Which Traeger Should I Buy? The Complete Guide To Traeger Pellet Grills

Picking the right Traeger grill can be tough because there are so many different models to choose from. Even though all Traeger’s are great pellet grills, the main differences between the models vary are in the features they offer. You just need to find the one that works best for you. I wanted to get to know the Traeger grill better, so I did a lot of research to learn all about the original pellet grill.

There are three main Traeger pellet grill models available: the Pro Series, which is an entry-level option; the Ironwood Series, which offers higher cooking temperatures and more insulation; and the Timberline Series, which is a top-of-the-range option with higher temperatures and double insulation. Additionally, there is a Tailgater Series of portable mini grills. When deciding which Traeger model to buy, consider factors such as budget, the amount of food you want to cook, patio space, climate, and preference for technology.

How Many Traeger Series Are There?

Pro SeriesStandard entry-level line of pellet grills
Ironwood SeriesMid-level pellet grills with higher cooking temperatures and more insulation
Timberline SeriesTop-of-the-range grills, higher temperatures and double insulation
Tailgater SeriesPortable mini grills

Every Traeger Model

Traeger make several models of pellet grills, including portable options. The Ranger and Tailgater models are both portable and affordable, with basic features. The Pro 22 is a small, entry-level grill with basic functions and is also affordable. The Pro 34 is a larger version of the Pro 22. The Ironwood 650 and 885 are mid-level grills with advanced features and higher cooking temperatures. The Timberline 850 and 1300 are top-of-the-range grills with even higher cooking temperatures and double insulation. All of these models come in a variety of colors and finishes.

Traeger ModelDescription
RangerPortable, basic features, affordable
TailgaterPortable, basic features, affordable
Pro 22Small grill, entry-level with basic functions, affordable
Pro 34Medium grill, entry-level with basic functions, affordable
Pro 575Small grill, high-tech, some extra features, affordable
Pro 780Medium grill, high-tech, some extra features, affordable
Ironwood 650Medium to Large grill, high-tech, extra features, expensive
Ironwood 885Large grill, high-tech, extra features, expensive
Timberline 850Large grill, high-tech, loads of extra features, very expensive
Timberline 1300XL grill, top-of-the-line model, very expensive
Timberline ( 2nd Gen ) Large grill, top-of-the-line model, very expensive
Timberline XL The largest Traeger grill, and the most expensive

Which Traeger Is For Me? Important Considerations

  • Your budget (a few hundred or a few thousand?)
  • Number of people to cook for
  • Plans for cooking for large gatherings in the future
  • Climate in which the grill will be used
  • Amount of space on patio
  • Preference for hi-tech grill with latest technology
  • Desired portability
  • Amount of food to cook
  • Size of outdoor space
  • Cold weather performance and insulation needs

When considering purchasing a Traeger grill, it is important to consider your budget, the number of people you will be cooking for, whether you will be cooking for large gatherings in the future, the climate you live in, the amount of space you have on your patio, your preference for technology, and whether or not you want a portable grill. The amount of food you need to cook and the size of your backyard or patio space are also important considerations.

The Pro Series, Ironwood Series, and Timberline Series offer smaller versions for smaller outdoor spaces, and the Tailgater Series and portable Traeger grills are options for those with even smaller yards or who want a grill that is easy to take on the go. Cold weather can affect the performance of a grill, so it is important to consider whether you live in a cold climate and choose a model with double side-wall insulation if necessary.

What’s Your Budget?

  • The Ranger and Tailgater models are both portable and are priced at $449 and $529, respectively.
  • The Pro 22 and Pro 34 are entry-level grills that are priced at $599 and $699, respectively.
  • The Pro 575 and Pro 780 are mid-range grills that are priced at $899 and $999, respectively.
  • The Ironwood 650 and 885 are mid-level grills with advanced features and are priced at $1,399 and $1,599, respectively.
  • The Timberline 850 and 1300 are the top-of-the-range grills, with the highest cooking temperatures and double insulation, and are priced at $1,799 and $1,999, respectively.

