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Thread: Traeger Temperature Drift

  1. #1
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    Traeger Temperature Drift

    I just purchased a Traeger 300 yesterday and have my first smoke going - a pork shoulder on it right now.

    I've noticed that the digital controller has a tendance to drift quite a bit. Set on 225 with an ambient temp of 40 degrees, I've seen temps of 260 degrees which was a bit disappointing. I've tinkered with P setting and currently have it set to P1 which seems to have tightened up the temperature range.

    Is this normal for the Traeger? I realize that there will be swings as pellets are delivered to the burn pot. I was hoping for better control though. Are there any other calibration procedures / settings other than the P setting that would help here?

    Thanks,
    Rich

  2. #2
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
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    Rscotty Welcome I have no experience with the 300...Is that the one where the pellet hopper is inside the cooking chamber?

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    Senior Member TTNuge's Avatar
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    Sorry to say that's one reason my Traeger lasted less than a month and I ended up with a MAK. I think with P setting adjustments you can get it better but I never was that successful and took the easy way out.

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    The 300 is the model with the internal hopper. Mechanically, it's identical to the Lil Tex Elite. Its just been 'prettied up' a bit which was important t the spousal unit.

    The change in the P setting has stabalized the temp at 238 with the controller set at 225 which is more than acceptable. The radical swings I was seeing seem to have gone away as well.

    Temperature fluctuation is normal with virtually all cooking devices. Try taking some temp readings of your oven with an IR thermometer sometime

    I'm not anal about it, but was concerned when it was running at 250 - 260. It seems to be running fine now, but I'm keeping a close eye on it for now. Its all part of the learning curve with a new pit.

    Rich

  5. #5
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    Senior Member Rip's Avatar
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    Hi Rich, welcome to the forum! I had some success reducing temp swings in my Lil Tex by adding some firebricks to the bottom and sides of the pit. Be careful not to impede the airflow...I did the biscuit test to ensure I didn't introduce (ok, aggravate the existing) hot spots.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member squirtthecat's Avatar
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    Ditto on the firebricks.. It really helps.
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  7. #7
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    Most traegers cycle around the set temp. They work just like an oven or heater in your home.... IT feeds fuel until the temp rises to the set point, since it is feeding fuel at the time is does hit set temp... it will shoot over the temp. Since it stopped feeding at the point it hit temp,it will reach a peak, then the temp will start to drop. at the point it passes the set temp, it will start to feed pellets again. Since it will take a few minute for them to catch and change the direction of the temp, it will continue down past setpoint. Essentially, you create a SIN curve around the set temp. I would say on the tightest ones it is 25 degree swing on either side of the temp. I have seen some where it is a 50 degree swing.

    Newer controllers have ways to minimize this SIN curve effect... Either using algorithms that also feed pellets based on time, in addition to temp at times that would shrink the curve.... or other cookers use variable speed fans, to let the area around the setpoint trigger a kickdown in the fan also - tightening up the temps around when it feeds.

    That swing is pretty normal... and it doesnt effect your cooking. Changing the temp, messing with the board, etc. will actually make it swing worse... because you are changing the parameters and keeping it from doing what it normally would.

    Pellet cookers like that 300 work best when you set it and forget it. let it run, dont open the door, and it will dial in, and that cycle with tighten up, but it will still be there. I've had everything from a Traeger 100 Smokehouse, with an analog oven thermometer to an FEC with the Traeger digital controller... they all swing, they all produce good food. As you get more comfortable you will see it is working normally and it is not impacting your cook. you will also see that cookers like the MAK, or an FEC with the IQ4 controller use multiple ways to control temps, and are very tight on the setpoint... they produce a little more smoke, and keep temps tighter, and also produce great food.

  8. #8
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    the firebricks will help, and the more you cook with it, the greasier it gets, better sealed up and will become more stable. There is always a temp swing of some sort on the traegers. I have three of them, but have never cooked on a 300.

  9. #9
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
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    rscotty I love it when someone points out that the oven in your house isnt always 325 even though the display says it. One othe hardest thing in customer service is the pit probe that comes with a maverick....That is the number one source of customer contact....I put my maverick in the fron left cornet of the cooker and it reads 287 and the pit says 300!

    The spousal unit is important...you are going to have to keep her happy as you add to your new disease!

    My only problem with the 300 is pellet capacity and where it is...I know that it isnt as steady as a MAK or Memphis but it cooks good food...I just dont like to have to open the cooker to add pellets. But keeping the wife into it is way better!

  10. #10
    Moderator jimsbarbecue's Avatar
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    The other issues with Mavericks is they are a under $100 unit with a remote and are NOT the defined temp truth. Just a reference.
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