Traeger Texas Elite grill a wise buy?
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Thread: Traeger Texas Elite grill a wise buy?

  1. #1

    Question Traeger Texas Elite grill a wise buy?

    I would love a MAK or country smoker, but frankly, I cannot afford to drop $1000+. I have found a Traeger Texas Elite grill for $500. It's 1 year old and well kept. The current owner vacuums it after each use. My question is, at that price am I buying dissatisfaction due to the current poor track record on the reliability and durability of their chinese build? Just how frequently should I expect failures?
    I read an earlier post about lack of smoke flavor and possible solutions to this issue. Is this a mistake or a hot deal I need to jump on?

    Thanks, Seph

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    North Tonawanda, New York
    We have been smokin' on our Lil' Tex Elite for over 2 years now (August will be 3 years)
    and have no complaints. We use it through all 4 seasons. Our winters get down to 0*F
    and you will still find me smokin'. Of course we use a remote thermometer at those times.
    The smoke flavor is a bit more gentle than what we used to get from our other smoker, but
    we like it. Our Lil Tex logs more hours per year than our oven does. I'm not trying sell you
    it, just lettin' you know we have not had a problem. We use Traeger pellets also because
    it's convenient.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sepharad View Post
    My question is, at that price am I buying dissatisfaction due to the...
    I don't own a Traeger Grill, so I can't attest to whether or not its a dissatisfaction issue. I hardly ever see MAK or Memphis grills for sale. However I frequently see used Traegers for sale on other boards and they're almost always listed as "Good Condition" and have often wondered why so many good condition grills are for sale and if it's because of dissatisfaction.
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  4. #4
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    La Quinta California
    I dont bash Traeger. They got this whole deal started and sort of lost their way. Much is made of the move to China but I think the real story is that the Traeger Family sold to a Venture Capital firm....

    For 500 bucks I m sure its fine the elite is just fluff but the size of the texas is cool. If you arent in a position to buy a MAK or Memphis you will be smokin fine!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Westminster, CO
    Hi Sepharad, I started out with a Traeger for the same reason, it fit the budget. I knew (assuming pellet smoking turned out to be what i expected, and it did) when I bought it I would eventually move up to a MAK or Memphis. Had the Traeger four months and cooked a lot great food on it...once the Christmas induced cash flow crisis was over, I sold it to a good friend and moved up to a MAK2.

    Get your foot in the door, we'll all look forward to your participation. That said, if you can stretch the budget, both MAK and Memphis have great entry models that are a step or two up from the Traegers.
    MAK 2 Star #2653
    Lil Tex Elite (gone to Thornton)
    MAK 2 Star #385
    Lil Tex (gone to ChiTown)

  6. #6
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    La Quinta California
    two or three steps actually. I will point out one thing...You probably will get the bug and wish you bought the usa one ends up cheaper than going through two grills

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Clark County, Wa
    I have owned my new Junior for seven months now and love it for what it cost me. I wish it did not fluctuate 30+ degrees and could set temps in 5 degree incriments. If you don't mind babysitting and adjusting accordingly it is all good and puts out some fantastic eats. Five hundy sounds like a pretty good price if it is in good shape which it sounds like. You could use it for a year or two getting used to pellet cooking and then sell it for $300-400 easily on Craigslist.
    I consider my grill as a tri cycle and someday I will buy a real bicycle when I am ready.
    MAK 1 Star #152
    Burnin Bear Mountain Pellets

  8. #8
    I bought a Lil' Tex Elite a couple months ago and love it but...... I bought it because the price was right, Traeger is the only brand of pellet grill I could find in my area, and probably the biggest reason I hadn't found this site yet and I didn't know any better. I plan on taking the advice of many on here and learn on my Traeger and then sell it and upgrade.

    Anyone want to buy a slight used Traeger (in good condition)?????

    Just Kidding I am not ready to run with the BIG dogs yet so I will stay on the porch for now.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ACW3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Morganton, NC
    It sounds like a good place to start. Once you get in the flow and cook a few meals for friends and family, you will have a built-in marketplace to sell your Traeger when you are ready to move up. The blue smoke will hook them every time.

    MAK 2 Star Gen (# 171)

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Edinburg, TX
    Another less pricey grill to consider is the Daniel Boone by Green Mountain Grills. My sister just bought one of these and I was really impressed with how fast it got up to 500 degrees during the burn in. The controller worked very good as well. It would just sit and purr at any set temperature +/- 2 degrees. Being a MAK 2 owner I tried very hard to steer my sister into a MAK as well but after seeing the DB up close I can see she made a good purchase for under $1000.
    MAK 2 Star #344
    24 x 48 Party Gator
    Lang 84 with some mods


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