Pros: Cost. simplicity, cooking guide.
Cons: Size, temp control, no clean outs.
Bought my T. JR 5 years ago at a Costco roadshow.
It made for an affordable start in the smoking and pellet cooker space.
Easy setup, but on burn-in the controller and fan burned out. Taking the box to 500 to clear the machine oil, I could small burning electronics. 3 hours on the phone with Traeger and I had a new controller, digital temp probe and fan, on the way to fix it. I had to rebuild the head unit myself with the new parts.
The JR is sort and simple, so I built a new stand for it out of scrap TREX decking. I added wheels, a bottom shelf, cover tie-down hooks, and a folding front shelf .
Also had to buy the cover separately. (poor)
NOTE If this is your first smoker make sure to do a couple of practice cooks before the big party. Don't expect to unbox it and eat great BBQ in 1 weekend.
Even though I upgraded, I kept the Jr for steaks and salmon. I really like the Traeger rubs and the free Smoking Guide.
Reasons I upgraded from the JR:
Size is a problem. I often have to rotate the cooks. (like in the pic below) For a graduation party I did 4 8lb pork buts, had to smoke them in shifts of 2 each. Rotating them to the oven every few hours.
Temp balance is a problem. The cooking surface is too close to the fire pot. The deflectors help but there is still a big hotspot spot over the fire.
Back slots vs chimney allows it to cool too fast. I closed 90% of the opening with foil tape.
Cleaning is a pain in the butt. You have to take out the grate, drip pan and deflector shield, then vacuum out the firepot with a shop vac. Pellet clean out is 1 scoop at a time but your are stuck with what's in the auger for your next startup. ( newer/larger models have the hopper dump, ash dump, and auger load / purge feature)
Upgraded to a Magnum/LUX but I kept the Jr for steaks and salmon, other things that like a smaller/hotter cooker.
Rotating cooks; 15 lbs Pork butt and Cupcake Chicken = 2 stages.
Taller stand out of scrap TREX decking w. bottom shelf, & folding table.
Best Part: The cookbook as a beginners guide to times and temps.
Use this until you build your own book of best practices.
I log all of my big cooks in Excel.