How To Season Traeger Grill | The Best Way Possible

They say smoking isn't a good habit. We say until it's on meat and the meat is on a hot grill. BBQ lovers know how irresistible a perfectly grilled stack of glazed ribs or a platter of briskets could be. We know all good things come with a price. The price is quite a sum to pay in this case, as BBQ grills don't come cheap. It hurts your pocket and even mentally to see your grill acting up all of a sudden. It mostly happens because of inefficiency in maintenance and improper seasoning.  This article aims to burst the bubble for the entire process and the warranty that Traeger provides. If you have no idea how to season the Traeger grill, you landed on the right page.

But as intimidating as it may sound, it may not be a back-breaking job to maintain your grill if you season it often. Consistency will help your beloved grill last much longer.

There is still a huge market out there globally for grills and smokers. As there is a shift in housing infrastructure, people aren't quite left with much outdoor space. For this, they never found the necessity of a grilling machine. The notion is that they are ideal for the countryside.

To some extent, BBQ machines do remind us of the countryside where most of the day's activities used to be outdoors. However, grills are not just for the rowdy souls who survive on outdoor adventures but also for the common man. In the early 90s, the main objective of the grill used to be the ability to cook outside without the use of any electricity or cords. The scenario has changed since then.

Grills have been pretty much domesticated since then. Now more families in the western culture have it in their backyards. The pellet grills would require you to attach them with a power supply. The same is the case with a natural gas grill.

Traeger Grill has been around throughout these changes, and so they have unquestionable expertise and versatile designs of grills and smokers. Before we go about the maintenance part, let us first know a bit about the brand.

Traeger Grill Brand Overview

Traeger is a pioneer brand that first brought out the solution for outdoor grilling with its innovative cooking equipment. What started with a barrel-like open gas stove now has an amazing lineup of wood pellet grills, charcoal smokers, and propane grills.

Traeger was the undisputed leader in the pellet grill market for many years until 2007. It is when their patent expired. As many other brands came up with similar grills, increasing competition led to some lukewarm demand from Traeger Grills. The company revived after Jeremy Andrus took over the company in 2014 and changed the whole game of grilling. In four years, from 2016 to 2020, it was able to sell 2 million units.

All have resulted from Traeger's advanced technology and superior cooking experience, and the company has culminated in one of the most ardent fan bases in the industry. No matter how expensive they are, the distinct smokey taste of the tender meat couples with melted cheese makes it all worth the bucks.

But be it any brand, some set of chores are common for every grill. Traeger does ease up the job to some extent.

 That being said, never keep your grills unwashed, greasy, or dusty. You have to go through the manual provided with each unit type carefully to know how to keep the unit protected.

Why Are Dirty Grills Dangerous?

Grilling your food amplifies the taste and has a few more health benefits than your normal food cooked on gas. At least, that is what some researchers say. For grilling, you need much less oil, and also, the fat melts off the meat once the temperatures go up. But it would be best if you were practice using it gingerly. Most people steer clear of it just for the amount of work that goes into it. Right from the assembly to ignition, cooking on barbeques is just 30 per cent of the hassle. The rest goes to cleaning and maintaining.

If you choose to care less about it, it can turn out to be hazardous. When the racks cool off, the leftover grease hardens on them, forming a dark tar-like substance. If you let them stay, it can result in flare-ups and sudden burnouts. It invites some serious injuries and even puts your life at stake.

Also, placing the next batch of meat on a different day without cleaning would mean consuming more than just grilled meat. The toxic oxidized grease will lead to a lot of health problems, including cancer. Of course, you do not want that in your food.

Hence, avoid keeping your grills dirty.

What Is Seasoning and Why Do We Need It?

When you are new to the world of grilling, the term 'Seasoning' might confuse you to think of the mix of spices. But seasoning the grills is a completely different concept. Also, it is a crucial part of owning this equipment.

Seasoning is about preparing your grill, removing the unwanted particles, and making it ready for the food to be cooked safely.

As it may include chemicals or oil leftover from the production process, it is imperative to clean it before using it for the first time. While burning these oils and impurities along with the food, an unpleasant smoke may be produced, which affects the taste of everything you cook.

You will also need to season the grills after cooking on them a few times. A well-seasoned set of grates is in the best condition for cooking as the food tends to stick less on them. Hence, a hell of a lot less messy it is for you.

 Another benefit of seasoning is that the flavors in the food become even more pronounced as the seasoned grates heat up. If you are using cast-iron barbecue grates, you will be blown away by the impact seasoning makes.

Maintaining Your Traeger Grill

There are many things you can do to properly maintain your Traeger grill so that you can enjoy your time with it for a longer period over the years. Something as simple as placing an aluminum foil over the grease tray and changing it after use can go a long way.

Priming and seasoning are just the ways to prepare your grill for all the intense activities and increasing its endurance power. Cleaning is yet another task for which you may need some extra tools. We will go through them one by one.

