View Full Version : Traeger and GMG Owners Speak up..lets talk

Big Poppa
11-20-2010, 06:01 AM
Lets hear some experiences and trick of the grills.....Come on dont be shy this is for you guys and gals too!

11-20-2010, 06:05 AM
Traeger thanksgiving food prep will be happening later, I'll post pics of that. I'm working on my game plan right now

11-20-2010, 08:34 AM
I just purchased a Traeger yesterday and cooked steaks on it last night, they came out perfect. Today I am cooking an 18 lb Turkey and And trying to figure out cooking time and temp. the recipe book provided has all different durations. The outside air temp should be around 40 degrees all day... any ideas?

11-20-2010, 08:49 AM
Because of availability around my area, I'm seriosly looking at a Traeger. So I'm very curious to hear from some other owners.

11-20-2010, 11:26 AM
I brought the smallest Traeger the other day. I plan to use it on my boat. It worked great. I got the upgrade digital control. It worked well. I cooked spare ribs at 250. Temp stayed constant for 4+ hours. Next time I will cook at 230. I have a Mak and a Mephis Pro also. The Traeger worked just a well. The little guy did a good job.

Big Poppa
11-20-2010, 01:22 PM
Just as well? I love that little traeger!

11-20-2010, 06:38 PM
I bought a JR. Traeger in June. I have been cooking every thing on it. It is so easy to use and the food tastes great. We are doing a Cran-Pomegranate brined turkey breast for thanksgiving. Do a test bird tomorrow for dinner hope it turns out.

Big Poppa
11-21-2010, 02:43 PM
Bump ..If we get enough I will have a dedicated section

11-21-2010, 04:02 PM
I picked up my Lil' Tex 'gently used' last December. (from another PelletSmoking forum member) I've run the guts out of it, and it delivers each and every time. From 14 below zero to 110 in the shade. Just recently I had to replace the hotrod in it - otherwise no major problems at all.

Temperature swings? Sure, it has them... So does my house oven, my water heater, and my furnace. Some firebricks piled in the bottom helps flatten them out. (so does a full load of meat)

I'll have to go through my pictures to take a guess at how many pounds of pellets it has eaten since January 3rd.

11-22-2010, 04:36 AM
I have a Lil'Tex also.

After getting my MAK i had to find another use for the Lil'guy.....HAHA


Big Poppa
11-22-2010, 06:44 AM
I really want you Traeger people to understand how much Traeger cooking changed my style and life!

11-22-2010, 01:00 PM
Well, I don't have any tricks to divulge, but my Texas Elite has performed well for the 2 years that I've been bbqing. If I could make 2 changes, I would make it bigger, and it would have some sort of shelf attached around it to hold bottles/tools/brushes...

Big Poppa
11-22-2010, 01:23 PM
cool shelves are good!

11-22-2010, 01:34 PM
I have the optional front shelf for the 070, (which is very handy when wrestling hot items out of the smoker) but it's major glitch is that it clips inside of the pit, so the lid doesn't close all the way with it on. So after I am done loading/unloading, I just take it off and set it underneath.

Beer & other stuff goes on the hopper lid. ;)

I have the hopper extender as well, and it is a godsend for overnight cooks. No worrying about the dreaded pellet 'cone' forming and the auger running dry while I'm sleeping.

11-23-2010, 06:38 AM
Ah, a hopper extender. NOW we're starting to cover the questions I have. So are those available to all traegers? Just specific models? I didn't see them on the website.

Will those 400 some odd square inch grills be big enought to do two racks of beef ribs? I'm seriously eyeing the BBQ075 (Texan ?) I like the size.

11-23-2010, 06:42 AM
I think Traeger discontinued the hopper extender. No idea why, but I got one of the last ones. If you know someone who can fab metal, it would be ridiculously easy to make. I can take some measurements of mine if anyone is interested.

I can squeeze quite a bit in my 070. Will post up a few pics shortly..

11-23-2010, 07:02 AM
Here is the optional expansion rack.. Would probably work for beef ribs. I really don't use it much anymore.


And here is one I cobbled together.



Almost 55 pounds of butts in one load! Boy did that ever make a mess..

Hopper extender in place.


It just fits over the existing hopper, and the lid rests (doesn't attach) on top. I put a brick on it to hold it in place for overnight smokes - in case the wind whips up.

The 070 has plenty of room for 3 'beer butt' chickens.


(the pan in front was a beer braise for some venison brats)

If you have a Harbor Freight nearby, these are handy little shelves. They are magnetic, and the magnets are coated in plastic so they don't scratch the surface you stick them on.


