My Ultimate Guide to Traeger Wood-Pellet Grills! From common issues and mistakes to the best recipes to get you fired up and on the Traeger bandwagon.
Where to buy a Traeger?
You can buy a Traeger in a lot of different places. They sell them at Costco, and a lot of Costco members like to take advantage of those deals (and that return policy), but there are a lot of other options if you want to pick up one of these versatile grills.
In person – you can buy them at local hardware stores and places like Wilco or other farm/feed stores. These stores have competitive deals and prices. If you are waiting for a steal, watch for specials and/or close-out sales at the end of the grilling season.
What Size Traeger Is Best?
My advice is always to go bigger than you think you’ll need, but to stay within a reasonable budget. You might not need the top top of the line, but I’ve never thought to myself, “Self. I wish I had LESS room to make food on my grill.” Not once. I know not all of you have a zillion mouths to feed, but still. Bigger is definitely better in the grill game. If you buy a small Traeger, make it your 2nd T and not your primary.
Your First Traeger Cook
I always recommend something simple for your first cook. The Traeger road show reps and website love to recommend the Chicken Challenge, and that’s definitely a good plan. It was the thing we made first, and it immediately made us fall in love with the wood-pellet grill life.
These recipes are simple and really hard to screw up and are always family favorites.
Traeger grills come with almost everything you need to get started, but you’ll quickly find yourself wanting some accessories to make things even better. Here are the ones I’d recommend getting right away.
The first thing you have to get if your Traeger didn’t come with one is a shelf. I LOVE my front folding shelf on my Traeger, and it was really easy to install too.
Cooking over live fire means that you can really never just cook until a certain time has passed. You have to cook to temperature, instead. In order to do that and also be able to do some laundry, watch some tv, go putz around in the yard, or the millions of other things we might want to be doing that doesn’t involve babysitting the grill, a wireless thermometer with an alert when your food gets to temp is a life saver.
Thermopro is the best thermometer I’ve found. I’ve tried all the budget version you can possibly find on Amazon, and none of them even come close to the Thermopro smoke.
BONUS WIFI GATEWAY
If adding the ability to monitor things from your cell phone is a feature you’d enjoy, you might just want to pickup the WIFI gateway. It works with the Smoke to make it connect to your phone.
Common Questions When Getting Started
Q: Can I go to the store while I am grilling something?
A: Nope. You are cooking with live fire. Traegers are really reliable, but you still have an actual fire burning, and probably relatively close to your house. Make sure someone is home to watch it or send someone else to the store.
Q: Why did I get an LER error?
A: This means your fire went out, and the Traeger shut down. Some common causes of fires going out are when the pellets funnel and are no longer being fed into the hopper properly, there’s a clog in the feeder, your pellets are damp and/or mysterious reasons.
If your fire goes out due to tunneling, you need to follow the directions that came with your grill to restart.
Q: How to re-start your grill after it goes out because of pellets running out or funneling.
A: This is one of the most common problems that people have with Traegers, and it is one of the easiest to prevent.
First, make sure to top off your pellets often, especially if you are running a smaller model. Top them off at the start of every cook, and again when you are checking on your food. I monitor my pellets just like a monitor my meat.
Second, check in on the pellets at least once an hour. Gently pat them down and level them off, and add some more pellets on the top to keep it full.
If the ship has sailed there, and your grill has an error due to funneling or running out of pellets, shut it off.
Next, you’ll need to remove your grill grates, the drip tray, and the top part of the fire box to expose the actual fire box. It will likely be filled with pellets. CAREFULLY remove all of those. There may still be some hot ones in there so use caution!
If you have a bunch of dust in the bottom of your grill, go ahead and vacuum that out too. That’s dangerous and you want to clean that periodically.
Once your fire box is fee of all pellets, the dust is gone, and things are right with the world again, LEAVE YOUR GRILL apart and turn your grill onto smoke and watch it. If you truly ran out of pellets, you may have to turn it up to high to get the auger moving and pellets running through to the fire pit. Once you see pellets dropping in the fire pit, turn it back down to smoke.
