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Do you have any problems with your Traeger Grill? Maybe the grill is not getting hot enough. It could be a power issue, an airflow issue, or a motor problem. This posts will take you through all of the different types of troubleshooting then give you some great tips to use going forward.

Traeger Grill Troubleshooting: Everything To Know
Traeger Grill Troubleshooting: Problem and Solution

The Traeger Grill is a high-end grill that can be used for a variety of purposes. Every Traeger grill is designed to provide the best grilling experience possible. This includes a variety of features that are meant to simplify your grilling process, as well as some safety measures in place to keep you safe while cooking. Despite these measures, sometimes things can go wrong on your Traeger grill. We’ve compiled some solutions for common problems so that you know what to do when faced with these issues.

Have you ever had problems with your Traeger Grill? We’re here to help. This blog post will cover some of the most commonly asked questions about troubleshooting your Traeger grill.

What is Traeger Grill?

Traeger Grill is an all-purpose outdoor kitchen. Is it a smoker, grill, or both? You can use it for all your cooking needs with the use of the upper and lower racks. The temperature range goes from 180 degrees to 400+ degrees Fahrenheit. It also has smoke capabilities when you want that delicious smoky flavor that you get out of traditional BBQ smokers. This allows you to help smoke meats like beef ribs, pork spareribs, beef brisket, turkey legs, etc…

The best news about this grill is that it’s easy enough for anyone in the family to operate. All someone needs to do is set it and forget it! That will give you time to work on more important things while your food cooks. A few of the other features that you get with this grill are an easy ash cleanout, steel porcelain-coated grates, sear plates made of cast iron, make it easy to cook up great tasting foods with searing heat. This allows you to use all types of wood chips and chunks to add more flavor for cooking some fine meals on one machine!

– What type of food can I cook?

You can do anything from poultry, seafood, pork chops or beef steaks just to name a few. With the combination smoker/grill combo you can also smoke meats like beef ribs, pork spareribs, beef brisket, turkey legs etc…and then grill stuff like veggies, brats, hot dogs and even some deserts.

– Who is the Manufacturer of the Traeger Grill?

Traeger Wood Pellet Grills are manufactured by Traegar Grills Company based in Oregon USA. They were started in 2008 with the inception of their first grill known as the “Original” wood pellet grill for outdoor cooking. Today it’s one of the most popular pellet grills on the market inside and out! With over 2 million smokers sold you can see why they continue to go strong after 10 years. They come up with many different types of grills that fit every budget and need from a mini all-in-one smoker/grill to a party size drum smoker/grill.

The Traeger Pellet Grill Range offers a wide range of prices from the Traeger Pro Series to the smaller Junior and T-Bolt models.

The Pros of the Traeger Grill

Digital Temperature Control – The Traeger grill has an internal temperature probe that can be adjusted to accommodate for both smoking and grilling meats. When you use the meat probe thermometer, it will tell you exactly what internal temperature your food is at as if you were using a traditional oven cooking thermometer.  This digital temperature control allows you to see how things are going on inside your grill.

Simplicity – If cooking on a pellet smoker seems like too much work, don’t worry! You can set your Traeger grill (or any pellet smoker) to cook with wood pellets and smoke overnight or while you’re away at work all day without worrying about overcooking your food. When you come home, all you have to do is put your wood pellet smoker back on the base and fire it up again to get that great smoky flavor.

Wood Heat – The Traeger grill uses real hardwood pellets instead of propane for its heat source so you can expect an authentic smoke taste in every bite!

Durability – This smoker is made with rust resistant steel construction, thick enough insulation, and tight seals to lock in all of the smoky goodness inside while keeping out rain, snow, etc. It has an electronic digital ignition system that starts up fast without having to mess around with matches or lighters.

Easy Start Up – All you have to do is fill the hopper with wood pellets, set the internal temperature you would like, and wait for the grill to start smoking! The Traeger website has a built-in calculator that will tell you exactly how many wood pellets to put in your grill depending on what you are cooking.

