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LSUZombie
LSU Fan
A Cemetery Near You
Member since Apr 2008
26165 posts

Used my Traeger for the first time this weekend (with pics!)

I spent about a year mulling over pellet grills before finally deciding to get one. I have a good friend who works for a distribution company and she got me a great deal on a Pro Series 34.

I rubbed the pork shoulder with yellow mustard and a spice rub that I made of brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder. I wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

I started the smoke at 6:00 AM at 250. I used Bear Mountain Sweet blend pellets (mix of maple, oak, and cherry) and smoked until 160. When it hit temp, I transferred to an aluminum pan and added two cups of apple cider and covered with foil. Cooked until internal hit 206 and rested for an hour.

It's a great feeling when the bone comes out clean (that's what she said). Meat shredded beautifully and the flavor was incredible.

(images have had a filter applied to them to show all the details...wanted to get that out the way for the handful of posters who obsess over it).

Image: https://i.imgur.com/5Y1S8mN.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/GsYaHr7.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/LhXODz9.jpg
This post was edited on 10/26 at 9:35 am


Geauxld Finger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2005
30554 posts

how was the smoke flavor?

i have always heard pellet doesn't provide the same amount of smoke that a stick burner does. Its got nice color!
This post was edited on 10/26 at 11:17 am


Speckhound
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2020
92 posts

Do a prime rib on it for T-giving. Order their prime rib rub and you can't go wrong. Looks good !


LSUZombie
LSU Fan
A Cemetery Near You
Member since Apr 2008
26165 posts

quote:

how was the smoke flavor?


I thought the smoke flavor was great and I could definitely taste it. Does a traditional smoker deliver a more smoky flavor? Yes, I'm sure it does. But for the homecook I think this delivered exactly what I had hoped for.

I was worried because I also read about pellet grills not delivering a good smoky flavor, but seeing the amount of smoke this thing put out, I was optimistic.

quote:

Its got nice color!



Was also worried about color and bark but both came out great. Looking forward to brisket and chicken.
This post was edited on 10/26 at 2:51 pm


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RedHawk
Army Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2007
7340 posts

quote:

prime rib rub


Salt and Pepper?


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110
JDGTiger
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Oct 2020
650 posts

I too recently used a Traeger Pro I bought at Home Depot for the first time.

I wish I had not bought it.

It is, IMHO, an outdoor oven capable of dropping wood pellets occasionally on the electric element.

I am sure people can cook great dishes on it---none they could not cook in their oven or on a much less expensive real smoker.

I put two chickens on Saturday. I normally smoke chicken about 3.5 hours at about 250 or 275. I understand I only want a wisp of smoke. I had no smoke flavor at in all in those chickens after 3.5 hours.

I called Traeger and they nicely explained to me that it was a grill first and a smoker secondarily. They said I would have been better off setting the knob to "smoke" which cooks between 180 degrees and 220 degrees. To me that is a vary wide variance and too low for chicken. I suspect it would have taken me another couple of hours to smoke those chickens at temps that low.

I thought about the issue and I think I have it semi solved. The pellets burn very quickly at hotter temps and produce very little smoke at those higher temps. (I used Traeger apple flavored pellets.) At low temperatures the pellets will smolder more. I think what my Traeger is doing on the smoke setting is cutting on and off thus the wide variance in temps on that setting. It does produce a lot more smoke on the smoke setting.

I think the Traeger would be fine on the smoke setting for pork butts and brisket BUT will take substantially longer to break out of the stall than it would on a stick or charcoal or even a propane smoker set to run at 250-275.

As far as using an electric grill goes---I will pass. I could cook hamburgers and steaks in the oven but I don't and Traeger is nothing but an electric grill when set to temperatures hot enough to grill burgers and steaks.

My go to every day grill/smoker is a Charbroil 940X. I agree with this guy Charbroil 940


RetiredSaintsLsuFan
LSU Fan
NW Arkansas
Member since Jun 2020
761 posts

Be prepared to put on weight and spend more money for meat. But don't limit yourself to just meat. One of my favorite meals is smoked apple cobbler. Anything you can cook in an oven you can cook better in the smoker.

I got my first smoker (Traeger) in 2013 and my second one (GMG) in 2015.
This post was edited on 10/27 at 1:56 pm


LSUZombie
LSU Fan
A Cemetery Near You
Member since Apr 2008
26165 posts

quote:

It is, IMHO, an outdoor oven capable of dropping wood pellets occasionally on the electric element.


I've read this, and yet several times when I walked out to check temp on my shoulder, it was engulfed in smoke at 250. Never had any issues with not enough smoke.

quote:

I think the Traeger would be fine on the smoke setting for pork butts and brisket BUT will take substantially longer to break out of the stall than it would on a stick or charcoal or even a propane smoker set to run at 250-275.


Started mine at 6:00 AM. Was done at almost 4:00 PM on the dot. At 250, it took about 10 hours and got great color and flavor. Proof is in the pudding from the pics above.