I always wait until I SEE actual smoke before I put things back together, but your mileage may vary.
Q: Can I use another brand of pellets?
A: I think it is possible, but we haven’t run any other brands through our machine. I’ve heard word that it may void the warranty, and we’ve been so happy with the variety and availability of Traeger pellets I haven’t found a need to stray yet.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Click through for recommendations for my favorite Traeger Recipes in all different categories. You’re going to find something for everyone here in this ever-expanding, all-encompassing list of the Best Traeger Recipes on the net! Or at least on this site.
Traeger grilled croutons are an easy and delicious way to use up bread that is a little past its prime, and they taste fabulous!
These easy Traeger grilled blackened fish tacos are an easy and healthy way to add some more fish in your family's diet! Super flavorful and fresh.
This cheesy homemade Traeger Spinach Artichoke Dip is full of amazing cheeses, artichoke hearts, and sauteed spinach. The dip base is cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo.
My smoked salmon scramble is rich and fluffy scrambled eggs mixed in with hot smoked salmon and all the cheese. You're going to love this on a toasted bagel or an English muffin!
This homemade eggs benedict has a heaping helping of Traeger smoked salmon and lots of creamy homemade hollandaise sauce.
This tender hot smoked salmon is coated in teriyaki sauce and smoked on the Traeger wood-pellet grill!
These delicious homemade baked beans feature copious amounts of homemade brisket it the match to give it an extra meaty, smokey flavor that you'll be tempted to make into a meal.
Fresh salmon is brined and then smoked on a wood-pellet grill with garlic dill seasoning!
My easy smoked brisket recipe is cooked on a Traeger wood-pellet grill, and is one of the best meals I've ever had. Simple seasonings and attention to detail make for a piece of meat you won't soon forget.
My shortcut pulled pork has all of the flavor of the traditionally smoked pork shoulder, but cuts HOURS off of the overall cook time. Take your pulled pork and fast-forward it, without sacrificing any flavor.
These classic jalapeno poppers are smoked on a Traeger wood-pellet grill, and wrapped in bacon to make the traditional popper pop a little more.
Deliciously bright and tender Traeger Lobster Rolls feature Traeger Grilled Lobster Tails, ALLLLL the lobster meat, and a fresh sauce.
Fresh salmon is brined and then smoked on a wood-pellet grill with fresh lemon pepper seasoning!
These easy and delicious Traeger Grilled Crab Legs cook in about 30 minutes, are seasoned with garlic, Old Bay, and lots of butter, and a shot of wine.
Delicious hearty chili is made even better with the addition of leftover Traeger-smoked brisket. Use your favorite beans and your favorite toppings to make this chili your own!
This delicious apple crisp is baked right on your Traeger wood-fired grill, includes enough dessert to feed your entire crowd, and is topped with a sweet, crunchy, oat topping.
This tender Traeger bacon-wrapped shrimp are one of my favorite appetizers for the spring and summer months! Cookouts, potlucks, family gatherings, or just a regularly old day - your family will adore this flavor-packed shrimp appetizer!
Delicious double-smoked and maple-glazed ham is a super simple pellet-grill recipe that is one of my favorite ways to enjoy ham!
Fresh salmon is brined and then smoked on a wood-pellet grill with fresh lemon pepper seasoning!
These delicious grilled chicken leg quarters are coated in copious amounts of seasoning rub, and then grilled on my wood-pellet grill. Tender, juicy, and super flavorful; your whole family is going to LOVE this economical meal!
These delicious filet mignons are quickly grilled on the Traeger wood-pellet grill, and then served hot with your favorite sides!
This Traeger Grilled Lobster Tail is quick to make, and fancy enough to serve your sweetheart for a fancy home-cooked Valentine's Day or special birthday dinner.