Reasonably Priced – For just $399.00 (plus free shipping), this pellet grill includes everything you need to get started right out of the box! It has their famous Flavorizer bars, 2 racks for holding your food, an upper rack for easy cleanup with no scraping ash off your grate at all times, removable drip pan (perfect for warming up sauces), and a built-in meat probe thermometer.

Amazing Flavor – The Traeger grill gives you the ability to smoke foods low and slow. This is because the pellet smoker traps the smoke inside of it’s chamber using indirect heat, which allows your meats to taste even better! There are six different temperature settings that vary from 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees for maximum smoking potential.

No More Mess – Pellet grills are convenient because there is less risk of flare-ups or hot spots that can char your food. Some other features include digital temperature control for the best cooking experience possible, a removable upper rack for easy cleanup, stainless steel construction, and their patented Flavorizer bars to help reduce flare-ups.

Traeger Grill Troubleshooting: Problem and Solution


Traeger grill troubleshooting: A serious problem is when you have a bad smoke. When this happens, it can ruin your entire cook. It leaves soot on the food and makes the outside of the meat look gray instead of brown.

For these problems, there are three main causes:

– Not enough wood in the fire basket for what you are cooking

– Wood that has soaked up too much water or started to rot due to being wet too long

– The grill was not properly cleaned before being used again after last use. If you have trouble with getting consistent results with your Traeger, here’s a list of ten tips to help get things running smooth again. 


Traeger grill troubleshooting: Use dry wood. Don’t use wet, green or freshly cut wood. It won’t burn as well since it has too much water in it and can cause uneven cooking across your grill grate. It will also release a lot of creosote which is very bitter tasting and smells terrible. Make sure to store all wood at least three feet away from any heat source including the house, your car or garage walls if possible to prevent spontaneous combustion which can be fatal if not caught before it starts to burn out of control. If you don’t have enough room outside for storage, know that covering most hardwood with anything near an open flame can cause it to catch fire. Make sure that you store your wood in a dry place; some people like to put their wood into garbage bags and then hang them from rafters or high wooden fences where they can’t fall down and get wet.

– Keep the grill grate as clean as possible. If you have a wire brush, use it every time before cooking to remove any carbon residue on your grates so that nothing builds up and prevents proper airflow within the grill. This will help keep your food from sticking too much too. You can also spray your grates with cooking oil spray right after brushing so that most of the residue falls off back onto the plate below without sticking too much to the grill grates themselves.

Traeger grill troubleshooting: Don’t add more wood than you need. If the Traeger Outdoors Grills site claims that you can cook for 20 hours on 10 pounds of pellets, don’t believe it. It might be true in ideal conditions, but most likely they were cooking off of a freshly filled grill and not one that had been used for a few hours and already burnt through almost all its fuel.

– Clean out your firepot after each use. The ash builds up quickly and deposits creosote which makes it difficult to get anything to light or stay lit if you don’t clean it out once in a while (especially when using wet wood). A good way to tell if there’s too much buildup is by listening carefully; you should be able to hear the difference in sound when no ashes are present versus a fresh batch coming out of the grill.

Traeger grill troubleshooting: Use a Traeger approved cleaning product. They have one specifically for grills called Grill Floss that’s very effective and won’t damage your grill if used correctly. If you don’t want to buy their product, there are other options such as using an oven cleaner or CLR (calcium, limes and rust) which works really well according to most reports I’ve read online. There’s also many forum posts on claiming that putting lemon peels into the firepot will help dissolve some of the built up residue within it and make cleanup easier after cooking – although anything acidic can potentially damage certain metals if left on for extended periods of time, so use caution and wear gloves if you go this route.

