The 7 Absolute Best Traeger Grills to Buy This Summer
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PELLET GRILLS changed the backyard cooking game forever. By using indirect heat (compared to the direct, flame-driven heat of traditional propane and charcoal grills), they’ve opened up a whole new world of easier, more reliable, and more convenient grilling, smoking, barbequing, and more. And, if you ask any serious pellet grill fan today which brand they’re rockin’, the answer is almost guaranteed to be “Traeger.”
While it started as a small home heating company in Oregon, it eventually expanded into the grill market with a unique grill/smoker that relied on the same pellets as its heaters. People quickly realized how much easier and more convenient it is to cook with a pellet grill. Traeger quickly added what are now considered essential features, like low pellet sensors, temperature probe compatibility, and digital temperature controllers, to its models—all making it possible for casual backyard grillers to venture into more “exotic” avenues like home-smoked meats. Most pellet grills nowadays, including almost every Traeger grill, are a set-it-and-forget-it affair, making backyard cooks dead simple for the common man.
If you’re in the market for one, you’ll be happy to learn that pellet grills are deceptively simple. Even casual backyard chefs can get the hang of grilling, smoking, and even baking with them in no time. But there are plenty of essential features, accessories, and high-tech conveniences to consider, and they vary widely between models. We’ve done the legwork for you by researching, testing, and comparing every model in Traeger’s line-up. These are the best Traeger grills worth shopping for in 2023
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Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill
Among Traeger’s lineup of stellar pellet grills, the Ironwood 885 is a standout as a “best of all worlds” option. The 885-square-inch cooking surface is plenty roomy for even the largest backyard get-togethers. This line is also packed with plenty of upgraded features that put it a clear step above the brand’s entry-level cookers, including a low pellet alert sensor, a digital display for dialing in the exact temperature, an included meat probe, and even WiFi connectivity, so you can monitor the cook from your lawn chair. It’s all encased in a beefy, double-wall insulated surround for better heat retention and conductivity.
There’s a lot we like about this model. While the roughly $1,400 price tag might seem steep compared to other comparably sized pellet stoves, this is a far superior grill with state-of-the-art features to justify the premium price tag. If you’re looking to save a few hundred dollars, and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of cook space, check out Traeger’s Ironwood 650.
What do buyers say? “The perfect grill. This Traeger is amazing. Best grill I've ever owned—I've cooked with it every day since I got it,” said one Walmart reviewer.
Pro Series 22 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
The Pro Series 22 is our pick from Traeger’s Gen 1 lineup. It’s a more entry-level model without the bells and whistles of the brand’s latest and greatest pellet grills. But it’s no slouch. It ticks all the essential boxes we look for, including a decent-sized cooking surface (572 square inches), porcelain-coated grill grates, and even the same digital controller found in Traeger’s best models. It’s all wrapped inside a steel frame with a durable, powder-coated finish which makes for near-zero maintenance. Just cover it when you’re done cooking, and forget it.
The roughly $500 sale price ($600 regular) makes this grill is a solid value. While it lacks the ultra-modern features of its fancier and much pricier brethren, we think it’s an incredible buy. Add to that more than 1,000 five-star buyer ratings on Amazon alone, and it’s clearly a fan favorite too. If you’re willing to splurge a little, roughly $100 more gets you a significantly larger 884-square-inch cooking surface.
What do buyers say? Out of more than 1,600 Amazon reviews, 92% recommend the Traeger Pro Series 22 Grill with at least a 4-star rating.
Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Most Traeger grills are an investment. If you’re a grilling enthusiast who can’t or won’t spend $800 or more on one of the brand’s best pellet grills, the Ranger is your best alternative. It’s Traeger’s most compact and portable pellet grill. Unlike its freestanding brethren, it features a tabletop-friendly footprint that’s about as large as a carry-on suitcase. Inside, the 184-square-inch offers enough room for 10 hot dogs, six burgers, or a large rack of ribs. The eight-pound hopper keeps the heat cookin’ up to 450 degrees with a digital control to maintain a more precise temperature. All of which makes this a great option for tailgaters, car campers, and anyone who likes to take their grill wherever they may roam.
