My Husband Got a Traeger, and I Love His New Hobby!
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Curious about Traeger smokers?
Since it’s close to Father’s Day and it’s prime grilling season, today I’m sharing one of my husband’s favorite gifts – his Traeger Renegade Pro!
“I love cooking with my Traeger! IT IS AMAZING! I love the Pro Series since it has built in temperature probes and a hatch to change out the wood pellets. The Traeger makes life a lot easier to get excellent, consistent results with limited effort. An added bonus is that you can grill, bake, and smoke, all with the same grill!” – Lina’s husband Joel.
We purchased a Traeger Renegade Pro (a popular brand of wood pellet electric smokers) about 5 months ago, and we’ve really been enjoying it! And by “we”, I mostly mean my husband, as he’s been enjoying this new hobby of trying every type of meat, creating seasoning blends, and essentially taking over the cooking responsibilities on the weekends.
This means less cooking, and I’m all about supporting this delicious passion for smoking – especially as our family gets to enjoy the benefits that have come from it! We grill year round living in Arizona. With yummy hardwood infused BBQ meals, our Traeger has taken this activity to the next level!
Grilling vs. Smoking
Typical propane and charcoal grills apply direct heat to the food through the heated grates to cook food faster. Smokers use burning wood and indirect heat so you cook at lower temps for a longer period of time. This infuses a mouth-watering wood smoked taste that’s different from a gas grill.
Win-Win: The Traeger is a grill and a smoker! We often set it to a higher temp to “grill” foods – anything from smoke (180 degrees) to 450 degrees.
Pellet Smokers vs. Propane Smokers
Traeger is a high-quality pellet smoker and grill that cooks using small wooden pellets fed through a side hopper. Operation requires an electric outlet. Just pour in the wood pellets and set your digital temperature. Aside from checking in every 60 minutes or so to make sure all is good, it’s pretty hands-off.
We started out learning to smoke meat with an entry level propane smoker that uses wood chips to infuse wood flavor. It works fine, but it was a hassle to constantly feed wood chips to, there were flare-up temperature spikes, and it was tricky to maintain even temperatures. We once ran out of propane mid-smoke, and that was a bummer, too.
Why we love our Traeger:
- Precise temperature for even cooking (and no flare-ups). This yields a higher quality, consistent result.
- Ease of use. Using a self-feeding pellet smoker is definitely the way to go as far as setting the temp and letting the smoker do its thing. It’s sort of like using an oven!
- Easy to clean. To make it even easier, we buy the drip pan liners. Cleaning up the ash is easy to do using a shop vac or a handheld vacuum.
- It’s good looking! I know this may seem unimportant, but the design is actually similar to a gas grill and not an eyesore like some smokers. 🙂
- Excellent customer service. Traeger is known for its awesome customer service, and the smoker/grill comes with a 3-year warranty.
Some of the AMAZING meals we’ve prepared using our Traeger:
- Smoked chicken wings are crazy yum! Seriously, if you’re a wing fan, you’ve gotta try them!
- Smoked ribs, both beef and pork. Always a delicious choice. A mustard and spice rub is YUM.
- Smoked pork belly with honey BBQ are like tiny bites of heaven! Get the recipe from TraegerGrills.com.
- Brisket takes all day to smoke, but it’s so tasty if you have the time! It’s our special occasion go-to meal.
- We smoked a thick t-bone steak last night for dinner, and it was DELISH (pictured below).
Cooking & Support Hip Tips:
Traeger accessories worth considering:
- Exterior front folding shelf to extend your work area. It’s a handy spot to rest your plate and tools (we use ours a lot).
- Interior extra grill rack to maximize space. This lets you cook more food with an additional surface area.
- Full-length grill cover to protect your smoker.
- Bucket liners and drip tray liners for easy cleanup.
- We use this digital instant-read thermometer; however, our Traeger has two temperature probes that allow you to connect meat to the grill to read from the grill’s control panel.
We are definitely happy with our Traeger investment!
We are foodies, and we enjoy being at home and in our backyard, so this is a perfect hobby for us!
Organize BBQ tools with this DIY sign for dad!