Traeger ModelPrice
Ranger (portable)$449 (see latest)
Tailgater (portable)$529 (see latest)
Pro 22 (Gen 1) $599 (see latest)
Pro 34 (Gen 1) $699 (see latest)
Pro 575$899 (see latest)
Pro 780$999 (see latest)
Ironwood 650$1399 (see latest)
Ironwood 885$1599 (see latest)
Timberline 850 (Gen 1) $2099 (see latest)
Timberline 1300 (Gen 1) $2299 (see latest)
Timberline $3499 (see latest)
Timberline XL$3799 (see latest)
Traeger Pellet Grill Price Comparison

Where To Buy A Traeger?

The best option for purchasing a Traeger grill is to visit the official website at Traeger.com. Here you can browse their selection of grills and accessories and make a purchase directly from the website. Traeger offers free delivery within the USA when you purchase from their website. In addition, they have partnered with the buy-now-pay-later company affirm, so if you don’t have the cash upfront, you can still make a purchase and pay for it over time. You can also check out their dealer locator on their website to find a local retailer that sells Traeger products. Keep in mind that availability and pricing may vary depending on where you purchase the grill.

How Much Food Do You Need To Cook?

When choosing a Traeger grill, it is important to think about how much food you want to cook at once. How often do you want to cook for crowds? Even if it’s only once or twice a year, it still might be worth buying the bigger model. Some Traeger grills are bigger and can cook more food, while others are smaller and you will need to cook in batches if you need large quantities.

Some Traeger grills have a larger cooking surface and can hold more food, while others have a smaller cooking surface. Also, think about the type of food you will be cooking. Not all Traeger models can cook a whole turkey or a large packer brisket, so do your research beforehand.

What’s Your Climate? Is It Cold?

  • Traeger Timberline Series is a top-of-the-range grill with high temperatures and double insulation, suitable for cold weather cooking
  • Traeger Ironwood Series is a mid-level pellet grill with higher cooking temperatures and more insulation, suitable for cold weather cooking
  • Both the Ironwood and Timberline models have double sidewall insulation to help retain heat and run more efficiently
  • The Ironwood and Timberline also have more power to get hotter quickly for cold weather cooking
  • The double insulation and higher power of these models make them more suitable for cold weather cooking than other Traeger models

If you live in a cold climate, then your pellet grill is going to be working twice as hard and burning through more pellets than usual. The best Traeger models for cold weather have double side-wall insulation that can retain heat and run more efficiently. The Ironwood and Timberline models have double sidewall insulation, which helps the grill provide a more consistent temperature, make it more efficient by not burning through too many wood pellets. The Ironwood and Timberline have more power, so they can get hotter much quicker to cook through the cold weather.

Traeger Insulation Blanket

If you can’t afford one of the well-insulated models, Traeger make an insulated blanket for the Pro Series so you can still grill through the winter. The insulation blanket attaches to the grill and prevents heat from escaping while you are cooking in freezing temperatures. I recommend an insulation blanket to anyone who lives in climates that drop below 35°F, so then you can cook year-round and won’t burn through all your wood pellets.

Keep the Weather Off Your Grill

It’s also worth buying a decent cover to keep the weather off your grill, because when the grill metal is freezing, it takes a lot of time and a lot of wood to bring your grill up to temperature. A grill cover will keep some weather off your grill and save time and pellets when you go to cook.

How Big Is Your Yard?

  • The size of your backyard/patio area is an important consideration when choosing a Traeger grill
  • The Pro Series, Ironwood, and Timberline models all have smaller versions to suit different outdoor spaces
  • If you have a small yard or like to cook on-the-go, the Traeger Tailgater grill is a good option
  • Traeger also offers a range of portable grills for even smaller spaces
  • If you need a smaller grill, consider one of the models in the Pro Series, Ironwood, Timberline, or Tailgater series

When choosing a Traeger grill, it’s important to think about how much space you have in your backyard. Some people only have a small patio or balcony, or they don’t want a big, heavy grill that they have to move around. For these people, the Pro 22 and the Pro 575 are perfect for their needs. The Ironwood and Timberline also has a smaller version that is good for people with smaller outdoor spaces.

If you really only have a small yard, or if you like to cook on the go, there’s also the Traeger Tailgater. This grill is small and easy to move, and it’s perfect for small decks, courtyards, or tailgates. If you need an even smaller grill, Traeger also has a portable grill called the Ranger. This grill is perfect for camping, but not suitable for the home.