Easy Smoked Salmon Dip is made with hot smoked salmon, cream cheese, and other common household staples you probably have laying around right now.
This Traeger grilled hanger steak is not only one of my favorite cuts of beef, but also one of my favorite ways to cook steak, period. This cut is much more economical than tenderloin, but nearly matches it in flavor and tenderness.
These easy smoked Cornish hens are the perfect size to split between two people, or keep one all for yourself! Use your favorite seasoning rub and customize these according to each person's favorite!
Delicious and hearty smoked salmon chowder is full of carrots, potato, celery, thyme, and of course all of the lemon pepper smoked salmon you can possibly take.
These reverse seared flank steaks are tender, juicy, and perfectly cooked because of the reverse sear method.
Delicious blackened pork chops cooked on the Traeger grill! These are juicy, flavorful, and delicious.
This smoked macaroni and cheese has smoked cheese in it, and is finished off on your wood-fired grill! Just enough smoke to make it interesting.
This bright dish filled with grilled salmon, Mediterreinean flavors, and vegetables as far as the eye can see.
Easy smoked smashed potatoes are cooked over wood fire and have a crisp skin that crackles when you bite it, but creamy soft centers.
Delicious smoked caramelized onions are a whole new level of onion awesomeness.
Easy Traeger Togarashi Pork Tenderloin is grilled on your bbq grill or wood-pellet grill, covered in delicious Togarashi seasoning,
This bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin is one of those recipes that LOOKS really fancy but is actually a snap to throw together.
Delicious smoked beef tenderloin is easy to make, but ultra impressive to serve.
These are the ultimate wing. The best of the best, and will go down in history as my all-time favorite appetizer. Quote me on it. They are SO GOOD. Smoked and Fried wings are my perfect match, and you have to try these at least once in your life, I feel that strongly about them.
This easy Roast Beef Bowl is made with leftover steak or pot roast! A delicious way to use up that extra food and make it into something extraordinary!
These easy beef and mushroom biscuit pockets use leftover roast beef or steak and turn it into a delicious, portable meal that your whole family will love! Make this in the oven if you don't want to fire up the wood-pellet grill.
My Traeger Grilled Buffalo Chicken Legs are a delicious and more economical way to enjoy buffalo chicken without sacrificing any of the flavors of their buffalo wing relatives. Cooking these over wood fire gives it a hint of smoke too, which amplifies the whole buffalo experience.
Get the taste of a buffalo chicken wing without all the mess. ThisÂ Traeger Grilled Cholula Buffalo Chicken RecipeÂ is made with a homemadeÂ Cholula buffalo sauce that is one of my favorite buffalo sauces! Toss these on your grill and periodically brush them with more buffalo sauce for a tender, juicy, and epically flavored chicken breasts.
This Traeger Buffalo Chicken Flatbread is so easy to make on the grill, and bursting with flavor. Tender chunks of chicken, a buffalo sauce that carries a nice kick, and lots of melted cheese cover these pre-made mini Pita breads and seriously pushes the "easy button" on dinner.
These easy Traeger Grilled Chile Lime Chicken Breasts are packed with flavor, super moist, and are good for SO MANY THINGS. Make these. You'll love it.
This Traeger Cheeseburger Meatloaf is tender, juicy, and a little smokey, and even better the next day. This is the kind of meatloaf recipe that you should double so you can have leftover meatloaf sandwiches the next day. Or just leave it single if you don't have a giant family like mine because this recipe makes two loafs!
These delicious homemade cheddar bay biscuit copycats are cooked on your wood-fired grill.
Warm, hearty, filling, and delicious Traeger Beef Pot Pie utilizes leftover pot roast, fresh veggies, and rich gravy.
Cheesy stuffed burgers are grilled over wood and topped with more cheese and grilled onions.
Delicious creamy grilled vegetable bisque is an easy fall dinner featuring all the flavors of your favorite veggie tray!