– Clean your grill grates before cooking. If you have a wire brush or a non-stick grill spray from Pam, that can work great to remove any carbon residue from the grate before beginning to cook as mentioned above. This step is key in getting those beautiful grill marks on your food! It’s also really important to clean off the drip pan underneath the grills as well as the grease channel around each set of grates because both can become dirty pretty quickly and this could cause flare ups which lead to burnt food. Using a dry cloth rag to wipe them down will help prevent things from sticking too much during your next cook.

Traeger grill troubleshooting: Use the right amount of pellets. You may need to use more than what’s recommended on the bag if you’re using a bigger grill, cooking something extra fatty like bacon or beef brisket, making cheeseburgers which can sometimes stick to the grates, or just cooking in colder temperatures where it might be harder for pellets to ignite and stay lit. If you’re not sure how many pellets your grill will require, just estimate and keep an eye on your food as it cooks – adding more pellets as needed throughout the cook whenever you start seeing large amounts of smoke production coming from your grill (lots of little puffs like when starting out versus one big puff).

– Go easy on the wood chips. This is especially important when cooking fatty meats because the smoke can sometimes be overpowering to the taste of your food. I suggest trying out a few different types of chips, getting to know what you like best, and seeing how it pairs with each type of meat before dumping them all into your firepot at once.

Traeger grill troubleshooting: If using a heat shield, place it underneath directly over the heat source if possible. This will help distribute the heat more evenly around your grill for better cooking results instead of just concentrating all that heat on one side above where the pellet burner is mounted which causes hot spots and potential burn marks/flare ups. A simple aluminum baking sheet works well for this purpose since its cheap, easy to clean up after use, but will still last a long time if taken care of properly (replace after any high heat cooking sessions, don’t use with acidic foods like tomatoes or lemons, etc).

– Don’t preheat for more than 5 minutes. This is pretty basic but absolutely essential to master since most grills/smokers temp will climb quickly and stabilize within the first few minutes of cooking and leave you with an overcooked exterior and an undercooked interior if you let it get too hot before putting your food on. Practice with both steak and burgers to really see how this technique works – then start experimenting with other types of meats as well as methods such as reverse searing.

– Always wear gloves when touching the grates, the meat itself, and the grates again before the grill is cooled all the way down. They don’t need to be expensive or overly heavy duty, just something you can still move your fingers around and use as necessary without feeling like they’re going to slip off and drop a $1k+ piece of equipment on the ground.

Traeger grill troubleshooting: Invest in a good digital thermometer for more precise cooking results. There are tons of different kinds on sale right now, some which even attach directly to your grill/smoker using magnets so that you don’t have to constantly open and close it during food preparation – but honestly nothing beats getting one with an instant read, wireless probe that I’m able to leave inside whatever meat I’m up while keeping an eye on the temperature right next to me on the other side of grill.

– If you’re having trouble maintaining your desired temp, take advantage of the pellet burners constant need for fuel by cycling in new pellets when the old ones are almost spent. This will help keep that firepot continuously burning while also helping keep you from running out too early and needing to start over when you let it go out then quickly turn it back up again before getting your food cooked at a safe internal temp. Plus it reduces how often you’ll have to open the grill itself to add fresh pellets (which can lead to losing heat/higher chance of flare ups).

– When grilling cheeseburgers or fatty meats like bacon, always use a drip pan underneath to catch all the grease. This will help minimize flare ups and also allow you to reuse that stuff later on by pouring it into an old tin can or non-plastic bottle to use for other cooking projects (fry eggs in bacon grease, add a spoonful of it when sauteing veggies, etc).

Traeger grill troubleshooting: Always let your grill and meat rest after grilling. If you’re not familiar with this technique then definitely go look up “Restaurant Steak” online and get yourself some more info on what happens inside your food while its resting. It’s basically allowing the juices within the meat itself to redistribute throughout instead of ending up on your cutting board after slicing into it too soon while it’s still piping hot from the grill.

Why is my Traeger not igniting?