Do You Want a High-Tech Grill?

To some, the merging of technology and barbecue is a beautiful thing, but to others, technology and fire are a terrible mix. Traeger has embraced technology but hasn’t done away with the older models for people who like to keep things simple and avoid high-tech gadgets.

The new generation Traeger grills have a Wi-Fi digital controller that allows you to monitor the temperature of your grill from your smart phone. WIREFIRE, the Traeger digital controller, gives you the ability to adjust the temperature of your grill from anywhere via a cloud based App and lets you control your grill from work or while you’re at the store.

If you’re a technophobe and like to keep things simple, consider the Pro Series 22 and Pro Series 34. These are Traeger’s 1st Generation Pro Series grills without Wi-Fi.

The Traeger App contains hundreds of recipes and useful information in the Traeger GRILLGUIDE, which can be downloaded directly onto the WIREFIRE digital grill controller. Once your Traeger has downloaded the recipe instructions, your grill will actually guide you through the cooking process with step-by-step instructions.

Traeger Hopper Capacity – How Long Can I Cook?

As you probably already know, Traeger grills are fueled by wood pellets, and each Traeger stores pellets in a hopper. When the grill is in use, an auger feeds the pellets from the hopper into the fire. So the larger the hopper, the longer you can cook without having to refill the pellets. It can get annoying constantly refilling the hopper during a long brisket smoke, so if you want to do long cooks, consider a grill with a large hopper capacity.

It’s important to know how many pellets your grill can hold because if you’re wanting to cook large cuts of meat like brisket or ribs, you’re going to need a large pellet hopper. A whole packer brisket make take 12-plus hours to cook and will burn through a lot of wood. If you choose a Traeger with a smaller hopper, you can still manage a brisket, but you will need to keep topping up the hopper with pellets during the cook which can get annoying.

The Pro Series have ample sized hoppers and can store 18 pounds of pellets. The Ironwood stores 20 pounds and the Timberline holds 24 pounds of pellets. The smaller Tailgater and Ranger only hold 8 pounds of wood and the Scout only holds 4 pounds.

Traeger Pro Series

Grill ModelSizeGeneration
Pro Series 2222 inches1st
Pro Series 3434 inches1st
Pro Series 57522 inches2nd
Pro Series 78034 inches2nd

1st Generation Pro Series 22 & 34

The Traeger Pro Series 22 and the Pro Series 34 belong to the first generation in the Pro Series is the world’s number-one selling pellet grill. Traeger Pro Series 22 and 34 are the same grills, but of different sizes. The Pro Series 22 has 572 square inches of cooking area, while the Pro Series 34 has 884 square inches of grill space.

The 1st-Generation Pro Series are great entry-level pellet grill that will allow you to grill, barbecue, smoke, bake, roast and braise. The Pro 22 & 34 are perfect if you’re after no-frill grill without all the fancy extras. This model can easily handle smoking big packer brisket low-and-slow, and the larger Pro Series 34 can cook 7 racks of ribs, 8 chickens or 40 burgers.

The Pro Series 22 & 34 are the most affordable pellet grills in the Traeger line up and are a few hundred dollars cheaper than the 2nd Generation Pro Series and other Traeger models. You can pick up a Traeger Pro Series 22 for about $650 and a Pro Series 34 sells for around $750. Check latest price here.

Features – Pro Series 1st-Generation

  • Duel meat probes
  • Digital controller (25 degree increments)
  • Powder coated steel construction
  • Non-stick porcelain-coated grill grates
  • All-terrain wheels
  • Extremely stable sawhorse chassis
  • 18 lbs wood pellet hopper capacity
  • Additional grill rack
  • Grilling area of 572 or 884 Sq.In.

Differences Between Pro Series – Old vs New

The Pro Series is an entry-level line of Traeger grills, and there are four options to choose from: the Pro Series 22 and 34 (first generation) and the Pro Series 575 and 780 (second generation).