Easy grilled vegetables that are wood-fired and covered in delicious Traeger vegetable seasoning!
Traeger Kalbi beef short ribs are the easy, and delicious way to begin your culinary journey into the many wonders of Korean cuisine.
These delicious chicken legs are rubbed with oil and Korean BBQ Seasoning blend, and then cooked on the Traeger Wood-Pellet Grill!
This fresh shrimp ceviche is grilled on the Traeger before being marinated in a classic ceviche mix with lime, onions, tomato, cucumber, and cilantro.
This easy Traeger grilled rockfish recipe cooks in about 20-25 minutes, and features fresh rockfish, lemon, and simple seasoning to really let the fresh fish shine.
These delicious smoked pork chops are heavily seasoned with a Chili Garlic blend, and then slow smoked on a wood-pellet grill. So tender.
These Asian Miso Chicken wings are big and bold and grilled over a wood fire in your Traeger pellet grill. Delicious and spicy, any wing lover will be a fan of these.
These delicious Traeger Grilled Clams are wonderful as an appetizer, or serve with some pasta or rice and make it a meal!
These fall-off-the-bone tender braised beef short ribs are cooked right on your Traeger grill after being seared in the Dutch oven. Big onions, all the red wine, and one of the best comfort foods there is.
Traeger Smoked Meatball Rigatoni is a hearty, rich, pasta dish that is packed full of cheese, meatballs, and delicious marinara.
These Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs are smoked for about an hour, and then finished off at 325 until they are done. Packed with Italian flavor, these are great on their own as appetizers, in a meatball sub, or in some smoked meatball marinara.
These Traeger Bacon Sausage Bites are a perfect appetizer for your next gathering! Salty, smoky, and sweet – these hit alllll the right notes.
This chicken lives up to ALLLLLL of the hype. Traeger Grilled Chicken is going to be the best roasted and grilled chicken you've ever had.
This fast weekend meal will have you firing on your Traeger on a weekly basis to cook a few of these awesome chickens so you too can have Traeger Grilled Chicken Sandwiches.
Homemade vegetable soup is full of fresh vegetables, and the cooking liquid becomes the base of the soup. Make this to add to casseroles, or serve all on its own.
Whether you like or love beef jerky and making things yourself is in your DNA, then this recipe for beef jerky made on the Traeger is the one for you. Sweet, salty, smokey and spicy. It's my go to every couple of weeks. Easy to make, less expensive than store bought, and so good you'll want to slap a sasquatch. Traeger Beef Jerky!
Prime Rib on the Traeger is another must try. Like most things cooked on the T, it takes it to the next level. If you've cooked a prime rib roast before, then this will be a breeze.
Traeger Smoked Salsa Verde is a simple grilled salsa that has a touch of smoke, a bit of heat, and heaps of fresh flavor. Lime juice adds a touch of acidity to this flavorful salsa, which whips up in under an hour.
This simple salmon recipe is flavored with a delicious lemon pepper rub, cooks quickly, and is delicious!
Delicious and creamy homemade alfredo sauce with Traeger-grilled shrimp and scallops is one of the best meals I've eaten all year. Easy prep. Easy cook. Fancy dinner DONE.
This easy grilled Corn on the Cob is cooked on your Traeger or other wood-pellet grill. Check it out, and make it today!
Traeger White Wine Chicken and Mushrooms is a fancy dinner that is more than up for any company you can throw at it.
Easy and delicious Traeger Smoked Salmon recipe. Homemade taste, fresh flavor, delicious real maple glaze.
My Traeger Smoked Beef Roast is BBQ Beef, but like on overdrive. This starts out on your wood-fired grill or smoker, and smokes on low heat for 6 hours, and then gets a slow beer braise on the stovetop until that roast is fork-tender and shreddable.
My Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs leaped immediately to #1 on my favorite grill recipes list. These aren't quick, but they ARE easy. 5-4-1 take on the 3-2-1 method.
