There isn't just one best grill from Traeger, there is one for each category. The Ranger is the top portable grill, the Pro 22 is the best budget option, the Pro 575 is the best mid-range grill, the Ironwood 885 is best for smoke flavor, and the Timberline XL is the most premium grill.
I have been a Traeger for a long time and have been using the Pro 575 since it came out. However, I was curious to see which models were the top grills in this lineup so I decided to test them all out.
In this post, I will help you discover the best Traeger grill for every category you might need. I have also included a buyer's guide.
|Cooking Space (Sq. Inches)
|Hopper Capacity (lbs)
|20 x 21 x 13
|Buy on Amazon
Traeger Pro Series 22
|24 x 41 x 49
|Buy on Amazon
Traeger Pro 575
|27 x 41 x 53
|Buy on Amazon
Traeger Ironwood 885
|27 x 53 x 47
|Buy on Amazon
|25 x 51 x 71
|Buy on Traeger Pellet Grills
Here are the best Traeger grill models for each category:
Best Portable Grill
If you are looking for portable grills, then the Traeger Ranger is the one for you. What I like about this wood pellet grill is that it has been designed really well. It is durable enough to be carried around. Also, the two latches that keep everything in place makes it easy to set up when you get to your destination.
The only real fault that I can find with pellet grill is that it is pretty heavy. So, you will need help carrying it around.
The Traeger Grills Ranger really surprised me when it came to temperature control. Once I set it to the desired temperature, the grill remained at this point for most of the cook. There were some temperature fluctuations but these were far and few in between. Due to this, I was able to stick to the cook schedule without any problems.
The other thing that impressed me about this grill was the pellet hopper capacity. It is pretty big for a grill so small. And, so, you can have consecutive cooks without needing to refill the hopper anytime soon.
The porcelain coated grill grates were also a plus. The heat retention and distribution across the grates were excellent, allowing you to grill the food at a similar rate. The food also didn't stick to the grates either.
The other thing that I really liked about this miniature pellet smoker was that it comes with a Keep Warm mode. So, even if you get done cooking early, you can ensure that your food is the perfect temperature when you are ready to eat.
Best Budget Friendly Option
At this price point, 572 square inches of cooking space is nothing to laugh at! You can easily cook for four or even more people with this grill. Even if you don't want to cook for a mid-sized crowd, you can always use this wood pellet grill to cook different kinds of food at once.
The temperature control on this Traeger grill and smoker worked really well. Due to this, it has a set it and forget it element to it. Now, there are some fluctuations during the cook as with all Traeger models but this isn't enough to effect the quality or the timing of the cook.
The only downside here is that this pellet grill doesn't get very hot. So, it can be tricky to get sear steaks and other cuts of meat.
I would suggest this Traeger grill for anyone who is new to grilling. Thanks to the user friendly control panel, it is just a matter of firing the grill up and setting your desired temperature. After this, you just sit back and wait for your food to be done.
I like that even at this price point that Traeger has made an effort to put together a good quality and durable grill. Made from steel and with a powder coated finish, this is a grill that is going to last you quite a while. So, it does make for a good investment, especially for beginner grillers.
Best Mid-Range Grill
I think that one of the reasons that the Pro 575 is one of the best selling Traeger grills is because of the D2 Drivetrain feature. As a result, the wood pellet grill starts up without any issues and heats up faster. So, grilling on this Traeger grill is a breeze.
The only issue here is that you get just a moderate smoke flavor with this particular grill. So, if you are looking for something a bit stronger, you are out of luck.
I do like the cooking surface area on this grill. You can easily cook several racks of ribs and birds without overcrowding the grill. This grill also works well for larger cuts of meat too.
And, I found that the pellet hopper is appropriate to the size of the grill, ensuring that the wood pellets will last you for an entire cook.
The hopper cleanout on this grill features a trapdoor. This allows you to empty out the pellets completely. Now, this feature isn't just meant to help you to clean out the hopper. Rather, it is an excellent option for swapping out wood pellets in between a cook.
This means that you can use hickory pellets for a brisket and then switch over to apple pellets for pulled pork!
I also like the fact that at this price point the grill comes with Wi-Fire connectivity features. This allows you to sync the grill up to an app on your smartphone. This way, you can keep an eye on the grill from further away.
Now, this isn't the lightest grill around, but you can still move t about if you need. This is thanks to the two all terrain wheels on one side of the grill. There's no need to worry as these are locking caster wheels, ensuring that you can keep your grill nice and stable during the cook.
Best for Smoky Flavor
If you are someone who enjoys an intense smoke flavor in your food, then this is the Traeger smoker and grill that I will recommend to you. The downdraft exhaust system ensures that a greater amount of smoke fills the cooking chamber during the smoking process. As a result, you are able to take the smoke flavor to the next level.
Unfortunately, the maximum temperature on this Traeger grill is around 450 F. This is not nearly high enough for searing meat, especially thicker cuts.
I have to say that the cooking capacity on the Traeger Ironwood is excellent. If you have a large family or if someone who likes to host cookouts frequently, then this is the best Traeger grill for you. You will have no problem cooking large quantities on this pellet grill.
The other thing that I was impressed about this pellet grill was the temperature control. There is actually very few fluctuations during the cook and they appear to correct themselves fairly quickly. Due to this, this Traeger grill is excellent for an accurate cook.
I also really like the Turbo Temp feature on this grill. This is what helps the grill to start up and heat up more quickly. At the same time, it is also the feature that allows the grill to course correct when you open the lid.