Differences between the old and new Pro Series

  • The new Pro Series 575 and 780 are larger and have a larger cooking chamber
  • The new Pro Series includes a Wi-Fi digital controller and can be operated through the Traeger App
  • The new Pro Series is more powerful and able to reach maximum temperature faster
  • The old Pro Series includes two temperature probes, while the new Pro Series has one for meat and uses the Traeger App for grill temperature
  • The pellet hoppers are the same size, but the new Pro Series has a more efficient pellet delivery system and the hopper has been moved to the opposite side
  • The new Pro Series is more expensive

DifferencesTraeger Pro 575Traeger Pro 780
Cooking Area572 sq. in.780 sq. in.
Weight155 lbs124 lbs
Width41 in49 in
Height53 in55 in
Depth27 in27 in

Features of the Pro Series 575 and 780

  • Wi-Fi digital controller through the Traeger App and GRILLGUIDE with hundreds of recipes
  • Higher power and faster maximum temperature reach
  • Single meat temperature probe
  • Efficient pellet delivery system and hopper position
  • Taller unit with larger cooking chamber

Features – Pro Series 575 and 780

  • WIFIRE technology
  • Traeger App
  • Built-in meat probe
  • All-terrain wheels
  • 18 lbs wood pellet hopper capacity
  • Grilling area of 575 or 780 Sq.In.
  • Non-stick porcelain-coated grill grates

Traeger Ironwood Series

Traeger’s Ironwood pellet grills are a step up from the Pro Series, with several upgraded features. They are available in 650 and 885 sizes.

Ironwood 650 & 885 Features:

  • Double Side-Wall Insulation
  • Downdraft Exhaust System
  • Wi-Fi Digital Controller
  • Traeger App
  • Built-in Meat Probe
  • Remote Pellet Level Monitoring
  • Porcelain-Coated Cooking Grates
  • Super Smoke Mode
  • All-Terrain Wheels
  • 20 Pound Pellet Hopper
  • High Temperature 500° F

Key Upgrades from the Pro Series

  • Downdraft Exhaust System: pushes smoke through exhaust out back of grill, producing better smoke for meat
  • Double Side Wall Insulation: better insulation for grill, making it more efficient in colder months
  • Super Smoke Mode: lowers grill temperature and gives three times more smoke
  • Bigger Pellet Hopper: holds 20 pounds of pellets
  • Meat Probe: built-in meat probe for temperature monitoring
  • Remote Pellet Level Monitoring: monitor pellet levels through Traeger App
  • Porcelain-Coated Cooking Grates: easier to clean and more durable
  • All-Terrain Wheels: allows for easy movement of grill

Traeger Timberline Series

Update: In 2022, Traeger introduced two new Timberline models, including the Timberline XL. For more information, check them out on the Traeger website here.

The Timberline (Gen 1) is the ultimate cooking machine and Traeger’s top-of-the line pellet grill that will cost you about $2000, but worth every cent. The Timberline has all-round insulation, giving it amazing heat retention so you to cook through the winter without loosing heat. This grill has a huge cooking capacity with a three tier cooking grate that can hold 12 pork butts or 12 chickens and can cook for longer with a 24 pound pellet hopper. Plus, the Timberline has all the technology and features of the Ironwood and Pro Series. The Traeger Timberline is available in two sizes: the 1300 and the 850.

Timberline (Gen 1) 1300 & 850 Features

  • Wi-Fi Digital Controller
  • Downdraft Exhaust System
  • Double Wall Insulated Hood, Sides and Back.
  • Traeger App
  • Built-in Meat Probe
  • 3 Tier Cooking Rack
  • 500°F Maximum Temperature
  • Remote Pellet Monitoring
  • Porcelain-Coated Cooking Grates
  • Super Smoke Mode
  • All-Terrain Wheels
  • 24 Pound Pellet Hopper
  • High Temperature 500° F
  • Magnetic Bamboo Cutting Board
  • Stainless steel grates
  • Stainless Steel Front Shelf

Traeger Timberline vs Ironwood

Insulation. The Timberline grill has superior insulation compared to the Ironwood. While the Ironwood has double walled sides, the Timberline has double walled sides, a double walled hood, and a double walled back, allowing it to retain heat and maintain stable temperatures more effectively.

Cooking Area. The Timberline grill has a larger cooking area, with adjustable racks that allow for meat to be cooked on three levels. It can hold a large amount of meat, with the ability to hold 12 chickens or 15 rib racks.