As Traeger’s most budget-friendly pellet grill, you can’t beat the price. But there’s no getting around the fact that you sacrifice the features and serious grilling capabilities of the brand’s best models. It heats up fast and retains that heat well, but we’ve found that meat cooked on the Ranger lacks the rich, smokey intensity that we crave.
What do buyers say? “Perfect size for grilling on the go or at home when you don’t want to fire up the bigger series grills,” said one Traeger.com reviewer.
Pro 575 WiFi Pellet Grill and Smoker
It isn’t Traeger’s most affordable, nor its most expensive grill. The Pro 575 is right in the middle, making it a great value. With 575 square inches of cooking space, it’s decently sized for most backyard parties with enough real estate for five rib racks or two dozen burgers. Like most of the brand’s best grills, it boasts a max temp of up to 500° F—hot enough to grill, roast, smoke, braise, and even bake. Proprietary WiFIRE tech means you can keep tabs on whatever you’re cooking wirelessly from virtually anywhere in (or outside of) your house via your smartphone.
The roughly $800 price tag puts this pellet grill at the high-end of Traeger’s more budget-friendly options. The fact that it’s incredibly well-reviewed—including more than 1,500 five-star reviews on HomeDepot.com alone—are proof that this is a solid buy. If you’re looking for the cheapest WiFi- and mobile-app-enabled cooker without the most premium bells and whistles, this is your man.
What do buyers say? “Best smoker/grill I’ve ever owned. Well worth the money,” said one HomeDepot.com reviewer.
Timberline Wood Pellet Grill
Traeger’s all-new Timberline is the grillmaker’s flagship cooker, boasting all of its most premium features. The sleek, modern design is handsome enough on its own (before you even start cooking) to elevate the look of any space. Under the hood, you’ll find 880 square inches of cooking space (enough for eight rib racks), and the 22-pound hopper keeps the heat cranking up to 500° F for a long, long time. The all-in-one design is like a compact outdoor kitchen, including an induction cooktop, touchscreen controls, and WiFi connectivity, plus a ton of other convenience features and accessories. It’s no exaggeration to say this best-in-class Traeger grill literally does it all.
Honestly, after a month of testing, there’s nothing we don’t like about this pellet grill. It’s damn near perfect, ticking every single box and some we hadn’t even thought of. The only downside, then, is price. At roughly $3,300, it’s expensive by any measure, and the massive Timberline XL (with a massive 1,320-square-inch cook space) adds a $500 premium on top of that price tag. But, if you’re “The Grill Guy” on the block who likes to cook for the whole neighborhood and money is no object, this Traeger grill is worth the splurge.
What do buyers say? “If you can afford it, buy it, you won’t regret it. I can say it’s the best grill I’ve ever had!” said one HomeDepot.com reviewer.
Tailgater Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
The Ranger is Traeger’s most compact and portable pellet grill. But if you’re looking for something a little more, there’s the Tailgater. It offers nearly twice the cooking surface (300 square inches), plus folding legs and a large rolling frame that screams “tailgate-ready.” Like some of the brand’s more premium models, it also boasts a digital temperature controller with a Keep Warm mode. All of which makes it perfect for take-anywhere grilling or for city dwellers with limited outdoor space on, say, a balcony or patio.
This is another of the best Traeger grills with hundreds of five-star rave reviews on Amazon alone. It’s also surprisingly well-priced (especially for a brand known for charging a premium on everything in its catalog) at just over $500 delivered. Our only real gripe is that the heat retention is not on par with Traeger’s best models, so maintaining a nice, even temperature for smoking can be a challenge. Still, if you’re budget-conscious and shopping for the best Traeger grill for tailgating, we think this is it.
