Make your first smoke on a Traeger a success

Jason Webster
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You may want to consider starting off with a simple Traeger setup. Follow these simple steps to a great BBQ:

Prepare your Traeger grill for the first smoke

Preheat your grill to 250 degrees F. While it’s heating up, make sure your wood chip box is placed correctly. Fill the box with wood chips and make sure you have a bowl of water nearby. If you see smoke coming out of your grill, you know your wood chips are burning and replacing the smoke coming out of your grill. Once the temperature is reached remove the lid and set the grill accordingly.

Prep your meat

If you’re not sure what smoking is, check out our detailed article on how to smoke meat. After you’ve read up on the process, you’ll then know what temperature to use for each time you’re cooking. We recommend going with pork tenderloin. For this smoking session, you’re going to need two pork tenderloins. With this type of meat, you can easily smoke in the beginning of your first smoke and set aside the rest to be frozen for your second smoke.

Set up your wood chips

What Pellets Should I Use in my Traeger Smoker?

If your Traeger is your first smoker, you need to know that different pellets have different flavors, different fat contents, and different smoke times. You will want to experiment to find the pellets that work best with the style of food or meat that you typically smoke.

There are three main things to consider when purchasing pellets for your smoker:

Know your wood, if possible.

Buy wood that is local to your area. Buy wood that is local to your area. Be sure that the wood combustion properties are safe for indoor use. And be sure to read the fine print before purchasing if you aren’t sure of the air quality in your home.

Look for food flavorings.

If you want to introduce a light flavor to your food, one of the most popular choices is cherry. However, if you want to introduce a bold and smoky flavor, hickory and oak are a good place to start. You also might want to try mesquite, which can have a very strong flavor.

Buy pellets for your smoker.

There is nothing wrong with experimenting with different sticks of wood as you novice. Just keep in mind that your Traeger Pellets are made from 100% all natural wood. If you stick with those, you won’t be disappointed.

How to Start Your Traeger Pellet Smoker – Step by Step Tutorial

The first time you light your Traeger Pellet Smoker ( Pellet Grill ) you may wonder if you have done something wrong. Many people wonder why they are having problems getting a good smoke spray from their new Traeger Pellet Grill.

These problems can be related to the type of wood pellets you are using and the amount of airflow through your pellet smoker. Hopefully the information in this article will help you get the most out of your new Traeger Pellet Grill.

The first thing to do is to take some time to open everything up and take a good look at it. You will see that there are several major parts of your Traeger Pellet Smoker:

The firebox or grill – Most are going to have a firebox. This is where the wood pellets are burned. The pellets are placed in the firebox by hand or with an automatic fuel feeder. This is powered by an electric motor that draws power from the house outlet.

The heat deflector or tray – The tray is going to sit right below the grill. This is where all the hot air is going to collect. This is also the major surface area that the pellets are going to cook on. When the grill and the tray are hot, the pellets are going to turn into smoke and then a delicious smokey flavored food.

Pimp your Traeger with these accessories.

The best way to learn how to use a Traeger is to try to make your first BBQ.

Do not start with complicated recipes.

Instead, try the simple whole chicken.

Preheating and setting up an offset smoker or a pellet grill takes a lot of practice.

So many amateurs, end up with either overcooked or undercooked meat in the first few attempts.

So a simple whole chicken can be a very good starting point and also makes for an excellent tasting meal.

If you are new, try to tell friends about it that are not too experienced in smoking.

Having a group of non-experts is great as they will be very forgiving and will not be critical about your efforts.

Dealing with temperature swings

When you first start your smoker, you’re going to want to monitor temps on the smoker itself. However, this is what you want to do for the first 30 minutes.

No matter where you are in the cooking process on the smoker, remove your food from the smoker and place it on the grate directly over the flame deflectors for 15 minutes.

This really only works if you are cooking food that can be carved on a plate.

But, if you have a thermometer in the lid, or a remote one on the grill that you can see, it is likely that you will use it for those 15 minutes.

By not looking at the meat cooking, your mind will pay more attention to the sounds. It will have to come up with the tempo of the cooking, and it will have to make adjustments as you listen.

After these first 30 minutes, you will be more familiar with the sounds of cooking and it becomes automatic. The smoker will only need to be checked occasionally after that. Remember that temperature swings of 50°F are normal during the first cooking session, as the burners settle into rhythm and the temperature control system tunes its self to the smoker.

Maintenance,and storing Your pellets

Our pellets are very dry and pure. That is, wood or any other additives are not added to the pellets.

This is an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that you can store the pellets for a long time with no impairment to quality, which is contrary to what you can expect from a pellet that has 30% sawdust, 10% hardwood dust, and other additives.

However, the pellet dries out if you leave it sitting around for a long time. It's better to store it in containers with a tight fitted lid. Metal containers are also preferred since the pellets can rust if stored in plastic containers.

The pellets should be completely dry and not humid. A visual test is to place the lid on the container and if it doesn't make a 'plop' sound on top of the pellets, then they are too wet.

Also, make sure the pellets are stored in a cool and dry place. If you keep the pellets too cold, the pellets can get brittle. Or worse, the moisture in it can freeze, and when it's below freezing, it will terminate the pellets.

If you are making pellets long term, check the moisture level every 3 to 4 months.

Top 5 Best Indoor Grills for 2022

Folks looking for a smoker that’s small in size but big on taste are bound to get a lot of value out of the Traeger Lil Tex. The Lil Tex is a small, portable and very easy to use smoker with a big taste. The Traeger produces some of the best tasting beef and pork.

The Lil Tex is extremely portable and comes with a nifty little side cart allowing you to take it out on the patio for tailgating. Legendary, nonstick grill construction. The Lil Tex known as the smallest of the Traeger smokers is a tailgating friendly addition to the Traeger family.

The Lil Tex is Traeger’s smallest smoker but still packs a punch when it comes to adding great smoked flavor to your favorite foods. One of the things I like most about it is that it’s made from stainless steel, so you won’t have to worry about rust.

This portable smoker comes with two racks, a smoker box and another for the water pan. The 22-pound smoker is powered by gas and uses a 1420-watt therma-stabilized electric motor. It comes with a seven-year warranty for the original purchaser and maintains a relatively inexpensive price point.