Additional Features. In addition to its insulation and cooking area, the Timberline grill also includes a concealed grease pan, a stainless steel shelf, and a magnetic bamboo cutting board. The grill grates on the Timberline are made of stainless steel, while the Pro Series and Ironwood grills have porcelain coated steel grates.

Price. The Timberline 1300 grill is around $500 more expensive than the Ironwood and about $1000 more than the Pro Series Traeger. Prices may vary, so it is advisable to check for the latest prices.

Spec Comparisons – Timberline (Gen 1) vs Ironwood & Pro Series

Pro 780
Price2k$2900 (latest)1k
Grill Space 1343 Sq.In885 Sq.In780 Sq.In
Size58 W x 51 H
x 28 D
53 W x 47 H
x 27 D
49 W x 55 H
x 27 D
Weight255 lbs170 lbs145 lbs
500 F°500 F°500 F°
Pellet hopper
Grill Grate322
Wi-Fi ControllerYesYes Yes
Extra InsulationDouble-Wall, Hood and Back InteriorDouble Side-Wall InteriorNo
Downdraft ExhaustYesYesNo
Bottom Sear GrateYesYesNo
Side ShelfYes YesNo
Front ShelfYesNoNo
Grill GratesStainless SteelPorcelain Coated SteelPorcelain Coated Steel
Meat Probe Storage BoxYesYesNo
Magnetic Bamboo Cutting BoardYesNoNo
Keep Warm ModeYesYesYes
Super Smoke ModeYesYesNo
Turbo TempYesYesYes
TRU Convection SystemYesYesNo
Concealed Grease PanYesNoNo
Pellet SensorYesYes
Hopper CleanoutYesYesYes
DC Brushless MotorYesYesYes
Variable Fan SpeedYesYesYes
Power Cord HookYesYesNo
Locking CastersYesYesYes

Tailgater – The Mini Traeger

Traeger produces a range of portable pellet grills that are suitable for people with small patios or balconies. These mini Traeger grills have gone by a few different names over the years, including the Junior Elite, the Bronson, and now, the Tailgater. This small Traeger is an affordable option if you’re wanting to dip your toes into the world of pellet grills.

The Tailgater is very light, only 62 pounds so it can throw it in the back of an SUV or pickup truck with ease. As long as you have access to electricity, you can fire up this little Traeger anywhere.

This model Traeger is perfect if you only need to cook for a few people and have a small backyard. At 36 inches high and 37 inches wide, the can fit nicely onto a small deck or a balcony. The Tailgater is HOA compliant, which means you can use it on patios or balconies of condominium buildings.

Tailgater Cooking Capacity

The Tailgater has a small cooking capacity, so it’s only suitable for cooking on-the-go or small families. You can cook two whole chickens, or 12 burgers, or 3 rib racks on the Tailgater’s 300 square inches of grilling area. People who use this model say they have smoked 10 to 15 pound brisket in the Tailgater.

Small Pellet Hopper

The problem with these small Traeger grills is the wood pellet hopper can only hold 8 pounds of wood pellets, which means you have to keep topping it up. This is especially annoying when you’re smoking brisket low-and-slow for 10-plus hours. Compare this to the Pro Series, which has an 18 pound pellet hopper.

Tailgater Temp Fluctuations

The other downside of the Tailgater is its less insulated than other Traeger models, which cause uneven temperatures. Tailgater owners complain of temperature fluctuations between 10 to 20 degrees either side of the set temperature.

Tailgater Cost

These small Traeger models usually sit in the $470 to $700 price range. The Tailgater is at the high-end, but check your local stores for old versions of the Tailgater such as the Benson and Traeger Junior. There isn’t much difference between the old and new models, they are the same grill with minor differences. The Traeger website usually only lists newer models, but your local stores still may have older models in stock. Check the latest price of the Tailgater here.