I am going to try chicken tonight and use their recipe on youtube. Going with a higher heat, so we shall see.


LSUZombie
LSU Fan
A Cemetery Near You
Member since Apr 2008
26165 posts

quote:

Be prepared to put on weight and spend more money for meat


I accept this challenge


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JDGTiger
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Oct 2020
650 posts

A friend of mine gets smoke with another brand of pellets he says.

Here are the pics

Image: https://i.imgur.com/I5hzxwb.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/aMnXxvA.jpg


LSUZombie
LSU Fan
A Cemetery Near You
Member since Apr 2008
26165 posts

Do you know what brand he uses? I used Bear Mountain and it put out some great smoke.


RetiredSaintsLsuFan
LSU Fan
NW Arkansas
Member since Jun 2020
761 posts

Lumberjack is my favorite with CookinPellets next. I have used Bear Mountain, but I have heard they are good. These use 100% hardwood. Do not use Traeger pellets if possible, they are flavored pellets.
This post was edited on 10/27 at 4:53 pm


LSUintheNW
LSU Fan
Here and there
Member since Aug 2009
33466 posts

quote:


I think the Traeger would be fine on the smoke setting for pork butts and brisket BUT will take substantially longer to break out of the stall than it would on a stick or charcoal or even a propane smoker set to run at 250-275.



I use the smoke setting for 3 hours (my traeger smoke temp is 160°) and then increase the heat to 250°. As I understand it will only take on smoke for a few hours. Long before I reach the stall I've got good heat rolling.

I don't have any problems getting smoke rings or a smoky flavor. I'll take it for low maintenance.


RetiredSaintsLsuFan
LSU Fan
NW Arkansas
Member since Jun 2020
761 posts

I use a smoke tube for just about everything I smoke for some additional smoke flavor. It also works great when smoking cheese.


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LSUZombie
LSU Fan
A Cemetery Near You
Member since Apr 2008
26165 posts

Cooked a whole chicken last night and it came out juicy and delicious. Not a lot of smoke taste though due to cooking at a high heat (375). I did some reading up and indeed cooking at a low heat produces a lot more smoke.

So next time I will do leg quarters and cook them low at 250 and then maybe bump to 350 to finish. Like the pork, I know there will be a smokier outcome.


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Haydo
Houston Astros Fan
DTX
Member since Jul 2011
2902 posts

quote:

how was the smoke flavor?


I got mine at the beginning of quarantine and I think the smoke flavor is fantastic. Would a traditional smoker fueled by real logs impart more? Sure. But this is fool proof, and we aren't all Aaron Franklin.

I've smoked ribs, brisket, and whole chickens. All came out amazing with great smoke flavor. On top of the smokes, I've cooked countless other dishes. The recipes on their app are top notch.

Spatchcocked chickens from this past weekend:

Cooked on the smoke setting (~180) for 2 hours to impart the smoke and beging to render the skin, then cranked up to 400 and finished for about another hour or so, when chicken came up to temp and the skin was nice and crispy.

Figuring out the dance between the smoke setting and then finishing the meat to come to temp is the key.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/jJXtsII.jpg
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Image: https://i.imgur.com/JnDQ073.jpg
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Image: https://i.imgur.com/FrMwrG3.jpg
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This post was edited on 10/28 at 4:33 pm


JDGTiger
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Oct 2020
650 posts

That looks like it works fine.

I am going to cook on it some but really to smoke I should have just bought an electric smoker like this $124 one LINK

Who really can't grill better on a good charcoal or even gas grill than on a Traeger electric grill?

For me that old 940X I have is the BEST all around grill/smoker I have. I got my first 33 years ago and kept it 20 years or so and then bought my current one. Charbroil doesn't advertise it much and most retailers do not carry it because of price and weight. The old WC Bradley company in Columbus Ga started making them in the fifties. I think they may have quit making them in the last year or two. Here is a link to one that is out of stock on WalMart.com LINK

They weigh about 300 lbs.and last a long time. You can adjust the coal up and down, load coals into the front with out lifting the lid, has cast iron grates and is overall a great device. I start a fire on one side and can do a butt for 12 or 13 hours just by throwing free coals on from time to time. I can grill anything on it and it is easy to clean.

You see them from time to time all across the south. My neighbor in Dulac has one and every time I am at my camp I see him cooking on it. Anyone that has every owned one loves it.

If you ever see one for sale buy it.
This post was edited on 10/29 at 11:11 am


Shotgun Willie
Member since Apr 2016
2755 posts

Rec Tec... No smoke tube needed


Haydo
Houston Astros Fan
DTX
Member since Jul 2011
2902 posts

quote:

That looks like it works fine




GTFO that chicken was absolute fire and you know it looks like it too. Quit hating on a Traeger just because you’re completely inept.


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LSUZombie
LSU Fan
A Cemetery Near You
Member since Apr 2008
26165 posts

That chicken looks incredible and exactly what I wanted to do. Will follow your recipe next time I cook a bird.


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