When you purchase a Traeger Grill and read that you need to season it before you use it, that doesn’t mean you need to break out your spice rack.
It’s imperative that you season the pellet grill properly before you cook on it because the bacteria on it from the manufacturing process, packaging, store display, and unboxing can harm you. That bacteria can contaminate your food when you cook on the grill.
Other items on your Traeger pellet grill that shouldn’t get cooked with your food include lubricant and oil residues from the manufacturing process.
They help tune the grill materials while the grill awaits purchase, but you need to remove this residue from the grill process, too. Some of these oils fall into the non-toxic chemicals category, but you still should not cook with them.
Seasoning the Traeger grill also helps it function better when you cook. Doing so provides you an opportunity to practice using your grill, too.
The day before you use your Traeger for the first time, you should season it. You can do it earlier than that, for example one week before cooking on it, too. You just need to do it in advance of cooking on it.
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How often do you need to season a grill?
You’ll only need to season your Traeger grill once. Some information sources refer to this as a one-time initial firing process, while others call it burning in the grill.
After the initial seasoning, you’ll clean your grill in a normal manner. You’ll need the typical tools, such as a wire brush and degreasing dish washing detergent.
WiFIRE or Traditional Grill? The Processes Differ
Traeger produces two lines of its wood pellet grills. The first grill line, the traditional, functions manually. The second line Traeger developed recently, and it uses WiFi to connect the grill to your mobile device.
This WiFIRE technology, as the grill maker refers to it, lets you control the grill from inside your home via an app on your smartphone. This means you can adjust the temperature from indoors and not miss a moment of football game.
You’ll need to know whether you own a WiFi-capable or traditional grill because your seasoning process differs.
Each takes a different amount of time and uses a slightly different process. A traditional grill takes about one hour to season, while a WiFIRE grill requires one and a half hours to season.
How to Season Your Traeger WiFIRE Grill
Unless you’ve had your Traeger grill sitting, unopened in a box in your garage or attic, for a few years, you probably own a WiFIRE grill.
That’s been the company’s main product for the last few years. Although you own a Wi-Fi-enabled grill, you can only use the app for a few of the steps in the process.
The one thing that remains the same about these two processes is that you need to place a bucket or drip tray underneath the grill before you begin.
This catches the liquids and oils that may burn off during this process and protects the patio or porch surface on which you’ve placed your grill. Follow these steps, in order, to season your grill.
Step 1: Prime the grill’s auger tube with fresh, new pellets.
Step 2: Plug in the grill.
Step 3: Flip the power switch to “on.” Typically, Traeger places this switch on the rear of the unit.
Step 4: Fill the hopper with new, fresh hardwood pellets.
Step 5: Press the power button on the grill’s controller to turn on its screen.
Step 6: Using the grill’s dial, turn the selector to “Select Auger > Prime Auger” and press the controller knob to set it.
Step 7: Watch for pellets falling into the firepot. When this occurs select “Done.”
Step 8: Using the grill’s dial, turn the selector clockwise to 350°F (177°C). Press the dial. This displays the temperature confirmation on the controller screen.
Step 9: Press the “Ignite button,” then close the grill’s lid. Wait for the temperature to reach 350°F (177°C). Run the grill for 20 minutes at this temperature. You can use your app for this step.
Step 10: Adjust the temperature to 450°F (232°C). Press the dial to confirm the temperature as you did in Step 8.
Step 11: When the temperature reaches 450°F (232°C), run the grill at this temperature for an additional 30 minutes. You can use your app for this step.
Step 12: Shut down the grill. You can use your app for this step. If you do this manually, the process depends on the grill model. On a Pro Series grill, press the on/off/temperature knob for three seconds. For an Ironwood, Timberline or Silverton model, press the power button for three seconds.
Steps for Seasoning Your Non-Connected Grill (i.e., how to season a pellet smoker)
With a traditional Traeger grill you can cook on it the same day that you season it. You won’t need to wait unless you want to season it ahead of time.
Step 1: Plug in the grill.
Step 2: Flip the power switch to “on.” On traditional models, Traeger typically places this on the front of the unit on the controller panel.
