Pros and Cons of the Traeger Grill/Smokers

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by lovethatsmoken, May 27, 2010.

  1. Good morning all, I would like to hear what all of you think of the Traeger Grill/Smoker. I now have a MES 30 that I have had wonderful success with but would like to get into a wood burner. Thanks for all the info.

  2. coacher72

    coacher72 Smoking Fanatic

    If you are looking at a Traeger, I understand the Green Mountain grill/smoker stakes up very well to the Traeger's. I understand that when Traeger's patents ran out that Green Mountain improved the design. As I understand it, since I don't own a Traeger, Traeger's work off a timer mechanism to maintain heat and add the wood pellets. The Green Mountain smoker uses a thermostat for control which some believe is better. Also I think they use a different mechanism other than an auger to add the wood pellets.

    Anyway this is what I told by a friend of mine that was looking at a Traeger and the salesman told him about the Green Mountain smoker (they sold both).

    Others may have first hand experience.
  3. wingman

    wingman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I own a Traeger Texas and have owned a Louisiana Whole Hog WH-1320.

    I have first hand experience with Traeger and Louisiana Country Smokers and can provide info on both. 

    I can say the Traeger work on timers only if you purchased one with the 3 position controller or you are in smoke mode on the digital controller. If your using one with the digital controller and are cooking on any setting but the smoke position (lets say 225), it feeds pellets based on a temperature probe located in the cooking chamber.

    The Trager is so far the best cooker I have used. The temperature distribution is far better then that of the Louisiana. I'm currently having a custom built whole hog pellet cooker built by the Yoder manufacturer that should out perform all of the pellet poopers mentioned above. To do so we measured the chamber temps with digital probes in 6 zones on the grill. The results were surprising. Traeger has done a good job on pellet delivery and heat distribution. Louisiana fell short with a 65 degrees swing in temp from right to left in the cooking chamber.

    Traeger has excellent customer service. I had problems with Danson's (Louisiana builder) in many ways and they literally shipped me a Factory refurbished grill that never went back to the factory to be refurbished. It was done in a shop in Minnesota that did not have a sandblasting booth. The grill arrived in poor condition and the left side didn't work at all. To fix the issue they send me new parts fro me to do the work. All the parts sent were incorrect and for 3 different grills. They did refund my money. But left me hanging and wasted weeks of my time. Traeger on the other hand, was amazing. I had a problem with my igniter and they overnight-ed the parts. The Louisiana grills are much more stout and just feel better made because of the heavier Gage steel. The Louisiana's also use a pot and are 100% timer based. The pot allows for a much broader temperature range as it allows for 5 degree increments where the Traeger goes from 180, 225, 250 etc. The Louisiana reaches temps from 140- 520 where the Traeger reaches temps from 140 - 425. These temps may swing either way due to ambient air temps. 

    I do allot of cooking for my site and I can tell you hands down the Traeger will produce higher quality food products. I recommend the 180 controller on these units. The issue with uneven temps is not due to a problem in the feed system of the Louisiana smokers. Its in my opinion a flaw in the heat distribution plate or what they call the flavor guard. Its arched in the center and the heat being fan forced, blows from end to end. Since heat rises, it will pool in the apex of the arch and be blown all the way to the opposite end causing the temp to be quite a bit hotter at that end. If the heat plate was flat like Traegers this would allow for more air flow up the side and more even distribution. The down side to Traeger in my opinion has been they sourced the build to China and have experienced quality control issues. They have however worked through that and from what I hear have resolved the issues. One of which was faulty igniters. This I have first hand experience with.

    The new smoker I'm having built will use the Louisiana feed system as I like the granularity of the controls. We even have their new digital controller to try out. The body will be built Yoder style with 1/4" steel. This is what will separate the new pellet cooker from the others. Higher quality build (all welded 1/4" steal) and a better design for heat distribution and exhaust.

    Hope this wasn't too much info. Treager are in my opinion better cookers. That is until the new build arrives. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  4. Hey Rob, Wow thanks for the info. You have given me all the info I need to make a good choice. I'm now looking into the Green Mountain Grill/Smoker. You wouldn't have any info on the Green Mountain would you?

         Thanks again for your time and help.

  5. wingman

    wingman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    I was told buy a local dealer that he will no longer sell them for quality reasons. I don't know what those reasons are but I did see the Green Mountain in his rack way up high with allot of dust on it. The Traeger and Louisiana's are the top two and Traeger no doubt is #1. From my first hand experience with both gills and service Traeger would be my choice. Its not built quite as strong (metal thickness) as the Louisiana but it out cooks it as far as even temps and food quality go hands down. 

    There is allot to be said about quality customer service and Traeger has just that. Quality. they care about their customers having a great smoking and grilling experience. I recently had a very bad experience with service and sales from Louisiana that left me very disappointed. That said their cookers are still #2 and defiantly worth considering.

    Because of my experience with Louisiana (Dansan's) I'm currently having a custom whole Hog pellet cooker built. It will be based off of the Louisiana WH-1320 but be a far better build. I will show this unit when its complete and on site. It will use the Louisiana feed system but it will be a Yoder build with 1/4" steel. Initial testing shows faster heat up times and less pellets being burned. We are using a different heat distribution plate as the Louisiana arched plate is the main cause of the heat pooling in the far end allowing for a 65 degree temp swing right to left in their WH-1320.  We are also changing the exhaust.
  6. Wingman,

    Thank you for the awesome information. It is very useful. I was getting ready to purchase a Traeger until I used a Holland Grill on a camping trip. I was impressed by how the grill got rid of the grease. I still want a Traeger.  When cooking on the Traeger, can the grease get to the burners, causing flame ups?  With my current grill, I often experience flame ups and it is a nightmare to clean.  If you have time, your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  7. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Not real accurate...Traeger does use a timer but it's ONLY used with a smoke setting for smoking at lower temperatures, other than it uses a PID to control heat.  They make better PIDS but it's a pid regardless. 

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