So we bought a Traeger Texas pellet smoker when Costco had a Traeger rep there back in April. Grill was discounted from the online price, came with some extras, etc. Plus, its Costco, where I could bring it back if not happy.
Set up the grill, pre-burn it and then when used for the first few times I noticed a huge fluctuation in temps, smoke setting would go from 165*-205* at random times. When used as a grill, same thing, big fluctuations. Called up and tech people (who were very cordial) said to change the P setting from factory P2 to P1. , but also said that 40* swings were "normal". Thought that to be odd because if I am smoking something at 205*, I want it to stay at 205*, not fluctuate 40*
Worked OK for a while, but then started having issues in which when turned from smoke setting to any higher temp (say 350*), the smoker would sometimes stop climbing in temp, and the temp would spiral downward. Called again, told to clean burn pit (already done), time the auger, (checked OK), check the fans (checked OK), and other things. Worked with it for a while until last week, I could no longer deal with it as it was happening pretty much every time.
Called again and while going over a bunch of stuff with the tech on the phone, I actually stood there and watched when I turned it up (usually, turn it up and walk away). Sure enough, as soon as I turn it up, it fails to dump and ignite new fuel. So the tech sent me a new circuit board and temp probe which I just received. However I have really started having doubts about keeping the smoker, since this issue was there since new, and I don't know if I trust the new controller to continue to work (hopefully it works) for a long time to come.
In reading some past threads, it seems as though there are a number of people who have had controller issues, and while the grill cooks meat just great when it works, I question how long it will work.
So, do I return the grill and look at another brand (I would REALLY like a USA made unit) or fix and keep this one? Do any other brands have controllers and/or build quality that enables them to stay at a fairly close to temp setting? What brand to look at? The traeger I have is around 650sq inches.