11-23-2010, 05:20 PM
My name is Jim and I am addicted to traeger smoking. Looked at them for several years and guess what Santa gave me one last year.
Christmas day 12 racks of ribs and have not stopped. I figured out today I have used 36 bags of pellets and was looking on line to buy a pallet and found this site. It's great to know I am not the only one addicted to smoking.

Big Poppa
11-23-2010, 06:35 PM
I am totally addicted and welcome!

11-23-2010, 07:36 PM
I really want you Traeger people to understand how much Traeger cooking changed my style and life!

The truth is They changed all our lives with the way we cook.

Big Poppa
11-24-2010, 09:15 PM
All of that stuff is great and believe me its what I chose to use but I would have no problem cooking anything for anyone on my original lil tex or my 124's I used to have

11-25-2010, 05:05 AM
While I have posted that my next grill will not be a Traeger - I do love love my Traeger and produce some awesome food out of it. Like Squirt when I get my next grill I will probably still keep my Traeger (or give it to my son who is in college)

Phrett, I'd go up against you or any MAK or Memphis owner and not feel like I would have a disadvantage except for maybe very high heat. I wouldn't have the probes, etc but in the end I bet I could produce food that was as good. I have only had mine for 6 or 7 months but my personal feeling is that the p-setting is overtalked. Mine are inside the controller so I rarely change them and it's worked out so far.

Big Poppa
11-25-2010, 07:27 AM
Deb I may not want to go up against you with any cooker!

11-25-2010, 07:40 AM
Deb I may not want to go up against you with any cooker!

It would be fun, but somehow I think I would lose.....

I need a few more cookers today..... I wouldn't even care what kind.

Big Poppa
11-25-2010, 07:42 AM
Traeger GMG MAk Memphis I am very proud of the caliber of cooks we have here.

11-25-2010, 05:50 PM
Have a Treager 075 owned it for about 6 months and love it. No problems as of yet. Purchased for brand recognition.

11-26-2010, 12:01 PM
Glad to see this thread taking off.

For many numerous reasons, I will probably follow in Pigstars footsteps and get the Traeger 075. They're giving me a hell of a deal. They will eat the shipping, and throw in one of the digital controllers.

That will at least get me into a pellet smoker as soon as possible, and have the grill area I will need for some of the BBq competitions I hope to join in over the summer.

Phrett, With them throwing in the higher model temp controller, will that cover the temp swings you discussed? Were you relating to the old Traeger 3 speed controllers?

Squirt, Thanks mucho for the pics!!! AS soon as I have smoker "in hand", I will begin work on my own hopper extension, and internal racks. Those are more than in my purview to make/assemble. I have access to all the stainless steel I could want. And the machinery to fabricate them.

Love this site!!! Keep smokin' all!!

Big Poppa
11-26-2010, 09:52 PM
Lets back down the sales and talk about the cookers! Thanks

11-27-2010, 03:58 AM
I'm only repeating some of the comments Traegers owners have posted re: temp swings with a digital controller. Talk to other Traeger owners since some seem to leave their "P" settings alone and other seem to be always tweeking them for better control. The "P" settings adjust the on/off times for the auger. I can only speak firsthand about my GMG and the steady temps it keeps. GMG controllers vary auger speeds and fan speeds to keep a temp steady. Other grills rely on on/off cycles for the auger and are less responsive to the temp at the grate. All the grills will cook excellent food, and seeing, cooking on, and speaking with persons from other grill makers (Memphis, Woodmaster, FE) I would not hesitate to own any of them. The 075 is a nice unit that is about the size of the GMG Jim Bowie. The new GMG model has a meat probe, remote temp control ability, and a great rebate towards GMG merchandise/upgrades. All that is meaningless if one likes Traegers better or they can get a better deal. I don't think you would be disappointed with any of them, I know I wouldn't!

What are these wild temperature swings associated with the Traegers? I've only been at this for 2 years, but I haven't experienced these temp swings with my 075 Elite, I don't think. Also, what are "P" settings?

That's a nice passel of guitars you have there, but do you own a '59 Fender Tweed Deluxe? Hee, hee...

Big Poppa
11-27-2010, 06:25 AM
Rougue I dont a have a 59 but have about 20 tweeds. I collect old Fender amps....Love them.

Back to topic. I never played around with my P settings. I wasnt as concerned with the swings as I was with an average cooking temp. Sometimes the swings were pretty drastic but the food always came out great. I found friends that were really concerned with the swings put firebricks in the unit and that helped them get hotter and leveled out the swings...the two main complaints on a Traeger

The interesting thing is that when we set the oven to 325 in the house when it hits 325 that is what the display says...so you think it is. It has swings just like your pellet cooker. Any heat source has to have a heat curve. If they showed actual on home ovens people would be obsessed with temp. I would love to show someone what your oven at home would look like on a stoker.

