Traeger Grill Not Working Correctly?

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by gruesy, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. Good morning everyone, it's a great day to smoke some butt this morning here in Cincinnati. I recently acquired a used Traeger Junior smoker and have been playing with it some but I'm not at all comfortable with it.  I've smoked some chicken thighs, cheese and some Jalapeno Poppers with acceptable results.

    In addition to the Traeger, I have an iGrill2, 4 probe thermometer and the difference between the Traeger grill temp and the iGrill temp is up to a 50 degree difference at times. The Traeger reports lower than the iGrill. I have cleaned the Trager probe and ensured it's not touching the grill and I've positioned one of my iGrill probes near the Traeger probe propped off the grate about 1.5 inches. I also have probe #2 in the center of the pork. This morning at 7 a.m. I fired up the Traeger by setting it on Smoke and let it set for 10-12 minutes. Once the smoke was rolling I turned it up to 180 degrees. The temp shot up to 310 degrees according to the iGrill probe and 280 on the Traeger. The temp slowly dropped to about 225 (iGrill) or 195 (Traeger) at about 7:20. It's now 9:38 and I've had a steady "sawtooth" pattern according to the iGrill. It's been as high as 288 and as low as about 180 according to the iGrill chart. I'm just afraid of ruining this beautiful 8.5 Boston Butt I have on the grill. The meat started out at about 35 degrees this morning and is currently at 68 degrees internal temperature. 

    I started this post at about 9:30 and it's now 11:00 a.m. despite all the temperature fluctuations I think the meat temperature looks good. I started at 35 degrees and after 4 hours I'm at 104. I'm attempting to post a screen shot of my iGrill temp charts. I hope you can see it. Please let me know what you think. Do you think the meat will be as awesome as I envisioned when I started?

    Thanks for any comments or suggestions you may have. 

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Everything you mentioned is spot on for that smoker. By design you will get major temp fluctuations. It's just how they work. I was given one a few years back. Used it a few times, sold it and went back to my trusted arsenal of charcoal smokers that I have.

    Honestly the food that came off the Traeger was fine just not enough smoke and I hate being tied to a power cord.
  3. Thanks for the response, Dirtsailor! It's good to know that it's working all right. 

    As for the smoke, I agree that it's less than I would like but my wife doesn't like a lot of smoke so for my family it works great. Plus I have an Amaze-N-Smoking Tube so I can add more smoke when needed.

    The pork turned out all right, but not as good as I had hoped. My family has no tolerance when it comes to waiting for dinner to be done. I never reached the 195-205 degree mark. I made it to 160 and had 5 people squawking to eat. So I succumbed to the pressure and aborted the smoke. The meat was good and everyone liked it, but I think it would have been better after another 3 hours on the smoker. Next time, I'll be up at 3 a.m. getting it in the smoker.

    Thanks again for your response.
  4. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    I wouldn't say its working alright.  Those are some major swings.  I would say that it is a common occurrence for Traegers.

    One thing I don't understand - you said you smoked cheese.  I don't think there is any way you can smoke cheese in any pellet grill without it getting over 80 degrees and melting your cheese (unless you aren't turning on the grill and are using only a smoke tube).
  5. For the cheese I only used the smoker tube. I didn't turn the grill on. However, because the grill is so small I didn't have heat problems and got up to 100 degrees at about the  2 hour point. 

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