Deciding on the perfect pellet grill for your backyard cookouts? You're probably considering Traeger grills, which have been EXTREMELY POPULAR on the market for over 30 years now.
However, you should know that a pellet grill purchase is an IMPORTANT decision. Traeger grills are a huge investment, so our experts say not to pick the first decent one you find.
In a hurry? The Traeger Pro Series 575 Grill is our Best Pick!
It comes with a wide cooking area, great heat and temperature control, allows you to cook REMOTELY, and has all the essentials of a BEAST outdoor grill!
The Traeger Pro Series 575 Grill deserves the top spot on this list because it's got everything you could possibly need (and want) in an outdoor grill: Convenience, versatility, quality, and GREAT capacity!
It's also one of the LATEST models in the lineup, so it's definitely one of the most advanced too.
Need proof? Here's why we strongly recommend it.
First, it provides 575 square inches of cooking space—just right for a family or a group of friends. This means it can accommodate 24 burgers, 5 racks of ribs, OR 4 whole chickens.
Sounds like MORE THAN ENOUGH food for a party!
Second, you aren't limited to grilling either. Using precise temperature control technology (TurboTemp) and quality wood pellets, the Traeger Pro can grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ different meats to PERFECTION...Every. Single. Time.
All you have to do is pick the temperature and monitor the built-in meat probe until the food reaches your preferred doneness. It's as EASY as that.
Here's the best part: You can start cooking REMOTELY using the Traeger app or Amazon Alexa.
Yup, that's right; with WiFi, you can control your Traeger grill from ANYWHERE and even get it to start and stop automatically.
Makes cooking so much more convenient and enjoyable, right??
Always on-the-go? If you're the type who wants to BBQ anytime, anywhere, then this Traeger grill and pellet smoker will be your PERFECT COMPANION!
With its compact and portable design, the Traeger Ranger is ideal for tailgates, balconies, or any other place where space is limited.
Now, $400 isn't exactly a low price point, but it's the most affordable among the Traeger pellet grills. Considering you get the same build quality and lots of amazing features, though, we still think it's a pretty sweet deal.
What are these features, you ask?
Who says you have to sacrifice food quality while you're 'roughing it' in the wilderness? Not us, that's for sure!
If you want a portable pellet grill that has a larger grilling space than the Traeger Ranger, then you should check out the Traeger Tailgater 20, which boasts 300 SQUARE INCHES—more than enough room for 3 racks of ribs, 2 chickens, or 12 burgers!
That's around DOUBLE the capacity of the Ranger!
Unfortunately, given the larger cooking space, this wood pellet grill is also a bit bulkier and heavier too.
As the name suggests, it's best for tailgating and intimate cookouts when you don't need an industrial-level appliance.
Here's a bonus: The pellet grill has foldable legs, so you can set it on the ground or plop it on the back of your truck.
Now, like the Traeger Ranger, the Tailgater 20 Grill offers superb temperature control, a handy 'Keep Warm' mode, and easy-to-clean porcelain-coated steel grills. Cooking with this will be a breeze, even for beginners!
Although this pellet smoker model is a tad bit more expensive than the previous option, it's WORTH IT if you usually cook bigger batches of food.
A few extra dollars will save you a lot of time and energy, so pick this up if it's better suited to your needs. Although, we would've hoped this Traeger grill had a hopper cleanout feature to make cleaning more accessible.
BBQ fanatics, you should DEFINITELY check out this Traeger grill and pellet smoker.
It's humongous; it boasts crazy-advanced technology, and it's high-quality—perfect for when you want to take your cooking to the next level. (Just know this is reflected in its steep price tag as well!!)
Where to start with the Ironwood 885 Grill??
Well, unlike more basic Traeger pellet grills, this Traeger grill has special features to make sure your cooking results in PERFECTION every single time:
With user-friendly features like that, you can (almost) ignore the fact that it costs almost $1500, am I right? Plus, it's perfect for a HUGE party or gathering, as 885 square inches is big enough to smoke 7 racks of ribs, roast 10 whole chickens, and grill 9 pork butts!
Sure, its major drawbacks might be the price and how bulky and heavy it is, but...
Clearly, this pellet grill is a luxury, and it's undoubtedly excellent and grill-tastic to have if you've got the budget! Smoking, grilling, and cooking will never be easier!
Unlike the other Traeger grills on this list, this pellet grill comes from the brand's older Pro Series line, which means it's also more affordable than its 2nd generation counterpart.
Another popular model from the 1st generation lineup is the Lil Tex Elite, which has similar functionality. However, Pro Series Traeger Grills have more accurate temperature control, so we prefer them over Lil Tex Elite Traeger grills.
With that said, if a new, full-size Traeger grill isn't within your budget, this Pro Series 22 pellet grill is a rockin' solid (and VERY functional) option.
At 572 square inches, it can easily cook 4 chickens, 5 racks of ribs, or 24 burgers—more than enough for your family!
Now, just because it's an older model doesn't mean it has subpar grilling performance, though. This pellet grill features a Digital Pro Controller with precise temperature control, so it will still maintain the set temperature quite well while you cook, roast, or grill.
A difference of +/- 15 degrees Fahrenheit may seem like a lot, but it won't greatly impact the flavor or cook of your meat.
That means a little manual operation goes a long way. For an experienced cook, this is easy. Just make sure to watch the heat carefully while cooking/grilling!
Now that you've seen our favorite Traeger grills, how do you determine the best one for you?