You’ve run through the startup process and everything looks great; you’re cooking away at 250 degrees, you’re set to 18 on the auger, the digital controller is beeping that it’s ready to go, but when you check your temp probe or look under the lid – NOTHING.

Traeger grill troubleshooting – Here’s a few of the most common reasons why your Traeger might not be lighting:

– If you’re using an external temperature probe (such as our thermo box), make sure that it is inserted all of the way into the top, center of your grill. I would also recommend lifting up on the end while inserting to make sure you know it has gone in all of the way. The old style probes were notorious for coming loose over time and if they weren’t properly seated, could lead to some frustration on your part.

– Make sure there isn’t any moisture in your unit whatsoever – this includes water running down from inside your base or into vents in the lid. Water can cause an electrical short in your wiring harness that will kill your igniter and give you problems with lighting.

– Make sure all wires are connected properly (ie; no loose wires). If the unit is equipped with our thermo box probes, make sure they’re securely attached to their respective connection points.

– Make sure your auger motor isn’t operating – if it’s not running, obviously there is nothing for the ignitor to sense to ignite the pellets. Note: this is most easily tested by removing both of your temperature probes when trying to light for testing purposes.

– If you have a WiFi model or digital control model, double check that it’s connected properly to your home network and the internet. In some cases, we have found that a WiFi model or digital control can operate fine within your home but not be able to connect to our servers outside of your local network. If you’re unsure, please double check all connections and reboot your unit before assuming it’s a hardware issue.

– Check the auger motor itself – is it receiving power?

– Make sure there isn’t any kind of debris between the ignitor and where it’s supposed to make contact with the pellets (especially if using an external probe as they tend to get in the way more).

How do I start my Traeger for the first time?

Before I start giving you instructions, please make sure you are using the type of fuel called for in the manual (i.e., wood pellets). Gas should not be used with your Traeger smoker because it could cause an explosion or fire hazard. Wood pellets will also work just fine. This article assumes that you have set up the grill and have filled it with fresh pellets.

– Did You Fill The Wood Pellet Hopper?

Before you start your Traeger, please make sure that the wood pellet hopper is full of fresh, untreated pellets. If you are using a yellow bag instead of a white bag with an orange strip, then there might be old or treated pellets in the hopper. Please change out the old/treated pellets for new ones before you start your grill. Here are two videos showing how to fill your hopper:

– If All Else Fails… No Problem!

If there’s no way that you can get your Traeger lit this first time it could be because there was some residual oil left on the metal surfaces inside the firebox from manufacturing and storage before assembly. The pellets in the auger might also not be dry. While this will not damage your machine or cause any safety hazards, it’s still something that needs to be addressed before using the grill.

If you cannot get your Traeger lit for some reason after following these instructions, place about 16 oz. of wood pellets in the firebox and try again. PLEASE NOTE: If you are having issues with your Traeger then please call Customer Service immediately  because if there is a problem with the machine when new parts are needed they may need to send someone out to fix it . That would likely delay your grilling time!

– Start Your Grill To High Heat (450°+)

Make sure that all caps on the control panel are tightened securely. Place the temperature on high (450°+). Do not place the grill on uneven ground or on anything flammable like a wooden deck. The machine is heavy and you will need to make sure it’s placed on safe location before plugging in the power cord. With your metal tongs, center one of the heating rods inside the firebox and push it forward until it touches the front wall of the firebox at about 6-7 inches from top of rod to bottom of receptacle. This way, when you turn it on, there is less chance that electric current will pass by touching metal components instead of passing through wood pellets. Wait About 5 Minutes.

Please be patient with this step because your Traeger has just been dormant for a long time. Once 5 minutes have passed, place your hand over the metal outside of the firebox and feel how warm it is before you start. If it’s not very hot it’s ok. Just make sure that you are placing the machine on safe surface because it get really hot! This step is important to operating your grill safely, so please don’t skip this! Place The Grill Grate On Firebox.