Easy Wood-Pellet Traeger Grilled Shrimp Scampi cooks in about 10 minutes, and is the best scampi I've ever had. Don't heat up your house this summer when you can fire up your grill and get that kiss of wood-fired flavor on this classic dish.
Easy Grilled Scallops get a touch of smoke from the wood-fired grill, and stay tender and delicate by cooking in a cast iron butter bath.
This easy lemon dill salmon is Traeger grilled and spectacular.
Delicious flaky walleye grilled on the Traeger with an easy and bright lemon cream sauce! You'll never want walleye another way ever again.
Traeger Smoked Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas are one of the best homemade enchiladas that I've ever eaten. Who knew that grilled enchiladas could be this easy AND delicious?
This Traeger Pulled Pork takes a while to get on the table, but the long cook is mostly hands off, and totally worth it.
Easy Traeger Grilled Prosciutto Asparagus only takes about 10 minutes to prep, and another 10-15 to grill, and you are left with the meatiest and fanciest appetizers or side dishes that you ever did see!
Traeger Grilled Pork Chops are a perfect way to use those amazing bone-in chops you find, and keep them tender and juicy and full of flavor.
Traeger Smoked Spicy Candied Bacon is the easiest crowd-pleaser you are ever going to make. Much easier than pan-fried bacon, on any day of the week, this one is special enough for a Sunday full of company or a housefull of football fans invading your house for a game.
Cooking large meals is always a challenge. I get it. You don’t have a lot of time, but you want what you serve to still be tasty. If you find yourself in this boat, I’ve got a go-to meal for you. So, whether you’re cooking for a crowd, or you have a large family like me, sheet pan chicken fajitas are the way to go.
This salmon is SO easy, but is one of my favorite meals! Togarashi is my new "go-to" seasoning these days, so buckle up! it packs a little kick from the spice, but nothing that you can't handle.
Delicious grilled shrimp kabobs are simple, fast, and a perfect way to highlight the complexity and fresh flavor of shrimp!
Traeger Grilled Shrimp Tacos are a quick and easy weeknight meal! Taco seasoning can sub in for Chili Margarita seasoning if you aren't on the Spiceologist train yet, but I highly recommend getting some!
Traeger Smoked Turkey is going to quickly become your new favorite turkey method. Moist, tender, and with just enough smoke to keep it interesting - you'll be coming back for seconds.
Delicious Togarashi Grilled Asparagus uses a super flavorful Japanese seasoning mix to make grilled asparagus even more amazing than it already was. Like whoa.
These teriyaki smoked shrimp are quickly grilled on a hot Traeger wood-pellet grill, tossed in a thick teriyaki sauce, and garnished with sriracha mayo and green onions.
This asparagus is grilled and amazing. I don't bestow the "perfect" title easily. This one deserves it.
These marinated grilled chicken kabobs are tender, juicy, and super easy. The marinade contains fresh, staple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry. Experiement with vegetables here!
This Traeger Grilled Chicken Wings recipe is going to have you buying wings in BULK.
"Quick" and easy barbecue recipe that you can make for dinner on a weeknight. Delicious cut of beef that is tender and juicy and cooked medium-rare.
This easy shrimp recipe cooks in a flash, and if soon going to be your favorite BBQ meal.
Try my Honey Balsamic Traeger Grilled Chicken Legs and prepare to love them. With the right amount of sweet from the honey and tang from the vinegar, these are bursting with flavor! Cooking them on the Traeger just adds a whole new level of awesome.
Spatchcock Turkey is the best turkey! Get used to evenly cooked, moist, juicy, and delicious meat – both white AND dark.
These grilled pork tenderloin sliders have a piece of grilled pineapple on top, delicious teriyaki sauce, and are served on toasted Hawaiian rolls.
There's nothing like a really good piece of meat, seasoned well, and grilled on a warm summer night. This Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Herb Sauce is juicy and tender and cooks in 15 minutes.