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Traeger Executive Owners: How Hot Does Your Grill Get?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have a Smith & Wesson 500MAG pellet grill (close cousin to the Traeger Executive BBQ125), and while smoking a prime rib for Christmas, the highest tmperature I could hit was 325F when it was 25F outside. I recall being able to hit 425 with this grill in the summer (80F outside temperature), so I don't know if there's something wrong with it or if the Louisiana Grill pellets I just started using have less heat than the Traeger pellets.

What temperatures can you hit on your BBQ125, and at what outside temperature?


post #2 of 24
This time of year if I get to 350 I am doing good. I have played with internal dials a bit but not really any noticeable difference. It needs a second fire pot for it's size and lack of insulation, my speculation is that is one of the reasons they went to the 150 and discontinued the 125. Some use a welders blanket to help hold heat in but I have not tried that.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Trent. What's the outdoor temp when you can only get to 350?
post #4 of 24
upper 20's. I'll try to do a test for you one day this week and make sure I haven't got my wires crossed. Pellets can make a difference, you being in Idaho I wouldn't suspect moisture as being the issue. I've seen Osage orange pellets and the claim was that they burned significantly hotter for doing steaks. Never tried them so don't know if it is true or not.
post #5 of 24
We've ran the Louisiana pellets in a couple commercial Traegers and it was a nightmare. Temps weren't consistant, and they kept jamming the augers, so we'd have fires going out which sucked. Switched back to Treager brand pellets the next summer on the same commercial smokers and had no problems. I have only ever used Traeger brand pellets in my lil' tex. Those Louisiana smokers are nice too, but i wouldn't mix the pellets if you can avoid it.
post #6 of 24
I only have the Lil Texas but can say the blanket technique does help some with the heat but not as much as I expected. The cold air being pulled into the smoker is the killer of the temp. I have a couple ideas I am going to try to see if I can heat the air before going into the smoker and see if it helps. I will be posting anything here if I find something worthwhile.
post #7 of 24
Getting to be quiet a few Pellet Heads around, used to think I was lone wolf of sorts!

Interesting thought about the cold air. One could fashion an air intake along the bottom of the smoker to pre-heat the air.

I've got bricks in the bottom of mine to help with thermal mass on long cooks...like to believe that it helps me recover faster.
post #8 of 24
I was able to maintain 238 + or - a few degrees while set at 250 in 20 degree weather, so I doubt it's the cold weather reducing your temps that much. I would just switch away from the Louisiana pellets (i could be just jaded too, because they have caused us so much trouble when used in the Traegers). Point being... i have never had a problem maintaining temps in my traeger, even in drasticly cold weather, they only dropped marginally.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ciolli, I don't have a problem maintaining temps below 325 in cold wether -- so for instance at 250, I got 240-260. The problem is that the grill wouldn't get hot enough (I wanted 350-400 to sear my prime rib). What's the maximum temp you can hit at say 25F outside? What model are you using?
post #10 of 24
Boy I'm not sure, i've only had it over 400 a couple times, and not for very long. If I am going to sear something, i'll do it on the propane grill. I am using the lil tex, but only have 1 firepot whereas the executive has 2 if i remember correctly. I was mostly just chiming in because i've had bad experiences using those pellets in Traegers.
post #11 of 24
Traeger makes the smoker/grills for Smith & Wesson.

I get temps up to 450 degrees with my Lil Tex even in below 0 outside temps. I only use Traeger pellets and have not had one problem.
I do put a doubled up moving blanket over the top to speed up recovery and conserve heat. I have used no other mods.
You can see what I do here, and it really works. Been doin it for over 3 years now....It should work for you too.


Good luck and stick with the Traeger pellets...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #12 of 24
The 125/124 has one pot, same one as the 075 (I believe), the 150 has 2 pots. So your heating a lot more area with the same BTU's.

In the summer I have not problem getting over 400 but winter time I struggle a bit.
post #13 of 24
Here are the numbers from Traeger...

The 075 puts out 36,000 btu's for 646 square inches.

The 150 puts out 72,000 btu's for 836 square inches.

The 124 puts out 36,000 btu's for 418 square inches.

The btu output numbers are figured for each smoker by how many square inches of space they have. This is regulated by your digital temp controler. icon_mrgreen.gif
post #14 of 24
My Traeger Lil Tex 070 fired up on 12-28-09 to due a couple of steaks.
It puts out 20,000 btu's for 418 square inches.

Outside temp. was 14 degrees.

The doubled up moving blanket cover.

And the smoker temp. (it's at 440 internal temp.)

The cover will help your temps. Also stick with the Traeger pellets as they are made to specs for there smokers. icon_mrgreen.gif
post #15 of 24
Using my Traeger 075 I smoked a turkey on the 24th. It was 62* outside. With controller at 275* temps were actual 276*. I was using BBQ delight pellets. I put a 3'x3' welding blanket across the smoker and the temps rose to 296*
post #16 of 24
Well at least I hedged myself with "I believe" memories aren't perfect. icon_mrgreen.gif

That's interesting though...always thought that a digital controller was interchangeable, not machine specific. Also thought that the sizes mentioned had the same pots
post #17 of 24
I've seen my Dad's 075 at 440 but I think it would have to 100 outside for my 125 to get there.

I use Traeger and cookinpellets.com pellets. Haven't noticed a difference other than flavor and I prefer the latter. I have tried BBQ'R delights just didn't really taste any difference from the Traegers, although they were the blended kind as opposed to 100%.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
The 125 puts out 65,000 BTU/Hr for 1008 sq. in., but that's a misleading compare because it includes an upper rack which increases cooking area without increasing heat loss from the chamber.

Maximum BTUs are regulated by the auger, not the controller. According to George at Traeger, all augers are the same diameter and turn at the same speed, but on the lower BTU units they have a 'restrictor rod' down the center that limits the pellet flow.
post #19 of 24
Ahhhhhhhh, but the auger is controled by the contoller...lol How else would the auger start????
Did George tell ya how to get yer temps. up in the cold or did he say yers wasn't workin right???
post #20 of 24
I have seen step by step instuctions on cutting the restrictor out...it can be done.
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