With pellet cooking I always noticed that the bigger the swings the more the smoke. MAK intentionally gives about a 5 degree swing intentionally to increase the smoke.

11-27-2010, 07:12 AM
I tinker with the P settings on my 070 - just to get the average temps dialed in. Notice I said average - I measure the top and bottom of the 'swing' and toss them out.

BP is dead on about house ovens. Most thermostats (and pellet grill controllers) are just 'Bang Bang' switches. Bang, they go on when the temperature drops below a set point. Bang, they go off when it reaches 'x' degrees higher. It's just a wild guess and auger motor timings to get it right in the range you want it at.

If you want extremely accurate temps, you'd need something like a PID controller. (technical details here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PID_controller))

FLBR, Deb, Nepas and myself all have these on our Bradley electric smokers.

Most likely, some of the higher end pellet grills have this (or something very similar) built into their controllers.

A big old pork shoulder isn't going to notice a 15-20 change in temperature.

Summer Sausage? Yes - it will notice.. You'll go from smoked sausage at 170 to baked sausage at 190 - and the fat will start to break down. Not pretty.

11-27-2010, 08:52 AM
Regarding temp swings: I keep my p setting at P-0. I have removed the restrictor rod in the auger. I get swings of 20* either way on the digital readout, but an oven thermometer at grate level stays spot on. If I'm cooking at 225* it stays there no matter what the digital is reading.

I think there needs to be hotter air introduced to the chamber as the temp drops. The hotter air from the digital is what keeps the average temp in the chamber.

11-27-2010, 09:07 AM
I loaded a bunch of firebrick in the bottom of my Traeger, and it helps flatten out the swings.

My MAK has a variable speed fan - I'm sure that is how they control the pit temperatures.

Big Poppa
11-27-2010, 02:53 PM
Silver please dont be so sensitive...I want you to talk about the grills....If we could leave the special offers stuff out...... and it wasnt just you....Relax and tell us all about it You have experience.

Big Poppa
11-27-2010, 09:28 PM
Everybody relax...I think that GMG are way better values than Traegers but I started on Traeger..

There is no smoking gun here.... I respectfully just ask that everyone be a little sensitive To the store.....and I apologize if my words were taken wrong.

Now to the important things You have me stumped Flot o tone? You have stumped me!

Big Poppa
11-27-2010, 10:18 PM
Lou I have no problem with anything...I apologized twice now..... once in private message and once here for any misunderstanding. The only Issue I had was promoting the rebates and extras they are offering... HTe please back off the sales pitch had nothing ZERO to do with you expressing opinions about your smoker..I know you have been on the site all day. Can we get back to talking about smokers? All smokers.

I never had an issue with your opinions regarding your grills I welcomed and still welcome the input and advice you have with both those brands. I have also said this twice now.

If you want to continue we can talk on the phone or go to private message.

11-28-2010, 06:51 AM
If I'm out of line PLEASE feel free to disregard this post.

I don't even own a pellet grill (yet) HOWEVER, I have been as welcome here as anyone. Unlike some other forums, the POSITIVE atmosphere here is part of what keeps me coming back.

Lets hear some experiences and trick of the grills.....Come on dont be shy this is for you guys and gals too!

Hmmm... seems inviting to me.

Big Poppa
11-28-2010, 07:08 AM
Thanks Tent but lets try to move on.....It has now turned into a hijack

Big Poppa
11-28-2010, 07:37 AM
Wow that is a beautiful grill with the stainless...You and scooter keep your stuff super clean....Is the blanket something they offer? it is nice.

Lo douca I used to sell those guys strings

Phrett thanks for the nice post

11-28-2010, 08:14 AM
Phrett - I'm interested in that blanket. I bought a welding blanket but don't like it because the fibers were flying all over the place. I wonder if that will fit on my Traeger...

Corn n 'Q
11-28-2010, 09:11 AM
Phrett, I also have a GMG DB and really like the looks of that blanket. I'm with Deb, can you provide the info on where to find one of those?

11-28-2010, 01:23 PM
Wow! That is one classy looking grill!

A blanket like that would be great even for my modified offset! Tiernan makes a blanket that might fit some of these grills.

Corn n 'Q
11-28-2010, 06:13 PM
Excellent, great info Silver. There were none in stock at my local dealer recently. I'm sure they can hook me up with an order or I'll go direct. This will be a must as I head into the harsh winter months. Thanks again, I'll find one now.

Big Poppa
11-28-2010, 06:55 PM
WOw Silver you have the stainless one too...that is a beauty