Traeger Pellet Grill Review – The Best Price-Quality Relationship on the Market?
Traeger BBQ155.01 19.5K BTU Pellet Grill
|Cooking Surface||292 sq/inch|
There are a handful of brands of pellet smokers that you’ll see over and over, and any of the top brands are going to serve you very nicely.
At a certain point, it comes down to which features you want, which ones you need, and how much you’re looking to spend for them.
We’ve reviewed plenty of grills, and they all have their pros and at least one or two cons, so it’s good that you’re here, because these Traeger pellet grill reviews exist to help you find the one that’s a perfect fit for you.
The Right Size
Some grills are excessively large, others are smaller and more compact, and the one you choice should really come down to how much you need to cook at once.
Whether you’re looking to do a brisket and maybe a small bird at once, or something more hefty like multiple racks of ribs, briskets and a chicken all at the same time, choose the grill that’s big enough to accommodate how much you need to smoke at any given time. If you’ll only need the larger capacity once or twice a year, maybe go with a smaller one and just plan ahead to do two smoking sessions?
If you’re doing a lot of food at once, often, you’ll want to grab something bigger than the grill we’re reviewing today, but if not – it makes sense to save some cash and opt for a smaller size.
Choosing a Budget
Once you know what size to go with, you’ll want to choose your budget. Usually, our budgets aren’t set in stone, and we’re willing to go a bit higher if it means getting a much better product, but we’re happy to go lower if possible, too.
This grill by Traeger hits a sweet spot between being very high quality, but not costing an arm and a leg either because it’s on the smaller size of the spectrum. It’s not tiny by any means, it can hold a feast, but it’s not massive like some other options are, either.
Best Features of the Traeger BBQ155.01
There are certain features that most, if not all, pellet grills will possess. There are other features that are unique to certain models. Among these groups of features, there are some that will matter to you and others that won’t. The goal is to find the grill that has all of the features you want, with minimal ones that you don’t want (So that you aren’t paying extra for things you won’t use.)
Now, overall, it’s not really the most complex of appliances. There’s a hopper that holds your pellets, an auger that feeds them into the flame based on what temperature you’re trying to achieve, and generally some sort of ash catcher, and a grease trap that makes it easier to clean.
So, while most of them are very similar, the quality can make a big difference – they’re similar, but definitely not created equal, and this Traeger is one of the best, and probably the overall best choice in this price range, too.
This grill can compete with grills that are more expensive, because it’s well made and again, it’s modestly sized. You’ve got 292 square inches of cooking surface. Large grills will have closer to 700, even 1000 square inches. The bronze finish on the lid almost makes this look Medieval, which makes it that much more theatrical when you’re cooking up giant turkey legs.
The digital control adds a touch of technology and precision to an otherwise fairly primitive style of cooking, which is a nice addition. The auger in this unit is fully automatic, and is designed to move as the precise speed necessary to keep your smoker at the exact temperature you’ve dialed in on the digital controls.
This pellet grill weighs just over 70 pounds, and the dimensions are 21 x 23 x 21 inches. The hopper in this unit holds 10 pounds, so half of a typical 20lb bag of pellets. That’s not a lot, but for a smaller grill it’s plenty – it’s not like you’re going to have to run out in the middle of a smoke session and refill it or anything like that, so no worries.
It’s also worth noting that some assembly is required, but it’s really not a tough task, and shouldn’t take you too long at all.
The only real complaint you’ll see about it, and something we’ve mentioned a couple of times, is the size of this pellet grill. If you’re hoping to smoke a giant turkey for Thanksgiving, for instance, it probably won’t fit – but as far as ribs, briskets, roasts, and just about any other cuts of meat – you’re all set, they’ll fit just fine. If you need to do big turkeys or a lot of food at a time, once again, you’ll want to look elsewhere – but otherwise, this is a smart choice.
A few tips for using your Traeger grill…
When you first go to fire it up, leave the lid open for the first 5-10 minutes on the smoke setting, while it warms up. If your temperature is too low or too high compared to what you have it set at, there’s a little pinhole on the front of the unit that you can poke with a toothpick, you’ll want to adjust this based on the temperature that it is outside. If it’s a really hot day, you’ll want to adjust for that, same if it’s a colder day. This is just a little nuance that can help you get the best experience.
You’ll want to give it a decent cleaning every 5 or so times that you use it, which isn’t hard to do, it just takes a couple of minutes. There’s a grease catcher so you’ll want to empty that out, and you’ll need to also empty out any ashes that have built up because they can have an impact on achieving a consistent temperature if left too long.
Overall, it’s not tough to maintain a pellet grill, and once you take the first bite you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.