Tailgater vs Pro 22

The Traeger Tailgater and Traeger Pro 22 are Traeger’s smaller grills. The Tailgater is smaller and lighter, with a grill capacity of 3 racks of ribs or 12 burgers, and a hopper capacity of 8 lbs. It uses a digital Arc controller for temperature control and is beginner friendly. The Pro 22 is larger, with a grill capacity of 5 racks of ribs or 24 burgers, and a hopper capacity of 18 lbs. It includes an extra rack and uses a digital Pro controller for precise temperature control. It is made from all-weather, heavy duty material and is water resistant. Both grills run on wood pellets and have rugged all-terrain wheels for easy movement. The Tailgater is available in black, while the Pro 22 is available in charcoal and black.

SpecsTraeger TailgaterTraeger Pro 22
ManufacturerTraeger Pellet GrillsTraeger Pellet Grills
Price (US)$529.95 grill only$589.90 grill + cover$609.85 grill + cover + pellets$544.94 grill + drip tray liner$549.90 grill + pellets, hickorySEE LATEST PRICE HERE$599.95 grill only$669.00 grill + cover, black$514.90 grill + tray$569.90 grill + folding shelf$519.90 grill + pellets.SEE LATEST PRICE HERE
Weight62 pounds103 pounds
Dimension (DxHxW)37” x 18” 36”49” x 41” x 27”
Grill Capacity3 racks of ribs, or 2 whole chickens or 12 burgers5 racks of ribs, or 4 whole chickens, or 24 burgers
Grilling area300 sq. in572 sq. in.
Hopper Capacity8 lb18 lb
Hopper CleanoutYesYes
Control StyleDigital Arc ControllerDigital Pro Controller
Special Features* Easy Foldable Legs * With precise temperature control * Beginner friendly * Guarantee precise grilling * Easy to Use* Water Resistant * It has an extra rack (154 sq. in.) * Made from all-weather and heavy duty material * No Assemble Required * Easy to Use
Power sourceElectric power source and wood burning100% All-natural Wood pellet
Fuel TypeWood PelletCharcoal, Wood Pellet
Colour VariationsBlackCharcoal and Black
Outer MaterialSteelSteel
Inner MaterialStainless SteelStainless Steel
WheelsRugged all-terrain wheelsRugged all-terrain wheels

Traeger Portable Grills – The Ranger & Scout

Traeger has a range of portable grills that you can take anywhere. This portable lineup includes the Scout and the Ranger. These mini Traeger grills are super light and great for camping. However, they don’t run on batteries so you will need some portable power.

Traeger Ranger

The Ranger is a lightweight (60 pounds) grill perfect for camping if you can supply the 110 volts to power up. The Ranger has 184 square inches of grilling area which can cook either 1 rack of ribs, or 6 burgers or 10 hotdogs. The hopper can hold 8 pounds of wood pellets which should be enough for a few days of camping. The Ranger can reach temperatures of up to 450°F which is pretty awesome for such a small wood-fired grill. The Ranger costs about $400, which is only about one-hundred dollars cheaper than the bigger Tailgater. See the latest price on Traeger.com here.

Traeger Scout

TScout is Traeger’s smallest grill and has slightly less cooking area as the Ranger. The Scout can cook 10 hotdogs, or 6 burgers, or 1 rack of ribs. Traeger Scout only holds 4-pounds of wood pellets compared to the Ranger’s 8-pound pellet hopper. The Scout is much lighter than the Ranger, weighing in at 45-pounds but it can reach temperatures of 450°F. The Scout is about one-hundred dollars less than the Ranger, check the latest price here. If it’s unavailable on the Traeger website, you can find it on large online stores like ACE Hardware.

Portable Traeger Grill Area Comparison

Traeger ModelHotdogsBurgersRibs
Scout 1061

Other Traeger Reviews:

Traeger Tailgater vs The Pro 22 – What’s The Best Small Traeger?

Ranger vs Tailgater – We Compare The Portable Traeger Grills

Pro 575 vs Pro 22 – A Side-By-Side Comparison

Pro 575 vs Pro 780 – What’s The Difference?

Timberline 1300 vs 850 – A Detailed Comparison

Ironwood vs Pro Series – We Review Both Series

Pro 34 vs 780 – A Side-By-Side Comparison

Ironwood vs Timberline – We Compare Traeger’s High-End Grills

Traeger Pro 34 vs Pro 22 – A Side-By-Side Comparison


Author and founder at Meat Smoking HQ

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