Place the grate inside the firebox with draft door closed. It should sit flat all around once properly positioned in front of one heater rod. Open Draft Door And Ignite Your Pellets.

Open the draft door located directly underneath the grilling grate on Traeger machines by pushing down on handle located at bottom right corner of door. Once open, push ignition button located on the very front of control panel. This will ignite all 4 heating rods at once. Sometimes there is a slight delay in ignition which is normal for this type of machine.

After igniting pellets, close draft door and wait for temperature to reach 400°+ before opening it again if you are cooking with high heat or 150-175°+ if you are cooking with indirect heat . Push Ignition Button Once Pellets Are Lit!

About 5 minutes after initiating pellets, press the ignition button on your Traeger controller. The grill should light up almost immediately… If not… keep trying until the pellets are lit. Do not use electronic devices near or on any metal parts on the machine when it’s plugged in.

If you are having problems lighting the grill, turn the dial to HIGH heat at 450°+, then use your metal tongs to push one of the heating rods forward until it touches the front wall of the firebox at about 6-7 inches from top of rod to bottom of receptacle. This way, when you turn it on, there is less chance that electric current will pass by touching metal components instead of passing through wood pellets…   PLEASE NOTE: If you are having issues with your Traeger then please call Customer Service immediately  because if there is a problem with the machine when new parts are needed they may need to send someone out to fix it . That would likely delay your grilling time!

How to use a pellet grill like a pro!

Choosing Your Wood Pellets – The first and most important tip is… Don’t skimp on quality. When choosing your wood pellets, you should not buy the absolute cheapest pellets available to you because they will burn at higher temperatures and impart more smoke.. Go with a name brand like: Honeywell or Timberwolf . These brands produce higher-quality pellets that burn hotter and longer than those bargain basement brands, saving you money in the long run.

Trial And Error Temperature Experimentation – Keep your eyes on the temperature as it climbs toward 400° F (200° C). Once it hits that point, hold it there by adjusting the dial up or down to maintain your ideal cooking temperature. The only way to know when the food is ready is by checking it with a meat thermometer, which should be placed in the thickest part of the meat to get an accurate reading . Note that using one isn’t enough – you’ll also need to check with one inserted into the side of your food, positioned near the bone for large cuts, or touching the bottom of your pan for thin cuts. You may have found reports online that indicate that pellet grills will reach up to 500 degrees F (260 C) but this is usually when they are used as “smokers”. What these builds are lacking are sufficient air intake and exhaust capabilities. Many people feel pellet grills don’t produce high enough temperatures to brown meats (e.g., steaks) or to cook foods through (e.g., baked items). These low temperatures are usually because insufficient airflow is supplied by the manufacturer to produce them.

Traeger grill troubleshooting: Pellets Not Lighting, Stove Not Getting Hot – Troubleshooting tips! If you’ve taken apart your unit and cleaned it (recommended!) and your pellets still won’t ignite : Maybe your pellets are too wet. Dry out your pellets first in an area with clean air flow (outside is best if it’s not raining) for 24 hours before trying again. Also check to see if there are any loose parts around the auger housing – sometimes small pieces of ash can accumulate near or around the auger, preventing it from reaching high enough temperatures to light the pellets. If you’ve done your best and all of these things still don’t work: Call customer service!

>>> See more: Smoked Brisket on Pellet Grill (Traeger Grill Troubleshooting)


The Traeger Grill is a great grill for outdoor cooking. Troubleshooting your Traeger grill is a common problem that can be easily solved. The first step to solving any issue with the appliance is knowing what’s wrong, which you can do by checking for certain symptoms of potential problems. If you see these symptoms, here are some tips on how to fix them!  Here are the signs that might indicate something needs fixing on your Traeger grill and what steps to take next. It also provides guidance on how to maintain your grill, avoid potential hazards and get the most out of it.

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