Dickey's Decor

Home, Garden and More

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just Me and My Traeger

Four years ago I was drug to a fight at my sister's friend's house. That sounds bad doesn't it? By fight I mean a boxing match or UFC fight of some kind. I am not into these types of things, but my husband is and I recall it was a Saturday night and we had nothing better to do. There was food and drinks and the kids were running around the neighborhood so I was able to relax and chat with the women folk. I walked out on the deck and there was a couple of guys grilling on a weird looking contraption. I started asking questions. It was a Traeger. They had an assortment of meats they were grilling and I watched with interest. I was more interested in trying the meat.
The telling moment came when I tasted the chicken. D.Licious. I was a chicken burner. No matter what I did my chicken always came out a little burnt or at the very least with char marks. This chicken was tender, juicy and amazing. My life changed at that moment.
A week later I purchased a Traeger. They aren't cheap. I got a good deal for $500.

A Traeger is a wood pellet smoker/grill. You put pellets into the hopper (at the left), plug in your machine (it takes electricity), switch it to high and hit on. The temperature can get up to 450 (maybe a bit higher) and down to about 150. This allows you to slowly smoke your meat or to grill it. Since there is no direct flame meat never gets burnt.

I have smoked/grilled the most amazing turkeys on this baby. Ribs, pulled pork, carne asada, Fillet Mignon, whole chickens, salmon and any other meat you can think of. All of them come out perfect. They make me look like I am an amazing griller. When we first bought the Traeger I kept my gas grill because I thought I might use it. It sat an entire summer untouched. I gave it away that fall and never looked back.

One of my favorite things to grill on my Traeger is bacon. The grease rolls into the waste bucket and my house doesn't smell like a breakfast joint. The bacon turns out crispy and delicious. I like to grill up a big batch and save it in the fridge for sandwiches, burgers and salads.

(Google Images)

I also like to make "wood fired" pizza. All you need is a Papa Murphy's Pizza and you can make it swanky on the Traeger.

(Google Images)

I also have a cast iron pot I grill my veggies, especially onions, in. Another favorite is potatoes. Lets put it this way you can't go wrong with this a Traeger. A friend of mine even smokes cheese and chocolate. I have yet to try this, but I will someday.

Maintenance on the Traeger is much like any other grill. You keep the grate clean and empty the grease bucket occasionally. Every eight hours or so you have to vacuum out the ashes. This takes about ten minutes and isn't a big deal. It is important to do because if you don't do it your machine will stop firing the pellets and your won't have any heat. This happened to me once in the middle of the night while I was smoking pulled pork for a big party. Ugh. I also will do a major cleaning job about every six months. This is a little more daunting, but is no different than a regular BBQ. I have had mine for four years (it could be five) and it is still going strong with no issues.

I use my Traeger year round. It came with a nice cover, but to be honest I rarely put it on. Father's Day is coming up and I know a lot of Dads who grill and smoke (meat that is). I am not getting paid to say this, but if it is in your budget you might think about it. I mean it might be his "toy", but you will enjoy it too.

Last night I grilled prime rib for my Mom's birthday. Wow. It rivaled our favorite steak house. My friends and family will tell you I like to pick apart my meals and am too critical. I honestly can say I would not have done anything different to last night's meal.  I am only sad there were no leftovers.


  1. Thanks for this post. I am new with my Treager and would love to see you post some of your recipes of the foods mentioned on here.


  2. I bought one for my husband about 3 years ago..."our" Xmas gift...he has used less than a dozen times, I, on the other hand use it @least 2x/week...YEAH for prime rib on the Traeger!! Guests love it!! I also do bacon,(keep the grease out of the house), but use a cookie sheet... Do you put your bacon directly on the grate? No worries of grease fires?

  3. Just got mine a month or so back and I just love it. My first thought was how am I going to change the pellets easily? I did a little Internet research, and one fella said he went to Home Depot and bought a "BUCKET TOPPER" vacuum. So, off I went... the vacuum is about $22 and it fits on top of a 5gal plastic pail, that you buy separately. I think I bought 5 pails, one for each type of pellet I had in the garage, and an extra pail to use for vacuuming the DUST from the Traeger after a few uses. And now I know which pellet is in the Traeger, by just reading the name on the pail I keep nearby. To change pellets, I pop open the pail (black lids are easier to use than the orange ones) put the vacuum on top of the un-used pellets and vacuum out the hopper. Presto! It's done in a flash and stored pellets stay dry in the 5gal pail. BTW, one bag fills a pail to about 80% capacity, room enough for the vacuum. Just thought I would share this...

  4. Kenneth thanks for your idea. I admit I am not much of a pellet changer. I love this idea and may need to experiment.
    Lori I have had a bacon fire once and it was not fun. I use a cookie sheet now. Bacon is a necessary evil.

  5. I have a Traeger and do bacon quite often. I have never used a cookie sheet and have never had a fire. I am not sure how a fire would be possible because you have 2 things between the bacon and the hot pellets. Both the pot shield and the grease catcher would stop any grease from ever getting near the hot pellets.

  6. How do you do bacon what temp what pellets how long does it take I'm new at this THANKS