Step 3: Fill the hopper with new, fresh hardwood pellets.
Step 4: Prime the grill’s auger tube with fresh, new pellets.
Step 5: Open the grill lid and remove the grate, drip tray, and heat baffle.
Step 6: Set the grill to the highest temperature it offers. Let it run for two to five minutes at this setting to activate pellets falling into the firepot.
Step 7: Activate the grill’s “Shut Down Cycle.” The shutdown cycle takes about 25 minutes. You then flip the power switch to “Off” to complete the shutdown.
Step 8: Replace the heat baffle, drip tray, and grill to their appropriate placement in the grill.
Step 9: Flip the power switch to “on” and close the lid.
Step 10: Set the grill controller to the “Smoke” setting. Let it run at this setting for at least 15 minutes. The fire needs to establish in the grill, which means the smoke emitting from it will change from white in color and thick to light blue and thin.
Step 11: Set the grill to the highest temperature it offers for 30 minutes.
Step 10: You can shut down the grill by repeating Step 7 or you can begin grilling.
Caveats to Seasoning a Grill
Some models of Traeger grills do not feature a smoke setting. Without the smoker, you must solely rely on the temperature settings to season the grill. When relying solely on temperatures, you might want add five minutes to each priming step.
You can do this without mucking up the process. For example, the Traeger Pro 780 lacks a smoker, so you only rely on burning things off at high temperatures and you must rely on the thermostat because you won’t have the visual cues proved by smoke.
Flames and smoke change color at specific temperatures, so although an old-school method of gauging how hot the grill has become, you don’t have to worry about a faulty thermostat. Fire doesn’t lie.
Electrical Outlet Required
Traeger grills all require an electrical outlet. These grills all use digital displays, and you must plug in the device to access the full function of the grill.
Before seasoning your grill or attempting to cook on it, determine where in your yard you will place your grill. You will need an electrical outlet to plug in the grill.
Priming the Auger Is a One-time Thing
The first time you use a Traeger grill, you need to prime the auger. You don’t have to do this every time you want to cook on the grill. The auger priming only takes place the one time, during the seasoning process.
Related to both seasoning the auger and cooking with the device, never completely fill your grill’s pellet hopper.
You need to leave a little space in the pellet hopper. Most Traeger grills only need a maximum of four pounds of wood pellets during the seasoning process.
Storing Your Grill and Pellets
You won’t cook on your grill every minutes, so you need to protect it from harm. If you won’t cook on your traditional Traeger right after you season it, you need to store it properly. This applies to your pellets, too.
Using the cover that it came with or that you purchased separately to fit the grill, cover the grill. Tie it at the bottom, so that strong wings can’t blow it off. If it’s on a nice location, set it on a BBQ grill mat to preserve the area.
Place your wood pellets in a tightly sealed plastic container and store them indoors. Just like any other wood, they can get wet and this ruins them. You probably want them ready when you want to cook, so keep them indoors and covered.
FAQs about Seasoning Your Traeger
Do you need to season a Traeger grill?
The Traeger grill needs to be seasoned before cooking the first batch of food.
Do you have to restart Traeger if it runs out of pellets?
If Traeger runs out of pellets, you do need to restart it. To do so, turn the grill on and set it to a high temperature. Wait for the auger to fill with pellets, then turn off the grill. After that, replace the heat baffle, drip tray, and grates. Finally, turn the grill back on and resume your cook.
How often does Traeger need pellets?
Traeger grills require wood pellets for fuel, and they typically consume 1 to 3 pounds of pellets per hour. This translates to approximately 6 to 20 hours of cooking time per 20-pound bag, depending on the desired heat level. The cost of these pellets is slightly over $1 per pound.
Does everything on a Traeger taste smoky?
The taste of smoke on Traeger-cooked food can be adjusted based on the temperature settings. Food cooked at higher temperatures will have less smoke flavor compared to food cooked at temperatures between 165° – 225°F, which will result in a stronger smoke flavor.
How often do you season a Traeger grill?