What do buyers say? “Best-tasting food I've ever made. Super stupid-proof and durable,” said one Amazon reviewer.
Ironwood WiFi Pellet Grill and Smoker
Let’s be honest, most of us aren’t planning to drop over $3,000 on a grill like the uber-luxe Traeger Timberline above. But, if you’re still looking to seriously upgrade your backyard cooking game, Traeger’s all-new Ironwood is just the trick. It offers many of the same premium features, including a low pellet sensor, dual meat probes, a full touchscreen display, and plenty of convenience accessories (like a grill light and multiple shelves). Plus, it’s WiFIRE connected, so you can control and keep tabs on everything from the comfort of your smartphone. It’s also heavily insulated for maximum heat retention and easy temperature regulation.
The best part though? At “only” $1,800, it’s roughly half the price of Traeger’s flagship Timberline. While that isn’t exactly cheap, it’s a more approachable price for hardcore backyard grillmasters who might be a little more budget-conscious. If you’re looking for even more cooking space, the Traeger Ironwood XL boasts a roomy 924-square-inch cooking surface for around $200 more.
What do buyers say? “Best upgrade we’ve made. Sine the first fire up, unless we have left overs, we have used this for every dinner,” said one HomeDepot.com reviewer.
What Is a Pellet Smoker / Grill?
As the name implies pellet smokers and grills (most models are designed to do both) run off wood pellets to provide the necessary heat for cooking. They’re easier to use and more precise than propane and charcoal grills because the heat is thermostatically controlled. That means the heat is set and maintained much like a traditional oven. Just fill the pellet hopper, light the grill, set your desired temperature, and relax. They’re especially great for hands-off smoking, where you can walk away and not have to worry about babysitting your cook for hours. Just let the grill do its thing. The trade-off is that most pellet-powered options—especially the best Traeger grills—are pricier than traditional models.
What to Look for When Shopping for the Best Traeger Grill
Most of the pellet grills in Traeger’s line-up include all of the most essential features, like easy temperature control, sizable hoppers, and wired/wireless meat thermometer compatibility. The key differences between models are size, price, and nice-to-have tech features.
Because Traeger grills vary widely in price (from less than $500 up to almost $4,000), ultimately, your buying decision may start with price. Decide what your budget is and what you can realistically afford, and shop from there. If you’re looking to keep costs in check, carefully consider what features you really need. Casual backyard cooks, for example, probably don’t need a premium Traeger grill like the Ironwood (at more than $1,700), when a value model like the 575 will probably do just fine.
The size of the overall cooking surface has a big impact on price. Here, again, it pays to be realistic about how much you actually need. For reference, the Traeger Tailgater boasts a 300-square-inch cooktop with enough room for three rib racks or a dozen burgers (enough space to grill for a family of 4-6), while the premium Ironwood model boasts twice as much real estate and costs more than three times as much. Larger Traeger grills are also significantly heavier. The portable Tailgater, for example, weighs just 62 pounds, while the beefy Ironwood tips the scales at 200 pounds.
Some features are essential, like a low-pellet sensor (so your cook doesn’t burn out early or unexpectedly), digital temperature controls (for easy heat management), and easy-clean grates. Others are simply nice-to-have, like a full-color touchscreen display, a built-in induction cooktop, and smartphone app compatibility with integrated WiFi. Just expect to pay more—sometimes significantly more—for all these fancy tech conveniences.
How We Selected the Best Traeger Grills of 2023
Over the last year, our grill-loving staff and editors here at Men’s Health researched. tested, and compared more than a dozen top-selling Traeger grills. We carefully considered every last spec and feature, from the overall cooking surface and max temperature to the price and built-in tech features. We also noted the highest-rated models with overwhelmingly positive ratings on the retailer sites we trust most, including Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. The final list above represents our honest picks of the seven best Traeger grills worth shopping this year.
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