As a result, your food is able to cook at a similar rate throughout the cook.
The other excellent feature is the dual wall insulation. This greatly improves heat retention within the grill, cutting down on the fluctuations during the cook. This feature also makes it easier to maintain the temperature inside the cooking temperature in colder climates.
If you don't want to have to wait around your pellet grill as your food cooks, then you are in luck. This Traeger grill is equipped with Wi-Fi features. This allows you to check the progress of your cook off your smartphone.
Not only that, but you are also able to adjust and change certain settings to match the current rate of cooking.
It is so great to have a pellet sensor on this grill. This alerts you to when the quantity of pellets inside the hopper is getting low. In turn, you can top it up without needing to start your cook all over again. This feature works especially well for longer cooks where the risk of running low on fuel is greater.
Cleaning a grill or smoker isn't anyone's idea of a good time. Fortunately, this process gets a lot easier with the EZ Clean Grease and Ash Keg. This compartment collects the grease as well as the pellet ash in one container. So, this is all that you need to dispose of and clean once the cook is over.
Best Premium Grill
Of all the grills in the Traeger lineup, this is the largest option. And, so, you have all the cooking area that you could possibly need. Depending on the size of the cuts that you are dealing with, you may be able to cook up to 16 racks or ribs or 12 pork butts.
Of course, keep in mind that with this additional space and features you also have the associated price tag. This grill is easily one of the more expensive grills in the market.
The other thing that I really like about this grill is the temperature control. The Smart Combustion technology helps to keep the temps steady during the cooking process. This helps to cook your meat at a more even rate.
Also, the cooking chamber of this grill boasts excellent insulation. Due to this, the temperature is maintained throughout the cook as the heat remains trapped inside.
The Traeger Downdraft Exhaust system along with the Super Smoke mode means that there is more smoke circulating throughout the cooking chamber during the cook. As such, the meat is able to absorb a greater amount of smoky flavor, resulting in a far better finished result.
This grill actually comes with its own additional induction cooktop. This is great for searing steaks and other meats. Since most of the grills from Traeger don't get all that hot, this is a nice addition to help you take the flavor up to the next flavor when using the grill.
One of the cool things about this grill is that it is designed like a permanent built-in grill. So, it has a ton of storage space. This means that you can store your grilling tools and utensils along with the grill all year long.
This grill is also equipped with Wi-Fire features. This allows you to sync the grill to the app on your smartphone. You can then monitor the rate at which your meat is cooking and check that the grill is maintaining its internal temperature properly too.
You can also make adjustments and changes via the app and these will impact how the grill operates immediately.
My only complaint here is that the Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping. So, you have to constantly check on the connection.
Here is how to choose the right model from the best Traeger grills:
One of the perks of Traeger Grills is that they have pellet grills for all budgets. Therefore, your first order of business is to determine how much you want to spend on your grill.
I would also take your level of cooking experience into consideration here. If you are just starting out, you may not want to splurge on a very expensive model. Instead, stick to a more affordable model.
You should also consider your desired space for when you are looking for a Traeger grill. If you want something small and portable, then a Ranger is a good option for you.
In case you need a portable grill but require a few more square inches of cooking surface area, you should think about getting the Traeger Tailgater.
If you are cooking for a small family, the Pro Series 22 or the Pro 575 will do well. The Ironwood 885 and the Timberline XL work for large families or frequent cookouts.
Keep in mind that a larger cooking surface area means a bigger grill. So, make sure that you not only have the backyard space for your grill but also the storage space. If you want your Traeger grill to last you a while, it will need to be stored properly.
Needless to say, the pellet hopper capacity is an important element when looking for any pellet grill. This is what determines how many wood pellets your grill and smoker can hold.
In turn, this will show you how long your cook can continue for without needing to refill the hopper.
However, it isn't just the hopper capacity that you should look at. You should see how the hopper size measures up in terms of the cooking surface area.
A small cooking surface can make do with a small hopper. A larger grill, on the other hand, will require a larger hopper to maintain an even temperature throughout.
What are you looking for with pellet grills. Do you want a better grilling performance or a smoking one. Each Traeger model does perform as a grill and a smoker, but some do each of these jobs a little better than others.
For instance, if you are looking for a top-notch grilling flavor, then I would consider the Pro 575 or the Timberline grill. For a superior smoking experience, check out the Ironwood grill.
One of the reasons that Traeger is such a popular brand is because the company actually invented the wood pellet grill in the 1980s. For the longest time, the company did hold the patent for this type of grill.
However, this isn't the only reason that Traeger was - and continues to be - a household name. The brand is all about quality and innovation which is why it still appeals to people so many generations later.
Yes, there are other smokers that are on par with Traeger. This includes Yoder, Pit Boss, and more. However, not only is Traeger more readily available, but it offers good quality for a price that is lower than independent smoker companies.
One of the main cons of Traeger Grills is that these grills don't get very hot. The most they will go up to is about 500 F, depending on the model. This isn't nearly hot enough for searing certain thicker cuts of meat.
The other issue is that Traeger Grills can be quite a bit more expensive when compared to other mainstream grill companies.
As I said before, there is no one best grill from Traeger. Instead, you need to consider what you are looking for in terms of budget, cooking space, features, and more.
The good news for you is that when you read the above Traeger grill reviews, you will be able to see that the Ranger is the best portable grill, the Pro 22 is the best budget option, the Pro 575 is the top pick for mid-range grill, the Ironwood 885 is best for smoking, and the Timberline XL is the most premium grill that you can find.