The Traeger grill should be seasoned before its initial use and it is recommended to season it before or after each cook. It is convenient to re-season the grill while cleaning it after each cook.
Do you have to clean your Traeger after every use?
You do not have to clean your Traeger after every use, but it is recommended to wipe down your grill and scrape food off your grates each time you use it. However, it is necessary to perform a more thorough cleaning every two to three cooks or at least every 20 hours of cook time.
How many hours do pellets last in Traeger?
The pellets in Traeger grills last between 6 to 20 hours of cook time, depending on the heat setting.
How long do Traeger spices last?
The shelf life of Traeger spices is within 3 years of their packaging date, during which they are at their highest quality. However, after this period, the spices will gradually lose their aroma and flavor, diminishing in quality.
Can you add pellets to Traeger while cooking?
You can add pellets to a Traeger while cooking if you are running out. If the grill is still at your desired temperature, simply refill the hopper. However, be aware that there may be a temporary dip in temperature as the grill adjusts to the new pellets in the auger. Nevertheless, the grill will quickly return to your set temperature.
Can you grill regularly on a Traeger?
You can grill regularly on a Traeger as it offers the same cooking capabilities as a gas grill. Additionally, Traeger wood pellet grills provide even greater versatility as they allow you to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ all on one grill. Moreover, they enhance the flavor of your food with the delicious taste of wood-fired cooking.
What does it mean to season a Traeger grill?
To season a Traeger grill means to go through a straightforward, one-time initial firing process that eliminates any remaining harmless oils from the manufacturing process and aids in the formation of non-stick surfaces. This ensures optimal performance and longevity for your Traeger Wood Pellet Grill.
What burns the pellets in a Traeger grill?
The pellets in a Traeger grill are burned by the fire, which is fueled by 100% all-natural hardwood pellets. Traeger grills utilize electricity to operate the auger that supplies the pellets to the fire and the fan that distributes heat and smoke for consistent cooking outcomes.
How many pellets do I put in my Traeger?
You should put a certain amount of pellets in your Traeger grill. Traeger grills, which are wood-fired smokers, require wood pellets as fuel. The amount of pellets needed varies depending on the duration and intensity of your cooking. On average, the smoker consumes 1 to 3 pounds of pellets per hour. Therefore, a 20 pound bag of pellets can provide you with approximately 6 to 20 hours of cooking time, whether you prefer high or low heat.
How does Traeger flavor their pellets?
Traeger flavors their pellets by infusing food-grade soybean oil with natural woods, herbs, or citrus in their specialty wood pellet flavors. This infusion process, combined with their patented production process, allows the natural flavors to be combined into their 100% hardwood pellets.
Should I burn off my pellet grill?
You should perform a burn off on your pellet grill before using it for cooking. This process, also known as “burn-in,” is crucial to eliminate any residual machine packing oils that may still be present in the grill body. It is highly recommended to remove these substances to ensure they do not contaminate your food.
What should I make first on my Traeger?
You should start by making a whole chicken on your Traeger. Simply apply Traeger’s Chicken Rub to the chicken and cook it for slightly more than an hour. Following these steps will result in perfectly cooked chicken.
How do you burn off a new smoker?
To burn off a new smoker, you can achieve this by raising the temperature slightly higher than the usual smoking temperature. Allow the smoker to reach a minimum of 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit for a duration of 2-3 hours. By doing so, any remaining production chemicals and solvents will be effectively burned off.
How long should you let a grill burn off?
You should let a grill burn off for at least 30 minutes to clean it. Start by firing up the grill, closing the hood, and allowing it to reach its maximum temperature. This will help singe any stuck-on food or grease. After that, dip a wire brush into warm, soapy water and use it to scrub off all the carbon from the grates.
Do you have to prime Traeger before each use?
You do not have to prime Traeger before each use because after the first time, the auger will already have pellets in it.
How quickly do pellets burn?
Wood pellets burn for a duration of time. Depending on the set temperature and the specific make and model of the grill, most pellet grills will consume between one to three pounds of pellets per hour. As a result, a 20-pound bag of pellets can typically provide a burn time of approximately six to 20 hours.