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Traeger Junior Pellet Grill

40% Positive Reviews
Rated #12 in Pellet Smokers


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.


Pros: Taste of food

Cons: Poor temperature stability, unreliable,cannot leave it alone, Traeger service is awful...they are not nice people.

I struggled with this unit for over a year. After eight months I upgraded to a digital controller, but still had issues. I tried to do everything that customer support told me to do...of course, any failure was my fault. Finally I had enough as I just couldn't trust cooking without checking the temp every ten minutes. Thankfully, Costco agreed to give me a refund and I could cut some of my losses. However, Traeger refused to give me a refund on the controller they sold me because it had been over 45 days and it had been installed! Now, how in the **** am I supposed to use the controller without installing it?? And, supposedly the grills have a 3 year warranty, but the electronic parts only 45 days?! None of this makes any sense and the support guy said there was nothing he could do. BULL! I get the distinct impression that the management at Traeger has told their customer support people to issue no refunds under any whatever they have to do to put the customer off. I know some people love their Traeger, and I loved mine for a short time, but I would never buy anything from them on principle, that they don't care a ratsass for the customer. And, if possible, I would try to dissuade anyone else from patronizing them.


Pros: Simple to use.

Cons: Small pellet box.

I am a rookie to the world of smokers but this Traeger Junior Pellet Grill makes me look and taste like a Pro. Super easy to use and the outcome is amazing! Only thing is the pellet box is small but if you stay on top of your cooking it is not an issue. (Smaller smoker smaller pellet box) I still will it five stars all day long.


Pros: Ease of use, versatility, size,quality of construction, amazing results

Cons: None

Let me start by stating that I have the Junior Elite, which is mostly the same but has the upgraded thermostat the rest of the Traeger line has.  This little smoker works great, just set the temperature and forget it, unless of course you want to baste or change anything else you want to. I do wish they we made in the US, but I have been very, very happy with the results that have come out of this little smoker. Everything I have tried has been great, pork butt, salmon, ribs, even chocolate chip cookies were excellent. 


Pros: Affordable, portable

Cons: S-M-H controller limits it to the most forgiving meats.

I jokingly refer to this as a baby traeger, and a gateway drug to larger smokers. I chose this smoker as it fit my budget at the time but wish I had saved for a lil' tex at least.


The smoker was well packed in its box, and was undamaged while the box looked like it had been used for a game of warehouse football. The instructions were easy to follow, and assembly was very easy taking only about 30 minutes to complete. I was smoking within an hour of bringing the unit home.


The 3 setting controller doesn't manage heat at all so the temperature inside the grill isn't controllable at all. That isn't to say it didn't work amazingly. The first brisket and ribs I cooked on this have hooked me for life; but there was a lot of room for improvement. After replacing the controller with a digital controller and probe, the temperature became much more controllable and I my cooking results have improved.


Buy it if you're cheap and can manage swapping the controller,  this is a very usable smoker. If you don't feel safe opening it up to replace the controller save up and buy a higher end smoker.

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Traeger Junior Pellet Grill

Traeger Junior Pellet Grill Ideal for small households, tailgating, or college living, the Traeger Junior Grill is a great introduction to pellet cooking. This grill offers a 292 square inch primary cooking area that offers up to 19,500 BTUs. It's 15" x 20" cooking surface includes a porcelain coated grilling grate, and features convection technology that circulates hot smoky air around your food for even cooking. It's multi-stage thermostat allows for precise temperature control, including a smoking setting that maintains 150 degrees throughout the cooking chamber. The grill features a steel construction and uses hardwood pellets to get the fire going. The system has a convection blower and auger that automatically feeds pellets into the firepot for consistent heating. Simply set your desired temperature and let the Traeger do the cooking for you. The indirect heat, along with the eco-friendly wood pellets, allows for versatile and healthy grilling, smoking, baking, and roasting. This Junior Grill also includes an electronic auto-start ignition, an EZ drain grease system, and a smoke exhaust that lets you cook like a pro.View the full Traeger Junior Pellet Grill Collection hereFeatures: 292 sq. in. primary cooking area 15" x 20" cooking surface Up to 19,500 BTUs 20-gauge steel construction Wood pellet grill Internal pellet hopper Electronic auto-start ignition EZ drain grease system Porcelain coated grilling grate Smoke exhaust Multi-stage thermostat for precise temperature control Smoking setting maintains 150 degrees Requires standard 110 volt electric outlet 3-year warranty Model: BBQ055

TitleTraeger Junior Pellet Grill
ProductGroupLawn & Patio
UPCList - UPCListElement634868911491
Item Weight128.65 pounds
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC › Smokers & More › Smokers › Pellet Smokers › Traeger Junior Pellet Grill