Any Traeger owners out there?

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by spanky q, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. I am about to pull the trigger on a new Traeger Texas pellet smoker and was looking for feedback from any current owners on the pros and cons on this make and model. I currently use my old modified weber smoker a couple of times a month generally on pork and chicken. (Looking to try my first Brisket later this summer.) I am looking at the Texas model as I want more space which would allow me to do several racks ribs, a couple of chickens, two+ butts or a large brisket for those larger family gatherings when needed. I have a weber charcoal grill which I use and love for grilling, so what ever I purchase would used for smoking only.


    Spanky Q
  2. Hello and Welcome to our addiction.  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have, and pictures help a bunch.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  Check out Jeff’s 5 day smoking E-Course ( link below ) that will help you get started.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I own a Texas Elite that I bought only very slightly used from an estate sale for only $150. With a couple of mods she works very well and puts out great chow. But.... if I were to buy new I would definitely consider looking at a RecTec or Yoder. Both have better temp control and quality in my opinion and are close to the Traeger price tag.
  4. Hey Spanky, hello and welcome from East Texas

    Gary S
  5. Thanks, I appreciate the feedback
  6. duanes

    duanes Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I have been using a Traeger Texas for about 3 years.  To do over, I would spend more and buy another brand, Yoder would have been the right choice for me.  Although the Traeger gets the job done and is fairly well balanced in temp across the grill, it has issues that would cause me to not recommend one unless it was a used "steal of a deal."  My experience:

    * There is no bracing or shelving to reinforce the legs.  Traeger shipped me replacement body after the corner slots where the legs bolt into started to split.  I was always careful but just wheeling it over cracks in cement driveway caused the metal to separate.  I reinforced the corners (see picture) and purchased Traegers optional bolt-on shelf.  Now it is very sturdy but disappointing that it is that weak.  The grill fell over (fortunately into grass) on a very windy day due to the narrow space between the legs - protect it from high winds.

    * The controller is nowhere near the sophistication of Yoder, Mak, etc.,.  You can set 180, 225 and then 25 degree increments but your average temperature can be off significantly under some conditions (extremely hot day, windy, etc.,.).  I replaced the stock controller with an Ortech controller but the rudimentary method for feeding pellets on either controller does not make fine tuning easy.  You can compensate to a limited degree by adjusting the idle fuel feed rate but if you go too far, you flame out or have wild temperature swings.  If you are picky about specific average operating temps, you'll be frustrated.

    * One of the mods I did was using bolt cutters to cut the grill rack in 1/2.  It is cumbersome to clean in a kitchen sink and cutting it in 1/2 (filed sharp edges smooth) makes it easier to work with and to put in dishwasher.

    * I have replaced the hot rod once after the grill kept tripping the GFCI, but I do not know how that compares to reliability to other pellet smokers brands.  This is the only part aside from the warranty above that I had to replace.

    * If you want to sear food, forget it with stock auger motor.  You'll be lucky to get to 450 degrees.  You can get a faster motor but then you have to bypass controller or use a different controller if you want to go over 450.  Or use another grill [​IMG]

    The one upside to my Traeger is that is fairly simple to repair (I have a spare for the draft fan, auger motor, hot rod, controller and RTD).  All of the parts are easy to swap out.

    Here is the corner bracing and shelf added to mine:

  7. Duane,

     Thank you for all the detailed information and based upon your input and other research I am going to purchase a Yoder 640 vs. the Traeger Texas. It is forums like these that allow us to make more informed decisions.  :)

  8. Welcome, I would spend my money on a RECTEC, they really back their product and the customer service is second to none
  9. duanes

    duanes Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Hmmmm... I give you useful information and my reward is that you make me jealous! [​IMG]   That would be my top pick.  I'll suffer through your posts telling us all about how great it is once you get it going!
  10. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Late to the party but I would love the Yoder myself, with Rec Tec being #2 choice IF I had that kinda cash around or still in my prime earning years....<grin>....when I would buy whatever the hell I wanted. Be that as it may, I looked at Traegers and Green Mt. Grills and could NOT justify the money they wanted for these units. Saw a small Traeger (418 sq in) at Costco yesterday and it was $500. The Daniel Boone at the local dealer was a tad bigger and was close to $900. Screw that. Both units felt cheesy while I was tire kicking. So, I wound up with the newer Char Griller Pellet Smoker from Lowes for a mere $450 and got the extended additional 3 year warranty for $59, in case the controller takes a dump. 580 sq inch cooking area, temp increments of 5 degrees, heavy duty grates and built better than the other two brands mentioned IMHO. 

  11. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    I'm a little late weighing in here, but will anyways.

    I have a Traeger lil' Texas Elite.  Does a great job. I can get 2 Butt's on it, and up to 8 racks of ribs with the add-in rib rack.  I've never had a problem "not having enough room".  Like Duane, I had to replace the hot rod after my 3rd summer of use, but since I only move it 2 times per year (summer and winter smoking spot), I haven't had any trouble with the legs.

    To me, I feel it is a great "starter pellet smoker". A good way to get hooked on the great food that will be coming off it.  However, when I replace it (as soon as the boss says I can), I will be getting a Yoder 640.  The quality of the build and temp control, are far better on the Yoder.  Yes it does cost a little more, but I feel it is definitely worth the extra.

    Since it looks like you've made your decision, I hope this helps someone else looking for information.
  12. II will be thinking of you and the great advice you gave every time I use it.

    Picked it up yesterday and am loving it for a rack of Ribs for a test drive!

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