.
Attach the Lid of the Front Handle
- Use the same tools as above to attach the handle.
Insert the Interior Components and Hopper Grate to Your Grill
- Insert the grease drip tray and place heat panels into place.
- Place the grill grates onto the Traeger grill.
- Connect the meat thermometer and insert the hopper grate.
Season Your Traeger Grill Before Using
Even though you’ll probably want to fire up your grill straight away, it’s best to hold off until you season your grill.
This is because many grills can still have oils, residual paint, chemicals, and dust from shipping and manufacturing. Cooking food on top of these chemicals can be a potential hazard.
Seasoning your Traeger grill eliminates any impurities and sterilizes your unit.
- Rinse and air dry the grill grates.
- Wipe the grates with a high heat-resistant oil. Many people opt for vegetable oil because it doesn’t cause allergies.
- Brush the inside of the lid and the inside of the pits with oil.
- The oil bleeds into iron pores and hardens when heated, creating a non-stick and smooth coating that darkens and improves every time you cook.
- Light the charcoal, and turn up the heat. The grill needs to be extremely hot to kill any impurities.
- Let the grill smoke and burn for around 30 to 40 minutes.
- Let the grill cool completely before lighting for your first BBQ session.
Cleaning and Maintenance Tricks
Once you’ve set up your Traeger grill and are ready to start barbecuing, it’s essential you are aware of the importance of maintaining your unit.
Regular cleaning and maintenance preserves the grill’s lifespan, maintains its functionality, sustains optimum hygiene levels, and allows you to deliver tasty BBQ dishes every time.
It’s recommended you clean your Traeger grill every 3-5 uses; however, if your usage increases, so should your cleaning.
Invest in a Traeger Grill Cover
If your grill is constantly exposed to the elements, it will naturally degrade and deteriorate.
Investing in a cover for your grill protects it from adverse weather conditions, such as rain and snow. These harsh conditions can cause rust and compromise the functionality of your grill.
Regularly Check for Blockages
Blockages in the auger and firepot often result in your Traeger operating at below optimal temperatures. After your grill has cooled, following a grill session, remove any ashes and check the firepot for remaining pellets. Remove the pellets and dust out the chamber, so it is ready for your next outdoor cookout.
Pellet dust can build up on the internal components and make combustion less effective. Always ensure that you buy high-quality wood pellets with a firm, compact structure to avoid blockages.
Heat the Grill for 15 Minutes After Cooking
Once you’ve finished your grilling session, heat your grill back up and let it burn for around 15 minutes with the lid shut.
This burns away any food residue and makes it easier for you to clean later – there will be fewer stubborn grease marks, food debris, and dirt to scrape off.
It will also burn away any harmful bacteria that may be present, making it suitable for the next time you use it.
Get the Most Out of Your Traeger Grill
Traeger grills are great cooking units for hosting extravagant BBQs. Once you’ve completed the setup correctly, you’ll be able to cook delicious dishes for all your family and friends.
Just make sure you season your grill before its first use and regularly implement maintenance methods. This way, you can enjoy your Traeger grill in tip-top condition all summer long.