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Trager owners - have you cold smoked?

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by artgei1, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. artgei1

    artgei1 Newbie

    Trager owners -  I have played around with adjusting the "p" number when in the smoke setting (the higher the p, the lower the temperature setting -

    has anyone cranked down the temp low enough to cold smoke in the 60-80 degree F range?


    Arturo in Santa Rosa
  2. I haven't done a cold smoke yet, but I am eagerly awaiting a response to your thread, as I took delivery of my new Traeger today...
  3. yrrndsmoker

    yrrndsmoker Smoke Blower

    Unfortunatly I've adjusted my P number and the lowest temp i can get is about 180.  That is on "smoke" or "180" settings. I have a lil tex 75
  4. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    I don't think that's going to happen. One of the guys on pelletheads.com modified the fan circuit so that one of the fans runs as long as the smoker is plugged in. This is so that he can use it as a rack for cold smoking with a smoke generator like the A-MAZE-N Smoker. It also speeds up the cool down when you're done smoking. But I don't think any P-setting is going to generate smoke with a low enough temp to do cold smoking.
  5. I would'nt give up on your Tragers just yet...  I also have a pellet fired smoker, a FEC100, I can probably maintain 140F but that's not low enough for cheese.  I'd also like some cheese for appetizers when I'm doing a larger backyard BBQ, sooo....  I came up with this idea of re-purposing the smoke from my FEC100, cooling it and sending it to a oak red wine barrel.  With the smoker at 275F loaded with two 7 bone prime ribs and 10 spatchcocked chickens I am able to keep the temps in my cold smoker to 80 - 87F.  About 2.5 hours on some apple and cherry wood was all it took.

    The big picture with 20' of flex tubing for smoke cooling.


    Connection to the FEC100


    Inside, 22.5" weber rack


    KISS principle smoke control...


    You really don't need a smoke generator, you already have one!  Plus the wine barrel adds a subtle cabernet flavor to the cheese.  This concept will work with just about any type smoker.

    harleyeg05 likes this.
  6. artgei1

    artgei1 Newbie

    A Traeger rep was selling his smokers at the local Costco at about a 20% discount from local outlets whose prices are firm.   He said that you cant get the smoker p number low enough to achieve the 70-80 degrees needed - unless you take off the exhaust pipe cap, then tie on some length of maybe clothes dryer vent materials with enough length that the smoke cools down then exhausts into your low temp smoker unit with fish in it  - sounds like a little work but might be cheaper then buying another unit!
    harleyeg05 likes this.
  7. duck killer 1

    duck killer 1 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    i have had a traeger for 3 years now. i have the 070. i have to admit i have never heard of this "p number". what is it? i have the digital control if that matters.
  8. yrrndsmoker

    yrrndsmoker Smoke Blower

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  9. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    From Pelletheads.com


    There seems to be some big misconceptions as to how the new 180 Traeger digital controller works.  Let's see if I can shed some light on the subject.  It's very simple and if you know the facts, you don't have to guess what's going on.

    NOTE: Always start your grill in SMOKE mode with lid open and if you are going to use SMOKE mode, don't even think about shutting it for at least 10 minutes, unless you want a huge temperature overshoot from your target.  Give it time to burn the excess fuel from the firepot.

    There are 3 modes the controller operates in:

         1.  Start-up mode.   
         2.  Smoke mode.
         3.  Thermostat mode.

    Start-up Mode - This occurs every time the switch is turned away from OFF.  The controller goes through a start-up cycle routine which lasts 4 minutes.  The igniter, fan and auger are energized, for 4 minutes continuously. 

    At the end of this 4 minute start-up cycle, the controller goes into SMOKE mode (with auger at rest), as that is where you started it.  Of course the igniter shuts off, the auger shuts off for an adjustable period, depending on P-setting and of course the fan continues to run until the unit is shut off.

    Smoke mode.  The auger runs 15 seconds (always) and is at rest for a period determined by your P-setting.  Default is P-2.  P-2 results in auger running for 15 seconds and resting for 65 seconds, on for 15 seconds, resting for 65 ...........  Increasing the P-setting to P-3 will change the rest time to 75 seconds, P-4 to 85 seconds.........P-9 to 135 seconds.  P-1 yields rest period of 55 seconds and P-0, 45 seconds.  This is what determines the temperature of the pit.  The thermometer and DTR do not come into play in smoke mode.  Control of the unit is controlled by the timing routine only.  To lower the pit temperature, raise the P-setting and of course to raise the pit temperature, lower the P-setting.  You're simply changing the fuel rate the auger delivers.

    Thermostat mode - This is where the thermometer and DTR probe enter into the equation.  One thing you must keep in mind is that the smoke mode timing routine is running in the background and operating at the same timing as running in smoke mode.

    Control works the same at any temperature setting.  Let's use 225* to explain how it works there.  Your pit is running in smoke mode at ~170*.  You turn the dial to 225*, at that point the auger starts to run and runs continuously until the display indicates 225*.  At that point the auger ceases, and the controller returns to it's smoke routine, starting with the auger resting.  As long as the temperature on the display remains above 222*, the controller continues to run in the smoke mode.  Think of it as being in maintenance mode, in other words keeping the fire alive. 

