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*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

Traeger PTG

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Traeger Pellet Grills, LLC.

Traeger pioneered and popularized the pellet smoker and remains the best known brand since it is in wide distribution. And they aim to keep it that way even though competition is growing. They haven't broken into Home Depot or Lowe's yet, but they are sold by some Ace Hardware stores and a large variety on independents. Recently they've been making inroads with Costco as well. Traeger has an interesting variety of pellet smokers from a small portable, to large commercial models, to one that looks like a pink pig.

They offer a full line of branded extras from Traeger Pellets and rubs to Traeger insulation blankets and cold smoker add-ons.

Traeger PTG

We haven't found many portable pellet smokers and the PTG (Portable Traeger Grill) is the smallest we've seen. It only weighs 40 lbs. and dimensions are 13" H x 21" W x 17" D. The lid latches shut and you can carry it by the handle like a suitcase. With 169 square inches of cook surface and about 6 inches of head room, cooking possibilities are limited. Still this unique little cooker may have some useful applications, like smoking fish and other foods that cook relatively fast and free up the small cook box for the next round. Of course all pellet smokers require electricity, so this portable either needs access to a 110V outlet, generator or inverter.

A big problem with entry level Traegers like the PTG is the inferior three position controller that has no thermostat to monitor actual temperature and can only execute pellet run times for low, medium and high heat. It feeds the same amount of fuel to the firepot whether you're cooking on a scorching summer day or frozen winter night. So you can't experience the joy of set it and forget it cooking that is one of the main attractions of contemporary pellet smokers.

Traeger pioneered and popularized the pellet smoker and remains the best known brand since it is in wide distribution. In fact about 85% of pellet smokers in the USA are Traeger. The consensus is they are reasonably well built, but some buyers complain that since manufacturing moved to China quality has dropped, especially on entry level models. Of course we hear more complaints as well as praise about Traeger since 8 out 10 pellet smoker owners have one.

All Traegers are black powder coated steel with porcelain enamel steel grates.

Price: 

$300 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Where To Buy (Buying from these suppliers supports this website): 

Amazon

FireCraft: Free Shipping

Traeger Grills

Cabela's: Free In Store Pick Up

Primary Function: 

Smoker

Tailgater

Fuel: 

Wood Pellets

Primary Capacity: 

169 square inches ( about 8 burgers )

Main Burners: 

1

Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA

No

Review Method: 

Looked Closely At It

We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer,  owners, and other reliable sources.

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Mo's Smoking Pouch is essential for gas grills. It is an envelope of mesh 304 stainless steel that holds wood chips or pellets. The airspaces in the mesh are small enough that they limit the amount of oxygen that gets in so the wood smolders. Put it on top of the cooking grate, on the burners, on the coals. It holds enough wood for about 15 minutes for short cooks, so you need to refill it or buy a second pouch for long cooks like pork shoulder and brisket. Mine has survived more than 50 cooks. I like it better than the smoker tubes. Click for more info. - Meathead

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