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My brand new Traeger Texas Smoker!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I haven't been on this forum for awhile, a little busy with moving from New Jersey to North Carolina.  Gettin settled in and finding less time available to babysit my vertical smoker, I spent a few dollars - Traeger Texas Smoker.  Besides, I'm in BBQ country now so I need to step up my game!36.gif

Not sure this is the right spot for posting (I think it loosely qualifies as a wood smokericon_question.gif) Tomorrow it will be christened with an 8lb. Boston butt.  But that is getting ahead of the story.  My son was very helpful in taking pictures (thank you buddy!) from box to seasoning and I thought I would share the experience, especially for anyone considering buying a Traeger.

 

 I bought it at Hudson's Hardware in Clayton - fine friendly staff.  To start, you definitely need 2 to unload:

Traeger_TS_01.jpg

Traeger_TS_02.jpg

Traeger_TS_03.jpg

 

Everything was packed very well with no parts damaged from shipping.

Traeger_TS_04.jpg

 

There weren't very many parts to assemble and the instructions were very clear.  A thick recipe book came with it - time will tell if there are any golden recipes in it.  The quality of the parts are good, nothing felt cheap.  The steel used for the smokers isn't 1/4" but it doesn't feel flimsy.  All the parts including, legs, handle, hinges, doors, etc.,. all had a nice fit and finish.  The tires have nice rubber - not too hard or soft.

Traeger_TS_05.jpg

 

Here is the smoker with grill, grease pan and baffle removed.

Traeger_TS_06.jpg

 

Here is heavy guage stainless steel heat baffle in place.

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Here is heavy guage stainless steel grease pan in place.  Pan fits on lips, tilting to one side to drain into trough (you can see trough in pic above to the right).  the trough has drain hole that bucket hooks to on the outside.

Traeger_TS_08.jpg

 

 

Here is the smoker with porcelain coated grill in place.  Rack space is about the same as the three racks combined on my vertical smoker.  I should be able to get 6 rib racks laying flat no problem.

 

Assembly was a snap, less than 30 minutes from unloading to finish with a total of 10 bolt sets.  Allen wrench and two wrenches were included.

Traeger_TS_09.jpg

 

Here is the pellet hopper ready to go for intial startup.

Traeger_TS_10.jpg

 

First time use requires running the unit for about 7 minutes until pellets start dropping into the firepot and about another 15 minutes until the pot fills up and ignites.  Waitin for the pellets to come out was like a kid waitin for gumballs to drop after puttin my nickel in!

Traeger_TS_11.jpg

 

Here pellets are starting to smoke.

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... a lot more smoke!

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...and finally a full flame per instructions.  At this point, instructions say to shut off and let cool down.

Traeger_TS_14.jpg

 

 

Hard to see hear but TBS coming out of the stack after running for awhile for the seasoning.  The inside and out smoked a bit once it hit 400+ degrees burning off the manufacturing oils.

Traeger_TS_15.jpg

 

Seasoning is to run on high for 45 minutes (I gave it an hour and a half)  Here is the controls with digital readout that indicated about a 15 degree swing once it hit operating temperature - the primary reason for buying this unit.  It was about 9o degrees today and peaked out around 440.  The dial has detents so you pick one of 8 presets.  The panel is a little hard to read unless you bend  down a bit.  I respect the art of smoking but "set and forget it" leaves more time for beer and friends!

Traeger_TS_16.jpg

 

And here is the smoker after the seasoning.

Traeger_TS_17.jpg

So far it looks like a great smoker.  Nit-picking, the legs are sturdy but cross bracing would inspire more confidence.  I could see getting hung up and pulling to hard and bending a leg.  The spread on the legs is a little narrower than I would like.  It would be nice to have a bracket to wind the cord up when not in use (just hangs from bottom).

 

The lid has a button hole with cap on right of lid for an optional thermometer.  I need to figure out where I am going to run my probe wires for my Maverick wireless.  I'll need to add a bracket somewhere to hold the Maverick sending unit.

 

I can't wait to fire 'er up tomorrow!  I'll post the boston butt from beginning to end and continue the story...

 

post #2 of 15

good looking smoker. might go check one of them out Saturday.

post #3 of 15

looks pretty cool. i've never seen anything like that in person, let us know how it comes out!

post #4 of 15

Look'in Good  thumbsup.gif

post #5 of 15

Great looking smoker!  You definitely have a wood smoker and don't let anyone tell you any different, beside they are just jealous if they do smile.gif

 

Make sure you tin foil the the drip tray before cooking on it, that will make clean up a lot easier.

post #6 of 15

That is a nice looking smoker.  Have fun smoking that butt.

post #7 of 15

WOW   I Like that looks like a nice unit , can I ask How much was it ?     Looking to a Q-view of yer first smoke !

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm sure there are "deal" hound dogs out there that can find a great deal, but most places I looked, it was $1,000 plus shipping and/or tax - which is about what I paid.  There was one online site that was a little less but my confidence wasn't there in the event I had shipping problems.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

You bet! icon_wink.gif A little foil to make cleanup a little easier...

 

FS_00.jpg

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am about 8 hours into my first smoke with a Qview - I already love this smoker - went to bed for 6 hours while it did all the work!

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/110484/pork-butt-first-smoke-on-my-traeger#post_680095

post #11 of 15

Congrats, looks like a great smoker!

post #12 of 15

I put some bricks in the bottom of mine to help with heat retention in the winter.  I also put a few extra on the right hand side to help even it out a bit...my left side runs hotter than the right side but my smoke stack is in the middle.  I assume the heat difference is due to the slant of the drip tray.

 

Glad to see you are rolling along with it.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Those are all the details I'm anxious to deal with.  How many bricks did you use?  If you get a chance, could you post a pic with the bricks?  How cold has it been when you have smoked and how did it perform?  do you leave the bricks in year 'round.  Do you know how much variance in temp from left to right?  Are there any hotspots?  Thanks for the info!

post #14 of 15

Not the best pic but you can see what I did.  I never take them out except when I vac it out.

 

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post #15 of 15

 Wow , great lookin smoker 1K huh?  looks worth it you'll have a lotta great smokes. Afraid I'll have to be stickin with me little Electric Brinkmann  $124.00 at Wally-World .

I can live vicariously threw you guys with the high tech & coustom set up ....I do want one some day .....I be keepin me eyes open ...BUT ...keep smokin .....

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