Priming the Grease Trap of Your Traeger

Here is another step to follow before gearing up for the main cooking task, which is priming. Priming the grease trap is an essential routine if you possess a Traeger model from the Timberline series. This line contains a separate cup underneath the grease tray to collect the grease and release it into the side bucket.

It forms a barrier for the smoke to eliminate from the bottom. Using the grease trap on your grill, you may deflect cold smoke towards the heat shield/chimney. This way, the maximum amount of smoke goes through the heater into the food, quickly imparting the irresistible aroma more vividly.

You will have all the information and steps mentioned in the manual itself. If you can't find it anywhere, check this out. It is merely a 3-step process.

  1. Take off all the racks or grates. Remove the grease tray and then the heat shields.
  2. The grease trap is covered with a black cap. Could you open it and take it out? To the grease trap, add about a cup of water. Flaxseed oil is another option. We use water since it is more readily available.
  3. Place back everything, including the cap.

That is it. You are done priming the grease trap. The next step that naturally comes after this is seasoning or priming the auger of your grill.

How To Season Traeger?

Since Traeger grills are mainly designed to use wood pellets as a fuel source, we will explain the steps on how to season Traeger concerning that.

Seasoning is the best approach to not only deep clean but also prepare any grate for action. Whether stainless steel or cast iron, seasoning your grill heater is nothing treating it in high temperatures. For that, you need to make sure that the power is plugged in and it is functioning.

  • Open the lids of the hopper and the main grill.
  • Turn on the power button and switch to smoke.
  • Check if the auger is moving. Position your palm above the heater and check if the airflow is occurring.

If they are working fine, go to shut down cycle, perform these next steps.

  1. Fill your hopper full with pellets. (The lids are still open)
  2. Turn on the grill again to maximum temperature. In Traeger, the maximum it can reach is around 450F.
  3. Once you notice pellets dropping into the firepot, return to the shutdown cycle by turning the knob. Turn on the smoke again.
  4. Wait for a while before the flame starts appearing and again shut down.
  5. Put the grates back in place and brush or spray them with olive oil or any cooking oil.
  6. Turn to smoke again. Wait until the white fumes blow up.
  7. Turn the heater to high and shut the lid. Heat it for about 45 minutes, up to 1 hour.

Your Traeger is now ready for cooking.

Deep Cleaning Your Grill

Depending on your amount of usage, you can do a deep cleaning for your grill by yourself. If you use it every other day, doing it once a month would be a good frequency.

Cold tray: a lot of pellet dust accumulates below the grease tray as the air flows. You can usually take out the parts and then vacuum the area. Make sure to go inside the firepot as well. A clear firepot would help you quick start heat for your next session.

Grill box: this is the nastiest area once it's dirty. You might want to wear gloves while cleaning these. There will be a lot of sticky greases and old food crumbs stuck hard on it. You can scrape the walls of the grill chamber with a plastic knife or an old spatula to remove the gunk.

Grates: scrape the grate with a spatula to remove the bigger debris. Dip them in a solution of 1/5th baking soda after that. For better results, you can add liquid soap to the solution. Allow it to rest for an hour. To gently remove the remainder, use wire wool or a metal scraper. Before putting them back, rinse and dry them.

Chimney: open the conical top and scrape the smokestack's walls. Use a sharp-edged flat non-metallic ruler-like instrument. Remove the soil using a scoop. Using a paper towel, clean the area once again. You may clean the cap with soap and water.

Though all of this might sound like a lot to follow up with, Traeger does help to some extent. If you own any of the units with smart WI-FI features, it will automatically remind you about cleaning the grease trap whenever you kick start it. So you don't have to remember the last time you cleaned.

Though there is no such reminder for seasoning, can you tell me about the future?

Do You Need a Traeger Warranty?

Traeger Grills is not the brand to disappoint grill owners. Whoever has used it so far has had a good experience, if not the best. A few manufacturing defects are unavoidable, especially for a brand that sells thousands of units per year. In that case, they have a warranty period in place for each unit.

If your grill starts to malfunction despite the rigorous maintenance, we can assume that there have been some factory defects in the inside parts. If your grill is less than three years old, you'll be eligible to apply for the warranty. The only proof they need is that you are the original buyer. They will ask for the receipt of the purchase.

If the damage has been by natural wear and tear, you will receive a replacement for them under the warranty timeline.

Final Thoughts

Traeger Grills usually tend to be durable as it is a wood pellet grill brand. Whether you own a Trager Timberline or a Traeger Ironwood, the machine itself has easy operation, including the cleaning and maintaining part. However, many people don't understand how to season Traeger. They either do it wrong and incomplete or, they tend to skip that part. As a result, the unit starts malfunctioning quite early in its life. Not just that, but also the food tends to lose its distinct taste and somewhat acquires a weird one. If you wish not to splurge more on an expensive item like this, you got to open the manual for once.

But if you didn't hope this article clears out all the doubts on seasoning, cleaning, and maintaining the grill in the best possible shape.

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