    When the temperature drops to 222* (target minus 3*), smoke mode is deactivated and the auger energizes and runs until the target temperature is reached (225*).  At this point the controller returns to smoke mode (auger in rest mode initially) to maintain the fire.  And the process continues.

    It's that simple boys and girls, no magic at all.

    Any questions?


    BTW, the current production auger motors are 1.67 RPM, with a rotational time of 36 seconds (non variable).

    The auger motor has no controls on it.  It is solely controlled by the controller, on or off, and always runs at 1.67 RPM.

    If you want to observe the auger timing, lay on your back and look up into the hopper bottom and watch the fan on the auger motor.

    High setting equates to 450*.

    duck killer 1 and harleyeg05 like this.
  10. shhaker

    shhaker Meat Mopper

    i cold smoked in my traeger, but i just used it with a amazin smoker and it worked good. but you could get the same result with a cardboard box also.
  11. yrrndsmoker

    yrrndsmoker Smoke Blower

    Great Info Pokey!!  That explains a lot!  I don't know why they cant just put that info in their owns manual.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  12. duck killer 1

    duck killer 1 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    pokey, is the p-setting a potentiometer or a set of dip switches? i understand the modes of operation, but i haven't seen the adjustment place before. i suppose i could just go look at my controller, LOL
  13. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    I don't know. I bought the PelletGrillOutlet (PGO) 180-LV digital controller, a non-Traeger model. It has the P-setting on the back, so you have to remove the controller from the grill/smoker to change the setting. I've left it at the factory pre-set (P2?) and have seen swings of at most 20*. I've read about guys who adjust the P-setting (or at least confirm it) before every smoke. They start the grill and observe the temp swings while it's in the Smoke setting and adjust P-setting until they like what they see. The newest Traeger controller has the P-setting on the front. I couldn't tell if if it was adjusted by turning a screwdriver or pushing an inset button. But the display shows what the P-setting is as you adjust it. It goes back to displaying the temp after a short period.

    I'm too lazy for all this. I'm just the curious type, and I like to know how my toys work. I've found no reason to tinker as yet. But I haven't smoked through the winter yet. If I start to see wide fluctuation as it gets colder, I may start playing with the P-setting. I ordered a grill kozey, so I'll try that first. Like I said, lazy!
    duck killer 1 likes this.
  14. artgei1

    artgei1 Newbie

    Flames - what a beautiful rig you have for cold smoking!  I am in Sonoma County with tons of barrells, that is a great idea.

    The p number on a traeger grill is adjusted  in a small hole on the front panel just to the right of the led readout on the thermostat control units - with a toothpick, you can insert into the hole to adjust the p number, which adjusts the amount of time between augur fuel activity - you can find info on the traeger website, but definitely no info is found  in the manual - my unit is a lil tex, and i find it extremely sensative when in smoke mode to outdoor temperatures - once set correctly to the environment (hot vs cold air temp) the unit runs flawlessly in controlling the temp - the higher the p number, the lower the temperature the unit will maintain, and conversely the lower the p, the higher the temp in smoke mode. 

    Its pouring in northern california and GO GIANTS!
    duck killer 1 and harleyeg05 like this.
  15. I'm also from Sonoma County, when you have lemons make lemonade!  Next month when it starts to cool down we'll go into sausage making mode and give the ole barrel a cold smoke sausage workout.  Looking forward to that subtle taste of cabernet on my italian links.  Hope it doesn't clash with the chianti :-)
  16. duck killer 1

    duck killer 1 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    i know what my problem is, i have the older control that does not have the hole in the front of it for the P-setting. it may have this setting on the back of the controller maybe. i will have to contact tech support to find out i guess. the controller in the manual is different than mine. great info by the way![​IMG]
  17. o0infidel0o

    o0infidel0o Fire Starter

    Great information! Admittedly, I had some "misconceptions" regarding how my Traeger was working vs. how I was actually running it. I was under the impression once you saw smoke, slam the lid and away you go. Poked sticks at it tonight, and would you believe it...it works! Turn to "Smoke" wait for the smoke and turbine engine noises to die off and then it's ready. Adjusted my P setting back to P2 from P4 where I put it and it held steady right at 160 (+/-5) degrees.

    Perhaps I was like a kid in a candy store and didn't read the instructions clearly enough. I don't know...but just another one of those light bulb moments. [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
    harleyeg05 likes this.
  18. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    or you can get one of these cold smoking chambers from traeger.........


  19. o0infidel0o

    o0infidel0o Fire Starter

    I googled that attachment, but from what I have read, they don't make it anymore. I fired off an email to Traeger to verify... [​IMG]
  20. o0infidel0o

    o0infidel0o Fire Starter

    No...Traeger does not make a cold-smoke attachment for their smokers/grills. Looks like either a hotplate or the AMS for me... [​IMG]