Yes, you can use a Traeger in light rain. However, you have to make sure that the pellet grill is in a covered but ventilated place, that the pellets are dry, and that electrical components are safe.
Recently, a friend who lives in Seattle reached out to ask me, can you use a Traeger in the rain? I have used my pellet grill in wet conditions before, but I decided to do a bit more research just to make sure.
In this post, I will explain why you can use your grill in the rain as well as how to do so safely. Let's begin!
It is important to be aware of Traeger Grills stance on operating your pellet grill in the rain. After all, you don't want to void your warranty, do you?
Well, here's some good news:
According to the official statement, you can use your pellet grill in the rain. Traeger Grills are protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
In essence, your pellet grill can be used in light rain but not in a downpour or significant rain shower.
The company goes onto mention that you can experience slower ignition as a result of the increased humidity in the surroundings.
If there is quite a bit of wind, then there may be temperature swings in the cooking chamber. You need to watch out for this as it can change the rate at which your food cooks.
I should mention that this statement covers the more recent models. Thus, if your Traeger Grills model is older or cheaper, it is best to contact the company directly. They will be able to inform you if your pellet grill can hold up in the rain.
Just because you have been given the green light to use your Traeger in the rain doesn't mean that it is always a good idea. So, is this something that you should consider?
Well, as already mentioned, don't even think of using your pellet grill in heavy rain. It just isn't worth the risk. And, even if you do get your Traeger grill to function, everything from soggy wood pellets to wet food is going to ruin your barbecue experience.
Personally, I would recommend analyzing the situation carefully and determining whether you should work your Traeger in the rain or not. Consider the level of rain, how windy, it is and how long the bad weather conditions are likely to continue.
Based on this, you will be able to make your decision.
I would also say that you shouldn't make a habit of using pellet grills in the rain. Over time, there may be an increased risk of damage or rusting. Thus, it is best to err on the side of caution.
As you can imagine, BBQing or smoking even in light rain isn't all that much fun. This is because there is greater potential for things to go wrong.
To ensure that your experience is as positive as possible, here is what you should be aware of:
Sure, your Traeger grill may be made of sturdy stuff and the control panel may be protected against rainy weather.
Keep in mind that this is an electric pellet grill and that it needs to be plugged into an outlet. These outlets may not hold up to the wet weather conditions quite as well as your grill.
This is why you should make certain to use an extension cord that has been rated for outdoor use. Regular cords will not work and will be downright dangerous for you under these conditions.
Even with a proper extension cord, though, you need to make sure to keep the plug and the extension cord itself out of direct rain or water.
If you imagine that you smoke or grill in the rain, in open air, think again! Your Traeger grill is prone to rain damage. And, if it gets wet too much, it can rust. This is true for all pellet grills and charcoal grills too.
Not to mention, you can't allow the pellets or your food to get wet.
If you are expecting rain during your cookout or you live in a rain prone region, I would suggest setting under a covered porch. However, make sure that there is plenty of airflow and that the porch awning is quite high.
If this is not an option, then consider a pop up gazebo or a similar kind of suitable shelter. This will keep the pellet grill dry and you too!
Never try to grill or smoke in a covered area, even your garage. You should only have some kind of roof over your head and the pellet grill.
This is perhaps one of the most important things to keep in mind. Wet pellets can't be used in pellet grills.
For one thing, they essentially turn into wet sawdust and don't burn properly and, as such, won't produce the smoke that you need.
For another, when wet, these can jam the auger. And, in case you are wondering, a blocked auger is tricky to clean out. If you are unable to do so properly this won't just ruin your cookout, it can prevent your Traeger from working properly in the future as well.
This is why you should make every effort to keep the wood pellets dry before and during the smoking process. Thus, you should store the pellets properly and make sure that the pellet hopper lid is kept covered to avoid water getting in.
Keep in mind, if the wood pellets are exposed to moisture even once, they are completely ruined and can't be used again.
My advise would be to do your calculations carefully and to ensure that the pellet hopper is filled as high as it needs to go. This way you don't have to risk opening it up to refill it with wood pellets in the middle of the cook.
Now, if wood pellets sound a little too fussy to you, then you may be considering using another type of BBQ pellets. In fact, you may have heard about charcoal pellets and may be wondering if these are a good substitute.
From what I have read about Traeger users experiences, these pellets shouldn't be used with pellet grills. If you do wish to use them with your pellet grill, it is best to place them inside a smoker tube. Otherwise, then can mess with your machine.
As the name suggests, the grease trap is for collecting grease, making it easier for you to clean up after your cook.
Even in light rain, though, there is a higher risk for the grease trap to fill up with water instead of grease. This means that the grease runoff will end up on the floor. As you can imagine, this can create quite a mess.
To prevent this from happening, keep an eye on the bucket. If you notice it filling up, empty it out immediately. Then there will be enough room for the grease to trickle in.
Here are some guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your pellet grill functions properly and that your experience is a good one:
You will need to take food to and from your pellet grill. The last thing that you need is for these foods to get rained on. In the case of meats like brisket the water can wash off some of the rub on the meat.
This is why you should ensure that the foods are covered on their journey from one place to another. It is also a good idea to hold an umbrella of the person who is in charge of transporting these foods too.
Now this is advice that you should follow regardless of the weather. However, it is particularly important to pay attention to this guideline when it is raining.
See, every time that you open the lid, you allow hot air to rush out and cold air to rush in. This can cause temperature swings inside the cooking chamber. In turn, this may result in unevenly cooked food or much longer cooks.
When it is raining, the cold water and the rain can make this an even bigger issue than usual. Therefore, unless it is completely necessary, keep the lid closed.
If you use a Traeger grill with WiFire features, then this will already be taken care of for you. Thanks to the app, you can track the cooking temperature and the internal temperature of your meat from your phone app.
In case you have an older pellet grill, though, I would suggest investing in a wireless thermometer that can be hooked up to an app. This way, you can stay indoors or at least out of the rain and still track the rate at which your food is cooking.
This is also a great way to ensure that you don't open the lid more than necessary.
Once you are done smoking and the grill has had time to cool off, wipe down the pellet grill thoroughly. Take your time here and make sure that you aren't missing out on any spots here. If you do, these can rust.
Only once you are done should you throw the weatherproof cover on top. In case the rain is still pretty bad, you may want to consider rolling it into your garage or some other covered area. This can prolong the lifespan of your pellet grill considerably.
So, there you have it - your answer about whether or not you can use your Traeger in the rain. Now that you know that you can and know how to do so safely, you can smoke in any weather at all!