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Insulated Blanket - When does it make sense?

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by illini40, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. illini40

    illini40 Meat Mopper

    Hello

    I live in northern Illinois and fall seems to be setting in. I'm curious about getting an insulated blanket cover for my Traeger for late fall and winter cooks.

    Based on your experience, when does an insulated blanket on a pellet smoker make a difference? Any concerns of using it at a outside temp that is too warm?
     
  2. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Smoking Fanatic

    It probably more of a learning curve as when to use a woobie verses a hard fast rule @ X temp it goes on at X temp its not needed. You may find that on a warm windy day its needed and on cool calm days not so much.
     
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Think insulated smokers. Whether 90 or 10 below, they hold heat and burn less fuel than uninsulated smokers. Covered on a warm day, the electronics will sense the temp being maintained and not feed more pellets. Only down side I see, a pellet pooper that is not adding pellets holds temp but will make even less smoke. Get yourself an A-MAZE-N Tube to supplement smoke...JJ
     
  4. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    Adding to Jimmies thoughts. I wonder if it will extinguish itself by not adding enough pellets or to few.

    Chris
     
  5. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Personally, I feel as though they are a must if you are in a colder climate. These things lose a LOT of thermal energy and if you live in a cold & windy climate this is increased exponentially. For most smokers, maintaining 225deg isn't a problem even in these conditions but it comes at the cost of pellets. Lots of pellets. I live in the Rocky Mountains and I got the thermal blanket for my GMG DB shortly after getting it and it wasn't quite the dead of winter so while I can't give an extreme temps review I can say that I observed a noticeable decrease in pellet consumption of pellets even in moderately cold weather. How long will it take me to save enough pellets to offset the cost of the insulation blanket? *shrugs* Depends on how much I (read: you) use the thing to see a return on this investment. If you use it a ton then you likely will recoup that savings rather quickly. If you smoke a couple of times a year you may never see that investment returned. Another point to note is that the Traeger tends to have thinner walls than a GMG DB for instance so your savings should theoretically be even better. That being said, I doubt that 1/8" difference in wall thickness will have a noticeable difference when it's -27deg with a wind of 20mph gusting to 75mph. lol
     
  6. illini40

    illini40 Meat Mopper

    Thanks for all of the input. I think I will plan to get an insulated blanket for it later this fall. I hope to be able to continue cooking this winter, even when it's cold out. Where we live, it can get pretty windy, so hoping this will help.

    I do have an AMAZN tube, so good thought there.
     
  7. Lonzinomaker

    Lonzinomaker Fire Starter

    I have GMG Davy Crockett, got an insulated blanket last winter when it started getting below freezing. It helped a lot to get my DC up to temp a lot quicker and decreased pellet consumption. Didn't take it off until it got up above 70 degrees this late spring. Will probably be putting it back on shortly.
     
  8. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    FWIW I leave mine on year 'round. Unless the ambient temps are near 225 degrees (probably from a North Korean nuke or some such BS) you'll always use less pellets with it on versus off.
     
  9. Scott Eisenbraun

    Scott Eisenbraun Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I'm late seeing this thread, but I use an insulated jacket on my Yoder year round. It decreased my pellet usage by about half. I found that even during the warm months, windy days transfer a huge amount of heat from the smoker and the unit has to feed more fuel to keep temps up. Even in winter, I can get up to 600 degrees at the grates when using direct heat above the burn pot.
     
  10. illini40

    illini40 Meat Mopper

    I just got done putting the new insulation blanket on my Traeger Pro 34. I noticed that a tag indicated that it was not recommended to use in temps above 35*.

    Should I be concerned about this? I had intentions of using it this fall...before temps drop below 35*.
     
  11. Scott Eisenbraun

    Scott Eisenbraun Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I'm not sure why they would put a warning on it. It may raise temps in firebox area high enough to warp the heat deflector. That happened on my Yoder until I put in a newer design heat shield (heavier metal and reinforced) with a removable door. Which I remove when searing meat.
     
  12. ross77

    ross77 Smoking Fanatic

    I’m not sure about the Traeger version but RecTec says not to use their cold weather cover at grill temps over 350.

    I believe it will damage the finish on the cover and/or grill.
     
  13. illini40

    illini40 Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the replies. I'm concerned that the blanket may require more thought than I had given it. I was just looking to improve temps and efficiency as the weather cools off.

    Any Traeger owners with experience?