Traeger grill uses compressed hardwood residues as a source of heat. The oak is the most commonly used hardwood material to form the pallets. Other hardwood materials like cherry or apple would also be ideal. Softwood on the other hand is not recommended as it is not safe to use for food nor does it give food an appealing taste.
How to use a Traeger pellet grill?
A Traeger grill has various components with different functions. It has a pellet hopper, auger motor, induction, fan burn pot complete with rod igniter, and a control panel.
This is where you place your pallets ready for lighting up. They automatically move to the auger and are pushed to the firepot instantly. In case you need to check your pallet levels, you can open the hopper lid and add more even when you are already cooking. When using low heat, you are likely to use about 1-2 Lbs. of pallets in an hour. When you turn up the heat you can use upto4lbs pallets per hour.
This is the second destination for the pallets after the hopper. It uses an electric motor that allows you to control from the control panel. When you first power up the grill, only a few pallets are loaded into the burn pot to startup the temperature. Going forward it adjusts the feeding of the pallets depending on the control panel settings on the amount of heat required.
As the auger feeds the burn pot with enough pallet, there is a need for air to keep burning. It also helps to continue evenly distributing the smoke and heat. As a result, your food will all round. However, the performance of the fan largely depends on the type of control panel installed as well as the user’s settings.
Burn pot and Rod ignitor
The burn pot is the link between the pallets and air. Air gets into the burn pot allowing for combustion. The size of the burn pot largely depends on the size of your burner.
Rod ignitor helps start a fire for pallets to burn. Make sure to use a good ignitor such as ceramic made ignitors which are quick and will last you longer compared to others,
The control panel makes it easy to adjust the grill to your preference. You will be able to turn the smoker of or off, control the temperature, auger motor, fan, and even the hot rod igniter. PID controller will help adjust the temperature in the chamber and the one a user has set. Concurrently, it adjusts the auger and fan speed to maintain the set temperature. There is a super smoke control mode whose main function is to add some inaccuracies to the PID control and in turn produce more heat. It also comes with a Wi-Fi app that allows you to control the grill from your phone even when seated away.
How to use Traeger pellet grill as a beginner
A new pellet grill is different to use compared to when you have used it before. You will need to season it before actually using it.
Fill the hopper with pellets
This step is easy enough, open the hopper lid and fill the pallets
Turn the grill on
Plugin the grill into a power source and switch it on. Leave the lid open and set it to smoke on the control panel. The auger will turn and pull the pellets to the firepot.
Set the temperature for cooking
Once you notice the pellets in the fireplace and the smoker starts producing smoke, it’s time to set the preferred cooking temperature. Set it up on the control panel as well.
Close the lid
you need to close the lid. You will notice more smoke coming out of the grill immediately as a result. It is a good sign for a perfectly working grill and fully ignites pellets.
The grill will take about 10 to 20minutes to preheat properly. In the meantime, cover the drip pan with aluminum to make it easier to clean when you are done cooking. Grease will come out while cooking. Hang the grease bucket at the side to collect it when it does. For your safety, don’t forget to use BBQ gloves to handle this part of the grilling experience.
You can cook now
At this point, everything is ready for cooking. You will only need to put the grates on and clean them with bristle free grill brush to make sure it’s completely clean.
If you are using an already used grill, the setting up procedure is the same as the first-time use. The only difference is if you didn’t clean out the firepot from the previously used pallets that may have remained, you need to do that before using it again. Leave the lid open and add a pellet to the hopper. It is however advisable to clean out the firepot immediately after every use.
How to turn off the Traeger Pellet Grill
After using the grill, dial the shutdown cycle on the control panel. It turns off the other functions, quickly accelerates the fire rod and the fan. It allows the remaining pallets to burn completely. When you turn off immediately, this process doesn’t take place, leaving you with unburned pallets.
You can cook almost any food on your smoker. You can grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ. Just make sure that you preheat before placing anything on the grill
How should you store pallets?
Pallets should be stored in an airtight container all the time. Put them indoors as well where they will remain safely dry and fresh all the time. When completely dry you will get quality smoke out of them compared to the not-so-dry ones. They will also last longer.
How do you season a Traeger Pellet smoker?
You can season your grill by running it for 45-50minutes with a closed-door before cooking.