Check out the characteristics of the best pellet grills below to figure out which ones are most important for your needs and lifestyle.
Firstly (and most importantly), how much GRILLING SPACE do you need?
Traeger grills come in a variety of sizes ranging from 184 square inches of grilling space all the way up to 1300 square inches of cooking space, depending on the capacity you want.
If you usually cook for large parties, then larger pellet grills will be WAY more convenient and efficient.
However, if you don't really cook large batches of food at a time, then these heavier, bulkier, and pricier grills are probably unnecessary investments.
Next, let's talk about the FEATURES and TECHNOLOGY of Traeger grills.
Most of its pellet grills boast advanced features such as WiFi connectivity, app functionality, and precise temperature control. These help you have a convenient, hassle-free, and successful cooking/grilling experience using your Traeger, no matter your skill level.
However, other models (the pricier Ironwood and Timberline ones, especially) may have additional functions that make grilling or smoking all the more easier.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which features are essential and which ones are simply nice to have. Of course, if you have the budget for the most luxurious options, why not, right?
Is the pellet grill you're eyeing user-friendly? After all, the most advanced features won't mean much unless they make your life easier!
For us, the best pellet grills are the ones that are easy to set up, operate, and clean.
For Traeger grills, look out for options that have Traeger pellet sensors, hopper cleanouts, grease pans, and extra work space (such as a prep rack).
These are a BIG HELP because grilling/smoking can be a long and messy process.
If you have fewer things to worry about (like when to refill your wood pellets, how to collect trash and drippings, etc.), then you'll have a much more enjoyable experience at the end of the day.
Remember, besides creating an amazing final product (the food, of course!), the best pellet grill should make every part of the process pain-free for the user.
Lastly, how much are you willing to spend on a Traeger grill? These pellet grills are not cheap, as even the budget option can set you back $400.
However, we will say that you get a lot of bang for your buck. Just determine the characteristics of a pellet grill that are most important to you, and keep these in mind when choosing which one to buy.
Just because the expensive options have more functions doesn't mean that they're better! At the end of the day, your lifestyle, needs, and preferences dictate the best wood pellet grill for you.
Our advice? Research thoroughly and think clearly before making a purchase.
Why should you trust the Traeger brand? Let's take a look at how they've been doing over the years.
Did you know that the first pellet grill was created by Joe Traeger in 1985 while he was experimenting with wood-burning stoves?
After he filed a patent for the concept in 1986, Traeger grills enjoyed 20 years in the market with zero competition.
By conceptualizing a product that was easy to use, safe to operate, and great at grilling/smoking different meats, Joe Traeger fulfilled a basic consumer need and enjoyed great success with his grills.
Through the years, the technology behind Traeger grills has improved immensely as well.
In the beginning, each grill only had a basic controller that toggled between low, medium, and high heat.
Now, you can select specific temperatures and cook times based on the type of food you're grilling/smoking!
And, as we mentioned earlier, Traeger has also added useful features like temperature control, WiFi connectivity, and easy clean-up, making it much less intimidating for anyone to start cooking on the grill.
Just make sure to check the specific characteristics of the grill you want since other models may have special features unique to them!
Nowadays, Traeger is known to be a premium brand that sells high-quality and user-friendly grills.
Although other brands such as Z Grills, Green Mountain Grills, and Camp Chef have popped up in the market, a Traeger grill still has a different effect on consumers in terms of trustworthiness and brand perception.
This is not to say those companies are less reliable, though. In fact, Z Grills' products are quickly gaining popularity for being cost-effective (BUT STILL quality) options for those on a budget!
Again, it all depends on your specific wants, needs, and lifestyle!
Each grill in this lineup represents Traeger's 2nd generation models.
Although some older types can still be found on their website and purchased through online retailers, most have been discontinued, so they are excluded from this list.
In our opinion, the Pro Series line is the best representation of the Traeger brand. These grills are convenient, easy to use, and offer great value for money, as they have all the features you could possibly need for a BBQ cookout.
They may lack the more advanced functionality of the Timberline and Ironwood options, but we don't think the add-ons are absolutely necessary for the average Joe.
On the other hand, the Town & Travel grills are best for outgoing individuals who want good food on-the-go.
These models are very portable and easy to use, so you can cook up some great-tasting meat/fish even when you don't have access to a big space or a fully-stocked kitchen.
An Ironwood grill is an upgrade from the previous lines because it boasts advanced technology that'll help you refine your grilling techniques.
These are great if you've been smoking/grilling your own meats for a while and you're now looking for more capacity and functionality in your home grill.
Finally, the last (and most expensive) line consists of the most advanced Traeger grills to date. The hefty price tag isn't for everyone, but it's an amazing purchase if grilling is a MAJOR activity in your life.
Unlike a charcoal grill or a gas grill, pellet grills utilize wood pellets to impart a unique and smoky flavor onto everything you cook.
These also help you create consistent results, as they're less likely to flare up and change temperatures erratically.
If you're serious about grilling, then we think a Traeger grill is well worth the investment.
The brand has spent years perfecting the technology behind their products, so you can be sure their grills are safe, durable, and high quality.
In our opinion, the Traeger Pro Series 575 Grill TFB57GZEO is the best among all the Traeger grills because it performs well in all the important aspects: Quality, functionality, value for money, and convenience.
For an average-sized family, it's the perfect all-around appliance!
We hope this article helped you learn more about Traeger grills and how to determine the best one for you. Remember to invest in one you can see yourself using for years to come!
Now have fun testing out all your favorite recipes on your new Traeger grill!
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